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Old April 1 2014, 02:18 AM   #1
killerbee256
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automated ships a good or bad idea?

Is it just me or is a mostly automated ship very bad idea, in this case a ship like in to darkness's USS Vengeance. All it would take is one boarding party to cripple the ship or in the case of the Borg take it over. Just think of it all the Borg would have to do is beam some drones over to eject nano probes into the computer core.
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Old April 1 2014, 03:01 AM   #2
The Wormhole
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Re: automated ships a good or bad idea?

killerbee256 wrote: View Post
Is it just me or is a mostly automated ship very bad idea, in this case a ship like in to darkness's USS Vengeance.
Everything about the USS Vengeance is silly in general. It's basically Admiral Marcus's flying moustache twirl.
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Old April 1 2014, 03:27 AM   #3
Mr. Laser Beam
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Re: automated ships a good or bad idea?

killerbee256 wrote: View Post
all the Borg would have to do is beam some drones over to eject nano probes into the computer core.
They can do that with any ship.

Indeed, it's more dangerous for them to attack a fully crewed one, since it will then have a ready made supply of drones...
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Old April 1 2014, 03:50 AM   #4
JirinPanthosa
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Re: automated ships a good or bad idea?

The idea of separating out huge parts of the ship is kind of silly to me. It makes much more sense to have automated detachable parts that are just mobile weapons platforms.

I suppose when you watch Star Trek you have to drink the production cool-aid that the most effective way to wage war is to use a lot of kilometer long barely maneuverable high surface area art-deco pieces with the most vulnerable areas jutting out on the sides and the command center directly on the surface.

There's no reason not to have it automated, if a raiding party can somehow get aboard and get hold of usable command codes they can control the ship whether or not it's automated. If *waves hand* designing your warships around dragging your living areas around with your combat units is a good idea, the Vengeance makes perfect sense.
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Old April 1 2014, 05:10 AM   #5
C.E. Evans
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Re: automated ships a good or bad idea?

I've always felt that all starships are generally automated, with the crew only there to supervise and maintain their operation. Only when manual override is selected does the crew genuinely have hands-on control of a ship, IMO.

I look at the Vengeance as being more of a combination weapons platform/troop transport, that you basically just point at whatever target you want to destroy. Basically a big warp-powered gun.
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Old April 1 2014, 05:45 AM   #6
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: automated ships a good or bad idea?

Yes. Yes it is a terrible idea. Some ships will have a high degree of automation, depending on its size, crew complement and design function, but would always need a decent number of men, women and others to operate it effectively.

But then again most things about STID are ridiculous.

The Wormhole wrote: View Post
Everything about the USS Vengeance is silly in general. It's basically Admiral Marcus's flying moustache twirl.
I always saw it as serious over compensation for lacking in other areas, you know, like an original plot
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Old April 1 2014, 06:47 AM   #7
Xerxes1979
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Re: automated ships a good or bad idea?

Automated ships are a good idea, especially during war. The idea that the Federation could ever lose a battle of attrition to the Dominion was ludicrous.

The M-5 already proved that it was tactically superior to a greater number of identical manned vessels and exocomps demonstrated that men are not needed to affect mechanical repairs. The only thing Starfleet was running low on was people! Send in the M-5, send in the Emergency Command Hologram.

Wasn't the Delta Flyer built on a resource starved ship in a few days? Thousands of industrial replicators must exist in the Federation. The total ship production potential must be astronomical.
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Old April 1 2014, 07:10 AM   #8
Albertese
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Re: automated ships a good or bad idea?

The Wormhole wrote: View Post
Everything about the USS Vengeance is silly in general. It's basically Admiral Marcus's flying moustache twirl.
Best.
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Ever.

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Old April 1 2014, 09:32 AM   #9
Timo
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Re: automated ships a good or bad idea?

Well, the Vengeance was not "automated" as such. It probably had a combat crew in the thousands - it was just built with enough automation that Marcus could use his mercenaries for a single noncombat sortie (that is, a sortie where there's zero chance of anybody firing back).

Crew is what you want in combat, even if it means putting lives at risk, because crew is flexible while automation even in Trek times is not. Crew can repair automation, and in extreme distress replace parts of it. Cases of automation repairing automation, or automation repairing crew, remain quite experimental in the TNG era.

As for raiding, a crewed ship is full of potential hostages. An automated ship can unleash deadly forces within for purging the raiders from her innards, without having to mind any innocent bystanders. But raiding is really an insignificant threat in Trek combat: it requires the lowering of shields, which exposes the ship to far greater risks already.

Fighting automation of the M-5 style is probably what all starships in the TNG era have as a default. The TNG ships just have a better-working on/off switch, with Worf pushing On when Picard says "Attack pattern Tango Foxtrot Lambada!" and Off when he says "Damage report" or "Suggestions" or "Hail them" or otherwise prevaricates. Full autonomy in fighting is what Starfleet would rather do without, for various reasons. But things with remote control or kill switches are okay.

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Old April 1 2014, 10:07 AM   #10
YARN
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Re: automated ships a good or bad idea?

Xerxes1979 wrote: View Post
Automated ships are a good idea, especially during war. The idea that the Federation could ever lose a battle of attrition to the Dominion was ludicrous.

The M-5 already proved that it was tactically superior to a greater number of identical manned vessels and exocomps demonstrated that men are not needed to affect mechanical repairs. The only thing Starfleet was running low on was people! Send in the M-5, send in the Emergency Command Hologram.

Wasn't the Delta Flyer built on a resource starved ship in a few days? Thousands of industrial replicators must exist in the Federation. The total ship production potential must be astronomical.
Indeed, after running the EMH long enough, he effectively became a person. Come up with the best ECH possible, and you have an indefinite number of the best "people" aboard your ships.

ECH and M5, a winning combination.

Or create a ship-size holo-emitter, and create a fleet of holo-ships!
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Old April 1 2014, 10:13 AM   #11
Robert Comsol
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Re: automated ships a good or bad idea?

Timo wrote: View Post
Cases of automation repairing automation, or automation repairing crew, remain quite experimental in the TNG era.
With the exception of the Borg, that is?!

Timo wrote: View Post
But raiding is really an insignificant threat in Trek combat: it requires the lowering of shields, which exposes the ship to far greater risks already.
However, it seemed a concern in the changed time line or parallel universe (depending on your point of view ) of "Yesterday's Enterprise". On the "Battleship" Enterprise-D many officers were apparently wearing sidearms to repel Klingon boarders (suggesting that ships were rather captured as a prize than being destroyed?).

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Old April 1 2014, 10:20 AM   #12
Timo
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Re: automated ships a good or bad idea?

Open display of personal weapons might be purely symbolic, too. Other "alternative timelines" do it a lot...

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Old April 1 2014, 10:37 AM   #13
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: automated ships a good or bad idea?

Automation is in general a way to make things easier, and it's a natural advancement of technology. It's no-brainer that Trek would embrace it. The Borg have no trouble assimilating anything, and we've seen small teams (as few as one in a couple of instances) steal or control various incarnations of the Enterprise, the Stargazer, Voyager, the Defiant and the Prometheus. I don't think anything will really be any different when it comes to starship hijacking in Trek.

As for the USS Vengeance, Daystrom was namedropped early in the movie. Presumably, his multitronic unit works in this reality (likely he imprinted the engrams of, you know, someone sane) and Starfleet's actually on the far more advanced path suggested by various TOS episodes but mostly ignored in the status-quo obsessed 24th century spin-offs.

It's all in the execution. "Message in a Bottle" did a far poorer job of executing something similar - they made the ridiculous claim that only six people in all of Starfleet knew how to fly the tactical supership USS Prometheus. It made no sense since hundreds or thousands would have been involved in the ship's design process and construction.
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Old April 1 2014, 11:53 AM   #14
Timo
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Re: automated ships a good or bad idea?

Dunno - hundreds of thousands contributed to building the Moon spacecraft, but only a handful were trained to fly them. Why would some grease monkey from Impulse Engine Development Team have competence in flying the end product?

Also, the very concept of the Prometheus appeared new, in some pretty ill-defined way. It wouldn't help that millions of people would know how to fly an aeroplane when it came to selecting one who could fly X-1 past the sound barrier.

Really, the Prometheus looks like a very plausible post-M-5 development: lots of automation, two completely uncrewed starships flying in formation with a crewed one, yet also personnel exclusively trained and dedicated to keeping the contraption under control.

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Old April 1 2014, 01:10 PM   #15
Forbin
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Re: automated ships a good or bad idea?

Are we talking fully automated ship with no crew? What would be the point of that? that's basically a space probe, and a space probe can be built MUCH smaller than any ship.
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