When I encounter the pain of refleets, I am reiminded that autosaves are the norm, not the exception.
Very rarely is a [player] fleet wipe worth the tactical benefits, better that I just reload that I examine what went wrong for better then worst.
I disagree with this, mostly because most low-mark fleetships are cheap
. I spend the first 1/2 to 2/3 of the game using just the triangle ships plus my bonus ship. I'll unlock Mk II of all four early, and Mk III when I get a Fac IV or when I start having problems (with threat, SF, a fortress world, etc). I fleetwipe all the time, and usually don't care, because I'll be rebuilt quickly and get back to the attack soon enough. So suiciding my fleetships to do an extra 10% damage to a fortress, or kill another 10% of the SF is more than worth it.
I only start having issues with a fleetwipe when I've captured a few ARSs, hacked a few Fabs, and acquired a Fac IV for Mk IV ships. But by that point, almost nothing but an AI Homeworld assault will cause me to fleetwipe.
Let's give some examples:
The Mk I triangle ships (Fighter, Bomber, Missile Frigate) have cap MC costs of about 40,000, 150,000, and 115,000.
So for roughly 300,000 MC, you get a full cap of Mk I triangle ships.
Costs for Mk II and Mk III are x2 and x4, giving 600,000 and 1,200,000 MC.
For 1/2 max resources, you can refleet the entire Mk I and Mk II fleets. For full resources, you can refleet the entire Mk I-III fleet of triangle ships.
Timewise, a full cap of Mk I triangle ships takes about 2300 seconds to produce, about 38 minutes. With 10 Space Docks, that's 230 seconds, or about 4 minutes. With a full cap of Engineer Mk Is assisting, that's about 45 seconds.
Builds times also increase at Mk II and Mk III by x2 and x4 - giving a Mk I-III rebuild time of 330 seconds, or about 5:30 minutes.
During that 330 seconds, your homeworld alone with no economic improvements will produce 330 x (450 x 2 MC) = 300,000 MC resources. Enough to rebuild your entire Mk I triangle fleet again. Rebuilding your entire Mk I-III triangle fleet requires about 35 minutes worth of resources from your unimproved homeworld.
With Mk III Harvesters, that drops by about 40-50%.
Starships are where the real refleeting problems arise. Each starship type costs roughly 2/3 of the fleetship cost, and takes 1/2 the time to build.
Consider the following fleet: Mk I and Mk II triangle ships, plus Mk I and Mk II Flagships.
576 Triangle ships - 900,000 MC and 90 seconds.
4 Flagships - 600,000 MC and 60 seconds.
Conclusions I draw from this?
#1: Low Mark fleetships are CHEAP. For a Mk I and Mk II triangle ship fleet, you'd need to fleetwipe every 15 minutes (including 3 minutes rebuilding) to even make a dent in your unimproved homeworld's economy.
#2: Starships are EXPENSIVE. Losing a single starship is almost as bad as a fleetwipe of Mk I triangle ships.
#3: Tackle Drone Launchers are insanely expensive. More expensive than starship caps, a full cap of Mk V TDLs costs 2.1 million MC and 3 and a half hours
to rebuild. Aka, when I say fleetships, pay attention to which fleetship. Some low cap fleetships really are expensive.
#4: Economy. With economic upgrades and 1-2 average worlds, you can easily double your resource income. That doubles the frequency you can fleetwipe.
and #5: Build times suck. No matter how solid your economy, a full cap of Mk I Engineers and max space docks will still need 5 minutes to rebuild your Mk I-III triangle fleet. Each starship cap will take another minute. I think that if anything was done to improve the refleeting issue, it'd be here: Just reduce build times.