This is something I posted in the thread on battleship guns, but I thought it deserved to be posted here, too.
All of this gives me an idea for a way to potentially make this system more realistic without making Steve tear his hair out. At the moment, it's assumed that any ship with only civilian systems has no maintenance problems with 1 engineering space, even if it's 200,000 tons, and any ship with any military systems has maintenance problems, even if it's only a size-2 sensor, and this affects everything on the ship.
What if we changed the rules a bit? Instead of the current test, give a two-pronged test of military status. First, all ships get a computed AFR, and a ship cannot be civilian if the AFR is over a certain value. I don't know exactly what this value should be, as I don't have Aurora open, but as a rule of thumb, it's a value that can be done with a typical 5-cargo bay cargo ship and 1 engineering space. Larger ships will need more engineering spaces to count as civilian.
Second, the ship can't be more than, say, 5% military systems by size. This should make it pretty much impossible to build an efficient warship and have it count as 'civilian', while still allowing you to mount a bit of self-defense armament on your fleet tenders.
Another thing that might be helpful would be to drop the 25-HS limit on civilian engines while maintaining the power multiplier regulations.
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