A rewrite of my former text, just tried to get it fitting a bit better. You can find the former text by looking at the history of the top post in this thread.
Light ships counts the small ships, that would most likely die from being hit once, twice or perhaps five times(without shields). They are not to be used too much on the battlefield. Instead they are great at transporting units, excorting trade ships, harrass attacks, scouting and cleaning up(invading defenseless) isolated areas.
There are two types of light ships. LB(Light Bomber ship) and LG(Light Gun ship). Because some of the light ships perhaps can't carry that much, the player has to choose. Bombers are better at attacking planets. Bombers can also be used to drop other things like disease and invasion armies.
This class counts the ships that can defend themselves, but would stand defenceless against a whole fleet. They are weaker than the heavy ship, but great for tracking down and killing light ships. Medium ships are great for balanced and defensive fleets.
Medium ships are also the largest ship type a tier 2 civ can build.
The code for Medium ships is M
This last category counts those big ##### you wouldn't want to meet. They are made for direct confrontations with the enemys fleets, as well as direct fighting, bombardment and just generally flexing muscles.
There are two minor classes. The first is HG(Heavy Gun ship), which can explain itself. The other is HC(Heavy Carrier ship), which cares small fighters that dosen't have FTL motors themselves, but instead able to deliver some unpredictable damage. The carriers weakness is that the attacked ships just have to shoot it down and then FTL away, and leave those poor fighters stuck in space until they crash. Perhaps that is easier said than done.
Trading ships can be conscripted, and acts as medium ships. You can at max only have 1 Group of Trading ships per trade route(both internal and external). At current time there is no trade rules, so you can't conscript these ships.
Weapons of Mass Destruction are something everyone should watchout for. Some of them are based on light, others on explosions, some on bacterias, and some others we don't even understand on Earth. As so, all player WMD attacks can be countered with the right method. Anti-missiles, vaccines, mirrors, interception of transport, etc. Read the thread for more info.
WMD has the the "W" as their code. If a such thing actually goes through, it would have great consequenses. Please try not to use these on nations below your tier, as slavery might be a better choice.
Missiles are a bit too slow, unless you use FTL on them. Two forces with both using missiles only, would have missiles blowing up each other, leaving the player with most missiles as the winner. Perhaps keep a factory inside your ships(heavy only)?
Therefor I suggest lasers and such weapons, as they are "fast", and might make more damage. I once read about sending controlled mirrors into Space, which would turn the laser to hit dodging opponents. Interesting.
If these Things are too advanced for you, you could also just hit a comet in the correct direction and hope it hits.
How will you protect your metal ships, that just wait for that laser to cut into the command room? Mirror armor? Intercepting lasers? Sphere shield? Shape shield? Controlled mirrors? Intercepting missiles? The possibilities are many. But important, they are.
Current 50k limit on non-settlement nations is a bit high. Current amount of ships / 1000, and you have a new number. This number, lets take 50 in this case, is the amount of fleets you have. A fleet can only have 1 type of unit in it. 10 Small ships(either bombers or fighters), 6 Medium ships, 2 Heavy ships or 1 WMD. ofc 50 is a hard limit, and as so, I suggest having 10 ships per colonized planet/claimed system, for roleplay value. This comes together with a current max on 5 planets(without inner problems).
A colonized planet in war probably has several defenses. Example being orbital weapons, Ground to Space weapons, Bunkers, etc. These fortifications dosen't count into spaceship numbers. As any battle, battles like these needs a battle map. Most likely a map of the planet having all points of interest on it. Ofc only colonized planets need this.
If the planet is important, land invasions are possible. Here Unique units come into play. 1 Group of land soldiers for every 2 transport, equaling down(11 ships brings 5 groups). The 1 Group of defending soldiers for every military point of interest. May not exceed 10 military bases, so for attackers, expect fighting 10 units. These land battles are 100% rp, and complete anarchy. Remember the attacker often have the help of bombardements.
Points of interest includes capital, settlements, bases(bunkers, GtS, Stations, etc) and satelites(Orbit).
If the planet ain't important enough to invade, just bombard it after/while taking out defenses.
1st. Involved players uploads maps of their nations.(Space) Including planets, belts, what kind of planets, etc.Example of such map is this:
2nd. The attacker then makes their campaign. 1 being a relative time. By the time 1 fleet is at 1, the other is at 1 too. So battles can take their time. The attacker then makes another map, which only shows their movements to the border(in other Words: movements before they enter the defender). these can be done in any order. Both maps are then given to the admin overseeing the war. The admin then uploads the "inside border move" map.The complete map might look like this, with numbers at each movement. Theres no limit on movements, except interception:
3rd. The defender makes a defense map, including patrols, and likes, to counter the attacker. After the defense map is uploaded, the Whole attack map is uploaded too. campaign maps may be changed at any time.
4th. Battles are found on their Places. As standard, all movements takes 1 IRL day, but battles can take their time.
5th. Once the campaign is over, and if the defender survives, the defender may make a counterattack, returning to 2nd.
Just like on the larger map. If the battles are large, units will remain grouped. If the battles are small, units will be split into smaller Groups.
Battles are roleplayed on the wall. If anything bad happens in a battle, call the admin.
Remember to make battle maps. Perhaps even make them before the battle, for efficiency.
Also, remember to pick up rescue ships after a battle.
This is simply a mastermind tactic. If your ships can enter FTL fast enough, the fastest player wins a battle. But as no mind Works that fast, you might have to rely on AI. Do you dare leave your empire in the hands of a computer? Or will humans lead the ships? Or perhaps a mix?
Otherwise, ships can lead themselves.
Before even the campaign can start. You have to answer some questions:
Numbers(Groups you have)
Fleet leadership? (drone, AI, human, etc)
Weapons? (missiles, laser, asteroid, etc)
Shied? (Heat, laser, etc)
Thank you for reading with me. Questions below.