We also need to remember, we are not the only ones playing the game trying to achieve victory (or defeat in some cases).
If someone else is employing the exact same strategy as everyone else in the same galaxy because they read a guide on the forums telling them all to do that… Someone is still going to lose and you cant just read another guide. But if that happens, you can maximize your stars per tick while sabotaging your enemies, which means… help your enemies enemies.
You wont perfect the entire game in one sitting, you need to focus on certain parts of the game so its more simple, then all you have to do is remember what you have learned while you perfect the rest of the game. So divide it into 3 parts, opening middle and end of the game.
The end of the game is simple, everyone can do this… if your winning then basically you continue winning lol or if your losing you can resign or learn how to lose properly like by sending credits to alliances or again your enemies enemies, so they will think twice next time about attacking you.
There are still tactics to be used in the endgame with diplomacy or observing when the leader is about to capture the final star then you quickly attack your alliances at the right time in betrayal to gain a few more positions on the leaderboard but because its the end of the game they can not retaliate against you.
The opening is the easiest part of the game but also where you could easily waste a good position if not careful, you need to first of all decide how many carriers you need, and how you will develop your infrastructure, where you will expand to. Its usually the same every galaxy what you do, because there is always optimal strategy at this point. But not for the middle game.
So in the opening you want to avoid buying carriers until you can see the entire galaxy, which is when everyone joins the game (unless your not active enough to check when it has started). Then you use the rule (press V hotkey) to plan your expansion, always expand as far as possible… even if your in the centre of the galaxy. This is because you will find out who is your enemies sooner and you can always retreat back to a more compact position instead of just starting in a defensive position then you never end up getting attacked. Use the ruler to work out if you can reach a star before your opponents, if there starting star is closer to that star than your starting star then you simply do not go there. (if they run into you it is there fault).
However, if you notice they are not active and might go AI, you can take the risk and expand further. But if they are active and have not expanded as far as possible you must respect that they are still closer to that star and they are still in control of there own empire.
When you do that you also need to know how many ships to actually send because you might encounter situations where you can expand to 20 different stars all in the same place but you only have 10 ships on your carrier. This is very hard to do and it still messes me up some times, the key is to observe what you think is a key star and hold that position. Even though you want to expand crazy there is still a thing as over expanding, you will know if you have over expanded when there is not enough ships at your star to hold the star after you reach it.
So you want to expand as forward as possible in that situation, do not waste time capturing every star even if there all in a straight line, just get as far away from your home star as possible and if you reach a complex expansion problem then just capture a key star as close to your opponent as possible. Then if they try to jump to stars around you, you will be closer to it than them… You will be defending all of your stars by defending your front stars. (Do not end up with less than 5 ships at a star in the opening, and do not separate your ships to multiple stars if possible. Try to defend as many stars as possible using the minimum number of carriers)
Recognise when you can use passive expansion or aggressive… which is the above what I just told you, but passive is were you have less than 5 ships defending, this is were even if the opponent runs into you by accident you are going to lose your front line already, which you never want to allow because then it is not safe for you to build economy anywhere in your territory… Passive you use when the stars are isolated and only you can reach them so they can not be attacked by anyone, or when you know they are ai or when you are using diplomacy to receive territory… such as alliances.
In the opening of a standard game do not buy any economy until just before production after you have expanded, and there is also no reason to buy industry in the first galactic cycle. If you buy industry your hurting your economy the most during the first cycle than any other cycle and also, if your opponent spams industry and 0 economy at the start they still wont have enough ships or carriers to actually break your front line.
The reason you dont buy economy either till just before the end of the first cycle is because you wont to spread your economy over all the stars you have collected not the stars you have started with, as you will be able to buy more economy.
Unless you are using the alternative strategy for infrastructure which is not buying economy on your borders for security, but I never really do this to be honest I think it is a useless strategy at the start the game because your economy will pay off at your borders before they capture it which means you still benefited from it more than your opponent, and its worth the risk to either have the most economy in your galaxy or the worst for the rest of the game… because those two things will be decided on how your upgrade infrastructure in the first cycle of the game. Also if you really wanted security you could just buy one industry on a star you think is unsafe at the start. Instead of ultimately screwing your entire economy. But its your choice lol
Now I will finally shred the remains of my fingernails to talk about SCIENCE, of which basically you should always start with 3 even if the galaxy is not revealed yet because not everyone has joined… you will be always be safe in knowing 3 science is probably the optimal choice no matter what happens.
And always get banking, experimenting or weapons at the start of the game… otherwise you are absolutely wasting your time. ;p
With 3 science and research to banking you will have banking in exactly 2 days on production which means you will benefit from banking as fast as possible… even if you spam science at the start of the game you will not benefit from banking any sooner because you simply dont have enough credits to spend to get banking in one day. It is possible but it requires 6 science and you cant start with 6 science so you have to get like 3 science in the first production then 8 science after the first cycle has paid you. (dont do that)
So there you go, and that is why I said there is no guide to strategy ^
DONT EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THE MIDDLE GAME