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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > The Next Generation

The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old December 15 2010, 07:31 AM   #1
Xerxes1979
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Was warp ramming a realistic anti-borg tactic?

I mean if there was any chance at all wouldn't each of those thirty-nine destroyed starships also have come to the same conclusion Riker did?
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Old December 15 2010, 08:21 AM   #2
Mr Silver
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Re: Was warp ramming a realistic anti-borg tactic?

I would think the Borg "Subspace Field" prevents this, sure they can Warp Away, but Warping into a ship wouldn't work, the Ship would bounce off or perhaps end up trapped in Subspace
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Old December 15 2010, 09:00 AM   #3
Kelthaz
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Re: Was warp ramming a realistic anti-borg tactic?

I would assume that the shields would absorb the impact of the collision. Ramming would still be an incredibly powerful attack, but not the one hit kill that physics says it is.
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Old December 15 2010, 09:30 AM   #4
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Re: Was warp ramming a realistic anti-borg tactic?

To be sure, we don't know if Riker was really contemplating warp ramming. He ordered collision course from Crusher first, then asked LaForge to prepare for "warp power". If he wanted to ram at warp, he should probably have specifically asked this of Crusher, who'd be in charge of punching in the ramming speed. Usually, the skipper doesn't have to ask Engineering to specifically prepare for warp power if he or she wants to go to warp; the ship simply obeys the commands of the helmsperson.

Perhaps Riker wanted a "standard" sublight ramming, the sort that does the most damage in ST:NEM and in DS9, but also wanted LaForge to deliver some sort of a warp-powered but not warp-speed boost to the destruction. Say, the "warp power" might have been routed to shields to get better penetration, or used to create a bigger explosion at impact.

Just sayin'. Writer intent probably was to imply a warp-speed ramming here, but the wording chosen for it was odd and quite atypical for a going-to-warp scene.

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Old December 15 2010, 09:58 AM   #5
Mr Silver
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Re: Was warp ramming a realistic anti-borg tactic?

I think we also have to consider these facts

*The Enterprise crew were willing to die if it was neccessary in order to prevent the Borg from reaching Earth

*Self-Assured Destruction is only used as a last resort

*"Warp Ramming" may not have worked, therefore the Enterprise and her Crew would die for nothing

*Theres only been one real instance (NEM...Picard literally rammed the Ent-E down the throat of the Scimitar and then quickly ordered Self Destruct, which was disabled by the damage but nonetheless, to make sure Shinzon wouldn't be able to deploy the Thalaron Weapon) where the Enterprise Crew were close to sacrificing themselves in order to save countless more lives

Therefore we can assume that such "Desperate Acts" are only considered in a hopeless situation and as a final resort, if theres even a small possibility that the crew can survive, the plan is thrown out the window
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Old December 15 2010, 10:05 AM   #6
Timo
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Re: Was warp ramming a realistic anti-borg tactic?

True enough. Let's remember the incredulous looks our bridge crew gives to Riker when he orders a collision course - those are not due to the idea of warp ramming being fundamentally dubious, because nobody has mentioned warp speeds at that point yet, but simply due to the idea that Riker suggests suicide.

OTOH, the crew might be thinking "ramming can't work because it didn't work for those ships at Wolf 359", lending extra incredulity to their faces; they have tended to be more stoic in the face of impending death in general (at least when it's something they have no power over).

Our TOS heroes frequently threatened their foes with suicide, but always merely in the form of bluff. When self-destruct would have made a strategic difference but could not have been used as a bluff, Scotty suggested it but Kirk dismissed the idea as insane ("By Any Other Name"). Probably suicide is strongly against the Starfleet code or UFP ethical codes in general, as also suggested by "Half a Life" and all those times Klingons or Romulans attempted or committed suicide.

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Old December 16 2010, 04:17 PM   #7
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Re: Was warp ramming a realistic anti-borg tactic?

Timo wrote: View Post
Our TOS heroes frequently threatened their foes with suicide, but always merely in the form of bluff. When self-destruct would have made a strategic difference but could not have been used as a bluff, Scotty suggested it but Kirk dismissed the idea as insane ("By Any Other Name"). Probably suicide is strongly against the Starfleet code or UFP ethical codes in general, as also suggested by "Half a Life" and all those times Klingons or Romulans attempted or committed suicide.

Timo Saloniemi
So what the hell was Picard playing at in Where Silence Has Lease?

Choosing to destroy his whole crew as opposed to half.
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Old December 16 2010, 04:44 PM   #8
Satyrquaze
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Re: Was warp ramming a realistic anti-borg tactic?

MikeS wrote: View Post
So what the hell was Picard playing at in Where Silence Has Lease?

Choosing to destroy his whole crew as opposed to half.
Picard just saw thing differently than Kirk. Picard got several incredulous looks then too.
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Old December 16 2010, 05:00 PM   #9
Galileo7
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Re: Was warp ramming a realistic anti-borg tactic?

Captain M wrote: View Post
*Theres only been one real instance (NEM...Picard literally rammed the Ent-E down the throat of the Scimitar and then quickly ordered Self Destruct, which was disabled by the damage but nonetheless, to make sure Shinzon wouldn't be able to deploy the Thalaron Weapon) where the Enterprise Crew were close to sacrificing themselves in order to save countless more lives
Even with the Self Destruct offline, couldn't LaForge have made the 1701-E warp core go critical and explode? (results like the battle caused 1701-D warp core explosion in GEN)
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Old December 16 2010, 05:13 PM   #10
MikeS
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Re: Was warp ramming a realistic anti-borg tactic?

Galileo7 wrote: View Post
Even with the Self Destruct offline, couldn't LaForge have made the 1701-E warp core go critical and explode? (results like the battle caused 1701-D warp core explosion in GEN)
All it would take is a sledgehammer to the antimatter chamber.

But then we wouldn't have got the "cool special effects".
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Old December 16 2010, 06:52 PM   #11
Shon T'Hara
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Re: Was warp ramming a realistic anti-borg tactic?

Star Trek: The Motionless Picture wrote:
ROSS: Why has the Captain ordered self-destruct, sir?

SCOTT: I would say, lass, because he thinks -- he hopes -- that when we go up... we'll take V'ger with us.

ROSS: Will we?

SCOTT: When that much matter and anti-matter are brought together? Oh, yes; we will, indeed.
Given the size of V'ger, I think it's quite possible that the Enterprise-D could've taken out a Borg cube. The ramming was to get the ship as close to the cube as possible, while the order to prepare warp power had something to do with making sure all the antimatter was released to maximum effect.

As to why no one at Wolf 359 tried ramming, I think the fleet was badly commanded. In Q Who, the Enterprise inflicted 20% damage on the Borg ship with only three shots, and in BoBW, Data said it would take 80% damage to disable the cube. Each Federation vessel only needed to inflict 2% damage to destroy the Borg, yet they failed.
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Old December 17 2010, 01:36 AM   #12
Trekker4747
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Re: Was warp ramming a realistic anti-borg tactic?

It seems to assume that crashing into the Borg cube at a higher speed will cause more damage than an impact at a slower speed. (Like how getting hit by a 99mph fast ball tossed by Rick Vaughn is likely to hurt more than me lightly tossing it at you under-handed.)

Such an "idea" seems to ignore that even when the ship is moving at maximum warp (something like 2000x the speed of light) it's not really moving at that speed (and, thus doesn't have that much energy) because the ship doesn't move at the speed through "real space." It manipulates the fabric of space so that its vastly slower speeds in subspace translates to "FTL speeds" in normal space.

So I think "warp ramming" isn't likely to cause that much more damage than just ramming the ship at full-impulse.
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Old December 17 2010, 02:16 AM   #13
BillJ
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Re: Was warp ramming a realistic anti-borg tactic?

Wassail Drunk wrote: View Post

So I think "warp ramming" isn't likely to cause that much more damage than just ramming the ship at full-impulse.
Depends on whether or not you drop the anti-matter containment field.
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Old December 17 2010, 02:46 AM   #14
Gil T.Azell
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Re: Was warp ramming a realistic anti-borg tactic?

Captain M wrote: View Post
I would think the Borg "Subspace Field" prevents this, sure they can Warp Away, but Warping into a ship wouldn't work, the Ship would bounce off or perhaps end up trapped in Subspace
Hmm trapped there that would /could have made an interesting episode, by the time they escape the BORG Rule!
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Old December 17 2010, 09:32 AM   #15
T'Girl
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Re: Was warp ramming a realistic anti-borg tactic?

Wassail Drunk wrote: View Post
Such an "idea" seems to ignore that even when the ship is moving at maximum warp (something like 2000x the speed of light) it's not really moving at that speed (and, thus doesn't have that much energy) because the ship doesn't move at the speed through "real space." It manipulates the fabric of space so that its vastly slower speeds in subspace translates to "FTL speeds" in normal space.

So I think "warp ramming" isn't likely to cause that much more damage than just ramming the ship at full-impulse.
Perhaps what is intended to cause damage to the opposing vessel isn't the starship itself, or even the ship's antimatter supplies, but instead the damage will be caused by the warp field itself as the field moves through the structure of the opposing vessel.

It would be like being shot with a bullet from a gun. The physical body of the bullet only causes a portion of the damage to a person's body, what does a lot more damage is the shock wave generated by the bullet's passage, hydrostatic shock causes the cells adjacent to the bullet's path to rupture, resulting in bleeding.

Similarly, the warp field of a starship extends hundreds or thousands of meters around the ship, as the ship passes through, say a Borg cube, the field would be ripping apart the molecular structure of the cube.

There would be a reciprocal effect which would also destroy the starship.
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