These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Crowning Music of Awesome: Pretty much Paul Schuegraf's entire score counts - and, for some players, can be part what makes the game so addictive; it draws the player in and doesn't let go. Some specific examples:
From the original - plenty of tracks qualify; with the right sound settings, you can easily transition from bliss to a Star Wars like orchestra in a few seconds just by zooming into a battle.
Speaking of each race's main theme, The Emerging Empire for the TEC, The Expanding Empire for the Advent and The Fallen Empire for the Vasari; each one embodies its faction with a sense of majesty and purpose and is often the first track the player hears upon starting a new game.
Sinister and alien-sounding, the Vasari tracks feature syncopated drums, plucked strings and creepy musical saw effects. The Arrival is a good example, while Desperate showcases both their power and, as the title suggests, their desperation.
The Advent on the other hand have a lot of strings and Ethereal Choir, driven along by insistent shakers (or military drums for some tracks). For Vengeance is upbeat and full of purpose, while A World In Isolation is softer and more contemplative.
New Dawn, which tends to play when you're viewing your capital planet, or winning a battle.
Two Fronts, a story-telling battle track that begins with creepy Vasari strings, progresses to tense action, then soars into Ethereal Choir as the Advent join the fight.
From Rebellion - the latest expansion contained new tracks for each faction, and the quality of the instrumentation has improved noticeably, making an excellent soundtrack even more awesome. Some highlights include:
The TEC Loyalists have Strength In Separation, a majestic track with a subtle variation of the original TEC theme.
The TEC Rebel track Keep The Lanes Open on the other hand is ominous and military, perfectly illustrating the differences between the factions.
The Vasari Rebels rework the trademark Vasari plucked strings into upbeat tracks such as History In The Making.
Some of the non race-specific tracks are also awesome, such as the defiant Defend the Colony, and the Main Theme (which once again includes snippets of the trademark instruments and riffs of each race) goes without saying.
Battle Ball: The name for the tight ship formation most Advent players favor.
The Brick: Kol Battleship.
Orkulus Rex: Vasari (Rebel) starbase with phase engines. Currently regarded as something of a Game Breaker.
Fanon: This stunning piece of fan-lore that builds upon and extrapolates the game's canon to explore the culture and history of the Sins factions in more depth. Though for some reason the two pages of the thread are the wrong way round.
Game Breaker: Carriers before the last few patches. Most battles were decided by who had the most carriers and thus the most fighters. Not even dedicated anti-fighter ships could stop the fighter spam from a few carriers!
In the Expansion Rebellion, the Vasari Rebel Kultorask Titan has Nano Leech which drains both hull and antimatter to restore itself. Leveled up, the Kultorask can sustain an infinite amount of hull and antimatter from large fleets and destroy virtually any sized enemy fleet.
This is nothing compared to the Vasari Rebel Orkulus starbase though. Stronger than a level one Titan, the ability to phase jump to any gravity well, and function as a phase stabiliser anywhere, four or more Orkulus starbases can summon entire fleets anywhere in the game. When combined with a Kultorask Titan, a single Rebel Orkulus starbase can be nearly invincible.
The Open Rebellion event for Stellar Phenomena. If allegiance drops to less than 30% on planets, a sizable fleet of rebels, complete with their own Capital Ships, will attack the planet, destroy everything they can, and automatically destroy the colony regardless of health upgrades. Since planets more than 5 phase lanes away have a maximum of 35% loyalty, and Deliverance Engine signals guarantee at least a 10% drop, playing against an Advent player is an exercise in futility as the colonies are overthrown faster than you can restore them. Not even TEC Rebels, who are "assaulted" by fleets of non-combative forces, are immune to this.
Culture can be this. You may be doing well militarily only to have your planets slip from your control. Especially bad if you're doing a military research only run for the Achievements or don't have enough slots to spare for Broadcast Centres.
This has been made somewhat hilarious by the presence of an actual LotGH mod.
Stop Helping Me!: The various superweapon buildings your allies can purchase are one of your worst enemies. Every time you conquer an enemy planet, a nuke your allies shot at it 20 minutes ago will finally arrive.
What's worse than having a planet you conquered blasted by a superweapon that was late to the party? Having your allies colonize it before you can, even if you did most of the fighting. However, if they just happened to fire a Novalith or Kostura beforehand, it can instantly turn into a Crowning Moment of Funny.