Here’s a screenshot of two broadside variants I was messing with.
From a game balance standpoint, one of the advantages of the hybrid (especially the fragmentary-hybrid in the screenshot) system is that the PD can be nerfed at will. 360° is too bad? Great, either cut the angles or increase the cycle times to compensate. Those 90° arcs are meant so that you can’t catch more than one drone from a volley. You’re catching drones too easily? Again, cut cycletime in the single beam variant, or even remove some beams in the fragmentary variant. I don’t think the risk of catching unintended targets with a slow-loading PD is a bad thing. It just makes it more of a compensation for the small beam arcs that isn’t meant to make the ship impervious, just on par with the others.
I do like the chasers and carronades. In fact, one of my variants I didn’t post (because it was meant to be dreadnought-equivalent) uses at least a forward chaser with a slightly increased range, a 1° 48′ arc and nearly twice the damage of a standard beam with a cycletime that made the actual DPS slighly below standard. I envisioned its standard use as a beam that would be fired on approach as you turn to bear the main broadside.
One of the reasons I didn’t include them in the proposal was that, especially the carronada, they would be in fact difficult to balance. I fear in particular that, for example, the chaser would be calculated in our total DPS count resulting in the main broadside being nerfed too severely; or that my arguments against destroyer-Ares would still apply to the carronade in a siege ship. As for a carronade in a general combat ship, I’m in love with the idea so long as the main beams have their range slightly increased to compensate for the ammount of fire the ship would have to accept in order to use them.