this is the write-up of the Lizards as winner of Player's Choice III.
Player's Choice III was my first VGA Planets game. My first race choice was Fed, but I got my second choice, the Lizards. I didn't really know much about the game at this point. There was a lot going on at the player's forum even before the game actually started. I was looking for an alliance with the Privateer from the beginning, because I think Lizards and Privateers as allies perfectly benefit from each other. My start was a little bit disappointing, since the first planet I found had amorphous natives, and until turn 20 I did not have a planet which could be taxed to 5000 MC.
Early in the game I sighted a Robot ship to the west and thought he was my neighbor, but a few turns later I was surprised to see a Bird Swifty orbiting one of my western planets. I contacted the Robot and we agreed to eliminate the Bird as quickly as possible and divide his territory equally between us. This was done, and luckily we captured a Dark Wing and a Resolute. My other neighbors were the Colonies. Although we did not make an agreement, we didn't attack each other (maybe both of us thought to lose more than to win). I noticed that the Cyborg/Fed alliance and the Crystals/Evil Empire alliance were enemies, and since the EE and the Priv cooperated against the Rebel, I signed a non-aggression pact with Crystals/EE and sold my HISSing ability for a SSD (to be used against the Borg) and made clones of a PL21 for money distribution.
Not having a hostile neighbor, I expanded and built up my economy, which was strongly supported by the use of some MCBR's. When the ship limit was reached, my economy was booming and I started building a lot of starbases. I realized that the power of 13-bay carriers combined with the mobility of Fireclouds could become unstoppable, so I sent most of my LCC's out into the cluster to hunt down FCC's and Loki's, to make the enemy never feel secure. The Privateer and me stole a fully stocked Fascist Biocide out of a Loki-protected enemy fleet, while the Robot was laying mines in Fascist/Cyborg territory with fully-loaded LCC's I had turned over to him, so freeing the path for Lizard and Privateer cloakers. I captured a number of starbases using ground combat and the SSD. After we had conquered the area south of Colonial territory, and when I had been successful in taking over a number of enemy planets and starbases near the middle of the cluster, I was expecting the enemy to start a counter attack with his powerful Fed Biocides and Rushes. But this attack didn't come. Well, the Fed made an attempt to move a fleet of a some battleships and FCC's through Colonial space in the north-eastern area of the map to my territory, but he quit this after having lost about 7 FCC's and a couple of carriers. Instead of attacking me with all their carriers, the enemy alliance tried to sweep away the Crystal web mines - very time consuming and not easy, since a number of Hissers were active for the Crystal/EE alliance. My LCC's (and MCBR's I was flying for the Priv) were watching the enemy fleets, several times chunneled with them cloaked, and often towed away and killed enemy Fireclouds. When my LCC's were moving closer to the center of enemy territory, the Fed started laying an enormous amount of mines; but with an increasing number of Heavy-Phaser-LCC's (I had a good number of PBP-builds) and by placing Heavy-Phaser-T-Rex's in the warp wells of his planets, even those minefields could not protect his territory for long, since he did not get the opportunity to intercept my sweepers.
When this game ended, I had almost completed moving most of my fleet to a planet near the Fed HW, but the enemy gave up before these battles could take place.
Thanks everybody for the fun and the things learned. Next time I will play another race, but now I know what a hard enemy the Lizards can be. ;-)