MOO and not MOO2 should be your guiding light. IMO of course. The former is
a classic while the latter is a game that often becomes boring due to the
tedium of micromanagement that is forced on the player.
Well, I agree with you, but some people really got off on all that micromanagement. (Go figure.) I've just written my "doctoral thesis" (a big part of the MOO3 design document) on "macromanagement." It explains the game workings behind this philosophical phrase of the design mantra: The player can do ANYthing, he just can't do EVERYthing.
To that end, there is a whole system of governmental and military bureaucracy just waiting for you to wave your (virtual) hand. If you give them a very general order or a broadly defined high policy, they'll know what wheels to start turning. While you can certainly go down and turn every screw in the Empire (if that's your fancy), governing is more about policies, pressure, and influence than about pushing people aside and just "doing it yourself." And there's no shortage of Big Policy Decisions to take in MOO3.