Hi, I'm Vid. I am currently working on a Civilization called the Veluszhi Triumvirate, which is a project I have been working on since the game's release. They were a race in GalCiv 2 as well. At some point, they had a custom star system, custom continents, custom planet types, custom music, a custom tech tree, custom dialog, and an entire custom ship style, right down to custom starbases. This was all before Crusades made any of this easy!
Currently, I'm finding myself having to rebuild everything for the new expansion, so making them playable again will take some time.
Mechanically, the Veluszhi Triumvirate are an Adaptive race that takes this trait to its utmost extreme. It defines their entire playstyle. While most races have to choose which extreme world to gain affinity towards, Veluszhi are perfectly at home with all of the first tier extreme worlds right out the gate, and they can research tier two extreme world colonization before they've even left the first tech age. To counterbalance this somewhat, they have an extremely rough time dealing with Radioactive worlds no matter what you do. They can even research Ultimate Adaptability later on, giving them a production bonus to all world types. They are so good at making bad planets work that they even get early terraforming improvements which can be built multiple times, but these are not nearly as versatile as even the lowest tier of terraforming other races get. Still, if you have land that's easy to terraform, you can take full advantage of all of it.
Unfortunately, the Veluszhi need to expand outward immediately to stand any chance of making an impact. Their home system's only habitable worlds are two really bad planets. REALLY bad planets. You remember those custom planet types I mentioned? I didn't say they were good. Their homeworld is an Aberrant Planet, a class-2 piece of trash that has a -75% penalty to all production unless you can colonize extreme worlds. Naturally, the Veluszhi are adapted to extreme worlds, so they treat it like a blank class-2 planet, but for anyone else, this place is just awful. It's still pretty awful for them, too. Their immediate neighbor planet is also terrible, being a Class-1 Sepulchral World that has extreme penalties to growth and food, which gets gradually less extreme as new Terraforming tech is researched. They're not going to go far by staying at home. They need to find a new place to live and appropriate it. Now.
The Veluszhi are really bad with money. They get a double whammy of -30% to both Trade and Tax Income. Hey, when you're a culture that lives like there's no tomorrow, you're going to be spendthrifts, and when you think Arsenic is a Spice and Mustard Gas is a painkiller, your export options tend to be limited.
Their tech tree is structured such that they have a really easy time with colonization and war, but a really hard time with trade and diplomacy. They can't even get Tourism improvements until the Age of War, and they need to research the first level of Interstellar Governance just to start doing things in the Governance tree, so the universal translator will be severely delayed. If you'd like some more insight into what makes them tick, their tech tree reveals snippets of their personality in every tech. At the very least, you'll get to know the other two Consuls of the Triumvirate, Ghostmaster Nai-tyrrus and Nerdmaster Fedt-geszhine. Don't worry, you can fire them both and become Sole Emperor later on if you choose.
If the Veluszhi are your opponents, exercise extreme caution. Their leader, Warmaster Gathuum-Sythaal, is the most fascist thing in existence. He wants to expand his empire at any cost. He does not like your race. He does not like your face. If he smells blood in the water, he's coming for you. If you're his neighbor, he's probably going to declare war on you as soon as he gets his army ready, and his army will be mighty. Their ships have bonuses to capacity, speed, and logistics, so their armies are very versatile and extremely dangerous. Worse yet, their Carriers are more like Star Destroyers than simple carriers, and they can punch well above their weight. The only good news in all of this is that dense ships with lots of bells and whistles tend to have lots of upkeep cost. Since Veluszhi are really bad with money, if they don't have enough planets in the first place, the size of the army they can afford to field is minimal. In all my test runs, the Veluszhi have a very high chance of petering out and being conquered early on by other aggressive races unless they reach a critical mass of planets, but once they get a big empire, they make a meteoric rise and threaten the entire galaxy.
I'm not sure when they'll be ready. I'm still playing through with Default races in Crusade to get a feel for how the game is supposed to play, which should give me insight into how to nerf balance them so that they don't auto-win or auto-lose.