Playing this game blind on Ironman is superfun, very tense. I have failed two “story” missions so far and I think I am on turn 13. I intitially was going for a Carrier fleet but even with two heavy cruisers with flight bays, they just seemed very limiting, especially in time limited missions (which there are many), I could see them being decent if you had time for a battle of attrition, but trying to di Assassination missions with them was pain in the ass, especially vs Eldar who seem to have some outrageous tailgunners on their ships.
Reconfigured fleet to be more gun based, opting for the range and accuracy mods for most my ships and its much easier. Though now I am starting to think in terms of roles. May reconfigure Light cruiser to be fast-taunters… to screen transports and taunt/lure away enemies, and may opt for some power-ramming heavy cruisers.
I also updated my Sword escort ships with range and accuracy, these lil bastards will put out some hurt, and if you set them to autofire “brace for impact” and “repairs” they are pretty much fire and forget and live a decent amount of time.
But after my re-configuring, I am running a serious deficit of renown, so may be a while. Cant even use the favors from the different Empire faction dudes. Good times!