As far as I am aware you promised early alphas of the goods in 6 months. Its been 3 years. What happened?
That's when I got my first full-time job, remember? It's my universal excuse. Routinely had 60+ hour weeks. So I'd spend like 6 or 8 months on a given concept, get bored, tired, and frustrated by my lack of progress, and shelve it in favor of something else for a while. I'm in a better position now, so I have time to actually follow through this time. This new mod is basically a combination of the best parts of everything I've done but never released, as well as a healthy dose of AA.
...I'm totally confused how this game will work. You want players to have small, modest bases, and use manageable army sizes, and avoid superscalar hardware.
What economic system do you have in mind to provide this? It's certainly impossible with the TA economy, and it's even damned hard with makerless economies...
Bases won't necessarily small and modest. For a long time I've tried to think about game design not just in terms of the obvious resources: metal, energy, time. There are other things, and for one example I will be making "usable land" into a resource in a way that I haven't seen done on a Spring mod. Many structures will be large, limiting how much you can build on many maps, and defense ranges will be fairly conservative. Build too big and you will set yourself up to fail.
Regarding how to avoid gigantic armies, the simplest way would be to just make units themselves not inherently always be "better" in larger numbers. I'm not sure how to be vague about this while still giving a satisfying answer...
This has nothing to do with the strategy I'm pursuing but it's an example of where more units doesn't mean a better attack: if you have 10 crawling bombs, and you attack all at once, 9 of them will explode nowhere near the enemy when the first one goes off. So that's one example of where more units isn't better, but there are many more, and I will be implementing some combination of them.
Regarding the economic system, there will be something of an analogue to metal makers, and I will use only two resources. There will be lots of opportunity for economic growth, but there will be severe risks inherent in trying to pursue TA-style exponential growth. Economy will rely more heavily on map-based resources in the new mod than in AA, and while it won't be impossible to play on maps without any metal spots, it won't just be a matter of making an infinite 5x solar, 1x metal maker queue.
In case I was unclear on this in the past, the mod as a whole will not bear a strong resemblance to TA, although certain parts will. It is currently something like 1 part AA, 2 parts GEM, 2 parts RTS21, 1 part other stuff, like AWS.