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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > Deep Space Nine

Deep Space Nine What We Left Behind, we will always have here.

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Old September 25 2012, 11:46 PM   #16
Xhiandra
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Re: Why were ships so fragile in DS9

Purely aesthetical reasons: those large-scale battles would've looked very silly if all Ships were standing still shooting at Shield bubbles for 5 minutes before one dropped down.

To have movement, you need to mow down some of the Ships pretty fast, so the Defiant can carve up foes with its forward-facing weapons while manoeuvering around.

Slow battles with Shields are fine when there are few Ships and the story requires time to ponder options, but for large-scale battles it wouldn't look right.
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Old September 25 2012, 11:50 PM   #17
Kelthaz
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Re: Why were ships so fragile in DS9

Rule of cool.
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Old September 26 2012, 11:22 AM   #18
Timo
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Re: Why were ships so fragile in DS9

I'd simply say that a giant space station can fire stronger beams than a starship that easily fits inside its cradling pylons... Nothing wrong with destroying a puny Bird of Prey with a single shot.

As for maneuvering, we can always say the battles are shown in slow motion. Except for rare occasions, such as "Emissary", where the battle against the Borg involves high speeds, tight turns, and phaser fire zapping out like three shots per second.

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Old September 26 2012, 11:43 AM   #19
Nightdiamond
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Re: Why were ships so fragile in DS9

Jimi_James wrote: View Post
That's not a trick, at least not one that DS9 invented, though they're as guilty of it as any of the other series. The size of the Bird of Prey has fluctuated wildly since it first appeared, often seeming to appear as a small scout escort vessel and then jumping in size to a full cruiser. The BoP actually started out small and was scaled up as time went on.

http://www.ex-astris-scientia.org/articles/bop-size.htm

It's now assumed that there are multiple classes of Bird of Prey, with the B'rel serving as the small scout/escort and the K'Vort serving as the larger cruiser.
Nice article on Ship Sizing. I did see the difference, like in the TOS movies, where the crew was standing on top of a Bird Prey.

You'd never would know by looking on screen at TNG. TNG seemed to follow the rule that the enemy ship always had to be as large as the Enterprise

DS9 making them smaller was pretty smart, using them as strike and bomb fighters, like the Fed fighters.

It looked cool in Once More unto the Breach.
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Old September 26 2012, 12:01 PM   #20
Timo
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Re: Why were ships so fragile in DS9

TNG seemed to follow the rule that the enemy ship always had to be as large as the Enterprise
Umm, where?

Most of the adversaries were depicted as puny, with the big saucer of the hero ship hulking over them (starting with Ornarans, moving on to Okona and his troublesome almost-in-laws, the Klingon BoP, Pakleds, Acamarians...). Others were depicted the opposite way, their mighty shadow falling on the heroes (starting with the Romulans, then with the Borg, the Tamarians, the various space beasts). Basically only the Ferengi were given ships of "heroic size"; Klingons later got their corresponding design, but they always also had diversity.

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Old September 26 2012, 01:44 PM   #21
Anwar
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Re: Why were ships so fragile in DS9

The BoP thing has an explanation: There are two types of Bird of Prey vessels used by the Klingons. The small scout-ship types (the one from Star Trek III, Kruge's ship. And the ones that fly in packs like in DS9) and the Heavy Cruiser Variants that are nearly as big as a Galaxy-Class (the ones from "Yesterday's Enterprise").
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Old September 26 2012, 01:56 PM   #22
Timo
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Re: Why were ships so fragile in DS9

That's more like four types already...

We could always say that a deceptive appearance of size is one of the effects (or side effects) of using a cloak. Large ships might wish to present a smaller target but cannot become fully invisible without jeopardizing shields/sensors/power allocation/whatnot, so they apply partial power to the cloak and become smaller. And small ships might wish to appear more threatening... This also accounts for the varying size of the Defiant!

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Old September 27 2012, 02:11 AM   #23
Nightdiamond
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Re: Why were ships so fragile in DS9

Timo wrote: View Post
TNG seemed to follow the rule that the enemy ship always had to be as large as the Enterprise
Umm, where?

Most of the adversaries were depicted as puny, with the big saucer of the hero ship hulking over them (starting with Ornarans, moving on to Okona and his troublesome almost-in-laws, the Klingon BoP, Pakleds, Acamarians...). Others were depicted the opposite way, their mighty shadow falling on the heroes (starting with the Romulans, then with the Borg, the Tamarians, the various space beasts). Basically only the Ferengi were given ships of "heroic size"; Klingons later got their corresponding design, but they always also had diversity.

Timo Saloniemi
When they were dealing with the "Big Adversaries" they tended to inflate the size of the ships, at least from my view.

When they deal with somewhat harmless aliens, the ships were 'regular' size.

Look at the Ferengi ship in The Last Out Post. Then Cardassian Ship in The Wounded. Or the Tamarian ship in Darmok. Big suckers, pretty much the size of the Enterprise.

As far as TNG, it looks like they only used large scale ships for the Bird of Preys; they always looked roughly the same size as the Enterprise to me.

I think they went with capital ships because back then, because the battles were slower, shorter, and they wanted to establish a threat to the Enterprise.

Flash forward to DS9, and you never see the huge B.O.Ps again. They're all smaller, faster, yet still deadly.

The Jem Hadar ships were smaller but but had a huge advantage, which DS9 portrayed perfectly.
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Old September 29 2012, 08:45 PM   #24
Butters
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Re: Why were ships so fragile in DS9



Been so long since I saw DS9 I'd forgotten about these battle sequences. They look so cheesy now.

The station is under attack from all sides, and sisko takes a dramatic pause before giving the order to fire, and without specifying a target either. No wonder so many torpedoes disappeared into the black without hitting anything.

TV battles have come a long way.
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Old September 29 2012, 11:35 PM   #25
Smellincoffee
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Re: Why were ships so fragile in DS9

The producers have to keep things Dramatic, but there's a fine line between the situation being perilous and the situation being impossible. If the station and Defiant's weapons are as such that they can knock out a bird of prey in one dead-on shot, that works fine when they're fending off an entire fleet of ships. But if there was only one cruiser, it would have to be far feistier to prove a challenge.
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Old September 29 2012, 11:44 PM   #26
toughlittleship
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Re: Why were ships so fragile in DS9

^ In "The Way of the Warrior", Sisko orders Worf to target the lead ships and seemed to wait for Klingons to be closer for their weapons to be more effective.
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Old September 30 2012, 12:16 PM   #27
bluepicard27
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Re: Why were ships so fragile in DS9

so it looks likes a real battle with actual deaths
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Old October 1 2012, 08:26 AM   #28
Timo
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Re: Why were ships so fragile in DS9

Waiting till the last moment also allows for the Klingons to veer off in case they were just doing their standard posturing.

And specifying targets is the one unrealistic thing that Trek captains are typically guilty of. There's something like fifty of them there - but the station is perfectly capable of firing at as many. Sisko (or Picard, or Kirk) should say something less tactical and more strategic, such as "Inflict necessary casualties, but don't go overboard" or "Save ammo" or "Go all out, perhaps they will take the hint", after which the gunners would do their job. And Sisko sort of says the second thing, by specifying that only every second launcher be used at first.

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Old October 1 2012, 12:35 PM   #29
Edit_XYZ
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Re: Why were ships so fragile in DS9

"Why were ships so fragile in DS9?"

They weren't more fragile than in any other series.
The difference was the enemies they were fighting: NOT aliens with tech 3 generations behind starfleet's.

A direct hit by a dominion high power energy cannon will punch right through starfleet shields - as seen on multiple occasions. The opposite being also true.
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Old October 1 2012, 12:50 PM   #30
Timo
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Re: Why were ships so fragile in DS9

Hmm... I'm not quite sure about "the opposite" here - Dominion vessels were not outright said to be better shielded than other opponents of Starfleet, if that is what you mean.

True, the Odyssey did not blow up even the smallest Dominion vessels with one shot, or three, or five (quite possibly, one attacker was destroyed eventually by the starship, but two assuredly were not). But at that point, rules of engagement may have called for wounding shots, similar to the ones that so often were fired by Picard. Thereafter, we saw a fairly ordinary succession of individually seemingly impotent hits accumulating into a simplistic fireball destruction whenever the Alpha fleets fought their Gamma counterparts.

In contrast, the dialogue evidence for the vulnerability of Alpha shields is clear, and the elimination or at least alleviation of the vulnerability is something of a plot point in "Call to Arms".

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