You statement makes sense, however that is not why/where, at least for me (not speaking for ANYONE else here) but more because I have always had an interest in reading about various wars as well as watched many documentaries, and frankly WW2 had a lot of changes due to carrier bound aircraft, and that was the direction I was thinking in, as the carrier fleets both in the Pacific and the Atlantic were both strategic assets, not strictly tactical.
Your statement "Fighters of course, probably shouldn't count against logistics, unless they are very powerful. I like the idea of less powerful fighters myself, so they don't overshadow the ships.
Unless they are performing some unique functions that ships aren't already, it might not be worth the expendure of coding effort to implement fighters. But if unique roles can be implemented for them, they make sense to me." I am in 100% agreement with this, this is the direction I was going for. Treat it like a different weapon system/systems, more from a drone perspective, not a carrier scrambling Maverick, Iceman and Jester to solve a problem, as that would not fit AT ALL. But where you were going in your post was what I was thinking about.
Someone in another thread made the observation that fighters just being another weapons system would be kind of pointless, hence why I felt the need to elaborate on what fighters might do to distinguish themselves from say just another beam cannon.
I love the idea of a fork on the tech tree unlocking fighters and fighter improvements, as this adds more things to think about in the research department. Like anything else, though, it needs to be a thoughtful addition, not 'we added it just because'.
This also opens up an interesting possibility r.e. other races which might have 'fighter counterpart' or even 'fighter counter' tech, but no fighters of their own. If fighters are simply packing beams, missiles, and mass drivers like their bigger brethren, then the current defenses should work fine, although point defense might be particularly useful for anti-fighter defense as well.
I'd imagine fighters 'swarming' targets to overwhelm their defenses, not one fighter launching, deploying a mega-missile or four, then landing to rearm. The former fits the 'GalCiv' combat model nicely, while the latter changes the combat model entirely/shifts focus away from ships.
Similarly, it'd be a squadron of fighters that you'd send on 'deep space patrol'. DSP's might trade a little firepower for range. I'm envisioning a squadron of fighters moving one or two squares/hexes 'away' from their host ship, to reveal more of the map. As they aren't 'scouts', they won't activate anomolies, but they might help locate a few of them.
Long range fighter strikes I'd envision being effective against smaller vessels, or perhaps to 'bounce' other fighters on DSP. I picture a DSP remaining in the hex it moves to until the start of the next turn, at which point they automatically return to their mothership. Again, you are focusing on the strategic aspects here, and letting the game engine autoresolve combat as usual. DSP's and long range strikes every other turn makes sense to me (need time to refurbish the fighters after their mission), and also catching a Carrier with it's fighters away introduces a fun tactical element...
If 'damage degradation' is introduced, then sending a squadron to cripple a nearby ship has some benefits, as you might reduce it's movement if the ship is sufficiently weak for the squadron to have an effect. This also might make repair systems more important than they are now (i.e. working to rebuild your drive array to get you back to 100% movement and such).
Squadrons of course would incur their own losses/dmage, so there should be a maintenance 'cost to replace/repair' function working in the background, and of course the ship would need to be in supply range of it's infrastructure.
Again, the GSB (Gratuitous Space Battles) implementation is a good example of what I picture as far as tactical combat is concerned.
The main question is how much space a hanger module should take, i.e. how many fighter units are added per module. Multiple hangar modules might allow multiple squadrons, hence increasing the number of long range missions a ship can send, so there would need to be a balance here.
I envision fighters having an extremely limited number of hull spaces, with construction focused mainly on the 'look and feel', not a bjillion options r.e. systems. Essentially a roving weapon platform with engines - you simply choose missile, beam, and mass driver versions, and your tech in other areas determines the effectiveness of these systems. I'm thinking that defensively they would be rather ineffective due to their small size, focusing more on 'not getting hit' rather than trying to resist damage. Essentially maybe a fifth or tenth the size of a tiny craft.
This does also introduce the interesting option of 'ground based fighters', i.e. you designate a planetary tile as a fighter base. These would be good against planetary invasions, orbital attacks, and perhaps long range strikes of their own, although the last one might be a little much r.e. micromanagement of planets.
The Stardock guys of course are the ones that would need to get excited about fighters, and envision a way to implement them into the 4x GalCiv format in such a way that they are interesting and a worthy addition to the game, without overhsadowing the other game aspects. I'm sure it can be done, after all Civ has had fighters and carriers for decades now.