Turn One - I need to determine my starting moves. My starting Space Forces are divided into 2 Fleets... the Home Fleet containing my warships and the Exploration Fleet containing a Jump Transport, 2 Landers and a Frigate as escort. A single Jump Transport can carry 200 points of ground troops as well as having berths for upto 2 Landers or 4 SpaceFighters/Bombers. So not a bad initial landing force for an uncontested planet.
The problem is I don't have sufficient ground forces built yet to fill out that invasion force. In fact, in the first turn there is only one unit I can load aboard my transports, that being my Ducal Marines who are station at the Starbase in my home system of Grail. So I could keep my Exploration Fleet sitting around for a few turns until it can be loaded up with units and then send it on it's merry way to either Solstice or Heimdall.
However, rather then do that, I'm going to take the initiative. The Ducal Marines, though a powerfull unit, would be wasted landing on thier own... but there is another key element to taking a system...namely grabbing it's starbases. Starbases and orbit points are both used to transition troops between space and a planets surface. There is no shortage of orbit points in any given system, however they are quite indefensible. Ground troops fight at a huge penalty in orbit points (basicaly it just represents a spot in space where troops are transfered between transports and landing craft) and all Capital ships have pretty decent bombardment capabilities, making using an orbit point to invade a planet a very risky endevour if there are any hostile ships in the area. Starbases are the real prize in any system, since they are both quite defensible and have shipyards that can be used to produce new starships. Each system only has one or two though. I want to make sure that I can seize at least one of the starbases in each of the systems I want.
Heimdall shouldn't be much of an issue... it is 2 jumps away from me and 3 from the next nearest House, meaning I can get to it before anyone else can. Solstice on the other hand is 2 jumps away from both myself and House Sian-Chi. Since I want that system, I want to make sure that I can seize at least one of the starbases in it. This is a perfect job for my Exploration Fleet and the Ducal Marines. They'll be filling the classic role of Marines by acting as a RDF to sieze and hold one of the Starbases in the Solstice system.
First I strip the Exploration Fleet of it's Landers... they won't be needed for this operation and I have better uses for them. One is transfered to my HQ at the Ducal Seat where it can be used to transport newly built units up from Grails surface. The other is left at the Starbase, to be loaded onto a new Jump Transport I plan to build this turn to be used to carry landing forces in later turns. I then load up the Marines aboard the Exploration Fleet and send it on it's way. This turn I can only make it as far as Vigil, starships only have enough movement to make one jump per turn, so they won't arrive at their destination till next turn. I send the Home Fleet along for the ride, just to make sure my transport doesn't run into any nasty surprises.