Power of the Federation

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

  1. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    The one good thing "Q" did for the UFP was wake them to the threat of the Borg. When the Borg first came and whooped the UFP at Wolf 359, they effectively forced the Federation and Starfleet to be ready. This made them ready for the Dominion War IMO. Since they were in a massive preperation phase against the Borg, they didn't get caught with their pants down when the Dominion war started.

    After the Dominion war, they should now get it through the Federations head, not everybody will play nice and negotiate. You need to have a massive fleet, weapons that are so deadly, that nobody will think of pushing you around. Don't get me wrong, I'm the farthest thing from a war monger. But I also don't like being bullied, I also don't like others bullying the weak. Ergo strength should be used for protection and preventing conflicts. Fighting only if you have to and killing as a absolute last option.

    That's the problem when you plan things season by season without any fore thought into the universe you're trying to build.

    JMS is still IMO one of the greatest Sci-Fi creators because of Babylon 5. He planned it from start to finish. A 5 year run that was largely in tact. There were details he didn't fore see like how fast is hyper-space. His answer was "The speed of plot". I'm not down with that. I'd prefer a "24" mentality where things were approached with a serious more realistic attitude towards travel time. At least for most of the early seasons that rule was followed.

    Sadly when Branon Braga took over for one of the later seasons of "24", he threw that rule to the curbside. Another reason why BB should be booted from Hollywood. His lack of respect for continuity or what a show establishes.

    Star Trek has one of the largest and richest Universe when it comes to canon material. We have 5 TV series and so many movies.

    Star Wars has what, 6 movies, and some semi canon other stuff.

    Given how big Star Trek is, how long it's run, I'm surprised it's as coherent as it is with not that many self contradictions.

    The main problem lies with the writing staff and not having somebody who is a true knowledgebase of all things Trek and to help keep things consistant.

    Especially the usage of terminology.

    If there were to ever be a new show, they need somebody to keep the writing staff in line and make sure they have a consistant, logical universe. One that doesn't introduce new contradictions. One that follows logical rules and doesn't do things because it looks good now, but people will find it stupid later on (e.g. During most of the fleet battles in DS9, you never saw shields, this was a artistic decision by the directors, that's incredibly dumb and breaks the logic of the Star Trek Universe).
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    But the ships seem to orbit at only about a thousand klicks in general...

    We might be seeing a ten-kiloklick shot at a ground target in TOS "The Alternative Factor", but usually the saucer undersides spit death at much lower levels.

    Interestingly, VOY "Extreme Risk" seems to establish that phasers can't penetrate 10,000 kilometers of atmosphere. Which isn't particularly surprising.

    True enough. But the loss of intensity would still be inverse square, making distance a good defensive weapon.

    http://www.quora.com/Is-the-light-f...distance-grows-similar-to-other-light-sources

    That is, assuming a phaser beam is a source-deriving effect similar to laser beams, rather than, say, a stream of physical particles comparable to a hail of bullets.

    And speaking of hails of bullets...

    True. But the important thing would be that the projectiles (or phaser bursts or whatnot) would be hitting the enemy more frequently than your maximum rate of fire if you fired them while accelerating towards the enemy (or unpredictably spiraling towards him, as you point out).

    Or it might be that their speed depends significantly on settings, perhaps chiefly on the overall power pumped into the beam, or perhaps on the power pumped into the "carrier wave" part of the beam. Hand phaser beams travel more slowly than sound does - they are rather comparable to paintballs. Yet starship phasers reach across the warp barrier in some cases (say, "Balance of Terror" after the heroes evade the plasma shot and restart their chase). There would probably be major compromises involved, making slow beams advantageous to fast ones and thus giving us the paintball-speed beams of hand phasers and the possibly 0.5c beams of ship phasers in the general case, but allowing the heroes to ramp it up on occasion.

    Intriguingly, a minor plot point in DS9 "The Ship" is Worf's attempt to get a Jem'Hadar death ray emitter to swivel. Perhaps the mechanical swiveling used by at least the smaller ships of these adversaries is the reason they sometimes miss while our DS9 heroes never do?

    Exactly. The greater angular speed of close-in fights would allow the boarder to exploit failed sections of shielding and hinder the target's ability to turn a shielded side towards the enemy. At greater ranges, it might also be difficult to hit the tiny opening (depending a bit on how transporter physics differ from phaser physics).

    It might also be that close ranges would allow for faster completion of the transport cycle, allowing exploitation of shorter moments of weakness. Or that a transporter beam can punch through a stronger remaining shield when applied at shorter distances, although we know very little about the physics of shield-penetrating transporters (our heroes tend not to risk such things, and our villains aren't telling).

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Erm DSN like TNG and VOY lasted 7 years, DSN has more episodes than any other Trek show other than TNG.

    Ratings where on a general decline on VOY which aired at the same time as DSN.

    So in what way did DSN need saving?
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
  4. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    :wtf:
     
  5. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    I did of course mean TNG.
     
  6. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Yet in TNG, Enterprise can hit a single point within the atmosphere while it was hitting the target from high orbit. I would hazard to guess that the writers didn't do there homework. Cause that's contradictory evidence from two shows within the same technology era.

    That is assuming Phasers and other beam energy even follow that model. It's using technology we don't have any understanding of IRL.

    Maximum rate of fire for a device, be it energy weapon or machine gun is fixed. There is a reason why it's called "MAXIMUM rate of fire". The machine can't shoot any faster than what it's rated. If you tweak the machine, then you're just introducing a new MAXIMUM rate of fire.

    If you're hitting the enemy more frequently it's because you are positioning yourself so that your orientation relative to the enemy allows more of your gun ports to hit the enemy. That's the only logical explanation I can think of. To be honest, your explanation doesn't make sense.

    If you're spiraling towards your enemy, you usually want to be in control, spiraling out of control sounds like you have significant engine failure problems. :mallory:

    I do agree, onscreen evidence seems to point to power of the weapon affects it's velocity.

    Ergo Starship Phasers takes a split second to reach the surface of a planet from atmosphere while hand phasers takes a split second to cross a valley in DS9.

    I never liked how Hand phasers were that slow. At least make them travel at the same speed as modern day tracer rounds. Paintball speeds seem way to slow such that certain humans can dodge them at great distances. FPSRussia comes to mind when he went paintballing.

    I doubt there would be any significant advantages to having a slow moving projectile vs a faster one of the same type. IMO speed makes a huge difference in every aspect of combat.

    Mechanical aiming of something will always be slower than adjustmants of magnetic fields. There is a reason why Hard Drive heads use magnetics to adjust bits and not physical exertion with punch cards that were part of the beginning of the Computer era. The only physical part of a HDD is the aiming of the head, the actual work is all magnetic which is orders of magnitude faster. Once you remove the mechanical portion, things like SSDs are orders of magnitude faster than their HDD counterparts in every aspect of operation.

    I agree, it has to be some form of laser like beam for transporting the physical matter stream to a target destination. Being closer allows for easier targeting of getting the stream through the gap in the opponents shield. Kind of like throwing balls into tiny bins at a carnival booth.

    At best it would be fractions of a second that are so small we wouldn't notice it. I think positioning is more important which allows for quicker targeting and bigger gaps to work with.

    From observation of shows, as long as your shields are up, you can't get through the shields unless you know it's frequency. What you need is either a gap in the shield or have somebody leak you the shield frequency like in ST: Generations where Geordi was forced to be a spy for the enemy.
     
  7. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    I don't see the contradiction. Accuracy at 10,000 km is not the issue. The ability to penetrate 10,000 km of thick gas, as opposed to just 100 km of thick gas around the planet and 9,900 km of vacuum above it, is. And it seems natural enough that phasers couldn't drill a hole in a wall of air 10,000 km thick.

    Exactly. But that is not the upper limit of the rate of fire that the target might receive. It's just the upper limit of the rate of fire that you may pour out. These are two different things.

    Think of a piece of artillery sitting, say, one kilometer away from the enemy. You can fire a grenade every ten seconds. So, what's the maximum rate of fire that your target may experience?

    If you fire every grenade the same way, it's one per ten seconds. But if you fire the first grenade in a high arch, the second in a shallower one, and so forth, firing the sixth almost horizontally, then at the end of the minute all six will converge on the enemy at the same second! You have effectively increased your rate of fire at least tenfold.

    That's being done in the real world today. What I propose is just a variant: instead of giving the "grenades" different ballistic arches, the firing ship launches one at some distance at some speed, and the second one at a lesser distance at a higher speed (thanks to having accelerated a bit). The second one thus will catch up with the first one. The third will catch up on the first two. And so forth, until eventually all the n "grenades" you fired at your maximum rate of fire will be flying in a tight formation that hits the hapless enemy in a very short period of time. Again, you have greatly multiplied your rate of fire, without adjusting the output rate of your "gun" at all.

    Faking engine problems might be an important way to gain a tactical advantage with all other factors equal. :devil:

    One might even argue that this is how phasers work: the travel time of the beam from gun to target is a physical constant, completely independent of the distance, and the speed of the beam adjusts to this "afterwards" through weird physics.

    Essentially, the phaser could be like the transporter, moving stuff from A to B. This time, though, the beam in between is so powerful that it leaks visible light from all the points along its length...

    Interesting parallels there in any case:

    - Both techs involve "phasing" in the technobabble
    - Both techs are blocked by shields
    - Both techs seem to deliver stuff across greatly varying ranges in minimally varying time
    - Both techs first appear in the 2150s

    If a slow projectile kills, but a fast one merely tickles, I'd call that an advantage!

    We don't know what the advantage might be, but the onscreen evidence of the beams indeed being slow suggests that something offsets the tactical disadvantages of beams so slow that they can be dodged.

    Yet certain enemies beam through shields. We don't know if they face specific limitations in doing so, and whether maneuvering is a factor in these limitations - but we do know that they don't always board the hero ship through shields. Which suggests that they can't, because if they always could, they probably always would. Tactically, there'd be no great downside to sending a Jem'Hadar suicide boarding party to fight aboard the Defiant in addition to having the Jem'Hadar ship keep on firing phased polaron beams and torps at her!

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  8. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Then I guess it all depends on what you are firing through. If distance isn't the issue, then it's what type of matter you're pushing through, that can vary based on what your situation is. Effectively allowing writers to say this gaseous planet has a super thick layer of ____ which prevents phasers from firing through it.

    I finally understand what you're trying to say. You're effectively talking about increasing your rate of fire by concentrating damage in a high burst over a very small period of time instead of spreading it out over a longer period of continuous fire. This is all fine and dandy but the flaw in this is that you will have points in time where you are doing below average damage for giant stretches of time. If your goal is to overload them with one giant burst, go for it. If it works, more power to you. It's a perfectly valid strategy, our military uses it too. That's also what the Blitzkrieg tactics was all about.

    True, playing possum has always been a valid strategy. But that requires great timing and setup for it to work.

    That's one interpretation of how phaser works. I have my own, but I don't feel like discussing that here. You have a interesting take on how the mechanics work and I find it intriguing.

    True, phasers ripping apart giant rocks and vaporizing cars like in VOY: "Future's End". Even several bullets can't devastate a car the same way that 29th century phaser could.

    Every episode that I can remember of enemies appearing onboard a target behind shields were things like

    - The iconian gate, both in ST:TNG & ST:DS9

    - Folded Space Transporter
    http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Inverter

    Sometimes there are side effects. Other times, it's a plot point. I think it all depends on what the writer wants to do with the new form of teleportation and how it affects plot.
     
  9. AggieJohn

    AggieJohn Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    TNG dominated its time slot and was a iconic show. DS9 did well but it never had the pull of its parent show. It did receive critical acclaim but not the same numbers. The dominion war was an attempt to give DS9 a "thing" like the Borg for TNG, which was, to be a fair a success, in that the Dominion war is a big part of the Star Trek world, but it could have been better.

    I am not saying that DS9 sucked or anything. I liked the darker tone through it was essentially a watered down NuBSG. The writing failed to capture the horrors of war, they did not even do a great job with terrorism and freedom fighters themes rich for the picking with the Cardassian occupation of Bajor.

    When they did start the war they really failed to capture the drama of war, most of the episodes seemed like rip offs of other classic stories and it flipped flopped between ethical perspectives giving a sense of a lack of focus in story telling. Some stories just seemed to kill the momentum of the show like "Take Me Out to the Holosuite" and "His Way" which follow great episodes like "In the Pale Moonlight".

    In the end DS9 was good to ok, but had the potential to be great. Little attention was given to the inner workings of the entire Federation at war, nor was there a unified story of the struggle against a Nazi like Dominion. They had moments of brilliance but others were so bad they killed the pace of the show.
     
  10. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    DSN couldn't have been a watered down nuBSG given that it came out before.

    Sure there were some misses in DSN, but DSN had a far greater hit to miss ration than many of the other Trek shows.

    Many will argue when DSN is compared against the other Trek shows it was great.
     
  11. AggieJohn

    AggieJohn Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I meant in hindsight with the DS9 NuBSG comparison. Actually Moore worked on both shows and indicated that he felt hindered in DS9 and was able to do the more gritter things in BSG.

    Hey, don't read to much into my DS9 criticism MacLeod. I actually agree with you, compared to other TNG shows, it ranks at or near the top. All I am saying its these are the things that held it back from being epic. I pick only because I loved it so. It had the chance to be great, but for the aforementioned reasons it was "solid".
     
  12. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    It's always hard to compare shows from different eras. Perhaps DSN pushed it as far as it thought it could get away with. Fast forward a decade later and because previous shows pushed the boundry a new show tries to push the boundry a little more.
     
  13. AggieJohn

    AggieJohn Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I can see that. I also think its because its Star Trek. Because Star Wars and Gundam came out in the 70's and both were able to do war much more dramatically. In some ways I fear that the issue was that the writers were too TNG which was a peaceful non-violent exploration show. Writing for war was out of their area. One sees the same issues when they attempted to do the Ent world, which was supposed to be gritter too.
     
  14. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I liked the Xindi arc from ENT. However it did feel like a lite version of a season of "24" which Manny Coto worked on for several seasons. The problem with the way they handled the 3rd season of ENT was there was too many diversions from the main arc. There was no need for a Cowboy episode, there was no need for Archer to be transformed into a primitive alien ape like being. They could've spent more time covering both sides of the Xindi war and the intricacies that come along with it.

    Star Wars is more Science Fantasy Action Adventure than war drama IMO. As far as Gundam, they're a full blown war drama using humanoid robots as a focus. They've had 30+ years to refine their formula and explore different territory. It's completely different with Star Trek since they didn't have experience dealing with a war drama arc until DS9.

    Considering the fact that Berman didn't want to do it and kept meddling, I think the Dominion arc pushed the boundaries for Star Trek. That's why in ENT, we were able to even get a Xindi War.
     
  15. EmperorTiberius

    EmperorTiberius Captain Captain

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    Constant war can become very oppresive. That's why there is a need for a cowboy episode, or for a holodeck episode, some kind of diversion. It also shows that there are other things happening, not just war. It emmulates real life. There is probably also a good reason from production point of view to throw those episodes in. They make the war feel longer.
     
  16. AggieJohn

    AggieJohn Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    See I have to disagree with yeah right there. Yes you need a little bit of humor to break up the drama, like C3PO and R2D2 did in Star Wars but the Holodeck episode just down right pauses the story and I have to admit it seems almost an insult to what is going on that while the Dominion and the Alliance was lock in battle, people are dying and the officers of DS9 are farting around with a stupid computer program. It consumes the entire command of the station during a time of war. It is as bad as Mary Todd have parties during the Civil War.

    So there has to be a balance of light humor but not side tracking the story too much like Kamen was mentioning. Thought to the idea of the Xindi, i just did not like that story at all. I almost did not watch session 3. Its a prequel it needed to focus on the Romulans, Klingons and birth of the federation.
     
  17. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    It got to the Romulans, Klingons, and the birth of the Federation in Season 4.

    That was pretty much the focus of Season 4.
     
  18. The Grim Ghost

    The Grim Ghost Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    But people do still laugh, have parties, have babies, play games, etc... during wars. There is always some down time between battles and people need a way to let off steam in their own way.
     
  19. AggieJohn

    AggieJohn Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Well with all do respect, that is true but not the entire command of a front line battle station. A little steam being blown off, I completely agree. A drink at the pub sure but that? Sisko and his officers are the spear tip of the Federation's war effort and its not like they were on leave or anything. They neglected their responsibilities to save a holo-program? How many people died during that little event. Its in bad taste and considering they had already explore how apathy was wrong with the whole "evil has to be apposed episode" it seems to contradict itself.
     

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