I wanted to share my build which I believe is best tech rush build atm and since Stellaris came out. I haven't seen faster one yet. I find it a lot of fun and enjoyable, it can be played as sim city (as I do it) but there are also military approaches (tried it, it's not as good for tech rush but it's even better for later game, not exactly what I wanted). Goal is to get Dyson Sphere and Matter Decompressor as soon as possible while still having economy set up for massive fleet right after. I've made this build over past weeks on my own, but ofcourse that others found it as well.
Game is played in Ironman mode on default settings with couple of tweeks (to make it harder), difficulty is Grand Admiral, no scalling (they start with best bonuses), normal tech cost, mid-game set to 2275, endgame set to 2300. Medium size galaxy (performace and micromanagemant reasons). Agression doesn't matter much since all AI empires will like us (aside total war ones).
Yes, since it is tech rush I picked best and most OP origin, ringworld. Does build work without it? Yes. Is it gonna be as fast? Obviously not.
What makes ringworld so OP? In short, it's merchant jobs and way to get researchers without buildings. Also the fact that you can still colonize planets as normal.
Normal organic species with Thrifty (going trade league and this flat out increases trade value by 25% because it increases base), Intelligent and Natural Engineers for obvious tech bonuses.
Ethics and civics
Fanatic Xenophile for 20% trade value and 2 extra envoys. Materialist for 5% research bonus (stacks on top of base research value) which also has Research Grants editc (another 10% research bonus). Not 100% sure but I do think it makes robot technologies more likely to appear.
From civics it's Dipolmatic Corp for extra envoys and Free Traders (10% trade value). Later as third is picked Brand Loyalty (15% unity). Envoys are one of best weapons in the game which will ensure that noone will attack unless they are total war empire (fanatic purifiers, determined exterminators, etc.) They are also very important to get Trade League ASAP and commercial pacts.
Traditions and Perks
Technological ascendancy, obviously. For 2nd, wait for cyborgs (flesh is weak). As second I took One Vision in hope I would be able to reach 4th perk before year 60, because I wanted pre-60 Dyson, which I didn't. Cyborgs assure leaders won't die for sure, plus you get nice boost to habitability which will turn 60% into 80%. 3rd one I go for master builders so you can finish both segments at once, you can build both dyson and decompressoer at once and later, megashipyard and coordinator as well. You get a lot of use of that perk. 4th obviously has to be Galatic Wonders. 5th one should be gotten from society research before traditions and it's Synthetic Ascension for more pops.
Traditions order: Discovery first, it eases up consummer goods from researchs, faster leader exp gain, additional option when new research comes (super important one) and most of all, 10% research speed. 2nd one is diplomacy for federation mostly, but trade value and market fee are super good as well. 3rd one is prosperity which can be taken as first as well. Take it as first if you go very wide and like bunch of planets. Rest are as you want, I go either Supremacy or Prosperity as 4th, other of those two as fifth.
Why not going expansion first? I won't be taking a lot of planets, nor a lot of systems so it's not that good. Getting 3-4 extra pops and 10% growth per planets is good, but tech speed and options are better.
I would also restart untill you get First League since it saves you the perk and you can get ecumonopolis super early.
What to do early
Aside from standard micro (crime lord deal, policies) goal is to rush Commercial segment first, then into Research, then again Commercial. It's all done before year 11 ends. Build colony ship before anything, you will be able to get stations before it's build and it arrives to first colony. Get guaranteed colonies ASAP.
Jobs will look like this. From this point on, keep at least once additional scientist per year. Capital will not have any other new jobs aside that. You most likely won't get both intelligent and architectural governer in same one, just keep both and switch when building (there aren't that many planets).
Don't take too many systems since influence will be needed. I keep Research Grants on all the time, Capacity Overload is also super strong and reforming goverment can save you ruler (reforming will reset election time, so adding another civic is basically 50 influence).
Progress reference by year 2223, I've gotten 2nd ascenscion perk and was already researching tier 3 technologies.
There were Fanatic Purifiers
Unless they are right next to you, they aren't a problem at all. With small empire (in terms of systems) you won't be likely to get to their borders, plus with friends and federation they won't attack as easy. Also, AI is mostly going to war for borders.
Megaengineering was done by year 2248. Had over 1100 engineering research per month (base of 667+ which you get from scientists, that is multiplied by bonuses such as materialist, which are usually at 80-90%).
Ironman mode proof.
Build is very good for x25 crisis strength early on, as per settings on top. From here on you go for more alloys to make sure you can keep building both Dyson and Decompressor at same time. Once first panel of dyson is done, economy will scyrocket and pretty much every jobs will be either ruler, scientist, alloys and robot maker. I make some basic fleet of 30-40 battleships with arc emitters and go take fallen empire dark matter tech. You can also take their planets with colossus (neutron sweeper will keep all buildings) You just ressettle some of your pops on those planets and repair buildings. This will make your energy/alloys through the roof. I usually make bunch of starbases for anchorage. Don't forget to reform govermant again to remove envoy civic and pick +4 starbases for more naval cap. I also make 2-3 planets full of fortresses and declare martial law, you will get insane amount of naval cap (4 per soldier I think). Obviously those battleships that you make for fallen empire won't be idle. Use them to take planets/pops from other empires. Endgame crisis will take a while to spawn (50-ish years or so, at year 2300 you will usually know which one it will be). As for fleet compositions and design: design should be whichever is best against crisis you have. Fleet is made out of battleships (usually 25) plus titan, and rest of corvettes. Battleships are main damage dealers, titan for aura (there are 2 good ones, one decent) and corvettes are fodder. Crisis strength (and their fleet power) comes from boost to damage. They don't get any hull, armor, range, evasion, shields etc bonuses so they die just as usual but they hurt a lot lot lot more. Corvettes will either evade or die (pretty much battleships too). You want taking every single Trickster (combat disengage chance) admiral you get offered. Policy should be hit and run and go with 3 fleets together, out of which every titan has different aura. With 2-3 starbases of 6 shipyards and mega shipyard it's easy to replace fallen ships.
Build is also very good to do 1 system challenge.
Changes for combat oriented playstyle:
Instead of Materialist go Authorian. As first perk pick Nihilistic Aquisition. Split researchers into tech/alloys. Going against GA no scalling AI without some combat bonuses like from Militarist or total war empires is duable but not worth imo. I rather rush Destroyers and Blue Lasers tree (gama, UV etc.). Each ship type is much better than previous one, and Destroyers are absolutely insane for combat disengage chance. The will also have medium slots which are much better (1M is better than 2S and costs the same). You can rip AI with 25-30 destroyers by year 2220. Steal pops with NA and switch to tech rush. You will have almost double of pops. You can also attack 2nd AI. NA is one of best perks in the game, and severly overlooked and underestimated.
Changes for non-ringworld start:
I would pick either On Shoulder of Giants or Remnants. Giants offer a shitload of energy from relics. Remnants offer very early tech progress and decent amount of energy, also from relics. You also get size 22 ecu since you won't need perk for it. I would go for early ecu. With both I would prefer combat way. They won't be as fast, but will be very good.
Think that's about it from me, guide for earliest tech rush I know for and x25 crisis strategy. Any questions and discussions are welcome.
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