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Old November 22 2012, 08:38 PM   #16
KamenRiderBlade
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Re: Describe if you will, a "real" Star Trek battle...

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
Mostly agreed with Forbin, except I've been toying with the idea about how to use warp and impulse engines at this speed, in addition to shields and deflectors. I doubt the engagement would really be as simple as "hit him before he hits you." Your Klingon attacker might take several hits and chose to disengage, but if he's really pissed off you're going to still be fighting him for another ten minutes before one of you can claim victory.

I figure out it's like swords and arrows. (Bear with me on this one) at long range, you can shoot torpedoes at the other guy (arrows) or close to short range and hammer him with phasers (swords). Sword duels are only quick and brutal when they don't involve armor or some protection; if you have a short sword in one hand and a shield in the other, it might take you a minute to get past that shield and get some good happy stabbing done. So, exactly what tactic you use depends on what the other guy is equipped with. Someone with, say, deflector screens tied into his warp drive is going to be able to repel your torpedoes almost indefinitely, so you're going to have to get in close with phasers and either knock out his deflectors or force him to transfer that power to his engines just to get away from you. At that point, you either finish him off with the phasers, or you let him get some distance and hit him with torpedoes (or both). If he's got a lot of heavy armor, you don't have a choice: a phaser or torpedo strike will have to hit him in a sensitive spot to do any damage.

Starship combat would probably degenerate into knife fight ranges more often than you'd expect, as ships get closer and closer in an attempt to thwart each other's defenses and make more of their own shots hit. Jumping back out to a distance -- if the other guy gives you time -- can give you a chance to catch your breath and regroup before pressing the attack again, but the nature of heavy shielding and deflectors means it's still more likely to be a sword fight than a sniper duel.
One of the reasons I figure why nobody ties their deflector dish directly to the power line of their warp core is if there is any feedback due to overloading the shield, that feedback might take out the warp core and the ship itself. That's probably why all shields are on it's own large capacitor. Should the shield go down, or get overloaded, it won't take out the ship.

I do agree with your analogy in the general sense, the details and reasoning of why you do the things you do is where I would differ.

Fighting at Super long Range (> 100 km)
PROs:
- Harder for enemy to hit you in general
- A small amount of movement in any direction that is perpendicular to your enemy can cause them to miss energy weapon shots.
- Gives you more time to shoot down Torpedoes or other slow moving projectiles
- More time to recover from damage and solve any crisis due to damage
- Easy to protect the weak side of your shields just by rotating yourself so the enemy doesn't have a clear shot at the gap in your shields.
- Easy for the side with a worse situation to run away or prolong the fight.
CONs:
- Incredibly hard to target a specific subsystem if the enemy just chooses to rotate their vessel so that the weak side of the shields isn't exposed.
- Incredibly easy to miss if the enemy pilot knows how to dodge.
- The fight becomes a war of attrition, any side with not enough resources will lose.
- Both sides are vulnerable to torpedoes with large explosive area should they choose to employ such weapons. Modern nukes have huge area of effect, if any side chooses to field such weapon, both sides may be screwed.

So the advantages of fighting at close range (<= 10 km):
PROs:
- Easy to hit subsystems or weak side of shields.
- Easy to position yourself around the opponent, especially if you killed the weapon banks on one side, all you have to do is stay in their blind spot.
- Gives the weaker side less time to recover
- Harder to miss in general
- Discourages both sides from using wide area of effect explosives without fear of taking damage themselves.
- You can tractor the weakened foe to make it harder to escape.
- Once you knock down their shields on one side, you can easily beam over assault parties to capture their ship.
CONs:
- Easy to be hit in your own subsystems or weak side of shields.
- Easy to for the enemy to position themselves around you, especially if your weapon banks on one side are dead, all they have to do is stay in your blind spot.
- Harder to hide the weak sides of any shields since travel distance to face a weak side of any shields is significantly shorter.
- If the enemy looks weakened but is still strong enough that they can cripple your FTL engines and STL engines, they can commit double suicide by overloading their power source and take you out with them should they be desperate enough.


Alot of times I doubt any fight in the Star Trek Universe would stay at long ranges. There are just too many good reasons to get close and take risks.
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Old November 23 2012, 09:25 PM   #17
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Thanks for the input everyone!

Personally I can't help thinking that the sort of combat between starships we're discussing would take place so rapidly that people playing out the whole 'shields up', 'lock on', 'fire phasers' scenario would be extremely unlikely.

Starships able to travel at faster-than and near light-speed velocities, firing phaser beams and so forth would doubtless be handled better by computers than by people?

Put the immense processing power of these computers to use analysing the opponent and calculating the best strategy in a fraction of a second and so on?
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Old November 23 2012, 10:47 PM   #18
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Re: Describe if you will, a "real" Star Trek battle...

I think to some extent computers are always leveraged during combat. They automatically put up shields and buys the crew time to react to the emergency.

From "Errand of Mercy":
SULU: Captain, the automatic deflector screen just popped on. Body approaching.
KIRK: Configuration, Mister Sulu.
(Enterprise struck almost immediately by torpedo like objects)
KIRK: Phaser banks, lock on. Return fire. Maintain firing rate. One hundred percent dispersal pattern.
(Enterprise trades fire with Klingon ship)
SPOCK: We've hit him, Captain. He's hurt.
KIRK: Damage control, report to the first officer.
SULU: Captain, the other ship doesn't register. Only drifting debris. We got him.
From "Arena"
KIRK: Then we've got them. Go to Red Alert. Prepare to fire phaser banks. Sensors, lock on. Mister Sulu, continue closing.
Mister Spock, lock phasers into computer. Computers will control attack.
SPOCK: Computer lock ready, Captain. All systems standing by.
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Old November 24 2012, 04:30 PM   #19
Forbin
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Re: Angry Fanboy

Angry Fanboy wrote: View Post
Thanks for the input everyone!

Personally I can't help thinking that the sort of combat between starships we're discussing would take place so rapidly that people playing out the whole 'shields up', 'lock on', 'fire phasers' scenario would be extremely unlikely.

Starships able to travel at faster-than and near light-speed velocities, firing phaser beams and so forth would doubtless be handled better by computers than by people?

Put the immense processing power of these computers to use analysing the opponent and calculating the best strategy in a fraction of a second and so on?
Good point! So a space battle might play out more like this:

TACTICAL: "Captain, there's..."
WHAM! BANG! SHUDDER!
CAPTAIN: "What just happened?"
TACTICAL: "Um. Errrr...."

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Old November 26 2012, 09:19 PM   #20
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Re: Describe if you will, a "real" Star Trek battle...

I'm assuming they would use naval tactics I know space would be different but, ship engagments would be and could be at different distances close or long I'm assuming more damage could be done at close range IMO.

We have to look at modern naval engagments I'm assuming these would be at long distances nowadays with the range of missiles and warheads and torpedoes !!!
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Old November 26 2012, 09:50 PM   #21
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Re: Describe if you will, a "real" Star Trek battle...

It would not seem to be a part of the Federation's core philosophy to have a computer make the judgment about ending intelligent life. The computer would figure angles, speed, power requirements, but a sapient being would be required to make the ethical decision to destroy and kill.


So there is always going to be a living being's finger on the button. It might not be a actual firing button, but something labeled 'enable' or 'weapons release'.

In Errand of Mercy, the Enterprise was in a war zone, it's deflectors in that particular case may have been set to automatic, which wouldn't have alway been the case.

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Old November 26 2012, 11:51 PM   #22
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Re: Describe if you will, a "real" Star Trek battle...

T'Girl wrote: View Post
It would not seem to be a part of the Federation's core philosophy to have a computer make the judgment about ending intelligent life. The computer would figure angles, speed, power requirements, but a sapient being would be required to make the ethical decision to destroy and kill.


So there is always going to be a living being's finger on the button. It might not be a actual firing button, but something labeled 'enable' or 'weapons release'.

In Errand of Mercy, the Enterprise was in a war zone, it's deflectors in that particular case may have been set to automatic, which wouldn't have alway been the case.

Well shields and deflectors are defensive measures anyway, and it'd probably make sense to keep them on automatic for dealing with anything that gets past the nav-deflector or just some random bit of this or that junk that's hurtling towards the ship. And with cloaked warship running about, seconds count; so, again, common sense says keep the deflectors on auto and let them pop on whenever something shows up--you can always override and close them down if the object is a friendly.
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Old November 27 2012, 05:31 AM   #23
blssdwlf
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Re: Describe if you will, a "real" Star Trek battle...

A few nights ago I was playing a modified game of Star Fleet Battles with my son and I noticed the battle behaved similarly to "The Deadly Years". I had two Klingon warships and boxed his Federation cruiser in where we all slowed down after closing to 1 hex and we were just trading fire. After a couple of turns he dumped all his power into movement and flew out of range of my ships which were powered for attack and defense forcing me to chase him again. He picked off both my ships as we pursued. It was a good game

In any case, IMHO, part of the equation in battle also depends on the power output capability of the opposing ships as well as the captain's choice of power utilization. For example, the opposing sides could decide to maneuver while firing phasers which means phaser and shield power is reduced as power is also shared with the warp engines and shields. Or both sides decide to close and slug it out by transferring most of the maneuvering power into either phasers or shields. This might explain the battles in DS9 where the ships slugged it out at close range and slow speeds as it might've been necessary in order to maintain strong enough beam power to attack with while having decent shields to defend against multiple ship attacks...
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Old November 28 2012, 04:15 AM   #24
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Re: Describe if you will, a "real" Star Trek battle...

There would probably be a significant tactical subgroup of Starfleet whose jobs it would be to study and evaluate threat starships and develop specific actions and countermeasures to quickly and ably defeat them. "Captain, Romulan Warbird decloaking and firing photon torpedos!". Tactical presses a button prominently marked "D'Deridex-class" and the computer takes over. Ship's torpedos arm, phasers arm, and shields go up, depending on how soon the inbound torpedos are due to arrive; if the ship can go to warp before the Romulan torps hit it then it does so. Ship short-warps to a position aft of the Warbird and fires some phasers and torpedos at the rear of the Warbird, which presumably would have its shields concentrated forward towards its target. Ship immediately short-warps again to a position perpendicular towards its previous path, fires phasers and torpedos at the Warbird. Ship's computer follows a preprogrammed but random series of short-warp hops all around the Warbird, releasing volleys of weapons before the next hop. Depending on where the inbound torpedos are about to impact on the Warbird's shields, the ship may short-warp hop to within very close proximity to the threat and focus all power to phasers to dimple the Warbird's shields in the vicinity of where previously-fired torpedos are going to strike. In short order, repeated phaser strikes and torpedo impacts from all points of the compass in all three dimensions disable or destroy the Warbird.
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Old November 28 2012, 05:16 AM   #25
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Re: Describe if you will, a "real" Star Trek battle...

Nero's Shadow wrote: View Post
I'm assuming they would use naval tactics
They wouldn't. They would use STARSHIP tactics, because space is not an ocean and starships are not boats.
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Old November 28 2012, 05:20 AM   #26
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Re: Describe if you will, a "real" Star Trek battle...

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
A few nights ago I was playing a modified game of Star Fleet Battles with my son and I noticed the battle behaved similarly to "The Deadly Years". I had two Klingon warships and boxed his Federation cruiser in where we all slowed down after closing to 1 hex and we were just trading fire. After a couple of turns he dumped all his power into movement and flew out of range of my ships which were powered for attack and defense forcing me to chase him again. He picked off both my ships as we pursued. It was a good game

In any case, IMHO, part of the equation in battle also depends on the power output capability of the opposing ships as well as the captain's choice of power utilization. For example, the opposing sides could decide to maneuver while firing phasers which means phaser and shield power is reduced as power is also shared with the warp engines and shields. Or both sides decide to close and slug it out by transferring most of the maneuvering power into either phasers or shields. This might explain the battles in DS9 where the ships slugged it out at close range and slow speeds as it might've been necessary in order to maintain strong enough beam power to attack with while having decent shields to defend against multiple ship attacks...
They already do something similar to this with their pre-programed attack patterns. The computer has a whole library of strategic scenarios mapped out, so the tactical officer can push the preset labeled "Attack pattern theta-2" and the computer will execute that program on a designated target, firing weapons when appropriate and evading when appropriate. Tactical officer of course maintains the option to manually fire weapons if he sees an opening (or keeps a couple of weapons under manual control to avoid conflicting with the computer's target selections). Meanwhile, everyone on the bridge gets to look busy and heroic while pretending that the computer isn't doing 90% of the work.
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Old November 28 2012, 02:16 PM   #27
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Re: Describe if you will, a "real" Star Trek battle...

Couple of thoughts I had while playing STO last night:

1) Could warp fields be used as a weapon? The equivalent of stalling their engines in your jet wash, if you will. Some sort of subspace interference between two warp fields that could cause a enemy warp field to collapse and force them back into sublight speeds. Makes for a handy hit and run tactic.

2) Cloaking devices are too perfect. There should be some localized affect that can be picked up on sensors as a result of mass and temperature changes. Stuff that a ship could hide. If I have a perfectly clear crystal ball floating in mid air, I might not be able to see it but it still causes a localized effect cause of it's mass, temperature, etc. There should be something disturbed that a ship's sensors can detect by the mere presence of the other ship.
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Old November 28 2012, 04:41 PM   #28
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Nero's Shadow wrote: View Post
I'm assuming they would use naval tactics...
Two dimensional thinking dear boy!
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Old November 28 2012, 07:13 PM   #29
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Re: Angry Fanboy

Angry Fanboy wrote: View Post
Nero's Shadow wrote: View Post
I'm assuming they would use naval tactics...
Two dimensional thinking dear boy!
Given that modern naval warships have to deal with missiles, aircraft, other surface warships, naval artillary, submarines, torpedoes ...

... how do you figure "two dimensional?"


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Old November 28 2012, 07:22 PM   #30
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Re: Angry Fanboy

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Angry Fanboy wrote: View Post
Nero's Shadow wrote: View Post
I'm assuming they would use naval tactics...
Two dimensional thinking dear boy!
Given that modern naval warships have to deal with missiles, aircraft, other surface warships, naval artillary, submarines, torpedoes ...

... how do you figure "two dimensional?"


Cause even if their dealing with all that, they can only--with the exception of a sub--navigate in two dimensions. So they're tactics by nature are going to be two dimensional: Right, left, backwards, forwards.
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