I'm playing the base game only. I've got licenses for tZR & CoN but I disabled them for this game.
The attached screenshot is of my current game. AI's are difficulty 6 Sledge Hammer & The Tank.
First an explanation of the priority tags in the image.
P1 = captured mark I Ion Cannon
P2 = captured mark II Ion Cannon
P3 = Fortress
P4 = AI Eye
P5 = Ion Cannon (any mark level)
P7 = Data Centre
P8 = Fabricator (captured or enemy)
P9 = Advanced Factory or Advanced Research Station (captured or enemy)
I started with Raiders as my bonus ship & my current tech level is all mark II fleet ships & mark I starships (have unlocked Riots) with the exception of the Flagship. So far I've killed 4 Data Centres, captured 2 Advanced Research Stations (Parasites & Microfighters), 1 Advanced Factory, an Anti-Starship Arachnid Fabricator & know the locations of another Anti-Starship Arachnid Fabricator, a Laser Gatling mark V Fabricator & a Bomber Starship mark IV Fabricator (they're the 3 P8's south of my homeworld).
After securing the area around the Advanced Factory & then capturing it, I scouted down the pipe some more & happened upon the eastern most P7 marked system. It has 3 Data Centres, a mark II Fortress, a mark III Fortress & a mark I Ion Cannon. I thought to myself "I am going to kill those Data Centres or die trying" as I play very conservative with the AI Progress so 3 Data Centres in 1 system is far too tempting.
I decided to take the system marked with a P2 where you can see my main battle fleet currently occupying as a forward base. This wasn't particularly difficult. However while moving my fleet & colony ship into that system, I was simultaneously scouting further afield. As you can see I happened upon AI 2's homeworld right next door to the system I'm intending to wipe out. This was rather unexpected. I was expecting to find the AI homeworlds somewhere in the circles of systems in the north west and/or south west of the map.
Further scouting has found another Data Centre in the P7 system to the west of the AI 2 homeworld with the same defences as the one to the east. I'm still trying to scout to see what else is in that area but getting level 2 scouts through all those systems isn't easy especially when I only have about 10 free to blob together now.
I'm not quite sure what to do. Should I ignore the AI 2 Homeworld until I've captured more ARS, the 3 fabricators I know of & enough knowledge to unlock mark III fleet ships (which will give me mark IV for free with the captured Advanced Factory)? Or should I go for the AI 2 homeworld once I've wiped the 3 Data Centre system?
Any suggestions will be most warmly recieved =)