So, recently I've been talking about how the default ship blueprints aren't suitable for the game, and how I've been making my own ship designs to better take advantage of the Ship Roles. That said, I've figured that players who are more experienced at GalCiv3 than I am would know more than I do about the mechanics, enough that I could learn something from them. So I'm putting some of my designs out there, for you all to critique and suggest on how I can improve on them.
All of my ships are for the Terran Alliance. I wish there was some easy way I could port similar component loadouts onto the ships of the other factions, but it seems I'm SOL for the time being. Anyway, I divided them into three categories; Beam/Shield, Missiles/PD, and Kinetics/Armor. K/A ships are named after Royal Navy ships (because their heyday is in the age of cannon), M/PD ships after United States Navy ships (because it's this tech that defines modern-day cutting age naval technology that the USN is known for), and B/S ships after Imperial Japanese Navy ships (because Nippon banzai weeaboo pew-pew supertech, that's why).
I further refined the naming conventions by taking Ship Roles into account. Capitals are named after battleships, Escorts are named after cruisers, Guardians are named after destroyers, and Supports... well, you'll see.
(High weapons, low defenses)
I go with a fairly-standard Capital-Escort composition; these have as many of the most advanced weapons as they can fit, but only one of the most basic defense of their type. I did it this way to make them more accessible, since this makes it so that I can gain access to more advanced iterations with higher levels of weapons, engines and life support tech, while only needing the most basic defense tech of their type. They're my main damage dealers of the fleet in the early mid-game, but become obsolete as soon as Large hulls are researched.
(Low weapons, high defenses)
The other side of my take on the Capital-Escort tactic, these have as many of the most advanced defenses as they can fit, but only one of the most basic weapons of their type. It's for much the same reason - accessibility - for their design. I could probably make them even more space-efficient by equipping all three with just Railguns, but the Ship Designer lumps them all under Kinetic ships in that case, which makes things messy. Unlike the Medium Capitals, these remain viable in the lategame, if only in a 'coalmine canary' role; they'll be the first to die in a fleet made up of Large and Huge ships, and that's a sign to pull that fleet back to safe space.
(High weapons, low defense, fleet weapon support modules)
These are built similarly to their Capital counterparts, but include a fleet weapon support module of their respective type. This means they have less firepower than Capitals, but only one of each is needed in each fleet. Useful, but they also become obsolete once Large hulls are available.
(Some weapons, low defenses, one carrier module)
'Budget' carriers that would probably fold in a stiff breeze, but serve their purpose of putting assault fighters in play at low cost and/or lower logistics. I could never figure out how to stuff a second carrier module in there, so I put weapons in the extra space instead, on the off chance that they get in a position to provide fire support.
Fleet Defense Support
(Fleet defense modules, fleet movement modules)
Comes with fleet movement modules in common, as well as fleet defense modules of their respective types. They are built to complement their respective same-type Escorts, and are designed to remain viable throughout a game.
(High weapons, low defenses, weapon augment modules)
Picks up where their Medium counterparts left off. Remains the primary offensive element of my fleets in the late midgame, but Capitals in general become obsolete once Huge hulls are available.
(Low weapons, high defenses, repair modules)
Takes the primary tanking role from their Medium counterparts, although both types remain in use in my fleets throughout the game. These remain the primary means for my fleet to soak up damage from the respective weapon types to the end of the game.
(High weapons, low defenses, fleet weapon support modules, guardian drone modules)
Picks up where their Medium counterparts left off. More advanced iterations come with Guardian Drone modules, intended to boost the fighter screen for the fleet.
(Two carrier modules, low weapons)
It takes Large hulls to be able to carry two sets of carrier modules, as far as I've found. This also means they can only carry one set of the most basic weapons of their respective types, but that's perfectly fine for dedicated carriers.
(All three types of weapons, low defenses, all three types of weapon augment modules)
Yes, I used the Ship Design Contest winner for this - give me a break, it's too cool not to use. It's actually quite unlikely I'll get around to building these in my games; it's no longer the primary offensive element like its predecessors, and is instead intended as a specialized tool for punching through defense-stacked Escorts. It's not like the AI builds those though, at least not at the moment.
(Low weapons, all three types of defenses, all repair modules)
Designed to defend against carrier swarms, since the Large Escorts are perfectly capable of soaking damage from singular weapon types. But it's not like I get to build these much either, since the AI doesn't resort to carrier swarms like players do.
(Low weapons, low defenses, lots of guardian drone modules, fleet repair modules)
Brings a swarm of Guardian Drones to the table as a fighter screen for the Supports, and as a counter to carrier fighter swarms... in theory. But in practice, my Guardian Drones are classed as Interceptors for some reason, so that's kind of awkward. Eh, they tend to die more easily than the Assault Fighters, so I figure they're screening the Fighters instead of the Supports. That's fine too, I guess.
(Low Weapons, low defenses, multiple carrier modules, fleet repair modules)
Takes over the role of primary offensive element from the Capitals, with its multiple Carrier Modules. I know it looks like a poor knockoff of its real-life counterpart, but eh. Best I could do at my current level of expertise with the Ship Designer.
No, these are not all of the designs I've come up with; I have others for utility ships. But let's just go with these for the moment.
Thoughts? Suggestions? Anyone? Bueller?