I’m not really going to take the game apart like some of the other posters did before me, I’ll just pitch in how balancing should be approached once it gets on the table.
In my opinion, there should be a database with all the players’ statistics, win ratios, favored races, types of ships used, etc. which carry relevant information regarding how games are usually played. Then buff the seemingly weaker races using some input from the better players here on the forum (yes, look at the database when determining whose input is worth listening to). Perhaps form a beta tester group from players who can play well and whose input is generally sensible, and try out the different tweaks that way.
To determine player skill, I’d suggest looking at only HW1 vs HW1 or HW2 vs HW2 games, then see how are the win ratios when players of similar skill match up in HW1 vs HW2 to determine race-group balance.
I’m absolutely tired of all the one-sided whining that is going on in the other topics by the way, and I feel they are made by players who aren’t very good at HWRM multiplay. This would be a nice way to filter input and I’m hoping for a similar system in the future.