The Guns of Nemesis (Voyager)

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The Guns of Nemesis (Voyager)

Post by Zor » 2017-11-04 04:57am

This is something that I remembered involving an episode of Star Trek Voyager that Chuck recently did a review of: Nemesis (Season Four Episode Four of Voyager). The plot is that Chakotay's shuttle gets shot down and he is dragged into a war between two alien civilizations on a jungle planet. Chuck mostly focused on the story telling deficiencies, silliness of the dialogue and so forth as is the nature of his show. But here's a point that he did not touch on but is kind of blatant, in said war both sides don't use energy weapons like everyone else. They use guns.
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There is no ambiguity about this fact: they're combustion based firearms which discharge spent cases just like the guns we use today. Indeed the props are just that: modern guns shooting blanks that have been tweeked a bit for the role. Both the Vori and The Kratin are warp capable civilizations (given that the PD is never even implied to be an issue) fully capable of shooting down Federation shuttlecraft that (spoiler warning) have good holodeck style technology which still make quite effective use of these weapons as the standard issue arms to their army. Even when Voyager is thinking about sending in dudes to get Chakotay back.

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Re: The Guns of Nemesis (Voyager)

Post by Crazedwraith » 2017-11-04 06:25am

Yes?
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Re: The Guns of Nemesis (Voyager)

Post by Lord Revan » 2017-11-04 08:15am

technological advancement isn't build on levels where if you reach a level you get everything from that level. Just because a race has warp drive and holodecks doesn't mean they have to have energy weapons, maybe said races never saw the need to develop energy weapons or some technobabble reason made it so that energy weapons weren't worth cost to develop.

as for them being capable of shooting down a federation shuttlecraft, even if we assume it's armored, standard federatio armor is shown to be rather weak against deformation (it's not much of an issue normally as most enemies/threats UFP has use energy weapons anyway) so again nothing strange there either.
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Re: The Guns of Nemesis (Voyager)

Post by Knife » 2017-11-04 06:31pm

Indeed. the use of 'ray guns' is just a visual way of showing how 'tech awesome' a culture is but really has no value. If projectile weapons do every thing they need it to do and ray guns don't, won't, can't, or is too expensive for any benefit, then why have them.
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Re: The Guns of Nemesis (Voyager)

Post by bilateralrope » 2017-11-04 11:15pm

Maybe they keep running into the borg.

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Re: The Guns of Nemesis (Voyager)

Post by Lord Revan » 2017-11-06 06:10am

bilateralrope wrote:
2017-11-04 11:15pm
Maybe they keep running into the borg.
could be but honestly the "why" doesn't really matter, the point me and Knife are trying to make is that this doesn't need a special reason to be so as this isn't really anything too strange.
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Re: The Guns of Nemesis (Voyager)

Post by bilateralrope » 2017-11-06 06:33am

Lord Revan wrote:
2017-11-06 06:10am
bilateralrope wrote:
2017-11-04 11:15pm
Maybe they keep running into the borg.
could be but honestly the "why" doesn't really matter, the point me and Knife are trying to make is that this doesn't need a special reason to be so as this isn't really anything too strange.
True. I just can't help speculating when I run into a thread like this.

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Re: The Guns of Nemesis (Voyager)

Post by Solauren » 2017-11-06 01:05pm

Beam weapons, as shown in most Sci-fi, are also horribly ineffective next to most modern firearms.


I mean, we've seen normal humans dodge a phaser beam.
You can see a phaser beam (or most other sci-fi energy weapons) coming, and dodge them.
You can't see a bullet going and dodge it.
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Re: The Guns of Nemesis (Voyager)

Post by AMX » 2017-11-06 01:14pm

Solauren wrote:
2017-11-06 01:05pm
Beam weapons, as shown in most Sci-fi, are also horribly ineffective next to most modern firearms.


I mean, we've seen normal humans dodge a phaser beam.
You can see a phaser beam (or most other sci-fi energy weapons) coming, and dodge them.
You can't see a bullet going and dodge it.
Do we actually have examples of people dodging an incoming beam?
Or are they all cut so they might just be getting out of the way before the weapon is fired?

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Re: The Guns of Nemesis (Voyager)

Post by Crazedwraith » 2017-11-06 01:20pm

Solauren wrote:
2017-11-06 01:05pm
Beam weapons, as shown in most Sci-fi, are also horribly ineffective next to most modern firearms.


I mean, we've seen normal humans dodge a phaser beam.
You can see a phaser beam (or most other sci-fi energy weapons) coming, and dodge them.
You can't see a bullet going and dodge it.
You can in TV. Or near enough.
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Re: The Guns of Nemesis (Voyager)

Post by Darth Lucifer » 2017-11-06 06:29pm

Do we actually have examples of people dodging an incoming beam?
Phaser special FX speeds vary depending on the Trek series you're watching. From TNG I distinctly remember Picard sidestepping a phaser in "Conspiracy" that was ridiculously slow, that is about the lowest end example of phaser beam speed than I can think of.

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Re: The Guns of Nemesis (Voyager)

Post by Elheru Aran » 2017-11-06 07:47pm

Conspiracy is a first season episode, and the first season of TNG was... weird... in any number of ways. Either the aliens possessing people in Conspiracy didn't understand phasers and had them set wrong, or it's simply an effects fuck-up.
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Re: The Guns of Nemesis (Voyager)

Post by Batman » 2017-11-06 08:56pm

Worf did something similar later in the series, though in both cases I think they weren't actually dodging the beam but flinching away from a beam that wouldn't have hit them anyway.
Doesn't change the fact that the beam was slow enough for them to purposely react while the beam was already underway of course. Have fun trying that with a modern pistol bullet.
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Re: The Guns of Nemesis (Voyager)

Post by Simon_Jester » 2017-11-07 08:15am

Solauren wrote:
2017-11-06 01:05pm
Beam weapons, as shown in most Sci-fi, are also horribly ineffective next to most modern firearms.

I mean, we've seen normal humans dodge a phaser beam.
You can see a phaser beam (or most other sci-fi energy weapons) coming, and dodge them.
You can't see a bullet going and dodge it.
This is based on a certain approach to evaluating Star Trek technology, which is to comb through about 720 40-minute episodes looking for examples, then picking the most embarrassing ones ("can be stopped by packing crates, slow enough to dodge").

I don't know about you, but if I had the option of finding 'evidence' for the performance of modern firearms by looking through a random sample of 500 hours of action movies, and I got to selectively pick the worst examples of firearm performance, modern slugthrowers would come out looking pretty stupid.

"Hey, remember that episode of The A-Team where everyone was firing fully automatic machine guns for like five minutes and nobody got hurt? Man, guns must suck. They'd have been more effective fighting each other with bows and arrows or something! I mean, Barracus did more damage by just walking up to guys and throwing them than he did by shooting at them! How pathetic is a weapon that gets outperformed by not using a weapon?"

...

Basically, the problem with this kind of argument is that it proves too much. You can use it to prove any technology sucks, because if you let a series run long enough, sooner or later the scriptwriters will soft-pedal the technology's capabilities for the sake of plot.
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Re: The Guns of Nemesis (Voyager)

Post by Solauren » 2017-11-07 02:36pm

Actually, you'll notice I didn't quote a specific episode, or even person doing it. I said 'we've seen it done', and explained the advantage that bullets have over energy beams as shown in SCI-FI. Human can't see them, so harder to dodge.

I mean, we've seen Data dodge laser blasts, but he's an android.

I think we saw Rogar Danar dodge phaser beams, but he's been genetically, chemically, and psychologically augmented.

We've seen Pichard and Riker dodge phaser beams. However, the only time I can recall that they were in Starfleet Headquarters. There could have been a dampening field in place. (In fact, given how easy it is to jam Trek tech, I would be surprised if they didn't have one).
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Re: The Guns of Nemesis (Voyager)

Post by Simon_Jester » 2017-11-09 12:55pm

The problematic part of what I quoted is the "energy weapons are horribly ineffective next to modern firearms" part, Solauren.

Again, it wouldn't be hard for me to take a random sampling of several hundred episodes of TV set in the modern era and 'prove' that modern firearms are horribly ineffective next to crossbows, or in some cases thrown rocks.

At some point you have to look at the whole overall record of performance, combined with on-screen statements, and not just the specific "lol you can dodge a phaser beam because it is slow and glowy in these 80s special effects" observations.
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Re: The Guns of Nemesis (Voyager)

Post by Batman » 2017-11-09 02:34pm

While the limited speed of sidearm phaser discharges (and Wars hand blaster bolts for that matter) combined with their easy visibility can be a detriment, "energy weapons are horribly ineffective next to modern firearms" is going a bit far. Sometimes visibility is desirable (we didn't invent tracers because it was thursday and there was nothing on TV). Also many ray guns tend to be WAY more flexible than slugthrowers-stun setting, widebeam, weld, cutting torch, lighter, heater...All a slugthrower can do is drill a hole.
'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.'
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'Tactically we have multiple objectives. So we need to split into teams.'-'Dibs on the Amazon!'
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'You know, for a guy with like 50 different kinds of vision, you sure are blind.'

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