Tips for Research
Some basic tips
First thing you should do is research towards your second city and prioritise getting a second city established. The eco boost from a second city far exceeds the loyalty penalty.
Always make sure you have enough population to staff your buildings. If you have more buildings than pop then production is going to slow.
Similarly, don’t let loyalty go too far below 0. Every -point in loyalty is a -2% production resource rate. Not too big of an issue at lower numbers but even at -10 loyalty will slow your eco and production by 20%
I personally like to specialise my cities. Usually my second city will be the city focused entirely on resources because you will have a better chance to choose where you want to settle it. The first city I will usually use to build up unit production. 2-3 barracks/factory each to increase production speed. For example, as imperial guard, I will usually look to settle my second city on volcanic areas to reap the bonuses from ore production to afford the tanks I’m pumping out of my first city with three manufactorums.
Utilise your factions abilities. With guard, use the edicts, with chaos, use the sacrifices and boons. It might feel like extra busy work but if you’re not using them, you’re handicapping yourself.