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Old September 29 2012, 10:11 AM   #57
Fleet Captain
Mytran's Avatar
Location: North Wales
Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

That, of course, would be a fundamentally different take on combat in Star Trek; it would be like a combination of submarine/surface/air-to-air warfare all the same time, with starships that spend entire battles running from one another's torpedoes while at the same time trying to find an opportunity to get in close enough to punch each other's lights out with phasers. There'd undoubtedly be different sizes and classes of torpedoes too; smaller torpedoes for hitting small/nearby targets or for knocking out other people's torpedoes, and larger anti-ship torpedoes that can you launch against a target on the far side of the solar system. Other equipment would be of high necessity; the cloaking device would be indispensable, not merely for sneaking up on other ships, but for avoiding the roving spreads of torpedoes they keep firing at you (whose AIs surely have a general idea where you are but can't home in for a kill). Decoys would be needed too, equipped with a convincing hologram or even some kind of replicator that can create a facade of a proper target and lure a torpedo away from the real thing. Starship combat tactics would be as much about securing your exit path as it is about watching for potential enemies, much less of the simple "bad guys there, they're firing... shields at 80%... return fire" formulaic business we're used to.
Sounds fun! Way beyond what a 1960s TV show could have produced of course, or even in the TNG era, but if it ever gets done that would be quite a visual spectacle.

I have to agree about the unrealism of the way combat is portrayed as well. It's the all too common "spaceships as boats" approach that we often see on TV & film.
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