I played the galactic conquest as empire and after expanding rapidly, began to wonder where the rebels were. After claiming some 20+ planets, I hit a couple of pirate controlled planets hindering my expansion and search. This was puzzling until I started a Rebel campaign to see their starting location.
As rebels, you begin bottlenecked between substantial pirate forces with 7 or so planets available for control. This is in contrast to the empire's location with 20+ planets available for control before being cut off by pirates. With so few planets available and all avenues to the empire effectively cut off, the rebels have no way to advance in tech and thus are left without the tools necessary to defeat the pirates in their way. Lacking any real space ability at the outset, the only way to advance is to defeat one of the pirate planets by using the raid ability. This is extremely slow as you can only send in groups of 3 infantry units. While possible to slowly defeat the pirates this way it takes alot of time and once accomplished, leaves you grossly behind the tech and money of the now massive and far superior empire force.
Visiually, this mod is very cool. The ground camera is amazing. Aside from the starting situations I outlined above, this mod looks to be what I was hoping for. Kudos.