Note: This wall of text is the old version of my TA 101 guide. I'm moving it here so people who want to read it may do so while I work on the new version of my guide.
This guide was written to serve as an introductory guide to TA, as many people at the time this guide was first written were having trouble making the change to this game.
With the first rewrite done, I'm ready to go do other things. I intend to return to keep details up to date with the latest patch, and to do some prof reading. I however, do not have any major changes planned.
For the record, the TA expansion has too many changes for me to know what they all are (plus to metion them might cause headaches for the intended readers). If there are any questions or comments you would like to make, please leave a reply and I'll (or another helpful player) will try to provide a reply.
Anyways here is my 101 guide to GalCiv 2: TA expansion.
Subjects (in this order)
--Fleet Support Modules
The Terrans tech tree is the one most similiar to what all civs had back in DA. If you don't want to be overwhelmed by the changes from DA to TA, this is the civs you should start with. Just because they are easy to start off with doesn't mean that they don't have some of their own advantages.
-Fleet Warp Bubbles. Back in DA, there were 2 ways to get ships in fleets to go faster, research techs that provided a civ wide speed bonus to all ships, or place bulky engines on every ships. However, in TA, a new option exists called fleet warp bubbles. By putting a fleet warp bubble on one of your ships, you can make all ships in a fleet go faster, ranging from +1 to +3. Only one module works at any given time, so there is no point in having several of these ships in a single fleet... though it doesn't hurt to carry a spare.
-Stellar folder. Not much to say except its like a hyperwarp engine, except it costs more, and gives a bigger speed increase (+6 instead of +5).
-Fleet support modules: The Terrans get a bunch of generic fleet modules that you shouldn't be surprised to find on other civs tech trees. The list includes, but not limited to Tulon Weapon Focus, and Xalax Defense Coordinator. They do however get a few unique ones. The Stellar Avenger provides an attack bonus within their own influence, but thats hardly special as many civs, like the Arceans and Drengin, get better versions. That however, does not mean its useless. The Terrans also get the Stellar Defender, a module that provides a fleet defense bonus if its in their own area of influence.
-HP Boosters: The Terrans get the better end of the deal in terms of hit point boosting modules, getting 3 in total. The first you probally get is the "Reinforced Hull Point". Though useful for the short term, you can get better. The "Hardened Hull Point", a module common to most civs, is found shortly after Large hulls (see "Hardened Hull Design"). It has a better price to hit point ratio than most modules of its type, and a fairly good space to hit point ratio as well. The IntegrityGrid, the other HP boosting module, has a better hit point to space ratio than most other modules of its type, including "Hardened Hull Point", but its hit point to price ratio is not improved.
The Terrans are one of the few civs that get fleet warp bubbles. Inaddition, they also have an inherent speed bonus. As such, the Terrans have the innate ability perform hit and run tactics quite well. Use stellar avengers and fleet warp bubbles to strike at any enemy ship that comes into your territory. Since you are likely to get speeds beyond what you can see, consider adding a sensor ship (I suggest cargo hull + sensor modules) to the fleet, or keep one nearby so you can see far enough ahead to make proper tactical decisions.
Since the Terrans have a talent for speed, consider other ways to boost the speeds of your ships. You could speed points into speed before the game starts, or you could buy some Arcean navigation centers technologies.
There are better ZOC (Zone Of Control) fleet attack boost modules than what the Terrans get. Consider finding and buying those modules from other civs.
The Arceans have a tech tree similiar to the Terrans, but they don't get the standard engine techs. Instead of building bigger, stronger, and more costly engines, they use navigation centers and related technologies.
-Navigation Centers. Navigation centers provide a speed bonus to any ship built by the planet that this planet improvement is built on. This planet improvement does not have a retroactive effect (does not affect ships built before this structure) on ships, so you try to build these things early, otherwise some of your ships might slow down your fleets.
-Weather Control Zeniths. The Arceans can improve their worlds further beyond what most civs can get, which helps them survive better if they fall behind in the colony rush. This planet improvement improves a planet quality by 3. However, since this structure takes up a tile itself, you are effectively getting only 2 for purposes for adding more structures.
-Planetry Defense and offense: The Arceans get Space Cannons, and Cathedrals of Valor. These structures are useful for planet invasions and defense. The Cathedral of Valor provides a civ wide +2% soldiering bonus (possibly broken, otherwise it would be useful for invasion and defense), and a provides a +33% to planet invasion defense (possibly broken, I didn't see the entry in the .xml file) for the planet its built on. There is no build limit for these structure, and no maintaince costs either, so you have the option to build until your troops are invicible. The Space Cannon gives a larger bonus to planet defenses, and a small morale bonus (who doesn't feel safe with a big gun protecting them?).
-Fleet support modules: The Arceans get some of the common fleet support modules (can be found on other techs trees). They also get some ZOC
(Zone Of Control) fleet attack boost modules that they can use to strengthen their fleets in combat. Their names are "Advanced Fire Control" and "Advanced Battle Station Module". They are easy to find since they share the same name as the techs that unlocks them.
-HP Boosters: The Arceans get a module known as "Robust Hull Construction Option". This is one of the more costly HP boosting modules, but it currently provides the best hit point to space ratio of any like module. If you don't like the high price, you can go get the "Hardened Hull Point". As mentioned above, this is a module common to most civs, and is found shortly after Large hulls (see "Hardened Hull Design").
The Arceans don't move fast. Consider solutions to this problem such as buying engine techs. Alternatively or inaddition to, you could invest in sensor ships (I suggest cargo hull + sensor modules) so you can try to pick your targets. Try to stay just out of range so that when they try to follow, they only put them in striking distance so you can start the fight to activate your super ability, and kill enemy ships before they can shoot back.
Because the Arceans don't move quickly, they might become victims to invasions. The planet improvement known as the "Space Cannon" provide a very large bonus to planet defense (+50% at time of writing), and as such, should prove to be useful for repelling invaders. Inaddition, the "Cathedrals of Valor" (possibly broken) structures provides a way for all planets to defend each other and contribute to wars away from home.
The Arceans do get some strong ZOC fleet attack boost modules. Consider using them to help keep your ships alive in within your territory. If you are lucky (or skilled enough) you might get the chance to punish your opponents for not paying attention.
Although the Arceans can't research standard engine techs like impulse drive, they can research "Interstellar Navigation" and "Sub-Space Drive". Researching these techs takes a little longer than working your way to impulse drive, but they provide a much larger bonus to speed. Those techs will provide a +3 ship speed bonus (2 passive, +1 planet improvement), and should keep your ships flying faster than your opponents for a little while (even those that come with an innate speed bonus).
Both the Drengin and Korath have similiar tech trees. They both get slave pits (factories), arenas (morale), and some other stuff. What the Drengin get differently from the Korath is better economic structures (standard), and alternate research structures. Both of these help to give the Drengin a better economy than their Korath bretheren, allowing them to do more stuff with money like keep more ships, or spend more money on research.
-Slave pits. These structures provide cheap labour (lower maintaince). In turn, they produce slightly less industrial output than standard factories, and later versions provide an influence penalty to the planets they are built upon (people don't like being at risk of becoming slave labour, go figure). They get many production bonus structures, possibly too many. All of them provide a +20% bonus to industry, some of which cost more to maintain, and to build. Unless you get a really big world, you probally will only notice a benefit with one or two of these structures built.
-Fleet support modules: The Drengin get some of the common fleet support modules (can be found on other techs trees), as well as a few unique ones that they share with the Korath. The "Vengeance Scanner
" is a more powerful version of the "Tulon Weapon Focus" and is ofcourse, researched after it. Its an anywhere fleet attack boost module that always works regardless of where the fight starts at. This is useful for invading deep within enemy territory. The Drengin also get a bunch of ZOC (Zone Of Control) attack boost modules. These are possibly the most powerful modules of their type you can find in the game. However, they currently seem to share the same name "Weapon Amplifier" so there might be some confusion in which is which.
-HP Boosters: The Drengin get a module known as "Exoskeleton Hull Point". This is one of the more weaker HP boosting modules. They are useful until you get the module "Hardened Hull Point". Once you get them, throw away the exoskeleton hull point modules, and never look back. As mentioned above, this is a module common to most civs, and is found shortly after Large hulls (see "Hardened Hull Design").
The Drengin have a strong emphasis towards offense. To that end, they get 2 different types of powerful fleet modules that boosts attack, one ZOC attack bonus and the other is a fleet attack bonus.
The Drengin have a powerful soldiering ability. They gain all of the standard techs, plus an unique soldiering tech "Ultimate Shock Troops" known only to them and the Korath. Because of this, you should be trying to invade planets often.
The Drengin get more power plant like improvements (provides an industry bonus) than they need. Don't feel the need to build them all for every factory world. Only very large planets (like a class 26) might be able to use them all without waste.
Like the Terrans, the Torain tech tree looks fairly standard, but there are a few differences. First, they get a batch of powerful morale structures. Second, their research functions differently, possessing weaker buildings, but also gaining many techs that provide research bonuses. Third, the Torains also get a bunch of one per planet structures that are useful early in the game, but you migh find them being weaker later.
-Morale: The Torians don't get very many bonuses to morale that is unlocked by techs. They instead get a bunch of morale structures like healing pools and hot springs that provide a greater morale bonus for less maintaince than the standard entertainment structures of equal level.
-Research: At first glance, the Torain research structures may look weak, but you should look again. Their first research structure (at the time of writing this guide) has an output of 4, with a maintaince cost of 1. I have not seen any research structure that gives you a better research to maintaince cost ratio. You are not dealing with a 75% ratio, or even 50% ratio, you are dealing with a 25% ratio. Because such little money is being wasted on maintiance, you can expect to have a significant amount of more money to spend on research, and research structures. You might even be able to demolish a few stock markets to make room for some more Torian research structures.
Inaddition, the Torains gain a bunch of techs that provide a civ wide research bonus. As such, you should be able to get away without researching more advanced Torian research structures. Because the research to maintaince ratio gets increasingly horrible with the more advanced research structures, you may with to consider buying alternative research structures from other civs (the techs needed to unlock them that is) if you want to be using more powerful research structures.
-Special Early Structures: The Torians get 3 one-per-planet planet structures, and one GA starting on the first turn. Some of these makes good early structures to use, while others can later be replaced by something better.
The first is the "Central Mine", a structure that provides a powerful early industry output for low maintiance (slightly less powerful than an industrial sector, but much cheaper to maintian). Its maintiance is cheap enough that it might be worth your while to considering using 1 of these for each planet regardless of whatever you plan to make the planet into. The second is the "Temple of Memories", an early morale and influence structure. It is generally made obsolete by what ever you can unlock later by research. Consider it an early advantage, one that you should expect to find a better alternative later. The next is the "Harvester", a multipurpose farm structure. It provides some food, increases the net food output, and provides a small population growth bonus.
The galactic achievement is the "Aquatic Transport Station". This achievement provides a +25% civ wide range bonus, and a +10% economic bonus to the world its built upon. Useful early on for reaching those far away worlds with colony ships, and useful later for conqouring other worlds with weapons and transports.
-Fleet support modules: The Torians only get one fleet support module, the "Tulon Weapon Focus" module. Instead of getting any defensive fleet support modules, they get a "Defensive Trance" tech that provides a civ wide bonus to defense. Although the Torains don't get a whole lot of choices in terms of fleet support modules, they also don't have to worry about which module to use either... plus a civ wide defense bonus doesn't require any special modules installed on your ships for your ships to benefit from it.
-HP Boosters: The Torains only gets the one HP boosting module common to most civs in this game, the "Hardened Hull Point". As mentioned above, this module is found shortly after Large hulls (see "Hardened Hull Design").
The Torains can colony rush quite well. The Torians have their super ability (super breeders), they have central mines which provide a strong industry base for low maintaince cost, and they have the aquatic transport station (which provides an early and cheap range bonus). These advantages allow the Torains to possibly expand quicker than any other civs in the game, and maybe for much longer.
The schools are a cheap research structure, cheap enough that you might wish to replace market centers with more schools. If you need more research, you can alway research the many techs you have available that provide a research bonus for your civ. These schools are cheap enough that you might be able to afford to build enough of them to out research your opponents.
The Torians might not be blessed with the best soldiering in the game, but with their super ability (super breeders) and their superior morale buildings, they can probally overwhelm their opponents with sheer numbers.
The Korath tech tree is mostly a copy & paste of the Drengin's tech tree. In many ways its a watered down version of the Drengin's, but in other ways, it gets a boost.
The downside to the Korath tech tree is, they have a weaker economy, and their research structures are more expensive (standard default stuff). The Korath economic structures are unique, weaker in general, and take longer to build than equal level version of market centers. Don't believe me, then look up the 'Malicious Bazaar' and the 'Graft of Ages' structures. You'll find that they take longer to build than a "Stock Market". The only upside is, they have no maintiance costs so you may run at low or 0% tax rate for longer periods of time. This can help you recover from a series of invasions using spore ships, since the population starts at 0 mil and takes a long time to grow from there. As for research structures, they stop at research centers, so they can't get discovery spheres.
They do get several techs that are useful. One such tech is called corrupted genetics which provides several bonuses when researched. The tech, Wretched Cloning, provide a power plant like structure called "Wretched Harvester' not only has no maintaince, but provides a morale bonus. Another tech is called Dark Influence, and it unlocks a structure that happens to shares the same name of Dark Influence. This structure provides a +200% bonus to influence of the planet its built upon.
-Slave pits. These structures provide cheap labour (lower maintaince). In turn, they produce slightly less industrial output than standard factories, and later versions provide an influence penalty to the planets they are built upon (people don't like being at risk of becoming slave labour, go figure). They get many production bonus structures, possibly too many. All of them provide a +20% bonus to industry, some of which cost more to maintain, and to build. Unless you get a really big world, you probally will only notice a benefit with one or two of these structures built.
-Fleet support modules: The Korath get some of the common fleet support modules (can be found on other techs trees), as well as a few unique ones that they share with the Drengin. The "Vengeance Scanner
" is a more powerful version of the "Tulon Weapon Focus" and is ofcourse, researched after it. Its an anywhere fleet attack boost module that always works regardless of where the fight starts at. This is useful for invading deep within enemy territory. The Korath also get a bunch of ZOC (Zone Of Control) attack boost modules. These are possibly the most powerful modules of their type you can find in the game. However, they currently seem to share the same name "Weapon Amplifier" so there might be some confusion in which is which.
-HP Boosters: The Korath only gets the one HP boosting module common to most civs in this game, the "Hardened Hull Point". As mentioned above, this module is found shortly after Large hulls (see "Hardened Hull Design").
The Korath have a strong emphasis towards offense. To that end, they get 2 different types of powerful fleet modules that boosts attack, one ZOC attack bonus and the other is a fleet attack bonus.
The Korath have a powerful soldiering ability, but not as powerful as the Drengin's. They gain most of the standard techs, but are missing the planetary defense ones, and gain an unique soldiering tech "Ultimate Shock Troops" known only to them and the Drengin. Although this gives them a powerful soldiering ability, they should try to keep enemy ships away from their worlds. Worlds freshly conqoured by spore ships tends to have low populations, and as such they are easily conqoured by those with weaker soldiering (as any one should know after beating Dread Lords).
The Korath farm techs, like the Drengin's, provide population growth bonuses. It is possible to gain atleast +50% population growth by researching these techs, corrupted genetics, and xeno medicine. This can help your populations grow to fill worlds freshly conquored by spore ships.
The Yor, I can't figure out what they were supposed to be good at. Their economy sucks big time. They don't get much in terms of morale or economics. The efficiency techs they do gain do not provide a strong enough bonus to economics to compensate for their inability to spam economic buildings (without tech trading that is). Its bad enough that you might have to consider leaving tiles empty to deal simply to keep spending at 100%, and to maintain a military (if you can manage both at all).
There are 2 problems you have to be aware of in order to play the Yor effectively. First, you need to be able keep a tight budget, otherwise the Yor's bad economics may prove to be your undoing. Second, you need to be able "zerg rush" your opponents. The Yor can't expect to bunker down and fully develop their planets like they were another civ (without tech trading). The Yor will not gain as much benefits for doing so as would any other civ, so its foolish to give your opponents the time to do so. As such, you should try to destroy your opponents before they get the chance.
-Economics: The Yor don't have much of an economy. They only get 2 economic structures in total, a "Recruiting Center" and an "Efficiency Center". They also get their efficiency techs which totals to +45% economics, the bonus you would gain if you researched the appropiate economic structure techs and were using the best form of government back in DA. To counter this problem, you have to find ways to reduce expenses, and maximize income, in effect you have to master the art of keeping a tight budget. One solution is to leave tiles on your worlds empty, thus reducing maintaince costs, and the spendings that goes along with those structures. Another solution is to try to find the most cost effective structures you can find. A "Collective" (the first Yor factory structure, not the later versions) has an industrial output of 5 for 1 point of maintiance (a pretty good industry to maintaince ratio). The "Research Academy" has a research output of 12 and a maintaince cost of 8, providing 3 points of research for every 2 points of maintaince (the best you can expect to get without tech trading). Look for other cost effective structures.
-Industry: The Yor's collectives show signs that their collectives might have been made with the intend of being the best industrial structures of all the civs. The most advanced version, the "Ultimate Collective", provides slightly more industrial output than industrial sectors, and they are a bit more cheaper to maintian. Unforturnatly, due to the Yor's inept economy, you might wish to stick to 3 1st level collectives instead of an ultimate collective since they together are cheaper on maintaince, and provide greater collective (no pun intended) output. Since you probally are leaving some tiles empty to improve you economic condition (as mentioned above), you probally have the tiles to spare for that strategy. As for their power plant structures, they are either underpowered ("Manufacturing Vertex", 8 maintiance, +15% industry, the Yor does not get any thing better for power plants), or are over priced ("Distributed Energy Matrix", 20 maintaince, +50% industry, Iconians get the like for the price of a manufacturing vertex without the super project statis), and thus completely worthless to an economy inept civ.
-Invasions: The Yor does not get the complete soldiering progression (and not as good soldiering they got back in DA). They get planet invasion, planetary bombardment, and their 3 unique terror drones techs. With that, plus their base soldiering ability gives them nearly equal soldiering bonus to what the Terrans could get with all of their soldiering techs researched plus with the "Tir-Quan Training" Galactic Achievement built. Since they also that they no longer get all of the old invasion techs they once did, they therefore don't get all of the old invasion tactics they used to have. Noting what they no longer get, it should be also noted that what few techs they do get can be researched in less time than it would take for the Terrans to research all of their soldeiring techs. As such, the Yor's soldeiring techs should be researched early so they can be used against their enemies before other civs, like the Terrans, can reach nearly equal power.
-Useful Structures: The charging stalks are one of the good things the Yor gets. Having 2 advanced charging stalks is cheaper to have than a 'Virtual Reality Center' used along with an 'Intensive Farming' structure, yet equally effective. Others to note are the "Research Matrix" (a cheaper version of the "Research Academy"), and a "Maintaince Grid" (a maintaince free morale structure), both of which are one-per-planet structures. As such, you should consider building both one every planet you have, so you can tighten your budget.
-Fleet support modules: The Yor get a bunch of generic fleet modules common to most civs. They get Tulon Weapon Focus
, and Xalax Defense Coordinator. Although not hugely special, they are always effective.
-HP Boosters: The Yor get 2 modules in this category. The first you probally get is the "Reinforced Hull Point". Its useful when you first get it, but its eventually made obsolete by the "Hardened Hull Point" (both in terms of space usage and price per hit point). As mentioned above, this module is found shortly after Large hulls (see "Hardened Hull Design").
The most important thing you should know is: if you are not good at keeping a tight budget, you may find the Yor unplayable.
The Yor can't develop their planets fully and expect to gain the same benefits as other civs might expect. To counter this problem, you try to conqour your enemies before they get the chance to develop their worlds. Its an up hill battle otherwise, against a better funded foe.
The Yor's worst enemy is their own economics. You should really try to trade for someone's elses economic structures to use in place of your own. Otherwise, you will be forced to deal with it when you try to do something on a large scale.
The Yor are one of the few civs that are so different from everyone else, that taking worlds from other civs (regardless of the means to get it) will often leave them barren (few tiles with anything built on them). As such, you can expect that it might take longer for your newly aquired worlds to develop to the point where it is useful. Try to keep some money in reserve for this, or tech trade for the appropiate techs so that newly aquired planets are not stripped clean when taken.
The Iconians are a civilization that has barely managed to survive a complete devastation against the hands of their creations, the Yor. That, and their shared history with the precursors and the influence it had on them leaves them with a barely functioning economy and related resources. The problem they have is: they don't have an established economy, yet they try to do things things that the precusors can do while lacking the precursor's super natural abilities and talents. That said, they did inherit some sweet stuff from the precusors.
-Research: They get 2 useful research structures ("Precursor Archive", and "Precursor Library") that are not only cheaper to maintian than what most other structures with equal output, but they also provide other additional bonuses as well. The precursor archive provides a small economic bonus, and a small influence bonus. The precursor library provides a planet research bonus, and generates a little bit more research than the precursor archive. For economic reasons, you should consider constructing both of these on every world you own.
-Industry: Instead of the factories used by most civs, the Iconians use replicators (not the star trek kind) that builds stuff for them. The first structure is the "Basic Replicator", a cheap to build planet improvement that has low industrial output. Although its not the most effective use of space on a planet, it does have a good industry to maintaince to ratio, which is helpful for the Iconians early on with their weak economy. Through research, it can eventually be improved to an "Industrial Replicator Lv 3" which has slightly less industrial output than an "Industrial Sector", but has a better industry to maintaince (about the same as the basic replicator), and can be built in a little more than half the time. The replicator structures, basic and Lv 3, have the best of industry to maintaince ratio of the series; anything inbetween is worse in that regard and, as such, should be skipped if possible.
Other industrial structures include the "Interstellar Refinery" (a high powered factory structure), and the "Molecular Fabricator" (a high powered power plant like structure). The interstellar refinery has the same maintiance cost as an industrial sector, but it has a greater industrial output (last I checked, it beat everything else). It also posses a better industry to maintaince ratio than any of the replicator factory structures the Iconians get. Because of its high industrial output, and fast build time, its a useful first structure to build on any planet. As for the molecular fabricator, it might be the best power plant like structure you can get your hands on (+50%). Although its maintiance is high, its more cost effective to be using it and a bunch of industrial replicators lv 3s (you should see a difference after 3) than it is to be using industrial sectors with a quantum power plant.
The interstellar refininery and molecular fabricator are a special kind of decomissionable structures. You can decide to decommision them, but they are otherwise never destroyed, not even in planet invasions. So you may wish to take extra care to make sure that your structures are not captured by invaders.
-Economics: The Iconians don't get the best economy. Their economic structures, morale and farming are not as good as the standard stuff, and they completely lack any form of government techs. Their best mass producable economic structure is the "Merchant Emporium", which is about as half as powerful as a stock market. They do however get a good 1 per planet struture, the "Merchant Trade Complex" is about as powerful as 2 stock markets and, like wise, takes about twice as long to build. Their morale building is the "Dream Conclave" is a bit expensive to maintian, and is moderately powerful. Their farm structure is the "Robotic Farm" which is also a bit expensive to maintain, but doesn't provide a whole lot of food.
-Soldiering: As for soldering, it sucks. It really does. The Iconians don't get very many soldiering techs so try not to let the other civs invade your planets. As I stated above, the interstellar refinery and molecular fabricator are not destroyed by invasions, so you should try to take care of where you place them.
-Fleet support modules: The Iconians get a bunch of generic fleet modules common to most civs. They get Tulon Weapon Focus
, and Xalax Defense Coordinator. Although not hugely special, they are always effective. However, you might find that making super ships using organic hull plating to be more useful.
-Organic hulls: One of the useful stuff the Iconians get is "Organic Hull Plating" a very powerful HP boosting module (and the best I've seen). This module's biggest strength is, it has the best hp to price ratio of all the HP boosting modules. Inaddition, it sits among the best HP boosters in terms of effective use of space when used on huge hulls. Unfortunately, it doesn't do as well on smaller ships (the thing doesn't resize at all, so its fairly big on all hulls). For more bang per buck, some of the prerequisite techs provide a +10% miniturization bonus ("Organic Materials", gives more room for organic plating), and a +100% ship repair rate ("Self-Healing Hulls", this makes having your ships to 'heal themselves' in enemy territory a practical option). This stuff is good enough that you may wish to use them as your main form of defense. With doubled hit points, some basic defenses, and a +100% repair ability, few thing will be able destroy your "Dread Lord" like ships.
-HP Boosters: The Iconains get 2 modules in this category. As mentioned above, organic hull plating is very useful, and is probally the only module you will want to use. The other module they can get is the "Hardened Hull Point". Its not as good organic plating on huge hulls, but it does provide better HP to space ratio on anything smaller. However, if you are able to research this tech, you can probally research huge hulls. As mentioned above, this module is found shortly after Large hulls (see "Hardened Hull Design").
The Iconians in general have poor economic buildings, morale buildings, and farming buildings. You should consider trading for better stuff when you get the chance.
The Iconians are one of the few civs that are so different from everyone else, that taking worlds from other civs (regardless of the means to get it) will often leave them barren (few tiles with anything built on them). As such, you can expect that it might take longer for your newly aquired worlds to develop to the point where it is useful. Try to keep some money in reserve for this, or tech trade for the appropiate techs so that newly aquired planets are not stripped clean when taken.
The Iconians can construct super ships using organic hull plating. By increasing their hit points to absurd levels, you can be confident that your ships should be able to survive a few round with your opponents. However, without powerful weapons to quickly destroy your opponents, or good defenses to reduce the harm done to your ships every turn, your ship might not survive beyond those few turns.
The Krynn are not any single race or species, but rather a religion that includes many sentient species. Unlike other civilizations that may have exterminated other sentient species on their planets, the Krynn managed to have all sentient species on their homeworld live together in peace. Although they claim to be peaceful and fairly neutral, they strongly believe that if they are able to convert the whole galaxy to their faith, that their faith and connects to dark energy will result in resurrection of all dead Krynn... and non Krynn as well. For them, it justifies converting the galaxy by force, by using whatever means at their dispossal since they believe they can bring the dead back to life.
-Influence: The Krynn are really into influence. They progress differently, rellying more on starbase modules and planet improvements than a passive bonus to influence from techs. Many of their influence structures provide a morale bonus inaddition to their influence bonus. As for starbase modules, they are more to the point. Although the modules they gain are not as powerful as what they lost in their new tech trees, they do progress in terms of influence power quicker, and are fewer in number thus reducing the need for constructors (4 are needed to build an influence starbase with an influence bonus of +175%). This greatly helps to build influence starbases quickly, and to help to allow you to spam them. The tech "Greater Tolerance" is unlocked after the techs needed to unlock those modules, and provides a large bonus to diplomacy, thus improving how much the other civs will tolerate your influence starbase spamming tendencies.
-Planet improvements: The Krynn develop mostly normal (industrial sectors, stock markets, farms, etc...) with the exception of morale structures. Instead of developing normally, they gain some structures that provide both a morale and an influence to whatever planet they are built upon. Though a bit expensive to maintian, the influence they provide can be useful depending on where the planet is located.
-Speed: The Krynn lose hyperwarp technologies and, as such, they can be expected to travel at slightly slower speeds than the galactic average. Losing hyperwarp technologies, not only causes the Krynn to lose engine parts, but they also lose the passive +1 bonus to speed. To put things into perspective, the Terrans progress a bit more advanced progression, the Yor gets a replacement tech (for a passive speed bonus), and the Arceans get their Navigation centers techs (many speed bonuses without engines added). They can all expect to get a base speed of atleast 5 for their ships, while the Krynn normally only get up to 4.
The good news is, they get a fleet warp bubble module (one of the few civs that do) that increases their fleet speed by 1. Although it takes up room, it takes up significantly less room than the Terrans equal level version.
-Espionage: There is also expsionage techs that unlocks structures that provides both a civ wide bonus to espionage, and a planet bonus to research. Since they provide a planet bonus to research greater than a 'Research Coordination Center', you should consider placing them on your best research worlds to increase research output, instead of trying to place them where ever they might fit.
-Fleet support modules: The Krynn get a bunch of civ specific modules. The list includes "Fleets of Wrath" (+10% fleet attack), "Righteous Fleet Defense" (+30% fleet defense), and "Fleets of Haste" (+1 fleet speed). Although, they are more pricier than modules of equal ability, they do take up significantly less room than those said modules. All 3 work anywhere, so if you plan to use fleets, consider using a few ships that use these modules.
-HP Boosters: The Krynn get 2 modules in this category. The first you will probally encounter is "Robust Hull Design". Its is arguably the worst of any of the HP boosting modules. Not only does it have the worst HP to price ratio, but it also has the worst HP to space ratio as well. I suggest that you either use it well, or ignore completely. The Krynn do get the "Hardened Hull Point". Since robust hull design is the worst HP booster around, there should be no problem switching to hardened hull point when you get the chance. As mentioned above, this module is found shortly after Large hulls (see "Hardened Hull Design").
The Krynn can use influence quite well. They can boost the influence of their planets, and they can place powerful influence starbases quickly. As such, you should at the very least be trying to culture flip other civs planets in solar systems that you own atleast 1 planet in.
The Krynn get some civ specific modules that use very little space, yet function anywhere. If you find space is an issue when using fleet modules, you may find the Krynn's modules useful enough to justify the expense.
The Krynn get several planet improvements that provide a civ wide bonus to espionage. As such, you should be trying to be spending money on spies whenever possible. You might be able to overwhelm your opponents with spies later in the game.
The Drath are a sentient race of dragon like creatures that evolved on Altara before the Altarians did. After a some conflict between the two species, the Altarians proved to be too numerous, and the Arnor offered to take them to a new world. However, in the time that the Drath were in conflict with that Altarians, they learned how to be manipulative and how there are alternative methods to dealing with a problem with brute force. In effect, the Drath learned how manipulate other to their benefit.
-War Profiteering: This ability provides the Drath with extra income when another civ is at war. Each civilization at war (except yourself) is calculated once to determine the income you recieve from their wars. As such, there is no difference (none that I noticed) between all civs at war where each one being paired with another, and a free for all where every civ are enemies of everyone else. The bonus to income is pretty significant, and may prove to be more than enough to compensate for the poor population growth the Drath has, and thus low taxable population early in the game. The two tech you would want to look into is "Invisible Hand" and "War Profiteering".
-Population growth: The Drath suffer from a population growth penalty. To help deal with this, you may wish to research whatever population growth techs you can get your hands on, and keep you morale high (100% morale for as long as possible). Another thing you could do is to install 2 colony module on your colony ships to increase the population that your newly colonized worlds start out with. You can also build a recruiting center, as structure common to most civs that boost population growth.
You can also try to spend points in population growth as part of your pre-game setup to counter this penalty, but wheres the fun in that?
-Xeno Ethics: The Drath is a civ that gains different techs from researching xeno ethics (A new trait to some civs in TA). The Drath loses the tech "Good and Evil" and all following techs, and gains "Creative Good", a tech you can only get it if you select good as your chosen alignment. It provides a significant bonus to creativity, which increases the odds you randomly completing a tech without having to having to the research points needed over many turns.
-Xeno Mysticism: This tech "Xeno Mysticism" involves the study of dark energy. This tech, and many that follows provides civ wide bonuses such as luck, social production, military production, weapons and defense. Inaddition to the bonuses, there is some planet improvements and ship modules worth getting. The Drath gain 2 fleet support modules called the "Offensive Meditation Module" and "Defense Meditation Module", both of which provide 2 bonuses. As for planet improvements to make special note of. The "Dark Energy Lab" is a super project that provides a small, civ wide bonus to weapons, and a bonus to planet industry. The "Biosphere Modulator" is a one per planet improvement that improves the PQ of the planet its built upon and provides a small industry bonus as well. The "Doomsday Generator" a powerful galactic achievement that increases the hit points of any ship built at the world it is placed upon by +50%.
-Soldiering: The Drath also gets perhaps the strongest soldiering ability of the all standard civs. If you add in a few techs and stuff, you'll end up with the strongest soldiering ability of all the civs. The only problem you have is your population growth penalty. To help deal with your deficiency in population growth ability, consider using your super ability, Super Manipulators, to convince the other civs to war with each other. Once a one or more of them are weakened, or otherwise have sent too many soldiers to war, thereby reducing the population of many key worlds, you can strike and lose less troops in the ground battles when the enemy tries to resist.
-Fleet support modules: The Drath gain 2 civ specific fleet support modules, both of which are special and powerful.
The "Offensive Meditation Module" ship module provides 2 fleet attack bonus types: First strike, and Zone of control. The "Defense Meditation Module" provides 2 defense bonuses: Fleet and Personal.
-HP Boosters: The Drath only gets 1 modules in this category. The "Reinforced Hull Point" is nothing special and has no special qualities. The Drath are one of the few civs that *does not* get the "Hardened Hull Point".
The Drath have poor population growth and can be expected to have economic problems early in the game because of that. However, the Drath are one of the few civs that gets "War Profiteering" bonuses, a bonus type that provides you with extra money when 1 or more civs are at war. This amount is based upon the income of the civs at war so try to start as many wars as you can and your economic problems may turn into an economic boom.
The Drath population does not grow quickly, so you might not be able to nab as many planets as you could if you were playing another civ. However, the "Biosphere Modulator" can negate that problem some what by improving the PQ of the worlds you already have.
The Doomsday Generator improves the hit points of any ship built at the planet its built upon. This improves the hit points provided by hp boosting modules. This makes even the reinforced hull point modules powerful.
The Korx is a money driven society. To them, everything has a market value. To that end, their tech tree has a little in terms of new ships weapons and parts. They however do get many new starbase modules to help them use them better, and to better protect their assets. Beyond that, the Korx feels much like they did back in DA.
-Military and wealth: The Korx are not driven to conquor and destroy. They want money, bussiness deals, and their own private offices. To them, war is only another way to make profit, not something they have to win. As such, they get very little in terms of new stuff, or good weapons. However, even though they miss out in new toys, they get some new bonuses to boost their income. Shortly after trade, they gain 3 techs: "Mercenaries" unlocks provides a planet improvement which provides a war profiteering bonus (which serves as a source of income when another civ is at war), "Cut-Throat Competition" which provides a purchase now reduction bonus (reduces the price to buy something instead of letting it be built normally) and "Fortified Freighters" unlocks a planet improvement that provides a persistant trade routes bonus (allows trade routes to continue to exist despite the destruction of trade ships by hostile forces).
Inaddtion to new bonus types for income, the Korx gets a bunch of refining techs that provides new modules for mining starbases. There are 2 new techs that unlocks new refining modules. They are both found near "Xeno Engineering", and they can provide a significant bonus to what ever mining starbase you are using. As for starbase defense modules, they are probally not worth the trouble for the same reasons why you shouldn't bother with other starbase defense modules (underpowered in the long run).
-Useful planet improvements: The Korx doesn't get very much that is unique to them. They however, lack any techs that would allow them to further improve their morale and morale buildings. They do get a "Festival of Capitalism" a one per planet improvement that is cheap to maintian, and provides a moderate bonus to morale.
-Fleet support modules: The Korx only gets the "Tulon Weapon Focus". Its an atlas module that provides a fleet attack bonus that works anywhere.
-HP Boosters: The Korx gets the "Reinforced Hull Point" a fairly average HP boosting module. Almost any other like module is better, so it might be worth trading for another module.
The Korx seems to work better as neutral civ, than an evil one. Being neutral will provide an additional bonus to purchase now reduction ability, thus allowing you to buy things for far less.
Purchase now reduction bonuses requires money to use effectively. Try to develop a larger number of worlds to economic world than you normally do. Consider replacing factory worlds with economic worlds since you can rush buy ships, but not research.
Find ways to liberate those galactic resources from other civs. You are able to mine those resource better than any other civ (thus gaining a larger bonus), so why let them be put to waste.
The first thing you should note for the Thalans is, their tech tree is possibly the weirdest of them all. The don't start with factories, market centers, research centers, or any of the usual. They instead start with 3 galactice achievements and starports. Forturnately for them, their base industry ability is powerful, and many early techs provide manufacturing bonuses, and one of those mentioned structures gives a big industry boost. You should be albe to keep up until you manage to research some industry, reseach, and economic structures.
-Population growth: The Thalans suffer from a population growth penalty. To help deal with this, you may wish to research whatever population growth techs you can get your hands on, and keep you morale high (100% morale for as long as possible). Another thing you could do is to install 2 colony module on your colony ships to increase the population that your newly colonized worlds start out with.
-Industry, research, and economics: Although the Thalans can research all 3 important planet improvement types, they start with none. Their economic improvements are fairly standard, working their way to stock markets at the very end. However, their research and industry is fairly unusual. Normally, more advanced versions of planet improvements get more powerful (and more expensive to maintain). However, the Thalan research and industry is as powerful as they are going to get, they are simply really expensive to maintain. More advanced versions are simply cheaper to maintain than the last.
-Morale and Farming: The Thalans do not get any farming improvements, neither starting with any or able to research any. They can freely tech trade for them however. As for morale improvements, they can eventually research a moderately powerful, yet cheap to maintian "
Zero-G Amusement", which is unlocked by the tech "Expert Gravity Channeling".
-Xeno Ethics: Thalans are one of those civs that gets a different bunch of techs after researching Xeno Ethics. Each alignment gets some new techs unique to them, while losing some others techs. There are too many changes to make a complete list, so I suggest you save the game before researching Xeno Ethics so that you might preview what you can get.
-Unique Starbase modules: The Thalans get a bunch of unique starbase modules. As of release ver 1.91, the Thalans would have to tech trade for "Space Weapons" to get a starbase module called "Battle Stations" in order to use some of those modules (the module "Battle Stations" is common prerequisite starbase module). However, it appears that it is planned for ver 1.92 to include the techs "Space Weapons" and "Starship Defenses" to ensure that the Thalans can construct these modules.
-Fleet support modules: The Thalans can research and unlock 1 of 3 atlas modules. These modules can't be researched until you have researched Xeno Ethics. Each alignment gets one of these techs that can unlock 1 of these modules. Good gets
a ZOC defense module. Both neutral and evil get a ZOC attack module (with evil being a little stronger).
-HP Boosters: The Thalans only gets 1 module in this category. The "HyperionHullPoint" (the devs may have forgot to include spaces in the name) a HP boosting module that provides excellent hit point to space ratio for hull sizes tiny to medium. It however scales quickly, becoming increasingly less useful for any hull size beyond that, and is nearly useless on huge hulls. The Thalans are one of the few civs that *does not* get the "Hardened Hull Point".
The Thalans don't start with any ability to mass produce planet improvements beyond starports. It is recommended that you build starports on every world, and keep military production high so you may maintain a reasonable output of colony and constructor ships.
One of the mass producable planet improvements that the Thalans can aquire early on is the "
Embassy", which provides a planetary influence bonus. You can use this planet improvement to create the "Pink blob of doom" effect by filling your homeworld, and those you colonize with this planet improvement. This influence may provide you with the money you need to help keep your colony rush going, and to culture flip planets that other civs dare to colonize in your space.
The Thalans don't start with any ability to mass produce the basic 3 planet improvements needed to run an empire (industry, research and economics). Those that the Thalans can unlock by research share most of the same prerequisite techs. Because those prerequisite techs are expensive to research, it may prove useful to start researching them on the first turn of play.
The Altarians evolved on the same world that the Drath did, and their shere numbers eventually forced the Drath to leave for their own survival. The Altarians look like humans for some strange, and yet unknown reason. Regardless of appearance, their tech tree has much more in common with the Drath than the Terrans, to the point thats its nearly a carbon copy.
-Biosphere Modulator: The Altarians can improve the quality of their worlds further beyond what most civs can achieve. They can do this by using the "Biosphere Modulator". This can help them survive better if they fall behind in the colony rush. This planet improvement improves a planet quality by 3, grants a small industry bonus for the planet. However, since this improvement takes up a tile itself, you are effectively getting only 2 more tiles for purposes of adding more planet improvements. This planet improvement is unlocked shortly after "Xeno Mysticism".
-Industry, research, and economics: The Altarians develop at standard progression for industry, research and economics.
-Morale and Farming: The Altarians progress normally for farming. As for morale they gain a few cheap, and low powered morale buildings such as "Healing Pools", as well as a few special high powered ones that provides multiple bonuses.
-Xeno Ethics: The Altarians are one of those civs that gets a different bunch of techs after researching Xeno Ethics. Only the good alignment gains any significant boost from research Xeno Ethics, any other alignment is incomplete when compared to the other civs or with DA. The advantages that good gets is many more techs than what they got back in DA, not all of them are too be found after Xeno ethics. The tech "Inherent Magic" (soldiering bonus) for instance is found shortly after "Xeno Mysticism".
-Xeno Mysticism: This tech "Xeno Mysticism" involves the study of dark energy. This tech, and many that follows provides civ wide bonuses such as luck, social production, military production, weapons and defense. Inaddition to the bonuses, there is some planet improvements and ship modules worth getting. The Drath gain 2 fleet support modules called the "Offensive Meditation Module" and "Defense Meditation Module", both of which provide 2 bonuses. As for planet improvements to make special note of. The "Dark Energy Lab" is a super project that provides a small, civ wide bonus to weapons, and a bonus to planet industry. The "Doomsday Generator" a powerful galactic achievement that increases the hit points of any ship built at the world it is placed upon by +50%.
-Fleet support modules: The Altarians gain 2 civ specific atlas modules shared with only the Drath, both of which are special and powerful. The Altarians also gain 2 other atlas modules unique to themselves made available to be researched after Xeno Ethics.
The "Offensive Meditation Module" ship module provides 2 fleet attack bonus types: First strike, and Zone of control. The "Defense Meditation Module" provides 2 defense bonuses: Fleet and Personal. The "Righteous Justice" module provides a defense bonus: Personal. The "Righteous Might" module provide an attack bonus: First strike.
-HP Boosters: The Altarians only gets 1 modules in this category. The "Reinforced Hull Point" is nothing special and has no special qualities. The Altarians are one of the few civs that *does not* get the "Hardened Hull Point".
The Altarians start with a significant penalty to weapons. This problem is more than compensated by researching the tech "Dark Energy Research", which provides a larger bonus to weapons than the Altarian has as a penalty.
The Altarians gets a large research bonus. You can increase it as part of your pre-game setup, and use your superior research to work your way to powerful weapons and defense.
The Altarians get both the Biosphere Modulator, and tech that provides a civ wide PQ bonus (researchable as good alignment, and is found after Xeno Ethics). Use both of these advantages to build up your worlds to a better quality than your opponents.
There is some confusion about Terror stars, so I'll explain them.
Terror stars are a star destroying starbase. They don't blow up planets, they blow up stars. By destroying a star, they destroy all planets, ships, and in other stuff (including galactic resources) in a given star system.
To build a Terror star, you need 6 constructore to build the starbase, and modules. You need to know 5 techs, Terror stars 1 to 5, to build one from start to finish. Once built, a Terror star needs 10 turns to power up (you should see a labe like "mobilizing 10 turns").
Once operational, you can use the Terror star by having attack a star, like you would have a ship attack another ship. They can join fleets with other ships, but they down a fleet speed to 1 regardless of any speed bonuses that might be applicable. If the terror star is part of a fleet when destroying a star, any ships that have the movement points will move to a safe distance, and then will reform the fleet with the terror star once its safe to do so.
--Fleet Support Modules--
Fleet support modules are a new type of starship modules. The effects they have depend of the type of abilities they grant, most of which improve the fleet that the ship equiped with one is a part of. Although they work when used by a single ship, they are usually most effective when used to improve a fleet instead of a single ship.
These modules come in 2 flavours: Atlas modules (internal name "atlas") are modules that boost ship attack and defense. Fleet warp bubbles (internal name "driver") are modules that increase ship speed. You can only place 1 atlas module, and 1 fleet warp bubble module per ship, so choose wisely.
Atlas modules that provide an attack bonus (percent bonus) that does not work on ships that don't have weapons, or are too weak in that regard. There are many different bonus types for these modules. The bonuses and their effects are: First strike (bonus only works in the first round if you start the fight), Zone of influence (must be in your area of influence, territory if you will), Anywhere (always active), Personal (only affects the ship its equiped on).
Atlas modules that provide a defense bonus (percent bonus) that does not work on ships that don't have defenses, or are too weak in that regard. There are many different bonus types for these modules. The bonuses and their effects are: Zone of influence (must be in your area of influence, territory if you will), Anywhere (always active), Personal (only affects the ship its equiped on).
Fleet warp bubbles are a type of modules that very few civs get. These modules improve the ship of the ship its equiped on, and the speed of the fleet the ship is a part of. Instead of a percent bonus, these modules provide a predetermined number increase to ship speed.
The last thing to note is, any ship that has fleet support modules are more likely to be attacked than ships with equal stats. I know for certain that any modules that provide a fleet attack bonus do draw the wrath of the enemy (it would draw my attention if I were fight such a ship), but I've heard that fleet warp bubble had the effect as well. It may prove useful to increase the defenses of the said ship at the expense of some its weapons (some not all, you don't want it easily destroyed if alone).
I'll be listing some various changes made in the expansion that don't fit in any other section.
-You can now use the ship designer to give you ship rotating parts. Woot!
-We now have an AI ship designer. Most of the core ships have been replaced with whatever the AI designs using the most recent techs. The AI updates the designs based upon the focus you picked (what ratio for weapons, and what ratio in defense). This feature should reduce the number of ships you need to design. There are some problems, they include but are not limited to: you can't specify speed, range, and or the ratio between weapons and defense of the designed ships.
-Torism income you get for have a large area of influence is worth more in TA than it was in DL/DA. The income you get from it can be expected to serve a significant role in you economy. It could mean the difference between making ends meet, or having spending money later to buy and upgrade stuff.
-You need to have the required techs to keep structures after invading or buying a planet. If you want to keep the slave pits on a planet you buy from the Drengin, you will need to have the required slave pit techs to build them in the first place. As for structures you can't destroy, you get to keep those.
-"Civilization Capital" and "Initial Colony" planet improvements were adjusted. You might find that initial colonies to be more useful than before.
-Indestructable planet improvements now come in 2 types: those that the player can decommision, and those that you can't. If there is something built that you don't want, you might want to check if you can decomision it.
-Creativity: This ability no longer adds a silient bonus to your research progress by giving you a random amount of research points. It now has a chance of randomly finishing the tech you are researching (the game will inform you when this happens). However, you must be spending atleast 1 research point per turn to benefit from this, and some techs are not affected by this ability.
-War Profiteering: This ability provides extra income when another civ is at war. Each civilization at war (except yourself) is calculated once to determine the income you recieve from their wars. As such, the number of opponents a civ is fighting in no ways affects this calculation. To clarify, the more civs at war, the more money you make.
-Purchase Now Reduction: This ability reduces the cost to buy something. Selecting neutral alignment provides a +25% bonus to this ability.
-Persistent Trade Routes: This ability replaces the old "
Galactic Privateer" galactic achievement. When you have one point in this ability, your trade routes will not be canceled because you lost too many trade ships to enemy attacks. This ability however, does nothing to protect your trade ships from harm.
2008/05/04 -- First post
2008/05/05 -- Added some info to some civs (Krynn and Drath, tweaked Thalans)
-- Also added a Misc section for stuff that doesn't fit in another section.
2008/05/06 -- Added some more info to the misc section.
2008/05/14 -- Updated Terrans, Arceans, and Drengin.
-- Added a few comments to the Yor based upon player feedback.
2008/05/28 -- Updated Torain, Korath, and Yor.
-- Added a few comments to fleet support modules.
2008/06/03 -- Updated Iconians, Krynn, and Drath.
-- Added war profiteering to the misc section.
2008/06/10 -- Rewrote the Terror stars, Fleet support modules sections, and tweaked the Misc section.
-- Added the Purchase now reduction, and Persistant trade routes ability types to the misc section.
2008/06/16 -- Updated Korx, Thalan, and Altarians.
-- Added a few strategies to ensure that every civ had atleast 3 suggested strategies.
-- Made some other changes (too many to list here).