Um, so I'm looking at this analysis again.....did you take into account that missiles do more damage at every tech level after the initial one |

You seem to have missed the substance of the analysis.

It does take into account damage, but the damage is mated (as properly) to the size of the weapon.

A 2 damage missile weapon that takes up 8 space is no different from a 1 damage laser that takes up 4 space (in terms of overall damage output. There are inhierent advantages to having a small weapon). It's not the raw damage per weapon that matters; its the ratio of damage to size.

Check out the very last techs you'll see that a massive hull filled with missiles has a max dmg 30 to 40 points greater then one filled with the best beam weapons |

OK, let's look at the last weapons then:

DoomRay: Tech cost is 49125. Ratio of size to damage is 5:11, or 1:2.2. Size is 10.

BlackHole Eruptor: Tech cost is 74250. Ratio of size to damage is 11:25, or 1:2 and 3/11. Size is 11.

Black Hole Gun: Tech cost is 65875. Ratio of size to damage is 3:8 or 1:2 and 2/3. Size is 6.

Overall, the BlackHole Gun is better than either. However, let's forget that for a moment and focus on lasers vs. missiles.

So you spend 74250 research on your precious BlackHole Eruptor. Meanwhile, since we're even (if you have a research advantage, I should lose regardless, right?) I spend the same quantity of research. However, I only need to drop 49125 to get my DoomRay. That leaves me with 25125 to spend on infrastructure. Or, maybe for a gag, I spend that on missile defense. And the final missile defense tech only costs 19970, so I still have 5155 research left to spend, perhaps on miniturization techs. I have my most powerful weapon of my class, the best defense against your weapon, and some other techs. Maybe I invest in manufacturing, so I have more ships than you. Maybe I invest in logistics, so my fleets are bigger than yours.

The minor difference in the size:damage ratios between the Doom Ray and the BlackHole Eruptor is negligable compared to the fact that it took you almost 50% more research to get it. In fact, I imagine that in such a game, you've already lost long before you even see BlackHole Eruptors.

The other thing is that I don't even need my biggest laser. The next-biggest laser, the Subspace Blaster is actually weaker than the weapon before it, so I would only research it as a stepping stone to the Doom Ray. If I don't bother with either of them, and stop at the 3rd best laser, I only need to spend 28925. That gives me a size:damage ratio of 1:1 and 3/5, or 5:8, which is good enough. The size of that gun is 5, so it's pretty tiny. And I save over 20,000 research that can be more wisely invested (in, say, missile defense). You'll be dead long before you see the BHE.