So I’ve been reading all these balance, formations, tactics, and changes threads and I have come to believe there is one point that really illustrates the difference between the way the two original games worked. One thing that really has made a bigger impact in large ship fights.
I’m making up this term but let me explain what I mean by it.
In HW1 it mattered which side of a ship you attacked, it you did a head on attack the damage was reduced because the heaviest armor was in the front. The sides, top, and bottom also had decent armor but the damage was more because those sides of a ship had less armor than the direct front. Flanking your opponent made a difference. The back of a ship was the most vulnerable, all things being equal if you got your attack in on the back of the ship it died fast.
In hw2 this wasn’t the case, armor values applied all around the ship, it didn’t matter if you hit it on the top, bottom, sides or front, all damage was the same. Then we have the back, the engines became the new “extra” armor. If you were unlucky enough to attack a ship with an engine subsystem in the back you had to get through it first, and wow did they take less damage on the subsystem. Sure it disabled the ship moving but battles were not in a vacuum and big ships move slooooooow.
It seems to me the paper armor of frigates and destroyers is more due to them no longer having the same attack aspect characteristics, all but the back of the ships have the same level of armor, hell maybe that is why my assault frigate turn away from their targets, they forget they don’t have an engine subsystem and are trying to live longer by using their engine as a shield!
So that is what I think is the one issue that has had the biggest impact on how HW1 and HW2 big ship fights play out. I wonder if the HW1 ships had their original attack aspect armor values if things would play out differently in a fight without changing any of the other weapons values.
I will add that there is a big difference between frigates and BCs/HCs in usefulness in HW:RM though, but again I don’t think it needs addressing until or unless some of the original HW1 characteristics can’t be applied to the HW1 races.