I've decided to put the new game screen on hold for now, and focus on creating some other screens, because the user interface was giving me a headache. So I decided to work on the space combat screen because that's the most fun part of the game! Seeing your ships pwn the enemy ships (or vice versa, which isn't as fun)!
There will be max of 16 different ship sizes, I've taken a screenshot of the initial combat screen (all it does is display the ships properly, along with the amount of ships stacked). The ship on top left is the smallest (16x16 pixels, or size 1). The ship under that is size 3, the ship on top right is size 5, and the bottom right is size 16.
I've thought long and hard about how the space combat should be like. This is what I've decided. Ships will stack, like in Master of Orion 1. However, the combat field is bigger than the screen, so you can look around, zoom out/in (maybe), etc. Defending ships will always be on the left, while attacking ships are on right.
Since this game will incorporate some physics (if you don't see a beam hitting a ship, it don't hit, and vice versa, similar to X-Com), weapons will perform a bit different from MoO 1. Here's the sum:
A weapon with many mounts (say, 10 cannons), will each fire in succession, so it will shoot 10 times visually. The topmost ship will take damage, and if it is destroyed, the next shot will hit the next ship, and so forth.
"Streaming weapon" means that it penetrates the ship, dealing damage to it, but continuing beyond the ship to potentially hit another ship. Imagine rail gun from Red Faction. It won't "carry over" to the next ship in stack.
Exploding weapons (such as anti-matter torpedoes) impacts all ships in the stack, so it is more powerful the more ships are stacked. Black hole Torpedo is included in this category.
Missiles will be treated individually, if enough damage is done to destroy a ship, the remaining missiles will hit the next ship, and so forth.
There may be other special weapons, and special shield characteristics (a shield that bounces off energy weapons for example) that may affect the tactics.
I'm excited to see the combat screen fleshed out!