function of Cardassian armour?

Discussion in 'Deep Space Nine' started by Dal Rassak, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. Dal Rassak

    Dal Rassak Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    That metal carapace is a bit of a medieval piece of kit for the 24th century! It's not like anyone except a Klingon would come at you with a bladed weapon anymore so what exactly is it meant to protect against?
    O.k., I know, I know, it's obviously design - makes the uniform look more sleek and threatening. But they could at have tossed in some nominal explanation of why s.th. so archaic-seeming is necessary. Say, if it was some special alloy or something that had the effect of partially deflecting/lessening the impact of phaser fire, now that'd make some sense...
     
  2. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

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    I always thought it was made of a special material, but not metal.

    It would be logical to assume it was to protect the wearer from phaser and disruptor discharges, so the material has the abilities of dissipating such discharges, minimising negative effects on the wearer.

    But seeing in the show a dead Cardassian with barely scorched armour and not even a hole... I guess they didn't want to damage expensive props, but the in-universe result is - they had no function.

    Still, if I had to theorise, I'd say they were to protect from modern, energy weapons.
     
  3. SchwEnt

    SchwEnt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It may have no practical function. It could be traditional or ceremonial.
     
  4. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Given that it makes the chest of the predominantly male soldiers seem wide and broad, perhaps it intends to symbolise strength and vitality to the populace? After all, the military in Cardassia is also the government, the police force, the emergency supply system, etc. Just as the Cardassian neck is broad and muscular, perhaps Cardassians instinctively associate a broad chest with a dominant male, and the armour is designed to reflect that? Authority, leadership, attractive vitality? Even a sense of inclusion for the lower-status males who inevitably form the majority of an army - "no-one is left behind in the Cardassian Union - all men are respected and admired for their service!"
     
  5. Dal Rassak

    Dal Rassak Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    It makes absolute sense that the look of the uniform is partially intended to emphasize and flatter the male physique. That still doesn't explain the practical function of using metal (of course it's all rubber but the look the costume designers have given it very much suggests that the material is meant to be metallic).
     
  6. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

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    Metallic? I never had that impression. Wrong colour, wrong texture, the presence of flexibility, no metallic sound when hit but more of a dull thump.

    Why do you think it's metallic?
     
  7. Iliana Malek

    Iliana Malek Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I was always under the impression that the armour was some sort of special material, as well, lightweight to wear, but still protective. Considering how little it actually protected its wearers, the wearing of it could be completely ceremonial. Of course, it could also be that the species that the Union had to passify before we see them for the first time on Trek had inferior weapons, and the material the armour was made of actually did serve as adequate protection, but then, we see many Cardassian soldiers taken out by Cardassian weapons, sooo....yeah. :p

    Perhaps it was originally designed to protect against hand-to-hand, ground combat situations, and the design simply never really evolved to adequately protect against energy weapons. It may serve to dissipate a blast somewhat, but it's still no match for higher energy charges.
     
  8. _C_

    _C_ Commander Red Shirt

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    It's that way because Tim Gunn visited Cardassia. :P
     
  9. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    In my writing it is a memory material that serves two functions: to deflect shrapnel (which is still a risk in the 24th century just as it is in modern warfare--being impaled by flying debris can kill you or give you an infection just as easily as a burn wound or a shock), and to partially absorb energy blasts. Its function in the latter regard is incomplete, though, and it is still possible to burn through it or alternately deliver a shock so powerful that it still reaches the body even though the armor may seem to be serving its function. An imperfect defense, but still better than Starfleet's nothing.
     
  10. TheRoyalFamily

    TheRoyalFamily Commodore Commodore

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    Considering ships' shields barely were effective in DS9 (they only mattered for plot reasons), it's no surprise that personal armor of any sort was completely ineffective as well.
     
  11. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

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    Nothing annoys me more than assuming that everything created by adversaries of the Federation is useless ;) Especially the Cardassians ;)

    I don't think armour was useless, but I think the writers didn't really give a thought why it looked the way it did and didn't use the opportunity to make it something different.
     
  12. Iliana Malek

    Iliana Malek Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    ^This

    They made it almost seem too unbelievable when we meet Cardassians for the first time, too. A single Nebula class ship takes out several Galor class warships, and we're supposed to believe that there's been a war going on for the past few years? The Cardassians were made to seem way too weak in their first introduction. They remedied that a bit in DS9, but they still seemed to favour showing the Federation as having markedly superior technology.
     
  13. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I've always figured that while the Federation did have superior technology than the Cardassians due to a combination of superior resources and a freer society, the Cardassians had superior discipline and tactics--better use of what they did have--that made them on par with the Federation in combat.
     
  14. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Agreed.

    After all, combat is simply one of many duties for the Federation Starfleet, not their primary concern. While I'm sure many of the enlisted security personnel are first and foremost defenders, the Starfleet as a whole is geared towards exploration, science, diplomacy and peacekeeping, with a mandate for defence on top of it. Cardassian soldiers are soldiers first, anything else second. I don't think it's strange to suggest they'd be well trained enough to hold their own.

    And for what it's worth, the Talarians managed to hold their own too, at least in a short border conflict, despite their ships being about two hundred years behind the Federation's in terms of technology, so in the Star Trek setting technology most certainly isn't everything (as in reality, of course).
     
  15. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    It would seem the armour was designed to impale the wearer's privates if they sat down.
     
  16. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    ...As per "Indiscretion"?

    ...Yet it is a valid approach to choose nothing over grossly imperfect, if there are penalties to wearing the grossly imperfect (extra weight, hindrance to movement, looking silly). Cardassians might have been dealing with weaker beam weapons in the recent past, making their definition of inadequate less damning than Starfleet's.

    I like the "partial dissipation of death ray blasts" explanation for all the types of armor we see, but none of them seem to do any good against concussion, shrapnel, or bladed weapons. Perhaps the ability to dissipate phasers is fundamentally incompatible with the ability to stop knives or bullets? Perhaps an effective armor against phasers needs to have the consistency of particularly foamy styrofoam?

    Timo Saloniemi
     

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