I found this steam of posts interesting. I learned the hard way over several early games to control the number of farms and moral improvements on a planet. I make a lot of decisions based on the bonus tiles on a planet. My base plan for most planets of 14 or less and not a capital is no farm and three moral. 14 - 17 is one farm, and 18+ is two farms. A planet of 12 or 13 with a double farm tile and a moral bonus tile will get one farm. Larger bonus farm tiles only get a farm if 14-17 with moral bonus tiles or on 18+. For my play style, this works well for most of the game. I specialize planets. Some vary large planets never have a farm, have three moral, and then what ever I need for the specialization (manufacturing (ships) or research). Very small planets don't get a star port. Late in the game, I usually have some large planets without a star part, a lot of population and economic improvements.
For a normal game
- Green moral is supposed to grow normally.
- Yellow grows slower.
- Red grows hardly at all.
- Below 40% - no growth
- Below 30% - lose population bringing them back to 30%
Things change as a game progresses. I adjust as I go. It is common for me to build over improvements to get the type of plannets that I need at the time. I just finished a very long game after several months of play and saw some interesting things like a planet with a very large population and approval of 23%. I had forgetten about the plannet after putting a lot of fertility clinics on it. When the moral dropped below 30% I couldn't convert them fast enough to virtual reality centers. For some reason, my plannets wern't losing population to bring them back to 30% like use to happen. In the last several years of the game, I noticed many cases where planets were still growing with moral in the red and even below 30%. I think that this likely came about from some of the many things found by my survey ships. The game stretched out when the Peace Keepers showed up and took out my ascension bases and I needed to quickly convert to masive ship production to defeat them. Several plannets were delayed in being coverted to econimic production for the cash needed to upgrade ships as I discovered better weapons. I had stopped warship production when my fleets far exceeded my opponents. I ended the game with 10 times the military rating of the other remaining major players combined. The Peace Keepers added about 3 days of play to the ascension victory I was aiming for.
During the course of that game, I was able to keep my Spending for production at 100% for all but about 30 turns. My taxes were usually about 10% less than the breakpoint for what the moral/economic technology at the time allowed until I had all of the neccessary techs and then I was able to get it to 100% with the last about 200 turns between 85% to 90% due to gaining planets through influence or losing players giving me their planets and wanting to keep my overall moral above 70%. I was able to keep my overall moral between 70% and 90% with several plannets at 100% for the extra population growth. I went the whole game without ever being at war except with pirates or Peace Keepers by keeping a large military rating and never entering into aliances. (A note of interest is that I ended the game with 99% of the habitable planets without invading any plannets or building influence starbases.) I had a lot of planets with 22B and 5 above 22B with one at 23.4B. My influence covered 90% of the physical map. My net income was over 63K bc.
A lot depends on the type of game you want and the decisions that you make. For my next game I am increasing to an immense map and plan on a military conquest game. I plan to use military starbases for the first time. Reading from another thread planted the seed to play with them. I will likely have smaller populations with some specialized for producing large slow troop transports. Once I get the tech for my 4K troop transports, it will take a plannet with 16B population to fill them as they are produced. That means a max population of at least 16B with 20B being better. Fertility clinics will need to be balanced against manufacturing to pump these out at a steady rate with a full complement of soldiers.