I really like the basic rules for fielding a Zenian League or Alliance of Karak fleet. You have two main options at the moment: field a regular (core) fleet, with the option of taking a few Marauders. Or, field a mixture of races built around a backbone from a single core fleet, and your maximum hand size is reduced by one card to offset the extra flexibility in choosing your list.
Obviously there aren't too many minor race ships available yet (especially for the Zenians), but I've been a bit worried looking over all the new stats. Does anyone else feel that the playtest versions don't seem to fit alongside the ships from the original book?
Most new ships seem to have some combination of better firepower (more dice, more flexible firing arcs or both) or better defences (DR, CR, HP, PD) than their core fleet counterparts. The two RSN ships are fantastic... The escorts cover point defence and boarding support roles, adding 4PD and 2AP each, and can mark targets for their parent ships - the Zenian core fleet escorts really don't compare at all. The Destroyer is a 5HP cruiser with solid firepower at range bands 2, 3 and 4, and the Hidden Killer rule that forces the enemy to close with them.
I like all the new ships - Spartan learned a lot from their earlier sets of rules, and the new ships fill some really interesting roles. I'd rather see the core fleets re-done (the MAR rules alone don't fix the gap) than have the new ships downgraded to match the (fairly plain) core ships.