Yes it’s another Godlike is too easy type thread; however, I’d like to do this the right way with mutual respect and some suggestions not demands.
First and foremost I’m really enjoying Gal Civ 3, far more than I expected to. I appreciate the effort of the developers and really look forward to seeing how the game will continue to evolve in coming years. The Precursor DLC is terrific making exploration far more interesting and the AI improvements in 1.4 were really good. I know the game is designed for the masses, not for 4X hardcore players. So I don’t expect any of these suggestions to be implemented … but it would be awesome if they were. Also I fully understand I could play with “house rules” (e.g. no custom factions, less use of the diplomacy system and so on) but the intent here is to show what can be done without any house rules.
The game set-up was a Huge map with 8 opponents (none custom the standard opponents only). The strategy needed to win so quickly (Turn 53) was pretty straight forward … play peacefully but 100% dedicated to an Alliance victory. I used a custom faction with a diplomacy bonus, built sensor boats (which helps speed up discovery of AI empires), gave the AI open borders ASAP (relations bonus), accepted any demand for gifts (relations bonus), focused on diplomacy research through to Alliances once some initial starting technologies were out of the way, avoided trading diplomacy research to the AI (relations bonus as the AI perceives me as having diplomacy skill). To get the Yor over the line for an Alliance after I had an Alliance with all the other AI empires I proclaimed friendship and set-up a credit per turn gift.
The result is on the Metaverse (score of 5 LOL!) and also here is the save game on the eve of victory (not sure but expect you’ll need all the DLC to load it): https://www.dropbox.com/s/y3njp6k7caqxofn/Godlike%20Turn%2053%20Eve%20of%20Victory.GC3Sav?dl=0
At that point I reloaded and disabled the Alliance victory condition and continued playing. At Turn 102 I had a power lead over all of the AI and have some fleets ready to declare war on the Drengin. One fleet has an attack of over 2,000 and despite having a mix of all three defences, cannot see any AI fleet which could scratch my paint. The primary reason for this is the Precursor DLC, as fun as it is, the bonuses provided are huge. As soon as I could I put together 3 small fleets (some Duranium Driver medium sized ships and a survey ship) and aggressively explored the map with a focus on Precursor Anomalies … leading to a 250% wealth bonus, +9 raw production bonus, +100% manufacturing bonus, +6 morale bonus, various resource bonuses, and bonuses to hit points, ship range, logistics and attack. Also I colonised very aggressively (e.g. used the pragmatic 3 construction ships ideology trait and upgraded to 3 colony ships and have a bunch of custom colony ship designs) with a focus on Precursor worlds and used sensor boats to help with rush targets and avoid pirates etc. Obviously now the planetary wheel is back that was a priority, an example of the combined impact is that one world has manufacturing over 1,000 already! Since I have an alliance with everyone I can dictate the timing of any attack on the AI. The Malevolent ideology helped greatly boost production early via the Motivation pathway.
Here is the save game at Turn 102: https://www.dropbox.com/s/n528gqbqc02snzc/Godlike%20Turn%20102.GC3Sav?dl=0
Now the point of all of this is NOT to have a “look at me” thread but to encourage some changes which make it harder for the human player and make these difficulty levels a nightmare (preferably with reduced AI bonuses/freebies as well).
1. Precursor Anomalies: recommend reducing the size of the bonuses, or increasing defence ship strength making them harder to attain, and ensuring the AI is far more aggressive in targeting them.
2. Precursor Worlds: recommend reducing the size of the bonuses, or decreasing their frequency (not sure if the AI focused on them enough either).
3. Ideology Traits: reduce 3 free construction ships to 1 or 2 and reduce Motivation pathway production bonuses.
4. Sensor Boats: as cool as they are, they essentially allow risk free expansion and provide too much intelligence on the AI, they should not stack so easily.
5. Planetary Wheel: let’s just say I’m with Frogboy on this and wish he had stuck to his guns.
6. Diplomacy: probably merits its own discussion continuing the various good posts already provided by many around the community.
I'm sure some of these changes are already in the works and hope this prompts some healthy discussion (and better solutions to those proposed are very welcome) but I trust the responses will show the same respect I’ve shown (unlike some past “Godlike is too easy” threads).