HeatDeath posted this on the SJG boards:
Ad Astra Games' "Attack Vector Tactical", an extremely detailed 3d spaceship combat board game (Picture Car Wars in 3 dimensions, only more complex) has an awesome ramming rule that totally solves these problems.I've been tempted by AVT just as an orbital mechanics professional to look at how they model the physicals. Now I'm tempted to buy it just to honor this rule. Still wouldn't have anyone to play it with though.
The problem isn't whether ramming is possible: nav computers make it trivial for anything to ram anything. And the problem isn't how much damage a ram does: ramming should usually destroy both units. But if you give the player unlimited power to order rams, it breaks most games.
AVT's [frankly brilliant] solution is to require the player ordering a ram to stand up at the table and make the actual speech the ship captain would make, convincing his bridge crew that the situation is indeed suicidally desperate, and that ramming is the only honorable and feasible course of action. Everyone around the table votes, and the ram succeeds on a majority vote. Bonus points if someone actually tears up.
If the vote fails, the bridge crew throw the captain in the brig and the unit is removed from play.