wminsing wrote:Well.... yes and no. While's true that technology sometimes allows for small units to punch above their weight versus larger units with outdated tech, within a given technology spectrum, individual units tend to grow larger with each passing design iteration as pressure leads to the need for increased capability which nearly always results in a larger platform. Compare the following:
HMS Dreadnought vs. Yamato: ~20,000 tons displacement vs. ~72,000 tons displacement
M4 Sherman vs. M1 Abrams: 32 tons vs 68 tons
USS Essex vs. USS Nimitz: ~33,00 tons displacement vs. ~104,000 tons displacement
Lots more examples of this, compare modern jets to earlier aircraft and you'll see modern fighters have take-off weights that exceed WWII heavy bombers.... Earlier technological eras saw similar developments; the ships of the line that Nelson commanded at Trafalgar in 1805 were similar in design but on average substantially larger and more powerful than the ships his predecessors commanded in 1705.
The USS Zumwalt is not a 'tiny destroyer' for example; she displaces 14,000 tons which makes her nearly as large as the largest cruiser the USN ever fielded (barring the Alaska class) and much bigger than the preceding destroyer class (which themselves displace 10,000 tons). There's nothing small about her!
You raise an interesting point and examples to boost, kudos
The HMS Dread being a WWI vessel I would consider as an inferior but direct descendant of the Yamato, the later being the biggest and baddest battleship, a type of vessel which at this point is considered so obsolete that none of the countries are maintaining any of them opting instead for destroyers and carriers (if they afford them)
I didn't think much about tanks in this regard, and when I do I mostly think of them having both reached and passed their golden age in WWII with T34 being golden example of efficiency and Tiger II of engineering. Comparing Tiger II to the Armata which is considered one of the best modern tanks and coming out recently as one of the largest it is still shorter and lower then the Tiger II... And all this with active, passive defence, modular construct, protected inner shell for crew, and all sorts of goodies mostly classified at this point.
Not considering the above I would wager that tanks will even evolve towards this direction though this is clearly speculation at this point: http://www.timesofisrael.com/israels-unmanned-border-patrols/
Again, the carriers are of identical type and represent the evolution of the same design. This, just like in case of tanks, battleships and everything else will get bigger and bigger, and then outdated
Reason being in this particular case:
If anyone will seriously be building a new carrier (and not just for show
), I would expect it to have a much smaller footprint for hosting the above.
The above goes also for the evolution of fighters, drones being the next incarnation of fighters/bombers
My point being: Yes, the same class might get bigger over time as they stuff ever more things into it and the technology becomes mature, but it does not make small combat roles obsolete and over time even gets outclassed by their them as those get the new tech faster and that is why they stay relevant. Staying at the example of real-life ships: battlehips did not make destroyers and frigates obsolete, the battleship itself became obsolete and Cruisers are currently also struggling to survive.
I give you this: the destroyers did get bigger over time themselfes, and while one could argue that they could be considered Cruisers compared to WW2 sizes, this sort of falls in line with the evolution of the combat unit role and I expect them to get smaller again.
I do also expect (or rather wish
) that the battleships will make a comeback, once the railgun tech becomes more advanced and their role as a mobile artillery fortress becomes usefull again aka: open hostilities between large fleets are expected on the seas (estimate: when the US built world-peace keeping system falls apart, and a new arms race errupts between China, US, Russia, Iran and Brazil (these guys also really know how to wage wars
Overall I do not mind Destroyers getting obsolete toward the end game as long as Cruisers remain the de-facto PD screen and torpedo boats for the large ships, but a battle consosting of only battleships and dreads sounds like a boring engagement (though I have never ever seen a dread from an AI. Are you playin on the hardest difficulty with sparse stars numbering above 100?
I think that an optimal solution is to adjust the upkeep costs (which is already planned) in a way that battleships, dreds and Disco-balls get discuistingly expensive to maintain and tell the AI to only build a handfull of these if it can afford them and tell it right after that ot to spam the map full with Destroyers and frigates. A slight increase of production cost for huge hulls would also go a long way preventing a hidious blob.
As for specific scenarios (I wish to try out once myself if I know how to), we only need to increase the agressiveness of the AI. It should not take longer then 400 turns to finish a large map, as at that point the winner should be clear even if the others have disco-balls galore. If the AI is more willing to enngage into combat, the whole problematic becomes mute: the player either allies with the AI, or faces it on the battle-space