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JohnM81

Case study request for Brian Young

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Hello Brian,

 

I'm a big fan of your case studies. If you do take requests, I'd like to see a comprehensive and balanced (as you always do) case study of the Borg upon these topics:

 

1. Resilience

2. Fire power

3. FTL speeds

4. Tactics

5. Your over all opinion of them vs other scifi groups.

 

Thanks.

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There's been a couple of Borg VS scenarios proposed. I think Brian was toying with the idea of a Borg vs Dalek race vs race battle and a Cube vs ISD. There's a lot of fierce debate over power levels for Trek so he might be waiting on watching Enterprise before trying to nail down specifics on Trek.

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Hi John. Those are some good topics, and I'm definitely planning on doing something like that in the future. As S said, I'm currently working on Enterprise, and will probably have some more commentaries when I'm done with that.

Thanks for the kind comments. I'm certainly not infallible, but I'm trying hard to be fair to everyone, good, bad, or indifferent.

A few comments off the cuff:

1. The Borg do have limitations on their resilience, but they are so tough, we have few examples with which to set limits. Most of the time, they simply dominate the opposition. Their ability to adapt their defenses is certainly impressive, but I feel their great resilience is much more due to the sheer size and strength of their ships. For instance, they can dominate everyone's second favorite ship, Enterrprise-D, but their ship is 100 times larger and more powerful, so how surprising is that? :)

2. Their firepower is impressive at times, but I think less impressive than their resilience. They usually aren't interested in destroying an enemy, but rather in assimilating them. Which means capture. They did let loose on the Federation fleet at Wolf 359, but we only saw a few clips of that battle, in which they absolutely creamed a couple of 100 year old ships.

3. Their FTL, when using the transwarp network, is certainly fast enough to wage galactic scale war. When they drop out of this network, and use their normal warp engines, they are still among the fastest ships in the galaxy. This, I feel, is their greatest strength. However, an enemy with similarly fast FTL, not dependent on a constructed network, may have an advantage, as this transwarp conduit can be destroyed, like the jump gate network in B5. It would be difficult, but would remove the Borg's transgalactic travel. This was, in fact, a major plot point of Voyager's final episode.

4. Hard to fault their tactics. They lumber directly toward an enemy, but with personal shields, they can do that.

5. Over all, they are a capable and frightening enemy. Their ability to assimilate captured enemies gives them knowledge of said enemy's technology, and they can then use said technology themselves. They don't assimilate technology, they assimilate the people who built and use the technology, giving them the knowledge to use it quickly or neutralize it. Their numbers and industrial capacity are impressive, more than most, but not all. Their speed is more impressive than many, but not all. Their ships are more powerful than most. Their greatest weakness is their dependence on an external, and vulnerable, transwarp network, which if destroyed, would remove their ability to wage galactic scale war.

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There's been a couple of Borg VS scenarios proposed. I think Brian was toying with the idea of a Borg vs Dalek race vs race battle and a Cube vs ISD. There's a lot of fierce debate over power levels for Trek so he might be waiting on watching Enterprise before trying to nail down specifics on Trek.

 

Enterprise is an excellent series to gauge true lower limits for Trek, given that it's pre-Federation and the NX class ships are prototypes. There is a Borg episode, which ties up a few loose ends from First Contact.

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Welcome, John! Glad you've joined us.

 

Thanks!

 

I am a amateur crossover fan-fic writer and rely on excellent analysis like the ones Brian does to establish conflict believe-ability/canon adherence for my stories. Currently I am writing one that involves starwars, star trek, and my own original work. So any and all canon analysis are much appreciated to ensure I stay on the straight and narrow so to speak. ;)

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Join in our discussions. I believe in contributions from viewers, and enjoy other viewpoints, particularly if I've missed something. Don't be shy!

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Personally, I really enjoy stories that involve different and clever ways to bring one's strengths to bear far more than the typical nose to nose firepower contest most people discuss. Stargate is excellent for that.

I like go acknowledge strengths of each group and try to find weaknesses to exploit. It creates some interesting scenarios I think. Like the Minbari vs Federation video. I purposefully made it look for all the world like the Minbari would win, only to reveal the glaring weakness at the end. That scenario was chosen because everyone argues about ship to ship combat like crazy, when I feel it is only a minor part of interstellar warfare.

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Personally, I really enjoy stories that involve different and clever ways to bring one's strengths to bear far more than the typical nose to nose firepower contest most people discuss. Stargate is excellent for that.

I like go acknowledge strengths of each group and try to find weaknesses to exploit. It creates some interesting scenarios I think. Like the Minbari vs Federation video. I purposefully made it look for all the world like the Minbari would win, only to reveal the glaring weakness at the end. That scenario was chosen because everyone argues about ship to ship combat like crazy, when I feel it is only a minor part of interstellar warfare.

 

 

I agree. One must keep a proper perspective of things. Everything exists for a purpose and only when we see that can we understand how a conflict would unfold. At the very center of any nation are population and resource centers. They are what give importance and meaning. A population or resource center makes the planet important. The planet makes the ground troops on said world important. The ground troops need for air superiority makes fleets important. And so it goes that if the chain is broken it isn't realistic to see the other links. Fleets wouldn't assemble in empty space where no planet with a population or resource value existed.

 

And no to add a dash of reality....

If man really ever did expand to other solar systems. And we found many other plants with life. You do realize that an alien biosphere would make the world worthless to us. And existance of a biosphere on another world would mean it would be insidiously contaminated with micro organisms that we have no immunity against. The reality is it is the sterile lifeless planets that wars would be fought over not toxic alien biospheres.

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Agreed. If you've seen my Stormtroopers video, I discuss this at length. Droids can function in any environment, no matter the atmosphere. They are not affected by chemical warfare or biological warfare. It would take a large predator to harm a droid. This, I feel, is the reason Stormtroopers wear armored space suits - to function in any environment like droids. It does add combat abilities, such as the ability to fly, but primarily, it doesn't make them super soldiers, but rather universal soldiers. A man who may have to fight ANYWHERE needs the ability to function in ANY environment. They can even function in space, which, for a space trooper, makes all kinds of sense.

With a completely explored, mature, and well traveled galaxy, troopers can't choose to land only on "Class M" planets. They have to function at normal capacity in environments an unprotected man cannot even survive.

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You know, I was thinking. In the advent of some realism where a biosphere is a hazard droids might not be a good idea to send either. Consider you are a nation. You spend massive amounts of your GDP in creating not only the R&D but also the droid army along with the command and control system.

 

Okay all has proceeded to plan and you launch your attack. Your droid army attacks the aliens in their native biosphere and two possible outcomes happen.

 

1. You win.

2. You lose.

 

If you lose, your economic investment is gone. If you win your economic investment still gone. Those droids can't come back to your ships. They can't return home for recycling. They are contaminated. And unless you want to autoclave a droid, which will probably damage the droid, you can't be sure you destroyed all the spores on the structure and in its inner workings.

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Before anyone gets the wrong idea, sending humans in bio/hazmat armor would be a bad idea as well to an alien biosphere. With such armor you have two sides of the coin. The first is ultra-protective but this reduces mobility and the human becomes ineffective in combat. Light protection and the human is very agile but is prone to injury.

 

I see storm troopers as a balance between this. They are protected, and yet have mobility.

 

But even if you meet this perfect balance, any cut in armor, any break in the suits seals, means the human has suffered a lethal injury. Rendering the soldier delicate at best. Worse yet, the soldier isn't aware of the contamination and a ship wide epidemic breaks out. Military leaders would worry about letting these soldiers home in case they have latent lysogenic infections.

 

 

In the end, orbital bombardment and rendering an alien biosphere sterile is the only real option.

 

 

But alas none of this makes for good stories so we just go with alien biospheres are benign. :)

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Don't forget pacification/police actions. These troops are keepers of the peace as well, and would have to respond to such situations. Also, don't forget terraforming. And after thousands of years in space, they probably have some impressive decontamination procedures when the troops come back.

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Don't forget pacification/police actions. These troops are keepers of the peace as well, and would have to respond to such situations. Also, don't forget terraforming. And after thousands of years in space, they probably have some impressive decontamination procedures when the troops come back.

 

 

 

In this situation maybe an alternative would be go back to clone troopers but this time incorporate the alien DNA/antibodies in them so they have equivalent immune systems?

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Decontamination procedures aside, the droids are only a write off if we're going by scifi biology rules. Day 1 on an alien planet such as in a first contact situation like is common in Star Trek it is unlikely to an extreme that any alien micro organisms will have any clue what to do with you. Over time (months? years? Decades? Centuries? - I'm not a micro biologist so I'm not sure what a reasonable time frame is) depending on how close your biology is to the natives, the alien micro organisms may adapt to your body chemistry. At that point, depending on how well the micro organism adapts and how well your body responds, you get the Vulcan sniffles or drop dead as in War of the Worlds. This scenario depends on the two species having very similar body chemistry.

 

In Star Wars, we can safely assume that in either the thousand generations of the Jedi's protection of the galaxy or the thousand years of the Galactic Republic in its pre-Empire form, very nearly every possible combination of planet and species has happened already and any problems arising from that have been solved. Whether through medicine, adaptation, extinction or isolation (as in wearing encounter suits like B5 First Ones or Mass Effect's Quarians or by voluntary restrictions: not visiting the homeworlds of races known to have micro organisms that are especially virulent towards your species.)

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Yeah, I know in the respective scifi shows its not an issue. Its more akin to character shields. Something done to enhance how compelling a story is vs striving for some level of realism.

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Hey Brian, I've been mulling over a versus scenario for a little bit and was wondering if you'd ever consider doing a 'this versus that' scenario on a Klingon Bird of Prey versus something like a Star Destroyer at some point.

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Hey Brian, I've been mulling over a versus scenario for a little bit and was wondering if you'd ever consider doing a 'this versus that' scenario on a Klingon Bird of Prey versus something like a Star Destroyer at some point.

 

I know I would enjoy seeing that.

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I just think it'd be cool because the whole cloak factor sort of throws a monkey wrench into the standard 'weapons capability+power generation' equation that typically ends with Star Trek on the short end of the stick in the same way that submarines partially negated Britain's battleship supremacy in the first world war.

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I just think it'd be cool because the whole cloak factor sort of throws a monkey wrench into the standard 'weapons capability+power generation' equation that typically ends with Star Trek on the short end of the stick in the same way that submarines partially negated Britain's battleship supremacy in the first world war.

 

It sometimes does, but in reality, I think the power of SW ships vs ST ships have been vastly overrated. Mostly due to certain people and certain assumptions.

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It sometimes does, but in reality, I think the power of SW ships vs ST ships have been vastly overrated. Mostly due to certain people and certain assumptions.

 

Assumptions like?

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