RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 139,164
Posts: 5,402,974
Members: 24,753
Currently online: 414
Newest member: kev404

TrekToday headlines

Retro Review: Time’s Orphan
By: Michelle on Aug 30

September-October Trek Conventions And Appearances
By: T'Bonz on Aug 29

Lee Passes
By: T'Bonz on Aug 29

Trek Merchandise Sale
By: T'Bonz on Aug 28

Star Trek #39 Villain Revealed
By: T'Bonz on Aug 28

Trek Big Bang Figures
By: T'Bonz on Aug 28

Star Trek Seekers Cover Art
By: T'Bonz on Aug 27

Fan Film Axanar Kickstarter Success
By: T'Bonz on Aug 27

Two New Starship Collection Ships
By: T'Bonz on Aug 26

Trek Actor Wins Emmy
By: T'Bonz on Aug 26


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


Go Back   The Trek BBS > Misc. Star Trek > Trek Tech

Trek Tech Pass me the quantum flux regulator, will you?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old September 27 2012, 09:07 AM   #46
Timo
Admiral
 
Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

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.
...And they did control DS9.

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.
Which would be fine if DS9 were about the adventures of a starship in "the Pacific", rather than a space station "at Calais".

the Klingons would be launching those missiles from actual submarines that can more easily hide from sensors and/or counterattack.
Yup - but, given the Dominion capability for countermeasures, they'd be likely to do it the Russian style, launching from cloaked fleets floating in safe "bastion" areas within Klingon-controlled space.

ground combat itself would be impossible
As far as we know, it is. In "Nor the Battle", the whole point appeared to be to lure USS Farragut to her death; in "Siege of AR-558", the fight appeared to be between two groups of castaways. What happened at, say, Septimus III, would be of the greatest interest: it sounded as if the Klingons just wanted to push that garrison aside, rather than take control of the planet, but they still expected three weeks of battles. Why not use a missile strike there?

the Klingon units deploying those kinds of weapons would be units that don't have combat ships of their own
There could be various interesting arrangements there, not necessarily all that clear-cut. Just think of the SAC operating both bombers and ICBMs, or the monobloc Navy having nuclear strike capability in so many forms. Or the Russians combining defensive air forces and ground-based air defenses under one organization, and then having a separate air force for offense.

One also wonders... How was the Cardassian Dreadnought launched? What sort of support infrastructure does it require? If the Maquis weapons are comparable, one might speculate "not a lot, and none of it high tech". Could the Romulans have installed ISBMs of their own on one of Bajor's moons in secrecy?

Timo Saloniemi
Timo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 27 2012, 04:50 PM   #47
Crazy Eddie
Rear Admiral
 
Crazy Eddie's Avatar
 
Location: I'm in your ___, ___ing your ___
Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

Timo wrote: View Post
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.
...And they did control DS9.
No they didn't. The FEDERATION controlled DS9, and even then only on behalf of the Bajoran government. Not the same thing by a longshot.

Yup - but, given the Dominion capability for countermeasures, they'd be likely to do it the Russian style, launching from cloaked fleets floating in safe "bastion" areas within Klingon-controlled space.
That would give the dominion a bit too much warning, I think, in addition to defeating the purpose of USING those missiles in the first place. That's the very specific reason I suggested those kinds of missiles would be used as a kind of field artillery for ground units that don't have starships of their own.

ground combat itself would be impossible
As far as we know, it is. In "Nor the Battle", the whole point appeared to be to lure USS Farragut to her death
Actually, the whole point was to capture the planet. There isn't alot of room for interpretation in that episode.

in "Siege of AR-558", the fight appeared to be between two groups of castaways.
Except the second wave of castaways -- e.g. the Jem'hadar -- were beamed down by starships that had earlier chased the Starfleet presence out of the system.

What happened at, say, Septimus III, would be of the greatest interest: it sounded as if the Klingons just wanted to push that garrison aside, rather than take control of the planet, but they still expected three weeks of battles. Why not use a missile strike there?
Because they wanted to CAPTURE the colony, not blow it up, and displacing the garrison meant swooping in and killing everyone in it without leveling the entire place. A similar thing happened with DS9: the entire Klingon fleet opened fire on the station, and all of them combined might have had enough power to destroy it. If they really wanted to, the could have simply ordered one of the bird of preys to ram the station at high speed, collapsing the shields and leaving them entirely vulnerable.

But they wanted to CAPTURE the station, not destroy it. So as soon as the station's shields went down, they IMMEDIATELY beamed wave after wave of troops into ops and the promenade to try and take control of the station. They wouldn't have used that kind of heavy artillery against things they wanted to capture intact.

There's an old Bantu saying: The object of war is not to kill, the object of war is to win. The Klingons are VERY good at making war, and they don't lose sight of what they're fighting for in the first place.

One also wonders... How was the Cardassian Dreadnought launched? What sort of support infrastructure does it require? If the Maquis weapons are comparable, one might speculate "not a lot, and none of it high tech". Could the Romulans have installed ISBMs of their own on one of Bajor's moons in secrecy?
I kind of suspect that's one of the things Kira was worried about, yes. The thing with the plasma torpedoes was just that final "I can already see where this is going" moments.

More to the point, these types of weapons being used as a kind of field artillery makes a certain amount of sense, considering a warp-driven missile could be aimed against a variety of targets anywhere within a couple of light years of a particular planet. Some Klingon troops holding a garrison would be able to launch them at incoming transports, or fire them across huge distances to take out the defending ships of some moon they're planning to raid. There's also something to be said for shielding, which is ubiquitous and powerful in the 24th century, and it could well be that you actually need three or four of these uber-torpedoes just to sufficiently weaken the shielding of any particular colony enough for a strike team to beam through it.
__________________
The Complete Illustrated Guide to Starfleet - Online Now!
Crazy Eddie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 27 2012, 09:20 PM   #48
MacLeod
Admiral
 
Location: Great Britain
Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
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?
The first V-1 bomb did fall on Britian until 1944, "Run Silent, Run Deep", "PT-109" were set in the pacific theatre, I've not seen Flattop but I'm guessing that's also the Pacific theater. So it seems unlikely that they would mention events in the European Theater
__________________
On the continent of wild endeavour in the mountains of solace and solitude there stood the citadel of the time lords, the oldest and most mighty race in the universe looking down on the galaxies below sworn never to interfere only to watch.
MacLeod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 27 2012, 11:24 PM   #49
throwback
Captain
 
Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

Individuals and groups in war have tunnel vision. It's a filtering system - filter out the unnecessary details, concentrate on the details that get you to the goal.

Combat in later Star Trek was increasingly unrealistic. In the original series, starships were battling each other at tens of thousands of kilometers. In the episode "The Ultimate Computer", the Enterprise engaged her sister ships at 200,000 kilometers. In the later episodes, ships were engaging each other at point blank range. As shown in the TOS episode, ships had better maneuverability at this distance. And this is closer to reality where fighter jets can engage in tens of kilometers. Targeting systems adjust for the enemy's ship movements so that the fired missile can hit successfully. (The only aspect I could never understood is how the life support systems on the Excalibur were destroyed, resulting in the death of all crew members.)

As for cloaking devices aboard Federation starships, Captain Kirk, a war veteran, told Kang that Starfleet doesn't specialize in sneak attacks. ("The Day of the Dove")
throwback is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 28 2012, 04:09 AM   #50
Crazy Eddie
Rear Admiral
 
Crazy Eddie's Avatar
 
Location: I'm in your ___, ___ing your ___
Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

MacLeod wrote: View Post
newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
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?
The first V-1 bomb did fall on Britian until 1944, "Run Silent, Run Deep", "PT-109" were set in the pacific theatre, I've not seen Flattop but I'm guessing that's also the Pacific theater.
That's kinda what I meant. Timo's suggesting that in any good war movie, anything of any relevance whatsoever to the outcome of the war would be worthy of mention somewhere in dialog. I'm pointing out that this is, almost NEVER the case, that most movies will focus on a very specific theatre of operations and the relatively narrow perspective of the soldiers involved. More modern examples might be found in the movie "Jarhead," which -- ironically -- zeroes in on the life of a Marine sniper who gets through the entire Gulf War without actually shooting anyone.


throwback wrote: View Post
Combat in later Star Trek was increasingly unrealistic. In the original series, starships were battling each other at tens of thousands of kilometers. In the episode "The Ultimate Computer", the Enterprise engaged her sister ships at 200,000 kilometers. In the later episodes, ships were engaging each other at point blank range. As shown in the TOS episode, ships had better maneuverability at this distance. And this is closer to reality where fighter jets can engage in tens of kilometers.
I used to think so too, but this might end up being a truth in television. We've been told for many years by many people that air to air combat primarily involves missiles fired from beyond visual range, but often enough it devolves into the same old turning dogfight action that's always defined air combat, down to ranges between 2 and 10km.

It might be a bit different for starships, but I think part of the problem is that science fiction writers have no sense of scale. I'll grant that trading phaser fire at 700 meters is borderline silly, but 200,000km is too far to the opposite extreme; that would be like two supersonic fighter planes exchanging missiles from opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

I think a realistic combat distance for a starship would be between 100 and 400km for phasers, and 1000 to 5000km for photon torpedoes (assuming the torpedoes move pretty damn fast and can cover that distance in five to ten seconds).

As for cloaking devices aboard Federation starships, Captain Kirk, a war veteran, told Kang that Starfleet doesn't specialize in sneak attacks. ("The Day of the Dove")
Which is idiotic, considering Kirk spent most of his time doing EXACTLY that on Organia.
__________________
The Complete Illustrated Guide to Starfleet - Online Now!
Crazy Eddie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 28 2012, 09:23 AM   #51
Mytran
Fleet Captain
 
Mytran's Avatar
 
Location: North Wales
Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
I think a realistic combat distance for a starship would be between 100 and 400km for phasers, and 1000 to 5000km for photon torpedoes (assuming the torpedoes move pretty damn fast and can cover that distance in five to ten seconds).
200,000 km is actually less than 1 light-second. If phasers and and photorps are superluminal (as seems to be the case in TOS) then maybe it's not such an absurd distance after all?
Mytran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 28 2012, 01:58 PM   #52
Timo
Admiral
 
Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

Timo's suggesting that in any good war movie, anything of any relevance whatsoever to the outcome of the war would be worthy of mention somewhere in dialog.
Naah, not in a "good war movie". In a war-encompassing epic.

Which basically never can be a movie, because interesting wars are bigger than movies. But DS9 is not a movie. It's a TV show dedicating three years for describing a Star Trek war in some detail, trying to find multiple interesting angles.

Any single episode could be excused for failing to mention, say, interstellar missiles, cloaking devices or indeed starships. But three seasons? No way. If we didn't see it or hear about it, it either was of zero relevance to the overall war (and not just to our heroes), or was so super-secret that it will eventually get a spinoff show of its own.

Which is idiotic, considering Kirk spent most of his time doing EXACTLY that on Organia.
Blatantly lying to the enemy is idiotic?

That would give the dominion a bit too much warning, I think, in addition to defeating the purpose of USING those missiles in the first place.
I'm not sure what you mean here. Launching from the Bajoran system would be a minimum-distance strike, advantageous in every way. On the other hand, launching from a safe location without sending anything crewed anywhere near the enemy seems to be the very "purpose of USING"...

Timo Saloniemi
Timo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 28 2012, 04:29 PM   #53
blssdwlf
Commodore
 
Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

throwback wrote: View Post
Combat in later Star Trek was increasingly unrealistic. In the original series, starships were battling each other at tens of thousands of kilometers. In the episode "The Ultimate Computer", the Enterprise engaged her sister ships at 200,000 kilometers. In the later episodes, ships were engaging each other at point blank range. As shown in the TOS episode, ships had better maneuverability at this distance. And this is closer to reality where fighter jets can engage in tens of kilometers. Targeting systems adjust for the enemy's ship movements so that the fired missile can hit successfully. (The only aspect I could never understood is how the life support systems on the Excalibur were destroyed, resulting in the death of all crew members.)
Agreed, episodes post-TOS devolved combat into a point-blank, zero maneuvering affair.

I checked "The Ultimate Computer" and it was not explained what the exact cause of the death of the entire crew of the Excalibur was from. All we know was that the full-powered phaser hits killed everyone on board and rendered the ship looking "dead". In the original FX, it could be explained that the full powered phasers struck the Excalibur from far away and thus did more internal vs external damage. However, the TOS-R revised FX put the battle at point-blank range which should've resulted in the destruction of the Excalibur (like in "Day of the Dove" where the Klingon warship was destroyed within transporter range.)

newtype_alpha wrote:
Which is idiotic, considering Kirk spent most of his time doing EXACTLY that on Organia.
Also regarding sneak attacks, Kirk specifically mentions Federation starships. In "Errand of Mercy", Kirk and Spock had no problems doing sneak attacks on the ground which doesn't contradict his statement to Kang in "Day of the Dove".
KIRK: Federation ships don't specialise in sneak attacks.

newtype_alpha wrote:
I think a realistic combat distance for a starship would be between 100 and 400km for phasers, and 1000 to 5000km for photon torpedoes (assuming the torpedoes move pretty damn fast and can cover that distance in five to ten seconds).
We've seen in "The Changeling" a photon torpedo with a flight time of ~6s strike a target to the side and slightly behind the Enterprise at 90,000km. If it was straight ahead it probably would've been a shorter flight time. In TOS, it doesn't appear an issue to engage targets 10s of 1000s of kilometers away as common ranges and "extreme" and "maximum" ranges reaching to several au. Even in The Motion Picture we see the Klingons taking torpedo shots at V'ger at 1au (or 40au depending on the version).

On the other hand, its clear to me that there are technological differences in the TNG continuity that probably would suggest close range combat. Their sensors don't appear to work well against ships at warp while at sublight since "The Picard Maneuver" is a viable tactic. So in the TNG-continuity, realistic ranges for them would be phasers under 400km and torpedoes a little further.

Or then again, we do have the Phoenix vs the Cardassian warship and that was at 200,000+km engagement ranges. <shrug>

Last edited by blssdwlf; September 28 2012 at 04:44 PM.
blssdwlf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 28 2012, 07:45 PM   #54
Crazy Eddie
Rear Admiral
 
Crazy Eddie's Avatar
 
Location: I'm in your ___, ___ing your ___
Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

Mytran wrote: View Post
newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
I think a realistic combat distance for a starship would be between 100 and 400km for phasers, and 1000 to 5000km for photon torpedoes (assuming the torpedoes move pretty damn fast and can cover that distance in five to ten seconds).
200,000 km is actually less than 1 light-second. If phasers and and photorps are superluminal (as seems to be the case in TOS) then maybe it's not such an absurd distance after all?
Photon torpedoes aren't anywhere CLOSE to superluminal when fired under impulse power. Meanwhile, the fact that they can sustain the ship's FTL velocity at warp has been handwaved away by the tech manuals.

As for phasers, the time delay isn't as much a factor as you might think. You can only hit what you can see, and your accuracy depends on how far you can see; in the case of a phaser weapon, its accuracy is limited by the optical system that's used to direct the beam onto a target, the system's maximum resolution and the amount of mechanical control you have over both. Assuming the ship's sensors and optics are good enough to image starships at that distance -- and they almost certainly are -- the PHASERS may not be that precise, and the mechanical systems that steer them may not have enough fine control to track a moving target at that distance.

It's also a bit odd to mention the unrealism of Trek combat without acknowledging the fact that neither phasers or photon torpedoes ever seem to MISS their targets except under very special circumstances. It seems like something that should be more common at ANY range, no matter how those weapons work.
__________________
The Complete Illustrated Guide to Starfleet - Online Now!
Crazy Eddie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 28 2012, 11:34 PM   #55
Mytran
Fleet Captain
 
Mytran's Avatar
 
Location: North Wales
Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

The tech manuals can be helpful in filling in blanks, but they have been contradicted on numerous occasions by the episodes themselves. And if we're going to include the tech manuals for TNG, then what about the writer's bible for TOS? Phasers were originally described as an offshoot of the asteroid deflector beam technology which a starship much apply when at warp. As the deflectors must by neccessity be FTL, so must the phasers.

Secondly, starfleet officers rarely target their foes manually (indeed, when Sulu first does this in TWOK the results are less than stellar!). Instead, a character will lock phasers on target - in other words, the computers and sensors do the job - and they should have no trouble tracking a FTL opponent, since they themselves are a FTL body. All the phaser turrets need to do is target an area ahead of the destination, controlled precisely by the same systems.

A final word on the seemingly massive ranges employed by TOS - at the time of the series production, typical aircraft carriers and gunboats ranged their weapons over many miles, some even to the limit of the horizon. Would it not be natural to extrapolate these distances into their outer-space equivalent?
Mytran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 29 2012, 05:15 AM   #56
Crazy Eddie
Rear Admiral
 
Crazy Eddie's Avatar
 
Location: I'm in your ___, ___ing your ___
Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

Mytran wrote: View Post
The tech manuals can be helpful in filling in blanks, but they have been contradicted on numerous occasions by the episodes themselves. And if we're going to include the tech manuals for TNG, then what about the writer's bible for TOS? Phasers were originally described as an offshoot of the asteroid deflector beam technology which a starship much apply when at warp. As the deflectors must by neccessity be FTL, so must the phasers.
The deflector beam wouldn't be FTL with respect to the ship that fires it. Relativistically speaking, the lightspeed barrier still applies for a starship traveling at warp speed (not to an outside observer, of course, but relativity is weird that way).

Secondly, starfleet officers rarely target their foes manually
They do in TOS, hence Sulu's targeting scope on the helm.

OTOH, no one's talking about manual targeting. The sensors that automatically aim the phasers can only track targets with the data available to them, and the probability of a hit depends on a combination of how precisely you can pinpoint the enemy's position and how precisely you can control your aim. At 200,000km, a 200 meter target would have a cross section of a thousandth of a nano-arcsecond; your phasers' aiming mechanisms would have to be calibrated to within a fraction of a nanometer to get that kind of precision, and that for hitting a target that's STATIONARY. If your ship is MOVING, all bets are off: you need to know the exact relative velocity between your ship and the target, and an uncertainty of just a few meters per second can throw off your aim by tens of kilometers, even if your fire control system has that kind of precision. And it probably won't; on the same scale, a submicron spec of dust on one of the bearings can throw off your aim by the same degree, and rotational component in your own vector too small for even your navigational sensors to detect can mean your phasers fly wide of the target by a hundred kilometers.

I cannot overstate the kind of precision you would need for that kind of shot; it would be like performing brain surgery on a mouse... from sixty feet away, looking through a telescope.

More relevantly: any good targeting system isn't going to be built for precision, but for SPEED. Its job isn't to work out the position of a distant target to an insane degree of accuracy, but to quickly LOCATE the target and plot a best-fit firing solution for as many weapons as you can point at it.

the computers and sensors do the job - and they should have no trouble tracking a FTL opponent
Tracking and HITTING are two different things.

A final word on the seemingly massive ranges employed by TOS - at the time of the series production, typical aircraft carriers and gunboats ranged their weapons over many miles, some even to the limit of the horizon. Would it not be natural to extrapolate these distances into their outer-space equivalent?
No, for the simple reason that space doesn't HAVE horizons and the limitations on weapons technology is going to be considerably different. It would also depend on what kind of weapon you're using; phasers and photon torpedoes are direct fire weapons that seem to require pretty accurate firing solutions and therefore aren't much better than guns and rockets.

OTOH, there ought to exist a Trekian cruise missile of some type -- say, a weaponized version of the Class-8 probe -- that can travel interstellar distances at warp speed, search for a target and autonomously guide itself towards an interception point. Such an weapon could have an effective range of hundreds of lightyears and could even be programmed to wander around the outskirts of a solar system for weeks at a time until it found something that matched the profile on its list of approved targets. That's the kind of weapon you would fire at a distance, not from 200,000km, but from two or three AUs where the thing will have a flight time of twenty to forty seconds and its hapless target will be forced to deploy countermeasures and decoys, or risk shooting it down (either by launching smaller/anti-missiles to intercept it or by trying to kill it with phasers at the last second), or go to high warp and hope against hope that they can outrun it.

That, of course, would be a fundamentally different take on combat in Star Trek; it would be like a combination of submarine/surface/air-to-air warfare all the same time, with starships that spend entire battles running from one another's torpedoes while at the same time trying to find an opportunity to get in close enough to punch each other's lights out with phasers. There'd undoubtedly be different sizes and classes of torpedoes too; smaller torpedoes for hitting small/nearby targets or for knocking out other people's torpedoes, and larger anti-ship torpedoes that can you launch against a target on the far side of the solar system. Other equipment would be of high necessity; the cloaking device would be indispensable, not merely for sneaking up on other ships, but for avoiding the roving spreads of torpedoes they keep firing at you (whose AIs surely have a general idea where you are but can't home in for a kill). Decoys would be needed too, equipped with a convincing hologram or even some kind of replicator that can create a facade of a proper target and lure a torpedo away from the real thing. Starship combat tactics would be as much about securing your exit path as it is about watching for potential enemies, much less of the simple "bad guys there, they're firing... shields at 80%... return fire" formulaic business we're used to.

I do agree that star trek combat is less and less realistic as time goes on, but my gripe isn't that the ranges are getting shorter, it's that it's always been way too simple, and throughout TNG and DS9 it's been getting simpler all the time.
__________________
The Complete Illustrated Guide to Starfleet - Online Now!
Crazy Eddie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 29 2012, 10:11 AM   #57
Mytran
Fleet Captain
 
Mytran's Avatar
 
Location: North Wales
Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

That, of course, would be a fundamentally different take on combat in Star Trek; it would be like a combination of submarine/surface/air-to-air warfare all the same time, with starships that spend entire battles running from one another's torpedoes while at the same time trying to find an opportunity to get in close enough to punch each other's lights out with phasers. There'd undoubtedly be different sizes and classes of torpedoes too; smaller torpedoes for hitting small/nearby targets or for knocking out other people's torpedoes, and larger anti-ship torpedoes that can you launch against a target on the far side of the solar system. Other equipment would be of high necessity; the cloaking device would be indispensable, not merely for sneaking up on other ships, but for avoiding the roving spreads of torpedoes they keep firing at you (whose AIs surely have a general idea where you are but can't home in for a kill). Decoys would be needed too, equipped with a convincing hologram or even some kind of replicator that can create a facade of a proper target and lure a torpedo away from the real thing. Starship combat tactics would be as much about securing your exit path as it is about watching for potential enemies, much less of the simple "bad guys there, they're firing... shields at 80%... return fire" formulaic business we're used to.
Sounds fun! Way beyond what a 1960s TV show could have produced of course, or even in the TNG era, but if it ever gets done that would be quite a visual spectacle.

I have to agree about the unrealism of the way combat is portrayed as well. It's the all too common "spaceships as boats" approach that we often see on TV & film.
Mytran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 29 2012, 04:18 PM   #58
blssdwlf
Commodore
 
Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

Interestingly, the idea of running away from enemy torpedoes and attempting to shoot them down while trying to sneak up on the target under cloak was addressed in "Balance of Terror" because the shields were ineffective against the enemy's weapons fire.

But with effective shields, the tactics switch instead to hammer away until you win by downing the enemy's shields. And when that happens (in TOS anyway), they'll have expended so much of their power that escape is unlikely unless they were smart enough to make a run for it earlier with their reserve power.

I do agree that TNG and later series devolved it to a point-blank affair between simple phasers and torpedoes.
blssdwlf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 30 2012, 06:36 AM   #59
Crazy Eddie
Rear Admiral
 
Crazy Eddie's Avatar
 
Location: I'm in your ___, ___ing your ___
Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
Interestingly, the idea of running away from enemy torpedoes and attempting to shoot them down while trying to sneak up on the target under cloak was addressed in "Balance of Terror" because the shields were ineffective against the enemy's weapons fire.
If I was rebooting Star Trek, THAT would be my archetype for starship combat. Your enemy gets a target lock on you and fires a torpedo; your immediate response is so launch decoys and turn the jammers up to full power (or turn on the cloaking device, if you've got one), and after that you've got three options: 1) turn all warp power to the deflectors and hope to keep it away from you until it burns out its fuel and detonates, 2) Turn tail and go to maximum warp or 3) try to shoot it down with phasers.

I would also make a distinction between shields and deflectors. Your shields are basically deployable armor; good for stopping destructive energies (e.g. radiation from an exploding torpedo) but they can only handle so much strain before they overheat and you have to get out of dodge long enough to let them cool down/recharge. Take a page out of the TMP playbook too: torpedoes aren't bullets and meteors, they have warp drives and guidance systems of their own; when they hit the deflectors, they'll keep running at full throttle trying to push their way through, and it'll be a contest between your engines and the small but powerful drive on the torpedo to see who can win. Maybe your deflectors can stop one torpedo and hold it ten kilometers away, but then the enemy launches two more, and then a third... your engines start to overheat, his torpedoes start to push through, and then you've got to fall back to options 2 and 3.

Depending on the circumstances (if you have no specific reason to stay put) you might not even bother with the deflectors; you see torpedoes incoming, you might immediately jump to maximum warp and put the attacking torpedoes on your six o'clock; the relative speeds are now low enough that you can take your time shooting them down. Or you might even rely on interceptor torpedoes and decoys to provide an effective screen and save your engines and deflectors for that crucial moment when your science officer figures out who's shooting at you, and then you can use that sudden burst of speed to close the distance and counter attack.

I do agree that TNG and later series devolved it to a point-blank affair between simple phasers and torpedoes.
That remains to be seen for the JJ Verse, though. If nothing else, it's the first time we've seen phasers being used in an explicit point defense role, which is pretty much a revolution where Trek combat is concerned.
__________________
The Complete Illustrated Guide to Starfleet - Online Now!
Crazy Eddie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 30 2012, 04:46 PM   #60
SicOne
Commodore
 
Location: Omaha, NE
Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

Something that I don't understand (from a technical point of view, that is; I can understand why this isn't the case from a story-telling point of view) is why, during close combat, starships don't utilize a method of destroying the enemy's torpedoes the instant they launch, in unshielded ships, or when they reach the perimeter of the firing ship's shields.

According to the tech manuals, sensor systems and computers work at FTL speeds. Almost as soon as the weapons officer on the threat ship presses the button to launch the torpedo and the torpedo begins to move one meter down the tube, the sensors on the target ship should detect the increase in power and movement in the weapons systems and an automatic command should be given to the phasers to target the threat ship's torpedo tube if unshielded, or a wide-area effect directed towards the portion of the threat ship's shield envelope that the torpedo is likely to pass through on its way towards the target ship. From a tech standpoint, there's no reason why as soon as the threat ship's torpedo leaves the tube, there shouldn't be a phaser strike inbound and timed to detonate the torpedo just as it departs the threat ship's tube, or shield envelope.

Additionally, while watching some of the big battle scenes towards the end of DS9's run, it seems like no one is using shields; I see phaser/disruptor/polaron beam impacts and torpedo hits against ship hulls directly, with no shields. Was it ever explained what technology was used, or by who, to cause shields not to function? Or was it just a decision by the VFX people to not use shields?
SicOne is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 11:32 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.