The picture below shows the race selection for this walk-through. I had a 100% success rate using this settings. In none of my games I was ever in any danger of loosing. This strategy is however a lot slower than with a production oriented race. Where a production race is finished in two hundred turns we will need around three hundred turns. However since we have a lot less planets the game itself is a little faster. Around five hours playing time.
Three phases to your success
The strategy with this race is radical different from the strategy using a production oriented race.
Without any production bonuses you must not waste any production and instead concentrate on researching right from the beginning until the end.
Wasted production is covers things like setteling any planets that are not the best of the best. The production needed for a colony ship is substential and (converted to research) pays for some very nice technological advancements. Also the effort of building (or buying) all the buildings that the planet will need is an additional draw-back. Even colony bases for housing colonies should not be build. Housing colonies will usually need food and some kind of defence.
In summary: Only settle the best planets, don't build housing colonies or anything else that you don't need.
Now back to the phases.
The first phase is beginning.
You want to build up the technology to at least pollution processors in order to build your first colony ship without any production waste.
That means only leaving one worker stockpiling production while the rest of your population is reasearching away.
To optimize the first phase I implemented a simulator with most of the Master-of-Orion 2 game logic in it. The following research order has been shown to be optimal: Hydrophonic farm, electronic computer, research labs, reinfored hull, automatic factories, fuel cells, trilanium armour, pollution processor.
Also my simulator has shown that a tax rate of 30% for the most time is optimal. This will allow you to buy the just researched buildings almost immediately. Flat production stockpiling is not nearly as effective.
Again. Don't build a colony base. It's too production expensive
Phase two is colonization.
But compared with a production race we are a lot more picky about the planets.
We already have researched four buildings that the new planets will need to have build and because we don't have housing colonies we don't have surplus population to fill up new planets fast.
We will build one scout and start searching the vicinity for rich terran/oceanic planets. Mostly those planets will be defended by space monsters, so count on loosing the scout eventually. Also it is very likely that we will need to build a couple of outposts to find such planets, but that's just the way it is.
The plan is to find such planets, kill the space monster with a fleet of frigates and colonize them. We will then build/buy automatic factories, pollution processors and missile bases as fast as possible while using freighters to ferry in population from the existing colonies to accelerate the build-up. Later on we will build ground batteries and radiation shields to further harden the planets.
Phase three is the cleaning up.
With four to six of those perfect maxed out planets will soon get technological superiority.
Around round 250 we will have mauler devices and a lot of other technolgical goodies.
Attacking Orion now is almost anti-climatic.
Emission guided missiles will kill the guardian in almost no time.
If you like to have a little more challenge you can use phasor armed battleships.
Or even one high-tech titan.
Or you can zip around with your battleships and titans and kill all the other races.
If you have two or even three big enemies you still don't have to be afraid. The worst thing that ever happened to me was that one of my high tech titans got boarded. Still one titan agains planets where you can buy a star fortress from one turn to another is not that dangerous. So go wild and start destroying planets.
Now here is the eagerly anticipated game walkthrough. The settings are on huge, pre-warp galaxy with seven computer players. Then I designed my custom race as previously described. The starting planet turned out to be somewhere near the middle. Let's hope I have some monster planets nearby. Start is at star time 3500.0 with 18 research points. I go for hydroponic farms to get one inhabitant free to research.
3500.0: I immediately set the tax rate to 30% and leave only one worker to build colony base to stockpile production. Research for hydroponic farms.
3500.5: Just five turns later research is finished, however I don't have enough money to buy the farms yet. Only 95BC. I go for electronic computers and wait some turns.
3500.7: Now I can buy farms. After it is build I immediately reshuffle the inhabitants so that I don't produce too much food. In turn 8 I have 18BC left and already 23RP.
3501.0: Computers researched. 32BC and 23RP now. I go for Research Labs.
3502.0: Research Labs researched. 120BC and 23RP now. I buy Research Labs and research reinforced hull.
3502.5: Reinforced hull researched. 123BC and 35RP now. I go for automatic factory.
3503.1: 183BC and 35RP now. I hire Commander V'Carr
3503.3: Got automatic factories. I buy them and now go for pollution processor by first researching fuel cells.
3503.5: 80BC and 41RP now. I go for Trilanium Armor
3504.3: 152BC and 47RP now. Finally research Pollution Processor
3505.1: I hire Draxx
3506.0: Researched Pollution Processor 373BC and 53RP now. I go for Freighters
3506.2: Researched Freighters 408BC and 53RP now. I build a scout and go exploring. Afterwards a spy because with democracy and -20 spy malus it is vital to get up some defences. Starting research on colony ships now.
3506.6: Researched colony ship and start building one with four workers. While pushing a big build project the tax rate can be reduced to 10%. I research lasers and two turns later soil enrichment.
3508.1: Found a rich splinter colony protected by a space amoeba. The scout survived and keeps on scouting. A splinter colony is always a good thing. It means that I only need to build the fleet to kill the monster but no colony ship. The fleet is roughly as expensive to build as the colony ship but can be reused while the colony ship can be only used once. So I will stockpile production and then build the attack fleet.
3508.6: Found a ultra rich terran planet protected by a space dragon. The scout got destroyed after bravely sending the information back to base.. I immediately replace the scout.
Around this time the expansive player will have to build it's first ships just to defend it's new planets.
Since I only have my one planet with a lot stockpiled production and not even met an alien race I don't have this problem.
Building the newly researched soil enrichment and researching battle pods for my planned war fleet. I also build an outpost because the target planet is a little to far for ships without extended tanks.
3509.3: Got battle pods. At 53RP now. Start building 7 Frigats.
3510.4: Got the splinter colony while not loosing any ships. Now building freighters to ferry settlers to the new planet and a cloning center to produce the settlers in the first place.
3510.5: Found a new planet. Huge, ultra-rich terran protected by a space eel.
First contact to the human race.
I immediately give them survival pods and fusion bombs and get a trade and research treaty in return.
The next turn the humans steal heavy armour technology while I hire Ralleion
3511.7: The humans steal battle pods. I also met a new race. The Silicoids.
3512.0: Researched neural scanners which should help with my espionage problems. I go for space academies now while continuing to move settlers to my new planet.
3512.3: Found Elerians. I give three techs and get again a trade and a research treaty.
3512.5-3513.8: Keep on building colony ship and frigates while researching in short order fusion beam, tachyon communication and atmospheric renewer.
3515.0 Attack on the space eel with 9 frigates. That is my third planet.
3515.3 The humans have declared war. No idea why and I was a little bit affraid but took their time to attack until I managed to make a peace treaty later.
3515.5 Detected the Sakkra. I researched the atmospheric renewer and now go for supercomputer.
3516.5 All out research now. 134RP and rising.
3516.7 Build holo stimulator and supercomputers. Now researching xeno psychology and then fighter garnison.
3517.3 Detected the Bulrathi.
3517.5-3518.6 The research continues with the following research projects finished: Fighter garnisson, class 1 shield, telepatic training, anti-grav harness.
3518.9-3519.7 I hired Tanus and continued with the research. The following research projects finished: Planetary radiation shield, neutron scanner, planetary graveity generator. Now my planets have star base, missile base, fighters garnisson and radiation shield as protection. That will keep away quite a big enemy fleet. I started research on zortium armour.
3520.0: Attack by humans. They are repelled without problems.
Finished research on zortium armour and bought a battleship with this new armour.
Now I am quite well prepared in case somebody else thinks about attacking.
They are repelled without problems.
Starting research on robo miners.
Next turn humans signed a peace treaty with me.
In he meantime got the robo miners and emission guidance.
I now go for jump gate and phasors.
I also attacked and colonized the dragon planet since my three planets are getting full again.
3521.6-3522.8: Found Mrshan and got my treaties again. Also continuing with the research and getting jump gates, phasors, terraforming, assault shuttles, ground batteries, ion drive. Going for Plasma cannons now.
3523.4: Prepare assault on orion after getting plasma cannons. Continuing research with disruptors.
3523.6: The Antaren attack. I build capture ships with assault shuttles and tractor beams. Four turns later they arrive at a fully prepared planet. I capture one of them and after scrapping get neutronium bomb and quantum detonator. Argh.
After some further research on structual analyzer and mauler devices I attack orion with 8 battleships (with phasors).
I get the Defender but I have no space for ship leaders.
Anyway, I start destroying Sakkra planets now.
3525.6-3527.4: Continue with research for the mauler device, planetary construction, weather ontrol, psyonics and personal shields. In turn 274 the Sakkra are annihilated and I switch over destroying the Silikoid.
3531.6: Destroyed Silikoid
3531.6: Researched stellar converter and stargate.
3533.3: All out war
3535.5: The galaxy is in principle owned and I attack Antares with 6 high tech titans. No problems defeating the Antarens.