King of the Dead
You suggest using counters to track how much Fleet Strength is available to each player saying we might want to separate it into two piles, one is a pool and the other is available for use.
Also you suggest using counters for the Ore resource.
And it's suggested that ships that are built but not deployed simply be set in front of you until deployment.
If I may offer a way to streamline all of this, keeping all your information in one easy to read spot and add a bit of flavor to the game as well....
How about a command sheet for each player? Somewhere on it (bottom?) you could have three tracks. One is for tracking Fleet another for tracking Ore and the third keeps track of victory points. Simply have one counter as a marker for each and you can slide it up and down the track as the resource or points are lost or gained.
Make some neat, easily recognizable symbols for each counter. Maybe an anchor for Fleet, some rocks or iron bars for Ore and a blue ribbon for VP.
Heck, if you did that you'd really only need ONE track that could be used by all the counters at once!
In addition to this you could have a space above the tracks as a "Dry dock" or "Shipyard" or "Testing Grounds" where you can place your built/purchased ships that have yet to be deployed so there is no confusion as to which is available for deployment and which are simply in your pool for purchase later. You can just leave purchased ships there for deployment later in case you had lost some Manufacture space that turn (MC on a planet got destroyed etc).
As for Garrison troops... If I understand the rules correctly you do not have to purchase Garrisons in advance. You may simply elect to place them at the time the attack (or defense) occurs. However, you do need to pay for them on your NEXT turn during the purchase/build phase.
Assuming I'm correct in this you might want to put a space next to the Dry dock on the command sheet to place activated troops so you can remember to pay for them. Perhaps call it "Recruitment tax" or "Retraining" or... I don't know... Something along those lines with a military bent. Maybe make it ambiguous so if someone wants to think of the troops as robots it makes sense too.
If I understand Manufacture correctly this would not need to be tracked at all since it's a hard number on a planet by planet basis and only reflects how much of each type of ship (or garrison if activated) can be deployed there.
You could integrate the information on the player aids such as ship cost and turn order onto the cards as well.
One tidy little package that adds some themed flash to the game as well.
Of course, you'd probably want to apply your already awesome aesthetic to it. Circles instead of hexes (i just love hexes! ), star background, glowy lines for the grid, etc...
Anyway, just some thoughts. I'm probably going to make this for myself if you don't but then I love modifying my games anyway.
I'm very much looking forward to trying this out. I haven't yet because I work wine and beer in a specialty grocery store. The weeks before Thanksgiving don't give me much time for playing games, unfortunately. After this week I'll be good to go though!
Except for the weekend after which is a big D&D game... Argh!
That has been an idea I've been messing with for some time. I am luck enough to have made a pretty nice Space Mat that I painted some Placement Sections for your Ore and Fleet Strength. However, I have been meaning to do a "command sheet" as you called it for people who don't have anything like the Mat that I have.
I do like the idea of having a single row for all resources. This would save space (being printed on a 4x6 Photo), being that in many games, it's not uncommon to have at times more than 30 or 40 fleet used, with an income of 15-20+ Ore per turn. The Resource counters are a good idea.
As far as Garrison Troops, you do have to buy them when you buy any of your units, and deploy them on the planet. Looking back though, I see I was pretty darn vague as far as what Garrison Troops are, and how they're handled. Basically they are units that do not cost any Manufacture nor Fleet, and are deployed on a Planet's sector to further aid in the defense and attack of your MC. These units represent either ground troops, gunman aboard your MC, or as small intercepting fighters that are deployed from your MC. Later on in expansions, I want to expand on their concept, but I'll leave them pretty basic for now. Hope that helps and doesn't confuse you, lol.
I really need to re-write the rules though, you're bringing out a lot of holes in them (which is a good thing and exactly what I wanted).
Thanks for the ideas, I really appreciate you being so open with your suggestions.