To problem with a strategy guide for this game, is that the best strategy depends a lot on your race.
A Scavenging race like the Snathi should build a privateer ASAP. A scavenging privateer can "acquire" colony ships, transports, constructors and small warships with no penalty.
The synthetic races should build population, when ever possible. The 100 population cap with no morale penalties is very powerful. Since 1 pop point cost 3 Durantium, find it and mine it ASAP.