The original one is entirely useless. Even the official Wiki is hopelessly out of date. Stardock released an updated manual for Version 3.0 (I believe) early this year. I don't know where to download it from, but for me it was downloaded to my game files automatically because I've set it to automatically update everything to the newest version (GOG release). Unfortunately, even this version is only of limited use, depending on which version and DLC you're using.
The only advice I can offer is starting a few games or the scenarios at a low difficulty level and just try stuff. Then ask here in the forum on any particular
I too have searched for guides, but unfortunately, due to the many patches and updates and DLCs, it's near impossible to find one that is relevant for the exact version you have.
was removed - I don't know when, that was before I started playing. There used to be an administration building that you could build on a planet to unlock the wheel again, for that planet. But I'm not sure it is still available in the current version. Depending on the version you have installed it might be there: you could try load a game and look for it in the tech tree. However, I've learnt to do without it, and find it's not a big issue.
Here are a few tips from my own limited experience:
- Before you start the game, unselect the setting to allow tech brokering. This prevents others from trading the techs you trade to them to others. (I typically only trade techs to Minor Civs, but of couse, they too could trade these techs on to Majors)
- Never trade techs to other Civs that grant a Diplomacy bonus, that just makes future trades even worse
- Trade all techs (except diplomacy) to minor civilizations for cash
- only trade for techs that you cannot obtain otherwise, it's too expensive. There are effectively two types of techs that you can't get, special tech branches that are not in your tree (e. g. the Gravitonics tree), or tech alternatives in specializations where you have already picked another specialization
- sometimes it's fine to trade techs to major civilizations, but only if you intend to pull them into an alliance or similar - alliances can pay off way more than what you lose by a 'bad' trade in the short run