In a Spore-ZYW game the player defeats a single (or 2) AIs by turning their own SpaceMiner into a SporeShip, and uses it to invade their homeworld on April 8th in the first year/ after 14 turns.
It nets about 100k-110k score (in Dark Avatar) and can be played in a matter of minutes (once you're used to it) although, if you're looking for a 2 PreCursorLibs starting system you'll have to accept a certain Control-N-time.
However, any common Spore-ZYW can be played out via a much less supportive setup - eg. only 1 PreCursorLib, because the only really mandatory items are
- Enemy system is within range
- Space Weapon-tech
ARC: [see also]
[check the external link above to get a working ARC-pack made specifically for this tactic]
You'll need to ARC all enemies to start out at the Thalan homesystem, with points put to economics, morale & popgrowth, Federalists. Under no circumstances speed, range, diplomacy, or anything productive-related.
The best playerrace for this game is Altarian ARC'ed to SuperAnnihilator, Technologists, points put to research; and also economics/moral OR diplomacy (multiple enemies) & perhaps creativity, starting at the Terran homesystem @ Saturn
Extract the ARC-pack to C:\Users\name\Documents\My Games\GC2DarkAvatar
Galaxy size: Gigantic
Un-check: "Blind Exploration" & "Disable Techrade"
Check: "Super Abilities"
All Planets & Stars options: Rare
Star Density: Scattered [this makes it more difficult for the AI to colonize a secondairy planet, which, if that happens, screws your game]
Asteroids: Abundant [this may reduce the number of habitable planets, because these sometimes can't be placed when the parsec is already inhabitated by asteroids]
Minors : 0
Tech Speed: Very Fast
It's most easy to simply play against a single enemy, because this increases the chance of precious a Research-Bonustile at your system; and it's also increasingly difficult to Control-N for a map where multiple enemies are starting out in your range. Both is necessary to be able to finish the game/score high.
Pick 'Slot#1 AI', set relations to "Friendly" and Difficulty Level to "Suicidal", if you choose multiple enemies repeat for all.
Attention: Put your enemy(s) in an ORDERLY FASHION upon slot 1, (slot 2, slot 3 etc) so you see them all instantly appearing in the popup that is generated with each new map, also you should be able to see them all in the Foreign Relations-screen. If only 1 AI is missing you cannot end the game anymore & need to restart & check your slots & relations.
Against multiple enemies it may become increasingly difficult to find a prosper map with all AIs sitting close to you. But not all is lost in such cases, because spored AI worlds could generate enough additional range to be able to successfully upgrade yet another wave of sporeships which then end the game.
This guide will work flawless if you have 2*PreCursor-libs @ Saturn, where you build 2*labs followed by your TechCap. A better starting planet won't automatically net you more score because you're mostly limited by your starting cash. Finding a cash anomaly during the first 8 turns does actually have the most impact.
But generally you'll end up with a slightly worse starting situation - you will still be able to finish the game, because the only really essential stuff you need is the spore module + a basic weapon.
Turn1: Control-N until the AI system lies within your reach.
Lease-buy a lab on a PreCursor-tile & enqueue one on the 2nd bonustile.
Colonize Mars or Earth.
Upgrade your SpaceMiner to a stock ColonyShip using the cheapest option, beforeahead position it so you can colonize the last remaining on Turn2.
(IMPORTANT: Leasebuy, at least, a single lab on EARTH. If you do not do this it'll prevent you from being able to follow the tech-chain.)
Set taxes so that all your planets are just above, at least, 20% approval.
Spending to 100% & sliders to 0/80/20.
Send your Flagship to autosurvey [hit A] (Protip: double-hit A very fast to gather whether you can use 'Planet-Jumping' to reduce traveltime)
Research "Xeno Research"
See on the minimap above what is close to a "3-weeks-upgrade"-timerange. Also, in this particular game I've not been able to colonize a secondairy planet instantly (both were too far away). Thus, I've sent my SpaceMiner already towards Mars - and upgrode it already - so it can colonize Mars next turn even without inhabitants. This is not standard behaviour - usually you should fuel it up to 250m people and then send en route.
Turn2: Set sliders to 0/0/100.
Colonize 3rd planet. If colonization event appear always pick evil option.
Leasebuy a lab on the other PreCursor-tile.
Research "Advanced Computing", "Basic Miniaturization" & "Enhanced Miniaturization". If you can't get "Enh. Min." your setup is too weak researchwise (or you started it with "normal"-techspeed instead of "very fast" - then abandon it) and you should consider lease-buying labs also on ordinairy tiles.
Turn3: Build the TechCap at Saturn.
Research "Planetary Improvements", "Xeno Economics" & "Xeno Trade Centers".
Turn4: Build another lab on your TechCap. (If you're having a +300% second bonustile on Earth rather use this)
Research "Xeno Communications" to "Interstellar Republic"
Turn5: Should your Flagship find any cash-anomaly consider building an additional round of labs. Your aim is to just hit above -500bc on Feb 22nd - effectively enabling you just another turn of research.
Research "Xeno Ethics" & "Good & Evil" (if you're short a bit for the last tech build another lab on a bonustile/Saturn in order to make it)
Pick Good-Alignment. This saves you +140bcs in colony maintenance.
Turn6: Lower taxes. Try not to loose the election or you may not be able to instigate a war.
Research "New Propulsion Techniques" to "Impulse Drive II"
Turn7: Adjust taxes back.
Research "Diplomatic Relations" to "Majesty"
Turn8: You should be in debt now - which triggers a small approval penalty. Adjust taxes not to loose population on any planets. (pop is reduced by -10% per turn if below 20% approval)
Research "Trade" to "Master Trade"
Turn9: Contact the AI & trade for his Space Miner, all his money in exchange for interesting techs & money. Also sell both your treaties. Get his research-treaty. Finally, sell him also any diplomacy-technology. He should only hold around 500bcs once you're finished and you +4000bcs if you did it right.
The AI is deliberately set up to not waste his money [AIP8/Thalan], to not build warships [no weapontechs], to have it difficult to colonize a secondairy planet [no engines] & to offer you "Basic Logistics" IN CASE you're faceing range-problems (then, trade for it + research "Basic Range Support" on Turn12/ Turn13)
Move his Space Miner closer to his homeworld whose location (if you don't already see it) you can deduce from the "Asteroid Field Bonusline".
You only need to do 4/5 rounds of research, manage your habit of building labs so you can do this.
Research "Spore Weapons"
Turn10: Look at finance spending. If you think you can manage to stay above +100bcs at 22nd March without having to reduce your global spending - build another lab at your TechCap. Otherwise skip this.
Research "Galactic Warfare" to "Beam Weapon Theory"
Turn11: Design a Cargo Hull with 1*your smallest weapon, 1*Sporemod + as many Basic Supportmods as can fit.
Move the Space Miner manually towards the enemy homeworld & upgrade to this design(costs: ~120bcs). It should take 3 weeks optimally. If it's 4 or 5 your score will decrease IF you can't do additional research. If your ship is too far away the time will default to 365 turns & you cannot end this game.
Research "Research Center" to "Invention Matrix"
Turn12: If you financially can, upgrade a lab on a PreCursortile to an Invention Matrix.
This is your final turn which will account to your game's score (if ends on Turn14).
Research up to "Warp Drive" to give your Sporeship an additional speedbonus.
Turn 13: If you still financially can, upgrade the second lab on a PreCursortile to an Invention Matrix. If you do this don't end the game on 8th but a turn later (to be more precise, the game should end two turns after you were done doing any research)
Research either "Star Democracy" or "Xeno Entertainment"
Turn14-15: Destroy Thalia which ends the game on 8th-15th April (don't end on 1st April or your game will be Cheat-flagged!)
Here's how Saturn finally looked like in a 113k game:
Advantages of the "Spore"-design:
- less hassle with techtrade (less time to play)
- not much Control N to do if you're accepting score around 90k
- less score than a standard SD-ZYW
- cannot be extended to mature into +250k score games