Do carrier officers with Fighter combat bonus affect their brood? Because a fighter wing could consume a LOT of officers. I actually have two officers with +40 fighter combat bonus, which would be perfect for minigauss or minirail?
My current empire, I started with really low mercassium numbers, so I am researching jump theory early, as there is almost no mercassium deposits in the system. So the military guys have basically demanded SOME military tech if we discover baddies out there, and settled on Mesons, so we can have PDC fighter sized point defense. Mostly to benefit from cheap(ish) fighter beam weapon fire controls. This will allow me to make use of fighter factories early to build defenses, cause I hate having idle production. Later I intend to build Meson fighters to complement missile armed ships. My first 'armed' ship will actually be a collier equipped with a size 4 launcher, for launching recon probes and geo probes from the jump point.
So the procedure I anticipate is:
1) Refit my large (12) fleet of geosurveyors to grav survey,
2) Build jump probe ship and collier (hopefully I can use the same shipyard, may have to fiddle a bit)
3) On completion of grav survey, recall the survey ships for overhaul,
4) Probe closest jump point with collier, launch probes, detach a 10 Ton, 12 year mission station (yes, it is a civilian ship, so it doesn't NEED 12 years of morale, but it was a difference of .5 BP and 3 tons) on both sides of the jump point, for monitoring and communications. Set MSP 4 sensor buoy on both sides of the jump point. RP-wise, the guy in the monitor station hacks into the sensor buoy feed for better 'cable' access.
5) Send collier for reload, repeat with next jump point
I only have enough maintenance modules to support size 2400 ships, what I anticipated using size 25 commercial engines ships for. But in retrospect, survey fleet with size 50 engines is more efficient and longer ranged. So those 12 size 1950 ships I started with will be my grav and size 5 sensor equipped military fleet for a while.
6) Once the rather slow but long ranged probes have confirmed nothing really scary on the planetary bodies, then the geo and grav survey fleet moves in. Goal is to have a jump ship serving as relay for the survey fleet, and a jump ship escorting each survey collier. Long term, the colliers can serve as minelayers, with a size 2 missile launched from size 4 missile, allowing a size 1 active sensor.