"At Least 1 Colony by 2420" by Rick Steeves 1997 v2.6/7
At least 1 Colony by 2420
by: Rick Steeves
Just a few notes on something I've been thinking about, mostly affected by public player scores.
Discussion has gone on stating that colonization should wait until you're home world builds up a bit, and a number of people say they usually wait until turn 20 or so.
However, as a strategic multi-player tip, ALWAYS colonize at least 1 world BY turn 20. the reason? Because w/ public player scores, if they have only 1 planet at the beginning of the game you are ALMOST assured they are not the packet or stargate race. Since a good strategy player is trying to figure out his opponents race from the start, this eliminates a good percentage of the possiblities. Now, a sneaky (although somewhat resource costly) corollary to this is to be either the packet or stargate race, and before turn 20 pull all of your people off of your 2nd planet (if you still only have 2 at that point), leaving everyone thinking you can't possibly be the packet or gate race. Then redrop them on the planet a few turns later; folks will write it up to normal colonization. You'll lose a small orbital fortress, but the mines, defenses, and factories will still be there.
Another strategy similar to this is to colonize 10-15 planets on about turn 19, with only about 200 or so colonists. (more if adv. BBS play) You'll show up w/ public scores of many planets, and people will assume you're hyper-expansion most likely.