Heard good things about this game from a podcast so I thought I'd give it a go. After the first game I was hooked! Game play is not complicated, in fact after 2 turns its really easy - the stratgey comes in planning ahead and making sure you protect your flanks.
Having a board that is creted during the game also makes for a deep strategic experience - I recommend finding your first few systems then colonising them to establish a strong empire - don't be tempted to send your lone ship out into the cosmos becuase your likely to lose them.
The game feels like being in Star Trek; it is weighed heavily towards exploration and cultural advancement. Combat is there and is easy to complete but trying to get a Military victory would be almost impossible.
After playing the first few games I quickly purchased the expansions - each one adding to the game except for the Borg expansion; that one literally changes the entire game.
Highly recommended but it is a long play game - no one will be winning this one within the first hour. Also recommend getting the Borg expansion straight up as it allows this game box to be played with only 1 or 2 players instead of the required 3