The Battleviewer doesnt need to be interactive but be more informative instead. Would be a start to actually see all ships on one screen. And have hitpoint bars on them.
Imho as of now the combat in Endless Space felt better than the one in GalCiv 3. That said, I disliked it, but the thing is that you knew how the mechanics worked and you knew what you were doing.
So maybe they should somehow do a better job in vizualize what actually matters in combat.
E.g. in Endless Space there were simply phases. Phase 1: Rockets, and so on. But in GalCiv you have thrusters and think "why should I actually use them?"
Same with Armor. And then of course you don't know how the AI acts.
While this is a special case it shows pretty good what difference it makes:
In the campaign level 1 I only used slow missile ships. The Capital ship there has a bay with 5 small fighters which respawn after each fight.
So what is happening there is that all the enemies only attacked the 5 small fighters, which were lost after the fight, but that the opponents got completely annihilated.
So next fight they just respawned and I didn't lose anything.
So apparently the AI focuses on the first ships they can target and don't switch their target anymore. I didn't test this but you might want to exploit that, by not giving your ships any armor at all, and then create one unarmed ship, with thrusters and heavy armor which then soaks all the damage while the opponents get destroyed.
There is basically another example where this actually happened: Against one of the strongest fleets my fighters got destroyed. Next up was the capital ship. So all the enemies focusfired on the capital ship as it was still faster than the millile-boats. So it was impossible to win this fight as they always killed the capital ship which make you lose the map. That's not a bad thing, but this shows how the AI works.
And imho it should be more apparent to the player which combination of stuff actually makes sense. Like Rockets + Engines would intuitively make sense, but apprently not in this game.
There is also a Thread on Steam where several of these Questions came up: