I played a Dark galaxy game late last year
This reposts a section of that strategy for dark galaxies.
8 player , Scan trade $15/level.
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.
In a light galaxy, the 2nd tick should show you where all of the neighbors are. You can shrink the map and use the range ruler to guess where the other capital stars are. Every star should start with the same number of ships your stars stars did.
Starting scan of available stars relative to neighboring empires is very important to figure out which way you want to expand, and how many carriers you want to buy and where you can buy them.
The early stage favors defense, where battles allow the defender ships to fight at weapons tech 2 vs attacker weapons tech 1. ( earliest reaching of weapons tech 2 is usually about tick 40 )
My standard is to play outer shell set up defense -
The main tenet is to keep the infrastructure that I build. Opportunistically take infrastructure away from my enemy.
A hoard starting credits,
B reach out as far as the early carriers can get you relative to the neighboring empires,
C build industry on the best (high natural resource) stars of that direction with the credits to set up your outer borders.
How far out that shell can go depends on the game. The standard game should allow that range to be about a LY past your starting scan.
Most games I start with 3 - 5 carriers. Do not buy any more carriers than the minimum needed. Carriers produce no research, ships, or money. Later on, buy carriers sparingly. Tough to do, because it takes about 24 hours for any carrier to deliver value from the purchase location to the ship drop off location. It could save one of your outer shell infrastructure colonies. The beginning game can be full of guesswork on an enemy front.
Tick 0 5 Econ 5 Ind 1 Sci
tick 24 17 E 8 ind 3 Sci
Tick 48 22 E 11 Ind 4 Sci ~ tick 60 - Some trade-able tech, I like Experimentation.
Tick 72 28 E 14 ind 5 Sci Another trade-able tech from the Experimentation 2…
My typical set up usually allows the defense to transition towards offensive posture around tick 120-150.
Alliances, favorable and unfavorable, can impact each game decisively.