There is a space empire consisting of 100 planets, these planets generate 1,000 recruits that can be used as ships CREW.
You build SHIPS, there is no limit on number of constructed ships but the number of ACTIVE SHIPS (fleet) is limited by crew available.
Now, the question is how to handle the crew and ships relationship?
Typically in such games crew is used as a hard limit for building ships (you can't build more ships that crew allows) but I can't do it, I need a pool of obsolete/unused ships that are not manned at the moment. My system is supposed to be highly automated (the AI manages which ships are active and which are waiting in reserve, send them to repairs and move older ships to reserve when better ones are built), that part is easy.
But what to do if:
- a ship is destoyed (so the crew capacity is freed) - should the crew immediatelly man the next best unmanned ship OR is the crew "dead" and you need to wait till the planets regenerate their pool of recruits?
- a ship is damaged and is sent for repairs - should the crew be able to just switch to a fully operational unmanned ship from reserve (which could be quite unbalancing in case you have a large pool of older unmanned ships, it could make wars quite long; also what to do if their original (better) ship is repaired, should they switch back again)?
regarding -"a ship is destroyed", I would personally assign different 'escape pod' values to each type of ship (if your using different types of ship). so say a cruiser may be able to save 20 % of its crew while a science vessel my save 50%. if your, that way your saving some of the crew but still giving the player a reason to not letting his ships die.
-"a ship is damaged", this depends entirely on how realistic your making this. it would be one idea to make the crew move to new ships regardless of if the older ship is damaged - after all you don't see the navy still putting out wooden sailing ships. Then again you could have a crew experience field - which increases the ships capability the longer it has served on a vessel. which would mean you would want the crew to return to the older ship once it has been repaired. again my preference would be to have the crew make a permanent move to a new ship every third generation of ship and a temp move while repairs are being made before that, I would also put in the experience field.