I also saw that automated constructor ships go and build bases on their own in the middle of a cluster of systems 2-3 sectors away.
This can be a pain to defend, but can be necessary at times. A couple of thing to keep in mind: You can limit range on constructors by reducing their fuel cells (maximum one-way range is shown just below the velocity table). However, mining stations by default have a commerce center, which allows them to make private transactions at location. This can be useful if you would like your private sector to do some business with distant rivals. Another thing to keep in mind is that it can take a long time to fill up the station cargo capacity, especially at the default 20 cargo bays, and as such will not hinder your economy having freighters travel long distances to transport goods given that the output from the station is the same either way. This would only be a problem if your freighters are too small to cover the mining rate, or the station gets maxed out for some other reason.
Is there a component that prevents ships from taking damage from galactic clouds? or some way to tell them to avoid those places?
Shields with higher recharge rates should work, achieved either by tech (talassos, etc.) or quantity. I usually keep 2 shields on constructors and at least 1 on large freighters.
Can you ask a mine to retrofit? I am not so sure since it is civilian.
Yes, but like several assets this only seems to work when the order is issued from the selection details pane of the main view. If a constructor has enough cargo bays, all stations will be constructed with a small supply of 'spare' resources for retrofitting, and freighters will deliver if a retrofit command is given. It is usually only necessary to manually command a mining station to retrofit when there is some emergency that requires an immediate action, otherwise they will make the retrofit independently at some point.
Regarding finding mining stations and such, what i want to be made much easier is, for example, to find all bases of a type i choose, like the ships/bases list, but filtered by systems too as a constraint. And also by the resources mined (i.e. i want to find all bases mining steel from a certain system). (to all of this I'd also add a range indicator from a colony i can choose (typically the starting planet)). And all of this from a zoomed out perspective
You should be able to use the filter and sorting tools from the expansion planner to achieve some of this. You cannot select systems, but from the "empire resource locations" selection, you can filter by resource type and sort by distance from home-world which will group stations together that are near to one another.
**Also, from the main-view, any system selected will show what stations you have on what celestial bodies in the selection details pane, which can then be individually selected.
< Message edited by Ardilus -- 2/17/2014 8:26:12 PM >