With the orbit, something that has been bugging me, the planet rotates, but none of the asteroids or structures in orbit will move.
Now there is an inherent problem in Sins that in order for Phase lanes to remain the same and for the map to stay the same, no GW's can orbit around the star (because as we know with our solar system, all planets etc will orbit at a different speed). so because the planets dont orbit the structures cant orbit etc etc. im not saying its impossible, its just a choice i assume IC made to keep a few things constant and more game relevant (i.e. hiding a phase disruptor behind a planet to keep it alive a little longer)
I probably didnt explain that well but nevermind, its not that important. i was going to say that stricktly speaking, relative to the planet, everything already is orbiting, but relative to... i dont know, galactic north? (yes, i know theres no such thing). anyway, it shouldnt be a problem for a Starbase to manipulate its orbit by slowing down (i.e. moving backwards along its orbit) or speding up its orbit.
Now, lets get to the fun bit. first and easiest of all, ferro-ceramic plating is highly effective against dispersing the damage potential of energy weapons. lets break the word down: ferro, means iron (although could be used to describe whatever metal they use, tungsten is an example), ceramic, means the stuff you make vases and statues out of. the properties of this type of armor are that when an energy weapon hits, rather than absorbing the hit at the expense of structural integrity, it absorbs and disperses the energy (much like a lightening rod). its not 100% effective, you still loose some armor integrity with every shot, but its better than anything else.
now, if you take a big ass gauss slug, and fire it at your ferro-ceramic armor, imagine using a BB gun or air rifle against a vase... or at least a sufficiently large hardened ceramic block reinforced with metal (iron, tungsten etc) remember, we are pretending the BB gun is firing a huge Gauss round against relative armor plating, so make sure u imagine the scales right, now, a BB gun or air rifle make not shoot right through, but itll DEFINITLY compromise the armor, fire a few more and armor is toast.
Now, the hard part, i acknowledge that energy shielding is a wildcard, but we can make some assumptions about what energy shielding would do. So, yes, there exists now the ability to shield things against intelligent and dumb projectiles (i.e. missiles and bullets) that is, missiles are scrambled with countermeasures, and bullet trajectories can be altered or slown down with a strong magnetic field.
Which is what Draakjacht was saying. However, in terms of a Gauss round, you would need an exceptionally strong field, maybe even a couple of kilometers of magnetic interference, to interfere with a gauss round trajectory. thats what it is, a gauss shot travels so fast that unless it has to travel through kilometers of magnetic interference, probably from a few ships, its very hard to change its trajectory. Autocannon fire is a different matter, it does now have the velocity to overcome magnetic interference, so that could be overcome. Same with plasma weapons, unless the controlling magnetic force is greater than the interferring one, plasma will become dispersed before it reaches its target. As for EM shields, i cant see a way to overcome those, but rest assured it will happen... perhaps a program that shuts down the computer and increases speed to overcome the EM field... perhaps launching multiple warheads and attamping to use AoE to damage the target, or simply having a much larger payload (nuclear?) so that even if the missile is detonated before reaching its target, it could still damage something.
(Side note, why doesnt the TEC use nukes in space? Or any race for that matter? Or even using their own planet bombarding tech?)
However, these two forms of shielding dont counter energy weapons (barring plasma) as of the moment, i do not believe it is possible to counter a laser beam, other than by A) ferro ceramic plating and the like or simply being out of range so that the beam disperses before it reaches you.
Lastly, shielding is not just to protect against weapons fire, it is to protect against debris, meteorites (small ones), micro-particles, etc. As well as enemy fire. Radiation in a Suns gravity well, magnetising the hull in a magnetic cloud, damage from plasma ribbons in a plasma cloud, the explosive gasses in a gas giants GW. all sorts of things. and besides that, 90 if not 100% of all energy shielding (emphasis on the energy part) relates to a field of highly charged particles surrounding a target in order to create a protective barrier to absorb the impacts of anything hitting it.
What i would call the EM fields and Magnetic field that Draakjacht is talking about is more like countermeasures that actual energy shielding. not that they arent great ideas, i personally dont know why they arent implemented (i do know why, its for the sake of gameplay, and because its not needed) but it makes total sense. however, as it stands, Sins has energy shields, not countermeasures
so yes, Draakjachts theory is correct, however, most TEC weaponry requires impact (in fact, almost all weaponry requires an impact) to cause damage. a gauss round wont cause damage if it doesnt hit anything, a missile wont damage anything if nothing is in its blast radius.
so, in theory, Draakjacht ideas are good, except that the other two races use energy shields as i described above, (which, on a side note, is why phase missile work) therefore, TEC weapons should have unlimited range withing a GW, but why the damage shouldnt, realisticly, be reduced.
for balance, you could do it sure, lets say acuracy or something... but from the science's point of view, there is no reason why TEC weapons should be less damaging at long ranges (barring lasers)
Still, Kudos to Draakjacht for a great post