One of the remaining problems with the orders system is that there’s no way for fast ships to stick with the fleet at first and then break escort/formation to engage. I therefore propose the Break and Attack order, which would work something like this:
Edit 08/06/10 (extra clarity):
Break and Attack is an order that has a range slider, describing the distance you want it to take effect at–if my ship has Attack Fighters and selects, say, that squadron of fighters over there to attack, Break and Attack activates once my ship has closed to Break and Attack’s range with the fighters. Giving a ship Break and Attack implies that you also want it to Keep Moving. If given to a ship that doesn’t also have an Escort or Formation order, it simply functions as Keep Moving would. On the other hand, if the ship with Break and Attack also has an Escort or Formation order, it respects Escort/Formation until it’s closed to within Break and Attack’s range. Parts of my formation suddenly leap off to engage the enemy at close order, while my heavier ships, who absorbed the opening volleys, stay back to pound my foe from range.
Seems like it wouldn’t be overly hard to implement, and also seems like a great way to add a little bit more in-battle control without actually adding any in-battle control. Thoughts?
Edit 08/06/10 (original 2nd paragraph):
It’s an order with a range slider, which implies Keep Moving. You give it to a ship which also has Escort or Formation; Escort/Formation supersedes the Keep Moving part of Break and Attack. When the ship closes to within the given range of its selected target, it deactivates the Escort/Formation order, permitting the Keep Moving effect to come back to the front of the line, as it were, and suddenly parts of your formation leap off to engage the enemy at close range!