As the thread name implies, IN's lances are ridiculously underpowered.
This includes light lances, ordinary lances and even heavy/super havy lances (although to a lesser extent). They deal hilariously low damage EVEN to enemy escort ships! For all my time in the BFGA2, I haven't seen a single Gothic-class cruiser in a player's hands. And I do understand why. In fact, I understand that very well, because this state of affairs persists from the time I played the first game. Like then, like now lances serve more like a decoration that a valuable weapon. As a direct result of this, lance-based classes of ships, such as the infamous Gothic-class, are highly unpopular. Lances, in their present state, simply can not compete with raw damage output of macrocannons and other weapons.
I am suggesting to significantly increase lances' effectiveness against all range of escort ships, as well as improve their overall damage output, perhaps even at the cost of further increasing their already low rate of fire. The situation presents us with a choice: we either do that, or we leave lance ships, such as the Gothic, or part-lance ships, such as the Lunar dead for players - a toys to be found only at hands of AI opponents. Simply "making them "cheaper" did not work well in the first game, and so it does not work now. There are very few people who'd be willing to risk the meta to try and win with failing and thus cheaper units, because they know that they will have to face competetive fleets, consiting of well-balanced and beloved favorites, such as the Dauntless (Mk.2), the Overlord, the Dominator, the Mars, the Retribution etc.
In my opinion, lances have a lot of unrevealed potential. But we need to test that in order to find out. My suggestion is simple: increase damage output (to at least rreliably kill off enemy escorts) and crit chance, but decrease rate of fire.
Just don't leave lances to be practically useless, as they were in the first game.