It comes into play every battle, but the current version has little effect; which in a way makes sense, since getting so close to a ship in space should be challenging. But it should probably be more effective than it is now.
I assumed it was some kind of transporter and carried on happily. In any event, the jist was that CJ's forces figured out a way to effectively capture enemy ships, be it by beaming hoards of marines onboard or by microwaving the things.
EMP: Disabled ships are ignored unless the winner wins by a clear enough margin that they can annihilate them. That is, you disable your 16-17 ships, and then if you've got destructive capacity left after the battle (and if you're trading ships 1:1 and have the same number to start, you do), you destroy the disabled ships.
Ex: 100 vs 100, same FS mod. 16 of one fleet are disabled - so both loose 84 ships. The attacker has 16 fighting ships left, the defender 16 disabled ships, so the attacker wipes them out and wins with 16 ships remaining.
Ex 2: 100 vs 100, defender has FS mod of 2. 16 are still disabled, but the attacker looses his entire fleet while the defender only looses 50. At the start of the next turn, the defender has 66 ships available.
Ex 3: The defender has a slight
advantage, where he looses his whole fleet but the attacker doesn't loose his whole fleet, but uses up his whole attack quota. There are 16 disabled ships remaining against the attacker, and he may need to face them next round.
Frankly, I'm having a hard time figuring out when, exactly, Ex3 happens. I think it'd be when an attacker wants to push through to hit planets, and so it is in his interest to use the attack quota to hit active targets rather than passive ones. It'd need to be a mixed-modifier bag, otherwise he'd always have leftover attack and blow some of the disabled ships up too.
Stealth: I'm pretty sure your sensor level plays into it, but I think it's a compare + die roll. If you roll a 2 and they have a sensor level 2 higher than yours, you are detected (on a 50/50 D6 roll). I'll need to check, and then you guys may/may not like that setup.
Vanguard: I may need to revisit that one, what you describe sounds different than what I remember. 10% of your ships survive, but do fire off whatever shots they can before fleeing, so their damage is counted. I think it might just be a 10% damage reduction
, which could still mean you get wiped out if they have 10% more damage than you have ships.
Capture: I'll need to look into. Part of the reason it got nerfed is because in the next
battle, 5% of your ships are now helping fight against you. It turns into a kingmaker situation, where once the person doing the capturing gets rolling they cannot be stopped.
Mines/All Die: Pretty much any level changes the D# by 2.
A minesweeper might be a jump-abort system; the mines are still there/deadly, but you know about them and you (can) stop the jump before you make it.
Going to try to get the update out today, I need to get some other stuff done so it might be pushed back to tomorrow.