And why do you think this is a good idea?
While i'm all for simplifying things, there's a point where simplification causes the player more trouble.
I never said it was a good idea, but thought more that at the right balance, this is how I could imagine supply affecting ships in battle.
If your ship is in supply, while it is waging war with another empire, then fuel does not deplete, therefore the ship can travel freely or use all weapons and systems without limitation as long as the ship remains supplied.
If the ship is not in supply, then fuel depletes, and weapons start to suffer limitations. This is the intended result of a lack of supply. The ideal balance here is that a ships fuel will allow them to travel maybe 2 starlane jumps to an enemy world. Take part in two battles. Then be able to make 2 more starlane jumps. If the ship goes for 3 or 4 starlane jumps, then the first battle may be ok, but the next ones will have weapons not functioning as a result of lack of fuel. Something like that, where a ship can operate over short range without supply, but over medium to long range, the ship won't return or participate in battles effectivley.
Fundamentally this idea penalizes the player for using his weapons, which really puts a damper on those battles. If you shoot too many times, then next turn your ship can't move. If you shoot your lasers too many times, you won't be able to fire your missiles.
When a ship is not in supply, we want some penalty to the ship. In battles, with missiles, this is no ammo. With lasers, a similar thing. With the proper balance, you may be able to go through three to five battles before your ship suffers the effects of having no supply.
Basically this forces the player to micromanage his ammo usage, which will be more of a un-fun burden on the players attention than noticing both a fuel and ammo gauge.
Possibly, I am aware of these problems, but the point is to develop this somewhere. I always prefered battles as they were in Moo2, no ammo to worry about. But with supply, it really requires an ill effect on your ships in battle if your ships are not in supply.
I defiantly think there should be finite ammo, if you do manage to cut off a ships supply lines then it should eventually be unable to fight.
Yes, this is what we need. Some system where a lack of supply makes a ship ineffective at combat and long/medium range wars.
Furthermore it won't require in battle micro at all, just order a long/short range attack, the only thing the player needs to take care off is how much ammo the ship has left in total.
Well that is true. With this idea, all weapons whether lasers or missiles rely on a single pool of fuel.
Another issue, is whether having the fleet share fuel reduce micromanagement. That way the player only has to keep track of the fleet wide fuel supply. We could prevent the fuel ferry exploit Geoff has talked about by only allowing fuel sharing in battles.
If you think that alone is too much micro then make it so that every weapon added to a ship increases the ship's ammo storage by enough to keep that weapon active for several battles, if you do this a lack of ammo becomes a punishment for letting you're supply lines get cut rather than a routine part of the game.
I think a better system is that in ship design the player decides the ships fuel capacity independently of how many weapons are added. Want heaps of fuel in your ship, add heaps of fuel tanks. A ship with enough fuel capacity will be able to travel further into enemy territory and unleash more weapons fire over a greater number of battles.