The Xxcha Kingdom
I call these guys the turtles. The Xxcha Kingdom is an OK race they have a few abilities that if played right will help you get those goals. The first is that hey can execute the primary ability of the diplomacy card when executing the secondary. They can also spend a command counter to make a political card now happen. The best thing though is that all opponents get a -1 for that first round of combat against the Xxcha. Not great abilities but they are designed to save you if bad things arise. As with all races that start with 1 carrier move out of your home world and wait for that production card to be played. Then build a second carrier and go grab another planet the first turn.
Keep a command counter handy so that when that diplomacy card is played and you see a threat on the board you can stop it in it’s tracks. Most players forget that the Xxcha have this ability. They get ready for attack and then someone plays diplomacy and you are safe and sound. The ability to cancel a political card is also a great advantage if the card is something that would cause you grief.
No matter what you do, do not forget to use that -1 on all first attacks against you. It can save your life and make your opponent reconsider their plans for conquering your empire. Other than that they don’t have any real abilities and should be played to whatever end you want as far as tech goes.