"What is the ideal counter for a Hammerhead in terms of rock/paper/scissors and vice versa to what threat is the Hammerhead an ideal counter? ... and the Eclipse too; what is the ideal escort for a Hammerhead?"
This might be looking through the telescope backwards. The Hammerhead is by nature an escort ship - eg. other ships don't escort it, but the other way around. By nature it is accompanied by smaller ships, or both larger and smaller ships.
It will be a matter of scaling operations from squadrons, to wings, to multi-hull battle groups and patrols, to fleets.
For example, if just a couple squadrons and a Hammerhead were the designated solution in a case, the squadrons should be fast (as I think all squadrons should be, a "fleet standard" navy ship) to be able to defend the Hammerhead from bombers (hate the term "bombers" used in space hehe, rather "missile ships"), but otherwise sticking close to the Hammerhead for its superiority against fighters. If someone brings a Polaris or larger in that scenario... exit stage left.
Does the Hammerhead come with military spec components or civilian ones since it is a military ship being sold to civilians?
It comes with Military Grade C items stock, although once these are worn out people may find it more efficient to replace with other types for durability given the expense/rarity of replacing these.
that answer should get a lot of people thinking, this game will be very complicated
I tried, difficult as it is, to stick with a single manufacturer for combat ships, for uniformity of cockpits, knowledge of capabilities (strengths, weaknesses, etc.), and the aforementioned belief that max. speed, missiles, and superior numbers will matter (over considerations like refueling.) For similar reasons, I believe that we would be best served to have standard "role" ships that we acquire once in the game (not with real backer dollars). So for example, when we form a squadron, train as squadrons (refined in final stages of game development), we use the same equipment, including the "recommended load outs" and "upgraded/modded ship gear" provided by Research and Engineers. So when we say, "Blue Squadron, take Target A", Blue Squadron uses their training and gear to fly effectively, same max speed to intercept, formations, tactics, familiarity with victory considerations related to all the preceding, and we win. We can't do that all entirely yet with our various backer ships, but we can get started on all fronts and training mentioned.
I'm a huge fan of AI gunners ... took a lot of heat from some for suggesting we should have them in Star Citizen years ago. Which is all NPC gunners are anyway; its all AI run by the game and processors.
The question remains to be seen is, how effective will CIG let them be? Maybe it will depend on cost and quality of AI module purchased, just like quality of NPC escorts. In theory, AI should be much better than humans; essentially the PC processor just lets them hit everything they shoot at within range - which is completely realistic; unlike Star Wars with troopers standing at turrets missing all their shots back in the '70s, when the first movie was made before we even had personal computers, but today in RL we have automated turrets on Navy ships that can already shoot missiles and jets out of the sky. Star Wars never evolved with the times and they still have troopers standing there in turrets missing shots plus about 40 serious plot holes. But I digress.
I don't think its saying exactly that we have to have 2 gunners, for example that's based on standard equipment and energy weapons. So there's some trade offs that can make them all AI, and again, NPC gunners are Ai anyways.
I don't know how many we have of what, absent a fleet sheet to refer to even among active posters. I came really close to hitting the button on the Hammerhead, even have it still sitting in my Cart. But assuming we have all the ships we need with this many members?