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Old November 5 2012, 12:53 AM   #116
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

SoM wrote: View Post
Depends what you mean by "a viable counter". Riker was looking for a tactic to stop the Stargazer in its tracks.
Ultimately, yes. But that's not what he asked Data.

Indeed, "turn tail and run" is a viable alternative against just about ANY sort of maneuver, but that -- again -- is not what Riker was asking Data.

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
Which depends on how one interprets "defense" against the maneuver. Riker is looking for a way to protect the E-D against it in a non-lethal manner to the Stargazer.
That, again, is NOT what Riker asked Data. Indeed, Riker himself immediately and correctly interpreted Data's response as implying the use of lethal force, which is why Data immediately followed up with an alternative version of their defensive move. And again, it's only possible because the Enterprise is considerably more powerful than Stargazer.

Also, note that Data's dialogue says, "might seem to disappear". That would indicate that the E-D has detection gear to track the Stargazer in real-time...
No it doesn't. It has the ability to detect a sudden compression of interstellar gas, not the starship that causes that compression.

Again, that's required be the entire point of the scene: using NORMAL tracking techniques, there'd be no way to follow Stargazer through the maneuver. Scanning for gas compression is an abnormal technique, and it allows them to determine an "aiming point" approximately where Stargazer is going to be.

That is a possibility since we don't have any fixed reference points. The whole turning around and then accelerating back into the "warp burst"...
There's no warp burst after the turn, just more acceleration.

We've seen in Voyager numerous ships close to point-blank range at warp and open fire. Same thing in "Nemesis".
But never at warp speed, and rarely without the aid of a cloaking device.

OTOH, this might be a fundamental misunderstanding of what "point blank range" actually is in Star Trek: have we ever seen them NOT exchange fire at point blank range?

The Ferengi didn't need to stop to fire at point-blank range and there isn't any indication that this happened.
There isn't any indication for MOST of what happened in this battle. Picard, for example, never mentions yelling at his officers, never mentions the fusion reactors needing to be on surge control, never mentions what course heading he put in. In fact, he never mentions what the Ferengi "hit him" with at all; if we're to take it as literally as you seem to be, we'd have to conclude that the Ferengi RAMMED the Stargazer during its second attack.

To be sure, Picard is being vague on the details because he's giving a summary, not a play-by-play. A lot more occurred than he's telling us... which is what happens when you attempt to relate a complicated situation without writing a novel in the process.

No you haven't. You are relying on your argument that the Ferengi had no choice but to fire on the wrong target...
Who here even MADE that argument? I think you are confused.

We know this tactic worked once. That's just it. Whether it was used later on we don't know.
Doesn't matter either. Starfleet was apparently sufficiently impressed that it now gets a mention in their textbooks. Seems to be a standard tactic now, since the grinning Riker says "You did it first."

As to a "defense" against it, that is exactly what Riker asked for which is different than requesting a counter attack to it.
A counter attack, IF it existed, would have been mentioned as a type of defense. Season One Data is not known for omitting information.

The obvious "counter-attack" to it would be to fire at both targets.
Again, IF that were possible, Data would have immediately mentioned it only to have Riker make him narrow down the choice of possible moves, e.g. "Too risky. Is there any way to do that without murdering our own captain?"

More to the point: why would you fire on BOTH targets if you have the capacity to target the closer one in the first place? If you COULD target the closer one under normal circumstances, there'd be nothing special about the Picard Maneuver: Riker asks "What is the defense against the Picard Maneuver" and Data answers "Target the closer image as soon as it appears."

This isn't rocket science, dude. Either standard sensors can track the Stargazer or they can't. If they can, then there's no reason for them to scan for a compression wave: just scan for that fast-moving starship hurtling towards you at warp speed. In this case, they DID scan for the compression wave, ergo they COULD NOT scan for the Stargazer until it dropped out of warp. That also implies that if you wait for Stargazer to stop, you've waited too long: it doesn't matter which target you shoot at, because Stargazer will hit you first.

And Riker's request was a defense against it, not a counter-attack or an action that required blowing the Stargazer to bits as his dialogue goes.
Which, again, he only specifies AFTER Data provides him with an action that implicitly requires blowing stargazer to bits.

Yes, the Ferengi just was unlucky in choosing the wrong target
Well, to be sure, they were unlucky that the ship they decided to ambush was commanded by Jean Luc Picard. It's PICARD who got lucky, as the return fire from the Ferengi vessel would have doomed the Stargazer to share their fate.

Which negates your premise that it is a FTL ship vs LS sensor problem. If it was as you suggest, the FTL ship would still be a ghost image from far away and a few seconds or a minute or two a second, closer image would pop up. The LS sensor ship would have no idea how to adjust his course to intercept the FTL ship that is in motion.
Already covered that: this is relatively easy to do for a starship moving AWAY from you, since the blurry afterimage it leaves points out the direction like a con-trail in space. If you're in a starship, you can follow that trail until you're close enough to work out your target's exact position; and since at that point you're BOTH moving at the same speed, normal sensors can give you a firing solution.

The maneuver does several things:
1. Moves the Stargazer out of the immediate line of fire.
2. Gives the Ferengi two targets to shoot at while potentially causing confusion.
3. Moves the Stargazer's weapons closer to the Ferengi ship, where we know that weapons hits at point-blank range cause more damage than further away.
Your problem is with #2. If the Ferengi -- or anyone else, for that matter -- actually had the ability to engage both targets, they wouldn't be stupid enough to shoot at the farther one, even if by some fluke of logic they assumed that the new target was a completely different ship. Any commander in any fleet worth half his weight in tribble feed would immediately shift his focus to the closer target, either to evade it or to destroy it.

Your #2 point implies the Picard Maneuver employs misdirection to gain an advantage. IT DOESN'T. Even if you know what Picard is about to do, you can't counteract the move unless your sensors have been specially configured to work out Stargazer's exact position the moment it drops out of warp. So if the Ferengi weren't scanning for the gas compression, they'd have no way to target the newly-arrived Stargazer before it opened fire.

And as the icing on the cake, with Stargazer's phasers and torpedoes tearing them apart, it was apparently all they could do just to pick whatever target they had a fix on and return fire. It just so happened that the last target they had a solution for was Stargazer's old position.

It does not give the Stargazer the initiative since the Ferengi had time to fire its weapons (on the wrong target).
It is HIGHLY unlikely the Ferengi had time to fire first. More importantly, Picard's account of the battle leaves room for interpretation, since he doesn't even mention it until AFTER he describes the maneuver, and doesn't think it worthy of comment in his flashbacks either.

That would be the case for any military wanting an advantage to surprise their opponents. Why the Federation in TNG's time opted not to do that is more likely a political issue, not a technical one since "Pegasus" clearly shows that the Federation could create superior cloaking tech but are legally bound not to.
It's questionable whether the phase cloak device actually WAS superior. Even the Romulans eventually abandoned that effort.

Equally questionable is whether or not a political consideration would trump a strategic one in the face of an existential threat like the Romulans (or, for that matter, the Klingons in the "Yesterday's Enterprise" timeline). The political reasons may be strong, but it seems to me that clever use of lightspeed delay would explain Starfleet's willingness to scoff at the cloaking device as a tactical weapon and only use it on small ships like Defiant that are being used for spy missions anyway.

It would appear that Bok meant for Picard to be destroyed by the Enterprise-D.
Nope. While tweeking the memory devices Bok is heard maniacally smirking to himself "You will injure yourself, Picard, as you once injured me." A theme that he echoes six years later, when sitting in Picard's waiting room: "I demand you repay me for my loss. You can repay me with your son's life."

Perhaps I'm just stumbling over the whole Bond-villain overly-elaborate-and-exotic-death aspect of Bok's revenge, but it doesn't seem to me that Bok would have wasted his entire life savings on a couple of mind probes and a salvaged Federation starship just to trick Picard into killing himself. If he wanted Picard dead, there are MUCH easier ways he could have done that, especially six years later, when it would have been a straightforward matter of beaming into his ready room and stabbing him in the back (or if he was really that much of a drama queen, abduct Picard and maroon him in the center of dead planet... buried ALIVE, buried ALIVE...). Instead Bok repeatedly hatches these incredibly sophisticated and elaborate plans, because KILLING Picard wouldn't even the score. Picard owes Bok a son and nine years of anguish lamenting the loss; slaughtering his own crew -- in what Bok surely intended Starfleet to believe was a sort of guilt-induced psychosis -- would have been sufficient. Murdering his fake son also would have worked, provided Picard never found out he WAS a fake. But murdering Picard? What would be the point of that?
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Last edited by Crazy Eddie; November 5 2012 at 01:08 AM.
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