One of the things that bothers me (a little, not a lot) about some of the Star Trek games is the idea that each of the combatants continuously developes and deploys new, advanced warships as the conflict drags on.

First, let me say that I understand that this is how the games survive, grow, and how excitement is engendered. And I have to say, I have bought into it. I remember waiting with baited breath for the SFB War Cruisers to come out. I can live with it, because it makes the game.

Second, if it were really to happen that way, it would probably be the first time. In Earth's modern era, War has had exactly the opposite effect: A stifling effect on development. When Pearl Harbor was bombed, did the Americans launch into a program of new advanced ships? No, not really. Rather, the reaction was to build more of what was already being built. The wet navy buffs probably know this, but the ships that carried the Americans through the later part of the war (Essex, Iowa, Baltimore, Cleveland, Fletcher, Gato, Etc) were already under construction when Pearl was bombed. More were immediately ordered. In fact, none of the newer designs that reflected war experience resulted in ships that were finished during the war!

Both World War I and World War II had a drastic effect on the construction of large vessels: Most that were planned, and many under construction were cancelled! Very very few large warships were laid down during either conflict, and of those, many were not finished during the wars or at all. The only capital ships to be laid down and completed during one of the wars were the battlecruisers Repulse and Renown in WWI, and some of the Essex and Unryu class carriers in WWII. No heavy cruisers were designed, started and deployed during either war, and only a few light cruisers made it from the drawing board to the battlefield. Only two battleships were laid down by combatants during WWII: Vanguard by the British, and Kentucky by the Americans. Neither were finsihed at war's end.