I did a Medium Impossible map with 5 other races, but since i'm out of practice i chose the Psilons, one of the best races, for myself. I started near the lower left corner, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I sent out my colony ship to the closest coreward star in range. I send one scout to the other planet in range to the left, and one to the next planet coreward past the one the colony ship is headed to.
On turn three i discover that my colony ship is landing on a size 65 Arid world, which is decent, and that the planet to my left is a size 40 Minimal Ultra Rich world! This is looking like it will be a nice game!
Then on turn 5 or 6, my scout arrives at the planet a couple parsecs above and to the right of my first colony. And the Bulrathi already have a colony there.
I then go on to discover that the Meklars are above me and grab all the planets up there before i can get any. To the south i find, a size 25 tundra world that i can't colonize yet, an empty system, a size 10 world, and a size 95 Poor world just barely in range along the bottom edge of the map.
But there's still hope! Colonizing the Poor world puts another system just within range, and if i can beat the Bulrathi there i may be able to sneak past them and break out of the corner! Not a great starting setup, but maybe doable. And that star turns out to be an empty system =P And then just about the point the Poor world is _finally_ almost done with building factories the Bulrathi declare war and invade. Oh yeah, and they're allied with the Meklar, so the Meklar declare too a couple turns later.
So i'm stuck with 5 planets, one Ultra Rich 40 but also one Hostile size 25 and one size 10. I credit the Ultra Rich world with being able to hang on as long as i did.
The Sakara and the Silicoid split up most of the galaxy and quickly become the two contenders in the council. I vote for the Sakara when possible since they're closer to me, which works for awhile. I eventually get the tech to be able to beat the Bulrathi and claim back the Poor world. The Sakara love this since they're at war with the Bulrathi too and offer me an Alliance. I (perhaps foolishly) accept. Then a little while later the Sakara demand that i go to war with the Silicoids. I consider refusing, but i _know_ the Sakara can reach me while i'm not sure if the Silicoids will bother, so i say yes.
So just at the point i finally capture a second Bulrathi planet (unfortunately after bombing all the factories out of existence, so the capture part wasn't really of any benefit) the Silicoids arrive with a fleet of a couple huge ships and a stack of 15 large ships. My missile bases and 3 huge ships with Fusion Beams take out all of their huge ships, but then their 15 large ships with Auto Blasters wipe out my 3 huge ships with ease. My missile bases did finish off the rest of their ships, but at this point i'm not sure if it's worth playing any further in this save, since the Silicoids will presumably have more ships like that on the way soon.