Hi, Big time Fan of Gal Civ 1 and 2! I never bought the expansions though, because there is no multiplayer component. I've always thought your polls are skewed because your polls are based off of people who play your game (people who are okay with only playing singleplayer), and not the audience you're missing out on because of not having multiplayer. People like me, who like your game, but just aren't that into it enough to visit your website and vote on your polls. Long story short, its like going to a republican rally, and taking a poll to see how many republicans are for the government taking more control over the citizen's private lives.
Anyways, because I'm a big fan of these games, I've thought a lot about how to implement multiplayer. The absolute BEST way, and the most streamlined way, would be to play turns without the entire 'party' being connected.
The reason why is because the hardest part about finishing these games, is its literally impossible to finish an entire game in one sitting (which im sure you are aware of). When you have more than 2 players in game, it becomes hard to sync 4 peoples schedule together, and you end up only being able to take less than a dozen turns a week. So to make it more practical, you need to reduce these barriers of multiplayer. And like I said before, the best way to do this, is to be able to take your turns without the entire 'party' connected to the game.
I played this Online Risk game, (its called Warfish, if you want an invite let me know) where you were able to take your turn, and it would pass on to the next player, and the next player and so forth. in a 4 player game, I was generally able to take 2 turns a day (Super casual). Once in the morning, and Once in the evening. Most of the time, more, and sometimes less. But generally it emails you when its your turn in a game, and it depends on how often you check your email. I would play 2 or 3 games simultaneously, and had a lot of fun.
So there is one other solution in practice, which is, everybody takes their turn at the same time. Which ends up being pretty fast, but you still end up having to wait one someone, feeling rushed. And in a 2 hour game timespan, you only ended up spending 40 of those minutes, actually taking your own turn, and 'having fun'. This solution offers the player to take his turn, and move on with his life. And comfortably wait for his friends to take their turn.
Hopefully I wasn't not obtuse in anyways, and my post was simple and clear. If you have any questions, please let me clarify. Either way, I'm really excited to play this game. I played BOTF with my friends a lot, so any multiplayer is a good multiplayer. But there ARE ways to improve on the time span it takes to play a multiplayer game for 4x's
EDIT: I do want to add that, this style of game will work if Stardock hosts the servers, Or if you give the ability for users to host their servers. Also, if you use HOTSEATS, with the advent of cloud drives, it would be cool of the gamedata was concise enough, you could play off of your clouddrive, and you could have 5 players using the same game data if they all had access to the same cloud drive.