THank you, this is all very helpful to me. I actually have a couple more questions, I'm not sure if I should ask them here or in a new thread, but to save space and keep spam to a minimum, I'll risk it here. Thanks in advance for your help.
1. The "search" thingy in the empire tree mentions starbases, and I can see this in the "stats" section after ending a session, but for the love of all that's holy, I cannot see a way to build them. (Currently, I am still working on my second game, on a 1on1 random small map, the first "scenario" that you can play, as TEC, if that's what the humans are called.) Of course I opened up the research tree and browsed through it often, but I'll be damned if I can find anything that unlocks it anywhere. Can you point an idiot in the right direction? (I should say I am playing the latest Trinity, no mods so far.)
2. I'm more of a serious TBS player, I like to think, I'm slow, need to take breaks more often (I'm old and have kids and wife who need attention, etc.), and I'm not used to always having an eye on my resources and when to spend them at the right second. For this reason, I always seem to be breathless and "behind", sort of like. What surprises me is that the UI seems so good in this game, but I have not yet found something like a "governor" (the automatic manager of building in the Civ-series). In other words, even on my tiny map on this 1on1, most of my stuff is idle most of the time. Is there a way I can "program" one or some or all of my gravity wells to build, say, some attack frigates if the money is there?
3. I'm not entirely understanding how fleets, fleet groupings, group-groupings (control-# assigning) work. What I did manage to do was to set up a fleet, and set the waypoint of my factory to the flagship in that fleet, that works nicely. But what I would also like to do, but havent figured out yet, is to have a fleet that I group with, say, ctrl-1, and get that ready for an attack on a next system, and while I am waiting build a couple of other ships that I dont want in that fleet. But as long as the fleet ctrl-1 is in that gravity well waiting, all the new ships I build kind of join that fleet (even if they do not join the ctrl-1 group), even if I have the waypoint set for a different area in that gravity well. I'm also not sure how I can get that chevron-looking icon to get onto a (different) ship to make a new "leader". Is there a trick I'm missing?
4. Why can't I get a planet to auto-place a building for me? I am almost definate that I have that as an option. But when my camera is somewhere else (say, at planet X), and I select a different planet Y and choose to build a building, I always get the little cursor-with-circle-thingy where I am currently (X), and I always seem to have to then find Y, zoom on in to Y, and place the thing manually. I am almost definite that the manual says I can auto-place those things, but for the love of God I cannot find out how. Sorry.
5. "flak"-things apparently are good vs. strikers. I'm not sure I know what those are, however. Are those only fighters, or fighters and bombers, or something else? I had a capital ship with the special ability "flak burst" or something like that, and I never actually saw it damage anything, but I'm sure I am missing something.
6. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do in tactical battles when my fleet meets another one. I can sort of move my ships around a bit, like by trying to get some of the more damaged ones out of the way, which doesn't seem to help me much, but otherwise, I'm not sure I know what to do. Do most people just kind of let things play out, and the only decisions being to move around a little bit or flee (retreat)?
7. You were kind enough to point me in the direction of that speadsheet thingy, which (so far) totally baffles me. I'm much too new and/or stupid to understand that at the moment. But perhaps there is a good bit of documentation somewhere which lists, for example, the tech trees and what exactly they do? Or just gives some details on the ships (the manual lists them, but uses somewhat vague abstract terms).
8. Is there any point in having more than 1 trade port at each friendly planet? Would having three also yield $-bonuses (perhaps with diminishing returns)?
EDIT: 9. On some of the ship ability descriptions, such as those which support ships have, I can see that increasing the ability increases a ship's chance "to hit" by x%. Where can I get more information about that? It appears to me that no to-hit rolls are made, and that everything "hits". Am I missing something?
Thank you so much.