Making them into a full blown major civ causes a few problems that the minor civ tag prevented.
-players being able to select the races
-the civs taking up ai slots for the map
-the civs taking more colonies than they had colony ships
just to name a couple
My last attempt to make them do anything included editing the civ to have starting surveyors and constructors and adding a new entry in AI strategy Defs based on the Pirate entry and directing it to the minor player type.
This appeared to change nothing other than having 3 ships sit next to the planet and do nothing. Perhaps someone else with a better understanding of the ai xml's would have more ideas.
I have however discovered a way to hide a major faction from player and Ai selection screens which gives me an Idea.
My current plan when i have a moment is to make all of the minor factions into major factions using the tag to hide them from the selection screens. Then I can hopefully spawn them in with events on turn 1 depending on map size. This should solve the first 2 issues.
Then if the game allows it I will have to make a new tech tree based on the general one the game uses excluding the techs for building colonizers.
Or if the game wont accept a new tech tree, I suppose i could make the Synthetic, carbon based and silicone based race traits a requirement for the colony module and then use a new race trait called minor just for minor civs. Although you would be able to choose it when building custom races. so there is that downside.
Honestly though, it's not perfect and you will always have the same minors in every game, as well as the issue of their starting systems. I'm not sure yet if the event that spawns a faction also spawns the starting system you set for them.
Any ideas for Improvements? Has anyone else had luck re-enabling the ai for minor civs? even the mega event that spawns a minor civ does nothing currently.