One of the zillion ideas, or perhaps several of, that have been bouncing around my head of late is: "What if you designed a super carrier, that's meant to carry its own battle group?"
This kind of got me to thinking. If you designed a super carrier around the idea of several hanger compartments, big enough to pack in 8 ~ 10 capital ships in destroyer or frigate tier sizes, that's pretty useful. At which point, you may as well design the entire ship around its hangers, engines, and main guns.
We'd be talking about a very large ship. Something in the scale of a Covenant super carrier or an Executor class super stardestroyer--several kilometres of starship. All the more reason to basically build the ship around the guns, the hangers, and the engines, wrap the sucker in all the armour you can muster, and build vital crew services into the ship's spine.
A follow on idea to this is the notion of a modular destroyer to accompany the super carrier. I mean, literally modular. Swapping out modules could adapt the destroyer from being focused on a point defense screen, or fit smaller Gauss cannons, etc. Swap hanger bays for mine dispensing packages. Need anti-ship torpedoes or the mother of all antimissile batteries? Swap a module. All the better if the aforementioned really big freaking super carrier was equipped to deal with that while underway, but outside of combat; because if you're going big, bring some spare parts along.
Such a destroyer would go well with a carrier that is so freaking big that you can land the groups destroyers in the carrier, before making with the super duper space travel hijinks. Not to mention, good excuses to have a whole lotta starfighters, support craft, and probably the deck space to supply a planetary assault force or evacuate a small moon worth of people in a pinch.
Thus arriving at another idea that I've been putting around with for some years: that Gauss rifles and the like would be far more effective than some kind of damned phaser bank. You wanna knock the shit out of an enemy ship? Blast the fricken' thing with a solvo of Gauss rifles. Run out of shit to fire out the Gauss rifle? Go mine an asteroid for something ferromagnetic worth processing into a coilgun slug. I imagine that much as cruise missiles took over the world of terrestrial navel combat, starships will rely principally on comparable missiles, and some really big coilguns for piercing uber thick armour is a requirement. Plus who doesn't like to unleash some kinetic whoop ass?
I kind of picture a long rail of a ship. A quartet of forward firing large calibre Gauss cannons built into the four outer corners of the frame, and a long shaft running several kilometres. The sides of which amount to hanger bay after hanger bay after hanger bay; kind of like the hanger bay death crawls of Covenant ships in the original Halo, where you start wondering whether or not a ship can ever have enough hanger bays or if the engineers ran out of ideas.