What is with these idiot thread titles? Personally I find that using high number of opponents doesn't work because the game does not have the resources(planets, systems, etc...) to support them. I'm playing with 40 factions with Insane Galaxy Size, Abundant Systems, Habitable Planets, etc... and there just isn't enough space and resources to go around, everyone has a couple of systems and spends so much time competing for things that you can only have one but lose all the others. For example, you want to secure systems for habitation so you have to rush colonization, but then everyone claims all the resources and artefacts and plops stations in-between all your worlds creating a heinous patchwork of territories. This also results in not enough Ideology Points early game. And all of this was on BEGINNER.