thanks, I'll update the gameplay example as I have time. I just need to continue playing, and have been soaking up other games the last two weekends.
This is just my personal way of playing the game right now. Certainly, other people will play the game differently. I've been around on the forums, so I've got a trick or two from other players (like the Sensor freighter back in GC2 days). For immersion, I like to spin a bit of additional story around my race and how they experience game events.
I also started in Gal Civ 3 on Terran easy/small map, but as things progress I learned a game mechanic or two. Medium hulls for example are a key tech for me, and especially in a war, I need it to build ships that are worthwhile.
The ship composition with escorts being the tanks is a bit cheap IMO, but as long as the game works that way and I need it to play successfully, I will use it. On gifted, the AI has a ton more ships than myself, also thanks to the boni it gets, but they are all pretty useless against my escort/guardian fleets. That BTW is also a trick I learned from reading the forums.