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  • 4 points for +30% Econ
  • 3 points for +20% Morale (playing to your strengths)
  1. Research precursor studies and start buying (not building) replicators in your home world, they cost about 204 bc each and you should buy 8. Once the replicators are built go on to build (don’t buy) an Archive a Library and a Dream Conclave in that order. You should set the focus from turn 1 on military spending but keep the sliders at 33% each in Military, Social and Research. Once the social projects are complete move the sliders to 50% each in Military and Research. Spending should be 100% and you should keep the taxation slider to where morale is universally 100% for the growth bonus for as long as possible. If you do it right you will find that when you run out of money you can set the slider to high taxation and be in the black.
  2. Beeline for Ion drives so that you can build Speed 3 colony ships. Then Universal translator to check on the opposition. Then Impulse drive for the speed boost. Finally go for Extreme colonization and choose which tech to go for first (Radio/Barren/Heavy G) depending on available planets. With the two research buildings on your home world you should be able to complete this research way ahead of the opposition.
  3. Don’t build anything on the worlds you colonize. If you find a world with a +300% research tile then build a Library or Archive on it. Otherwise leave them empty and wait for Interstellar Refineries.
  4. Once you are done colonizing if you did the above right and with a bit of luck you should have around 15 planets a third of which are extreme. Now trade your colonization technologies for a couple of more planets from nearby empires.
  5. Research Interstellar Refineries, the awesome +16 mp building, and trade for either Basic or Xeno Research. Start researching the economic line of buildings but don’t wait for it to be finished. For efficiency and if you don’t mind playing the race out of character ignore the Iconian line of economic buildings and trade for the galactic standard, either Advanced Market center or Trade center. They are much better than the Iconian’s own which cap at 14%. You should still research the line for the awesome Merchant Trade Complex though. Don’t trade for labs better than Xeno labs as they take a long time to build.
  6. Now we start building the economy. Split your planets into three (3) groups. The extreme planets go to Economy, the highest PQ normal to Manufacturing and the lowest PQ normal (9-8 and below) to Research. On each planet build a stellar refinery first and then for econ two robotic farms, a conclave, an archive and fill the rest with econ building. For the research planets build the refinery and then all labs. For the Manufacturing planets the refinery, a star port, a fusion/anti mater power plant and the rest all replicators.
  7. Start building a defender class warship. Trade for the requisite techs from minor races and research basic miniaturization if you can’t trade for it. Space weapons are very expensive to trade for so I would suggest researching it yourself.
  8. Bribe the strongest AI to war with your neighbors and butter it up with money to keep it from warring with you. You should have the highest population and best economy so money should be plentiful. The above econ build gets done very quickly. Once you are done building everything only then should you trade or research advanced research and economy buildings (you can only trade for the later if you use the galactic standard line).
  9. Finally beeline for Xeno ethics and choose good, Medium scale building, and then research Enhanced Miniatuirization for the Hyperion shrinker and Warp drive 3 so you can fit 2 in your ships. Then trade these for the best weapon you can get (this is not important) and (this is) beeline for the bonus ethics good defense that corresponds to the weapon your first intended victim uses. In the mean time build freighters and use them to (1) establish trade with those whom you don’t want attacking you (2) explore your first victim’s territory.
  10. Your ship design should be defense heavy and focused on your first intended victim’s offence. Once you have about 21 (7 task forces of 3) medium ships start building troop transports, which should obviously have the same speed as your warships.
  11. Research Stellar Marines and build the Tir-Quan training Wonder. If you notice anyone having already researched Stellar Marines move step 11 to step 9. The reason is that you, i.e. the Iconians absolutely need to build Tir Quan as you don’t have access to the planetary defense line of technologies. Otherwise research and build this while you are building the transports and fleet. In either case you need Tir Quan.
  12. Mop up your first victim.

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