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Old July 7 2013, 10:16 PM   #139
Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

And at least 8 Klingon ships couldn't take out the Enterprise, allowing her to escape in "Errand of Mercy".
While it's true the Klingons or the Romulans never dared challenge the Enterprise with worse than 3:1 odds, I wouldn't use the above example as evidence. The Klingons had little motivation to prevent the hero ship from fleeing in that episode; a cowardly flight would be a victory for them, both tactically and psychologically.

You're forgetting that the whole point of sabotaging the ship in the first place was so that Enterprise' destruction would look like an accident. Shooting them down with disruptor fire was an unavoidable plan-B.
Here I'd argue that the Plan B was a desperate and doomed attempt at containing the damage from the failed sabotage plot, and that it never had a chance of success. Except of course the Klingons didn't really know the sabotage had failed, not until the Enterprise fired back - at which point the Klingons immediately cut and run. So the idea that no Klingon would dare challenge a Constitution without having at least two wingmen still stands.

The feeling of the Romulan encounters in TOS is one of controlled fear: they're a serious threat, even if the BAT-BOP was no match for the Enterprise, a war with them would be protracted and costly...
...But possibly only because the midget nation full of evil was more committed to fighting than the UFP was. North Korea isn't a military threat to anybody but the citizens of Seoul, really, but that doesn't make it any less a threat to world peace. So what if ultimate victory against the threat is completely and automatically assured? The devastation of the first strike is still too much of a deterrent for bringing the imbalance of power to bear against the threat.

Timo Saloniemi
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