What's your favorite Galciv I strategy and will you try and adapt it to Galciv II?
I generally either went the economy/influence route. That way I could keep up technologically by buying and trading techs and make an unstoppable economic engine. If I ever got in a war, I'd switch all my constructor production to the best ship availalbe and buy them to completion, making an instant fleet. I rarely took a planet by force. Invasion is such a messy business.
Another strategy that worked for me was the techno-geek route. I'd focus on being the elite tech race and NOT share with anyone. This one was much harder to pull off, because I didn't have a focus on production or economy, meaning I usually didn't have a great defense fleet, nor could I buy one in a pinch. I could sometimes win in a big map where I was all alone in a remote corner. Have to admit, it's kind of cool imagining what it would be like to trancend into a new life form.
I tried to be the 'conqueror' a couple of times, but found I had to go the evil route to make it work well. That never really agreed with my MO. Plus, it seemed after a while I had to wait too long for my planets to repopulate after invasions, even with happy drugs and frictionless underwear.
I think after a few games of playing a balanced strategy I might try the techies again. In GalCiv II, with each tech bringing an advantage to you rather than quantum leaps (frigate to battlship to dreadnaught, etc.) it might mean that staying ahead of the curve could make a Quality over Quantity strategy work better, and that's sort of where you have to go with your War Department if you play tech strategy.
Anyway, I'm hardly the master of strategy. It would be very cool if some vets would post thier favorite approach. Perhaps someone uses a blend where they start wtih economy, but switch to aggression later or something.