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Old October 29 2012, 08:31 PM   #76
KamenRiderBlade
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Re: Power of the Federation

Timo wrote: View Post
If a single hit hurts, you should keep your distance, because even if a hit is 100% guaranteed in terms of accuracy, distance may allow you to lessen its effect in various ways.
I concur with this, it all depends on how much energy dissipation there is on your beam weapons. As far as I can tell, since they are in the vacuum of space, there shouldn't be much to inhibit their weapons, so the dissipation should start happening at great ranges.

The fact that the Enterprise D can hit ground targets from a planet's orbit means they at least have the targeting accuracy at great ranges. Earth's Exosphere is 10,000 km above the Earth's surface at Earth Sea Level. Federation ships should be able to fight each other at ~10,000 km range.

http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Orbit

Voyager was parked in High Orbit of 20,000 km above Earth when they came back in time during VOY:"Future's End".

Say, the incoming fire may lose strength over distance: rayguns might suffer from the inverse square law,
http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Phaser_sweep

I would agree with the inverse square law if you were talking about Phaser Sweeps that projects the Phaser beam in a wide cone as seen on DS9. But normally since the beam is confined in a tube like projection (I'm assuming some form of magnetic constriction), the beam should dissipate at far greater ranges. Especially since they have depicted that Phaser weapons can hit ground targets from orbit (At least 10,000 km if you are parked in Earth's Exosphere).

missiles might run out of fuel, and even if the fire following you is persistent, you may stretch out the impacts timewise, Doppler style, by flying away from the fire.
I agree, fighting at great range and circle strafing like modern day Dog Fighting (at greater ranges though, > 10,000 km) would allow you to avoid taking alot of damage in a short period of time. Gives your system more time to regenerate shield strength and time for your engineers to put out any issues or apply quick hot fixes.

If a single hit is of no consequence, and recovering from multiple hits is just a matter of time and perhaps labor, then there's no point in keeping your distance. The closer you get, the easier it is for you to maximize the amount and effectiveness of your fire on the opponent and create momentary "overload" situations on him.
Remember, distance is a double edge sword, It should be easier for him to do the same to you. The reason why modern combat doctrine on all sides is to fight at range is so that you have first sight, first strike, and first kill. If you can destroy them without them even noticing you, why wouldn't you do that if you were in a combat situation that meant life and death.

If you dodge and swerve at a distance, you might avoid some low percentage of hits, with the balance of the battle never swinging enough in your advantage.
I agree, you can't stay at range and pelt at each other until one dies unless you already have the advantage. The only side that needs to stay at range and wittle the opponent down is the side with the advantage. The losing side needs to
a) Run if they can't win.
b) Hide to readjust postioning or find time to figure out a new solution.
c) Take a risk and bring the fight closer if they can find a blind spot on their ship or a weak point to exploit.

If you go close, Doppler might again be your friend: you could accelerate towards your foe constantly firing and create a time-on-target effect on the enemy wherein your effective firepower is dozens of times the total output of all of your guns.
When you say accelerate towards, I would assume its not in a straight line because that sounds like a bad idea in general if you are at the disadvantaged position. I'm going to assume you mean by circle strafing them in a spiral formation while getting ever closer so that you can be constantly hitting them with as many guns on your side while simultaneously making it harder for their guns to keep track of you by constantly moving in all their weak zones since you probably know where they must have a side of their ship that has less guns that can target that area.

Enemy counterfire would not be correspondingly intensified. (Except in the case of weapons whose traveling speed doesn't depend on your own speed, for which phasers may or may not qualify; say, with lasers, you wouldn't get any Doppler advantage from accelerating towards your foe.)
Even with bullets the amount of extra energy bonus you get while moving towards your target is relatively miniscule compared the amount of energy coming from the launch of the bullet from the gun powder in it's cartridge. I'm pretty sure it's safe to assume that since beam energy isn't as dependant on kinetic forces to do damage, that your bonus from moving should be next to nil in the grand scheme of things.

Since Phasers do function like Lasers in general practice, although at slower speeds than Lasers since they don't seem to just appear to be there the moment you activate, you can actually see for a split second that they start traveling. It's safe to assume that Phasers and other energy weapons travel at a significant fraction of the speed of light. Maybe at 50% the speed of light? Who knows. They never gave that information in the online wikis or technical manuals that I read. I could be wrong on the technical manuals.

At some very low distance, your ability to swing your guns would become a limiting factor, as angular velocities would increase. On the other hand, at point blank, the angular size of the foe would also increase, so you might start hitting him with your "side weapons" in addition to your "bow guns".
From everything that's been displayed in ST battles, targeting angle and adjusting the angle on your weapons doesn't seem to be much of an issue on any side. Since everything seems to just fire away from the emitter, I'm assuming it's using some form of controlled magnetic containment that allows the energy to go out of a very controlled hole that can be readjusted in a very small fraction of a second. You can obviously see that most aliens are able to just fire arbitrarily at any angle they have access to from their weapon placement as long as there is no physical obstruction. Kind of like pointing a garden hose where ever you feel and watch the water flow, just on a much faster rate of change than what we humans can do.

Even weapons like Bird of Prey's Wingtip Disruptor canon is not limited to firing straight ahead, they can aim at off angles.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edqZK...ure=plpp_video

This video has examples of weapons that fire at off angles, even if they look like weapon canons that can only shoot straight ahead.

You might also be worried about the blast radius of your projectiles, or of the hits you score. This seems to affect Trek photon torpedo fighting somewhat.
That's definitely more of a torpedo matter than a Phaser or beam weapon issue. I'll leave that for another time or you can check out my Torpedo thread on the topics page.

Finally, there is the boarding range to consider - another factor from ancient warfare that Trek sorta reintroduces with transporter.
http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Transporter

"During the 22nd century, standard Earth transporter systems had a range of 10,000 kilometers; however, by the 24th century, standard transporter systems maximum range was about 40,000 kilometers, though a special type of transport, called subspace transport could beam over several light years"

See even transporters work at great ranges. The only time I can think of that you would want to employ transporters during a fire fight between ships is if you plan on rescuing someone or thing or have plans on capturing the enemy. If that is the case, then staying close may allow you to position yourself such that you can beam through a section of their shield that is down since there will probably be a few seconds where there shields will be down to 0% on one of the sides of their vessel.


Overall, Trek fighting has every right to bear very little resemblance to today's naval or aerial fighting, and would indeed look odd if resembling either of those.

Timo Saloniemi
I would disagree, it probably should resemble modern day combat more often than not. I do agree there are times where you need to be close to the enemy like they portray on screen. However that shouldn't be every single battle.

Some of the ST:TOS battles where they were fighting at great ranges and had quick scene jumps between the two ships were very realistic and I liked that aspect. Battles need to be portrayed more realistically if they want me to get full enjoyment out of those battles and not portray them like Naval battles of the pirate age where everybody was in visual range. I know the directors do that for dramatic license, but it makes absolutely no sense when you take the time to analyze and think about it. Real combat is about range and distance between vessels and even Aircraft.

When they did F-22 vs any of our older aircraft for mock combat trials, the pilots on the non F-22 were just having a bad time since in a 100 rounds of mock dog fights, they died long before they can even see the opponent. The only times I can think of having close in dog fights is if technology was on similar footing and long range weapons become easy to avoid with countermeasures and speed of vessel / craft you are on.

Surprisingly Gundam / Macross does ranged battles in an interesting and exciting way that varies from ST portrayals. They start battles at long range and usually end up close and keep switching between long range and close range all the time. It feels far more realistic and exciting to the audience IMO. Gundam 00 and Macross Frontier being my two favorite entries of those respective series. I highly recommend it to folks who haven't seen either of those Animes.

Timo, I do love that you are one of the few that puts alot of thoughts into your post. It's always fun to debate against somebody who puts real thought behind what they say and I feel like I do pick up a few new ideas or insights into Combat / Star Trek / etc everytime I debate against you or the other posters who can think at levels beyond "Enterprise fires phaser and it does MASSIVE UBER damage". There are way to many fans who think in such shallow terms and don't even put much thought behind what they see or analyze using logic, evidence, and real world physics / phenomena to extrapolate, interpret, or figure out what should and should not happen on screen.

I salue you Timo and other posters who go they extra mile when they post.
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Old October 29 2012, 08:51 PM   #77
John Mason
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Re: Power of the Federation

I would put the strength of the federation akin to that of a mature cheese ...
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Old October 30 2012, 02:04 AM   #78
AggieJohn
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Re: Power of the Federation

I wonder if the issue was that the Star Trek team just did not appreciate the essential aspects of a good space battle as the show was more about exploration. The dominion war was a last ditch effort to save DS9 and even it could not save the show.

Gundam on the other hand is heavy with war and does a amazing job creating tension in battle scenes.
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Old October 30 2012, 02:40 AM   #79
KamenRiderBlade
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Re: Power of the Federation

AggieJohn wrote: View Post
I wonder if the issue was that the Star Trek team just did not appreciate the essential aspects of a good space battle as the show was more about exploration. The dominion war was a last ditch effort to save DS9 and even it could not save the show.

Gundam on the other hand is heavy with war and does a amazing job creating tension in battle scenes.
I think the Star Trek staff didn't put enough thought into how a real Space Battle would flow. Even Babylon 5 in the early seasons had battles that looked like they were fought at great ranges. Of course JMS just gave up eventually and everybody was piled in like ships of yore during the "Pirates of the Caribbean" era.

The dominion war IMO was one of the best arcs for all of ST. It lead to many great episodes and pretty but highly illogical battles.

Gundam is a battle first series along with competent technical designers and directors who have some clue how a battle should be fought. Almost every generation of shows, they find new and improved ways of making battles better. The battles are animated better. Better planning, better strategy, more interesting tactics, far more battlefield complexity, and they still manage to pack a story within all that.

I think it's mainly the writing staff didn't have good people to reference for how space battles would work on a logical basis. They need at least one person on staff to keep everything consistant, logical, and accurate with canon.
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Old October 30 2012, 04:02 AM   #80
AggieJohn
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Re: Power of the Federation

KamenRiderBlade wrote: View Post
AggieJohn wrote: View Post
I wonder if the issue was that the Star Trek team just did not appreciate the essential aspects of a good space battle as the show was more about exploration. The dominion war was a last ditch effort to save DS9 and even it could not save the show.

Gundam on the other hand is heavy with war and does a amazing job creating tension in battle scenes.
I think the Star Trek staff didn't put enough thought into how a real Space Battle would flow. Even Babylon 5 in the early seasons had battles that looked like they were fought at great ranges. Of course JMS just gave up eventually and everybody was piled in like ships of yore during the "Pirates of the Caribbean" era.

The dominion war IMO was one of the best arcs for all of ST. It lead to many great episodes and pretty but highly illogical battles.

Gundam is a battle first series along with competent technical designers and directors who have some clue how a battle should be fought. Almost every generation of shows, they find new and improved ways of making battles better. The battles are animated better. Better planning, better strategy, more interesting tactics, far more battlefield complexity, and they still manage to pack a story within all that.

I think it's mainly the writing staff didn't have good people to reference for how space battles would work on a logical basis. They need at least one person on staff to keep everything consistant, logical, and accurate with canon.
Totally agree. I like some aspects of the Dominion war, there were some great episodes but a lot of dumb ones too, something that perhaps a separate topic might get into in greater detail.

But I completely agree that no one really sat down and asked "What is the military power potential of the Federation?" "what would their battle plan be?" Now to be fair to the writers the Federation seemed to go to war half assed in the past and perhaps this "we will get their eventually" plan just was not enough against the Dominion. But then again they seemed to rebuild pretty fast after the Borg attack and it seemed that they learned from the Borg invasion and should have been better prepared.
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Old October 30 2012, 09:00 AM   #81
KamenRiderBlade
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Re: Power of the Federation

AggieJohn wrote: View Post
Totally agree. I like some aspects of the Dominion war, there were some great episodes but a lot of dumb ones too, something that perhaps a separate topic might get into in greater detail.

But I completely agree that no one really sat down and asked "What is the military power potential of the Federation?" "what would their battle plan be?" Now to be fair to the writers the Federation seemed to go to war half assed in the past and perhaps this "we will get their eventually" plan just was not enough against the Dominion. But then again they seemed to rebuild pretty fast after the Borg attack and it seemed that they learned from the Borg invasion and should have been better prepared.
The one good thing "Q" did for the UFP was wake them to the threat of the Borg. When the Borg first came and whooped the UFP at Wolf 359, they effectively forced the Federation and Starfleet to be ready. This made them ready for the Dominion War IMO. Since they were in a massive preperation phase against the Borg, they didn't get caught with their pants down when the Dominion war started.

After the Dominion war, they should now get it through the Federations head, not everybody will play nice and negotiate. You need to have a massive fleet, weapons that are so deadly, that nobody will think of pushing you around. Don't get me wrong, I'm the farthest thing from a war monger. But I also don't like being bullied, I also don't like others bullying the weak. Ergo strength should be used for protection and preventing conflicts. Fighting only if you have to and killing as a absolute last option.

That's the problem when you plan things season by season without any fore thought into the universe you're trying to build.

JMS is still IMO one of the greatest Sci-Fi creators because of Babylon 5. He planned it from start to finish. A 5 year run that was largely in tact. There were details he didn't fore see like how fast is hyper-space. His answer was "The speed of plot". I'm not down with that. I'd prefer a "24" mentality where things were approached with a serious more realistic attitude towards travel time. At least for most of the early seasons that rule was followed.

Sadly when Branon Braga took over for one of the later seasons of "24", he threw that rule to the curbside. Another reason why BB should be booted from Hollywood. His lack of respect for continuity or what a show establishes.

Star Trek has one of the largest and richest Universe when it comes to canon material. We have 5 TV series and so many movies.

Star Wars has what, 6 movies, and some semi canon other stuff.

Given how big Star Trek is, how long it's run, I'm surprised it's as coherent as it is with not that many self contradictions.

The main problem lies with the writing staff and not having somebody who is a true knowledgebase of all things Trek and to help keep things consistant.

Especially the usage of terminology.

If there were to ever be a new show, they need somebody to keep the writing staff in line and make sure they have a consistant, logical universe. One that doesn't introduce new contradictions. One that follows logical rules and doesn't do things because it looks good now, but people will find it stupid later on (e.g. During most of the fleet battles in DS9, you never saw shields, this was a artistic decision by the directors, that's incredibly dumb and breaks the logic of the Star Trek Universe).
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Old October 30 2012, 09:44 AM   #82
Timo
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Re: Power of the Federation

The fact that the Enterprise D can hit ground targets from a planet's orbit means they at least have the targeting accuracy at great ranges. Earth's Exosphere is 10,000 km above the Earth's surface at Earth Sea Level.
But the ships seem to orbit at only about a thousand klicks in general...

We might be seeing a ten-kiloklick shot at a ground target in TOS "The Alternative Factor", but usually the saucer undersides spit death at much lower levels.

Interestingly, VOY "Extreme Risk" seems to establish that phasers can't penetrate 10,000 kilometers of atmosphere. Which isn't particularly surprising.

But normally since the beam is confined in a tube like projection (I'm assuming some form of magnetic constriction), the beam should dissipate at far greater ranges.
True enough. But the loss of intensity would still be inverse square, making distance a good defensive weapon.

http://www.quora.com/Is-the-light-fr...-light-sources

That is, assuming a phaser beam is a source-deriving effect similar to laser beams, rather than, say, a stream of physical particles comparable to a hail of bullets.

And speaking of hails of bullets...

Even with bullets the amount of extra energy bonus you get while moving towards your target is relatively miniscule
True. But the important thing would be that the projectiles (or phaser bursts or whatnot) would be hitting the enemy more frequently than your maximum rate of fire if you fired them while accelerating towards the enemy (or unpredictably spiraling towards him, as you point out).

It's safe to assume that Phasers and other energy weapons travel at a significant fraction of the speed of light.
Or it might be that their speed depends significantly on settings, perhaps chiefly on the overall power pumped into the beam, or perhaps on the power pumped into the "carrier wave" part of the beam. Hand phaser beams travel more slowly than sound does - they are rather comparable to paintballs. Yet starship phasers reach across the warp barrier in some cases (say, "Balance of Terror" after the heroes evade the plasma shot and restart their chase). There would probably be major compromises involved, making slow beams advantageous to fast ones and thus giving us the paintball-speed beams of hand phasers and the possibly 0.5c beams of ship phasers in the general case, but allowing the heroes to ramp it up on occasion.

Since everything seems to just fire away from the emitter, I'm assuming it's using some form of controlled magnetic containment that allows the energy to go out of a very controlled hole that can be readjusted in a very small fraction of a second.
Intriguingly, a minor plot point in DS9 "The Ship" is Worf's attempt to get a Jem'Hadar death ray emitter to swivel. Perhaps the mechanical swiveling used by at least the smaller ships of these adversaries is the reason they sometimes miss while our DS9 heroes never do?

you can beam through a section of their shield that is down since there will probably be a few seconds where there shields will be down to 0% on one of the sides of their vessel.
Exactly. The greater angular speed of close-in fights would allow the boarder to exploit failed sections of shielding and hinder the target's ability to turn a shielded side towards the enemy. At greater ranges, it might also be difficult to hit the tiny opening (depending a bit on how transporter physics differ from phaser physics).

It might also be that close ranges would allow for faster completion of the transport cycle, allowing exploitation of shorter moments of weakness. Or that a transporter beam can punch through a stronger remaining shield when applied at shorter distances, although we know very little about the physics of shield-penetrating transporters (our heroes tend not to risk such things, and our villains aren't telling).

Timo Saloniemi
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Old October 30 2012, 05:07 PM   #83
MacLeod
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Re: Power of the Federation

AggieJohn wrote: View Post
I wonder if the issue was that the Star Trek team just did not appreciate the essential aspects of a good space battle as the show was more about exploration. The dominion war was a last ditch effort to save DS9 and even it could not save the show.

Gundam on the other hand is heavy with war and does a amazing job creating tension in battle scenes.
Erm DSN like TNG and VOY lasted 7 years, DSN has more episodes than any other Trek show other than TNG.

Ratings where on a general decline on VOY which aired at the same time as DSN.

So in what way did DSN need saving?
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Last edited by MacLeod; October 30 2012 at 06:13 PM.
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Old October 30 2012, 06:09 PM   #84
T'Girl
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Re: Power of the Federation

MacLeod wrote: View Post
DSN has more episodes than any other Trek show other than DSN.
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Old October 30 2012, 06:13 PM   #85
MacLeod
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Re: Power of the Federation

T'Girl wrote: View Post
MacLeod wrote: View Post
DSN has more episodes than any other Trek show other than DSN.
I did of course mean TNG.
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Old October 30 2012, 08:49 PM   #86
KamenRiderBlade
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Re: Power of the Federation

But the ships seem to orbit at only about a thousand klicks in general...

We might be seeing a ten-kiloklick shot at a ground target in TOS "The Alternative Factor", but usually the saucer undersides spit death at much lower levels.

Interestingly, VOY "Extreme Risk" seems to establish that phasers can't penetrate 10,000 kilometers of atmosphere. Which isn't particularly surprising.
Yet in TNG, Enterprise can hit a single point within the atmosphere while it was hitting the target from high orbit. I would hazard to guess that the writers didn't do there homework. Cause that's contradictory evidence from two shows within the same technology era.

True enough. But the loss of intensity would still be inverse square, making distance a good defensive weapon.
That is, assuming a phaser beam is a source-deriving effect similar to laser beams, rather than, say, a stream of physical particles comparable to a hail of bullets.
That is assuming Phasers and other beam energy even follow that model. It's using technology we don't have any understanding of IRL.

True. But the important thing would be that the projectiles (or phaser bursts or whatnot) would be hitting the enemy more frequently than your maximum rate of fire if you fired them while accelerating towards the enemy (or unpredictably spiraling towards him, as you point out).
Maximum rate of fire for a device, be it energy weapon or machine gun is fixed. There is a reason why it's called "MAXIMUM rate of fire". The machine can't shoot any faster than what it's rated. If you tweak the machine, then you're just introducing a new MAXIMUM rate of fire.

If you're hitting the enemy more frequently it's because you are positioning yourself so that your orientation relative to the enemy allows more of your gun ports to hit the enemy. That's the only logical explanation I can think of. To be honest, your explanation doesn't make sense.

If you're spiraling towards your enemy, you usually want to be in control, spiraling out of control sounds like you have significant engine failure problems.

Or it might be that their speed depends significantly on settings, perhaps chiefly on the overall power pumped into the beam, or perhaps on the power pumped into the "carrier wave" part of the beam.
I do agree, onscreen evidence seems to point to power of the weapon affects it's velocity.

Ergo Starship Phasers takes a split second to reach the surface of a planet from atmosphere while hand phasers takes a split second to cross a valley in DS9.

Hand phaser beams travel more slowly than sound does - they are rather comparable to paintballs.
I never liked how Hand phasers were that slow. At least make them travel at the same speed as modern day tracer rounds. Paintball speeds seem way to slow such that certain humans can dodge them at great distances. FPSRussia comes to mind when he went paintballing.

There would probably be major compromises involved, making slow beams advantageous to fast ones
I doubt there would be any significant advantages to having a slow moving projectile vs a faster one of the same type. IMO speed makes a huge difference in every aspect of combat.

Intriguingly, a minor plot point in DS9 "The Ship" is Worf's attempt to get a Jem'Hadar death ray emitter to swivel. Perhaps the mechanical swiveling used by at least the smaller ships of these adversaries is the reason they sometimes miss while our DS9 heroes never do?
Mechanical aiming of something will always be slower than adjustmants of magnetic fields. There is a reason why Hard Drive heads use magnetics to adjust bits and not physical exertion with punch cards that were part of the beginning of the Computer era. The only physical part of a HDD is the aiming of the head, the actual work is all magnetic which is orders of magnitude faster. Once you remove the mechanical portion, things like SSDs are orders of magnitude faster than their HDD counterparts in every aspect of operation.

Exactly. The greater angular speed of close-in fights would allow the boarder to exploit failed sections of shielding and hinder the target's ability to turn a shielded side towards the enemy. At greater ranges, it might also be difficult to hit the tiny opening (depending a bit on how transporter physics differ from phaser physics).
I agree, it has to be some form of laser like beam for transporting the physical matter stream to a target destination. Being closer allows for easier targeting of getting the stream through the gap in the opponents shield. Kind of like throwing balls into tiny bins at a carnival booth.

It might also be that close ranges would allow for faster completion of the transport cycle, allowing exploitation of shorter moments of weakness.
At best it would be fractions of a second that are so small we wouldn't notice it. I think positioning is more important which allows for quicker targeting and bigger gaps to work with.

Or that a transporter beam can punch through a stronger remaining shield when applied at shorter distances, although we know very little about the physics of shield-penetrating transporters (our heroes tend not to risk such things, and our villains aren't telling).
From observation of shows, as long as your shields are up, you can't get through the shields unless you know it's frequency. What you need is either a gap in the shield or have somebody leak you the shield frequency like in ST: Generations where Geordi was forced to be a spy for the enemy.
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Old October 31 2012, 08:22 AM   #87
Timo
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Re: Power of the Federation

Yet in TNG, Enterprise can hit a single point within the atmosphere while it was hitting the target from high orbit. I would hazard to guess that the writers didn't do there homework. Cause that's contradictory evidence from two shows within the same technology era.
I don't see the contradiction. Accuracy at 10,000 km is not the issue. The ability to penetrate 10,000 km of thick gas, as opposed to just 100 km of thick gas around the planet and 9,900 km of vacuum above it, is. And it seems natural enough that phasers couldn't drill a hole in a wall of air 10,000 km thick.

Maximum rate of fire for a device, be it energy weapon or machine gun is fixed.
Exactly. But that is not the upper limit of the rate of fire that the target might receive. It's just the upper limit of the rate of fire that you may pour out. These are two different things.

Think of a piece of artillery sitting, say, one kilometer away from the enemy. You can fire a grenade every ten seconds. So, what's the maximum rate of fire that your target may experience?

If you fire every grenade the same way, it's one per ten seconds. But if you fire the first grenade in a high arch, the second in a shallower one, and so forth, firing the sixth almost horizontally, then at the end of the minute all six will converge on the enemy at the same second! You have effectively increased your rate of fire at least tenfold.

That's being done in the real world today. What I propose is just a variant: instead of giving the "grenades" different ballistic arches, the firing ship launches one at some distance at some speed, and the second one at a lesser distance at a higher speed (thanks to having accelerated a bit). The second one thus will catch up with the first one. The third will catch up on the first two. And so forth, until eventually all the n "grenades" you fired at your maximum rate of fire will be flying in a tight formation that hits the hapless enemy in a very short period of time. Again, you have greatly multiplied your rate of fire, without adjusting the output rate of your "gun" at all.

If you're spiraling towards your enemy, you usually want to be in control, spiraling out of control sounds like you have significant engine failure problems.
Faking engine problems might be an important way to gain a tactical advantage with all other factors equal.

Ergo Starship Phasers takes a split second to reach the surface of a planet from atmosphere while hand phasers takes a split second to cross a valley in DS9.
One might even argue that this is how phasers work: the travel time of the beam from gun to target is a physical constant, completely independent of the distance, and the speed of the beam adjusts to this "afterwards" through weird physics.

Essentially, the phaser could be like the transporter, moving stuff from A to B. This time, though, the beam in between is so powerful that it leaks visible light from all the points along its length...

Interesting parallels there in any case:

- Both techs involve "phasing" in the technobabble
- Both techs are blocked by shields
- Both techs seem to deliver stuff across greatly varying ranges in minimally varying time
- Both techs first appear in the 2150s

I doubt there would be any significant advantages to having a slow moving projectile vs a faster one of the same type.
If a slow projectile kills, but a fast one merely tickles, I'd call that an advantage!

We don't know what the advantage might be, but the onscreen evidence of the beams indeed being slow suggests that something offsets the tactical disadvantages of beams so slow that they can be dodged.

From observation of shows, as long as your shields are up, you can't get through the shields unless you know it's frequency.
Yet certain enemies beam through shields. We don't know if they face specific limitations in doing so, and whether maneuvering is a factor in these limitations - but we do know that they don't always board the hero ship through shields. Which suggests that they can't, because if they always could, they probably always would. Tactically, there'd be no great downside to sending a Jem'Hadar suicide boarding party to fight aboard the Defiant in addition to having the Jem'Hadar ship keep on firing phased polaron beams and torps at her!

Timo Saloniemi
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Old October 31 2012, 10:54 AM   #88
KamenRiderBlade
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Re: Power of the Federation

I don't see the contradiction. Accuracy at 10,000 km is not the issue. The ability to penetrate 10,000 km of thick gas, as opposed to just 100 km of thick gas around the planet and 9,900 km of vacuum above it, is. And it seems natural enough that phasers couldn't drill a hole in a wall of air 10,000 km thick.
Then I guess it all depends on what you are firing through. If distance isn't the issue, then it's what type of matter you're pushing through, that can vary based on what your situation is. Effectively allowing writers to say this gaseous planet has a super thick layer of ____ which prevents phasers from firing through it.

Exactly. But that is not the upper limit of the rate of fire that the target might receive. It's just the upper limit of the rate of fire that you may pour out. These are two different things.

Think of a piece of artillery sitting, say, one kilometer away from the enemy. You can fire a grenade every ten seconds. So, what's the maximum rate of fire that your target may experience?

If you fire every grenade the same way, it's one per ten seconds. But if you fire the first grenade in a high arch, the second in a shallower one, and so forth, firing the sixth almost horizontally, then at the end of the minute all six will converge on the enemy at the same second! You have effectively increased your rate of fire at least tenfold.

That's being done in the real world today. What I propose is just a variant: instead of giving the "grenades" different ballistic arches, the firing ship launches one at some distance at some speed, and the second one at a lesser distance at a higher speed (thanks to having accelerated a bit). The second one thus will catch up with the first one. The third will catch up on the first two. And so forth, until eventually all the n "grenades" you fired at your maximum rate of fire will be flying in a tight formation that hits the hapless enemy in a very short period of time. Again, you have greatly multiplied your rate of fire, without adjusting the output rate of your "gun" at all.
I finally understand what you're trying to say. You're effectively talking about increasing your rate of fire by concentrating damage in a high burst over a very small period of time instead of spreading it out over a longer period of continuous fire. This is all fine and dandy but the flaw in this is that you will have points in time where you are doing below average damage for giant stretches of time. If your goal is to overload them with one giant burst, go for it. If it works, more power to you. It's a perfectly valid strategy, our military uses it too. That's also what the Blitzkrieg tactics was all about.

Faking engine problems might be an important way to gain a tactical advantage with all other factors equal. :devil:
True, playing possum has always been a valid strategy. But that requires great timing and setup for it to work.

One might even argue that this is how phasers work: the travel time of the beam from gun to target is a physical constant, completely independent of the distance, and the speed of the beam adjusts to this "afterwards" through weird physics.

Essentially, the phaser could be like the transporter, moving stuff from A to B. This time, though, the beam in between is so powerful that it leaks visible light from all the points along its length...

Interesting parallels there in any case:

- Both techs involve "phasing" in the technobabble
- Both techs are blocked by shields
- Both techs seem to deliver stuff across greatly varying ranges in minimally varying time
- Both techs first appear in the 2150s
That's one interpretation of how phaser works. I have my own, but I don't feel like discussing that here. You have a interesting take on how the mechanics work and I find it intriguing.

If a slow projectile kills, but a fast one merely tickles, I'd call that an advantage!

We don't know what the advantage might be, but the onscreen evidence of the beams indeed being slow suggests that something offsets the tactical disadvantages of beams so slow that they can be dodged.
True, phasers ripping apart giant rocks and vaporizing cars like in VOY: "Future's End". Even several bullets can't devastate a car the same way that 29th century phaser could.

Yet certain enemies beam through shields. We don't know if they face specific limitations in doing so, and whether maneuvering is a factor in these limitations - but we do know that they don't always board the hero ship through shields. Which suggests that they can't, because if they always could, they probably always would. Tactically, there'd be no great downside to sending a Jem'Hadar suicide boarding party to fight aboard the Defiant in addition to having the Jem'Hadar ship keep on firing phased polaron beams and torps at her!
Every episode that I can remember of enemies appearing onboard a target behind shields were things like

- The iconian gate, both in ST:TNG & ST:DS9

- Folded Space Transporter
http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Inverter

Sometimes there are side effects. Other times, it's a plot point. I think it all depends on what the writer wants to do with the new form of teleportation and how it affects plot.
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Old October 31 2012, 08:15 PM   #89
AggieJohn
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Re: Power of the Federation

MacLeod wrote: View Post
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I wonder if the issue was that the Star Trek team just did not appreciate the essential aspects of a good space battle as the show was more about exploration. The dominion war was a last ditch effort to save DS9 and even it could not save the show.

Gundam on the other hand is heavy with war and does a amazing job creating tension in battle scenes.
Erm DSN like TNG and VOY lasted 7 years, DSN has more episodes than any other Trek show other than TNG.

Ratings where on a general decline on VOY which aired at the same time as DSN.

So in what way did DSN need saving?
TNG dominated its time slot and was a iconic show. DS9 did well but it never had the pull of its parent show. It did receive critical acclaim but not the same numbers. The dominion war was an attempt to give DS9 a "thing" like the Borg for TNG, which was, to be a fair a success, in that the Dominion war is a big part of the Star Trek world, but it could have been better.

I am not saying that DS9 sucked or anything. I liked the darker tone through it was essentially a watered down NuBSG. The writing failed to capture the horrors of war, they did not even do a great job with terrorism and freedom fighters themes rich for the picking with the Cardassian occupation of Bajor.

When they did start the war they really failed to capture the drama of war, most of the episodes seemed like rip offs of other classic stories and it flipped flopped between ethical perspectives giving a sense of a lack of focus in story telling. Some stories just seemed to kill the momentum of the show like "Take Me Out to the Holosuite" and "His Way" which follow great episodes like "In the Pale Moonlight".

In the end DS9 was good to ok, but had the potential to be great. Little attention was given to the inner workings of the entire Federation at war, nor was there a unified story of the struggle against a Nazi like Dominion. They had moments of brilliance but others were so bad they killed the pace of the show.
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Old October 31 2012, 08:24 PM   #90
MacLeod
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Re: Power of the Federation

DSN couldn't have been a watered down nuBSG given that it came out before.

Sure there were some misses in DSN, but DSN had a far greater hit to miss ration than many of the other Trek shows.

Many will argue when DSN is compared against the other Trek shows it was great.
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