I'm sorry guys, I forgot I had drinks tonight with people I met through a life- coaching type thing expect more delays but it's getting there I promise! Thanks for sharing the faction flags / symbols. I'll gradually get them onto the map if I can make decent pixilated versions of them. The speed is, but there's nothing to stop you carrying on further next turn. its like sending Triemes beyond coastal water in civ 1/2 - increasing risk of accidents as you move out. Explorer ships are less likely to 'sink'. Within that zone you can be rescued and recovered and repaired. You'll probably not have to pay full upkeep on ships venturing outside, however. Edit: bearing in mind that's just your starting tech. Its possible to greatly extend speed/range and even build some kind of jump-gates if you want to research into that.