From: Bexhill-on-Sea, E Sussex
Well, here's a few ways to bug into CTD:
1) Try to launch raiders on a world after you've landed ground troops, with the battle ongoing. Most of the time it won't let you do it, but if it does, crunch.
2) Have a planet try to overthrow your Criminal Network while it's still being built, and have it finish building while the battle is still ongoing (thus reverting control of the planet to you). Immediate CTD, 100% of the time.
3) Having raiders from multiple pirate factions attacking at the same time can crash the game.
4) Landing ground troops to invade a planet while you still have raiders in an ongoing battle has a good chance of CTD.
As I've said elsewhere, I get the impression that they never really meant for pirates to be a playable faction option. I think they just saw that NPCs "more or less worked" and flipped a "can be player" switch someplace & called it good. Only afterward did it come to light that hidden NPC mechanics do not necessarily translate into good PC mechanics, especially when most of those mechanics are just cut-outs & imposters. A few bugs have been fixed over time, but the majority still remain and since patching has stopped we're just stuck with them.
With the exception of 2 (I can't remember) I've never had a crash, in fact I've had few crashes and never ones that are consistent.