How Powerful Are the Ferengi?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by jmampilly, Apr 16, 2014.

?

How Strong are the Ferengi?

  1. Potentially Formidable

    21 vote(s)
    60.0%
  2. Weaklings

    14 vote(s)
    40.0%
  1. jmampilly

    jmampilly Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2013
    Location:
    United States of America
    The Ferengi were first introduced to us in TNG, and I read that the writers originally intended for them to be the next big threat of sorts. However, DS9 seemed to portray them as a sort of minor power, essentially a small child which could be brushed aside by the Federation.

    I never got the impression that the Ferengi were particularly strong. While their emphasis on neutrality has certainly increased rather than diminished their influence, their excessive capitalistic ideals seem to inhibit their development. On the other hand, that same ideological structure regarding economies would seem to make them capable of producing a fair amount of war materials should the need arise.

    What do you think? While the Ferengi would undoubtedly succumb to a major power as the Federation or Klingons, could they potentially hold their own against the Cardassians or Breen?
     
  2. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Location:
    T'Girl
    The big Ferengi starships do seem militarily powerful, and some Ferengi seem inclined to employ force. Apparently they're not all cowards.

    In a shooting war the Ferengi would use large numbers of mercs, spies, bribes, extortion to arrive at a favorable solution.

    Then declare peace, just like it says in the Rules of Acqusision.

    The Ferengi civilization in it's current form is five thousand years old, they're doing something right.

    :)
     
  3. Jedi_Master

    Jedi_Master Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    Location:
    Soaking up the sun
    Looks to me like they might be able to bench press about 200 or so max.
     
  4. bbjeg

    bbjeg Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 24, 2013
    Location:
    Right here buddy.
    I would say the Ferengi are more potentially formidable as a species than weaklings though on occasion they can be either.
     
  5. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    The Ferengi have very little military power.

    However they are extremely powerful because they control most of the commerce in the quadrant. They're an economic superpower. They have no real enemies because they can buy off anyone who would threaten them. All the other powers in the galaxy have been fighting each other and knocking each other down, and the Ferengi haven't been at war in millennia.

    In other words, tiny sword, MASSIVE pen.
     
  6. Alrik

    Alrik Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2003
    Location:
    Alrik is on A deck chair, somewhere....
    It depends. Are you asking on how they were originally intended? Or to the comic relief that they eventually became?

    When first mentioned in Farpoint, Picard suggested Zorn make his offer the the Ferengi, and that they would find him quite tasty or something like that. When introduced in Last Outpost, they and their tech were presented as formidable and well matched to the Enterprise. Even their first appearance on the view screen made them appear very alien and menacing.

    And then they beamed down. Unfortunately, Last Outpost was a poor reworking of Arena. Where the Gorn (rubber suite and all) came off as a lethal alien, the Ferengi came off as silly, jumping around like skittish monkeys and acting like spoiled brats. The only thing that made you think that there might be something there was their phase whips or whatever they were. But even those were never seen again.

    TPTB tried again with The Battle. Bok was as close as they ever really got to making any Ferengi any sort of nemesis. He was presented as intelligent, duplicitous, and ruthless. But that got derailed when his revenge was stopped by his own crew because there was no profit in it.

    This also started what would be a part of every Ferengi story throughout the rest of TNG. Rouge Ferengi does bad, Enterprise gets involved and stops them. Most of the time Picard threatens to tattle on them to their home world if they do it again.

    IMHO, that formula is why the Ferengi never worked as a nemesis. From the beginning the Romulans and Klingons were shown as unified forces to be reckoned. Even in ENT the Andorians and Vulcans that they could stand on their own and were to be respected. But the Ferengi were never shown that way. There was never the threat of a competent fleet that could be on the verge of attack. It was always just a rouge Ferengi or group of Ferengi misbehaving.

    I guess, ultimately, I'm going to have to go with weak.

    At least they got it right with the Cardassians.
     
  7. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    I'd say the Ferengi recognize their own strengths and weaknesses very well, and therefore might actually be a deadly enemy - very few other players are capable of that!

    There is no "actual" Ferengi military, it seems. There are just DaiMons out for themselves, or for a well-paying employer, sometimes acting ruthlessly but often timidly, whichever is more sensible. "Peak Performance" and "Rascals" showed that one-on-one and certainly two-on-one starship combat might well go in Ferengi favor and that the Ferengi would in certain circumstances dare win such a fight despite the possibility of Starfleet reprisal. In theory, the Ferengi could score well-planned strategic victories left and right with their armed starships - but they would certainly need to wield other types of weapon as well, probably economic, to prevent the victims from striking back with full force.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014
  8. TheGoodStuff

    TheGoodStuff Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Location:
    Scotland

    This is my interpretation too. The Ferengi are not about conflict and many species would probably not dream of every attacking them.

    So many species probably rely on the Ferengi for essentials/goodies that either:

    1. An Embargo
    2. Or calling in of favours

    Is all the Ferengi would need to make a situation very awkward for a hostile force against them.
     
  9. SchwEnt

    SchwEnt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2005
    How powerful?
    The most power that money can buy, right?
     
  10. bbjeg

    bbjeg Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 24, 2013
    Location:
    Right here buddy.
    I wouldn't be surprised if they were in all the other species pockets. If the Cardassians challenge them, they'll ask the Federation for assistance and make a deal with the Romulans. If the Romulans move on them, they'll employee Klingons. If the Maquis or Bajorans try to infiltrate them, they'll pay off some Cardassians to take care of them. Really, who needs armies when money can do the work for you? Plus armies are expensive.
     
  11. HIjol

    HIjol Admiral and Consummate Peacemaker Premium Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2014
    Location:
    In a time and place long past...
    Power without finance and commerce is just that...you cannot afford to take it to the enemy, or move your agenda if all your capital is spent acquiring Power...just ask the U.S.S.R., when they weaponized themselves into the Poor House...I think the Ferengi would have had a great deal of Strength (Power + Capital) if they had been written with a little less silliness and juvenile tendency...
     
  12. jmampilly

    jmampilly Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2013
    Location:
    United States of America
    So, even though the Ferengi are capable economically, are they a society capable of unity? They lack a centralized military, and employ individuals who are interested solely in their own advancement. Capitalism is successful because it harnesses the inherent greed within us. It allows us to act as is within our nature, unlike communism and fascism. But, the Ferengi take it to an extreme. Could they even act as a cohesive unit in combating threats?
     
  13. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2001
    Location:
    Ferguson, MO, USA
    I think if any force threatened Ferenginar, or any world within the Ferengi Alliance that is key to their economy, the Ferengi would come together and would be something to be seriously reckoned with.

    There's probably a Rule of Acquisition about that.
     
  14. USS Triumphant

    USS Triumphant Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Location:
    Go ahead, caller. I'm listening...
    It occurs to me that we've never seen an actual Ferengi *corporation*. Some of those might have sizeable armies of mercs on retainer and fleets - and hostile takeover could take on a whole broader meaning.
     
  15. jmampilly

    jmampilly Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2013
    Location:
    United States of America
    I agree that the Ferengi could potentially have sizable forces under their belts, yet, without centralized leadership I don't see how they could be a conceivable powerful state. Couldn't some corporations establish separate peace with aggressors, fracturing the species?
     
  16. USS Triumphant

    USS Triumphant Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Location:
    Go ahead, caller. I'm listening...
    Maybe the FCA (probably, in my mind, not just the government but also the first of their corporations to go interstellar) has enough power for enforcement to deter that, or, maybe somewhere in the Rules of Acquisition or some other Ferengi governing document, there is something that points out to them that fighting each other dilutes the strength of the "Ferengi" brand to other species.
     
  17. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Location:
    T'Girl
    Why fight a foreign country when you can buy their politicians and manipulate their news media?



    :)
     
  18. at Quark's

    at Quark's Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2012
    Just got a thought.

    Supposing that the dominion invasion of the alpha quadrant would have succeeded, I could picture the Ferengi as being one of the very few alpha quadrant cultures that would still be able to effectively elude Dominion control -- even when formally conquered. Although I would think it highly likely that they would cooperate with the dominion to their own advantage in the short term, in the long run, they might well be able to 'outsmart' the dominion.
     
  19. varek

    varek Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    Location:
    Danville, IN, USA
    The Ferengi might be able to surprise some complacent, overconfident opponents. They are intelligent and wily.
     
  20. SimpleLogic

    SimpleLogic Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2014
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    I wanted to see those Marauders in action during the Dominion War. But since they weren't plus how they ended up being portrayed on Ds9 I don't think Ferengi are much of a threat to anyone.