For the record, the game that made me finally post this was TEC Loyalist (me) VS Vasari. I dont play Advent anymore in competive MP when there is a hostile Vasari on a remote similar skill level in the game..... you are simple dead, should he make it to late game, which frankly... isnt all that difficult.
The game was a 4 player FFA. The Vasari player was on the opposite end of the map. When my fleet advanced into his territory he begun to strip everything. So all I got from conquering his former territory was dead asteroids with extractors. Because he had stripped everything, I was unable to get more Titan experience, too.
While I was moving down on the right side he was moving up on the left side, killing the remains of another player and also stripping his planets.
I hold the line for a while, but he was beginning to outproduce me.
With the higher population caps of the DLC, SttC does hurt more than before. On the other hand, 6 novaliths firing nonstop did not make more than a minor dent in his economy. There were only 3 planets or so left..... and any damage on them was easily shrugged off.
The end of the story was clear, with him building 1.5 carriers for every one of mine.
Altough I had 90 % the map colonized, his economy was better.
I quited the hopeless fight then. No point in watching my planets die one by one without hope for reasonable resistance.
There is a difference between guerrilla and mobility... really I don't think hit and run attacks work very well in Sins.
I am sorry, but it seems you never had a Vasari jumping on your capital from half the map away, pulversing your starbase in under 30 seconds and bomb the planet into oblivion in under a minute. When you are unlucky he has SttC, too. Even on terrans you often dont reach it in time to protect it. Even if your fleet manages to catch him.... unless you have significant more ships than him chances are good he will win that battle.
And if the situation indeed forces the Vassari into retreat, he always can outrun you. Even without Phase Stabilizer. (Gravity tolerance allows to jump earlier, increasing total speed)
It seems obvious you were playing against a pretty skilled vasari player and you just need to improve your skills on advent. Read my thread that I think vasari need a slight buff in early game due to LF spam
It is quite possible as Vasari to defeat Advent players with two times as many games as yourself, giving a slight luck in starting position. It is still possible to defeat a TEC player with better skill levels by sheer brute force and superior abilities.
Advent VS Vasari are a hopeless cause in late game. Not only does he have a far superior fleet, he also as a much better economy to replace any losses he would take.
I also notice the Vasari doing several errors...... that I, would not have made. At best he was on my skill level... probably lower.
As for your topic.... it is true that Vasari have a SLIGHTLY slower start compared to TEC or Advent. But it is quite doable to survive it, while late game survival against Vasari is pretty much hopeless for Advent and a very hard challenge for TEC.
Even if Vasari would be underpowered in early game - which they are not - that doesnt mean it is ok from a a balancing point of view, that in late game they become an "I WIN" button.
5s games are not a good way to judge on balance. Differences in skill, feed and a myriad of other things can and will affect battles in a way.
Of course an Advent with 150 Bomber wings can defeat a Vasari with 50 bomber wings.... but that is not a real situation, because the Advent economy did receive some serious feed then.
Under their own economy power you will rather look at 40 Advent Bombers wings against 50 Vasari Bomber wings. With obvious results.
Point is you were playing a skilled vasari player(s) and you let them get to that late game tech. The majority of the 5s game I play are over in about an hour and I'm doing reasonably well to spam carriers with a titan and some overseers thrown in...forget about Kosturas and the like.
There are many more games going that just 5s.
Also, your argument is basically, "If a Vasari makes it to late game, you are dead". That is not a way to balance a game.
If you do well enough without Kostura and the like..... imagine your power if you would use it.
The mentality that simply have a greater skill level suddenly means they're balanced doesn't work.
Now VL's techs may get used if you start stripping- though that's less prevalent too as people mainly just build shit loads of carriers from a factory world.
It might be getting a revival soon, with industrial planets being much better for ship production and higher population levels, destroying core worlds of your enemy does hurt significantly more than before.
SttC was nerfed good enough to make it usually uninteresting from a economic standpoint.... but as a weapon of terror and economic damage, it remains quite viable. Personally I feel that it can stay the way it is, assuming the primary issue is solved:
The Vasari late game fleet is the most mobile fleet.... AND the most powerful one.
If the fleet of another player is more powerfull, he will outrun it, and do major damage to backworlds.
If the fleet of another player is less powerfull, he will engage it directly, winning the game.
The arguments made in the OP suggest he has been battling opponents pretty skilled with Vasari and/or getting feed whereas he may need to improve his skills with Advent. That seems to be the bottom line to me because in all the skilled multiplayer games I've been in the last month, Advent have had no issues with throwing the spam my way tacking up a loss on my stats.
The Advent player obviously had feed, which is something that cannot be balanced for obvious reasons.