The game offers many different strategies. Here are the ones I have found out playing the game many times. I would guess though that there are some I have not discovered yet. Which strategies are best for you will often depend upon your setup, the galactic story and goal and your current situation.
Try to make points winning battles and taking stars of other players. You will probably need to be STS, so that you can initiate wars and choose who you will fight.
Center Sector Rush
Take stars in the center sector quickly before the others to benefit from getting the ancient relics. Useful for this strategy are a favorable orientation of the stars in the center sector towards you and starting at level 2 in Propulsion or Military (choosing a “x2” D-fleet for your advanced fleet tactic).
You can make sure other players cannot attack your ships if you always have a higher level in either Spirituality or Propulsion than them (because you can always retreat before combat then). This also means you can stay out of an arms race with the others, where you would continuously need more and stronger ships.
It’s also possible to have a more mixed strategy or switch between different strategies during the game. Often you will get unexpected opportunities that will allow a change in your strategy. An example of this would be discovering star with an ancient technology relic that would allow a double level up in a certain technology field (one level from the relic and one from researching the technology) in a single round.
Follow Your Domination Card
A relatively simple strategy is to fulfill the primary condition on your domination card and do it relatively early so you can benefit from its immediate effect the most.
Concentrate on your home star sector and only take those stars, trying to build up a large population there. This works especially well if the other players are fighting each other a lot (usually in the center sector).
Late Population Boost
Instead of continuously increasing your population throughout the course of the game, delay this until the end of the game. This allows you to concentrate on your military during the Era of Darkness and take many stars. If you then have many stars that are well-spaced apart (ie. below their growth limit), then growing your population in the last few rounds will be very effective. Being STS is usually more useful for this strategy.
Many Additional Actions
Try to get many additional growth actions. You will probably want a high Genetics level too, to make them cheap.
Mass of Ships
If you can build a lot of ships more than the other players you will usually have many advantages even if your technology levels other than Robotics are not so high. Getting to a high level in Robotics and using many asteroid systems is better for this strategy than trying to get a large population.
Avoid getting into wars. Staying on the STO side is helpful for this. Try to make points mainly by population. You can combine this with a Spirituality technology rush or a home sector strategy to make it more effective.
Instead of increasing your levels only in a single technology field you can do that moderately in multiple fields instead and benefit from the synergies. For example, increasing Robotics and Military both to a medium level may give you more combat value in total than increasing just one of those technologies to a very high level.
Try getting many technology levels through trading. A high level in Propulsion or Spirituality level 4 will be helpful for this. Also you will not want to appear as the leading player or the aggressor so that other players will be more willing to trade with you.
Try to get to level 6 in a technology field as quickly as possible and benefit from its special effects. This will be more successful if you start the game at a higher level in that technology.
Are you interested in any details on any of the strategies?
Maybe you’ve played the game and have discovered another strategy?
Then please leave a comment below.