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Old January 2 2014, 05:01 AM   #16
Christopher
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Re: Next Generation and the Dominion War

Corran Horn wrote: View Post
Geordi seemed to think so. I'd consider him the authority.
Being an authority in engineering does not make one an authority in military strategy. And as the ship's chief engineer, he was naturally biased. We've seen before, in "Force of Nature," how much he was driven by pride and wanted the Enterprise to be the best at everything. So I wouldn't consider him an objective judge.

As for being heavily armed, that's nothing new in Starfleet vessels; Kirk's Enterprise had enough firepower to depopulate a planet. So again, we do not have any actual proof that the Sovereign class was more powerful as a ship of war than any other vessel in Starfleet. Their complete absence in the depicted Dominion War would seem to argue against it. We have to balance all the evidence; we don't get to cherrypick the one bit of data we like and ignore the countervailing evidence. We just don't have any definite proof to let us answer the question one way or the other. And it really doesn't matter anyway, since Picard played a more important role than just wielding brute force.
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Old January 2 2014, 05:17 AM   #17
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Re: Next Generation and the Dominion War

I think that moves the goalposts a little, Christopher. The comparison of the Sovereign being heavily armed isn't just that the class is heavily armed overall, but that she's heavily armed compared to other contemporary ship designs. For example, in simple torpedo launchers, the Galaxy has one forward and one rear launcher, while the Sovereign circa First Contact had at least 1 quantum torpedo launcher along with 2 large forward launchers on the engineering hull and 2 rearward facing launchers. Then we also get two supposedly in the saucer, which gives us a much larger torpedo arsenal than any contemporary design. Combined with the fact that the ship is armed with a larger number of phaser array strips than comparable 24th century contemporary designs, and that gives us some sense of the ship's RELATIVE capabilities next to comparable ships like all the Galaxy and Nebula class ships we see in the fleet scenes.

We also know that despite the fact that we have multiple Defiant-class ships as shown in Valiant and Ship in a Bottle somehow only the Defiant shows up in the DS9 fleet battle scenes. Does this mean the Defiant-class wasn't a great powerful ship because of that fact? It could simply mean that their numbers were limited and thus only a handful are assigned to any theater of war.

We also see that the Intrepid we see in DS9 is being used as a special personal flagship for Admiral Ross, suggesting that Bellerophon despite not showing up in the fleet sequences has capabilities that make it ideal for an admiral's personal use and that given Ross's presence at battles, was actually at the battle despite not being "on screen".

In terms of balancing the evidence, I think that tends to show at least that Starfleet seems to parcel out their most advanced/powerful designs and throw them into independent functioning roles rather than sticking them into fleet actions.
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Old January 2 2014, 05:49 AM   #18
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Re: Next Generation and the Dominion War

Nob Akimoto wrote: View Post
I think that moves the goalposts a little, Christopher. The comparison of the Sovereign being heavily armed isn't just that the class is heavily armed overall, but that she's heavily armed compared to other contemporary ship designs.
Which is exactly the comparison I am making. My whole point is that it would have to be compared against other classes.

For example, in simple torpedo launchers, the Galaxy has one forward and one rear launcher, while the Sovereign circa First Contact had at least 1 quantum torpedo launcher along with 2 large forward launchers on the engineering hull and 2 rearward facing launchers. Then we also get two supposedly in the saucer, which gives us a much larger torpedo arsenal than any contemporary design. Combined with the fact that the ship is armed with a larger number of phaser array strips than comparable 24th century contemporary designs, and that gives us some sense of the ship's RELATIVE capabilities next to comparable ships like all the Galaxy and Nebula class ships we see in the fleet scenes.
But you're talking about the Galaxy class's known armaments during TNG. Is it logical to assume they didn't add more weapons to the Galaxies built for the Dominion fleets?

Look, I'm the first to admit that in real life it was absurd that the Dominion battle fleets were so dominated by Galaxies and older classes rather than the newer, post-Wolf 359 classes like Intrepid and Sovereign. But that's what we're stuck with and we have to formulate our theories based on that evidence. So it seems to me we have to conclude there's some reason why, despite what we'd expect, the Galaxies and Excelsiors and whatnot proved more useful for combat than the Sovvies. Maybe it's similar to the rationale used in the Romulan War duology for building more Daedalus-class ships rather than NX-class: because they were easier and quicker to mass-produce due to the production process being simpler and well-established.


In terms of balancing the evidence, I think that tends to show at least that Starfleet seems to parcel out their most advanced/powerful designs and throw them into independent functioning roles rather than sticking them into fleet actions.
Okay, maybe. But that still works to explain why the E-E wasn't in the front lines, and that's my primary goal.

I still stand by the assertion, though, that the phrase "advanced starship" does not merely mean "powerful warship." Starfleet vessels are something far better than mere warships.
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Old January 2 2014, 06:07 AM   #19
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Re: Next Generation and the Dominion War

Christopher wrote: View Post
Corran Horn wrote: View Post
Geordi seemed to think so. I'd consider him the authority.
Being an authority in engineering does not make one an authority in military strategy. And as the ship's chief engineer, he was naturally biased. We've seen before, in "Force of Nature," how much he was driven by pride and wanted the Enterprise to be the best at everything. So I wouldn't consider him an objective judge.
Please. He's the chief engineer of a state-of-the-art vessel. He's an authority on comparative capabilities of starships. Knowing what he knows about the ship and its capabilities he believes they should be on the front lines.

You said there was no canonical evidence the Sovereign-class was a "powerful warship". Someone who is an in-universe expert on starships said that the Enterprise should be on the front line of a battle against arguably (only because you'll argue it) the most powerful enemy the Federation had ever encountered. Did he need to be an authority on military strategy to make that call? Or does he know that, judging from his knowledge of the other starships and their abilities, the Enterprise belonged in that battle? Of course it's a powerful warship - it's just not *only* a powerful warship. It wasn't meant for war, solely.

Heck, if you're just looking for an in-universe reason why the Enterprise wasn't around the one Shelby gives Calhoun at the beginning of "Once Burned" about why the Excalibur isn't at the front seems plausible enough. Some assets are kept back for when things *really* get bad--and having your best/most independent Captains in those slots makes sense.
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Old January 2 2014, 08:56 AM   #20
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Re: Next Generation and the Dominion War

one of the slings and arrows Ebooks has the Enterprise-E infiltrated by a changeling that stole the specs of the Sovereign Class starships. It's set between "By Inferno's light" and First Contact.
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Old January 2 2014, 12:05 PM   #21
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Re: Next Generation and the Dominion War

Christopher wrote: View Post
Nob Akimoto wrote: View Post
I think that moves the goalposts a little, Christopher. The comparison of the Sovereign being heavily armed isn't just that the class is heavily armed overall, but that she's heavily armed compared to other contemporary ship designs.
Which is exactly the comparison I am making. My whole point is that it would have to be compared against other classes.

For example, in simple torpedo launchers, the Galaxy has one forward and one rear launcher, while the Sovereign circa First Contact had at least 1 quantum torpedo launcher along with 2 large forward launchers on the engineering hull and 2 rearward facing launchers. Then we also get two supposedly in the saucer, which gives us a much larger torpedo arsenal than any contemporary design. Combined with the fact that the ship is armed with a larger number of phaser array strips than comparable 24th century contemporary designs, and that gives us some sense of the ship's RELATIVE capabilities next to comparable ships like all the Galaxy and Nebula class ships we see in the fleet scenes.
But you're talking about the Galaxy class's known armaments during TNG. Is it logical to assume they didn't add more weapons to the Galaxies built for the Dominion fleets?

Look, I'm the first to admit that in real life it was absurd that the Dominion battle fleets were so dominated by Galaxies and older classes rather than the newer, post-Wolf 359 classes like Intrepid and Sovereign. But that's what we're stuck with and we have to formulate our theories based on that evidence. So it seems to me we have to conclude there's some reason why, despite what we'd expect, the Galaxies and Excelsiors and whatnot proved more useful for combat than the Sovvies. Maybe it's similar to the rationale used in the Romulan War duology for building more Daedalus-class ships rather than NX-class: because they were easier and quicker to mass-produce due to the production process being simpler and well-established.


In terms of balancing the evidence, I think that tends to show at least that Starfleet seems to parcel out their most advanced/powerful designs and throw them into independent functioning roles rather than sticking them into fleet actions.
Okay, maybe. But that still works to explain why the E-E wasn't in the front lines, and that's my primary goal.

I still stand by the assertion, though, that the phrase "advanced starship" does not merely mean "powerful warship." Starfleet vessels are something far better than mere warships.
For the most part I agree with you Christopher, but I think you might be trying to argue to many points. The explanation of Picard being better suited playing diplomat and getting allies is perfect. As is that the Sovereign and Intrepid classes are relatively new so not many in service and it might have been cheaper/quicker to mass produce the older models for fleets is a perfect companion.

The extra "so therefore Sovereign isn't a good warship" is a step too far for me. It's 1+2=4. It's jumping a step somewhere. For me, it's not the Borg that they're facing, so Picard is better served getting the Federation allies, as I've already said.
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Old January 2 2014, 04:10 PM   #22
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Re: Next Generation and the Dominion War

Corran Horn wrote: View Post
Please. He's the chief engineer of a state-of-the-art vessel. He's an authority on comparative capabilities of starships. Knowing what he knows about the ship and its capabilities he believes they should be on the front lines.
But as I keep stressing, "starship" is not synonymous with "warship." A warship is a vessel specialized for combat above all else. The Enterprise has never, ever been portrayed in that way. Like virtually all Starfleet vessels, it is a multipurpose vessel whose primary intended missions are scientific research, humanitarian and diplomatic support, and defense of Federation worlds and colonies. There had been very little actual war during the time that Geordi La Forge had served aboard starships as an engineer. The border skirmishes with Cardassia had been resolved by the time he switched from flight control to engineering. His years of service aboard the two Enterprises did include a variety of combat scenarios, true, but we rarely saw him participating in anything that could be called a declared war.

So it does not follow that his expertise in starship operations makes him an expert in combat operations. That is not consistent with onscreen evidence.


You said there was no canonical evidence the Sovereign-class was a "powerful warship".
I misspoke. I was responding to Mr. Light's question about whether it was the most powerful warship in the Starfleet. Obviously all Starfleet vessels are powerfully armed, indeed to the point of ridiculous excess, and have been since TOS. It's easy for a starship to be armed to the point of ridiculous excess, because the energies necessary to drive a ship at FTL speeds, or even substantial sublight speeds, would easily be capable of inflicting devastation on a planetary scale. Hell, a shuttlecraft could cause an extinction-level event by crashing into a planet surface at full impulse. So it would be absurd to argue that any Starfleet vessel is not powerful. But the specific claim on the table was that the Enterprise-E was the most powerful warship in the entire fleet, implicitly even more so than other Sovereigns. That is what we have no proof for.

And I never meant to say that I believed the Sovvies were not powerful warships. I just meant that we have little evidence depicting them in actual combat, and thus we have too little information to draw any firm conclusions. Saying "we don't know" is not the same thing as saying "It's not true." For some reason, our culture conditions us to think we have to have a firem answer to every question, even if we have to base it on guesswork and assumptions. I think that's misguided. If we don't have hard facts, we shouldn't try to invent them. Sometimes the wisest answer you can possibly give, or at least the most honest one, is "I just don't know."


NightJim wrote: View Post
For the most part I agree with you Christopher, but I think you might be trying to argue to many points. The explanation of Picard being better suited playing diplomat and getting allies is perfect. As is that the Sovereign and Intrepid classes are relatively new so not many in service and it might have been cheaper/quicker to mass produce the older models for fleets is a perfect companion.
I just hate it when people call Starfleet vessels "warships." That implies a ship that is made for the specific purpose of going to war, of waging aggression. Starfleet weapons are for defense and protection.

Let's not forget that even the Defiant was only unofficially acknowledged as a warship; officially it was an escort vessel. Because "warship" is a label that's anathema to Starfleet's mission and values.
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Old January 3 2014, 04:53 PM   #23
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Re: Next Generation and the Dominion War

In most wars, the percentage of soldiers who are actually out fighting on the front lines is very small. Most of the soldiers are in support, logistics, and other non-combat roles.
Those things are just as - if not more - important than the actual fighting.
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Old January 3 2014, 06:11 PM   #24
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Re: Next Generation and the Dominion War

Let's face it, most parts of war are more productive than the actual fighting. The fighting just does a lot of damage that makes it harder to achieve the intended goals afterward. I think we could run wars a lot more efficiently if we left out the fighting part altogether.
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Old January 3 2014, 07:07 PM   #25
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Re: Next Generation and the Dominion War

Christopher wrote: View Post
Let's face it, most parts of war are more productive than the actual fighting. The fighting just does a lot of damage that makes it harder to achieve the intended goals afterward. I think we could run wars a lot more efficiently if we left out the fighting part altogether.


The fighting parts are just a way to show that you are serious. I would think that a massive internal "goodwill/moral" operation would have been needed in the Dominion War. That would have been a perfect job for the Enterprise.
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Old January 3 2014, 07:38 PM   #26
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Re: Next Generation and the Dominion War

Christopher wrote: View Post
Let's face it, most parts of war are more productive than the actual fighting. The fighting just does a lot of damage that makes it harder to achieve the intended goals afterward. I think we could run wars a lot more efficiently if we left out the fighting part altogether.
Make that a little shorter and pithier, and it would make a very fine Rule of Acquisition.
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Old January 3 2014, 07:58 PM   #27
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Re: Next Generation and the Dominion War

Corran Horn wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
Corran Horn wrote: View Post
Geordi seemed to think so. I'd consider him the authority.
Being an authority in engineering does not make one an authority in military strategy. And as the ship's chief engineer, he was naturally biased. We've seen before, in "Force of Nature," how much he was driven by pride and wanted the Enterprise to be the best at everything. So I wouldn't consider him an objective judge.
Please. He's the chief engineer of a state-of-the-art vessel. He's an authority on comparative capabilities of starships. Knowing what he knows about the ship and its capabilities he believes they should be on the front lines.

You said there was no canonical evidence the Sovereign-class was a "powerful warship". Someone who is an in-universe expert on starships said that the Enterprise should be on the front line of a battle against arguably (only because you'll argue it) the most powerful enemy the Federation had ever encountered. Did he need to be an authority on military strategy to make that call? Or does he know that, judging from his knowledge of the other starships and their abilities, the Enterprise belonged in that battle? Of course it's a powerful warship - it's just not *only* a powerful warship. It wasn't meant for war, solely.
Plus failing all of that Riker flat out said Picard should have been leading the fight against the Borg, and I would think he would be an authority in authority in military strategy what with being the first officer and close to being an actually captain.

Not to mention Starfleet's only reason for keeping the Enterprise out of the fight was because they thought Picard wasn't over his Borg issues.

Plus you can't really say the Enterprise wouldn't be a formidable combatant since it was holding its own against a heavily armed Romulan/Reman dreadnought.
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Old January 3 2014, 08:19 PM   #28
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Re: Next Generation and the Dominion War

In WWII the relatively few large modern German capital ships were largely held out of the conflict, being more useful as a potential threat. They tied up large numbers of allied ships that way, whereas if they were engaged they risked destruction or being pinned down in port.

The majority of engagements were fought with the smaller and more numerous assets, usually U-Boats.
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Old January 3 2014, 08:30 PM   #29
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Re: Next Generation and the Dominion War

Hartzilla2007 wrote: View Post
Plus failing all of that Riker flat out said Picard should have been leading the fight against the Borg, and I would think he would be an authority in authority in military strategy what with being the first officer and close to being an actually captain.
Seriously? Riker said that because Picard had been one of the Borg. He literally knew how they think, had firsthand insights into them that nobody else in Starfleet had (since Seven of Nine was still in the Delta Quadrant at the time). That's got nothing to do with whether Picard is more accomplished as a warrior or a diplomat. Of course he's a diplomat first. How can there be any doubt of that? Whatever military accomplishments he undoubtedly has, he's far more valuable doing what he does best, which is diplomacy.


Plus you can't really say the Enterprise wouldn't be a formidable combatant since it was holding its own against a heavily armed Romulan/Reman dreadnought.
One more time: The only thing I'm questioning is the assertion that it's the most powerful warship. Not about whether it's powerful at all -- as I've made quite clear, it's a given that every Starfleet vessel is absurdly overloaded with destructive potential, because you can't have warp drive without having absurd destructive potential. But that's the whole point. Many Starfleet vessels are powerful in combat, even though virtually no Starfleet vessels are designed with that as their primary function. It goes without saying that the E-E is powerful, but that's because it goes without saying that all Starfleet vessels are powerful. So what makes the E-E the single most powerful one of all, even more so than other Sovereign-class ships? Where did that assertion even come from? What is the basis for that belief? That's what I'm asking.
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Old January 3 2014, 10:16 PM   #30
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Re: Next Generation and the Dominion War

Just a real world check - in here -- the Dominion War was a DS9 TV thing, so the TNG people weren't in the picture because Paramount wasn't paying those actors anymore.
As for the novels, the narrative focus of the entire 24th century era stories had moved ON from the Dominion war, so when the novels took over the lion's share of the storytelling, well the time had come to tell NEW stories, not recap past events that were covered fairly well in the Ds9 canonical series.

Edit:

As for the most powerful warship stuff, just because a starship has a gajillion weapons does not mean it is the KEY to winning. War on a galactic scale would necessitate the use of thousands of ships, and tens, if not hundreds of millions of beings, with an untold number of weapons, and an unprecedented expenditure of energy. One ship is kinda small in that equation even if it is the USS - Chuck Norris.
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