To better help scouts and sentries gather information more quickly about enemy forces I suggest an Overview Ship Counter. The counter could be set for friendly, neutral or hostile ships. NPC ships would be factored in.
Example: You have your ship counter set to +10 Blue, -10 Red and Neutral. Ten Blues and twenty Reds plus ten Neutrals all arrive on grid at the same time. The ship counter would tell you exactly how many ships have just landed which would then allow you to inform your Fleet Commander of the situation.