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Trek Tech Pass me the quantum flux regulator, will you?

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Old July 9 2009, 12:49 PM   #1
All Seeing Eye
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Defiant For The Borg? Makes No Sense

Why would starfleet design the Defiant class to fight the Borg? it makes no sense.

To fight the Borg and have any chance of winning you need a ship or weapon capable of slinging out Quantum Torpedos likes there's no tomorrow and having a huge stockpile of them.

In TNG we found out that Galaxy class ships can fire something like 10 torpedoes in one shot (a spread) and even in Voyager i'm sure Janeway has ordered a spread of torpedoes before and yet when we look at the battle on First Contact all the ships just fire the odd torpedo, we never even see ships firing spreads of torpedoes and yet these ships can supposedly fire 10 at a time.

So what's going on here?

Starfleet should be building ships for planetary defence capable of shooting hundreds of torpedoes, a vessel capable of firing a spread of 10 torpedoes every second. A Borg cube would be history.

Where are the huge leviathan sized torpedo slingers?
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Old July 9 2009, 12:58 PM   #2
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Re: Defiant For The Borg? Makes No Sense

It's quality of shots, not quantity that matter, overwise the Borg wouldn't be so scary with their ability to adapt. The slow firing of torpedoes (or short salvos) is probably the ships firing a burst of torpedoes, then reprogramming the parameters of weapons so the Borg can't adapt. Besides, quantum torpedoes aren't the be all and end all of anti-Borg weapons, you have to have variety of weapon types.

Plus you haven't specified why the Defiant itself is a bad design against the Borg.

As for a launcher firing a cluster of 10 torpedoes at a time, I've always found that ability to be a little...off. Does the launcher just have a 'barrel' that can accomodate 10 torpedoes at a time, or is it firing the 10 one millimetres/seconds after each other? It's not properly explained. Besides, we rarely see this ability in use (budget reasons most likely) so there must be some reason for it. As for the Voyager 'spread', Janeway might be using the word instead of 'salvo' or referring to firing the torpedoes in a dispersed pattern over a target, rather than in a single location.
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Old July 9 2009, 01:08 PM   #3
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Re: Defiant For The Borg? Makes No Sense

Tachyon Shield wrote: View Post
... yet when we look at the battle on First Contact all the ships just fire the odd torpedo, we never even see ships firing spreads of torpedoes and yet these ships can supposedly fire 10 at a time.
Well I should imagine that, as the Enterprise only arrives after the battle has been raging for some considerable time (possibly days!) most ships are running on empty as far as torpedoes are concerned.
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Old July 9 2009, 01:16 PM   #4
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Re: Defiant For The Borg? Makes No Sense

The Defiant was small, powerful, and most importantly, nimble. We've almost never seen the Borg react to anything quickly.
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Old July 9 2009, 01:26 PM   #5
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Re: Defiant For The Borg? Makes No Sense

USS_Triumphant wrote: View Post
The Defiant was small, powerful, and most importantly, nimble. We've almost never seen the Borg react to anything quickly.
This. The Borg ships are bears: huge, slow and powerful. You don't fight a bear with a couple of fox-terriers, as vicious as the can be. But let's see how they deal with a swarm of hornets.
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Old July 9 2009, 01:27 PM   #6
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Re: Defiant For The Borg? Makes No Sense

It should also be noted that torpedoes have always been the least efficient anti-Borg weapons. The Borg in "Q Who?" took their sweet time adapting to phasers, but they easily shrugged off the very first photon torpedo volley fired at them, no assimilation/adaptation process required.

Perhaps the Borg have a "stock" defense against generic explosive attacks that spray things like pressure waves or superheated gas or hard but incoherent radiation at them, and antimatter bombs would be no different from any other bomb in that respect. And perhaps it's difficult to "modify" an antimatter explosion in any significant way, whereas yer typical raygun output can be endlessly altered to take advantage of the weaknesses of yer typical forcefield shield.

The Defiant is a good anti-Borg approach in that she's small. Anti-Borg weapon development is the very definition of wasted effort, so it's better to waste a small vessel... The DS9 Tech Manual suggested that the ship was originally designed to fire a shipload of torpedoes at high speed (although it was not specified whether the ship or the torps or both would have that speed), but the concept was radically changed and she became an agile, armored pulse phaser platform instead. A dozen other prototypes no doubt underwent similar changes, and the farther corners of Utopia Planitia may be full of those failures...

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Old July 9 2009, 01:31 PM   #7
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Re: Defiant For The Borg? Makes No Sense

The Badger wrote: View Post
Well I should imagine that, as the Enterprise only arrives after the battle has been raging for some considerable time (possibly days!) most ships are running on empty as far as torpedoes are concerned.
Very true, the battle had begun while the Enterprise was at the Federation/Romulan border (i.e. Neutral Zone), so the Enterprise had a fair distance to cover.

USS_Triumphant wrote: View Post
The Defiant was small, powerful, and most importantly, nimble. We've almost never seen the Borg react to anything quickly.
Not only nimble, but incredibly tough. By the time we see it in FC, it had already sustained massive damage, but was still pounding away at the Cube, while still taking hits. Compare that with seeing ships in the DS9 pilot epsides at the Battle of Wolf 359 being destroyed within a second or so, coming into the battle fresh.
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Old July 9 2009, 04:17 PM   #8
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Re: Defiant For The Borg? Makes No Sense

The Enterprise intercepted the Borg with the rest of the fleet in sector 001 in just 3 and a half hours.
I doubt the battle lasted days from the Typhoon sector ... especially if they were fighting at warp speeds.

The ships comparison between FC and Wolf359 is not a fair one.
The Borg already adapted to SF weaponry from assimilating Picard, and the Enterprise was the only one working on a different approach because it was previously disabled from draining it's engines.

You had plenty of other ships in FC that were of older and newer designs that lasted much longer in the battle compared to what happened at Wolf359.

The fact the Defiant survived up until the Enterprise-E arrived to the scene is merely because it was overpowered to begin with and able to hold it's ground on par with larger ships.
Technological advancement doing it's work.

Also Timo ... the Borg shrugging off photon torpedoes in a first volley from 'Q who' ... they DID send 2 borg drones to the Enterprise-D before the combat ensued and got plenty of time to analyze the data received from the second drone that finished the download ... but of course not before phasers did their job at disabling the cube.

By the time the cube regenerated itself, it analyzed the data from their drones and adapted ... which is why torpedoes were ineffective.
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Old July 9 2009, 05:36 PM   #9
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Re: Defiant For The Borg? Makes No Sense

The Enterprise intercepted the Borg with the rest of the fleet in sector 001 in just 3 and a half hours.
Nope. The rest of the fleet decided to intercept the Borg near Ivor Prime and Deep Space Five in the Typhon Sector, a location that was 3.5 hours away from the position the E-E was then holding (supposedly at the Romulan Neutral Zone, or then a spot en route to the RNZ). Yet Picard decided not to go to Typhon at that time, and instead spent an unknown length of time brooding in his cabin. Could have been hours or days.

The Borg then met the fleet at Typhon, and Picard stopped brooding and ordered course to Earth. The E-E got to Earth at exactly the same time as the Cube and the fleet did, taking an unknown number of hours or days to do so.

In the end, no hard data was given on the passage of time. The only hard tidbit mentioned, 3.5 hours from E-E to Typhon, was never put to any use or proper context, and doesn't help us at all.

...merely because it was overpowered to begin with...
That makes it sound as if being overpowered was a good thing. Generally, though, it should be a weakness: a ship with too much power in relation to how much she can really put to use is just a flying bomb, dangerous to her own crew but not too dangerous to the enemy. Indeed, when Sisko in "The Search" described the ship's overpoweredness, he said this meant she almost tore herself apart when engines were tested. That is, overpoweredness crippled the poor thing, instead of providing advantages.

Also Timo ... the Borg shrugging off photon torpedoes in a first volley from 'Q who' ... they DID send 2 borg drones to the Enterprise-D before the combat ensued and got plenty of time to analyze the data received from the second drone that finished the download ... but of course not before phasers did their job at disabling the cube.
Might be. Generally, though, the Borg adapt to novel weapons faster than that. Unless adapting to photon torpedoes was exceptionally difficult, which may of course be the case. But one'd think the Borg would have some experience with antimatter bombs already, while phasers would have more "personality" to complicate the analysis and response.

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Old July 9 2009, 05:44 PM   #10
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Re: Defiant For The Borg? Makes No Sense

Defiant only survived because it got knocked out at the first, couldn't work up the speed to get back into the fight until the very end, were it arrived literally before the E-E.
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Old July 9 2009, 06:46 PM   #11
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Re: Defiant For The Borg? Makes No Sense

The idea with the Defiant-class was that you'd have a fleet of these things, a large, round number and send them against a Cube. I'd like the see them try and take out a swarm of Defiants. Sure, they'd take out some, but I doubt they could get them all. Plus, its not like Starfleet would just go "well, I'm sure the Defiants can handle this on their own, let's go for a coffee break" and not send help.
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Old July 9 2009, 07:13 PM   #12
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Re: Defiant For The Borg? Makes No Sense

Defiant is a very good design for use against the Borg for many reasons;

*Borg weapons are powerful but innacurate- In BOBW a separated E-D stardrive section can avoid some fire with some nifty maneuvering. If ships get cought in the tractor beam they don't last long. Makes sense Defiant is small and quick.

*Borg had shown that after adapting to shield frequency they can drain your shields very quickly with tractor beams, after which they used cutting beams to tear away at the hull. It took some time for the cutting beam to get through the E-D hull, as such the Defiant is coated in thick armour.

*In BOBW the E-D was able to do some damage to a cube by rapidly adapting frequencies and firing constantly and quickly- Defiant is equipped with 4 separate phaser cannons that fire extremely rapidly and in much quicker succession than standard phasers are capable of. This seems like the ultimate anti-Borg weapon. In theory you could have each cannon constantly shift frequency between pulses and also have each cannon fire at a different frequency to the other 3.

*Whilst Defiant doesn't have ultra rapid torpedo launchers she sensibly takes a different approach- Hit them twice as hard. Defiant has only ever been seen to fire quantums from both launchers simultaneously. First Contact has shown that once an area of a cube is damaged it is possible to latch on to this weakness and do some major damage, they key is to hit them with as much as possible as rapidly as possible before they can repair. If each Defiant is firing 2 torpedoes at once they are doing big damage without firing a stream of torpedoes the Borg might have time to adapt to.


I guess if the Federation Battlefleet had been constructed as originally planned the main strategy would be for each Defiant to fly around as randomly and quickly as possible whilst hitting the cube with as much rapid and varied phaser cannon fire as possible. As soon as a section shows significant damage as a result of a certain lucky phaser frequency smashing through the adaptations, as many ships as possible would use their speed and agility to very quickly merge together and fire doubled up barrages of quantums into the damaged section. During the battle any Defiant caught by a tractor beam would take a long time to destroy due to the thickness of the hull and armour and powerful SIF etc.
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Old July 9 2009, 08:35 PM   #13
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Re: Defiant For The Borg? Makes No Sense

How many Defiants are there currently in Starfleet?

Afaik we had the Defiant, then the Valiant, (which was destroyed), after the Defiant was destroyed we had the Sao Paulo, (which was renamed to the Defiant), in two Voyager episodes, the one where the Doc gets sent to the Promtheus and the finale, we see two Defiants in both of them (I think). This means that Starfleet had managed to build at least 4 Defiants by 2378, one every two years.

It makes you think how many they have now?
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Old July 9 2009, 08:42 PM   #14
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Re: Defiant For The Borg? Makes No Sense

SilentP wrote: View Post
As for a launcher firing a cluster of 10 torpedoes at a time, I've always found that ability to be a little...off. Does the launcher just have a 'barrel' that can accomodate 10 torpedoes at a time, or is it firing the 10 one millimetres/seconds after each other? It's not properly explained. Besides, we rarely see this ability in use (budget reasons most likely) so there must be some reason for it. As for the Voyager 'spread', Janeway might be using the word instead of 'salvo' or referring to firing the torpedoes in a dispersed pattern over a target, rather than in a single location.
It would make sense for the Galaxy-class, since its got some pretty big tubes. Much bigger than other Starfleet ships, at any rate. Wouldn't buy it on smaller ships though- most ships look like they have much smaller tubes and would fire them as a barrage as opposed to a cluster.
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Old July 9 2009, 08:43 PM   #15
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Re: Defiant For The Borg? Makes No Sense

The premise of the Defiant was that using a small, manouverable gun platform would be a better attack vessel than a lumbering cruiser design.In First Contact the little Defiant survived long enough to see the Enterprise arrive , and it did so by just dodging the Borg's shots.As the US military puts it, if you cant hit it, you cant kill it. If Starfleet had hundereds of them that cube would have been history.

Think of it like this-if youre fighting a sumo wrestler, your goal wouldnt be to stand to his face and box.
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