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Quote of the Week: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." - Will Durant, American historian (1885-1981)

What if both side find shield usless

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JasonB
PostPosted: 2011-04-28 11:25pm 

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Let say neither Empire nor UFP shield work when it come stopping other side weapons. How would war go in this case.
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Darth Tedious
PostPosted: 2011-04-28 11:37pm 

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Still pretty badly for the Federation, due to the differences in ship size, levels of redundancy and scale of firepower. And that's without bringing fleet counts into the equation...

Even worse if we assume that neutronium is the same thing in both franchises, as it is phaser-proof, and would make Durasteel a very effective armour (as if it isn't already).
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Panzersharkcat
PostPosted: 2011-04-29 12:06am 

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Still a major curbstomp of the Federation. From the Trek vs Wars in Five Minutes page, the firepower of the light guns of an Acclamator: 300 million GW. The firepower of the main phaser of the Enterprise-D: 3.6 GW. You can guess the results.
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Baffalo
PostPosted: 2011-04-29 08:44am 

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If you watch what happens in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, once the shields dropped, a single torpedo was able to punch through the armor on both the top and bottom of the Enterprise's saucer. That does not bode the Federation well.
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Serafina
PostPosted: 2011-04-29 08:58am 

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The Empire still wins, because they actually put a lot of armor on their ships, which the Federation generally doesn't do, nor other races from Trek.
A Star Destroyer WOULD be more vulnerable, since fire concentration (but then again, the Federation doesn't do that) can slowly chew trough the armor which is not as easy with shields.

The Federation could arguably attempt to use transporters for boarding actions, but there are many other methods to jam them - and Federation soldiers are pathetic, so they won't achieve much even if it works.

Meanwhile, the Empire gets no significant advantage from this. Trek-shields are not that strong anyway, so they would be one-shotted by many weapons anyway. The Empire also has no special tricks that require the enemy shields to be down.

So yes, it would be a disadvantage for the Empire, but their ships would still be tough to crack.
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open_sketchbook
PostPosted: 2011-04-29 12:02pm 

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Might make transporter bombs kinda viable for the Federation, to a degree, but it's unlikely they'll get close enough to pull it off more than once.
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Collossus
PostPosted: 2011-04-29 02:45pm 

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Even if you where to give the feds shields and take away the Empires it would still be a hopeless fight for the federation.
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Connor MacLeod
PostPosted: 2011-04-29 03:29pm 

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Serafina wrote:
The Empire still wins, because they actually put a lot of armor on their ships, which the Federation generally doesn't do, nor other races from Trek.
A Star Destroyer WOULD be more vulnerable, since fire concentration (but then again, the Federation doesn't do that) can slowly chew trough the armor which is not as easy with shields.


Federation ships can and have been armored in some fashion or another, so they have the capability. Hell for all we know they do armor all their starships, they just may not armor them as heavily as they could. Armor still means mass and volume, and even for a magically efficient reaction drive, mass and even volume can still matter (Tradeoffs ALWAYS matter, and always must be taken into consideration.)

This does assume that armour is of equal capability to the shields, which is a big if. There's plenty of evidence to suggest that SW weapon tech actually far outstrips its armour, given cases where shots that hit unshielded ships (Esp heavy turbolasers) inflict catastrophic damage, crippling or even destroying ships in a single shot. (It happened in ROTJ, and the ROTS ICS entry mentions that there are HTL settings that will outright vaporize any target it hits.) In which case the absence or presence of armor matters less compared to how big a ship they can build (mass is always a form of defense.)

Of course, tradeoffs dictate that more armor makes you more sluggish too, even with magically efficient reaction drives, which is one reason why ISDs sometimes suck at turning.

There's another matter as well. SW shielding often covers up some of the more obvious flaws of the ISD - the exposed hangar bays (which can be exploited to attack power distribution networks, fuel tanks and reactors, depending on design) as well as the not-so-subtle exposed bridges (not a critical target, but it would still hamper the fighting ability of the ship.)

On both sides, lack of shields leaves alot of "soft" targets exposed - weapons turrets of all kinds, sensors, comms, thruster nozzles, windows, etc. Many of which are actually more fragile than the hull itself. SW fighters, for example, can disable/destroy weapons turrets, comms and sensor arrays on even ISDs, so Federation starships could do the same quite easily. What happens if the ISD gets "soft killed" on one side or another by its sensors, weapons, etc. being wiped out?

Hell, in such a case fighters do become more of a threat, and point defense becomes a much bigger issue.

Quote:
The Federation could arguably attempt to use transporters for boarding actions, but there are many other methods to jam them - and Federation soldiers are pathetic, so they won't achieve much even if it works.


Transporter tactics would be more possible, although tractor beams, Jamming, and other factors probably would keep it from being an "instant-win". Just because one side can do something doesn't mean it guarantees victory.

Quote:
Meanwhile, the Empire gets no significant advantage from this. Trek-shields are not that strong anyway, so they would be one-shotted by many weapons anyway. The Empire also has no special tricks that require the enemy shields to be down.

So yes, it would be a disadvantage for the Empire, but their ships would still be tough to crack.


The real outcome of this is that it's going to change the way both sides design and build ships, for the reasons I outlined above. Shipbuilding in terms of size/mass and quantity still favors the Empire, but it does open up options more.
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Connor MacLeod
PostPosted: 2011-04-29 03:31pm 

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The one concern I have is whether or not "no shields" means no "forcefield" tech thingies of any kind . Which means that structural integrity fields, tensor fields, and the structrual enhancement properites of particle shields are no longer applicable. If so, that would have far more telling and far reaching implications for both sides (I knwo what it means for SW, but I'm less certain what it would mean for ST not to have SIFs.)
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The Romulan Republic
PostPosted: 2011-04-29 03:36pm 

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Serafina wrote:
The Empire still wins, because they actually put a lot of armor on their ships, which the Federation generally doesn't do, nor other races from Trek.
A Star Destroyer WOULD be more vulnerable, since fire concentration (but then again, the Federation doesn't do that)


They might not usually, but they did in First Contact. They also often target certain systems in battle.

Quote:
The Federation could arguably attempt to use transporters for boarding actions, but there are many other methods to jam them - and Federation soldiers are pathetic, so they won't achieve much even if it works.


It would be wiser to simply beam torpedos in.
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Connor MacLeod
PostPosted: 2011-04-29 03:57pm 

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The Romulan Republic wrote:

It would be wiser to simply beam torpedos in.


They can try that, but it's still going to be hampered by jamming and tractor beams. The key thing to remember is that you don't have to actually block the matter stream to prevent transportation. Fudging with their ability to gain a target lock can also make it harder (or impossible) to use transporters. When you think about it, there's issues about how accurate they can target a ship if it's moving (and how fast it moves).

This isn't a matter of "transporters won't work at all" or "transporters will work perfectly." Its a matter of "how effective will the tactic work given these considerations?" They could still (in theory) beam a warhead close to the ship and have it go off and inflict damage, but it won't be the same as "beaming the warhead into the bridge/reactor/etc and destroying the ship in a single hit." - the latter requires far more precision than the former.
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Metahive
PostPosted: 2011-04-29 04:02pm 

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They could try and fire a torpedo into the hangar or on the bridge, if they know what to aim at and manage to evade the TL barrage for long enough.
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The Romulan Republic
PostPosted: 2011-04-29 04:08pm 

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Connor MacLeod wrote:
The Romulan Republic wrote:

It would be wiser to simply beam torpedos in.


They can try that, but it's still going to be hampered by jamming and tractor beams. The key thing to remember is that you don't have to actually block the matter stream to prevent transportation. Fudging with their ability to gain a target lock can also make it harder (or impossible) to use transporters. When you think about it, there's issues about how accurate they can target a ship if it's moving (and how fast it moves).


I'm not saying it would nessissairly be possible. But if they could use transporters, they'd be better off beaming explosives in than infantry.
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Coalition
PostPosted: 2011-04-29 04:48pm 

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The Romulan Republic wrote:
Connor MacLeod wrote:
They can try that, but it's still going to be hampered by jamming and tractor beams. The key thing to remember is that you don't have to actually block the matter stream to prevent transportation. Fudging with their ability to gain a target lock can also make it harder (or impossible) to use transporters. When you think about it, there's issues about how accurate they can target a ship if it's moving (and how fast it moves).

I'm not saying it would nessissairly be possible. But if they could use transporters, they'd be better off beaming explosives in than infantry.

The final step is to just beam in antimatter directly. Even if it is shredded by jammers, it is still antimatter, and will make a very energetic reaction.
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Enigma
PostPosted: 2011-04-29 05:23pm 

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Connor MacLeod wrote:
The one concern I have is whether or not "no shields" means no "forcefield" tech thingies of any kind . Which means that structural integrity fields, tensor fields, and the structrual enhancement properites of particle shields are no longer applicable. If so, that would have far more telling and far reaching implications for both sides (I knwo what it means for SW, but I'm less certain what it would mean for ST not to have SIFs.)



He means that the shields become useless, not that they do not have them nor did he mean no forcefields. If there was no SIF or Inertial Dampeners available, ST ships would be dead in space lest they risk ripping themselves apart both ship and crew.

With no shields available, the ISDs will be able to pump more power into their weapons or to ECMs and ECCMs, making it even easier to destroy ST ships.

But JasonB won't admit that the ST ships would lose so he'll conjure up some other stupid suggestion, vainly hoping for a win.

As I've mentioned many times before, he's dumber than a sack of shit and more stubborn than a mule.
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Batman
PostPosted: 2011-04-29 05:50pm 

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Heck, with the loss of all forcefield technology SIF and inertial dampers are the least of their worries. It would also likely mean no more artificial gravity, though that'd be mostly an afterthought because no more War core containment :D
Of course, this extreme interpretation of the OP (which indeed doesn't even mention them not having shields, just that they're useless-well, as far as anybody can decipher JasonB's drivel at any rate) is likely to result in Mutual Assured Destruction because nevermind the loss of tensor fields and inertial dampers on the Wars side too, I wouldn't be at all surprised if hypermatter reactors tend to react badly to the absence of forcefield technology (plus, we have the pesky lack of artificial gravity again).

With that out of the way, as others have said since Trek shields were pretty much a nonissue anyway due to massive firepower and shield strength disparity, while this scenario does marginally favour the Feds, I don't see it making much of a difference-the Imps are likely going to actually take capital ship losses for a change but that's about it.
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The Romulan Republic
PostPosted: 2011-04-29 07:08pm 

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Coalition wrote:
The Romulan Republic wrote:
Connor MacLeod wrote:
They can try that, but it's still going to be hampered by jamming and tractor beams. The key thing to remember is that you don't have to actually block the matter stream to prevent transportation. Fudging with their ability to gain a target lock can also make it harder (or impossible) to use transporters. When you think about it, there's issues about how accurate they can target a ship if it's moving (and how fast it moves).

I'm not saying it would nessissairly be possible. But if they could use transporters, they'd be better off beaming explosives in than infantry.

The final step is to just beam in antimatter directly. Even if it is shredded by jammers, it is still antimatter, and will make a very energetic reaction.


One wonders why they never, ever do this, even in circumstances when transporters work.
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Stofsk
PostPosted: 2011-04-29 08:18pm 

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That's because using transporters requires the shields be down, and without shields Star Trek ships do not survive very long. That's why we rarely see transporter tactics in anything other than unusual circumstances.

But Tuvok did use Voyager's transporters to beam a couple of antimatter pods at vidian ships. So it is at least possible to transport antimatter in containment.
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Baffalo
PostPosted: 2011-04-29 09:28pm 

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Coalition wrote:
The final step is to just beam in antimatter directly. Even if it is shredded by jammers, it is still antimatter, and will make a very energetic reaction.

Can transporters even beam anti-matter? I always thought they broke matter down and then reconstituted it at the target location. I think that was one of the reasons in an episode of Voyager that the ship was duplicated and the anti-matter wasn't.
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Stofsk
PostPosted: 2011-04-29 09:30pm 

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My post is right above yours.
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Batman
PostPosted: 2011-04-29 09:32pm 

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Definite yes. VOY once beamed a photon torpedo aboard a Borg scout ship.
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Baffalo
PostPosted: 2011-04-29 10:38pm 

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Stofsk wrote:
My post is right above yours.


Oops my bad. Sorry.
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Simon_Jester
PostPosted: 2011-04-30 03:17am 

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Connor MacLeod wrote:
Federation ships can and have been armored in some fashion or another, so they have the capability. Hell for all we know they do armor all their starships, they just may not armor them as heavily as they could. Armor still means mass and volume, and even for a magically efficient reaction drive, mass and even volume can still matter (Tradeoffs ALWAYS matter, and always must be taken into consideration.)
Volume might well matter more than mass, given an arbitrarily high-thrust drive and high-energy weapons. There's an inherent random element to targeting in any SF setting where combat is interesting: the ships' ability to make engine burns to sidestep incoming fire, the role of ECM and ECCM in telling the main battery where to shoot, and so on. Minimizing your target profile in the direction enemy fire is most likely to come from becomes very important.

The ISD is designed fairly well for this, at least from some angles- they can engage with half the main battery side-on, exposing a relatively modest target profile, and they can fire the entire main battery straight forward, with a still smaller profile. They present the biggest target when viewed from angles no smart ISD captain would present to his opponent, because those are the angles he can't shoot back from (say, because the enemy is directly "below" his ship).

Whereas a spherical ship is quite bad for this purpose: high target profile from every direction, no direction in which the entirety of the main battery can fire.

Making the ship denser doesn't hurt you in terms of target profile, and helps you in terms of damage resistance and the number of weapons you can shoot at the enemy to make them go away before they do any damage. Making the ship bigger hurts, because every square meter you add to your turbolaser capture cross-section is another opportunity to be killed by a shot that would have missed entirely if your ship were only a little slimmer.

EDIT: indeed, this is the best argument for making spacefaring warships look like real life submarines as far as crew spaces are concerned: bloody cramped. Every cubic meter of space not filled with something that has a specific useful purpose works against you. The best way to mitigate this, in my opinion, is to design the ships to engage from certain directions, and have very slender target profile in that direction, while having the bulk of its mass spread out along a direction parallel to the enemy's expected line of fire.

So you might see ships with spinal weapons that stretch out the hull (and the gun barrel) across a long distance, while being relatively narrow and thus less likely to be hit by enemy return fire when using their spinal guns. Or ships with 'broadside' turret armament that are much wider than they are high or thick, so that when you look at the ship from the direction its main guns are designed to fire, it looks smaller (say, turrets mounted on an ISD dagger-form hull).

Quote:
There's another matter as well. SW shielding often covers up some of the more obvious flaws of the ISD - the exposed hangar bays (which can be exploited to attack power distribution networks, fuel tanks and reactors, depending on design) as well as the not-so-subtle exposed bridges (not a critical target, but it would still hamper the fighting ability of the ship.)
Critical not so much to the ship's ability to fight as to the psychology of the crew- heavy damage to the bridge tower and the loss of the captain may (especially in the relatively top-down hierarchy of the Imperial fleet) cause a loss of command and control that cripples the ship. Even if in theory the ship can be conned or commanded from a position elsewhere in the hull, that doesn't mean that the human element will handle the transition as well as the machinery permits it to do.
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Baffalo
PostPosted: 2011-04-30 11:31am 

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There's another problem with Star Trek ships, and that's the engines. Starfleet has ships with giant warp nacelles that are completely exposed, whereas Star Destroyers have their engines completely enclosed except where the nozzles come out. Now, someone will say that the warp core of a starship is inside the ship, yes, but the crucial components are also outside. The warp nacelles need to be that big in order to channel the plasma in such a way that it warps the fabric of space. That's about all I got before the techno-babble made my brain dribble out my ears. I understand the WHY, but it's also a huge target. A stray torpedo and your ship has lost it's ability to escape. If the nacelles are also responsible for mass lightening, then you've lost almost all your maneuverability and just became a huge target.

Also, the angles to fire on a Star Destroyer's aft end are much less than that of a Federation ship. Realistically, unless you're coming in from the rear, you can't hit a Star Destroyer's engines. The Enterprise? If you come from the stern, port, starboard, dorsal or even keel, you can hit the engines. Hell, a shot that misses the underside of the saucer could still realistically hit the nacelle or the pylon. You hit the pylon, you've lost that nacelle and there's no fixing it in the heat of combat.
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Connor MacLeod
PostPosted: 2011-04-30 03:02pm 

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Baffalo wrote:
There's another problem with Star Trek ships, and that's the engines. Starfleet has ships with giant warp nacelles that are completely exposed, whereas Star Destroyers have their engines completely enclosed except where the nozzles come out. Now, someone will say that the warp core of a starship is inside the ship, yes, but the crucial components are also outside. The warp nacelles need to be that big in order to channel the plasma in such a way that it warps the fabric of space. That's about all I got before the techno-babble made my brain dribble out my ears. I understand the WHY, but it's also a huge target. A stray torpedo and your ship has lost it's ability to escape. If the nacelles are also responsible for mass lightening, then you've lost almost all your maneuverability and just became a huge target.


For TNG era and earlier ships yes. But they seem to have fixed this in and around the DS9-Voyager era. Hell there are lots of warp-driven cultures (Cardassian, Klingon, Ferengi, etc.) that don't need to use giant naceslles on their starships, so it's not REQUIRED to do so. It probably is more a matter of design tradeoffs, or a requirement for certain kinds of warp drive (maybe federation ships get better fuel mileage or efficiency from their designs. Klingons, FErengi, and Cardassians were generally more militant than the Federation, so they probably adopted a more practical design.)

In any case, this also assumes the hull in question provides any protection at all. IT's quite possible to argue that in the case of both SW and ST, weapons fire can be powerful enough to render any amount of matter meaningless (except perhaps to limit or degrade damage to an extent, rather than stop it entirely.) Case in point, heavy turbolasers in The Bacta War and Isard's revenge blowing massive holes in and through unshielded ISDs.

Quote:
Also, the angles to fire on a Star Destroyer's aft end are much less than that of a Federation ship. Realistically, unless you're coming in from the rear, you can't hit a Star Destroyer's engines. The Enterprise? If you come from the stern, port, starboard, dorsal or even keel, you can hit the engines. Hell, a shot that misses the underside of the saucer could still realistically hit the nacelle or the pylon. You hit the pylon, you've lost that nacelle and there's no fixing it in the heat of combat.


No but you risk getting hit by the engine wash of a STar Destroyer coming at it from the rear, unless you cripple those thrusters first.
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