I'm playing a first game with Retribution on Genius level as the Thalans but benevolent (rather than pragmatic) so as to get a decent colony rush from the top line.
Near to the endgame I've got 39 planets and a bit over 1100 research per turn while the Altarians have 32 planets but about 10k research. I also have more overall population than them.
I used the espionage screen to look at some of their planets and have no idea how they can produce so much science. I don't believe that they started weakly and so got an artifact. So how can this planet possibly produce 237.87 research with a population of six. Has the final item on the bottom line of the benevolent tree perhaps had a 0 added or something?
Any ideas please?