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Old September 19 2012, 09:08 AM   #31
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

The Pegasus was used as a testbed for a phasing cloak, only half of which is illegal. Why didn't Starfleet continue its phasing research? Just imagine how useful that would have been during the Dominion War.
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Old September 19 2012, 02:13 PM   #32
The Green Mushroom
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

Bry_Sinclair wrote: View Post
The Pegasus was used as a testbed for a phasing cloak, only half of which is illegal. Why didn't Starfleet continue its phasing research? Just imagine how useful that would have been during the Dominion War.
Several possibilities:

1) A phased ship that was visible would be useless--it can't fight and it can't be covert.

2) A phased ship that was invisible would annoy the Romulans-perhaps enough to push to side with the Dominion.

3) The Klingons could be given all the jobs where a cloak was needed.

4) Based on the two episodes that I can think of involving a phased cloak (Pegasus and the one where LaForge and Ro were cloaked), I am not sure that Starfleet ever managed to make it truly safe enough to be used for long periods. A device that randomly cloaks individuals seems pretty dangerous to me, as is one that randomly materializes a ship inside a rock or one that can be deactivated with equipment so common its available in Ten Forward.
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Old September 20 2012, 05:28 AM   #33
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

^ Yeah, the phased cloak is actually two-for-two in nearly destroying any ship that tries to test it. Later experiments probably proved even more problematic, thus leading to their abandoning the research.

There's only one thing about this treaty that ever bugs me, and it's this: the Romulans do not object to Starfleet USING cloaking devices (the only reason an observer was necessary was because the Romulans had loaned them one of their cloaks in exchange for their promise not to use it in the alpha quadrant and share their Dominion data). The treaty forbids their DEVELOPING cloaking devices. There's really nothing in this treaty that would preclude Starfleet buying cloaking devices from the Klingons, or even asking the Klingons to develop one specifically FOR them. Moreover, there's nothing to forbid Starfleet from using holographic technology to camouflage their ships as something else; that much we already know was possible even in the 22nd century, and even better mastery of holographics and sensor trickery would probably permit a perfectly viable forgery for a Starfleet vessel that wishes its identity to remain anonymous.

Missed opportunities all around.
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Old September 20 2012, 05:58 AM   #34
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

Add a phasing device to a barrage of long-range tri-cobalt missiles and you have a weapon that would have ended the Dominion War far sooner and with fewer casualties.

Target fleet yards and Jem'Hadar breeding compounds, deploy missiles, engage phase, let them get to target, flying through anything in their way which would be powerless to stop them, miliseconds from impact disengage phase, KA-BOOM! Job done, war over
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Old September 20 2012, 06:09 AM   #35
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

If it was that simple, they could have done it with ordinary cloaking devices, or at least made an attempt to do so.

On the other hand, they probably DID try this a number of times. Certainly the Maquis' implicit threat of cloaked interstellar missiles was credible enough for Starfleet to yank Eddington out of jail, which I suppose was the whole point of sending that fake message in the first place. If the Maquis could do it, the Klingons could almost certainly do it better.
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Old September 20 2012, 01:16 PM   #36
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

...So, which excuse do we make for such missile strikes never being in evidence?

- There exists a defense?
- Bushido rules?
- Nobody wants to destroy a planet if one can conquer it?
- Strikes take place but we don't discuss it with outsiders?

I don't think any of these would be much affected by the introduction of phase-cloak technology. Countermeasures against classic cloaks are haphazard at best already, and the other snappy answers aren't technology-related.

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Old September 20 2012, 07:24 PM   #37
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

Timo wrote: View Post
...So, which excuse do we make for such missile strikes never being in evidence?

- There exists a defense?
- Bushido rules?
- Nobody wants to destroy a planet if one can conquer it?
- Strikes take place but we don't discuss it with outsiders?
Nothing so mysterious. This may be a bit esoteric, but in fiction -- especially science fiction -- there's much to be said for the "unseen front" where a lot of odd shit happens that you've never seen before. In anime, for example, we have the OVA sidestories in the Gundam universe that tell us that throughout the entire run of Mobile Suit Gundam that was a whole bunch of really interesting shit happening right down the street that nobody even HINTED at. Comic followups and videogames only expand the situation, so instead of the canon being "There is only one Gundam, and Amuro is its pilot," it's now "There are, like, twenty Gundams, and their pilots are a combination of dorks, mutants and psychopaths... and also, Amuro."

Star Trek isn't so brazen about it, but it's kind of telling that outside the pilot episode, Deep Space Nine contains no overt references to Voyager, and Voyager in turn never mentions Deep Space Nine or even makes any specific references to the events of the Dominion War. Oddly, neither do any of the Trek movies (they mention DS9 only in reference to Worf's background, which coincidentally is exactly as often as DS9 mentions the Enterprise).

Overall, I actually think this is one of those "interesting shit that happened around the corner" situations. I'm sure it and things like it would have happened many times during the war, but nobody named Sisko was involved, so it was never worthy of mention.
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Old September 24 2012, 12:18 PM   #38
Timo
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

It would be a bit odd to leave a major warfighting technique go so completely uncommented, though. A minor (if destructive or otherwise immensely important) technique, yeah - I could almost believe in that Diane Carey novel where the Dominion is trying to build a wormhole of its own during the war, and Picard puts a stop to it, and there's no time or resources for a second attempt. That would be like forgetting to mention the V-weapons in a WWII epic. But these cloaked missile strikes are more comparable to such a movie forgetting to mention that air forces existed...

Certainly the Dominion War reinforces the idea that cloaks are great for infiltration and obfuscation but nearly useless in hot combat - something we strongly want to believe in the first place, because we want to see the fights. But the cloaked missile concept combines infiltration with destruction, and is a fairly obvious and intuitive idea overall, with close analogies in the real world. They really let the cat out of the bag by explicitly describing a sufficiently lethal warhead in "Dreadnought" and the concept of cloaked saturation attacks in "Blaze of Glory" - not as experimental technologies, but as the regular weapons of rather low-grade enemies.

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Old September 24 2012, 08:40 PM   #39
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

Timo wrote: View Post
That would be like forgetting to mention the V-weapons in a WWII epic...
I watched the movies Saving Private Ryan, Flattop, Run Silent Run Deep and PT-109. None of those movies make any reference to the V weapons; for that matter, only Saving Private Ryan makes any mention of the Battle of Brittain at all, and also doesn't mention V-weapons.

But these cloaked missile strikes are more comparable to such a movie forgetting to mention that air forces existed...
No mention of the air force in Run Silent Run Deep. Perhaps because it's a movie about a submarine?
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Old September 25 2012, 05:30 AM   #40
Knight Templar
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

In the later novels where the Federation repeatedly fought the Borg, culminating in the huge Borg invasion, it was stated that Starfleet had a very effective way of circumventing the ban on cloaking devices whenever they wanted to.

All Starfleet vessels had the complete schematics of cloaking devices aboard and the materials allowing them to very quickly be assembled.

So if the tactical need arose, any Starfleet ship could have a working cloaking device in short order.
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Old September 25 2012, 09:27 AM   #41
Timo
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

I watched the movies Saving Private Ryan, Flattop, Run Silent Run Deep and PT-109. None of those movies make any reference to the V weapons
Exactly: V-weapons are a side note in WWII. Even an overall epic about that war (for which none of these "niche" movies really qualify - something like "Band of Brothers" would be more appropriate) is excused for not making a mention.

But cloaked missiles should not be a side note in the Dominion War if they existed.

And DS9 isn't a TV show about a "submarine"...

So if the tactical need arose, any Starfleet ship could have a working cloaking device in short order.
This might be of relatively little help, as the crews would be inexperienced in cloaking warfare and unaware of the nuances and shortcomings of their particular brand of technology. Give night vision goggles to a soldier unaccustomed to them, and his unequipped counterpart will triumph in a night fight... (OTOH, take the goggles away from a soldier accustomed to them and give then to an opponent unaccustomed to them, and all bets are off!)

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Old September 25 2012, 10:57 AM   #42
tighr
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
Star Trek isn't so brazen about it, but it's kind of telling that outside the pilot episode, Deep Space Nine contains no overt references to Voyager, and Voyager in turn never mentions Deep Space Nine or even makes any specific references to the events of the Dominion War. Oddly, neither do any of the Trek movies (they mention DS9 only in reference to Worf's background, which coincidentally is exactly as often as DS9 mentions the Enterprise).
I know what you're trying to say, but this is a bad example.

There is no need to mention Voyager on Deep Space 9, because as far as the Alpha Quadrant is concerned, Voyager was destroyed in the badlands.

Deep Space 9 is actually mentioned several times on Voyager. Regarding the Dominion War, Voyager is 70,000 light years away and had no knowledge of the Dominion prior to leaving DS9 in Caretaker. For what its worth, the war actually IS mentioned when Voyager regains communication with the Alpha Quadrant in Hunters.

Anything else would be an example of the Chekhov's Gun principle: there is no need for a character to mention something in a script unless it is important in some way. We never hear much about Deep Space Stations 1-8, but they must exist if we have DS9.
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Old September 25 2012, 03:31 PM   #43
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

Timo wrote: View Post
But cloaked missiles should not be a side note in the Dominion War if they existed.
Why not? They would have been a side note to Sisko or Worf, who wouldn't be involved in the selection of targets or the planning of the attacks. That's an entirely different department altogether.

And DS9 isn't a TV show about a "submarine"...
It's a TV show about a space station and the starships assigned to her, thus no need to mention what the land armies -- the people most likely to use those kinds of weapons -- are up to. Conversely, no mention of submarine warfare is ever made in Saving Private Ryan or Band of Brothers, much the way Sisko and Martok and Worf never mention the Klingon artillery battalions that would have been responsible for the deployment of warp-powered cloak-capable cruise missiles.

Which shouldn't be surprising, really. If they hadn't filmed "The Siege of AR-558" we'd still be debating whether or not ground combat even occurred in the Dominion War.
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Old September 26 2012, 08:27 AM   #44
Timo
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

Why not? They would have been a side note to Sisko or Worf, who wouldn't be involved in the selection of targets or the planning of the attacks. That's an entirely different department altogether.
But that already requires a lot of explaining. Why wasn't Bajor bombarded all the time? Why didn't the Klingons constantly bombard Cardassia in return? Sisko was at the very thick of things, by far the most likely location in the entire war for the use of cloaked missiles - two planets of utmost strategic importance separated by a minimal distance, one controlled by ruthless murderers perfectly comfortable with raining cloaked death, the other by the Dominion. Any other two systems would be more widely separated and the missile strike a riskier endeavor, with reliable crewed starships outperforming the automated missiles.

If not for the Eastern Front, WWII would have been concluded by this very type of warfare, with Germany bombarding Britain to submission across the Channel with ballistic weapons, and Britain futilely attempting the reverse with aerodynamic (and crewed) weapons.

the land armies -- the people most likely to use those kinds of weapons
I'd argue that the dramatic analogy would be to strategic weaponry traditionally operated by the Navy: SLBMs and stealthy SLCMs. Land armies would be but targets, especially from the point of view of the audience. After all, we can worry about the lack of missile portrayal in the episodes - but if they were portrayed, we would be well aware of the precedent of what we would see, which is affordable destruction such as entire planets being slagged, rather than prohibitively expensive destruction such as a squad getting blown to bits. In short, both the effects and the causes would be right in Sisko's ballpark, not in Lieutenant Burke's.

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Old September 26 2012, 07:10 PM   #45
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

Timo wrote: View Post
But that already requires a lot of explaining.
It doesn't REQUIRE anything of the kind. It might give you more things to think about as for how the war was perpetrated and what kinds of targets were hit by whom and as part of what campaigns. But you have to keep in mind that Deep Space Nine isn't a grand war epic about the Federation vs. the Dominion, it's a show about a guy who lives with his son on a space station on the frontier.

Sisko was at the very thick of things, by far the most likely location in the entire war for the use of cloaked missiles
And who, other than the Klingons and Romulans, would have USED cloaked missiles?

Deep Space Nine wasn't a Romulan station, and despite the perennial Klingon presence there, it wasn't one of their major staging areas either. If the Klingons wanted to bombard strategic Cardassian targets, they would have done it from a location THEY controlled, at a time that was convenient for their strategic priorities.

If not for the Eastern Front, WWII would have been concluded by this very type of warfare, with Germany bombarding Britain to submission across the Channel with ballistic weapons, and Britain futilely attempting the reverse with aerodynamic (and crewed) weapons.
Not in the Pacific Theatre it wouldn't. Which, again, is kind of the point: the Battle of Britain is a massively important front in the war, but is almost never mentioned in movies set in the Pacific theatre. If you didn't know the history of World War-II you would almost think those were two entirely different conflicts that had nothing to do with each other.

the land armies -- the people most likely to use those kinds of weapons
I'd argue that the dramatic analogy would be to strategic weaponry traditionally operated by the Navy
I would too, except IMO it wouldn't be an analogy and the Klingons would be launching those missiles from actual submarines that can more easily hide from sensors and/or counterattack.

Land armies would be but targets,
You've been saying that for years, but if starships and space superiority were really the strategic silver bullet you keep implying it is, ground combat itself would be impossible.

As it stands, this is not even true if modern day warfare, as even armies that achieve total and overwhelming air superiority STILL have to send in troops to go in and take possession of a parcel of land. A starship presence is considerably less immediate than a gunship or a fighter plane and the troops are fighting over landmasses the size of continents. More importantly: this is the Klingons we're talking about. They would intentionally maintain heavily shielded ground fortifications for long periods of time just to give the Jem'hadar an excuse to land and fight them. And knowing the Jem'hadar, they would happily oblige.

After all, we can worry about the lack of missile portrayal in the episodes - but if they were portrayed, we would be well aware of the precedent of what we would see, which is affordable destruction such as entire planets being slagged, rather than prohibitively expensive destruction such as a squad getting blown to bits.
Theoretically, planetary destruction is ALREADY inexpensive, since a single starship is supposed to be able to lay waste to entire planets if it so chooses. Starships invariably refrain from doing so even in the event of full scale war, however, and I don't see how missile bombardment would be any different. As for precedent, it would really be no different than any other weapon we see for the first time all of a sudden -- the Jem'hadar "Houdini" mines, for instance -- and scratch our heads wondering why they don't use them ALL THE TIME.

In short, both the effects and the causes would be right in Sisko's ballpark, not in Lieutenant Burke's.
Neither, actually. They'd be GENERAL MARTOK'S ballpark, since a cloaked ISBM would be a Klingon weapon, not a Federation one. And even then, Martok probably wouldn't have a lot of direct control over how and when they're used, since the Klingon units deploying those kinds of weapons would be units that don't have combat ships of their own and therefore use those missiles as part of an unconventional/covert ops strategy.
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