I remember one of the fun things we did with Starfire was set-up and play what we called "Smuggler" scenarios. One side would get a certain budget to build a single small warship, such as might be used on patrol, or by customs. The other side would get a certain budget to build a single freighter. The scenario would consist of the "smuggler" freighter entering via a warp point, and trying to make it to the planet and land, while the "customs" ship would try to stop it, either by destroying it or disabling the engines. I know this may sound simplistic, but it gave us some very intense and gripping short games.
My only doubt about adapting this concept to SE4 is in the matter of ending the battle. Currently, tactical battle in SE4 can (TTBOMK) only be ended when the 30 turns expire, or one side is totally eliminated. Such a scenario would require the ability to end a tactical battle when one ship reached a certain pre-designated objective.