Some of you may have heard of this before, but I figured I'd post it here since I could probably think of a few people this would appeal to. I saw this on the Hearts of Iron forums (Oddly enough) and a second time on the GoG forums for Master of Orion, so I figured I'd check it out. The tl;dr version is that it's the Dwarf Fortress of 4X games (Largely text based interface, incredibly complicated, much more detailed than it really needs to be, etc).http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php
Been stumbling around and learning it for the past few days, but I'm getting the hang of it now. Started up some mines on the Moon and built some Mass Accelerators to fling the mined minerals back to Earth, and dropped some terraformers on there just to see if I could make an atmosphere stick (Seems to be working, oddly enough). Built some rail gun based ships too for some general defense. The game has the Mass Effect style of "realistic but fanciful" in terms of the technology involved (Lasers are invisible and largely short range, low damage things for CIWS systems and defense, while the bulk of the damaging weapons involve rail guns and nukes). You even have control over your officer assignments and fleet task groups, and have to research each individual component (Or factor of a component. For example, the previously mentioned CIWS systems consist of 5 base technologies that can be researched up individually). You even build ships component by component. Travel in system is sub light, and systems have a number of jump points that you can open up wormholes through using jump ships or gates. The other end of the jump will drop you off a random distance from the exit point (Also determined by technology) which makes launching attacks interesting. Said combat involves newtonian physics. I could go on for a while, but it's definitely worth looking into if you can get past the almost entirely text based interface and sheer complication (Definitely up there with Dwarf Fortress).