I'm trying to understand how, in fleet to fleet combat, ships are selected for attack and defense.
For example, I constructed a couple of medium size support ships - one that gives defense to the fleet, another that gives speed boost. I gave them fairly high defense but not much for attack. For some reason these ships always appear at the head of my fleets. I tried rearranging the order using "manage" fleet button but they always stay at the front. Which means that when my fleet engages in combat they are the first to die, which is kinda retarted (I'm sorry to say) because I have battleships in the same fleet that should be taking the brunt of the attack.
So how is this determined? I mean I could understand if the ships with highest attack/defense/hp/etc. were put at the front, or the reverse, i.e. with the lowest values, but I can't spot the pattern. Not only do support ships (with lowest attack and medium defense and hp) get put at the front, but when I have small, medium and large ships in the fleet it seems that the small ones go second (after support), then large, then medium... I mean "huh?"
The other side of it is how are the targets chosen?
I was up against this huge fleet, all of its battleships had low or none defense against mass-driver weapons, and only one had a high mass-driver defense rating. So for some reason all my ships, which used primarily mass-driver weapons, fired only at that one battleship and of course couldn't scratch while being destroyed by the other battleships. The worst part about it, is that overall their fleet had low MD defense and very high beam weapons defense, that's why I sent my MD fleet after them.
So basically I'm just trying to understand how this kinda stuff works.