BTW both factions are pretty sweet. The Loyalist are a beast at turtelling and slowly dominating. The rebels hit hard and fast.
When I play as the Loyalist I move slowly, take a planet - max it's defenses, add 2 starbases and then move on the to the next target.
With the rebels Im constantly on the attack, barely waiting long enough to secure the previous planet - or just leave a small force while that planet builds while the most of my vanguard moves forward, crushing my foes