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Federation Fleets

perilousperilous0 Posts: 0Member
edited June 2012 in General Discussion #1
Hi all,

One of the bits i liked best about watching the Star trek series over the years was when they got pissed off at someone enough to launch a fleet of starships and kick some ass,what id like to discuss is assuming that the federation starships were highly organised and well versed in strategic and tactical strategies how they would translate this into what a fleet of starships would do and how they would be organised,based on the starships we have seen over the years?

Obviously this is just speculation but i know that members here put quite a lot of thought into just how things work, i wonder what direction this discussion will take us?:)
Post edited by perilous on


  • fluxfirefluxfire171 Posts: 0Member
    Hum.... tis a good question....

    Based on the fact that the Federation would be efficent and wouldn't make more ships then they need or could support both during/after war time, i would think ships like the Galaxy, and Sovi would be the one produced in the most limited numbers given the crew size and logistics costs. Tac wise i think it would be more feasible to have smaller tactical fleets composed of..... Say 50 ships, have at least 2 sovi, 4 gal, 8 akira, 8-10 excel, 6 defiant, 4 saber, 4 steamrunner, 4 science ( can't think of a good class atm) and 2 squads of fighters (4 each) This would make a decent well rounded tactical fleet.

    I would think with this kind of base you could defend at least a sector block depending on how you have them patrolling. Obiously for major engagements there would have to be a different grouping. But in general this combo would be more then sufficent to take on battle groups or as a strike force. This would also be good for a re-enforcement task force.

    Just my thoughts on this...
  • perilousperilous0 Posts: 0Member
    its interesting to wonder what kind of configurations of ship types would be used isnt it? i mean i always thought of the galaxy class as equivalent to our huge aircraft carriers with the hosts of support ships that go with it.

    Upon reflection it would be more than capaple of holding its own,so why didnt starfleet just make oodles of galaxys? apart from it looking a bit bland visually lol, perhaps there wouldnt be enough highly trained personnel to man all those ships,as we know that only the cream of the crop ended up on the enterprise? or is it just a lack of resources?
    I remember reading the technical manual years ago and i think it implied that certain things couldnt be replicated with enough precision <id love to see the galaxy class replicator,just press a button and wait for the ping and one fresh new starship lol> so that would mean that certain critical components would have to be fashioned the old fashioned way so limiting the amount of ships.
  • fluxfirefluxfire171 Posts: 0Member
    Well as for the Galaxy it was defined as a long range exploration cruiser, where the sovi was classified as a long range battle cruiser. The main reason for the limited number of them is the resources involved in building them. Also once you start getting into the Sovi area you need more specialized trianing and as the tech was the most advance at the time of construction it was also a more complex process to build.

    As for replicating parts they could replicate a good 90% of what is need but some things would still have to be built if the materials were availible. There would have to be quite a few modifications to accomidate such a change for a Gal to be a carrier... But i think i can see where your coming from on that.
  • perilousperilous0 Posts: 0Member
    So what other classes did we see in our travels? its a shame that we didnt see many support vessels over the years but i suppose the series makes could argue that enterprise d could undertake a multitude of roles,but im talking bigger picture,there would be places that didnt have a galaxy class in the vicinity,especially as weve just discussed they would be off exploring. i suppose the most obvious would be the oberth class but it would need to be out of harms way in any fleet as it would soon be destroyed in any combat.
  • AresiusAresius338 Posts: 4,126Member
    Science class would be the Nebula, I'd say. However, we've heard of far bigger fleets during the Dominion war. So either they maashed together several of "your" fleets to match the dominion forces (which is unlikely as they kept saying that their fleets are way bigger than their own), or your number would be the feasible option during peace-time.

    Let's see, we saw:
    Sovereign-class (Ent-E)
    Galaxy-class (Ent-D, Odyssey)
    Defiant-class (Defiant)
    Intrepid-class (Voyager, Bellerphone)
    Prometheus-class (Prometheus)
    Nebula-class (3 variants actually)
    Nova-class (Rhode Island, Equinox)
    Excelsior-class (Ent-B, Merrimack, Yorktown, and dozens of other Excelsior ships)
    Ambassador-class (Ent-C)
    Oberth-class (Vico, Grissom)

    Those were the most common used during TNG/Ds9 and Voyager, then we also have the older ship-classes that were likely still in use, but we never saw them:
    Constitution-refit (Ent-A)
    and likely some more ships from the TMP/Lost-Era time.

    So I'd say they have enough classes and that only assumes that there are 'only' these classes (which I highly doubt, and I've to admit here that I'm a follower of the non-canon approach that there are probably dozens, maybe even hundrets of other classes).

    The thing is, that while most of those classes can do several things (the Federation has a knack for being a multi-purpose group), liek exploring, fighting, patrolling, supplying, they only have very few specialised ships.

    They all can do everything, because of their huge cargo-bays, large arrays of sensors, and weapons. The Sovereign, Prometheus, and Defiant are, however, specialised as warships, while the Nova, Intrepid, and Nebula (and the Oberth, but as you said, they're old) are specialised as science-vessels (or at least exploratory vessels) due to their increased array of sensors. And so forth, so in a warfleet, I'd say that the ships are less seen by their specialisation, and more by their fighting prowess. And in that aspect, a Defiant can kick as much butt as an Akira, despite the fact that technically, the Defiant is designed as an anti-Borg vessel and the Akira as a torpedo-cruiser/fighter-escort carrier.
  • perilousperilous0 Posts: 0Member
    you raise quite a few good points, there has always been a lot of flexibility for multiple mission configuration in the galaxy class so carrying on that design ideal would be logical<captain lol> so that suggests the idea that starfleet would just simply chuck every ship theyve got into a fleet and if they had time,the ships they had close by refit for more agressive layouts?
  • fluxfirefluxfire171 Posts: 0Member
    Hum when it comes to the term refit and retrofit i always liked thinking of war time as the retrofit time seeing as all of the ships would have to be retrofitted to some form of brutish ship that has more armor weapons and shields. Then after war time is over refitting the ships with there original intent.
    Maybe i am over thinking that :rolleyes:

    None the less there are some scenes in DS9 that do prove there are other classes and types of ships that SF uses. Besides things like shuttles and work bees, we also saw at the start of season 6 some kind of variant on the excelsior hull that was used as a tug. So yes the previously mentioned fleet would just be the main stay or work horses of the Federation fleet.

    It's more than likely that many civilian ships would be modified to be used in war time for blockade runs, troop transports, ect... Also i could see remote out posts being updated with better sensors, shields, and weapons tech.

    What we didn't get to see much of was how the fleets truly engaged one another we got bits and a run through a cardassian and dominion fleet blockade but that isn't standard combat that's more of a desperation move. In B5 they did do quite a bit of open space battles with large numbers of ships engaging one another, but even that was limited in how much was shown. Aside from SG-1 and SGA there haven't been many shows that have done large scale battles.
  • AresiusAresius338 Posts: 4,126Member
    Well, I do still think they have a certain pattern in what kind of ship they put in what kind of fleet.
    I mean an Excelsior is still weaker than a Galaxy, a Defiant still more agile than a Sovereign, so there must be some sort of battlefield order so that the ships cover eachother in weapons efficiency.

    But Flux is right. We see very little about the actual battles. Here and there fighting, but that's reduced to some scenes and they've been repeated every now and then to save up on CGI costs.

    And yes, I forgot those Frankenfleet ships like the Yeager, the Raging Queen and stuff. Because to me, they're a mashup of mixed designs. Then rather the New Orleans, Niagara, Cheyenne, Freedom, and Challenger from the Wolf 359 battle. Okay, and the Centaur from the Dominion War, and the Constellation (like the Stargazer, Picards firts command), they're also there. They at least still look like distinct ships, unlike those oddball ship, like the Yeager (a mix between an Intrepid and a Marquis Raider), or the Raging Queen and the Curry (both complete bashups of the Excelsior), or the three-nacelled Excelsior-variant.
  • perilousperilous0 Posts: 0Member
    thats what we need! we need a full on capital ship battle with the odd small craft nipping in and out while the big ships piling on the pressure to open up weak points in the enemy fleet,they could learn a lot from the homeworld game series in this respect :-)
  • AresiusAresius338 Posts: 4,126Member
    True that. I only played HW2, but it's still very accurate in that matter.
  • fluxfirefluxfire171 Posts: 0Member
    I was watching some videos on HW&2 rather interesting how the game engine goes about combat in a 3d space. Though another game that is very similar in the way it does combat is Sins of a Solar Empire. I believe there is a mod to add ST ships to it as well giving us some semblance of what combat might look like...
  • perilousperilous0 Posts: 0Member
    The only prob with that is homeworld had tons of different weapons with different ranges like ion beam,missiles,flak and all the rest,all the federation have is phaser and photon (or quantum torpedoes) which makes it difficult to do like in homeworld and have the massive ships taking long range potshots and the smaller cruisers having to get down and dirty at the front line.

    I suppose it could be said that the larger ships would have longer range phasers because their power capabilites would be much bigger,but i dont know if they had a set range <cant remember what tng tech manual said> and im certain that photon torpedoes would have a set range determined by the size of the casing and propulsion tech
  • fluxfirefluxfire171 Posts: 0Member
    I belive the Tech manual stated that the range on Phasers was 10KM for type VII and above. As for torps I believe you are correct. Though they really only had one general size we didn't start seeing other sizes till you get the quantums which were never shown in the show but were shown by ppl like Doug Drexler. They were a bit different in shape but roughly the same size...

    The games however do use various types as the runabouts and peregrin fighters used mini versions which would limit their range severly. I would say for a normal sized torp they would probably have a max range of 10KM similar to their phasers. For the mini's i would guess that they probably have a range of 2-5KM depending on the size and ship they were designed for.

    With that in mind i can see the light crusiers and smaller ships needing to move up towards the front lines and having ships like the Akira on up providing cover fire. While you would have ships like the Defiant, Sabers, Runabouts, and fighters moving in and taking the brunt of enemy fire. We did see some of this when DS9 was retaken. While the fighters were doing damage we did see that they were practically doing suicide runs as we did not see any kind of cover fire from the support ships. (probably a budget or time issue)
  • MelakMelak171 Posts: 0Member
    I'm not exactly sure if phasers propagate at light speed or not, I remember reading 100.000 km/s somewhere, which would give it an effective range of about 100.000 km before the lag starts making targetting an issue.
    As for torpedoes, I think the manual states a 3.5 million km range, but it also says that the further it travels, the more of its anti matter supply it uses up for propulsion, reducing the yield.

    On-screen however, ships always seem to be at very close ranges of a few km at most when they exchange phaser fire, sometimes despite the dialogue telling us they are much farther apart.

    Considering the Akira has anywhere between 10 and 20 visible torpedo launchers pointing in pretty much all directions I've always considered it sort of an artillery ship - I could easily imagine it providing cover fire over long distances.
    As torps are supposed to be smart weapons (at least they appeared to be, before Nemesis....) there wouldn't be much of a targetting issue.
  • SanderleeSanderlee0 Posts: 0Member
    This is always one of the reality check problems I had with Trek-nology. They have transporters that can go from orbit to ground with pinpoint accuracy (as long as there's a communicator for lock-on, anyway ... and often without it). After all, nobody ever appears six inches above ground level ... or below it. Since they're doing this from orbit, their targetting scanners have to have millimetric precision at least at ranges of 200-2,000 km (Low Earth Orbit).

    And yet, their phasers (which are near-lightspeed in film-canon, are lightspeed in most games) miss regularly at truly short distances of under 10km based on scale on screen.

    Now, I know the transporter was a maguffin that Roddenberry came up with as a budget short-cut (since they couldn't afford a shuttle or the whole ship landing every episode). But, still, that's a MASSIVE disconnect in sensor precision. This is compounded by two additional factors:

    a) In the original series, TNG, and Voyager (yes, I know), we see in-episode, on-camera use of phasers on ground targets from orbit. So, despite the whole 10km range thing so many games (and the deep-space combat footage) seem to reference is clearly bogus. Sure, I can see that restriction in Enterprise ... but even THERE they could use transporters from orbit!

    b) consider the precision of what the transporter does. It, using Heisenberg Compensators, maps the exact position and relative motion of every atom (conceivably, every sub-atomic particle) in AT LEAST a human-sized mass with such accuracy that reassembly is routinely perfect except when The Plot 'o The Week says otherwise. That it can do this in the transporter room (surrounded by machinery and scanners and resonance cavities and any other 'babble they claim) is impressive. But that it can do it at the other end, either assembly or disassembly, WITHOUT the hardware is even more so.

    So, how again does one miss with a non-fixed aperture phaser? I can see the Defiant missing since, for whatever reason, they gave the thing fixed-aspect pulse phasers. Aiming the whole ship has to be a massive pain. But, even the Duck shouldn't miss at orbital ranges ... ever. Except for the odd episode from the original series where phasers were more AoE quasi-projectiles (yes, I'm pointing at YOU, "Balance of Terror" ... phasers are NOT spatial depth charges!!) the 1701 almost never missed, even from orbit.

    <rant off>
    You can now go back about your business.
    Move along.

  • perilousperilous0 Posts: 0Member
    yes its a mess isnt it but i suppose that the series makers werent all that bothered about all the tech stuff, they were concentrating more on the human stories which is goddam annoying of them lol can you see where i am steering the conversation? to ask the big question:how would WE do a big battle scene? because we are better modellers/directors/vfx artists arent we lol

    something id like to see is more use of is the 3d nature of space combat, because its easier on the eye, we are always presented with ships the same orientation, looking at the configuration of phaser arrays i would bet that there are areas that are only covered by a single array so it would probably be standard battle computer code that the attacking ship would try to keep in that zone as much as possible

    <im sure people would argue races such as klingon wouldnt use computer aids as they would be assisting the kill and be seen as a form of weakness in skill>

    even the ww2 german fighter pilots would come in from above with the sun behind them :-) to provide a tactical advantage
  • fluxfirefluxfire171 Posts: 0Member
    perilous wrote: »
    <im sure people would argue races such as klingon wouldnt use computer aids as they would be assisting the kill and be seen as a form of weakness in skill>

    I would think they would consider this like a better weapon or a sharper blade. After all its ship to ship combat and its not individual hornor on the line its the entire ships and crews, after all worf did say in an ep of DS9 there is nothing more honorable in combat than victory!
  • perilousperilous0 Posts: 0Member
    i dont think ive ever heard a klingon say execute attack pattern delta or something like it lol anyway it wasnt the individual ship tactics i was referring to,more the strategy of fleet layout and the actual practicality of large fleet to fleet combat ;)

    i suppose that the romulans and cardassians would be the most sneaky and strategic out of all the races

    a thought just occurred to me,unlike other battles over the centuries the use of warp travel must surely have been a factor in battles too? the ability to just warp out <or in> to trouble must have been implemented to influence combat,am i right in saying that ships in warp could be detected and destinations tracked,eliminating suprise attacks? so that leaves the use of warp as a method of escape or at least a means to regroup?
  • fluxfirefluxfire171 Posts: 0Member
    As far as using warp to go in an out of combat I recall the reason being the power consumption when jumping to warp would be too great with shields at full and weapons a blazing. But as far as the tracking well that is limited to a few things, 1 they get a general idea where they are going based on the vector when going to warp. 2 the range of their sensors limits just how many light yrs out they can see. So yes sneaking up on a target for the feds, cardi's, breen, and dominion would be rather hard as they all do not have cloaking abilities.

    I could see the roms, and klink using this to its max advantage as well as a combat cloaking system to allow them to take hits while cloaking but still not get destroyed in the process. This was demoed in DS9 when worf was on trial for blowing up a civilian klink freighter. They did show that the klink would uncloak attack and being hit as they were re-cloaking.

    Though this does bring up an interesting point. The federation did experiment with phase cloaking and did have it working, however what stopped them was the treaty they had with the roms. If we were to take what happend in JJ trek as canon then wouldn't after that point in time the treaty the fed had with the roms become null and void allowing them to persue their own type of cloak? After all STO suggests that there is no longer any kind of treaty with the romulans or the klink for that matter. So there would be nothing stopping them from doing so. Thus allowing the Federation to expand on their combat tactics.

    Just a thought :p
  • perilousperilous0 Posts: 0Member
    i think the klingons are a worthy foe to have a mass battle against as they have a lot of qualities that make good watching :-) they can be reckless and headstrong yet have cloaking tech to provide sneak attacks and have some decent sized ships to play with as well as smaller ,nimbler craft

    The thing that always makes me smile about them though is that they are like the german ww1 pilots,they try to kill you,but would happily have a pint with you after the scrap lol <if you fought well>
  • MoonswordMoonsword0 Posts: 0Member
    Here are my thoughts so far.

    Phasers and torpedoes have ranges far exceeding 10km, more so if you think about that with modern technology, we have missiles that can fire from one country to another with relatively good accuracy, we have planes that can fire missiles over the horizon and shoot down other aircraft with them, I think a more logical range for the torpedoes would be 2 - 3 million kilometers, and phasers being around 5 thousand kilometers, but I would also say that a phaser beam or pulse is stronger the closer you are to the target, eg: at 10 km, your beam would be 25% more powerful than if it was fired at 1000 km due to less distance having to be traveled.

    Also, as for fleet engagements, I would say that the Sovvie, the Gal, and the other large ships like that would act as your capitol ships, they would sit at about mid phaser range and be firing off phasers and torpedoes, they would more than likely be circling.

    The Akira and the Nebula, fitted out with the torpedo pod, would provide artillery fire from long range with photon and quantum torpedoes.

    Than there is the mid sized ships, Excelsiors, Intrepids, Novas, Steamrunners, they would sit in front of the capitol ships and do several roles, they would provide cover for the capitol ships, shoot down incoming torpedoes, provide targeting for the capitol and the artillery ships.

    That just leaves your fighters and small escorts, they would serve the role of being up close and personal, guns blazing in your face, they would be in close, weaving through the other ships to try and avoid fire while dishing out heavy damage.

    That is just my thoughts on it.
  • perilousperilous0 Posts: 0Member
    Yea its starting to come together now aint it? As for the ranges of the weapons that would be fine for realism,but wed have to take liberties when it comes to watching it on telly as im sure the ships would be fairly spread out and you would be lucky to have a couple on screen at any one time.

    A thought just popped into my head,a suicide run on a ship with full shields would fail wouldnt it? as the deflectors have to be capable of deterring objects in space at near light velocities when warping etc so it would only be succesful with failing or shields that have failed? Id love to see what would happen if two ships proper [email protected] each other with full shields <dodgems!>
  • AresiusAresius338 Posts: 4,126Member
    Not necessarily. The deflector only shoves objects away that are without engines. Asteroids, space-dust, such things. Things that happen to be everywhere. But s ship running own engines, with their own deflector working, their own shields, own everything, has its own power, so a deflector would have to use a substancially higher output. That, and it's not always a frontal run (well, Picard did it and still succeeded, and don't tell me that the Scimitar didn't have a deflector!).

    The best example would be (and forgive me, I know it's a very sketchy example), like with an umbrella. Raindrops are the spacedust and asteroids and strays whatever stuff. It's easily dispelled. But think of a more powerful thing, like a hailstorm (I'm talking about gulfball+ sized hail here). That pierces the umbrella by sheer force and thus can hit you.
    As said, it's a dubious and not very accurate example, but it's basically like that. Small, weak and feeble things, like natural occurences are no trouble, but things that are manmade, and thus have their own "counter-measures", wouldn't be so easily affected.

    Same goes for the shields. They only have a certain capacity and if the attacking ships kinetic energy is beyond that, the shield will overload, collapse and let everything through that is beyond the shields capabilities.
  • perilousperilous0 Posts: 0Member
    apologies didnt think that last post through lol i forgot that the deflector is only used in travel,completely separate from the shield,and a big enough dose of kinetic energy to the shields would collapse them, i just had this mental image of a galaxy and a warbird bouncing all over the place dodgem style lol

    Anyway,gettin off topic,so is there anything that we'd like to see in a big battle scene?
  • AresiusAresius338 Posts: 4,126Member
    Besides massive numbers of ships taking it out on eachother, and a generally great amount of massive pwnage delivered all over the place?
    Individual ships being followed by a chase-camera would be cool.
    Formation-shots and ship-maneuvers shown is a nice thought.
    Far-distance battlefield shots, where you see the whole battle.
    Aftermath shots with debris and wrecks and dead bodies floating around.

    Just some thoughts, I'm sure, more will crop up.
  • perilousperilous0 Posts: 0Member
    :-) sounds good! id like to see some strategy used too maybe using pincer movements etc to catch the enemy with its pants down and general orchestrated events like an akira class broadside lol

    ive often liked the idea you mentioned Aresius, following an individual ship as it weaves around the larger ships,star wars did that quite well,:rolleyes: wasnt it the last film where they were battling over a planet? <cant remember>
  • AresiusAresius338 Posts: 4,126Member
    Yeah, it started with the Battle of Coruscant. hough the main action was confined to Annie and Obi-Wan making their way to the Invisible Hand. We didn't see much of the battle around besides a few shots before and inbetween to explain why the ship is suddenly tilted or whatever.
  • LeuthCorpsLeuthCorps0 Posts: 0Member
    fluxfire wrote: »
    Well as for the Galaxy it was defined as a long range exploration cruiser, where the sovi was classified as a long range battle cruiser. The main reason for the limited number of them is the resources involved in building them. Also once you start getting into the Sovi area you need more specialized trianing and as the tech was the most advance at the time of construction it was also a more complex process to build.

    As for replicating parts they could replicate a good 90% of what is need but some things would still have to be built if the materials were availible. There would have to be quite a few modifications to accomidate such a change for a Gal to be a carrier... But i think i can see where your coming from on that.

    The Galaxy Class was originally intended to be a Battleship, but was later downgraded as the LREC --at least according to the tech manuals if my memory serves.
  • FalinFalin0 Posts: 0Member
    I always assumed there's a ton of ships out there that we don't see. like when the "enterprise-e" is ordered to "patrol" the romulan neutral zone to stop any attempt to capitalize on the borg war, how is one ship going to do that? more like they are taking command of a fleet of ships patrolling that border.

    I believe there is a stand navy tier of ships, small Border patrol ships like the "freedom" class, then we can move up to Frigates, then destroyers, then some light cruisers, heavy cruisers and then finally the mainstays of any fleet, the Command ships like the galaxy or sovie. there's also a whole lot of "science" classed ships that can be retrofitted for war if needed as well.
  • andar_bandar_b0 Posts: 0Member
    I'm reminded of the Fleet formations used in the Lensman books. Smith always seemed to have a pretty clear idea of how space battles would really take place when fleets are involved, not unlike Ender's Game. Remember... in space, there is no down. :) I've always assumed that Trek fleets are oriented to the galactic plane, you hardly ever see a bird of prey decloak coming at an enemy from 'overhead'.
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