Do people board and if so why over simply annihilation?
Boarding means getting beat up ships with different specs to your lovely homogeneous fleet and wiasting build space/research time on boarding pods?
I do keep a single fleet of boarding vessels to get mining bases but even that I query as I still have to send out a construction ship to fix it. Also have to wait for pods to regenerate. Also generally have a more normal 'kill all' fleet nearer and its just easier to send that?
In very early pre-warp game, I board pirate ships because they have superior technology I can analyze for tech.
Later I board just because I can. I suspect (but don't know for sure) that scrapping a captured ship in space gives a little cash and disassembling it at a space yard is rumored to leave resources. Some descriptive texts in empire policy suggest this. It is just hard to verify whether it actually works.
Also, I constantly hunt pirates, and killing pirate installations sometimes gives the position of a derelict ship. Send a little fleet outfitted for boarding, and in the rare case the derelict ship turns out to be a pirate in disguise, I get that ship anyway.
Late game you could board legendary pirate and Shakturi ships for some more opportunities to disassemble ships for tech.
I never board mining bases, since, more than anywhere else, I prefer those to be of my own designs. Retrofitting alien mining stations is just too painful.
The regeneration period of boarding pods isn't much of an issue. If those are empty, I either don't board, or I have to delay the attack in some way. The ability to get an alien ship with superior tech here and there is just a nice bonus.
The real problem is that boarding pods are dead weight in cases where boarding isn't desired or not the main goal. They're just like energy collectors in that way, taking up space that could otherwise be dedicated to more combat efficiency.
I deal with that by having boarding fleets and normal combat fleets, and they are strictly separated. The boarding fleets are little strike forces, just strong enough to deal with the occasional derelict battleship (at least this is the goal, early game it's too ambitious). They also take over pirate marauders here and there. The main combat forces do not have any assault pods.
< Message edited by sbach2o -- 12/6/2013 9:46:19 AM >