Suddenly I have this urge to play Privateer 2 again and talk to @BrianRubin about it!
I bought a lot of,good games when I was a teenager (I had good taste!) but then I bought Privateer 2 and Master of Orión 3 too.
Master of Orion 3? They never made a third game.
Wow, good for you! I wanted to forget that game existed for a long time, You’ve succeeded! The rest of us have to still live with the trauma
I hear there are people that play it patched. You know you want to try it ;)
Some strategy spoilers, at least as I recall…
Once you’re familiar with the game’s tactical quirks, the easy way to win is to strike the enemy homeworlds as soon as possible. The AI seems not to like attacking your own 100% worlds, so you don’t really have to worry about your own capital. If you methodically mess with the independent worlds at high level the AI handicap will eventually build up to the point their fleet becomes enormous.
Lasers, engines, and stealth are IMO the most important techs, and you can totally live without missiles, the short range weapon, and fighters. The AI doesn’t path all that great either, and it totally doesn’t understand jump gates and those on-off asteroid doors. Maximizing long-range damage enables a couple of cruisers to methodically eliminate a huge swarm of enemies so long as they don’t get surrounded at close range.