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Old November 16 2012, 11:52 PM   #1
Dingo
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Centauri vs. Cardassian

Two races renowned for ruthlessness, thoroughness, and cunning in battle: the Centauri of Babylon 5 and the Cardassians of Star Trek. Both are capable of creating intricate battle strategies, plan within plan. Both are physically tough races (although in close in battle I might give the Cardassians an advantage due to their armor).

As in my Minbari vs. Klingon thread, in a 5 on 5 squad engagement who would stand victorious? I would say if the fight gets close the Cardassians would likely win. From further distances, it could go either way.

I'm imagining what a Deadliest Warrior-esque episode would be like. The experts would be Legates Dukat and Damar as the Cardassian experts and Londo Mollari and Vir Cotto as the Centauri experts. The imagery of the tough talk between the two (with Dukat and Londo being the worst offenders) is fanfiction worthy material.
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Old November 17 2012, 05:15 AM   #2
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Re: Centauri vs. Cardassian

Dingo wrote: View Post
Two races renowned for ruthlessness, thoroughness, and cunning in battle ...
I'll give you ruthlessness for the Centauri, but thoroughness, and cunning in battle? How do you figure? If anything the Centuri come off as inept fools.

Maybe you should do a Centuri vs. Pakled.

Then the odds would be more even. But in the end the Pakled would win.

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Old November 17 2012, 05:22 AM   #3
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Re: Centauri vs. Cardassian

I'll give you ruthlessness for the Centauri, but thoroughness, and cunning in battle? How do you figure? If anything the Centuri come off as inept fools.
G'Kar mentioned in Season 2, "Centauri don't work that way, they're very thorough. They might regroup or retreat, but they don't just pull off an objective."

This was before the Mass Drivers attack on the Narn homeworld. Also to be able to rule a vast interstellar empire the Centauri had to be very able battle strategists, minus their loss of the Narn homeworld.
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Old November 17 2012, 04:14 PM   #4
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Re: Centauri vs. Cardassian

The biggest weakness of both cultures (besides their tendency to piss off every neighbouring race with their arrogant aggression and ruthless treatment of other populations) is their apparent lack of capacity for racial unity. Backstabbing power plays and vicious competition between bloodlines, power blocs and individuals are the norm in both Cardassian and Centauri societies, and this endemic in-fighting weakens their ability to wield the influence they otherwise could. Too much of their scheming is channeled into petty retributions and jostling for position within their own hierarchies, rather than the cause of bettering their people.

The Cardassians call themselves a Union, drawing together in mutual discipline and sacrifice to ensure their shared survival, but in practice they're still at each other's throats, seemingly unable to play nice or put the needs of their population above their own ambition. The Centauri are perhaps more honest about their nature but less sympathetic, having a society dedicated to flaunting resources and power for their own sake rather than as a means to survival. That said, they have a system wherein people are supposed to accept their position with grace (nobility loyal to the emperor, lesser nobles respectful of greater houses, commoners and slaves accepting their place in the scheme of things), but in practice they're completely unable to live in the sedentary and structured system they've created, and behind the scenes they're desperately grabbing for power and influence wherever they can.

Both, I think, have desperately imposed a static, repressive and rigid social structure over their peoples (Cardassians a conformist militant police state, Centauri a class-based hierarchy), and insisted that duty to this system be among a citizen's higest values. In truth, they've both slapped this system over a viciously competitive mindset that is unable to overcome the urge to knock others down in order to climb higher yourself, and it always shows through.

As for who "wins" in a fight, though?

The Centauri are ruthless, but they're also hedonists. They delight in decadence, ostentatious display of impracticality, pointless tradition for the sake of tradition. Excess and waste is practically a requirement for their nobility, and their celebrations are based on an "eat, drink and be merry, because, hey, we're alive and that's great!" mentality. And with the defeat of the Xon, they triumphed over the only real competitor they ever knew. So they believe it's now their birthright to be on top. They're apex predators, at least as I see them, and like all predators they don't expend energy unless they feel they need to. If their status as top dog is threatened, then they "need" to, and they're ruthless and driven (no doubt falling back into Xon war thinking) until the opponent is crushed. That military thoroughness G'Kar speaks of seems a display of precision and power that points to real dedication...but when the threat is over, then it's time to party again.

Cardassians, though, never party. They believe the supposed needs of Cardassia are justification for militant acquisition of resources, and the ruling parties justify their position through military service history rather than birthright. They're constantly pressured into continuing their militancy, either by the genuine desire to stave off scarcity or the knowledge that they hold on to their power only by seeming to serve the needs of Cardassia. Where Centauri are dedicated and ruthless when they feel their power is threatened or else feel the need to flaunt it and remind everyone who's boss, the Cardassians are dedicated and ruthless pretty much all the time, because they constantly have their backs to the wall, partly due to factors beyond their control, partly due to their own messed-up society and its expectations.

So what it comes down to, I think, is: who has the greater need to win? The old lion fighting to retain leadership of his pride, who would otherwise be lounging about but is NOT going to let anyone challenge him and still knows how to show everyone else who's boss, or the lean, starving lion whose life has been one long battle for survival and who is driven to take that leadership position no matter what? Who wants it more?

PS: In physical battle, the Centauri presumably use their High Jump Kick to try and hit the weak point on the Cardassian's chin. Whether it works or merely makes them look silly, I leave to more elevated minds to ponder.
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Last edited by Deranged Nasat; November 17 2012 at 04:26 PM.
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Old November 17 2012, 06:16 PM   #5
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Re: Centauri vs. Cardassian

Cardassians, though, never party. They believe the supposed needs of Cardassia are justification for militant acquisition of resources, and the ruling parties justify their position through military service history rather than birthright. They're constantly pressured into continuing their militancy, either by the genuine desire to stave off scarcity or the knowledge that they hold on to their power only by seeming to serve the needs of Cardassia. Where Centauri are dedicated and ruthless when they feel their power is threatened or else feel the need to flaunt it and remind everyone who's boss, the Cardassians are dedicated and ruthless pretty much all the time, because they constantly have their backs to the wall, partly due to factors beyond their control, partly due to their own messed-up society and its expectations.
Dukat and his cronies on Terok Nor must have been an exception then? Given Spring wine, kanar, and comfort women were major indulgences of the Cardassian occupying forces on Bajor is a sign that Cardassians do party.

And also during the early Dominion War when Deep Space Nine was captured by the Dominion the Cardassians frequented Quark's quite often, gambling and drinking.

So perhaps the two races in that regard are a bit closer as far as appetites for worldly pleasures are concerned.

So what it comes down to, I think, is: who has the greater need to win? The old lion fighting to retain leadership of his pride, who would otherwise be lounging about but is NOT going to let anyone challenge him and still knows how to show everyone else who's boss, or the lean, starving lion whose life has been one long battle for survival and who is driven to take that leadership position no matter what? Who wants it more?
Well, that would be a close fight. But in that scenario the cornered enemy (in this case the Centauri) would be an utterly ruthless enemy. If the fight got to hand to hand combat I would give the Cardassians an advantage due to body armor and the fact that their reptilian hides are probably tougher than the Centauri mammalian skin.

Last edited by Dingo; November 17 2012 at 06:45 PM.
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Old November 17 2012, 06:52 PM   #6
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Re: Centauri vs. Cardassian

Dingo wrote: View Post
Cardassians, though, never party. They believe the supposed needs of Cardassia are justification for militant acquisition of resources, and the ruling parties justify their position through military service history rather than birthright. They're constantly pressured into continuing their militancy, either by the genuine desire to stave off scarcity or the knowledge that they hold on to their power only by seeming to serve the needs of Cardassia. Where Centauri are dedicated and ruthless when they feel their power is threatened or else feel the need to flaunt it and remind everyone who's boss, the Cardassians are dedicated and ruthless pretty much all the time, because they constantly have their backs to the wall, partly due to factors beyond their control, partly due to their own messed-up society and its expectations.
Dukat and his cronies on Terok Nor must have been an exception then? Given Spring wine, kanar, and comfort women were major indulgences of the Cardassian occupying forces on Bajor is a sign that Cardassians do party.

And also during the early Dominion War when Deep Space Nine was captured by the Dominion the Cardassians frequented Quark's quite often, gambling and drinking.

So perhaps the two races in that regard are a bit closer as far as appetites for worldly pleasures are concerned..
Fair point. Yes, I probably exaggerated there; you're right that we do see indulgence and even displays of luxury and excess among Cardassians. Still, that seems to be a periodic release from the pressures of discipline and duty rather than a lifestyle, and it apparently tends to happens on frontier outposts and colonies; I always got the impression that, like the extramarital affairs with Bajoran women, the drinking and gambling wasn't exactly socially acceptable, only people shrugged and turned a blind eye to it so long as it stayed out in the colonies.
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Old November 17 2012, 07:06 PM   #7
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Re: Centauri vs. Cardassian

Fair point. Yes, I probably exaggerated there; you're right that we do see indulgence and even displays of luxury and excess among Cardassians. Still, that seems to be a periodic release from the pressures of discipline and duty rather than a lifestyle, and it apparently tends to happens on frontier outposts and colonies; I always got the impression that, like the extramarital affairs with Bajoran women, the drinking and gambling wasn't exactly socially acceptable, only people shrugged and turned a blind eye to it so long as it stayed out in the colonies.
Let's not also forget Damar kept a mistress, and indulged in a fair bit of kanar during the later stages of the Dominion War, prior to the Breen's alliance. Whether this was a result of the pressures of being the Legate of Cardassia, the fact that his people were suffering, and the like is also subject to debate.
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Old November 17 2012, 08:02 PM   #8
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Re: Centauri vs. Cardassian

Centauri. Cardassians would be out of breath from laughing at their ridiculous hair.
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Old November 18 2012, 06:05 AM   #9
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Re: Centauri vs. Cardassian

Centauri males had large reproductive organs. They just need to show it to the Cardassians and the Cardassians will die of fright.

Last edited by EmoBorg; November 18 2012 at 07:12 AM.
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Old November 18 2012, 07:12 AM   #10
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Re: Centauri vs. Cardassian

The Cardassians would wipe the floor with them and their large organs.
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