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Micro-management is the (somewhat tedious) process of making sure that every planet and every fleet under a player's control has the correct orders. Stars! provides some assistance with automating this, but that assistance is very limited.
Most players therefore spend a lot of time each turn on the following tasks...
- Unloading excess population from "breeder" planets and routing to other planets
- Moving minerals from where they are mined to where they are needed
- Sweeping minefields
In addition, SD races spend a lot of time setting up minefield detonation.
Obviously, the more planets and fleets that a player has, the more time must be spent on this micro-management.
Strictly speaking, micro-management could be viewed as the unnecessary management of one's empire. However, when playing against other people, micro-management is generally the difference between winning and losing, so not doing it is not a viable option.
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