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for the world i'm building, resource cost has gone down extremely in metal materials, and an alliance between humans and extraterrestrials (the concordat) are fighting multiple extraterrestrial hostile forces.

would a small dropship for small squadrons, or a massive (possibly orbiting) warship carrying armies and smaller dropships be most effective.

take in the fact that metal resources, advanced technology, and manual labor has decreased extremely in cost.

This dropship would be used for a multitude of military reasons (mostly combat) ranging from a small patrol deployed in an abandoned area, to carrying a large-scaled tank into a war zone.

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closed as too broad by Aify, sphennings, L.Dutch, Josh King, user25818 Aug 17 '17 at 17:33

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Worldbuilding. As written this is way too broad a question to answer effectively. Most effective at what? small drop ships are going to be a lots less effective at transporting people en mass, but a giant warship would make a much bigger target and be overkill to transport a covert strike team. lots of trade offs possible depending on the defenses available and what the offensive forces are actually trying to accomplish. We need a lot more information to be able to provide useful answers. $\endgroup$ – Josh King Aug 17 '17 at 17:32
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Depends on your technology assumptions. You mentioned low costs, but that must always be seen as relative. Imagine the cost of aircraft went down by a factor of 1,000. A F-22 would still be more expensive than a F-35, and USD 100k is less than USD 150k. That matters when you buy several thousand of them.

Consider these examples:

  • Each small dropship might come with a human pilot or two, sensors, computers, etc. So does each large dropship. This "overhead" will be a disproportionate disadvantage for small dropships.
  • A ground-to-space missile might be able to kill a small dropship just as easily as a large dropship. This vulnerability will be a disproportionate disadvantage for large dropships.
  • It might be possible to give a large dropship enough armor to resist many common weapons, leaving it vulnerable only to exceptional weapons.
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    $\begingroup$ Also do not forget strategic decisions. One dropship can only land at one place at a time. Deploy 2-3 locations fast with one large dropship - out of luck $\endgroup$ – TomTom Aug 17 '17 at 17:50
  • $\begingroup$ @TomTom, I was thinking of squad-level dropships vs. company- or battalion-level dropships. There would be many of those. But the question has been closed. Not my vote but I respect it. $\endgroup$ – o.m. Aug 17 '17 at 17:58
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, but you said massive carrying armies (PLURAL) - that is not batallions. That is a couple of divisions. Possibly a high number of them. Given your question i would be like "one massive one or a million small ones". We talk of multiple times independence day massive to house ARMIES. $\endgroup$ – TomTom Aug 17 '17 at 18:02
  • $\begingroup$ Also smaller dropships can sneak in where bigger ones can't. Infiltration or even terrain issues could well favour smaller ships $\endgroup$ – nzaman Aug 17 '17 at 18:25
  • $\begingroup$ It's likely a combination of sizes would be most strategically useful. One space game (Halo) involves everything from full warships landing on the surface (Forward Unto Dawn, Mission: The Ark; Halo 3), to squadron transports (Pelicans, various, Halo:CE-Halo 5), to single soldier 'drop pods' (ODST pods, various, esp. Halo 3:ODST). Each are used in different scenarios. $\endgroup$ – Pyrotrain Aug 17 '17 at 19:46

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