Adding a little bit of something of my own.
Facts about ablative armor plating.
I'll cut to the chase. Ablative armor plating is in place for two things, both or only one. Looks and combat effectiveness. You can possibly have both but heres the facts.
= Best for large ships and I mean LARGE ships. Like Velvet Hammer sized warships. Because these ships have naturally high HP anyway, they won't need ablatives near as much. However
, keep in mind larger pieces are no where near as combat effective as smaller pieces. They will be sheared off way quicker. Always keep this in mind.
= THE BEST ABLATIVE ARMOR PERIOD
. Especially when it comes to combat effectiveness and with some savvy you can make them look great. Smaller pieces are harder to sheer off then larger pieces. Thus they are the best for when you want your ship to take a major beating.
Best example I can give you for ablatives is this fleet I made. It's loaded with small combat-effective ablative plates:
http://www.wyrdysm.com/phpBB2/viewtopic ... sc&start=0
ALSO keep in mind that Ablatives will not stop every shot. Believe it or not, Railguns are not the only weapon with some penetrative properties. Even a simple blaster barrage could penetrate them. And plasma charges are hell for ablatives.