Restricting the boarding torps to frigate weapons makes sense - prevents cruisers loaded with marine/crew modules from spamming them.
Also like the idea of loading a barracks module for defending against boarding (this would be a good way of keeping track of “personnel ammo” without having to add a new status bar as previously suggested - it would function in a similar way to the repair modules I guess).
K, so current idea runs like this:
Each fired torp depletes the marine reserve from the marine barracks module (ie you have to take a barracks module in order to fire a boarding torp at all)
The torps themselves should be really heavy - anyone fielding boarding frigates essentially needs to sacrifice all other offensive and most of his defensive ability in the name of speed - and taking more than one of the launchers should be a risky business (although I suppse you could to ensure that your disruptor bombers reach the target first and bring the shields down ready for boarding - see below)
Torps should be very short range, low speed and tracking and high reload times but have flare decoys so they can not be countered by a single point defense turret.
The boarding frigate’s only job is essentially to sacrifice itself and rob the enemy of a ship - once the boarding torps are fired, I don’t think it should gain any survival bonuses. It should also therefore be relatively cheap to field, otherwise it’s not an attractive cost effective option.
Boarding torps should do zero damage to shields, but damage armour AND hull (ie they vaporise on inpact with shields, killing all marines onboard - but should they hit the ship, they make a dirty great hole in the side!) this should prevent quick ship capping as you have to bring the shields down first.
Each boarding torp could carry say 20 marines capable of taking out 40 crew or 20 marines on the target ship (plus or minus a little either way to make it more random) this way, larger ships take longer to capture and also require more successful boarding torp hits. Depletion of marines takes time as well - it shouldn’t be an instantaneous drop of 40 men!)
So essentially they should be a risky tactic to deploy (rocket fighters and bombers would rip the shit out of the frigates before they got into range and that’s before the poor buggers in the torps crash into shields or point defense lasers) BUT if they hit, they stand a good chance of taking out a single enemy cruiser (making them an especially good counter to armour tanks).
How is this sounding so far cliffski? =]