Author Topic: Civilian missile transport, and hangars  (Read 4074 times)

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Offline linkxsc

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Civilian missile transport, and hangars
« on: January 01, 2016, 09:58:27 PM »
After 7.2 we will be able to have civilian ships equipped with proper MSP storage arrays, for fleet support, and stockpiling MSP at forward bases. Which is nice.
Thus after the change we'll have civilian fuel transport, mineral and installation transport, troop transport, and personnel transport, and MSP transport. This leaves 2 gaps in civilian transport capability.
The ability to move missiles, and the ability to move ships.

Ofcourse we can't have warships loading fighters and missiles out of civilian transports directly in combat and such, so there must be some limiting system to this.
So I've come up with my own view on a set of "rules" for how this could be done, which I will post here. I'll also post the views of another player from the thread the topic originated from and hope perhaps some good discussion can happen.

Idea
Introduce 2 new modules.

Civilian Magazine Standard storage unit for transport of missiles by civilians. Size 10 module (500t) able to store 100MSP (assorted missile size). Research-able after completing the first level of each magazine related tech. Single un-upgradable module. No ejection tech, may detonate when hit.

Civilian Hangar Module Standard storage for transport of warships by civilians. Size 20 module (1000t) able to store 500t of ship (as hangar space already stacks). Research-able after completing the Hangar Deck tech. Un-upgradable. Follows same rules when hit as existing hangars.

Rules governing loading and unloading.
Rule 1. Civilian magazines and hangars can only be loaded and unloaded at a planet with at least 1 active maintenance facility, or maintenance module.
Rule 2. They are loaded/unloaded at a rate of 250tons per maintenance facility, per 5 day increment. OR 100MSP per maintenance facility, per 5 day increment.

These rules operate on a couple of principles.
1. Maintenance facilities make it so that you can't just dump stuff on random planets. Though there is nothing preventing the player from having a maintenance module installed in the transport ship. And if one wishes to dump stuff on random planets quickly, military ammo transports can still drop off on planets at current speeds.
2. 100MSP per 5day is roughly equal to the maintenance facility reload time of a size 100 box launcher. (125hour actual reload time vs 120 hour 5 day increment). This is also equal to a rate of roughly 250t per 5 day increment as 100MSP=5HS=250t. This as the loading and unloading speed is to act as the missiles or ships are being broken down by maintenance crews, made "safe" for transport, and then have to be reassembled at the destination.

Few side thoughts on my own idea is that perhaps some size scaling of the modules would be fine (larger "more efficient" storage versions) however, due ot the cheap civilian nature, shouldn't require extensive research to enable.


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In the changelog 7.2 thread another user had his own thoughts on this.

"alex_brunis"
Quote
That all sounds awfully complex with several new separated game mechanics?

Why not instead aim for the common denominator and try to keep the concept as simple as possible?

The common property of all this is that they are "disassembled" into neat packages for transportation, and then assembled on site.

But, Hey don't we already have something like that, but for PDCs only?

So, the conceptually best way to do this (IMO) would be to expand/improve the PDC option to also include  fighters and stacks of missiles?!

Construction option "Prefab PDC" could be changed to a more general "Disassemble" command which allows you to take any number of PDCs, fighters or missiles, and "pack" it into one or more pre-set "crates" which is the same standard size as a PDC Component, but the game remembers the contents. The Industrial cost of this derived the same as the PDC assembly cost ( and no minerals here either ), but you now have to build the PDCs first.

This means you can take for example a completed PDC Hangar loaded with fighters which in turn are loaded with missiles, Select the PDC in a single click, add a few spare reloads worth of missiles and have it all neatly disassembled and packed down into a creates for shipping ( via the  Industry->Stockpiles menu ). Once on site you give a single order to disassemble the crates and you have a operational PDC Hangar stocked with fighters and missiles!


This also could be an interesting way of doing it in my opinion. Then the missiles and ships could be transported by regular freighters.
However personally I find forward bases are more likely to have a maintenance module, than construction factories or brigades to do the reassembling.
Perhaps a construction module for a ship might help with this?
Another issue I can see is with fighters (or any ship) in particular, in that if it needs to get shipped a second time, "disassembling" them for shipping in this manner would essentially be "destroying" the ship, and "making a new" elsewhere, which might cause issue with the crew and commanders and such. my assumption on the maintenance packaged ones would be that the extra crew just becomes part of the freighter's crew when this happens. However with actually disassembling them, there is no "crew".


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Another post from original thread

"MarcAFK"
Quote
Why not just use the preexisting launcher reload system with some modifiers based on tech like reload level, feed system efficiency, and cargo handling multiplier.
Lets assume a missile load speed 10 times slower than launcher reload rate.
We'll look at a tier 2 destroyer from my last game.
Code: [Select]

Code: [Select]
Portland class Destroyer 9000 tons     256 Crew     1097.6 BP      TCS 180  TH 500  EM 0
2777 km/s     Armour 5-38     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control 2     PPV 42
Annual Failure Rate: 27%    IFR: 0.4%    Maintenance Capacity 191 MSP
Magazine 342   Spare Berths 7   

10HS 100 EP Nuclear Pulse Engine (5)    Power 100    Fuel Use 141.5%    Armour 0    Exp 12%
Fuel Capacity 360,000 Litres    Range 5.1 billion km   (21 days at full power)

Size 6 Missile Launcher (R2) (7)    Missile Size 6    Rate of Fire 90
Missile Fire Control 10/5 FC61-R120 (1)     Range 61.6m km    Resolution 120
Maverick Mk III (57)  Speed: 13,800 km/s   End: 84.2m    Range: 69.7m km   WH: 7    Size: 6    TH: 46 / 27 / 13

Active Search Sensor 10 /5 MR65-R120 (1)     GPS 14400     Range 65.7m km     Resolution 120

Missile to hit chances are vs targets moving at 3000 km/s, 5000 km/s and 10,000 km/s

This design is classed as a military vessel for maintenance purposes

Default reload rate is 90 for a size 6 missile, we'll assume it will take 900 seconds to load a single size 6 into the magazine, lets make this per cargo handling system on the ammunition ship, improved can load 2 in this time, advanced 4 in this time. Note that this is reload rate of 1, lets assume that increased launcher reload rate doesn't help magazine load speed, but magazine feed efficiency should however.
Magazine is about 1000 tons and holds 342 in total, that's 57 missiles at 900 seconds each so default reload time is 14.25 hours. Cargo handling systems weigh in at 100 tons a piece, it's not unreasonable to assume that an ammunition ship serving this 9000 ton ship will be of similar size, lets say we put 4 cargo handling system which is a mere 4% of the ship.
Load rate then is 3.56 hours. Which is significant, but compares to loading speed of other cargo, it will certainly prevent immediate reloads of a fleet during a battle, except in the case of box launchers which obviously can reload very fast by comparison.  That time will be halved once improved handling is added, and of course if you have multiple ammo ships in the fleet you get improved transfer speed.
Next there magazine feed efficiency, what about each level reducing the speed penalty compared to normal launcher speed, research reducing load rate from 10 times down by 1 per level, the final feed efficiency tech drops it down to merely double.
So by top tech tier loading a size 6 missile would take only 180 seconds, you can load 4 per advanced cargo handling system, the hypothetical ammo tender we had above would reload the destroyer in only 10.6 minutes.
Without going to that extreme lets just assume we increase cargo handling systems to 6, and have researched improved cargo handling (10,000 points) and feed efficiency 80 and 85% (6000 points total).
Load time per size 6 missile becomes 720 seconds, thats 11 hours, divided by 12 for the 6 improved handling systems makes reloading the ship only take 57 minutes.
How does this sound?

Edit: I like the maintenance changes, my last game I placed a single maintenance colony in Barnards star which required either frequent mineral shipments, or mines on 5 movies in the system and even still needed shipping in uridium and neutronium.


Eeh. My intention was to stay away from that level of complexity, as this means that each generation of magazine tech, you'd actually have to update your civilian transports for this "faster" reload rate to remain competitive. Also there seems to be nothing in that idea that actually restricts the player from using your new civilian colliers from rearming ships in deep space. Albeit at a low rate. But it'd be nothing to rendezvous your described collier with a fleet enroute, and have it rearm them over the course of a couple days. Also this would kinda steer players to bring these ships in close to the fleet. And thats what a military ammunition transport should be for.
Also where you are saying 10x slower than normal reload, my suggestion is similar to standard box launcher reload rate.


Though if we go off of what you are working with, perhaps we could compromise.

Rule: Civilian ammo transports can only transplant ammo to and from planets, and to or from military magazines, at a rate set by the civilian magazine reload rate.

This way all ships will load out of a military transport properly, requiring no changes to that system. Or they could be told to load out of the civilians, which they would slowly feed ammo into the ship magazine, and then they themselves would have to use their own reload rate from there. Also prevents people from exploiting and quickly dumping missiles from civilians into military ammo transports.
The magazine is built with a "reload rate"  (the extra space in the magazine can be assumed as the space where the missiles are prepped). And this reload rate is teched up at the same time as missile launcher reload tech. This reload rate is 1/10th what it would be for the equal size missile going into the launcher.
Now, your civilian transport, with say 100MSP of storage (in its 1 magazine), reload rate 1: Takes 300 seconds to load or unload 1 size 1 missile (150 seconds faster than hangar reload rate for a size 1 box), and assuming it only has 1 magazine, will take 300,000 seconds to unload into a military ammo ship. Which is 20 days.... which sounds rather abyssmal I know.

But scale it up to reload tech 6.
5 second load time for a size 1 launcher > 50 second load/unload time for a size 1 missile, the transport can dump its load in 5000seconds, which is 83 hours... 3 days to unload 250t worth of ammo... perhaps thats not so bad to do while out on operation. And its a bit faster than my initial suggestion, and certainly not doable during combat.
Also having 2 magazines, it wills till take that much time to unload them if they are full, but they'll move 2x the ammo rate.
And if the magazines are 500T like I suggested above. A 5kt ammo transport (civilian) with 5 of the things and a nice civilian engine could be a handy little thing.

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Dunno, just some thoughts and responses to points made by other players.
 

Offline MarcAFK

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Re: Civilian missile transport, and hangars
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2016, 11:13:40 PM »
I'm still unsure civilians should be handling munitions, it's dangerous and security is needed, but ill coco tribute to the discussion when I have ideas.
Regarding hangers why not just keep existing hangers and add a mechanic that prevents ships from quickly launching from commercial ships equipped with hangers.
While doing this we might finally see a timer that stops ships launching immediately on military hangers too. Landing should obviously be much faster.
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Offline Gyrfalcon

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Re: Civilian missile transport, and hangars
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2016, 02:52:58 AM »
One thing that's would be nice to see from a realism perspective is launch capacity. Depending on the launch facilities, x parasites can launch per y seconds. As it is now, a carrier can crash launch 100+ fighters in 5 seconds, which makes sense for something like external docking for a Queen, but not so much for a carrier with internal bays.
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Civilian missile transport, and hangars
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2016, 08:39:23 AM »
I like the principle of the civilian magazine idea. If we make it low capacity (in terms of efficiency of size vs. capacity) but relatively cheap and will explode if hit, that might be sufficient. No one would use that magazine on a warship and no one is going to take that ship into harm's way. It would be a behind-the-scenes auxiliary, which I think is what we need. We probably don't even need restrictions on unloading.

One option would be to allow only unloading to planets and not ships. However, if we do have deep space stations you would probably want this ship to be able to transfer ammunition into the magazines of that station

With regard to civilian hangars, perhaps a similar principle. Inefficient in terms of size and easily destroyed. Also, they can be used to repair ships but not to reload them. They would be useless on a normal carrier but it would allow the creation of 'auxiliary carriers' that could transport fighters for a single strike (or transfer them between factories and fleet carriers) but would extremely vulnerable to damage.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2016, 08:46:38 AM by Steve Walmsley »
 
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Offline alex_brunius

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Re: Civilian missile transport, and hangars
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2016, 10:24:33 AM »
I like the principle of the civilian magazine idea. If we make it low capacity (in terms of efficiency of size vs. capacity) but relatively cheap and will explode if hit, that might be sufficient. No one would use that magazine on a warship and no one is going to take that ship into harm's way. It would be a behind-the-scenes auxiliary, which I think is what we need. We probably don't even need restrictions on unloading.

One option would be to allow only unloading to planets and not ships. However, if we do have deep space stations you would probably want this ship to be able to transfer ammunition into the magazines of that station

With regard to civilian hangars, perhaps a similar principle. Inefficient in terms of size and easily destroyed. Also, they can be used to repair ships but not to reload them. They would be useless on a normal carrier but it would allow the creation of 'auxiliary carriers' that could transport fighters for a single strike (or transfer them between factories and fleet carriers) but would extremely vulnerable to damage.

I think all that sounds awesome, given one exception ( civilian hangars able to carry out a single strike or launch military fighters ).

Given how much people like the Massive Alfa Strike doctrine and the fact that Civilian stuff inherently is 10 times bigger we need to thread VERY carefully. Also remember that Carriers can launch fighters well out of range of the enemy and we have a recipe for abuse IMO since many Carriers are designed to operate outside of harms way anyways. People could even design either a small military support Carrier to reload the squads one at a time and cycle them, or just have a collier deposit the ammo at any nearby body and rearm from there.

To coordinate and carry out even a single strike you should IMO need military stuff.

I think the following restrictions are probably needed on Civilian hangars:
- Can only repair civilian ships
- Can only refuel civilian ships
- Can not carry ships loaded with missiles

Even if the above is implemented we also have the issue of beam fighters and beam FACs, These could abuse the generous capacity of cheaper civilian hangars and be launched en-masse since they never need to reload.

Maybe we need something like:
- Can not launch military ships unless at a friendly population, maintenance facility or next to a military hangar.

(but could probably still be abused).
 

Offline Bremen

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Re: Civilian missile transport, and hangars
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2016, 10:42:33 PM »
I kind of like the idea of civilian hangars and magazines requiring a maintenance facility/module myself. That makes forward military bases more valuable, which I think adds strategic depth.

It's not a big deal, though, so I wouldn't worry about it if it proves difficult to code.
 

Offline MarcAFK

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Re: Civilian missile transport, and hangars
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2016, 11:22:01 PM »
Civilians can carry maintenence now anyway so it's an idea.
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Offline linkxsc

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Re: Civilian missile transport, and hangars
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2016, 11:39:28 PM »
I'm all for whatever is easiest to code ofcourse. And if you are planning on making sustainable deep space bases a thing, well perhaps you could make another version of the maintenance module that doesn't require being at a planet to run. Too bad they're size 100 (5000t) but can only support 200t each, but a maint facility is 25000t so, least they're efficient.

Actually that is something I honestly don't know. If I had 5 ships with 1 maintenance module each at a planet (thus, 5 maint mods total, 1000t support) would that actually let me overhaul some FACs, or would it get mad and only work if I had 1 ship with all 5 modules? So far I've always done 40kt ships with 5 modules on them as FAC tenders. And thinking about what it would need for a single ship to be a destroyer tender (6000-8000t) makes me cringe, as that is a huge ship.
 

Offline Bremen

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Re: Civilian missile transport, and hangars
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2016, 12:54:27 AM »
I'm all for whatever is easiest to code ofcourse. And if you are planning on making sustainable deep space bases a thing, well perhaps you could make another version of the maintenance module that doesn't require being at a planet to run. Too bad they're size 100 (5000t) but can only support 200t each, but a maint facility is 25000t so, least they're efficient.

Actually that is something I honestly don't know. If I had 5 ships with 1 maintenance module each at a planet (thus, 5 maint mods total, 1000t support) would that actually let me overhaul some FACs, or would it get mad and only work if I had 1 ship with all 5 modules? So far I've always done 40kt ships with 5 modules on them as FAC tenders. And thinking about what it would need for a single ship to be a destroyer tender (6000-8000t) makes me cringe, as that is a huge ship.

I believe Steve mentioned he was working on making maintenance modules work in deep space. And IIRC, maintenance modules do indeed stack, so 5 ships with 1 each should be able to maintain FACs.

Edit: I had an idea for civilian hangars. Would it be doable if they prevented maintenance failures but didn't keep a ship's maintenance clock from ticking up? It would represent that the ships are inactive, but still sitting around without maintenance crews to take care of them.

That would make them much less useful for alpha strikes (since the fighters or FACs would likely explode the first time maintenance ticked while they were in space), but wouldn't be a problem if the fighters were transferred to military carriers where they could be maintained. It would also prevent them from being used to avoid maintenance costs on larger ships, since you'd just be deferring the maintenance costs until you overhauled the ships. Lastly, it would mean civilian hangars would work just fine for commercial craft that didn't have maintenance clocks, assuming you wanted to have a civilian carrier with survey shuttles or something similar.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2016, 01:11:28 AM by Bremen »
 

Offline MarcAFK

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Re: Civilian missile transport, and hangars
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2016, 01:09:51 AM »
That's right, if you make a bunch of smaller maintenence vessels they'll maintain each other when they're at the same location.
" Why is this godforsaken hellhole worth dying for? "
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Offline DIT_grue

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Re: Civilian missile transport, and hangars
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2016, 02:49:17 AM »
Edit: I had an idea for civilian hangars. Would it be doable if they prevented maintenance failures but didn't keep a ship's maintenance clock from ticking up? It would represent that the ships are inactive, but still sitting around without maintenance crews to take care of them.

That would make them much less useful for alpha strikes (since the fighters or FACs would likely explode the first time maintenance ticked while they were in space), but wouldn't be a problem if the fighters were transferred to military carriers where they could be maintained. It would also prevent them from being used to avoid maintenance costs on larger ships, since you'd just be deferring the maintenance costs until you overhauled the ships. Lastly, it would mean civilian hangars would work just fine for commercial craft that didn't have maintenance clocks, assuming you wanted to have a civilian carrier with survey shuttles or something similar.

That sounds awesome, and like something I didn't know I wanted.
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Civilian missile transport, and hangars
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2016, 01:15:34 PM »
Edit: I had an idea for civilian hangars. Would it be doable if they prevented maintenance failures but didn't keep a ship's maintenance clock from ticking up? It would represent that the ships are inactive, but still sitting around without maintenance crews to take care of them.

That would make them much less useful for alpha strikes (since the fighters or FACs would likely explode the first time maintenance ticked while they were in space), but wouldn't be a problem if the fighters were transferred to military carriers where they could be maintained. It would also prevent them from being used to avoid maintenance costs on larger ships, since you'd just be deferring the maintenance costs until you overhauled the ships. Lastly, it would mean civilian hangars would work just fine for commercial craft that didn't have maintenance clocks, assuming you wanted to have a civilian carrier with survey shuttles or something similar.

In fact, why not just have them not affect maintenance status at all (doesn't prevent failures or the clock ticking). As you mention, this would still allow the transport of civilian ships as they don't need maintenance but would mean fighters and FACs would not be practicable. However, civilian hangars would still be able to carry out repairs and any military ships within the hangar could still be maintained by maintenance facilities in the same location. This allows you to create a base with both maintenance facilities and civilian hangars that could maintain, overhaul and repair military ships in deep space, or repair ships that can fix military vessels in deep space, even if their clock keeps ticking.
 

Offline illrede

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Re: Civilian missile transport, and hangars
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2016, 01:23:49 PM »
In fact, why not just have them not affect maintenance status at all (doesn't prevent failures or the clock ticking). As you mention, this would still allow the transport of civilian ships as they don't need maintenance but would mean fighters and FACs would not be practicable. However, civilian hangars would still be able to carry out repairs and any military ships within the hangar could still be maintained by maintenance facilities in the same location. This allows you to create a base with both maintenance facilities and civilian hangars that could maintain, overhaul and repair military ships in deep space, or repair ships that can fix military vessels in deep space, even if their clock keeps ticking.

I see an interesting jumpoint assault exploit, there.
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Civilian missile transport, and hangars
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2016, 02:04:03 PM »
I see an interesting jumpoint assault exploit, there.

Good point :)

Four options:

1) Jump-equipped commercial carriers cannot jump with military ships in the hold. Question would be why not? :)
2) Some form of delay in commercial carriers releasing ships, although hard to enforce because you can simply detach from the task group.
3) Something equivalent to jump shock after leaving a commercial hangar (in fact, probably should have this from any carrier but worse from commercial carrier)
4) Accept this as OK. After all, commercial hangars would be larger for the same capacity and with a jump drive as well, that would be a large, expensive and very vulnerable ship.
 
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Offline Zincat

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Re: Civilian missile transport, and hangars
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2016, 03:02:00 PM »
Good point :)

Four options:

1) Jump-equipped commercial carriers cannot jump with military ships in the hold. Question would be why not? :)
2) Some form of delay in commercial carriers releasing ships, although hard to enforce because you can simply detach from the task group.
3) Something equivalent to jump shock after leaving a commercial hangar (in fact, probably should have this from any carrier but worse from commercial carrier)
4) Accept this as OK. After all, commercial hangars would be larger for the same capacity and with a jump drive as well, that would be a large, expensive and very vulnerable ship.

Well, personally I don't care that much about this kind of exploits. There will always be possible exploits, it's up to the player whether or not he does things that from a RP point of view are not very nice. Being a single player game and all, who cares...

That said, the thing that makes the most sense is that a commercial hangar would be much slower releasing ships, number 2). It makes sense, a commercial hangar is not optimized to quickly let out hordes of combat ready ships. But you said it's hard to enforce so...

If you cannot enforce it, I'd go with 4). Once again, not nice. But the resulting ship would be extremely frail. I don't think ANY intelligent nation would send its prized 4 squadrons of fighters inside a ship that would go boom in an instant. And a player can always avoid using that kind of exploit.
 

 

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