All Information has been taken from the Manual!
Basic Strategy Map ReadingEdit
The Strategy portion of the game, by default, has no time limit so don’t feel overwhelmed if you are a new player. You have plenty of time to poke around, check everything out, press a few buttons. As long as you do not press the End Turn button on the bottom left of the screen, you have not set anything into stone.
Reading the MapEdit
Your Home system has a distinct star marker around it in your chosen color. Any system that you have a colony world at will have a marker around it – the name of the system will also reflect your color. You can move your view of the star map around like most everything else in the game – right-click and hold to rotate, mouse-wheel to zoom in and out. You can select another system by left-clicking on a star – double left-clicking will move that star into the center of your view. The Home key will always return you to your Home system.
Beside your avatar is an overview of your Empire economy, represented as a piechart (more on what the colors mean later) Next to the chart is the current sum of your Imperial Treasury (how much money you’ve got to spend on developing ships and planets), and a slider that changes how much of the money you generate each turn goes into maintaining the government or researching new technologies. It’s a tricky balance you have to maintain because governments need to be stable and healthy or it all falls apart. At the same time, if you don’t research new technologies the Empire can’t grow, or worse yet, will be crushed by a stronger Empire. Below your Economic overview are a handful of buttons – they access your Research, Design Screen, Diplomacy Controls, Encyclopedia, and Province Editor. More on them later.
The rest of the screen provides you with a variety of information about whichever system you currently have selected – you’ll be able to see the type of star, how many planets it has in orbit, and if you click to select one of those planets, you’ll see even more details about the type of planet (environment, population, etc.), and fleets parked there. In general, if you have fleets in a system, you’ll see a little model ship next to the star on the galaxy map, but the specifics of those fleets can be found below the system window. Each fleet can be expanded as a drop-down, and ship in the fleet dragged and dropped to other fleets. When you have a system selected and you have a colony world there, you have a handful of buttons above the system window (just under your Avatar and Badge) – they access Ship Building, the Station Manager, and the Fleet Manager. More on them later. There is also, in the top right of the System window, a System View button, which allows you to have a look at the system as it would appear in Real Time Combat. Once in the System View, left-clicking planets will allow change selection or focus, just as it does in the Galaxy Map.