First step after beginning a new game: use your scouts to observe neighbouring planets, and see what the enemy has unlocked. This tells you whether you need to unlock defensive turrets right away.
Now for the breakdown:
- Your yellow AI is definitely a Stealth Master (it has lots of stealthed ship-type unlocks), who has also unlocked those Spire Blade Spawners.
- Your red AI is a Radar Jammer, which is okay.
If you're seeing small numbers of cloaked enemies on most planets, you know you'll need tachyon beam emitters on every incoming wormhole. Since you happen to begin on a very-well traversed system with Astrotrains, preferably take the stealth upgrade as well (Did you choose this planet on purpose, or did you random?
) Spire blade spawners will also need countering (they're amongst the best ship-types) - that is done by gravity turrets (gravity turrets will slow non-immune enemy ships down to 8, including those blades).
Those two unlocks will make your life much, much easier.
W.r.t. randomisation, *if* you happen to like not choosing a planet at the start and letting the pRNG decide - you've got a tough roll
. Those Astrotrains will damage your turrets that you need for defense, and you've got 5 incoming wormholes to cover with your tachyon and grav-fields. Specifically, this game is perfectly fine if you started close to a corner with fewer connections. As it is, you're right on the galactic highway with lots of stealthed ships that could jump in, *and* special forces guards will pass through your systemon its regular patrols.
It's worth the challenge though, if you have a 0:00 save or close. Use those turrets and I'd advise unlocking metal+crystal harvestors (personally speaking). Strap yourself in just once more and see how you go.
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More edits: I think your point about casual play is interesting. There are some 7/7 games in which you can
just float downriver until the late stages, especially when the AI gets conservative unlocks such as laser gatlings & grenade launchers (the ones that don't have very special abilities).
This isn't one of them.