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Old November 7 2008, 01:27 PM   #20
Chief of Staff, Starfleet Command
Re: phasers - why only short bursts?

Timo wrote: View Post

Not to mention that the technique might not work at all within an exotic nebula that has already been polluted by the engines and weapon fire of four vessels.
Absolutely--"hiding" there was probably much easier than it would have been somewhere else.

I just want to point out that when we use terms like "hit" and "miss" for torpedoes, we must remember that they are area-effect weapons that detonate as close to the intended target as they can--after making some complicated determinations about whether or not the usage of reactants from missing the target on that pass, turning around, and maneuvering for a closer pass would be likely to result in a greater or lesser force delivered to the target. The cloak on Scimitar, the effect of the rift on torpedo guidance systems, and maybe some other factors meant a lot of these torpedoes were blowing themselves up at "best guess" moments that probably didn't end up representing very good guesses at all. (I must admit to being a bit awed when Data reported the ship had used up all of its torpedoes; I didn't care for the design or name of Scimitar or the conclusion of the battle, but that little data point and the "Kirk-Epsilon" business were pretty neat.)

Also possibly relevant: the Technical Manual and Encyclopedia suggest that the effective range of phasers is typically limited to one light-second. If this is the case, I imagine many, if not most, torpedo launch scenarios (taking place at much greater ranges) would not be able to make effective use of phaser "tagging" for torpedo guidance as was mentioned above.
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