What do you want to see in an advanced A&A game?
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In real battles there are all kinds of choices made involving many kinds of units, with the end result being sacrifice of some units in order to keep other units. Since A&A is strategic and not tactical, the use of cheapo units marked for death is the only way to simulate that, and it's a good way. The extra complexity in avoiding this, just isn't worth it. Because only so much complexity can be added to A&AA, Larry has to be frugal with how he "spends his complexity points", so to speak.
A transport in A&A doesn't really translate into a single transport. It's more like 25 transports, along with some PT boats and maybe a tiny frigate. As such I see no problem with it defending at a 1. The double-hit battleship in rev4 solved another problem, beautifully I might add.
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