Removing Carriers - What would you do instead?
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Join Date: Dec 2007
01-06-2011, 01:43 AM
Originally Posted by
I'm sorry, but I have to start this out by stating simply that you don't know wtf you're talking about.
Now, to explain why you don't know what you're talking about.
First off, not canon? -Not- canon? Excuse me, but how do you think those fighters -got- to the front lines of the war between the Dominion and the Federation?
Warp Engines. We saw them flying around the Starbase, we saw them flying at warp, we saw them engaging in combat. At no point where they launched from the ship. The Maquis used them to fight the Cardassians. They didn't seem to use any Carriers at all for them.
It would also be a stark reversal from the real world - in the real world, the carrier is slower then the planes it is carrying. That alone would create a very odd dynamic.
What do you think the Scimitar was? And don't go saying "Nemesis was a horrible movie and shouldn't count as canon." It's as much canon as any of the other movies and TV serieses, whether or not you liked it.
The Nemesis did not use their fighters in combat at all. Why was that? It seems they didn't see them as valuable.
As for fighters and carriers not making sense in Star Trek, that's flatly absurd. Even if they hadn't ever appeared on the series, that wouldn't make them "not make sense." They've already got shuttlecraft, which are armed, though not -heavily.- They've also got the Runabouts, which are far more heavily armed, and much more durable, as well as being capable of higher speeds.
Then there's the prototype Delta Flyer design from Voyager, which would definitely be a precursor to an effective Fighter design.
Of course they got shuttle craft. But they don't start them in combat for extra firepower. They serve for transportation and of course they have some self-defense capabilities. After all, their are threats small enough to be dealt with for Runabouts. For example, fighters like they were employed by the Maquis.
As for the ships packing a punch, let's take a look at the Defiant. Tiny little ship, but packs a massive punch. This shows that Federation technology has advanced to allow for far heavier firepower on much smaller ships.
And the Defiant is as small as they got it. The Defiant was not one of those all-purpose Cruisers. It didn't have the vast shield arrays, crew quarters, cargo bays, plain empty internal space, laboratories, aboretums and holodecks. It didn't even have a real sickbay. And yet, it wasn't a fighter and it was significantly larger then any fighter we see in Startrek Online.
And, that's just the information that shows why it's entirely reasonable for the -Federation- to have Carriers.
No, it's not reasonable, since you are ignoring what real world fighters and carriers can do and what their purpose is - and how Startrek fighters as depicted on the screen don't have it (nor, in fact, Startrek Fighters and Carriers in Startrek Online have it.)
A single fighter in Startrek is _no_ threat at all to a Cruiser. A typical engagement between a shuttle and a larger ship consists of the shuttle ducking and weaving and hoping to ge to a safe spot (or at least its crew). There is no hope of breaking the larger ships defenses.
If you look at the typical Startrek weapon, for example a torpedo, you will notice that most ships can survive multiple hits of them - even without shields, but the standard case is that we do have shields. So even if we arm our Startrek fighter as good as we can (carrying a few photon torpedoes or quantum torpedoes), it still can't really hope to survive them.
A real world plane can be armed with weapons that pose a significant threat to a single naval vessel. It might not sink the ship, but it might be enough to need considerable repairs and possible some time in a friendly airport. A single hit can be all that it takes to deal this kind of damage.
You wil notice the type of damage these weapons inflict is very different. Real world planes have considerably more firepower compared to a real world ships defenses then we see it in Startrek.
Another aspect about planes and carriers is that a carrier serves as its operation base. The carrier cannot itself attack targets on land. But it can send out its planes to achieve this. And they can move considerably quicker then any other naval vessel.
In Startrek, there is no distinctinction between "land" and "water" for fighters vs carriers. Both fly through space. The fighter might be able to enter the atmosphere, but Startrek cruisers are quite capable of attacking ground targets within the atmosphere on their own. The only purpose of smaller vessels can be to send troops to the ground when transporters aren't working.
A fighter craft is definitely not faster then a typical Cruiser, in fact it is typically more the opposite.
Planes also serve as a defense against others. Aircraft carriers are typically found within a fleet, and part of their planes provide a combat air patrol that's sole purpose is to be the first line of defense against hostile planes that could send their weapons against the carrier or its fleet.
We have seen nothing like that in Startrek. The instances where we saw fighters in real battles at all, we saw them in the middle of the fleet. There are no combat air patrols provided by shuttlecraft when the Enterprise flies through unknown space. It didn't happen in peace times, nor did it happen in war times (like in the "Yesterday's Enterprise" episode). A small reason might be that any sufficiently sized threat (e.g. not a fighter) could possible outrun any type of fighter screen (see abocve.)
Within Startrek Online, you will notice one thing - fighters from Carriers can be spawned endlessly. That is a game mechanic, just like our own ships can spawn endlessly and not permanently lost. If we remove the respawns for a moment (To some extent we can create such a scenario - there are fighter only NPC groups in PvE), you will notice how quickly all those fighters are destroyed.
Every time you destroy a fighter, you remove some of the fighter wing's firepower, too. If you had bothered to put all that firepower into a single ship, it would have taken a lot longer for that ship to be destroyed and any firepower to be lost. So instead of slapping all that firepower on 12 fighters, you should have put it on one single ship. Even in the worst case, complete loss of the fighters and complete loss of the ship, you would have inflicted more damage with the ship. And there is a higher chance that maybe you dealt enough damage with that ship to avoid a loss, or at least were able to retreat without losing half of your wing.
In the real world, we don't have shields and the type of armor used in Startrek. In the real world, all this scales very badly. You can probably use the exact same type of missiles or guns to bring down a small airplane then you can use to destroy a large one. It can be more useful to scale up your numbers then to scale up your size under these circumstances, e.g. it is actually more effective to send a wing of 6 planes armed with 6 missiles each then it is to send a larger plane with 36 missiles. Beause those 6 wings need 6 hits to be destroyed, while that large plane probably still needs only one.
Of course, in the real world, the larger plane would have other disadantages, too - it would probably be less maneuverable and easier to detect, too.
And on that note, I'm quite thankful this isn't your Star Trek. As the vulcans would say, your reasoning is quite illogical.
I think a Vulcan would hesitate from such conclusions without sufficient data, and with sufficient data, he would come to the same conclusion I did.
I can also put a short version of all the above.
Startrek Combat doesn't feature fighters. Startrek flagships have never been carriers. If this is to feel like Startrek, Carriers have no place in it.
That is pretty much all I will say on that matter. Again, this thread is on the hypothetical and not realistic topic of what would happen if we would remove Carriers from the game. We had about a Billion of discussions on why Carriers make sense or not sense for the game, for Startrek or for the Federation. We don't need to waste that much more bandwidth on it.