Phasers - Fire at Will

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Shane, Nov 29, 2018.

  1. Shane

    Shane Ensign Newbie

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    So.. In the TOS and the WOK, the Enterprise NCC-1701 or NCC-1701-A only fires one phaser at a time. I'm curious as to what the ship was capable of if surrounded by multiple enemies. Would one dual beam bank fire at time, or is the ship capable of firing multiple dual beam banks simultaneously in various directions.

    Sorry if this has been posted before, but does anyone have any thoughts? Or has this ever been addressed in a technical manual?
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Tech manuals don't touch the issue much, but thoughts are cheap... It's easy to believe that starships can pump out their entire power output through any given phaser emitter, and thus do exactly that, choosing the optimal bank for each shot. But this is never confirmed in dialogue.

    TNG ships always fire a single beam, too. Except when they don't - it appears multiple beams are an option that generally isn't worth taking. We could rather safely assume the same about TOS and TOS movie ships, too. After all, multi-beams in multitarget engagements are a thing in the early and mid-23rd century, as recently seen in the Abrams movies and DSC.

    What's funny about DSC and the Kelvinverse vs. TOS, TAS and TWoK is that the beams no longer are double in those newer spinoffs. Why the double beams in TOS? Inability to build single emitters strong enough to handle the output of a Constitution powerplant? And might we see triple beams in big warships in DSC?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    For Nick Meyer Trek, just one broadside at a time like a wooden warship, please.
     
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  4. Shane

    Shane Ensign Newbie

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    You made some good points.. I did not consider Discovery when posting the question, and perhaps technology at the time made dual beam banks necessary w/ the NCC-1701.
    The reason I asked is that I am a big Star Trek Online fan. I fly a constitution class which has the capability of firing multiple phasers at once, but his just doesn't seem realistic to me.
     
  5. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It would be a serious design flaw if she could only fire one bank at a time, so logic would dictate that during a full-scale battle she would be able to fire at multiple targets using every bank that she has.
     
  6. WarpFactorZ

    WarpFactorZ Commodore Commodore

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    They were double in the Kelvinverse. We even see twin phaser turrets on the Kelvin during the attack (i.e. the poor crewmember who gets blown out of the hull breach and bounces off one of the pair).
     
  7. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    I imagine if the budget allowed, the classic movie Enterprise would fire like the Kelvin universe version at the end of ST'09. Everything at once.
     
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  8. Shane

    Shane Ensign Newbie

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    That makes sense.. It just surprises me that there is not a definitive answer to this question.
     
  9. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Multiple targets just aren't that common in Star Trek, because until today, it has been prohibitive to show those.

    The main hero ship also has twin turrets, in gorgeous closeup when the Academy shuttles take Kirk and McCoy to her. What we don't see is twin beams - when the banks of the Kelvin fire, the two beams go in different directions, rather than converging on the same target as in TOS. So TOS stands out in "wasting" two beams on the same target for unknown reasons. Elsewhere, there's no such waste until that one weird shot in DS9 "Sacrifice of Angels". And, arguably, in "Best of Both Worlds II" where the definition of firing all weapons changes from the single phaser plus torps of "BoBW I" to triple phasers plus torps. And never mind that the additional phasers fire from where there are no emitters, and that the beams don't really converge on the same target.

    Apart from TOS/TWoK, firing "broadsides", that is, multiple simultaneous beams, never was a thing before ENT, which was the first show to afford CGI capable of showing said. Then again, ENT also featured the first proper multitarget battles, one TNG occasion and perhaps two DS9 shots notwithstanding.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  10. Toby Meyer

    Toby Meyer Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Since each "bank" had 2 emitter heads, presumably multi-target firing is possible.
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In TOS, the twin emitters never fired on separate targets. But in "Doomsday Machine", a twin emitter fired a single beam, showing it was at least mechanistically possible to do without the second one (that is, it wasn't a "positive & negative beam simultaneously needed" setup or anything).

    In the 2009 movie, there's lots of firing at separate targets with the two halves of a twin bank, though. Then again, that movie had lots of targets; Kirk in TOS basically never had to deal with more than one at a time.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. Toby Meyer

    Toby Meyer Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Expect the ladies!
     
  13. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    It's likely they can, but fairly often it's one on one combat so in the case of the Constitution class ship the enemy vessel is only within the firing arc of one bank.
     
  14. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Depends a bit on where we think the banks are. In the TOS movies, those nasty BoPs tend to strike under the belt, reinforcing the "Nazi submarine" feel; a great number of hero ship phaser banks ought to be able to fire at those low angles. And if the centerline bow bank below the saucer can fire forward, its dorsal counterpart and the side banks ought to have a line of sight as well. Yet we see a dorsal/ventral combo only in the 2009 movie where Sulu multitargets against Nero's two dozen missiles; all large targets only warrant a single (pair of) beam(s).

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  15. Chaos Descending

    Chaos Descending Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Luckily we have an excuse for that in TWOK; the Enterprise was badly damaged (for the entire movie) by Khan's initial sneak attack. The Big-E was never at full capacity. Maybe a fully undamaged Connie Refit can fire every phaser is has simultaneously?

    Disclosure: I loved the dramatic tension of the setting up Enterprise vs. Reliant in the fashion of the old days of sail, even if it didn't seem all that reasonable.
     
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