I ran across a mention of a space 4x game called "Aurora". The Wiki is here.
As far as I can see from a little bit of time with the install, it's a hugely detailed 4x where you design and manage *everything*. This puts the spreadsheet in the stereotypical spreadsheet game.
For example, a nice description of shipyards:
All ships greater than 500 tons have to be built in Shipyard Complexes. The cost of a Shipyard Complex is 2400 BP and it is built using industrial capacity (construction factories in v4.8). When completed, the Shipyard Complex has a single Slipway with a capacity of 1000 tons. Additional Slipways and extra capacity for existing Slipways are built by the Shipyard Complex itself (without affecting the building of ships). Each Shipyard Complex is dedicated to building a specific class of ship and may build one of that class in each Slipway. The Shipyard may be retooled (see below) to build a different class of ship and this does not affect any ships currently under construction but once retooling is underway, no new tasks can be started. This simulates a shipyard getting ready for future construction while completing work on existing shipyard tasks. In effect, a Shipyard Complex has two distinct levels. The Slipway level, where ships are built, refitted, repaired and scrapped at the Racial Shipbuilding Rate, and the Shipyard level, where extra slipways are constructed, extra capacity is added and retooling is carried out, also at the Racial Shipbuilding Rate. The manning requirement for a Shipyard Complex is equal to one million for each shipyard complex plus 100 per ton of total capacity. For example, a Shipyard with two 5000 ton slipways would be 1m + (10,000 x 100) = 2m.
How to design sensor modules for ships:
Now its time to add an active sensor. Open the Create Research Project window again, using either the Design button on the Economics window or Ctrl-F6 from the main menu. The first item in the Research Project Type list is active sensors, which is useful as that is what we need. There are five dropdowns this time. Lets make the size of the Antenna 2 HS. This increases the Sensor Strength of the component to 20, which our current Active Grav Sensor Strength of 10 multiplied by the 2 HS. In the text area that shows the details of the new active sensor, several of the fields are the same as the engines so I won't bother describing them again. New information includes the chance of destruction by electronic damage (from microwave weapons), the Resolution and the Range. Resolution Zero is actually resolution 1 but it is described as zero because it treats anything less than 1 as equal to 1.
The Range of an active sensor is equal to Resolution x Sensor Strength x 10,000. So by increasing the resolution you can dramatically increase the range. At the moment, the range is 1 (resolution) x 20 (strength) x 10,000 = 200,000 km. Try changing the resolution to 100 (or 5000 tons). Now the range is 20,000,000 km. So why, you are no doubt asking, wouldn't you have the highest resolution possible? Good question!
An active sensor is able to detect any ship of a size that is equal to or greater than its resolution at its maximum range. So this sensor could detect a ship of 5000 tons or greater (size 100) at 20m km. If the target is smaller than the resolution, the maximum detection range is equal to Max Range x (Target Size / Resolution) ^2. So using this sensor against a target that was size 80, the formula would be:
20m km x (80/100)^2 or 20m x 0.8 x 0.8, which equals 12.8 million kilometers
Against a target of size 20 (1000 tons), the max detection range would be 20m x 0.2 x 0.2 or 0.8 million kilometers
Against a missile (size 1 unless it's huge), 20m x 0.01 x 0.01 = 0.002m, or just 2000 km.
So you need to design active sensors based on the role intended for that sensor. An area search sensor might be designed with a large resolution to find large enemy ships while a sensor designed to detect fast attack craft, which are 1000 tons or less would need a resolution of approximately 20. Missile detection sensors are usually resolution zero. In this case, we want a general search sensor so lets stick with resolution 100. If we encounter an enemy that likes to design ships of 4000 tons or 6000 tons we can modify future sensor designs to take the best advantage of an appropriate resolution (80 or 120).
I have to admit I'm daunted.