I've enjoyed reading through these discussions, but I have a question...how do we know a Galaxy-class was present and destroyed at Wolf 359? As far as I know, Admiral Hanson never left the Melbourne and died on it when it was destroyed, as depicted in the opening sequence of the DS9 pilot "Emissary". IIRC, Tigger's Ships of the Star Fleet described Melbourne as a newbuild Excelsior meant as a command ship. Regarding the OP of the purpose of the three bolt-on pods on the New Orleans-class, yep, I agree that they are auxiliary torpedo pods with their own substantial magazines. Whether they were mission-specific to that particular ship that fought at Wolf 359 or typical of the New Orleans-class itself is unknown. Tigger's Ships of the Star Fleet suggests that the New Orleans-class was constructed without torpedo tubes, but as we've also seen the tubes used to launch probes, it seems unusual that such an obvious design flaw would make it out of the ASDB, even if the ship was designed in peaceful times. Plus, side-views of the N.O. suggest a torpedo tube in the base of the connecting dorsal a la Galaxy-class, with the same type of structure there that the Galaxy has. I can see additional bolt-on torpedo modules to bolster the offensive capability of this class during the Cardassian troubles of the 2350s, but I am inclined to think that this particular ship shown in the aftermath of Wolf 359 was a mission-specific torpedo spammer. Maybe not necessarily meant for the Borg; after all, the Borg weren't supposed to show up for some time, according to onscreen dialogue, but a ship meant to toss out tons of torpedoes on any threat that happened to show up in Earth's vicinity.