So I have not been as focused on this design as I would like. I’ve been distracted by a few other designs as well as my real job getting busier this season.
I have worked out a mechanism for the ship designs. It’s an abstract way to represent ship builds and damage.
Each ship card will have a grid. The number of columns is based on the ships size. So a large ship would be 12 columns wide and a small ship would be 6 wide. Each aspect of the ship has its own row. So a row for weapons, a row for engines, cargo, and shields.
Not every column in a row will have an item in it. They will be spaced out in different ways. The reason for this is how damage works. There is a separate row for damage. When your ship takes a damage the damage row fills up one spot at a time from the right. Each column with a damage stops working. So any weapons, shields, cargo, or engines in that column are damaged.
With this system components can be arrange to give each ship a different feel. A ship with most of its weapons in the far right columns will lose them from a little damage. But a ship with everything on the far left will be able to take more damage with little effect, thus being a “tougher” ship.
Now I just need to design some to play test the mechanic.