Thank you very much for these excellent replies. I am not a master at this, so may I pose a follow-up question here?
- I don't understand how to take into account every possibility. I mean, in some games, I will first research "advanced missiles" with my race, but in another game the same race might first research "advanced rail guns". There are so many contingencies. What I mean is: For "tech level 2" (which to me seems to be an ellipsis for a general level of advancement), there are hundreds of valid possibilities, am I supposed to build and save them all?!? That seems nigh on impossible. Sorry I really don't get it.
- I am not sure the automatic control still actually understands "automatically upgrade" and "retrofit" correctly: Sometimes I do not see the ships retrofitting, sometimes I get the popup to suggest retrofitting but I am not told what will be retrofitted how, and I am still not sure how to implement subroles (e.g. one cruiser with stronger defense and more shields and scanning, one cruiser with anti-planet abilities, one cruiser with anti-fighter, one cruiser with strong beams, and one cruiser with long-range missiles). Am I missing something?
- A really simple work-around still seems to me to be a checkbox in the design screen "make this component obsolete for this subrole". This would not help foreign AI races make better ship designs, but it would help my OWN race automatically upgrade its own designs: It would then stop using a certain engine or reactor type for those ships in the future. Would this be possible (and as easy to implement as I imagine)?
Thank you very, very much