Dark Galaxy Strategy


I’m about to start a 9 player Dark Galaxy game with some friends where we have Anonymous names and Trade only within Scanning range enabled.

We’ve all played a few games at this stage (all of which I’ve won) but I don’t think my tactics will work as well this time. Usually I pump Economy very hard and win by whoring around and trading with everyone in the game until I’m clearly ahead then roll through my neighbours.

My active diplomacy is likely to be less effective in the upcoming game. Any suggestions from experienced Dark players on how to modify my playstyle?

Should I focus on Experimentation more, especially early? Should I make a mad dash to chart the map? Is it safe to go hard on Economy early?


Yeah, I think the biggest change is that you need to be able to fend for yourself incase you just don’t find an ally. There may only be one way to expand, and that might be through the only guy you can see.


I’m not really worried about defending myself, I rate myself a better Admiral than any of my competitors. It’s the severely limited tech trading I’m more concerned about. Usually I’m able to have all techs at level 2 by the end of second cycle through my wheeling and dealing. A necessary part of that is usually going for 3 Science and Experimentation immediately so I have 2 techs to trade.

I’m wondering if more experienced Dark players consider still going for the 3 Science/Experimentation a solid strategy, or I’d be better served going for Banking/Terraforming or ignoring Science all together for the first cycle and just slamming down like 15 Economy right before first cycle ends.


Yeah, what I meant was you don’t want to be caught out without weapons tech or ships.


That’s true.

I really want to play extremely greedy and take advantage of the fact my neighbours don’t know where I am or if they’re surrounded and thus will be less willing to commit to engaging me early. Ideally by the time the 3rd Cycle is over I’ve almost caught up on any sacrificed Industry and am on my way to Weapons 2 to sufficiently defend any early aggression. If memory serves it’s almost impossible to hit a neighbours homeworlds in under 72 hours in a standard home distance game, assuming you even know which way to go?


Getting exp 2 asap is almost always a good opening strategy imo…to be changed only if the map forces it (i.e. you need hyper to expand, or start very near multiple aggressors, or you make an ally who is doing exp so you switch to bank/weps/hyper).

The most benefit from terra is given to bad planets (low resources)…so i never worry about that as much early, even in a sparse galaxy – since at first, with so little cash, you should only be spending on your best planets (and they benefit from terra the least).

Also, keep in mind scanning is of greater importance in the dark than it is usually…even in the mid-late game. Scan is likely to allow you to expand further and/or along different avenues, or to fringe (otherwise inaccessible) stars, and also allows you to flank/surprise your opponents (esp when you have higher scan than them). Im not saying its the most important tech, or that you need to do it first or anything…just keep in mind that scanning now is your main access to more information.

I know this sounds obvious, but it can still be easily underestimated or come as a bit of a shock in the game…To play a dark galaxy is to play a game where no single player has all the information about the map…which is the exact opposite of non-dark galaxies. This means you may find some of your skills like determining alliances (yours and others), grand strategy, and diplomacy are hindered because you no longer have access to all the knowledge that seeing the whole map affords. It can be hard to convince someone to your preferred way of thinking when you cant even see them or their map position. The more scan you have, the more the game starts to finally feel and play a bit more like non-dark.


For this reason, trading what little scan info you have becomes perhaps the most important trade you can make. Being able to infer the map early can give you leg up on strategy. I wouldn’t be too quick to go after the only player you can see in early game, especially if its trade scanned only. Unless the other empire is run by a weak player, you could find yourself in a ruinous 1v1, and watch both of you get consumed by a patient third player when scan improves.


Keep lines of communication open with as many people as possible. Provides a good way to build up a picture of the map by finding out who neighbours who (as well as all the usual NP benefits such as being able to plan a coordinated attack etc.)


I quite like Dark Galaxy Games. I think they add quite a lot to the game.

What do you guys think about making the 64 player games dark for a while?


This is all information I assumed, but it’s good to get confirmation my speculations are reasonably accurate. I’ve always placed a high value on Scanning and the information it provides, even in regular games. As they say, Information is Power.

Does anyone else have any thoughts about the merits of going for full Economy buy on 1st cycle? If I buy 1 Science at start of 2nd cycle and 1 at start of 3rd then I get Experimentation 2 only 1 cycle after I would with a double Science buy at the start. But obviously have the advantage of much larger spending power.


I doubt you will get much argument from anyone with buying most/all econ in the first cycle.

However my personal preference is to go heavy sci on the first cycle to get exp by 2nd production. I start buying mostly econ in 2nd cycle personally.


On my first go I usually buy 1 sci, 1 ind, and plunge the rest into economy, then try and stay ahead in economy for the rest of the game.

I like to research banking first. Often, many players research exp first and then tend to be more restricted when it comes to the first wave of tech trading.


Wow, that would be total chaos. The scale is way too large to try to assemble a useful map. It would also probably hinder the early assembly of trading cartels. It would put a premium on players who know each other swapping info. It would probably also put a premium on assembling regional alliances of anyone you can see, since early wars would almost certainly mean death. I have no idea what it would do to the afk rate.

Is the AI as blind as a human?

But I LOVE the idea!


My last game was Dark galaxy
8 player , Scan trade $15/level.
random Hexagrid.
turn based - 8 tick jump / 24 hr wait. Standard Production / 24 ticks
start 6 stars / 10 ships each. 5-5-1 EIS capitol.

I started with standard Open:
1 hoard starting credits after buying 3-5 carriers.

2A explore out to stars of 35+ resource value within the 8 hr jump window.
2B then build Sci#2 (started w/ #1 on my capitol) on that newly claimed star, tick 8, keep exploring for stars to build Econ with the remaining credits before production on tick 24.

3 Tick 8, I viewed other empire stats to see who is reserving credits for favorable Econ builds before the production and introduced myself / offered alliance before Tick 16. If there are too many playing my same style, I will have to decide which ally to go with. General rule of thumb is that I need 1 ally for every 8 live players that started up to 3 total allies. I did not care where the ally was in this dark galaxy.

4 As I found borders with other players, I offered expiring non aggression pacts that had well stated terms of expiration. This allowed me to keep building and fortify my borders until the NAP(s) expire when I can decide to extend NAP expiration for another 2 production rounds on any particular border. Ultimately I do need to send my ships to combat in one single direction.

5 Whoever I border with initially also gets offers of tech trade. Tech trades continue until I can open up trade with an ally or two worth my trust for the remainder of the game.