Best tactician? Kirk,Picard, Sisko or Janeway?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by KlingonPredator, Jan 14, 2009.

?

Best tactician?

  1. Kirk

    26.7%
  2. Picard

    9.5%
  3. Sisko

    54.3%
  4. Janeway

    9.5%
  1. Rulius

    Rulius Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I've always shook my head when Riker or Picard says "attack pattern delta" or some such, and all the ship does is veer left or right.
     
  2. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah... I'm right there with you.
     
  3. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Can you back your statement up with facts? Let's see them.
     
  4. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If you're asking whether I can offer you reasons for my aesthetic judgment, the answer is yes... if you can lose the snippy defensiveness. Can you?
     
  5. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    'Non-sensical writing' is not an aesthetical judgement - indeed, this thread is not a 'which captain do you like best' one. It means the writing contains blatant logical contradictions AKA it's an objective criteria.
    As said - post your examples.
    I will then list non-sensical writing from TOS - and see how it compares.
     
  6. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    We're on the same page as regards logical contradictions in the writing being a (relatively) objective criterion.

    However...

    (EDIT: Look, I put this another way, but I'm going to make it blunter. It basically just sounds like you're proposing an inter-fandom pissing contest and I cannot abide those. I'm happy to provide examples of what I'm talking about, but I basically am not interested in conversation with a hostile and defensive interlocutor. So what I'm really asking is if you're going to drop the attitude.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2013
  7. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It kinda seems that way :lol: :lol: :lol:
     
  8. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    BigJake

    It's safe to say I am known around these parts for posting my arguments...forcefully. Mostly because I don't hesitate to call out other posters who support evidently false ideas based mostly on their fan-boyism/etc; and I mostly don't mince words when I do so.
    Until now, your advocacy of Kirk seemed to fall into this category.

    I will 'drop the attitude' - but I reserve the right to call out any 'out there' arguments.

    PS - the way this thread was constructed, it is, almost by definition, an 'inter-fandom pissing contest' between supporters of the 4 captains in the poll.
     
  9. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    There were planty of episodes where every captain got 'lucky' and were saved at the last minute with some technobabble thing. Episodes where the Q or Guinan help Picard, where 'The Prophets' give Sisko advice, where the Borg let Janeway go and where time travel guys from the future warn Archer.
     
  10. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Okay, Edit_XYZ, I think we can go forward based on that. I would just say that:

    the way this thread was constructed, it is, almost by definition, an 'inter-fandom pissing contest' between supporters of the 4 captains in the poll.

    I don't think this is true. The way this thread is constructed is to chew over a mildly interesting question that probably can't be definitively resolved but is fun as a thought experiment anyway. That's not what I would call a pissing contest -- a pissing contest is what happens when that conversation stops being fun and starts being ill-tempered and hostile. So, thanks for saying that you'll tack away from that.

    What I'd like to do is pick several tactical examples for Kirk from TOS and roughly corresponding examples for Archer from ENT to explain my preference for Kirk... and what I said about ENT's nonsensical writing. I'll alternate one with the other.

    TOS:
    "Balance of Terror" -- Ship-to-ship tactics, the great example that I've already cited. There is no third-party interference, there is a convincingly-presented tactical situation, Kirk is confronted by a wily opponent (his tactical match) and uses convincingly-explained methods to defeat him. Unequivocal and well-sold example of brilliant tactical leadership and performance.

    ENT:
    "The Expanse" -- It was a toss-up between this one and "The Augments" for a fair comparison. This episode is partly compromised by being part of the Temporal Cold War storyline, which on the whole was nonsensical writing at its worst (there was no reason for any of its happening that we didn't have to take the writers' word for, and no apparent reason for the rules governing it than dramatic convenience) -- but tactically speaking, beyond the dubious fact that the Klingons appear to have nothing but Birds of Prey available for a task like this, this episode's action isn't directly compromised as long as we hold our noses and get past the larger story-arc issues. It's also a clear-cut example of Archer showing real guts and tactical brilliance to work out Duras' weakness and destroy him. For my money, the tactical scenario isn't as convincingly sold as "Balance of Terror," but nevertheless Archer's leadership is really sold as saving the day (unlike with "The Augments" where he wins with Arik Soong's aid).

    Score 1-0 for Kirk. (Both good examples, but Kirk's tactical situation is more convincing and isn't part of anything like the meta-arc TCW silliness.)

    TOS:
    "The Corbomite Maneuver" -- One of two TOS episodes where Kirk bluffs an enemy using the fictional "corbomite device," in my opinion it's the better of the two (the other choice, "The Deadly Years," is somewhat more contrived, requiring a Starfleet flag officer who has somehow reached that rank entirely behind a desk and one of McCoy's many miracle cures). This shows Kirk confronted by an apparently superior enemy, reading and recognizing that the correct analogy to the situation is poker, not chess, and outfacing them until he's able to work out what's going on and expose the true nature and limitations of the Fesarius.

    ENT:
    "Fight or Flight" -- The first time we see Archer's vessel in ship-to-ship action. At this point, the NX-01 is still an experimental ship whose weapons haven't even been calibrated (not quite nonsensical writing, just questionable as to why it was let out into deep space in that condition), and that doesn't have the luxury of easy use of transporters. In this situation, the ship is not saved by any inspired action on its captain's part, but by the timely arrival, to put it kindly, of the Axanar; at best it could be called an example of Archer saving the day by diplomacy and/or do-gooding, not an example of tactical brilliance.

    Score 2-0 for Kirk, who wins this one at a walk.

    TOS:
    "The Doomsday Machine" -- Confronted by a potential planet-destroying threat, Kirk has to save his ship from the fate that befell the Constellation while working out a way to destroy the alien device. He and his team work out, with the aid of Commodore Decker's sacrifice and then of his ship, a method of doing it. The scale of the threat makes this more an Odyssey-style contest-with-a-monster episode than an example of ship-to-ship tactics, but it still sells the competency of the crew and particularly of Kirk quite convincingly.

    "Azati Prime" -- The NX-01's confrontation with a doomsday weapon, in this case at the end of a long trek through the Delphic Expanse. Though Enterprise was making more entertaining television by this point, the Expanse itself and the whole storyline are in this case irretrievably tied up with the nonsensical and contrived Temporal Cold War idea (see above), which this time directly affects the plot in terms of information from Crewman Daniels of the 26th(?) century. Even despite his help, Archer's actions lead to his own capture and the near-annihilation of the Enterprise (which is saved by the bell at the last second because of an internal disagreement among the Xindi).

    Score 3-0 for Kirk.

    "Arena" -- Individual tactics, the classic building-a-primitive-firearm episode (MacGyver before there was MacGyver) to pull out a win against an otherwise superior Gorn opponent. Outside the initial contrivance of the Metrons -- had it not been for the Temporal Cold War, I would have said that Enterprise deserved praise for not leaning on the god-being trope -- a clear-cut example of tactical skill and resourcefulness on Kirk's part, working with no help, no safety net and no lucky rescues and coming up with a plausibly ingenious solution to his dilemma.

    ENT:
    "Dead Stop" -- The NX-01 lured in by a sinister automated repair station that kidnaps organics. Actually a pretty cool episode as this series went, and again does a decent job of selling Archer's acumen and poise and presents a better reason for the ship to be in this situation than random god-beings. But in terms of the scale of the feat and challenge involved? I think it's evident who the clear winner is.

    Here Enterprise has the better overall story framing, but for degree-of-difficulty Kirk is the clear winner, bringing his score to 4-0.

    That's me putting the four best examples I can think of from TOS against the four best examples I could find from Enterprise.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2013
  11. TheSubCommander

    TheSubCommander Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I could swear there was a Voyager, and I just cant remember who said the line (it was either Chakotay or Janway, I think), but whomever it was, was in command of Voyager in the midst of battle, and utters the command "Pattern Kirk Epsilon" or some such. Anyone else remember what I am talking about?

    Also, I think there were a couple times there were patterns named after Riker, as well.

    As far as who was the absolute best, hard to say. But considering Sisko was a human-Prophet hybrid, he had the greatest potential, and was the only one we saw on screen in charge of a fleet as big as he was in, during DS9. We can argue that off screen Picard did the same, but we didn't see it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2013
  12. Gotham Central

    Gotham Central Vice Admiral Admiral

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    People keep talking about Sisko fighting the Dominion War, but keep forgetting that Sisko proved pretty adept even before the outbreak of formal hostilities.

    Remember that Sisko is the one that develops the plan against the Circle when the Federation was ousted by the Bajoran's early on...and exposed the Cardassians involvement in coup attempt on Bajor.

    Sisko also developed the plan that saved the Cardassian Detapa Council from being overthrown by the Klingons.

    He was absolutely ruthless in dealing with the Maqis and forced Eddington's surrender (by posioning a planet no less).

    His actions uncovered Domnion sabetours in high positions in both the Federation and Klingon Empire.

    It was his strategy that led to the orderly withdral of the Federation from Bajoran Space and while simultaneously trapping the Domnion in the Alpha quadrant, sabotaging the station (and preventing Bajor from being occupied by the Dominion).

    He also devised and led the raid into Dominion/Cardassian territory that destroyed the Dominion's central ketracel white production and distribution center.

    On a smaller scale he used pretty significant tactics in ending the Bell Riots without significant bloodshed

    I think what ultimately worked in Sisko's favor (from a creative perspecive) is that he faced fairly competent, effective and utterly ruthless adversaries. This forced Sisko to up his game at every turn. More importantly, unlike Kirk, Picard or Janeway, Sisko had the deal with the reprocussions of his actions. Thus even his short term successes could have disastrous long term results or temporary setback could lead to victory. In a way, saving the Detapa council led directly to the Dominion invasion.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2013
  13. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Commodore Commodore

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    Kirk's Poker Face was unstoppable!