Also, let us not forget that the Picard Maneuver as depicted in "The Battle" was not the same as performed in the Battle of Maxia.
* The viewscreen of the E-D could have shown much more information than the viewscreen of the Ferengi ship once did. The E-D was a newer ship, from a different culture, and had not been fired at.
* The "victims" were not surprised by the Maneuver; they expected it.
* The "victims" had no intention of firing back, or evading, and indeed did not have the destruction of the Stargazer
as their tactical goal.
* Picard was hindered by having no crew; everything he did probably happened more slowly than in the original version.
As far as we know, the battle posed no risk whatsoever to the E-D. Picard's ship was rigged for maneuvering, yes, but quite possibly the Maneuver would have concluded in Picard yelling "Fire!" at his nonexistent crew, and nothing happening
- except for Picard being killed when the E-D, unaware of the complete lack of danger, fired.
After all, nothing did happen. The split-second timing and surprise factor of the maneuver were completely wasted as no fire of any sort emerged from the Stargazer
. It's difficult to imagine Picard not giving the command. But it's easy to imagine the command having no effect.
So, there are three ways to take Data's "no way to defeat the Picard Maneuver" statement:
1) Anybody placed in the exact
position of the Ferengi would be toast - but the E-D was not in that position, and indeed few ships would be.
2) Anybody subjected to the Maneuver would be toast.
3) The Maneuver would necessarily lead to the destruction of Picard's ship, meaning Riker would be defeated.
Interpretations 1 and 3 seem to hold true, while 2 appears false even without the gas compression trick.