A fight for even ground...
A careful balance
Boarding can be highly profitable. It can also turn the tide of battle in some cases. Even with a skeleton crew, most ships will function. Boarding pods are vulnerable, and all technological advancement concerning the tactic focuses on defending these pods. The smaller the pod, the harder it is to target. At the same time, you want to board an enemy ship with as many combatants as possible. Boarding led to the widespread adoption of security personnel on voidcraft. They are literally there for no other purpose than to defend against boarding and to mount boarding parties themselves. All of this needs to be accounted for, and this doesn't even cover training and outfitting for members of the boarding party. Once the pod is launched, those inside are on their own. You can cover their approach, but they have to know how to operate any functions of the pod, and may need weapons training. Then again, cyberwarfare training may be a good option. Why bother with a fire fight when you can hack ship systems and vent the next room before entering?
Methods and counters
Scavengers use boarding pods more than anyone else. It's easy to get aboard a stationary and docile target. Pirates are a close second, as they seek to make a profit from every encounter. Despite this, these groups rarely find themselves advancing boarding technology. Boarding can be done by cutting into the hull, or simply placing a breaching charge if one lacks subtlety. More advanced pods and shuttles have their own means of cutting into the hull that are much quicker than doing it by hand. While pirates and scavengers tend to use outdated pods, the Eden refuse to use pods in the first place. The Eden are awfully full of themselves when it comes to warfare, and maintain elite units trained to board enemy vessels, alone. They use specialized space suits to sail through the void, one soldier versus the entire enemy crew. You’d be surprised how often that can be enough. This method works surprisingly well for them. A single person is hard to target with most ship fitted weapons, and can wreak havoc without even entering the ship by cutting into critical sections of the hull. While effective, this method is remarkably slow. The silieu, however, used much larger and heavily armored shuttles. While much riskier, vessels boarded would fall in minutes.
A common problem with boarding pods is their design. Boarding pods can be recovered, but it's likely they will be destroyed. This can get expensive. A well-designed pod is not easily replaced, which leads to sacrificing functionality. Many boarding pods lack engines of their own. Most of the time, they use basic thrusters. Thrusters are good for basic alignment, and slight changes in trajectory, but won't get you back to your ship if you miss your target. Don't miss. Missing a target means the pod will continue drifting, indefinitely. Thrusters can slow you to a stop, but this won't help you if the ship you came from gets destroyed. Missing a target usually guarantees a slow death for those aboard. Then again, I suppose it's one way to eliminate problematic members of your crew.