After a number of plays and feedback from players I have made a few changes to Operation: Star Fleet Command (OSFC).
The first is to the Federation Order of Appearance. It seems that last one made the Federation too weak at the beginning. So there is a slight increase in forces, but not as much as earlier versions.
There has been a clarification to the Orion Pirates. Only one pirate force may be placed in any one sector. They aren't to be a fleet in themselves.
The biggest change has been to restrict the movement of the Klingon and Romulan forces at the beginning of the game. As the rules were they could invade the Federation on the first turn at full strength and win the game in one or two turns. This didn't really give the feel of tension I wanted the game to have in the first few rounds. In the Star Trek universe the presence of the Organian kept the Klingon and Federation from going to war. It was risky to cross the neutral zone. In OSFC, the premise is that the Organian are gone (used in a number of Star Trek based games, book, and shows to allow a war to happen). The Klingons must test this before committing their forces, so they may only send raiding parties across the boarder at first.
While the Romulans are not bound by the Organian Peace Treaty their nature is usually depicted as sneaky, thus the cloaking device. As is shown in The Balance of Terror, the Romulans are first testing the cloaking device with a limited attack on Federation space before committing to all out war. So now the Romulan player must first make a successful raid before launching patrols into the Federation.
So far these change seem to make the game more playable; making attacks on Tholian, Gorn, and border territories for economic gain early in the game more inviting. Giving the Federation time to move force to the front.
Gives these a try and let me know what you think.
I am considering looking into making a page on Board Game Geek for this game. I'll keep you posted.