Mission 9 is quite funny. You have to pay more the more sectors you have, so it's a pressure. Thus it's quite enjoyable to play.
First, only buy what you cant build from the cutthroat trader. StarDock is such a cornerstone item which can set your strategy from the start so buy it if you know what to do with it. Also, buy at reasonable price, dont buy at red price as you cant afford it at the time. At the start I only buy a few stores if the price is right, mineral and food, BERTH because it's quite important and we dont have it, dispenser and laboratory. Dont forget Cargo Hold, you will need it, but also dont need it at red price.
Second, what can be built on Pleasure Deck build it. It mean you build Recharger, Power Booster, Lavotron and Dine o Mat here, not on Engineering Deck. More space for E-Deck and it's not like you have stores to build on P-Deck anyway.
Third, BioDeck need to be set just right. A large pond is important as it provide you with a *common environment* of all, Medical at shallow water, Black Market and Luxury at deep water. All that need is food environment, so set the land around the pond at Moderate Dry yellow brown ground, as it seem to provide food plants most easily and favoured by Karmarians. Later on when you got money to burn you can set it to whatever you like, but right now efficiency is the name of the game. Also set a small corner to DRY COLD to get some Alien Artifacts for research. BioDeck most importantly is for enjoyment and food harvesting, not for anything else.
Fourth, always keep on hands an amount of money equal to the fee you need. Never ever go below it, since you might forget and so get fired just because.
Fifth, build a Factory and hire 4 labourers. You dont need Recyclers as 4 Scuzzers are enough for 3 Decks (2+1). Make luxury, medical, and hardware immediately. Buy a Cargo Hold to store the stuffs. If you have more money than the fee, make those three to sell.
If you have space, which you will have from 2 E-Decks, build a Lab. Research Alien Artifacts as soon as you can. Then Black Market Goods. With those 2 out of the way you can start to research what you like.
Hire workers with at least 2 points in skills. Dont go back on this requirement.
And Finally, only expand if you feel crowded and need space to build. Dont expand too much, even the BioDeck.
That's it. I think those strategies will get you through the mission just fine.
The questions concerning Mission 9 interest me, so I replayed it. I must say, this mission is the best out of 10 missions supplied in the term of economic elements. I must replayed it 3 times in a row now, going past the winning event and continue with the mission.
I think I got enough to give a detailed walkthrough for this mission now:
*Phase 1 *
Engineering Deck: Place an Energy Collector, a Port, a Comsensor and a Factory. Hire some labourers to work the factory and make 2 set of Love Chairs. Port set at 0 to attract the maximum number of tourists.
Entertainment Deck: Place Star Motel and Space Inn, then DineoMat plus Lavotron. Tuck the Recharger in a handy corner, plus the PowerBooster. Wait till Love Chairs are manufactured to start building the Love Nest. Build all stores, manufactured and bought whenever possible. The Rec-Bar is a bit too big so perhaps it can be left until a new sector opened... or you could build it with just the Bar attached, no Table.
Bio-Deck: a *deep* pond link two teleporters, with two other corners raised to dizzying heights. the lands around the pond are slightly higher to create different terrain. Lands set to default setting AND the brown ground, with one corner for drying cold land for Alien Artifacts. The brown wasteland and temperate regions are most averagely pleasing to all, with foods producing in speed. The ponds will provide medicals (shore) luxury (surface of deep water) and black market goods (depths of 2 times the height of Karmarians). So you are covered in all fronts.
Key Strategy: Dont build anything if you can manufactured it. Build a well staffed Sickbay and Comsensors. Buy a security bot as soon as possible. Cargo Hold if the price is not too pricey. Only expand if you got 5000+(the upcoming fee).
Phase 1 ends when you can go through 20 minutes with a growing store of items and need more space to build Cargo Hold. The Entertainment Deck got all stores. The BioDeck got full of plants.
* Phase 2 *
Buy a new Engineering sector and build 2 Cargo Holds. Build a Recycler, for easy disposing of explosives. Another Factory for serious facilities-building. Or you could tuck a Lab in that space instead and start tinkering. Black market goods and Alien Artifacts as soon as possible, so that you can produce it in Factory.
Bio-Deck: Open a new sector with same configuration as the original. You still need the optimized plant-growing environment.
Entertainment Deck: When you got enough facilities built and stored in Holds, and feel a new space is needed, open a new sector. A Rec-bar, plus more of what been stored. And a new Dinomat+Lavotron.
Key Strategies: Full staff and spares. If your Sickbay got 3 Diagnosis, hire 4 or more with at least 2 in Skills. If your Love Nest have 3 Love Chairs, do the same. ditto with the Lab, Factory... Research to manufacture to build. Cautiously open new Engineering sector when you have 500+upcoming fee in your wallet.
Phase 2 end when you can build a Star Dock and a new Commsensor. Serious trading with the rest of the galaxy mean you can now breath a relieved sigh. Your lab also running in full tilt and provide many new things to make.
The mission is a win around the end of Phase 2. Generally I continue playing because it's so challenging, unlike other missions.
* Phase3 *
Phase 3 more or less is optional. Now you can trade seriously, just remember to store enough of a upcoming fee and you are golden.
Engineering Deck: an industrial Salt Hog complex comprised of 1 Factory, 1 Recycler, and 1 Factory. This is built near a Lav, a Dineo, and Berth. Either a 2-labs complex or just one big big Laboratory in full glory. 3-4 Commsensors around one Security Columns. One Big Sickbay with Zray Scanner, Medibed, and ET-ing around the clock. A sector of 4 Ports, 10+ Security Columns surrounded. 20+ security bots. Mk3 utility bots running around the place. Cargo Holds occupied all the walls.
Entertainment Deck: one serious classy region, with Galatica, Cocktail Bar, Slug Apartment, Curiousity Shops, Plazas, several statues, trees. every sector got one Lavotron+Dineomat, at least.
the rest, well, you know the deal.
BioDeck: the third, fourth sectors can be built as you like. It's now mostly there to provide entertainment and fun. You mostly harvest food plants here, as you now can make all other stuffs.
Key Strategies: Not much. The left behind sectors of your ex-opponents can be bought for nothing, but the maintainance fee, plus the cost to repair/use those facilities provide you a challenge but that's it. Expand normally, cautiously and you will be fine.
Phase 3 can end whenever you want.