I started off by Updating my game to version 1.25. Then I updated my game with the following mods for more enjoyable playtime(http://www.moo3.at/mods/).
Gofur's MoO3-UI v1.0
Gofur's Moo3 UI v1.2 Update
Encyclopedia Mod v5.0
Then I started playng. First off I started as Human and was mainly just a single System empire, and focused on just infrastructure and Reasearch. It was goin well and I was gettin to know the game. Main activities were in the diplomatic arena(and getting raped by enemy spies.
The main thing I did during my empire management was changing the levers in the Finance window, choosing spending Vs. saving, and prosperity vs. war. In the end I got Blockaded by an enemy Empire and my Civilization slowly bled out. not a big surprise, but I managed to learn something along the way.
In my second game I decided to try to be more of an expansionist. so I built more colony ships and some default warships aswell. I took me a while to figure out the "Create Taskforce" function. :S
I also start designing new ships(a must with ever changing technologies), but it seems to me that I´m not able to upgrade old ships with newer versions of items.
What frustraded me the most was how hard it was for me to Colonize planets in a system where my friend had one planet colonized before. It seem that the fact that he had a ship in the system prevented me from colonizing any planet in that system, is that correct? The only way for me to colonize would be to attack him?
This frustrating situation endured for the remainder of the game... just loads of Colony ships in the system(the AI sends them there constantly), yet nothing gets colonized(and nothing is said in the reports from the AI at the beginning of the turn, so I wonder if its a bug or something).
And if I Allowed the AI to build Col.ships and colonize as it saw fit it constantly colonized planets that where not selfsustaining and eventually the ppl just moved away from the planet, so I stopped that AImanagement.
In this game I even managed to win some epic battles with my fleets and that was just cool. I did not have any way of evaluating the outcome in advance, so it was all quite random to me, if I should win or loose. Then agan Ground combat is something I have never tried and no idea how to do... my AI builds alot of troopships but then again I saw some action where I was able to "create groundforces", but I´ll have to look into that later.
Anyways just some thoughts I had here at work.