Originally Posted by Arralen
Placements of components should have a much bigger impact, or actually, the function
of the component should have a much bigger effect on where it must be placed. (In fact, I think, SE3-5 got it almost -wrong- every time
) E.g. it should be mandatory that sensors are mounted outside
even the armor, unless they're fantastitech hyperspace sensors. And sublight engines must have some kind of unarmored exhaust, unless, again, you have reached inertialless gravity drives, or something. And, o.c., while armour should be a fine thing to have, it's pretty obvious that there shouldn't be a need to desintegrate every tiny bit of armor before a ship goes BOOOM ... critical hits to internals through holes shot in the armour beforehand should do that much earlier. (IIRC , SE3 got that mostly right).
What about giving some components an "external" label (sensors, engines, gun-weapons, etc.) that means you don't have to go through the armour to get to them? Also, I'd suggest that armour (and shields) has a "bleed-through" rating so that any attack that does more than a certain amount of damage damages not only the armour, but also a little bit to the internal components. For example:
A ship with four 50-damage guns engages an unarmed vessel with 300 armour which has a bleed-through value of 40 damage. In the first turn the attacked does 50 damage four times over, except the bleed-through on the armour is only 40 damage, so each shot does 40 damage to the armour, and 10 damage to the internal components (leaving aside random hits to 'external' components), thus, at the end of the first round, the target has 140 armour left, and 40 damage to its internals. The second round is almost a repeat of the first, at least in the first three shots, but come the fourth shot the target only has 20 armour left, so instead of taking 10 damage to its internals, it takes 30 damage, leaving it with at the the end of the second round, no armour, and 100 damage to its internals.