The first expansion for Galactic Civilizations 3, called 'Mercenaries,' will be out on February 18. Stardock tells us that it includes a new campaign, two new factions, new ship parts, and over 70 new ships mixed in with some graphical improvements and new music.
As you probably guessed, Mercenaries also includes mercenaries. These new units will be hireable from the Galactic Bazaar, and aren't just for blowing stuff up, though I figure some of them will be good at that. Some will provide science boosts, for instance, so they become little bonuses you can maneuver to wherever you need help. Only a few mercenaries will be available in any given game, so it'll take some time to see them all. Additionally, if other civilizations hire away a mercenary, it's no longer available—though you may be able to infer some details about their strategy based on who they're putting on their payroll.
Details on the new campaign are sparse, except to say that you'll "lead the Torians to freedom from their Drengin oppressors." The aquatic Torians are one of the new races, joined by the Arceans, a warrior race.
The expansion will cost $20. Coming with it, though, is the 1.6 update, which will be free to everyone and adds "more detailed match results" and a new game launcher. Stardock dropped off a trailer for Mercenaries, too, which is embedded below.