After a few games here are my first comments for this game which is really fun.
Deployment I find that there is a problem of balancing between the size of the table, the number of objectives and the number and movement of the vessels. In four turns, the big ships have no time to do get close. And it's around turn 4 or 5 that we start to have interesting fights.
Movement I tested the game by limiting Battleships turns to 45 ° and we found it much more realistic and more practical for small ships to take them in the back.
I just took a look again at Orion's gate after seeing it years and years ago when it first came out.
Without playing a game of it yet, it seems like there shouldn't be much difficulty in getting Cruisers and Battleships to be able to get into action. Deployment is 12" in from the edge of the table, and Battleships especially can fire up to 24". Add in some of the guns you can take, Warp Engines, and how Nuclear Engines gives a constant movement increase, something like a Battleship ought to be able to start pounding other ships with long range fire during it's first turn.
What about turning the play area into a 6'x3' table like some of the current ship games on the market? Keep deployment the same at 12" and ships should REALLY be able to get into combat fast. Maybe also do what I have done with my games of Age of Fantasy: Skirmish, and make games last 6 turns? Would add more time for maneuvering and shooting for LOTS of combat.
I agree on the turning ideas, as I am not used to games where ships can turn really fast. I have toyed with the possibility of cutting every type of turning by half: Scouts can turn by 90 degrees at the start OR end of their movement (or maybe instead make them be able to make two turns of 45 degrees each at any point in their movement), all other ships can pivot 45 degrees once per turn, and all ships can stay still and turn by 90 degrees.