I like playing TEC because without any other reasons I chose the guys I though were the good guys (I like roleplaying so I use it to choose these things.)
The game is quite ambiguous about who are the good guys. The story we're presented is told by a TEC soldier, so it inherently puts them in a good light, but when you look at how the factions behalve I tend to think they're all on the same moral level. They go around forcibly subjugating every neutral planet, and indiscriminately kill civilians with orbital bombardment. It's not called Sins of a Solar Empire for nothing, you know.
I will bet HUGE money I am doing it wrong.
Here's my advice: expansion comes first. You need to set out to claim your empire early, with a special focus on economically and strategically important planets. If you see a choke point, you need to go for it.
Early game the best way to build an economy is to acquire planets. The best way to protect those planets is with a fleet. Use repair bays to bolster your defenses and keep your fleet in fighting shape. Avoid expensive economic infrastructure until you can really afford it. By the time you're pursuing higher end units, such as carriers and heavies, your expansion should already be largely complete.
As for units, there's one you're missing out on: the Hoshiko! It's the #1 reason to play TEC; basically a mobile repair bay. Arguably the best unit in the game. Use long range frigates (Javelis LRM for TEC) as your damage and back them up with other unit types, and you're good to go.
Now for capital ships, the Kol (the battleship you're using) is a decent choice in 1.00, but as of the most recent version it's probably one of the weakest in the game. The problem is that virtually every other capital ship has been buffed significantly, but the Kol has barely been touched at all. As a result it's migrated from being slightly above average to being one of the worst capital ships in the game, simply because everything else got better. The Sova, Akkan, and Marza are the staples of the TEC faction currently.
will tell me what all these abbreviations mean
- LF = light frigate (Cobalt and equivalents)
- LRF = long range frigate (Javelis and equivalents)
- SF = siege frigate (Krosov and equivalents)
- HC = heavy cruiser (Kodiak and equivalents)
- SC = strike craft (fighters and bombers)
- Egg = Jerrasul Evacuator (deadly Vasari capital ship)
- Nanos = nano disassemblers (ability of the Egg that makes it so deadly)
- TK = telekinetic push (deadly ability of the Advent Halcyon capital ship)
- GW = gravity well
- neutrals = neutral extractors found in uncolonizable gravity wells
- pocket = a player who begins with allies protecting both his flanks (ie, free to pursue early economy)
- suicide = a player who begins in a 2v1 situation. With entrenchment, not so much suicide as besieged.
- SB = starbase (used as both a noun - a starbase - and a verb - to starbase)
- PUG = pick up game (method for choosing teams. Very common online)