The Siege of AR-558
Overall Ep :
First Aired :
18 Nov 1998
Season Ep :
The military tactics used in this episode are pretty poor. The Jem'Hadar just charge at the defenders en masse. Remember that photon grenade launcher Kirk used in "Arena"? Imagine what just half a dozen of those little things would do to such an attack. Surely the Defiant could have replicated a few launchers and beamed them down?
For that matter, what about just firing a long burst of phaser fire and sweeping it from side to side, instead of all those fast shots they use? It would be far more devastating than present day machine gun fire. A single wide-angle beam would be even better. And don't claim that they would run out of power too quickly, because we see extra power clips being handed out before the battle but nobody is ever seen actually changing one.
Great Moment :
Despite the numerous flaws, I love this whole episode. I love that it gives us a glimpse into the true horrors of war, something you don't often get when seeing ships blowing up on a viewscreen.
Body Count :
Two Starfleet officers are killed by the Houdinis, and Larkin, Kellin, and Vargas are killed in battle - probably others also. Nog loses his leg. Large numbers of Jem'Hadar are killed both on and off screen, both in ground combat and in at least one Attack Ship seen destroyed.
The Defiant visits the front lines and finds a group of Federation soldiers who have been defending a captured Dominion communications post for many months, suffering 65% casualties in the process. When Sisko decides to stay and help against the latest attack, his officers find that Federation ideals are all too easy to leave behind in the face of desperation.