I'm not even worried about boarding\capturing ships, targeting engines (all this has been done in other 4x games), just basic things like:
1. Why bother with engine upgrades. You can't flee\escape. What is this The Last Jedi? Why can't ships flee or avoid combat
2. No basic tactics. You can't override targeting priorities. For example you can't order a fleet to go after the transports\troop carriers. If that is too complicated how about max range, optimal range, close quarters
3. Now combine the two, wouldn't it be nice if in some games, if you had long range missiles, and good engines, you could order your ships to fire from maximum, or even optimum range, and pound a more powerful enemy fleet as it slowly gets into range, if it ever did.
The combat is not even in line with the Age of Sail, or even older 4x games. Basically its line abreast, and the fleet with the most firepower wins. Not asking for too much, but if you have a entire tech tree dedicated to ship designs, why not use it? One of my most memorial games was losing in MOO, but then getting new technology which turned the tide of the war. Then the AI adapted with new technology, rinse repeat. BTW I eventually lost, but it was fun, which is the entire point of a game. Maybe I have not played enough, but I have yet to see a technology breakthrough overcome pure numbers in this game. Once an enemy empire has you on the ropes militarily, its basically game over, and instead of updating that, it seems the developers are more concerned about what form of government I'm using, and the election results, instead of the technology level and fighting prowess of the enemy empires. IE somehow they are achieving The Phantom Menace, and parliamentary procedures is overtaking the action sequences.