Accelerated BBS Play
When you check the option of Accelerated BBS (also known as ABBS or AccBBS), the following happens:
Players start out with a population 4 times larger than normal.
(Normal start in a non AccBBS game is 25,000 pop. Growth Rate makes a difference in this calculation. A rough approximation comes up with 5k pop for every 1% GR. For example - 10% GR will start with 75,000 pop, 20% GR will have 125,000 and 19% GR will have 120,000.)
All planets have 20% more minerals.
Planets with poor mineral densities are improved by a few percentage points.
This means you can build 5 to 10 ships your first turn, complete research up to 2 tech levels a year, and in general jump-start the game. You don't have to worry about running out of colonists if you want to send out a large number of colony ships early in the game.
In games started with this option you'll need to make many more decisions from turn 1 on. The first 10 turns accomplish what otherwise takes about 30 to 50 turns. These games usually have a winner emerging before turn 100. A disadvantage to this option is that some of the subtlety of Stars! is lost. You don't have to make as many of the early resource tradeoffs that have a large impact on your strategy later in the game. Most BBS gamers will find that this disadvantage is outweighed by the faster pace.