Carriers or tenders have a severe tactical problem. Now they at least have a chance given the new rangebands Very Distant and Far. They have to be defenceless, carriers with high manoeuvre and some defences are insanely expensive (per ton of carried craft).Chas wrote:Yes, you can build a carrier that's little more than a floating hulk: Maneuver 4 (still need power for jump), no armor, no weapons, no this, no that, and you can bring an awful lot of firepower to a battle. Including missiles turrets or not for a 100,000 ton carrier does wonders for potential figuring out of costs, but is it realistic when a carrier's biggest threat might be a long range high thrust build where a handful of missiles could mean the difference between survival and death by that torpedo pursuit fighter I put up. And how realistic is it not having M9 for the carrier when the rest of the fleet is M9... and so forth.
Your torpedo bombers have to get in close, they cannot launch at Distant range. (Salvoes of 1 missile with a -6 will miss). Before you are that close you will have met the enemies fighters or carried craft.
But carriers also have an advantage. A J-4 carrier is expensive, but very possible, roughly a J-4 carrier is 33% more expensive than the same J-3 carrier. A J-4 battleship even at TL15 is roughly 75% more expensive than the same J-3 ship. (Random example builds, YMMV).