The game does have a bit of a learning curve, though once you're over it you'll find "easy" to be very much so.
If you could go into a little more detail of what you were trying to do, we could probably help you.
Just to try to help, a few of questions, and please pardon me if some of them seem too dense, but I don't know where you're stuck just yet:
1) Did you design and build any troop transport ships?
2) Did you build any troops?
3) Did you form any transport task forces by loading those troops, and if so, what troop types, what experience levels, and what formation sizes did you use?
4) Did you move those task forces to the system with a planet you wanted to capture? If so, how many other task forces were there?
5) After you assaulted the planet, did you order troops to land? (I find that personally issuing such orders helps ensure fewer undesired bombardments.)
6) What sort of tactics did you use for ground battles, or did you let the AI handle those?
Somewhere along that chain there's a decent chance we can find your broken link. Just hang in there, and we'll get it welded for you.