Power of the Federation

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by EmperorTiberius, Oct 13, 2012.

  1. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think the Cardassians could have a been a dangerous superpower on the same level as the Federation.

    They had the organization, infrastructure, and a disciplined military.

    What they didn't have was resources and time. The Federation had too much of a headstart on them.

    If they had the resources, more time to expand their military and develop tech, they would have been an extremely dangerous enemy.
     
  2. The Green Mushroom

    The Green Mushroom Commander Red Shirt

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    I agree. A small craft from the future damaged a large craft. To use a modern analogy, I would not be surprised if a medevac helicopter with a door gunner from today's USAF were able to force a 19th century battleship to strike its colors if they somehow ended up in a firefight.

    However, I stand by my original comments. I do not believe that anything in the future is ordained or inevitable or that if someone has fancy technology A then they must have fancy technology B. I will limit myself to what I observe in understanding how things might work in such a setting. As I see things, there is no weapon readily available to anyone but the Borg during Janeway's tour on the Voyager that could be mounted on a shuttle and then disable a functional ship the size of Voyager before the Voyager would have a chance to return fire and overwhelm the shuttle's defenses. I do not equate shuttles to fighter planes. I equate a shuttle to a dinghy.

    I am willing to say that if I am wrong, then my theory is invalid. Is there any weapon that could be mounted on a shuttle and disable the Voyager before Voyager could mount a counterattack?
     
  3. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    They use battleships instead of Galactica-like aircraft carriers for a reason IMHO. Fighters are not (yet?) as capable against capital ships in the Trek world as they are in the real one.
     
  4. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    They didn't design fighters to be Firepower heavy like the Defiant was designed.

    Glass Canon mentality of design along with high agility and speed along with long range attack capabilities is what you need for a vicious fighter in the Star Trek age.
     
  5. EmperorTiberius

    EmperorTiberius Captain Captain

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    I guess power of torpedo means even a shuttle can be dangerous, but I wander if Starfleet would be willing to take the high casualties? In Star Trek weapons are too good for the shields. They would lose tons of people.
     
  6. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    During the battle to regain DS9 (Sacrifice of Angels), each of the Starfleet fighters phaser shots were doing as much damage (size of fireball) to a Cardassian ship, as one of the main phaser strips on a Galaxy class firing a equal number of shots at a similar target.

    So the Starfleet fighters of that battle, at least for a couple of dozen shots, has the same hitting power as a Galaxy class.

    :)
     
  7. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Then they didn't give them long range or manueverability to have better survivability.
     
  8. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re shuttles and torpedoes: don't shuttles and runabouts carry "micro torpedoes"?

    Re fireballs from fighter blasts: can't get too excited about those. There weren't any shield bubbles in those battles either. The ships were too close together. They weren't firing nearly as much as they could have. When they did, they weren't from all their weapons arrays. There weren't as many different types of ships in the battles as there should have been. Especially from the races that had fewer models previously shown on screen. Their formations were silly. There wasn't enough damage to hulls. The action is different from the dialogue. The list goes on and on. I just watch and enjoy without thinking too much about it.
     
  9. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The Starfleet fighters do have a pair of warp engines, you can see them on the craft's underbelly. And they seem to have more maneuverability than a runabout.

    :)
     
  10. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Then Federation and Dominion fleet battle tactics are moronic.

    They're so close to each other that you can actually crash into other ships.

    This is the 24th century, long range targeting should be standard on both sides.
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    That is, apparently none...

    Similarly, the Dominion ships were able to light up huge gasoline explosions every time they hit the shields of DS9 in "Call to Arms", but apparently none of the shots resulted in any appreciable damage to the station. Certainly there were no physical marks afterwards, either on DS9 or on those Cardassian ships.

    If your best weapons barely dent the enemy, then there's no point in fighting at long ranges. You need to crowd your opponent and pummel him slowly to death, just like in a big gang fight in a slum where nobody can afford a gun, or in 14th-18th century naval warfare.

    Range only began to play a role in naval fighting around WWI when the possibility first arose of seriously hurting or even crippling the enemy with just one salvo. But Trek bears quite a bit of resemblance to pre-WWI style in other respects, too: the absence of aircraft for spotting let alone fighting, and the lack of radar or much in the way of radio, either. The FTL sensors and subspace radios basically amount to horizon-scale situational awareness and communications, in the scale of space...

    What Trek has over WWI is fire control. pre-WWI guns had the range to engage at great distances, but it would have taken a miracle to score a hit at that range. Combining this with the fact that a battleship's shell had slim chances of going through another battleship's armor made it perfectly sensible to sail very close to the enemy and to pummel him with a range of guns, starting with the big ones but bringing all sorts of peashooters into play as the range diminished. It also made it sensible to launch all ships in one big mass into an unholy melee, so that even the wimpiest peashooters aboard the smallest tin cans could contribute. Trek looks pretty much like that - just with better targeting.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Yeah, it's the 24th century by DS9 era. They should be able to hit targets at great ranges.

    in TNG, they can hit precise targets from orbit.

    It stands to reason that they can hit a ship from a similar distance.

    I'm not asking for such precision targeting at those long ranges that you can hit a specific window on a ship, just make sure you collide with the enemies shield or hit the vessel square on the silohuette.

    Pummeling enemies works great IRL because you have to reach the enemy and you have to recoil your fists to deliver another blow.

    It makes no sense to pummel at close range with a ship if your weapons have targeting accuracy at range and the ability to travel far distances with your projectiles. In fact, that's how you should be fighting. The only advantage of fighting at close range is the ease to target sub systems accurately and the ease to dodge around the target to get a clear shot if they rotate their vessel to present their stronger shield side to you. The bad part about close range combat in ships is that it's easy for the enemy to hit you, and you are a huge target silohuette for the enemy.

    It makes no sense for space battles to be fought at close range such as DS9 battles. I know the director did it for dramatic license, but it's quite illogical when you think about it.

    Think about how easy it is to shoot a person with a pistol within the same room of a average sized room. Now imagine having to shoot the same guy with a pistol at 500 feet away. Machine targeting could make that kind of shot a sinch and consistant in accuracy of hits. Humans would take forever to get even resonably close and have a reliable hit pattern.

    Computer aided targeting systems in ST should be quick, accurate, and consistant, even at super long ranges.
     
  13. The Green Mushroom

    The Green Mushroom Commander Red Shirt

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    Well said, Timo.

    While I can see no reason, technically speaking, why torpedoes should not be able to work at long ranges, I can also see no reason why a ship wouldn't be able to simply get out of the way of a torpedo that was coming at them with a few seconds warning. I also see no evidence that phasers do work at long ranges. Putting two and two together that sounds like a recipe of battles staying within phaser range and close enough to fire torpedoes that cannot be dodged.

    I also see little evidence that the Federation ("We're not a military"), the Dominion (Jem'Hadar are cannon fodder), the Klingons ("We love hand to hand combat and WANT to die in battle") or anyone else really even seems to care about tactics. If humans have given up war and everyone else thinks about differently, tactics as we know them and tactics that a modern naval officer would use in the same situation might no longer exist.
     
  14. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Well with FTL sensors you could potentially detect and destroy incoming torpedeo fire. Phaser power might dissipate over extended ranges.
     
  15. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Completely regardless of the accuracy of targeting, some key reasons for choosing a specific fighting range would remain the same.

    If a single hit hurts, you should keep your distance, because even if a hit is 100% guaranteed in terms of accuracy, distance may allow you to lessen its effect in various ways. Say, the incoming fire may lose strength over distance: rayguns might suffer from the inverse square law, missiles might run out of fuel, and even if the fire following you is persistent, you may stretch out the impacts timewise, Doppler style, by flying away from the fire.

    If a single hit is of no consequence, and recovering from multiple hits is just a matter of time and perhaps labor, then there's no point in keeping your distance. The closer you get, the easier it is for you to maximize the amount and effectiveness of your fire on the opponent and create momentary "overload" situations on him. If you dodge and swerve at a distance, you might avoid some low percentage of hits, with the balance of the battle never swinging enough in your advantage. If you go close, Doppler might again be your friend: you could accelerate towards your foe constantly firing and create a time-on-target effect on the enemy wherein your effective firepower is dozens of times the total output of all of your guns. Enemy counterfire would not be correspondingly intensified. (Except in the case of weapons whose traveling speed doesn't depend on your own speed, for which phasers may or may not qualify; say, with lasers, you wouldn't get any Doppler advantage from accelerating towards your foe.)

    At some very low distance, your ability to swing your guns would become a limiting factor, as angular velocities would increase. On the other hand, at point blank, the angular size of the foe would also increase, so you might start hitting him with your "side weapons" in addition to your "bow guns".

    You might also be worried about the blast radius of your projectiles, or of the hits you score. This seems to affect Trek photon torpedo fighting somewhat.

    Finally, there is the boarding range to consider - another factor from ancient warfare that Trek sorta reintroduces with transporter.

    Overall, Trek fighting has every right to bear very little resemblance to today's naval or aerial fighting, and would indeed look odd if resembling either of those.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  16. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I concur with this, it all depends on how much energy dissipation there is on your beam weapons. As far as I can tell, since they are in the vacuum of space, there shouldn't be much to inhibit their weapons, so the dissipation should start happening at great ranges.

    The fact that the Enterprise D can hit ground targets from a planet's orbit means they at least have the targeting accuracy at great ranges. Earth's Exosphere is 10,000 km above the Earth's surface at Earth Sea Level. Federation ships should be able to fight each other at ~10,000 km range.

    http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Orbit

    Voyager was parked in High Orbit of 20,000 km above Earth when they came back in time during VOY:"Future's End".

    http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Phaser_sweep

    I would agree with the inverse square law if you were talking about Phaser Sweeps that projects the Phaser beam in a wide cone as seen on DS9. But normally since the beam is confined in a tube like projection (I'm assuming some form of magnetic constriction), the beam should dissipate at far greater ranges. Especially since they have depicted that Phaser weapons can hit ground targets from orbit (At least 10,000 km if you are parked in Earth's Exosphere).

    I agree, fighting at great range and circle strafing like modern day Dog Fighting (at greater ranges though, > 10,000 km) would allow you to avoid taking alot of damage in a short period of time. Gives your system more time to regenerate shield strength and time for your engineers to put out any issues or apply quick hot fixes.

    Remember, distance is a double edge sword, It should be easier for him to do the same to you. The reason why modern combat doctrine on all sides is to fight at range is so that you have first sight, first strike, and first kill. If you can destroy them without them even noticing you, why wouldn't you do that if you were in a combat situation that meant life and death.

    I agree, you can't stay at range and pelt at each other until one dies unless you already have the advantage. The only side that needs to stay at range and wittle the opponent down is the side with the advantage. The losing side needs to
    a) Run if they can't win.
    b) Hide to readjust postioning or find time to figure out a new solution.
    c) Take a risk and bring the fight closer if they can find a blind spot on their ship or a weak point to exploit.

    When you say accelerate towards, I would assume its not in a straight line because that sounds like a bad idea in general if you are at the disadvantaged position. I'm going to assume you mean by circle strafing them in a spiral formation while getting ever closer so that you can be constantly hitting them with as many guns on your side while simultaneously making it harder for their guns to keep track of you by constantly moving in all their weak zones since you probably know where they must have a side of their ship that has less guns that can target that area.

    Even with bullets the amount of extra energy bonus you get while moving towards your target is relatively miniscule compared the amount of energy coming from the launch of the bullet from the gun powder in it's cartridge. I'm pretty sure it's safe to assume that since beam energy isn't as dependant on kinetic forces to do damage, that your bonus from moving should be next to nil in the grand scheme of things.

    Since Phasers do function like Lasers in general practice, although at slower speeds than Lasers since they don't seem to just appear to be there the moment you activate, you can actually see for a split second that they start traveling. It's safe to assume that Phasers and other energy weapons travel at a significant fraction of the speed of light. Maybe at 50% the speed of light? Who knows. They never gave that information in the online wikis or technical manuals that I read. I could be wrong on the technical manuals.

    From everything that's been displayed in ST battles, targeting angle and adjusting the angle on your weapons doesn't seem to be much of an issue on any side. Since everything seems to just fire away from the emitter, I'm assuming it's using some form of controlled magnetic containment that allows the energy to go out of a very controlled hole that can be readjusted in a very small fraction of a second. You can obviously see that most aliens are able to just fire arbitrarily at any angle they have access to from their weapon placement as long as there is no physical obstruction. Kind of like pointing a garden hose where ever you feel and watch the water flow, just on a much faster rate of change than what we humans can do.

    Even weapons like Bird of Prey's Wingtip Disruptor canon is not limited to firing straight ahead, they can aim at off angles.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edqZK6Qitco&list=PLABD005E3B6266480&index=3&feature=plpp_video

    This video has examples of weapons that fire at off angles, even if they look like weapon canons that can only shoot straight ahead.

    That's definitely more of a torpedo matter than a Phaser or beam weapon issue. I'll leave that for another time or you can check out my Torpedo thread on the topics page.

    http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Transporter

    "During the 22nd century, standard Earth transporter systems had a range of 10,000 kilometers; however, by the 24th century, standard transporter systems maximum range was about 40,000 kilometers, though a special type of transport, called subspace transport could beam over several light years"

    See even transporters work at great ranges. The only time I can think of that you would want to employ transporters during a fire fight between ships is if you plan on rescuing someone or thing or have plans on capturing the enemy. If that is the case, then staying close may allow you to position yourself such that you can beam through a section of their shield that is down since there will probably be a few seconds where there shields will be down to 0% on one of the sides of their vessel.


    I would disagree, it probably should resemble modern day combat more often than not. I do agree there are times where you need to be close to the enemy like they portray on screen. However that shouldn't be every single battle.

    Some of the ST:TOS battles where they were fighting at great ranges and had quick scene jumps between the two ships were very realistic and I liked that aspect. Battles need to be portrayed more realistically if they want me to get full enjoyment out of those battles and not portray them like Naval battles of the pirate age where everybody was in visual range. I know the directors do that for dramatic license, but it makes absolutely no sense when you take the time to analyze and think about it. Real combat is about range and distance between vessels and even Aircraft.

    When they did F-22 vs any of our older aircraft for mock combat trials, the pilots on the non F-22 were just having a bad time since in a 100 rounds of mock dog fights, they died long before they can even see the opponent. The only times I can think of having close in dog fights is if technology was on similar footing and long range weapons become easy to avoid with countermeasures and speed of vessel / craft you are on.

    Surprisingly Gundam / Macross does ranged battles in an interesting and exciting way that varies from ST portrayals. They start battles at long range and usually end up close and keep switching between long range and close range all the time. It feels far more realistic and exciting to the audience IMO. Gundam 00 and Macross Frontier being my two favorite entries of those respective series. I highly recommend it to folks who haven't seen either of those Animes.

    Timo, I do love that you are one of the few that puts alot of thoughts into your post. It's always fun to debate against somebody who puts real thought behind what they say and I feel like I do pick up a few new ideas or insights into Combat / Star Trek / etc everytime I debate against you or the other posters who can think at levels beyond "Enterprise fires phaser and it does MASSIVE UBER damage". There are way to many fans who think in such shallow terms and don't even put much thought behind what they see or analyze using logic, evidence, and real world physics / phenomena to extrapolate, interpret, or figure out what should and should not happen on screen.

    I salue you Timo and other posters who go they extra mile when they post.
     
  17. John Mason

    John Mason Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I would put the strength of the federation akin to that of a mature cheese ... :guffaw:
     
  18. AggieJohn

    AggieJohn Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I wonder if the issue was that the Star Trek team just did not appreciate the essential aspects of a good space battle as the show was more about exploration. The dominion war was a last ditch effort to save DS9 and even it could not save the show.

    Gundam on the other hand is heavy with war and does a amazing job creating tension in battle scenes.
     
  19. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I think the Star Trek staff didn't put enough thought into how a real Space Battle would flow. Even Babylon 5 in the early seasons had battles that looked like they were fought at great ranges. Of course JMS just gave up eventually and everybody was piled in like ships of yore during the "Pirates of the Caribbean" era.

    The dominion war IMO was one of the best arcs for all of ST. It lead to many great episodes and pretty but highly illogical battles.

    Gundam is a battle first series along with competent technical designers and directors who have some clue how a battle should be fought. Almost every generation of shows, they find new and improved ways of making battles better. The battles are animated better. Better planning, better strategy, more interesting tactics, far more battlefield complexity, and they still manage to pack a story within all that.

    I think it's mainly the writing staff didn't have good people to reference for how space battles would work on a logical basis. They need at least one person on staff to keep everything consistant, logical, and accurate with canon.
     
  20. AggieJohn

    AggieJohn Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Totally agree. I like some aspects of the Dominion war, there were some great episodes but a lot of dumb ones too, something that perhaps a separate topic might get into in greater detail.

    But I completely agree that no one really sat down and asked "What is the military power potential of the Federation?" "what would their battle plan be?" Now to be fair to the writers the Federation seemed to go to war half assed in the past and perhaps this "we will get their eventually" plan just was not enough against the Dominion. But then again they seemed to rebuild pretty fast after the Borg attack and it seemed that they learned from the Borg invasion and should have been better prepared.