What I'd have the devs consider maybe changing:
- Increase the total amount of defenders to boarders for station control. I imagine around ~1.5x as many "units" would round things out. (This is to offset the cost reduction, but also encourage a big ship to be used for combat on the station.)
- Increase how many boarders can be on a single combat shuttle. Reducing the need for many, many shuttles and large hangars. Not all large ships want big hangers and pilots as a requirement.
- Limit range of boarding shuttles. (For ships to be captured, they need to be held close. This will also have the effect of increasing the desire for "tractor beams" to be in use... so you can get your shuttles to the enemy!)
- Decrease the cost of a boarder crew member and the cost and time to train one. Boarder experience should add better chances to chance to inflict wounds and survive boarding action die rolls. (For example, a level 1 Boarder has 0% modifiers, while a Level 2 has 10%, and a level 3 has a 20%, decreasing the need to replacing lost boarders when you've so many veterans. Additionally, specific ship captains should add bonuses to these actions.)
- When shields are down, boarding immediately becomes possible. Boarded vessels will not be impossible to operate but will have incurred deficiencies (debuff) in their ability to do so until they either defeat the boarders or have lost all crew, or one type of operation limits ability. (fe: losing all of one's gunners means that you cannot fire your weapons, or no engineers means that they've taken your engineering bay; unless you have Allrounder crewmen to pick up the slack.) - All types of defenders are liable to roll against fighting on the station/ship, to simulate natural combat situations. "Allrounder" crewman and "Pilots" having less chance to do so until the very end of defender count. - When a ship or station is captured, this does not damage a station or limit it to 1% of all its structural integrity! However, interior critical infrastructure needs time to be repaired on the station; to better reflect the difficulty of capturing the station instead of a cost to the player's wallets of resources or credits. Additionally, one may instead pay a smaller cost to the specific factory/station type to keep that station type. (fe: You don't get a defunct station after taking over a Mining Robot Factory. And have to dish out your own 90 million credits AFTER all the work of paying for clones/crew, training them, doing the lengthy fighting and repairing the station!!)