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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 15
01-31-2010, 03:43 PM
The usual method for the Cardassian military to build new ships was to strip mine planets of available resources. This includes the ones they live on. By the lack of resources, you have to realize that probably more than half the gross domestic national product of the Cardassian Union went straight to their military. Maybe more than that.

As far as known military ship classes, once again, it's a matter of perspective. Paramount is only going to spend as much money as they have to for an episode of Star Trek, so when they need stock footage of a Cardassian ship, they pick one of the three you mentioned, Hideki, Galor, and Keldon. From various other sources, mostly games, it can be inferred that there are several others, especially given the predatory school-like swarm tactics they usually employ. Star Trek Armada II has a number of examples that I would consider reasonable.

As far as tactics go, Cardassians are usually by the book soldiers, unimaginative, but efficient and brutal. The interrogation techniques of the Obsidian Order are rightly feared as probably the best imaginable. After all, the officer who interrogated Picard wasn't in the Obsidian Order, and he came very close to cracking one of the strongest willed Starfleet officers ever.

In game I wouldn't think there would necessarily be more engineers than anything else for the Cardassians, rather I would think every officer has as least a rudimentary understanding of engineering that they can either expand upon or not, given their specific duties. Garak was known as being good with computer systems, while Gul Dukat knew a little about almost every system on DS9.

To sum up, I agree with two of your points, that they had large numbers and tough but limited amounts of technology. However, I disagree that they had limited styles of ships, and that they were all cruisers. My argument against them being cruisers is that Cardassian ships tend to have a forward facing weapons array, it's very rare to see them shoot anywhere else. Also their ships tend to work better in formation than they do by themselves, which, if that's the military's intention, would mean that they wouldn't necessarily need high powered shield generators. Also a factor is the cost, why would a primarily militant government build cruiser type ships when you can build escorts that blow things up just as well?

I have to point out that limiting ships to the classifications of escort, science or cruiser is kind of a crude way of dealing with it, but I hope I got my point across without making it confusing.

I still think they would need a lot of engineers to maintain their forces, but I highly doubt that many of them would be made captains, especially not of military vessels.