This guide is for Arceans in Twilight of the Arnor and Masochistic level and below.
- Early Game
Don’t play the standard Arceans but rather kit out a custom race with their tech tree, logo and picci. That way you avoid the -1 speed penalty and can give yourself a +1/+2 speed bonus. Early game plays as standard, don’t build anything outside your home planet, beeline for the colonization techs and keep taxes low. That way you should soon have the highest pop. Once you have colonized all the extreme planets you can see trade the exocoloni\ation techs to other civs for planets. You should finish the early game with at least 16 planets, more is better obviously. That way you can specialize.
- Mid Game
Set a third of your worlds, the extreme ones to economy, a third to research and a third to production. Don’t get the advanced factory/research/econ building techs yet as it will slow you down. Upgrading is cheaper than building from scratch. In a word specialize your planets and build the WC Zenith early in all of them. The Cathedral of Valor will have to wait until you get better factories as it is very expensive to build. Once you are done building up your worlds you should start on freighters for the diplomacy benefit. Your army will be smaller than the neighbors so you should have high dip to start wars on your own terms. Most games my army is half or a third the size of the enemy’s when I start a war. With the Arceans super warrior ability even less is needed but that makes diplomacy important because the AI’s think you are weak and you want wars to start on your own terms. After you have conquered your first victim you should have about 30 planets and should tool up to manufacturing centers (avoid industrial sectors for as long as you can) and start building those Cathedrals of Valor, one in every planet