Next Generation and the Dominion War

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Mr Light, Jan 1, 2014.

  1. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 1999
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Back in the day I read the two TNG Dominion War wormhole books and the Battle of Betazed. Are there anymore TNG novels dealing with the Dominion War?

    It always seemed to me to be a real missed opportunity that we didn't get to see more of the Enterprise's involvement in the war. They are the flagship after all! They should have had a leading role throughout the war.
     
  2. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    There's a whole story anthology Tales of the Dominion war.That have stories about Tng and Ds9 characters that tells of their experiences during the war .I thought the stories were well written you may want to check it out.
     
  3. KRAD

    KRAD Keith R.A. DeCandido Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 1999
    Location:
    New York City
    The three books you mention are the only novels that show the Big E taking an active role in the Dominion War. Several novels take place during the war -- The Q-Continuum trilogy by Greg Cox, Immortal Coil by Jeffrey Lang, Planet X by Michael Jan Friedman, a few of the Shatner/Reeves-Stevens novels -- but only make passing references to it as Picard and the gang are doing other things.

    However, some short fiction and comics do deal with it. The WildStorm graphic novels Forgiveness by David Brin & Scott Hampton and especially The Gorn Crisis by Kevin J. Anderson, Rebecca Moesta, & Igor Kordey involve the Enterprise-E doing warrish things.

    As for short fiction, there's "Suicide Note" by Geoff Trowbridge and my own "Four Lights" in The Sky's the Limit and three stories in Tales of the Dominion War: "What Dreams May Come" by Michael Jan Friedman, "Mirror Eyes" by Heather Jarman & Jeffrey Lang, and "Eleven Hours Out" by Dave Galanter.
     
  4. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 1999
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    That boggles my mind. Seems like a great opportunity for a) franchise synergy and b) telling an important story. TNG never got to do war stories.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    "Got to do?" What an odd turn of phrase, as if war stories were somehow better than other kinds. Star Trek is supposed to be about people who are smart enough and dedicated enough to find alternatives to war. War is a failure of everything the franchise and its characters stand for. Personally I think DS9 spent a year too long on the Dominion War as it was.
     
  6. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    In a way we could argue that they did play a leading role, and one probably suited to the flagship. Given its reputation, and given Picard's diplomatic experience, Starfleet seems to have used the Enterprise in efforts to acquire new allies, showing the flag and trying to build a more extensive support base for the Federation. In Immortal Coil it's mentioned that they've just returned from the Tzenkethi, where they've made a case for why the Autarch should support the Federation against the Dominion, and in The Gorn Crisis they're orbiting Gornar for similar reasons. So that's two of the major nations they're pestering. "Suicide Note" places them at Romulus almost immediately after the Romulans enter the war, and I believe that Picard was meeting with their fleet command after his visit to the Jaroks.

    In Insurrection they're at Evora, which Picard notes is a matter of helping the Federation's image, a morale boost if nothing strategically important - "look, everyone, worlds continue to show confidence in the Federation, they're eager to join us, we'll still be here in six months, please ignore all that boasting coming out of Cardassia".
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2014
  7. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 1999
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Isn't the Enterprise the most powerful warship in the fleet, though?
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Based on what? Technically, the only "warships" in all of Starfleet, the only ships designed for the primary purpose of combat, are the Defiant class.

    True, I've assumed in the past that the Sovereign and Intrepid classes were part of a post-Wolf 359 push to develop more combat-capable ships for fighting the Borg, but in retrospect, if they had been designed for combat, wouldn't we have seen some of them in the battle fleets shown on DS9?

    Picard is a captain whose career has been defined primarily on the basis of his accomplishments as an explorer and diplomat. He's had enough tactical experience to be drawn on for various potential combat situations, but his chief expertise and interest is in diplomacy and science. And the fact is, wars are often won more by diplomacy than by weapons. The American Revolution would've gotten nowhere if Benjamin Franklin's diplomatic skills hadn't persuaded the French to support the revolutionaries. So it would've been stupid for Starfleet to waste their best diplomat, Picard, on frontline combat when he was far more valuable recruiting allies and aid.
     
  9. Corran Horn

    Corran Horn Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2001
    Location:
    I-L
    There are production reasons that was the case, as I suspect you know.
     
  10. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    Isn't there a line in Insurrection about how they've been on the outskirts of the Federation, putting out "brushfires"? That does sound to me like they weren't very involved in the war, so it makes sense that we wouldn't have a lot of war stories with them. Besides, we got plenty of war stories on DS9, so other than answering the question of what the TNG characters (other than Worf) were up to, which has already been answered in the stories discussed above, I don't see the need for more TNG DW stories.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Of course I know that, but regardless of the real-world reasons, the fact that exists in-universe is that there's no evidence of Sovereign-class ships participating in Dominion War battles. Therefore there is no canonical basis for concluding that they are powerful warships.
     
  12. Corran Horn

    Corran Horn Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2001
    Location:
    I-L
    Quote from Geordi in First Contact: "The Enterprise-E is the most advanced starship in the fleet. We should be on the front line."
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    But "advanced starship" does not mean "powerful warship." Yes, that advancement would've made them useful on the front lines, but it does not prove that they would've been better at it than any other ship. Starfleet ships are designed for far more functions than war. Starfleet's mission is to prevent war.

    And I still say Geordi was wrong. Whatever the abilities of the ship, Picard would've been wasted on the front lines. He's a diplomat first, and you can't come out ahead in a war without good diplomats. It's a foolish mistake to assume that winning a war is only about weapons and bloodshed.
     
  14. Corran Horn

    Corran Horn Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2001
    Location:
    I-L
    Geordi seemed to think so. I'd consider him the authority.
     
  15. Nob Akimoto

    Nob Akimoto Captain Captain

    Joined:
    May 22, 2001
    Location:
    The People's Republic of Austin
    Well the only real canonical information we have on the ship's capability is really its design/construction, and we see that the thing is quite literally bristling with weapons emplacements in a way that no other ship really has been. Even prior to Nemesis the Enterprise-E had a LOT of phaser arrays and visible torpedo launchers. The Nemesis edition also had some absurd number of launchers and phaser arrays. Presumably the ship is extremely heavily armed.

    That said, they're likely not all that common, and perhaps powerful enough to serve in detached roles, hence the Enterprise herself is off putting out brush fires and such and not actively fighting.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Being an authority in engineering does not make one an authority in military strategy. And as the ship's chief engineer, he was naturally biased. We've seen before, in "Force of Nature," how much he was driven by pride and wanted the Enterprise to be the best at everything. So I wouldn't consider him an objective judge.

    As for being heavily armed, that's nothing new in Starfleet vessels; Kirk's Enterprise had enough firepower to depopulate a planet. So again, we do not have any actual proof that the Sovereign class was more powerful as a ship of war than any other vessel in Starfleet. Their complete absence in the depicted Dominion War would seem to argue against it. We have to balance all the evidence; we don't get to cherrypick the one bit of data we like and ignore the countervailing evidence. We just don't have any definite proof to let us answer the question one way or the other. And it really doesn't matter anyway, since Picard played a more important role than just wielding brute force.
     
  17. Nob Akimoto

    Nob Akimoto Captain Captain

    Joined:
    May 22, 2001
    Location:
    The People's Republic of Austin
    I think that moves the goalposts a little, Christopher. The comparison of the Sovereign being heavily armed isn't just that the class is heavily armed overall, but that she's heavily armed compared to other contemporary ship designs. For example, in simple torpedo launchers, the Galaxy has one forward and one rear launcher, while the Sovereign circa First Contact had at least 1 quantum torpedo launcher along with 2 large forward launchers on the engineering hull and 2 rearward facing launchers. Then we also get two supposedly in the saucer, which gives us a much larger torpedo arsenal than any contemporary design. Combined with the fact that the ship is armed with a larger number of phaser array strips than comparable 24th century contemporary designs, and that gives us some sense of the ship's RELATIVE capabilities next to comparable ships like all the Galaxy and Nebula class ships we see in the fleet scenes.

    We also know that despite the fact that we have multiple Defiant-class ships as shown in Valiant and Ship in a Bottle somehow only the Defiant shows up in the DS9 fleet battle scenes. Does this mean the Defiant-class wasn't a great powerful ship because of that fact? It could simply mean that their numbers were limited and thus only a handful are assigned to any theater of war.

    We also see that the Intrepid we see in DS9 is being used as a special personal flagship for Admiral Ross, suggesting that Bellerophon despite not showing up in the fleet sequences has capabilities that make it ideal for an admiral's personal use and that given Ross's presence at battles, was actually at the battle despite not being "on screen".

    In terms of balancing the evidence, I think that tends to show at least that Starfleet seems to parcel out their most advanced/powerful designs and throw them into independent functioning roles rather than sticking them into fleet actions.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Which is exactly the comparison I am making. My whole point is that it would have to be compared against other classes.

    But you're talking about the Galaxy class's known armaments during TNG. Is it logical to assume they didn't add more weapons to the Galaxies built for the Dominion fleets?

    Look, I'm the first to admit that in real life it was absurd that the Dominion battle fleets were so dominated by Galaxies and older classes rather than the newer, post-Wolf 359 classes like Intrepid and Sovereign. But that's what we're stuck with and we have to formulate our theories based on that evidence. So it seems to me we have to conclude there's some reason why, despite what we'd expect, the Galaxies and Excelsiors and whatnot proved more useful for combat than the Sovvies. Maybe it's similar to the rationale used in the Romulan War duology for building more Daedalus-class ships rather than NX-class: because they were easier and quicker to mass-produce due to the production process being simpler and well-established.


    Okay, maybe. But that still works to explain why the E-E wasn't in the front lines, and that's my primary goal.

    I still stand by the assertion, though, that the phrase "advanced starship" does not merely mean "powerful warship." Starfleet vessels are something far better than mere warships.
     
  19. Corran Horn

    Corran Horn Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2001
    Location:
    I-L
    Please. He's the chief engineer of a state-of-the-art vessel. He's an authority on comparative capabilities of starships. Knowing what he knows about the ship and its capabilities he believes they should be on the front lines.

    You said there was no canonical evidence the Sovereign-class was a "powerful warship". Someone who is an in-universe expert on starships said that the Enterprise should be on the front line of a battle against arguably (only because you'll argue it) the most powerful enemy the Federation had ever encountered. Did he need to be an authority on military strategy to make that call? Or does he know that, judging from his knowledge of the other starships and their abilities, the Enterprise belonged in that battle? Of course it's a powerful warship - it's just not *only* a powerful warship. It wasn't meant for war, solely.

    Heck, if you're just looking for an in-universe reason why the Enterprise wasn't around the one Shelby gives Calhoun at the beginning of "Once Burned" about why the Excalibur isn't at the front seems plausible enough. Some assets are kept back for when things *really* get bad--and having your best/most independent Captains in those slots makes sense.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
  20. Count

    Count Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Andromeda Galaxy
    one of the slings and arrows Ebooks has the Enterprise-E infiltrated by a changeling that stole the specs of the Sovereign Class starships. It's set between "By Inferno's light" and First Contact.