Come to think of it, I don't think I ever really explained my weapon system concept, did I?
1. Separate the *chance to hit* calculation from the *damage* calculation. This is an absolute must.
2. Once separated, various things can be used to adjust one or the other. Each type of weapon gets a separate damage range and chance to hit (CTH). Each hull size gets HP value and a -% chance to hit. This might range from -90% for fighters (NOT tiny hulls) up to -0% for huge hulls. Weapons might range from 120% chance to hit for lasers to 30% for guns. (yeah, the math is odd. tweaks and/or just living with it may be required.) Effectiveness of any weapon against any hull would be the sum of these two numbers. I'm assuming a Diablo II style upper/lower boundary, where chance to hit can never be lower than 5% or higher than 95% just to prevent cheese.
3. Defenses are no longer attack-specific, or at least not nearly as much so as now. Defense options might include ECM, to reduce the attacker's CTH. Shields simply block a fixed amount of damage each round. Armor blocks attacks below a certain level, and a % of all attacks above it (e.g. blocks the first 5 damage, and 10% of damage after that 5).
4. Weapons. Since defenses are no longer specific, the differences in weapons can be other than the current R/P/S system. Lasers have high CTH (80-120%) but even endgame have only 3-5 damage (weapons no longer roll 0-max due to CTH calculation, damage range is actual damage caused), excellent for picking off fighters and tinies. Missiles range from 50-90 CTH, but with 10-20 damage, for combatting small/medium hulls. Less effective at hitting fighters, but a hit is a certain kill. Guns take up major space (can fit one, maybe 2 on a medium, not usuable on anything smaller) and do massive damage (20-35 endgame) but have low CTH (30-50%). Nearly impossible to hit small ships, but the only fast way to take out heavy ships.
5. Engines on the ship reduce the chance to be hit (CTBH). Fast ships are harder to hit, regardless of size. A fast huge hull ("fast" being open for discussion/tweaking) might have the same CTBH as a slow large, or even medium.
6. Fighters. Fighters are miniscule things that are carried in a module, similar to troop module. With research, higher capacity modules using the same or less space may become available. A high end module might carry 10 fighters in a 30 space module (again with the tweaking). This would limit carriers in what else they could carry, and also to the higher hulls. Even a medium hull carrier is a stretch IMO.
7. Fighters as ships. They should be one to 3 HP, no logistics value (as they cannot exist without the carrier). Very limited firepower (limited to lasers/missiles), minimal defenses (ECM only, maybe minimal shields, CTBH is their main defense). It should take a LONG time (or a large swarm) for fighters to peck a huge hull to death, but they should be murder on other fighters and anything up to mediums, depending on how they are armed.
8. Fighter regeneration. There needs to be a second module, or a secondary part of the carrier module, which carries spare fighters. Fighters regenerate each TURN (and not even all at once, more like the repair process now), not each COMBAT, so if you want your carrier to be in 10 battles in one turn, they'd best be prepared for losses. Regenerating should take fuel (I'd say metal but it's not worth making carriers carry metal and not other ships). Docking at a starbase or planet regenerates fighers completely (at beginning of turn, not jumping in and out of orbit during a turn. You need to spend the turn in orbit to get a one-turn regeneration.)
9. Repair. Ship repairs should only occur in orbit or starbase, and consume metal and fuel. Same with ship upgrades. No more throwing money at an upgrade to get an instant new ship with the same experience.
I'm sure I missed parts, but I should have left work half an hour ago. No OT for forum browsing