I bought Gal Civ 2 Ultimate a while back and now I'm finally going to get around to playing it (I'm sure I'll move onto Gal Civ 3 if I enjoy it). But I'm wondering if I should play the campaign mode or not? I hear it got a lot of criticism, although I've read that the Twilight expansion has its own campaign. Should I play either/both? Or just the sandbox mode? I'm completely new to 4X so it's a bit intimidating to know where to begin.
Also, a read of a review criticised the Ascension victory condition brought in by one of the expansions as the other races don't pick up the ascensions crystals or attack your stars until near the end. Is it possible to disable this victory condition? I want the game to be balanced if possible, challenging but fair.
Also, is it worth looking into mods further down the line? A very quick search brought up Star Trek v Star Wars which sounds like a dream for me, would love to play as Picard. Although I've read in a thread further down that it's hard to get it working properly?