From: Vermont, USA
Ah, nice to see Das is playing his preview build. That beta is a bit older than what we have now, but it's fairly representative.
One possible bug that showed up there is the advisor suggesting the raid when he'd already accepted the defense mission, but that may simply be because the raid was evaluated as the better choice. The default "click on the planet to attack" also didn't work for him because he didn't have troops to invade with, but in the release version that should default to raid for pirate ships and fleets without troops (but with assault pods and raiders). I'm glad he found how to order a raid through the right click menu.
You can also set a ship to be the lead ship in a fleet through that same right click menu when you have the ship selected.
As far as pirate control, it's easy come, easy go. Pirates can build up influence anywhere they can reach, but their "control" over a colony represents everything from establishing an underground economy to pure intimidation and tribute, depending on playstyle. Influence decays whenever the pirates do not have a force nearby. Influence increases when they do, in proportion to the strength of their presence. Once you get enough control over a planet, you can start to build things like hidden pirate bases, which can secure your control and prevent decay past a certain point even when you do not have ships nearby, as well as increasing your income from that planet. However, if you don't guard those planets other pirates or the planetary forces themselves may try to attack and destroy your hidden bases.
Ashbery, not sure what you mean - in the video I watched he only started gaining control when his resupply ship, which is a powerful military ship, arrived in the system near the planet.
Note also that 100% control is not ownership of the colony in the normal empire sense. You can have 100% control of an independent colony or one that belongs to another empire. That will give you income and other opportunities, but not ownership. Pirates don't have enough population, at least at the start, to own anything that size. It shows the influence you have on the planet though and having multiple controlled colonies with hidden bases is pretty much a prerequisite for a good economy and advancement as a pirate. Eventually, there is a way to actually take over a colony completely and transition to being a planetary empire, but I won't go into detail on that just yet.