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Old September 30 2012, 06:36 AM   #59
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
Interestingly, the idea of running away from enemy torpedoes and attempting to shoot them down while trying to sneak up on the target under cloak was addressed in "Balance of Terror" because the shields were ineffective against the enemy's weapons fire.
If I was rebooting Star Trek, THAT would be my archetype for starship combat. Your enemy gets a target lock on you and fires a torpedo; your immediate response is so launch decoys and turn the jammers up to full power (or turn on the cloaking device, if you've got one), and after that you've got three options: 1) turn all warp power to the deflectors and hope to keep it away from you until it burns out its fuel and detonates, 2) Turn tail and go to maximum warp or 3) try to shoot it down with phasers.

I would also make a distinction between shields and deflectors. Your shields are basically deployable armor; good for stopping destructive energies (e.g. radiation from an exploding torpedo) but they can only handle so much strain before they overheat and you have to get out of dodge long enough to let them cool down/recharge. Take a page out of the TMP playbook too: torpedoes aren't bullets and meteors, they have warp drives and guidance systems of their own; when they hit the deflectors, they'll keep running at full throttle trying to push their way through, and it'll be a contest between your engines and the small but powerful drive on the torpedo to see who can win. Maybe your deflectors can stop one torpedo and hold it ten kilometers away, but then the enemy launches two more, and then a third... your engines start to overheat, his torpedoes start to push through, and then you've got to fall back to options 2 and 3.

Depending on the circumstances (if you have no specific reason to stay put) you might not even bother with the deflectors; you see torpedoes incoming, you might immediately jump to maximum warp and put the attacking torpedoes on your six o'clock; the relative speeds are now low enough that you can take your time shooting them down. Or you might even rely on interceptor torpedoes and decoys to provide an effective screen and save your engines and deflectors for that crucial moment when your science officer figures out who's shooting at you, and then you can use that sudden burst of speed to close the distance and counter attack.

I do agree that TNG and later series devolved it to a point-blank affair between simple phasers and torpedoes.
That remains to be seen for the JJ Verse, though. If nothing else, it's the first time we've seen phasers being used in an explicit point defense role, which is pretty much a revolution where Trek combat is concerned.
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