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The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old May 31 2012, 07:55 PM   #1
DavidGutierrez
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Unification Invasion

I was rewatching "Unification" and something struck me. Towards the end of the second part, when the whole thing has been found out, Riker and the Enterprise try to detain the trio of Vulcan ships, but a Romulan warbird decloaks at the last second and destroys the Vulcan ships rather than let them be captured. Geordi laments that there were over 2,000 Romulan troops on those ships.

Wait...what? Only 2,000 Romulan troops? Were they really planning to invade and occupy Vulcan with only 2,000 troops? How could this be? Why so few?
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Old May 31 2012, 08:04 PM   #2
Timo
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Re: Unification Invasion

Quite a few possibilities there.

1) The old Vulcan tubs were shot down by a cloaked warbird. The invasion army would no doubt ride on further warbirds, and might well number in the hundreds of thousands; the Vulcan ships would only be included in order to produce so much noise that Federation sensors wouldn't notice the cloaked armada.

2) There never was any invasion army. Romulans just packed their peaceniks in Vulcan ships, just as they told the Federation - and then killed them all with the Federation's full blessing, when their usefulness as a decoy had expired. The whole galaxy would respect Romulan derring-do even though their "plan" didn't quite succeed; a major double propaganda victory for Romulus, then.

3) There never was any invasion plan - just a plan to destroy Vulcan once and for all. The "troops" didn't exist, except as sensor ghosts, and all that was going to be delivered to Vulcan was a doomsday bomb of some sort. Or then that armada of cloaked warbirds.

4) Invent your own devious plan here. The very fact that Sela told Picard, Data and Spock of this "invasion plan" should be proof enough that no such plan really existed...

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Old May 31 2012, 08:52 PM   #3
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Re: Unification Invasion

Or the writers just didn't think that people would focus so much on the number? LOL!

Maybe they didn't think the Vulcans would defend themselves and 2000 was more than enough to start the invasion. Maybe more were going to follow after the intial wave started?

Or maybe it was a bluff, more of a scare tactic.
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Old May 31 2012, 08:58 PM   #4
Timo
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Re: Unification Invasion

Interestingly enough, we've never actually seen a planetary invasion in Star Trek, so we don't really know how many people it takes. Wars a thousand years ago could be won or lost by a couple of dozen horsemen, even if tens of thousands of fighting men participated. Global wars in the Trek 24th century might be decided by a thousand people with hand phasers. Plus their starships in orbit, of course.

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Old May 31 2012, 09:05 PM   #5
JRoss
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Re: Unification Invasion

Timo wrote: View Post
Quite a few possibilities there.

1) The old Vulcan tubs were shot down by a cloaked warbird. The invasion army would no doubt ride on further warbirds, and might well number in the hundreds of thousands; the Vulcan ships would only be included in order to produce so much noise that Federation sensors wouldn't notice the cloaked armada.

2) There never was any invasion army. Romulans just packed their peaceniks in Vulcan ships, just as they told the Federation - and then killed them all with the Federation's full blessing, when their usefulness as a decoy had expired. The whole galaxy would respect Romulan derring-do even though their "plan" didn't quite succeed; a major double propaganda victory for Romulus, then.

3) There never was any invasion plan - just a plan to destroy Vulcan once and for all. The "troops" didn't exist, except as sensor ghosts, and all that was going to be delivered to Vulcan was a doomsday bomb of some sort. Or then that armada of cloaked warbirds.

4) Invent your own devious plan here. The very fact that Sela told Picard, Data and Spock of this "invasion plan" should be proof enough that no such plan really existed...

Timo Saloniemi
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Old May 31 2012, 10:36 PM   #6
The Overlord
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Re: Unification Invasion

Perhaps this invasion was just the first wave, with the Romulans trying to establish a beach head somewhere on Vulcan. How effective this tactic would be would depend on a bunch of logistical concerns: how strong is Vulcan's planetary military, how fast can the Fedeation mobilize an army on Vulcan, what equipment the Romulans brought with them.

One logistical question, do the Romulans have assault vehicles that would allow them to outflank the enemy? You almost never see any sort of ground vehicles, how troops supposed to outflank the enemy without ground vehicles?

I do think 200,000 soldiers would make for a better beachhead, then 2000 would, though. I'm not sure 2000 soldiers would be enough.

Last edited by The Overlord; May 31 2012 at 10:57 PM.
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Old May 31 2012, 10:43 PM   #7
PamalaLauren
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Re: Unification Invasion

Well that was my question too. Does Vulcan even have any real military defense in place on the planet? If there is none, 2000 soldiers should be more than enough to take it, I think.
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Old May 31 2012, 11:10 PM   #8
Timo
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Re: Unification Invasion

how troops supposed to outflank the enemy without ground vehicles?
With transporters.

I mean, yeah, there's all sorts of talk about jammers, scramblers and shields, but those would only affect transporting in the immediate vicinity of the countermeasures. An infantry force could still call for a starship above the battlefield and get moved from one side of the enemy to another, with sufficient clearance from the countermeasures. If the enemy had vehicles, all the worse for him, because those would be easier targets to the weapons overhead than a dispersed bunch of troopers...

We do hear about "hoppers" capable of moving a platoon in "Nor a Battle to the Strong", so vehicular movement is still an element of the modern battle. But vehicles might not be all that common, in comparison with transporters - and vehicles incapable of flight might be unheard of.

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Old May 31 2012, 11:30 PM   #9
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Re: Unification Invasion

I thought it was 20,000?
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Old June 1 2012, 12:31 AM   #10
T'Girl
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Re: Unification Invasion

Maybe the Romulans anticipated being joined by millions of Vulcan "fellow travelers." Vulcans who intellectually sided with the Romulans and their culture.

Once the Romulans were on the surface, large numbers of Vulcans would rise up and cast off their Federation chains, and live as the warriors they always knew that they were.

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Old June 1 2012, 05:27 AM   #11
The Overlord
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Re: Unification Invasion

Timo wrote: View Post
how troops supposed to outflank the enemy without ground vehicles?
With transporters.

I mean, yeah, there's all sorts of talk about jammers, scramblers and shields, but those would only affect transporting in the immediate vicinity of the countermeasures. An infantry force could still call for a starship above the battlefield and get moved from one side of the enemy to another, with sufficient clearance from the countermeasures. If the enemy had vehicles, all the worse for him, because those would be easier targets to the weapons overhead than a dispersed bunch of troopers...

We do hear about "hoppers" capable of moving a platoon in "Nor a Battle to the Strong", so vehicular movement is still an element of the modern battle. But vehicles might not be all that common, in comparison with transporters - and vehicles incapable of flight might be unheard of.

Timo Saloniemi
Transporters are a bit unreliable, many planets have natural occurrences that prevent beaming and most advanced planets would have counter measures. Relying on star ships for short range transportation is foolish as well, it may too busy dealing with enemy starship in orbit to provide short term logistical help. Having ground forces always rely on air forces for logistics is bad tactics. Ground forces have to be mobile on their own, otherwise it will take them forever to conquer a planet. The only starship the invasion force had were those old Vulcan ships, having those old ships as the total logistical support for an invasion force is not bright. For pure logistic purposes, you want troops to be mobile on their own.
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Old June 1 2012, 05:28 AM   #12
Knight Templar
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Re: Unification Invasion

Michael Piller would after that season was over, in Cinemafantastique say that the "2,000 Romulans" were supposed to be a "Trojan Horse" type of an attack.

By this I assume he meant that the Romulans would've seized key parts of Vulcan planetary defenses and allowed a much larger force in.

Piller basically stated that it was impossible budgetwise to stage a "real invasion" of Vulcan and it made no sense for a handful of stolen ships to carry a real invasion force.
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Old June 1 2012, 07:34 AM   #13
Timo
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Re: Unification Invasion

In a world where it only takes about twenty people to hold a nation hostage to fear for decades, it's not all that difficult to believe that 2,000 suitably ruthless invaders could conquer a planet.

Transporters are a bit unreliable, many planets have natural occurrences that prevent beaming and most advanced planets would have counter measures.
Vulcan isn't known for being a difficult environment for transporters, though. And countermeasures against transporters were a problem in "Nor a Battle", but countermeasures against vehicles were a significantly greater problem. Those "hoppers" were at least as useless as transporters, because Klingons could shoot them down at will. At least with a transporter beam, your army can exploit a ten-second gap in enemy defenses; with vehicles, even a gap of thirty minutes might be too short to be of tactical use.

Relying on star ships for short range transportation is foolish as well, it may too busy dealing with enemy starship in orbit to provide short term logistical help.
If the space above the battlefield is still contested by enemy starships, then the ground forces are utterly useless anyway: the enemy starships will see to that. Providing assistance with transporters may be hindered if the ships are engaged in combat; providing swift death with phasers and photon torpedoes may not.

Having ground forces always rely on air forces for logistics is bad tactics.
Not if ground forces are air forces in themselves... In "Nor the Battle", there were no Starfleet vessels in the vicinity, yet the Federation troops were still capable of using transporters for combat, indicating that you can have the necessary hardware without having a starship.

The only starship the invasion force had were those old Vulcan ships
But that's patently false. We saw at least one giant warbird - when she chose to reveal herself. We probably failed to see fifty others. Or perhaps three hundred.

Although it did appear as if this whole plot was the brainchild of a relatively small if ambitious faction on Romulus, rather than an all-out military campaign by the Star Empire itself. There may have been limits to the commitment of resources there.

For pure logistic purposes, you want troops to be mobile on their own.
And transporters quite probably make that possible.

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Old June 1 2012, 01:30 PM   #14
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Re: Unification Invasion

It doesn't matter if there were 2,000 or 20,000. Even if the local Vulcan population was completely pacificist the siege would have been broken in less than six months.

Orbiting starships using a combination of transporters and large area phaser stuns would have eaten away at the invasion force.

Was this force all grunts? How many were officers and technicians? The loss of key personal would have weakened the overall effort.

The whole idea was stupid. I imagine Sella was rightfully put to death for its failure.
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Old June 1 2012, 01:47 PM   #15
Timo
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Re: Unification Invasion

It doesn't matter if there were 2,000 or 20,000. Even if the local Vulcan population was completely pacificist the siege would have been broken in less than six months.
What siege?

Why are you postulating a six-month wait, when what we saw was military maneuvers taking place within just a day or less? Surely the invasion force wouldn't have to wait for six months until the next steps were taken!

Orbiting starships using a combination of transporters and large area phaser stuns would have eaten away at the invasion force.
Possibly. In the meantime, a thousand other things would be happening, though. And the Romulans would certainly benefit from having an occupation force down on Vulcan; it's not as if this maneuver would put them at a disadvantage or anything.

Also, the "stun them all and let God sort them out afterwards" approach probably doesn't work in the Trek universe, or else we would see it more often. And the reason would appear obvious enough. Any beam strong enough to stun a protected soldier would probably kill far too many unprotected civilians...

Was this force all grunts? How many were officers and technicians? The loss of key personal would have weakened the overall effort.
And?

The whole idea was stupid.
All military maneuvers look stupid on the outset. Some of them are not.

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