we should have no facing,
Facing is good to have. Maybe ships could adjust their own facings based on whether they are attacking in a direction they are not facing.
Have to decide on targeting, but do you have to select your ship, then select the weapon, then the enemy.
Can't you just select the enemy(s), choose possible attacks/abilities that can be used. The Ai will then decide which of your ships can use their ability/weapon on the enemy.
the ship could do this automatically. Maybe when designing the ship, you could set out various AI decisions, ie always try and board when in range.
power level adjustment, etc.
not really needed, but if it was make it so that the ship adjusts its power based on the AI decisions set out during design, eg convert power to shields when hp low/weapons ineffective.
In ship design we could have some kind of condition=>event system where you can create 'five' rules that determine the AI behaviour for a ship. If you have a limit to the amount of rules, it would be simpler and would be more challenging (no fun if you were aloud as many rules as you would like).
So if you want strategy during combat, you need to be able to address fleet vulnerabilities on the fly. That means that you need to be able to issue generalized orders like "target all enemy bombers" or "defend allied fighter-carriers".
While it would be useful to have a 'shoot all enemy _____', you would have to cater to each and every type of target, eg carriers, bombers. What if the player wants to shoot all enemy ships with low shields or low armor? There may be too many types, but I guess it is always good to have a minimum. Better to be able to 'attack all carriers and bombers', then not being able to 'attack all anything' at all.
"Shoot this guy with such-and-such gun," that is, the "MOO approach", is getting a bit too specific if you want large battles.
Cutting out this level of choice would be bad. What needs to be done is to make it so that the choices are very easy to implement.