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Old September 8 2013, 01:45 AM   #16
Unicron
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Re: Yesterday's Enterprise: How is the Federation Losing So Badly?

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post

Picard knows about the Romulan attack in the prime timeline, but not in the new one. It's likely that the Romulans were in the process of forging an alliance with the Federation at the time, aggravating the relatively peaceful relations with the Klingons. A squad of Romulan warships slaughtering a Federation starship would have torpedoed (literally) any such alliance and resulted in the Klingons cozying up to the Federation in an "enemy of my enemy" sort of relationship. But if nobody knows the Romulans killed the Enterprise, that alliance might have finally come to pass.

20 years ago, that would have cleared the way for a Romulan invasion of the Klingon Empire (of which the Khitomer Massacre would have been merely an opening move). Hard to say where that goes after twenty years, but it seems evident that the Klingons not only survived the Romulan invasion, they recovered enough that they are now seeking revenge against anyone and everyone who ever supported the Romulans in any way shape or form. It's likely that most of that war involved the Federation and the Romulans teaming up against an increasingly powerful Klingon military; the current "downfall" stage of the war is a consequence of the Klingons finally overcoming the Romulan empire, glassing Romulus and then turning to the Federation saying "And now it's YOUR turn!"
This is an interesting idea, and one I hadn't thought about much before. Perhaps the Romulans weren't necessarily conquered, but did bow out when they felt there was little chance of winning (or if the Klingons gave them a reason to do so). I'd also agree with Praetor that we don't know if the war lasted a full twenty years or so, though I'd wager it did last a good length of time for the Federation to have lost so much by 2366.

Also, I'm pretty sure that Deanna Troi was part of the Enterprise crew when it was first commissioned. She was killed by Armus on Vagra-II in an attempt to get an emotional rise out of the Enterprise rescue team (Deanna, being the only person on the entire crew with a high regard for sentient life).
I'd respectfully disagree here. While this is certainly one possibility in the alternate timeline, I think it's more plausible that the Enterprise crew never performed some of the same missions and never visited Vagra II because Troi's shuttle was never there. She could be anywhere in the alternate Federation, and I think this fits better with the presence of the alternate Yar (whose counterpart was killed by Armus in the main timeline, but not here) and some of her statements about serving on the Enterprise.
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Old September 8 2013, 01:58 AM   #17
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Re: Yesterday's Enterprise: How is the Federation Losing So Badly?

Deanna being dead might go a good way to also explaining Picard and Riker's....rocky....relationship.

We all know that in every timeline that Riker is a bitter asshole, it's probably because Deanna died at some point or wasn't around.
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Old September 8 2013, 02:39 AM   #18
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Re: Yesterday's Enterprise: How is the Federation Losing So Badly?

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
If you examine the US Navy's ship force levels after the end of the Cold War you'll find that the navy downsized from 500+ to 300+. During the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis the navy had nearly 900 active ships. During WW2, 6000+.

So if you can imagine Starfleet having to deal with hostile Klingons for 70 years then going to a peace-time stance there is plenty of opportunity at that point to retire most of their military ships and downsize to just exploration and science oriented ships. With fewer ships you get the "overstretched and overreached" Starfleet in TNG trying to police their own space.

The other thing to also consider is with a changed Starfleet comes changed training priorities. As Riker put it in "Peak Performance", combat training isn't high on their priorities:
RIKER: I prefer brains over brawn as well. I think it's a waste of effort to test our combat skills. It's a minor province in the make-up of a starship captain.
And this is proven when Riker while in charge of the E-D gets defeated by two BOPs run by Ferengis. IIRC, even Odo makes fun of this.

But if you go back to the Klingons we know that they have very long lives. Kor, Kang and Koloth and all their generation of warriors would've been able to contribute to battling the Federation whereas Starfleet would be in a scramble to train up new warriors.
Starting with the longevity.

We know that humans aren't exactly the longest lived members of the Federation by a long chalk, with several species that live substantially longer lives. Vulcans at least live into their third century if they don't get sick with odd strange illnesses, and there's a bunch of other species that have longer lifespans. For that matter it's evidently not at all extraordinary for human Starfleet officers to be in service as centenarians. I don't think it's at all likely for them to have much trouble coming up with trained warriors, especially when there's several Starfleet member planets with strong military traditions like the Andorians.

Second, US Navy Force levels between the Cold War and modern USN aren't particularly helpful when you look at the composition of the ships employed. A modern DDG could wipe the floor with a squadron of Cuban Missile Crisis era frigates and destroyers, or cruisers for that matter. While downsizing was very real, if you note how the force composition changes the difference between 89 and the late 90s boils down to:
  • Removing all the battleships from service.
  • Decommissioning CGNs and CGs in favor of newer aegis equipped DDGs as their refueling cycles or SLEP cycles came up. (Decommissioning of Belknap and the 3 CGN classes that were well into their third decade of service and replacing them with more capable DDG-51s)
  • Significant reduciton in the number of auxiliary ships.
  • Reduction in number of lower performing ships like FFs (like the Knox-class) in favor of increasing proportions of more Burke-class DDGs.

In Starfleet terms it might mean that after the Khitomer Accords, Starfleet demobilized a significant portion of its less useful/flexible ships in favor of ramping up construction of more capable and flexible cruisers. This would coincide with a huge building program of Excelsior and Miranda class ships filling in for all the FASA and FJ auxiliaries and ships of dubious utility.

Also re: Rascals, we know the scenes used for that episode were reuses of the Klingon K'vorts attacking the Enterprise-D in Yesterday's Enterprise, so perhaps those were the very big warship type BoPs retrofitted with more advanced weaponry. Combined with the fact that the klingons are ostensibly allies, and they were in the middle of a delicate rescue operation I'd imagine it's not really Riker's fault that they were caught flatfooted. We know at least that Riker's presence (and tactical acumen?) were considered so vital by Q that he claims no William Riker would have led to no Federation after Wolf 359, and he seemed to have no trouble outmaneuvering the So'na. (The latter granted after a bunch of years of war)

Further in hand to hand combat Starfleet officers seemed more than capable of holding their own against Klingons circa 2370 (Way of the Warrior), so I don't think the "they let their military training lapse" thing really works as a reason.
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Old September 8 2013, 04:12 PM   #19
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Re: Yesterday's Enterprise: How is the Federation Losing So Badly?

I'm going to start back again with numbers.

Nob Akimoto wrote: View Post
Second, US Navy Force levels between the Cold War and modern USN aren't particularly helpful when you look at the composition of the ships employed.
To me it's more a numbers game. If we kept up the same number of ships from the Cold War and continued to upgrade them, we'd have more capable ships today. Instead we have far fewer ships and that means we're less able to absorb losses if we were to be involved in a war.

Nob Akimoto wrote: View Post
A modern DDG could wipe the floor with a squadron of Cuban Missile Crisis era frigates and destroyers, or cruisers for that matter.
Ah but I'm not talking about old vs new. I'm talking about numbers of ships. (And to your argument, "A modern DDG could wipe the floor with a squadron of older ships" but a squadron of modern DDGs will wipe the floor with a squadron of older ships.)

Nob Akimoto wrote: View Post
In Starfleet terms it might mean that after the Khitomer Accords, Starfleet demobilized a significant portion of its less useful/flexible ships in favor of ramping up construction of more capable and flexible cruisers. This would coincide with a huge building program of Excelsior and Miranda class ships filling in for all the FASA and FJ auxiliaries and ships of dubious utility.
A significant portion being mothballed could mean leaving behind a majority of ships not optimized for combat stuck being used for wartime needs during the war in "Yesterday's Enterprise".

Nob Akimoto wrote: View Post
Also re: Rascals, we know the scenes used for that episode were reuses of the Klingon K'vorts attacking the Enterprise-D in Yesterday's Enterprise, so perhaps those were the very big warship type BoPs retrofitted with more advanced weaponry. Combined with the fact that the klingons are ostensibly allies, and they were in the middle of a delicate rescue operation I'd imagine it's not really Riker's fault that they were caught flatfooted.
My assumption has always been those BOPs had modern weaponry. The problem is that Riker was not caught flatfooted. If you watch the episode, he takes an inexplicably long time to order the ship to return fire and his combat performance was underwhelming in that battle.

Nob Akimoto wrote: View Post
We know at least that Riker's presence (and tactical acumen?) were considered so vital by Q that he claims no William Riker would have led to no Federation after Wolf 359,
I think Riker's required presence was more from his unconventional thinking that lead to decisions that helped to stop the Borg. That's handy when it's not a conventional war but his conventional fighting record isn't so good.

edit: Although we do see in "Parallels" where there was an E-D and a scraggly William Riker and the Borg had won. So Q might not have been 100% right.

Nob Akimoto wrote: View Post
and he seemed to have no trouble outmaneuvering the So'na. (The latter granted after a bunch of years of war)
The battle with the So'na and to the same extent with the Ferengi BOPs resulted in a badly damaged Enterprise requiring him to resort to unconventional tactics to survive. I'd argue that if he was a better combat captain his wins would've came earlier and less damage to his ship.

Nob Akimoto wrote: View Post
Further in hand to hand combat Starfleet officers seemed more than capable of holding their own against Klingons circa 2370 (Way of the Warrior), so I don't think the "they let their military training lapse" thing really works as a reason.
"Way of the Warrior" came a couple of years after "Peak Performance" which would indicate Starfleet recognizing their lack of combat readiness and attempting to improve upon it through additional training. It would make sense that by "Way of the Warrior" we should see some competent Starfleet officers in hand-to-hand combat.

But let's go back to "Yesterday's Enterprise." I found wartime Picard's combat curiously bad as well. He didn't attempt to reduce the number of enemy ships prior to them closing to point-blank range. He spent alot of time giving directional orders when he should've just ordered "phasers and torpedoes, continuous fire". Compare that to fire everything and keep firing until you're empty Picard in "Nemesis". To me it points to a different training experience (or lack of) for the "Yesterday's Enterprise" Picard.

Now back to longevity.

Nob Akimoto wrote: View Post
Starting with the longevity.

We know that humans aren't exactly the longest lived members of the Federation by a long chalk, with several species that live substantially longer lives. Vulcans at least live into their third century if they don't get sick with odd strange illnesses, and there's a bunch of other species that have longer lifespans. For that matter it's evidently not at all extraordinary for human Starfleet officers to be in service as centenarians. I don't think it's at all likely for them to have much trouble coming up with trained warriors, especially when there's several Starfleet member planets with strong military traditions like the Andorians.
You make good points with the Vulcans and Andorians but did you consider that they would only makeup a small portion of Starfleet? A low percentage of experienced, combat-oriented crews for Starfleet vs the entire combat-oriented Klingon crews of the Klingon navy.

Although there are references to the Tzenkathi and Cardassian conflicts, they just don't seem to have motivated Starfleet like "Q Who?" did or as Picard put it, "Well, perhaps what we most needed was a kick in our complacency, to prepare us ready for what lies ahead."

I don't think you can discount numbers and experience and that can go a long way in explaining why Starfleet was losing so badly in "Yesterday's Enterprise", IMHO.

Last edited by blssdwlf; September 8 2013 at 04:30 PM.
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Old September 8 2013, 05:31 PM   #20
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Re: Yesterday's Enterprise: How is the Federation Losing So Badly?

blssdwlf, fully agree with much of what you said, particularly this:

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
Ah but I'm not talking about old vs new. I'm talking about numbers of ships. (And to your argument, "A modern DDG could wipe the floor with a squadron of older ships" but a squadron of modern DDGs will wipe the floor with a squadron of older ships.)
On the latter, this is how I've always thought about the effectiveness of the Miranda class, particularly in her 23rd century heyday. She's got a lot of weapons emplacements, but odds are being smaller she's probably not quite as powerful as the Constitution. Still, even in the 24th century, a swarm of them could surely take down a bigger ship.
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Old September 9 2013, 06:13 PM   #21
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Re: Yesterday's Enterprise: How is the Federation Losing So Badly?

To me it's more a numbers game. If we kept up the same number of ships from the Cold War and continued to upgrade them, we'd have more capable ships today. Instead we have far fewer ships and that means we're less able to absorb losses if we were to be involved in a war.

Ah but I'm not talking about old vs new. I'm talking about numbers of ships. (And to your argument, "A modern DDG could wipe the floor with a squadron of older ships" but a squadron of modern DDGs will wipe the floor with a squadron of older ships.)
On both of these, the problem you encounter is one of scarcity.

While the Federation is a post personal scarcity society (at least in some sense, given the marginal cost of energy is near 0 with cheap fusion), it's clear that there's bottlenecks in everything from ship power sources (dilithium) to physical locations to build ships to trained personnel.

So for any given amount of resources you can focus on building more capable ships or a greater number of them.

There's a reason why naval treaties focused on tonnage rather than other measures like budgets or unit numbers. The displacement of individual ships was perhaps the greatest single determinant of their capabilities. The Washington and London treaties helped keep a tight rein on battleship displacement and capabilities until they were abrogated, and once the treaties were done away with, the size and capabilities of battleships ballooned to about half again the size as the older ones.

The numbers game can be effective, but only if you have a nigh infinite naval budget and a substantial commitment that can't be covered any other way. Either way it's a great way to commit yourself to budgetary overstretch. In constant dollar terms, it's easy to forget that the DoD budget hasn't changed all that much from the Cold War era (and since the War on Terror has increased). A modern destroyer displaces as much a Cold War era cruiser with substantially better capabilities. It also has about half the crew. Maintaining numbers would always have some sort of penalty, whether in capabilities or budgets. Now given that there's plenty of resistance of a trillion dollar defense budget, I highly doubt you'd get enough votes if you decided the DOD budget needed to be closer to 30% of GDP than 10%.

Same would go for Starfleet. They have limitations, though mostly in terms of ship building/refitting capabilities (number of shipyards, slips, etc) and crew. So once the need for keeping sheer numbers around to cover every cubic lightyear of space available became lower, they'd probably shift toward getting more bang per buck.

For example, the Hermes and Saladin classes had crew complements of about 195-200. By contrast a Miranda's complement was about 350. So for every 3 Mirandas you could crew 5 of the scouts/destroyers. From a war time point of view, having 5 ships to send to 5 different sectors is attractive. From a more peace oriented view, you'd rather have the 3 much more capable and flexible cruisers wandering around. I'm guessing what happened in the post-Khitomer era was that Starfleet decided on ships that were most efficient from a capability for crew complement perspective. Hence they could build larger numbers of Mirandas, replaced Constitutions with Excelsiors and the like. (You could crew 2 Excelsiors for every 3 Constitutions, and from a tonnage point of view, you get a lot more ship from 2 Excelsiors than 3 Constitutions)
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Old September 9 2013, 08:21 PM   #22
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Re: Yesterday's Enterprise: How is the Federation Losing So Badly?

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
blssdwlf wrote: View Post
It could be also because the military arm of Starfleet was retired after The Undiscovered Country
It wasn't. Stop saying that.
It was. Stop trying to claim otherwise unless you've got proof.
There's no proof that it was in the first place other than the snark of one alarmist officer (and one murderous traitor) who doesn't know what she's talking about.

So no, the military assets of the fleet were NOT dismantled after TUC. Epsilon Nine and its sisters possibly were, as was (probably) Space Station K-7. Their military value would have been dubious anyway, but it gave the Klingons an excuse to transfer their resources to things OTHER than military spending.
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Old September 9 2013, 08:35 PM   #23
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Re: Yesterday's Enterprise: How is the Federation Losing So Badly?

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
blssdwlf wrote: View Post
Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
It wasn't. Stop saying that.
It was. Stop trying to claim otherwise unless you've got proof.
There's no proof that it was in the first place other than the snark of one alarmist officer (and one murderous traitor) who doesn't know what she's talking about.

So no, the military assets of the fleet were NOT dismantled after TUC. Epsilon Nine and its sisters possibly were, as was (probably) Space Station K-7. Their military value would have been dubious anyway, but it gave the Klingons an excuse to transfer their resources to things OTHER than military spending.
I agree on this one, but I'm also thinking that Starfleet did get an opportunity to pull ships off the frontlines that they would've otherwise kept deployed and replaced them with more effective or more efficient ships. Hence we see the huge proliferation of Mirandas and Excelsiors.
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Old September 9 2013, 09:31 PM   #24
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Re: Yesterday's Enterprise: How is the Federation Losing So Badly?

Good point, but there does appear to be something significant or special about the Mirandas and Excelsiors, insofar at least that we see more volumes of them than almost any other class of ship, over a longer span of time.
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Old September 9 2013, 11:31 PM   #25
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Re: Yesterday's Enterprise: How is the Federation Losing So Badly?

Well, let's assume a greatly simplified fleet composition for a moment.
In 2280 Starfleet has:
15 Constitutions w/complement of 500
35 Mirandas w/complement of 350
40 Soyuz w/complement of 300
75 Saladins w/complement of 200
75 Hermes w/complement of 195
For a total of 240 ships, and 61,375 personnel.

Starfleet decides that the Soyuz-class no longer fits their needs, and feel they need more ships to cover a larger number of sectors from Romulans and Klingons. So they mothball the 40 ships of that class, in favor of building more ships. They have the capacity to build all new ships, with a total of 60 ships needed over the next ten years (so 6 ships per year) and in 2290 they get:
20 Constitutions w/complement of 500
40 Mirandas w/complement of 350
100 Saladins w/complement of 200
100 Hermes w/complement of 195
For a total of 260 ships and 63,500 personnel.

Khitomer accords happens, Federation Council tells Starfleet that they can keep their current personnel counts, but that they won't get new shipyards or a budget increase for say the next 20 years. Starfleet's equivalent of the Admiralty Board then decides it'll mothball/decommission everything but Miranda-cruisers and bigger, badder Excelsior-class explorers. Since they don't get an increase in personnel numbers and they still have to deal with 6 ships per year, they start the slow process by building 4 new Mirandas and 2 new Excelsiors per year. So over the next 20 years they do exactly that and accounting for losses and the like they end up in 2310 with:
31 Excelsiors w/complement of 750
115 Mirandas w/complement of 350
Total Ships: 146, Personnel: 63,500

Now at this point the Federation Council says: "Well hey guys, we now have a lot more space to cover thanks to your exploratory efforts and we have a bigger budget, we can let you double the size of your fleet and shipyard capacity." Given the realities that Starfleet has a very large number of both Excelsior and Miranda-class ships about (and their supply chain/maintenance chain is biased very strongly in favor of those ships), they decide to maintain those as the mainline ships (with substantial modernization of course) for the time being while expanding their shipyard capability and building 8 Mirandas and 4 Excelsiors per year until 2320.
Accounting for losses we'd see a simplified fleet of something like:
175 Mirandas
60 Excelsiors
Total: 235 ships, Personnel: 106,250

Now by 2320s, Starfleet now has no more Romulans to deal with, they're richer than ever, but see that the Klingon Empire is starting to make noises again. As a show of force they start building new modern ships based on new technologies while retrofitting older ships with service life extensions/refurbishments. So about 2/3rd of their shipyard capability is taken up with repairing/upgrading their old ships (which can do this in 6 months) vs. the remaining capability used for building new ships. Half of the capability is used to build modernized Excelsiors and Mirandas in alternating years while the other half build brand new Ambassador-class ships which require 2 years to build vs the previous 1 year build-up. From 2320 to 2330 then (and assuming some losses) Starfleet changes to become:
165 Mirandas
60 Excelsiors
10 Ambassador
Total: 235 ships, Personnel: 111,750

You can continue a process of this sort well into the 2360s where you eventually end up with just 6 Galaxy-class ships being built in the 2350s, explaining why you see so many Mirandas and Excelsiors around. By building up such a huge store of them at some point in the 2290 - 2310s, Starfleet must've had a vested interest in continuing to develop technology/modules for them to upgrade with.
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Old September 10 2013, 02:06 AM   #26
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Re: Yesterday's Enterprise: How is the Federation Losing So Badly?

Say, that's pretty good. I'd up the numbers by maybe 2 or 3x, though, mostly because to me DS9 implied higher numbers.
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Old September 10 2013, 02:18 AM   #27
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Re: Yesterday's Enterprise: How is the Federation Losing So Badly?

I was using smaller numbers to be easy to keep track of. I'd probably increase the sheer numbers by 10x or so (maybe more given what we've seen of things like Utopia Planitia) as well as increase the number of classes being produced at various stages. In fact, I might even take a stab at it at some point.

But I think the general point stands.
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Old September 10 2013, 02:19 AM   #28
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Re: Yesterday's Enterprise: How is the Federation Losing So Badly?

Ah, then I definitely agree, as that was my only real reservation.
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Old September 10 2013, 02:31 AM   #29
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Re: Yesterday's Enterprise: How is the Federation Losing So Badly?

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
blssdwlf wrote: View Post
Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
It wasn't. Stop saying that.
It was. Stop trying to claim otherwise unless you've got proof.
There's no proof that it was in the first place other than the snark of one alarmist officer (and one murderous traitor) who doesn't know what she's talking about.
What are you talking about? Neither one of the two in the conversation had anything to do with the conspiracy AND the guy answering the question would be in the best position to answer the question.
MILITARY AIDE: Bill, are we talking about mothballing the Starfleet?
C in C: I'm sure that our exploration and scientific programs would be unaffected, Captain, but...
You still have no proof.
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Old September 10 2013, 04:25 AM   #30
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Re: Yesterday's Enterprise: How is the Federation Losing So Badly?

Unicron wrote: View Post
Also, I'm pretty sure that Deanna Troi was part of the Enterprise crew when it was first commissioned. She was killed by Armus on Vagra-II in an attempt to get an emotional rise out of the Enterprise rescue team (Deanna, being the only person on the entire crew with a high regard for sentient life).
I'd respectfully disagree here. While this is certainly one possibility in the alternate timeline, I think it's more plausible that the Enterprise crew never performed some of the same missions and never visited Vagra II because Troi's shuttle was never there. She could be anywhere in the alternate Federation
They ALL could be anywhere in the alternate Federation, but for some reason they're all on the Enterprise just as before. The only one missing is Worf, while everyone else -- even Guinan -- are on the Enterprise exactly where we'd expect them to be.

Their missions might be different, but Scifi logic means the parallels would be preserved. Troi's shuttle mission might reflect the fact that in the alternate timeline the Betazeds are considered expert infiltrators and intelligence operatives due to their empathy and telepathy; in this case, Troi is coming back from an FOB where she helped interrogate a captured Klingon officer and extracted some valuable information from him before the shuttle crashed and Arnus killed her.

Significantly, it explains why Tasha is on the Enterprise and Troi is not. It isn't that Tasha was died killed on Vagra-II, it's the Tasha wasn't the THE ONE who died on Vagra-II.
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