Ok...maybe I am missing something, but it seems my synthetic custom race has been ruined by the new "population creates production" mechanic. Based on what I read, a carbon-based race grows by 0.1 per turn. Is that a static number or is it 0.1 x current population? If it is static, that means a carbon-based race gains a full population point every ten turns.
My synthetic race has to build population. But I can't increase population without manufacturing...so you see the conundrum. Even if I put the full 2.5 population down on a new colony I can only barely keep up with carbon population growth if I build nothing else. Meanwhile a carbon based race is happily building planetary improvements and growing in population.
What am I missing here? If I am not the game seems heavily favored toward carbon life for the early game expansion phase. They can plop 0.5 colonists on a planet and proceed to expand while a synthetic race gets left behind.