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Old May 15 2014, 01:10 PM   #16
Timo
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Re: How are the various torpedoes scaled?

The one criterion for Chang's torps was that they need to look exactly like Starfleet torpedoes in action. And not any generic Starfleet torpedoes, but Starfleet torpedoes set to a yield that will knock out gravity aboard Kronos 1 without destroying the Klingon ship outright.

It appears that Chang knew that Cartwright was in on the conspiracy and vice versa (and Cartwright's cohorts seemed to know about the Romulans, too, although we don't know if Chang's did). Clearly, the two sides thought that they could and should cooperate in a plot that would launch a war in which they could then gain the upper hand from their opponent. So it makes sense that Cartwright would sell Chang the genuine-looking Starfleet weapons, while making sure they were no better than they absolutely needed to be, ie. the low yield setting only...

Basically, then, Chang was an assassin armed with a Derringer, and needed to use the only weapon in his disposal in order to bring down the assault rifle -toting, flak jacket -donning Kirk. Obviously, it would be slow work.

...But if Kirk realized that, he'd gain the upper hand pretty quickly. So Chang cleverly put on a madman act, pretending to go for a slow kill because he "was a sadist"!

The torpedoes from Chang's ship was comparable to the Reliant's torpedoes striking the Enterprise in TWoK.
But Khan was firing to wound, not to kill. So his torps would be low yield, too. Except in the nebula, but there he failed to score any hits.

I just think it was easier to fire torpedoes whilst cloaked compared in pure power consumption reasons and that compared to using disruptors which would not look right on screen.
I don't know about looks, and the "disguising the launch point" thing was dependent on Kirk's reaction time which was so slow that it should have allowed for disruptor use, too.

But I can buy the energy requirements argument; a loaded torp might require and emit fairly little energy, whereas active disruptors let alone active shields would glow through the cloak all too easily, making the firing cycle agonizingly slow: decloak, turn on guns, wait for guns to heat up, fire guns, cloak again, as opposed to the decloak, fire torp, cloak again that we saw happen (in practice, that is; firing the torp resulted in a light show that was as good as brief decloaking). The alternative would be to have ineffective cloaking all the time, due to the hot and shining dirsuptor coils.


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Old May 16 2014, 01:09 AM   #17
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Re: How are the various torpedoes scaled?

Are there a lot of established differences between Fed and Klingon torpedoes? My impression is that in terms of the basic photon torpedo, many sources seem to assume they're similar or practically identical. The TUC novelization suggests that the Enterprise torpedo system generates a neutrino surge when it's active, implying that when Gorkon's ship was attacked the conspirators might have been able to access it.
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Old May 16 2014, 01:59 PM   #18
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Re: How are the various torpedoes scaled?

Not that I know of prior to TUC. The neutron radiation surge in the movie was so big "it could be only produced by another ship" but there wasn't any implication that it was related to torpedo firing. (They talked about whether it came from Gorkon's battlecruiser but at that time they were too far away and their torpedo system wasn't powered up to fire.)

The only things shown in TOS and the TOS Movies was that Klingon and Enterprise torpedoes in S1/S2 were fairly weak against a shielded Enterprise (360 Enterprise torpedoes to bring down her shields according to "The Changeling" and the Klingon torpedoes in "Errand of Mercy" hit the ship multiple times but the shields were not a concern.) On the other hand, in S3 "Elaan of Troyius", half a dozen Enterprise torpedoes heavily damaged a shielded Klingon battlecruiser. And by TUC, a dozen torpedoes from Chang's BOP brought the Enterprise's shields down.

So back to the OP's question, the relative strengths depend on what timeframe since weapon and shield tech progresses could change how effective they were against each other. Against unshielded objects you could probably assume all the torpedoes were capable of doing demolition work. IMHO
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Old May 16 2014, 04:26 PM   #19
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Re: How are the various torpedoes scaled?

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
Against unshielded objects you could probably assume all the torpedoes were capable of doing demolition work. IMHO
Right. And transphasics should be even slightly worse than that, because they float right through shield and hull to detonate somewhere in the middle of the ship. So the shields of the target ship might even act to hold in and concentrate the destructive force released by a transphasic torpedo. At least, until the shield emitters and the equipment they draw power from get plowed by said force.
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Old May 17 2014, 10:22 AM   #20
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Re: How are the various torpedoes scaled?

Unicron wrote: View Post
Are there a lot of established differences between Fed and Klingon torpedoes? My impression is that in terms of the basic photon torpedo, many sources seem to assume they're similar or practically identical. The TUC novelization suggests that the Enterprise torpedo system generates a neutrino surge when it's active, implying that when Gorkon's ship was attacked the conspirators might have been able to access it.
The first time the NX-01 crew heard "photon torpedo" it was on board a Klingon Raptor-class ship in "Sleeping Dogs". Come season 3, the Enterprise is armed with them. Me thinks they ripped them off from the Klingons.
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Old May 17 2014, 04:09 PM   #21
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Re: How are the various torpedoes scaled?

^^ Sorry, sounds to me like like another retcon maneuver.

It's inconclusive whether the "blast damage" in "Errand of Mercy" was inflicted by photon torpedos. The Klingon Battlecruiser weaponry TOS featured were disruptors, torpedos didn't show up until TAS and/or TMP.

If you actually compare the size of the torpedo launchers in TMP, it looks like the opening in the TOS Battlecruiser's bow originally contained a sensor-deflector.

I'm pretty sure that was the original intention.

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Old May 17 2014, 08:05 PM   #22
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Re: How are the various torpedoes scaled?

360 Enterprise torpedoes to bring down her shields according to "The Changeling" and the Klingon torpedoes in "Errand of Mercy" hit the ship multiple times but the shields were not a concern.
I'd argue that "shields not a concern" means "shields not effective" - half a dozen Klingon torps slamming into the saucer caused hull buckling because the shields didn't stop them from doing so. "Errand of Mercy" thus should count as evidence for strong Klingon torpedoes (or whatever those unspecified balls of light were, but I see no good reason to assume anything but photon torpedoes).

In retrospect, it would make the best sense to assume that this attack was by a vessel comparable to the Bird of Prey or the Raptor. That is, a very small ship with heavy torpedo armament and a cloaking device - explaining how she can surprise our heroes, inflict damage, and be immediately destroyed by return fire. The classic WWI or WWII torpedo-boat-against-cruiser(-at-night) battle there... With overtones of the Cold War, where a Soviet sub would invisibly shadow a western ship in peacetime and try to sink her the very moment war is declared.

The first time the NX-01 crew heard "photon torpedo" it was on board a Klingon Raptor-class ship in "Sleeping Dogs". Come season 3, the Enterprise is armed with them. Me thinks they ripped them off from the Klingons.
Or then they just stole the name, and slapped that onto their own antimatter torpedoes because they don't want to sound like hicks when discussing hardware with other starfaring cultures.

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Old May 17 2014, 09:47 PM   #23
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Re: How are the various torpedoes scaled?

Timo wrote: View Post
I'd argue that "shields not a concern" means "shields not effective" - half a dozen Klingon torps slamming into the saucer caused hull buckling because the shields didn't stop them from doing so. "Errand of Mercy" thus should count as evidence for strong Klingon torpedoes (or whatever those unspecified balls of light were, but I see no good reason to assume anything but photon torpedoes).
How would they be "strong" torpedoes when the shields were never brought down? The amount of damage was "minor" and when you compare it to other attacks of significant power where systems were knocked out those 6 or 7 Klingon torpedoes were very weak.
KIRK: All hands, maintain general alert. Hold battle stations. Damage report, Mister Spock.
SPOCK: Minor, Captain. We were most fortunate. Blast damage in decks ten and eleven, minor buckling in the antimatter pods, casualties very light.
Compare that to the S3 Enterprise torpedoes where 5 or 6 took down a battlecruiser's shields and caused damage:
SULU: Direct hit amidships by photon torpedo.
SPOCK: Damage to Klingon number three shield. Number four shield obliterated. Loss of manoeuvre power.
CHEKOV: He's badly damaged, Captain. Continuing away at reduced speed.
As far as the Klingon torpedoes in "Errand of Mercy", they were never identified as "photon torpedoes". Kirk blurts out "magnetic pulses" or something like that but that's it. Still, those could be "photon torpedoes" but we'll never know for sure. And we're never told of what kind of Klingon ship this was. Given how easily a Klingon Battlecruiser was damaged by photon torpedoes in "Elaan of Troyius" the more powerful phasers would've been more lethal in this situation so the "Errand of Mercy" ship could've been anything from a small scout or destroyer to a cruiser. Cloak need not apply if the ship opened fired as soon as it warped into sensor and firing range.
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Old May 18 2014, 09:41 AM   #24
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Re: How are the various torpedoes scaled?

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
^^ Sorry, sounds to me like like another retcon maneuver.

It's inconclusive whether the "blast damage" in "Errand of Mercy" was inflicted by photon torpedos. The Klingon Battlecruiser weaponry TOS featured were disruptors, torpedos didn't show up until TAS and/or TMP.

If you actually compare the size of the torpedo launchers in TMP, it looks like the opening in the TOS Battlecruiser's bow originally contained a sensor-deflector.

I'm pretty sure that was the original intention.

Bob
Photon torpedoes themselves are a retcon. Originally they were "proximity blast" mode on phasers, remember?
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Old May 18 2014, 02:10 PM   #25
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Re: How are the various torpedoes scaled?

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
Photon torpedoes themselves are a retcon. Originally they were "proximity blast" mode on phasers, remember?
Nah. We see in "The Adversary" phasers set to fire "expanding energy pulses" that look like "proximity blast" phaser fire.
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Old May 18 2014, 07:59 PM   #26
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Re: How are the various torpedoes scaled?

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
How would they be "strong" torpedoes when the shields were never brought down?
But shields were brought down: they failed to protect the ship. That they bounced back up, pretending that nothing had happened, is what shields usually do.

The amount of damage was "minor" and when you compare it to other attacks of significant power where systems were knocked out those 6 or 7 Klingon torpedoes were very weak.
KIRK: All hands, maintain general alert. Hold battle stations. Damage report, Mister Spock.
SPOCK: Minor, Captain. We were most fortunate. Blast damage in decks ten and eleven, minor buckling in the antimatter pods, casualties very light.
Compare that to the S3 Enterprise torpedoes where 5 or 6 took down a battlecruiser's shields and caused damage:
I'd rather say that Spock's emotional rambling about "fortune" is evidence enough that the heroes avoided death by the narrowest of margins: had the antimatter pods buckled more than that, there'd be no starship left to do a damage assessment on.

As far as the Klingon torpedoes in "Errand of Mercy", they were never identified as "photon torpedoes". Kirk blurts out "magnetic pulses" or something like that but that's it. Still, those could be "photon torpedoes" but we'll never know for sure.
Right. But the VFX was that of photon torpedoes, so I say it's fairly logical to go with that, and a bit convoluted to go with something else.

Although "magnetic pulses" (as a name of a weapon, or as an observed effect thereof) would also go nicely with Kruge's green torpedoes, which caused minor charring (perhaps "buckling", too) but major "systems effects" including sparkles and loss of control over various weapons and other systems.

And we're never told of what kind of Klingon ship this was. Given how easily a Klingon Battlecruiser was damaged by photon torpedoes in "Elaan of Troyius" the more powerful phasers would've been more lethal in this situation so the "Errand of Mercy" ship could've been anything from a small scout or destroyer to a cruiser. Cloak need not apply if the ship opened fired as soon as it warped into sensor and firing range.
But a cloak is compatible with overall continuity, and makes our heroes look less incompetent. The ship supposedly was prepared for battle, as full-scale war was imminent, and in the general case the heroes were capable of observing the approach of an enemy vessel from afar.

Agreed that this could have been almost any sort of an adversary. But the smaller, the better - not merely in tactical terms, but in dramatic ones, as Kirk then kills fewer people in the episode. Plus, it's better for the Klingons to remain a threat overall: defeat of a small ship would not mean Kirk can walk over all Klingon opponents with ease. Etc.

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Old May 19 2014, 04:09 AM   #27
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Re: How are the various torpedoes scaled?

Timo wrote: View Post
blssdwlf wrote: View Post
How would they be "strong" torpedoes when the shields were never brought down?
But shields were brought down: they failed to protect the ship. That they bounced back up, pretending that nothing had happened, is what shields usually do.
That requires a bit of creative license since that wasn't depicted in the episode, don't you think? At no point were the shields said to be strained or that they went down.

Timo wrote: View Post
The amount of damage was "minor" and when you compare it to other attacks of significant power where systems were knocked out those 6 or 7 Klingon torpedoes were very weak.
KIRK: All hands, maintain general alert. Hold battle stations. Damage report, Mister Spock.
SPOCK: Minor, Captain. We were most fortunate. Blast damage in decks ten and eleven, minor buckling in the antimatter pods, casualties very light.
Compare that to the S3 Enterprise torpedoes where 5 or 6 took down a battlecruiser's shields and caused damage:
I'd rather say that Spock's emotional rambling about "fortune" is evidence enough that the heroes avoided death by the narrowest of margins: had the antimatter pods buckled more than that, there'd be no starship left to do a damage assessment on.
Of course that simply might have been that the Klingon torpedoes struck near the warp nacelles or the torpedo bays or that the shields fortunately came on before the first hit landed.

Timo wrote: View Post
As far as the Klingon torpedoes in "Errand of Mercy", they were never identified as "photon torpedoes". Kirk blurts out "magnetic pulses" or something like that but that's it. Still, those could be "photon torpedoes" but we'll never know for sure.
Right. But the VFX was that of photon torpedoes, so I say it's fairly logical to go with that, and a bit convoluted to go with something else.
Hold up there. The original VFX showed a energy ball hitting the saucer. Has there been any TOS episode that named those as "photon torpedoes"?

Timo wrote: View Post
Although "magnetic pulses" (as a name of a weapon, or as an observed effect thereof) would also go nicely with Kruge's green torpedoes, which caused minor charring (perhaps "buckling", too) but major "systems effects" including sparkles and loss of control over various weapons and other systems.
Speaking of other torpedoes, 8 other Klingon ships (Kor's task force) attacked the Enterprise in orbit and the hits we see on the Enterprise caused none of the shaking as the earlier attack.

Timo wrote: View Post
And we're never told of what kind of Klingon ship this was. Given how easily a Klingon Battlecruiser was damaged by photon torpedoes in "Elaan of Troyius" the more powerful phasers would've been more lethal in this situation so the "Errand of Mercy" ship could've been anything from a small scout or destroyer to a cruiser. Cloak need not apply if the ship opened fired as soon as it warped into sensor and firing range.
But a cloak is compatible with overall continuity, and makes our heroes look less incompetent.
If you're bringing up overall continuity then a cloaked attack isn't compatible at all since a cloaked ship decloaks and attacks at point-blank range. This didn't happen because the deflectors came on as it detected the Klingon ship approaching (not said to be decloaking). That's usually for ships far away.

Timo wrote: View Post
The ship supposedly was prepared for battle, as full-scale war was imminent, and in the general case the heroes were capable of observing the approach of an enemy vessel from afar.
A ship barreling in at warp speed in TOS might give a stopped defending ship only seconds to raise shields upon detection before being fired upon. Hardly any reason to claim incompetency.

Timo wrote: View Post
Agreed that this could have been almost any sort of an adversary. But the smaller, the better - not merely in tactical terms, but in dramatic ones, as Kirk then kills fewer people in the episode. Plus, it's better for the Klingons to remain a threat overall: defeat of a small ship would not mean Kirk can walk over all Klingon opponents with ease. Etc.
That would be true except that later in the same episode the Enterprise isn't shaken by torpedo fire from Kor's eight ships. As far as Enterprise superiority over Klingon opponents, it does appear that way in TOS that no single Battlecruiser was a match for her. IMHO.
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Old May 19 2014, 11:49 AM   #28
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Re: How are the various torpedoes scaled?

That requires a bit of creative license since that wasn't depicted in the episode, don't you think?
Absolutely not. If the ship is hurt, then the shields have failed - protecting the ship is the sole job of the shields. It takes creative license to think of ways in which the shields could take a coffee break while the ship is being destroyed.

Of course that simply might have been that the Klingon torpedoes struck near the warp nacelles or the torpedo bays or that the shields fortunately came on before the first hit landed.
Indeed. But where you hit is significant in every battle, apparently, because similar levels of firepower create dissimilar effects. It's "fortunate" that the heroes sometimes manage to disable enemy weapons or engines or perhaps their shield generators, and "fortunate" if the enemy doesn't manage to do the same - but fortune enters the picture because half a dozen hits from torps, or a good one from phasers, is plenty enough to bring down the shields.

It might be like boxing with an opponent hiding behind a rubber sheet. You can pound at the sheet until your hits connect with the opponent and start causing damage, but when you stop, the sheet returns to default position, and you again have to do a series of punches to reach the opponent. Or then you can manage to hit the buckle in your opponent's harness that causes the sheet to collapse, if you are fortunate or accurate enough. (Or then you can rip the sheet itself with enough pounding, but that takes more doing than what happens in most battles.)

This could also explain our one major outlier, "The Changeling": it takes six standard photon torpedoes to punch through the shields of the hero ship and cause damage, but more than 300 to rip the shields themselves - and NOMAD aimed at the shields for some reason, rather than at the ship. Remember how much (phaser) effort it takes to collapse the shields of various superhuman opponents, whenever our heroes hope not to harm the opponents themselves but merely to make them cease and desist or possibly release their victims...

The original VFX showed a energy ball hitting the saucer. Has there been any TOS episode that named those as "photon torpedoes"?
Not quite, admittedly. It's got the looks of what the Romulans use in "The Deadly Years", but the weapons aren't identified there, either. (Sulu does say "Sir, they have fired another..", as if the firing of a single weapon were a threat - as it was in "Balance of Terror". But these balls of fire don't quite pack the punch of that original plasma weapon.)

Speaking of other torpedoes, 8 other Klingon ships (Kor's task force) attacked the Enterprise in orbit and the hits we see on the Enterprise caused none of the shaking as the earlier attack.
Then again, the Klingons previously killed 200 Organians, with nary an impact. Perhaps their massacring techniques haven't improved in the meantime?

If you're bringing up overall continuity then a cloaked attack isn't compatible at all since a cloaked ship decloaks and attacks at point-blank range. This didn't happen because the deflectors came on as it detected the Klingon ship approaching (not said to be decloaking). That's usually for ships far away.
Fair enough. Then again, shows explicitly involving "routinely" decloaking opponents no longer involve automatically raised shields, so it's a bit difficult to tell. And shields have snapped up for opponents our heroes don't recognize previously, so they might be "smarter" than the heroes, and reacting to a decloaking opponent already, after which Sulu witnesses and comments on a routine "Klingon BoP charges weapons after decloaking and then fires" grace period during which the enemy also approaches a bit.

A ship barreling in at warp speed in TOS might give a stopped defending ship only seconds to raise shields upon detection before being fired upon. Hardly any reason to claim incompetency.
If that sort of thing is possible, how can Starfleet win any wars? Or are all its other enemies incompetent, including other Klingons?

As far as Enterprise superiority over Klingon opponents, it does appear that way in TOS that no single Battlecruiser was a match for her. IMHO.
Strongly agreed; single ships either fled, or only challenged our heroes if thinking the Enterprise was disadvantaged somehow. But it might be that two of the ships would be a match, and three would be the sort of overkill that results in hands-down victories for the Klingons, which is why they and their Romulan pals favor that latter formation.

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Old May 19 2014, 02:49 PM   #29
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Re: How are the various torpedoes scaled?

Timo wrote: View Post
Not quite, admittedly. It's got the looks of what the Romulans use in "The Deadly Years", but the weapons aren't identified there, either. (Sulu does say "Sir, they have fired another..", as if the firing of a single weapon were a threat - as it was in "Balance of Terror". But these balls of fire don't quite pack the punch of that original plasma weapon.)
Well, the VFX shot from "Errand of Mercy" was reused in both "The Deadly Years" (Romulan BoP plasma energy weapon?) and in "Journey to Babel" for the Orion vessel.

In comparison most Enterprise photon torpedo visualizations were long and with or without a trail, so the above mentioned footage doesn't necessarily feature photon torpedos.

Actually, the sudden and unexpected impact in "Errand of Mercy" without forewarning, add the strange (and rather slow!) trajectory of these energy projectiles almost made these look like remote activated and magnetic mines. YMMV.

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Old May 19 2014, 06:27 PM   #30
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Re: How are the various torpedoes scaled?

Timo wrote: View Post
That requires a bit of creative license since that wasn't depicted in the episode, don't you think?
Absolutely not. If the ship is hurt, then the shields have failed - protecting the ship is the sole job of the shields. It takes creative license to think of ways in which the shields could take a coffee break while the ship is being destroyed.
The Duras Sisters would like a word with you.

Anyway, with any given description of how shields really work there's the possibility of "bleedthrough." 23rd century shields use diburnium-osmium forcefields that basically act as another layer of armor; a strong enough weapon could push some of its weapon energy through that armor to be stopped by the hull plating itself. In the 24th century they've switched to graviton bubbles, but even then, a strong enough weapon could punch some of its energy through and damage the ship even if the shields barely falter at all. They woudn't have failed in that case, they have done their job as they were designed to do. The weapon that hit them also did ITS job, which is to get some of its energy past the shields.

A ship barreling in at warp speed in TOS might give a stopped defending ship only seconds to raise shields upon detection before being fired upon. Hardly any reason to claim incompetency.
If that sort of thing is possible, how can Starfleet win any wars?
The same way the Enterprise won all of its battles in those exact circumstances: by being quick, lucky, and really damn good.
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