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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > Deep Space Nine

Deep Space Nine What We Left Behind, we will always have here.

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Old August 27 2012, 09:46 AM   #1
AllStarEntprise
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Way of The Warrior: Battle with the Klingons

So I just rewatched Way of the Warrior for the first time in years. Watching the battle scene with the Klingons vs DS9 the station and later the Klingons vs the Starfleet Officers and Bajoran security forces. The Klingons got their asses whipped.

How does one of the fiercest races in the quadrant get smacked around that badly? I mean Worf, Sisko and Dax aside, but Kira getting stabbed in the back and still knocking out a Klingon warrior? Not to mention the Klingons can't seem to hit anything with their disruptors but Bajorans can hit them just fine with phasers.

I always felt the creative team of DS9 took too many liberties with Trek races for their stories. I am I over-analyzing the battle or did the DS9 team turn Klingons in to wimpy punchy bags?

Last edited by AllStarEntprise; August 27 2012 at 11:51 AM.
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Old August 27 2012, 12:10 PM   #2
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Re: Way of The Warrior: Battle with the Klingons

One might say Gowron fought this little war not in order to win, but in order to secure his back domestically. Going to war against the UFP gives him war leader status and silences some of his opponents. And going to war with troops spearheaded by poorly armed and trained members of Houses that are Gowron's political opponents allows him to purge his ranks... The undesirables are expended, but they serve to pave the way for a second, more successful wave where warriors from the ranks of Gowron's allies gain great glory.

However, we also have to factor in that "Martok" the Founder goaded Gowron to attack the station under false assumptions about its defensive capabilities. When it became evident that the station indeed was resisting, Gowron might have done wisely to send in expendable scouting parties first, and only commit his capable warriors later, quite regardless of whether he wanted the scouts dead for political reasons or not.

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Old August 27 2012, 01:00 PM   #3
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Re: Way of The Warrior: Battle with the Klingons

AllStarEntprise wrote: View Post
So I just rewatched Way of the Warrior for the first time in years. Watching the battle scene with the Klingons vs DS9 the station and later the Klingons vs the Starfleet Officers and Bajoran security forces. The Klingons got their asses whipped.

How does one of the fiercest races in the quadrant get smacked around that badly? I mean Worf, Sisko and Dax aside, but Kira getting stabbed in the back and still knocking out a Klingon warrior? Not to mention the Klingons can't seem to hit anything with their disruptors but Bajorans can hit them just fine with phasers.
Just watched it again. There are plenty of Bajoran bodies littering the place.

O'Brien didn't come out unscathed. And apart from those 5 was anyone else left standing in ops?

The station personel had the upper hand - they knew the layout. They'd had a year to get ready for Dominion attacks. The Klingons hadn't fought anyone apart from each other in their civil war for years.

In hindsight, as much as the SFX still wow me today, the space battle bothers me more. Why is it in multiship battles like this, a single torpedo, a single phaser shot sometimes takes down a whole ship? If one to one battles were that easy they'd be over very quickly.

Not to mention if you have 5000 Torpedeos, you might as well target a few dozen against the enemy flagship. Still that would have lastable consquences I suppose.

Besides they don't really aim the torpedos. They just fire in a straight line, its more luck if a target gets in the way!
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Old August 27 2012, 01:13 PM   #4
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Re: Way of The Warrior: Battle with the Klingons

Why is it in multiship battles like this, a single torpedo, a single phaser shot sometimes takes down a whole ship?
Why not? If all ships were equally powerful, there'd be no point in building different ship classes. But when you build a BoP, you are making a compromise: you get a great light offensive unit, but starbase-strength phasers will blow her up with one shot.

Really, that's only consistent with "Return to Grace" where ground-based ordnance again essentially takes out a BoP with a single shot.

Besides they don't really aim the torpedos. They just fire in a straight line, its more luck if a target gets in the way!
How can we tell? There'd hardly be any point in flying the things in curved paths if a straight line will result in impact...

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Old August 27 2012, 01:26 PM   #5
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Re: Way of The Warrior: Battle with the Klingons

This is hardly a trait exclusive to DS9 or even Star Trek as a whole. It's common literary device to boost the heroes abilities, decrease that of the villains, to produce the desired result.
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Old August 27 2012, 01:31 PM   #6
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Re: Way of The Warrior: Battle with the Klingons

Timo wrote: View Post
Why is it in multiship battles like this, a single torpedo, a single phaser shot sometimes takes down a whole ship?
Why not? If all ships were equally powerful, there'd be no point in building different ship classes. But when you build a BoP, you are making a compromise: you get a great light offensive unit, but starbase-strength phasers will blow her up with one shot.

Really, that's only consistent with "Return to Grace" where ground-based ordnance again essentially takes out a BoP with a single shot.

Besides they don't really aim the torpedos. They just fire in a straight line, its more luck if a target gets in the way!
How can we tell? There'd hardly be any point in flying the things in curved paths if a straight line will result in impact...

Timo Saloniemi
Well looking at the first Torpedo volley a lot of them miss, spinning off to where ever lost Torpedoes go.

Are station Torpedos more powerful than ship standard too?

Now of course you could say (as you do with the troops) Gowron is thinning out the older ships too. I don't think the older (D-7) design ever saw use in TNG.

Why is it (FX rendering time excluded) we rarely see shields in the epic battles, but do for indvidual stand offs?
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Old August 27 2012, 01:42 PM   #7
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Re: Way of The Warrior: Battle with the Klingons

Well looking at the first Torpedo volley a lot of them miss, spinning off to where ever lost Torpedoes go.
...But seeing that there are about fifty targets to choose from, many might be on their way to a more distant meeting.

Are station Torpedos more powerful than ship standard too?
This was never suggested in dialogue or even the backstage books. I guess there's only so much antimatter you can pack into a torpedo. But if you connect your phaser bank to a bigger reactor, you get more destruction - and the station supposedly has a lot of power to offer.

Now of course you could say (as you do with the troops) Gowron is thinning out the older ships too. I don't think the older (D-7) design ever saw use in TNG.
Apart from an ages-old ship returning from a deep space assignment in "The Emissary", there was the ship that retrieved the two Klingon prisoners in "Heart of Glory". Second-rate assignment at best, I'd argue.

In DS9, these ships no longer fired torpedoes, but were instead fitted with red death rays that formed the first wave of an assault against a starbase. Perhaps akin to the real-world practice of mounting heavy weaponry on outdated ships that can no longer do independent combat but can still act as platforms for such special gear, say, in amphibious landings (and in this case in action against a stationary, heavily shielded target). One of these ships later saw action in "Rules of Engagement", paired with a BoP, and firing the red death ray against a convoy of transports. Again arguably second-rate duties...

Then again, in "Soldiers of the Empire", one of these ships was operating independently on the border against the Dominion and had to be rescued by Martok's BoP. That doesn't sound like second-rate duties. But Starfleet supposedly used Mirandas on such assignments, including the Tian An Men. Go figure.

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Old August 27 2012, 01:47 PM   #8
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Re: Way of The Warrior: Battle with the Klingons

I just recall the Klingons being so badass in DS(. Rewatching this episode really let me down. Not because it's dated but the execution of Klingon battle prowess was dulled.

JJ Abrams is reinventing the Klingons for his second movie. I hate to defer to nuTrek for badass actions and combat of as classic race. Not saying JJ won't do a good job, but it makes DS9's start burn a little less brighter for me.
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Old August 27 2012, 03:07 PM   #9
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Re: Way of The Warrior: Battle with the Klingons

Rarewolf wrote: View Post
Besides they don't really aim the torpedos. They just fire in a straight line, its more luck if a target gets in the way!
We are specifically shown a torpedo POV, it weaves through the battle, passing up multiple other ships in order to hit the target.

As for ships exploding from one torpedo? The previous impacts were off-screen.
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Old August 27 2012, 04:27 PM   #10
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Re: Way of The Warrior: Battle with the Klingons

Rarewolf wrote: View Post
Besides they don't really aim the torpedos. They just fire in a straight line, its more luck if a target gets in the way!
You might rewatch Star Trek VI.
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Old August 27 2012, 05:14 PM   #11
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Re: Way of The Warrior: Battle with the Klingons

I guess it's like comparing the siege of DS9 to that of a castle siege. The characters work there, day in, day out and know their surroundings. The Klingons do not in this case.
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Old August 27 2012, 08:09 PM   #12
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Re: Way of The Warrior: Battle with the Klingons

The bit that seems to universally annoy us all is the hand-to-hand fight at Ops, though - and there it's difficult to put the blame for the Klingon failures on familiarity vs. unfamiliarity. It's just an open space into which the Klingons beam, to tactically advantageous "high ground" locations with their backs to the walls. They don't even appear to beam into "opposing" locations where they might risk shooting at each other. They should have an excellent field of fire for simply sweeping Ops clean of resistance with wide beams. Or, if disruptors don't cater for those, with rapid fire from multiple barrels.

Yet of every three Klingons beaming in, only one chooses to fire a ranged weapon. The other two rush into the middle with swords flailing, achieving nothing. Excellent planning and "use of terrain" down to that point, complete fumbling from there on.

Heck, when the first wave of intruders failed to take over Ops, the second wave should have consisted of photon grenades only!

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Old August 27 2012, 08:15 PM   #13
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Re: Way of The Warrior: Battle with the Klingons

As others have already pointed out, the Klingons attacked under the assumption that Starbase Deep Space Nine was poorly armed. When in fact Starfleet had been upgrading it for sometime.
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Old August 27 2012, 09:12 PM   #14
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Re: Way of The Warrior: Battle with the Klingons

I've figured that the poor state of the Klingons in the battle was a sign of what Ezri said in season 7. The Klingons talk a great game, but its an empire filled with major problems. Here is a sign of the Klingon empire is stagnated even in a field (martial prowess) they are supposedly great at, considering they couldn't pull off a victory against a space station, even when they were able to beam onto the station itself.
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Old August 27 2012, 09:24 PM   #15
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Re: Way of The Warrior: Battle with the Klingons

A combination of dramatic necessity and writing/production is why the battles themselves seem kind of weird.

Trek's hand-to-hand is always terrible. Kira getting stabbed and then taking her attacker out provides an excellent visual of the kind of fight choreography that permeates the franchise. So she gets stabbed, but manages to react, yank the blade out, smack the arm that holds it forcing it to drop, and then pummel the guy who was holding it. Right there is the problem: the moment she yanked the knife out, any halfway competant fighter would have attacked her again instantly (in that moment, an elbow to the head would seem to be a good choice). But instead, the Klingon just stands there, letting her attack. It's like a turn-based RPG: he used up his turn trying to stab her, so now he has to wait. Ohh, she got a critical, so he's KOd! Tough luck.

Trek combat is always like this. Similarly, the space battles - while they to LOOK cool - have very little logic to them (especially when you consider the "range of weapons as stated by dialog vs. as shown by visuals" problem). In my mind, there's no good way to resolve these issues with an all-encompassing, in-universe explanation that doesn't end up boiling down to the entire galaxy being populated by idiots.

But, brushing the out-of-universe inconsistencies aside, to offer a different take on the OP's main question: it wasn't that the Klingons were weaker than they should be, or that the "warrior race" thing is a bunch of hoopla. Rather, the reason they were losing is because the likes of Starfleet and Bajoran military officers are BETTER than the Klingons had thought.

We didn't overestimate the Klingons' fighting prowess, the Klingons underestimated their opponent's fighting prowess.
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