What's up with the Galors?

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Gul Khold
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What's up with the Galors?

Postby Gul Khold » Sun May 27, 2018 9:22 pm

Well, unlike what the title implies, I am making this topic to wonder what would be the in-universe and meta explanations as the inconsistencies with Cardassian vessels.

For instance, in their TNG appearence, half a dozen Cardassian vessels could not stop a single Nebula-class, despite being able to fire under its shields. It would be presumed that those ships were Galor or Hideki-class vessels.

At the same time, they had managed to fight the UFP into a standstill sometime before TNG (and apparently in a way that makes the UFP do as they can to avoid another war). They also have managed to sucesfully keep Klingons and Romulans away from their space. Yet, they also cannot overtake the Talarian Republic, which was stated to use hopelessly outdated technology.

Further down in the storyline, a fleet of Keldon-class vessels (upgraded Galor-class, likely the equivalent of the real life T-90 the the Galor's T-72 tanks, in therms of development) were not able to stop the Defiant... But at the same time they are able to take part in the Dominion War, alongside its Galor and Hideki predecessors, in a way that one could say is moderately effective.

What would be the reasons for such? Bad writing? Plot armor? Wildly varied quality standards between Cardassian Union shipyards? What are you guys' thoughts?

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Shada Dukal
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Re: What's up with the Galors?

Postby Shada Dukal » Tue May 29, 2018 7:59 pm

Well, there is nothing wrong with the Galors. Your concern is touching, but hardly necessary.*to be read in Dukat’s voice and with a Dukat’s smile*

In-universe, the Nebula-class ship Phoenix commanded by Maxwell destroys one Cardassian science station that was not fortified and had no compliment of ships stationed there to defend it. Then it goes after a supply ship and is about to attack it. Pickard gives the prefix codes to an intercepting Galor that fires its distrupors, hoping that this will incapacitate it sufficiently to cease the attack. The Galor is not there to destroy the Nebula but to intercept it.

The Nebula regroups and returns the fire with its torpedoes and forward phasers but neither Macet nor the Gul commanding the Galor realize that Maxwell is that mad and driven. The Galors have plasma torpedo launchers too but torpedoes are much deadlier and more expensive than a disruptor beam.

In fact, the Cardassians rarely use torpedoes in ship-to-ship battles, though they have even a quantum torpedo technology – they prefer to equip their dreadnought missiles and orbital weapon platforms with it.

In this particular case, openly destroying the Nebula by launching torpedoes as a first option and using the prefix codes given by Picard would jeopardize the armistice signed in 2367 that Starfleet and the Central Command were trying to preserve.

On two occasions, Gul Macet offers to send ships (plural) to intercept the Nebula but Picard does not agree and insists on making the rendezvous himself. He reluctantly grants the prefix codes only after realizing that he can’t reach the Phoenix that quickly. The Enterprise is given a passage to travel through Cardassian space with Macet and his glinns on board. So this is a diplomatic clusterfuck, not a real military operation.
The Nebula destroys an unarmed science station, one very surprised Galor that has received the codes seconds before entering fire range and one supply ship.

Galor ships usually operate in groups of 3 and use wolf-pack attack tactics.

What is more the Nebula class is not to be underestimated, it has the firepower of the Galaxy but fewer luxuries, it is more compact but its utilizes the same warp engines and power plant. Some fans consider it a better battle ship than the Galaxy which is more of a hotel lounge. This ship is more than a match for a single Galor. It is longer and heavier than the Galor, and its shields are stronger than those of a Galaxy because they have to protect less surface. It is also brand new, it enters service somewhere between 2363-2367, while the Galaxy was developed in 2350s. The Nebula is in fact a cheaper, more practical version of the Galaxy. This is what the TM says about the Nebula and the Galaxy.

Type: Explorer
Accommodation: 750 officers and crew; 130 visiting personnel; 9,800 personal evacuation limit
Power Plant: One 1,500 plus Cochrane warp core feeding two nacelles; one impulse system
Dimensions: Length, 442.23 meters; beam, 318.11 meters; height: 130.43 meters
Mass: 3,309,000 metric tonnes
Performance: Warp 9.6 for 12 hours (STD); warp 9.9 for 12 hours (UPRTD)
Armament: Eight type-10 phaser emitters; two photon torpedo launchers

Here is the information about the Galaxy:

Type: Explorer
Accommodation: 1,012 officers and crew; 200 visiting personnel; 15,000 personal evacuation limit
Power Plant: One 1,500+ Cochrane warp core feeding two nacelles; one impulse system in stardrive section, two impulse systems in saucer section
Dimensions:
Length: 642.51 meters
Beam: 463.73 meters
Height: 195.26 meters
Mass: 4,500,000 metric tons
Performance: Warp 9.6 for 12 hours (Standard); warp 9.9 for 12 hours (Uprated)
Armament: Eleven type-X phaser emitters; two photon torpedo launchers

Here is the TM info about the Galor class:

Production Base: Cardassia Prime Orbital Three Assembly Facility
Type: Medium Cruiser
Accommodation: 300 plus flight crew and troops
Power Plant: One and possibly two M/A warp systems; three or more impulse systems
Dimensions: Length, 371.88 meters; beam, 192.33 meters; height, 59 meters
Mass: 1,678,000 metric tons (est.)
Performance: Warp 9.6 (observed)
Armament: Eight or more spiral-wave disruptors; one large aft disruptor wave cannon; possibly other weapons

Most of the Federation vessels used in the Border Wars were Mirandas, Constellations, and Excelsiors. The Galaxies and the Nebulas entered service in the 2360s and were too rare and expensive to be sent to the Border Wars. The Romulans and the Borg were a much more viable threat to the Feds than the Cardassians. The Cardassians had a logistic advantage, they were close to their home systems and could redeploy more quickly.

A direct quotation from MA, concerning the issue.

“The bulk of the Federation fleet continued to consist of smaller, primarily scientific vessels, such as the Excelsior-class and Miranda-class, well into the Dominion War. The late entry of ship classes like the Galaxy-class and Nebula-class was likely one reason why the conflict ended in a stalemate. Furthermore, the end of the Federation-Cardassian conflict came during a period of threat from both the Borg and the re-emergent Romulan Star Empire, so it is likely that Haden's comment represented an overall consideration of the Federation's strategic position. The Cardassian Union itself never appeared to match the Federation in sheer scale, although it did appear to allocate much more time and resources towards its war industry. Finally, it is likely that the Cardassians were qualitatively and quantitatively inferior to the Federation, but represented a disproportionately dense concentration of military power, sharing a border with the much larger, but consequently more logistically demanding to guard, Federation.”

The Cardassians have never had a war with the Romulans, both species have diplomatic relations and embassies, and Garak presumably poisoned Proconsul Merrok with Edosian orchids.

The Betreka Nebula incident was not a war between the Cardassian Union and the Klingon Empire but a skirmish over a planet that involved several Klingon Birds-of-Prey and Cardassian ships of Akril-class. Only one Cardassian ship survived the battle thanks to its extraordinarily capable Gul. The Akril-class was capable of holding its own against 2-3 Birds-of-Prey. The average Bird-of-Pray of this era was 157 meters long and was an agile ship meant to operate in fleets, not alone.

http://memory-beta.wikia.com/wiki/Akril_class

Later, this incident served as a diplomatic arena for the UFP that was eager to prevent the Klingons from withdrawing from the Khitomer Accords, for the Romulan Tal Shiar which wanted to derail the said accords and weaken both the Klingons and the UFP, and for the Cardassians who simply wanted the planet because of its mineral resources. This incident caused an internal feud in the Klingon High Council so a new Chancellor was elected who was likely to honor the Khitomer Accords and to leave the planet to the Cardies.

http://memory-beta.wikia.com/wiki/The_A ... Impossible

In the episode “Defiant,” a Marquis decoy destroys Cardassian outpost 61 while the Defiant uncloaks and fires at outpost 47. The Defiant attacks a shipyard in Omekla Three, a weapons depot in the Dameron System, and a communications relay on the Rokat colony. Finally, Riker is surrounded by three Keldon-class cruisers that belong to the Obsidian Order while being closely followed by 10 regular Galors.

He fires four quantum torpedoes at the closest cruiser, two hit the ventral hull and two hit the tail. Quantum torpedoes are much more powerful than photon torpedoes besides Riker fires them at an almost point-blank distance – about 300-500 meters. I don’t know many ships that will sustain being hit by 4 quantum torpedoes at such a close range and remain in one piece. The ship loses its main power and its defense systems are impaired.

The Defiant is equipped with a Romulan cloaking device and that is why it is able to attack so many targets. It simply uncloaks very close to the target, fires for several seconds, cloaks again and runs away.

So, I don’t think that the Cardassian ships are worse than the ships used by the Romulans and the Klingons but the Cardassian Union definitely can’t produce enough ships and weaponry to enter a serious conflict with any of those superpowers. Of course, the UFP technology is always superb and infallible, this is what makes the Feds a nuisance.

The Cardassian Union did not want to conquer the Talarian Republic because this would be too impractical, it would require too much military personnel and resources. They simply punished them several times, reminding them who was the top dog in this part of the Alpha Quadrant and drove them off from several border systems. They were a regional power – stronger than the Talarians, the Tzenkethy, the Miradorn, and capable of bringing several space-faring species into their sphere of influence. The Lissepians, Kressari, Xepolites, Klaesterons, Kobliads, and Valerians definitely had trade and economic relations with Cardassia.

In fact, the Cardassians are not part of the Big Three – the UFP, the Klingon Empire and the RSE. They became big power only after joining the Dominion. Still, they managed to make much stronger enemies recognize their grittiness and prowess and think twice before attacking them. Actually, I really like that the Cardassians don’t have the shiniest gadgets, shiny gadgets without brain don’t mean anything. This makes everything they have achieved even more valuable.
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Gul Khold
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Re: What's up with the Galors?

Postby Gul Khold » Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:28 pm

Fair enough, you made good points. The problem with that is how those situations never apply to Federation vessels under similar circumstances. It also puzzles me why, then, the Federation at the same time acted afraid to begin a war with the Cardassian Union and the Klingon Empire could not conquer it even before the Dominion.

Oh, trust me, not that it is impossible. But given what I saw on the screen, I find it either difficult to suspend my disbelief... Or that it'd make an amazing story on how the Cardassians managed to fight the Federation into a standstill and, later, stop the Klingon's invasion until Dukat managed to negotiate their filiation with the Dominion.

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Shada Dukal
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Re: What's up with the Galors?

Postby Shada Dukal » Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:57 pm

Well, UFP vessels are not invincible but Star Trek focuses on their victories not on their losses. For example, Picard remembers how during the Border Wars when serving on USS Stargazer (an old Constellation-class vessel) he lowered the ship’s shield as a gesture of good will – they wanted to negotiate a truce. The Cardassians quickly took out most of their weaponry and shot their impulse system. Still, they did not openly destroy the Feds so the crippled vessel managed to flee. USS Saratoga (the ship on which Sisko served before being sent to DS9) was among the 40 ships destroyed by a Borg cube. USS Honshu (the Nebula-class ship transporting Dukat to stand trial) was destroyed by a wing of Cardassian cruisers. The first prototype of Defiant was also destroyed by the Breen energy dampers. So Fed vessels have limits and weak spots like any other piece of technology, but it takes planning, good timing, and tactics.

I guess, I have already discussed the main reasons for UFP’s reluctance to drag on the Border Wars in my previous post. An additional factor might be that the Feds were involved in several smaller skirmishes with the Talarians (Galen conflicts), Tholians, and Tzenkethi in 2350s and 2360s. They were newcomers to this part of the Alpha quadrant and their unwanted and naïve diplomatic overtures found little purchase on the local species. Openly waging a war against Cardassia would have hostilized the local secondary powers who were already vexed by the Federation presence and would have drawn the attention of the Romulans and the Klingons who would have tried to benefit from the Fed’s predicament. So they kept the conflict as low-key as possible and were likely to offer diplomatic concessions in order to keep their presence in these sectors. For them staying there was more strategically important than letting the Cardassians have several measly planets that were not even part of an organized colonization effort.

What is more, the Feds did not have seasoned military personnel, they had explorers, scientists and diplomats but few military officers like Jellico. These officers came into vogue exactly after the Borg threat and the Border Wars. Unlike the Cardassian Galors and their Guls, the Federation vessels and crews had little experience with real battle situations apart from combat simulations and theoretical training. The Federation society has never experienced the psychological trauma of seeing body bags returning home so a prolonged Cardassian conflict would thwart their expansion efforts and would incur a diplomatic backlash. The Federation expands by means of soft power, long-term propaganda, and diplomacy, hard power is their last option. Both the Border Wars and the Betreka Nebula incident were examples of a limited war as opposed to a total war.

I think that Gowron did not play his cards well. He should have known that zero-sum thinking and relative gains in geopolitics were possible only if the other side was too small to resist. When the relative losses pile up, it turns out that there is not much gain left. So Gowron (under the influence of a Changeling) sent 1/3rd of the Klingon Defense Forces to attack Cardassia. However, the Klingon Empire and the Cardassian Union do not have a common border so he had to cross through Federation space and this logistic hindrance forced him to pass by DS9 where his plans were disclosed. In fact, this lack of common border is the main reason for Cardassia and the Klingon Empire never colliding seriously. (Cardassia has a common border with the Romulans.)

They managed to occupy several Cardassian colonies, caused great losses to the Cardassian fleet and infrastructure, but still never reached the central systems and core worlds. The relations between the UFP and the Klingon Empire deteriorated to the point that there was a brief war between the Klingon Empire and the UFP in 2372-73. Instead of trying to stick to the Khitomer Accords in order to pass through Fed space, the Klingons’ dismissive attitude and territorial claims of the Archanis sector brought the Federation into the war, too. So the Klingons committed all available resources to the war effort against the Federation. Gowron quickly fortified his positions on the occupied Cardassian colonies and declared victory because he feared assassination attempts from other members of the High Council for his failure to conquer Cardassia.

Finally, when the Dominion launched their attack, the Klingon Empire, the Federation, and Cardassia were in a deplorable condition but only Dukat figured out that the Feds and the Klingons could offer Cardassia nothing tangible but more losses.

Well, I don’t think that the Cardassians would ever have a chance against the Feds or the Klingons in a total war but considering their good intelligence agency, I believe that they can keep them at a polite and healthy distance.

The Federation can’t be defeated by sheer force only, it can fall apart by increasing the tension and asymmetry between its core worlds and its underprivileged periphery – the more Marquis, the better. Here is a very instructional video. Some of the comments under the video are great, too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUBQOUdU0UY
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Seerbah Pe’Rez
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Re: What's up with the Galors?

Postby Seerbah Pe’Rez » Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:40 pm

I could always use Garak a influences with the federation to make them swifter better warships the turn around and give them to our cause for Gul Dukat! I’m not only a clerk but a good builder of ships! The federation may think I’m leaving cardassia to join them! I’m possible pregnant with Garak child so they’ll also think I’m weak as well. But they’re wrong! I’ll get those blueprints to make our ships using their federation technology then get them to you! Even if I have to risk my unborn child!
Ask a simple question, get a complicated answer.

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Shada Dukal
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Re: What's up with the Galors?

Postby Shada Dukal » Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:31 pm

Yes, I would like to have Defiant’s blueprints, the technical specification of its ablative armor, and the transponder code reader. If you manage to steal the Fed’s research into the Breen energy damper that would be great too.

Oh, and when your maternity leave is over, you might join our shipbuilding engineers.
I am the Lizard King, I can do anything!
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Gul Khold
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Re: What's up with the Galors?

Postby Gul Khold » Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:40 pm

Well, that certainly would help. I hear something about some "transphasic torpedoes" that the Feddies possess. That is a secret worth stealing.

And I have to say... I never thought Garak would have what it takes to impregnate any female, I am surprised.

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Shada Dukal
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Re: What's up with the Galors?

Postby Shada Dukal » Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:59 pm

Well, this is some technobabble from Voyager, Janeway brought it from the early 25th century. A single torpedo is said to destroy a whole Borg cube and to penetrate the shielding. Time travel plus “magic” technological solutions – the hallmark of bad writing.
I am the Lizard King, I can do anything!
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Gul Khold
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Re: What's up with the Galors?

Postby Gul Khold » Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:25 pm

Huh, I thought it came from the prime Federation scientific vessel: USS Asspull


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