-Dread Lords are tough if you do not have enough fire power. Their advanced technology is ultimately their weakness. When playing with AI allies, they will occasionally get very advanced technology when they capture a Dread Lord occupied planet. Their defensive capabilities are not as good as their offensive capabilities in ground attack. To take full advantage of the Dread Lords, prepare one planet near their border for continuous capture and re-capture. Every time you re-capture the planet, you will get one very advanced technology.
-Dread Lords will send in small ships to weaken your planet defenses, then send in their normally unguarded troop ships. Their ships are all weapons and no defense. Make a fleet of tiny ships with the best weaponry available. Make sure you have logistics technology so you can attack their ships with your fleet with an adequate number of ships. Their smaller ships have a speed of 11, and their small and medium ships have the speed of 5. Their troopships (that resemble squids) have a speed of 6. Make sure you have sufficient ship engine technology to catch up with them. The troop ships are only a problem if you do not have ships orbiting your planets. Since they are usually unguarded, it is best to create a small or tiny ship with only one minor weapon and plenty of engines so you can attack them fast and clean. Creating a scout ship with no weapons and full of scanning modules positioned at border planets helps prevent surprise attacks.
Start the game with the cheat command line parameter, then activate the following cheats by entering the corresponding codes:
CHEAT FUNCTION - CHEAT CODE Add 1 to planet class - CTRL + P Add 10,000 BC - CTRL + M Add battleship - CTRL + B Assign remaining planets to major races - CTRL + L Clone selected ship - CTRL + C Complete social projects - CTRL + J Hail's major races - CTRL + <0-9> Heal selected ship - CTRL + H Research current tech - CTRL + R Research all techs - SHIFT + CTRL + R Restart on new map with new race - CTRL + N Save game - CTRL + S Teleport selected ship to pointer - CTRL + T United planets meeting - CTRL + V Remove fog of war - CTRL + U Upgrade selected ship - CTRL + A Improves selected planet's quality - CTRL + P