darrell wrote:A CLAC with 100 LAC's costs less to build than 100 frigates, requires less than half the manpower to run, and can be used for other things than just searching for spider drive ships. Although a frigate (or LAC) could distroy a ghost class if it is truely unarmed, it will likely take a SD to be able to stand up to the detwiler class.
Most frigates are NOT more powerful than a LAC. They are a bastard hybrid between a LAC and a courrier boat, having a LAC's weapons tonnage with a hyper generator and sail. A frigate is effective against an uarmed ship, has a 50% chance of being destroyed by a single LAC, and will be toast against any merchant that has any weapons whatsoever or any DD or larger warship.
A DD has 2-3 times the weapons tonnage of a Frigate, only costs 50% more to build, and requires only 25% more crew than a frigate.
I will disagree with a frigate being instant toast against an armed freighter, due to the frigate having at least a minimal sidewall and better internal compartmentalization. I believe that the real result would be a case of who shoots first wins, thus any armed freighter should hold fire, not revealing it is armed until it can kill the frigate.
Frigates are built for two reasons; Lack of immediate cash and desire for a hyper capable platform (most pirates). Desire to learn how to run and build a warship on a cheaper and quicker to build platform (mistakes are relatively less expensive on a frigate than a larger ship).
I suspect that in the scramble resulting from the Leagues coming implosion, many systems will be building frigates to cover the gap until they can get real warships of their own. Any frigate built by/for a system navy will likely have a long service life as either armed VIP transport or training ship. The time anyone, but a pirate, would consider frigates as anything resembling a front line ship are long since over.
Remember that the Nat Turner class frigates of the Torch Navy were primarily intended as training ships and that the Torch Navy was planning on acquiring Destroyers and larger for their Navy as soon as they could afford the better ships with the trained crews from the Nat Turners becoming the core of the larger ships crews.