Hello! Go job so far!
I don’t like how life support work.
For me, life support restriction should refer to the number of week a ship can survive without resupply. Right now, ship never resupply. Ever…
So here is a proposition.
Split life support in 2 different tech.
Life support for all ship that basically are only use for one-way trip. Constructor, colony, invasion and freighter. Those ship are usually crewed and inhabited by thousands to billions. If possible, I would even force those ship to land on planet and starbase to resupply.
Communication dish: All other ship would use this new tech. Those ship would not use any life support module and would never have to resupply. If we can feed 2.5 billion colonists with a basic life support, sustaining a couples hundreds should not be a burden.
The communication dish would work just as life support work now. But instead, of being a limit where ship cannot go, it would be possible to explore, attack and survey beyond this point. Ship ordered out of the communication zone would disappear in the FOW. You would not be able to give any other order to the ship. It would follow your last order, than rush back to the command zone. When back to the com zone, you would get the result of all exploration and review of the combat it add to deal with. Maybe our robot news could tell us about the trip!
Again; Love this game!