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Old 8th September 2018, 04:16 PM   #361
HansMustermann
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To be fair TOS for better or worse IS a product of the 60's. It IS rather progressive for the 60's, but a certain dose of sexism is there.

I mean, for example, I don't remember the name of the episode off the top of my head (might have been season 2?), but at one point Kirk expects to lose a female officer because she marries. I guess, of course a woman would then stay in the bedroom and make babies, instead of keeping her job on the bridge.

And then there's Mudd's Women, where a bunch of women would do anything, even take some mysterious medicine that the FDA probably never approved, to land a husband. And I mean, the prize there were some colonist hicks at the ass end of the galaxy.

And then there's the fact that the crew composition seems to be a precursor of Al Murray's joke, when he asks people from the audience what they do for a living: "Bearing in mind that the only acceptable answers for a woman are secretary or nurse." No, really, that's all the TOS women I can remember.

Now you might say, "now, hold on there, mate, the comms officer was a black woman." And you'd be right too. BUT... isn't she doing a glorified secretary job? She's just the gal operating the galactic telephone for the captain. That's it. That's all she ever does.

Etc.

So, yeah, it was progressive for the mid 60's, but that's kind it: FOR THE MID 60's. It's kinda like being the healthiest leper on the colony
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Old 9th September 2018, 05:47 AM   #362
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One advantage of the Storm Trooper armor is very mundane (and applies to all similar costuming...). You don’t have to hire so many extras.
If the troopers are killed you just get ‘em up, dust ‘em off, and put them back in the line.

No fan-boys griping... “Hey, that guy was killed just a few minutes ago!’
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Old 9th September 2018, 10:36 AM   #363
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
To be fair TOS for better or worse IS a product of the 60's. It IS rather progressive for the 60's, but a certain dose of sexism is there.

I mean, for example, I don't remember the name of the episode off the top of my head (might have been season 2?), but at one point Kirk expects to lose a female officer because she marries. I guess, of course a woman would then stay in the bedroom and make babies, instead of keeping her job on the bridge.

And then there's Mudd's Women, where a bunch of women would do anything, even take some mysterious medicine that the FDA probably never approved, to land a husband. And I mean, the prize there were some colonist hicks at the ass end of the galaxy.

And then there's the fact that the crew composition seems to be a precursor of Al Murray's joke, when he asks people from the audience what they do for a living: "Bearing in mind that the only acceptable answers for a woman are secretary or nurse." No, really, that's all the TOS women I can remember.

Now you might say, "now, hold on there, mate, the comms officer was a black woman." And you'd be right too. BUT... isn't she doing a glorified secretary job? She's just the gal operating the galactic telephone for the captain. That's it. That's all she ever does.

Etc.

So, yeah, it was progressive for the mid 60's, but that's kind it: FOR THE MID 60's. It's kinda like being the healthiest leper on the colony
In defense of the Original Series; They tried. In the first pilot the First Officer was a woman, Number 1, played by Majel Barrett. The network didn't like it, so in the second pilot she was gone. Majel later returned as Nurse (still later Doctor) Christine Chapel.

There were other female characters in non-traditional roles, for example Chief Angela Martine, phaser bank crew.
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Old 11th September 2018, 01:53 PM   #364
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
To be fair TOS for better or worse IS a product of the 60's. It IS rather progressive for the 60's, but a certain dose of sexism is there.

I mean, for example, I don't remember the name of the episode off the top of my head (might have been season 2?), but at one point Kirk expects to lose a female officer because she marries. I guess, of course a woman would then stay in the bedroom and make babies, instead of keeping her job on the bridge.
...
Why do you assert that when it is very likely bad extrapolation on your part.
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Old 11th September 2018, 05:12 PM   #365
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Originally Posted by Pope130 View Post
In defense of the Original Series; They tried. In the first pilot the First Officer was a woman, Number 1, played by Majel Barrett. The network didn't like it, so in the second pilot she was gone. Majel later returned as Nurse (still later Doctor) Christine Chapel.

Actually the pilot aired later that same season, repackaged as a two part episode.
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Old 11th September 2018, 05:36 PM   #366
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Originally Posted by Klimax View Post
Why do you assert that when it is very likely bad extrapolation on your part.
To be fair, I think a lot of the sexism in ST TOS can be forgiven if one acknowledges that Nancy Kovack was smoking hot back then.


Have you seen her original scene in "Private Little War" on the blooper reel? Goto 0:26.

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I AGREE


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Old 15th September 2018, 09:32 PM   #367
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Aren't the impulse thrusters supposed to use fusion power? I think that's where the hydrogen from the Bussard scoops is supposed to go.

As for specifying speed, I guess you can always just stop accelerating once you've reached the desired speed. Though why would you want to stop accelerating early, if the purpose is just to get from point A to point B, well, that's another question. Probably best left to psychiatrists
Quote:
Propulsion system used aboard spacecraft for travel at subwarp speeds, employing traditional Newtonian action-reaction thrust physics. Full impulse speed is about one-quarter light speed, sufficient for interplanetary travel. Aboard Federation starships, fusion reactors power the engines using deuterium fuel to create helium plasma.
Source: http://www.startrek.com/database_article/impulse-drive
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Old 15th September 2018, 10:06 PM   #368
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
To be fair TOS for better or worse IS a product of the 60's. It IS rather progressive for the 60's, but a certain dose of sexism is there.
Well yeah. TOS had the female crew in mini-skirts. Gene Roddenberry was adamant about pushing the sexy factor on the show. It was part of the sexual liberation going on at the time. There's one episode where Kirk is held prisoner on a planet where the society is based on ancient Rome, and he is given a woman for the evening. The implication is that he takes advantage if his gift.

This was Roddenberry's personal blind spot. Hunt down "Pretty Maids All in a Row", and movie he made in the mid-70's staring Rock Hudson as a homicidal high school football coach who shags co-eds, and kills them. James Doohan is in it. When he brought back Trek in TNG he double-down on a lot of that kind of thing in the first two seasons. It head the series back IMO.

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And then there's Mudd's Women, where a bunch of women would do anything, even take some mysterious medicine that the FDA probably never approved, to land a husband. And I mean, the prize there were some colonist hicks at the ass end of the galaxy.
That was an allegory for women searching for ways to artificially attain a fictional standard of beauty instead of being happy with who they are. In the end of that episode the miners Mudd is trying trick with the beauty potion end up asking the women to stay because...well, they're in the sticks, and they're not that bad looking, and they're lonely.

Quote:
And then there's the fact that the crew composition seems to be a precursor of Al Murray's joke, when he asks people from the audience what they do for a living: "Bearing in mind that the only acceptable answers for a woman are secretary or nurse." No, really, that's all the TOS women I can remember.
They often featured women in their landing parties who were scientists who specialized in geology, anthropology, botany, biology, etc.

Quote:
Now you might say, "now, hold on there, mate, the comms officer was a black woman." And you'd be right too. BUT... isn't she doing a glorified secretary job? She's just the gal operating the galactic telephone for the captain. That's it. That's all she ever does.
Not a glorified secretary. She was the communications officer, so on top of monitoring sub-space communication (whatever that is) she'd alert the Captain to other types of electronic communications the ship intercepted. She also participated in landing parties here and there.

Quote:
So, yeah, it was progressive for the mid 60's, but that's kind it: FOR THE MID 60's. It's kinda like being the healthiest leper on the colony
Star Trek's closest competitor was Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, which was an all-white sausage festival. In some ways Voyage was ahead of its time. The first episode deals with the melting polar ice cap, and the crew is menaced by drone aircraft that can fire missiles. Lots of episodes about the impact of man on the oceans...but more episodes about getting stuck on a remote island where dinosaurs (giant iguanas) still rule. Star Trek was open to outside writers, so you got a diverse range of stories written by ex-cops, and ex-test pilots. Voyage was all Irwin Allen's crew, and the pots and monsters were often recycled in later seasons.

Star Trek wasn't perfect, but its writing stood out, which is why it continues to find new fans while its peer group has been largely forgotten.
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Old 16th September 2018, 12:04 AM   #369
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Originally Posted by Axxman300 View Post
Well yeah. TOS had the female crew in mini-skirts. Gene Roddenberry was adamant about pushing the sexy factor on the show. It was part of the sexual liberation going on at the time. There's one episode where Kirk is held prisoner on a planet where the society is based on ancient Rome, and he is given a woman for the evening. The implication is that he takes advantage if his gift.

This was Roddenberry's personal blind spot...
My god, man! You mean it was "Gene" who is responsible for giving me a "thing" about Thigh Highs?!!* Damn you, Gene!! Damn you!!!




*as per episode ST TOS S02E04 "Mirror, Mirror".
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Old 27th March 2019, 04:54 PM   #370
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I'm resurrecting this to air another SF peeve of mine, namely the misuse of naval terms for spaceships.

Chief among them being "cruiser." Well, what many don't seem to grasp is that it's not a weight or firepower category, it's a description of what it DOES.

Cruisers aren't always the class of big ship between destroyer and battleship. There have been armoured cruisers (which incidentally is what CA stands for), protected cruisers, UNprotected cruisers, or even auxiliary cruisers which is nothing more than a thin skinned merchant ship with some guns on it. Some of the latter have even actually had less tonnage, less firepower and MUCH less armour than a destroyer.

What a cruiser can do is CRUISE for extended periods of time.

In the age of sail, there was no such thing as a cruiser for example. Any ship, regardless of size, could go anywhere. It may have taken longer than it took some lighter ships, but a ship of the line could go anywhere that you needed to project power.

In the age of steam, things change. The big warships burn coal and then oil like crazy, at least if you want them to also have a decent speed, and have a limited range in the process. It's neither economic nor, in some cases, even possible to use your biggest ships to patrol the seas and protect your shipping lanes.

The cruiser is born as literally a ship that can cruise for such long voyages, and still project a decent amount of power.

What I'm getting at is that a Star Trek cruiser is actually a cruiser, in a sense. It's a capital ship that can cruise across a whole quadrant if need be. But actually both the Star Trek and Star Wars cruisers are just pointless as a ship class altogether, since everything has more or less the same range, and in SW's case the times involved hardly would count as much of a cruise. There's no reason such a ship would be called a cruiser.
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Old 28th March 2019, 12:48 AM   #371
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Is there any reason to call such a ship a ship instead of a craft (Wikipedia)
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Old 28th March 2019, 01:04 AM   #372
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The classical cruiser function (cruising the seas, commerce protection/attack, showing the flag and more) was a role that had been fullfilled by the frigates. These having the ideal combination of speed, handyness, cheap (not so many sailors you have to pay), endurance, firepower etc, to fulfill this role.

Sometimes ships-of-the-line were used in this role, if needed, but overall it was the frigates that had to do this.
Ships-of-the-Line weren't always slower than frigates though. Especially those designed by Symonds.

Come the age of coal and technical restrictions made it that, in order to have enough endurance for the cruising part, you needed a large hull. As technology progressed, the protection could grow from just having the coal bunkers as protection, then supporting those with an armoured deck and finally a fully armoured cruiser with armoured deck and belt.
The latter ones had, by that time, really become battleships light. Especially as their main armament was just as god as those of the battleships (before the Russo-Japanese war the largest guns of the battleships (the 11 and 12 inch guns) were seen as supportive for the other mains guns they had (6 to 8 inch guns) and armoured cruisers had these same guns as well.
In some cases though the cruiser had a bigger main gun than the corresponding battleships in that navy. (witness the IJN Itsukushima which had a 12,8 inch gun, when battleships still had an 12 inch gun).

You are correct about the range of spaceships though. Although I think there still would be a smaller class of vessels to do the cruiser type of role. For the same reason as the 100 or 110 gun ship-of-the-line were not used for this role. Cost of operation. This role would fall to the cheapest vessel that is just powerfull enough to do the role. Which will not be a super star destroyer (if we keep to the SW universe).
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Old 28th March 2019, 01:08 AM   #373
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Well, I wasn't saying that there weren't different classes of ships, some more suited than others for some roles. Just that there wasn't any such thing as calling it a "cruiser" when all ship classes could cruise just the same.
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Old 28th March 2019, 03:26 AM   #374
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Mentioning the SSD's though, brings me to the other peeve about misuse of naval terminology in SF.

Destroyer is short for "torpedo boat destroyer."

It's another ship type that didn't even exist in the age of sail, and this time neither did its role. The only ships you'd want in your battle line, were your aptly named ships of the line. The need to screen them in any form or shape didn't even exist.

Fast forward to the late 19'th century. One problem that navies faced in the age of the ironclad and later was that as awesome as your big capital ship may be against other such ships, a bunch of cheap torpedo boats could sink it just the same. Enter the idea of a essentially a bigger torpedo boat, this time as an independent ship, fast, agile, with faster firing guns, which could get between your big ships and those pesky torpedo boats and sink them before they can sink your battleship.

Eventually they took over similar roles, like also hunting subs, but that's still the same basic role.

Which brings me to the obvious issue: having a "destroyer" only makes sense if there's anything for it to destroy. Same as you don't have a tank destroyer unless there are tanks. If there is no such thing as torpedo boats, in fact if the only way to get torpedoed is by B-wing or other such bombers, which are best hunted by fighters anyway, it makes very little sense to have a destroyer, does it?

Ironically, one universe where it would make sense to have screening ships is Star Trek, not Star Wars. ST does have smaller and faster ships that can put a few photon torps up your tailpipe. Hell, even later shuttles and runabouts can carry torpedoes, making them a very close equivalent of torpedo boats. Down to being an actual boat, as in something launched off a ship. Also, the equivalent of submarines.

Yet ST seems to miss that opportunity.

But there is a more perverse aspect. Even torpedoes exist and are so devastating because of the obvious vulnerability. Ships can't have half a metre of plating all around, and enemy main guns tend to not cause any damage below the water line, so you don't put much plating there. Ironclads even had exactly none below the water line. Hence a device that can hit you there, is going to cause a big problem.

If you can be hit anywhere, then hitting you with the main guns is going to always be the better option, because they pack a lot more energy and are more accurate.

So exactly what vulnerability would space torpedoes exploit?
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Old 28th March 2019, 03:37 AM   #375
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If you want space opera space combat, read Alistair Reynolds - and despair.
Distances and sizes means that basically nothing makes sense in space.
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Old 28th March 2019, 03:56 AM   #376
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Mentioning the SSD's though, brings me to the other peeve about misuse of naval terminology in SF.

Destroyer is short for "torpedo boat destroyer."

It's another ship type that didn't even exist in the age of sail, and this time neither did its role. The only ships you'd want in your battle line, were your aptly named ships of the line. The need to screen them in any form or shape didn't even exist.

Fast forward to the late 19'th century. One problem that navies faced in the age of the ironclad and later was that as awesome as your big capital ship may be against other such ships, a bunch of cheap torpedo boats could sink it just the same. Enter the idea of a essentially a bigger torpedo boat, this time as an independent ship, fast, agile, with faster firing guns, which could get between your big ships and those pesky torpedo boats and sink them before they can sink your battleship.

Eventually they took over similar roles, like also hunting subs, but that's still the same basic role.

Which brings me to the obvious issue: having a "destroyer" only makes sense if there's anything for it to destroy. Same as you don't have a tank destroyer unless there are tanks. If there is no such thing as torpedo boats, in fact if the only way to get torpedoed is by B-wing or other such bombers, which are best hunted by fighters anyway, it makes very little sense to have a destroyer, does it?

Ironically, one universe where it would make sense to have screening ships is Star Trek, not Star Wars. ST does have smaller and faster ships that can put a few photon torps up your tailpipe. Hell, even later shuttles and runabouts can carry torpedoes, making them a very close equivalent of torpedo boats. Down to being an actual boat, as in something launched off a ship. Also, the equivalent of submarines.

Yet ST seems to miss that opportunity.

But there is a more perverse aspect. Even torpedoes exist and are so devastating because of the obvious vulnerability. Ships can't have half a metre of plating all around, and enemy main guns tend to not cause any damage below the water line, so you don't put much plating there. Ironclads even had exactly none below the water line. Hence a device that can hit you there, is going to cause a big problem.

If you can be hit anywhere, then hitting you with the main guns is going to always be the better option, because they pack a lot more energy and are more accurate.

So exactly what vulnerability would space torpedoes exploit?
That never really bothered me, for some strange reason.
I had no problem in seeing the Star Destroyers as being the biggest and baddest kids on the block and being able to destroy the largest opposing ships. That worked for me. In my mind I never put them in the same category as the well known WWII destroyers.

But I once saw a website where they did see it that way and they had to invent all kinds of larger and larger ships, called cruisers, battlecruisers and whatnot, just in order to explain the word Star Destroyer. Ships that would even dwarf a Death Star in power.

Conveniently forgetting the fact we never ever saw these larger ships.
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Old 28th March 2019, 04:58 AM   #377
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Mentioning the SSD's though, brings me to the other peeve about misuse of naval terminology in SF.

Destroyer is short for "torpedo boat destroyer."

It's another ship type that didn't even exist in the age of sail, and this time neither did its role. The only ships you'd want in your battle line, were your aptly named ships of the line. The need to screen them in any form or shape didn't even exist.

...

So exactly what vulnerability would space torpedoes exploit?


I think you're ignoring the "tradition" aspect of naming things. By your arguments above, there's no reason for us to have a "cruiser" class today, since virtually every ship in the fleet can "cruise" for extended periods (up to years, in the case of nuclear powered ships), and yet, "cruiser" as a term is still being used by the US Navy. The class, like the destroyers, has taken on a new role, but retained the old name because people don't like coming up with new names. I see no reason why a space navy wouldn't adopt the small-medium-large scheme of naming destroyers-cruisers-battleships. The roles have already evolved more than once without changing names, so why not again?

Same with "torpedoes". The distinction between a torpedo and a missile in space is currently academic, but one thing it would have over a "gun" would be the notion that it is independently guided, rather than being ballistic. Torpedoes and missiles can both steer to follow an evading target, but gun rounds cannot. That's been a factor in more than one space battle series.

And in fact, most of the space opera stuff I've read have destroyers actually operating in a "destroyer" fashion, in that they act as a forward defensive screen against missiles or torpedoes. Essentially the same role, just a different target.

Now, if you want to subvert this, you could try to have a space force that evolves out of the Air Force tradition, rather than the Navy tradition. All the names would be different, but they'd still have hold-overs from their planet-bound forebears.
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Old 28th March 2019, 06:16 AM   #378
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A lieutenant is only supposed to be a stand-in for someone else while he's away, not be the primary person in charge of something himself. Only ensigns can wear insignia. "Sword" comes from a word meaning "sharp" but swords were never the only sharp thing around. Tanks can't be cavalry, adults can't be infantry, and only mercenaries can be soldiers. Practically no kind of gun in use today is really a cannon.

Or we could just face the reality that when part of how the world works changes, old words can be retained with changes in meaning.

And either way, whether one wants to try to fight that in other cases or not, there still couldn't possibly be any real problem with a thing that destroys stuff being a destroyer.
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Old 28th March 2019, 07:10 AM   #379
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The point is, though, that you can still see where those names evolved from. When starting basically from scratch, as any civilization would when they start to militarize deep space, you can pick any name you want for your ships. So why would you pick something that is a misnomer from the start?

I mean, let's look at Star Trek, since unlike SW, here we know how it all started. Humans go from no deep space abilities to warp drive basically overnight. It is implied that more or less the same happened to every single warp-capable species out there. There is no evolution of military spacecraft and doctrines to that point, from which such terms might evolve.

So why would ANY of them call a ship a "cruiser" for example, if it doesn't cruise any better than any other ship? Why would any of them call a ship a destroyer (as apparently Kirk's first command was) if there is nothing for them to destroy?

It seems to me like the more logical thing would be to call spacecraft something entirely different. E.g., how the Romulans called their capital vessels "warbirds". The D'deridex isn't a "battleship" or some other navy derivation, it's a "warbird."
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Old 28th March 2019, 07:15 AM   #380
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
So why would ANY of them call a ship a "cruiser" for example, if it doesn't cruise any better than any other ship?

Since they've all been used to hearing it that way for centuries on their sci-fi shows?
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Old 28th March 2019, 07:19 AM   #381
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
I'm resurrecting this to air another SF peeve of mine, namely the misuse of naval terms for spaceships.

Chief among them being "cruiser." Well, what many don't seem to grasp is that it's not a weight or firepower category, it's a description of what it DOES.

Cruisers aren't always the class of big ship between destroyer and battleship. There have been armoured cruisers (which incidentally is what CA stands for), protected cruisers, UNprotected cruisers, or even auxiliary cruisers which is nothing more than a thin skinned merchant ship with some guns on it. Some of the latter have even actually had less tonnage, less firepower and MUCH less armour than a destroyer.
Yeah but that nomenclature will change in 2208, so it's accurate in most sci-fi settings.
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Old 28th March 2019, 07:26 AM   #382
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Mentioning the SSD's though, brings me to the other peeve about misuse of naval terminology in SF.

Destroyer is short for "torpedo boat destroyer."

It's another ship type that didn't even exist in the age of sail, and this time neither did its role. The only ships you'd want in your battle line, were your aptly named ships of the line. The need to screen them in any form or shape didn't even exist.

Fast forward to the late 19'th century. One problem that navies faced in the age of the ironclad and later was that as awesome as your big capital ship may be against other such ships, a bunch of cheap torpedo boats could sink it just the same. Enter the idea of a essentially a bigger torpedo boat, this time as an independent ship, fast, agile, with faster firing guns, which could get between your big ships and those pesky torpedo boats and sink them before they can sink your battleship.

Eventually they took over similar roles, like also hunting subs, but that's still the same basic role.

Which brings me to the obvious issue: having a "destroyer" only makes sense if there's anything for it to destroy. Same as you don't have a tank destroyer unless there are tanks. If there is no such thing as torpedo boats, in fact if the only way to get torpedoed is by B-wing or other such bombers, which are best hunted by fighters anyway, it makes very little sense to have a destroyer, does it?

Ironically, one universe where it would make sense to have screening ships is Star Trek, not Star Wars. ST does have smaller and faster ships that can put a few photon torps up your tailpipe. Hell, even later shuttles and runabouts can carry torpedoes, making them a very close equivalent of torpedo boats. Down to being an actual boat, as in something launched off a ship. Also, the equivalent of submarines.

Yet ST seems to miss that opportunity.

But there is a more perverse aspect. Even torpedoes exist and are so devastating because of the obvious vulnerability. Ships can't have half a metre of plating all around, and enemy main guns tend to not cause any damage below the water line, so you don't put much plating there. Ironclads even had exactly none below the water line. Hence a device that can hit you there, is going to cause a big problem.

If you can be hit anywhere, then hitting you with the main guns is going to always be the better option, because they pack a lot more energy and are more accurate.

So exactly what vulnerability would space torpedoes exploit?

Why assume the same derivation.

Star Destroyer could be a truncation of "Star-ship destroyer" or similar.

Similarly "Cruiser" could be derived from originally being cruise ships retrofitted for battle.

Same names, different tasks, different derivations.


ETA - For Star Trek, we can just assume the names are derived from history.
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Old 28th March 2019, 07:28 AM   #383
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Shorthand to save exposition? If we describe a starship as a frigate or a battleship we are suggesting scale to the reader/viewer and perhaps also connotations of prestige - the captain of a frigate being a lower position than the captain of a battleship. Note that other navy terms are also often brought over, "you have the conn" for example.

Iain Banks took some steps with his "Culture" ships types.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...mon_ship_types
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Old 28th March 2019, 07:42 AM   #384
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
So why would ANY of them call a ship...
You'll have the answer as soon as you consider your own reason for calling a ship a "ship".
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Old 28th March 2019, 08:44 AM   #385
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
2. Blue giants and red dwarfs.

Blue giants are really big and bright, and red dwarfs are really smal and not very bright. So they tend to be represented as such in the sky. A blue giant is gigantic size in the field of view, while a red dwarf, well, that's at best as big as our sun. As seen for example in Supernova.

Now think about their energy output. A blue giant not only has a surface, which is proportional to the square of its radius, but also MUCH higher temperature. It can put out literally millions of times more energy than our sun.

The only way to even not be vapourized, is basically to take advantage of the inverse square law, and be a thousand times or more (depending on the star) farther away from the star, until you're getting about the same energy influx. Because if you actually were at the distance where it looks as big and ominous as in Supernova, not only a ship would instantly vapourize and be blown away by the solar wind, but so would a planet.

What I'm getting at is that if your planet or asteroid or whatever is around a blue giant, actually the star will look like a small dot in the sky. A very very bright dot, but that kind of size.

Incidentally, a year will also be in the range of thousands of earth years, so it won't as much have seasons, unless it has some strange axis precession independent of that, but ages. The winter will be a whole glacial age, and the summer will be like the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum.

The opposite holds true for a red dwarf. Not only its surface is smaler, but its surface temperature is much lower, so a habitable planet would have to be MUCH closer to it. This would be when you get a giant star in the sky, although not very bright, so you could just look at it, and years that are actually measured in days.
It is also my understanding that for a red dwarf, a planet in the habitable zone would likely be tide locked, i.e., it would have one face always facing the sun. This would mean the day side would be much hotter than the night side, and the center of the day side considerably hotter than the edge, which means the planet itself might have a pretty small habitable region, and likely some pretty wild weather, especailly around the terminator.
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Old 28th March 2019, 08:45 AM   #386
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Originally Posted by Wudang View Post
Shorthand to save exposition? If we describe a starship as a frigate or a battleship we are suggesting scale to the reader/viewer and perhaps also connotations of prestige - the captain of a frigate being a lower position than the captain of a battleship. Note that other navy terms are also often brought over, "you have the conn" for example.

Iain Banks took some steps with his "Culture" ships types.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...mon_ship_types
That and there is no reason to think that we wouldn't go from no spaced base navy to a space based navy and just name ships after things we are familiar with. Why wouldn't we? Why would we bother coming up with new names. If we did, it would probably of the line of Class 1, 2, 3 etc. Warbird hardly makes any more sense than Cruiser, on the other hand, "star destroyer" there has only ever been one of those in SW, that was the one in the first of the new movies.
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Old 28th March 2019, 09:21 AM   #387
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
So why would ANY of them call a ship a "cruiser" for example, if it doesn't cruise any better than any other ship? Why would any of them call a ship a destroyer (as apparently Kirk's first command was) if there is nothing for them to destroy?

It seems to me like the more logical thing would be to call spacecraft something entirely different. E.g., how the Romulans called their capital vessels "warbirds". The D'deridex isn't a "battleship" or some other navy derivation, it's a "warbird."

So now you're complaining that non-human civilizations have different naming conventions, which is what you'd expect. We call it a cruiser because that's how our language, and our conceptions of what a "ship" are, have evolved in our history. The Romulans evolved differently.



I can imagine a situation in which some Romulan Nerd is explaining how, historically, they were called "warbirds" because they were actual, large birds that they rode into battle, and how it's ridiculous to call a manufactured space craft a "bird" since it's obviously not a bird!
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Old 28th March 2019, 09:57 AM   #388
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Originally Posted by Wudang View Post
Shorthand to save exposition? If we describe a starship as a frigate or a battleship we are suggesting scale to the reader/viewer and perhaps also connotations of prestige - the captain of a frigate being a lower position than the captain of a battleship. Note that other navy terms are also often brought over, "you have the conn" for example.

David Drake has noted in the introduction to some of his Lt. Leary novels that he uses modern units of measurement as a convenience for the readers, rather than using made up science fiction terms and having to periodically remind the readers what they are.

Hey Farscape writers, how much time is an arn, microt, or micron, how big is a melot, how hot is a klance, how heavy is a lenart, and how far are a dench, metra, milon, motra, parisim, samat, zacron, or henta?
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Old 28th March 2019, 10:02 AM   #389
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Originally Posted by CORed View Post
It is also my understanding that for a red dwarf, a planet in the habitable zone would likely be tide locked, i.e., it would have one face always facing the sun. This would mean the day side would be much hotter than the night side, and the center of the day side considerably hotter than the edge, which means the planet itself might have a pretty small habitable region, and likely some pretty wild weather, especailly around the terminator.
I've gotten around to red dwarfs a bit more after several pages.

The short version is... nope, you couldn't live anywhere near a red dwarf.

They tend to produce some very spectacular flares, and the planet has to be close to get enough energy to be habitable, so bad things happen. Also they're all convective stars, which pretty much periodically blow up. Well, not the whole star, but we're talking the kind of mega-flares that when one happened recently to Proxima Centauri, you could see it with the naked eye from Earth. We're talking about power released in a burst that is VASTLY greater than what the star normally puts out.

Even without the mega-flare being aimed at any particular planet, any planet in its habitable zone would have had half the planet thoroughly nuked and most of the atmosphere blown away. If it still had any atmosphere, that is. Likely it had already been taken care of by previous such events.
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Old 28th March 2019, 10:10 AM   #390
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Originally Posted by Armitage72 View Post
David Drake has noted in the introduction to some of his Lt. Leary novels that he uses modern units of measurement as a convenience for the readers, rather than using made up science fiction terms and having to periodically remind the readers what they are.

Hey Farscape writers, how much time is an arn, microt, or micron, how big is a melot, how hot is a klance, how heavy is a lenart, and how far are a dench, metra, milon, motra, parisim, samat, zacron, or henta?
I could even go with that, but then that brings me back to my other peeve. IF the excuse is to use what the reader is already familiar with, then do just that: use what the reader is already familiar with. If the user has to learn that in your world a foot is longer than a yard, then you might as well call them arms and microts. It would actually be LESS confusing.

A lot of universes don't do that with feet and yards, but do that with the navy terms. E.g., have destroyers that are bigger than cruisers. E.g., have a viscount be higher up the hierarchy scale than a marquis.

It only serves to confuse those who already know what the terms mean, instead of helping understand the universe. And for everyone else, it's no different than calling them arns and microts, they have to learn from scratch how it works anyway.
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Old 29th March 2019, 04:13 AM   #391
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Mentioning the SSD's though, brings me to the other peeve about misuse of naval terminology in SF.

Destroyer is short for "torpedo boat destroyer."

It's another ship type that didn't even exist in the age of sail, and this time neither did its role. The only ships you'd want in your battle line, were your aptly named ships of the line. The need to screen them in any form or shape didn't even exist.

Fast forward to the late 19'th century. One problem that navies faced in the age of the ironclad and later was that as awesome as your big capital ship may be against other such ships, a bunch of cheap torpedo boats could sink it just the same. Enter the idea of a essentially a bigger torpedo boat, this time as an independent ship, fast, agile, with faster firing guns, which could get between your big ships and those pesky torpedo boats and sink them before they can sink your battleship.

Eventually they took over similar roles, like also hunting subs, but that's still the same basic role.

Which brings me to the obvious issue: having a "destroyer" only makes sense if there's anything for it to destroy. Same as you don't have a tank destroyer unless there are tanks. If there is no such thing as torpedo boats, in fact if the only way to get torpedoed is by B-wing or other such bombers, which are best hunted by fighters anyway, it makes very little sense to have a destroyer, does it?

Ironically, one universe where it would make sense to have screening ships is Star Trek, not Star Wars. ST does have smaller and faster ships that can put a few photon torps up your tailpipe. Hell, even later shuttles and runabouts can carry torpedoes, making them a very close equivalent of torpedo boats. Down to being an actual boat, as in something launched off a ship. Also, the equivalent of submarines.

Yet ST seems to miss that opportunity.

But there is a more perverse aspect. Even torpedoes exist and are so devastating because of the obvious vulnerability. Ships can't have half a metre of plating all around, and enemy main guns tend to not cause any damage below the water line, so you don't put much plating there. Ironclads even had exactly none below the water line. Hence a device that can hit you there, is going to cause a big problem.

If you can be hit anywhere, then hitting you with the main guns is going to always be the better option, because they pack a lot more energy and are more accurate.

So exactly what vulnerability would space torpedoes exploit?
The ability to deliver a physical warhead, possibly greater range?
A DEW is limited by the ability of it's carrying vessel to contain it, it's power supply ands it's cooling system.
Missiles have no such problem, and probably far longer ranges.

In fact once effective torpedo analogues are deployed, capital ships are very vulnerable to swarm attacks until countermeasures are developed.

Wrt TBD's, torpedo boats and screening vessels.
Once the self-propelled torpedo, with it's ability to deliver a large, high explosive (shells still relied on LW for their bursting charge) warhead under the waterline was developed it caused the nineteenth century "torpedo boat panic" (as seen in the Spanish-American and Russo-Japanese wars). However the short range, and straight line course, of the torpedo allowed significant countermeasures; rapid firing machine cannon, initially manual and later automatic.
The torpedo boat was able to use one other piece of new technology, the internal combustion engine, which allowed it greater speed than capital ships at the price of light structure and negligible ability to resist shellfire.

Torpedo boats split into three groups: one line continued as a short ranged, fast, offensive platform that was mainly a threat in coastal or narrow waterways, usually deployed in conjunction with artillery, minefields and short launched torpedoes.
Another line of development split off and grew larger, adding larger guns and became the TDB, used to screen larger warships by intercepting torpedo boats at a safe distance. Later these smallish, disposable, warships became the screen against other threats.
The third line merged with the experimental submersibles and became the submersible torpedo boats, relying on stealth rather than speed to approach a target.


Now if space warfare relies on big weapons (laser, particle accelerator, railgun, whatever) you'll need large ships to mount them (and their ancillaries) and protect against them with armour (or anything else).
The Honorverse was at this state in the early 1800sPD; battleships were replaced by dreadnoughts then super-dreadnoughts as beam weapons got more powerful. Missiles were purely ancillary as thermonuclear warheads were fairly ineffectual and missiles easily intercepted.
Battles were close ranged slugfests.

Then the technology changed, under heavily evolutionary pressure. Laser wearheads revitisiled missiles, so pointb defenses got stronger. Missile pods (and eventually the posnought) increased salvo density from dozens to thousands.
In parallel the FAC was developed (a torpedo boat analogue). Initially this was a devastating offensive weapon, but soon interceptors drastically reduced it's effectiveness. Then it was re-invented as a stand-off missile defense screen, to counter the huge missile salvos the capital ships were delivering/facing.

However smaller warships were still around, partially as screen, but often because isolated capital ships were unsuited for many missions: system and commerce raiding, convoy defense, reconnaissance, flag showing, anti-piracy et cetera. They were cheaper and more numerous and therefore used greatly.


On the other hand, take the classic Traveller view of space combat. Small ships are very, very little threat to large ones.
A Tigress dreadnought is literally a thousand times bigger than the small freighters that players usually have access to. Even with artificial limits on weapon densities the small ship is no threat.

Lower-tech Traveler (around the Interstellar Wars era) had missiles as the king of battle. Nuclear warheads could obliterate anything, so lots of missiles, lots of small craft to launch them, carriers to operate the small craft, interceptors to stop the strike craft outside effective missile range (so more carriers) and screening ships (no bigger than cruisers). Beam weapons are used against missiles, fighters and small craft. Armour is limited.
Looks rather '70s wet navy doesn't it? No subs of course.
Then, around technology level 13 two related developments change the picture utterly (and end the First Imperium); the meson accelerator (and some related improvement in conventional particle accelerators) allow for very powerful, and reasonable long ranged,DEWs. But the nuclear damper nearly eliminated the threat of the nuclear missile, providing at least an order of magnitude of better protection than conventional ECM/interceptor/laser defenses.
The battleship era is born.

Now smaller craft aren't eliminated, there are 11,000 systems in the Third Imperium and a handful of dreadnoughts. Systems need protection from threats other than the Zhodani fleet; pirates, other governments, megacorps, terrorists et cetera so the Imperium also has Patrol Corvettes by the tens of thousand (400 "displacement tons" as against the 500,000 of the Tigress). Plus a few million Suliemans and X-boats.



Short answer: most naval operations are missions other than war.
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Old 29th March 2019, 04:18 AM   #392
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thing is: at even slight relativistic speeds, by the time a nuke detonates, you are already out of range.
Lasers are useless, since they lose power over distance even in space, and they will need to be aimed to where the target was a minute ago.
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Old 29th March 2019, 05:31 AM   #393
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A complaint that torpedoes/missiles aren't exploiting any particular weakness is similar to a complaint that cruisers don't cruise: it acts as if the facts that apply in a science-fiction universe must be the way the complainer imagined them in order to have the complaint. For example, the idea that cruisers aren't designed for longer missions without returning to dock than other ships is just something that was made up, not something that was ever said on screen, so maybe they are. And the torpedo/missile thing is already obvious without even being stated: maneuverability to track a target and warp speed give them their role in a universe with phasers without any need for a "weakness" in target ships for them to "exploit".

And notice that we still have no explanation why someone who's complaining about carried-over terminology would call ships "ships" in the process of making these complaints about other words.
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Old 29th March 2019, 06:08 AM   #394
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Originally Posted by Armitage72 View Post
David Drake has noted in the introduction to some of his Lt. Leary novels that he uses modern units of measurement as a convenience for the readers, rather than using made up science fiction terms and having to periodically remind the readers what they are.

Hey Farscape writers, how much time is an arn, microt, or micron, how big is a melot, how hot is a klance, how heavy is a lenart, and how far are a dench, metra, milon, motra, parisim, samat, zacron, or henta?
I'm still trying to figure out "What's a centon?"
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Old 29th March 2019, 06:44 AM   #395
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Originally Posted by alfaniner View Post
I'm still trying to figure out "What's a centon?"
What do you mean? European or African centon?
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Old 29th March 2019, 06:51 AM   #396
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Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
What do you mean? European or African centon?
Are you suggesting that coconuts migrate?
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Old 29th March 2019, 07:18 AM   #397
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Originally Posted by alfaniner View Post
I'm still trying to figure out "What's a centon?"
A penny's worth of time, duh! Time is money.

Obviously, it changes over time. When I was a kid and you could buy a candy bar for a nickel, a centon was about 40 seconds. By now, it's down to about 5 seconds in the Midwest or 3.5 seconds in California.

Similarly, an "eon" is the time that it takes a EE-series bond to mature, or 30 years.
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Old 29th March 2019, 08:17 AM   #398
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
thing is: at even slight relativistic speeds, by the time a nuke detonates, you are already out of range.
Lasers are useless, since they lose power over distance even in space, and they will need to be aimed to where the target was a minute ago.
Moving at even a significant faction of the speed-of-light has it's own problems.
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Old 29th March 2019, 08:55 AM   #399
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In David Weber's Honor Harrington universe, missiles are the primary ship armament because they can be fired in the general direction of the target and then the onboard sensor, targeting, and guidance systems handle the final attack without needing telemetry that would experience a delay of seconds or minutes. They just have to seal with countermissiles, point-defense guns, decoys, jamming, and other electronic countermeasures. Missile salvos often include special missiles that are actually counter-countermeasure platforms, doing things like generating sensor ghosts of non-existent missiles to divert countermeasures.
Of course, the Honorverse is basically Horatio Hornblower in space, so ships firing broadsides at each other is baked into the setting.
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Old 29th March 2019, 09:35 AM   #400
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How realistic is any of this? Is actual space combat viable?

Realistically speaking, any spacecraft with people on it is going to be a massive beacon of heat and energy, almost impossible to miss or mask. It will also be traveling a very predictable orbital path and any changes to that path will be advertised by massive chunks of energy and matter being shot out of one side of te ship.

No actual warheads would be required, most interceptions at orbital speeds will provide more than enough energy to do the job.

I can't see actual combat between spacecraft ever being a thing.
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