Flame on!Robert WalperFlame on!

Robert Walper is actually a very polite guy, and I suppose that means I shouldn't flame him. However, I do warn people quite explicitly that I'm fed up with receiving arguments that are either moronic or already addressed in my site, and he sent both (but of course, he couldn't understand why I was flaming him because he didn't bother reading the admonition on the E-mail page).

But that's not the only reason I flamed him. When it comes down to it, I just can't stand simpletons. By "simpleton" I don't just mean a person who's a little ignorant, or a little slow, or a little stubborn. I mean people whose primary goal in life seems to be taking complicated concepts and oversimplifying them in their own minds until they've been mutilated beyond recognition.

The real world is a complicated place. Anybody off the street may fancy himself knowledgeable about (for example) internal combustion engines, and a lot of people think an automobile engine really isn't that complicated. However, they only think it's simple because they've glossed over most of the gritty details in their minds. Take any one of an engine's numerous parts, such as a connecting rod. Sure, you know what it does, and if you've got a credit card, you can order a good set of 'em. But do you know how to control the effects of porosity and impurity in the metal casting process that was used to make it? Do you know how to make the refractory ceramics that were necessary for that casting process? Do you know anything about the necessary mining and refining techniques? If it was forged, do you know how to design the necessary dies, machines, and controllers? Do you know how to model the deformation of the metal during the forging process, to avoid formation of undesirably brittle microstructures? Do you know how to write finite element analysis algorithms in order to check for stress concentrations and thermal gradients? Do you know how to design and build the computer required to crunch through those algorithms? If it's an alloy, do you know what heat treatment to use afterwards? Do you know how the cooling curve affects the microstructure of the metal? Do you know how the forging process alters it afterwards? If the contact areas are machined to a fine finish, do you know how to fabricate the carbide inserts in the boring tools? How to design the boring mills? No piece of technology in our society stands alone; almost everything you buy, and everything you use, is actually the product of countless different pieces of technology and accumulated inter-disciplinary technical knowledge, working together.

When I run into people who oversimplify the world, it irritates the hell out of me. In so doing, not only do they demonstrate ignorance, but they also insult all of the people who work hard, behind the scenes, keeping the lights burning and the wheels turning. This guy is one of those people. He oversimplifies the hell out of everything, because he's too lazy to think about technological complications, realistic military tactics, etc. Is it wrong to flame someone for being a simpleton and ignoring the warnings on my E-mail page? I suppose you can decide that for yourselves.


(Editor's note: He started off with some nice compliments, of course. But is this evidence that he actually thinks the site is well-done, or is it just a sign of superficial politeness masking an underlying contempt for my work? We'll see, and BTW, as usual, I tried to cut the threads down to size somewhat, but it's still very long. Hopefully, you won't get bored out of your skull by his repetitive arguments, even though I did. You may notice no green paragraphs here, and that's because I didn't respond to his first message. It was just too generic).

By the way, I find your site very interesting. Tons of material to read. Great setup as well. The Empire would be proud! :-)

(Editor's note: When you look at the following argument, it's obvious that his message is superficially polite, but he's basically contemptuous of everything I have to say).

Another question. I just finshed reading your theory on how to handle Federation troops beaming into a Imperial ship when it's shields have failed. This arguement is based on the idea that the Fed's have the capability to bring down your ship's shields, even if numbers have to be in their favor. It's certainly true that overall the Storm Troopers would overwhelm Federation troops who are outnumbered and outgunned.

(Editor's note: As a contingency plan, I once stated that ISD crews should expect boarders everywhere in the event of shield loss. I wasn't trying to say that a disabled ISD could stave off capture indefinitely. That kind of misrepresentation tends to suggest to me that he isn't really reading; he's just looking for things to take out of context and nit-pick).

However, it is canon that phasers can be set on wide beam and take out entire groups of people (this has been shown in a Voyager episode, Janeway stunned her entire bridge crew when some alien form was taking over one person and constantly switching bodies). Storm Troopers with armor might be a different thing regarding stun, but if a phaser is set to vaporize on wide beam (which is without a doubt possible, set the beam to wide, power to vaporize, can't see why not), that could rack up the deaths against the Imperial troops. Just an possible tactic the Fed's could use.

(Editor's note: This kind of argument is answered on my web page in many places, most commonly in my countless rants against the "no math" mentality. Throughout my site, I pound over and over and over on the need to perform calculations and estimate energies. Guys like this oversimplify: they think of technologies in terms of "on/off", ie- "either it works, or it doesn't". They don't think in terms of numbers, ie- "how much energy does it put out, at what range, at what rate, what are its limits, etc.", and they refuse to change their thinking. Notice how he completely ignores the geometry of the situation. Let's say a normal phaser beam is 1 cm wide, and let's compare it to a wide-angle beam with an enclosed angle of 45 degrees at a range of, say, 10 metres. You'll find that the intensity of the wide beam, expressed in W/m², is less than 1.5 millionths of the intensity of the narrow beam! A wide-beam high powered blast might drop to a millionth of its normal intensity and still be able to stun someone, but can it still punch through armour? I find that doubtful, but I didn't want to bother replying, because I usually reply only to intelligent messages or flame attacks).

Now my real attack. You admitted that the Fed's can beam into the ship with its shields crippled. Beaming is a very exceptional advantage for the Fed's. You yourself admitted that. Federatiom sensors are advanced enough to detect your Imperial ship's power source. Beaming Fed troops to place a bomb or destructive device could easily be accomplished, however, troops guarding that area would be a very sane move on your part.

Star Trek Voyager "Dark Frontier" has shown that against an advanced enemy, beaming is exceptionally useful. Voyager was faced with a Borg probe ship which matched it in power. However, Voyager was able to disable it's shields and beamed a torpedo directly near the ship's main power system. The explosion totally destroyed the Borg cube.

I'm assuming your ship's primary power source is enough to blow up your ship if it's containment is breached. Fed torpedos should easily be able to accompilsh this.

If my fleet of Fed ships has your Imperial ship surrounded and without shields, having a couple of ships beam in torpedos is a valid tactic, and would be the smart move if boarding and taking over the ship is a very high improbability.

(Editor's note: This is his "real attack?" Who cares if there's alternate ways of destroying an already crippled ship? In order for this to work, the ship must be disabled; it must be drifting in space, without hyperspace to get away, shields to protect itself, or jammers to interfere with transporters. A ship in that condition is a goner; its crew would already be scuttling the ship and boarding the escape pods. So why invent convoluted tactics for destroying it? In my opinion, guys like this make up these useless tactics to show off the flexibility and presumed "advancement" of Federation technology, without ever asking themselves what use it would be. Ask yourself if the following exchange sounds plausible:

"Captain, their ship is disabled. Shall I hail them, to discuss terms of surrender?"
"No. They're drifting in space. Totally defenseless. Transport a bomb into their engine room and blow it up."

Yeah, that sounds really plausible to me. If a Federation captain truly wanted to destroy a helpless vessel, he would simply shoot it! That's what his ship's weapons are for! This is the problem with some Trekkies; they will invent a "tactic" not to perform a useful task, but simply to show that they can do it!)

Telling troops to disable a torpedo by destroying it seems highly unlikely, since that would most likely just detonate the weapon. Disabling the weapon is extremely unlike since I doubt we're going to give the timer two minutes, or in other words two minute for Imp's to figure it out. More like five seconds.

I'd like your opinion regarding this tactic. It has been used before, so once your Imp's ships shields collapse, it can easily be destroyed.

(Editor's note: as I previously explained, I didn't think this message was worth answering, so I ignored it. But lo and behold, he sent another message).


(Editor's note: Again, he's superficially polite, even though he intends to ignore virtually all of my arguments).

Hey, Mike. How goes it? I hear alot about you on the boards regarding the ST vs SW debate. Sounds like you are quite the reasonable debater. My kind of person.

Just a little info on my viewpoints. I love Star Wars. Superior grahpics(TPM), superior stories, awesome bad guys (Vader, Maul). Just too many goodies. Not perfect mind you. I love Star Trek. Good graphics lately, alot of good stories, but alot of bad stories. Good bad guys as well(Borg, Dominion, etc). Definitely not perfect, far from it. Wish we had someone like you or myself reviewing scripts. Get some consistancy and realism going there.

But in every vs debate, I side with Trek anyday. I think they would win, however, that's not important thing now. Just so you know where I'm coming from.

If you don't mind, I'd like to ask you simple, direct questions from time to time. If you can't answer them do to your time limits, perfectly understandable. I do not take offense easily. I like blunt straight forward facts, and I refuse to deliberately start insulting (I do make witty sarcastic comments here and there though).

(Editor's note: As an aside, when a guy describes himself as "witty", that strikes me as a bit presumptuous. In any case, this is just a preamble to yet another argument which completely ignores the entire concept of my site. I ignored the first message, but for some reason, the sight of a second message incited me to respond).

My one question right now is: Isn't it unfair for your website to declare war on ST with a massive Empire that no longer exists, doesn't exist and especially one you call more intelligent? Even you have to admit you opening statement on your website is total fiction created by you? Surely ST could conquer the remanents and many small divided powers that are left in SW?

This is a joke, right? Even the Corporate Sector Authority dwarfed the Federation in size and scope, with ten thousand star systems under its control. The New Republic is far larger still, and if an Empire were to be reborn, it would be even more deadly. I only use a resurgent Empire because the peace-loving New Republic types would never unilaterally attack the Federation anyway.

Any reply would be very welcome. Thanks for your time.

You obviously don't get the concept of the site. It exists to answer the question of what would happen if the Empire and the Federation fought. You're trying to inject a red herring into that question by saying that the Empire no longer exists as a dangerous military power at some point in the SW timeline.

This is much like answering a question about the 1927 Yankees vs the 1999 Yankees by simply answering that the 1927 Yankees are dead. It's a pointless, trivial, party-pooping sourpuss answer.

(Editor's note: He's basically saying that the premise of my site is invalid. Instead of pitting a full-strength Empire against a full-strength Federation, I should presumably pick a point in the SW story arc and use whatever's there. Interestingly enough, he doesn't notice that I don't take the Federation from a particular point in the ST story arc either. Should I have picked a time before the Dominion War, when Starfleet hadn't undergone its big military buildup? Or afterwards, when its defenses were weakened and its fleets decimated by war? I picked neither, and gave the Federation the best of both worlds: the full mobilization of the war and its starship designs, but none of the crippling losses, damage to important installations, etc. Neither SW or ST in my website are strictly taken from a specific point in either franchise's story arc. But guys like this tend to whine about everything I do which hurts their side, while ignoring the things I do which help their side. Hypocrisy is everywhere; when he envisions the Dominion, he's talking about its full-fledged former self, not the broken husk which is left after losing so many of their ships to the Alliance and the Prophets in the Dominion war. But a full-strength Empire? How unfair!).


If I was joking, I would have indicated that. I hope you're not trying to insult me by implying my attacks are a joke. They aren't deadly serious(god forbid) and they may be refuted, but insulting them doesn't do much, except maybe get a rise out some people, but that is exceptionally hard to do with me. I find it much more effective to keep a cool head, think things through, and find weaknesses in the enemy. I'll assume you didn't mean it insultingly.

Then why did you make reference to small, scattered organizations in the wake of the Empire's fall, when that is blatantly untrue?

(Editor's note: go back to his previous message, and read what he said. He talked about how "surely ST could conquer the remnants and many small divided powers that are left in SW", even though the New Republic already controlled three quarters of the galaxy by the time of "Heir to the Empire". No single power in all of ST controls three quarters of its galaxy, yet he dismisses the New Republic along with every other state in the SW galaxy as "small divided powers").

Brute strength and numbers quite often seem overwhelming, and often conquer weaker foes. However, ingenuity and intelligent tactics came overcome odds that are exceptionally against you (Star Trek is at least not lacking in those). I bring up Grand Admiral Thrawn, surely you know that he was a military genious. He could think very effectively and turn a situation in his favor, even if it seemed impossible from someone elses view. In this case, your site seems to indicate the Empire would have no trouble destroying and conquering the Federation. While you may have thought a great deal about this war, others against you have done the same.

This is your idea of a serious argument? Now I know you're joking. Tactics and luck can overcome numerical disadvantages but only to a point. You cannot arbitrarily extrapolate this phenomenon to posit, for example, Rambo taking out the entire Russian army.

(Editor's note: Actually, the idea of Rambo taking on an entire army was shown in Rambo III. That was one of the reasons the movie sucked).

I understand the concept of the site perfectly. What gets me is you propose many things in your favor, but treat Trek very poorly. First off, intelligence for the Empire. Don't get me wrong, any decent leader (theoritically such as yourself) could no doubt whip some of the stupid morons see in the movies into thinking clearly, but that's not a certainty. There are certainly many examples of Imp stupidity. I'd like to quote one incident that comes to mind.

This is a fallacious argument since it is based on a hasty generalization, assuming that if you find an example of Imperial incompetence, it means that all Imperial officers are brain-dead. By this token, we could find examples of incompetent leaders in any military (and you can find examples in any of the real world's armies throughout history), and assume that their respective armies are mindless across the board.

(Editor's note: I've heard this argument so many times ... all Imps are stupid ... all Imps can't aim ... etc etc etc. In his mind, he probably thought he'd hit upon a great new avenue of attack that had never been seen before. I've only seen it, oh ... about a million times. If he'd read my site, he would know that).

Imp Commander: "No ship that small has a cloaking device." Hence here is a canon statment that seems to indicate that cloaking is not very advanced in the Empire. Star Trek has many examples of even individuals being cloaked, most notably the Dominion's Jem'hadar.

A cloak is measured by its ability to conceal itself from detection with the enemy's sensor technology. A cloak which is invisible to the naked eye might not be invisible to tricorders, a cloak which is invisible to Federation sensors might not be invisible to Jem'hadar sensors, and a cloak which is invisible in ST might not be invisible in SW. Direct size-for-size comparisons are exceedingly simple-minded. Is this one of those "devastating" arguments I'm supposed to be worried about?

(Editor's note: In case any of you didn't understand what I was trying to explain, he tried to "prove" that ST cloaks are more "advanced" because they can be made small enough to fit on a person. I retorted that the small ones don't have the same requirements as the big ones, which in turn don't have the same requirements as SW cloaks. For example, Jem'Hadar can hide from the naked eye but not from a tricorder, while cloaked ships have much higher requirements. SW cloaks go even further, allowing full use of shields and weapons while under cloak. Requirements differ from model to model, so you can't compare sizes. But I was rather brief in my rebuttal, mostly because I was pressed for time. Maybe I should have explained this in more detail, thus avoiding later headache. Oh well).

Even if the Empire does have some heavy tech on it's side, it has some very big weaknesses as well. You claim cloaking can be detected. The commander did not order that, neither did anyone on the command crew suggest it. Either they are all morons or they don't posses the techology. You could say the Imp ship wasn't equiped with a cloak detection device. But if you are having them installed in your full scale attack version here, what is to stop Starfleet from putting cloaks on every vessel they have?

The CGT sensors are explicitly described to be only on their larger vessels and space stations. This is a pitiful false dilemma.

(Editor's note: Notice how he asks "what is to stop Starfleet from putting cloaks on every vessel they have" when he should already know the answer. I guess that in his mind, the Federation has the best of both worlds; they can ignore the Treaty of Algeron and the Romulans will still come rushing to their aid. That's why, when the Dominion attacked them during the Dominion War story arc, they immediately put cloaks on all of their ... oh, wait. That didn't happen).

What about phased cloaks? You arguements against phased cloaks are based on a accident by a Romulan ship that hadn't actually discovered the technology purposely. There could have been many variables why Geordi and Roe could "walk" on the deck and "breath" air. I thought that was stupid. However, you didn't attack the Federation's fully functional phased cloaking device for the U.S.S Pegasus, which obviously had been well researched and most likely wouldn't have the problems an accidental discovery would.

Unsupported claims. You have no evidence whatsoever to claim that one phased cloak will be radically different from the other. The fact that one phase-cloak was accidentally initiated hardly means that its fundamental principles are completely different.

Not to mention they are two differnet races that might approach the phased cloaking tech from different angles. Arguements can go on for hours this way.

Only if you insist on being obtuse. The phase cloak in "The Next Phase" demonstrated all of the outward characteristics of the phase cloak in "Pegasus". Therefore, there is no logical reason to imagine that they are based on completely dissimilar principles.

(Editor's note: Notice how his theory is designed to be unfalsifiable. No matter how many similarities I point out, he can always deny that they mean anything because his theory is based on the notion that they must be different regardless of how many similarities we can find. Unfalsifiable theories are useless).

I don't know if I'm as smart as you, but I know I'm not stupid and I can reason pretty good if I say so myself.

Doesn't look that way from where I'm sitting.

(Editor's note: He says "I can reason pretty good if I say so myself," eh? This statement contributes nothing to his argument, and I don't know about all of you readers, but it strikes me as rather presumptuous of him to compliment his own reasoning abilities. I leave you to make your own jokes about his grammar).

The Falcon attached itself to the hull of the ISD ship, and they Imp's didn't know it was there. This is a direct attack on your statements Imp sensors are very advanced.

(Editor's note: I just knew he was going to use this well-worn Trekkie argument. It goes without saying that I've dealt with it on my website already, but of course, he wouldn't know that because he hasn't read the damned site!)

Yet another agonizingly simple-minded argument, based on yet another false dilemma. You assume that it is impossible for advanced sensor systems to have any blind spots, without even attempting to explain this shredded logic. Sophistication and omniscience are not synonymous terms; if the design parameters of the system never included the ability to scan for things attached to the hull, then even the most sophisticated system wouldn't do it.

In engineering, quality and performance are not measured in terms of absolutes or closeness to omnipotence: they are measured in terms of attainment of design goals.

(Editor's note: This is something a lot of people don't understand. They think that engineering is about constantly trying to increase every performance parameter. Engines must be as powerful as possible, advanced sensors must see everything that can conceivably be seen, etc. But that is not engineering. Engineering is about setting goals and then achieving them for the lowest possible cost, and the least possible complexity. That means you don't design for capabilities you don't need.

That's why modern machine guns have nowhere near as much power or range as their WW1-era precursors; the extra range and firepower are unnecessary and therefore wasteful. If a ship designer doesn't ask for the ability to scan the back of the bridge tower for attached objects, then the system shouldn't have that capability. If it does, then it's either purely accidental or it's wasteful over-design. To put it another way, modern warships can't detect cosmic ray bombardment even though the technology exists to do so; does this make them primitive?)

The movies are canon and from what I've seen you claim, you would tend to agree that the movies are canon, while novels and tech manuals come second. You could claim the engine wash was too close to the Falcon for Imp's to pick up, but then I could argue the wash can't be that bad if the Falcon floated near it unshielded when it finally detached from the ISD.

They weren't scanning their own garbage. So what?

There is no prove as far as I know the Falcon was unshielded, but if the Imp's couldn't pick up the Falcon with shields up, that's another horrendous blow to your advanced sensors theory.

No, it's another horrendous false dilemma fallacy on your part.

(Editor's note: Notice how he's still trying to prove SW sensors are either "advanced" or not, instead of quantifying their capabilities and trying to see how they would or wouldn't be sufficient for combat purposes. More of that unscientific, oversimplified "on/off" mentality).

You have to remember here, you have this vast knowledge and are assuming the Imp's could know as much as you do and can use it as effectively as you. Yet it seems you propose the Fed's don't know a thing about the Empire. In this sense, you are playing God who is on the Empire's side.

This is a strawman fallacy. None of my technical arguments are predicated upon Federation ignorance of Imperial technology. The Federation can know all about what Imperial technology can and cannot do, but they would still lose.

Assuming you pop into the Empire, take control and eduacte them about the Fed's and plan an attack, from your point of view you could win. But you popping in the SW universe and educating the Imp's to me seems much less likely than let's say Q educating the Fed's about the Empire.

It never takes too long for desperate debaters to resort to Q. If you can't win, you can always pray to a higher power, eh? Too bad it's a red herring. The Federation is pitifully weak compared to the Empire; Q has nothing to do with it.

I have an example of a godlike being "helping" the Federation by warning them about a super enemy about to conquer them (the Borg).

And yet, he sat quietly on the sidelines during the entire Dominion War, not to mention all of the parallel universes where he was content to let them suffer all sorts of ignominious defeats. I know you're attempting to justify your red herring, but it's really a waste of time.

You might add that your knowledge would spread more quickly because of super communications on SW's side, but then, if ST's are slower, they also have a much smaller "Empire" to inform, don't they?

It takes weeks for a subspace communication to travel from one end of Federation space to another. Cross-galaxy communiation in SW is so fast that no discernible transmission delay exists at all. The relatively small size of Federation territory is insufficient to compensate for the ridiculous difference in transmission speed.

Besides, this is irrelevant anyway. None of my tech arguments require ignorance on the part of the Federation.

Party pooping? Maybe it was, but I hope our partying is just beggining. I hope you are interested in debating my arguements and have further debates with me. I'm certainly looking forward to them.

I love debating arguments, but I'm hoping you can come up with something better than this drivel. Many of your arguments were already answered on my page, and you were obviously too lazy to bother reading them. This discourtesy on your part can only result in similar discourtesy from me, so I would suggest that you try harder next time.

(Editor's note: Not surprisingly, he will ignore this admonition just as he ignored the one on my E-mail page. And of course, he will say that he doesn't have the time to read my site, so I shouldn't follow my stated policy of flaming people who are too lazy to read my arguments before "refuting" them).


Because every SW fan I know makes references to the New Republic being established and seeking out the "leftovers" so to speak, and trying to eliminate the Empire's remaining forces. This is where Grand Admiral Thrawn came in. Is this untrue? From what books I've also read, this seems to be the case.

Yes, but you were referring to the SW galaxy as a whole, thus implying that the New Republic itself also had no real military to speak of. This is blatantly untrue.

Lies or incompetence? You're attack on my intelligence is not "charitable" by my standards. Exactly where did I lie? When I said the Empire collapsed or when I said you supposedly have made up a new Empire using technologies after the Empire's collapse? Once again, if you claim to be using a new Empire, I feel I have to the right to use a "new" Federation.

And your attempt to alter history doesn't impress me.

(Editor's note: Remember that he claimed that there was nothing left but "small divided powers" after the Empire's fall, even though any one of those powers dwarfs the Federation. When I decry that comment as either lies or incompetence, he tries to change the subject to his beef about how I talk about a full-strength Empire instead of a crippled one. That argument has nothing to do with the fact that his statement about "small divided powers" being easily defeated by the Federation was completely wrong).

Perhaps instead I can talk about the heavily outnumbered Rebels? It seems to me they were "hopelessly" outnumbered and outgunned.

Not in the Battle of Endor. They actually had a numerical advantage over the Empire in that conflict, although they were still outgunned. The advantage wasn't that great. Compared to the Empire as a whole they were still puny, but they never had to defeat the entire Empire. Once Palpatine was gone, the Empire lapsed into civil war and tore itself apart.

I'm talking about a Federation with thousands of ships and numerous technologies, including a quite a few with distinct advantages, ie tranporters, phased cloaking devices, standard cloaking devices, hand phasers which even most SW fans admit is more powerful and versatile then blasters rifles. I'm talking about an entire Federation, not a single person or ship taking out the Empire. The Federation is on the defensive, not offensive. You are invading, and I'm certain you are not commiting every ship you have against the Federation. You still need thousands upon thousands to maintain order in your vast SW Galaxy, which has firmly established is ruled through fear and power. If you use every ship you have, you're leaving your Empire open for Rebellions at every planet that didn't like being threatened by "annihilation" if they didn't conform to your rules.

The entire Federation is nothing compared to the Empire, unless you insist on picking a conflict at a time when the Empire no longer exists as a superpower; much like imagining the 1927 Yankees vs the 1999 Yankees but forcing the 1927 Yankees to be elderly and near-dead.

(Editor's note: By the way, this is not an invitation for people to start debating me on issues of professional sports).

Proves nothing? You say a ship is doomed once its shields are down. Then why did you point out orders to give your troops about expecting Federation troops? If they are hopelessly doomed, why don't they just surrender or blow the ship up themselves?

To prevent capture. The destruction of the ship is more acceptable than its capture. Your arguments aren't getting any better.

(Editor's note: Look at his argument carefully. Nowhere on my site do I instruct fictional Imperial starship captains not to scuttle disabled ships; I thought it was implicit that they would do so in order to avoid capture. But he seems to think that by warning that Federation boarders may appear anywhere, I'm arguing that a disabled Imperial starship can somehow snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. They're just supposed to hold them off long enough to scuttle the ship. What's so hard to understand about this?)

I pointed out destroying the ISD as a last resort if the ship proves impossible to take over. Plus, not to mention, if the Federation were able to surprise a ISD, little time would be required to formulate a plan, such as beaming off the bridge crew and guards posted there. Heck, could plan that before the attack. From my viewpoint, there can't be too many entrances to the bridge, so once Fed's have captured it, they could seal blast doors, and take firm control over the bridge, which would seem likely to have control over most of the ship, perhaps closing other containment and blast doors, effectively seperating groups of Storm Troopers which can be taken out by beamed in squads of Fed's with phasers set to wide beams to take out large numbers. And please don't give me that arguement about "Fed's never done that before, ain't gonna happen". It's easily possible, therefore a valid tactic. As I said, I've had time to prep the Federation for this invasion, as you have had time to prep the Empire for making it.

Most dumb Trekkie ideas involve Federation ships surprising unwary and unwitting ISD's. That's the only way you have a fighting chance, but if that's the only way you can formulate a plan of victory then you're just as doomed as I've always said.

(Editor's note: You may have noticed that I didn't bother arguing the specifics of his idea, such as his assumption that ISD's have blast doors on the bridge even though there are no doors at all, his assumption that the rest of the ship's crew will be helpless, or his assumption that wide-beam phasers will be effective at long range through armour. I guess I just didn't want to bother, so I thought I'd point out to him that all of his ideas require the unusual coup of taking an unshielded ISD by surprise).

I'm not "chest beating", nor am I trying to "scare" you. What made you assume that? Because I said "underestimating the enemy is a bad thing to do and could be devestating"? If someone underestimates an enemy, that is usaully not to their advantage. In this case, I'm saying you have drastically underestimated the Federation. Am I not allowed to have an opinion without being accused of "superior" attitude, or as you put it "chest beating"? I put down my perception and viewpoint. I think your Empire has underestimated the Federation, you disagree. Wouldn't it have been better just to say that instead of accusing me of "chest beating"?

You failed to provide a shred of evidence that I was underestimating the Federation, or you.

There are many examples of Imperial incompetence I could list, but I think you are right. Attacking that point is rather stupid in itself, since we are both going to assume our controlled military is going to posses decent intelligence and not pull stupid behavior seen onscreen for either sci-fi universe.

Yes, a cloak can be measured by it's effectiveness against enemy sensors. But in this case, we both have assumed that the ships can pick eachother up, and both have effective cloaking devices which can fool either side.

Actually, none of my campaign plans require SW cloaking devices. That's the problem, you see; all ST ideas require fancy tricks, technologies which are metastable and may or may not work as planned, etc. Countermeasures may or may not be available. In contrast, all SW plans simply require brute-force warfare for which there are no practical countermeasures.

You mentioned installing cloaking detection equipment on some of your ships. This lead me to believe you assumed ST cloaking can't be detected by normal means. Why are you even arguing this point if your website indicates that ST cloaking would be effective, therefore some cloaking detection will be installed as necessary? Size comparisions ARE a valid tactic, not "simple-minded".

No, you don't get it (as usual, which is typical for simple-minded Trekkies). I will explain it a second time. You claim that ST cloaks are more advanced than SW cloaks because they're smaller. However, you're assuming that the job of an ST cloak is just as difficult as the job of an SW cloak, and I pointed out that this is not necessarily the case. Therefore, a direct size-for-size comparison is definitely simple-minded. And since you didn't get it on the first explanation, you are obviously simple-minded too.

(Editor's note: At this point, my tone becomes quite derogatory, because he's starting to annoy me. What's the point of debating when he simply ignores my rebuttals, and repeats his original argument without alteration?).

For example, let's say that guns nowadays are much bigger than they actually are, say they can't get smaller than rifles. Now comes along an enemy who has hand guns that are much smaller, and easier to carry. Are you saying that who ever is using the hand guns is "simple-minded", even though hand guns are so much easier to use or hide?

Strawman attack, further reinforcing the fact that you were too simple-minded to figure it out without having it spelled out for you in excruciating detail.

To repair your broken analogy, suppose somebody comes along with handguns that are much smaller, but we haven't tested them to see if they have anywhere near the firepower, range or accuracy of the larger guns. Would it be simple-minded to assume that the smaller guns are better? Absolutely.

The Federaion is based on its relations with other races. You can conquer anything if you insist on "zapping" an enemy into some other universe where no other help is available. The Federation depends on the Klingons as a ally, along with Romulan support, and even potentially Dominion now with the treaty. If you are saying the Federation is facing the Empire alone, with no other races getting involved, then yes, you would most likely conquer the Federation with relative easy and swiftness, but because of speed and numbers, not technology. But you've indicated that the Federation is still in the Milky way, with its allies who aren't just going to just stand by while you conquer them.

Don't make me laugh. You're assuming that the Romulans, Klingons and Dominion, all of whom have fought wars with the Federation in the past, will all now ally themselves with the Federation against the Empire? One look at the raw power and ruthlessness of the Empire and they would probably choose the prudent route, which is to ally themselves with the winning side. Besides, their combined forces would still be useless against a full-strength Empire.

This is pitiful for your side as well. You claim cloaking is "easily" detected, but say it would be only installed on very large vessels and battle stations.

Meaning that the advantage of the cloak is nullified. Important strategic targets will always be protected by large vessels and/or battle stations, and the cloak's only use is for sneak attacks, not for defense. Yet again, you need to have things spelled out for you in excruciating detail because you're too simple-minded to figure it out on your own. Pitiful.

If you are planning on sending only SSD's and a Death Star againt the Federation, you would be outnumbered, even if the enemy's ships are much smaller. The Empire has never had more than one Death Star at a time, and many SW fans say there may be alot of command ships, but not that many. Certainly not thousands, maybe a hundred or so.

Don't be ridiculous. The number of weapons on a single Death Star, even if you exclude its superlaser, vastly outstrips the total number of weapons in the combined Federation, Romulan, Klingon, and Dominion fleets.

Sending ISD's and they would be very vunerable to surprise attacks by cloaked fleets, not mention their sensors really don't seem to do much.

More pitiful arguments. A surprise attack can only be conducted against an enemy whose location you know in advance. A moving fleet will not be such a target, especially when it moves so quickly that it can outrun subspace radio.

(Editor's note: Again, notice how I'm actually going easy on him by not pointing out the stupidity of his "cloaked fleets" idea. Is the Federation supposed to deploy cloaks in violation of the Treaty of Algeron while simultaneously begging the Romulans to join them? Are they supposed to be able to design, build and install all of these cloaking devices during the sort of blitzkrieg war that hyperdrive allows, especially since many complex parts can't be replicated? Are they supposed to trust their cloaks when they only have one prototype whose blueprints have been lost, which might very well have been destroyed at the bequest of the Romulans, and which fatally mis-fired in its only long-term operational use, aboard the Pegasus? I went easy on him out of laziness more than anything else; I just thought his arguments were too pathetic to take seriously).

Again, you are calling my arguement "pitiful", more insulting. If you are unable to debate without the use of insults, why am I bothering? I was under the impression you never resorted to it unless others started it.

And I carefully explained that people who don't bother to read my site before sending their E-mail will get flamed. If you can't read, that's your problem, not mine.

"The Next Phase" was about Romulans who were working on experimenting with phased cloaking. No evidence was apparent that they had succeeded in the least, but they were obviously making progress. Only an accident(I stress this word) allowed the science to accidently do what it was supposed to do, and it's silly to think that an accident would make the phased cloak work "perfectly", hence the ability to not fall through a floor, still able to use unphased air, affected by gravity, etc. "Pegasus" was ship with a fully functional phased cloaking device. Any person could easily say that a functioning prototype would not have the same "bugs" as a another incident where a similiar effect was caused by an accident. You automatically are assuming an accident would have exactly the same properties as a intentional and fully functioning cloak just because of "outside" appearances. I strongly disagree.

You strongly disagree with lots of things, including simple logic, it seems. You are assuming that anything which strikes you as strange about the phase cloak must be a "bug", and an example of improper functioning on the part of the phase-cloak in "The Next Phase". There is no evidence whatsoever for this assertion. It had all of the outward characteristics of the phase cloak in "Pegasus", and you have still utterly failed to explain that fact away. All you can do is throw up totally unsupported suppositions about how everything you didn't like about the phase cloak in "The Next Phase" must have been a bug, and would have been "fixed" with a better cloak.

Hmm. Here I was admitting I'm not sure weather I'm up to debating you, because you have been made out to be smart, and you outright insult me by giving the impession that I don't look bright from your point of view. I pointed out in my first e-mail that it is exceptionally difficult to get me bothered by insults, which it is. But that doesn't mean I'm going to continue a debate with someone who hands them out every second arguement.

So? I don't much like dealing with people who feed me the same repetitive arguments I've heard (and refuted) for years, either. If you're too lazy to read my site before mailing, I'm not going to bother concealing my irritation.

I did not say that a sensor system has to be perfect to be effective. My only point here is this: You claim Imperials have super advanced sensors. Maybe they do, but if so, they don't scan behind them even with a valid reason.

Behind them"? They can scan behind themselves; just not in that one particular spot.

Since you seem to think that their sensors are designed without the ability to notice something on their hull, then ST ships are going to have alot of fun placing mines on the hull of your ISD's.

(Editor's note: I suspect another reason I'm getting harsh on this guy is the fact that his arguments are so, well ... dumb. I have little patience for morons).

Their sensors have a blind spot, which is only to be expected with such an irregular hull shape. How does that mean that a ST ship can approach undetected and plant a mine without anyone noticing? And what's the point, since a torpedo would be a much safer way of delivering explosives to a ship?

During a confrontation with some Cardassian ships hidden in a nebula, he had the Entperise launch magnetic anti-matter mines that attached themselves to the hull of the Cardassian ships. He then threatened the ships with destruction if they did not leave the area. This same tactic could easily be used aganist your ISDs or even SSDs.

You complain that I call you a simpleton, yet you insist on proving that you are a simpleton. In "Chain of Command", the Cardie fleet was completely sensor-blind while hiding in that nebula. That situation won't occur in open space.

If they can't detect foreign objects on their hull and they ignore anything that just "disappears" off their sensors, I guess placing mines on their hulls will be very easy.

Another moronic hasty generalization. The fact that Han Solo was able to sneak into their blind spot and clamp himself onto the hull does not mean that anything and everything which touches the hull is invisible to Imperial sensors. A modern missile cruiser wouldn't detect an object clamped to its hull either; does that mean you can sneak up in a boat and stick a mine on it without anyone noticing?

In the TNG officer-exchange episode (where Riker went onto a BOP), we saw that the BOP couldn't detect a gaping hole in its own hull, either. Does that mean you can drill your way into a BOP without anyone noticing?

And your second point, about being unable to detect things which disappear off their sensors, is just plain idiotic. By definition, you can't possibly detect something which has disappeared off your sensors, regardless of what type of sensors they are.

In which case, it seems their design goals are to track targets out in the open that don't deploy cloaks or use space debris or garbage as cover.

Yet another idiotic argument. You must decide to scan something no matter how advanced your sensor technologies are. As for cloaks, that is no different from any other type of countermeasure; it's a war between offense and defense. That is a red herring here, since it has nothing to do with design goals and hull surface scanning whatsoever.

"They weren't scanning their own garbage. So what?"

Again, either a blind spot or they can't tell the difference between a ship and garbage floating in space.

Simple-minded false dilemma. They weren't scanning it. That doesn't mean it was in their blind spot or their sensors were incapable of identifying it. I don't inspect my own garbage for rats either; does that mean I'm incapable of detecting the difference between a rat and a piece of food, or that my garbage can is in a blind spot when it sits at the bottom of my driveway?

So I guess a bunch of Defiant class ships decloaking in floating garbage have no fear of detection, and can attack an ISD before it goes to hyperdrive.

As usual, all of your arguments are predicated upon ST ships being in the perfect place at the perfect time, with every trick working as planned (cloaks in this case, with the ship sitting right behind an ISD). Can't you see how silly it is to have such metastable conditions for Federation ship to ship victory, and how such conditions merely prove MY argument, that the war as a whole would easily go to the Imperial side?

How is a Defiant-class ship (and I notice you assume that all Defiant-class ships have cloaks, which is yet another blatant falsehood) supposed to put itself in that position, against ISD's which are using hyperdrive to go from target system to target system so quickly that they can't even track them or send warning messages in time?

Look, there's only so many ways you can look at it. They either have a blind spot aft of their ships, can't tell the difference between garbage and a ship floating is space, or their sensors just aren't that advanced. Take your pick.

No, you have created a false dilemma as I pointed out earlier. They weren't scanning their own garbage. An oversight, yes. A technological limitation, no. Boba Fett wasn't guilty of that oversight.

"It never takes too long for desperate debaters to resort to Q ...."

Interesting. You totally erased the part where I mentioned bringing in Q is unrealistic, and that the Fed's should instead have a chance by having a source of information such as myself ...

Blatant falsehood. Unlike you, I am not totally dependent on strawman fallacies for my argument. You said "popping in the SW universe and educating the Imp's to me seems much less likely than let's say Q educating the Fed's about the Empire.".

The Feds would have to find out about Imperial technology some way, and I have no doubt that they would be able to do it somehow. In my fanfic, this is what happens: both sides are made aware of each other beforehand.

Moreover, this entire line of questioning is based on the same strawman attack that I decried before: you are claiming that my site is predicated upon Federation ignorance and Imperial omniscience, which is totally untrue. The Federation has no effective countemeasures against Imperial technology, therefore they would lose regardless of how much they know.

He sat quietly while the Federation engaged the Borg as well. All he did was warn them. And that's beside the point. All I said is it would be considered far more likely that Q would warn the Federation about the Empire, rather than a fan of SW preping the Empire for an invasion against the Feds.

What a pathetic strawman attack. No one ever said that I, as some sort of godlike being, would educate the SW side about the Federation. The site itself makes reference to ferreting out this information the old fashioned way, not getting it from a higher power.

"It takes weeks for a subspace communication to travel from one end of Federation space to another."

Any evidence of this?

The Encyclopedia and the TM, both of which describe 200,000c subspace signal propagation. Do the math.

As for the show, there was an episode of DS9 to consider. Kassidy Yates wanted to travel to a distant colony (in the episode where Quark's mother is being investigated for illegally generating profit), and we heard the following exchange:

Sisko: "That's on the other side of the Federation."
Yates: "It's so far away it takes two weeks for a subspace signal to get here."

In "Balance of Terror", we heard Uhura explain that it would take at least three hours to get a response from Starfleet HQ by subspace. That's two official sources and two canon sources. And there are undoubtedly more, if you look. So don't waste my time with this nonsense about subspace transmissions being instantaneous.

Tons of episodes show the Enterprise contacting HQ no matter where they are.

Wrong. They show the Enterprise contacting HQ in realtime when they are close by. They are rarely far enough away to make realtime communications a problem, and when they are, they don't communicate with realtime video. They send messages. Look at the Fed map in the various official sources. Earth is quite close to their borders with the Romulans, Klingons, and Cardassians. The ass-end of Federation territory stretches away from that junction.

If you are going by tech numbers or something, onscreen canon overrules that. If you are able to confirm with onscreen evidence, then please do so. It definitely sounds likely ST communications are slower than SW, but 22 lightyears? Where did you get this figure?

Obviously, you don't have a copy of the TM.

Your tech arguements might not depend on ignorance for the Federation, but your invasion and victory does.

Wrong. Name one aspect of my campaign plan which is dependent upon Federation ignorance of Imperial technology. They don't HAVE Imperial technology, but they can know all about it and it won't matter.

I love debating arguements as well, however, being told my arguement are pitiful, stupid, and not well thought out is annoying to say the least.

Almost as annoying as strawman attacks and repetitions of arguments which I've dealt with a hundred times before and for which my website was specifically written. I wrote the site so I wouldn't have to deal with the same moronic arguments over and over; do you think I'll be overjoyed at hearing them again from people like you, who are too lazy to read?

Not memorizing your entire website is hardly a crime, and can't be considered lazy, since I have been making an effort to see your point of view and read you site.

Since some of your central arguments are predicated upon strawman attacks, I find this hard to believe.

Most of your arguements are effective and sound like a victory, but you fail to make any adapting tactics for the Federation, which they would.

That's because every single one of your tricks is based on a Federation ship and an Imperial ship, duking it out mano a mano for no particular reason other than a show of machismo, usually with some sort of pre-existing condition that is highly favourable for the Federation ship (ie- the Imperial ship's shields are already down, or the Federation ship's cloak is 100% effective and it happens to be in the perfect spot, etc).

Wars aren't fought that way. I have stressed repeatedly on my site that wars are fought over strategic targets, not individual battles between soldiers or ships. The ability to hit and/or defend strategic targets defines your ability to win wars, not the ability of a lone ship to defeat another lone ship under idealized conditions.

It is hardly a secret that the average American GI is no super-soldier. Many of the world's armies, by virtue of being so much smaller, train their troops more highly than the Americans do, since the Americans have strength of numbers, superior firepower, and elite special forces when an extra element of skill is required. But if an individual British soldier could defeat an individual American soldier in combat, that doesn't mean Britain would defeat America in a full-scale conventional war.

That's one of my central points; even if we accept all of the silly ST arguments about special advantages and idealized pre-existing combat conditions, the Federation still loses the war. Get it now? Or should I spell it out for you again?

For instance the ISD's shields going down, first you say they can stop any attempt to take over the ship, but then say it is doomed anyway, so why bother even informing your crew about transporters? Just destroy the ship or surrender. And as I pointed out with another approach, it could very well be possible for the Fed's to capture an ISD.

I shall continue to enjoy your website and arguements listed, but I'm not particularily interested in debating if you are planning to continue with the insults and saying my arguements are pitiful. If you are unwilling to debate because you think my arguemets are not worth your time, so be it. No hard feelings.

I don't resent you personally; I'm just doing exactly what I said I would do.

Strawman attacks such as yours, and arguments which have already been refuted in my site, will be rewarded with flame. This can't possibly be a shock, unless you add my E-mail page to the list of things which you didn't bother reading in my site.


My attempt to alter history? Perhaps some of my knowledge regarding the SW universe isn't totally accurate, but I haven't been intentionally trying to "alter" historical facts here. If you can give me an example of this, I'll apologize for it.

You're not attempting to alter the history of SW and ST too much; you're attempting to rewrite your own arguments, pretending that you never made the weakest ones.

"Not in the Battle of Endor."

That battle didn't matter, they were outnumbered overall. It's a fact. This is another bad tactic by the Empire. A very important battle for the Empire, and they let the Rebels outnumber them.

That was arrogance on the part of the Emperor himself. Everyone makes mistakes. You're assuming it's an endemic to the Imperial military. Provide a shred of evidence.

In that case, the Federation should win with ease. Kill the Emperor, and the entire enemy will break itself up and engage in civil wars.

Yet another simple-minded argument. There is no evidence whatsoever that the Federation could kill the Emperor before losing everything and surrendering.

(Editor's note: How would they even reach the Emperor, or anything else of value? When one side has a huge speed and range advantage over the other, why would they locate all of their sensitive facilities, government officials, and valuable targets within the other side's reach? In real life, one of the basic tactics of ground combat is to keep command centres out of enemy range, and/or mobile. You don't bring your most valuable targets right up to the front lines if you can help it).

Definitely not an arguement of stability for the Empire. And the Emperor is not invincible. If he wants to hide on his Death Star, the Fed's can send in one ship with a phased cloaking device to reach the center of the station, uncloak, and destroy the main reactor. The ship should have enough time to recloak and escape. If not, it might be a sucide mission, but only one ship to stop a massive conflict. Hardly a difficult decision for the Federation. I'm sure there'd be quite a few crews willing to take the risk. Heck, an inexperienced crew was sent on a Defiant class ship to take out a Dominion battleship in one DS9 episode.

Are you really this dense? What makes you think the Death Star will plop itself into Federation space, nice and close so the Feds can reach it with their slow-as-molasses warp drive, and then just sit there so Fed ships can try all of their tricks on it?

No I don't. The only thing I don't like hearing from SW fans is using the Empire's PREVIOUS might with technologies that came AFTER the Empire's fall. That's stupid and unfair, that's like saying the Federation can pick it's strongest point, but use technologies like the Enterprise's super beam weapon from "All Good Things" or the 29th century ship from a Voyager vessel. Using Thrawn's cloaking mine fields and such are AFTER the Empire's fall. A great deal of SW fans argue all this "awesome" technolgy, but just don't get it that the Empire no longer exists when the technology is created or discovered. You can't have the might of the Empire AND the advanced technology from AFTER it's fall.

Utter nonsense. What you obviously don't understand is that there is no technological advancement any more in SW. It isn't like Star Trek. Technology is static in SW, the result of such a long period of development that new equipment is merely a matter of political will, not technological advancement.

Post-ROTJ technologies and pre-ROTJ technologies are not differentiated by any level of advancement. They are all part of the same standard of galactic technology which has essentially been unchanging for thousands of years. George Lucas tried to make everyone understand this in TPM, which portrayed technology at least as advanced as anything in the original trilogy in spite of being set decades earlier. Most people get it now. Obviously, you don't.

In my earlier E-mail, I gave examples why I think capturing an ISD is possible. Not easy, but not impossible either. With any sane forethought and knowledge, an ISD could be taken over by the Fed's in my opinion.

Utterly ridiculous. All of your plans require that the ISD is in a near-dead state before the capture is attempted: no shields, no sensor jammers, and no hyperdrive to get away. And even with all that, you still need to assume ST-style centralized control with no remote overrides for your capture scheme to work, because assault troops would be vastly outnumbered.

If I can say, it was YOUR arguement was about an ISD's shields going down and the Stormies being prepared for assualt troops and such.

I said that in the unlikely event of a shield failure, it would be prudent to put stormies on alert for assault troops throughout the ship. That's all I said, and you have failed to show anything wrong with it.

Calling Trekkies dumb is uncalled for. I simply put forward different arguements about a situation YOU created.

Wrong. The description of prudent emergency measures for unlikely contingencies is not the same as a prediction that those contingencies will happen regularly.

Fancy tricks, plans and tactics are what are going to make the Empire's conquest an extremely difficult, if even possible one.

No, you don't get it. Fancy tricks mean that they don't have the raw power to make it a good fight, so they've got to try "Hail Mary" passes. Your argument is much like saying that a football team is more dangerous when they're down by 21 points, because they'll be throwing a lot of risky long bombs.

But it is absurd to think all the Empire's plans are going to work perfectly.

No, it is absurd to think that plans which require little or no trickery won't have a far higher success percentage than plans which depend entirely on trickery.

Perfect example being Vader's quote: "The Rebels have been alerted to our presence. Adirmal (name here) came out of light speed to close to the system." Perfect example of plans not working perfectly.

Perfect example of you still not getting the point. The plan didn't have to work perfectly! When you have Rube Goldbergian plans in which everything must be perfectly, you are bound to fail.

But when you have robust plans in which things can go wrong without scuttling the whole enterprise, then you stand a good chance of winning. The Empire won the Battle of Hoth despite Ozzel's mistake. 17 ships were destroyed, the Rebel base was flattened, and only a handful of ships got away. Why? Because their victory was not dependent on a perfectly executed plan.

That's the difference between your schemes and mine. Yours require that everything work perfectly, and that every unknown technological interaction goes your way. Mine don't.

"no practical countermeasures" is negative thinking in a wartime scenario. While brute force can be a very effective warfare way of thinking, it is not the only way to win wars.

No, but if you lack sufficient force, you are guaranteed to LOSE a war.

Just ask the US. IF they think brute force can solve any conflict or problem, why do they bother with "special forces".

For special missions. But full-scale wars did not hinge upon the efforts of special forces. You obviously know very little about real history. Do you think WW2 was won by small special forces teams, perfectly executing complicated plans? It was won by huge numbers of soldiers and war machines, executing battle plans that had a lot of redundancy built into them so that a lot of things could go wrong and they would still win.

Do you think D-Day went perfectly? Guess again. Do you think the Battle of Guadalcanal went perfectly? Guess again. Do you think the Battle of the Bulge ran like a swiss watch? Guess again. Plans almost never work perfectly. If you plan your campaign so that everything must go right, then you are almost guaranteed to fail.

Your side is based upon an Empire that is very impressive and strong yet collapses when it loses its single leader. If the Federation can throw the Empire into chaos by killing it's leader, you can bet you ass they will try, and probably with success considering they have a great deal of what you call "fancy tricks and tactics".

Wrong. I never agreed that the Federation has all sorts of fancy tricks; I argued that all of your ideas depend on fancy tricks. And you have failed to provide a convincing explanation of how the Federation could have a hope in hell of getting a ship within a hundred light years of the Emperor, never mind actually assassinating him. Or have you forgotten how large Imperial territory is, and how slow Federation ships are?

But you have assumed that ST cloaks cannot be detected without cloak detection equipment used on necessary installations, ships, etc. Otherwise, why install them. Size does matter. ST can cloak much smaller objects and has cloaking in far greater quantity than the Empire.

Obviously you can't read English. I will explain it for a third time. Since cloaking is an "offense vs defense" situation against sensors, the difficulty of cloaking is dependent upon the effectiveness of sensors. Therefore, there is no reason to believe that a cloak from one universe is equivalent to a cloak from another universe. Therefore, direct size for size comparisons are meaningless.

(Editor's note: If I had more time, I would love to update my haphazardly written site commentary on cloaking devices. For now, I will just point out that a cloak cannot possibly avoid energy emissions entirely, because it would violate the laws of thermodynamics. A cloaked ship must be at thermal equilibrium with the universe, or it will rapidly heat itself up. This means that it must emit precisely as much energy as it receives, in addition to whatever waste heat it is generating due to internal processes. If it's invisible to the naked eye, this merely means that it re-radiates incident light as some other form of energy, which should be detectable with the right sensors. In ST6, we found that TOS-era BOP's dumped this energy in the form of an energetic plasma trail. Cloaks in the ST universe must therefore be a race between clever energy dumping techniques and ways of detecting them. In the case of Jem'Hadar foot soldiers, the waste heat must be emitted as infrared radiation or something else that is easily detectable, since Garak and Nog were able to pick them up on their tricorders).

Handguns don't need to be super powerful to kill a person, range and accuracy can be overcome with the fact that hand guns are much easier to handle, hide, etc. While rifles can kill as great range and have more power, handguns can be used very effectively as well. It depends on the situation.

Precisely. It all depends on the situation. Something you're completely ignoring when you claim that there is some sort of universal standard for effective or ineffective cloaking, hence your belief that size-for-size comparisons can be performed.

Do you even watch Trek? I didn't see them ally themselves with the Dominion, which was PLAINLY seen and DESCRIBED as more powerful than either the Federation, Klingons or Romulans alone.

Yes, I watch Star Trek, but obviously, you don't. The Romulans did ally themselves with the Dominion. They broke their alliance when the Dominion was framed for the murder of a Romulan senator and made to look as if they were planning to attack Romulus.

One look at the raw power and ruthlessness of the Dominion didn't change anything.

Yes it did. The Romulans signed a non-aggression pact with the Dominion, allowing them free use of their space to attack Federation and Klingon ships. For a Trekkie, your ignorance of the Dominion story arc is astounding.

Not to mention ST ships are much more manueverable than slow ISD's and really slow SSD. Romulan Warbirds are very cose to the size of ISD, yet ISD's are very slow compared to maneuvers a Romulan Warbird has been seen to do. Watch some more Star Trek, and you'll see just how hard the Empire is going to have it against the ST ships.

Nonsense. Watch "Tears of the Prophets" or "Sacrifice of Angels" and you will see that combat maneuvers of the big capships in ST are basically straight-line cruising maneuvers, with very little in the way of direction changes. When they need maneuverability, they go with their smaller ships.

In fact, combat tactics in the major fleet battles of Star Trek are more like battle between "ships of the line" than battles between fighter planes. The big capships arrange themselves into "battle lines" and pound away at one another, trying to punch holes in the enemy's formation.

Not to mention ISD's accuracy is really not something to be proud of.

Provide evidence.

Don't give any "jamming" theories either, you can't tell me that the Falcon was "jamming" the ISD Avenger and TIE fighters chasing her, and they still missed most of the time.

They missed a tiny 40 metre wide ship which was juking heavily. Compare this to ST where a BOP repeatedly misses a 600 metre long ship which is flying in a straight line (Generations), DS9 misses a Klingon heavy carrier which is flying in a straight line ("Way of the Warrior"), the Defiant repeatedly misses the 500 metre long USS Lakota ("Paradise Lost") which is flying in what appears to be a straight line, a Dominion battleship repeatedly misses the 130 metre long USS Valiant ("Valiant"), and a mirror-universe Klingon battle cruiser repeatedly misses the 130 metre long Defiant ("Shattered Mirror"). Yes, one side has lousy accuracy. But it's Star Trek, not Star Wars.

I think it's ridiculas to think strategic targets are going to be invincible against uncloaked ships. Cloaking is not a necessary tactic required to destroy strategic targets. I'm simply saying cloaking is going to be a very good edge the Federatiom is going to have.

You have utterly failed to provide an example of a plausible combat situation in which it will be useful. Technology is only useful if you can accomplish something with it. If you can't, and you can only whinny uselessly about how it's "advanced", then you've got nothing.

That would be an interesting day. No way you could ever convince me of that. Excluding the super laser from the Death Star, and I think it's combined weapon power would still be impressive, but pitiful compared to just the Federation alone, not to mention the Klingons, Romulans or Dominion. Again, a vast underestimation of firepower for those particular Empires.

I haven't underesimated those states, but I have apparently overestimated your intelligence. Do the math, kid. The Death Star has millions of surface turrets at a minimum, based on the turret spacing in the films and its sheer surface area (more than 80,000 square kilometres for DS1 and more than 2.5 million square kilometres for DS2). I reiterate: its armament vastly outstrips the combined firepower of the Klingons, Romulans, Federation, and Dominion combined, even without the superlaser.

So far, the only advantage the Empire has is Hyperdrive and numbers. Without Hyperdrive, the Empire in my opinion would be easily held back by the Federation and it's allies.

So? This is like saying that without warp drive, the Federation would be unable to accomplish anything.

Hyperdrive is the only reason I think the Empire even has a chance of conquering the Federation. It's numbers are impressive, but most of them are required for maintaining its very unstable Empire. It may be able to spare thousands and thousands of ships, but they aren't going to massively outnumber the Federation and it's allies.

One Death Star could singlehandedly defeat the Federation and its allies (if it has any). A few dozen Star Destroyers would do the job. Don't you get it? There are no "front lines" when the enemy can attack targets deep within your territory at will. There is no way to confront the enemy when he can move about at will, and at superior speed. Superior speed gives you the ability to fight only when and where it is to your advantage.

You can't lose when you have vastly superior speed, because you can pick and choose your fights. That's why pilots like to say that "speed kills" in the real world, which you're apparently not too familiar with.

Actually I have excellent reading and comprehension skills.

Self-proclaimed skills which you have failed to demonstrate in our argument.

(Editor's note: He continues to compliment himself, this time on his reading and comprehension skills. Does this rub anyone else the wrong way? Most people might say "I like to think I have good reading comprehension", or "I try my best to be ..." etc., rather than stating their self-proclaimed skills as a fact. It really has nothing to do with any points he's trying to make, but I can't understand what he's trying to accomplish with this kind of statement).

"Logic is the beginning of wisedom, not the end." On the contrary, logic is a strong tendency of mine. Just because my logic may conflict with yours, does not make it any less.

More self-proclamations of expertise, now claiming that you have strong logic. Again, you have failed to demonstrate this imaginary skill. You make weak points which are already refuted in my site, you ignore direct rebuttals via E-mail, you make claims without a shred of evidence, and now you claim to be "strong" in logic. I guess we can add self-delusion to your list of skills.

Would you rather I argue that realistically, those two should have suffocated, and floated away from the ship as the Enteprise moved and the episode was totally wrong?

Suspension of disbelief means that you can't do that. The episode was not wrong; you were wrong.

(Editor's note: In case you're feeling lost, he's talking about Geordi Laforge and Ro Laren in "The Next Phase").

Writer's error and script inconsistancies can only be "nullified" by so much technobabble before it's just impossible to excuse. The matter in a phased state is "supposedly" unaffected by normal matter.

Wrong. We saw that it was affected by normal matter.

(Editor's note: Notice how he completely fails to understand the "suspension of disbelief" concept. He knows how the cloak "should" behave, and in his mind, that overrides the way it did behave on the show).

You say that both cloaks have to be the same because of outwards effects.

Strawman attack. I say that they are most likely the same, because there are no observed differences in their outward characteristics. It is not a guarantee, but any other explanation is unsupportable without evidence. You have no evidence.

This is just as uncreditable as my arguements, except I can say that the first cloak was an accident, therefore the possibility of "bugs" is certainly not out of the question, and seems quite likely.

Again, you are repeating your assertion without a shred of evidence, and you are ignoring my rebuttal. You cannot argue that everything you hated about "The Next Phase" must have been a bug. The fact that it was an accident does not change the fact that "The Next Phase" showed that phase-cloaked matter (regardless of how it got that way) does interact with normal matter.

(Editor's note: he also doesn't realize that the Pegasus cloak had a "phasing rate" which was stated to be sufficient for passing through rock. The existence of a "rate" obviously suggests that a phase cloak is not a simple "on/off" proposition, and more importantly, it suggests that different phasing rates may be required for different situations. We don't know if a phase cloaked ship can pass through heavy metals, or high energy environments, or shields, yet he assumes all of the above without hesitation, along with his assumption that the Federation will be able to rapidly design and build and deploy them throughout their fleet before falling).

Romulan warp and Federation warp seem outwardly very similiar. As a matter of fact, I cannot see any differences. But Romulans use a "quantum singarility" to power their engines, while the Federation uses "anti-matter/matter".

This analogy only proves your desperation and incompetence. Romulan and Federation warp drive seems outwardly identical, and it is functionally identical. Power generation is a red herring.

Seems like a perfect example to me on how two systems are practically identical yet have different methods of achieving the same effect, and one having a particular vunerability while the other doesn't.

Actually, it seems like a perfect example of a red herring. And you claimed that logic was one of your "strong" suits.

That's a pretty pathetic excuse. The hull being an irregular shape? So what?

Obviously, you have no concept whatsoever of how sensors work. They transmit energy and receive reflections. Objects in the way will interfere. A highly irregular shape will put things in the way, at least in the immediate vicinity of the ship.

So is the Enterprise's, and I'll tell you one thing, a shuttle craft attaching itself on the Enterprise's hull anywhere is going to be noticed.

The Enterprise hull is nowhere NEAR as irregular as the bridge tower of a Star Destroyer. One is smooth and rounded, while the other is blocky. Most people can see that quite easily. I suggest you go to your local optometrist for a checkup, since you're apparently blind.

Perfect example being the Enterprise had a alien lifeform attach itself to the hull. They detected it no problem, they could even put it on it's main viewer. The alien was attached to the Enterprise's "neck" section.

That alien lifeform was half the size of the Enterprise! Do you think that a half-mile long slug could attach itself to a Star Destroyer without being noticed?

The same way Han Solo can attach to the ISD's hull without anyone noticing. Mines sure aren't going to have to be as big as the Falcon.

Don't be ridiculous. An approaching minelayer would be shot at, just like Han Solo was shot at. And they wouldn't be using low-powered shots in an attempt to disable them for capture, either. They would be out to obliterate them.

Mines can be used in operations where you do not want the enemy to be aware of your attack. Firing torpedoes seems a little more "noticeable" then placing mines on a sensor "blind" spot on an ISD.

I honestly can't believe that a functional human being would be this dense. How are you going to get into the blind spot in the first place? Solo made a suicidal run toward the bridge tower, being fired upon all the time, and through dint of sheer luck and the fact that they wanted him alive, managed to survive long enough to reach the blind spot. How is a Federation ship supposed to pull this off? Just waltz up to them and say "don't shoot, we're just flying toward you so we can make our way into your blind spot?"

I'm a simpleton? I'm arguing placing mines on an ISD is possible because they have a nasty blind spot that can't detect a whole ship they were aware of in the first place. This is fact from the movie.

But it is interpreted in an almost mindless manner, in which you assume that enemy ships can approach undetected. The existence of a sensor blind spot immediately behind the bridge tower does not mean that an entire quadrant behind the ship is unscanned! You made this argument before, and I refuted it. Now, you simply repackage it in a different form.

Again, you're just making SW look even worse here. You're saying that our ships from today's present would be very difficult to place mines onto (which I totally agree with). They do not have sensors, or camera's everywhere on the hull. But I agree that it would be very difficult to place mines on a hull of a modern battleship. They pay attention to anything slightly unusual. A ISD with sensors that should be beyond a modern battleship's can't detect a large vessel stuck to their hull, not to mention when the ship just "disappears", they are suspicous, but not terribly bright as to where it possibly could have gone.

Because they knew the Falcon was attempting to run from them. They made a mistake and didn't consider the fact that it might have chosen to be as close to them as possible. Human error does not translate to technological weakness, no matter how much a simpleton like you may wish to make it so. And BTW, the Falcon is hardly a "large" ship.

(Editor's note: notice his poor reading comprehension. In my previous post, I argued that a battleship has no equipment for detecting objects attached to its hull. He somehow interprets that as "it would be very difficult to place mines on the hull of a modern battleship.")

Ummm, I wouldn't be surprised if you could drill hole in a BOP. You should know a little more about Trek before making this ridiculasly funny attack.

Actually, I must know a lot more about Trek than you do, since you didn't even know about how the Romulans sided with the Dominion.

As any Trekker knows, Klingon's aren't exactly known for non-military oriented science. The Federation has extremely advanced sensors, while in comparison the Klingons are only interested sensors good enough to give them a target to shoot.

And yet, the Klingons can easily hold their own against Federation or Romulan ships, so they're getting the job done, aren't they? You don't get it, do you? The only thing a warship needs is the ability to acquire a target and shoot at it! Who the hell cares if they're capable of scientific studies?

I can't beleive you are comparing a tiny little scout ship built by a warrior race to advanced Starfleet ships dedicated to exploration the Galaxy.

And I can't believe you didn't notice that those Klingon ships can kick ass even though they don't have Federation-style science-lab sensors. You're being incredibly narrow-minded by evaluating everything on the basis of whether it's just like the Federation, assuming that anything else must be inferior. You're not just doing it to SW; you're actually doing it to other ST superpowers, such as the Klingons!

The sensors on an ISD suck and make ST sensors look like guns compared to wooden clubs. When something disappears off sensors in Trek, it's because the ship or whatever is out of range.

Or over a planet's magnetic pole, or using sensor-absorbent material in its hull, or in a nebula ...

(Editor's note: see the Canon Database for more examples).

A Federation ship can detect an intruder beaming into their ship.

Not necessarily. There have been many episodes in which people have beamed on and off Federation ships and starbases without anyone noticing. For example, Sloane was able to beam Bashir off DS9 for his inquisition. Roga Danar's departure from the Enterprise was only detected because someone noticed the transporter in use. There are lots of other examples.

There are many examples of ST sensors being advanced, while few examples of SW sensors at all, which makes them look primitive.

You are trying to stratify technology into "advanced" or "primitive", which are meaningless technology caste distinctions. The question is not whether they are "advanced" or "primitive" according to some sort of abstract universal standard in your addled mind. The question is whether they are capable of getting the job done.

You will accomplish nothing unless you can show that it won't get the job done, and you won't be able to do that. SW sensors will easily detect Federation starships in combat situations, and they will easily be able to target them. Show me a shred of evidence to refute this fact, instead of your inane bleating about all Federation ships suddenly having cloaking devices.

So you have to DECIDE to scan a planet before knowing it is there? You should have your sensors turned on to alert you of anything new or unusual, which obviously the ISD's don't.

Wrong. You should have your sensors set up to detect and track any incoming hostiles or potential hostiles, which is the only thing a sensor system is supposed to do. They are not supposed to pick up anything and everything which is "new or unusual". These ships aren't on research missions, and you still insist on evaluating everything based on whether it does things the Federation way, not whether it will get the job done.

As for the Falcon, they did pick it up; they just lost it when it went into the blind spot, and they made a human mistake, in making erroneous assumptions about what its captain was planning to do.

(Editor's note: your eyes are basically sensors. If you don't look in the direction of an object, you won't see it. Does this mean your eyes are useless? Radar is a form of sensor. It won't pick up a man standing under the dish. Does this mean it's useless? A laser rangefinder is a form of sensor. It won't pick up a man not standing directly in its beam. Does this mean it's useless? Each of those sensor types serves a specific purpose, and it has capabilities to suit. The fact that it cannot perform functions outside its design criteria is irrelevant).

That pretty obvious they weren't scanning it. Either that or they can't scan it because it's in a blind spot. Either way, it's an advantage for Trek. Uncloaking in garbage will be a useful tactic if they don't scan it. Again, this is a valid tactic to attempt to destroy ISD's or take them over.

No, it is an invalid tactic because it assumes that a Federation ship is in the perfect place at the perfect time. Not only does it have to somehow intercept a highly mobile Imperial ship, but it has to have a cloaking device (only one ship in the Federation has one). And in the insanely improbable case that this actually happens, the most likely situation is that while the Defiant takes two or three seconds to decloak, the ISD jumps to hyperspace, not even realizing what was supposedly about to happen behind it. You do remember what an ISD does immediately after dumping its garbage, right?

So not only do you need a particular ship to be in the right place at the right time, but the enemy must violate his own operating procedures and hang around after dumping his garbage, long enough for a ship to decloak and attack. And even if all of that goes perfectly, the Defiant will only get one shot before the ISD captain realizes what happens, and orders his men to return fire. This is a perfect example of your supercritical plans, in which everything must go perfectly just to have a faint possibility of success.

The strategy of war is all about putting yourself in the right place at the right time, under the right conditions and with the right tools to get the job done. If you assume that you're already there, then you're trying to make an end-run around the whole process. It's like saying that you're pretty sure you can score a touchdown as long as you get to start in your opponent's end zone.

Yeah, and if there are rats in your garbage and you don't look, you can end up getting bitten. I don't even want to bother saying how often people hit their own garbage cans because their garbage cans are in a blind spot.

More evasion. The point was that scanning technology cannot be evaluated from incidents when it is not used. You have ignored that point completely. Your rebuttals aren't designed to address my points; you simply want to fire off an answer regardless of whether it has anything to do with the point in question. Do you know what "red herring" means?

When did I say the plans are going to work all the time? Come on, it's a valid tactic! It's like you are butting your head against a wall. Just because I sneak up behind someone and plan to shoot them in the back, doesn't mean every time I'm going to step on something that gives me away.

Strawman attack. I wasn't saying that the plan wouldn't work. I was saying that the plan is predicated upon perfect pre-existing conditions. Since an Imperial campaign would never permit such conditions to arise in the first place, this tactic would have absolutely no effect on a war. It would never come into play.

Sure, it's a valid tactic to sneak up behind someone and shoot him in the back. But that's not what you're talking about. Since you completely neglect the question of how the Federation ship will get within a hundred light years of the Imperial ship in the first place, you aren't talking about sneaking up behind someone; you're talking about already being behind someone. Of course you can shoot him in the back once you're there, but the trick is getting there in the first place.

You're arguing my tactic here with the funny idea, "Well, no plan is perfect, so it's not going to be a useful tactic because something can go wrong." Please.

Strawman attack. And you claimed to have excellent reading comprehension skills, even though you completely misunderstood my point.

(Editor's note: No plan is perfect, but a good plan is not like one of those Bugs Bunny contraptions where the ball rolls across the room and hits the broomstick which falls onto the toy car and sends it driving up a ramp into a switch which activates a fan that makes a toy boat move across a wash basin ... well, you get the idea. Good plans don't depend on everything working perfectly).

It's proven, ISD's don't have cloaking detection.

You're still assuming that cloaking is some sort of universal standard. The Dominion ships weren't specially designed to detect cloaked ships, but they had no trouble doing it.

The Federation can't outnumber or outspeed the Empire, so they are going to have to resort to quick strike missions and terrorist like defenses.

There is no such thing as terrorist defense. Terrorists attack. As for strike missions, they are predicated upon knowledge of where the enemy will be. An enemy with vastly superior mobility will not permit such missions to occur.

The Empire winning? A strong possibility. Winning easily? I strongly disagree.

But you have failed to provide a shred of evidence. Virtually all of your arguments are predicated upon red herrings: instead of finding ways to nullify the Empire's enormous strategic advantage of hyperdrive, sheer numbers, and devastating superweapons, you try to prove that their technology is "primitive" according to some sort of abstract standard in your head, and you concoct silly plans for how one ST ship might defeat one SW ship under perfect conditions.

It's an utter waste of time, and if it weren't for the inevitability of putting you on my Hate Mail page, I wouldn't even bother continuing this discussion. Your posts are getting unworkably long, since you chase tangents and red herrings instead of trying to answer the same basic questions which I keep firing at you.

The Empire outnumbers the Federation, even if they can't spare all their ships do to a unstable Empire which needs them.

The Empire would not commit itself to an external war while they're still involved in a civil war, and the Federation would not attack the Empire for no reason. Therefore, the only way for the war to happen at all is for the Empire to be stable. You cannot mitigate the Empire's vast superiority in numbers by arguing that they're still fighting the civil war.

A war between the Empire and Federation must take place in either a slightly divergent timeline, in which a few tiny things went differently (eg. Luke missed the port in ANH, or Solo was unable to get into the Endor bunker in ROTJ), or a future timeline in which a new Empire has formed. Take your pick.

The Empire's hyperdrive makes warp look like walking compared to drive race cars, and speed will in this case be a major deciding factor.

Thank you for finally admitting this. But you grossly underestimate the importance of this superior mobility.

So you have convinced me of this. The Empire has VERY good chance of winning a full scale war. As a matter of fact, I would bet on the Empire now, but only on a massive full WAR scale (which is how you said this is to be). HOWEVER, the Empire may conquer the Federation, but I do not think they could hold on to it for very long.

Why not?

Again, there are tons of arguements on how the Federation could overthrow the Empire even EASIER then the Rebels did.

How?

Heck, beaming an assasin into the Emperor's main chamber would most likely have an excellent chance of knocking him off.

Oh, please. You're talking about an assassin trying to kill someone who can fry him or snap his neck like a twig, all with a mere thought. You're also talking about trying to assassinate someone with a gift for premonition, whose only blind spot is other Force adepts (none of which you'll find in the Federation).

The Empire is controlled by one being who if killed collapses the Empire into civil wars.

Finally, you've said something which is correct.

Destroying the Death Star is easy with one ship with a phased cloaking device to get by its defenses and taking it out.

And how will terrorists get their hands on a warship with a phased cloaking device, after the threat of planetary obliteration forces the Federation to hand over all their equipment and research facilities to the Empire?

(Editor's note: he still assumes that everyone has these phase cloaks, even though there are no blueprints and it seems highly likely that the prototype was destroyed to appease the Romulans. Of course they could design another one given enough time, but how long would that take? Days? Weeks? Months? Years? Neil Armstrong walked on the Moon in 1969, but it's been estimated that even if we started right now, it would take more than 10 years to create the necessary equipment to send anther man to the Moon. The fact that you once had something doesn't mean you can reproduce it overnight).

Taking ISD's is not impossible with tranporters, phasers on wide beams to take out Stormies, etc.

No evidence whatsoever that a stun beam will work through a full armour suit. And transporters are useless unless you've already eliminated the target's jammers and shields.

A single opening in a SW ship's shields can allow weapon beamed into totally disable them. The list goes on.

Of course an opening can allow weapons to be beamed on! The same is true of any vessel, including ST ships! What sort of inanely stupid argument is this?

My new perspective: The Empire using brute strength and speed takes the Federation. Then the Federation as a Rebel like force topples the unstable Empire with advanced technology and tactics.

You've provided no evidence whatsoever for the Federation's ability to implement any of these tactics, particularly after it gives its resources to the Empire and the only resistance comes from ill-equipped terrorists.


Well, MW, in my opinion any further debating between you and me is pointless. I have run out of patience and the ability to absorb your insults about my arguements, intelligence, credibility and whatever else you have insulted me about. The impression I get off of you is this: You do seem like an intelligent fellow, and your are quite literate and well versed in your knowledge of sci-fi. But you are extremely inflexible about your viewpoints and view anyone else's alternate opinions as a threat and stupidity.

No, I don't view all alternate opinions as a "threat" or as "stupidity." No argument is a "threat"; in fact, hunger for good arguments because unless I hear them, I can't discuss them on my website. Even if I'm proven wrong about something, it's better to know about it and improve my website by removing the error than it is to not hear about it.

But none of that applies to your arguments, which frankly have been completely stupid. Don't go assuming that the entire world is represented by your intellect. There are lots of people out there who are quite capable of understanding my arguments. If you're not one of them, maybe you should ask yourself why, instead of getting angry at me for pointing it out. Maybe you should try listening instead of boasting about your own skills and assuming that if I don't agree with you I must be "inflexible".

(Editor's note: My site actually has lots of corrections and improvements which were written in response to a good idea that came from (gasp!) Star Trek fans. He assumes that I treat all fans the way I treat him).

You constantly insult others with the excuse that they are unable to "comprehend" your viewpoint and that alternate thinking is the result of being "dense", "pitiful", "flawed" or "ignorant", along with many other creative ways of insulting people.

Again, you presume to speak for the entire world. I flame repetitive arguments, particularly when they're repetitive and stupid arguments.

You've called me dense, stupid, pitiful and many other degrading names. I've tried very hard not to do the same to you, no matter how much yours bothered me, and I've tried very hard to take yours in stride, but I just don't want to debate with this type of "flaming" as you would call it.

Then why did you waste my time by sending me the same damned arguments I've seen a hundred times before, and for which I specifically wrote my entire website? I warn people explicitly that I have no patience for hearing the same damned arguments over and over, and they will be rewarded with flames. You can't say you weren't warned.

You constantly informed me about how my arguements are not well thought out or don't included every possible scrap of information that any debater should always be familiar with, but you have been guilty of similiar errors on more than one occasion.

Vague accusations of error which you fail to back up with examples.

(Editor's note: Nobody's perfect. But I would rather be wrong about an item of memory than a concept. I would rather get a line of dialogue wrong than commit the sin of thinking in a simple-minded, superficial way. He doesn't seem to share that philosophy).


We stopped corresponding after this point, and I thought I'd heard the last of him. But he popped up months later with more ancient, generic Trekkie arguments:

I know the range of Federation phasers as being 300, 000km ("Conudrum") and I have no evidence of a Federation ship's phaser banks ever missing a target. But I want your feedback on how far you would calculate a Turbo Laser's effective range would be, taking into account the speed of the projectile towards a target, and how it would compare to 300,000km.

I didn't bother to respond, because it's such a hopelessly generic argument. But for what it's worth, I should point out that the concept of "range" is actually quite complicated. He thinks it's just a number; you try to figure out what the range of a weapon is, and then once you have your magic number, it is universally applicable. This is simply ridiculous; range has many meanings. In a pistol, its range is the range at which you are likely to hit a man-sized target and it's only about 10 metres, even though the bullet itself can theoretically hit something a kilometre away. In a machine gun, it's the maximum range at which the gun can scatter bullets evenly around a "beaten zone", not the range at which it hits man-sized targets. In artillery and naval guns, it's the absolute maximum distance which the gun can throw its shells, but it's not expected to reliably hit man-sized or even vehicle-sized targets at that range.

Intellectually lazy sci-fi fans just want a number; they don't want to hear about all those annoying complications and details. I've lost count of the number of people who E-mail me to say they don't like all of my calculations, estimates, and limits. They just want me to tell them exactly how powerful a turbolaser is, or how great its range is. But I can't give them that, because the subject is simply too complicated for those sort of oversimplifications. What if they applied their oversimplifying mentality to real life? Imagine a Trekkie saying the following:

"I checked the US Army website and found out that a medium mortar is designed for anti-personnel use, and that it has a maximum range of 3 km. I don't personally know of any incidents where a mortar hasn't hit the target, therefore I will assume the weapon has perfect accuracy. Therefore, no soldier can possibly approach within 3 km of a man with a mortar."

An argument like that would be laughed out of the newsgroups, yet that is almost exactly the sort of argument that the Trekkie "superior range" people make every day! Just replace "mortar" with "phaser", "3 km" with "300,000 km" and "soldier" with "ship", and there you go. What sort of range does a Federation ship have against a single target with no jamming? A single target with jamming? A fleet with jamming? A single target which is 400 metres long? A single target which is 40 metres long? A hundred targets which are 5 metres long? A stationary target? A moving target? A moving, juking target? A hundred moving, juking targets? Does "range" mean that it has a better than 50% chance of a direct hit? A 100% chance of a direct hit? According to standard Trekkie fanatic range doctrine, I'm just overcomplicating the matter, and it's really very simple: any ship within 300,000 km gets hit. End of story, no matter what all of those pesky contradictory incidents in TNG and DS9 might indicate.

I can list all the canon incidents I want, but he saw a number in a book somewhere! In his mind, that completely trumps anything I might possibly dredge up from the TV shows. Does this sound simple-minded to you? It certainly does to me, and that's why I'm not surprised that this guy brought it up. Even better, he used "Conundrum" as his example, even though Conundrum indicates a very short weapon range (see my Canon Database for that as well as other incidents).


I ignored his previous mail as yet another generic Trekkie fanatic message, so I figured I probably wouldn't hear from him again. But when I put up my "Size Matters" essay, he sent me yet another profound display of ignorance:

I read some of your newer information on your website and the section about "size does matter" caught my attention, particularily the section about how advanced technology is required to create vast spacecraft regarding moving and stopping the mass, etc.

Borg vessels have shown advanced manuevering capabilties for their size(in my opinion), for instance in "BOBW" episodes we see the cube rotate quickly to change direction. In Voyager's episodes we see a Borg cube rotate rapidly while at warp to fire upon a bio ship, which is very impressive since it maintained its direction and speed, apparently the cube's orientation is not needed as part of it's drive directional system, which is a very good technology.

This is priceless. Notice how he completely misunderstands the very concept of space travel. he says the rotation of a Borg cube is "very impressive since it maintained its direction and speed", even though that is the very nature of space travel! Telecommunications satellites do the same thing all the time; does this mean they have stunning maneuverability? It's amazing how many people continue to insist that atmospheric flight physics apply to space vehicles.

When fifteen Borg cubes passed by Voyager in "Scorpion", one cube halted and scanned Voyager, hardly that impressive, but then again, Borg cubes are huge, 28 cubic kilometers in volume (roughly 3km x 3km x 3km, from Voy episode "Dark Frontier").

Notice how he completely ignores the fact that my essay dealt with the effect of mass on large structures. Borg cubes are extreme low-density structures, because they lack armoured hulls and they're full of vast, open spaces. He also exaggerates the maneuverability of Borg ships, which fly in straight lines and at best, occasionally rotate. As for the ability of a Borg cube to drop out of warp and examine Voyager, I am at a loss to explain why he thinks this is worth mentioning.

On the other hand, Imperial ships such as the ISD have shown very little manuverability. In the SW movie "TESB", Han Solo (Chewie actually) spotted two ISDs approaching him with one on his tail, apparently at a fair distance. It is only logical that the ISDs also saw each other (and with any decent sensor system they should have seen each other a long way off), yet they were unable to avoid a collision, as seen when the officers hit the decks and walls with the massive ISD just outside their window.

Notice how he tries to equate their failure to give the evasion order in time to technological weakness rather than human error, ignoring incidents which contradict his interpretation such as Tyrant's turn and the maneuvers of the Imperial fleet in ROTJ.

This seems to indicate lacking technology for moving their ships (I don't consider the ability for ISDs to move fast and slow down quickly a manuverability point, I'm talking about simply changing direction quickly).

Notice the unscientific mentality (not to mention the inability to communicate clearly, as in "lacking technology for moving their ships"). The ability to rapidly accelerate and decelerate is maneuverability in space, since the act of rotation is relatively trivial. Furthermore, I reiterate that he blatantly ignores events such as Tyrant's turn or the maneuvers of the Imperial fleet in ROTJ.

While ISD's are massive, 1.6km in length, they are simply dwarfed by Borg cubes in size and logically in mass as well. (getting technical, ISDs and Borg cubes are not solid, we have no reference for what their true mass could be since they are hollowed out for crew, materials or whatever, but I doubt the ISD is close to a Borg cube mass).

Again notice his propensity for selective observation. He obviously watched "Scorpion" since he referred to it, but he didn't seem to notice the scene in which Janeway was inside the cube. In that scene we saw that the cube has such vast interior spaces that it is basically hollowed out! It doesn't even have the armoured exoskeletal hull that is common to all SW vessels and even most ST vessels! There is no reason whatsoever to imagine that a Borg cube has great or even middling average density.

With my current knowledge of visual evidence, Borg cubes are vastly more manueverable in comparison to ISDs (even with far great volume and mass), would this not suggest superior technology with your arguements that size does matter on a technological plain?

Notice how he tries to sum up his argument with a vague allusion to his "current knowledge of visual evidence", even though the evidence he has provided is grossly inadequate. He notices the inexcusable incompetence of the ISD commanders in the near-collision (which he naturally attributes to technological limitations rather than human error), but he doesn't seem to notice how rapidly the Tyrant turned up and to starboard after being hit by the Rebel ion cannon.

He also fails to notice the grand Imperial fleet maneuvers in ROTJ. Before the Rebel fleet arrived, the fleet moved closer to the sanctuary moon to prevent early detection, and the rate of deceleration in order to avoid impact with the planet must have been at least 30 km/s², if not many hundreds of km/s². But this isn't the whole story; after the Rebel fleet arrived, the Imperial fleet began accelerating around the moon in order to reach attack position, and they arrived in roughly one minute (they were already upon the Rebel fleet by the time they realized the shield was still up). If we assume the sanctuary moon is Earth-like, that means they made a circular trip of more than 20,000 km in less than 60 seconds. This requires linear acceleration of at least 22 km/s², with a peak tangential velocity of 670 km/s. The resulting peak centripetal acceleration would be 70 km/s², which is even greater than the linear acceleration! In other words, this scene establishes lateral acceleration (ie- turning) abilities of at least 7000 g's!

And what does he have to buttress his vague claims of superior Borg maneuverability? The fact that one of them rotated (and you may notice that he makes no attempt to estimate the rate, or the forces required). That's not even remotely comparable to the maneuvers performed by the Imperial fleet in ROTJ, yet he expects me to accept it as proof of superior strength. That's the problem with guys like this; they make vaguely defined arguments because they don't want to bother doing the work, and they expect you to do all the work in order to refute them. Intellectual laziness.

As another related issue, what are your thoughts on the assimilation of hyperdrive by the Borg? I cannot possible comprehend how the Borg could not get it, they can assimilate humans (ie: Star Trek) therefore assimilate humans from the Empire, gaining their knowledge and experience with hyperdrive. I fail to see how it could be difficult for the Borg to obtain and use it.

Again notice the incredible oversimplification. He assumes that the physics of hyperdrive and all of the necessary inter-related, inter-disciplinary supporting technologies will be contained within the minds of the military personnel on board any and every ISD. You could drain the knowledge from a nuclear power plant operator's head, but if you don't have all the myriad supporting technologies, it will be useless to you. Technology is much more complicated than simpletons like this tend to believe, and it seems to be impossible to explain this concept to them. That's why I usually don't bother trying any more, and I didn't bother sending a response to this E-mail.

And one more question if I may, what do you think the tactical outcome of one ISD encountering one Borg cube would be? Personally, I think the ISD would quickly be subdued and one Borg cube could handle half a dozen with odds on its side, but I'm curious what you think, your site makes little mention of the Borg which I believe is the real heavy weight in the ST Galaxy.

Here's where he asks for a nice, convenient figure rather than all of that complicated stuff I tend to produce. Gee, I couldn't see this coming ... anyway, I don't see any reason why a single ISD wouldn't be able to destroy a Borg cube. If we use conservative estimates, a turbolaser is comparable to a starship's phaser bank, but a Star Destroyer has hundreds of turbolasers, some of which are enormous. Since a few dozen starships were able to damage a Borg cube even without Picard's help, the full firepower of a Star Destroyer (no chance of missing a target that big) would bring a Borg cube to ruin in short order.

It doesn't work that way in my fanfic, but decent fiction can't be written with one side walloping the other unless it has an advantage that "feels right", like superior numbers or size. And in case no one noticed, movie and television producers tend to operate the same way, with an exception made for the magical power of "life energy" (that's why the Force is the ultimate power in the universe, and why anything with "bio" in its name is unstoppable in Trek).


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