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A wise commander keeps a few extra nukes hidden, just in case.
After all, worst comes to worst, take off, nuke the site from orbit.
(only way to be sure)
back on topic.
Hmm.. Take a look at Cowboy Bebop.
Not just because it is nifty, but the space is handled nicely.
Abstracted a bit, it seems that spaceships are cheap, most combat is handled at close range due to the natural traffic around certain important points (the transport gate-things, stations, planets)
Large ship combat is feasible, but small time people fly small-time ships and still get around just fine.
Might have to work on proper skills a little, perhaps a home-chopped system based on Shadowrun4e? Attibute+Skill (Reaction + Small-Craft Piloting?) +/- Modifiers (+1 for Targeting Computer, -3 for Asteroid Field?) = Xdice, roll for hits against a target number.
Dunno, dig into the SR4th rulebook? Depending on how flexible/creative the players were, a cobbled system shouldnt require fancy figures. A few placeholders on a gridded sheet should do fine, with the understanding that Space grids are, I dunno, hundred yards or something instead of a few feet?
Any way you do it, simply trying to quietly not mention certain holes in the system should help. "What do you mean, 'how does this ship fly?', player one? You are a pilot, not a technician"
It can still be Hard, or at least Very Firm Scifi even if you dont explain every little detail. Just skip things like "The ships are powered by rainbows and elf-tears lol" and assume some of the same black-box thinking that people use with their cars. Press the button, the ship goes. Press That button*, the machine gun fires. Simple, aint it?
*Sadly, some cars lack machine guns. Use a boring example if you have to, like ejector seats.