I’ve now seen HW1 Destroyers (being repaired by Support Frigates) take down fully upgraded HW2 Destroyers. Same goes for HW1 Heavy Cruisers (again, being repaired by Support Frigates) vs fully upgraded BattleCruisers.
Of course, you can target the Support Frigates…but then you still lose because you aren’t doing damage to the enemy heavy hitters while they decimate you.
You can’t send in strikecraft/corvettes to take out the support frigates first, because the enemy just activates a Gravity Well and you end up losing your units (a couple of Gravity Well Generator frigates instantly makes all RUs the enemy invested into fighters/corvettes a waste).
Of course, the downside to Support Frigates is that the HW1 races need to do a little bit more micro than the HW2 races (who have no need for micro to benefit from their armor enhancements). But these Support Frigates can be considered counters to the HW2 armor upgrades…
*This is a bit funny, but all the Support Frigates hanging off the Heavy Cruisers sometimes get in the way of incoming fire = not only do they heal, they also act like additional armor in themselves (to a small extent).