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Old August 15 2013, 03:20 AM   #133
Crazy Eddie
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Re: So many Mirandas/So few Constitution-refits?

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
And the same photon torpedoes can be adjusted in power making them useful for disabling or warning fire.
That bothers me, actually. A ship the size of a prime Constitution might only have 20 to 30 photon torpedoes on the entire ship, any one of which could destroy an entire enemy vessel; over the course of a month you shoot 15 of them in low-yield disabling setting or as warning shots, then at the end of the month you get bounced by a Klingon battlecruiser. Half your ammo is gone, and now you're in a bind.

I feel like if any type of "variable yield" weapon should exist, it would be phasers. We already know they can be set to stun and can be set with variable fields and exposures. There should be some kind of EMP setting (stun setting for starships?) that will knock out computers or electronics so phasers can be used in that capacity too. Firing off a whole photon torpedo for that purpose seems like a waste to me.

Phasers and photon torpedoes are useful in discouraging pursuers, especially if the weapon is in the aft of the fleeing ship which is most likely what will be pointed at the pursuers.
I'm thinking phasers, mostly. As I said, I feel like photon torpedoes are a terrible waste in that capacity.

The Defiant fired a torpedo into the Lakota and they were only trying to "disable" them.
I'm not sure Defiant was actually trying to disable the Lakota, considering their dipsarity in firepower; Worf didn't really have room to pull punches.

I'm even less convinced about Khan's torpedoes. Timo and a few others argue that neither ship ever used their weapons at full power; this works as an after-the-fact rationalization, but at this point in Trek's history the relative power of those weapons had not been "uprated" as high as it had in TNG; this was, after all, before we had even established that torpedoes used antimatter warheads at all. Considering that photon torpedoes CLEARLY don't use antimatter in TOS (as in "Immunity Syndrome" and "Obsession") then it may still be the case in TWOK.

Score another point for TOS/TNG divorce lawyers: could be weapons in the earlier incarnations of Trek simply weren't that powerful after all?

The second time, in the nebula, was against the Enterprise that was chasing the Reliant. If the Enterprise had not veered away before Khan responded they would've been hit.
I never saw Enterprise veer away. Khan simply missed.

Which again points canonically to the aft torpedoes being used to fire on pursuers to discourage or destroy them.
AFAIK, I've never seen torpedoes used to "discourage" attackers, except for a single instance in "The Emissary" where Kira tries to do this against the Cardassians by firing all six of DS9's torpedoes in a warning shot.

Oh yeah, another defensive fire instance.
Implying that "defensive fire" is "the guy who shoots second."

I see no differentiation between firing defensively with your stern torpedo and labeling same torpedo as "offensive"-only weapons.
This is just the way the terms have been related to me over the years. I could be wrong, of course, but my understanding is that "defensive attacks" include warning shots, suppressive fire, interception attacks (in the case of point defense for naval vessels or air-to-air engagements against cruise missiles) and any sort of attack meant to prevent the enemy from advancing on your position (e.g. blowing up a bridge before an enemy column can use it).

Contrast with offensive fire which includes "fire for effect," precision strikes, crossfire (usually) and most types of fire-and-forget type weapons. The Shrike missiles used in Vietnam is sort of a fence sitter because they could only hit the Vietnamese search radars while they were still active and the radar operators usually shut down the radar when they realized a missile had been fired at them (so is a form of suppression fire, unless they fail to shut down the radar, in which case the Shrike blows them to bits). Later missiles like the Sidearm didn't have this problem and were, I thought, considered to be more direct offensive weapons; it's the "find them and kill them" weapon vs. the "make them stop shooting at us for 15 minutes" weapon, with the former being hugely preferred.

Night surface attacks were used with great success by the US subs of WW2 in the Pacific.
I know that, I was mainly referring to the war in the Atlantic. In a lot of ways the war in the Pacific was a completely different war with completely different tactics and, in a lot of ways, completely different objectives.

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Actually, I'd read the T5 was essentially a wake-homing torpedo that was incorrectly considered "acoustic" because it homed in on turbulence/cavitation patterns caused by a vessel's movement through the water.
That doesn't change that the torpedo was used more times than you had thought and in a non-experimental way.
The wake-homing version, no. The all-acoustic was only used on three different ships and was removed from service when it failed to work properly.

They dived to hide mostly when they knew they could get overrun or caught by the escort. If they were on the surface and were faster than the escort then they were just as likely to make a run on the surface.
Even the Gatos were rarely faster than the escorts, though. That's kinda the whole reason why they INVENTED destroyer escorts.
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