It is the year 2100. Although no singularity has occurred due to plot many other transhumanistic technologies have; artificial intelligence (up to and slightly above human levels), anti-aging treatments, human genetic engineering, all diseases cured, cybernetics, uploading using the gradual method to retain continuity, minor intelligence augmentation, uplifted animals, etc. Other interesting technologies such as fusion power, railguns, military power lasers, nanotech manufacturing and space elevators have also been developed. Transhumanity has settled on a fairly liberal/libertarian political system giving transhumans, AIs and uplifted animals rights.
To transhumanity’s surprise an alien spacecraft appears in orbit out of a wormhole. It broadcast its intentions to open diplomatic relations with us, sends designs for (to them) outdated wormhole drives, micro-wormhole communication devices and information about the galaxy at large. Transhumanity in turn sends back information about itself but not any technical data as surely any civilization advanced enough to have FTL would already know all that stuff. Contrary to indicated intention to send down ambassadors however the aliens flee back through the wormhole and close it behind them. Upon examining the data they sent transhumanity knows why, they were running scared.
Transhumanistic earth meet pulp sci-fi galaxy.
Transhumanity is disgusted to find that while the civilizations of the galaxy have energy shields, artificial gravity and antimatter missiles they die naturally and still have massive computers. Transhumanistic technologies pop up from time to time but just like in an episode of star trek they’re one offs and have either been destroyed or swept under the rug by the end of the “episode.” Transhumanity decides to use their newfound FTL to go out and explore, obtain new technologies, uplift primitive civilizations and maybe, just maybe push the myriad of alien civilizations towards the transhumanistic way.
Each play will control a ship (controlled by a single sapient) in the first expeditionary fleet. They should outfit their ships with weapons, armor, fighters/bombers, ground troops/transports, mining/manufacture/repair facilities and science labs.