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Are ship captains always Tactical?

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  • theotherscotty#9105 theotherscotty Member Posts: 385 Arc User
    @darthmeow504: It's also worth pointing out that Bill Theiss, the costume designer for TOS, was quoted as saying the "command" shirts were green. But then on the other hand, in ENT the command color was already established as gold in the form of gold stripes on the blue uniforms (the red and white admiral's stripes notwithstanding), so there's a canon precedent (in-universe) for gold as well.

    The Kelvin Timeline gold shirts were actually kind of a metallic gold in color too. The KT version has the silver rank stripes on the sleeves, which stand out better against the gold, while the TOS gold rank stripes tended to be harder to see against the lime or avocado green tunics, especially if the stage lights and film were making them appear yellow. It's some interesting stuff indeed and I tend to notice little details like that.

    And I never liked the brownish mustard yellow of TNG for eng/ops; I always called it "baby **** yellow." Just not a good-looking color imho. lol

    Tho I guess it also depended on your TV and how you had your colors adjusted. In VOY they fixed it somewhat and made it look more yellow.

    For my toons and boffs in STO I kinda deviated from the canon colors a bit and gave them all navy blue variants of the Odyssey uniforms with white striping for command, red for tactical/security/anything to do with combat, yellow for eng/ops, blue (or aqua?) for science/medical, and black for Starfleet Intelligence. Tho I kept the Odyssey excursion uniforms grey, so they won't stand out too much (and added a desert sand/khaki variant too). I really like the way it looks.
  • thunderfoot#5163 thunderfoot Member Posts: 4,396 Arc User
    OP, your Captain can wear any color uniform you want him/her to. As with most things in Star Trek, "Canon" rules can be a might fuzzy at times. It won't be 'wrong' (except to some seriously anal people in desperate need of immediate electro shock treatments) for your Captain to wear a color you really like.
    Member of Stonewall Armada. Member of SGN. Pretty damn happy about it, too.
  • talonxvtalonxv Member Posts: 4,252 Arc User
    nikeix wrote: »
    The rule is incredibly simple: if you are any sort of main character and you wear a Starfleet uniform you will INEVITABLY* end up in the captain's chair. It doesn't matter what your skill set or training are. It doesn't matter if that's the dumbest idea ever. You get a chair. Suck it up.

    (* unless you skip ahead directly to pan-dimensional demigod)

    Probably because this is a fantasy culture written by people whose eagerness to tell you than that their "indistinguishable-from-a-military-organization isn't actually a military" is only exceeded by their need to demonstrate their utter ignorance of how military cultures actually work. In this case the writers simply don't know any other way of saying "I want to show this character is good at the whole Starfleet thing." Partially because they're hamstrung by the unspoken notion that you can't have an admiral without them having been butt-in-the-big-chair first.

    Command? Not a hobby. Its a real, primary, lifelong career. One for which many people are not temperamentally equipped. One for which people are often not intellectually equipped. And one which thankfully most real rank-based organizations don't foist on the disinterested, unsuited, or unprepared (because 9 times out of 10 when they do, you don't get a Picard, you get a cluster****). And all that is in addition to the reality that massive, technically diverse organizations have far more need for good, capable 'indians' than there is for 'chiefs' and wasting a superb engineer, doctor, or researcher by dragooning them into command is a tragedy, the gleeful mismanagement so common in bad television writing.

    Aside from the stupidity of putting Troi in the chair, can you name any other examples? Crusher commanding a medical ship makes sense, as it's a flying hospital and commanding it is more akin to being the administrator of a medical facility than traditional starship command. It would have made sense for McCoy to end up in a similar position if not for the need to keep the cast together instead of breaking them out into their more logical career paths as they attained seniority and rank. Who else ended up in the chair that shouldn't have?

    The examples of Riker and Worf I disagree with because the "up or out" mentality makes no sense. Why remove a talented officer from a position he's good at just because he doesn't want a different one?
    Because, according to what Sander said on the subject, that's how the USN works... Simples... It doesn't have to make sense -- least of all to a civilian... If that's the policy, then that's the policy... ;)

    Once Picard retired, he'd probably accept command then (it's stated he doesn't want to get bumped before he's had a chance to maximize his time working under and learning from him), but even if not and he's more comfortable as a second in command with more experience and authority than usual, so? Find him a flag vessel to serve on where he's captaining for an Admiral who calls the shots and he carries them out similar to how he served on Enterprise-D. Part of the advantage of Starfleet not being a military as we know it is that they can be more flexible.
    And as Admiral Hansen pointed out to Picard in Best of Both Worlds, Riker was hurting his career by staying put. Of course, the real-world answer is that Jonathan Frakes had a job, and as a rule, shows don't split up their principle cast without good reason, but in-verse, it had been acknowledged that declining command opportunities, was damaging to Riker's career, and that he was at risk of looking poor, due to officers like Shelby, who were coming up through the ranks looking for command... Young Riker wanted command, then all of a sudden, he slammed the brakes on career-wise, and got complacent (a theme which was then directly examined by the discovery of his transporter duplicate)
    [
    As to Worf, if he's unqualified so is every commander in the entire KDF because he doesn't act any differently than any other Klingon commander in the history of ever. The whole point of the Defiant class in the first place is they're small, overpowered, and expendable. You build and field ten of those for the same investment in materials and manpower as one Galaxy class and if you lose some in battle, so what? If the blaze of glory destroys the enemy and advances your overall strategic goals, so be it. That's why you put people like him in the chair of a Defiant and not a Galaxy. Defiants are practically purpose built for do or die / suicide missions, keeping them alive isn't the priority, achieving the mission objective at any cost is. They might as well call them the Kamikaze class.

    Any other examples?
    Complete strawman... Worf did not serve in the KDF, he was a Starfleet officer, bound to follow Starfleet's rules, regulations and codes of conduct...

    As for your assertion that the Defiant Class was designed to be expendable, please provide some backup for that theory... Everything I ever saw on screen, was that they were designed to hit hard and fast and keep going under a pounding, not that they were considered expendable nor kamikaze in intent... :-\

    "That's the rule, that's just how the USN works"... it's fortunate for Riker then that Starfleet isn't the Us Navy, huh? Regardless of what the real life Navy policy is, it's clear that Starfleet doesn't have the same policy. That's why Riker is told he's harming his career, worded as personal advice for his benefit, rather than a "do what we say or gtfo" ultimatum. And in this case I am of the opinion that the Starfleet way is better for all involved.
    And yet Starfleet was clearly heavily inspired by the USN in terms of address, rank and protocols etc...

    As I said, from an external perspective, we can acknowledge that the reason why being down to not messing with a good cast, and the dramatic tension which those discussions created... From an internal perspective, it makes no sense for 'career slovenliness' to be tolerated... As another example, in the reality Q facilitated so Picard could appreciate his life, he was clearly an example of that 'held at rank till retirement' scenario, which Troi was too kind to explicitly state to him, so gave him a prettified reason wrapped up in some psychoanalysis...
    As to the Defiant, this is yet another case where DS9 lifted a concept directly from Babylon 5 but executed it in an inferior way. The B5 example is the White Star, the prototype ship built with Minbari technology with an assist from the Vorlons, making it the baddest thing in local space designed to take on the big bad of the galaxy nothing else would be able to stand up to. Sound familiar? The difference is, in B5 they did the logical thing and, as soon as the prototype had proven itself capable of doing the job it was designed for, they put them into mass production and built as many of them as they could crank out. The exact same thing should have happened to the Defiant class, but the showrunners chose to keep it as a unique hero ship instead because they're television writers and not military strategists. That doesn't change what the role of the ship should have logically been in any sane strategic plan.

    Defiant goes against traditional Starfleet doctrine, which is normally to build a relatively few ships that are bigger, more tricked out in every way, and generally superior vessels that project force and act in a multi-role capacity. In a naval force analogy, they're like aircraft carriers except they're expected to act alone and thus they're even more lavishly equipped. They are singular vessels that are incredibly valuable and the loss of even one is a tragedy and a strategic disaster. Hence the reaction to losing the Galaxy class USS Odyssey, as a major event that sent ripples through the fleet and sent command scurrying like ants in a kicked in anthill.

    Defiant turns that doctrine on its head. It's a ship with no creature comforts at all, designed for short duration tactical missions where the goal is achieve objective and then return to base (if possible). Compared to Galaxy, it's a vastly lower investment in materials and time to build as well as crew compliment. As compassionate as Starfleet is, they're a hell of a lot more willing to risk 50 people than they are 500 in a ship like a Constitution or several times that in something like a Galaxy. So, by Starfleet standards, it's an expendable gunboat designed to seek and destroy and return if possible. They're still Starfleet though, so they won't just throw them away if at all possible but again, we're speaking in relative terms. When you have a risky job you need done, you send a Defiant not a Galaxy because you can afford to lose the former a hell of a lot better than you can the latter.

    From this perspective, the Saber makes no sense as a Starfleet vessel and neither does throwing Mirandas into a wood chipper like they did. Both are just a waste of resources and lives in what amounts to a starship version of a human wave attack, a zerg rush which is not something Starfleet would do. If it wasn't for the producers wanting to keep Defiant as a unique hero vessel for dramatic purposes, logically Starfleet would have put the class into maximum production and used it as the gunboat it was designed to be.
    None of any of that, gives an example of the Defiant Class being considered expendable or kamikaze, it's just your thoughts on the subject... :-\

    Inspired by US Navy yes, exactly the same as US Navy no. Starfleet cares a lot more about its people on a personal level, as befits an all-volunteer force with a civilian origin as a scientific exploration entity a la NASA that later grew to encompass more Naval and military functions and duties as time went on without ever forgetting where it came from or what those core values were.

    And I point out to you where I said that regarding Defiant being "expendable" I was speaking in relative terms. Starfleet wouldn't field truly expendable vessels nor engage in one way or suicide missions except when absolutely forced to by desperate necessity --and then only on a volunteer basis. More than once it was said in canon "I can't order you on a suicide mission". That's why I think it makes no sense we saw Sabers and Mirandas thrown into a wood chipper as we did on DS9 so often, they'd have mass produced Defiants instead to fill those roles where high-risk combat missions were necessary. They'd want to both minimize the cost of losing them and maximize their chance of returning alive. The only logical time and place you'd ever see such clearly flimsy and inferior vessels deployed where they're almost certainly doomed is in desperate planetary defense scenarios where there's nothing else available and you're throwing anything you have at the enemy to avoid your core worlds being blasted to slag. But the producers wanted pretty scenes of ships going boom in battle to raise dramatic tension, so that's what we got. Again, it's the difference between the priorities of television producers and what real life fleet strategists would order.

    That said, Defiant class ships in such a logically ordered fleet doctrine is where you'd put hot blooded self-sacrificing warrior types like Worf because when you deploy a Defiant or a group of them you're in need of a commander who will prioritize mission completion over self-preservation. You don't send those ships unless you have something that has to get done period because there are a lot more lives on the line than just the crews in question. It's their job to put themselves on the line to save others, risking the fewest number of lives and amount of resources for the maximum chance of preserving those who stay behind on base or behind the lines. You want them to come back, you want them to want to come back, but if the choice comes down to getting the job done at the cost of their lives or not at all, you want the ones who will say "perhaps today is a good day to die!".​​

    That part I highlighted is completely and CANONICALLY incorrect. Think back to when Troi was trying to become a commander and failed the test how many times? She finally passed by ORDERING La Forge to his own death to fix the problem that was going to destroy the Enterprise in the simulation.

    And RIKER even said "there comes a time when you may have to send a man to his death so that others may live." Or something to that effect.

    So yes there is canonical evidence that for the greater good Federation officers will send others to their deaths if the times call for it.

    Far as your Worf summation, that's also completely backwards and well wrong. Starfleet doesn't just say "hey let's take the most warrior like officers we have, throw them in ships like Defiant or Saber and send them off on suicide missions or high risk where we can't afford to send a bigger ship!"

    Starfleet doesn't just do that on a whim. Only reason Defiant was reactivated and given to Sisko, was the fact the Federation after seeing what the Dominion had done felt DS9 needed it's own ship attached to the station for better security and scouting the Gamma quadrant, but with the firepower to beat down a dominion attack ship. All that was.
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  • talonxvtalonxv Member Posts: 4,252 Arc User
    edited November 2016
    /snip

    Who said anything about whim? But any sane force command is going to look at things like investment in time, materials, manpower and crew when determining what kind of ships to build for what sort of roles. And they will deploy them in ways that risk their largest most expensive ships the least and the smallest and cheapest ones more, because they are more replaceable. If they didn't, they'd deserve to lose any war they ever fight because that's basic naval strategy. You commit the forces you can afford to lose, and avoid risk to your biggest investments whenever possible because you can't afford to lose them. Whenever possible, all else being equal, you risk a gunboat or three before you risk an aircraft carrier. Force protection is a thing. And like in any navy, the gunboat commanders need to be cut from a different sort of cloth than your aircraft carrier captains because their roles are different and their priorities are different.

    And as to why the Defiant exists, like I said Babylon 5 White Star. DS9 never saw anything on B5 it didn't copy shamelessly. But as usual, Babylon 5 executed the ideas a lot more intelligently than the DS9 hacks could ever conceive.​​

    Except here's one fault with your reasoning. The Defiant class was NOT mass produced. Infact very few of them were ever built. Infact this point is brought up with the U.S.S. Valiant when Nog and Jake Sisko come upon the ship.

    Yes the White star was indeed mass produced, but the the Defiant class was NOT. However the Saber WAS.

    So please stop saying the Defiant is some kind of attrition gunboat. No, she was not.
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    Star Trek Battles member. Want to roll with a good group of people regardless of fleets and not have to worry about DPS while doing STFs? Come join the channel and join in the fun!

    http://forum.arcgames.com/startrekonline/discussion/1145998/star-trek-battles-channel-got-canon/p1
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