Why did then enterprise crew never use bullets against the Borg?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by trekyourself, May 30, 2016.

  1. trekyourself

    trekyourself Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    The Borg were such a brutal enemy to defeat, largely in part because they would adapt to phaser fire so quickly. Which makes me wonder why they never used regular ammunition against them. I know it's the future and it may not be readily available, but it still seems ridiculous. Furthermore, picard once used a Tommy gun in the holodeck for that exact reason, which proves he was aware this was a viable option. I have trouble believing picard with that information and a whole starship and crew at his disposal could have such a hard time making projectile weapons, when kirk could do so by himself with some bamboo and rocks to defeat the gorn. I understand that it's mostly for story telling reasons to make the Borg a bigger and scarier threat, and make them still a threat while slowly walking In cumbersome costumes, but it seems like a huge oversight.
     
  2. Clym

    Clym Captain Captain

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    because that would cause blood and guts and the TPTB wouldn't want that in family-friendly Trek
     
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  3. Capn Nick

    Capn Nick Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    That seems like a fair point. Worf also didn't seem to think to use blades until First Contact (I think- though I could be incorrect) even though that also seems effective. You would think Klingons would have better luck with Borg (if not their ship) because they were always prepared for physical conflict with blades.

    What they really needed at Wolf 359 was some rail guns! :)
     
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  4. trekyourself

    trekyourself Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Fair point about the blood, but TOS was family friendly as well, and they had no problem shooting that gorn. If memory serves correct it bled as well.
     
  5. Mutai Sho-Rin

    Mutai Sho-Rin Crusty Old Bastard Moderator

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    Bullets that miss the intended target hit other stuff. Not too cool when you're living in a vacuum.
     
  6. trekyourself

    trekyourself Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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  7. Mutai Sho-Rin

    Mutai Sho-Rin Crusty Old Bastard Moderator

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    The same reason applies to Air Marshalls use of a gun on an airliner. Even at 41,000 ft. the pressure differential can tear a plane apart. They have to be extremely good shots, well practiced at the art of targeting.
     
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  8. Takeru

    Takeru Space Police Premium Member

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    I think the Enterprise is a little sturdier than a plane so a bullet missing a borg wouldn't do any significant damage.
     
  9. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    Remember the House Atreides shields in Dune? i would guess the Borg weren't worried about projectiles from the Enterprise crew. No doubt they very quickly re-adapted to lesser weapons.
     
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  10. Capn Nick

    Capn Nick Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    In Best of Both Worlds Riker almost orders the ship to ram the Borg vessel at warp 9. I was always curious if this would have worked. It seems like it would follow the "projectile" weapon formula (although it would of course be moving at a different scale of speed). I mean, he's obviously just using a desperation move, but do they ever show us in Star Trek how anybody's shields work against projectiles? I guess Soren's shield can knock back a rock. But anything else?
     
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  11. flandry84

    flandry84 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    People forget that the Borg have been out there causing mischief for a long time.Given all the spacefaring and non-spacefaring races they have assimilated,there can't be too many weapon types that they haven't encountered...and indeed countered.
     
  12. cultcross

    cultcross You're all posters in some kind of neutral zone? Moderator

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    Agreed, I'd have thought that if you can create a shield against a phaser, you could create one against a bullet. If I might draw a parallel to another sci fi series, SG1 made a big deal of the advantages of projectile weapons over energy weapons when fighting footsoldiers, but the bad guys who had a personal shield could deflect both with ease.

    As to why our heroes never tried it, it probably just didn't occur. In the same way our military today probably wouldn't think to try pikes and crossbows, you get trained and familiar with a certain set of tools.
     
  13. Bagofmostlywatr

    Bagofmostlywatr Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm guessing they already had measures in mind against conventional bullets, they're bound to have encountered them at some stage. Picard was shooting holographic bullets.
     
  14. flandry84

    flandry84 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This was one of the problems I had ith the Borg as their story progressed through the Trek novels.
    The Borg were allowed to overcome and adapt new tech at almost supernatural (and arguably implausible) speed while poor Starfleet were depicted doing the same old stuff that had only barely worked before.
     
  15. TheGoodStuff

    TheGoodStuff Captain Captain

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    I think it is ridiculous to assume anything other than:

    Primitive weapons which fire metal after a gunpowder explosion are easily dealt with by the Borg drones personal shields. One would assume they adapted to this a long, long time ago. Using bullets against the Borg would be like using stones against tanks.
     
  16. tharpdevenport

    tharpdevenport Admiral Admiral

    The Enterprise D isn't a modern-day airplane. Not only is the material used on panels and walling very tough, there's also bulk heads. We've seen walls take phaser fire and simply just light up for a second with some sparks. Phaser usually have to be set o na cutting setting and time taken to cut threw tough 24th century material.

    Further more most attacks would occur deep inside the ship, not always in a room nearest the outer hull.

    And even all that aisde, there are automatic containment force fields that activate to seal off areas exposed to space. We saw that on the Enterprise B, the Enterprise D, and the U.S.S. Voyager.
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The disadvantage with bullet-throwers is that they only have that one mode of operation. Once the Borg adapt, you can just throw the guns into the nearest recycler (unless you think physically hammering the Borg with a slugthrower rifle butt is gonna work better than doing it with a phaser rifle butt). At least a phaser can be retuned a couple of times, and thus a few more pairs of Drones felled before each respective adaptation cycle.

    It might still be useful for an anti-Borg team to hang something like six different sidearms from their belts - phasers, slugthrowers, plasma pistols, tasers, whatnot. Shoot with one until it loses potency, then draw another one, preferably in a random order. Sure, the Borg will eventually adapt to that tactic, too, and just have a look at everything you are packing and apply the appropriate defenses beforehand. But you might get, say, ten Drones the first time you try this, rather than the usual two. And it costs you little: sidearms can probably be replicated on the cheap, and an anti-Borg team doesn't need to worry about things like running, so the guns can weigh as much as a security person can lift from the ground.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  18. tharpdevenport

    tharpdevenport Admiral Admiral

    You know, I was thinking: We've been shown that the Borg are slow to adapt. So maybe bullets are a way to go. You get something that spits out a thousand rounds a second, not only will a drone not have the time to adapt, what ever is in it that sends the information to the hive so the hive adapts, may be damaged.

    I could think of ten other ways to kill a Borg drone, yet all we got are alternative frequencies and Captain Adventure Hero shooting one up. This only serves to remind me of what a terrible film First Contact was.
     
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  19. Jedman67

    Jedman67 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, that whole bit about borg adapting made them a little too powerful. Then voyager had to go and ruin it.
     
  20. tharpdevenport

    tharpdevenport Admiral Admiral

    I don't mind them adapting, it gives the writers a situation where they either have to space out the Borg, and at some point this may force a final confrontation with the Borg. Unfortunately this isn't what we got.

    Voyager had to go and ruin just about everything, really.
     
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