I'm playing it and I'm having a blast.
I started my current game, playing as sol-force, on a five players map and I gave each player nine starting systems but kept starting techs and money to normal (0 techs and 100,000 credits). I'm around turn sixty and I'm facing a stubborn Hiver on one side and a surprisingly peacefully Zuul on the other, the only reason why the Hiver haven't steamrolled me was because my Archer class missile cruisers have a quirk called "spirit of the hood" that lower their armor (quite drasticaly) butgive them 10% bonus to speed and considering that I built them with speed in mind they are the fastest fusion era cruisers on that side of the war.
Unfortunatly, I got shit out of luck in missile techs so my missiles will remain subpar until I'll move to heavy ship missiles or research AM... :/ so I tried to switch to a fleet of mass driver cruisers, the 1st BattleCruRon consisting of 1x Nimitz taskforce CnC Cruiser and 8x Hopolites Cruisers armed with mass drivers and sniper cannons didn't fare well agains the Hiver cruisers and suffered 33% casualties, a quick check revealed that our head engineer forgot to armor the mission section and command section of the cruisers so we quickly executed him and moved to design a new cruiser with a battle bridge command section, armored mission section and standard engine this time fully armored in every section- the Butcher!
Armed with two heavy mass drivers, scores of medium mass drivers and a dozen of small sniper cannons, the most devastating weapon of the Butcher class is its sole Heavy Combat Laser situated at its prow. Able to cut deeply into a ship hull once it's armor been stripped away, and having a very nice attack against armor plating, the HCL make a great choice as a cruiser killer.
Our handful of flights I Butchers worked well in combat against the hivers, although we noticed that the bad accuracy of the mass drivers make the class less optimal to that front than our Archer class Missile Cruisers, but being into the fifth year into the Hiver war (around twenty turns) I expect to see the AI fiielding PD armed ships soon and considering my bad luck in missile tech, once they start using PD in force the 11th, 47th, 3rd and 24th CruRons won't be able to stop them. So I'm building a couple of dozen Butchers in my main shipyards at Par-Tan and I'm currently researching Armor Piearcing rounds for better armor penetration and accuracy, once done I'll upgrade my Butchers to Butcher flight II, retrofitting them with AP instead of MD, that shoud give me the edge against the hivers and maybe allow me to push on the offensive, it will also allow me to relegate my archers to anti-pirates patrols because those crackers have been blowing up my civilian freighters like there is no tommorw.
The current state of the game is that it's 98% feature complete, it got nearly no CTDs or game breaking bugs (some folks with unorthodox hardware setups report some bugs but they are being crushed ASAP), the team at Kerberos is entering full bug hunting stage so patch frequency will got up from one major content patchAvery two weeks (and two-three hotfixes in the following days) to two-three bug killing patches each week, after that it polish and GUI tweaking.