Necroing this, but since I just bought it, wanted to talk about it a little.
Got it for $5 on a steam sale. Have played maybe two and a half games. One on FIre and Ice, and the others on randoms. I was not impressed. It's a nice enough game, but doesn't do much for me. The gameplay is slow. Pirates aren't a problem so much as an anchor dragging game speed down. The AI wasn't great. It was ok, but not great. It seems like it's easy to create a fort mentality - with choke points, each civ builds a shit ton of defensive things, plus a big ass space station. Then support that with your fleet. Only way to get in is with an enormous fleet, and only if you've out teched them.
Planet locations are usually more important than the actual planets. Only ever saw one ancient artifact thing, and it didn't change the balance of power at all.
Overall I might play it again, but don't see much to bring me back. Maybe if I'm not feeling like Galactic Civ 2, or MOO2
When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up. - CS Lewis