Reserve, Defence, Fleet
So I have a system, all it has is 2 planets, 1 civ station with some freighters etc. lvl 1. no other stations.
1 repair ship in reserve.
5 Police Cutters in Defence tab, which is what it told me to do.
1 active fleet with 1 ship, the command ship..
I read that the defence fleet defaults as BONUS to the Admirals fleet.. then this GHOST SHIP attacks.. well the cutters never were present in the area at all.. couldnt call em in.. but i am paying their wages.. where are my cutters? how do I properly begin to defend my systems? does every system need a basic naval station orbiting atleast 1 planet?>
You need to be played in the battle manager.
Your current setup will only be able to use 3 (I think) if you want more defense assets in your system should build a military station and upgraded it.
They need to be placed
Your Police Cutters needs to be placed in Battle Manager. I highly recommend not using your police cutters by having htem placed in battle manager, and just leave them in reserve so pirates don't attack. They are not really worth a damn in a fight anyhow. Most of the time Pirate attacks are fairly easy to figure out where they take place the most, and then what I do is place pods of defense sattelites near those areas. I find the areas where several sectors interlap and use those to place pods of up to 4 Drone Sattellites. The reason being, I have found that Drones attacking the pirates draws a lot more of their fire away from your Freighters, and the help gets there much faster than moving your fleet there. Drones also have better survivability than your police cutters IMO.