- Starbase tech didn't keep up with ship advances. A starbase (in my mind) should be competitive with even the largest ship hulls if you invest the constructors into upgrading it. In my mind, a military starbase should be able to fend off multiple of the largest ships.
Why do you say that? GC2's Starbase hulls were much bigger than the largest possible ship hull to begin with. And I have had starbases fend off multiple attacks from very large, very high tech ships. 'Course, those starbases also had the highest offense and defense modules that the tech tree provided.
No, they didn't. Not even close. I think they did pretty well in the base game, but the expansions definitely made them sub-par.
From my current game: a fully maxed out military starbase has 75/65/65 attack, 352/352/352 defense, and 86 HP (with fully researched Thalan tech tree, and every tech buyable or stealable from everyone else). That's 67 total modules installed on the base hull, although I forgot to write down how many are dedicated to ship support and how many are solely base fortification. Maybe later.
A single huge hull starts at 90 HP, and has 250 missiles (10 Nightmare Torpedo launchers), 160 armor ( 16 Zero Point Armor), 26 speed (2 base and 4 Stellar Folders at 6 points each), a Kill Zone Computer (+50% weapons, not included in the base attack number), and 8 extra HP (1 Integrity Grid). That's base, with a third of the hull wasted on engines and hit points, and more defense than is really needed. Don't ask what level of miniaturization is required for that, it's pretty high but doable by stealing a couple Hyperion Shrinkers from other empires. The ship described is actually two shrinkers behind my current ability, I just haven't designed a newer model to use that hull space yet. My current huge hulls have over 400 slots for modules, these were made at 387 or so.
Counting things like the +60% planet I built it on, several military resource starbases at +60% each, and a lot of tech that give passive bonuses, that ship really has 33 speed, 819 missiles, 705 armor, and 242 HP. Any one of those ships could eat the starbase for breakfast, and I can gang 9 of them up with a flagship model that has a +3 fleet speed module, a +30% fleet defense module, and far more armor in place of most of the weapons. The flagship tanks all incoming fire, so the other ships never even get hit.
* Starbases all worked on predefined base modules rather than repeatable modules we could put on ships. You couldn't have 10 nightmare torpedo launchers, you got 1.
* Starbases did not benefit from empire bonuses, no matter what source. Mining resources, passive techs, nearby military starbases, etc. were all ignored when calculating starbase stats.