There is no disagreement here that it is not practical unless there was a FTL mothership someplace nearby but we didn't see that. I know what the script says, I know what the writers guide says and I know what is said in the episode and ALL of those things point to STL. Just because you think that is wrong doesn't change the facts.
Concise summary in a nutshell! And again proves my point that just because we didn't look at all the options (FTL mothership) we shouldn't jump to premature conclusions at the expense of the people that gave us Star Trek.
I had already mentioned in this thread my astonishment, that the Romulan Commander wondered if
they still had old style nuclear warheads on board. Shouldn't he know?
If that ship had been travelling at sublight speeds for an extended period of time, surely the crew and its commander got to know every screw and bolt on his vessel on a first name basis.
However, if the Romulan mission was just another WW II analogy (i.e. the Doolittle Raid), then apparently the ship was stripped of all expendable weight and the mission was prepared in such a haste that even the Romulan Commander (a "creature of duty") didn't learn whether they still had those nuclear warheads or not.
Backpacked on an FTL mothership (at this point in time the Romulans might have only had bulky warp drive technology) the BoP was just dropped outside of Earth Outpost sensor range and then commenced its silent running.
Whether the Romulans were able to develop new and smaller warp engines prior to "The Deadly Years" or got help from the Klingons remains speculation, but apparently they tested the new warp drive design immediately and - again - against the United Federation of Planets (they probably used a cloaking device again)
And again, this Romulan ship was beaten by the USS Enterprise
near Tau Ceti, only 11 light years from Earth!
Hence my pet theory that UFP deliberately named and numbered subsequent ships after Kirk's Enterprise
because its name and number carried a strong psychological message for the Romulans, who understandably were eager to take any Enterprise
back home as a trophy.
Just for the fun a quick summary of humiliations the Romulans suffered from Captain Kirk and the USS Enterprise
- Defeated Praetor's finest and proudest flagship in the Neutral Zone at Stardate 1709.6
- Defeated Romulan ship near Tau Ceti in the core region of the UFP (stardate unknown). Frustrating to have come that far and then perish
- Outwitted Romulan patrol ships at Stardate 3579.4 by using the Corbomite bluff
- Outwitted Romulan patrol ships and stole cloaking device mechanism at Stardate 5027.3
Which is the one word that makes a Romulan loose his mind?