I LIKE epic games with lots of opponents. but as has been said in the above commentary I really dislike having to sit around for 50 turns late in game to get from one side of the galaxy to the other to wage war.
Then use zone defense, like you would actually do in a galaxy-spanning empire. Or better yet...
I'd be cool with a 15 or 20 move max on any given ship... if there was a way to jump across the map strategically.
Like the already-existing Starbase modules that do exactly this..? No-one uses them, because they require a military ring and I don't think anyone has ever built one in the entire history of Gal Civ 3, but it's quite possible to build a starbase network that triples your ship speeds.
This fact alone basically demolishes about half the arguments in favour of massive engine stacking, tbh. No-one actually needs engine stacking. If you need to get from one end of your space to the other quickly, then the game provides tool to do that outside of giving every ship 20 stellar folders. If you need to be in enemy space, well, you need to be operating at a speed where the enemy can react to you. You're no longer just asking to be able to get from the one end of the galaxy to the other, you're asking to be able to attack multiple targets in one turn from way outside the AI's awareness, and that's the thing about engine stacking which is so imbalanced right now.
As for the Sensors... they Should be on a combat ship... a ship in space with no sensors can only see what the people flying it can see... or basically nothing.
I think, for the purposes of GC3, we can draw something of a distinction between the short-range targetting sensors needed to engage another fleet within a reasonably small volume, and multi-light-year FTL detectors. As Joe notes, these can basically be presumed to be in the basic sensor package that allows all ships to see a couple of light years in all directions.
if you make sensors not stack then I'll just build a whole bunch of fast ships that can spread out and do a sensor net like what was previously mentioned. Thank you for making constructor spam 2.0
As I've said over and over again, I don't think anyone is suggesting that sensors and engines should not stack at all. But there should be a maximum attainable speed and sensor range (as there already is), and that maximum should be lower than it is now, because it is presently imbalanced and the AI cannot effectively combat it (and nor can it be made to do so without making it behave idiotically on small maps).
Or we can just have more stations... so um.. constructor spam 3.0
Or the same number of stations with much more powerful sensors. Again, having to build 10 or 12 of something with 5 construction points s each to completely cover the galaxy is a very different situation from having 6 starbases per planet and needing to build a million constructors to kit them all out.
Or we could have projects/techs that increase the radius of planets... and stations automatically
Which would really be a better solution for the whole frigging station-spam thing.
But honestly do some research on NORAD, or the radar systems found in an AWAKs aircraft... in real life earth military application we build Sensor boats.
Do some research on the range of AWACS radar systems. They have a maximum coverage of around 312,000 km2. Note the difference between that number and 510.1 million km², which is the entire surface of the Earth. In other words, real life sensor boats can see roughly about 0.06% of the total 'field of play'. This is our most powerful dedicated mobile radar systems in real life. They in no way support the idea of being able to build 1 or 2 ships and get total coverage; rather, this is an argument in favour of a total ban on sensor stacking (which isn't what most of the reductionist camp are advocating anyway).
Larger real-world radar systems are generally fixed structures or groups of fixed structures. Radar telescopes and suchlike are now built in the form of multiple structures spread across large areas - even intercontinental distances. Basically, no matter how high-tech your methods of looking far away, it usually boils down to a bigger lens = better at any given technology level, and so planets and SBs are well positioned to take up these roles, being roughly analogous to fixed radar installations and of suitable scales compared to ships to achieve greater inferonometric returns from using multiple small sensor groups (an idea which also extends the interesting notion of cumulative fleet sensors).
Really I'd suggest that the Starbase revamp provides an ideal opportunity to tackle both things at once. If SB spam can be alleviated (which it can easily; increase the cost of constructors by 500%, increase the number of construction points by the same amount, equalize SB radius and exclusion and scale them by map size), then why not just tag strategic redeployment and long-range sensor roles onto MSBs?
Let ship sensor and engine stacking cap out at 20 or 30 tiles, then let military SBs fill the gap for both strategic redeployment (the existing 66% move cost reduction within ZOC) and super-long-range sensors (8 for base, 16 for sector -since a sector is 16 haxes - 32 for the next module up and 64 for the final one). This means that knocking out military SBS rather than bypassing them becomes worthwhile (need to slow down enemy reinforcements and reduce their vision range), kills off the worst excesses of sensor and engine stacking (while still permitting you to build reasonably fast ships and long-range tactical radar units without allowing you to outrange the AI's threat radius) and actually encourages people to use MSBs - without making it impossible to redeploy quickly within your own control. Hell, it even encourages building internal infrastructure and opens up interesting strategic possibilities based on crippling supply lines.
This even appears to be how the game was originally designed to be played, with the speed increasing SB modules and the powerful sensor modules (along with the default designs not using any serious level of sensor and engine stacking). I don't think the idea of putting 10 or more sensors/engines on a hull ever occurred to the designers.