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Old July 10 2013, 09:01 AM   #166
Robert Comsol
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

Timo wrote: View Post
6. Couldn't Starfleet then start shooting at the Romulan homeworld from their outposts as a response since they're at a close enough range.
Definitely. And I guess that would always have been an option even in the "big RSE" model. We see the outposts rather sparsely positioned, and no matter what the scale of this map, this very probably indicates that each outpost has weapons with enough range to close the gap between the outposts. Which gives them enough range to hit the Romulus dot, too, more or less.
May I remind you, that Kirk felt his task to be to first ascertain who had been the attacker and second to avoid a new war with the Romulans if possible.

The Federation doesn't subscribe to a "shoot first, ask questions later" strategy / policy, and I think that's a very good thing.

Bob
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Old July 10 2013, 07:52 PM   #167
Timo
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

In this case, it would be more like a "shoot second" strategy...

But fundamentally, it's difficult to see why the Federation should get particularly agitated about losing a few outposts. Supposedly, a single starship can do the job of these outdated installations if need be (even if perhaps at a greater cost), so there's plenty of time to think and talk things through before the military strike develops into an actual military crisis.

But that doesn't mean that the intent behind the outposts would not have been that of placing a loaded gun against the necks of all Romulans and telling them to behave. In the "just one system" model, the entire Romulan Star Empire might have been rigged to die in case of aggression. Even in the "vast FTL empire" model, having Romulus within interstellar weapons range could be a very deliberate message.

Perhaps the concept of blackmailing Romulus with the threat of total destruction was abandoned some time after the creation of the outpost chain, as nothing of the sort is actually discussed in this episode or later ones. Doesn't mean it couldn't have been the original intent behind the fortresses.

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Old July 11 2013, 03:32 AM   #168
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

Timo wrote: View Post
Regarding mission secrecy, do we have any reason to think the Romulans would have been able to jam the outposts' communications with Starfleet? If not, secrecy would be quite unlikely: even an optimal attack sequence would leave time for sending out not just a generic SOS but also a sensor data dump on the attacker.
Which would be why they destroyed them. Outpost Two and Three never managed to get off that much, and Outpost Four was only able to report at all because the Romulans didn't finish destroying it. If Enterprise hadn't been in the area, no one would have ever known what happened to those outposts.

"We've seen a hundred campaigns together and still I do not understand you!"
Here I'd cling to the difference between "campaigns" and "missions".
I wouldn't, not with the vaguely shakespearean cadence of Romulan conversation at this point. The entire conversation has an almost poetic quality to it and I think "campaigns" is just a fancy word for "very long mission in enemy territory."
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Old July 11 2013, 05:03 AM   #169
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

Timo wrote: View Post
blssdwlf wrote: View Post
So several questions spring to mind:

1. At the smaller scale, couldn't the Romulans fire at these Starfleet outposts from their own planet? The Plasma weapon had a very long range.
Good point - but perhaps the ship was necessary for finding out where the outposts are in the first place. If the fortresses are part of a natural asteroid belt, they were probably built with stealth as a secondary if not a primary concern. Randomly shooting at ten thousand asteroids might be beyond the capabilities of the Romulans.
If that's the case, couldn't the Romulans observe the construction of the asteroids as the Starfleet ships coming over to build them probably would not be stealthy. And at that scale, it's like watching what's going on in your own backyard. Plus with 100 years of time on their hands you would think that the Romulans had plenty of time to identify and target the outposts?

Timo wrote: View Post
2. or build a set of counter outposts on their side and wouldn't they show up on the map?
Again part of a belt, and thus only the Romulans would know which of the asteroids are Romulan bases.
Wouldn't also the same apply here? At ranges of 1/2 or less of an AU it would be trivial for Starfleet to observe any ships going out to build outposts on the other side of the zone.

Timo wrote: View Post
(If we drop the single-system model, the question "Where is Remus" still applies, but the scale of the map might mean it's omitted - or then it's represented by that red ring around the ROMULUS dot.)
I tried searching on more info about Remus but there doesn't seem to be much out there except for Nemesis. I guess I'll take a look to see if there is anything that might be of use.

Timo wrote: View Post
If the Romulans have been confined to this single star system (or actually just its inner parts) for a century, they might have abandoned spaceflight altogether. Save for their secret projects, conducted literally under wraps, that is.
If they did, what campaigns did the Romulan commander and his buddy go on? He seems to be a seasoned starship commander.

Timo wrote: View Post
5. Wouldn't the "stars of home" look the same on the other side of the neutral zone to the Romulan Commander if the fight took place in their own star system?
If spaceflight indeed is something these folks no longer do, then stars-as-seen-from-space vs. stars-as-seen-from-Romulus would be very different things to them... Not in terms of position, but of appearance.
I'm not following. I can understand if the stars visible from the Romulus are different than from a outpost light years away. I'm having trouble seeing how it would be different while a few AU away or just stuck on their home planet.

Timo wrote: View Post
6. Couldn't Starfleet then start shooting at the Romulan homeworld from their outposts as a response since they're at a close enough range.
Definitely. And I guess that would always have been an option even in the "big RSE" model. We see the outposts rather sparsely positioned, and no matter what the scale of this map, this very probably indicates that each outpost has weapons with enough range to close the gap between the outposts. Which gives them enough range to hit the Romulus dot, too, more or less.
Well, if the scale went up enough, the outposts couldn't reach Romulus. On the "1 system" model, the range of the outposts to the Romulus homeworld would be 2 AU or so and range wouldn't be an issue. But if the RNZ was light years across (the big RSE model) then suddenly the outposts would be out of range to hit Romulus.


Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
blssdwlf wrote: View Post
1. At the smaller scale, couldn't the Romulans fire at these Starfleet outposts from their own planet? The Plasma weapon had a very long range.
Actually they made a pretty big deal about the plasma weapon having a natural range limit; indeed, the Enterprise uses this to their advantage by firing at the Romulans from outside their firing range (and Stiles says "A phaser hit at this range would be the wildest stroke of luck!")
Right, but the range limit appears to be very far. Put it this way, the Enterprise runs away at emergency warp for 2m30s before the plasma weapon runs out of power. That's 4 squares of travel distance based on the distance the Enterprise travels at warp towards Outpost 4.* It's only 2 spaces away for the Romulans to fire on the Outposts if they did it from their side of the zone and well within their range limit.

*It could be much more than 4 squares as I was looking at it from above and didn't account for traveling on the altitude axis.

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
It's implied to have the ability to travel at FTL velocities, but the warp speeds shown in this episode are depicted as being (as is often the case in TOS) remarkably slow, not necessarily even FTL. As we've seen, this only ever happens deep within planetary systems well within the range of a star's gravity well.
There is a star in the square that the Enterprise/Romulan are in when they encounter the comet. That could be the source of the comet's tail and also the gravity well/warp slow down.


Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Possibly, but at that range not enough to tell more than indistinct shapes and power emanations. Enough to make a rough guess, but little more.
It's only a few AU if we're talking the "single star model" so I would think their sensor technology should be much better than that.

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
5. Wouldn't the "stars of home" look the same on the other side of the neutral zone to the Romulan Commander if the fight took place in their own star system?
We've been assuming that the Bird of Prey's mission was to test Federation defenses by attacking those outposts with its new weapon. But we don't really know that for sure, do we? Fuel was definitely an issue at this point, but we also don't know the bird of prey's actual flight range; Hansen did, after all, mention that the Romulans had destroyed outposts Two, Three and Eight.
That's interesting as Outpost 8 would be way at the top. Was there a second Romulan ship involved?

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
The first are understandable. Outpost two spotted the BoP on the way back through the neutral zone and immediately radioed its neighbors for confirmation. The Bird of Prey destroyed outpost three with a single shot, but outpost four survived long enough to get off a message to the Enterprise.
I think it's a bit more muddled than that. Enterprise lost contact with Outpost 2, then an hour later Outpost 3 went silent. According to the dialogue, 2 went silent first. But somewhere along the line, Hansen on Outpost 4 found out that 8 also was destroyed. There doesn't seem to be enough time for that Romulan ship to get up to blast 8 after getting 2 and 3 before getting 4. But 8 couldn't have been the first one to get destroyed because 2 is the first one we're told that they lost contact with.

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
That, finally, would explain why the Romulan Commander in "The Enterprise Incident" seems to know so much about the Enterprise and its crew. They've been infiltrating the Federation for years already and Starfleet was none the wiser until one of their spy ships got shot down trying to cross back into the zone.
A few episodes earlier in "The Deadly Years" we know the Romulans had broken "Code 2" communications. It wouldn't be hard to imagine that they got their intel on the Enterprise and Kirk from that episode. The spying of course still could happen but that would probably come from the merchant ships crossing the zone to pick Romulan Ale

Interestingly enough, the Romulans contact the Enterprise with a "Class 2" communication (is that same as "Code 2"?) in "The Enterprise Incident".

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Here's a thought: the Centurion says to his commander "We've seen a hundred campaigns together and still I do not understand you!" For all we know, this isn't the first time this particular commander -- or even this particular ship -- has crossed the neutral zone. It's merely the first time they've ever gotten caught.
I'm thinking that campaigns equal wars of some kind. If he said "sorties" or "missions" perhaps but the dialogue made this something bigger (not smaller), IMHO.

I still think that the "small RSE/Single system RSE" has too many problems to be viable. If we expand out the evidence to later TOS episodes it becomes even more problematic.

Last edited by blssdwlf; July 11 2013 at 06:56 AM.
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Old July 11 2013, 10:28 AM   #170
Robert Comsol
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
A few episodes earlier in "The Deadly Years" we know the Romulans had broken "Code 2" communications. It wouldn't be hard to imagine that they got their intel on the Enterprise and Kirk from that episode. The spying of course still could happen but that would probably come from the merchant ships crossing the zone to pick Romulan Ale

Interestingly enough, the Romulans contact the Enterprise with a "Class 2" communication (is that same as "Code 2"?) in "The Enterprise Incident".
Very good rationalization! Just "bought" it.

Let's keep this dialogue in mind: "The treaty, set by sub-space radio, established this Neutral Zone, entry into which by either side, would constitute an act of war. The treaty has been unbroken since that time."

Sounds like an armistice to me, and I believe the "Neutral Zone" was inspired by the Korean Demilitarized Zone. There are just too many analogies to recent events (then) in "Balance of Terror" which I find difficult to ignore. But that undoubtedly helped to create credibility on behalf of Star Trek, because audiences could relate to these things back in the 1960's.

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Old July 11 2013, 11:07 AM   #171
Timo
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

Outpost Two and Three never managed to get off that much
Which is quite unrealistic IMHO, is all. Unless we postulate jamming, or perhaps a constant Romulan campaign of destroying nearby comm relay buoys to create and maintain Starfleet's otherwise exceptional commlag problem. Perhaps that was what the Romulan ship (among dozens of others) was tasked with?

If that's the case, couldn't the Romulans observe the construction of the asteroids as the Starfleet ships coming over to build them probably would not be stealthy. And at that scale, it's like watching what's going on in your own backyard. Plus with 100 years of time on their hands you would think that the Romulans had plenty of time to identify and target the outposts?
But the Feds or Earthlings would know all that, and prepare accordingly. It would be like digging tunnels beneath the Berlin Wall in the 1960s or right against the trenches of the damned Huns or Boches in the 1910s - something militaries and intelligence forces rather routinely engage in. Well worth the effort, and this alone will eventually provide the means.

I tried searching on more info about Remus but there doesn't seem to be much out there except for Nemesis. I guess I'll take a look to see if there is anything that might be of use.
Remus is basically completely forgotten in canon after "Balance of Terror". All we know is that visuals of Romulus never show it nearby in TNG or DS9. Perhaps Romulans wanted the same setup they had enjoyed on Vulcan - a planet with a companion planet that is not a moon, but occasionally pays a very close visit? This would be a smooth way to combine the "Charlie X" insistence that Vulcan has no moon with the visuals of heavenly bodies over Vulcan in TAS and ST:TMP and the depiction of the orbits in ST:NEM.

If they did, what campaigns did the Romulan commander and his buddy go on? He seems to be a seasoned starship commander.
Perhaps he's just a generic military commander instead? The "Roooomans in Spaaaace!" concept would well cater for the idea that naval battles are fought by land warriors who embark on ships as needed.

But if the RNZ was light years across (the big RSE model) then suddenly the outposts would be out of range to hit Romulus.
Nope - because the setup would then imply that the outpost weapons have a range of several light years. Otherwise, they couldn't cover the gaps between adjacent outposts, either.

It's the placement of the outposts on the map that dictates their weapon range, and that scales nicely up and down with the map. The exact nature of the weapons is left as an exercise to the viewer; since these things are a century old, perhaps we're talking about armageddon-level nuclear (or "atomic") missiles?

Was there a second Romulan ship involved?
Apparently not - but our heroes could not know that, and therefore could not use the distance from outpost to outpost as a yardstick for measuring the speed of their opponent.

But 8 couldn't have been the first one to get destroyed because 2 is the first one we're told that they lost contact with.
Unless these outposts maintain stealth and only send out reports on schedule - and 8 wasn't scheduled to report yet.

Romulans might even have found out the schedule and timed their attack that way. For all we know, fifty outposts were leveled in this attack, and Outposts 2, 3 and 4 were the only ones that could not be taken down in optimal schedule, so Starfleet learned of their loss and was able to respond - too late to save the lives of thousands of outpost crew, but swiftly enough to avenge.

I still think that the "small RSE/Single system RSE" has too many problems to be viable. If we expand out the evidence to later TOS episodes it becomes even more problematic.
Agreed - even if we think of ways in which a "small RSE" could become a "large RSE" some time after the episode!

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Old July 11 2013, 12:45 PM   #172
Robert Comsol
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

Timo wrote: View Post
Romulans might even have found out the schedule and timed their attack that way. For all we know, fifty outposts were leveled in this attack, and Outposts 2, 3 and 4 were the only ones that could not be taken down in optimal schedule, so Starfleet learned of their loss and was able to respond - too late to save the lives of thousands of outpost crew, but swiftly enough to avenge.
This scenario seems rather unlikely, according to Commander Hansen on Outpost 4: "Outposts two, three, and eight are gone. Unknown weapon. Completely destroyed, even though we were alerted. Had our deflector shield on maximum. Hit by enormous power. First attack blew our deflector shield. If they hit us again with our deflector shield gone."

For some unknown reason Hansen knows things the Enterprise doesn't, because he also reports the destruction of Outpost 8, something no one on the Enterprise seems to be aware of and one that is not on the star chart. His outpost was obviously in scanning range of Outpost 8, the Enterprise was not.

Had there been additional outposts destroyed, he would have probably reported that.

It's also interesting that all the Enterprise learned was that the previous Outposts 2 and 3 went silent. I think this suggests that the moment their deflector shields went up they automatically went silent / communication was cut-off and all "radio power" was rerouted to the shields. While Hansen couldn't hear what happened, obviously his scanners told him what to get ready for.

To me it looks like the Romulans had difficulties recharging their weapon. In contrast to the other outposts, Hansen must have had time and/or extra energy, after his outpost's deflector shields had been obliterated, to send a distress call to the Enterprise and even have some extra time to wait for them coming into visual communications range.

Bob
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Old July 11 2013, 07:03 PM   #173
Timo
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

His outpost was obviously in scanning range of Outpost 8, the Enterprise was not.
Or then he had access to secure internal communications across the fortress chain, or parts of it, including enough telemetry that total destruction could be ascertained. He would have been blind (due to stealth measures on both sides) but not deaf.

Outposts 5, 6 and 7 might have been destroyed as well, but without enough telemetry to tell why they went silent. Or then silence from them was not unexpected at that point, but rather the tactical norm, and Hansen thus had no proof of destruction. Or then the Romulans tried out a "lone" outpost first before risking taking down three in a row. It's even possible that the loss of Outpost 8 was an error in Hansen's interpreting the communications and lack thereof; such things often happen.

In contrast to the other outposts, Hansen must have had time and/or extra energy, after his outpost's deflector shields had been obliterated, to send a distress call to the Enterprise and even have some extra time to wait for them coming into visual communications range.
Or then all the outposts sent out similar messages, but only a very proximal starship could pick them up from amidst the local (Romulan-generated or natural) subspace noise. And Kirk just wasn't close enough when the first two or three outposts were lost.

But personally, I'm ready to agree the Romulans just ran out of luck - either their weapon finally failed to perform up to specs, or Starfleet reaction time got better, or some other conditions initially deemed favorable for the attack eventually deteriorated.

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Old July 11 2013, 09:01 PM   #174
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
Right, but the range limit appears to be very far.
But evidently not as far as phaser range, which gives us a good upper limit. If "Emergency warp" is anything like the "better than warp seven" the Klingons were using in "Elaan of Troyus," that might be something like one and a half light minutes, or about one-sixth of an AU. If the neutral zone really is built around the Rom-system's asteroid belt, the plasma weapon wouldn't even be able to cross the zone itself before dissipating into a pink hot fart.

There is a star in the square that the Enterprise/Romulan are in when they encounter the comet. That could be the source of the comet's tail and also the gravity well/warp slow down.
If that were the case, though, the entire battle should have taken place in the vicinity of that one star and they wouldn't have had enough time to leave its effective zone. They'd be nowhere NEAR the neutral zone by the time Enterprise caught up to them.

It's only a few AU if we're talking the "single star model" so I would think their sensor technology should be much better than that.
From a few AU they could DETECT something there, but that doesn't mean they could analyze it in detail.

I think it's a bit more muddled than that. Enterprise lost contact with Outpost 2, then an hour later Outpost 3 went silent. According to the dialogue, 2 went silent first. But somewhere along the line, Hansen on Outpost 4 found out that 8 also was destroyed. There doesn't seem to be enough time for that Romulan ship to get up to blast 8 after getting 2 and 3 before getting 4. But 8 couldn't have been the first one to get destroyed because 2 is the first one we're told that they lost contact with.
That's why I'm thinking that outpost eight had gone off the air several days earlier and that Enterprise was ordered to the sector in the first place to investigate. Outpost Two suddenly stopped transmitting before they arrived, which was worrying; outpost three ALSO dropped out, which was extremely worrying.

They didn't mention outpost eight at this point because it was old news, a week-old mystery they had already discussed before they even got here. Afterwards, though, they might go back and ask the same question I'm asking now: why would the Romulans have hit #8 at all?

A few episodes earlier in "The Deadly Years" we know the Romulans had broken "Code 2" communications. It wouldn't be hard to imagine that they got their intel on the Enterprise and Kirk from that episode. The spying of course still could happen but that would probably come from the merchant ships crossing the zone to pick Romulan Ale
WHAT merchant ships? Nobody knows what the Romulans look like right now remember? They're evidently in isolation at the moment or else Starfleet intelligence would have figured out years ago that Romulans bear an uncanny resemblance to Vulcans.
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Old July 11 2013, 09:37 PM   #175
Timo
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

That Starfleet Intelligence hasn't figured out who the Romulans are is far from established. "Balance of Terror" suffers from many well-known implausibilities, both internally and especially in terms of how the Romulans were put to dramatic use later on. Kirk seems to be an ignoramus in all matters pertaining to Romulans, as he doesn't even know their ships are capable of invisibility, and Spock may well be obfuscating when proclaiming this (little-?)known ability "theoretical". After all, Spock has the perfect motivation to do so! And so does every other Vulcan in the Federation, many of whom are no doubt in a position to influence SFI and the UFP government...

Merchant ships and possible close Vulcan-Romulan communications at a time when the Federation officially believes that the Romulans are unknown and in isolation is not really much of a leap. Quite to the contrary, it would clear up a great many inconsistencies to assume that knowledge exists but is being suppressed.

It's really not that hard to suppress this specific sort of knowledge anyway. Starfleet would in fact make it quite easy for itself by maintaining this siege around the entire Star Empire, in an apparent distant corner of the galaxy. A degree of regulated smuggling would be an asset to both sides, who indeed seem to enjoy mutual strategic benefits from the Neutral Zone arrangement. The old question of who lost the Romulan War becomes sort of irrelevant when one considers that the actual outcome was a victory to both sides...

Taking the episode at face value is fine as such. It's just that it takes out a great deal of later Star Trek fun relating to the concepts involved!

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Old July 11 2013, 11:20 PM   #176
Mytran
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

The concept of a single-system Romulan Empire is really attractive and works within the initial episode, Balance of Terror. The name of the war, the "Earth-Romulan conflict" also makes sense, since it was one solar system vs another (albeit with some allies here and there). No need to try and explain this away in terms of the Federation.

Unfortunately, that is where the theory runs out of good ground. Every later encounter seems to refute the notion - Commodore Stocker takes a "short cut" across the NZ to reach Starbase 10, an absurb concept (in interstella terms) if the RNZ merely surrounds a single star - you are effectively cutting through a solar system! Season 3 episodes have the Enterprise actually crossing to the other side of the RNZ, in one instance getting almost instantly surrounded by enemy vessels, in another spending several hours on a hitherto uncharted planet.

I have not seen the TAS episodes recently, but from earlier discussions they don't seem the help the "single-system" theory.


Instead, I'd like to concentrate on the one piece of visual evidence we have for the Romulan Neutral Zone:

http://tos.trekcore.com/hd/albums/1x...errorhd073.jpg

Thanks to modern HD, the markings on the map are clear. Masao Okazaki has reproduced the map in detail:

http://www.st-minutiae.com/graphics/...62/map_1_1.jpg


I realise that this was just a visual aid to guide the episode's action but I can't help wondering - what scale is the grid at?

The "scale" bar label shows "5000" units of something, and that each grid square is divided up into 6 sections.

5,000 x 6 = 30,000 units of something, but what?

Throughout TOS, different measuring systems are used freely and without preference such as feet, inches, metres, miles, kilometres, light years, parsecs, even A.U.s! So the units on the scale bar really could be anything. Let's try light years:

1 Light Year = 9,460,528,400,000 kilometres
half a L.Y. = 4,730,264,200,000 kilometres

So, no joy from the metric system. But if we use miles:

1 Light Year = 5,878,499,810,000 miles
half a L.Y. = 2,939,249,905,000 miles

Half a light year is just under 3 trillion (3,000,000,000,000) miles. If each of the 6 divisions of a grid square represents 500 billion miles then each of the units that the "5000" refers to would be 100 million miles.

So, does a grid square really measure about half a light year along each side? If so, it would make for a very thin neutral zone! Also a very dense star field across the map, even assuming a three-dimensional viewpoint. For example, most of the squares have 2 or 3 stars featured. The Galaxy just ain't that full!


Maybe we should look at a different measurement unit, for example:

1 Parsec = 30,856,775,800,000 kilometres

If each of the 6 divisions of a grid square represented 5 trillion kilometers, then each of the units that the "5000" refers to would be a billion kilometers. A whole grid square would be 30 trillion (30,000,000,000,000) kilometers, not too far off a Parsec.

This makes the neutral zone about 1 Parsec deep (a comfortable distance from Romulan Space) and spreads those stars out a lot more. Plus we have a neat metric system with each unit onthe chart representing a nice round number (one billion kilometres)



Now, both Parsecs and Light Years are hopelessly Terra-centric units, since they are derived from the orbit of our own Earth around our own sun. Metres (while also Terran) are a smaller and more versatile unit that could be easily shared and used by other races. Individual species would still have their own terms of course (I doubt a Vulcan or Andorian light year is the same as a Terran one). Perhaps pan-galactic standards could be set for ease of use accross all Federation members - why not 30 trillion kilometres for a "standard" Parsec?

Then again, it is an Earth map that we see, so Earth measurements would not be too unexpected!
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Old July 11 2013, 11:26 PM   #177
zDarby
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

I don't remember... Did kirk not know it was the romulans attacking! If not, how does that jibe with a one system model?

I feel like I am missing something blindingly obvious and am asking a stupid question. None the less, what am I missing?
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Old July 12 2013, 10:39 AM   #178
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

I suppose it could have been someone attacking from Earth's side of the RMZ, space pirates or some other aggressor?
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Old July 12 2013, 11:00 AM   #179
Robert Comsol
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

Mytran wrote: View Post
The concept of a single-system Romulan Empire is really attractive and works within the initial episode, Balance of Terror. The name of the war, the "Earth-Romulan conflict" also makes sense, since it was one solar system vs another (albeit with some allies here and there). No need to try and explain this away in terms of the Federation.

Unfortunately, that is where the theory runs out of good ground. Every later encounter seems to refute the notion - Commodore Stocker takes a "short cut" across the NZ to reach Starbase 10, an absurd concept (in interstellar terms) if the RNZ merely surrounds a single star - you are effectively cutting through a solar system! Season 3 episodes have the Enterprise actually crossing to the other side of the RNZ, in one instance getting almost instantly surrounded by enemy vessels, in another spending several hours on a hitherto uncharted planet.

Instead, I'd like to concentrate on the one piece of visual evidence we have for the Romulan Neutral Zone:

http://tos.trekcore.com/hd/albums/1x...errorhd073.jpg
I believe the one thing the star chart establishes beyond doubt is that we are looking at Sector Z-6 and its quadrants (reminder: in TOS a quadrant was a smaller piece of a sector!).

But I'm afraid the information on quadrants we can get from TOS is not sufficient to establish a reliable sense of scale.

The question remains what happened after events in "Balance of Terror". I somehow find it hard to believe that the Federation did not contact the Romulans via subspace radio to tell them "We know it was you, we've got the evidence, and any furher incursions will be dealt in a manner as we see fit."
Especially, after one (warp-drive capable) Romulan ships had made it to Tau Ceti (11 light years from Earth) and was defeated by the Enterprise according to "Whom Gods Destroy".

This may have resulted in a dialogue and Romulan bartering to renegotiate the treaty, i.e. expending their territory beyond the Neutral Zone we saw on the star chart.
It's interesting to see that our protagonists both in "The Deadly Years" and "The Enterprise Incident" are eager to keep the (new?) treaty, although it's crystal clear that the Romulans violated the (original?) treaty in BT.

@ zDarby

As Mytran just added, someone else attacking the outposts on the Federation side of space could have deliberately done so to start a new war with the Romulans.
Thus Kirk had to give them the benefit of a doubt, as it appears that such actions aren't entirely without historic precedent.

Bob
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Old July 12 2013, 11:22 AM   #180
Mario de Monti
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

@ Mytran

That´s some very comprehensible reasoning you did there and I´m always for doing a few calculations, too

Mytran wrote: View Post
Maybe we should look at a different measurement unit, for example:

1 Parsec = 30,856,775,800,000 kilometres

If each of the 6 divisions of a grid square represented 5 trillion kilometers, then each of the units that the "5000" refers to would be a billion kilometers. A whole grid square would be 30 trillion (30,000,000,000,000) kilometers, not too far off a Parsec.

This makes the neutral zone about 1 Parsec deep (a comfortable distance from Romulan Space) and spreads those stars out a lot more. Plus we have a neat metric system with each unit onthe chart representing a nice round number (one billion kilometres)

(...)

Then again, it is an Earth map that we see, so Earth measurements would not be too unexpected!
I can totally get on board with that, makes sense to me.
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