This is a great deal on a full tactical space combat game. There are three different levels of gameplay you can choose from. From the rules-lite "Basic" to the more fleshed-out "Standard" and then up to "Advanced".
These rules all build on the previous level, so by the time you understand the Standard Game, you can probably handle the Advanced Game's few rules add-ons.
The Basic Game rules get you going really fast. Still there's some reasonable granularity; for example there's a "Scale" section that tells you how to play the game without a hex grid, using rulers and protractors. There's also a random pilot generation chart.
The Basic Game includes helpful examples for acceleration, turning, firing ranges, damage, etc.
There are three scenarios included for the Basic Game. The first of these is a solo-play scenario, called "The Drones Shoot Back!" in which you play a cadet on a training exercise, with simulated damage only.
The second Basic Game scenario is a two-player, square-off scenario. Fight to the finish.
The third scenario is a team free-for-all. The three scenarios seem like a logically-ordered, helpful ramp up to a better understanding of the game for everybody who will be playing.
The Standard Game builds on the Basic Game. This is appreciated. It's not a completely separate game by any stretch. It adds various new pilot characteristics, new crewmembers, more starcraft, weapons, movement and damage rules, etc.
The Standard Game includes four scenarios. These include just enough background and setup detail to feel substantial and non-generic.
There are also guidelines for designing your own scenarios. The scenario design guidelines include an interesting cost-bidding system for determining who will attack and who will defend in any given scenario (low bidder attacks; high bidder defends), and the outcome also determines how many cost-points each side can use to build their forces.
The more complex Advanced Game rules aren't a huge departure from the Standard Game rules because they build on those rules, but they include things like advanced movement (with new "attitude indicators" for vertical turns) & firing and e.g. an "Interior Flame Control Chart", plus a table showing what information your sensors were able to discover.
The advanced game also uses the pythagorean theorem to determine range to target, but then it clarifies that this is mainly if you want to do the math. You can use a chart instead. It's a forgiving game in that way. You can talk about the depth of the game, but don't ever say you were forced down that path!
Optional rules include some interesting stuff. There's electronic warfare, like cloaking and jamming of weapons and comms. There's also optional momentum movement, reverse movement, and hyperspace movement rules.
Finally you have various warhead capabilties and optional payload items like mines, space hazards, auto cannon fire, and more.
At this point you'll also find optional "cross-grain movement and firing" rules, if you find 60-degree angles too restrictive for turn increments.
Starcraft construction and cost: This is a really cool part of what is included in the game. You can build some pretty epic spacecraft.
Determine your craft's mass, volume, hull type, armor, drive capabilities, armaments, HUD, payload, comms, sensors, EW capability, deflector screens, reactor power, fuel storage, control points, crew, main computer, crew work stations, crew quarters, passenger accommodations, life support, recreational facilities, dispensary, sick bay, labs, workshops, security stations, fighter bays, shuttle/vehicle bays, cargo hold, atmospheric streamlining, landing gear, radiation shielding, and back-up systems. The designer will need to "juggle numbers" to completely fill the volume available, so it's kind of a neat exercise in that way.
There are helpful worksheets and examples given here as well. Lots of templated spacecraft are included.
Additionally you'll find computer rules, repair rules, rules for integrating with Space Master, boarding actions, etc.
The Tables and Forms book (in addition to the color counters) is also included, with quick-reference charts and resources.
The PDF is a good quality scan, it's readable and the illustrations are great. There's a bit of an homage to Star Wars on page 43. If you wanted you could probably OCR your own copy and get a reasonably searchable PDF with a few minutes of effort.
There are a few typos but nothing I've seen that's too distracting.
Overall the game is worth checking out if you are into tactical space combat and would appreciate a dial-a-crunch system, or a system that can grow more advanced along with you.