yes, I agree: the problem is two fold:
1. How does the user know when new and/or better ships are available?
2. How can this be communicated clearly (so the AI does not always snatch the new ships in the next round) withouth being annoying
There is already too much notification on the right hand side in my opinion: e.g.: I would already fold at least the "colonists returned to work" messages into a single notification - if there were an additional single mesages from the merc pool, that might work just need to make sure that this only occurs like every 10 turns or so, so that hte player is not spammed
BTW: Galciv 3 has introduced a merc pool as well via their first addon I did not like it - seemed very gamey and distracting from the actual meat of the game. Here, I enjoy the concept but admittedly I do not use it in order to not to gain an unfair davantage - the reason for that is that it is integrated more seamlessly. This also means that in my oppinion, the AI should in some instances have precedency when bying mercs as when the player is always the first to get the chance and by the latest battleship that is again a handicap for the player
So how could this be made fair? A simple notificatio nmight not do it, maybe a licit system would be more appropriate?