True, I'm just concerned that starbases will become glorified hangars (though maybe that's okay for the Advent?) if they can't be somewhere useful, so it seems like they need to move somehow. There's also a pretty big difference between non-combat maneuvering and in-combat maneuvering.
I think everyone wants to at least keep in-combat tactical maneuvering uniquely Vasari, so that leaves a few options that I can see:
- Extreme Range: starbases have well-scale reach, meaning they're always a threat.
- Not a Threat, Not a Problem: maybe it can be okay that a starbase isn't a direct threat if it's valuable enough in other ways, such as a trade port or factory.
- Active Movement: the player is actively involved in the movement, eg a component for planet/starbase or maybe an upgrade tech for the construction frigate that allows you to move things around.
- Passive Movement: the game automatically moves structures. This could be something like aligning a gravity well to the sun (not that I think this would help much) or something more extreme like having all structures orbit the planet.
On that note, if structures orbited their planets, what would that be like?
Given that planets already orbit their star, I think getting the structures themselves to orbit is probably not too difficult (though might have performance limitations). The new code would mainly be in structure placement, I should think. So, the first time you go to place a structure around a planet, you can place it anywhere. Later structures can then either be placed elsewhere on an existing orbit or be used to create a new non-colliding orbit.
Orbits would make attacking a planet rely more on active scouting, since the battlefield would constantly be shifting, and there would still be strategy to what orbits you place things in. Presumably, you'd want defenses in lower orbits, so they'd be more likely to interact with an attacking force, but they'd also break contact more quickly, so anything that could repair them would have opportunities to do so. You'd also need to plan orbits based on the size of their contents. For example, you might be able to fit three orbits filled with autocannon turrets in the same orbital width defined by an Argonev.
I think it'd also smear battlefields out around a planet, as ships attack structures in different orbits, which probably wouldn't be great.