Robert Comsol wrote:
Sounds like a great idea to me and is possibly the analogy the producers had in mind!
The whole Romulan mission in "Balance of Terror" reminded me a lot of the Doolittle Raid
on Tokyo during WW II.
While a bigger Romulan carrier ship would have been detected, a small few man fighter (...) could have penetrated the Earth Outpost defense line and did so.
This could / would also explain the sole use of impulse power for that small vessel if there was a warp-capable mothership waiting to pick it up upon return. Ain't that an explanation that could make everyone happy?
Now nacelles alone do not a warp drive make--take the small el Baz shuttle. It has nacelles, but is clearly sublight.
Now I have heard it discussed over at Phil Plait's old Bad Astronomy site (Cosmoquest now) about a slower than light use for warp drive.
Here is my stair step analogy. Impulse nacelles come first--they are shrunk down enough to be put in arrays in the back of the saucer/ROM Bop. Then the main nacelles are hollowed out, and the nacalles filled with newer coils to be true warp-drive nacelles
In time, El Baz will be a warp shuttle.
Early on, in the Trek Chronology, we saw the tube shaped ROM bop. Those were El Baz type sublight-only nacelles too.
So the ROM BOP is towed by a cabbage class, and the nacelles are sublight only.
Later, we see the Rom Bop in the blueprints with the standard impulse deck, the missile tubes in the wings, the landing gear, and true warp nacelles.
This is the Production Bop we see later in the series, after taking delivery of D-7 to bridge the warp gap.
That's the story I'm sticking with.
Cabbage class ships from Masao are clearly vulcan derived in that they remind one of their ringships.
That stayed in the background and monitored the battle. It was what the Bop was signaling, and what got the young soldier in trouble with Lenard's commander.
Had the attack been successful, a Romulan pretends to be another Vulcan crewman, and the Rom Bop designed to look like a saucer that separated from the stardrive has another target.
I'm going to say that right when Enterprise looked disabled the Cabbage might have been close to uncloaking to help finish it off when--surprise--Kirk wins the day.
Back to the drawing boards. Test complete