The Imperial card is available and Nicholas does not ignore it.
Steve takes Technology for his first Strategy Card.
Nicholas takes Warfare.
Steve grabs the Diplomacy Strategy Card. It has a Binus Token on it which he converts into a Trade Good.
The Diplomacy card has 2 immediate benefits for Steve. First, he's fairly certain that Nicholas will attack him on Mecatol Rex, so he wants the protection this card provides. Second, this is a low numbered Strategy Card and it means he will takes the first turn this Round.
The Political, Logistics, and Trade Strategy Cards were not taken. They each get a Bonus Token added to them.
- Player 1 (Steve) has Strategy Cards 2 and 7
- Player 2 (Nicholas) has Strategy Cards 6 and 8
- No one selected Strategy Cards 3, 4 and 5
The Strategy Phase is complete. Proceed to the Action Phase. Steve is first.