.... usually they spread really quickly early, then stay in a nice little shell for a while as they build up, then start expanding again on the gigantic maps that I've played.. I have noticed unless you crush then really early (when they're still weak due to lack of... well, anything) you're in for a long fight...
I usually play on normal on gigantic maps... so I usually get killed by those stupid bugs
The Terrans usually dominate my Large to Huge maps. Except when I play as them.
I tend to exclude Terrans when I play as another race because their diplomatic bonus is so high that I can't trade for stuff because they are so greedy. They literately turn down offers that would greatly increase their tech because of their diplomatic bonus.
I tend to play the tiny maps because the games last long enough as it is. I'm currently at crippling level with the AI level set to genius. I play as a race until I've beaten the game then pick the next race before going up in difficulty level. (Maybe I should go through the mapsize as well).
In tiny maps taking out the civilization capital is usually enough to cripple a race. In a huge map this isn't the case because there are a lot more planets.
Some races are better at lager maps, some at smaller... So its definatly worth variaing size and civ.
Recently fineshed a tiny as Arcea, now working on DL campain and a large as Korath. Spores are fun.
On topic. Thalans do seem to dominate, but not in a totaly overpowered way. One solution, build starbases!
As far as actually "dominating" in the sense of "winning", most AIs are pretty varied in my games - the Drengin are bugged beyond repair (though they do well if switched to another race personality) but all the others can do well. I've just run into successful Arceans for the first time ever on TOA.
However, in terms of colonizing, the Torians and Thalans tend to spread like disease - usually colonizing more then three times as many planets as other races do. They would always win, except for some key weaknesses - the Torians leave a lot of their planets undeveloped and the Thalans, quite literally, cannot fight a war to save their lives. In addition they frequently are ganged up on by other AIs, not to mention myself.
I also like to try to ally with the Thalans, in particular - they're fairly passive and it's not hard to do. Then I can take advantage of their colossal economy and soak them for bcs.
There are two games I played where the Drengin did quite well. The map was gigantic, the AI setting was genius. In one game I remember that the Drengin had build up a couple of starbases to mine military resources and they had maxed a couple of military starbases to help their ships.
Yeah I always wonder why are the Thalians and the Krynn are the most powerfull in the game.
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