I really like the intro. The text-scroll, however, did seem a bit fast this time. I barely had enough time to read it. As for the game itself, it doesn't look good for you. I hope you can turn it around.
Also, yes, the Thalan have no farms in their tech tree. I have no intentions of changing that.
I've been playing a test-game as the Yor yesterday, and it went pretty well. For me at least.
The settings were: large map, common all, 5 enemies (Terrans, Drengin, Altarians, Arceans, Torians), Tough difficulty. Random and Mega events were off, because I forgot to re-enable them.
I chose the following bonuses for the Yor: +25% Creativity (barely had any effect), +30% Economics, +20% Morale, and +30% Soldiering.
I started out a little north-west from the galactic centre. The Altarians were directly west from me, on the edge of the map. The Torians were in the south-west corner, far off from any star systems. The Arceans were in the south-east corner. They had better access to the other star systems, but, as it turned out, that didn't help them much. The Drengin were roughly in the middle of the southern edge of the map. The Terrans were a bit to the north-east of the Drengin. Both races were in the main-cluster of the map. There was another, uninhabited, cluster in the north-east corner.
The colony-rush didn't went well for me in my home-cluster. I only got seven planets, while the Altarians got nine. The Snathi, Dark Yor, and Paulos, also had their homeworlds in that cluster. I tried to expand into the main-cluster in the south, but the Terrans and Drengin had already colonised most worlds. However, I did manage to get three planets, one of which was a real godsend. A PQ 24 with two approval tiles and the Precursor Mine. A perfect place for the Manufacturing Capital. From there, I expanded into the cluster in the north-east corner. On my way there, I found, and quickly acquired, a Military and a Research Resource. I had already gotten a Military and an Influence Resource in my home-cluster. The north-east cluster contained five habitable planets. One of them had a +100% research tile and the Precursor Library. It was only a PQ 5 world, but I still decided to build my Tech Capital there.
At the end of the colony-rush I had 15 planets, the Terrans 10, the Altarians 9, the Drengin 6, the Arceans 3, and the Torians 2.
I considered the Altarians as the biggest immediate threat, because they were my direct neighbours. My attack ships consisted of small hulls, with Kinetic Streams I and Deflectors. The Deflectors weren't the best choice, because everyone else was going for mass drivers. However, I got them cheap from one of the minors, and they did their job well enough due to the extra power from the Military Resources. The Altarians must have noticed my war-preparations, because they were building up a military themselves. Only tiny hulls with Space Cannons for now, but that could (and eventually did) quickly change. Worse still, they were researching Planetary Invasion. This caused me to declare war before I was ready. One of my biggest mistakes. The Torians declared war in response to this, but that didn't bother me. They were too far off, to be of any threat. I managed to quickly take over four of the Altarian worlds, including their homesystem. However, my advance was slowed down, because I didn't have enough troop transports yet. I also lacked the money to afford the invasion tactics as often as I needed them. The Altarians finally began fielding small hulls, outfitted with Railguns and Deflectors. They must have gotten the latter two from one of the minors, because they were still trying to Planetary Invasion. I eventually defeated the Altarians, but it took much longer than intended.
My next goal was to crush the three minors in my home-system, and build up my infrastructure. I quickly conquered the Paulos, but had to postpone it for the Snathi and Dark Yor. For some reason I had began building starbases everywhere, instead of only where they'd be the most useful. I eventually stopped that, but not before I had already wasted a lot of time and money on it. In the meantime, the Terrans had built up a nice army, and were declaring war on the Carinoids. The Carinoids where located in the main-cluster, not too far away from my Manu Capital. So I decided to build a small invasion fleet and send them their way. The Terrans didn't have enough time to get their fleets into position, before I took their prey right in front of their eyes. They responded by declaring war on the Snathi. I gladly took the time to remove the Snathi, along with the Dark Yor, from my misery. This also freed up another Military and a second Research Resource, which I happily added to my collection. The Terrans then declared war on the Arceans, which I should have done a long time ago. The Arceans did only have a small army, but their main-worlds were out of reach of my ships. Once I had build a starbase, however, they were easily crushed.
By this point I had began researching the advanced government forms. I was already making a decent amount of money, but once I had Star Federation, I was practically swimming in it. Even after I was above the 20k threshold, I made a net-profit of over 5k each turn. This was without any Economy Resources or markets on my worlds. Based on this, the econ-bonus from the Collectives doesn't seem necessary, so I'm going to remove it again.
Anyhow, the increase in Influence from the Government techs put a huge pressure on the Terran worlds. Some of them began open revolt. One even rebelled. This really annoyed the Terrans, and, after I conquered the Jessuins, they declared war on me. I quickly finished of the Scottlingas, and retaliated. The Terrans were the strongest of my enemies. Their ships were small hulls, equipped with Advanced Railguns and Shields. My own ships were still using Kinetic Streams I, but I had upgraded the Deflectors to Shields. I had also researched Enhanced Miniaturization. Combined with all the bonuses from three fully outfitted Military Mining Starbases, my ships were still pretty tough. Despite this, the Terrans managed to destroy some of them. They also conquered one of my worlds. Well, re-conquered one of their worlds to be precise. In the end, it didn't really matter though. They managed to hold out for a while, but my troops, combined with my culture pressure, eventually spelled doom for them. This left the Drengin and Torians as the only remaining major races.
The Drengin were my biggest disappointment. It was May 2231 by the time I declared war on them. However, they still didn't have any weapons. They finally began researching Space Weapons when the war started, but that was too little too late. The only reason I didn't totally crush them was, because I couldn't find their last world. I completely overlooked that their home-sector had three star systems in it. Due to this, I went after the Torians instead. Finally. We had been at war since early 2229. I needed a starbase in order to extend my range far enough to reach the Torians. This caused them to send their armada against my starbase, which I was very thankful for. The fleet I used to protect the starbase made quick work of those ships. Shortly after I got a message from the Drengin. They had decided to surrender to me. Good. That saved me the return-trip. My fleet was ready to invade the Torians when they decided to surrender too. How underwhelming.
Well, I expected a little more from this game. The map-generator, however, seemed to have put a huge dampener on this, along with some stupid decisions by the AI. The Torians and Arceans couldn't expand, while the Drengin didn't get any weapons. They did went up the Military branch for other techs though. Still, if the other races had banded together when I attacked the Altarians, they could have stopped my conquests. It took me eight months to destroy the Altarians, so they enough time to build up and do something. There were enough possibilities even later. Well, maybe I shouldn't expect too much from the Tough AI. I usually play on Crippling. I'm definitely going to increase the AIValues for the weapons though.
I may play another game today as the Drath. We'll see how that goes. I usually suck as the Drath, because I'm just not that good at exploiting diplomacy. Hopefully I remember to make some screenshots this time.