I should have posted it years ago when I bought the game, but here it is : don't.
the AI is frustrating, to the point that you get to pride yourself with a sizeable "attack fleet" made up of say, ten ships and a few space infantry units, then you get to some remote area in the enemy's empire only to find he has ten times more of everything. Extremely difficult game, even though the interface or the management is quite easy to understand. The last frustrating item is the inability of your opponents to have a coherent behavior. Allies for twenty turns, they turn on you just to kill one civilian in a colony, and that's it.
I don't know what these guys did after that game, but I hope it included a sufficient amount of self-criticizing