Every space game ever invented to date uses clunky mechanics really based on coal age navies. In space every weapon has unlimited range. The effective range of a weapon is based on the respective times it takes to fire and the time it takes the target to dodge. For example a ship that can dodge in 2 seconds will be out of range of lasers at a distance from the earth to the moon, and out of range of a .50 cal machine gun at 2km. A heavier ship with twice as much dodgetime would be vulnerable to all weapons at twice the distance.
The relative velocity of the two fleets is greatly important. A meeting engagement of two fleets at rest is absurd. I would like to see a game where fleets were set up like in GSB. However the fleets would be set very far apart and hurled toward each other at great speed. The two fleets could be hurled through each other and the game would end when all ships had passed out of effective range on the other side. Rather than a dogfight or a slugfest, battle would be more like a joust.
Suppose two fleets collided with a relative velocity of 4% the speed of light. The fleets would be in laser range of each other for a few minutes. Ships could only get within machine gun range of each other for a fraction of a second, but each bullet travelling at 4% c has the power of a Hiroshima bomb. The exact numbers that come out of special relativity are outside of human scale, but the concepts can be brought into a game by using a small number for c and so on…
Suppose a game made it possible to adjust the relative velocity of the fleets, (fast, medium,slow, none;). As you go up in relative velocity the power of massive projectiles increases radically, while beam weapons have the same power at all velocity settings. For example, in fast the fleets might pass 8x the slow speed, and do 64x the damage with mass weapons. At medium speed the fleets would pass at 4x, and do 16x the damage with mass weapons.
In the moments after the fleets pass each other only beam weapons will be effective, and they will have the luxury of picking off the enemy from behind.
In a fast setting, standoffs and platforms would be overpowered. But the ability to detect anything would be low.
At medium, fighters and drones could dish out death with little blasters.
At slow, heavier ships would be somewhat better.
None, would be a slugfest as it is now.
Naturally this sort of scheme would lend itself well to battle in waves, where in the final round all the survivors make a final appearance.