There's several ways to look at this.
Excactly, that´s why this game is getting more intersting the more you play. There are so many different ways to reach a goal that I´m afraid I´ll have overlooked half of them. [you'll be surprised to what obvious stuff all I overlook ] That´s why I ask, because basically I come to the same goals but through totally different methods, and that´s just surprising me.
Consider that you are in for a lonnng game. What % of the time will you be building improvements on any specific planet?
Well, I´ll built as long as the last enemy is conquered, and then the game is over. But only on the outter planets. The coreplanets of my reich will be outbuilt by years then. The only way to keep them synthetically alive is to either upgrade the 'efficient' Fac to 'expensive' Fac and/or built some rather irrelevant wonders like Temple of Evil - both I wouln't do. So what do I do with 50-75% of the inner planets that are outbuilt and have Social points for nothing?
Well, if you´d ask me, personally, once I'd have the majority of planets in game I´d simply peruse an Econ strat - rushbuying warships at the front instead of flying them through half-of the galaxy - and settign slifers to 0/0/100 once everything is built-over by Stocks. But that´s not the issue of this thread here, point is, how would I further follow the all fac strat without having that Social loss??
Or, once your Empire has reached its natural boundaries and you begin to gear for serious war with high-end systems on your ships, how many of your planets will be your main fleet warship source?
Hmm, actually I´ve never ever encountered this situation. On suicidal the AI´s (all of them) did outsearch me in weapon techs at any time - so I wouldn´t even think of the possibility that with such a ludicrous approach to research I´ll even get a high-end weapon tech - I will not. But I have more planets than every AI and that'll give me en edge in the long run. Basically I will do everything to avoid getting into a war - and also gang the others up (or on some "Evil" neighbours) to keep the Military in the galaxy low. Always mindfull to grab any resource once it got free due to war. Then, once I control all gems I´ll conquer them all one-by-one. There are exceptions. Especially around the "Psionic Beam" weapon....
It has seemed to me to be important to put the racial bonuses where I will use them all game and in aspects that are critical. Social production is one place I almost never spend those precious racial points to improve.
Indeed, same here. I was just curious, because I always put my racial points into categories where they'll either apply fully & always (as in Econ, or Luck) or, at least, to a great deal (like in all-lab on research).
However, under the premise of having Tech trade/brokering disabled I can understand the need for extra tech now. [although my heart bleeds...]
Economic bonuses I always max out. I almost always take Luck, as that helps in every combat all game. I almost always take some in Morale. Anything left generally goes to Research. I used the Technocrat for a while to win, but like the Universalist for that extra Luck and other bonuses. Once you've done all the Research, the Technocrat bonus is wasted, but the Universalist bonuses are helpful all game long.
I do fully agree with that [and what comes later on...], Universalists + your points attributal in my eyes is optimal for warfighting games. In such a game I´d set Techrate to slow/normal, thus the Tech bonus will still apply even late in game, somehow there´s always something left that could be researched + usefull, too. Although Federalists is also never an error.
btw thx mate for your extensive reply