This is something I’ve noticed for a while and have been using to beat challenge fleets, but just encountered for the first time in an enemy fleet. It happened to be Lokis’ Grand Challenge Missile Quest.
The first thing you’ll notice when playing against this fleet is that it has no engines. Given that there’s no way a game can end in a draw, it forces the other player to have engines. This means engine modules, possibly more power plants, etc. Also notice that a ship with no engines can stack armour and not worry about speed.
In short, there’s almost no reason not to make a challenge fleet that can’t move. The only problem is range. Someone can make a fleet which moves, and is positioned such that it can attack the challenge fleet from the side, thus limiting incoming fire at any one time.
The counter to this is to cram a fleet in the corner of the map. I can easily foresee this being a problem. The obvious solution is to require that every ship have an engine. Even if it’s a weak engine, this should remove the possibility of stalemates. And realistically, the only way to move around a ship with no engines is to tow it; so are we towing around entire fleets? It’s rather weird.
Given that every challenge fleet I’ve seen has had engines, I’ve been placing fleets without engines, designed so that certain ships receive fire, allowing missile ships behind to outrange enemy fire. It’s currently valid, but it’s silly, and I’d like to see it gone.
What do other people think?