Battle tactics

So I’m currently in a bitter combat with one of the northern player. Our economy,industry all surpass 100 and this is late in the game. I have more science points than him(but just more than a bit). I have weapons level 10 and he currently has 7 but we are researching. He is in first place and I am in second on the leaderboard. I have allied with another player in 3rd. I am wondering, what is the best tactics against a tough opponent. Should I push and be on the offensive grinding and wearing him down(however he has more industry but my empire is basically a river of ships about 300 coming in every day atleast).

100 of my ships have infiltrated his lines and caused havoc in his inner stars. However he has amassed nearly 800 ships plus he has some pretty strong fortresses in the region with 5-6 industry on each. He has about 3 fortresses, which gives a grand total of about 1200 ships in the area. I have less ships(900-1000) however I think I make up for it in the weapons.

What is the best tactics here? Should I go on the offensive, defensive or set a trap?

Once it’s all out war, cause maximum havoc, and if possible keep his ships busy doing anything but attacking planets of yours. Those ships behind his lines give you a huge advantage: he cannot use any of those ships in the fortresses to attack you, and meanwhile, you are free to do whatever you like. Take all the small planets you can, kill his economy, be threatening to his “fortresses”, and at the same time eat away at him little by little on the front. As long as momentum goes your way, you will win in the end. The only way he can win, is by attacking you, and doing more damage to you than you to him. Keep him afraid, defensive, and slowed down, and pick away at him little by little.

Your weapons advantage is quite massive, meaning he will not want to engage you at all. Just hop around taking all the small planets, force him to move, or die.

That’s what I’m currently trying to do. Even though he has massive numerical superiority, I did the first strike and it is doing lots of damage to his economy and industry. He has warp gates in his inner stars and he is assembling a few hundred ships. Should I be worried about the warp gates that he has. The truth is i have never worried about warp gates since I get a steady reinforcement rate every day. But because I have an ally with me(who now has superior economy compared to my enemy) it does ease of pressure.

In fact I am a bit afraid that he is going to smash through with his 800 strong armada. However just a few hours ago, one of his fortresses fell.

Update: In fact he did the exact opposite. He pulled 600 of his ships north in a full retreat. I believe this is to overextend my lines or lure me into a trap.

What you call infiltration I call “slipping the defense”, and that is when you slip a stack of sufficient size into an enemy’s relatively unguarded interior that it can cause mischief. A small stack may in insufficient to do anything other then delay an enemy, or worst keep them playing musical planets with a few systems. The forces necessary to contain such an instruction are usually far in excess of the attacking force, effectively pinning them to a rear area, where they cannot be used elsewhere, ideally for the enemy in a similar offensive of his own against you. If you have the strength, take a primary system, or captured enemy home world. Making a fortress of your own.

If you are fighting an enemy, keep track of when they spend all their money, which is typically right after a production cycle completes. That enemy jump in econ/industry/research may get him down below $25, which means you’ve a production cycle before he can purchase a new carrier to react to new threats or fleet movements.