Is there any way to actually "follow" ships in hyperspace without having to click on them all the time?
Yes, sort of. Ships with an attack order against a ship that jumps into hyperspace will sometimes jump after it and proceed along its last known trajectory for a bit; ships which are just trying to get away from an attacker can sometimes be caught in this manner because they tend to make short jumps. Proximity sensors and advanced proximity sensors help your ships do this, if I'm not mistaken, and a hyperdrive with a short jump initiation time, such as the Kaldos Hyperdrive, may also help. If you're paying attention to the fight and you watch the target jump out, you can also order your ships to jump in the general direction in which the target fled.
As Bingeling indicated, long-range scanners are great for hunting down pirates. Remember to cover your own space with sensors on bases in addition to equipping exploration ships with long-range scanners and having them hang out in foreign space.
To actually bust the construction ship, I would suggest rather large fleets (not 3-4 ships) of somewhat fast and powerful ships. They will try to run when they spot your first ship, and you need to kill them before they manage to escape.
If you can spare the research, or if you acquire a derelict that has one, jump inhibitors (HyperDeny GW1000 or HyperDeny GW4000 components; ships which have jump inhibitors will be surrounded by a series of dark blue gray rings while engaged in combat and not attempting to flee, and anything within the area covered by those rings will be unable to initiate a hyperjump) are exceptionally useful for hunter-killer groups. If the ship with the inhibitor is fast enough in sublight to remain on top of the target, that ship may well be the only ship needed for the hunter-killer group, though of course having more ships helps. Ion cannons, tractor beams, and graviton beams can also be useful for preventing a ship from escaping.
If you don't have the ability to prevent the ship from jumping out and have issues fielding enough firepower to kill the ship before it can jump away, you may also want to consider using railguns and graviton beams instead of weapons which need to beat down the shields, as many pirate factions will only have a single construction ship and so any component damage you can inflict upon it is more or less permanent if you've destroyed the faction's spaceports. Boarding pods can also occasionally work and you don't need to prevent the ship from jumping out as long as you can get enough boarding pods to latch on before the target jumps, though they would not be my preferred solution.
4. I don't really understand under which circumstances I receive the racial bonuses of conquered races.
In order to get an empire-wide bonus from a species which you've incorporated into your empire, the following needs to be true:
- You need to have a sufficiently large population of that species within your empire.
- You need the bonus you'd be getting from that species to be greater than any other same-type bonus you're getting from other species you've incorporated into your empire (i.e. if you have Gizureans giving you -20% ship maintenance and you have Mortalens who could be giving you -10% ship maintenance, you'll get the -20% from the Gizureans and not the -10% from the Mortalens; if your initial species has a -30% ship maintenance bonus, you'll get that bonus and neither your Gizureans nor your Mortalens will provide any additional bonus).
- The species in question needs to have an empire-wide bonus. Note that not all of the bonuses listed in the species details are empire-wide; some, such as colony happiness, only apply at colonies where the population of the species is sufficiently large.
I think that's it, though I could be forgetting a condition. Also note that the magnitude of the empire-wide bonus you get from the species is scaled down from the notional full value if you don't have enough members of that species in your empire (the number I've seen for "enough" is 20% of your total empire population, though I've never actually tested to see if that's the case).
Is there any way for me to get access to the unique government forms?
There are ways to get them, but the only way without resorting to the game editor is to hope that there is at least one more special government ruin somewhere in the galaxy and that no other empire has yet explored it. It might also be the case that a change of government type caused by an event or espionage (e.g. a coup or a successful Incite Revolution mission) could cause your empire to switch to one of the special government types, but even if the special government types are possible results of such an event it's highly unlikely; those types of events are just not that common, and I'd tend to expect that the special government types are either disallowed or have very, very low chances of being selected.
If you are willing to resort to the game editor, then you can spawn in a new special government ruin and explore it to get the special government type, and you might be able to reset the exploration flags on the existing special government ruins to allow your exploration ships to investigate them and unlock the special government type.
< Message edited by Aeson -- 4/25/2016 7:23:47 PM >