I think maybe what’s needed is a combat log similar to the one you get when traveling through space. Then you could refer to that to see what’s actually going on. It seems like an odd oversight given that they already have something like that for space travel. I asked about it on the forums so we’ll see what they say.
Edit: Someone replied and said there’s a combat log and a small button to call it up on the bottom right of the combat screen.
Yeah, I’ve just been retreating and bribing ships to avoid combat until my crew is higher level and I can upgrade my ship some.