Early game tips for campaigning as Cravers
Cravers don’t rush their enemy, they exploit planets until the planets are destroyed, so you need to combine your offensive expansion and match it with reduction.
Build a good yield and time it so that when you need expansion (because your planets are debilitated) you are ready to attack.
I would argue that a faction that is even more aggressive than the Cravers would be the Hashu, due to the need for special resource caches. Cravers actually just need to expand. And if it happens that a group of enemies is on the way, they start eating them.
You need to micromanage their depletion mechanic, as long as you have 1 depletion point the planet still generates full FIDS. When you reach 1 point, move the curve pops somewhere else. If the system is good, I milk it so no planets are lost (or put extra Cravers on good-for-nothing planets). For the bad guys, just kill everything.
The problem is science on the road, so you want to get a fleet of 20+ defenders ASAP with science per CP hit support modules to help with that, attacking everything that moves (and If you need dust, equip some dust modules. OK). You want as many pop bonuses as possible on unspoilt planets, since they also ride on depletion mechanic bonuses (laws, AI labor building, etc.).
And yes, Hishu is a more aggressive race playstyle, but Kravers have no problem attacking others. In fact, you need it because the more slaves the better (the happiness issue is easily dealt with by war declarations, or you can eat for 25 happiness as needed, it stacks up ). So, you want to attack nearby minor towns or kingdoms to get more slaves quickly.
- Feeding pits are a fixed turn cost to “build”, and thus consume no industry so it accumulates. The maximum pool for an industry is worth 1 turn. So, if you need to eat 2 pops, you’ll want to line up some buildings between them so as not to waste the pooled industry.
Note: This applies to all races, you basically want to abuse their mechanic. With Sophons, the Onmiscience trait to maximize the bonus science they get (you can use racial technology for this). Splices, with Horatio. With Cravers, the deletion mechanic. With the Riftborn, the singularity, especially bad: you have a -FIDS singularity on the Husho home system and they’re basically done (other races on their home systems, the earlier the better, so invest in Scouts ). With the EU, the procurement of science/production is affected. With Walters, a material mastery specialty. With Hishu, mining investigations. and so forth…