Tips needed: Always getting stuck ~50 years in

I watched quite a bit of videos from Aspec and other streams, read up on the basics but I always seem to get stuck somewhere in the early-midgame.

I tried some variations of a slaver empire or a materialist with robots. I tried a ring world as well as mechanist origin. I play on all settings default (size, difficulty, # AIs) which is supposed to be pretty easy.

Most of my games go like this:

I rush 3-4 science vessels and explore my surroundings. I find about 2-4 habitable worlds I can grab before encountering borders of other empires. I grab all systems towards these habitable worlds and build mining / research stations on all of them.

As soon as I get robotics, I build an assembly on all worlds. First building if I'm lucky and get it early, since it basically doubles my pop growth.

On ring world I build commerce district, followed by a research district. This puts me nicely in the lead of research for a while.

On the other planets I build whatever district I need. This is usually where the problems start. I have too little planets to specialize them for a particular job. There are just too many different resources to juggle in the early game: Energy, minerals, admin cap, food, consumer goods, alloys. On top of that, influence slows me down greatly after spending everything to snake towards the available planets.

And then I am basically stuck. Waiting years for new building slots to unlock and pops to spawn to work them, or getting influence to grab the next system, or starting an alloy production while already starved for pops to do resource and basic economy. I can't even imagine getting the influence to start taking over enemy systems at this point with ~70 influence per system.

I can't seem to figure out from videos what I should do differently. Could anyone help me out with some early game guides that cover more than just the basics? I feel like I know all the rules, just not how to play. A rough build order for the first 50 years and first few planets would be nice, if such a thing is possible.



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