I'll be spending a lot of time playing with different mixes and thanks for the comments Sucal. My first iteration of the mothership had weapons and while it was a blast to play in the game it pretty much destroyed everything in it's path.
While running it like this I also noticed there wasn't much of a "unique" feel to it--just a big ship with lots of guns.
So I took the guns off while making some mesh fixes and thought'd I just work on abilities--which turned out to be really interesting.
So now you have a Yggdrasil force that is always "hungry" for antimatter and gets it by consuming other ships it destroys or by taking fire from masses of enemies. It also can park at a sun and accumulate antimatter a little more effectively.
So with just these elements, you have three strategic options to "refuel". A fourth is to pull into a system where you have lectoids and tank up from them.
The mothership is the only capital ship in play for the Yggdrasil (with one unique exception which has only a single function in game).. When destroyed, it reappears--though with all of it's experience levels lost (the unique capital I mentioned gives you a way around this if played carefully).
To create the "greater lectoids" (starbases), the Yggdrasil needs both antimatter and resources--in large quantities. So after reproducing, the Yggdrasil is "tired" and needs to replenish. greater lectoids have starbase ability slots as normal but the need for specific functions means no single lectoid can have "everything". So one might focus on antimatter generation and transfer while another might specialize in combat capability or lesser lectoid reproduction.
The lectoids take a lot of thought and experimentation and I'll have to put together a working fourth race build--as opposed to substituting over Vasari ship as I do now--to work on balance. Just have to get the time.
I am going to make a greater lectoid that can capture neutral asteroids (which was my first start anyway)--it drives conflict with players by making them compete and forcing them into contact.
The balance I am shooting for is that "Mother" will always be prowling about looking for "food" for herself and roving about to protect her babies from other lifeforms--as well as looking for new spawning grounds as she gets her nests in each planet system stronger.
The non-Yggdrasil players will have to hunt for her nests and exterminate them so "Mother" doesn't get enough antimatter to build more nests. They also will need to work on containing the mothership by destroying it and keeping it's experience level low so it can't destroy their colonized worlds.
Eventually, they'll need to locate and recover the singularity siege ship wreck needed to destroy the Yggdrasil HW. This ship has a protective field that keeps the Yggdrasil greater lectoids from capturing it and once it is leveled can siege the Yggdrasil HW. The only two places where the siege ships can be found will be at pirate bases (not the normal ones in the regular game--hehe) or at the Yggdrasil HW itself.
I'll post the beta up with a sample map as soon as I get the time--it will be a substitution mod for testing--then I'll fix up the actual 4th race mod after some play through.