I'd be inclined to agree with you there - Joachim was basically saying "We can't fire photons because of x, and we can't fire phasers because of y. The only option is retreat."
Going back a post,
The notion of phaser banks vs. phaser emitters is a problematic one. Here's a crazy idea: what if there's something special about phaser power? What if the energy that powers the phasers is drawn off the main power grid, and then converted and stored in the ship's actual phaser banks, which are basically phaser "batteries" (in the electrical sense.) The energy has to be pre-phased or something to charge the phaser banks, but can be de-phased and re-routed back into the main power systems in a pinch. Then, the energy is phased again as it is passed through the emitters. As crazy as it sounds, this might solve a few of the problems we've seen. It might even explain those phaser power cells from DS9.
I'd go with that. In fact if i remember right. In TWOK there is even a scene when they goto "yellow" alert they are playing with controls and such. and one of them even says "warp power trans"
I could only guess that it's going into some kind of capacitor. I would also guess it was charged enough that Scotty was able it get a discharge only using the batteries.
Great find there. Interesting how "warp pwr" and the other "ready" indicator are on separate lines. It's almost like the capacitor element's readiness is indicated by the green light and the power flow isn't turned on until the phasers are armed.
Indeed, i'll even on one farther.
I'd like say thats the reason Reliant couldn't fire. Damage to the warp drive. AKA the Phaser Cap was no longer getting it's charge.
They didn't have a resourceful Scotty on board who was able to do whatever it took to get those quick shots out. Likely totally draining the cap in the process.