something's been buggin me for the past few days. Why is it in the Free Space universe that cruisers are more lightly armed than destroyers? I do realize first and foremost this is onry a game and also that the term "destroyer" would tend to imply superior fire power, and "cruiser" would tend to imply going out for a stroll.
The reality of cruisers and destroyers are that cruisers are, in fact, more heavily armed than destroyers in the modern navy, especially post WWII.
During the WWII era, cruisers and destroyers were vastly different in that both had very different roles. Cruisers were primarily an Anti-air platform where Destroyers were an Anti-sub platform. Each were armed accordingly, and destroyers had the more advanced sonar system. In today's navy, equipment wise there is very little difference. Both have the same sonar system and have the same radar system. The big differences come in capabilities size and armament.
Modern destroyers have 1 5" gun, fore, while cruisers have 2, 1 fore and aft. Both have 2 VLS launchers, however, 1 of the launchers on the destroyer is only a half launcher. (If you don't know what VLS is, its essentially a grid on the deck where the missiles are housed, 8x8 for a total of 64 missiles per launcher giving Cruisers a max total of 128 missiles and destroyers a max total of 92 as one launcher is 8x4).
Both will typically have 2 CIWS anti-missile gun systems, however some destroyers are being equipped with RAM anti-missile missile system instead of CIWS.
Cruisers also have the capability to house 2 SH-60B (anti sub) helo's where as most destroyers can only land 1 helo, however i believe destroyers are being made now with a hangar, but they can only house 1 helo. And both ships have the exact same engine and are capable of the same top speed.
Also, destroyers are smaller than cruisers and they are designed with a concave hull to deflect radar away, giving it a very small radar profile (along with a special radar absorbent material) where cruisers are not.
And finally, Cruisers will typically have a full bird Captain as CO and destroyers will typically have a Commander as CO. (and for those that don't know Navy ranks, Captain = Colonel and out ranks a Commander)
as the shape of war and the world has changed, no surface ship has any one role any more (big decks excluded, ie carriers and amphibs) all of the frigates have been decommissioned, scrapped, sold and/or used for target practice. The cruisers in service today are no longer being produced and the modern destroyers are being cranked out like they're goin out of style. Cruisers and Destroyers both simultaneously fill the roles of Anti-air and Anti-sub platforms.
So with all of this in mind, why is it that cruisers in FS are portrayed as weaker ships than destroyers?
(and yes im a bit biased cuz i served on a Cruiser)