As long as we keep the current ship upkeep system, the chaff strategy is impossible (cost-inneficient, you'll always be better with big ships), and that's sad because it really fits well within the weaponry system. The multi-shot weapons are very good versus chaff and drones strategies and bad versus shield and big hulls strategies, as opposed to single-shot weapons... If we remove chaff defense, some of the weaponries lose what differentiate them from others.
Once influence gets into master, it will be that meter what pays for the ship upkeep. Nevertheless, with either system (requiring more building cost as currently or requiring a per-turn influence upkeep), the way the upkeep is calculated must be improved to allow for a balanced chaff defense.
It was suggested long ago to change the ship upkeep mechanic to consider other variables instead of the number of ships:
- Total structure of the fleet.
- Filled slots of the fleet.
- Slots of the fleet (empty ones too).
- Base cost of the fleet (including hulls and parts).
- New data slot for hull upkeep.
Cons of each one (from the linked thread or my own harvest):
1: encourages more weaponry and less armour, does not completely solve the comsat spam problem.
2: does not solve at all the comsat spam problem.
3: encourages to use all slots (personally, I don't think that's a problem, I already use all slots unless some internal if I haven't research fighters yet), does not completely solve the comsat spam problem.
4: encourages to get asap higher tier weapons (because those are more cost-efficient; not sure if this is really a problem).
5: none? It completely solves the comsat problem and allows for chaff strategy, and all alternatives require some C++ coding.