I sure hope people like the fleet battles. I think they're cool. But I think some people are going to think "Why can't I control my ships?". It's a playback of the battle, not a tactical battle element. I hate tactical battles in strategy games. Hate them. The reason is that they're so time consuming. I am the guy who always pressed "Auto" in Master of Orion. But I also knew that I wasn't playing the game optimally by doing that because the AI is never going to be as good as a skilled player at tactical combat. Our combat system is essentially like a forced "auto" of the MOO 2 thing except with 2005 3D graphics. If you watch a battle in cinematic view, it's a lot like watching a battle from Star Trek TNG.
Speaking of MOO, people who only played MOO need to remember -- GalCiv isn't Master of Orion. GalCiv for OS/2 was a contemporary of MOO 1 for DOS back years ago. GalCiv I was in public beta back in 1993. It's a different game. As much as I like the MOO series, I don't want GalCiv to be MOO.
There were 3 points from MOO1/2 that I particularly don't want to emulate (and bear in mind, I'm a huge MOO2 fan, I played MOO2 in the delivery room waiting for my first born -- true story):
1. MOO 1/2 always ended in a genocide race. Each side collected huge fleets and then just wiped out each other's planets so it was a race to see who killed off the other.
2. MOO 1/2 had tactical combat which I really don't like in a strategy game. If I want tactical combat (And sometimes I do) then I'll play Homeworld which does it very well.
3. MOO 1/2 had starlanes. I like free-form maps. It worked for MOO since you're parking fleets around. But in a free form map like GalCiv, you have to limit fleet sizes and distribute up military power.
So while I sympathize that many MOO 1/2 fans are looking for a MOO 4, GalCiv isn't designed to be it. It has its own set of strengths and weaknesses that make it a unique gaming experience.