Actually everything is offline (the novel explains why) when the Dark Matter Drive is activated. So you are temporarily defenseless. In the case of Class II, III, IV ships, there isn't much to worry about, as you escape on the end of the same round. I could write a whole dissertation about the how the rock/paper/scissor dynamic is blended with officer skills, captain skills, race 'abilities', race 'weaknesses', ship design, bases, and offensive/defensive uniques. As I post more information about different aspects of the game (eg. right now I'm working on posting Officer Skills) some of it will be more understandable. Perhaps I've made the dynamics under the hood a little too complex, but I didn't want a simple game (and part of the reason why the Devs have their hands full). A really basic example: Genari are technologically weaker, but they make good use of their marines. Ma'Alaketh are very advanced in tech, but their weakness is a weak crew and ships that are more reliant on automation with lower crew support per ship. If marines get through the technology and board a Ma'Alaketh ship, they're in real trouble. Another basic example: Sol may have more powerful weapons and force fields, but they also take up more mass on a ship. Genari tech is smaller/lighter, so they can mount more rudimentary weapon systems and counter the more advanced opponent. And a final basic example for now: All ships have a rating in offense/defense, which then helps calculate the overall XP rating of a ship. If a ship is more powerful, it costs more XP. So a Genari Destroyer might cost 2000Xp, but a Ma'Alaketh Destroyer would cost 4500Xp. Ie. it will be harder to attain, thus you need to work harder as Ma'Alaketh to achieve the same tier ship.