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Old July 9 2013, 08:09 PM   #163
Timo
Admiral
 
Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

Actually they made a pretty big deal about the plasma weapon having a natural range limit; indeed, the Enterprise uses this to their advantage by firing at the Romulans from outside their firing range (and Stiles says "A phaser hit at this range would be the wildest stroke of luck!")

It's implied to have the ability to travel at FTL velocities, but the warp speeds shown in this episode are depicted as being (as is often the case in TOS) remarkably slow, not necessarily even FTL. As we've seen, this only ever happens deep within planetary systems well within the range of a star's gravity well.Actually they made a pretty big deal about the plasma weapon having a natural range limit; indeed, the Enterprise uses this to their advantage by firing at the Romulans from outside their firing range (and Stiles says "A phaser hit at this range would be the wildest stroke of luck!")

It's implied to have the ability to travel at FTL velocities, but the warp speeds shown in this episode are depicted as being (as is often the case in TOS) remarkably slow, not necessarily even FTL. As we've seen, this only ever happens deep within planetary systems well within the range of a star's gravity well.
These things sort of cancel out, though: the weapon almost matches a prolonged flight at the highest possible warp speed of the hero ship, while the journey home apparently involves much lower speeds that do not make the hero ship break a dilithium sweat. So the range Kirk covered while fleeing, in a minute or so, might well be comparable to the range the Commander covered while fleeing, in an entire episode or so, or actually even greater.

Regarding mission secrecy, do we have any reason to think the Romulans would have been able to jam the outposts' communications with Starfleet? If not, secrecy would be quite unlikely: even an optimal attack sequence would leave time for sending out not just a generic SOS but also a sensor data dump on the attacker.

In a realistic setup, that is... We probably shouldn't try and argue that the Earth outposts were as primitive and slow to respond as their manpower-intensive 1960s counterparts. Quick-responding automation should provide "dead man's switches" that make it impossible to keep surprise attacks under wraps.

"We've seen a hundred campaigns together and still I do not understand you!"
Here I'd cling to the difference between "campaigns" and "missions". Spying sorties wouldn't really qualify as the first sort; a campaign would imply more concrete tackling of opponents, or at least a more concrete opponent. Even an extensive series of spy missions against the Earth would only qualify as one campaign...

Timo Saloniemi
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