For those of you who care....
100 Garda Flak vs. 100 LRMs
Winner: Garda Flak (36% losses)
*Note: minimal micro of placing flak near center of LRM fleet was used
30 Percheron Carriers with fighters vs. 105 LRMs
Winner: Percheron Carriers with fighters (37% losses)
*Note: no carrier kiting was used
120 Shriken Corvettes vs. 90 LRMs
Winner: Shriken Corvettes (44% losses)
40 Kodiaks vs. 100 LRMs
Winner: Kodiaks (55% losses)
30 Percheron Carriers with bombers vs. 105 LRMs
Winner: LRMs (72% losses)
*Note: no carrier kiting was used
80 Colbalts vs. 100 LRMs
Winner: LRMs (25% losses)
LRMs got crushed by flak, fighters, and Corvettes...
LRMs were beaten pretty bad by HCs...
LRMs barely beat bombers (and that was with no kiting)...
Only thing LRMs clearly perform well against is LFs...
I'd also like to mention that only TEC units were used...TEC units, which could be described as having:
WORST fighter and bomber
It's been awhile since I've ran the tests, but I'm pretty sure TEC also has the weakest heavy cruiser...don't know about Corvettes...anyway, the point is that I pitted the best LRF against the worst or 2nd best ships of their class...had I done this against Advent ships, the results would have not favored the LRM as much...
Do what you want with this information...but if you come at me with LRF spam, my go-to counter is going to be flak...
Direct confrontations are certain valuable information, but IMo they don't necessarily portray the whole picture. The LRM has superior firepower per cost in general to most other frigates and can be used at extreme ranges. It's like saying artillary is useless because in a straight fight where the enemy is free to drive their tanks right up to it and have a shootout it would lose.
The reason it get's stomped in direct confrontations is it's poor survivability and vulnerability to a number of damage types. In actual fleet battles there are other factors which can be used to mitigate that poor survivability.
Advent have guardians,progen shield regen, and repulse
Vasari have overseers, Repair cloud, beefy ships in general, and subverters to disable sections of the enemy fleet targeting their LRM
TEC loyals have their titan's AoE shield & hoshikos
TEC rebels sadly only have hoshikos
Keep the enemy from effectively making your LRM frigate dead and you're left with a unit with one of the highest focusfire potentials in the game. The antimedium damage type is still one of the most versatile ones in the game, and LRM frigates still have one of the best DPS:supply values among frigates.
While TEC obviously have the least in the way of such tools, they also have the most efficient single target DPS: fleet supply ratio on their LRM and a much better economy to boot(which means making trades resulting in a battle of attrition is to their benefit). And with the focus fire potential of LRM I can't imagine they aren't inflicting casualties in the enemy ranks even if the LRM do bite the dust.
And while a bunch of ships may win against LRM is a void, the reality of large fleet battles is those ships may have other priority targets(for example the flak will likely being targeting fighters/corvettes first, during which time LRM are free to DPS).
Heck, even not accounting for the presence of other ships, using number like 100 give an obvious edge to some ship type(obviously high numbers of each side are more beneficial to the flak frigates then LRM as it makes it easier to keep all banks firing and reach a critical mass where all the flak frigate's individually small DPS come together to start dropping LRM frigates fast).
Not saying LRM frigate balance is perfect- just saying that while I do appreciate that you provide evidence, a straight matchup between a large mass of ships of one type against a fleet entirely composed of another type don't really account for all of the complexities of real fleet combat- there's more at play then raw "X beats Y in a fight so it's a better ship". Just like capitalship balance can't be determined by having capitalships fight each other 1v1.
I will concede your results probably mean the LRM frigate have limited use early game- at which stage players have small fleets and less synergy so raw "X beats Y" is a bigger component of victory. Specifically early game LRM is now probably only good for:
1). killing LF
2). killing structures(but bombers are better)
3). killing capitalships(probably still the best for wounding capitalships enough to make them need to flee- but corvettes are almost as good and far superior at actually finishing off the fleeing capitalship)
Which is certainly rather limited as compared to say Flak frigates or corvettes. But being that LF counter flak, LRM still are a necessary tool in the proverbial rocks-paper-scissors of early game ship counters.