Can you explain me how overlapping shields work? To me it seems like sometimes (always?) when a projectile hits a clump of closely stacked shields, the damage is deducted from all shields, effectively multiplying the damage dealt by the projectile. Other times, only one of the shields seems to get hit. Is there any rule to this mechanic?
Understanding this mechanic has obvious implications on how to effectively shield your base/high value targets, and potentially also what kind of weapons to use to most effectively crack such a shield ball.
It's primarily related to AOE weapons - the tighter you cluster the shields, the more potential effects you will get from AOE weapons. AOE weapons have proliferated over the years, especially in mod packs like Total Mayhem, where a very large percentage of the units have AOE damage.
I think you already understand how it works. While there might be some quirks to it, which shields get damaged depend on where the shot hits and on its aoe.
When a shield is damaged and has other shields in contact with it there is an overspill damage modifier that determines how much additional damage each overlapping shield receives. I think right now it is around 0.3 for most shields. So if a shield gets hit for 100 damage all overlapping shields will take 30 damage also.