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Old November 10 2009, 07:50 AM   #1
Lieutenant Commander
Location: Dayton, OH
In the Dominion War...

...why didn't anyone wear camouflage? There was plenty of on-ground, on-planet fighter, yet everyone still wore their see-you-a-mile-away StarFleet uniforms.

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Old November 10 2009, 08:04 AM   #2
Location: Busan, South Korea
Re: In the Dominion War...

Maybe it was Starfleet regulations to wear the uniform over camo as camo is not part of standard uniform. You can ask the same thing about UN peacekeepers. Why on Earth do they wear camo and a BRIGHT BLUE HELMET? But, it wasn't so bad. In the Seige of -AR558 the guys were wearing the infantry uniform which is an all black shirt with a single, thin line of color determining their purpose. If they had Kirks old uniform though, it would be ridiculous. Bright Gold, Red, or Green on the entire shirt. Might as well be sitting ducks to shrouded Jem'Hadar
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Old November 10 2009, 09:33 AM   #3
Re: In the Dominion War...

Camouflage is not universally good for military action. In the days of the musket, it would have been a very bad idea to wear camouflage: you could not see where your fellow soldiers were and how they moved, and if you moved out of synch with them you were dead. Bright colors were communication. And at the ranges of the weaponry of the day, camouflage would have made no difference anyway. You couldn't hope to "sneak on the enemy" when the smallest piece of weaponry in existence was fifty muskets. Not a musket, which was useless by itself, but fifty muskets.

Is camouflage a passing fad? Could well be - as far as "main combat" is considered. Knights had no use for camouflage. Formations of swordsmen had no use for camouflage. Yet individual horsemen or individual swordsmen could and would camouflage themselves, hide and sneak, dodge and infiltrate for specific types of combat mission, outside the principal battlefield.

One might argue that in the era of tricorders, a phaser-wielding combat formation has no use for stealth because sensors have such a vast lead in the rat race. The formation is best used by emphasizing its firepower and mobility, which brings back the issue of communication; brightly colored soldiers would be no better or worse targets than jungle-colored ones to the targeting systems of the enemy phasers, but they would fight more coherently in their role of walking (and sometimes transporting) artillery.

We have never seen personal shields in action, but we have heard of them. Perhaps they are a standard element in the type of ground combat we never really saw in DS9, the one that was taking place outside when Jake Sisko huddled in the field hospital in "Nor the Battle..". Troops utilizing personal shields would have no capacity for stealth (their shields would glow like lightbulbs on enemy sensors), and no use for it, either (their best bet would be to attack, not to hide or dodge).

The mechanisms and rationales would be many and complex, and far from intuitive for us poor watchers who are fixated on ideas stemming from today's combat. But one thing would be sure: future combat, using weapons as exotic as Trek does, would not be like today's combat. It might have analogues in some ancient types of combat, much like Trek space combat resembles fighting with sailing ships, or it might be completely unrecognizable. But it should never be expected to rely on rules that are familiar to us from the real world of today.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old November 11 2009, 12:26 AM   #4
Lieutenant Commander
Lt.Cmdr.LaForge's Avatar
Location: Derby, England.
Re: In the Dominion War...

I think Timo well and truly wrapped up this thread XD

nice reasoning, covered prety much every angle =]
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Old November 12 2009, 06:12 AM   #5
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Location: America after the rain
Re: In the Dominion War...

Timo's a good one.

That said, I never understood why those mines hadn't eliminated the whole garrison in an afternoon. Or why neither side used artillery or air or orbital assets for support.

(Or, in light of Trek 11, robot soldiers. )

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Old November 12 2009, 07:49 AM   #6
Re: In the Dominion War...

I think the mines were the ideal dramatic solution to the ideal dramatic setup, which limited their destructive potential...

The Dominion wanted that comm center back intact, so they wouldn't deploy mines that were triggered too easily or packed too densely. Also, the deployment must have happened when the Dominion withdrew from the installation, in somewhat chaotic circumstances, and thus may have been incomplete.

The desire to get the station back would also preclude the use of artillery or ortillery, even providing that such things were available. But the original Dominion garrison probably had no artillery pieces, and the Starfleet blockade would keep Dominion ships from bringing in any additional firepower, surface or orbital. So this would indeed be a fight of the little guns, a mini-Guadalcanal of sorts, while bigger things were happening out in space.

One might say that the battle was over when the episode was. Bringing in the ground reinforcements would be largely symbolic; the very fact that they could be brought in would mean local space superiority for the Feds, and that in turn would mean the end of days for the Dominion surface forces, quite regardless of whether there were new Fed surface forces there or not.

Returning to the camouflage issue, the Jem'hadar sure believe in camo. But one could argue that they, too, have abandoned its use in main combat (witness their unshrouded charges in the episode and elsewhere, not really questioned by our heroes even when faked). Rather, invisibility would be an important element in their role as the Dominion police: what better force multiplier could there be than a policeman who cannot be known not to be behind your shoulder this very moment?

Timo Saloniemi
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