Definitely the L1Z1X Mindnet. Hopefully, I'll get an opportunity to try out the Ghosts of Creuss.
Not a fan of the Ghosts. Generally, I don't like races that focus on one particular thing (Creuss' wormholes, Saar's spacedocks, Sardak's combat, etc.). I never get excited for wormholes when they appear (in galaxy set up or as Domain Counters). My group has given them the following buff:
"The Ghosts of Creuss get a +1 to all combat rolls when in or adjacent to a system containing a wormhole."
Note that we haven't playtested it or anything, so it could be ridiculously good, but we've all consented to it.
I've only played seven or eight times so far and a win continues to elude me, but to date i have played as Letnev, Hacan, Sol, Sardak N'orr, Saar, and Yin. My Favourite race by far is the Brotherhood of Yin. The invasion ability has been very good to me, and the flagship 'Van Hague' is in my opinion one of the best. A great race for my style of play.
Just played my first game. four players with Hacan, Yssaril,, Jol-Nar and me as Mentak. my friends all played very defensively and avoided any direct confrontation. I like to play as an agressor and immediatly attacked the Jol-Nar as soon as my forces were sufficient. The Mentak are really usefulif you like to play a little more active game. With their extra attack for cruisers and destroyers and hylar lasers as starting tech plus stealing trade goods from other players you can immediatly build up crushing cruiser fleets and dominate most non-militant races.Also their flagship is pretty good!
I'd love playing them again any time. even though our Yssaril player seemed to have a lot of fun annoying us too!
Space Turtles!!! In space!!!!!
I tried every race at least once but until now my favorites are the Hacan, Creuss, Jol Nar and L1z1x.
I think the Hacan are perfect if you are planning to focus on the political cards and have alliances. You can give another player a trade agreement and get one with a value of 1 or 2 and demand, that they always vote in your favor. I did this with a Creuss player, he gave me his trade agreement with a value of 2 and we agreed that he votes in my favor on every third politcal card. After some time I took away two of his systems and demanded, that he would vote in my favor every second political card, in return I would give him one of the systems back I just conquered.
In this game I also payed the other players to vote in my favor and so you can dominate the political part of the game, simply because you get so much money (we played with the Trade II card and I had trade agreements worth 5 ressources, so I got 8 to 12 trade goods every round). Aditionally I had Mecatol Rex worth 6 influence.
With so much money I was able to afford a technology every round, and I still had enough money to have a big fleet (in the end I had both war suns, all dreadnoughts and many other ships).
The only thing I hate about the Hacan is that they loose a big advantage if you don't play with the Trade I card, because no one has to pay a CC to gain trade goods, so the special ability is worthless.
The Creuss are one of my favorites because of their mobility. As soon as you can place the additional wormholes you can be almost anywhere at anytime. All other players would have to put a destroyer or advanced fighter in every empty system in their inner border to prevent you from just popping in.
And the wormholes allow you to have your production center far away from the enemy systems and your fleets can be there in a single action.
I think that the Creuss are one of the strongest races, since every other has to expect an attack from every possible direction, it puts them into the situation that they should not thin out their fleets but yet they have to protect much more systems. The Creuss can ignore that, because they can have one big fleet and still have the mobility to defend almost every system.
About the Jol Nar I like the fact that, if you have enough resources, you can get so many technologies and, like Saikoro said, steamroll almost every enemy. But they are not my biggest favorites, because they are specialized on a part of the game that is very vulnerable, I mean you need really a lot of resources to get many technologies and if you have bad planet around you you are pretty much f….
The L1z1x are in my list of favorites because they start with good technologies, have a good fleet and have very good abilities. I think they can survive with almost any setup and can easily become one of the biggest threat in the game. The only problem is that experienced players know that and try to hold you down and sabotage you with politcal cards as much as possible.
About all the other races: I have played many of them only once, so I don't want to judge about them but many of them sound very good and I think some of them need some experience, I mean that you have to play three or four times with them in order to really understand them and play well.
First, keep in mind our group rarely finishes a game… maybe 1 in 4. Hard to find west coast players. But when we do, our players tend to be the agressive warmongering types with massive fleets so there is usually a big apocalyptic war around turn 6-7.
I have played L1Z1X, Norr, Jol Nar, Mentak (multiple times), Arborec, Letnev (multiple times), Nekkro, Naalu, Yssaril, Muaat, and the Yin.
I have never seen Xxcha played, not once. I have played against all the other races.
That said, I really really want to play Sol. They are a solid race with good starting tech, racials and abilities.
I like playing Letnev, they are a militaristic nightmare just waiting to happen. The last time I played them I placed a TS right outside the home system and that combo alone made me a holy terror. :) Their HS production capacity is a huge advantage, I churned out fleet after fleet. The Mentak are fun too, you have to get into the pirate aspect though. Pull out your "Arrrrg, me Maty" attitude and go all Jabba the Hutt on someone from turn 1 if you can - pick someone and make their life miserable and hope for enough backalley agreements to keep you safe while you do.
But so far, the Arborec are my favorite. Granted, I havent played Letnev since the latest expansion hit and I am eager to do so. But the Arborec are SCARY. The ability to just pop out a fleet ensures you take the fight to your opponant's turf, and IMHO are the best race for a "occupy another player's HS" objective. The one time I played them, I built a bunch of GF and pushed them out to a planet in the first ring and viola! 2 turns and an SD later, I am churning out more GF and all the ships I needed to position for a handy victory. Unfortunately, we did not finish that game but I was at 6 VP and leading the pack when we shut that one down.
…and from the ashes of the old world's bones there stirred new life…
I'm lucky enough to have a group that plays TI once a month. We've gotten around 14 or so games in.
I'm trying to play a different race each time. So far, I've won with the Letnev, the Hacan and the L1Z1X.
My top 3 favorite races are: The Hacan, the Letnev and the Mentak.
I found the Letnev to be my favorite "warlike" race. They can pump out a lot of units each turn and it's much easier for them to manage large fleets while still scoring objective points.
I played the Mentak for the first time this month. Their Mirror Computing racial tech is one of the best techs in the game. Their ability to "first strike" with cruisers and destroyers is nice and fits into my play style (I rarely create a dreadnought). I had a lot of fun playing the pirates!
Overall my favorite race would have to be the Hacan. Thematically, I like the idea of space faring merchant cats. They have a great economy which helps you tune your play to the meet the objectives on the table. You're not forced down one path to victory with the cats. I almost won a game with them by taking a more warlike stance. The game I did win with them I focused on techs and the "I now spend…" objectives.