Is Bigger better

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Re: Is Bigger better

Postby Graham Kennedy » Wed May 01, 2013 11:29 pm

Sonic Glitch wrote:
GrahamKennedy wrote:
Teaos wrote:Morally I cant see the Federation pulling back and lettings its population deal with invaders.

I think the people of Betazed might disagree.

There's a difference between "We can't defeat the invasion" and "purposefully retreating to let the population deal with it." All indications are that Betazed was a surprise attack for which they weren't prepared that they weren't prepared for* (who expects your mostly stalemated enemy to suddenly strike one of your core systems?)

*edited for preposition

And I think the difference is actually quite minimal in practice. You purposefully retreat to let the population deal with it because you can't defeat the invasion, which is usually because the invasion came as a surprise. A military doesn't retreat with a "screw it, we could win but let's not bother" attitude, they retreat because they know that standing and fighting right then and there will just get their forces chewed up in a battle they can't win, and they'll lose the territory anyway. They retreat to conserve their forces and build up whilst the enemy exhausts his, so they can turn the tide.
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Re: Is Bigger better

Postby McAvoy » Thu May 02, 2013 12:56 am

I think we saw evidence of so called wars that the Federation was in prior to TNG. Some of which you get an impression that for the UFP it was a border skirmish.

I think if a power that holds let's say a doze worlds and those planets holds all the resources for ship building than it is most certainly possible that a Japan like society could pose a serious threat.
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Re: Is Bigger better

Postby Tyyr » Thu May 02, 2013 1:30 pm

Bigger is better in trek, at least in terms of ship to ship combat. Bigger ships have bigger warp cores so they're faster, better armed, and better protected. So it doesn't do you a lot of good to have a ton of small ships to perfectly protect all your borders who then get run over at the first sign of trouble because they don't have the swing to take enemy ships down.

The smart way to handle things is to NOT try and have enough ships on hand at any given point to repel all invaders. You build pickets. Small ships who's job isn't to fight a war. Their job is to patrol, showing the flag, keeping pirates at bay, and watching incase someone does decide to come storming across. Then you build up rapid reaction forces, fleets of big ass ships ready to come murder anyone who messes with them. These fleets stay well back from the border and use their superior speed to go where they are needed to stop attacks delivering a concentrated punch to the enemy.

Long story short you don't build all Sovereigns or all Intrepids, you build some of both and use them intelligently.

Teaos wrote:Morally I cant see the Federation pulling back and lettings its population deal with invaders.
The Maquis say hi. They got fucked and the Cardassians didn't even have to invade they just had to get snarky with the Federation ambassadors.
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Re: Is Bigger better

Postby McAvoy » Thu May 02, 2013 5:40 pm

Local powers such as the Vulcans with an established fleet could defend their own world(s) without Starfleet's help.... up to a point.

I can see that. I can also see Starfleet having a large reserve fleet during peace time.
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Re: Is Bigger better

Postby Tholian_Avenger » Thu May 02, 2013 11:11 pm

The goal is to nip at opportune times when the larger power is willing to trade nibbles to the minnows instead of allowing the sharks to bite.
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Re: Is Bigger better

Postby Teaos » Fri May 03, 2013 9:55 am

I dont think members of the Federation have their own fleet of ships, appart from cargo and private ships that it.
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Re: Is Bigger better

Postby Tyyr » Fri May 03, 2013 11:20 am

Tholian_Avenger wrote:The goal is to nip at opportune times when the larger power is willing to trade nibbles to the minnows instead of allowing the sharks to bite.

The problem with that is if they ever deal with the sharks they are going to come looking for you and put a boot up your ass for being a dick.
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Re: Is Bigger better

Postby McAvoy » Mon May 06, 2013 2:47 pm

Tyyr wrote:
Tholian_Avenger wrote:The goal is to nip at opportune times when the larger power is willing to trade nibbles to the minnows instead of allowing the sharks to bite.

The problem with that is if they ever deal with the sharks they are going to come looking for you and put a boot up your ass for being a dick.


Well yeah. Be an ass long enough you will draw enough attention to someone take care of it.

Which is what I think with the various minor powers we hear about. Federation had to deal with these small powers which in the grand scheme of things minor but could have been bloody.

The Cardassians could have been like that too. Just a bigger power than let's say the Tholians.
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Re: Is Bigger better

Postby Coalition » Mon May 06, 2013 9:43 pm

I'm looking at it as a volume:surface area problem.

An interstellar empire produces resources roughly proportional to its volume. Its primary security concerns are at its borders, for a surface area issue. So all else identical, an empire with twice the width will have 4 times the surface area, but 8 times the industrial capacity as the smaller. This means if it diverts 1/8 of its fleet it can 'deal with' the smaller empire on a 1:1 basis.

What I would see happening is a small empire biting off a piece of the Federation, but the larger numbers of Federation ships can then come in and slap them for making such an disturbance. The Federation ships diverted aren't enough to weaken it critically against its larger neighbors, plus the ships (hopefully) aren't away from their posts for too long to provide a potential weakness.

But against the smaller empire, that minor diversion of ships is enough to disable/destroy their combat fleet and convince them that peace with the Federation is a very good idea.

I.e.
"Our 1st War fleet has conquered ten Federation worlds last month. We cannot be stopped!"

"General-Emperor, the Federation 37th Patrol fleet just arrived in-system, towing our 1st War Fleet. The surviving vessels of the War Fleet have had their weapons, shields, and warp engines shot out. The Federation ambassador would like to meet you to make sure this doesn't happen again. Plus, our Defense bases are transmitting the images live on all planetary channels. There are several million people outside who also want to talk to you." :mrgreen:
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Re: Is Bigger better

Postby McAvoy » Mon May 06, 2013 11:30 pm

The other possibility is that Starfleet ships are superior in every way by a large margin. That even a large fleet could be met by a dozen or so Starfleet ships.
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Re: Is Bigger better

Postby stitch626 » Mon May 06, 2013 11:34 pm

Coalition wrote:I'm looking at it as a volume:surface area problem.

An interstellar empire produces resources roughly proportional to its volume. Its primary security concerns are at its borders, for a surface area issue. So all else identical, an empire with twice the width will have 4 times the surface area, but 8 times the industrial capacity as the smaller. This means if it diverts 1/8 of its fleet it can 'deal with' the smaller empire on a 1:1 basis.

What I would see happening is a small empire biting off a piece of the Federation, but the larger numbers of Federation ships can then come in and slap them for making such an disturbance. The Federation ships diverted aren't enough to weaken it critically against its larger neighbors, plus the ships (hopefully) aren't away from their posts for too long to provide a potential weakness.

But against the smaller empire, that minor diversion of ships is enough to disable/destroy their combat fleet and convince them that peace with the Federation is a very good idea.

I.e.
"Our 1st War fleet has conquered ten Federation worlds last month. We cannot be stopped!"

"General-Emperor, the Federation 37th Patrol fleet just arrived in-system, towing our 1st War Fleet. The surviving vessels of the War Fleet have had their weapons, shields, and warp engines shot out. The Federation ambassador would like to meet you to make sure this doesn't happen again. Plus, our Defense bases are transmitting the images live on all planetary channels. There are several million people outside who also want to talk to you." :mrgreen:

The problem with this is that space is mostly empty and resource less. And if they get past your borders you have all that empty volume to cover.
It is nowhere near as simple as on a planet.
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Re: Is Bigger better

Postby Coalition » Wed May 08, 2013 7:18 am

McAvoy wrote:The other possibility is that Starfleet ships are superior in every way by a large margin. That even a large fleet could be met by a dozen or so Starfleet ships.

I'm not including that in the calculations. What I might argue for is that the Federation has so many scientific expeditions that they can lure attackers into surprises that allow the Federation to get local superiority and defeat/rescue the enemy (i.e. luring a heavy shielded fleet near the anomaly in Hero Worship).

stitch626 wrote: The problem with this is that space is mostly empty and resource less. And if they get past your borders you have all that empty volume to cover.
It is nowhere near as simple as on a planet.

Yes, space is empty. But it is just as empty in the enemy's territory as yours, so that cancels out.

The Federation will have the same number of ships as the enemy per cubic light-year, but a larger overall total. The enemy will have a difficult time reaching the far side of the Federation, while the Federation fleets merely shift closer to the attacker.

I.e. The Sectors on the way to the enemy are A-B-C-D. The enemy is attacking in Sector D. Another threat is in sector A. So the fleets in D engage the enemy, C covers D's territory, and B covers C. This does leave B uncovered, but the enemy will have a difficult time getting there. Sector Fleet A is ordered to do extra diplomacy, patrolling, posturing, etc to make sure the enemy near Sector A doesn't become a threat. It is the Piranha principle, but it also encourages every small threat out there to, as Doctor Who put it, "let someone else go first". 8)
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Re: Is Bigger better

Postby stitch626 » Wed May 08, 2013 6:27 pm

Coalition wrote:
McAvoy wrote:The other possibility is that Starfleet ships are superior in every way by a large margin. That even a large fleet could be met by a dozen or so Starfleet ships.

I'm not including that in the calculations. What I might argue for is that the Federation has so many scientific expeditions that they can lure attackers into surprises that allow the Federation to get local superiority and defeat/rescue the enemy (i.e. luring a heavy shielded fleet near the anomaly in Hero Worship).

stitch626 wrote: The problem with this is that space is mostly empty and resource less. And if they get past your borders you have all that empty volume to cover.
It is nowhere near as simple as on a planet.

Yes, space is empty. But it is just as empty in the enemy's territory as yours, so that cancels out.

No it doesn't.

The more space you have, the less proportional resources you have available.
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Re: Is Bigger better

Postby Graham Kennedy » Wed May 08, 2013 6:30 pm

stitch626 wrote:The more space you have, the less proportional resources you have available.

Not necessarily. More space means more systems to exploit for resources.
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Re: Is Bigger better

Postby stitch626 » Wed May 08, 2013 7:57 pm

GrahamKennedy wrote:
stitch626 wrote:The more space you have, the less proportional resources you have available.

Not necessarily. More space means more systems to exploit for resources.

Yes but it isn't proportional.
Your resource to useless space ratio will drop as you increase the volume of space occupied (barring lucky finds such as Earthlike planets). So as you increase the volume, you have a greater increase of patrol necessary space with a smaller increase in the amount of resources to make said patrols.
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