There has been a lot of discussion in the dev. journals about game balance. In v1.1 the logistics cost of large and huge ships was increased for the sake of balance. However, there remains a much bigger combat imbalance. The attacker gets a HUGE advantage! In v1.0X.010, I was able to complete all the Dead Lords campaigns up to and including Exploitation (the one after Apocalypse), playing at level Tough, without losing any combat ships (just scouts, constructors, and starbases)!!! If you attack you fire before the enemy and if you can take him out in the first round he never gets to fire! The odd time I failed to do this my ships had leveled up enough to absorb a hit from a Dead Lords ship and then took it out in the second round. The Dread Lords ships are fast but in order to exploit the attack advantage you also need to see the enemy before he sees you. When selecting my race abilities I choose 50% attack and +2 sensor bonus.
In all but the last mission I would take out fighters with 3 fighters (each with warp drive and 2 plasma1 weapons). Later I would take out the frigates with 4 fighters (each with warp drive and 3 plasma3 weapons). In the final mission I lucked out by stealing "Black Hole Gun" from the Dread Lords when I captured one of their captured planets in Jan. 2226 (just one year into the mission). By the middle of 2226 I had "Eyes of the Universe" and I was pumping out frigates with 2 warp engines, 2 black hole guns, and lots of range! By the middle of 2227 the Drengin and Yor started pumping out fighters and frigates with the "Black Hole Eruptor" which they got from the Korx who stole it from the Dread Lord's. However, I was able to pick off these ships with my fleets as they appeared in orbit around their planets. A little later I invaded the last of the Dread Lords planets to end the mission.
In the interest of combat balance would it not be better to have both sides fire at the same time!?
Another problem is many bonuses are lost because floating-point values are rounded down when typecast to integer. Brad, gave an example where a ship with attack 8 and attack bonus 10% gets no bonus because 8.8 rounds down to 8! If 0.5 was added before typecasting to integer then values would round off to the NEAREST and bonuses to applied to small numbers would not be lost.
p.s. In the Dread Lords Apocalypse campaign, after getting advanced weapons tech by stealing it from the Dread Lords or from tech trading, the AI continued to research low level weapons techs. Why?!