Hey folks, there is something which has always gotten me pissed about aircraft carriers in Space strategy games. Most of them seem to get it wrong on how they should be employed. Mainly because they directly convert how aircraft are used on our blue planet and directly employ the same methods in space. Except, converting them directly makes little sense as the role of an aircraft carrier is directly diminished to just "kill the other ship" role.
This reduces the utility, role, and the advantage a carrier has in Naval based operations.
Ill, try to make the comparison in terms of world war 2 so it will be much easier to put my views across. The Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter had a tremendous range of 2600km. Essentially means these fighters popped up all over the pacific front giving the impression that there was a lot more of them to the Americans than what was initially known. This means that these fighters from these ships could be employed in the entire pacific front instead of being isolated to a single battle or a single engagement.
What I propose is that there should be a complete overhaul in the way the fighters/bombers in these carriers should be used. Instead of this just being another weapon to kill ships. Carriers fighters/bombers should be overhauled completely with extra abilities.
1. A huge bonus to Bomb planetary facilities, armies and to assist in planetary invasions.
2. Fighters/bombers should be fitted with smaller hyperdrive units, giving the carrier the ability to be positioned in deep space and launch their fighters/bombers to engage targets in nearby systems. Basically I am talking about hyperdrives which are a lot faster than large ship-based hyperdrives but with a smaller range, maybe 1/3rd or 1/4th of its range .
3. The increased complement of fighters and bombers so that these carriers can actually be a very potent force. I am talking about at least 100 fighters. Though I don't know how feasible that is visual without breaking the computer.
This is what Erik had said about fleet carriers last year in December.
"Fleet Carrier will support many more sensor slots, some of them capable of support larger (like Long Range Sensors that can see across multiple systems or even an entire sector)"
Now, Imagine you are fighting the gizzureans or the Dhayuts along a distant front. They deploy a carrier fleet with two massive carriers totaling around 200-250 carrier based fighters/bombers. Assuming these fighters have a range of 1.5 - 2 sectors.
1. They get to deploy their fighters with the ability to attack multiple locations. Refueling stations, mining stations, transports, freighters. Generally being an absolute nuisance in the entire sector.
2. Having a bonus on planetary invasions makes them a lot more useful during offensive campaigns.
3. Locating these carriers in deep space will become a lot more important for the defending side. Forcing the player to make use of long-range sensors.
4. Allowing fighters to have hyperdrives, also means you could actually have fighter bases in deep space with the range to defend multiple nearby systems.
This should allow you to have a great deal of flexibility. Basically making carriers something to be feared and envied.