I'll have to upload some more pictures at home. The naming varies a bit depending on the particular site, but in Shapeways terms, the main ones you'll be looking at are...
Ultra Detail/Frosted Ultra Detail - If you've got a design with a lot of surface detail or fine edges, this is the way to go. Finish has a slight grainy feel to it. Smaller models may have to go this route for Shapeways to print it. Downside is the material is very brittle. If your model is just going to sit on a shelf and/or in a case, it's fine. But if your going to use it as a gaming piece or have it somewhere it can be bumped around, you may want to reconsider the material choice.
Detail - Not too much different than the Ultra Detail in most cases, but doesn't have as much of a grainy feel to it.
Strong and Flexible - Typically the cheapest option (by quite a bit), also the most durable. Material can be flexed quite a bit more than the above options without breaking. Main downside is you will lose a lot of surface detail, if you have any, and the edges are rougher. Surface is a bit rough. They now have a polished option which presumably takes care of that, but I haven't gotten to test that yet. Probably in a couple of weeks.
Steel - I will be ordering one or two models in steel in the next few weeks, can post back details when those come in.
In my previously posted picture, the largest ship was printed in the White Frosted Ultra Detail (to retain the texture on the top and bottom of the wing), the two small ones were printed in White Detail. To give you an idea of what I mean by brittle.... A small manual (the one they are sitting on), slid about 2" onto the tip of the upper section of the large ship and broke the tip off (it's glued on in that picture). So, keep that in mind.
Frogboy or one of the other Stardock guys, correct me if I'm wrong, but I suspect the models from GalCiv won't have too much surface details (based on your picture) as the game depends on textures for that. If that's the case, Strong and Flexible will probably be the way to go.
The other thing to keep in mind is a balance between size and cost. A larger model is going to be more durable and retain more detail, regardless of material selection as there's a limit to how fine of details they can print. However, as volume increases, so does cost. Drastically. The above large ship was about $30 to print in Ultra Detail. A 8.5" across replica of Deep Space 9 in White Strong and Flexible (meaning cheapest material) is $200. Fortunately you can use a free program called netFabb Basic to re-scale your model. I have zero 3D modelling experience, but re-scaling is very straight forward.
On that note, Frogboy, what kind physical dimensions are we talking about for the GalCiv exports for say a medium sized hull core design?