Normal difficulty is too hard (for me)

Please help a noob!

By on April 23, 2012 12:10:42 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums


Join Date 04/2012

Whether it's twilight or dark avatar, there always seems to be one race to rule them all, one race to find them. Sometimes Drath, sometimes Arceans, sometimes Drengin and sometimes Yor. I'm always Terran Allaince because people seem to find them easy. In this last game, the Arceans and the Yor (the former being far more powerful than anyone else) were fighting my normal coalition of the Altarians, Iconians, Torians (who were wiped out by the Drengin) and me. For some reason the Yor and Altarians had ships which were far more powerful than my own. The Arceans also had incredible soldiering skills.


So, do I just have to research all millitary techs? The theory I think behind the Terrans is to get others to go to war for you and to get their techs as well. So, do I just go crazy on the diplomacy techs and not get any weapon techs by researching them? I have never become a superpower on normal, let alone beat the game. Please help!!!

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April 23, 2012 2:18:22 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

I am new to this game myself, but in my newness, your experience sounds very much like what I fixed by emphasizing the heck out of Research.  I like the Terrans.  I can make their economy work.  I spend some Race ability points on research and I slide the sliders as far as I can feel comfortable.  I balance early techs between those that help me explore and those that boost economy.  The moment I see anybody develop any military on the graph, I change directions and work until I can out tech their military. Then it's back to juggling priorities.


I also colonize as aggressively as I can without breaking my economy.  So far, that seems to be the big key at these levels.


My theory on the Terrans is to get your diplomatic bonus boosted, find juicy techs, and use your diplomatic bonus to shop them around for good tech back.  If you are really good/manipulative at that, you can get them to do your military research for you.  That's fun.

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April 23, 2012 5:16:30 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Hello nerdymidgetkid,


Let me start off by saying that we've all been there. My first few games I started out on normal (or maybe even lower) and indeed got served by the AI. Especially the AI in Dark Avatar can be really daunting (in Twilight, it is still impressive but hindered by the very ambitious techtrees which the AI, frankly, wasn't built to handle).

For future reference, it can be useful to state what kind of map you're playing on. A Gigantic, All Abundant map, plays very different than a Tiny, Rare map. It sounds to me like you're playing at least a Medium or Large galaxy though, which a decent amount of planets, most of my suggestions will be based on this assumption, but most will be useful anyhow.

Judging by your post, and the previous ones you've made, you're pretty new to Galactic Civilization. It also seems that your enemies are not only stronger militarily, but also have bigger empires than you. So instead of giving military tips, I'll give you some economic pointers.

  • The sinews of war are infinite money.

Civilization set up:

The Terrans are indeed a very fine selection, they have awesome Diplomacy (which helps prevent wars and make great deals), decent influence, good economy and very decent construction capabilities. What also helps is that they play very similar in DA (Dark Avatar) and ToA (Twlight), so if you can play them in one, you'll do pretty well in the other too. All races have some default bonuses (and penalties), but also offer spare points you can spend on extra abilities. Most of the given options are good, but some are better than others. If you are having a hard time keeping your economy healthy (if you play agressively, this is a must), you need to invest points into: Population Growth, Morale and Economy. More people earlier means more taxes, a better basismorale either increases your population growth or allows you higher taxes and economy... is too obvious to explain. Whatever points you have left, you can invest in anything you want. Also, don't forget to pick a fitting political party. Then start the game.

First thing you do when you start a game, is pick a tech to research. Whichone you ought to start off with can vary highly with your objectives and with playing DA or ToA, but techs which boost population growth, diplomacy, economy and morale can be great early achievements.

When determining what to build first on your homeplanet, consider the bonus tiles. I usually start with a research building, but a factory on a manufactoring bonus tile can be a great first start too. It is often wise to BUY your first few buildings, rather than build them. When you're done messing around with your planet, go to the domestic policy screen and ramp up the expenses slider to 100%, there is really no point to having it any lower than that. The initial military/social/research division is quite playable, but you can change it once you get to know the game a bit better.

Set your flagship to "automate", it will find the anomalies on its own, do the same for your space miner.

Use your colony ship to find a GOOD planet. No, not that ugly rock called Mars, but a useful planet. (Class 10+ is much preferred).

Some basic instructions on galciv's economy:

The backbone of your economy is your population. More people, means more taxes, and more planets generally means more people! This means that the more planets you can colonize early on, the stronger your economy eventually will be. The Colony Rush is very important. Cranking out those colony ships ASAP is a high priority. The original colony ship design is pretty fast and has good range, but it is also more expensive than the minimum. If you know of nearby planets, build custom colony ships instead (you can design these in the ship yard), forget about engines, just a hull and a colony module is enough to do the trick, smaller hulls are cheaper (=better) as long as they can hold the colony module. Cheaper ships means less military production needed to produce them means faster shipbuilding, means more planets (if you do it right).

The downside of the colony rush is that it is almost impossible to maintain a balanced budget and still grab a lot of planets. To get you through the dark times count on:

- your flagship to pull in a few money-anomalies

- selling tech to minor races (and sometimes even majors)

- a very high morale (very low taxes!)

I'll explain the last one: People don't like taxes, it brings their morale (=approval) down, so they don't breed well with high taxes. But you need a lot of people for a good income. The trick is to not raise your taxes when you start slipping towards bankruptcy, but instead to LOWER them. Lower them till as many of your planets as possible (that still have room for extra population growth) have 100%. The reason is this:

  • The planet's approval modifier is:

- 0 if approval is less than 21%. In addition, you lose 10% of your existing population per turn.
- 0 for approval between 21 and 40% (pop doesn't grow).
- 1 for approval between 41% and 75% inclusive.
- 1.25 for approval between 76% and 99% inclusive.
- 2 for 100% approval without the Super Breeder special ability or 8 for 100% approval with Super Breeder (Torians).

This means that with the Terrans, your planets population will grow twice as fast at 100% approval, than at 41-75%!


These are a few pointers, but it has already turned into a wall of text.

I therefore suggest that you read

Of course, if you have a very specific question, you can always ask on the forum. Be sure to be quite specific though.


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April 23, 2012 5:28:25 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Which version of the game are you playing? If it's ToA, there is is ToA 101 thread on the forums somewhere that is a great source of info.

Some key newbie tips of my own are:

1) Realize that income and expenses are decoupled, income is based mostly on population (+trade and tourism) so get your pop growth going to stabilize your economy and then start some trade routes. Building maintenance, production costs and ships drive your expenses. Don't construct too many buildings early game until your economy can handle it. I routinely leave newly colonized worlds empty and just let the population grow until the economy stabilizes. Also, keeping taxes low early on can really help speed up population growth (e.g. you get a huge pop growth bonus on planets with 100% morale).

2) Get used to playing with the production sliders to accomplish your goals. For example, early game what you really need is to get your home world developed and pop out some colony ships, so set research down to say 20% and go 80% production to accomplish this. Then when your new colonies are growing swap it around to say 60% research to catch up in tech. Then when you've researched good ship techs and want to build a fleet really fast swap it back to production. Etc. etc.

3) Decide early whether to specialize or generalize your worlds (this is somewhat race dependent). For example with the Terrans specializing works well, you want roughly one good economy world (i.e. just farms, markets, morale buildings) per production or research planet. Conversely, the Yor are a good generalist race, you put a bit of everything on each planet and they can do fairly well.

4) Decide early on which victory type you are going for to help focus your strategy (but be prepared to adapt to changing circumstances)

4) Colony rushing early on can be very powerful, but it can be a bit tricky to balance with your economy, it will likely cause your economy to crash if you aren't careful.

4) Get starbases on as many resources nodes as possible.

5) Don't completely neglect your military, even a few early crappy ships can serve as deterrent to get the AI to think twice about attacking you before you are ready.

6) Good skill in diplomacy is a great way to a) delay the AI from attacking you b ) get the AIs to attack each other c) trade for techs, influence, trade goods, starbases, etc. etc. Diplomacy can be very powerful.

There's lots of other good tips around the forums if you dig a little, there's also a wiki with decent info at Have fun!

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April 23, 2012 10:07:18 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Chris Gallop's #6b is key, especially when playing Terrans.  (I play only DA)

That is, you simply must get the full benefit of the Terrans' diplo skills.  After all, you gave up other stuff that other races get for that skill.  If you do not keep the AIs in wars, you are not maxing the use of dilpo.

At the highest difficulties, I generally try to keep every AI warring with not one but two other AIs as soon as it looks like the colony rush is winding down.

I also run the research sequence to get Trade early to get the Economic Capital and then use Trade in exchanges with other AIs, including the minors.  Getting the AIs to make trade routes to me while warring with others helps keep them too busy to bother with me until I am more ready to deal with them.

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April 24, 2012 11:52:30 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

In my first games I did the whole colony rush thing (though quite inexpertly) and crashed my economy almost straight away by buying ships to aid me. That deterred me from doing a colony rush at all, and instead I looked at building ships and taking advantage of rescources, colonizing the better planets and forgetting the Mars like ones. This got me much further into the game but in the end the AI have vastly bigger empires an I just can't stay competative. (In my last game I was best freind's with the Altarians, but Earth was inside their borders!!!)

I never paid attention to the sliders and never thought about not building straight away on my planets, nor have I ever considered lowering taxes in times of economic trouble.

So thankyou for all this advice, it seems like the opposite to what I've been doing so it should work out just fine. However, I have a few qeuries reguarding techs:

1st, I usually first get things like xeno research, xeno industrial/economics first. (balanced.) Then I think it's best to go for diplomatic skills, (with maybe research centres in the middle to aid it) but I then run into a problem: Diplomatic relations, enhanced and advanced diplomacy are all pretty quick, but then expert turns out to take about 50 weeks. So, I then change tactic and go for another tech line, and in the end I end up with a balanced set of techs (the exeption being millitary which I generally get with my diplomacy skills from other races.) But that's the problem: the Drengin now have an armada of Super Dominator corvettes, and when I eventually get dragged into war with them, I am crushed. Even if I can beat them back with my frigates I have no transports to counterattack with. 

However good my diplomacy is, the AI will not yeild things like Planetery Invasion, so now I'm a soft target. 

So: Do I keep going with that diplomacy in the beginning and mess around with the sliders to get it done? or do I research my own millitary instead?    

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April 25, 2012 7:20:26 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

In DA, one can win with an "all factory" approach on any difficulty.

It is frustrating not to be able to win, so you might try that to get a few wins under your belt.  There are threads here on "all factory."

Try resetting via "Control N" until you get a good homeworld, or at least one that will fit your style.

You could, for example, reset over and over until you get a 7X tile.  Perfectly good, though, would be a 3X tile and a morale bonus one.  One 3X tile for research and one for manufacturing would be even better.

One tactic with both such 3X tiles would be to research research one step as you rush buy one factory on the other tile.  Then rush buy the research one with the second building.  "Upgrade" your miner to a colony ship, and set about colonizing two fairly good planets.  You will need those two extra planets so as not to limit your research advance number per turn.  Rush buy nothing else.

Via sliders, adjust to 100 % morale (consider a morale racial bonus) and adjust the social and research ones every turn to optimize, remembering to use focus on research when it makes a difference.  Quickly get the techs that produce production gains like planetary improvements and the eco one.  Go for Trade, building the Translators as you go, and work to get the Eco Capital, which you build on the Homeworld with its large population.

Soon run for Sensors and Ion Engines (if you did not pick a race that started with them) and build another survey ship or two.  Build a colony ship or two, and don't overlook that a new colony world can still build a non-engine colony ship on a very small hull cheaply to colonize the other planets in that same system, and prehaps another next door.

From here on it is a balancing act, as you want Manufacturing Facillties (not Industrial Zones) because you use focus for research (not research buildings) -  I try to have at last 4 on every planet, generally 6, and sometimes all but 4 tiles (one farm, one Stock, spaceport, and Quantum manufacturing thing).  You want also more coloy ships, better governments, constructors, and morale techs and then eco buildings.  Milk the Minors, of course, but be prepared to dial up taxes before the eco crash.  Stave it off by building little originally on new colonies.  Green anomalies can be key, but so can yellow ones if they help you keep up taxes.

There are actually multiple colony rushes.  The second wave begins as the AIs get Extreme colonization techs.  Later in the game, there is the third rush for the 1 PQ planets.  Oddly, those generally end up being better than middle PQ planets, as they often have many tiles for Soil Enrichment, etc.

Above all, though, get the AIs into wars before the end of the first rush and KEEP them there.

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May 27, 2012 5:12:23 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

run at 100% usage if possible unless the defecit is like 1000 BC or something

build ind first

torians only have 1 building for industry

until you research factories then they get terran factories

colonize like mad if possible in beginning

trade tech sell tech

get those extreme colonize techs either by resesarching at 60% or trade

trust me a random game is way easier than a campaign game

I usually go mixed not specialized like the AI does

I don't make money planets

or production planets and such I use the bonuses

only put build multiple time items on bonuses don't stick a torian temple or whatever on it

need money research money tech

trade helps

tourist income helps



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July 1, 2012 9:25:05 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Failing all else lower the AI setting to Beginner or Easy? or if your really,really struggling Cakewalk

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July 2, 2012 11:49:53 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

I will not! There is a big difference between normal and beginner, I can quite easily take over the galaxy in beginner, everyone is a pushover and the game does not require much srtrategy at this level. I want to have to FIND a way to survive, expand and make my way in the game, I do not want to be dominant from the start.

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July 18, 2012 1:52:51 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

I just bough GalCivII. The contrast between this and Civilization V is staggering

Is Terran good money hoarder? On CiV I love Arabs because they are the best money hoarder so that I can change my victory target midway.

Also the tech tree in GalCivII is like...I don't know...overwhelming, hehehe

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July 18, 2012 12:53:20 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I remember when I started and was having my @ss served on a plater.


All good strategy all over...


One thing I do to help me out right at the start, I do not use my Miner. I change it to a colony ship. I can always mine later on. That gives me 2 ship right at the start.


I also like to take the creative skill. it's 2 points well invested if you ask me. 5 or 6 time during a medium game you get a free tech,. Sometimes it's a very long studied tech and boom you get it after 2 weeks.


I also like to spew out 30 little ships that cost nothing, That usually scares off any potential enemies at the beginning. I do this after the colony rush. Then I use those ships to secure new planets by putting them in orbit.


Finally do not be afraid to put your research slider to 95% for a few turns if you really need a tech., I usually do that to get planetary invasion. That tech is always 30 weeks away. When you change your slider sometimes it's only 20 weeks. And if your creativity kicks in you can even get it faster.


One of the reason I love this game is that there is so many ways to go about it.


In this game you need a solid base and your base is population. Then you need to frighten your ennemies and they are none to bright so a few cheap ship is usually enough, then you need power tech and all and finally you need to crush them.


Keep those steps in mind and go for it.


Let us know how it goes...

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July 18, 2012 7:37:27 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums



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