Regarding better capship AI manouvering:
Something like that could maybe work, but it would STILL be in every case inferior to scripting capship battles in FRED. AFAIK, the only thing you *can't* do for capships via FRED is control how much they roll. But that topic's already been debated to death in this thread: your ideas are definitely worthwhile if capship AI is ever improved.
I beg to differ.
What happens if a ship get is engine damaged. With reduced speed, the whole crafted sequence is down in the toilet.
Change the ships max speed?
Ships turret destroyed?
Change the weapon loadout? Now you'll have to re-script the whole battle.
If one of the main turret is destroyeds, and the ships offensive potential drops, the AI can turn the ship around, into the secondary fire position.
If the ships speed is reduced, the ship still moves inteligently.
that's the beauty of it - it reacts and adapts.