That's mainly why I like starting pre-warp, I get to design my ships and economy from the ground up. Keep in mind that you don't get any hyperdrives at all in the beginning, so its best to pack as much engine on your ships as possible. First ship I make is an explorer with around 45-50 cruise speed or so, and send him to check the ruin locations for warp tech so I can get started on that immediately. Putting all or mostly all your research into energy is also a good idea until you get warp tech, I like to keep it like that until I get gerax hyperdrives then go mostly hightech for colonization and research/economy wonders. Also you'll want to just pay off any pirates that are nearby and constantly messing with you (pirates are much stronger when starting pre-warp), their asking price depends on your income.
I micromanage everything, the only thing that happens automatically in my games is some automated defense fleets. So I spend a lot of time just looking around, designing ships and stuff, needless to say I play very slowly and pause a lot but its what is fun for me. I especially design a bunch of ships, sometimes having different variations in one category such as 2 different types of each mining station (one luxuries and one without), a handful of different frigates, cruisers, troopships, etc for various purposes. So part of the fun for me also is trying to make the most efficient ships and fleets, sometimes they're near perfect and sometimes they fail horribly.
Anyways, I hope you can enjoy the game, its really fun if you get into it. I admit sometimes in late game I just get bored of seeing the same things, this is usually the point where I declare war on the whole galaxy and start lowering the iron curtain. Even then, it can become difficult depending on the circumstances and I have to actually get to that point first, some games are harder than others. The game I'm playing now, the pirates are absolutely relentless and have multiple OP capital ships harassing me and destroying my stuff as quick as I put it up. It takes one of my larger fleets to bring one of them down or attempt to capture it, I've already failed several times and lost a good fleet admiral and more than a dozen warships. Even still my economy basically beats the entire galaxy economy by itself, which may be why I'm being focused down.
< Message edited by rch33z -- 11/9/2014 9:20:47 PM >