Tek, I don't know if it was a console game, but what you describe sounds sort of like Star Control. Anyone else remember the original SC? It was a (very fun) arcade-space-war sort of game. Each race had its own ship, some better than others, and you could go head-to-head with the computer or a friend. Anyway, there was a "strategic" variation where you could conquer your way around a little galaxy with a dozen or so stars. When one player attacked the other, the combat would be resolved via the arcade game. I believe damage carried over from one combat to the next, but it's been a while.
Anyway, in that game, the galaxy would constantly rotate. The stars would get brigher as they got closer. The starlanes were dim blue lines, except for the one you were currently considering considering moving along, which was a white or bright blue line. It might be useable for a strategic game that used a 3D starmap. I don't know how close it is to MOO3, which I avoided.
FWIW, I like 2D and starlanes.
WRT "irrelevant" starlanes. I understand this to mean that if for example two stars are five units apart, at some point in the game (e.g. engine speed 5) it will take one turn to get from one star to the other whether you travel via the starlane or offroad. So we should address the question of whether multiple starlanes can be traversed in a single turn. I assume the answer is yes, but I don't know if that has been explicitly stated anywhere. Should there be a starlane-to-starlane travel penalty for each 'hop'? (KISS says "no")
BTW. wormholes are instantaneous, right? I mean, they're not just super-long starlanes, they're faster too, is that correct?
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