Just hit 30 hours in and enjoying this game a lot. Bears repeating from above:
Master Of Orion 2 = Great
Master Of Orion 3 = Trash
Horizon = The real Master Of Orion 3
Only a average gamer, not interested in extreme min/max'ing or exploits, and Horizon really hits the sweet spot. For me, there is much more to the game play than some of the reviews and/or critics imply...