Also, retreat and fire isn't a noob tactic. It's a commonly used tactic. Thow down a couple normals at the start of the fight, fall back and let cmd gauge fill back up, rush foward and throw down a couple more normals.
Your going to be facing military grade ships with a ex cargo ship. Until you get better ships, fire, retreat, foward, fire & repeat is going to be used a lot.
Also, unless your using a SLR cannon (Its the Pallas Battleships special attack. Its a stronger version of the Panfilov Cannon.) you'll want to focus on the front positioned ships. Or weapons that hit all enemies, but you don't need to worry about those until the 2nd part of the game.
I think I have played that. Its Sentinels of the Starry Skies right? Might be one of the Joker ones though.
Have you chosen what post the characters will take? Right now its best to have Nia as the Artillery officer, Torlo as the security officer, Kira as head chef, and Karlo as head mechanic.
Getting another ship in your fleet will make things easier. Go to Nezhatin and at the tavern talk to the old man. Answer yes to him asking if you are interested in learning battle tactics and you will be able to have 2 ships in your fleet. Use the Daisy as the 2nd ship for now but replace it with another Ochiently when you have the funds.
I find this funny though. The starting ships are just retrofitted cargo ships. And apparently, as said in game, Panfilovs fleet of military grade ships are no match for a single retrofitted cargo ship.