Not wanting spam to get the last word, I decided to throw in a comment here.
[Ed - the moderators deleted a spam post directly above this - so this is not any sort of dis of MarvinKosh whose post NOW is the one above this]
I read a lot of books. One common element is that certain scenes or events make or break books for me, and I doubt I am alone in this respect. Such scenes might include a big battle, or chase, or even a romantic sequence. If the author botches such scenes, the book fails, just as a horror flick would when the scary thing turns out to be too obviously a man in a rubber suit, a al 1950s.
Such scenes generally need build-up or stage-setting, and that takes a lot of pages/words. Readers or movie goers accept that pages or minutes will be necessary to get to the key scenes.
Space battles are those key scenes in games like this. Yes, 4 X means the emphasis is on exploration and empire building, but the reason is to conquer and that means winning wars, hence battles. Yes, one can win other ways, but for a game to be profitable, it must be bought and paid for by more than a very small sliver of potential players. I, for one, would enjoy GC2 much more if I actually got to do something with all those ships for which I spent so many hours researching techs, building the yards, settling the planets, getting my empire up, and all that stuff. SEIV made a decent gesture in this direction, with targeting priorities and formations, but GC2 has not. I am not declaring what the exact answer should be, but I feel strongly that nothing is not enough.
Yes, space battle sequences and treatments would be chrome, and hence a burden on devs who might otherwise focus on infrastructure areas in the game. However, if GC3 is not to be multiplayer, which is where a lot of the market is, then failing to build in such chrome will even further narrow the market.