This may not be a request, just discussion on the pros and cons, but I do like the idea.
The concept: interplanetary battles between fleets.
Say we have star A and star B. A belongs to player Blue and B to Red. Red attacks Blue with ships by launching from star B to star A. By accident, player Blue launches at the same time against star B. . . when the two collide, they fight when they intersect and the surviving forces move on to the intended star for assault.
This dynamic would mean there’s more risk launching fleets ahead against each other when there is a fleet movement, hindering the sometimes linear chess/domino affect that sometimes pops up when one player vengefully assaults the other.
But there’s a catch here. The player who has less travel time between the two stars has weapon’s superiority bonus, meaning it is advantageous to launch from that star ahead of your foe if you think there may be an inevitable assault by either party. This makes for a dynamic where the offensive player has an advantage in one way that still involves risk. After all, what happens if that other star is going to be reinforced soon? Or gets a drop in manu that is enough to overcome the invading ships.
Since both ships launched at once, they have no weapons advantage over the other.
Some interesting additions to consider: While battles take place there is a time lag where the fleets drop out of hyperspace, meaning they aren’t approaching the stars they’re targeting. The length could be standard regardless of science or perhaps involve hyperspace.
Combat only takes place in a 1x1 scenario between carriers , not total number of carriers.
So for our analogy, let us say that player Blue is not happy with the idea that Red is going to win in his assault, and launches two carriers instead of just one to intercept the invading fleet coming from Red’s star B. The first carrier with but a scant single ship to its name drops out of hyperspace to assault the incoming enemy Red fleet. While the vanguard engages the enemy carrier’s massive number of ships, the second, larger invasion fleet zooms on through hyperspace without stopping, since there is no carrier vessel to intercept it, as Red only launched one carrier with lots of ships, while Blue launched two, and thus counterattacks at Star B without being forced out of hyperspace earlier.
Now, Red’s invasion fleet is very big, and overpowers the pathetic suicide vanguard, diversion that it was, and continues on after the allotted combat time, say 30 minutes, like with the standard grace period to change a carrier’s launch destination. Red’s big fleet then marches on to attack star A. But! There’s been some time the invasion fleet got stalled in the battle. It wasn’t long, but just long enough for the cycle to drop money in both player’s laps.
The Warp Gate Factor: Warp Gates function as a bypass to this interfleet combat. Wit ha warp gate installed, the ship passing through it is moving on a different plane and can’t drop out of hyperspace to attack an invasion fleet. I’m brainstorming, so I can’t decide if it would be best if this acts kinda like a “shield” where just the mere presence of a single gate would ensure combat can’t happen, as a means of countering enemy players from benefiting from the tactic, or if there is only an affect if there’s a warp gate between both stars. I prefer the latter. For our scenario:
Blue is horrified. Not only is the enemy invading against him, but his own forces over at Star B are in trouble! Red had a force behind scanning range (as always seems to be the case) and made warp gates to swiftly send in those reinforcements to block Blue’s rash counteroffensive in the bud before it can land. Blue has his own secret reserve fleet, but it will get mutilated by the incoming invasion force about to reach his star A if he sends it out now, since Red launched his forces from B earlier than this third assault fleet. Blue smartly uses his cash to buy a warp gate on his star, and another on a star in his rear lines at Star C, to facilitate swift reinforcements to Star A.
This means that now both Stars A and B are warp gated! Blue’s third fleet, now in hyperspace like Red’ original assault force, both remain in the “gate space” and zoom past each other like in the classic old days (Current days for us) when carriers never interacted with each other in transit between two stars. These gates now also ensure Red can’t send in that reserve force after it’s done with Blue’s counterforce at star B, preserving Blue’s ships to strike with all their might. The gates, so long as they exist, ensure that neither Blue nor Red can intercept their enemy. . . unless a gate gets destroyed at a convenient time… or moved away, if that were a feature.
Lots of possibilities. What do you think?