Good call about Coon's military background (which I had forgotten although most males in his age cohort had served) - he and Pevney were certainly in top form directing and scripting what was essentially a short-form combat action movie. I wouldn't want Kirk deprived of his big moment either. One guy repulses an attack that devastated an entire outpost. Not bad. Also, I think the Enterprise firing from orbit was probably impossible anyway (out-of-universe if not in-universe) because of the lack of clarity over whether the ship can fire through the deflector shields, which is still a familiar debate today (featuring insights from some really sharp people) on this board. Also, even though Kirk disclaims any care for his own safety, the proximity of the landing party to the targets (1200 yards?) probably would have given Sulu significant pause before using either the ship's phasers or photon torpedoes. Kelowitz isn't sanguine about firing the ground-based torpedo launcher; it seems likely that the Enterprise had far more firepower, although the intensity of the phasers could probably have been adjusted downward, unlike the torpedoes.