Well, it’s obviously not my place to comment on the game’s design, but there’s also mission scale to consider, and I can see why the long range set of weapons would be intentionally kept ineffective. The danger of having a strong 1200m weapon system is that players can fit much more weapons in the volume of 1200 meters around a target than say, the volume of a weapon that shoots 400m. (or area, considering this is 2d) Most of the weapons in the game fall well under the 950 range and we want them to get some play, too.
In larger conflicts, you could easily get past the point where there are enough incoming missiles to cooperatively one-shot a cruiser in a single volley. Unless you’ve got all of your scramblers trained on that particular point of space, which is unlikely, the missiles are getting through. Painting can always be done by small advance ships or fighters, what matters is the position of the launchers.
I mean, I sort of get where you are coming from, but point defense is just the general flaw that missiles need to have. To me, right now it seems just as necessary to have a scrambler as it is necessary to have a shield to protect against beams. I’d certainly like to see some incentive to spread (shortrange) fleets out more, but that has more to do with the AI set than anything else.
Check out Dogthinker’s 12/14/09 Caspian IV fleet, if it’s still there, as an example of a large missile engagement. That is a very difficult fleet to beat without missiles and/or point defense.