Starfleet vs UNSC Ground Troops

The Original Sixth

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It is completely illogical to assume the existence of everything until it's proven otherwise,the correct logic is the other way around.
Why? Why shouldn't we assume that something that should reasonably exist, exists in a setting?

Why should we assume a bunch of people that signed for stargellet to explore the galaxy and go where no man has gone before would also go "and also, let's have a kickass space army, just in case". Picard and Riker loudly and regularly denied that Starfleet was a military force, and while that was clearly wrong, it was a clearly wrong opinion, one that was not meant to the product of tgier ideals and no thier self delusion. Are we supposed to assume that while Picard was at the academy with classmates training for positions in air combat and artillery support, he was lying to himself about how that must be a non military, peaceful cluster bomb his roommate was bragging about hitting right on target? Come on.
Your argument fails to deliver. First, early TNG had a different ideological approach than the later seasons. While early TNG wanted to play down the military aspect of Star Trek, this was later discarded. Just as the idea that everyone in Starfleet was an officer. The show went in a different direction. Picard had been in multiple military engagements throughout his career, with various wars and conflicts occurring throughout it. The best we can offer is that Picard oversold his own ideology; that Starfleet was about diplomacy and exploration only.

It takes as much delusion not to realize that the ship your commanding is a military tool when it has more than enough firepower capacity to commit a planet to a nuclear holocaust via antimatter warheads (rated in the megaton range) and high powered phaser banks/arrays. You're simply trying to extrapolate more than what is possible, based on the ideological positions of the characters involve. Something you yourself admit is part of their ideology.

We should have some doubt about everything, because otherwise you get bogged down in giant mess of contradictory details as you try to harmonize every single bit of trivia, which is a pointless effort.
And this is why you insist that Star Trek has no grenades, because we don't see it in the Siege of AR-558?

Fine. Whatever is root issue was, the scene doesn't fit in with the other materials you're trying to cite.
How? They set their phasers to vaporize a material (setting 7), they vaporize some of the material, and they go on with their day. I don't see why this is a contradiction. At all.

TM: This setting will immediately kill someone
Show: This will do something that will in no way immediately kill someone.
Again, I'm not sure what your problem is. We already know that the setting they used has a SEM:NDF ratio of 1:1. So half the effects there are caused by what is essentially voodoo as far as traditional physics are concerned.

Yeah, no. I've sat through safety training for welding equipment before, and seen the injuries it causes. "Half incinerated corpse" is not one of them.
Again, you've already argued that NDF works differently on carbon vs titanium, so why is there a large leap between carbon and some fictional metal?

Claudius cannot be taken as a valid source of evidence, both because he doesn't actually know what federation weapons are truly capable of, and much more pointedly, because his judgement on how 22nd century weapons would fair against 20th century tanks has no connection to how well 24th century weapons would match up against 26tb century tanks.
First, Claudius is an excellent source, since he was informed by Merik, a starship captain from the Federation.

CLAUDIUS: Are designed to circumvent any such order. There may be over four hundred men on your ship, Captain, but they can be brought down if it's handled properly. Say, a few at a time. You see, I have the advantage of a trained ship captain to tell me what is and what is not possible. Your communicator, Captain Kirk. Now do save us all a lot of unnecessary trouble and issue the appropriate orders.
MERIK: They're going to be arriving soon, anyway, Jim. A recon party, then a rescue party, then another rescue party. I had less men. It added up the same.

This was how Claudius was able to outmaneuver Kirk in the story. He was already well aware of what the Federation could do. That's how he knew that Kirk's ship could lay waste to the entire planet. That's how he could reason that a hundred men with phasers would outmatch the entire military power of the empire itself.

Second, Kirk himself seems to be of the same mind. He knew that bringing down a hundred men armed with phasers would present an overwhelming force that Claudius had no counter for. Nor does Merik, who is intimately familiar with both groups and their technological abilities, at all question Claudius or indicate that there is exagerration.

Third, there is no reason to believe that UFP military technology regressed from the 23rd century to the 24th century. So there is every reason to believe that if a TOS era phaser is a threat to a WWII or WWI tank, then so would a TNG era phaser. Not unless you have proof that this is not the case? As to what sort of danger that might present to a 26th century UNSC ship, that's another matter.


For people and rocks, yes. For metal?



Generally not.
That would be the same phaser that Claudius, informed by Melik, believed could take out tanks, right? Do you know what setting the phaser is at? Or what additional modifications were made to the phaser beam? It's not like using a phaser to drill or remove material is anything new.

So let's just assume it's completely irrelevant and provides no useful evidence against star trek, because that's totally fair.
I didn't say that. I'm simply saying that it is rather exceptional in what happened. We've seen what shipboard phasers do at higher power setting than the hand units could dream of; they perform the same NDF effect that we generally see applied to rocks and debris taken out by the hand settings. What caused the beam to penetrate is hard to say. It could be a mixture of possibilities that you're not really considering, but assume should be applied to all phaser - metal interactions, despite various episodes showing us what happens when capital ship grade phasers blast apart phaser-resistant material.

First, consider that we do know that phasers have a SEM and an NDF component. It is fully possible that there is a danger of over-penetration, should the SEM component of the phaser be powerful enough to punch through the crate on its own merits. That's worth considering. After all, if the phaser that penetrated Quark's crate was on say, setting 8 and therefore had an SEM of 15 KJs, maybe that was more than enough to punch through both ends of the crate and carry through to the other side.

Second, consider that these were aliens who may have been using phasers or energy weapons that operated on somewhat different principals to starfleet phasers.

Actually, there is, because if that was possible and you could just use a phaser as a corridor wide kill everything beam, everyone would do it all the time, even if they can to hook the phaser up to backpack worn power or cell or something, because if they didn't exploit such an obvious capability they'd be morons.

And "what if we just assume everyone on this side is a moron" isn't a good mindset to have.
That's a false dilemma. There could be many reasons why this isn't ruthlessly exploited by both sides of a conflict. The first is that there is very possibly a technical limit or danger to such an approach. The second is that there might be legal implications. It doesn't preclude to Starfleet using the weapon as we see it. It just isn't a standard practice. It is however, something they can do and it is something they implement. We see that when they use the widebeam settings to hunt for changelings. That tells us that at the very least, a Starfleet soldier in a squad could adjust his phaser rifle to a widebeam stun setting and take out a small group of enemies. We saw Tuvok do the same thing in Voyager and Kirk do the same with his phasers in TOS.

It MAY be possible to put the phaser on a higher setting, such as kill or vaporization in conjunction with the widebeam setting. This was certainly what Riker seemed to have in mind in his dream-state while he was captured. However, as that was a dream, we cannot be certain that he was in his right mind--though his ability to rationalize his way through it suggests to me that it is. Still, we have no confirmation of that.

Now, to touch upon the issue of why someone might not do it legally, there could be international treaties banning such things. If we pass that up (and I wouldn't blame you), then we can look at the technical aspects that could arise. Certainly you can just plug in a phaser to a power source and it should keep running, but there are overheating issues to deal with. A phaser is a very complicated piece of equipment. We have no idea how the crystal within the phaser will react to constant energy being poured into it nor do we know how the rest of the rifle will respond to constant energy being poured out. Even if the barrel doesn't cartoonishly melt, we know phaser rifles have a sensor for its target acquisition, an electric display of some sort, and the circuitry required to make it work. That probably won't respond well to constant megawatts being poured through the phaser, even with an internal cooling system.

If they're not going to use and a d instead going to use tricorders just for scanning thier surroundings, then they have no real edge over the UNSC, and arguably a downside as the UNSC's equipment is better designed for this role, being a HUD display rather than a separate device they have to take thir attention away from their surrounding to examine.
You really only need one guy looking at the tricorder. If it's a squad, that still leaves three other guys to keep a look out. And with the tricorder, you're going to cut down on any sort of surprises to begin with. As for HUDs, we know that Starfleet could produce something similar, if they wish and I'm not entirely certain that the UNSC HUDs are any less dangerous. A lot of things on a HUD could end up distracting you. For example, you probably don't need to know how much ammo is in your gun as a display. But if you're tempted to check via your HUD, you risk the same level of distraction as with a tricorder. Humans can only focus on one thing at a time, even if they can rapidly switch. I'm not sure there is a major difference the two offer, apart from the convenience of the HUD.

You're missing the point. The Federation's mission is to hold territory on the surface, for that they need troops on the surface,and facilities for those troops on the surface.
And all of what they need can be beamed down to them. I'm not sure what more they need that can't just be sent down.

I was unaware that all starfleet transporter chiefs are highly trained tactician and can immediately pick out just the right spot to beam people as part of an ongoing engagement, and under pressure to drop them in fast enough to actual save whoever they're trying to help no less. Where exactly was that established?
It was established in Nor the Battle to the Strong and Homefront that Starfleet used transporters a the preferred method for getting troops around. Do you think that transporter chiefs aren't going to be trained where to put troops? Or do you think that Starfleet just beams them into plain fields and open desserts in the middle of a warzone, because fuck it, why not? In fact, given how crucial transporters were to Starfleet, I'd expect their transporter chiefs to be well taught. This is their primary mode of deployment, after all.

Now, does that mean they're going to be perfect? No, I shouldn't think so. Some transporter chiefs may fuck up now and again, dropping the team too far or too close or even right in harm's way. And of course, there is no reason to believe that every fight will go their way, just because they can do these things. A transporter chief might send in three more squads of UFP troops, only to find them under fire because the first two UFP troops were expectantly taken out in short order. And of course, even with two ships, there is still going to be a bottleneck in how quickly Starfleet can beam people around. Surging troops down from the ship can be accomplished very quickly, but moving them from one part of the surface to another or bringing them back up takes more time.

My point is that the situation favors the Federation, because they can rapidly deploy and redeploy in minutes what would take the UNSC hours. And that they can redeploy so quickly, that it can even tip tactical conflicts between enemy squads, simply because Starfleet can move troops around.

I like how the federation is not only capable of beaming troops down anywhere onto an entire planet at a moments notice, but has that lightning fast response time and also the time carefully scrutinize the surround terrain where a bunch of thier guys are getting shot to bits and carefully pick out exactly the right spot to beam people.
It doesn't require lightning fast response times. On the battlefield, a unit can be pinned for several minutes by an enemy unit. It happens all the time. Now, it's best to already have forces there ready to assist, but Starfleet can draw in more troops to completely change the entire dynamic. An enemy force that is successfully penetrating the defenders could suddenly find themselves being flanked.

Vehicles regularly survive crash landings mostly intact, or even in flyable condition after some repairs, both in real life and in Halo.
From orbit?

Actually, we do, it was at least as large if not larger than then starfleet force, because if was much smaller than a platoon, the platoon commander could have ordered a more orderly, covered withdraw, rather than having to sacrifice two of his own mean to cover the retreat.
That could of been what happened, but then again, we don't know. Nor does that necessarily present a problem, because we already know that UFP vehicles are made out of far more durable materials than UNSC ones, which use titanium.


And scorpion tanks are made of a 26th century ceramic-titanium alloy, but for some totally fair reason your vaguely defined future materials are impervious to phasers but the UNSC's vaguely defined future materials might as well be tissue paper.
There's a difference between vaguely defined materials that we understand (such as a ceramic-titanium alloy) and materials that are just plain made up.

Given that the 20% of the time we do see starfleet troops (and the 99.9% of the time we see alien troops), they also don't have these alleged anti-personal weapons one hand, for no apparent reason, it's baffling how you can claim that all evidence implies that the federation does in fact have tons of anti-personal grenades (and presumably everyone else also does, and also just refuses to use them, despite often lacking the moral or technological constraints of the federation?).

What is more likely:
1. Everyone in the setting does in fact have tons of anti-personnel grenades, which they are totally willing to issue to troops and use in battle, but due to some totally unexplained contrivance, whenever we see them in action that was one of the vanishingly rare times that no one had any.
You're conflating the amount that we see them portrayed in use on the show and the amount that the fictional setting actually uses them. We can have something be rare in the show, but have it common in the setting. For example, if Kirk said that 80% of all merchandise in the UFP was transported via Sunrise Incorporated, but we see Moonscythe Enterprise shuttles 90% of the time, it doesn't mean that Kirk is wrong. It only means that we (for some reason or another) generally see only Moonscythe Enterprise more often from our perspective.

The case is similar here. We only have two incidents of Starfleet using these grenades (Legacy and Homefront), but each incident paints wider implications. In Legacy, these were just grenades that the Enterprise D had. They weren't special ordered, we're not told it was rare for them to carry these grenades, and they seemed rather nonchalant about using them. The implication that we can draw from this is that most, if not all ships, carry some photon grenades as part of their standard armament. And that in fact, all ships probably carry an armory with these sort of things.

The same is applied to Homefront. Although there is only one instance, in one line of dialogue, the fact is that Lyton's line has broad implications. He not only intended to arm what amounts to thousands, if not tens of thousands of troops with these grenades. That he had intentionally stockpiled to prepare for a Dominion invasion.

2. The writers created a setting devoid of any such weapon, but over the close of hundreds of episodes got a bit sloppy once or twice?
Okay, let's take this head on.

1) Grenades in Star Trek first appeared in Arena, which was episode 19 of Season 1. If the setting was intent on not having any sort of explosive, it would seem rather odd to me that they would include it within the first season. Before they hit their 20th episode.

2) Legacy is about 80 episodes into TNG. Homefront is episode 83 of DS9. You might argue that the DS9 writers had worked on hundreds by then, of course (and they would have), but it's not like DS9 had sloppy writing. It was in fact, generally considered to have very good, very tight writing.

3) Even disregarding all of this, we have the issue of the writers giving the grenade a formal name; photon grenade. If this was sloppy writing, then I would expect that Homefront wouldn't have used the term 'photon grenade'. I dare say I wouldn't expect VOY to remember the term. And yet, we have them mentioned in all 3 TNG era shows. By name. Not by 'grenade', but by 'photon grenade'. I won't pretend that VOY wasn't sloppy, but DS9 was anything but. And to argue that it was sort of just dropped in Homefront as a mistake, rather than as a piece of lore, is unsupported. Especially when we have grenades in the original series.

It's only difficult to explain if you have a preexisting assumption that it's totally normal for the federation to have anti-personal grenades in the first place.
Well, let's see. They used them in TOS during Arena. We're told in Legacy that the Enterprise D carries them during peacetime. And we know that they stockpiled them in anticipation of a Dominion invasion. But that to me seems like a pretty good reason to assume that Starfleet has and uses grenades in ground conflicts. Even more so when we know that explosives are still used in ground conflicts. We have Nor the Battle to the Strong, where the Klingons make use of artillery shelling and explosives to attack Starfleet and we know that the Bajoran resistance used mortars to fire grenades at Cardassian skimmers. We even see Jem'Hadar carrying some kind of grenades on their uniforms time to time.

The one example we have of a full on battle between two powers on a planetary scale, we know there is artillery and explosives in play. Apparently powerful enough to turn a runabout into a smoldering crater. Clearly, these are still in use. And they fall fairly well into place with how Kirk and the Gorns fought each other in Arena, with the confrontation being primarily between infantry groups launching artillery at each other.


So, again, why didn't anyinecin the show complain about that, despite complaining about everything else?
Because maybe they didn't? Them not complaining about it doesn't mean that they can't exist. It simply means they didn't think to complain about it or chose not to complain. If you want to be fairly strict on what grenades Starfleet does have, we can go one step further. You make a point that we rarely see them used by personnel.

Alright, so Starfleet might only use a special type of photon grenade, specifically one fired from a mortar, as we saw in TOS. That is after all, the only visual proof of any sort of grenade that Starfleet has. It would explain the lack of use by personnel (because you don't chuck it), it would explain why putting them at a lowest possible setting would act as a diversion, but probably not hurt anyone, and it would explain why even after Starfleet started to stockpile it, we didn't really see them.

On the other hand, it would be supported by the combat situation that we saw in Nor the Battle to the Strong, where mortars and artillery is used against unseen targets. In fact, it's a sort of distinct reversal of what we saw Kirk do the Gorns; this time it's the Klingons using the same (or similar) weapons against the Federation. That would also mean that these are at best, deployed on about the squad level, with one person in the squad carrying the mortar and the grenades. That would sync well with the fact that Picard's raid team only seemed to have one or two deflectors to deploy against Cardassian pursuit.

Of course, the implication of that is that these grenades are basically powerful enough to act as small tactical nukes. And they come 8 to a case.

I don't think we can understand what any one it means, beyond the fact that the writing staff were aping pop culture characterization of the M-16 and the AK.
Who cares what inspired it? Why would Kira say that it has multiple targeting acquisition, when it doesn't?

You take additional supplies and equipment with you because you don't know if you'll need them before you deploy.
Again, we saw troops in the field using these backpacks...so clearly they do take them with them. It just isn't all the time. That's certainly a flaw in their approach, but if Starfleet keeps finding that they need this stuff, won't they just change their behavior? For someone who doesn't want to use the 'character is a moron' rationality, you sure seem to insist that this must remain the case.

They do not actually have plenty of accomplished pilots, as Chain of Command pointed out most of the Enterprise's shuttle pilots were not very skilled or capable of manual control. Most federation pilots can punch in a course and let the auto pilot handle it, which is fine for the regular duties of a shuttle pilot but not good enough for combat.
That's also not true. First, let's come back to the dialouge:

JELLICO: Been awhile since I flew one of these. You're a pilot yourself, aren't you Geordi?
LAFORGE: Yes, sir.
JELLICO: I began my career as a shuttle pilot, on the Jovian run. Jupiter to Saturn and back once a day, every day.
LAFORGE: Is that right? I was on that run myself for a while.
JELLICO: Then you must've done Titan's Turn.
LAFORGE: Oh, yeah. You set a course directly for Titan, hold it until you're just brushing the atmosphere, throw the helm hard over and whip around the moon at point seven c.
JELLICO: And pray like hell nobody saw you.
LAFORGE: You know, this trip into the nebula's going to need someone who can do Titan's Turn in their sleep. These mines need to be laid within two kilometres of the Cardassian ships. But the particle flux from the nebula will blind all the sensors except for this proximity detector. You're going to need one heck of a pilot to pull that off.
JELLICO: Is that you?
LAFORGE: I could do it, but truthfully, the man you want is Commander Riker. He's the best there is.

The discussion isn't that this requires a competent or skilled pilot; both Jellico and LaForge can do Titan's turn (whipping around a moon at .7c...) and LaForge said he could do the job. Jellico could probably do the job. What LaForge is getting at is not that you need a good pilot or a skilled pilot--you need an exceptional pilot. Specifically because the pilot would be going in pretty much blind, save for a proximity detector. Nor did LaForge indicate that he couldn't do it. He simply told Jellico that Riker was the best man for the job.

What this in fact tells us is that LaForge (an engineer) is an accomplished pilot (he said he could do it) and Jellico was also a qualified pilot.

If hopper were armed, then that guy in nor the battle wouldn't have needed to sacrifice himself to ensure it could take off, it could have used it's own, much stronger weaponry to cover itself.
Except if we go by most Starfleet arming conventions for shuttlecraft, the phasers are probably on the front and the hatch is on the back/side. So there's probably a blind spot. And of course, the shuttlecraft may not be safe in just blasting away with people trying to get on in one piece.

Everyone and thier cousin is qualified to drive a car, so I guess we can all be formula one drivers.
I didn't say that. I'm saying that with so many people qualified to fly shuttles, it seems more likely that they would have more accomplished pilots because it is a readibly accessible mode of transportation, in which such skills are strongly rewarded. Especially when we know they have an academy where people are trained as pilots and cross-skill as pilots (like LaForge). In fact, most people who seem to fly the starships seem to be not just accomplished, but incredibly skilled. Crusher had a piloting position before he went to the academy and joined an elite pilot squad. LaForge who started off as the ship's pilot could pull off a daring piloting trick and claimed to be able to pull of a difficult piloting mission (even if he recommended someone better), and one of Paris's main character traits is that he is an exceptional pilot. Dax typically piloted the Defiant...and she's Dax.

Notice how all the really exceptional pilots tend to pilot starships? That lends credibility to the idea that Starfleet actually produces a great deal of good pilots and even exceptional ones. The idea that they don't have many skilled or accomplished pilots is based on no evidence that you've presented, other than conjecture that supports your own theory on UFP combat doctrine.
 
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The Original Sixth

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Actually, to avoid getting bogged down in a million little details, I want to condense my post above into a shorter form.

The concluding argument of a vs like this should be two goals: to match the results of what would have really happened had the owners of the settings done so, and to do so without creating any more TR-116s.

Anyone reading that didn't watch a lot of DS9 probably didn't get that last referance, so let me explain. The TR-116 was a gizmo of the week in late DS9, where a guy was running around killing people with the titular weapon, which was a sniper rifle combined with a scanner and transporter that let the user see and shoot through walls anywhere on DS9. It's something that comes up a lot in ST discussion, because as you can imagine a gun that can shoot through anything is outrageously overpowered and would have let whoever had it singled handled win any firefight ever, unless someone else also has one or you manage to sneak up to the shooter and ambush them (anyone that's played Perfect Dark multiplayer knows exactly what I'm talking about). Which is why the gun in question vanished after the episode was over, but is also why it should never have been created at all, because from then on there's always that point in the back of your mind "man, I bet a guy with a gun that can shoot through anything would be really handy here". It would have invalidated every single firefight ever seen in the rest of the series, or required everyone to develop an anti-gun-that-shoots-through-everything technology, which everyone else would have had to try and develop and workaround for, and so on. The TR-116 would warp everything in the series if it was allowed to stick around.
That's wonderfully optimistic, but it simply isn't true.

1) That sensor feed that allows the user to see through walls? It was coming from either a sensor on the gun or a sensor on the eyepiece. It has been established that during the Dominion War, both sides were jamming each other. That's why in the Siege of AR-558, they had to send out a scout party to scope out the incoming Jem'Hadar troops. That piece would effectively be blind.

2) The second issue is that in order to beam the bullet to the target, the transporter has to work. And as we saw Nor the Battle to the Strong, using transport inhibitors is a staple tactic. So the actual transporter function of this weapon won't work in many combat fields.

If you had dropped a few of these TR-116s in Nor the Battle for the Strong, they wouldn't have made a difference because; 1) the Klingons were already jamming transporters and 2) the Klingons would have just started jamming the TR-116's sensors. And that pretty much removes 90% of the utility derived from this weapon over a standard phaser.
 

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That's wonderfully optimistic, but it simply isn't true.
This an almost aggressive level of missing the point, given you laser focused in on why in one scenario, a TR-116 might not be viable, while completely overlooking that in many other situations, it still would be, while completely not addressing the core thrust of my point.

Why? Why shouldn't we assume that something that should reasonably exist, exists in a setting?
Because things that should reasonably exist in a setting end up not existing all the time. Starfleet, for example, should reasonably have combat helmets for it's infantry, along with bayonets. Helmets would be useful just as a way to securely mount night vision equipment, which they should reasonably also have, and given how often the federation ends up fighting people who prefer melee combat, having the ability to fight back in melee with something other than trying to club people with their rifles would be very advantageous.

They have none of those things.

And this is why you insist that Star Trek has no grenades, because we don't see it in the Siege of AR-558?
Because we don't see it ever.

First, Claudius is an excellent source, since he was informed by Merik, a starship captain from the Federation.
Fair point, I'm not familiar with the details of the episode.

That's a false dilemma.
No it's not. You demonstrate why making such a weapon would perhaps be challenging, sure. But that's not the same as impossible, and given that no one even seemingly tried to do so or even expresses concern that someone might fire a brief burst at wide beam kill (which, even if it would have wreaking the weapon, would often be worth it, particularly for the people we've seen making a sucidal last stand), suggest it simply is not possible.

My point is that the situation favors the Federation, because they can rapidly deploy and redeploy in minutes what would take the UNSC hours. And that they can redeploy so quickly, that it can even tip tactical conflicts between enemy squads, simply because Starfleet can move troops around.
This is the thing you keep doing that's so grating, where you take a known element, such as starfleet moving troops around via transporter, and then extrapolate it to the "logical" conclusion of mid-firefight tactical transporter reinforcements, when the show doesn't actually suggest that.

From orbit?
That's not actually as impressive as you're making it sound. Going in from orbit doesn't matter, since air resistance will slow down something falling to terminal velocity if it's just falling unaided, and shuttles that crash usually have power still one and can slow themselves down and power their structural integrity field, which holds them together against physical force (but not weapon fire, before you say otherwise).

There's no actual reason to assume that shuttles typically crash at a particularly impressive or dangerous speed.

That could of been what happened, but then again, we don't know. Nor does that necessarily present a problem, because we already know that UFP vehicles are made out of far more durable materials than UNSC ones, which use titanium.

There's a difference between vaguely defined materials that we understand (such as a ceramic-titanium alloy) and materials that are just plain made up.
That's sloppy reasoning, you just assume that because it's a titanium alloy, it can't possibly be that strong, and write it off without actually checking anything else. At least I skimmed the wiki page for Bread and Circuses. You also neglected to account for things like, oh, the fact it's a fictional setting and writers don't always let real science get in the way of the plot.

For example, Titanium A is repeatedly stated on the wiki page as being "molecularly enhanced", so it's clearly not just a titanium alloy. And in just the first game, we saw both the Pillar of Autumn and several escape pods crash land on Halo's surface at high speed with limited structural damage, which you just argued is proof of how tough federation stuff is. Several pods hit hard enough the impact wiped out the occupants (which means they were traveling much faster than federation shuttles if you assume the shuttles lost their inertia dampeners, or still very fast if not) but were physically fine. More than physically fine, actually, they were totally in once piece (save for the air brakes, which are supposed to come off), shuttles are usually pretty beat up with hulls crumpled and nacelles ripped off. And then of course we have the Autumn, which hit so hard it bounced of the surface and then hit again, and it still had some primary systems online after the impact, which is more than can be said for the Enterprise D or Voyager when they crashed landed.

There's more than enough evidence to suggest UNSC materials are not merely as strong but stronger than federation ones, but you just saw "aha, it use titanium, victory for me".

You're conflating the amount that we see them portrayed in use on the show and the amount that the fictional setting actually uses them. We can have something be rare in the show, but have it common in the setting. For example, if Kirk said that 80% of all merchandise in the UFP was transported via Sunrise Incorporated, but we see Moonscythe Enterprise shuttles 90% of the time, it doesn't mean that Kirk is wrong. It only means that we (for some reason or another) generally see only Moonscythe Enterprise more often from our perspective.

The case is similar here. We only have two incidents of Starfleet using these grenades (Legacy and Homefront), but each incident paints wider implications. In Legacy, these were just grenades that the Enterprise D had. They weren't special ordered, we're not told it was rare for them to carry these grenades, and they seemed rather nonchalant about using them. The implication that we can draw from this is that most, if not all ships, carry some photon grenades as part of their standard armament. And that in fact, all ships probably carry an armory with these sort of things.

The same is applied to Homefront. Although there is only one instance, in one line of dialogue, the fact is that Lyton's line has broad implications. He not only intended to arm what amounts to thousands, if not tens of thousands of troops with these grenades. That he had intentionally stockpiled to prepare for a Dominion invasion.

Okay, let's take this head on.

1) Grenades in Star Trek first appeared in Arena, which was episode 19 of Season 1. If the setting was intent on not having any sort of explosive, it would seem rather odd to me that they would include it within the first season. Before they hit their 20th episode.

2) Legacy is about 80 episodes into TNG. Homefront is episode 83 of DS9. You might argue that the DS9 writers had worked on hundreds by then, of course (and they would have), but it's not like DS9 had sloppy writing. It was in fact, generally considered to have very good, very tight writing.

3) Even disregarding all of this, we have the issue of the writers giving the grenade a formal name; photon grenade. If this was sloppy writing, then I would expect that Homefront wouldn't have used the term 'photon grenade'. I dare say I wouldn't expect VOY to remember the term. And yet, we have them mentioned in all 3 TNG era shows. By name. Not by 'grenade', but by 'photon grenade'. I won't pretend that VOY wasn't sloppy, but DS9 was anything but. And to argue that it was sort of just dropped in Homefront as a mistake, rather than as a piece of lore, is unsupported. Especially when we have grenades in the original series.

Well, let's see. They used them in TOS during Arena. We're told in Legacy that the Enterprise D carries them during peacetime. And we know that they stockpiled them in anticipation of a Dominion invasion. But that to me seems like a pretty good reason to assume that Starfleet has and uses grenades in ground conflicts. Even more so when we know that explosives are still used in ground conflicts. We have Nor the Battle to the Strong, where the Klingons make use of artillery shelling and explosives to attack Starfleet and we know that the Bajoran resistance used mortars to fire grenades at Cardassian skimmers. We even see Jem'Hadar carrying some kind of grenades on their uniforms time to time.

The one example we have of a full on battle between two powers on a planetary scale, we know there is artillery and explosives in play. Apparently powerful enough to turn a runabout into a smoldering crater. Clearly, these are still in use. And they fall fairly well into place with how Kirk and the Gorns fought each other in Arena, with the confrontation being primarily between infantry groups launching artillery at each other.
This is a lot of words to try and work around the glaring inconsistency of starfleet totally having grenades but never ever using them, along with everyone else in the series, and I don't care to debunk it because it's obviously wrong no matter how much you talk.

Of course, the implication of that is that these grenades are basically powerful enough to act as small tactical nukes. And they come 8 to a case.
Again, bad reasoning, and more so than before because you didn't even check it against your own prior claims, as you are now arguing that:
1. Geordi suggested that beaming a few nuclear weapons into a nearby room would only shake up people nearby. I'm pretty sure Geordi knows better than that.
2. Admiral Lyton was prepared to use tactical nuclear weapons in ground combat on Earth. Scorched Earth tactics aren't really starfleet's MO, particularly not when it's literally scorching the Earth.
3. Tom Paris suggested a ship's hull was very weak, because it could not withstand an attack by nuclear weapons.

Again, we saw troops in the field using these backpacks...so clearly they do take them with them. It just isn't all the time. That's certainly a flaw in their approach, but if Starfleet keeps finding that they need this stuff, won't they just change their behavior? For someone who doesn't want to use the 'character is a moron' rationality, you sure seem to insist that this must remain the case.
The point isn't that they're morons or incapable of change, the point is that they have not learned to address those flaws in all their other, previous conflicts which suggests A) the picture you're painting of Starfleet troops, where they use their technology to it's best degree and have formed a strong, capable ground army is false, as they've not even fixed basic doctrinally issues, and B) because of those unfixed issues, we cannot assume that they have anything that they "reasonably" should have, because as shown they very regularly lack things that they reasonably should have.

That's also not true. First, let's come back to the dialouge:
The dialogue you're relying on does not establish that Titan's Turn is actually a difficult maneuver.

Except if we go by most Starfleet arming conventions for shuttlecraft, the phasers are probably on the front and the hatch is on the back/side. So there's probably a blind spot. And of course, the shuttlecraft may not be safe in just blasting away with people trying to get on in one piece.
Real troop transports have a tail gun, for that exact reason. Sargent Johnson quite memorably showed off that the Pelican likewise follows that design principle:



Burke's fate clearly demonstrates that this is not the case for the hopper, if it is armed (and it's totally unproven that it is, if it was armed it should have been able to suppress the klingon infantry one it's way in), it is, like several other bits of starfleet equipment, misdesigned for it's intended role, which once again argues against the "starfleet should totally have anything it reasonably could, regardless of the evidence" claim.
 
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The Original Sixth

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This an almost aggressive level of missing the point, given you laser focused in on why in one scenario, a TR-116 might not be viable, while completely overlooking that in many other situations, it still would be, while completely not addressing the core thrust of my point.
That's hurtful to say.

I just couldn't get past the first part of what you wrote. The TR-116 being revolutionary is simply not true in Star Trek. It's too reliant on two technologies that are regularly jammed on the battlefield. I don't disagree that it's really innovative and really cool and I wish it had moved more into the regular use in the franchise, but to say that it's an example of a 'smart' use of a technology is simply untrue.


Because things that should reasonably exist in a setting end up not existing all the time. Starfleet, for example, should reasonably have combat helmets for it's infantry, along with bayonets. Helmets would be useful just as a way to securely mount night vision equipment, which they should reasonably also have, and given how often the federation ends up fighting people who prefer melee combat, having the ability to fight back in melee with something other than trying to club people with their rifles would be very advantageous.

They have none of those things.
So what's your point? I'm not trying to argue that Starfleet makes the best use of their technology. They clearly don't. Starfleet not being the most optimized or even well optimized isn't my point. My point is you go too far to the other side, insisting that they can never be optimized and insisting that they never make use of certain technologies, even when they do.

Because we don't see it ever.
That's not entirely true. Like your grenade example. We do see examples of it in the series, we just don't see enough to satisfy you. I've cited two incidents of widespread use of the item--not just singular uses, but widespread uses. Instead of accepting that and moving on, you've clung to the issue tooth and nail. As if Starfleet using grenades suddenly invalidates other criticisms you have.

No it's not. You demonstrate why making such a weapon would perhaps be challenging, sure. But that's not the same as impossible, and given that no one even seemingly tried to do so or even expresses concern that someone might fire a brief burst at wide beam kill (which, even if it would have wreaking the weapon, would often be worth it, particularly for the people we've seen making a sucidal last stand), suggest it simply is not possible.
Correct me, but aren't we talking about a widebeam stun? We've seen widebeam stun used several times. Including in a Starfleet protocol to hunt for hidden changelings. Why are we focusing on kill or disintegration settings. At the very least, I believe my last post indicated that such a thing were possible in regards to Riker's statements, but cannot be confirmed given the nature of his frame of mind.

This is the thing you keep doing that's so grating, where you take a known element, such as starfleet moving troops around via transporter, and then extrapolate it to the "logical" conclusion of mid-firefight tactical transporter reinforcements, when the show doesn't actually suggest that.
How is it grating? How is it even unreasonable? If Starfleet had an issue where an away team was being attacked and overwhelmed, is it unreasonable to believe that they would beam down reinforcements? And if they were to do so, do you think they would put those people in the same place as the people getting shot at or somewhere that they might have an advantage against the attackers?

As for using transporters for reinforcements, I don't see why that's unimaginable. We saw that beaming aboard other ships and engaging in fights is a common tactic. Specifically when DS9 was under assault by the Klingons. They sent boarding parties into various areas of the station, including the command center. That resulted in casualties of course, because of course it would, but if we look at Legacy, we can see that Riker and LaForge are looking for the best place to put their people to achieve a strategic objective (in that case, rescuing prisoners).

So I don't see why you should find this aggravating. Do you think I'm suggesting that the transporter chief will move people around in the same battlefield for optimal position? Like transporting people who were pinned to a new location to flank their attackers? Or something like that?

That's not actually as impressive as you're making it sound. Going in from orbit doesn't matter, since air resistance will slow down something falling to terminal velocity if it's just falling unaided, and shuttles that crash usually have power still one and can slow themselves down and power their structural integrity field, which holds them together against physical force (but not weapon fire, before you say otherwise).
Yes, air will slow it down. Of course, there is the issue of burning up, which is why when the US space shuttles come down, they always have ablative plates to help keep the ship and the crew safe. They also don't tend to go down in a rough nosedive.

There's no actual reason to assume that shuttles typically crash at a particularly impressive or dangerous speed.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the whole reason things like satellites and shuttles can burn up is because they're typically moving faster than the air, ie, at the speed of sound.

That's sloppy reasoning, you just assume that because it's a titanium alloy, it can't possibly be that strong, and write it off without actually checking anything else. At least I skimmed the wiki page for Bread and Circuses. You also neglected to account for things like, oh, the fact it's a fictional setting and writers don't always let real science get in the way of the plot.

For example, Titanium A is repeatedly stated on the wiki page as being "molecularly enhanced", so it's clearly not just a titanium alloy. And in just the first game, we saw both the Pillar of Autumn and several escape pods crash land on Halo's surface at high speed with limited structural damage. Several pods hit hard enough the impact wiped out the occupants (which means they were traveling much faster than federation shuttles if you assume the shuttles lost their inertia dampeners, or still very fast if not) but were physically fine, and the Autumn still had some primary systems online after the impact, which is more than can be said for the Enterprise D or Voyager when they crashed landed.
Battlegrinder, it's titanium. I accept that they might have enhanced it or made it more resistant to some forms of damage or something...but how much more durable do you expect it to be? 50%? 100%? And if you want to argue that, you're going to need to provide a bit more information on just how durable it is. It certainly is better, because they seem to use it for body armor and such, but I don't see that as necessarily making a difference against a phaser.

There's more than enough evidence to suggest UNSC materials are not merely as strong but stronger than federation ones, but you just saw "aha, it use titanium, victory for me".
Well, if you wanted to prove that it was stronger, why not say so?

This is a lot of words to try and work around the glaring inconsistency of starfleet totally having grenades but never ever using them, along with everyone else in the series, and I don't care to debunk it because it's obviously wrong no matter how much you talk.
Then why are you even talking with me?

Again, bad reasoning, and more so than before because you didn't even check it against your own prior claims, as you are now arguing that:
1. Geordi suggested that beaming a few nuclear weapons into a nearby room would only shake up people nearby. I'm pretty sure Geordi knows better than that.
If you recall what Geordie said in Legacy, the grenades were set to their lowest settings and put in adjacent chamber.

2. Admiral Lyton was prepared to use tactical nuclear weapons in ground combat on Earth. Scorched Earth tactics aren't really starfleet's MO, particularly not when it's literally scorching the Earth.
3. Tom Paris suggested a ship's hull was very weak, because it could not withstand an attack by nuclear weapons.
I think we may need to walk back a bit and be more specific when I say "tactical nuke", I'm referring to something on the level of a M28 Davy Crockett.


This is easily calculated given the distance and power of the weapon used in Arena:

ELOWITZ: If I were them, I'd go to the high ground on the right. I make it twelve hundred yards, azimuth eighty seven. It's pretty close for one of these little jewels, Captain.
KIRK: It'll be a lot closer to them. Stand clear.

Now, some people tend to get higher yields from this, but I generally end up with 5 tons. Based on this calculator.


At 1200 yards, Kirk and his buddies would be just outside of the .1 psi range. A 5 ton bomb is hardly anything to write home about in Star Trek, especially when we know that their capital ships tend to use things like multi-megaton warheads. So it's not really surprising that Paris would turn his nose up at such a weak hull. Especially when we know that the ones in ENT were supposedly able to laugh off weapons several times as powerful as a 5 ton bomb.

The point isn't that they're morons or incapable of change, the point is that they have not learned to address those flaws in all their other, previous conflicts which suggests A) the picture you're painting of Starfleet troops, where they use their technology to it's best degree and have formed a strong, capable ground army is false, as they've not even fixed basic doctrinally issues, and B) because of those unfixed issues, we cannot assume that they have anything that they "reasonably" should have, because as shown they very regularly lack things that they reasonably should have.
Yes, but then again I could point to the UNSC charging at enemy fortifications in tanks and warthogs or forming up square formations to hold off enemies on hoverbikes with (more or less) fixed weapons, assaulting a hill.

The dialogue you're relying on does not establish that Titan's Turn is actually a difficult maneuver.
I recommend watching the episode then. It is clearly implied to be a dumb, dangerous stunt.

Real troop transports have a tail gun, for that exact reason. Sargent Johnson quite memorably showed off that the Pelican likewise follows that design principle:
They might have had that too? We know very little about hoppers. What we do know though, is that there are going to be a fair amount of blindspots that Klingon attackers could take advantage of. That's why tanks are just as vulnerable to enemy attackers in urban warfare as they are assets. Especially if your opponent has sidearms that can seriously damage or destroy your ship.

Burke's fate clearly demonstrates that this is not the case for the hopper, if it is armed (and it's totally unproven that it is, if it was armed it should have been able to suppress the klingon infantry one it's way in), it is, like several other bits of starfleet equipment, misdesigned for it's intended role, which once again argues against the "starfleet should totally have anything it reasonably could, regardless of the evidence" claim.
Again, we have no idea what sort of environment or situation the hopper was coming into. All we know is that the Klingons could threaten it, that we know that duranium hull ships can be damaged by phasers/disruptors on high enough settings, and that it presumably escaped (although there is no hard evidence of that). We also know that they were getting shot down.

Anything else is really conjecture. Trying to use it to bolster your approach of "Starfleet sucks" isn't really a winning strategy when there are so many unknowns.
 

Battlegrinder

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I'm going to try and limit my replies here, I don't like spending hours writing these responses.

So what's your point?
My point is that you methodology is faulty, and we should base the discussion about what is indisputably shown to be true, not what is conjecturally true.

I've cited two incidents of widespread use of the item--not just singular uses, but widespread uses.
Stockpiling is not using. The only time we we've seen a photon grenade used was arena (which may not have even been a photon grenade) and in Voyager, by some aliens.

If Starfleet had an issue where an away team was being attacked and overwhelmed, is it unreasonable to believe that they would beam down reinforcements?
Actually, yes it is, and I should have raised it soon.

"If attacked, reinforcement and counterattack" is a valid response to hostile action, but it's not the only possible response. You can fall back, you can dig in and hold but not push back, you can do anything. How you respond is partially based on the situation, but moreover based on training and the overall attitude of the force. And there's nothing to suggest that's the usual statfleet response, and quite a bit to suggest otherwise.When away teams get attacked, the consistent response for thier parent ship is to try and beam them back out. When they're attempting some sort of mission and meat resistance, they often fall back and try to find a way around.

When Burke's platoon was attacked, they didn't try to beam in support, they tried to beam out, and when that didn't work, they called in an empty hopper to enact them, not a fully loaded on to flank the Klingons.

The garrison on 558 complained they hadn't been rotated out, not that had been stuck on the defense and that starfleet hadn't sent them another company to support an attempt to push the Dominion back and expand the starfleet position.

In Rocks and Shoals, when Sisko's crew was attacked by the Dominion, and the Dominion started retreating, he didn't press the advantage and maintain contact, he let them, and despite guessing there were only a few of them (and not, say, a whole army) his plan was to dig in and defend, not take the fight to them and try to catch them off balance.

It does not seem likely that starfleet ground troops have the sort of offensive spirit that your arguement implies.

They also don't tend to go down in a rough nosedive.
Neither do shuttles, they almost always end up making a belly landing and sliding to a halt, not crashing to the ground nose first.

Well, if you wanted to prove that it was stronger, why not say so?
Because I've been trying to point out the issues with your methods here, if we don't actually have a common frame of reference and interpretation, as shown by the last few pages, we'll just be going around in circles for days.

This is easily calculated given the distance and power of the weapon used in Arena:
If it was a nuclear grade weapon of any scale, why did the gorn beam back thier away team, who should have been killed by the blast?

And if this mortar was that strong, why was the bombardment by much more advanced weapons that Bashir and Jake survived so much weaker?

Yes, but then again I could point to the UNSC charging at enemy fortifications in tanks and warthogs or forming up square formations to hold off enemies on hoverbikes with (more or less) fixed weapons, assaulting a hill.
You could, but I would just note that those incidents are atypical while I'm looking at the normal behavior of federation troops.

I recommend watching the episode then. It is clearly implied to be a dumb, dangerous stunt.
Ok? Dumb and dangerous doesn't mean difficult. Playing Chicken is dumb and dangerous but loads of teenagers who've just gotten tgier driver's licenses still do it.
 

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The Feddies might be able to win, if they use one off techniques that were used once in an episode and then never used again. Use that sniper rifle from DS9 that can shoot through walls by teleporting bullets into people. Use the minefields that can phase in and out of reality and you have no way of detecting until you walk into them. And use the holographic soldiers from Voyager. Otherwise, the Feddies will lose in a straight fight against the Spartans.
 

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Only way the Federation wins I feel is through Orbital or Air Support.

Or maybe through transporters, but I feel those are so unreliable that having ECM interfere with them sounds legit to me. If it can't and there's nothing to prevent Star Trek transporters from beaming in troops in ridiculous places, then the

Everytime we've seen "ground combat" in Star Trek from TNG onwards, it doesn't look anything remotely as intense as anything we see in Halo. 99% of the time they're using Hand Phasers and Phaser Rifles and wearing at best their heavier padded version of their Starfleet uniforms. No helmets or kneepads or utility harnesses or backpacks or optics etc. The arguments taking place here are that Starfleet has the capability to deploy troops out with backpacks and belts and binoculars... which should give any outside observer an idea of the entire nature of Starfleet ground forces.

But this debate has spent pages and pages dealing with things that popped up in a handful of episodes like wide beam phasers, tank busting phasers, multiple target acquisition phasers and nuclear level photon grenades, all which would've been amazing to utilize in the Battle of AR-558 and that narrow chokepoint the Jem'Hadr zerg rushed through.

Like on one side you have your basic Marine whose wearing ballistic armor that covers up almost everything except the face (maybe a phaser can penetrate the armor in one shot, whatever) and is equipped with a pistol, hand grenades, an assault rifle, or a DMR, or a SMG, or a shotgun and often equipped with an underslung grenade launcher, and have things like sniper teams, rocket launchers, Spartan Lasers, landmines, flamethrowers, a variety of machine guns, railguns etc as support weapons and HUDs linked battle maps, motion sensors, thermal and image enhancers, targeting gear, integrated comms etc. They also have battle tested harnesses, combat backpacks, belts etc. Their water also doesn't come in a tear open pouch.

The Starfleet soldiers have Hand Phasers, and either those Type IV Phaser Rifles or the fancy new Pulse Phaser Rifles which actually has some decent ergonomics and sighting. The have a tricorder which is pretty awesome but is handheld. They have binoculars which are handheld. They can replicate backpacks and belts for hiking trips but aren't really seen used in combat. Plus they got the Grenade Launcher level bazookas from Star Trek Insurrection.

But the Phasers could wide beam and wide open swathes of foes, and bust vehicles with a single hit. Plus their photon grenades could be nuclear level. So... yeah?

For vehicles they have the wheeled armored all terrain Warthogs which can mount Vulcan autocannons, gauss cannons, rocket launchers, as well as lighter versions of the Warthog, and even buggy style four wheelers. They also have several types and variants of main battle tanks equipped with a variety of cannons and machine guns, an anti-air half track vehicle, armored recovery vehicles, armored Pelican dropships equipped with missiles, rockets and autocannons, fighter interceptors, dedicated close air support strike aircraft, light VTOL gunships and heavy gunships.

Star Trek uses mortars... we saw Klingon ones in "Nor the Strong" failing to blow up a running Jake Sisko. Star Trek uses something called a Hopper and use their spacecraft for air support. It hasn't really been seen much in the series, but the Shuttlecraft could very well be superior to anything and everything the UNSC has since they can take shots from Galor-class starships so a CAS doctrine isn't even needed. They could slow down as slow as fuck like they did in the Voyager episode and just blow up everything like they did that semi truck.

So really, it's the Starfleet you kinda saw onscreen repeatedly in their ground actions which look markedly less militarized and formidable compared to the UNSC ground forces regardless of the latters estimation or calcs.

Or its the transporter using, nuclear photon grenade deploying, vehicle busting multiple target acquisition wide beam phaser equipped, backed by nigh invincible Shuttlecraft Starfleet ripping apart the primitive UNSC forces.
 

The Original Sixth

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My point is that you methodology is faulty, and we should base the discussion about what is indisputably shown to be true, not what is conjecturally true.
But we cannot known what is indisputable truth. This is a fictional series with multiple writers and various shifts in what is considered canon and what is not. To make matters worse, the corporations behind this franchise have intentionally obfuscated it in the past for profit margins.

It's not like this is an F-16 and I can go to real world sources to get indisputable truth. To be frank, I think your method is flawed and I think it grew out of a culture that used said flawed methodology because it was advantageous to their side. I think there have been murder trials that require less indisputable proof than this.

Stockpiling is not using. The only time we we've seen a photon grenade used was arena (which may not have even been a photon grenade) and in Voyager, by some aliens.
See, I don't agree with that position.

First, Geordie in the episode Legacy had suggested their use in a rescue mission. Had it not been for the advice of someone else who had seemingly offered a better alternative, they probably would have done so. Second, Lyton stockpiled those grenades with the express statement that they would be used to repel a Dominion invasion force. There was clear intent to use them. Indeed, they may have even been deployed when Lyton put the entire planet under martial law, they were just never fired (because there was no imminent Dominion invasion).

Third, even if the grenade in Arena was a different type of grenade--it's still a grenade. And it is in fact, the only real use of a grenade that we've seen Starfleet carry out. We have no other evidence of them using grenades for any other purpose--as you've so helpfully pointed out. Therefore, it is most logical that this is the grenade that everyone is talking about. It's still a strike against Starfleet for not using hand thrown grenades, but it's clear that they at least have squad-based mortar launchers, which I think we can all agree is an improvement.

Fourth, the reference to them in Voyager is only supporting evidence that these things exist and are not one-time flukes. The crew is clearly familiar with the types of weapons being used (although Living Witness involves a completely alien perspective, so less useful)

Actually, yes it is, and I should have raised it soon.

"If attacked, reinforcement and counterattack" is a valid response to hostile action, but it's not the only possible response. You can fall back, you can dig in and hold but not push back, you can do anything.
Absolutely! It's entirely possible that when overwhelmed, Starfleet may choose to fall back to a better position.

How you respond is partially based on the situation, but moreover based on training and the overall attitude of the force. And there's nothing to suggest that's the usual statfleet response, and quite a bit to suggest otherwise.When away teams get attacked, the consistent response for thier parent ship is to try and beam them back out. When they're attempting some sort of mission and meat resistance, they often fall back and try to find a way around.
Yes, but why? In most cases, it's because they want to deescalate the situation. Not escalate or escalate-to-deescalate. However, there's a difference in sending own reinforcements for a situation that can deescalate and a situation like a war, where that is not necessarily an option.

When Burke's platoon was attacked, they didn't try to beam in support, they tried to beam out, and when that didn't work, they called in an empty hopper to enact them, not a fully loaded on to flank the Klingons.
Okay, that's fine--but we don't know the greater strategic situation for Starfleet at the moment, other than perhaps that they were losing the ground war, as evidenced by the constant attack on the colony and the eventual loss of the underground hospital (because the actual hospital was blown up). There's no reason to believe that Starfleet COULD send reinforcements. In fact, it's most likely that they couldn't. And maybe Burke and his team knew that. Knowing that there would be no reinforcements is a good way to help an officer in that situation to retreat rather than stay and lose more men in the hopes of getting reinforcements.

The garrison on 558 complained they hadn't been rotated out, not that had been stuck on the defense and that starfleet hadn't sent them another company to support an attempt to push the Dominion back and expand the starfleet position.
Okay? That's not an issue with doctrine. That's more of an issue with logistics. Everyone agreed that them being kept there was fucked up. And at the end of the episode, they are rotated out.

In Rocks and Shoals, when Sisko's crew was attacked by the Dominion, and the Dominion started retreating, he didn't press the advantage and maintain contact, he let them, and despite guessing there were only a few of them (and not, say, a whole army) his plan was to dig in and defend, not take the fight to them and try to catch them off balance.
There was very good reason why Sisko didn't want to risk dying over a rock, when they could work together and find a way out. Especially with Dax wounded and only a few people on hand, it makes sense that he would not have wanted to press an assault. In fact, it was pretty clearly implied that had the vorlon a few more vials of white, he would have sent the Jem'Hadar to kill them and he'd be the one sending out a distress signal.

It does not seem likely that starfleet ground troops have the sort of offensive spirit that your arguement implies.
So let me get this straight. You're arguing that because in certain incidents, Starfleet CHOSE not to escalate or engage or to disengage, that therefore they will never beam troops in to support other troops? Do you realize how ridiculous this sounds? I mean, if Starfleet Security always ran away when there were some sort of violent confrontation, I could see that.

But the argument you're making right now is that Starfleet is either too dumb or too chickenshit to send in more troops into a combat zone, just because there's active fighting. Your argument makes no sense.

Neither do shuttles, they almost always end up making a belly landing and sliding to a halt, not crashing to the ground nose first.
That's actually true. Still, that's still incredibly durable. And I think more durability than UNSC pelicans have shown.

Because I've been trying to point out the issues with your methods here, if we don't actually have a common frame of reference and interpretation, as shown by the last few pages, we'll just be going around in circles for days.
There's nothing wrong with my method. I've presented a material that is seemingly stronger than titanium (halo or no) and was still vaporized by phasers.

If it was a nuclear grade weapon of any scale, why did the gorn beam back thier away team, who should have been killed by the blast?
Arena
KIRK: It's my ship, Mister Spock. I should be there. We can't even get at them.
SPOCK: Nor can they at us at the moment. Not unless they moved their original position. That intervening high ground.
KIRK: Can you remember the layout of this place? The arsenal?
SPOCK: About one hundred yards in that direction. But after an attack as thorough as this one
KIRK: I'll risk it.
...
SPOCK: Locked on to the enemy, Captain. They're moving toward the high ground. (fizzing sound and smoke) They've locked on to my tricorder.
(He throws it away and it goes bang)
SPOCK: Very ingenious. They fed back my own impulses and built up an overload.
KIRK: We'll see how ingenious they are. Here, give me a hand with this grenade launcher. Lang!
SPOCK: Any word from the Enterprise?
KIRK: Sulu's taken her out of orbit.
KELOWITZ: They got Lang, sir.
KIRK: Did you see them?
KELOWITZ: No, sir.
KIRK: An evaluation, Mister Kelowitz. Where do you think they are?
KELOWITZ: If I were them, I'd go to the high ground on the right. I make it twelve hundred yards, azimuth eighty seven. It's pretty close for one of these little jewels, Captain.
KIRK: It'll be a lot closer to them. Stand clear.
KIRK: Kirk here.
SULU [OC]: Captain, the alien's withdrawing. She's at extreme range, but our sensors indicate she just activated her transporters.

This was the elevated area:



Kelowitz had to make a guess as to where the Gorns had gone, because they'd locked onto Spock's tricorder and he had to toss it away. Kelowitz may have been right, but given the strength of the grenade that they'd fired, it seems likely that he had been wrong. Or that the Gorn might have moved to the other side and been mostly shielded by the geography.

And of course, we know that Gorn are incredibly resistant to damage. Kirk had literally only managed to wound a Gorn with a crude cannon, something that would have easily of killed a human.

And if this mortar was that strong, why was the bombardment by much more advanced weapons that Bashir and Jake survived so much weaker?
Well, it was and it wasn't. Certainly what we saw Bashir and Sisko evade was much weaker, but we also know there had been stronger effects:

KIRBY: He's in IC for the night. He's got plasma burns on his arm and shoulder. I don't know how he managed, but he carried the generator back here by himself. We went looking for you right after the shelling stopped. There was hardly anything left of the runabout. The whole place was nothing but bomb craters and smoke. We had pretty much given up hope.

It seems to me that there might have been some sort of anti-personnel shells that the Klingons were using, detonated fairly high up and raining down upon the two. That would make sense, since they weren't too far from where Jake found Burke. On the other hand, we're told that the runabout was destroyed and the whole area around there was described as "nothing but bomb craters and smoke". That needn't imply that the Klingons were firing as strong as artillery as Kirk and his crew had in Arena, but certainly more powerful than what Jake and Bashir had been presented with and it could certainly fit in with the Klingons firing off 1-5 ton explosive rounds as part of an action to maybe destroy the retreating hopper.

You could, but I would just note that those incidents are atypical while I'm looking at the normal behavior of federation troops.
Except we don't see most Federation troops. What we generally see are security forces or main characters in a non-war situation. What I'm pointing to is to actual ground combat troops and how they act.

Ok? Dumb and dangerous doesn't mean difficult. Playing Chicken is dumb and dangerous but loads of teenagers who've just gotten tgier driver's licenses still do it.
So flying straight at a moon at .7c is easy? Regardless of whether or not its difficult, your argument falls flat. There is no indication that Geordie is an unskilled pilot. In fact, it's more than likely that he's a very skilled pilot, seeing as he was once the guy who flew the ship (before they let Crusher do it...). And in fact, Geordie had stated that he could pull off the dangerous mission that Jellico had in mind, but had insisted that Riker was better.

There's just no reason to believe that in a setting where a lot of people get their qualifications to fly shuttles, that there is going to be less highly skilled pilots. In fact, it's most probable that there will be more, as there is increased accessibility and hence, a wider and deeper pool to draw from. Obviously not everyone is going to become an ace pilot, but that wasn't my position to begin with.
 

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See, I don't agree with that position.
And both I and the dictionary disagree with your definition of "using".

So let me get this straight. You're arguing that because in certain incidents, Starfleet CHOSE not to escalate or engage or to disengage, that therefore they will never beam troops in to support other troops? Do you realize how ridiculous this sounds? I mean, if Starfleet Security always ran away when there were some sort of violent confrontation, I could see that.

But the argument you're making right now is that Starfleet is either too dumb or too chickenshit to send in more troops into a combat zone, just because there's active fighting. Your argument makes no sense.
I am arguing because Starfleet consistently chooses to defend or disengage in ground combat (not "sometimes", consistently), they do not possess the sort of offensive mindset that your tactics revolve around.

Their a difference between reinforcing an existing position by sending in replacement troops or even additional ones, and supporting individuals sqauds with mid-firefight transporter counterattacks. Both are technologically possible, but the latter requires a doctrine and mindset Starfleet does not display.

Still, that's still incredibly durable.
On what basis can you possibly say that? "It was in orbit, and then after an unknown time it hit the ground at an unknown speed and unknown angle, and was in prices at the end.....it must be super strong!"

And of course, we know that Gorn are incredibly resistant to damage. Kirk had literally only managed to wound a Gorn with a crude cannon, something that would have easily of killed a human.
Er, not really. Humans have survived getting hit with grapeshot and shrapnel shells, weapons that were carefully designed to be as lethal as possible, which Kirk's contraption obviously wasn't. The fact the gorn survived isn't particularly impressive.

Except we don't see most Federation troops. What we generally see are security forces or main characters in a non-war situation. What I'm pointing to is to actual ground combat troops and how they act.
You say that like there's a visible difference, which there isn't. They're part of the same organization, and for that matter they might even be those same security forces, assembled into bigger units as a wartime measure. Given the conspicuous non-presence of any sort of explicitly delineated "starfleet army" at any point in the series, andcthe examples of guys like O'Brien, who spent his time on the Rutledge as some kind part time tactical officer, part time ground pounder, it seems to be the most likely answer.

So flying straight at a moon at .7c is easy?
No one says it's not.

Regardless of whether or not its difficult, your argument falls flat. There is no indication that Geordie is an unskilled pilot.
I think you might have lost track of the argument. The argument wasn't that Geordie isn't a skilled pilots, the argument is that skilled pilots are not something the federation has loads of.

There's just no reason to believe that in a setting where a lot of people get their qualifications to fly shuttles, that there is going to be less highly skilled pilots. In fact, it's most probable that there will be more, as there is increased accessibility and hence, a wider and deeper pool to draw from. Obviously not everyone is going to become an ace pilot, but that wasn't my position to begin with.
The problem is that you're assuming becoming a qualified shuttle pilot is hard, therefor the overall skill level of the pilots must be high.

That assumption is not accurate, because it's I fact very easy to fly a shuttle, because for the most part you're not flying it, the autopilot is, for routine transit flights (which is what the overwhelming majority of shuttle pilots soend all thier time doing) the only thing the "pilot" has to do is sit in the shuttle and keep an eye on the instrument panel in case something goes wrong, which it rarely does.

Combat flight is different. You're going to be on manual control, you have to keep track of the position of not just your craft and your enemy, but all your allies and all your enemies allies, you have actually be able to operate in that kind of high stress environment, which is something many people cannot do, oh and you also have to be not just a good pilot but also a good gunner, and you have to be not just good on your own, but as part of a team that's all working together, and probably like 6 more things I'm not aware of but that are vital skills for military aviation.

There is a reason it takes years to become a military pilot and that no matter what sort of skillset you had coming in, the consistent response from instructors has always been "Cool. You're still going to graduate at the time as the rest of your class".

There is no evidence the federation has a large supply of trained fighter pilots (if anything, the rarity of thier use in fleet battles suggests just the opposite, that they are a very scare resource and starfleet doesn't risk them very often). This makes it very unlikely that the ships here will have a bunch of them on hand either.
 

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I have never seen the UFP deploy with armor or artillery.
To expand on your point here: there is in fact *zero* canonical evidence that the UFP possesses *any* combat vehicles other than the "Argo" dune buggy seen in ST: Nemesis, or any artillery other than the tiny photon mortar seen all the way back in TOS (and never again since). They are exclusively a small-arms force.

Trekkie responses to this consist solely of, "Well, there was a single offhanded dialogue reference once to Klingon armored vehicles, so the Federation *must* have counterparts."
 

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It's also entirely possible the UNSC will be able to jam transporters using it's own ECM gear, possibly without much trouble in general as the UNSC has already been shown to employ mobile ECM equipment as part of it's frontline forces. However, transporters are so utterly plot dependent that it's a total crapshoot (I would argue the UNSC can jam them, but I get there's a certain unfairness to "the writers make up stuff that turns this thing off whenever they want, we can do that too!").
I don't think it's unfair at all. The transporter has been consistently portrayed as a finicky, highly sensitive piece of equipment that is easily disabled by all manner of natural and artificial phenomena. It is entirely reasonable to assume that any rational and well-organized opponent should be able to easily jam transporters.





 

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I am arguing because Starfleet consistently chooses to defend or disengage in ground combat (not "sometimes", consistently), they do not possess the sort of offensive mindset that your tactics revolve around.

Their a difference between reinforcing an existing position by sending in replacement troops or even additional ones, and supporting individuals sqauds with mid-firefight transporter counterattacks. Both are technologically possible, but the latter requires a doctrine and mindset Starfleet does not display.
Your argument seems to boil down to Starfleet being too stupid to use transporters to support troops that are losing a fight. I don't understand why you seem to think that if they're smart enough to withdraw or send in people into a potential combat situation, why they won't beam in more troops if they're losing, but will rather just draw them back.

On what basis can you possibly say that? "It was in orbit, and then after an unknown time it hit the ground at an unknown speed and unknown angle, and was in prices at the end.....it must be super strong!"
Because a lot of those crashes are unpowered, so they tend to hit at around the speed of sound. Most objects falling through Earth's atmosphere don't tend to survive in one piece...or at all. Shuttles tend to survive pretty well. Either they are able to fly again after a crash--usually the nacelles are ripped off and there might be a fracture in the hull. The main shell itself seems to survive and the occupants have a high survival rate as well.

Of course, if you're unsatisfied with that, we can look at another example of shuttle durability:

T'POL: I'm sure you did everything you could, Captain.
ARCHER: I'm going with him. Can a shuttle pod hatch withstand a quarter-kiloton blast?
TUCKER: Depends how close it was.
ARCHER: Twenty metres, maybe twenty five.
TUCKER: They're reinforced with duranium alloy. They can take a hell of a beating. What have you got in mind?
ARCHER: I need two shuttlepod hatches. Have them brought up here on the double.
The shuttlepod hatches tank the explosion without any trouble. The hatches themselves are not all that thick and show no sign of heating. That's about 13.3-20.8 kilojoules of energy per centimeter. Enough to vaporize between about 3.5mm of titanium armor.

Stormfront
TUCKER: What the hell are you people doing?
TRAVIS: Those are P-51s. I've seen them at air shows.
TUCKER: I don't think this is an air show.
...
T'POL: We should run a complete diagnostic. Start with the sensor array.
TUCKER: This isn't a damn sensor glitch. We just pulled three fifty calibre bullets from the shuttlepod hull. And spare us the official Vulcan position about time travel. We are two hundred years in the past. Face it.
And old Starfleet shuttlepod was hit with at least three bullets. The bullets had lodged themseves in the shuttlepod hull. Interestingly, the KE from a 50 cal browning is between 18-20 kilojoules.

In order for a phaser to affect a shuttle then, it would to have at least been set between 8 and 9. Without the NDF effects (which by the logic of your own argument, phasers would be less effective at), the SEM would be at 15 KJ for setting 8 and 65 KJ for setting 9.

Er, not really. Humans have survived getting hit with grapeshot and shrapnel shells, weapons that were carefully designed to be as lethal as possible, which Kirk's contraption obviously wasn't. The fact the gorn survived isn't particularly impressive.
And I suppose getting hit in the chest by a large rock hurled by someone at a higher altitude and doing jack-all happens everyday too. Or having a large boulder come crashing down on you. Regardless, it doesn't change the fact that there's no reason to doubt the power of the explosive just because the Gorns survived. Especially given the possibility that they were shielded by rock when the grenade detonated.

You say that like there's a visible difference, which there isn't. They're part of the same organization, and for that matter they might even be those same security forces, assembled into bigger units as a wartime measure. Given the conspicuous non-presence of any sort of explicitly delineated "starfleet army" at any point in the series, andcthe examples of guys like O'Brien, who spent his time on the Rutledge as some kind part time tactical officer, part time ground pounder, it seems to be the most likely answer.
O'Brien was attached to a starship that got caught in a ground fight. That's not the same as being part of the ground troops. If you have evidence that the ground troops are the same people who act as security forces, then provide some evidence to support it.

No one says it's not.
So you think it's easy to loop around a moon at 7/10ths the speed of light?

I think you might have lost track of the argument. The argument wasn't that Geordie isn't a skilled pilots, the argument is that skilled pilots are not something the federation has loads of.
I haven't lost track of the argument. You argued that Jellico having to go to Riker is somehow evidence that he was the only one on the ship that could complete the mission. That is NOT what happened. LaForge himself stated that he could have done it and we know that LaForge is an accomplished pilot. What LaForge said was that Riker was the best pilot on a ship, for a mission that involved flying around mostly blind.

And really, the evidence supports me.

DS9 Playing God
ARJIN: No, but he had great ambitions for his children. He was a pilot instructor at the Gedana post for forty years. He died last year.
DAX: I see where you got your flight skills.
ARJIN: My sister was always his choice for Joining but after she got accepted to the programme, she ran off and got married. My father never spoke to her again. On the day that he died, he turned to me and he said, 'I'm counting on you.' His last words to me.
DAX: Did he want you to enter Starfleet after Joining? To put your flight training to good use?
...
ARJIN: Jadzia, I felt that last night maybe I didn't express myself well about my own goals.
DAX: I think you expressed yourself very clearly.
ARJIN: I just didn't want you to think that I hadn't set any goals for post-Joining. I have thought about Starfleet. With my flight training it would be a perfect
DAX: Starfleet's a career. A pilot's a job. What does that have to do with being Joined.
ARJIN: I'm not sure I understand.
DAX: No, I don't think you do.
ARJIN: I'm sorry?
DAX: I think you're telling me what I want to hear.
...
ARJIN: Let it fail? But you said it yourself. If we pass through even one of those verteron nodes without the containment field, the energy mass will explode.
DAX: Then we'll have to avoid them.
ARJIN: You're talking about precision flying through a wormhole. It's never been done.
DAX: Until now.
ARJIN: Jadzia
DAX: I'm a level three pilot, You're level five. I'll do it if I have to but I don't have time to argue.
ARJIN: Watch the conn readouts. I'll try to keep at least fifty metres away from any node.

Field of Fire
BASHIR: Listen up. Listen up. To Lieutenant Hector Ilario, living proof that Starfleet Academy produces the finest fighter pilots in the galaxy.
O'BRIEN: Hear, hear.
BASHIR: I haven't finished.
KIRA: Don't ruin it, Julian. That was just what a toast should be. Short and to the point.
ILARIO: I wouldn't mind hearing a little more.
EZRI: Now, now. Modesty above all.
BASHIR: This is no time to be modesty. This man, this youth, this mere pup still wet behind the ears.
ILARIO: I'm twenty two.
BASHIR: I was speaking metaphorically. This inspired cherub masterfully piloted the Defiant into battle against a half dozen Jem'Hadar attack ships, and once all the smoke had cleared, only one ship remained intact, and that, ladies and gentlemen, was the USS Defiant.

So we have here, Dax talking about pilots being wanted by Starfleet, especially highly skilled ones like Arjin. We learn that Dax is a Level 3 Pilot and is considered a very skilled pilot in her own right. We also know that another pilot named Ilario was hailed for his excellent flying. In which we are told that (although this is somewhat of a boast) that Starfleet produces the best fighter pilots.

And of course, we have the First Duty:
PICARD: Apparently, his squadron was practicing on the Academy flight range near Saturn. they were flying a close formation. There was a collision. All five ships were destroyed. Four of the cadets managed to transport out. One didn't make it.
CRUSHER: Do you know who it was?
PICARD: Yes. His name was Joshua Albert.
CRUSHER: Wesley spoke of him. They were friends. Wesley was so excited to make the flight team. Of course, I was a little nervous, but I was proud of him. I always knew there was a chance that something like this might...
...
PICARD: Well, it's unusual to fly on sensors alone in this type of manoeuvre. The pilot relies on visual clues from the other ships to maintain formation.
BRAND: If you were flying on sensors alone, perhaps you could tell us the orientation of his ship before the collision.
SITO: I don't know, sir.
BRAND: You were flying a ship, travelling eighty thousand kph, with Cadet Albert's ship less than ten metres away and you don't know what his orientation was?
At 80,000 kph, those cadets would have been traveling at Mach 64.7. According to the cadet (who is lying), they were all flying on sensors alone. Picard indicates that this is unusual. The officer who is investigating the incident is appalled that the cadet was less than 10 meters away a Mach 64 and wasn't aware what the other pilot's orientation was. In fact, in this situation, each pilot would be required to know the location and orientation of several ships.

WESLEY: It's a Kolvoord Starburst, sir.
PICARD: Five ships crossing within ten metres of each other and igniting their plasma trails. One of the most spectacular and difficult demonstrations of precision flying. It hasn't been performed at the Academy team in over a hundred years. Do you know why?
WESLEY: It was banned by the Academy following a training accident, sir.
PICARD: An accident in which all five cadets lost their lives. I think that Nicholas Locarno wanted to end his Academy career in a blaze of glory. That he convinced the four of you to learn the Kolvoord Starburst for the commencement demonstration. If it worked, you would thrill the assembled guests and Locarno would graduate as a living legend. Only it didn't work, and Joshua Albert paid the price. Am I correct? Cadet, I asked you a question. Am I correct?
Mind you, the Yeager Loop is not considered dangerous despite performing it at those speeds, but the Kolvoord Starburst is. According to Picard, it's one of the most difficult demonstrations of precision flying.



The problem is that you're assuming becoming a qualified shuttle pilot is hard, therefor the overall skill level of the pilots must be high.
No, I didn't say that either. I am saying that easy access to shuttles for people in general gives Starfleet a large pool of potential pilots to draw from. And given that it is an occupation that is well compensated for and rewarding to anyone who is skilled at the task, Starfleet is likely to have more skilled pilots rather than less.

That assumption is not accurate, because it's I fact very easy to fly a shuttle, because for the most part you're not flying it, the autopilot is, for routine transit flights (which is what the overwhelming majority of shuttle pilots soend all thier time doing) the only thing the "pilot" has to do is sit in the shuttle and keep an eye on the instrument panel in case something goes wrong, which it rarely does.
So you think they just hand a pilot license out to anybody? You don't think at any point before letting someone fly a shuttle that can fly at speeds that exceed hypersonic, they aren't going to at least test to make sure the pilot is familiar with say...emergency procedures? The fact that there is an autopilot doesn't indicate that these people aren't competent. In fact, when emergency situations do arise, they always seem well versed on what they should do--even if they fail to do it.

The evidence I've provided suggests that not only does Starfleet train pilots, but trains very talented pilots. There's no reason to believe that Starfleet doesn't have very well trained pilots. This is you trying to throw up roadblocks.

Combat flight is different. You're going to be on manual control, you have to keep track of the position of not just your craft and your enemy, but all your allies and all your enemies allies, you have actually be able to operate in that kind of high stress environment, which is something many people cannot do, oh and you also have to be not just a good pilot but also a good gunner, and you have to be not just good on your own, but as part of a team that's all working together, and probably like 6 more things I'm not aware of but that are vital skills for military aviation.
And it is your belief that this level of stress and coordination and skill is well beyond Starfleet as an institution?

There is no evidence the federation has a large supply of trained fighter pilots (if anything, the rarity of thier use in fleet battles suggests just the opposite, that they are a very scare resource and starfleet doesn't risk them very often). This makes it very unlikely that the ships here will have a bunch of them on hand either.
What are you talking about? You remember Operation Return, right? Where Sisko's strategy of provoking the Cardassians revolved around using fighters?

Sacrifice of Angels
SISKO: Forget the Klingons. Our job is to get to Deep Space Nine and prevent the Dominion reinforcements from coming through the wormhole, and that's what we're going to do. Attack fighters, tactical pattern Theta. Concentrate your fire on the Cardassian ships, and then split off into squadrons and run like hell.
...
O'BRIEN: Stop worrying about those ships. Focus on your work. That's what I do.
BASHIR: You should listen to him, Ensign. He's a professional.
SISKO: Attack fighters full impulse. Fire at will.
(And so it begins. The battle continues during the opening titles.)
O'BRIEN: They're not taking the bait.
SISKO: Ensign, send in the second wave. Tell them to keep targeting the Cardassians.
NOG: Aye, sir. Second wave on its way. Third and fourth waves on hot standby.

...
DAMAR: I'll say this for Captain Sisko, he is persistent. That's the ninth wave of Federation fighters he's sent against us.
DUKAT: Well, his persistence is about to pay off. Let's give him his reward, shall we? Have a half dozen squadrons break formation and go after those fighters.
DAMAR: Yes, sir.

A USN naval flight consists of about 5 flights or about 20 fighters. Which seems appropriate for this situation. At the very least, according to the orders Sisko gave, each flight must have a minimum of 40 fighters and very probably 80-120. We know that Sisko had a second, third, and fourth wave ready as well. That suggests an absolute minimum of 160 fighters, but a more probable 480 fighters. Later, Damar mentions that Sisko had sent 9 waves of fighters at their lines. Now, there are two ways we can look at this. The first is that Sisko had 9 whole waves of fighters to send after the Cardassians. However, it's possible that those later 5 waves were composed of fighters from the previous waves who had returned, rearmed, and returned to the fighting. If it is the former case, the minimum fighter count goes to 360 and the higher end jumps to 1,080 fighters.

And of course, we can look to other episodes, such as the Die is Cast:
TODDMAN: Only if he fails, Lieutenant. His plan looks like it has a fair chance of success. He's commanding a fleet of twenty ships manned by combat veterans. They know the location of the Founders' homeworld and they've modified their cloaks so the Jem'Hadar can't detect their approach.
...
PILOT: Colonel, there are ships coming out of the nebula.
LOVOK: What type of ships?
PILOT: Jem'Hadar fighters.
TAIN: How many? I asked you a question.
PILOT: One hundred fifty.
TAIN: Tactical display on screen.

The Dominion had used an overwhelming force of fighters (150) to attack 20 high end capital ships. That can't really tell us any solid facts about how many fighters were used in Operation Return, but it does give us an idea of how many fighters a power might assemble to attack a dozen or so ships. And it falls fairly well in line with what Sisko's quote suggest; about six attack squadrons per wave.

Going back to Sacrifice of Angels:

O'BRIEN: It's a large Dominion fleet. Twelve hundred and fifty four ships.
BASHIR: They outnumber us two to one.

We're told that the Dominion fleet numbers two to one against the Federation, suggesting a total of 627 ships. There are a number of ways you can do the math if you like. One might want to subtract the fighters from the UFP ship count. Starfleet has never shown to count fighters in with their fleet sizes, but it does at times seem as this is the case when they count Dominion fighters (although, this is not to my knowledge, confirmed)

160 Fighters -- 25% of their force (4 waves)
480 Fighters -- 75.55% of their force (4 waves)
360 -- 57% of their force (9 waves, conservative)

Assuming they aren't counted among their capital ships:
#Fighters -- Fighters (to) Capital Ships
160 Fighters -- 1:4 (4 waves of fighters)
480 Fighters -- 1:1.3 (4 waves of fighters)
360 Fighters -- 1:1.7 (9 waves of fighters)
1,080 Fighters -- 1.7:1 (9 waves of fighters)

No matter which way you want to slice it, fighters are clearly a large part of Starfleet's operational combat during wartime. We also have supporting evidence from the Dominion Attack Fighters, which are in fact, a main staple of Dominion space force doctrine.
 

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Your argument seems to boil down to Starfleet being too stupid to use transporters to support troops that are losing a fight. I don't understand why you seem to think that if they're smart enough to withdraw or send in people into a potential combat situation, why they won't beam in more troops if they're losing, but will rather just draw them back.
This isn't a matter of intelligence, this is a matter of behavior. Because Starfleet officers consistently attempt to draw back and disengage when under fire rather than call in reinforcements, including in combat (Nor the Battle) I think it's likely they will continue to do so in this case, and that they specifically will not employ your proposed tactics for trying to flank and counterattack via transporters.

Because a lot of those crashes are unpowered, so they tend to hit at around the speed of sound. Most objects falling through Earth's atmosphere don't tend to survive in one piece...or at all. Shuttles tend to survive pretty well. Either they are able to fly again after a crash--usually the nacelles are ripped off and there might be a fracture in the hull. The main shell itself seems to survive and the occupants have a high survival rate as well.
That's not possible if the shuttle was unpowered, everyone onboard would be dead. Impacting the ground at supersonic speed is not survivable, that's an impact of more that 50 Gs. People have rarely survived impacts of that magnitude, but those people had crash harnesses, restraints, and other safety equipment that starfleet shuttles do not have (and even then it's very rare to survive an impact at such speed).

If someone walks away from a shuttle crash, that shuttle was either not travelling at supersonic speed on impact, or still had power and thus inertia dampers....and also the SIF and probably engines and could make a controlled crash, or more likely both.

And old Starfleet shuttlepod was hit with at least three bullets. The bullets had lodged themseves in the shuttlepod hull. Interestingly, the KE from a 50 cal browning is between 18-20 kilojoules.

In order for a phaser to affect a shuttle then, it would to have at least been set between 8 and 9. Without the NDF effects (which by the logic of your own argument, phasers would be less effective at), the SEM would be at 15 KJ for setting 8 and 65 KJ for setting 9.
Ok, so if 50 BMG is making it through shuttle hulls, even partially, I have very serious doubts about how well they'll hold up to UNSC AA weapons, while UNSC vehicles, which are largely impervious to .50 cal fire, should hold up to starfleet weapons far better than even starfleet's own craft.

I'm also interested in how a shuttle that cannot even fully resist a few 50 cal rounds is supposed to withstand a supersonic crash landing.

And I suppose getting hit in the chest by a large rock hurled by someone at a higher altitude and doing jack-all happens everyday too. Or having a large boulder come crashing down on you. Regardless, it doesn't change the fact that there's no reason to doubt the power of the explosive just because the Gorns survived. Especially given the possibility that they were shielded by rock when the grenade detonated.
It was an extremely crude cannon made of bamboo, meaning it had an extemely low limit for how much pressure it could withstand before burst, loaded with equally crude, hand ground gunpowder that almost certainly wasn't proportioned right, loaded with misshapen rocks that were just tossed in without any wadding, so most of the already anemic energy from the powder was wasted and what was left wasn't used efficiently. There is every reason to doubt the cannon's power.

It's a miracle Kirk actually managed to wound the Gorn at all with that setup, but the extremely crude nature of the weapon precludes any conclusion that it must be amazingly powerful because it wounded the Gorn (in fact, when mythbusters attempted to replicate this, it proved impossible to make any version of the cannon that was capable of anything even resembling lethal force, as any cannon that could do that would inevitable explode and kill it's own operator, so by that logic I could argue that the gorn must in fact be very weak, since a sub-lethal cannon still managed to maim it).

O'Brien was attached to a starship that got caught in a ground fight. That's not the same as being part of the ground troops. If you have evidence that the ground troops are the same people who act as security forces, then provide some evidence to support it.
There's no evidence that ground troops are a separate branch, much as there is no evidence they're existing personal being retasked. Occam's razor therefore supports the latter theory, as the existence of a herefor unseen and unmentioned Starfleet ground combat army is an additional assumption over the known factors of existing troops being shuffled around. The fact that it is extremely routine for ships to beam down parts of their existing complement to accomplish missions on the ground likewise suggests against the existence of a dedicated force, since if starfleet actually had any sort of marine force trained for this, they would be sent on those mission instead, the Enterprise certainly has room to carry a few.

So you think it's easy to loop around a moon at 7/10ths the speed of light?
I don't know, and neither do you, you're just assuming it's hard despite the dialogue in question never saying so.

So we have here, Dax talking about pilots being wanted by Starfleet, especially highly skilled ones like Arjin. We learn that Dax is a Level 3 Pilot and is considered a very skilled pilot in her own right. We also know that another pilot named Ilario was hailed for his excellent flying. In which we are told that (although this is somewhat of a boast) that Starfleet produces the best fighter pilots.
I've never said they don't have any fighter pilots, just that they don't seem to have a lot of them, and this doesn't prove otherwise, it merely says that they have pilots.

Mind you, the Yeager Loop is not considered dangerous despite performing it at those speeds, but the Kolvoord Starburst is. According to Picard, it's one of the most difficult demonstrations of precision flying.
So, in the entire academy, the have only 5 pilots that are capable of engaging in highly skilled maneuvers under high speed and heavy pressure, and this supports them having loads and loads of capable fighter pilots how?

So you think they just hand a pilot license out to anybody?
It seems like it, yeah. You keep just assuming that's it's really, really hard to fly a shuttle and demands skill and training to do it, but the constant reality where just about everyone (I actually can't think of anyone in the cast who has expressed an inability to operate a shuttlecraft) can fly them. It's like a car. Lots of people can drive a car, very few of them can probably drive a car into a warzone.

You don't think at any point before letting someone fly a shuttle that can fly at speeds that exceed hypersonic, they aren't going to at least test to make sure the pilot is familiar with say...emergency procedures? The fact that there is an autopilot doesn't indicate that these people aren't competent. In fact, when emergency situations do arise, they always seem well versed on what they should do--even if they fail to do it.
Ok, and if the bus I'm riding in breaks down or flips over, I expect the bus driver to also know what to do about that. That doesn't mean I expect him to be able to drive a tank just as well or on short order, simply because he can drive a bus.

The evidence I've provided suggests that not only does Starfleet train pilots, but trains very talented pilots. There's no reason to believe that Starfleet doesn't have very well trained pilots. This is you trying to throw up roadblocks.
It seems more that you're jumping to conclusions ahead of what your evidence can show you. Starfleet having lots of pilots does not mean lots of skilled pilots (and you haven't really shown much in the way of skill beyond "can follow directions in case of emergency") and that in turn does not mean a lot of skilled combat pilots.

And it is your belief that this level of stress and coordination and skill is well beyond Starfleet as an institution?
I believe it's well beyond the average bus driver, which is the relevant comparison here, because that's what a shuttle is. It's a bus, that can fly and carry stuff around all day.

What are you talking about? You remember Operation Return, right? Where Sisko's strategy of provoking the Cardassians revolved around using fighters?
Yes, one of the two such battles in the entire war where fighters showed up, out of dozens. That's not what I would call a "large part of Starfleet's operational combat", since they rarely actually seem to see any use in the combat.

We also have supporting evidence from the Dominion Attack Fighters, which are in fact, a main staple of Dominion space force doctrine.
Dominion attack fighters are warships the size of the Defiant, with crews of dozens. They are not fighters in the sense you are arguing about and you know it.
 

Bear Ribs

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The problem I'm having with the reasoning in this thread is that the pro-UNSC side is mostly bent on claiming ST won't use abilities it's demonstrated to have, because they "didn't use it these other times." The issue there is that if they've ever used it once, they have demonstrated they have that ability and we can't say why they may have chosen not to use it this other time.

By the logic being thrown around here, the US used nukes once on Japan but didn't use any nuclear weapons in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, or Afghanistan, therefore clearly the US doesn't have any nuclear doctrine or nuclear weapons.
 

Val the Moofia Boss

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If you're going to bring up Starfleet's doctrine, then there just isn't really a reason why this fight would happen in the first place. Throughout the shows (in Roddenberry and Berman era Trek, which I am assuming we are talking about here, not Abrams and Kurtzman Trek), the Federation just isn't militarily aggressive. If another empire has claimed a planet, then the Feddies just aren't going to contest it. The Klingons, Romulans, and numerous other factions regularly invaded Federation space, and the most the Feddies ever wound up doing was chasing the invaders away. The Feddies even conceded some of their territory to the Cardassians (a much smaller power than the Feddies, who Starfleet could defeat if they really wanted to) and labelled the humans who fought for their homes as terrorists. The Feddies don't have the teeth.

There are only two times when the Federation ever invaded territory that wasn't theirs. One, the Dominion War... after the Dominion had spent months sending forces through the wormhole to build up at Cardassia in a blatantly obvious precursor to a conquest of the Alpha Quadrant. The Federation winds up invading Cardassian territory, and presumably occupies Cardassia after the war.

The other time was when the Xindi attacked earth and the humans sent the Enterprise to the Xindi homeworld (I can't remember if the humans did this before or after they found out about the superweapon. If it was before, then such a punitive action sounds highly out of character for the Federation given their response to prior incursions, and would be more reflective of the post 9/11 world the show writers were living in).

The OP's scenario is that the UNSC and the Feddies are vying for control over a neutral planet, just for science and technology. I find it hard to believe that the Feddies would start a fight over that. They would ask the UNSC if they could work together, or maybe make some sort of bargain, but if the UNSC says no then the Feddies would shrug and move on. If the Feddies really, really wanted the tech, they could still obtain it through more discreet methods than open conflict.

Setting aside the unusual number of crazy admirals, Starfleet has morals and - again - wouldn't launch or aid in a war for profit. And Starfleet is generally able to recognize when they are outmatched (the admiral in Best of Both Worlds summoning any ships he could but acknowledging that it would probably be futile, Starfleet acknowledging the grim odds of the Dominion War before it began, and so on). They're not going to fight a tough cookie like the UNSC unless they absolutely have to.

If the Feddies absolutely had to fight the UNSC over control of this planet, then I would see no reason why Starfleet wouldn't chose to defeat their enemies in space. Again, Starfleet generally recognizes the strengths of their adversaries. Surely they would know that waging a ground war would be the worst possible move they could make.

If the Feddies are fighting the UNSC on a ground war over some neutral planet, then I have to assume that bug people have taken over Starfleet again.
 
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Battlegrinder

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The problem I'm having with the reasoning in this thread is that the pro-UNSC side is mostly bent on claiming ST won't use abilities it's demonstrated to have, because they "didn't use it these other times." The issue there is that if they've ever used it once, they have demonstrated they have that ability and we can't say why they may have chosen not to use it this other time.

By the logic being thrown around here, the US used nukes once on Japan but didn't use any nuclear weapons in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, or Afghanistan, therefore clearly the US doesn't have any nuclear doctrine or nuclear weapons.
The problem with this arguement (and for the record I don't really agree the pro-UNSC side boils down to "they didn't do it these other times", several points under contention here are things they've just flat out never done ever) is that it's slightly dubious to compare nuclear weapons to hand grenades here. There are very clear reasons why nuclear weapons might be available but unused, the same issue doesn't apply to starfleet here, and if the arguement is that actually it does, actually there is some reason they nominally can't/won't break out gadjet X, the side arguing in favor of gadjet X should explain what that restriction is and why it doesn't apply here.
 

Bear Ribs

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The problem with this arguement (and for the record I don't really agree the pro-UNSC side boils down to "they didn't do it these other times", several points under contention here are things they've just flat out never done ever) is that it's slightly dubious to compare nuclear weapons to hand grenades here. There are very clear reasons why nuclear weapons might be available but unused, the same issue doesn't apply to starfleet here, and if the arguement is that actually it does, actually there is some reason they nominally can't/won't break out gadjet X, the side arguing in favor of gadjet X should explain what that restriction is and why it doesn't apply here.
Yes, totally a mystery why they wouldn't use hand grenades in the corridors on board a starship...

Outside of those, or away missions that are generally not soldiers going into combat, what do you have? Siege of AR-558? They were stated to have been 5 months without resupply and only had 43 people still alive of their original 150 company. There's your clear restriction right there, they were so depleted for consumables it's surprising they had rocks to throw left. Any situation that's not a planned military operation or onboard a ship already have a built-in explanation for why they aren't throwing the heavy stuff around.

On the other hand, we do see grenades getting used fairly often by MACOs and used sparing in other combat situations, provided it's not where they will blow up their own ship. F'rex:

Smoke Grenade deployed to provide cover in DS9, season 2 episode 3.


Michael Burnham playing with a grenade in Lorca's collection in DIS, season 1 episode 4, right after calling it one of the deadliest weapons in the universe. Because Burnham.


MACO using a stun grenade in ENT, season 1, episode 26. They use these things in at least half a dozen different battles.
 

Battlegrinder

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Yes, totally a mystery why they wouldn't use hand grenades in the corridors on board a starship...
Star trek isn't one of those "realistic" settings where they care about possibly puncturing something important during a boarding action, they regularly run around having gun battles in the hallways, I doubt grenades would make it any worse.

The only time I recall there being any discussion of internal damage during a firefight was First Contact, and that was in engineering specifically and also clearly just a plot device, as in normal circumstances I'm pretty sure "and this is where we'll install the fragile glass tubes full of fleshing melting acid, make sure nothing ever happens to them or everyone in the room will die horribly" is the sort of design feature that wouldn't fly.

Outside of those, or away missions that are generally not soldiers going into combat, what do you have? Siege of AR-558? They were stated to have been 5 months without resupply and only had 43 people still alive of their original 150 company. There's your clear restriction right there, they were so depleted for consumables it's surprising they had rocks to throw left. Any situation that's not a planned military operation or onboard a ship already have a built-in explanation for why they aren't throwing the heavy stuff around.
As I mentioned before, in AR-558, the defiant was there on a resupply run, a resupply run they completed. If hand grenades were starfleet issue equipment, AR-558 should have had some, and if the garrison got shorted, they would have complained about it, since they complained loudly about every other aspect of thier situation.

As for other away teams, "soldiers going in to combat" or not. Many of those away missions have been explicit combat missions where the crew breaks out the phaser rifles, if they had other weapons they should have used them then.

And there's two sides to that as well. Starfleet doesn't use grenades, but neither do the Cardassians, the Klingons, the Romulans, the Dominion, etc.

On the other hand, we do see grenades getting used fairly often by MACOs and used sparing in other combat situations, provided it's not where they will blow up their own ship. F'rex:
See, this exactly the "they had this thing once 80 years ago, surely they still do" mindset that keeps popping up in these debates. Enterprise was more than a century before TNG. This akin to arguing modern US marines have an advantage in hand to hand combat, because 19th century triangular bayonet wounds are hard to to sitich up, and the marines had those sorts of bayonets in the 19th century and surely still do.

This goes double for stuff like the enterprise era stun grenades, which were non-lethal weapons that could easily be used inside a ship (and indeed that's exactly where they were used in ENT several times) and would have been extremely useful throughout the rest of the series.

Smoke Grenade deployed to provide cover in DS9, season 2 episode 3.
I'll note that's not a a federation grenade, it's bajorian, but sure, it's at least possible the feds might have a few.
 

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This isn't a matter of intelligence, this is a matter of behavior. Because Starfleet officers consistently attempt to draw back and disengage when under fire rather than call in reinforcements, including in combat (Nor the Battle) I think it's likely they will continue to do so in this case, and that they specifically will not employ your proposed tactics for trying to flank and counterattack via transporters.
Hey, thanks for the quick response!

Anyway, I have to say your argument is rather brittle. We see Starfleet use transporters to support other groups all the time. What we don't see, is the general specific case that you're suggesting; assisting in an ongoing battle. However, this is a rather specific issue within the area of group support with a transporter. Let's begin with the most common Trek trope; rescuing hostages.

Breads and Circuses
MERIK: They're going to be arriving soon, anyway, Jim. A recon party, then a rescue party, then another rescue party. I had less men. It added up the same.
KIRK: Do you really believe I could be made to order my own people down?
...
CLAUDIUS: I do hope so, for your sake. Now, Captain, what are you going to order your men to do?
KIRK: If I brought down a hundred of them armed with phasers
CLAUDIUS: you could probably defeat the combined armies of our entire empire, and violate your oath regarding noninterference with other societies. I believe you all swear you'll die before you'd violate that directive. Am I right?
SPOCK: Quite correct.

In this example, Merik indicates that should the recon party go missing, a rescue party will go down. And so on. Kirk suggested an escalation of forces to try and push against Claudius.

Legacy
SHARA: Access tunnels are here and here.
RIKER: We could transfer the away team right into this intersection.
ISHARA: Don't underestimate them, Commander. They'll be ready for that. I've seen them use this kind of strategy before. I know it looks isolated and easily accessible, but my guess is they have hundreds of men on the levels above and below just waiting for you to make your move.
WORF: We will need a diversion.
LAFORGE: Transport a couple of photon grenades into the adjoining chamber. At minimum intensity it wouldn't kill anybody, but it would shake them up a bit.

Here, one of the local powers on the planet took Federation hostages. The crew talk about beaming down the away team down into the underground complex, in hopes of retrieving the hostages. Again, while this specific incident of sending reinforcements takes the form of a raiding party intent on rescuing hostages, it shows that Starfleet is clearly capable of thinking tactically to support other ground assets.

The High Ground
WESLEY: Got it. We've pinpointed the Ansata base to some three hundred kilometres from the city, on the southern tip of the continent.
DATA: Sensors indicate it is located thirty metres below the ground, implying a cavern-like dwelling.
RIKER: Any passages leading to the surface?
DATA: Our readings show no evidence of any, Commander.
RIKER: Any light they have must be artificially generated.
ALEXANA: If we could shut that down, you could use the confusion to find your people.
WORF: Request permission to join the rescue party, sir. I owe it to the Captain.
RIKER: Permission granted. You have the bridge, Mister Data.
...
CRUSHER: Jean-Luc, there are some things I want to tell you in case we don't get out of this.
(Then the lights go out)
PICARD: Have they found us?
[Cavern]
(There's a lot of people running around in the twilight. A klaxon is blaring)
VOICES: Turn those circuits on. Sandor, come with me. Do we have any emergency power?
(Worf and Riker take on some hand to hand, then the police dash in)
POLICE: Freeze! Hold it right there. Hands up. Hands up, let's go.

In this episode, Picard and Crusher are taken hostage by terrorists using a rare (and dangerous) transporter. The Enterprise D, along with the local authorities, are eventually able to track down the terrorist's base camp and send in a raiding party both to rescue the hostages and to capture/eliminate the terrorists. Again, another example of Starfleet sending in ground assets to free an asset.

Chain of Command
PICARD: Thank you, Enterprise. Well, now that we're under way, I can tell you about our mission. Starfleet Intelligence believes the Cardassians are developing a metagenic weapon.
CRUSHER: Oh my God.
WORF: I am not familiar with metagenics.
CRUSHER: They're genetically engineered viruses that are designed to destroy entire ecosystems. When metagenic toxins are released into a planet's atmosphere, they immediately begin to mutate. They seek out and destroy all forms of DNA they encounter. In a few days, everything is dead.
PICARD: In a month, the metagenic agent itself breaks down and dissipates completely, leaving every city, every road, every piece of equipment perfectly intact.
WORF: Leaving the planet safe to be conquered. Wouldn't using such a weapon pose as great a risk to the attacker as to the target?
CRUSHER: That's why metagenics and other biological weapons were outlawed years ago. Even the Romulans have abided with those agreements.
PICARD: Starfleet Intelligence believes that the Cardassians are developing a new delivery system, one that would protect them from accidental exposure to the toxin. They believe that the Cardassians are testing a way of launching dormant metagenic material on a subspace carrier wave.
CRUSHER: So they could activate the toxins after the launch, thereby preventing any accidental exposure.
PICARD: And because the subspace wave would appear simply as background radiation, no one would realise what was happening until it was too late. Now, for the past few weeks, theta-band subspace emissions have been detected coming from Celtris Three. Those emissions may indicate that a metagenic delivery system in operation.
WORF: What do we know about Celtris Three?
PICARD: Very little. It was thought to be uninhabited until these emissions were detected. Starfleet believes that the Cardassians may have a secret research lab located somewhere below the planet surface. Our orders are to penetrate this Celtris Three installation and determine if the Cardassians are actually building a metagenic weapon.
CRUSHER: And if they are?
PICARD: Destroy it. At any cost. When I was on the Stargazer, we conducted extensive tests using theta band carrier waves. One of the reasons I was selected for this mission is my familiarity with the methods used for generating them. Mister Worf, your presence here is obvious. Doctor, your job will be to locate and destroy any biotoxins we may find.
WORF: Celtris Three is in Cardassian space. How will we get there undetected?
PICARD: I know a way of acquiring some discreet transport. Mister Worf, set a course for Torman Five.

While I don't believe we saw Picard's raiding team beam into the cavern (although given his mode of transportation that he chose, I hardly think they landed), it is yet another example of Starfleet escalating with ground forces (ie, a raid team) to target an enemy ground asset.

We also know that there are incidents of boarding parties being used in hostile environments.

Way of the Warrior
GOWRON [on viewscreen]: Captain, your shields have been weakened, your station boarded, and more Klingon ships are on their way. Surrender while you can.
SISKO: I don't think so. My shields are holding, your boarding parties are contained, and my reinforcements are closer than yours. You're facing a war on two fronts. Is that what you really want?

During the battle between Gowron's fleet and DS9, the moment shields were lost in the battle, Gowron sent boarding parties. They beamed into ops, the promenade, lower pylon three, and the habitat ring. Not only that, but this was anticipated by the DS9 crew, who immediately began prepping for repelling Klingons.

Message in a Bottle



At the end of this episode, these security officers beam in toward the back of the bridge, with weapons ready. Presumably, they might also have beamed other officers throughout the ship in key areas, similar to what the Klingons did in Way of the Warrior. Nor is it the only time that this has been practiced.

Where the Silence Has Lease
RIKER: Have you got a lock on that other ship?
O'BRIEN: Aye, sir. No problems at all.
RIKER: Can you put us on the bridge?
O'BRIEN: Anywhere you say, Commander.
WORF: I am acquainted with the Yamato, Commander. Recommend the aft station of their bridge. When in doubt, surprise them.
RIKER: Them? Who's them?

When checking out a duplicate ship of the Enterprise D, Worf (their tactical officer) recommends beaming towards aft of the bridge, to try and take anyone who might be there by surprise.

And of course, we know that troops are expected to be deployed in this manner:
Nor the Battle for the Strong
KIRBY: It won't be here for days, and in the meantime we're looking at a ground war which is just what the Klingons want. According to a lieutenant I talked to, they've got so many transport scramblers online that we can't beam troops anywhere.
JAKE: What about using hoppers?

And of course, we have Nor the Battle for the Strong, where Starfleet beams down replacement troops for the soldiers on the planetoid at the end of the episode.

So what does this all tell us?

1) Starfleet will escalate with more troops/security forces to retrieve an asset, such as a hostage. Prime examples are Legacy and Breads and Circuses.
2) Starfleet will beam into potentially dangerous or known danger. Prime examples include Where the Silence Has Lease, Message in a Bottle, Legacy, and The High Ground.
3) We know that Starfleet deploys its troops with transporters and expects the same from other powers. Prime examples include The Way of the Warrior, Message in a Bottle, The High Ground, and To the Death.

There's no reason to assume that if Starfleet is willing to send people down to escalate a situation to save a hostage, they won't for a strategic or tactical advantage during wartime. In fact, given that they're willing to beam people into dangerous areas, evidence suggests that they will do so.

That's not possible if the shuttle was unpowered, everyone onboard would be dead. Impacting the ground at supersonic speed is not survivable, that's an impact of more that 50 Gs. People have rarely survived impacts of that magnitude, but those people had crash harnesses, restraints, and other safety equipment that starfleet shuttles do not have (and even then it's very rare to survive an impact at such speed).

If someone walks away from a shuttle crash, that shuttle was either not travelling at supersonic speed on impact, or still had power and thus inertia dampers....and also the SIF and probably engines and could make a controlled crash, or more likely both.
Sorry, let me be more clear. The shuttle engines were not working or were otherwise overpowered, the crashes themselves were rarely involving shuttles with no power.


Ok, so if 50 BMG is making it through shuttle hulls, even partially, I have very serious doubts about how well they'll hold up to UNSC AA weapons, while UNSC vehicles, which are largely impervious to .50 cal fire, should hold up to starfleet weapons far better than even starfleet's own craft.
So you have no idea how deep it went into the hull, but you assume it'll penetrate? Amusing. That was also a shuttlepod with no SIF and no deflector shields. A roundabout, fighter, and a shuttle craft will be shielded and carry an SIF field to match. We saw runabouts and fighters taking hits from secondary weapons on capital ships. For most ships, that's going to be in the 20-40 MW range. If I recall, the fighters took 2-3 hits. So unless the UNSC typically carries anti-air weapons in the 20 MW range and can repeatedly hit a shuttle, I don't think this is going to be easy as one might hope.

That's not even bringing in the issue that Starfleet shuttles are much faster in atmosphere.

Future's End
JANEWAY: Tuvok, we've got Starling, but we've lost contact with Chakotay and Torres. Their shuttle went down over Arizona. Mister Kim is transmitting the co-ordinates to your tricorder.

It took that shuttle about 5 minutes to reach eastern California from east of Phoenix, AZ. So we're probably looking at a speed of around Mach 3 at a lower end and very likely about Mach 4. I believe Pelicans tend to top out at around Mach 0.7, am I right?


I'm also interested in how a shuttle that cannot even fully resist a few 50 cal rounds is supposed to withstand a supersonic crash landing.
That was a 22nd century shuttlepod.

It was an extremely crude cannon made of bamboo, meaning it had an extemely low limit for how much pressure it could withstand before burst, loaded with equally crude, hand ground gunpowder that almost certainly wasn't proportioned right, loaded with misshapen rocks that were just tossed in without any wadding, so most of the already anemic energy from the powder was wasted and what was left wasn't used efficiently. There is every reason to doubt the cannon's power.

It's a miracle Kirk actually managed to wound the Gorn at all with that setup, but the extremely crude nature of the weapon precludes any conclusion that it must be amazingly powerful because it wounded the Gorn (in fact, when mythbusters attempted to replicate this, it proved impossible to make any version of the cannon that was capable of anything even resembling lethal force, as any cannon that could do that would inevitable explode and kill it's own operator, so by that logic I could argue that the gorn must in fact be very weak, since a sub-lethal cannon still managed to maim it).
They were mistaken, actually.

And this rounds back to my point; it doesn't matter how durable a Gorn is to this discussion. The yield of the bomb remains the same and the Gorn could easily have been shielded by rock and distance, since they were guessing where the Gorn were at that moment.

I've never said they don't have any fighter pilots, just that they don't seem to have a lot of them, and this doesn't prove otherwise, it merely says that they have pilots.
Which we know to be false. Many skilled pilots go on to helm starships. This is supported by what they said in regards to the pilot who helmed the Defiant during the Dominion War, as well as the fact that Dax, LaForge, and Paris are all skilled pilots--and all helm starships. It would imply that they in fact, have tens of thousands of skilled pilots.

So, in the entire academy, the have only 5 pilots that are capable of engaging in highly skilled maneuvers under high speed and heavy pressure, and this supports them having loads and loads of capable fighter pilots how?


There was no place in the episode where they said that there were only five. On average, just to keep their ships running, Starfleet would need to produce thousands of pilots every year. Including their large shuttle fleet and the fact that fighters play a predominate role in fleet warfare, they probably need to produce tens of thousands of various skill and quality.

It seems like it, yeah. You keep just assuming that's it's really, really hard to fly a shuttle and demands skill and training to do it, but the constant reality where just about everyone (I actually can't think of anyone in the cast who has expressed an inability to operate a shuttlecraft) can fly them. It's like a car. Lots of people can drive a car, very few of them can probably drive a car into a warzone.
So why is it that everyone who pilots a shuttle or a runabout is intimately familiar with emergency procedures, if there's no sort of studying or skill involved?

Ok, and if the bus I'm riding in breaks down or flips over, I expect the bus driver to also know what to do about that. That doesn't mean I expect him to be able to drive a tank just as well or on short order, simply because he can drive a bus.
Which might be a persuasive argument if this were a bus...or even a public shuttle. The fact is it isn't. These are Starfleet shuttle flown by Starfleet personnel. Nor am I arguing that everyone of them is an ace fighter pilot or even qualified to pilot a starfighter. What I am saying is that it is not as easy as you wish to make it out.

It seems more that you're jumping to conclusions ahead of what your evidence can show you. Starfleet having lots of pilots does not mean lots of skilled pilots (and you haven't really shown much in the way of skill beyond "can follow directions in case of emergency") and that in turn does not mean a lot of skilled combat pilots.
This is really obtuse Battlegrinder. Shall we review the evidence?

1) Thanks to the wide use of shuttle transport, Starfleet is going to have a wide pool of talent to draw upon. The vast majority of that pool will not be particularly talented, but having a wider pool is always better. It means that should Starfleet need more pilots, it has a large pool to draw upon and train up. It means they don't have to start from scratch.

2) Starfleet has an institution that trains up starfighter pilots and would need to train a considerable amount, as it would require at least ten thousand helmsman to fly each and everyone of their ships. More, as we know that there are more than just one or two pilots on every ship. That would in fact, require tens of thousands of trained pilots. On top of this, Starfleet makes heavy use of fighter pilots during wartime. The Akira is based around it, Hoppers are secondary transport against peer powers, and Peregrine fighters are predominant in fleet engagements.

3) We see that there are elite pilots in Starfleet, good examples are Paris and Wesley Crusher. Pilots who are exceptionally good at precision flying, which is what Nova Squad was practicing BEFORE they had their accident. We know that there is an entire base of knowledge surrounding these individuals.

All of this supports Starfleet having a strong abundance in talented fighter pilots.

I believe it's well beyond the average bus driver, which is the relevant comparison here, because that's what a shuttle is. It's a bus, that can fly and carry stuff around all day.
Sort of like how bus is a wagon, right? I mean, let's ignore that they have to operate in three dimensions, follow antimatter emergency containment protocols, a phonebook list of sci-fi space anomalies, and a whole host of other things. But yeah, it's just like driving a bus.

Yes, one of the two such battles in the entire war where fighters showed up, out of dozens. That's not what I would call a "large part of Starfleet's operational combat", since they rarely actually seem to see any use in the combat.
We see these attack fighters used in 11 episodes Battlegrinder, in TNG, DS9, and VOY. Two of those involved Operation Return and the Second Battle of Chin'toka. And I could probably find more, given that we know DS9 reused footage from Sacrifice of Angels for other battle scenes of the war.

Dominion attack fighters are warships the size of the Defiant, with crews of dozens. They are not fighters in the sense you are arguing about and you know it.
*sigh*

The Defiant is over twice as large as the Dominion Strike Fighter.

Dominion Strike Fighter-- ~68 meters
Peregrine Strike Fighter -- ~25 meters
Cardassian Strike Fighter -- ~85 meters
Bajoran Impulse Strike Fighter -- ~33 meters
Danube Class Runabout -- 31 meters
Defiant Class Escort -- 170 meters

Don't get me wrong, it certainly doesn't match our image of a fighter, but in ST, this is what they use as fighters. And while the Dominion Strike Fighter is twice as large as its Federation counterparts, it's also smaller than the Cardassian Strike Fighter. This probably has to do with the fact that the Dominion fighter is expected to dispatch troops from its belly. And of course, we also know that the Scimitar, which carried a fair number of small interceptor fighters, was also active in the Dominion War.

Every major power seems to use fighters, Battlegrinder. The Federation, the Dominion, the Cardassians, and so forth. The only exception we seem to have are the Klingons. And they seem to be fairly well serviced in that area by their BoP raiders.
 
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