I'm a little tangled up in the real life job but I'm at least defining the new tech tree that will complement the new operations, I'll outline that in a devblog shortly and hopefully I'll have the hand free to deal with them at some point in early December
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Sorry about that, the current combat implementation is quite naive, I'll have to fix how those number of ships are handled.
Meanwhile I'll increase factory cost and double science payout - the game was never meant to need players to build such fleets, both for scaling reason and because it's annoying to manage.
Anyway, have you checked the after battle report? I've added there recently a damage/cost indicator and I'm sure that throwing some bomber/gunship in the mix should give you more bang for bucks, especially if the enemy is fielding medium or large ships.
Now Andromeda and later galaxies have has a substantial bonus on research production, that will help both going further and resetting faster since research follows you. As soon as enemy will switch to fixed resources exterminate will become more of an useful tool as well, then special sectors - currently the game is too slow but I'm keeping the current balance because of all the queue of improvements coming.
thanks for the report! i know how that might have happened, I have not thought of that condition where an enemy could become not adjacent during conquest and thus invalid -
can't fix it until tomorrow at the earliest however, sorry. think I found it togheter with another issue on sector loss, should be ok now.