I have been toying around with an idea for a system for creating balanced fleets. I like doing custom ship tournaments, but don't like the typical point system, and especially don't like segregation of various classes - I like a more flexible scale.
The particular system I came up with is a blend of flexibility and ease of use. While it admittedly does need a little more adding, it's not too extreme and I created a spreadsheet to make it much easier. The basic idea was that you purchased a core for a non-trivial amount of points, and that core grants a default movement value. You then add sections, each one of which added a penalty to movement and turn radius. This means that larger ships naturally move more slowly, without having to add distinct classes. You could purchase additional movement and manuevering for extra points, but as you did your points would steadily become less effective (ie you would get less advantage per point). Then you add weapons, each of which costs both points and power. Power is generated by sections, and inherited through a sections parents. Power is meant to balanced out certain weapons and modules (like deflectors), add a little bit of distinction between larger and smaller ships, as well as give incentives for player to spread out their weapons. Hopefully no more than fairly simple addition and subtraction, and complex enough to have some variety.
The tournament style this is most suited to is fleet engagements ; each player is given a set amount of point ( probably somewhere between 1000 and 2000), and given the option to build as many or as few ships as they want. Two fleets of equal point value are going to be more or less balanced.
The other odd thing about this system is that it's designed for the general power level of the stock ships, with 300 points being about the power of a stock battleship. The reason is that weapons are all stock (I'm still looking for a good way to modify weapons in a balanced manner), so I want the scale and HPs to be on stock level to prevent imbalance.
The general scale for ship classes is
50 : Courier
100: Patrol Boat
in terms of speed/firepower, but obviously any class or function will work. I'm eventually going to add stats for different cores, but for now only the 'normal' core is used.
The zip file contained here
holds the word document with the current version of the rules system, an excel spreadsheet that helps with a few of the calculations for making ships, and three ships made using the system, with point layout. Yes, I know, their names are silly. They are for my own little 'Verse, and the AI's that run Sol's military are both godlike and somewhat childish.
The main things I don't like in the current version is that I think the starting speed/accel/turn stats are a little too high, the weapon prices are in dire need of some balancing, and the power costs are probably too high across the board. I'm working on V2.
Would anyone be interested in doing a fleet tourney if I decided to run one sometime in the future? Even if you aren't, this is also a way for me to balance my own 'verse's ships, so constructive criticism would be welcome.