From the depths of my increasingly-bizarre mind, I bring you a small mod. Introducing: The Enemy!
The main schtick of the Enemy are minefields. Specifically, the Enemy knows where you are going to warp into their systems, and deploys minefields accordingly. Beyond that, they have only two hulls (one of which is a dreadnought that mounts one or more converging lasers of DOOOOOOM).
The mod is set up to keep you from building Enemy ships of your own - the Enemy doesn’t use anyone else’s toys and doesn’t like you looking at theirs. That being said, a tiny touch of modding skills will allow you to circumvent that restriction.
The Enemy scenarios are intended to appear wayyy down at the bottom of your mission list - by the time you get to them, you shouldn’t be too worried about needing more honor. This is good, because it is unwise to bring much less than the fullest extent of your resources into the Enemy’s home systems (based on my testing, anyway).
This mod consists of 2 skirmish scenarios and one survival scenario. GSB 1.61 is required due to supported features, and the Order is recommended as one scenario has an asteroid effect and I can’t vouch for what effect it may have if you do not have the Order.