Thank you for your excellent suggestion(s). I have saved the fix for the future if needed.
I took out my saved maps (galaxy folder emptied), then used notepad++ to modify the settings.ini file to force windowed mode, low settings and no opening movies but that didn't work either.
Finally I downloaded a previous update v1.05, ran it and then updated to 1.15, checked the settings ini and it worked!! I am back to playing! Now if I could only get Ironclad Online to connect LOL....(thanx to the monk, et all anyway).