mundungus wrote:What power do SDFs have that allows them to control systems where fleets cannot? Is it that they contain surface armies? If so, does it make more sense to separate the armies from the ships, rather than armies-and-control-oriented-ships from non-control-oriented-ships?
I envision SDFs as planetary forces as well as short-ranged space forces. I'm not sure I understand your choices: what are "non-control-oriented-ships"?
I guess it strikes me as odd that fleets can't control systems.
Maybe it's not worth distinguishing hyper-capable and non-hyper-capable fleets (at least not in the basic rules). Instead, allow each fleet to carry one army. On the planet's surface, armies fight each other the way fleets fight in space, except that:
1) An invasion can't begin if the defender has a fleet or base in the system.
2) Invading armies can't retreat.
3) Fleets can choose to be involved in the battle; they can retreat to deep space, remaining in the system but not taking part in the battle anymore.
4) Bases must be involved in the battle (because they're presumably in orbit).
So, something like:
Army: $1, fights on planet, can be carried
Fleet: $3, fights on planet or space (can retreat from surface battle), can move and carry one army
Base: $5, fights on planet or space, involved in production
Are there better ways to prevent turtling?
If there are, I'm listening.
One possibility is victory points that accumulate from turn to turn; everyone but the one currently gaining the most has a vested interest in disrupting the status quo.
Another is to make the game end when, after (say) three complete turns, no systems have changed hands. Ooh, I kinda like that...