I've read through this very interesting Thread and came up with some ideas, see if you can use them.
If I got it right the current rule is big ships (does this include M6?) have 30 seconds of counterfire that, when not used up, go into the main weapon pool. First of all how do you calculate the strength of the counterfire?
Is it a percentage of a ships total firepower? Or based on the number of turrets?
Second: How do you determine what gets what amount of CF? Will a Destroyer get more than a M5? Will a Destroyer get counterfire at all?
It seems to me missles are a major point at the current state. What I came up with is this:
A missle is basically an enhancement of the ships firepower, so lets treat it as one.
Missles Damage is added as a factor to a ships total firepower. To determine the amount of damage added, we take the chance a ship will fire a missle as well as a precomputed table with damage values for all missles.
As missles don't need orientation towards the target, this damage would get applied after cockpit laser damage has been reduced.
First the table: It would consist of an average damage value for all missles based on missle Speed and type (dumb, seeker, etc.). You would basically do what you have already done for the lasers: get realistic average damage values.
This is easy if the ship has only one missle type in its cargo bay. Just factor in the probability to shoot a missle at all and you have the average additional damage the ship gets for it's missles.
Now what about multple missle types?
I think the first thing we should do is assume a ship will always use the strongest missle that fits for the target. It will not, however, shoot Torpedos on an M5.
You already have 3 ship classes: Small, Big and Huge.
So we could (in the precomputed table) assign each missles a class: Small, Big and Huge. A ship would always use the most destructive missles of the samle class as the target.
Last point is deducting missles form the hold:
Maybe you could do this based on the missle shoot percentage. Like 20% of weapon fire is missles means 1 missle per combat round. However I'm not really sure on that number.
The hitability of a ship should only be one factor.
I would use a precomputed table with speed and size as it's factors, adjusting the values to tailor in off-chart turning rates or very good/bad profiles.
This should be a positive factor between 1 and some high mark, possibly 100 or even 200. The higher the value the more difficult a ship is to hit.
To make it clear that high values are good you could call it evasion, but i will stick with hitability for now.
After that you can just calculate the damage by doing (as an example):
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Damage= big.gun.dmg/ hitability + (med.gun.dmg*2)/hitabillity + (light.gun.dmg*4)/hitability
(numbers completely made up)
To get in fight skill, you could use that as a percentage value where a fight skill of 0 means 0% bonus to hitability and a fightskill of 30 means 30% bonus.
This means that a low fightskill wont make your ships that much weaker, while a very high skill will be significant.
The higher a ships basic hitability (or evasion for that matter), the more bonus it will get. Meaning an expert pilot in an M5 will have more impact than in an M2. This somewhat reflect IS behavior, as even a good pilot can not evade well with a phoenix.
Morale and aggression:
I would agree with Gazz that morale and aggression don't really fit into the fight Skill of a pilot. But you could factor in extreme values. So in a scale from 1 to 30, 1-5 or 25-30 Aggression woul give the ship a malus on fight skill, as the pilot is either over-aggressive or cowardly. Same with morale.
Thats it for now. Maybe it's of some use.[/u][/code]