Many thanks to Toby Haynes for the hints below.
Choosing a game
If you are new to Exodus, the options available at the start may prove confusing. Until you learn about the various tactics involved from playing a few times, I suggest you stick to a large galaxy with weak competitors. Choice of mission is up to you, although Civilisation in a large galaxy is probably the most easily acheived of all. The shorter time limits in the others can cut you off too early before you acheive your aim.
For experienced players - if you want a *real* challenge, choose strong enemies in any galaxy size and choose Might - rule the galaxy in 200 months. :-) I can't do it in time :-/
The start of the game is in many ways the hardest part. Even when everyone starts equal, you are at risk from the more predatory lords. You must find a home planet of good size quickly - if the limits on military unit size is too low (ie below 55) ignore it. Fire planets are good for plutonium production, which while illegal (ie you get fined when you complete the game) will allow you to grow more quickly as you sell it on. Rock planets can be lucrative for mining. Terran planets are easier to farm, and may have some minerals. You pays your money and takes your choice. I would try to colonise a system with four or five planets in it, since this makes the later game easier when large troop movements become necessary.
Having acquired a planet, you must create the following:
- A spaceport (all three components)
- A control base
- A city
- Sufficient Farms (use the red/green lights on the panel to check)
- A Power plant
- Enough Plutonium production
- An army...
One option is to sell some of your transporters to another lord. The transporters are initially less useful to you than the money, so while in the long run replacing them will cost you more, at that point it won't matter so much. Once you have a small army growing month by month, you aren't so vulnerable.
Money. Sooner or later, if you want to win, you must make large sums of money. Army production, reinforcement and defence of planets, equiping of the fleet - all these costs must be paid for.
You have several options:
Sell Food - it's cheap to make large amounts of farms, but the return on the proceeds are small.
Sell Minerals - these are more lucrative, but a planet only has so many resources, so this is only initially useful. However, minerals do represent a useful income to the starting player.
Sell Plutonium - Illegal but refreshingly expensive. A starting player should definitely sell excess plutonium to increase income, since this will make the game easier. Once you are an adept, then you can redo the game without plutonium sales. If you are on a fire planet, plutonium production is twice as effective.
Build new Cities - Cities pay tax - 2 MC a round, so they make a profit after 15 months. However, an excess of food can encourage a city to grow by itself, so ensure that cities always have a food surplus and space to move into.
Trading centres allow automatic sale of some of the surplus and are useful later on when you have too many planets to move goods around. At the start however, you should not build one. Your MC's should be pumped into cities, farms and plutonium production, and possibly extra mines *if* they are going to be useful (check the price of minerals against your remaining resources on the planetary info screen - make sure that you aren't merely burning MC's).
Once your planet becomes a healthy money spinner, you can start to consider expansion onto neighbouring planets - at this stage you will need to start rebuilding your fleet transporters. Conqueroring your immediate neighbours is not necessarly a good thing - develop your own strength well first on neutral planets if you wish to remain impregnable to enemy attacks.
Once you have developed a colonised system, then you are ready to expand across the galaxy. But beware over-extension - should you become too spread out without sufficient forces on each planet, the opposing players will rob your planets as you expand.
Have a five player game, with aliens. Send all the players to the same place. Use one to colonize a planet, then get each other one to trade each turn. If you are only charged 10 or 20 credits try again - he'll ask for thirty eventually. Sell the shuttles that belong to the other four players. You can get an extra income of 120 MC a month this way for several months. Sadly, if when you have drained the players dry you try to get rid of them by having the ship destroyed by pirates, the games ends. by: Mattheq
It is a good idea to get at least one large volcano planet and fill it with plutonium production, defend it, build a lunar base and let it sell all the plutonium produced. This will bring in a fair bit of money because each plant will produce 2 units of plutonium each of which will be automatically sold at the end of the month for 2Mc so each one produces 4Mc a month! However, bear in mind that when a plutonium production plant explodes, it will also destroy anything next to it so beware of chain reactions!!
Some favourite tactics from the "testing lab":
(Contributed by Jan Klose, the author of exodus)
Sebastian Zirk's tactic: The "robots" thing. Claim one planet close to a friendly lord, make a trading alliance, build a spaceport and produce guard robots. Sell the robots to the lord, produce new robots, and nothing else, except some transporters to ship them. When you have a reasonable amount of money, build lots of army production and kill all other lords ("peace is nice but dangerous")...
My (Jan) method: Also get a trading alley in the beginning. Buy some army for protection of the own world. Sell half of your transporters immediately. Buy spaceport, army production. Then try to take over all worlds that are weak in the beginning... (then you're already mighty, and computer players won't attack you too often).