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Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 1,185
# 16
09-11-2013, 12:46 PM
Originally Posted by kodachikuno View Post
I do believe if you check the TOS references they ARE listed as non-warp. It was one of the things that limited the size of the RSE. As for how, well gee we can look at STO and see that "New Romulus" Is actually the "Old Romulus" which they left to make Romulus.. With wars and such its not hard to see technology sliding backwards. There are also the options of sleeper ships, or just time dilation from travelling at .9c on impulse drives. Unfortunately Star Trek, esp the farther back you go, alternates between no canon lore and lollore that contradicts itself with every new product.
I have checked the references. There seems to be some misunderstanding over the comment in "Balance of Terror" when Montgomery Scott reported that the Romulan ship had simple impulse, but I have seen some suggest that the T'Liss had warp capacity and could not use it while cloaked or when firing the BIG RED BALL OF DEATH ( fear it!!!), I forget which.

There's also this info from an article at Memory Alpha:

The Vulcans were an interstellar civilization by 9th century BC. (ENT: "The Andorian Incident") They invented warp drive some time after 1947 and had reached the level of warp 7 by 2151. (ENT: "Fallen Hero"; DS9: "Little Green Men") Klingons had interstellar travel capability around the time of Kahless in the 9th century. They also invented warp drive some time after 1947 and had achieved the capability of warp 6 by 2151. (TNG: "Rightful Heir"; DS9: "Little Green Men"; VOY: "Day of Honor"; ENT: "Judgment") Romulans were once considered a group of thugs and warp drive was regarded as the key technology that allowed the founding of their Star Empire. (Star Trek: Insurrection) ...
More relevantly, from another article on Memory Alpha:


The question of whether the Bird-of-Prey had warp capability is one without an easy answer. The Star Trek Encyclopedia claims that the vessel only had impulse engines. Scotty's precise line from "Balance of Terror", however, actually says "their power is simple impulse," possibly referring to their power generators, not necessarily their propulsion system. Kirk did say "We can outrun them", which seems to imply that the "impulse" Scotty was referring to was in fact the propulsion system. It seems reasonable to assume that Scotty meant that they did not use the same type of power system (matter/antimatter reaction) used by the Federation, and that the Romulan ship was capable of propelling itself faster than light with the (rather large) engines it mounted, inducing a warp effect by a simpler, brute-force method.

Whatever was said, the Romulans must have some form of faster-than-light drive or they could not have engaged the Earth in an interstellar war in the 22nd century. Perhaps the fuller meaning of Scotty's line is that the Romulans did not have FTL drive of the same type or capabilities as the current type of warp drive used by the Enterprise, or that the early cloak required so much power that it couldn't be used at the same time as warp engines.

Visual evidence (such as the presence of warp nacelle-like objects on the model) also suggest that the ship had faster-than-light capability, as does the fact that the Enterprise was traveling at warp speeds for much of the engagement with the Romulans.

In season four of Star Trek: Enterprise, the three-part Romulan story arc features a refitted warbird that was warp-capable. That would make it seem highly unlikely that the Bird-of-Prey would not have warp drive when it was built more than a hundred years later.

The bottom line is that no matter what Scotty's "their power is simple impulse" line was meant to mean, the fact of the matter is that the ship had to be traveling faster than light in order to travel the distance they traveled. If Scotty's line was indeed referring to the ship's speed, then really all that we need to do is realize that this was either just an error or the speed the Romulan Bird-of-Prey chose to maintain or could only maintain. The latter of the two seems most likely since it was clearly established in "Balance of Terror" that the Bird-of-Prey's fuel was "low" and "all but gone" with the fuel reserve completely "gone."

The frequent mentions of fuel status also tie in nicely with dialog from "The Doomsday Machine" (among other episodes) that suggests that impulse power (ie, a fusion reaction) can propel a starship at faster than light speeds, but at a severe loss of "fuel efficiency", and possibly a lower top speed.

One non-canon source that attempted to explain this was the novel Final Frontier by Diane Carey, which depicts smaller Romulan vessels being deployed by a warp-capable mothership that carried them into location. However, none of this information was ever referenced in canon.

Fvillhu s'Tal'Diann (Phi'Tlaru Rihan) ~(‾.▿.‾)~ Praetor of the Tal'Diann (Romulan Military Intelligence)
Tal'Diann = KDF-allied Romulan Republic Fleet / Tal Diann = Fed-allied Romulan Republic Fleet

Last edited by protogoth; 09-11-2013 at 12:50 PM.