It has probably been about 2-3 years since I was playing GalCiv in any form, and apparently I have completely forgotten how to play the game. I have been scouring the forums to try and figure out what I have managed to do dead wrong in every game I have tried of late.
I have been trying for upwards of a month now to manage to beat a game with 2 opponents in an Immense Tight Cluster galaxy. I am playing as the Torians (I am trying to get the achievements)... and apparently I cannot get anything right. I cannot get any decent tech growth, nor can I manage to get any decent production. Invariably the other civs (Iridium and Onyx) decide to obliterate me about turn 150 or so... and there is no way I can manage to get enough ships/techs/planets to stand even a ghost of a chance.
I am normally not _this_ bad at 4x games. Maybe I am just an idiot for figuring that at Beginner Level, in such a large galaxy, I would have enough time to out tech the AI even if I am an idiot to manage to win the game. Apparently, that is dead wrong. In the last 8 games I have played, the AI civs are ALWAYS in the very next cluster. Recently, my cluster had a total of 4 habitable planets (Toria, a class 4, class 5, and class 8)... The other civs just manage to get 2-3 times as many planets, and then just swarm me.
What am I doing so terribly wrong? I have tried to massive science, and massive production, big economy, and big diplomacy... it does not matter, the AI shows up with fleets containing 16+ ships (Logistics about 30-50 when I find them). I can generally manage to get ahead in weapon/defense tech... but I cannot produce enough ships to take advantage of the better tech. Even wandering about destroying their infrastructure does not phase them.
What are the best ways to start? What am I doing wrong? Or, worst case, how do I get rid of this idea that the the game cheats so bad I should uninstall and never buy another game from Stardock again. I could deal with losing as badly as I am at normal or better difficulty; but at beginner, a toddler punching buttons should pretty much be able to beat the game, if not ROFLSTOMP the AI.