★ Choose when you activate collection carefully
★★ Experiment with components
Since the collector costs two, you have a lot of options for a Gatherer unit. Consider the benefits of using different frames, weapons, and upgrades:
You can even make this selection dynamic. For instance, Mr. M's gatherers are usually focused on speed and capacity, but his teams track when they lose workers. If the opponent is very fast or he's lost a lot of workers, new ones come loaded with defenses.
★★ Running Away
When your collector is in danger, it should run away! But you'll need to think about what dangers are worth running from. Should you run when enemy units are nearby? Any kind of unit? Do numbers matter? What about nearby allies? How and where do you run to? In general you'll want to strike a balance between being too risky and too cautious. Consider testing it by making a simple team that tries to hunt down your gatherers.
★★ Favor Safe Resources
★★★ Concentrate Resources
★★★★ Transport Ships
Taking the previous suggestion a step further, you could have specialize ships which do not even have a collector, just a combination of Speed Boosters and Cargo Bays. This unit simply shuttles resources back and forth, freeing up your gatherers to find new resources.
★★★★★ Resource Manager / Gatherer Queue
By default your gatherers will often rush to the same resources, but only one gatherer can pick up one resource. Create a central system to track resources in your Player class. It then acts as a conductor, telling each Gatherer which resources it has been assigned to pick up. This is a very complex task that most groups do not complete, but it can create massive efficiencies.
★★★★★ Resource Tossing