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Old July 8 2013, 02:14 AM   #1
jmampilly
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Federation Versus The Romulan Empire

In the post Dominion war and Nemesis era, which major power, the Federation or the Romulans, would win a war? Based on canon (so no information from STO), which side is superior technologically and industrially?
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Old July 8 2013, 02:24 AM   #2
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Federation Versus The Romulan Empire

Romulus is destroyed in 2387 as per the prime universe flashforward in Star Trek. The war would be a little one-sided.
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Old July 8 2013, 02:25 AM   #3
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Re: Federation Versus The Romulan Empire

^The Romulan fleet was supposedly in shambles following the Dominion War, so I'd have to give the advantage to the Federation. The advantage only increases once you factor in the events of Nemesis, as the assassination of the Senate and the division of the Empire into separate factions (with one side being pro-Federation).

The Romulans were the only AQ species having technology that approached anything used by Starfleet. Their vessels were extremely powerful and highly maneuverable. That they had a cloaking device made them even more formidable. But their ships seemed to lack the versatility of the Federation's vessels, as we see only Warbird- and Valdore-class ships used. It's possible the Romulans had additional classes of ships that were intended for exploratory missions or science expeditions, but they're never shown on screen.

I don't know what to make of the Romulans' economy. Their people don't seem to be starving as is seen on Cardassia just before and during the Dominion War. But their police state suggests persistent social unrest, turmoil that would only have increased with the growing strength of Spock's underground movement and the seeming dissolution of the Tal Shiar. Recall that Koval was a double-agent secretly working for the Federation in spite of his being the organization's chairman and a member of the Continuing Committee.

As an aside, I don't buy the Titan novel claims that Koval was assassinated. I think he faked his death and defected to the Federation. Whether a treatment for Tuvan Syndrome was ultimately devised is something I don't know, but I find it hard to believe he'd have allowed himself to be killed by a political rival.

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Old July 8 2013, 02:27 AM   #4
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Re: Federation Versus The Romulan Empire

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
Romulus is destroyed in 2387 as per the prime universe flashforward in Star Trek. The war would be a little one-sided.
I don't know that the loss of one planet would crush the Empire. It was certainly a significant blow to the Romulans, but not the sort of thing that would have changed the outcome of a war. In any case, I don't think they'd have beaten the Federation had Romulus remained intact. Starfleet was in much better shape following the Dominion War and would have dispatched the Romulans without difficulty.

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Old July 8 2013, 02:52 AM   #5
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Re: Federation Versus The Romulan Empire

We saw what the loss of a single room full of people did to the Romulan Empire in Nemesis. A sensibly run Empire would survive the loss of their homeworld, but Trek races aren't all that sensible. Even the Federation is repeatedly shown to be Earth-centic enough that if Earth falls, so does the entire UFP.
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Old July 8 2013, 02:54 AM   #6
jmampilly
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Re: Federation Versus The Romulan Empire

I tend to agree with Sran, a single planet, even one as important as Romulus, wouldn't completely disable the Romulan Empire.

Is Romulus economically weak? We know little about the inner workings of the Romulan Empire, but is it safe to say that most of its resources are diverted to military development, and that a large percentage of its population is living in poverty?
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Old July 8 2013, 03:00 AM   #7
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Re: Federation Versus The Romulan Empire

Considering that the writers won't want to lose one of Trek's most iconic villains, and obviously the heroes can't be conquered, I'd say they'd fight each other to a stalemate. Even if one side or the other is beaten, you could bet that they'll be back to full strength by their next appearance.
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Old July 8 2013, 03:24 AM   #8
R. Star
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Re: Federation Versus The Romulan Empire

Really going by just what's on screen, it's always left vague enough to suit a future plot need about any given power being stronger or weaker than the good guys.
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Old July 9 2013, 08:55 PM   #9
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Re: Federation Versus The Romulan Empire

Romulus, with time to prepare.

But seriously, I think Sran is probably right. A sensible Romulan Empire could probably unite its disparate factions and rally against a war-weary Federation, if not to victory at least to a stalemate. The Romulans have always demonstrated an ability to find a way to not lose, even if they don't win.

On the other hand, who says the Romulans would be sensible? And, who says the Federation would be war-weary as much as battle-hardened.
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Old July 9 2013, 09:10 PM   #10
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Re: Federation Versus The Romulan Empire

The Romulan fleet was supposedly in shambles following the Dominion War
I don't think onscreen material indicates or even supports this, and Sloan actually tries to convince Bashir of the opposite. It would be easy to believe that the Romulans would lose the least ships, having the wisdom to only partake in fights they can win, and to only deploy ships with serious overkill characteristics.

the assassination of the Senate and the division of the Empire into separate factions (with one side being pro-Federation)
Another development probably at odds with what we see on screen. Why should the assassination of the Senate be a rare event in the Empire? From what we hear, backstabbing (figurative and literal) is routine there, and thus unlikely to lead to major splits.

But their ships seemed to lack the versatility of the Federation's vessels, as we see only Warbird- and Valdore-class ships used.
Which could also be read as them being more survivable on the average than Starfleet ships, which feature a high percentage of old and feeble designs.

But their police state suggests persistent social unrest, turmoil that would only have increased with the growing strength of Spock's underground movement and the seeming dissolution of the Tal Shiar.
Was Tal'Shiar dissolved? The Dominion thought that "The Die is Cast" represented a blow to the organization, but we saw no actual evidence of a weakened stance later on, in "Inter Arma" and the like.

Also, the one time we saw Spock's underground movement, it actually served the interests of the Romulan government. That situation need not change, either.

We saw what the loss of a single room full of people did to the Romulan Empire in Nemesis.
...It temporarily vacated the room for use by the true rulers, the military, until they found the next puppets to seat there?

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Old July 9 2013, 10:15 PM   #11
Sran
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Re: Federation Versus The Romulan Empire

Timo wrote: View Post
I don't think onscreen material indicates or even supports this, and Sloan actually tries to convince Bashir of the opposite.
Odo explicitly states that both the Klingons and Romulans are "in no shape to wage war against anyone" in the series finale. I'm aware of Sloan's earlier statements to Bashir, but Sloan was trying to justify the necessity of intelligence gathering on Romulus. And as he had no direct involvement in military operations of either the Federation or the Romulan Empire, it's unlikely Sloan would know much about the capabilities of either fleet.

Timo wrote:
Another development probably at odds with what we see on screen. Why should the assassination of the Senate be a rare event in the Empire? From what we hear, backstabbing (figurative and literal) is routine there, and thus unlikely to lead to major splits.
The problem with this statement is that we never see another assassination of this magnitude on screen. Romulan politics are extremely complicated, but that doesn't mean the Senate's assassinated every time someone with a grudge decides to act on his feelings. The events of "Inter Arma Silent Leges" suggest that several members of the Romulan Senate had been in place for several years, which argues against the idea that government coup was commonplace.

Timo wrote:
Which could also be read as them being more survivable on the average than Starfleet ships, which feature a high percentage of old and feeble designs.
I don't know what this means. If Starfleet features several older ship designs, wouldn't that make those ships survivable? I agree that they probably don't have the most up-to-date technology, but to suggest that Romulan ships are more durable because they're newer doesn't make sense.

Timo wrote:
Also, the one time we saw Spock's underground movement, it actually served the interests of the Romulan government. That situation need not change, either.
I don't understand the point you're making here. Why would Romulan-Vulcan reunification serve the interests of the Romulan Senate? The Romulans weren't interested (publicly) in a relationship with a race that played such a prominent role in the Federation. Now, if you mean that a potential Federation-Romulan alliance would have been good for the Romulans, I completely agree. I just don't believe that the Senate saw things that way.

There were certainly prominent members of Romulan society who believed in doing whatever it took to ensure the survival of their people (Jarok, Koval, Cretak). And if an alliance with the Federation would have made that possible, there's no doubt they'd have pushed that option. Hell, Koval was nearly killed for his anti-Federation activities while head of the Tal Shiar, yet he ended up working for Starfleet as a double-agent. (Which I believe he continued to do for several years after Nemesis.)

Timo wrote:
...It temporarily vacated the room for use by the true rulers, the military, until they found the next puppets to seat there?
I agree with this. As Riker pointed out in Nemesis, the Praetor's power has always been supported by the Romulan fleet, suggesting that the military holds the real power in the Romulan goverment, not the politicians.

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Old July 9 2013, 11:00 PM   #12
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Re: Federation Versus The Romulan Empire

Odo explicitly states that both the Klingons and Romulans are "in no shape to wage war against anyone" in the series finale.
Ah, so he does. Then again, what should he know? True, he seems to fit the profile of Strategic Operations Officer, DS9, better than Worf, but that isn't saying much. He's just a dilettante in such matters, especially compared to somebody so closely connected to Starfleet as Sloan turns out to be.

The events of "Inter Arma Silent Leges" suggest that several members of the Romulan Senate had been in place for several years, which argues against the idea that government coup was commonplace.
But the episode also deals with a top level assassination as a matter of dull routine to the Romulans involved...

If Starfleet features several older ship designs, wouldn't that make those ships survivable?
No, because the Dominion War is their only relevant combat test. They don't survive it, but modern ships do -> modern ships are more survivable -> Romulans win because they only send their modern ships.

Why would Romulan-Vulcan reunification serve the interests of the Romulan Senate?
In "Unification", it provided a perfect excuse and perfect means for rounding up and eliminating forces of dissent. A popular movement that gathers various dissenters and is quite obviously treasonous is a godsend to a government wanting to control its masses, because everybody partaking can be freely executed without any destabilizing effect - the rest of the masses will cheer.

I agree with this. As Riker pointed out in Nemesis, the Praetor's power has always been supported by the Romulan fleet, suggesting that the military holds the real power in the Romulan goverment, not the politicians.
And in fact, when Shinzon sat in that hall, it was already a case of the military establishing its latest puppet - at least from the point of view of the military!

Shinzon's later histrionics indicated he saw it differently, but whether any of the Romulans had any reason to actually fear his threats, we don't know. Heck, for all we know, Shinzon was their puppet to such a degree that there was a backdoor to the weapons controls of the Scimitar (but with range limitations, so stopping him from killing Earth was more complicated than stopping him from killing Romulus)!

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Old July 10 2013, 12:31 AM   #13
Sran
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Re: Federation Versus The Romulan Empire

Timo wrote: View Post
In "Unification", it provided a perfect excuse and perfect means for rounding up and eliminating forces of dissent. A popular movement that gathers various dissenters and is quite obviously treasonous is a godsend to a government wanting to control its masses, because everybody partaking can be freely executed without any destabilizing effect - the rest of the masses will cheer.
I'll accept that a portion of the masses will cheer, but everyone? The problem with Trek is that we're never clearly shown what the average Romulan citizen thinks of its government. I think it's reasonable to assume that younger generations would see things differently than their elders (this seems to be the case in every civilization), but I have no idea who trusts the government and who doesn't.

The position of officers like Toreth is clear, but her feelings are based largely on her father's death or imprisonment by the Tal Shair ("I never saw him again."). Would she feel that way if her father were still in her life?

Jarok clearly had issues with how the military was addressing matters both domestic and foreign, but what his ultimate motivation for such feelings (beyond wanting peace for his daughter) isn't clear. Was he simply tired of conflict after so many years in the military? Did something happen under his command that made him doubt his place? Or was he going to through something of a mid-life crisis (as Kirk was in TWOK) but didn't have friends or a support system to keep him centered?

I've talked about Koval a great deal (he's probably my favorite Romulan character aside from Donatra). He's clearly a patriot and wants whatever benefits his people the most, but is he truly a man with righteous motives (king and country before all else), or is he merely an arrogant and misguided individual who believes he's right only because he doesn't have enough sense to listen to anyone else? We don't see enough of his character to know for sure.

Timo wrote:
And in fact, when Shinzon sat in that hall, it was already a case of the military establishing its latest puppet - at least from the point of view of the military!
I agree. It actually explains quite well why Donatra and Suran were willing to back him. If they saw him as a way to accomplish what they couldn't by themselves, it's absolutely possible that they'd welcome the removal of the existing Senate in order to clear a path for him. Once they realized that his actions would likely doom Romulus, they elected to stop him from attacking the Federation. That Donatra was able to broker a tentative peace (or at least a truce) with Picard was an added bonus.

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Old July 10 2013, 04:53 AM   #14
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Re: Federation Versus The Romulan Empire

I want to say the Romulans would win. However I think the Romulans are more in to posturing and saber rattling instead of instigating an actual conflict. Sort of like North Korea today. They have the technology, and manpower but no one is serious enough to pull the trigger on a war. The closest attempt was when Shinzon was praetor. Donatra and other Romulans supported Shinzon's coup but got cold feet when they realized what the victory over the Federation would look like. Earth's complete annihilation by use of a biogenic weapon.

It's like they intended to rule Earth and the Federation worlds not kill them all. Makes you wonder what they were thinking when they first supported the coup. You would think casualties in the millions would be implied by the very notion of interstellar war.
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Old July 10 2013, 05:50 AM   #15
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Re: Federation Versus The Romulan Empire

AllStarEntprise wrote: View Post
I want to say the Romulans would win. However I think the Romulans are more in to posturing and saber rattling instead of instigating an actual conflict. Sort of like North Korea today. They have the technology, and manpower but no one is serious enough to pull the trigger on a war. The closest attempt was when Shinzon was praetor. Donatra and other Romulans supported Shinzon's coup but got cold feet when they realized what the victory over the Federation would look like. Earth's complete annihilation by use of a biogenic weapon.

It's like they intended to rule Earth and the Federation worlds not kill them all. Makes you wonder what they were thinking when they first supported the coup. You would think casualties in the millions would be implied by the very notion of interstellar war.
First of all, the majority of the North Korean military is outdated, its weaponry is all Soviet-era, inferior to the weaponry of its US backed neighbors. Also, its economy is weak, and would be incapable of supporting a war.

The Romulan Empire seems to be filled with internal strife, as a sustained conflict continued on, rival factions with varying opinions on a war with the Federation would take action against each other. Political instability would grind a war effort to a halt.

Also, the Federation seemed to be considered one of the three major powers in the Alpha Quadrant before the Dominion War, meaning it was militarily on par with the Klingon and Romulan Empires. It was on par, despite the fact that it maintained a fleet of antiquated vessels, more concerned with exploration than defense. After the Dominion War, the Federation's military is a lot more powerful, with newer, more war oriented vessels.

If the Federation was on par with the Romulan Empire when it was busy exploring in old ships, could it really be weaker than Romulus after radically improving its fleet?
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