TL;DRAn item like 'discharge defense', that spews out followers in bulk.
What ?Follower capsules (Defense, Distractor, Destroyer) are often overlooked, despite being really really good, even in late-ish mid game.
This suggested item could be a 'defense deployer', a 'distractor deployer' and a 'destroyer deployer'.
For any of these flavors, a trigger/remote control should exist, too. Like the discharge defense.
It should have a single grid occupation size.
For practical purposes, it acts like a personal roboport, tied to a follower robot, meaning you'll have to have the capsules in the player inventory.
Just like the roboport wants the construction robots in it.
Upon activation, it spews out ten (maybe it's configurable) capsules of its kind at a time.
It takes no power, or very little power (easily to be covered by a single solar cell).
For example, a power suit loadout of:
2 defender capsule deployers
1 distractor capsule deployers
1 defender capsule deployer trigger
1 distractor capsule deployer trigger
in the inventory of the player
Would deploy 20 defender capsules at the spot the player clicks with the trigger, and 10 distractor capsules at the point the player clicks at with its own separate trigger.
Why ?It automates the deployment of follower robot capsules, to a degree, or at least makes them much easier to use.
Imagine having a follower robot count of 50, and you put in 5 defender capsule deployers in your body armor, each occupying a single grid square.
With the click of one trigger, all 50 defense drones would come out. A true contender for laser defense at that point. And scales more or less gracefully over time and research/limits.