Warp strafing, why isn't it used more?

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Re: Warp strafing, why isn't it used more?

Post by Panashe » 2015-10-19 10:20pm

Would the reciprocal of warp strafing be possible?

Could a sublight ship or station fire upon and damage a ship moving at warp speed?

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Re: Warp strafing, why isn't it used more?

Post by Batman » 2015-10-19 10:29pm

That depends on how fast they're moving. As said the targetting problems go both ways.
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Re: Warp strafing, why isn't it used more?

Post by Darmalus » 2015-10-20 03:14am

Have torpedoes ever been fired from warp at a target not at warp? I know warp messes with phasers, but off the top of my head all the torpedo scenes I can think of had everyone either at warp (with very little relative motion between the ships) or sublight.

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Re: Warp strafing, why isn't it used more?

Post by Prometheus Unbound » 2015-10-20 03:33am

Darmalus wrote:Have torpedoes ever been fired from warp at a target not at warp? I know warp messes with phasers, but off the top of my head all the torpedo scenes I can think of had everyone either at warp (with very little relative motion between the ships) or sublight.
not to my knowledge. Maybe some time in TOS but not in TNG+
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Re: Warp strafing, why isn't it used more?

Post by Simon_Jester » 2015-10-20 08:26pm

Batman wrote:On both sides.
Yes, but launching at even low warp provides a great defensive advantage, one which is amplified when one is a small target, especially if one is fighting a big relatively static target.
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Re: Warp strafing, why isn't it used more?

Post by Batman » 2015-10-20 08:34pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
Batman wrote:On both sides.
Yes, but launching at even low warp provides a great defensive advantage, one which is amplified when one is a small target, especially if one is fighting a big relatively static target.
And yet...nobody ever does it, and unless you're will to accept 'because Trek characters are morons' as a reason (and I know you're not) this again begs the question of why nobody does it.
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Re: Warp strafing, why isn't it used more?

Post by Darmalus » 2015-10-20 09:04pm

Batman wrote:And yet...nobody ever does it, and unless you're will to accept 'because Trek characters are morons' as a reason (and I know you're not) this again begs the question of why nobody does it.
My first guess would be being at warp is a two-way defense. I can recall incidents where the ship was knocked out of warp, then attacked as well as 2 ships at warp attacking each other, but I don't recall a ship being attacked from sub-light while at warp or vice versa. Maybe it's just really hard to shoot though a warp field into normal space (and vice versa) so everyone either tries to match speed or knock the target out of warp first.

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Re: Warp strafing, why isn't it used more?

Post by Simon_Jester » 2015-10-21 05:01pm

I could swear there have been instances of a ship at warp attacking a ship in sublight- Elaan of Troyius sounds right for that.
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Re: Warp strafing, why isn't it used more?

Post by Batman » 2015-10-21 05:33pm

Simon_Jester wrote:I could swear there have been instances of a ship at warp attacking a ship in sublight- Elaan of Troyius sounds right for that.
The Klingon ship approached at Warp, sure, but the range figure changes Sulu quoted were decidedly STL. Sounds more like they came in at Warp, slowed to Impulse for the actual attack run, then hightailed it out at Warp again.
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'Hey, we both have a Martian's phone number on our speed dial. I think I deserve the benefit of the doubt.'
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Re: Warp strafing, why isn't it used more?

Post by Ted C » 2015-10-22 03:18pm

Simon_Jester wrote:I could swear there have been instances of a ship at warp attacking a ship in sublight- Elaan of Troyius sounds right for that.
Supposedly the Klingon cruiser is making attack runs at Warp 7 on the sublight Enterprise, but that would make its speed at least 343 times greater than that of the Enterprise. That leaves less than 3 milliseconds to target and fire, and the Klingon ship was using disruptors. It took them substantially longer than 3 milliseconds just to discharge.

I still don't see how the "flying by at warp speed" interpretation works.
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Re: Warp strafing, why isn't it used more?

Post by Batman » 2015-10-22 03:26pm

I don't think the 'Warp factor cubed= speed in c' thing was ever actually stated in canon.
'Next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me. Real hard.'
'You're a princess from a society of immortal warriors. I'm a rich kid with issues. Lots of issues.'
'No. No dating for the Batman. It might cut into your brooding time.'
'Tactically we have multiple objectives. So we need to split into teams.'-'Dibs on the Amazon!'
'Hey, we both have a Martian's phone number on our speed dial. I think I deserve the benefit of the doubt.'
'You know, for a guy with like 50 different kinds of vision, you sure are blind.'

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Re: Warp strafing, why isn't it used more?

Post by Ted C » 2015-10-22 03:35pm

Batman wrote:I don't think the 'Warp factor cubed= speed in c' thing was ever actually stated in canon.
More a rule of thumb from TOS, but it's generally a minimum estimate, based on what we see in the series. Events indicate that Warp 7 is more like a few thousand times lightspeed, which reduces the available time to target and fire by an order of magnitude.
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Re: Warp strafing, why isn't it used more?

Post by Ted C » 2015-10-22 05:40pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
Ted C wrote:I've always gone with the idea that "warp-strafing" involves moving into range at warp-speed, briefly dropping to sublight while your weapons fire, then warping away again before the target can shoot back. You have to have a speed advantage to make it work, and your opponent's ability to track your approach has to be limited (which is already implied to be the case with subspace sensors).
This would be in keeping with the Picard maneuver, and come to think of it IS the Picard maneuver, just with the extra step of warping away, which the Stargazer was in poor shape to do.
The Picard Maneuver is the exact opposite of warp-strafing.

To warp-strafe, you start at warp speed, slow to match speeds and fire, then warp away.

For the Picard maneuver, you start at sublight, briefly go to warp to close distance, then drop back to sublight and fire.
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Re: Warp strafing, why isn't it used more?

Post by Batman » 2015-10-22 06:24pm

Last I checked Warp strafing was firing at a sublight target 'while' at Warp, not 'touch-and-go Downwarping'.
'Next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me. Real hard.'
'You're a princess from a society of immortal warriors. I'm a rich kid with issues. Lots of issues.'
'No. No dating for the Batman. It might cut into your brooding time.'
'Tactically we have multiple objectives. So we need to split into teams.'-'Dibs on the Amazon!'
'Hey, we both have a Martian's phone number on our speed dial. I think I deserve the benefit of the doubt.'
'You know, for a guy with like 50 different kinds of vision, you sure are blind.'

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Re: Warp strafing, why isn't it used more?

Post by Simon_Jester » 2015-10-22 06:25pm

Yes, but tactically a Picard maneuver has a lot of the same effects as warp-in-fire-warp-out. The main difference is that the classic Picard maneuver was done by a ship unable to 'warp out.'
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Re: Warp strafing, why isn't it used more?

Post by Batman » 2015-10-22 06:30pm

And if you want to be anal about it, the exact opposite of the Picard maneuvre would be to come in sublight, go to Warp fur the actual attack run, then slow down to impulse for the getaway :P
'Next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me. Real hard.'
'You're a princess from a society of immortal warriors. I'm a rich kid with issues. Lots of issues.'
'No. No dating for the Batman. It might cut into your brooding time.'
'Tactically we have multiple objectives. So we need to split into teams.'-'Dibs on the Amazon!'
'Hey, we both have a Martian's phone number on our speed dial. I think I deserve the benefit of the doubt.'
'You know, for a guy with like 50 different kinds of vision, you sure are blind.'

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Re: Warp strafing, why isn't it used more?

Post by Ted C » 2015-10-22 11:44pm

Batman wrote:Last I checked Warp strafing was firing at a sublight target 'while' at Warp, not 'touch-and-go Downwarping'.
Depends on how you define it. If warp-strafing is "tactically using warp drive to fire on opponents without taking return fire", then it's not as narrowly defined as you say.
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Re: Warp strafing, why isn't it used more?

Post by Ted C » 2015-10-22 11:49pm

Simon_Jester wrote:Yes, but tactically a Picard maneuver has a lot of the same effects as warp-in-fire-warp-out. The main difference is that the classic Picard maneuver was done by a ship unable to 'warp out.'
Why was the Stargazer unable to "warp out". The ship was at a disadvantage, to be sure, but there is no evidence that it would have been unable to make another warp jump. The key element of the "Picard Maneuver" is that the enemy saw two targets (due to the maneuver outrunning light from the ship's original position) and fired at the wrong one.

The Stargazer's shields were down, so it couldn't take another hit. There is no evidence that it's warp drives were unable to make another jump. It's at least as likely that if their counter-attack failed, they would be unable to outrun their attacker even with their warp drive working and would thus have been destroyed.
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Re: Warp strafing, why isn't it used more?

Post by Ted C » 2015-10-22 11:50pm

Batman wrote:And if you want to be anal about it, the exact opposite of the Picard maneuvre would be to come in sublight, go to Warp fur the actual attack run, then slow down to impulse for the getaway :P
There is no indication that the Stargazer was not moving at sublight speed relative to its attacker before warping in closer.

What we know is that the Stargazer was not at warp before the attack, it used warp drive to close range, and it was not at warp when it fired.
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Re: Warp strafing, why isn't it used more?

Post by Tribble » 2015-10-22 11:53pm

I don't understand why they made such a big deal about the Picard Maneuver because any warp capable species should have FTL sensors which would render the tactic useless. If I remember correctly, it only worked because the Ferengi's computers for some reason did not detect the fact that the Stargazer went to warp, and in their incompetence the Ferengi picked the vessel which was further away to fire on.

A variation of it was used in "Peak Performance," where they made it look like the E-D destroy the Hathaway, while in fact the Hathaway had gone into warp. When the Hathaway dropped out of warp the Ferengi concluded that another starship had appeared on the scene and that they had been outmaneuvered. This shouldn't have worked either, though I suppose the detonation of the photon torpedoes might of masked the Hathaway jumping into warp.
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Re: Warp strafing, why isn't it used more?

Post by Prometheus Unbound » 2015-10-23 03:28am

both times that was against the Ferengi. Maybe they had stupid sensors back then.

By Voyager they were scanning subspace stuff with stars in that episode where they reprogram the barclay hologram.
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Re: Warp strafing, why isn't it used more?

Post by Ted C » 2015-10-23 07:01am

Tribble wrote:I don't understand why they made such a big deal about the Picard Maneuver because any warp capable species should have FTL sensors which would render the tactic useless. If I remember correctly, it only worked because the Ferengi's computers for some reason did not detect the fact that the Stargazer went to warp, and in their incompetence the Ferengi picked the vessel which was further away to fire on.

A variation of it was used in "Peak Performance," where they made it look like the E-D destroy the Hathaway, while in fact the Hathaway had gone into warp. When the Hathaway dropped out of warp the Ferengi concluded that another starship had appeared on the scene and that they had been outmaneuvered. This shouldn't have worked either, though I suppose the detonation of the photon torpedoes might of masked the Hathaway jumping into warp.
In "Balance of Terror", they could detect the Romulan ship with subspace sensors (which are presumably the FTL sensors), but they couldn't locate it precisely, so they fired all round its general location hoping to hit it. Given the limitations of the FTL sensors, it stands to reason that they switch to something more precise when they get into combat range.

Thus, the Ferengi would have been using lightspeed sensors to track the Stargazer when it used the Picard Maneuver. They wouldn't have time to try to switch to FTL sensors to see what happened.

In "Peak Performance", they were again probably using lightspeed sensors since they were in range of both ships. Since they had just seen the Hathaway "destroyed", they had no reason to try to reaquire it with FTL sensors. (And yes, masking the jump was part of the point of the photon torpedoes.)
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Re: Warp strafing, why isn't it used more?

Post by Panashe » 2015-10-24 12:48pm

In Arena, the Metrons were able to "target" the Enterprise moving at warp and somehow force her down to sublight, apparently from a (non-FTL) star system.

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Re: Warp strafing, why isn't it used more?

Post by Ted C » 2015-10-24 06:11pm

Panashe wrote:In Arena, the Metrons were able to "target" the Enterprise moving at warp and somehow force her down to sublight, apparently from a (non-FTL) star system.
The Metrons are super-aliens, so... whatever.
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Re: Warp strafing, why isn't it used more?

Post by LaCroix » 2015-10-27 11:20am

Isn't ST warp of the 'bubble of warped spacetime' type? And not some extra dimension like it is in Babylon 4?

This means that you can't fire from inside or from the outside.
Shooting at someone at warp is easy to explain - there is no way for the attack to transistion the distance between you an the target in realspace (sub-c or c) and have the target still there when it is a couple hundred times faster than your attack method.
For the other side -when shots were leaving your "bubble" of compressed spacetime, they would probably dissipate or in some other way cease to exist when they hit realspace abruptly, if they can even penetrate this 'wall' of spacetime compression. So you need to drop out before firing, even if just briefly.

For the same reason, apart from some ultratech that expands your own 'bubble' to touch the one of the target and synchronise spacetime between them, you can't shot at someone in warp while in warp as well.
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