Title says it all. The requirement for colony ships to always carry at least a token population causes a number of issues in the game that i doubt are intended.
The following issues all relate to the base game without DLCs/expansions, most recent patch:
- You can't launch a colony ship parked on a planet when you have less than 2B people on that planet.
- You can't launch from a shipyard either, if that yard doesn't have planets within range with enough pop to supply the minimum 1B pop required for that colony ship. If that shipyard is too far to get pop from planets, any empty colony ship parked there will be trapped!
- interestingly, that last problem gets circumvented by newly built ships: if there is not enough pop, new colony ships will be launched regardless - empty! Only if you cancel the launch, you get the above problem.
- troops modules don't have this restriction: you can use troops modules to ferry pop from one planet to another, and return empty if you want to. If I try the same with my 'BUS' designs, these ships keep part of my pop (1B, no less) moving across the galaxy, ad infinitum! This seems weird: why do we need a war tech for public transport to work properly?
None of this should happen. Plus I see no logical or balancing reason at all for this restriction - or am I missing something crucial?