Breen Attack on Earth

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by All Seeing Eye, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...Suggesting it was a covert, "special forces" strike (which would explain the lack of firepower), but mistakenly telling us that all the Breen were destroyed afterward (Damar and Weoyun disagree in the actual episode).


    As for the Dominion pushing through all the Alpha lines with the help of the Breen superweapon and a general numerical superiority... I don't think it would have been that easy. The superweapon essentially requires you to fire one direct hit at every enemy vessel you want to neutralize, so there would have to be lots and lots of super-armed Breen ships present in every one of your attack fleets. And we know the superweapons were a bottleneck. Probably the battle of Chin'toka saw a great massing of all the super-armed ships for the desired strategic effect, and it would have been very difficult to mount another campaign like it immediately afterwards, let alone multiple campaigns. Think Cambrai in WWI, with the first massed use of tanks leading to a very short-lived success and then a long, long period of waiting and preparing another tank attack.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  2. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

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    For anyone who wants the "fan" view on the Breen attack-go see astrometrics:fan fiction:"A Death In The Family" and Please-leave feedback.
     
  3. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Oh, I did. Quality work there, quite gripping. As opposed to Eleven Hours Out I daresay...

    A couple of nits: if San Francisco really was deprived of defenses, how come the city was barely pockmarked? That's the main inconsistency that the canon story throws at us: San Francisco is not a mile-deep crater slowly filling with water but merely looks as if a WWII bomber formation flew over it.

    Perhaps it would be better to write that San Francisco was the most fiercely defended of all the targets, but also the one hardest hit. The outcome: pockmarks, because the defenses were so darn good.

    Also, at that date, wouldn't Dukat be completely cuckoo and playing mind games with Kai Winn on Bajor? You'd probably want to use Damar as the main Cardassian, and some one-off extra or rarely mentioned side character as the cabbagehead.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  4. All Seeing Eye

    All Seeing Eye Admiral

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    Wrong, the other Klingon ships wernt immediately upgraded to the same as the BOP, it took time for them to work out how the BOP wasnt effected then what they had to do to upgrade all the other ships and then they actually had to do the upgrading, if the Breen had simply pressed on immediately after the battle then the Klingons would have been caught unaware.
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It would help if we knew something about the astrography of the situation. Where are the fronts? Where could decisive battles be fought? How long does it take to fly off to such an engagement? Days? Weeks?

    We could for example pretend that the Star Charts interpretation is the correct one, with Chin'toka at the extreme van of the former Cardassian space towards Federation forces, and at a vulnerable flank as regards the overall Dominion advance. After winning that round, the Breen could plunge inwards from any point of the broad half-circle of the Dominion expansion, as portrayed on p.48 of the Charts (and originally on the wall map on the DS9 briefing room). The most logical direction of advance there would be towards the right, where the homeworlds of the enemy lay, but where the Klingons would enjoy a home field advantage. There would be many other ways to proceed, though, and it is possible the Breen in fact took these other ways and gained significant ground but did not achieve any noteworthy strategic objectives.

    If, OTOH, we ditch that notion and say that Chin'toka was a very forward outpost rather than a weak middle, then the natural way to proceed would be as a single file from Chin'toka, deeper and deeper into Alpha space. And such a single file might be successfully fought to a standstill even when the Klingons hadn't yet perfected their countermeasures, by sheer numbers overwhelming the energy-dampener ships.

    What we know did happen is that the Breen failed to grab anything worth further mention. What we don't know is whether they put another big dent in Alpha fleets or not. They might well have - but that wouldn't help with capturing key targets, because the raid on Earth already showed the Breen technologies and tactics, while effective against starship fleets, aren't sufficient for destroying or capturing a defended planet.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. Ezri

    Ezri Captain Captain

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    There is so many non canon star charts that it is a pointless enterprise to debate. All we can say, is the location of Earth within the star chart. Even than, some are still dead wrong.

    Star Charts is the flaws with Star Trek. We know that all the major powers in official canon can say they have a common boarder with each other. If that is the case, then it is like the boarder of the American South West were they all meet up into a point. With offical canon, that is not the case as there is a long boarder with other other powers.
     
  7. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, but there's only one Star Trek: Star Charts, the officially licensed Star Trek atlas. It's not canonical, but it was written by a guy who's worked on the shows and was licensed by Paramount, so I'd say it carries more weight than the various star charts you find floating around the Internet.

    You're thinking two-dimensionally. Remember, it's entirely possible for the borders to be very different from plane to plane.
     
  8. Ezri

    Ezri Captain Captain

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    That still does not make much sense also. Would you want to have a boarder in space that has Earth say 70 light years from the Klingons going 90 degrees, and have a Klingon boarder going 60 light years at 80 degrees from Earth? Will accept that the boarders can have some bending to add or remove star systems. It is just that it would be weird to be in a starship and look out in a straight line and say those so and so are 5 light years away and then say if I look up from my starship those same so and so are half a light year away.
     
  9. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Well, Star Charts was made deliberately two-dimensional because most of the canon graphics integrated into it were 2D. One can assume all sorts of 3D weirdness there to make it jibe better.

    But really, very few Trek players are actually stated to share a border. There's no mention of a Cardassian/Romulan border, for example, and no indication that the Klingons and Cardassians shared a border before the Klingons conquered a few Cardassian worlds in "Way of the Warrior". It doesn't take a border to get player A interacting with player B - they can do it through empty space easily enough.

    Which seems to be how the Breen got to Earth, too. Even the heart of the Federation can be penetrated when one is persistent enough. It would take tens of thousands of starships to actually patrol the entire volume of a smallish star empire (say, a spherical volume just a few hundred lightyears across), and the Dominion War at its height only seems to involve fleets in the four digits.

    The Art Department made a valiant attempt at giving us plausible-looking maps in DS9, still without nailing down anything they would later regret. But the mechanisms of Star Trek allow us to ignore all maps to a degree, since borders mean so little. What should have significance is the distances - but even there, it probably suffices that just about everything is a couple of high-warp days away from everything else. Enough time for a plot to unfold, not too much time for the audience to get bored. By that precedent, our heroes would have time to react to the Breen victories before the villains could score additional ones.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  10. Ezri

    Ezri Captain Captain

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    That is true, border are a little pointless.

    Still, it would be very interesting to see what the borders will be post Dominion War. Then again, it is never going to be offical canon.
     
  11. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    So?
     
  12. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yup. Think of the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo in WW2. Same principle.
     
  13. Ezri

    Ezri Captain Captain

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    Canon is life, life is canon :)
     
  14. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    No, it's really not. It's all equally fictional. Canon is only relevent insofar as non-canonical works have to be consistent with the canon; beyond that, canon is irrelevent, since canon can contradict itself. Canon does not refer to continuity, it refers to the body of work that another work is based upon. So, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is based upon the canonical The Tragical History of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, but that doesn't really mean anything.

    In other words:

    No reason not to accept Star Trek: Star Charts. :)
     
  15. All Seeing Eye

    All Seeing Eye Admiral

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    It was mentioned that the Breen got to Earth by making a shortcut through Romulan Space.
     
  16. Galactic Alignment

    Galactic Alignment Commander Red Shirt

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    Just watched 'Home Front' on the Virgin 1 channel, and the episode gives the impression that the Earth has no defences apart from the USS Lakota handily in orbit at the time. :wtf:
     
  17. TeutonicNights

    TeutonicNights Commander Red Shirt

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    Yeah I found that strange, too.


    JARESH-INYO
    What good will that do when we
    have no way to defend ourselves?

    LEYTON
    (confident)
    Mister President, we can use the
    Lakota's transporters and
    communications system to mobilize
    every Starfleet officer on Earth
    in less than twelve hours.


    Looks like there's no other ships around Earth they can use when the orbital defenses are out.
    On the other hand that definitely has changed since the war broke out. Doesn't Sisko say once the eighth(?) fleet was unavailable because it was needed to protect Earth?
     
  18. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Well, that would contradict Star Charts, and just about every other chart out there.

    I mean, the Breen have border conflicts with Cardassians who sit to the left of Earth/Bajor in all the maps. The Romulans supposedly sit to the right. We'd probably have to assume the Romulan space extends from the right to the left in a great arc, then. (The map glimpsed in "Birthright" might also suggest this.)

    That is, if such a shortcut were actually mentioned. But I can't find such a mention in the episodes. And it would be strange to the extreme, what with Romulans and Breen being enemies, and Romulans and Feds being allies, at the time of the attack. Why couldn't the Romulans stop the Breen from taking the shortcut?

    Admiral Ross mentions the Third Fleet will still defend Earth while the Second, Fifth and Ninth give up some elements for use in Sisko's assault in "Favor the Bold". Ross doesn't specify that the fleet would be sitting on Earth orbit, or staying in the Sol system, though.

    Admiral Coburn originally objected to the use of the 2nd, 5th and 9th Fleets exactly because that would leave Earth vulnerable. It's unlikely that all those fleets just sat close to Earth, and more probable that each of them had a different role to play in keeping the Dominion from getting to Earth. The 3rd Fleet might have been deployed at the Nevahurdbeforia system, blocking the way to Earth from there.

    Or then the 3rd Fleet was in the Sol system, with Lakota its most prominent vessel. Admiral Leyton might have been oversimplifying a bit, and simply suggesting to the President that the flagship of the 3rd Fleet be used (rather than the twelvth frigate from the right, a ship that didn't have Leyton loyalists in control).

    And we are apparently supposed to believe that the sabotage done by the Red Squad cadets rendered the fixed defenses inoperable, too. I mean, "planetwide power failure" is such a massive achievement already that shutting down the orbital fortresses would probably be a breeze in comparison.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  19. All Seeing Eye

    All Seeing Eye Admiral

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    The Breen may have entered Romulan Space and came back out of it across the Neutral Zone in order to surprise the Federation, they're not exactly going to expect a Breen Fleet coming from the Romulan Neutral Zone. also if the Romulans didnt expect it, by the time they realised what had happened it was too late to do anything about it.

    Since you cant remember that they sneaked through Romulan space maybe my memory isnt as good as I thought it was but I do have a strong feeling that i'm right, but i've been wrong before.
    Can anyone else confirm the Breen passed through Romulan Space in the attack?
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Earlier in the war, the Jem'Hadar passed through Romulan space many a time before Sisko managed to lure the Romulans into joining the war. That was an important part of the backstory of "In the Pale Moonlight".

    But the online scripts for the final episodes of DS9 don't support the idea that the Breen attack had anything to do with Romulans. There might be subtle differences in the aired versions, but I don't think this was one of them. Surely the free use of Romulan space would have caused a schism among the supposed allies that would have been a plot point, albeit a minor one?

    Timo Saloniemi