Question on Swindle games: When do you start buying planets?
Because it's damn funny to buy planets immediately after they are colonized; with super diplo few planets have been colonized more than 4 turns before I've bought them from whoever colonized them. On suicidal only a couple civs have more than 5-6 planets that were colonized and grew before I made contact. Most have 4 or fewer.
As you may guess, having that many newly colonized planets really screws your economy, but it can be compensated by the AI civs having plenty of cash they can't spend on their new colonies. Buy all planets, cash, and tech with influence and you're golden. I've actually traded so much in one turn I RAN OUT of influence points!
The biggest problem with this approach is that the AIs never get high enough in their tech trees to get techs worth buying/stealing. I'd love to get killzone, healing pools, or any of the Terran morale techs for the passives/trade goods.
In case this is news to anyone, I've also confirmed AIs don't get ethics events. None of them have Xeno Ethics researched, and I have yet to find a single one that had an ethics-event bonus on it (out of 350 or so planets purchased).