Maneuvering in the Z-Axis...

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Captain Shatner, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. Captain Shatner

    Captain Shatner Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    It has pained me so much when I watch old Star Trek episodes that, not once, does Kirk ever try and go over or under something! Does Starfleet not teach 3-dimensional warfare?

    It's actually not just Kirk. Klingons, Romulans, and the like only seem to feel the need to maneuver on the x- and y-axis, neglecting the fact that they can go up and down. If there are any Asimov diehards out there, we know that one of Bel Riose's greatest victories was literally attacking from under a planet!

    Yes, yes, I've watched The Wrath of Khan too, don't worry. But, my question is, is there any point in TOS where Kirk (or anybody else) does a combat maneuver on the Z-axis?



    ("Maneuver, by Jupiter!" "We can't! The Gauls are in the way!")
     
  2. EmperorTiberius

    EmperorTiberius Captain Captain

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    How do you know they don't? You wouldn't be able to tell which way they are going unless one of the ships is not manuevering. As soon as you try to attack an enemy from below, the enemy would either point its bow towards you, or escape. Their methods of propulsion allow them to go forward/backward, so that's where the torpedo lauchers are, and you would only face an enemy with your front or back. In All Good Things Enterprise does attack from below, but that was because she was cloaked and was able to achieve surprise before Klingons could turn towards her.
     
  3. Captain Shatner

    Captain Shatner Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    The question is, how fast can the Enterprise execute a dive or point its bow up? Why couldn't Kirk dodge a long-range torpedo by dropping instead of trying maneuver left or right? Consider, also, the advantage in coming in on an attack from an above angle, with your bow pointed straight at the enemy. He would have to point his bow up to fire at you, or try and go directly underneath you!

    I guess the question is, why doesn't Kirk pull a Wrath of Khan more often?
     
  4. EmperorTiberius

    EmperorTiberius Captain Captain

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    That's what I was trying to say. Klingons could see Enterprise coming at them from millions of km away and would have plenty of time to turn up or down towards Enterprise. This could take place off screen.

    I do agree with your torpedo point, though. Wasn't it in Balance of Terror that they tried to go reverse instead of just down? I can only imagine that the ball of plasma was somehow guided so they needed to get away as far as possible.
     
  5. Hambone

    Hambone Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Sure. Off the top of my head, in Balance of Terror, Kirk says of the Romulan ship "They'll try to slip under us." I'll bet there are others.
     
  6. SchwEnt

    SchwEnt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    There's another thing to remember, it was apparently different in TOS.

    From TWOK onwards into TNG and beyond, we've seen ship battles in unusually close (and probably unrealistic) quarters. In these situations, Z Axis maneuvering would be a factor.

    But in TOS, we rarely saw fighting ships in the same frame. This would accurately reflect the ranges, which were often given in tens of thousands of kilometers. This would be well beyond visual range (excluding sensor magnification).

    So what I'm supposing is, if the enemy range is 15,000 kilometers, would it make a difference if the enemy vessel is +Z or -Z axis? At those distances, the enemy would have to be thousands and thousands of kilometers above or below.

    And in that case, the Enterprise would have to not only Z axis maneuver but likely change course heading (e.g. heading 122 mark 12), and this is just what Kirk did in combat.
     
  7. A beaker full of death

    A beaker full of death Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Made me crazy in modern Trek. One can excuse it in TWOK as Khan was aiming to get as close to Kirk as possible, and then they had to be damn close in the nebula to see each other at all.

    But in modern Trek, ships are right on top of each other.

    TOS was much more realistic in that regard. When ships are firing at each other from kilometers away from each other, they can't see each other with the naked eye.
     
  8. EmperorTiberius

    EmperorTiberius Captain Captain

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    May be countermeasures have advanced so much that they have to be within visual range.
     
  9. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I've heard younger Trekkies criticize TOS for that, calling it boring.
     
  10. Vanyel

    Vanyel The Imperious Leader Premium Member

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    And weren't the Tholians building their web around the Enterprise?
     
  11. JimZipCode

    JimZipCode Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Special FX deficiencies, and budget constraints. No other reason.
     
  12. Captain Shatner

    Captain Shatner Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    But they don't, do they?
     
  13. Captain Shatner

    Captain Shatner Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Perhaps, at the long-range space battles are fought in, vertical maneuvering might be less useful. But, assuming that the Enterprise can move on the Z-Axis even half as quickly as it can move forward or back, that would still mean that it should be able to dodge long-range torpedos or whatnot.

    As for countermeasures, did those exist? I've never heard Kirk order Chekhov to activate a countermeasure...
     
  14. Captain Shatner

    Captain Shatner Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Very true. Out of curiosity, what was that web supposed to do anyways?
     
  15. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Commodore Commodore

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    You people don't really know what the Z axis is, do you? X is left-right, Y is up-down. Z is a corkscrew motion.
     
  16. A beaker full of death

    A beaker full of death Vice Admiral Admiral

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  17. EmperorTiberius

    EmperorTiberius Captain Captain

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    wat
     
  18. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Cute, but wrong.

    Typically the Z axis is that axis which is perpendicular to both the X and Y axes, but which axis is which depends on the conventions of a particular usage. For instance, on a computer monitor, the X axis is horizontal, the Y is vertical, and the Z is into the screen. In algebraic geometry Z is the vertical axis. With regards to aircraft and spacecraft, X is the nose to tail axis, Y is the left to right, and Z is the up to down (so Kirk's order is correct relative to the Enterprise in TWOK), unless you're talking Yaw, Pitch and Roll, in which case Z is the roll. But what X, Y and Z are all depends on what you're talking about as to which axis is what.

    So next time you choose to lecture someone, take a moment to check your own command of the facts first.
     
  19. DonIago

    DonIago Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's shown in IAMD, but I believe the premise is that once the web is complete it collapses in on itself, absorbing any energy directed at it and slicing and dicing anything it comes into contact with as it compresses.
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    On the other hand, the Tholians had already demonstrated the ability to destroy the Enterprise from a distance with their death rays. It thus seems rather possible that the Tholians were simply snaring the Enterprise in a trawl that would allow them to drag her away, back to their base.

    In the ENT episode "In a Mirror, Darkly", we see a web that could be used as a weapon: it's deployed much faster and can englobe even a somewhat maneuverable ship, eventually crushing it. The TOS web doesn't seem capable of that under any circumstances, and IMHO shouldn't be considered a weapon.

    As for dodging incoming fire by moving up or down, everything in Star Trek of all eras points to this being best done by turning your bow towards the direction you want to go to. Starships don't move sideways or up or down any more than cars or aeroplanes do, except at a crawling pace. And you definitely don't want to crawl in the transverse direction if a torpedo is heading towards you.

    Timo Saloniemi
     

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