I just had a crazy idea. What if there was a different game mode where you had the option of deploying an admiral’s ship into battle? Suppose it’s an extra powerful dreadnought with some hull bonuses, extra slots, etc. And of course you can only deploy one per battle.
The downside is that if you lose the admiral’s ship you immediately lose the battle. So the dreadnought becomes sort of like a king in chess where you have to protect it at all times. It could open up some interesting avenues for new strategies besides the bash your enemy’s fleet into little pieces routine.