I was >>751378
and I've gotten much better since then. Even still, I think the problem is that the game really isn't balanced well. The game always devolves into:
1) Take whatever I start with and either make enough scrap for 2nd shield, or die by the end of Sector 1.
2) Last long enough until I can get one of Flak/Halberd/Teleporter/Hacking.
3) Hope not to get shafted until I'm rounded out (going Teleport/Hacking vs Autoscouts x6 in a row)
The game gets easier as it goes which is backwards. If you don't have enough firepower to down 4 shields + still do damage, you're always going to lose, if you do, you're almost always going to win. A shop in early sectors can end up useless if you've not made enough scrap to buy what you need, but in the late game it's hard to not have more than enough scrap to buy what you need.
90% of the weapons and drones are just scrap value or wasted shop slots, 90% of the events are where you learn to either never get involved, or always pick certain options.
I still like the game, but it does tend to make the fun options seem like a trap (vulcan, fire weapons, ion, etc)