Thread: A Warp Fighter
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Old September 5 2012, 03:07 AM   #36
Crazy Eddie
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Re: A Warp Fighter

tighr wrote: View Post
Albertese wrote: View Post
Your little ships are visible from beyond their own tactical range and get shot down before they do much good. They are too small to carry effective defenses. I'm sure the a small craft like a fighter would need hefty hardware to power a shield strong enough to protect against a full sized capitol ship's phasers or what-have-you. And to top it off, your sending real life people in these eggshells to get fried.

Star Trek is a little different because fuel consumption never seems to be an issue, but if it were, you have to carry enough gas to get you to the fight and get you back (assuming you like you pilots) which is double what you might need if you sent a drone out there.
As I mentioned several times earlier in the thread, all fighters would likely be launched from a carrier ship. This carrier ship would likely be very near to the battle, possibly even a participant in the battle (and a heavily armored target to draw away enemy fire). The fighters themselves wouldn't need to traverse across space alone, they would have constant back-up. In fact, most other science fiction depicting space battles has this paradigm.
Which kinda defeats the purpose of having fighters, actually. Ultimately they're just fire support for the battleships, but at those ranges there isn't anything you could do with a fighter that wouldn't be done more effectively with a guided missile. In the end you get this sort of circular logic where fighters exist primarily to attack the OTHER guy's fighters, who in turn exist to attack yours. In both cases, those are sci-fi stories written by people who are apparently unaware of the existence of point defense.

Maybe if you make the fighters the spearhead of some aggressive boarding actions -- say, a craft designed to clear a path for breaching pods or open a small hole in the shields through which away teams can be beamed. Beyond that, it's just Starwarsian silliness.

Star Wars features Star Destroyers and the Death Star, from which the Tie fighters are launched...
Neither of which should NEED fighters, nor should they be vulnerable to them if their design made any sense. The plot devices used to justify the existence of fighters are rather flimsy in and of themselves.

The reason Trek used capital ships and the battles were short is (surprise) they are insanely expensive to film. It's easier to show the bridges of two ships and have the captains duke it out over words than it is to launch several dozen fighters. Even the battles in DS9 were repetitive, even to the point of reusing footage. Over time, that became the style of Trek, and so even today they're reluctant to change that model.
They don't really NEED to change that model. Star Trek doesn't lend well to the technical paradigm in which fighters excel; capital ships are well protected by defensive weapons and shields, and they're also very agile for their size. Fighters make a certain amount of sense for enemies who specialize in this sort of thing (the Suliban, for example), but not in the context of some kind of grand "space is an ocean" aircraft carrier analog. Fighters that can't operate autonomously -- and more importantly, that can't outrun capital ships in any given race -- are utterly impractical in Star Trek; if they're really that much of a threat, you can just pop into warp and dodge them, and if they AREN'T much of a threat, you plow right through them and eat the carrier for lunch.
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