OK just a few refinements as per you queries and comments.
1. assigning your first few military ships to a fleet is a good idea so when u do get attacked by pirates and space life you can deal with it quickly. but rather then keeping them waiting for the next attack put them back on auto. they will refuel and patrol until u order them.
2. you shouldn't build military ships strait off the bat because they cost maintenance and you wont need them until you encounter more then the first few pirates. if you have pirates set to normal or more then i would recommend paying them off for now cause it wont dive into your income, just your cash reserve. once you develop a better economy then by all means build ships and fight your way out, but for the sake of hastening your starting game economy is the best way. if you have to build more ships do so sparingly cause your economy will suffer.
3. as for casion mining, that is a very unlucky start, i haven't played a game where i struggled to fuel my ships. but if your demand is for casion then try and find some, or start a new game :D
4. this all works for the update 1.02, though it might be slower depending on some variables, its how the game was made to work, so the principle is still the same
5. it may be true what you said about the research stations in the BH, i'de have to check but it cant hurt to build 2 at a BH for yourself and see if the research is improved compared to 1 research base.
6. my prefered priority for research is energy, high tech, weapons and then industrial. if you like to improve one more then the other i recommend this priority for overall defense offense and ship building.
7. as for retrofitting i haven't found much point to it, by the time i need better ships for defense and war, my economy is so good that its easier to build the better ships and use the old ones for a scrap research bonus. retrofitting a fleet rather then each ship individually should go in the suggestion thread.
be careful when you wage war cause your empire can split... and all of your ships along with it. i leant this the hard way LOL
Give it to me and ill fix it!