Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Brainsucker, Sep 7, 2012.

  1. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

    Apr 12, 2006
    Your Mom
    Not necessarily. It's a bit more likely that Stargazer dropped out of warp for a moment -- for whatever reason Picard didn't bother to mention -- and the Ferengi ship dropped out of warp at point blank range and opened fire. That would be somewhat consistent with the Ferengi lying in wait to ambush the first passing ship that happened by, especially if Stargazer's deceleration point was something they could predict ahead of time (after all, how many deep moon craters just happen to be perfectly positioned in a solar system where a passing ship will fly over them at warp speed?)

    Probably had something to do with what Stargazer was doing in the system in the first place, and why she originally stopped.

    The wrong choice doesn't seem all that relevant, it's just something Riker happens to find really amusing. Data even says, later, that there is no known counter to the Picard Maneuver, which implicitly rules out "just fire at the closer image." The logical conclusion is that the maneuver works the way it does because theoretically you don't have time to fire on EITHER image before your attacker cripples you, in which case it was the Ferengi's last spiteful shot -- as their ship was exploding around them -- that was aimed at the wrong target.

    It's what Data says later in the episode when Stargazer tries it on the Enterprise. The clear implication is that under normal circumstances you cannot track a starship moving towards you at high warp speed.

    AFTER Data reprogrammed the sensors to scan for a gas compression and focus their attention on that. Under normal circumstances, there'd probably just be a flash of light as the second Stargazer image suddenly appeared and opened fire.

    And again, the issue is that the sensors won't detect Stargazer's new position until it drops back to sublight speed. The whole while it's at warp, it appears to still be sitting in its original position, not moving at all. Scanning for a sudden compression of gases gives those sensors just enough warning -- milliseconds, really -- of where stargazer is about to be.

    Something else to consider here is that Picard's account of the battle implies a lot of warp maneuvering is going on her, with some sudden stops and starts as ships jump in and out of firing position. Stargazer either stops or is forced out of warp by the Ferengi, but it's just as evident that the Ferengi conclude their first attack by jumping to warp and flying to the edge of Stargazer's sensor range, then returning and coming in for a second, very sudden attack. They do this again, sweep out to a far out position, but this time Picard uses their own trick against them and jumps into their face at warp speed, hammering them before they can respond. In this case, that would support the idea that their "firing on the wrong target" was a misplaced parting shot from an already defeated foe and is otherwise the only reason Picard survived to tell the tale. But it also emphasizes the point that neither vessel can fully track the other at warp speed: one way or the other, they can only shoot at each other if their relative velocities are sublight, and warp strafing a la TOS is out of the question.

    I could see one other possibility, though: it could be possible -- after a fashion -- to track a vessel that is moving AWAY from you or even perpendicular to you at warp using only STL sensors. The image would be highly distorted and its exact location would be unknowable, but determining its course and speed would be pretty straightforward. You couldn't track it, exactly, but you could FOLLOW it, and with that possibility, the need for FTL sensors in TNG utterly disappears: even the listening posts that seem to be tracking approaching starships at warp speed could just as easily be conventional telescopes or sensor mounts placed at strategic positions that can sound the alarm if anything flies past them at warp speed.
  2. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

    Feb 26, 2010
    Picard was pretty clear in saying that they were "traveling at warp 2 through the system".

    But what does that mean about no known counter? Does that mean no known defense to it or no known counter-attack to it? Riker's choice in addition to the tractor beam is focusing the shield protection as well. It could be no known counter to the Picard Maneuver includes the inability to allocate shield reinforcements.
    RIKER: Right. Concentrate shields at that point. Make it so. I hope you're right, Data.
    That cannot be the case since the dialogue states the Ferengi chose the wrong target and when same maneuver is used on the E-D they clearly had time to see the action. However since weapons lock and fire still require human interaction it may have been too slow for Worf to make a decision and push the necessary buttons (as his reaction) to use the tractor beams. Data, or the fore-knowledge of the maneuver with computer preset, could beat the timing as seen in the episode.

    Right, "high" warp speed. Not just any old "Warp 1" hop.

    By scanning for the gas compression, the sensors are still reporting back in the FTL movement as it was tracking the movement vector in real-time. So, still FTL sensors are in play.

    I would argue that the sensors are at a minimum tracking the new position because it is animating the warp lines (or direction) in real-time prior to the new image solidifying. The issue is that the sensors or computer does not erase the old image which would suggest that it had not refreshed it's position data and treated them both as legitimate targets for a brief moment.

    If we were to put together a picture of the battle in Picard's own words:
    PICARD: We were traveling at warp two through the Maxia Zeta star system when this unidentified starship suddenly appeared and fired on us, point-blank range.
    RIKER: Where did it come from?
    PICARD: It must have been lying in some deep moon crater. First attack damaged the shields. In the confusion, they hit us a second time.
    TASHA: No clue who they were?
    PICARD: No names, no reason. Can you identify them, Vigo? If they come in a second time with our shields damaged
    TROI: Sir? Who's Vigo?
    PICARD: He's my weapons officer on the Stargazer. I'm getting quite caught up in this.
    RIKER: Your shields were failing, sir.
    PICARD: I improvised. With the enemy vessel coming in for the kill, I ordered a sensor bearing, and when it went into the return arc
    DATA: You performed what Starfleet textbooks now refer to as the Picard Maneuver
    PICARD: Well, I did what any good helmsman would have done. I dropped into high warp, stopped right off the enemy vessel's bow and fired with everything I had.
    RIKER: And blowing into maximum warp speed, you appeared for an instant to be in two places at once.
    PICARD: And our attacker fired on the wrong one.
    And how Picard remembers it in the chronological order prior to executing the maneuver:
    PICARD: Damn, I said put fusion generators under surge control. You're moving too slowly. Arm the torpedoes, man!
    Vigo! Get a fire control party up here!
    VOICES [OC]: Shields weakening, Captain! Fusion generator online.
    PICARD: Weapons report!
    VOICE [OC]: Phasers coming to full charge, sir. Torpedoes armed!
    PICARD: Who are they? Identify them!
    VOICE [OC]: They're coming for a third pass at us, sir!
    VOICE [OC]: We can't take another hit, Captain!


    PICARD: Damage report!
    VOICE [OC] Fusion generator under surge control, sir! Power systems failing!
    PICARD: Sensor beam bearing on hostile ship!
    VOICE [OC] Seven mark nineteen, sir!
    VOICE [OC]: Phasers, sir? Sir?
    PICARD: Ready phasers, and lock! Stand by on warp nine. Heading seven, seven mark twenty. Engage.
    PICARD: Steady. Now, reverse and stop! Phasers fire, torpedoes away! Fire. Fire.

    In the final moments we do not know if the Stargazer was still at warp or at sublight but they jumped to Warp 9 for the maneuver. But we can see from the dialogue that Picard and crew were following whatever maneuvers the Ferengi were doing during the attacks.

    In re-examining the episode, it reads more like the maneuver uses a sudden high warp move to confuse enemy sensors, both FTL and LS and the computers that monitor them leading to forced errors on the enemy crew. It does not appear to be a FTL ship taking advantage of LS sensors, IMHO.
  3. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    Essentially, "The Battle" is our only plotline ever where FTL sensors for conducting combat would not seem to be in evidence. And even there, their lack is only implied in the brief Picard Maneuver, not in the overall conduct of the battle.

    It shouldn't be all that fruitful to start claiming that FTL sensing is generally absent, then. Nor does the episode pose significant problems on assuming that FTL sensing was temporarily knocked out (again, remember Picard's false but supposedly convincing log about mistaking a sensor cluster for a weapons array?).

    Of course, the Maneuver would work just fine in an all-FTL environment, too, as long as the ship was faster than the sensor beams. Sensors working at warp 8 would probably be fooled by a warp 9 dash even more extremely than sensors working at LS would be fooled by a warp 2 dash, considering the nature of the warp scale.

    Timo Saloniemi
  4. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

    Apr 12, 2006
    Your Mom
    But he's still pretty short on details. He does not, for example, ever mention when or if Stargazer dropped OUT of warp, despite the fact that it clearly did.


    As an alternative to using the compression wave as an aiming point to "blow our captain to bits." And even that's only possible because the Galaxy class is a lot more powerful than Stargazer.

    If that's the case, then scanning for compressed gasses would be totally unnecessary; Riker asks Data for a way to counter the Picard Maneuver and Data would immediately say "Aim for the closer one. Duh!"

    Not at all. Unless the aim was to actually RAM the Enterprise, Stargazer had to decelerate at some point. The time to accelerate from a standing start to warp nine is not instantaneous, nor is the drop from warp nine to a standstill; there'd be about a three-quarter second period where Stargazer was decelerating at insanely high but still subluminal velocity, and THAT, above all else, is what Data's sensors are scanning for.

    That would utterly nullify the entire premise of the maneuver, making it an invalid tactic from the start.

    No, it's a lot more likely the viewscreen is projecting the sudden compression wave as Stargazer drops out of warp and focussing the visual sensors there, forming a clear image (thus the distant image and the nearer one are both in perfect focus at the time). If this had been projected on, say, a 21st century viewscreen, it probably would have been displayed with some fancy reticules and target identifiers and whatnot, but 24th century viewers are too evolved for that, I guess.

    The sequence with using the maneuver on the Enterprise pretty much implies they were at sublight; it defies explanation how a maneuver that's supposed to be executed between two ships in a warp pursuit could be employed from a standing start against a stationary target.

    It'd be like a supersonic jet trying to perform a thatch weave against with a guy in a jeep.

    That's EXACTLY what the maneuver does. The point, however, is that the sensors are confused because the radiation they depend on for tracking of targets can only move at the speed of light, and a ship moving FASTER than light can appear to be many places at once if you time your maneuvers smartly.

    In the most literal description of the move, it's an example of an FTL starship using its engines to outrun its own reflection. A sensor device that sends and receives pulses faster than light wouldn't fall for this; the computer would instantly know what happened and report to the crew accordingly. But even the Enterprise-D isn't equipped with such a device, or at the very least, not one which is capable of tracking the movements of a starship in realtime. That suggests that the main sensing capabilities of most starships is inherently STL anyway -- and we kind of knew that already, since they are implicitly and explicitly stated as working in various parts of the EM spectrum.

    Whatever FTL sensing devices the ship has, they're probably closer to ultra-long range interferometers or something; the kind of thing you'd use to detect a gravitating body a light minute away with enough lead time to avoid crashing into it.
  5. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

    Feb 26, 2010
    The episode dialog only states clearly that the Stargazer dropped out high warp at the end of the Picard Maneuver. Prior to that, we have no idea what speed she was going at.

    And apparently also to concentrate shields from that aiming point to protect from the attack.

    Since "blowing the Captain to bits" was clearly not something Riker wanted to do they still had "no counter". Having the ability to target both ships doesn't give Riker the solution he is looking for.

    Then the main viewer should've shown NO warp vector lines and just a second Stargazer appearing out of the blue if that was the case. If you watch the episode the main viewer animates out the entire sequence and there is a continuous warp-line connection between the old and new Stargazers. That indicates that the sensors were FTL in detecting the compression path from start to finish. And interestingly, even though they are doing all this in real-time with the warp lines animating, the computer doesn't erase the old image.

    There are no invalid tactics, just dumb crews. :)

    Not really. The Stargazer could still have been going at Warp 2 and as the Ferengi exited Warp to make a tight 180 (like the E-D does in "Encounter At Farpoint") the Stargazer could've intercepted them after the High Warp hop.

    Remember, the characteristics of the Picard Maneuver are:
    1. High Warp (Warp 9)
    2. The Enemy Ship Choosing the Wrong Target to fire at (Enemy Confusion)
    3. Possible a sensor timing issue

    If it was something simple like a ship going FTL to outrun it's own LS reflection, then Warp 1 or 2 would suffice. The dialog and VFX do not bear this out in the episode, so we are left with the concept that a sudden HIGH Warp speed hop is able to confuse FTL sensors of the target ship.
  6. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    Also, let us not forget that the Picard Maneuver as depicted in "The Battle" was not the same as performed in the Battle of Maxia.

    * The viewscreen of the E-D could have shown much more information than the viewscreen of the Ferengi ship once did. The E-D was a newer ship, from a different culture, and had not been fired at.

    * The "victims" were not surprised by the Maneuver; they expected it.

    * The "victims" had no intention of firing back, or evading, and indeed did not have the destruction of the Stargazer as their tactical goal.

    * Picard was hindered by having no crew; everything he did probably happened more slowly than in the original version.

    As far as we know, the battle posed no risk whatsoever to the E-D. Picard's ship was rigged for maneuvering, yes, but quite possibly the Maneuver would have concluded in Picard yelling "Fire!" at his nonexistent crew, and nothing happening - except for Picard being killed when the E-D, unaware of the complete lack of danger, fired.

    After all, nothing did happen. The split-second timing and surprise factor of the maneuver were completely wasted as no fire of any sort emerged from the Stargazer. It's difficult to imagine Picard not giving the command. But it's easy to imagine the command having no effect.

    So, there are three ways to take Data's "no way to defeat the Picard Maneuver" statement:

    1) Anybody placed in the exact position of the Ferengi would be toast - but the E-D was not in that position, and indeed few ships would be.

    2) Anybody subjected to the Maneuver would be toast.

    3) The Maneuver would necessarily lead to the destruction of Picard's ship, meaning Riker would be defeated.

    Interpretations 1 and 3 seem to hold true, while 2 appears false even without the gas compression trick.

    Timo Saloniemi
  7. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

    Feb 26, 2010
    Good point, Timo. Given the timing of Picard's run on the E-D, the Stargazer could have been unable to fire any of its weapons with Riker unwittingly firing on and destroying the Stargazer...
  8. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

    Apr 12, 2006
    Your Mom
    That isn't that huge of shift, really. Stargazer's field of fire is pretty wide, and unless they're using the tractor beam to jam the gimbals on his main phaser turrets (they could be, who knows?) then concentrating shields on a specific "point" wouldn't help much since they don't know exactly where Stargazer is going to aim.

    Yes they did. Data merely suggested that the Enterprise is powerful enough to use their tractor beam INSTEAD of their phasers to stop the Stargazer from attacking them. It probably wouldn't have worked with, say, the Hood or another Constellation class ship.

    Strictly speaking, neither does the ability to target just the closer one, which is the point. There's a specific reason why a ship appearing to be in two places at once is a tactical advantage in a fight. Data hints at the reason right there in the dialog: you can't track Stargazer while she's at warp, you have to wait until the ship actually slows down in front of you and prepares to fire. Even if you know the move is coming, your sensors aren't fast enough to lock on and fire before Stargazer can nail you... UNLESS you're reading the compression wave as Stargazer telegraphing its arrival point.

    No, the warp vector lines would actually be a form of motion blur as the computer detects the compression wave and tries to figure out where exactly Stargazer is.

    This would be a lot less confusing to you if you input some realistic ranges to the scenario. Assume, for a moment, that the first image of Stargazer is a magnification of a ship that is about half an AU away, the second image is 100km away. In this case, Stargazer has already gone to warp three or four seconds before the second image appears; the warp streaks are only visible in the last three-quarters of a second, directly corresponding with Picard's "Reverse and stop!" IOW we can't see Stargazer while it's at warp, we're only seeing it as it drops OUT of warp and then only because the computer is specifically looking for it.

    This sort of raises the question of exactly how far away Stargazer was when it made this maneuver in the first place (both times, actually). We are never actually told the relative distances in either case, but it's sort of telling that in Picard's flashback, Stargazer holds "steady" at high warp for four or five seconds before "reverse and stop!" Depending on how fast warp speed actually is within solar systems (could be much slower IN system than in interstellar space) that could be a distance anywhere between 20 light seconds to half an AU.

    Also note that Picard's flashbacks are laced with sound effects, which are probably meant to correspond to what Picard either heard or imagined was going on around him. When Picard orders "engage" we hear the "jump to warp" sound effect in the background, the direct suggestion that Stargazer began and finished at sublight speed.

    Except Enterprise never dropped out of warp during the turn in "Encounter at Farpoint." There's also Picard's statement that the Ferengi ship appeared and fired on them at "point blank range" in the first attack... something which would be fairly inadvisable -- if it's even possible -- at warp speed. "Point blank range" implies the Ferengi dropped out of warp right on Stargazer's ass and fired at incredibly close range (like the Enterprise does in STXI) before Stargazer could get its defenses active.

    And I've already shown that choosing the wrong target isn't an integral component to the maneuver. It's the reason the Ferengi return fire didn't turn this into a double-homicide instead of the come-from-behind-victory that it barely was.

    Incase you missed it, the simple reason for this is that the maneuver would not have been a working tactic -- AT ALL -- if either the Ferengi or the Enterprise had enough time to select one of the two targets and fire first. And we know it WAS a working tactic, considering this maneuver is being taught at Starfleet academy and even the walking encyclopedia that is Data states with unusual conciseness: "There is no defense" and has to devise one on the fly. I repeat again: if "get them to shoot the wrong target" is a component of the maneuver, then Data's response would be "aim for the closer one."

    The other thing is, Picard himself describes it as a "save our skins" maneuver, so it's more of a clever way of getting in close and landing an effective attack than of actually AVOIDING return fire. With his shields failing and half the ship already on fire, the Ferengi returning fire on the wrong target only proves that it's better to be lucky than smart.

    Only over very SHORT distances. Otherwise, you would spend several seconds or even minutes crawling toward your target at warp two while he sets up for his next jump-in-and-attack. When he starts to close, his sensors will notice your move and he'll adjust his course to intercept you; the initiative is lost.

    The point of the Picard Maneuver is not simple misdirection. You achieve the initiative by moving into firing position before your enemy knows you've done it. The Ferengi understood this, hence dropping into "point blank range" to sucker punch the Stargazer. And to dovetail this subthread with the OP, this is also the specific reason why the Klingons and the Romulans have developed cloaking technology: so you can get into firing position and open fire before your enemy even knows he's under attack. I would even venture a guess that superior engine technology -- perhaps the ability to accelerate and decelerate VERY quickly -- is one of the reasons Starfleet never developed cloaking devices of its own: thanks to Picard, they know that it's possible to achieve the same element of surprise with smart maneuvering, instead of using an energy-intensive invisibility screen as a crutch.
  9. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

    Apr 12, 2006
    Your Mom
    Actually, that's the point of the entire sequence, of Bok's plans, of the personal threat to Picard in general. Bok wasn't planning on killing Picard, he was planning to get Picard to kill his own crew and thus share Bok's pain of loss (which continued to be his motivation years later when he tricked Picard into thinking Mister Adventure was his long-lost son). Killing Picard would have been as easy as planting a bomb in his quarters when he took over Stargazer; getting him to destroy Enterprise was the point.

    The only way Bok could make him do it was to make him relive the Battle of Maxia and use the Picard maneuver, to which there is no defense. He also made sure that the ship was "otherwise fully armed" except for the torpedoes it fired in the original battle.

    No one on the bridge even hints at the suggestion that Stargazer wouldn't be a threat to Enterprise. On the contrary: if Data hadn't been there to devise a counter-move, Stargazer probably would have crippled the Enterprise and Bok would have rewound the tape and gotten Picard to perform the maneuver a second time, just to finish them off.

    As usual with you, you favor the interpretations that are the least supported by the situation and depend the most on speculation, while at the same time ruling out the most obvious one for no reason at all.
  10. TheRoyalFamily

    TheRoyalFamily Commodore Commodore

    Feb 9, 2005
    But all battles are over very short distances, even if you regard the knife-fight visual distances as dramatic-for-tv representations of the real thing. Even 300,000km is only one light-second. By the looks of things Trek ships use both FTL and STL sensors. Doing a warp jump straight at an enemy ship would give them at least two EM images, but a high warp jump in very close ranges in the middle of a battle wouldn't give a person enough time to make a decision, even with FTL sensors, and might confuse said FTL sensors for a very short time - which would be enough to take serious advantage of.
  11. SoM

    SoM Commander Red Shirt

    Oct 24, 2007
    Depends what you mean by "a viable counter". Riker was looking for a tactic to stop the Stargazer in its tracks. If you turned and ran at high warp, then a high warp hop and stop from your opponent in your direction wouldn't put them on your bow, especially since the E-D was undoubtedly the faster ship of the two! (Moreover, it wouldn't have fit with Picard's relived memory. He'd have placed himself on the "bow" of/fired at a patch of empty space)
  12. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

    Feb 26, 2010
    I read it as merely concentrating shields as in beefing up whichever shield ends up facing the Stargazer which is inline with what they would normally do.

    Which depends on how one interprets "defense" against the maneuver. Riker is looking for a way to protect the E-D against it in a non-lethal manner to the Stargazer.

    His options were to:
    1. Target and fire at both images pre-emptively. Lethal result.
    2. Wait for one image to fire on him. 50/50 chance of the E-D's shields reinforced in the right direction. Still having to respond with weapons fire.
    3. Warp away, with unknown results and having to face the Stargazer again and/or have Picard fall into Ferengi hands.

    Or the warp vector lines is what Data describes as "might seem to disappear". In that time, the solid 2nd image doesn't immediately appear thus the "disappearance".

    Also, note that Data's dialogue says, "might seem to disappear". That would indicate that the E-D has detection gear to track the Stargazer in real-time, which Data uses.

    We can make a guess at the Ferengi vs Stargazer battle but we won't be able to figure it out for the E-D vs Stargazer fight. When Riker interrupts Picard on the bridge trying to shake him out of it, the Stargazer was already tractored but Picard was just starting the dialogue sequence of "Ready Phasers" which is before he even calls out the Warp 9 jump.

    This jives with Bok setting it up so that the Stargazer was never meant to actually fire and Picard was just along for the ride to get blown up reliving the battle as if the Ferengi fired on the correct target instead of the wrong one nine years ago.

    That is a possibility since we don't have any fixed reference points. The whole turning around and then accelerating back into the "warp burst" could've been just an acceleration effect that has nothing to do with transitioning from STL to FTL.

    We've seen in Voyager numerous ships close to point-blank range at warp and open fire. Same thing in "Nemesis".

    However, your interpretation doesn't really match Picard and Riker's conversation.

    1. The Stargazer was traveling at Warp 2 through the Maxia Zeta star system.
    2. The Ferengi ship suddenly appeared from a deep moon crater. Since they didn't approach from outer space then the long-range sensors didn't detect them thus the "sudden appearance" from inside the star system is inline with the description. Closing to point-blank range would've been trivial with the Stargazer at only Warp 2.

    The Ferengi didn't need to stop to fire at point-blank range and there isn't any indication that this happened.
    PICARD: We were traveling at warp two through the Maxia Zeta star system when this unidentified starship suddenly appeared and fired on us, point-blank range.
    RIKER: Where did it come from?
    PICARD: It must have been lying in some deep moon crater. First attack damaged the shields. In the confusion, they hit us a second time.

    No you haven't. You are relying on your argument that the Ferengi had no choice but to fire on the wrong target when in the episode clearly indicated that the Ferengi had two targets to pick from and they fired on the wrong one.

    We know this tactic worked once. That's just it. Whether it was used later on we don't know. As to a "defense" against it, that is exactly what Riker asked for which is different than requesting a counter attack to it. Defense would be protection against it thus his concern about shield reinforcement. The obvious "counter-attack" to it would be to fire at both targets.

    And Riker's request was a defense against it, not a counter-attack or an action that required blowing the Stargazer to bits as his dialogue goes.

    Yes, the Ferengi just was unlucky in choosing the wrong target :)

    Which negates your premise that it is a FTL ship vs LS sensor problem. If it was as you suggest, the FTL ship would still be a ghost image from far away and a few seconds or a minute or two a second, closer image would pop up. The LS sensor ship would have no idea how to adjust his course to intercept the FTL ship that is in motion.

    Not exactly.

    The maneuver does several things:
    1. Moves the Stargazer out of the immediate line of fire.
    2. Gives the Ferengi two targets to shoot at while potentially causing confusion.
    3. Moves the Stargazer's weapons closer to the Ferengi ship, where we know that weapons hits at point-blank range cause more damage than further away.

    It does not give the Stargazer the initiative since the Ferengi had time to fire its weapons (on the wrong target).

    The Ferengi used the moon crater to shield their presence and allow for a quick closing on the Stargazer. The firing at point-blank could've just been to maximize weapons damage.

    That would be the case for any military wanting an advantage to surprise their opponents. Why the Federation in TNG's time opted not to do that is more likely a political issue, not a technical one since "Pegasus" clearly shows that the Federation could create superior cloaking tech but are legally bound not to.

    I doubt it. Bok's parting words to Picard:
    BOK: And I have spent these years searching, seeking a proper blood revenge! And I found it! I am rich, Picard, yet two of these cost me the profits of an entire life. You are back in command of the Stargazer, Picard. Its computers will answer your orders. Die well, Captain.
    It would appear that Bok meant for Picard to be destroyed by the Enterprise-D.
  13. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

    Apr 12, 2006
    Your Mom
    But the warp jump itself takes at least four seconds, judging by Picard's flashback and the timing of the maneuver. That means those ships are fighting at either extremely long ranges (tens of millions or billions of kilometers between passes) or warp drive isn't nearly as fast inside a solar system as it is elsewhere.

    Though it's probably a combination of both. Even at warp nine, Stargazer couldn't be moving much faster than three or four times the speed of light IMO. Maybe put that as another instance of unusually slow warp speeds showing up at odd times (file it right next to Elaan of Troyus, and The Voyage Home).
  14. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Oct 24, 2012

    Based on the ST:TNG Warp Speed formula that was used for TNG, DS9, VOY:

    I have a Spreadsheet that precalculates Warp speed in terms relative to C (Speed of Light).
    It also calculates 1 sec of travel, 1 min of travel, 1 hr of travel, 1 day of travel, and 1 average gregorian year of travel in terms of Light Years.

    Warp = ?C (Speed of Light)
    1 = 1.
    2 = 10.079368399159
    3 = 38.9407383983
    4 = 101.593667325965
    5 = 213.746993334587
    6 = 392.498048051742
    7 = 656.135395690929
    8 = 1,024.
    9 = 1,516.38110700484
  15. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Oct 24, 2012
    I think it's your perception of the sense of speed or the shows portrayl.
  16. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

    Apr 12, 2006
    Your Mom
    Ultimately, yes. But that's not what he asked Data.

    Indeed, "turn tail and run" is a viable alternative against just about ANY sort of maneuver, but that -- again -- is not what Riker was asking Data.

    That, again, is NOT what Riker asked Data. Indeed, Riker himself immediately and correctly interpreted Data's response as implying the use of lethal force, which is why Data immediately followed up with an alternative version of their defensive move. And again, it's only possible because the Enterprise is considerably more powerful than Stargazer.

    No it doesn't. It has the ability to detect a sudden compression of interstellar gas, not the starship that causes that compression.

    Again, that's required be the entire point of the scene: using NORMAL tracking techniques, there'd be no way to follow Stargazer through the maneuver. Scanning for gas compression is an abnormal technique, and it allows them to determine an "aiming point" approximately where Stargazer is going to be.

    There's no warp burst after the turn, just more acceleration.

    But never at warp speed, and rarely without the aid of a cloaking device.

    OTOH, this might be a fundamental misunderstanding of what "point blank range" actually is in Star Trek: have we ever seen them NOT exchange fire at point blank range?

    There isn't any indication for MOST of what happened in this battle. Picard, for example, never mentions yelling at his officers, never mentions the fusion reactors needing to be on surge control, never mentions what course heading he put in. In fact, he never mentions what the Ferengi "hit him" with at all; if we're to take it as literally as you seem to be, we'd have to conclude that the Ferengi RAMMED the Stargazer during its second attack.

    To be sure, Picard is being vague on the details because he's giving a summary, not a play-by-play. A lot more occurred than he's telling us... which is what happens when you attempt to relate a complicated situation without writing a novel in the process.

    Who here even MADE that argument? I think you are confused.

    Doesn't matter either. Starfleet was apparently sufficiently impressed that it now gets a mention in their textbooks. Seems to be a standard tactic now, since the grinning Riker says "You did it first."

    A counter attack, IF it existed, would have been mentioned as a type of defense. Season One Data is not known for omitting information.

    Again, IF that were possible, Data would have immediately mentioned it only to have Riker make him narrow down the choice of possible moves, e.g. "Too risky. Is there any way to do that without murdering our own captain?"

    More to the point: why would you fire on BOTH targets if you have the capacity to target the closer one in the first place? If you COULD target the closer one under normal circumstances, there'd be nothing special about the Picard Maneuver: Riker asks "What is the defense against the Picard Maneuver" and Data answers "Target the closer image as soon as it appears."

    This isn't rocket science, dude. Either standard sensors can track the Stargazer or they can't. If they can, then there's no reason for them to scan for a compression wave: just scan for that fast-moving starship hurtling towards you at warp speed. In this case, they DID scan for the compression wave, ergo they COULD NOT scan for the Stargazer until it dropped out of warp. That also implies that if you wait for Stargazer to stop, you've waited too long: it doesn't matter which target you shoot at, because Stargazer will hit you first.

    Which, again, he only specifies AFTER Data provides him with an action that implicitly requires blowing stargazer to bits.

    Well, to be sure, they were unlucky that the ship they decided to ambush was commanded by Jean Luc Picard. It's PICARD who got lucky, as the return fire from the Ferengi vessel would have doomed the Stargazer to share their fate.

    Already covered that: this is relatively easy to do for a starship moving AWAY from you, since the blurry afterimage it leaves points out the direction like a con-trail in space. If you're in a starship, you can follow that trail until you're close enough to work out your target's exact position; and since at that point you're BOTH moving at the same speed, normal sensors can give you a firing solution.

    Your problem is with #2. If the Ferengi -- or anyone else, for that matter -- actually had the ability to engage both targets, they wouldn't be stupid enough to shoot at the farther one, even if by some fluke of logic they assumed that the new target was a completely different ship. Any commander in any fleet worth half his weight in tribble feed would immediately shift his focus to the closer target, either to evade it or to destroy it.

    Your #2 point implies the Picard Maneuver employs misdirection to gain an advantage. IT DOESN'T. Even if you know what Picard is about to do, you can't counteract the move unless your sensors have been specially configured to work out Stargazer's exact position the moment it drops out of warp. So if the Ferengi weren't scanning for the gas compression, they'd have no way to target the newly-arrived Stargazer before it opened fire.

    And as the icing on the cake, with Stargazer's phasers and torpedoes tearing them apart, it was apparently all they could do just to pick whatever target they had a fix on and return fire. It just so happened that the last target they had a solution for was Stargazer's old position.

    It is HIGHLY unlikely the Ferengi had time to fire first. More importantly, Picard's account of the battle leaves room for interpretation, since he doesn't even mention it until AFTER he describes the maneuver, and doesn't think it worthy of comment in his flashbacks either.

    It's questionable whether the phase cloak device actually WAS superior. Even the Romulans eventually abandoned that effort.

    Equally questionable is whether or not a political consideration would trump a strategic one in the face of an existential threat like the Romulans (or, for that matter, the Klingons in the "Yesterday's Enterprise" timeline). The political reasons may be strong, but it seems to me that clever use of lightspeed delay would explain Starfleet's willingness to scoff at the cloaking device as a tactical weapon and only use it on small ships like Defiant that are being used for spy missions anyway.

    Nope. While tweeking the memory devices Bok is heard maniacally smirking to himself "You will injure yourself, Picard, as you once injured me." A theme that he echoes six years later, when sitting in Picard's waiting room: "I demand you repay me for my loss. You can repay me with your son's life."

    Perhaps I'm just stumbling over the whole Bond-villain overly-elaborate-and-exotic-death aspect of Bok's revenge, but it doesn't seem to me that Bok would have wasted his entire life savings on a couple of mind probes and a salvaged Federation starship just to trick Picard into killing himself. If he wanted Picard dead, there are MUCH easier ways he could have done that, especially six years later, when it would have been a straightforward matter of beaming into his ready room and stabbing him in the back (or if he was really that much of a drama queen, abduct Picard and maroon him in the center of dead planet... buried ALIVE, buried ALIVE...). Instead Bok repeatedly hatches these incredibly sophisticated and elaborate plans, because KILLING Picard wouldn't even the score. Picard owes Bok a son and nine years of anguish lamenting the loss; slaughtering his own crew -- in what Bok surely intended Starfleet to believe was a sort of guilt-induced psychosis -- would have been sufficient. Murdering his fake son also would have worked, provided Picard never found out he WAS a fake. But murdering Picard? What would be the point of that?
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2012
  17. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

    Apr 12, 2006
    Your Mom
    Simple math, actually. In "Elaan of Troyus" Enterprise is being strafed by a Klingon battle cruiser traveling "better than warp seven," a speed at which Sulu gives distance quotes that reveal the Klingon is actually moving at about 1/3rd of the speed of light. And again for The Voyage Home, where the Klingon bird of prey goes to warp in the atmosphere and takes over three minutes just to leave Earth orbit.

    Goes without saying that there's some extreme variation on how fast warp speed actually is., depending on local conditions. And we still have the impression from Stargazer that wherever it was when it went it warp, it took over four seconds at warp nine to get into firing position.
  18. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Oct 24, 2012
    You got to remember, Warp Speed Formula was different for TOS era.
  19. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

    Apr 12, 2006
    Your Mom
    YOU'VE got to remember that the warp speed formula is irrelevant and has never been consistently followed by anyone, ever.

    More importantly, even the TOS formula isn't consistent with these figures, which doesn't matter much, since it wasn't devised until AFTER the series went off the air.
  20. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Oct 24, 2012
    I blame the writing staff for not keeping things consistant.
    It's not that hard.

    The TNG staff and beyond did try to follow the formulas they set forth. I'm sure there are slip ups, but at least they try to be consistant on their calculations.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2012