Thanks for your answer
>Is it intentional that there are "only" these 4 factions + Independent?
I believe so. Sorry I don't really know the reason.
No problem, even 4 factions is massive compared to vanilla EaW. Would've been really cool to have a massive "all factions" GC there with a single planet start.
>How am I supposed to progress through eras? I thought in Thrawn's revenge this happens when the Era-specific hero gets killed, but I started without a hero.
Era-progression is only in three or four GC scenarios found at the top of the scenario selection page. You might have noticed there was no era-progression in "The Stars Align". All factions are at their own most powerful era. Heroes are disabled in "single start planet".
Yes I recognized that on "The Stars Align". Thought it was special for those scenario campaigns as they tend to display only a small part of the whole story.
>What is meant by "The starts are randomly"? The two games I started looked completely equal.
The maps are the same, you and faction are all same. The "pirates" are different in strength and type. Were you playing as Imperials for both games?
Yes, was starting as the Imperials both times.