Why do the Klingons use cloaking devices so enthusiastically?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Deimos Anomaly, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. Deimos Anomaly

    Deimos Anomaly Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Instead of facing your enemy, you seek an unfair advantage by hiding from him behind your invisibility machine.

    Where's the honour in that?
     
  2. lurok

    lurok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Klingons were never honourable. That's retconning...
     
  3. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Candidly I think a lot of what passes for supposed Klingon honour is bullshit. A cloaking system is a significant advantage and if you have the means to have one and the mentality to use then you probably will.

    The Klingons are ultimately about gaining advantage over an opponent and the cloaking system goes toward that. I'm quite certain the Klingons don't see any dishonour in it at all. And they probably rationalize that since they have to decloak to attack that they are showing their face before they strike. It's somewhat like surprising your enemy by jumping out from behind a rock or a tree.
     
  4. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    In war there is no greater honor than victory. ;)
     
  5. backstept

    backstept Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Klingons are never 'honourable' they are however 'honorable'
     
  6. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    If you're in Canada (or the UK) it's colour rather than color, labour rather than labor and honour rather than honor.
     
  7. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    I think it has something to do with their early ancestors being hunters. In that respect, cloaking devices are probably considered like camoflauge and there's nothing dishonorable about using that in a hunt or in battle, IMO. What the Klingons consider honorable is probably bravery in combat once the cloak is dropped.
     
  8. SilentP

    SilentP Commodore Commodore

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    Italicised for emphasis, this is probably just seen as getting the drop on your opponent. Honour is one thing, but you must always be sharp and ready to face danger. Anyone who can't respond in time is weak and not a worthy opponent. Anyone who can strike down a cloaked opponent and emerge victorious is an honourable and courageous warrior, regardess of whether they are Klingon, Human or whatever the galaxy throws at you.[/klingon] :klingon:

    Edit: C.E. Evans pretty much has it there too.
     
  9. backstept

    backstept Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I was joking . . . of course.
     
  10. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    Sisko used The Defiant's cloak all the time. That doesn't mean he wasn't honorable. You have a tool and you might as well used it.
     
  11. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    It strikes me as more stupid that the Federation would sign a treaty agreeing to not develop a cloaking system. And after getting hold of one in TOS' "The Enterprise Incident" there is no technical reason they couldn't have it. And with that it's also stupid and beggars credibility that they never really seemed to develop effective counter measures particularly given the TNG era's almost magic like technology is so many other areas.

    And in war either with the Cardassians or the Dominion or whatever then I think it would be highly stupid not to use cloaking tech.
     
  12. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    During the Dominion War they should have at least looked into getting the Treaty of Algeron amended so as to allow the Federation to use the technology for the duration of the war, especially after the Romulans entered on their side.
     
  13. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    To be sure, in their very first appearance, they were nothing if not honorable. They promised to kill 200 civilians, they killed 200 civilians! No going back on their word.

    Seriously, forks, Kor was the paragon of classic Western military honor in the episode: showing every courtesy to his captives, bowing to Kirk's superb nerve in invading his HQ, even agreeing to personal combat in the end. Kang only improved on that. And while Koloth was a sneaky bastard, he was a courteous one, and knew when he had been defeated, bowing out honorably. Klingon honor was always there.

    Even if Klingon cloaks weren't...

    ...But even that's debatable. Really, the only way the Klingons could have gotten the drop on our heroes at the beginning of "Errand of Mercy" is if they decloaked their BoP right under their noses! A classic decloaking attack by a BoP-category ship also fits the rest of the pattern there: a single return volley finishes off the attacker.

    Invisible ships are more or less standard fare in the Trek universe (or in any scifi universe), save for the single episode "Balance of Terror" where our heroes are curiously unaware of the concept. They aren't ubiquitous, though, which is good for the drama (a thoroughly visual medium isn't the right one for a story based on invisibility), and requires the writers or the audience to come up with an explanation on why everybody isn't invisible 100% of the time. The problem really isn't why honorable warriors cloak - it's why somebody, anybody, does not.

    It's also stupid to give money to a robber, or agree to get raped. Sometimes there just aren't alternate courses of action, tho. And officially giving up cloaking development is basically the same thing as giving a robber an IOU - you lose nothing of real value in the deal.

    Well, we still don't have a countermeasure to ICBMs after half a century of living under that particular threat. And probably for the same two reasons: it's too difficult to begin with, and even if we managed it, it would only anger our enemies into attacking.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. SilentP

    SilentP Commodore Commodore

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    Romulans have always been the paranoid type who always look to the extreme long-term, I can imagine that they'd still have some hankerings over giving their long term adversaries (the Federation) cloaking devices, even with the short-term advantage of winning the Dominion War quicker.

    I may also be remembering this wrong, but wasn't the cloaking device a bit unreliable against the Dominion compared to when it was used on the Federation? I can imagine especially when it came to large scale fleet movements, hiding large fleets wouldn't have been very easy.
     
  15. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    yeah, given the later emphasis on Klingon "honor," it does seem incongruous to have their primary ship used in battle be one that operates with a cloak. You'd think their attitude would be "here we come, plain as day, try and stop us."

    Of course, the Klingon obsession with "honor" and "glory in battle" became so over the top in Trek as to be ridiculous anyway. It's doubtful that any culture like that would become one of the more advanced in the Alpha Quadrant, with an emphasis on military matters to the neglect of so many other fields.
     
  16. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The Dominion had two layers of countermeasures to Alpha Quadrant cloaking: a planetside sensor that could see ships across an entire sector, and a probing beam that worked at point blank ranges. It's sort of natural that they'd be that much ahead of Alpha, considering how their own military was often operating under the shield of invisibility.

    Even the Dominion didn't cloak its warfleets, though. (Except perhaps in "The Die is Cast", where a surprisingly effective surprise attack leaves us wondering...) And its invisible warriors had to become visible in order to fight. Which is good for drama, and good for continuity if we can figure out the "universal" reasons that prevent perfect full-time cloaking.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  17. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    I think the Treaty of Algeron was the best solution to a crappy situation with the Romulans. The Federation agrees not to equip their ships with cloaking devices and the Romulans agree to abide with the Neutral Zone.
    It seems that the Federation does have the means to detect cloaked ships, but they actually have to be looking for such ships to begin with--as was the case in the TNG episode "Redemption, part 2." The Klingons and the Romulans may have to continually improve their cloaking technology if Federation detection methods improve correspondingly.
    No one said the Federation had the better deal from the Treaty of Algeron, but it probably prevented an even more unfavorable situation with the Romulans, so the Federation willingly signed off on it...
     
  18. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The only reason to make a treaty that puts them at that big of a level of tactical disadvantage would be if they were on the losing side or felt they would be if a war continued.


    Or, you know, bad writing.
     
  19. Paradon

    Paradon Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    That's not cheating. It just mean they are smarter and resourceful being able to obtain cloaking device and use it. Being smarter and more resourceful means they are extraordinary warriors which is very honorable. I supposed they can attack their enemies face to face without taking much time to think about the best strategies that would help them win, but most people would look at that being brave but not very smart, or they may just look at it as being very stupid.
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The Feds being on the losing side is by no means implausible as a reason for signing the cloaking ban.

    After all, Romulans are among their earliest and thus probably closest enemies. If they decide to attack across the border, Earth is probably a very short hop away. Hell, Vulcan seems to be a next-door neighbor, if certain travel time hints from "Unification" and STXI are taken seriously. Even with a conventional enemy, that's a big problem in terms of defense reaction times. And if Romulans already have cloaking, they really have the drop on Starfleet...

    That'd be a bit like the idea of placing ballistic missiles in Cuba (or in Turkey if you're playing the other side), and pointing them at the enemy from such a short range that there's no time for a counterattack. An excellent continuation on the theme of "Balance of Terror" as such!

    Klingons have always been an enemy. Romulans have always been a threat. Whether they're bolstering and bluffing, the Feds can't really tell. Which may be why they sign treaties.

    Timo Saloniemi