Regarding Battleships, from my observations, it seems that a majority of Battleships (henceforth, BB's or BS's, including the CW Pheonix Ship BC) are lackluster or uncompetitive for a couple of reasons:
Expensive - Many BBs/BSs don't necessarily give the bang for your buck as lower tonnage ships that fulfill comparable roles. A good example I would point to is IN Retribution vs IN Avenger Grand Cruiser. Avengers are cheaper, and fulfill the role of close-range brawler, arguably, better at a more competitive price. Also Avengers can be taken in significant numbers with points still left for escorts or other options. I would point out that I think the Drukhari BBs/BSs, the Tau Merchant BBs/BSs, and Ork BBs/BSs seem to have generally competitive pricing and see relatively common usage (Correct me if I'm wrong of course). BBs/BSs are also vulnerable to concentrated boarding actions, since they can be swarmed by LCs and C's.
What price changes or stat changes could Tindalos implement that would make BBs/BSs more attractive/competitive as fleet picks?
The most prominent reason for questionable value of high tonnage ships, I think, is the general lack of maneuverability of most BBs/BSs versus their smaller compatriots, especially Grand Cruisers. The lack of High Energy Turns, mobility skills (like MWJ), or rotation upgrades (found in campaign) significantly hinders the capacity of players to micro or effectively use BBs/BSs tactically. For example, lets briefly examine the Tau Custodian BB/BS. Let's say for the sake of argument the Protector fleet common strategy is medium range kiting and damage-over-time rather than brawling. For the Protector Fleet it is essential to keep your front arcs on the enemy always and to micro your ships with HET (high energy turns) and full speed to reposition and avoid enemy close range attacks. The Custodian has no easy way to maneuver or reposition or even fit the above Protector fleet doctrine (unless I have a poor understanding of BB/BS usage, in which case, please correct me and/or enlighten me). Moreover, the Tau don't have access to MWJ, which can alleviate some of the mobility problems of BBs/BSs. My thinking is that a Protector fleet would rather spend the points on extra escorts, LC's or C's due to better control. map control, and angles of attack.
I'll finish this post off with several questions to help find a solution (if it is even needed), and discuss tactics and strategies, to make BBs/BSs more competitive and viable for any player skill level. I suppose the assumption for this post is that I would like to see ships within factions balanced to such a point where players make difficult and interesting decisions when composing fleets. It is hard to ideally balance in such a way, yes, but an ideal necessary to strive for to make Fleet composition deeper, engaging, and fun.
On to the questions:
- In what specific ways could BBs/BSs be balanced so that they compete with lower tonnage vessels of similar roles?
- Which high tonnage ships seem to require the most amount of attention?
- What are some examples of well balanced or competitive BBs/BSs?
- What are some common tactical concepts to keep in mind when using BBs/BSs (be it faction specific or generic)?