Any attempt to play with 3,000 stars is unmanageable!
Perhaps like you(?), I thought this would be another TBS. It isn't. It's an RTS with (quite) a few bits of grand strategic TBS. Closest similar is Sins of a Solar Empire
, if you know that. I don't usually like that, but I had a hoot playing a few games of this.
If you feel like it before you give up, try again with about 30(!) stars (normal galaxy) and 1 opponent AI, normal level. The pirate invasions come in waves; over time you learn to dispatch them easily, but to start with switch Pirates off. You can pause the game and issue orders as much as you like, which makes it more manageable and a bit more like a TBS.
Except for right at the start, you don't want to be micro-managing at all. This is not
a game where you should be looking at individual buildings (or even planets), just pick governors for planets. To start with, you can even just leave the system to pick its mix of appropriate governors. Similarly, over time, although you can have fun designing your ships, you'll want to build lots
of the ships you design. Keep an eye on the galactic bank, that determines what/whether you can build. At the start your Home planet is massively
better at building than any colony you found, only build ships & colony ships there. Found 1 colony in each star system, wait for it to grow till more or less all its slots are full, only then might you let it build a colony ship to populate another planet in its system.
Forget that the game lets you have 3,000 systems, pretend it only ever allowed 30, use pause when you get confused and to manage stuff, that way it's much more manageable & fun. If you persevere and get this far, by all means come back for tips then!
If you're looking more for a turn based sci-fi 4X I have Endless Space
). It's still
not as good as Master of Orion 2
(then again nothing is!), but it's not a bad one.