I'm not sure it can be made interesting without turning it into a game in its own right and adding many more features.
If it were easier to change and save bases, thereby allowing for easy experimentation, that might keep people interested for a while. Have the option to change the deck shape to go with that too.
Laser guided sharks, nuclear giant squid, exploding penguins....hell, I don't know.
I just know that as a customer I'm not prepared to buy what's on offer any more. If I'm looking for a pair of shoes and I don't like what 'Cobblers To The Gentry' are offering I buy elsewhere.
As I have half a day to kill I've just spent the last couple of hours deliberately losing about 20 attacks to get down to Level 10......just so I can work my way back up to Level 15 again. As it stands that's all this game has to offer and I doubt I'll want to do it a second time.
Edit: How about co-ordinated attacks on NRP bases. (Say) Two TF members at a time team up to attack a larger ship, a sort of mini-op but with one hit only.