So I hesitate in starting this topic, because I'm not fully convinced that it's a good idea. But being emboldened with the stuff @Stoobert has been posting, maybe crazy is okay. Although this is a pretty big departure from the norm.
So what if we didn't roll to determine hits? No more DR/CR checks when attacking. Instead, each weapon system rolls one of the polyhedral dice (d4, d6, d8, d10, d12) as damage. Roll the dice, add it up, and inflict that many points of damage to the target ship. Of course the ships would all be re-statted to a much higher HP value. And we probably need bases with a dial counter on them.
Range bands. A weapon could have a profile of d8-d10-d6-d4. If I have two ships in RB1 and one in RB2, I'll roll 2d8 and 1d10.
Coherency effects. If they are all type A, roll an extra 2d4. If they are all type B, add 5 to the roll. If they are all type C and you cause a critical hit, roll twice on the table. Or other different effects.
Attacking a cloaked ship? The total damage done is equal to half the roll. Attacking from a cloaked ship rolls lower dice sides.
Critical Hits would be scored if you exceeded a threshold in a single attack. That value could be determined by ship size or class. Weapon degradation would be handled by rolling a die with fewer sides.
In the DR/CR scheme, squadrons that lose a couple of ships can have a hard time scoring hits because the dice pool rapidly diminishes. Under this Direct Damage method, a squadron retains the ability to fight. They can still deal damage even when the squadron is beaten up. Perhaps a full strength squadron that is in coherency gains a bonus d6. There could be racial bonuses as well.
Shields roll some number of dice, subtracting from the damage roll before applying it to the ship. Ablative armor soaks up X points before affecting the hull. Or provides a damage reduction factor.
Exploding dice...this of course paves the way for the mystical exploding d13 that @Warcradle Stuart hinted at . Perhaps a die explodes when it rolls its max number, and then you roll just one more.
Indirect weapons and point defenses: roll for torpedo damage, then roll for the reduction by the PD.
Anyhow, you get the idea. It's a wide departure from the way things are. It does get rid of a bucket of dice to be rolled, which is kinda exciting in its own way. I like tossing 20+ d6's and seeing them explode. It is rather frustrating to roll all those dice and come away with only a few hits because it was mostly 2's and 3's. This method would make every roll meaningful, in that damage is constantly being inflicted. I'm not keen on making everyone but new bases...that is not a trivial thing. But realistically you wouldn't need to rebase every ship.
Anyway...is it time for me to be committed? Am I that crazy?