checkerboard is obsolete, reactors are just one big blob of reactor-blocks and one blob of stabilizers. Shape and orientation etc where a thing in early p2 but limited the availalbe shapes too much so that they were turned off.
Current power allows for the most freedom of shape, while being the simplest building system so far.
all power is now in the mothership, docks dont have power anymore, including turrets.
Docked ships have their power turned off.
If you join a modded server, be sure to join the discord too, bc some bugs just require help on a forum and can't be guessed by yourself.