Well, one sneaky tricks I liked to pull just got removed! The game no longer lets you jump while you're overloaded, so you can't arrive in a sector having swapped out containers for guns, shields and ECMs. I think you can still do the trick where you steer around on the star map (the close-in map where you click to fly your ship) with the AWSD keys and can spot red circles in solar systems you can jump to, which is always nice.
Another trick is to note the distance between systems. Sometimes it is cheaper to fly than to jump, saving fuel. Since no time passes if you're not moving on the star map, you can sometimes just sit and wait, letting the orbit carry your ship close to the other sector, and then just fly over once the other system is close enough. Anything less than 50 fuel is worth it, and it generates food/credits for you if you have organics generators or science stations.
On that note, sector 3 is really nice to enter if you have organics generators/science stations. There's so much fuel that it pays to coast around and explore, re-fuelling and upgrading as you go. Already having 750 metal when you enter the system turns it into a vacation where you can plan what gates to take. You do have to watch out for that Squid Empire Bounty Hunter ship which can really rapidly strip your shields. Unless I'm doing really well I often just run from him. He's tough and the gear you can get from him is not all that great.
If you're stripped down to 0 or almost 0 armour it's worth it to activate metal repair for at least a few points, especially if you're travelling around a system with asteroids. Avoid dangerous gas giant mining when you're that low unless necessary, because once your permanent armour drops to lower levels, things get a lot harder.
In sector 4 you're going to be dealing with more ray guns, so fewer point defence cannons are required. If you see Floral ships with MOLAC guns one or two point defence is all you need, as these weapons are easy to shoot down.
If you're fighting a ship with piles of point defence and you have ballistic weapons, holding fire and then unleashing everything in a single volley can overwhelm them. Target the point defence first with the volley and then expand into the rest of the ship. Try to have at least one weapon that starts fires, because the computer freaks out about fires and will often delay repairs to damaged guns to repair it. If you keep hitting and starting fires, the AI might never catch up. This is what makes the firestarting nukes so great. Fire one, wait two seconds and then shoot with a minicannon, and if you time it right the enemy point defence will waste its time on the cannon shots, letting the nuke through to cause mayhem.
If you have insect crewmen and don't carry enough cryosleep modules to house them, stick them on organic generators. Even if they aren't good at growing things, the saved food costs are worth it.
If you have the choice between a weapon that deflects and a weapon that doesn't, almost always take the non-deflecting weapon. Also note that high damage weapons are rarely worth it late game with all the high deflection enemies. Despite their high power output, it's better to have a bunch of weaker shots than one mighty shot. Unless it doesn't deflect, in which case take that gun!
If you're facing an enemy with lots of ballistic weapons, put your best gunners on point defence. I've found that really helps. If your enemy has mostly energy weapons, put them on ECM cannons and replace point defence with your best ECM turrets. I also almost always target weapons as soon as I can. And I try to start fires.
If you have a couple of organics generators and not too many crew/enough cryosleep, selling piles of organics at each trade port that will take them is a really solid strategy. You can get a lot of organics from encounters and destroyed ships as you go and selling off the excess pays for a lot of repairs. Even a Tigerfish with a Shroomery can begin turning a profit this way!
I tend to run away a lot unless I'm playing the Tigerfish or the Nuke Runner. An average encounter might get you a couple of modules, but unless you take very little damage it's usually not worth it. Each point of damage is 25 credits to repair. Unless the modules the enemies are carrying are really tempting (and you usually don't get the ones you want anyway!), or the system looks really profitable, it's often better to cut your losses and warp out. If you're going to take 10 damage or so in a fight, ask yourself if what you're going to get will probably be worth more than 250 credits. If not, book it.
You probably already knew a lot of these. I'll post more if I think of them.
Wow... That's really good advice, but if I have to make that amount of tedious effort just to survive, then the game turns into a severely grindy grind... and grind isn't fun. When I play video games, I'm looking for enjoyment. (no sarcasm)
I highly doubt that I'm ever playing this game ever again. $17 (I believe it was) right down the drain.... ouch...
Thanks for your help, I DO really appreciate it a lot. I just... I just can't keep doing this... as you said in the other thread, this game wants me to suffer. I'm trying to have fun, not suffer... very sad :(