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Old November 2 2012, 07:41 PM   #108
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
As an alternative to using the compression wave as an aiming point to "blow our captain to bits." And even that's only possible because the Galaxy class is a lot more powerful than Stargazer.
And apparently also to concentrate shields from that aiming point to protect from the attack.
That isn't that huge of shift, really. Stargazer's field of fire is pretty wide, and unless they're using the tractor beam to jam the gimbals on his main phaser turrets (they could be, who knows?) then concentrating shields on a specific "point" wouldn't help much since they don't know exactly where Stargazer is going to aim.

Since "blowing the Captain to bits" was clearly not something Riker wanted to do they still had "no counter".
Yes they did. Data merely suggested that the Enterprise is powerful enough to use their tractor beam INSTEAD of their phasers to stop the Stargazer from attacking them. It probably wouldn't have worked with, say, the Hood or another Constellation class ship.

Having the ability to target both ships doesn't give Riker the solution he is looking for.
Strictly speaking, neither does the ability to target just the closer one, which is the point. There's a specific reason why a ship appearing to be in two places at once is a tactical advantage in a fight. Data hints at the reason right there in the dialog: you can't track Stargazer while she's at warp, you have to wait until the ship actually slows down in front of you and prepares to fire. Even if you know the move is coming, your sensors aren't fast enough to lock on and fire before Stargazer can nail you... UNLESS you're reading the compression wave as Stargazer telegraphing its arrival point.

Then the main viewer should've shown NO warp vector lines and just a second Stargazer appearing out of the blue if that was the case.
No, the warp vector lines would actually be a form of motion blur as the computer detects the compression wave and tries to figure out where exactly Stargazer is.

This would be a lot less confusing to you if you input some realistic ranges to the scenario. Assume, for a moment, that the first image of Stargazer is a magnification of a ship that is about half an AU away, the second image is 100km away. In this case, Stargazer has already gone to warp three or four seconds before the second image appears; the warp streaks are only visible in the last three-quarters of a second, directly corresponding with Picard's "Reverse and stop!" IOW we can't see Stargazer while it's at warp, we're only seeing it as it drops OUT of warp and then only because the computer is specifically looking for it.

This sort of raises the question of exactly how far away Stargazer was when it made this maneuver in the first place (both times, actually). We are never actually told the relative distances in either case, but it's sort of telling that in Picard's flashback, Stargazer holds "steady" at high warp for four or five seconds before "reverse and stop!" Depending on how fast warp speed actually is within solar systems (could be much slower IN system than in interstellar space) that could be a distance anywhere between 20 light seconds to half an AU.

Also note that Picard's flashbacks are laced with sound effects, which are probably meant to correspond to what Picard either heard or imagined was going on around him. When Picard orders "engage" we hear the "jump to warp" sound effect in the background, the direct suggestion that Stargazer began and finished at sublight speed.

The Stargazer could still have been going at Warp 2 and as the Ferengi exited Warp to make a tight 180 (like the E-D does in "Encounter At Farpoint") the Stargazer could've intercepted them after the High Warp hop.
Except Enterprise never dropped out of warp during the turn in "Encounter at Farpoint." There's also Picard's statement that the Ferengi ship appeared and fired on them at "point blank range" in the first attack... something which would be fairly inadvisable -- if it's even possible -- at warp speed. "Point blank range" implies the Ferengi dropped out of warp right on Stargazer's ass and fired at incredibly close range (like the Enterprise does in STXI) before Stargazer could get its defenses active.

Remember, the characteristics of the Picard Maneuver are:
1. High Warp (Warp 9)
2. The Enemy Ship Choosing the Wrong Target to fire at (Enemy Confusion)
3. Possible a sensor timing issue
And I've already shown that choosing the wrong target isn't an integral component to the maneuver. It's the reason the Ferengi return fire didn't turn this into a double-homicide instead of the come-from-behind-victory that it barely was.

Incase you missed it, the simple reason for this is that the maneuver would not have been a working tactic -- AT ALL -- if either the Ferengi or the Enterprise had enough time to select one of the two targets and fire first. And we know it WAS a working tactic, considering this maneuver is being taught at Starfleet academy and even the walking encyclopedia that is Data states with unusual conciseness: "There is no defense" and has to devise one on the fly. I repeat again: if "get them to shoot the wrong target" is a component of the maneuver, then Data's response would be "aim for the closer one."

The other thing is, Picard himself describes it as a "save our skins" maneuver, so it's more of a clever way of getting in close and landing an effective attack than of actually AVOIDING return fire. With his shields failing and half the ship already on fire, the Ferengi returning fire on the wrong target only proves that it's better to be lucky than smart.

If it was something simple like a ship going FTL to outrun it's own LS reflection, then Warp 1 or 2 would suffice.
Only over very SHORT distances. Otherwise, you would spend several seconds or even minutes crawling toward your target at warp two while he sets up for his next jump-in-and-attack. When he starts to close, his sensors will notice your move and he'll adjust his course to intercept you; the initiative is lost.

The point of the Picard Maneuver is not simple misdirection. You achieve the initiative by moving into firing position before your enemy knows you've done it. The Ferengi understood this, hence dropping into "point blank range" to sucker punch the Stargazer. And to dovetail this subthread with the OP, this is also the specific reason why the Klingons and the Romulans have developed cloaking technology: so you can get into firing position and open fire before your enemy even knows he's under attack. I would even venture a guess that superior engine technology -- perhaps the ability to accelerate and decelerate VERY quickly -- is one of the reasons Starfleet never developed cloaking devices of its own: thanks to Picard, they know that it's possible to achieve the same element of surprise with smart maneuvering, instead of using an energy-intensive invisibility screen as a crutch.
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