Enterprise vs. Galactica: Who Would Win?

Published 5 years ago by , Updated February 26th, 2013 at 7:06 am,

galactica vs enterprise01 p Enterprise vs. Galactica: Who Would Win?

Have you ever wondered how cool it would be for some of your favorite shows to mix characters across the different networks or franchises?

Way back in the day (WAY back) I always wanted to see Airwolf, Blue Thunder and K.I.T.T. bring it to the bad guys in the same show.  Yet whenever a superhero crossover ever happened in the comics, they always seemed to duke it out between themselves first.  And this is what I thought of when I saw an inspired idea over on DVICE where they decided to match the technologies of the original U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 up against the Battlestar Galactica in a pitched and heated battle.

Well, a theorized battle, anyway.

However I think the folks over at DVICE might be a little biased.  According to them, the Battlestar would come out on top against the Heavy Cruiser.  I think they aren’t being fair.  A Colonial Battlestar against a Federation Cruiser?  I would pitch a Federation Dreadnought against the Battlestar, but that’s just me.

As it is, I’ll work within the framework of what DVICE started from, but still, from my side of things, I think the outcome would be a bit different.  I’ll touch on the same points they did and we’ll see where it takes us!

Phasers vs. Kinetic Energy Turrets:  DVICE gave the edge to the phaser (Phased Energy Rectification Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) because it could cut through unshielded ships.  I agree with that so the first point goes to the Federation.
Enterprise: 1, Galactica: 0.

Photon Torpedoes vs Nukes.  The argument is that the Enterprise couldn’t take a nuke hit while the Galactica could take a photon torpedo hit.  This one goes to Galactica on DVICE, but then they don’t exactly go into what kind of punch a Photon torpedo can do.  Let me.

According to some estimations, a Photon torpedo can pack a 64 megaton punch.  According to the Galactica Wiki, Galactica Nukes yield 5 to 150 Kilotons, depending on what is dialed in.

150 kilotons = 625 Joules, and 64 Megatons = ~269 Joules.  So the hitting power does go to the Galactica.
Enterprise: 1, Galactica: 1.

Sensors vs Dradis:  For some reason, DVICE gave this one to the Dradis on Galactica.  Are they kidding?  I have to digress here and give the edge to the Enterprise.  The Federation sensors can sense when a mouse farts!  The Dradis seems to only see ships.  Have I missed something.  If not, I’m changing their score and giving this tech edge to the Enterprise.
Enterprise: 2, Galactica: 1.

Shuttlecraft vs Vipers:  Is this even a comparison?  This goes to the Galactica with their fully armed Vipers versus the original series shuttlecraft.
Enterprise: 2, Galactica: 2.

Impulse engines and Warp Drives vs Ion Engines and FTL drives:  They argue that the Enterprise is more agile on impulse and warp drives.  I tend to agree that the smaller Enterprise can dance all around the Galactica.  The Enterprise has varying degrees of Warp speed, while the Galactica is a go / no-go, one speed ship when it comes to light speed travel. But the Galactica’s FTL drives are pretty cool as far as popping in and out of places, including popping out of planet atmospheres during free-fall.  (Was that not cool when the Galactica did that free-fall over New Caprica?) But it takes a lot of calculations for the Galactica to pop around and time for the FTL to spin up.  I think with all the flitting around the Enterprise can do compared to the Galactica, I’ll agree and give the edge to the Enterprise.
Enterprise: 3, Galactica: 2.

Transporters vs Raptors;  Is this even a fair comparison?  Enterprise, hands down.  They can just beam boarding parties on the Galactica.  Heck, they can beam the crews out of the Raptors!  In Star Fleet Battles (a board game I played) boarding parties were one of my best tricks once shields were down.
Enterprise: 4, Galactica: 2.

Shields vs Point-Defense Cannons:  As far as taking a beating, the Galactica took a nuke hit!  The PDC’s can dish out serious suppressive fire while the ship can absorb whatever gets through.  The Enterprise takes a shield hit or two and panels spark and people fly!  Technically, regardless of the flying bridge crew, I’d think the Enterprise has the edge, though DVICE gave this one to the Galactica.  Can PDC’s stop a Phaser?  I don’t think so.  The Enterprise can stand off and fire at will.
Enterprise: 5, Galactica: 2.

So somehow, in the end DVICE gave this comparison to the Galactica.   I want to go into a little reasoning on some things.

They didn’t consider sizes of the two ships though engine comparisons and the weight they push around was touched on:
The Enterprise:  Length: 947 feet; Overall Beam(width): 417 feet
The Galactica:  Length: 4640 feet; Overall Beam(width): 1821 feet

enterprise over galactica Enterprise vs. Galactica: Who Would Win?

Being big is great, but sheesh.  Enterprise?  What Enterprise?  You mean that spot on the paint?  Ramming speed Galactica!  But the small ship would probably be able to dance around the big boy.  This is the classic argument of light sword, many hits; heavy sword, one good hit.  These size comparisons sure make it seem like the Galactica might be able to dust the little guy but technology always wins out gang.

enterprise d over galactica Enterprise vs. Galactica: Who Would Win?

Of course this whole comparison thing pits the Galactica up against the NCC-1701.  This wouldn’t even be a question if they were looking at the 1701-D Galaxy Class from Star Trek: The Next Generation.  On the D, the shuttle craft had phasers and photons, didn’t they?  On Voyager, Janeway’s shuttle was armed to the teeth.  Or how much more punch would a Federation Dreadnought have?

But why would DVICE weigh their scales the way they did?  DVICE is part of the network with the Sci Fi Wire and the Sci-Fi Channel…  so ya gotta take this comparison with a grain of salt and have fun with it.  FUN, I say.

In the aspect of fun, let’s look at a few other things:

Society:  If we start looking at some of the intricacies, Starfleet personnel have a rather organized society.  The Galactica fleet really have their heads frakked up right now because their destined goal of humanity’s salvation, Earth, was a wasteland.  Oops.  They’d probably just give up!

battlestar galactica girls Enterprise vs. Galactica: Who Would Win?Captain Kirk Vs Admiral Adama:  Kirk would have Spock baffle Adama with calculations of probabilities of their outcome while Kirk would end up making out with No. 6, or Sharon or whatever warm blooded woman on the Galactica he could snag and go about his day.  Meanwhile, Adama might get Athena to plug into the Enterprise and send it to the “edge of the galaxy”… again.

The fun of it all:  In the end, these kinds of comparisons are for fun and could endlessly go on as we think of other shows we could pit against each other.  Rather than pitting all of Star Trek against Battlestar Galactica, or against Babylon 5, or what ever franchise we like, I say we stack all the good guys from all the shows on one side, give The Hulk a space suit and see how that works out for everyone!

Speaking of cross-overs, I remember a comic book where the classic Enterprise encountered who I think was a member of Marvel’s Kree race.  The panels were fun to go through.  Sulu tells Kirk that sensors are picking up a man outside the ship.  Kirk confusedly asks what he’s doing.  Sulu says he looks like he’s going to punch the ship.  Suddenly the bridge staff go flying when the Kree decks the ship.  I loved that scene but I just don’t have the time to dig through my garage sized collection of comics to verify it was the Kree.  If anyone can help me remember, that would be cool.

Basically, in the end, I say we line up all the good guys vs all the bad guys from the different sci-fi shows and have a massive crossover.  That would really mess with all the legal teams!

Are there any team-ups, or face-offs you’d like to see?  Let us know.

Sources:  DVICE, Stardestroyer.net, Sideview images: ship schemantics.netst-minutia.com, wolf’s shipyard; ex astris scientia; Image (almost to scale) overlays by Bruce Simmons

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TAGS: battlestar galactica, star trek

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  1. If you are talking capability vs what they would actually do, that changes things.
    Example…. Prime directive.

    Kirk would observe and take off.
    If you throw out the rules of the army you are describing, then you are opening a can of worms.

    If I were in command of the Enterprise I would violate treaties and fabricate a cloaking device . I would shoot on over to the BSG uncloak and beam all of Bsgs crew into open space .. Game over.

    encase any of you are confused. Fed ships do not have a cloaking device because of a treaty. Not because they cannot build/use one.

    P.s. It was Gladiator from the Shiar empire that punched the Enterprise .
    He dented the hull and caused the inertial dampers to fail.Mind you shields were down.

    • Defiant has a cloaking Device

  2. If you go by canon …. Boba fetts ship could take out the entire federation. You have to look at the power output.
    Do not take my word for it . Go to stardestroyer.net (if it is still around)
    Check out the starwars vs star trek section. It will blow your mind.

    besides the fact that Starfleet does not appear to have anything akin to Jedi.

    You will surrender …. I will surrender.

    R2 hack into their central computer and have control of the central computer changed to me .
    Good.
    Now use this ship to do the same thing to the entire Starfleet.

    (anybody remember Khan??)

    Prefix code. Order reliant to lower her shields.

    Food for thought.

    Lastly … some of the people here are crossing generations.
    Kirks ship was not as self sufficient as Pecards.

    • Vulcans would be probaly immune to the force and Betazoids would mess up the minds of the Jedi, conflicting them with Dark & Light in their heads (till they go POP!)

  3. How about you compare the 1977 BSG? That would be closer to the 1967 Enterprise…

    • YES, Yes, Yes

  4. I think the galactica would win, yes it is far more basic butthe point derfense would de-stabilise phasers with the shock and debris, 1 nuke in the right place and the USS Enterprise ( even the D ) would sustain immense damage, the FTL also gives the galactica a suprise element, it can leave and enter with no way of telling where it went to or came from, it could use this to surprise the enterprise, the vipers could also be overwhelming, the galactica is far tougher too due to its single piece design ( the enterprise is rather flimsy looking, especialy the constelation class variant ) these taken into account and size, id say the galactica has a good chance against the constelation class and a mediumish chance against the galaxy class.

    • All the “facts” that we use to judge the capabilities of these ships can only be based on what the respective TV shows say and demonstrate about them. I prefer the TOS Enterprise as the basis for my “facts”. The design of the Enterprise would seem flimsy by real engineering standards, but this isn’t real anyway and the show portrays the ship as being very sturdy indeed. Both ships suffered a close range nuclear explosion with somewhat severe consequences to the Galactica which was on fire and had to vent itself to “save” the ship. The Enterprise suffered no such damage, but some radiation injuries near the outer parts of the ship to the crew.

  5. Here’s how it would go.

    Adama: After launch, jump your raptor behind the Enterprise and fire your nuke. Then bring it on home.

    Bye bye, Kirk. Adama doesn’t have any computer networks to hack, and he isn’t interested in your gloating or drama. He is a real soldier, versed in real warfare against opponents with superior numbers, technology, and firepower. You only have 1/3.

    • You guys keep forgetting, or just don’t know, that a nuke will do almost no damage to the old TOS Enterprise even if it exploded 100 meters away. In one, or two, different TOS episodes, a nukes did just that and didn’t even scratch the ship! It just tossed it around a little, but no serious damage. So, the Raptor launches it’s nuke jumps away and fails to even dent the Enterprise. Enterprise sensors pick up the Galactica far beyond their sensor range and fire phasers and photons from such a great distance that the Galactica doesn’t even know what’s happening to it. In the old TOS, Enterprise fights at warp speeds which according to the old Star Trek Maps could be any where from the speed of light to over one million times the speed of light depending on the region of space. The movies and later TV shows always show the two ships close enough to see each other with the naked eye, but the original show often showed the ships too far to be seen, but still fighting. Based on that, Enterprise can out run, out maneuver, pack a much much much bigger single salvo punch and take an enormous hit without much damage. The episode “Balance of Terror” shows the Enterprise taking a point blank nuke to the face, and a Romulan plasma torpedo capable of destroying a Federation base located over one mile deep inside a solid iron asteroid. Which brings that point up! One Romulan Warbird with a plasma torpedo could vaporize the Galactica with a single shot.

  6. No one would win, The Federation would absorb the Colonials into their community and return them to Earth. Federation scientists would then examine Colonial tech and modify it for their own use. Galactica would be improved and enhanced and the Federation would finally get the idea to start building Carriers. And a Viper squadron would be standard equipment on every Federation ship.

    Then the Cylon hunt begins.

    • Buddy,are you a mined reader??????XD

      YES YES YES YES

  7. This comparison would be a a whole lot better if they went with the original series Battlestars. If that was the case, I think TOS Galactica could take on and win against the enterprise or Enterprise-D.

    Remember TOS Galactica had energy shields and weapons. I also believe that TOS Battlestars could take on Star destroyers.

    Now thats a fight i wanna see.

  8. No match. One hit from a photon torpedo = Galatica is history and they won’t even get through Enterprise’s shields, let alone make a scratch.

    The Enterprise ALONE could defeat the combineded forces of the cyclons and colonials (before the attack) even with Wesley Crusher in command.

    Their weapons would be useless. Like an real apache indian trying to shoot down a helicopter Apache with a few arrows.

    • Haven ‘t even talked about the transporter. Even before Galatica could come in weapon range Enterprise could beam aboard 10000 tribbles.

    • Bart is correct the author makes a serious math error on the nukes vs photon torpedoes. The photon torpedoes deliver 433 times the impact of a Galactica nuke. Kilotons are thousands of tons and megatons are millions of tons. Plus they can be fired at warp speed which will not be detected by the Galactica until they hit. The vipers won’t even come into play nor will any of the Galacticas other weapons. The Enterprise’s ability to scan from afar and the use of transporter technology means that the original Enterprise (Kirk’s version) would easily defeat the latest version of the battlestar. Remember the Galatica series essentially does not interact with other alien species. Its about the 12 colonies vs a race of machines they created. The Federation encompasses hundreds of worlds and a starship is the culmination of the efforts of Federation technology.

  9. Actually, I see it going down this way:

    Kirk encounters Galactica leading the ragtag fugitive fleet of defenseless civilian ships to colonize Earth, and hails them to break the bad news that Earth’s tightly-controlled ecology won’t permit the establishment of a colony of roughly 50,000 refugees. Adama offers to allow Enterprise to park inside Galactica’s port flight pod while they negotiate. Kirk is starting to explain that Enterprise can’t land but can beam Adama aboard to discuss finding an uninhabited planet or 12 for the colonials, when suddenly a Cylon Base Star jumps in and starts launching raiders and missiles at the civlians, Galactica, and Enterprise.

    Kirk, supremely confident in the superiority of his technology, tells Adama to stand by while he deals with this threat. Shields go up, phasers lock on dozens of missiles at once, and highly-detailed sensor sweeps reveal the base star’s structural weaknesses, likely control systems, engines, manpower, etc, all the while the civilian fleet is busy jumping to a remote location for safety per standard orders. Kirk gives the order to fire, and bright orange beams of intense energy leap from one missile to the next, detonating them all long before they can hit any targets. Then he orders Chekov to target the enemy fighters.

    One of the raiders opens its eye slit and begins broadcasting. Just like that, Enterprise goes dark. All systems operated by interlinked computers aboard her (that is to say, everything right down to the gravity plating in the floors) ceases to function. The phasers are gone. The shields are gone. The photon torpedoes are stuck in the tubes. Mr. Spock can’t get anything but gibberish out of the computers. Scotty is straining his legacy as a miracle worker just keeping the magnetic bottle between the matter and antimatter pods from collapsing.

    Enterprise is helpless. Adama orders the Galactica to position its broadest cross-section between the Starfleet flagship and the Base Star, launches all vipers, and defends his new potential ally with all the slug-throwers his massive low-tech ship can bring to bear.

    • You forget. The Cylons were only able to disable the Colonial ships because they had all their secrets from the Colonial Defense Mainframe. They knew colonial tech like the back of their machine hands. Federation tech is totally alien to them and they probably couldn’t affect the Enterprise computers with their dis-abler beam. Besides, the Enterprise comes with Microsoft Security Essentials for Starships, 23rd Century Edition! This software wouldn’t recognize the Cylon software and would prompt Mr. Spock for permission to be run.;) Then Mr. Spock would analyze the software and come up with a way to turn it against the Cylons and start turning them off and defeat the whole Cylon race in one fell swoop! Except, the Prime Directive would prevent him from doing that because the Cylons would be considered a new form of life and so on and so forth. The Feds would try to send a peace envoy to negotiate a cease fire and so on and so forth…

      • And so on and so forth. Etcetera, et al, ad absurdum.

        Permission to be run? That’s Linux. I thought you said the Federation used Microsoft.

        Kirk gave a squat about the Prime Directive when his ship and crew were threatened. Picard…well, to Picard the Prime Directive was about non-involvement, not non-interference. He’d probably hail the Cylons and ask them to pause their assault while he and his senior staff went to the briefing room to argue the finer points for several hours, and then order saucer separation, putting Wesley in command of the saucer, and then fall back to inform the fleet.

        Personally, I just think Kirk would have been tickled to have been addressed as “Enterprise Actual”.

        And so on, and so on.

        • They had some missions in which they and the Enterprise were considered expendable.

  10. One problem with you comparison is the Photons Vs Nuke
    Photon = 64 Megaton
    1 Megaton = 1000 Kiloton
    Photon = 64,000 Kiloton
    BSG nuke = 5-150 Kiloton

    1 Photon = 425 of BSG nukes
    Enterprise carries 400 Photon torps
    So it carries 170,000 of BSG nukes

    We won’t even go into the newer Quantum Torps of the newer shows

    Second problem is shields
    Enterprise can with stand a number of Photon Torp hits; each being equal to 425 of BSG biggest nukes.
    Also in the show they are hit with “old style” nukes a couple times with nothing but their navigational defectors up—not even the main shields

  11. Honestly! Where do all these “facts” come from? It might be nice if they were sourced, so we can look it up ourselves.

  12. I know this is four years old, but I just found it. Interesting comparison.

    Most likely, the Enterprise would win, because of the speed and power of photon torpedoes, as well as longer-range sensors, greater speed and maneuverability (aside from Galactica’s FTL), and transporters.

    However, the Galactica would have a puncher’s chance if it achieved surprise somehow – for example, by jumping in and attacking before the Enterprise was ready for it. Given time (hours to plot the jump – minutes to spool up the jump drives), Galactica can jump within at least a kilometer of where it wants to go. If Galactica jumped two kilometers from Enterprise and immediately launched a barrage, including one or more nukes, the Enterprise would go down fast. Galactica may also be able to simply ram the Enterprise, but that would be riskier.

    I doubt the metals used in Enterprise can be that much stronger than the metals used in Galactica, though I know they are probably supposed to be some kind of magical future metals etc. Simply looking at the side by side comparison, Galactica can probably absorb about 20x the damage that Enterprise can absorb due to mass and shape. If the two ships get close enough, I think Galactica wins, but the problem for Adama and crew is that other than in a surprise attack, Enterprise could keep its distance and tear Galactica up.

    Comparing crews – Adama and his team (particularly Starbuck) have a proven ability to think outside the box, plan surprising and effective strategies and defeat superior forces. Kirk and his team (particularly Spock) are also insightful, but it’s usually more along the lines of figuring out that an enemy is illusionary or is a probe from Earth or something … not so much military tactics. From a crew standpoint, the Enterprise way of winning would be for McCoy to blurt something out, it to remind Spock of something, he arches an eyebrow, says something cryptic that reminds Kirk of a prior situation, Kirk uses whatever tactic worked in that situation, and convince Adama to join them. Afterward, Kirk and Spock say smug things as they fly away. From a crew standpoint, the Galactica way of winning would be to gather around an illuminated tactical map, push models around on it, plan a by-the-book attack, Adama to ask Starbuck what she thinks, Starbuck says it’s too conventional, and gives them a new, unorthodox and highly effective plan. Kirk’s main advisors are a medical doctor, a scientist and an engineer. Adama has a larger number of advisors to draw on, and their backgrounds are therefore broader: his XO (military background), his CAG (military background), Starbuck (military background), Chief Tyrol (engineering and operations background), Baltar (scientist) and President Roslin (intuitive political background).

    Overall, I think the Muhammed Ali vs Superman comparison is a good one. Galactica (the ship and crew) ring true to me, and I have more respect for them because I can see the talent and work that goes into what they do. Superman probably beats Ali, but it’s mostly because of magic cloaked as science.

  13. Any reference to Enterprise destroying a planet should be null and voided due to inconsistency in cannon. The Star Trek universe even a century of technology progression still had no ship capable of destroying a planet and in fact, the Dominion with it’s more powerful ships needed hundreds of Capital Bombers to raze just a partial region of a planet, as did the dedicated Orbital Bombers sent by the Romulan’s in the same series whose ships were also noted as carrying more bombing firepower.

    Point being, just because one script writer went haywire with a line it doesn’t mean it is true cannon because all other scriptwriters (and there were loads) directly contradict the one line.

    Now whilst we all discuss this only one person in this thread actually tried to implement the fight and it showed consistent wins for the Galactica, the reason for these victories are still not being discussed and it makes perfect sense. Enterprise is extremely limited with it’s firing solution and those firing solutions would be far too busy dealing with the incoming fire from Galactica ridiculous amount of firing solution. One ship has 4-5 firing outlets, they other in excess of 100 firing outlets whose range is never determined but in the environment of space can actually be assumed to be limitless.

    Another advantage of the Galactica is it’s cannons are not actually just metal ordinance, the dispel energy in it’s right and Enterprise shields are very poor at shielding against a wide range of energy frequencies. For all we know the Galactica solution will pass right through and then their would be a blood bath. And in many episodes we saw the phasers have zero effect on several types of metal compounds, they are only reliable on surfaces they can damage and nothing more than a laser light against other substances. Calculating short inter system FTL jumps is easy for the crew, it see’s Enterprise and will jump right in close and begin in it’s attack in instance.

    But, let’s consider the leaders. They wouldn’t fight. They’d look at the Cylon’s and think…. Common Enemy that is extremely numerous and dangerous, possibly a Technological Singularity waiting to happen that would wipe out all species including the Borg. Enterprise and Galactica wouldn’t be at battle, they would be in battle together and Adama would call the shots because Spock logic tells Kirk this other guy is experienced in so many more ways.

    • Being science FICTION the who would win would be determined by the story and the film directors and writers regardless of any technology.
      As for the stardestroyer net thing wouldnt comparing tech manuels between sci fi universes be wrong,because certain science things like ftl they may only have guest the needed power outputs. To use an example. A trek hovercar can travel at 100mph and needs 100bhp to go that fast but a star wars hovercar may still only be able to reach 100mph but it may need 200bhp to go that fast ,now if you compare both universes cars to each other you may say that a star wars car should be able to go twice as fast as a trek car but that would be wrong as neither tech manuels were surposed to be compared like this, thats why bobba fetts ship seems to be able to conquer starfleet on its own because the comparisons wrong. If you get what im saying as it may be worded badly.

    • “But, let’s consider the leaders. They wouldn’t fight. They’d look at the Cylon’s and think…. Common Enemy…”

      This was the point I tried to make before. Thank you for articulating it better.

  14. Guys,give the galactica a break!Theship is 200,000 years old from star trek’s timeline,a timeline centered around the same species,if i may add.Match up their technologies……..do i need say more? ;)

  15. Ya know to beat BSG and SW I got one letter… “Q” … Although he probably wouldn’t have any reason to and would probably just watch the fight for enjoyment than get involved :P

  16. Hi,

    Your comparison between Galactica Nuke and a photon torpedo had a problem. First, you can compare directly using kiltons without converting to Joules (there’s nothing wrong with doing so, of course, but you add a lot of zeros to your numnbers). A megaton = 1000 kilotons. So you have 150 kiltons max for Galactica, and 64,000 kilotons for a photon torpedo, which means each photon torpedo has about 427 times the energy of each max nuke, and much higher for the weaker nukes. Second, I think there was a problem converting to Joules. A kiloton is roughly equivalent to 4.184 billion Joules, and a megaton is 1000 times larger than that.

    Regarding damage, if shields are down and the warhead detonates on contact (or worse, penetrates before exploding) any of the Enterprises would be severely damaged, as would the Galactica. Most SF movies and series with space battles don’t have a good estimate of the damage of a nuclear weapon.

    If the weapon explodes before impact, however, the story is very different, in that blast and thermal effects from heating atmosphere are absent. On the other hand radiation effects are much larger than in an atmosphere (but can be shielded by a nice thick hull (see http://history.nasa.gov/conghand/nuclear.htm ). In either case, expect electronic damage from EMP. From watching BSG, most explosions were on contact.

    I’m guessing anyone in a fighter within 10′s of kilometers of a weapon will eventually die of radiation poisoning, be blinded if looking towards the weapon, and may have all the onboard systems fried.

    • Just a followup. First, apologies for the previous typos and spelling mistakes. Second, in general I liked most of the choices you made in your evaluation.

      The comparison of phaser versus Galactica’s point defense systems was interesting. The PDC’s use physical projectiles limited to much less than the speed of light, and the phasers probably propagate at lightspeed, so they could hit Galactica within a millisecond of fireing if they were 300 km away from the target.

      The comparison of speed above light speed were also interesting. I don’t think you can directly compare them. Star Trek universe ships mostly travel by warping space so that apparent distances are reduced. The FTL method in BSG involves jumps, which to the crew are instantaneous, and may be related to wormhole jumps. Since a jump may be instantaneous, and warp takes finite time to cover a distance, BSG FTL is almost certainly faster. The downside is locating yourself and recalculating for the next jump, and you may be limited by the distance it is possible to jump in a controlled manner.

      Anyway, thanks for this topic. Cool!

  17. I don’t know how you came to the notion that 64 Megatons is less than 150 Kilotons but this error alone devalidates the rest of the comparative evaluation.

    Sixty Four Megatons = 267,775.99 TERAjoules. A Terajoule is one trillion Joules people.

    One Hundred Fifty Kilotons = 627.59 Terajoules.

    Enterprise Wins, Outright.

    • Your math is correct. Photon torpedoes are much more powerful than Galactica’s nukes, if we take both canons as gospel.

      However, this does not necessarily mean the Enterprise wins (other than winning a measurement).

      It is unlikely that either ship would survive the other ship’s primary weapon, so it would more likely depend on which saw the other first, maneuvered first or best, or was most aggressive.

      Ignoring the “most aggressive” component (in reality, it’s unlikely either would attack), the Enterprise probably holds the advantage in more scenarios, but not all.

  18. Jack,

    IMO, what it comes down to is this-

    1. Galactica has reaction-mass drives (probably some form of nuclear electric, aka ‘ion’) which makes it go. First mistake of ‘date this culture’s technology near the interstellar stone age’ conceptualization. Nothing glowie or you have to explain how it stops and backs up.

    Trek has ‘impulse’ engines but it’s clear from their itty-bittyness and generally awkward positioning (try making your brother go by shoving him around through the nape of his neck) that ‘warp’ drive is functional at sublight because…no glow.

    Even if it’s just ‘majestic’ movement and not fighter like, this puts the Galactica, cough, at a bit of a disadvantage. Which is ironic because BG1980 mentions this as being a key shortcoming relative to the Cylons who now have gravimetric drives of their own. Yet Galactican’s don’t have magnet boots so you know they’ve had some kind of ArtiGrav for ‘awhile’ now.

    2. I don’t watch Cattlecar Gynactica (2000 series) because I don’t like seeing men reduced to wusses for PC reasons. But the TOS Galactica has some uber weapons which also don’t make sense. First, the flak turrets. Battlestars have some 32 of them and they look like little more than CIWS type, close-in, anti-fighter weapons. Ones which in fact -miss- Cylon Raiders that fly right by their firing embrasures. Duhhhh. They also have ICBM like antishipping missiles. Which somehow go from being big-missile-in-silo to ‘Flash Of Light!’ speedy (The Living Legend, Part 2). And thus puts it’s technology base really, really, low. Yet in ‘The Eastern Alliance’, when said missiles are used by one group of Nazis against another group of…whatever, die hard Republicans I guess, the Galactica fires a fanbeam searchlight from it’s nose and blows up every one of the rising missiles _across a planetary hemisphere_.

    Which is it? Are we talking about a capability to bathe a continent sized volume of airspace with enough energy to zap every missile fired? Or are we talking about <10nm naval warfare, right out of Savo and the Phillipine Sea?

    One thing we have -never- seen is the Galactica or it's Vipers fight at FTL. Of course we never see such warp strafing by Fed ships either. Why? Trek TOS vessels were capable of this as well as firing PTorps which 'lit the firmament' with backflash like nukes times a million. Single starships could glass whole planets. Yet if you watch here-

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efgDdSWDg0g

    It takes several seconds to torch a single raider (and this applies to the various TNG, DS9, Voyager shows as well) and we have gone from opening fire at tens of thousands of kilometers (still well under 1 lightsecond) to circle strafing like it was an X-Box game.

    Derptastic.

    So the reality is that BSG is operating at maybe a Type 1+ (basic fusion and limp-along FTL using Lagrange Points) and Trek is at least at a Type 2- (M/AM and space-warp drives that allow it to fly without pointing a rocket in a particular direction, including FTL in and between multiple systems).

    Which, together with the explosives advantage, should mean that the Galactica has no hope of standing to an even fight. Not least because it -has to- guard it's RTF as a kind of living Ark.

    Unless you start factoring in why Trek can do things but doesn't. And give weight to Galactica weapons which are only shown once and completely change the tech level as suspension of disbelief, there is no real way to measure the two except by the stats we're given and the visual physics they present. And in both those departments, the BSG melieu is at least 2-3 -centuries behind the Trek equivalent SOA.

  19. I watched TOS, but I was about eight years old … the main thing I remember is the robot dog. And I think there was an episode where a cylon acted like a Wild West villain and the heroes got to play cowboy. But I digress. My frame of reference is primarily the reboot. I remember TOS had lasers (the reboot doesn’t) but I don’t remember other tech differences, such as how FTL worked in TOS.

    Comparing the reboot with the Kirk-Spock TV series Star Trek:

    The Enterprise is more advanced in almost ways. The only area where Galactica has at least a debatable tech edge is FTL. The Galactica uses a jump drive that allows it to essentially teleport – flicker out of existence in one place and back into existence somewhere else, which can be a vast difference away, but can be selected fairly precisely. Its jumps are untraceable. If you are next to Galactica when it jumps, you have no way to follow it, and if you are present when Galactica jumps in, you don’t see it until it’s arrived to its selected coordinates (which can be at least as precise as one kilometer).

    Given the correct situation, this could be an overwhelming advantage – with enough information and with the advantage of surprise, Galactica could appear immediately adjacent to the Enterprise, and open fire before the Enterprise could most likely raise its shields. It could even ram the Enterprise – see the photos in the article; even allowing for “magical future metal,” the Enterprise would be destroyed.

    Also, Galactica has “emergency jump” coordinates plotted most of the time, and is able to vanish in seconds if things go south. In a worst-case scenario, with no “emergency jump” coordinates, Galactica can still attempt a blind jump. This happens twice in the series, both times with much dread of the ship reappearing inside a star or planet, but both times, it works out ok.

    On the down side for Galactica: plotting a jump can take quite a bit of time, perhaps hours for a complicated jump. Spinning up FTL drives to actually execute the jump can take minutes, though I think they’d be spun up most of the time in a combat situation. The Enterprise’s warp drives work in a much more straightforward way – the Enterprise just speeds up a lot, and does not need much if any time to do so.

    As far as other technology … the Enteprise does have better tech, but that may not always determine the outcome. A Revolutionary War British ship of the line would have a lot of technical advantages over a modern Coast Guard cutter, but nevertheless, a cannonball from the British ship would devastate the smaller cutter.

    The Enterprise is more maneuverable, has better sensors, has shields, has phasers that can travel vast distances in a split second. It could dance all around the Galactica. And, we don’t know what would happen if the Galactica’s kinetic weapons hit the Enterprise’s shields. In most scenarios, I think Enterprise could cut Galactica up from long range with phasers, either destroying it or forcing it to jump to safety.

    BUT, with some luck, or a favorable situation, some of Galactica’s heavy-hitting conventional weapons would split Enterprise open in a hurry, much like an old cannonball would puncture a Coast Guard cutter.

    • Forgive the typos – connectivity issues made reviewing and editing the post difficult. In particular, I meant to say that the Coast Guard cutter would have many tech advantages over the British ship of the line.

  20. Jack,

    These two-

    http://www.orionsarm.com/eg-article/467892171fffb
    http://www.tecr.com/galactica/engines/engines.htm

    Cover basically what I am talking about here for TOS Galactica propulsion.

    As I said before, nothing makes sense in the 2000s version, not least because the Colonials have the ability to jump great distances (all the way back to Caprica for instance) yet do not simply jump completely beyond the Cylon sphere of influence _and just keep going_.

    Now part of his may have to do with Solium/Tylium (or whatever fuel source it is that they use) burn in FTL. But even if there are fixed range limits to how far you can go in any one jump, the reality is that if you don’t have to move from A to B but can jump all the way to K, you would do so.

    And this would rapidly leave the Cylons behind, just on the enormous distances involved with transmissions of tracking beacons or however it is that the Cylons maintain communications with their own kind in the RTF.

    As for your assertion that the Cutter would be torn apart by the Ship Of The Line, that presupposes two things:

    A. That the Enterprise/Galactica matchup is a cutter vs. manowar battle.
    It’s not, the Cutter having usually a single, 3″ or 5″, forward mount.

    http://www.uscg.mil/history/webcutters/Gallatin_1977_Color_1.jpg
    http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/photos/uncategorized/2007/05/21/cutter.jpg

    Which means that while it can likely outrange the MOW, it cannot engage it gun:gun in a ‘straight up fight’ without having Salvo theory win out (I kill your one gun, you have 20 others left on that side, they each fire once, half miss, five hit, I lose my ONE gun, fight over…).

    Add to this a Battlestar like MOW having 120 knot PCI go-fasts and the cutter cannot standoff at distance either.

    The essence of classical naval warfare is to deliver sufficient weight of shot to immediately render the opponent either incapacitated as unable to continue the fight (desailed as much as tubed) or to put enough holes at the waterline to make another salvo unnecessary as the ship is sure to sink, even if you run away. Great White Shark ‘one big bite, then wait’ theory.

    This is clearly not the case for the Enterprise which has at least as many ‘gun mount’ equivalents in it’s phased array equivalent beam steering as say a heavy cruiser or even period RN or Kriegsmarine battleship. All of which can track both agile, small, and damage heavy targets with equal ease.

    B. That the ‘cutter’ cannot shoot down the cannon balls.
    Even if you use the solid projectile weapons which Galactica-2K uses (and further assume no velocity loss in a vacuum) the fact is that, fired from hypervelocity railguns or electrothermal mounts, they would still be at a significantly lower fraction of light speed than phasers, say 20km/sec versus roughly 300,000km/sec for the beam weapon.

    Being of much smaller mass to conserve recoil effects and magazine space (and because you really don’t need much more than a pebble at those kinds of speeds vs. an unshielded hull…), the phaser is going to be able to heat load individual projectiles to the point of explosive deformation and plasma state sublimation change in a matter of milliseconds at most.

    Which means that, if they aren’t guided/maneuvering capable of evasions, even with a quarter vs. tenth light-second of effective range overmatch, you are talking about the ability to open fire at 74,400km vs. a weapon whose maximum (tracking and dispersion as much as anything) 29,760km maximum range, further divided by 20km/sec = 1,488 individual engagements _per beam emitter_.

    i.e. Assuming the Enterprise chooses to close to ‘guns range’ at all, it should be easily able to engage 10-20-50 batteries of slug throwers per phaser bank and _win_, just based on proximity of streaming rounds in space and time with each other.

    Now, what the shields can and cannot absorb becomes somewhat irrelevant as the Galactica is not going to win a sprint race with the Enterprise which can always outrun it’s _weapons effects_. And given it inputs random left-right-up-down maneuvers, it cannot be cut off either. Such that once it has exited the cone of the shots fired at it, it can de-light and turn to engage any followon (from max range) before shooting at the firing ship itself using P-torps which can employ rollback to saturate, EMP and then obliterate the Galactica’s terminal defenses.

    Which is why 64MT vs. 150KT is important as in space there is no thermal or blast coupling as is inherent to an atmospheric blast and thus it all has to be energy based.

    P.S. The dog was called a ‘daggit’ and it’s name was ‘muffit’ and the boy who owned it was called ‘Boxey’ who went on to become a main character in the BSG1980 series.

    And yes, that was about as campy as the worst moments of BSG-2K, the difference being that I don’t use one series stupidity as an excuse for why another doesn’t do better.

    As soon as they introduced Nukes In Space the whole manned (unshielded) interceptor thing became rather pointless. Wardet early, make it an ER weapon, flash the Vipers as they come out to of their tubes to play. Instant pilot incapacitation. Rollback the Inner Zone CIWS with successive flashes. Boom’n’Doom.

    Game Over. Smart Tactics For The Win.

  21. Just as the RSN Seaview had tremendous advantages over the German U-boat piloted by the ghost of a nazi sub skipper. Radar, sonar, infrared imaging, lasers, electrifiable hull plating, homing torpedoes, nuclear missiles…and a flying sub. The German ghost simply had guts, determination, and experience to work with.

    Of course, that was two submarines built by the denizens of the same planet in two different time periods facing off on the same program. Even taking into account the different levels of technology, it was still an “apples-to-apples” comparison. The BSG vs. Enterprise face-off is an “apples-to-oranges” comparison. (Or, perhaps, a “tangerines-to-watermelons” comparison.)

    Whether we are talking of the Star Trek of the 1960s or that of the 1980s or later, and whether we are talking about the BSG of the ’70s or of the 2004 reboot series, there is a fundamental divide in the way each ship fights. In BSG, the main weapon of the Battlestar is the number of vipers it can launch. Ships in Star Trek don’t use fighters at all. Because of this, there can never be an apt comparison between one show and the other.

    So, we need to find an opponent for the Galactica that wages war using squadrons of fighters, and is named “Enterprise.” There is only one that I can think of….

    • Heavy,

      You need to take it further than that though, in that the principle advantage of a carrier is not merely that it can spread out the pain through a series of sacrificial effects delivery systems as fighters/bombers/scouts but that it can do so -from range-.

      The whole ‘Find, Fix, Target, Track, Engage, Assess’ process that defines the kill chain begins for a Federation ship at the distance which it’s own sensors could acquire the target. In TOS, that might be anything up to several LY (as in systems-distant).

      In the TNG etc. universe, which shares NONE of the higher tech forms of combat that the original series did, this amounts to something more like a few thousand kilometers (orbit to planet), at most.

      Most later series fights begin at distances where each ship can be visible as more than a dot and often both ships are visible in the same camera pan (2-3,000 meters, tops) which is ludicrously close range to be playing with ’64 Megaton’ class weapons.

      ESPECIALLY SINCE atomics are a part of the equation in both worlds, if the Galactica wants to play at war with the Big E, it needs to use it’s scouts to the maximum extent possible to hold the fight at a distance of half a star system or more with the Enterprise taking anything up to several minutes to arrive, even at large Warp Numbers, the reality then becomes one of jump in, launch scouts (preferably not high value Raptors or Vipers) RISTA the Federation ships, launch a full on Alpha Strike and jump out.

      The fighters come in at ‘light speed’-

      >
      Unfortunately, during Galactica’s short lived run on television, we heard pilot and crew constantly refer to their vessels having the ability to accelerate to the speed of light using Ion engines. Commander Cane, Adama and Colonel Tigh made comments about the Galactica being able to “Accelerate” to light speed, and in the episode “The Long Patrol” it was even stated that a modified Viper could reach the speed of light and be controled manually.
      >

      http://www.tecr.com/galactica/engines/engines.htm

      (indicating they have warp drive too) and launch missiles at _whatever the Federation is defending_ that day, forcing the A-E Enterprise to _stay in the fight_ and kill the missiles as ‘duty bound’ to protect civilians.

      The Vipers either then jump themselves or withdraw as the Galactica returns, firing more missiles which saturate the pursuing Enterprise (and/or the unguarded world, depending on it’s value), as the Vipers reboard and the Galactica exits the area.

      In this way, you combine the worst of economic warfare with simple military doctrine of massing and defeat in detail such that “Try to defend everywhere and you defend nowhere well…”

      RANGE, as combat radius and lower asset value, thus becomes a key element in destroying a single Federation ship as the Enterprise cannot defend everyone, everywhere and the scattering of ‘light speed’ capable Vipers would quickly leave the E behind as the went to separate Rally Points while the Galactica was not Akagi’d.

      Again, this is the only way to have things make sense because it flips the notion of Vipers from being short range manned interceptors to long range strike platforms which keep the threat well away from the launch and recovery platform.

  22. Heavy,

    It’s true that they are different classes of vessels. However, it’s still possible to imagine them fighting. Mismatched battles and differing combat philosophies occur all the time in wars. The bigger reason these two ships probably wouldn’t actually fight each other is that they’d probably feel they were on more or less the same side, once they had a chance to talk.

    Glarg,

    Without getting into a TOS vs reboot “which is better” debate, I just wanted to clarify that my remarks about the Galactica are all based on the reboot because I lack specific memories of the TOS version. My two examples (robot dog, and cowboy episode) are actually my clearest memories of TOS from when it originally aired. I was a big fan of the robot dog, and I thought the cowboy scene was cool. I also remember that Adama was a super-wise father figure who was never wrong in any important way; that even as an eight-year-old, I was puzzled why the Colonials were so trusting as to meet the Cylons with 100% of their military force in one place; what kind of future Baltar imagined for himself after all the other humans were dead. I could go on. The reboot goes out of its way to appear “modern” by giving traditionally male roles to female characters, but IMO, this is pretty easy to ignore. As for technology not making sense – I don’t think it is really intended to make sense, it’s a TV show, not a documentary. But assuming you are ok with the idea of self-aware machines that end up debatably becoming human, there’s less silly tech stuff in the rebooted BSG than in most shows; they make an effort to be relatively low-tech, with the jump drive being the only major exception.

    As for the logic behind the use of that drive: jump distance is limited, and longer jumps require ever-more complex computation. They do not specify how far a given jump can go, but I’d guess perhaps tens of light years. Jumps use large amounts of fuel, which at one point they almost run out of. Late in the series, they reveal that Cylon jump technology is superior, with much faster computations, and greater range. In any case, the Galactica is not merely fleeing the Cylons, it’s also attempting to find a specific destination (Earth), and spends much of its journey following various clues as to Earth’s location.

    Back to the battle comparison. You’re correct that the Enterprise is not a Coast Guard cutter. The Enterprise is a main battle vessel of its era. In modern terms, it might be more like a frigate or cruiser. The reason I used a Coast Guard cutter is due to size. In general, modern warships are much larger than warships of hundreds of years ago. In this case, the Galactica is enormously larger than the Enterprise. It’s difficult to think of a perfect analogy. How about a modern missile carrier vs the Bismark? But that’s a tech difference of only decades, not centuries.

    My main point was that despite technology, if the Enterprise somehow was surprised, Galactica’s weapons could take it down rapidly. There is no reason to assume Galactica would have the element of surprise. If anything, the opposite is more likely, due to the Enterprise’s far superior sensors. But there are no guarantees.

    Phasers are sometimes depicted in Star Trek as rapidly destroying small objects, such as missiles or shuttle-sized craft. If the Enterprise was prepared and if distance was great enough, I imagine it could shoot Galactica’s Vipers and kinetic missiles before they reached the Enterprise. I will point out, however, that Galactica is capable of firing massive numbers of projectiles, potentially allowing it to spam past Enterprise’s ability to clear them all. At close range, it seems unlikely to me that the Enterprise could do this in time.

    Let’s say the Enterprise is orbiting a planet, carrying out a research mission. Kirk is busy canoodling with green ladies; a salt-loving monster is using an illusion to trick a scientist; there’s a tribble infestation; whatever. Their attention is on the planet, not on other vessels approaching in space. Somehow, a Galactica raptor happens to spot it, perhaps while searching for fuel or food. The raptor jumps back to Galactica and reports. Galactica sends raptors to go keep tabs on the Enterprise for a day or two, using stealth (hiding behind a moon, turning off electronics to avoid detection, etc). For the sake of argument, let’s say the Enterprise either does not notice, or does not react. This is not a given, but it is possible. Galactica now knows where the Enterprise is likely to be at any given time. Galactica arms a nuke and prepares to jump next to the Enterprise. Prior to doing so, it has a dozen raptors jump in at some distance (let’s say 10,000km), and fire missiles at the Enterprise as a distraction. Galactica then jumps in on the opposite side of the Enterprise about 1km away, launches and immediately detonates the nuke, not even waiting for impact, to reduce the possibility of Enterprise shooting it down. The nuke explodes half a kilometer from each ship, knocking the Galactica’s computers offline and causing minor damage, but very likely destroying or crippling the Enterprise.

    How likely is this – not very! A lot of things would need to go right for it to work (and why would they attack each other, anyway?). The technological difference between the ships would not cause this to fail if the crews allowed it to happen. You could try the same scenario without the nuke, instead using massive conventional missile spam from Galactica. And you could try the same scenario without the raptor distraction (maybe the distraction would be counterproductive, because the Enterprise would raise shields). The point is, there are SOME scenarios in which Galactica would win, though in scenarios that are not based on bad luck or stupidity by the Enterprise, I think Galactica would be outclassed.

    • Jack,

      >>
      Without getting into a TOS vs reboot “which is better” debate, I just wanted to clarify that my remarks about the Galactica are all based on the reboot because I lack specific memories of the TOS version. My two examples (robot dog, and cowboy episode) are actually my clearest memories of TOS from when it originally aired.
      >>

      I understand, I was bout the same age and remember watching the original airing (interrupted by a presidential debate) only because it was the first time I was allowed to stay up so late. We then saw it again, about a month later, when it was released in the theaters of all places.

      >>
      I was a big fan of the robot dog, and I thought the cowboy scene was cool.
      >>

      When Apollo actually gunned down the Cylon it was pretty cool in a ‘Few Dollars More’ sense. But the whole idea that there is a robot in an Old West type scenario and ‘nobody so much as blinks’ was bizarre to me. It reeked a little too much of the Star Trek episodes where their did the same thing (Tombstone and the Earps etc.) as a bunch of reality-bending aliens ‘tested’ the human moral complex. Sorry but you cannot test to destruction something you claim you don’t know well enough judge from it’s historical actions, _using those historical actions_. It comes off both supercilious and trite.
      Same deal with Galactica except with the added nastiness of edging towards the door as the Cylons come over the horizon without so much as a “Sorry, no more room in the caravan…” explanation.
      Starbuck’s anguished loss at the thought of all that booze going up in flames not withstanding.

      >>
      I also remember that Adama was a super-wise father figure who was never wrong in any important way; that even as an eight-year-old, I was puzzled why the Colonials were so trusting as to meet the Cylons with 100% of their military force in one place; what kind of future Baltar imagined for himself after all the other humans were dead.
      >>

      Adama was cool, though again, they tried to make him into too much of a leader and not enough of a warrior. The entire reason the battle of Cimir (sp.) was lost was because the Council Of Twelve ‘insisted’ that the Fleet obey it’s wishes through their representative, Baltar.
      Adama had a long way to go from there to get back on his feet as believable leader of men and it was the failure to do this which cost the show it’s focus as -he- should have been ‘The Living Legend’ of Commander Caine fame.
      Indeed, the two best episodes: ‘Gun On Ice Planet Zero’ and ‘The Hand Of God’ both show what a great story there was hidden in the premise _so long as_ you maintained the idea that this was a no holds barred MILITARY EPIC based on a ‘Long Trek’ style peregrination with constant fear of the wolves nipping at one’s heels.
      It’s when they went to morality play vignettes without any real continuity that the story lost it’s machismo.

      >>
      I could go on. The reboot goes out of its way to appear “modern” by giving traditionally male roles to female characters, but IMO, this is pretty easy to ignore.
      >>

      No. It goes out of it’s way to emasculate men by giving women -exclusively- male roles.
      Which they play badly.
      There is nothing which says that a man has to be less than brave, honorable and capable just to let the girl try. It is when she cannot keep up with the guy in an as-equals scenario that says more about her gender role/identity than anything.
      Women want ‘safe’ and ‘safe’ (by the rules) is not what war is about.
      A key example: “The war is over Adama, we lost!”
      No, the war isn’t over until the enemy says so, -especially- if you have lost.
      This ability to swing wildly through arcs of illogic (we will blow up 50 billion lives with high yield atomics and then infiltrate to ‘study them up close’, expecting to be treated as equals) is one of the big reasons why women and war don’t work.
      War is about as coldly calculated an endeavor as you ever want to make happen. People who believe that war is random or that it is too chaotic to be encompassed within human reason are listening to the agitprop as mind control which is explicitly in contradiction with history.

      >>
      As for technology not making sense – I don’t think it is really intended to make sense, it’s a TV show, not a documentary.
      >>

      Cheap Excuse if you will pardon my saying so.
      There was ten times the amount of CGI in the followon series yet you had people using weapons and even terminology which were _clearly_ from our world.
      If you are going to do that, on the basis that what makes sense here, would also do so, ‘out there’, then consider that the tactics have to follow the chain of reasoning.
      If you have orbital bombardment support, nothing you do on the ground is more than commando SUW functional.
      But at the same time, if you are capable of moving from system to system, even the full on -loss- of a given world (to another warring species) is not and must not be treated as, ‘the end of the world’ so much as the end of -a- world.
      For this reason alone, once the nuclear threshold was passed there would never be a moment when it was ‘mutually receded’ because there would simply be too much temptation as counter-value targeting richness to massed targets…anywhere.

      >>
      But assuming you are ok with the idea of self-aware machines that end up debatably becoming human, there’s less silly tech stuff in the rebooted BSG than in most shows; they make an effort to be relatively low-tech, with the jump drive being the only major exception.
      >>

      The same thing happened in the first series, though people tend to forget that. It’s just that, instead of being humans, being overtaken by their creations it was the aliens whose robots went amok and they were lizards. BSG2K did nothing here that was all that ‘Wow!’ innovative.
      In this it would have been more interesting to see a Transhumanist viewpoint where whatever faction became the enemy (them or us) in fact -chose- to become the way they did, as a function of gaining immortality, beyond the flesh.
      Maybe they were betrayed and cast out because…religion (for a guess). Or maybe they had a slick plan to subsume society through rendition/replacement and got hard-checked. But make the story one of -becoming- rather than being replaced and you would have had a much more interesting story.
      In this, Hollyweird has really dumb ideas about how robots must work and so constantly belittles their utility to everyday life, constantly rendering them as either angelic (‘AI’) or inimical (‘Terminator’) rather than merely _useful_.
      The idea that beings which look like humans have ‘glowie spines’ and human emotional reactions to concepts like betrayal is pretty pathetic actually. As is the exaggerated (soap operatic) melohamma of the way humans would honestly react to a genocidal competitor that just wiped out 90% of all human life.

      >>
      As for the logic behind the use of that drive: jump distance is limited, and longer jumps require ever-more complex computation. They do not specify how far a given jump can go, but I’d guess perhaps tens of light years. Jumps use large amounts of fuel, which at one point they almost run out of. Late in the series, they reveal that Cylon jump technology is superior, with much faster computations, and greater range. In any case, the Galactica is not merely fleeing the Cylons, it’s also attempting to find a specific destination (Earth), and spends much of its journey following various clues as to Earth’s location.
      >>

      Doesn’t change a thing. In CIA training, the first thing you are taught when it comes time to break a tail or evade the local police is ‘one block down, take a turn, break line of sight, one block down, take a turn, break last expectation of direction.’
      You do this in a BStar by consolidating as much of your refugees as you can into as few a ships as possible and then dumping the rest to get maximum burn efficiency from your remaining platforms.
      And then _you run_.
      Space being huge, if you can do this over distances measured in LY, ‘calculations’ or not, you are assuredly going to break the distance barrier by which your ship/s can be tracked. The nice thing about TOS BSG is that, by using Lagrange Points and jumping system to system like a game of hopscotch, the total number of ‘connections’ which those points could generate a wormhole connection with another Lagrange point were somewhat limited and thus the threat never completely went away, though you could certainly dump a tail for awhile or thin the pack chasing you.
      The one thing that is certain, is that, if you can generate enough power to ‘jump’ between stars, you can generate enough power to run a laser based defense system which never runs out of ammo and has an incredible advantage in terms of reach and target powerloading, especially in a vacuum.

      >>
      Back to the battle comparison. You’re correct that the Enterprise is not a Coast Guard cutter. The Enterprise is a main battle vessel of its era. In modern terms, it might be more like a frigate or cruiser. The reason I used a Coast Guard cutter is due to size. In general, modern warships are much larger than warships of hundreds of years ago. In this case, the Galactica is enormously larger than the Enterprise. It’s difficult to think of a perfect analogy. How about a modern missile carrier vs the Bismark? But that’s a tech difference of only decades, not centuries.
      >>

      See my above discussion with Heavy. The big thing about a _carrier_ is that, instead of being 20-30nm over the horizon (50nm with subcaliber rounds) you can be 200-500nm. But to do this requires independent, high speed, targeting.
      As well as the ability to use your fighters as strike assets rather than as point defense DLIs.
      Indeed, in a world where you are throwing nukes about, willy nilly, you _do not_ want to be ‘associated’, spatially with any one given (slow, huge, high value) target. You want to jump in, dump a spread of missiles and jump right back out again.
      Using the equivalent to Warp Strafe or our own Supercruise style combat to deny the enemy a chance to shoot back. In this, you must understand that EACH warhead will be nuclear and it will further by directionally entrained (like an Excalibur SDI laser) to channel huge amounts of X/Gamma ray radiation at the target, because there is nothing to poison or fallout contaminate in spaaaaaaace but at the same time, miss distances are likely to be huge and target presence very fleeting.
      In this, BSG 2000 in fact really blew it by stickign so slavishly to the original configuration of the Battlestars and Fighters. The Cylon ships were, if anything, even worse because they didn’t obey simple volumetric laws on structural integrity and available systems loading (why skin a ship twice, just to have a whackadoodle double-starfish configuration? Presumably cost is still a variable here…).

      >>
      My main point was that despite technology, if the Enterprise somehow was surprised, Galactica’s weapons could take it down rapidly. There is no reason to assume Galactica would have the element of surprise. If anything, the opposite is more likely, due to the Enterprise’s far superior sensors. But there are no guarantees.
      >>

      Taffy 3 at Samarr
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FY4ZxxoQ8Vs

      Doolittle vs. Tokyo
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjQd-6lB7-8

      The only time Carriers and Battleships went head to head, ‘within the same horizon’, the Japanese lost. Their balls.
      Had they stayed in the fight, Halsey would have traded about half a dozen escort carriers for the IJN decoy force of about 4 CVAs and the battle of the Phillipine Sea would have been rated a draw.
      Point Being: The reason you are having a hard time finding an example to compare to is because you are looking at the Galactica as a battleship with close range deployable escort boats rather than as a carrier with OTH capable strike warfare assets.
      Now, things would be different given the netcentric engagement capabilities likely in most Federation systems (sensor buoys and remote sats, high over the ecliptic) such that the BSG would likely not have ‘free entry’, undetected.
      But at the same time, the fighters would be able to launch from well outside any active system defenses and then, rather than having to RTB all the way back out, could be met by Galactica at any jump-determined point midway or more into-system.

      >>
      Phasers are sometimes depicted in Star Trek as rapidly destroying small objects, such as missiles or shuttle-sized craft. If the Enterprise was prepared and if distance was great enough, I imagine it could shoot Galactica’s Vipers and kinetic missiles before they reached the Enterprise.
      >>

      Yup. Which is why the Vipers ‘ride the light’ of a Picard type maneuver, drop out of warp to fire and then return to FTL to reachieve some standoff while watching to see if the missiles, which likely would MARV out and almost certainly have directionally entrained blasts, would not have to actually /hit/ the Fed ship to kill it.
      Though they would also be subject to target drop out if the ship went to Warp and simply denied the shots.
      Here is why it is critical to tie the Feds to their morals like a staked out Dog Soldier as ‘from here I shall not be moved…’ shield bearer for _commercial and civilian targets_.
      Warriors fight mean because they want to win.

      >>
      I will point out, however, that Galactica is capable of firing massive numbers of projectiles, potentially allowing it to spam past Enterprise’s ability to clear them all. At close range, it seems unlikely to me that the Enterprise could do this in time.
      >>

      To me it seems ridiculous that a carrier would waste HUGE amounts of internal volume to support the launch of fighters with 1-2km pew-pew BB throwers.
      If you are worried about losing your hull, _don’t expose it_. Contempt Of Engagement doctrine, all the way.

      >>
      Let’s say the Enterprise is orbiting a planet, carrying out a research mission. Kirk is busy canoodling with green ladies; a salt-loving monster is using an illusion to trick a scientist; there’s a tribble infestation; whatever. Their attention is on the planet, not on other vessels approaching in space. Somehow, a Galactica raptor happens to spot it, perhaps while searching for fuel or food. The raptor jumps back to Galactica and reports. Galactica sends raptors to go keep tabs on the Enterprise for a day or two, using stealth (hiding behind a moon, turning off electronics to avoid detection, etc). For the sake of argument, let’s say the Enterprise either does not notice, or does not react. This is not a given, but it is possible. Galactica now knows where the Enterprise is likely to be at any given time. Galactica arms a nuke and prepares to jump next to the Enterprise. Prior to doing so, it has a dozen raptors jump in at some distance (let’s say 10,000km), and fire missiles at the Enterprise as a distraction. Galactica then jumps in on the opposite side of the Enterprise about 1km away, launches and immediately detonates the nuke, not even waiting for impact, to reduce the possibility of Enterprise shooting it down. The nuke explodes half a kilometer from each ship, knocking the Galactica’s computers offline and causing minor damage, but very likely destroying or crippling the Enterprise.
      >>

      Enterprise jumps away from the inbound threat, proximity warnings auto-raise shields in milliseconds, Enterprise notes from a _standard procedure_ lofted micro drone network that someone has de-lighted and they aren’t bearing Federation transponder codes in controlled space.
      And all the wihile, you have an aircraft carrier pretending to be a battleship when in fact, the Galactica itself has _other responsibilities_ which prevent it from taking such inordinately foolish risks.
      If Galactica loses, the RTF has **No One**.
      Play a carrier like a carrier. That ability to lose a finger and not an arm is a critical element in essential military value vestment as doctrinal understanding of the theories of streaming (Lanchestrian) vs. salvo attrition.
      Bluntly: If the enemy is in range, so are you.

      >>
      How likely is this – not very! A lot of things would need to go right for it to work (and why would they attack each other, anyway?). The technological difference between the ships would not cause this to fail if the crews allowed it to happen.
      >>

      Yes it could, actually. Snowplow effect inherent to a much of space time stitital boundaries bunching up ahead of the approaching ship could tell the Fed vessel as much as a minute ahead of time that it was about to be joined by…something big.

      >>
      You could try the same scenario without the nuke, instead using massive conventional missile spam from Galactica. And you could try the same scenario without the raptor distraction (maybe the distraction would be counterproductive, because the Enterprise would raise shields). The point is, there are SOME scenarios in which Galactica would win, though in scenarios that are not based on bad luck or stupidity by the Enterprise, I think Galactica would be outclassed.
      >>

      Enterprise would never have it’s shields down. CBR and micrometeorite pitting would all argue for a basic level of shield capacitance as being ‘active at all times’. From which, it is simply a matter of linking the shield intensity levels to a fast acting microswitch gate array so that as a sensor started to pick up a big solar event or an inbound junk off some prior space mission 2-3 centuries ago, you could do something about it.
      Further to this, _ALL_ space based warfare will be with increasingly powerful nuclear and hypernuclear weapons Jack. It’s unavoidable. You want multiple effects. You want ranged effects. And you want to be able to get proximity hits from near missies.
      You want something whose accuracy improves with closure rather than degrading by standoff (a ship which displaces a few hundred meters per second from it’s targeted position on a 3ft wide beam which is fired from one-half light second standoff will be missed completely).
      Even the environmentalist buffoons have no dog in the fight because, as the universe continues to expand at ever faster rates, there is nothing which says you are ‘irradiating’ a patch of empty nothingness your world will ever fly through again, at the same time you will never be short of radio nucleides to make all the bigger bangs (teraton yields are not out of the question for M/AM weapons) you could possibly want.
      The only thing which will ever limit the use of increasingly high yield weapon effects is how many M-class worlds there are in habitable life belts. And how good your terraforming technology is as a function of rehabilitating a flashed-to-glass world. 1 Gigaton, suitably cobalt-60 salted, would make a planet effectively unihabitable, whether it’s military facilities were all destroyed or not. A thousand, 20 kiloton, Hiroshima nukes might get enough of the military facilities to makea more conventional invasion possible but would then place you danger close with an enemy whose own tactical nukes could not be (orbital bombardment support) responded to without frying your side to.
      Where war is typically about amalgamating social, geopolitical and mineral resources to the benefit of a stronger culture from a weaker one, do you want to be saddled with supporting a dispossessed enemy (possibly alien) population, essentially ‘forever’ in a POW camp condition (See: Native American reservations) or do you want to have it all at minimum attrition risk to your own forces because you don’t intend to ‘share’ anything anyway?
      The likelihood that we will ever find other life forms to play with is minimal but it is certain that, as we are no longer dependent upon one world and one un-irradiated population for creche` survival, human’s attitudes towards limited genocidal wars will greatly change, simply on the acknowledged basis that a short war limits overall casualties at distances where prolonged conflict is economically unviable.

      • Thanks for the reply – a few responses on specific points -

        - It could be that the crew of the Galactica use modern military terminology for the same reason Darth Vader speaks English: to make it easier for the viewing audience to follow. Even if everybody’s not sure what a “bogey” is or what “bingo fuel” means, they are at least terms that people in these sorts of roles would use in our world, so we can figure it out by context, or ask around. There is also another possible reason hinted at in the series finale, but I don’t want to get into that in order to avoid spoilers for anybody reading this who hasn’t seen the whole series.

        - The Galactica is a carrier, but it’s also a battleship. It serves both roles. It has numerous massive guns and very heavy armor plating. The reason I have focused more on the battleship aspect is that I do not think vipers would fare well against the Enterprise. I think they’d be wiped out of space shortly after being identified as threats, and I do not think they could get past the Enterprise’s shields.

        - I mentioned a nuke attack because we know that Galactica survived a direct nuke hit with minor damage, due to its massive size (nearly a mile long) and thick armor. It is unlikely the Enterprise could survive a nuke and still be operational. Why would the Galactica be so foolhardy and wasteful in attack? I don’t know, we’re already going out on a limb by imagining these ships fighting at all. Presumably, Galactica knows the Enterprise has superior technology, and for some reason perceives the Enterprise as a major threat. Maybe they still have Pegasus or at least the rebel Cylon baseship to defend the fleet. Maybe the fleet is dead and they’re desperate. I am not dealing now in “likely” scenarios, because the most likely scenario is that they’d be allies – if in the Galactica’s universe, the Enterprise would join Galactica on its quest for Earth; if in the Enterprise’s universe, the Galactica would be escorted to safety. I am simply exploring situations in which the Galactica could win – I agree it would be decisively defeated in most scenarios, including a straightforward scenario in which they blast away at each other from a thousand kilometers.

        - I don’t think the Enterprise’s shields are always up. The Enterprise version I have focused on is the Kirk-Spock original TV series one (because that is the Star Trek version I know best). In that show, I remember Kirk saying “raise shields” or words to that effect when a threat was identified. This implies shields were down at other times. I could be wrong.

        - In the Galactica universe, there is no warning that a ship is about to jump to an area. It simply appears. Perhaps there is a warning sign that Galactica-era technology simply can’t pick up, but more likely, there is no warning at all. It is also instantaneous, or so close as to make no difference. Galactica would vanish from wherever it was prior to the attack, perhaps a couple of light-years away, then reappear next to the Enterprise. I am not familiar with TNG “spidey-sense” technology, but it sounds like magic to me …

        - TOS Cylons are self-aware, but reboot Cylons are more than that: they really are humans, at least debatably so. Trained scientists have difficulty telling them apart. And this plays heavily into the series finale (again don’t want to spoil anything).

        - As for men having female roles, I don’t remember much of that. Starbuck does save Lee early on after his Viper is damaged at Ragnar Station, but that’s just to highlight Starbuck as the ace pilot. The ship is commanded by Adama, who is a man’s man (until he starts losing it in the final season, anyway, but it’s hard to blame him at that point). You probably have some specific things in mind, I don’t want to try to guess which scenes rubbed you the wrong way. I roll my eyes occasionally, but it doesn’t interfere with my enjoyment of the show.

        Thanks for the discussion.

        • Jack,

          Now it’s my turn to beg forgiveness for the lack of proof reading, I was in a rush and very sloppy.

          WRT: Snowplow Effect.

          What I was essentially suggesting was a means to detect the space time distortion as a mass displaced stitial boundaries engendered by X amount of warp bubble energy coming into a system in a longer and longer ‘smear’ of distressed space.

          It’s not magic at all, but rather the creation of a wave effect which would displace time-space with a ‘ripple’ which would be detectable ahead of even an FTL ship.

          Hence a ‘Light Speed’ ship in warp could be tracked by another ship on the basis of picking up the distortion curve of a sudden displacement of time:space ahead of the moving object (the warp bubble creating an effect like a snowplow pushing an infinitely accreting amount of the white stuff down a street…).

          Now, the distortion would ease and space-time rebound in the wake of the ship’s passage and thus you might have to go netcentric (with FTL communications transmitters on your sensor buoys) to have complete coverage but the cool thing is that, not being reliant upon speed of light sensors, it is not subject to ‘here today but already gone into tomorrow’ ghost imaging.

          Do the same thing with hyperspatial travel as the ship reopens the warp tube to our universe and again you have a massive _preceding_ signature flash whose distortion must lead the ship coming in at very high velocity by an equal amount of lag time (the faster you go, the bigger the blip).

          If you think about it, for any ship to engage another without FTL sensors (as the Federation surely has) at ‘light speed’, as the quoted passage above suggests, is to almost require the ability to engage based on where the target -will be-. Because anything less would allow that ship to simply warp-strafe, untouchably, and prevent the kinds of dramatically exciting but ultimately risky conflict at WVR that so enamors the audience.

          And yes, I maintain that the Galactica and her scouts must be capable of -at least- C in scouting a system because even 186,000 miles per second translates to 4-5 hours of flight time if you are talking SOL to Uranus or Neptune.

          If vessel speed was anything less (say the 300-400mph suggestive of the gunzo terminal defense scenes) the pilots would not be able to survive the trip and they would indeed be little more than deck launch interceptors.

          Vipers, particularly those of the BSG2K series which the ability to do RANGED standoff missileer attacks with guided weapons, would not be gun platforms because it would not do them any good as they would have to exit FTL quite aways out from the target, just to establish and orient on the tactical picture.

          If you are at range, any further transit to guns only combat at a much slower speed just gets you blown to pieces.

          At the same time, if the threats are moving at a significant fraction of C and then immediately go back to C+, the ability of the Enterprise (which has FTL sensors and comms) to engage, even on targets which are ‘led’ by their mass distortion of space-time, will be minimal without automation and iffy, even with it.

          There will be no “Fire Phasers!” order, it will all be automated.

          Indeed, defensive reactions would have to be so in the face of a ‘surround sound’ attack from all sides means that, even if the Enterprise has time to turns into torpedoes as it were, it’s going to get nailed from the other side and by unmasking it’s main phaser line batteries (and tracking sensors) along a given axis, it obscures them towards threats coming from the other direction.

          Which is how fighters ‘Herraschluss’ or dogpile a threat to death.

          The Federation ship’s best response might be to jump to FTL itself but this requires an even greater energy curve rise than simply powering up weapons and shields and so there may simply not be time, especially if you are in a dense traffic lane around a planet with ships, stations and the like all around.

          Such is why it is necessary to differentiate, not merely cool sounding terms (Bogeys are not Bandits, Bogeys are unknown, Bandits are hostile…) or even -show- inflight refueling (as something routinely undertaken, in atmosphere, between a scifi ship with a great big hole _in the nose_ and no way to vent the airdam effect) but the underlying tactics and doctrine of stellar combat condition.

          Because if you don’t get the /why/ the -how- of terms and systems will make little or no difference.

          Which is why, sans the space warfare equivalent of 12, 14 or 16″ gun turrets, able to fire from standoff, the Galactica has no business being in a gunzo fight with -anyone- because, no matter how well the ship is defended, it is design-compromised by being a carrier in a gun battle.

          Which is what I was trying to illustrate with the Taffy 3 fight.

          If you -lose- your carrier in a battleship fight, you lose all the attendant value vestment that is put into it. Which is to say dozens of pilots, ground crew and airframes that should have been off the ship and into the fight, long before it was itself exposed.

          And are now so much vaporized atoms.

          My problem with the females in Galactica is that they don’t act in a male fashion (i.e. in a rational, tactically and strategically informed one) instead throwing out lines looking for justification or refutation as a function of cohesive community acceptance.

          Which is how women work within a social collective but which is hardly conducive to ‘warfare by common agreement’. The leader spouting that nonsense about the Cylons having won, like it makes any difference whether you -say- they have, if they refuse to stop coming, is what led to the Cylons transitioning from a threat which had wiped out 50 billion lives to a inimical force which was ‘curious’ about humans and wanted to ‘become’ like us.

          Kick an anthill. Irrespective of whether the ants now hate your guts forever, do you _Really Think_ that their behavior is going to be natural and thus useful as a starting point for stress-response emulation?

          Political agendas which begin with the justification of genocide and end with soap operatic female empowerment agendas (because they are so lousy at combative ones) are just…brutal in telling a story. When you are talking about a species remnant at war for it’s very survival, you are talking about a very hard bitten approach to survival which would begin with:

          “You in the Galactica, you’ve got useful skills. You stay here, you’re not. Buh-Bye!”

          As the only way to stay ahead of a threat which is chasing you out of fuel is to minimize the number of dependents burning Tylium, breathing air and eating food whilst _slowing down_ the fleet to the pace of the slowest ship.

          Show a female leader making that kind of a ‘who lives, who dies…’ choices and you show what Adama should have been doing from the outset. Even as you stun the audience with the self-associative realization: “Okay, am I among the useful or the left to die?” Because the Cylons are coming and regardless of whether -they- know that they don’t want to kill everyone, yet, the humans have to ‘lead the response curve’ by light is right stripping down to just the essentials.

          Instead, we got social engineering as ‘appeal to the other 52% audience demographic’ controlling plot element which colored the story brutally ugly.

          Okay, so that’s the macro. Here’s the personal:

          The hot blonde (six or seven or whatever her name was) comes across a baby after sabotaging the defenses and kills it. Presumably to show that she’s not human but also conveying an implicit: “Women are not feminine in -this- show…”

          She then ‘bravely stands in the blast’ from a multimegaton detonation which shatters the plate glass window as Baltar hugs her waist, face buried in her crotch, like the all suffering super-fem she is.

          Why? Does it make her or all women look superior?

          No.

          Because obviously if there is that much blast (only a second or so out from the wardet) you are in the radiation bubble of the weapon and if you are taking massive doses of radiation, you are not going to survive -or shelter- anyone, even if your body (unbelievably) does ‘shield the man’ from the effects of a picture window turning to splinters around you.

          Yet she does exactly this and…Baltar survives.

          Do you see the ‘worm wriggles, pointlessly’ condition here?

          If it’s not likely that Baltar would live, regardless of the woman’s sacrifice, denigrating him as an effeminate drip who kills women to live himself is pointless and vapid as a symbolic attack on white males everywhere. And it’s done, _solely_ to appeal to ‘long suffering females everywhere’.

          Yawn.

          Similarly, Apollo is a warrior and fighter pilot with enough experience to be a Captain. Where is that institutional experience in dealing with the simple organizational efforts of running a squadron as CO or formation as flight leader to harden that ‘cool factor’ which all males want to evince through simple experience?

          Do you REALLY want to show young men that it’s alright to be second best wannabes in comparison to the ‘dominant femme’ by exposing them to constant drip characters like that?

          Why?

          Hollyweird has long since turned hostile against all manner of masculinity where it belongs and attempted to uplift and replace males with women in masculine roles and with masculinized personalities.

          And it’s neither believable nor appealing because it warps _The Story_ as plotlines away from what a real struggle for survival might mean.

          I too have enjoyed the conversation. Yours is the last reply.

          • Thanks -

            The Galactica does have large guns, which I think are consciously designed to look like main naval rifles on battleships. The show doesn’t tell us their exact size, or even what they fire. One episode shows the Pegasus jumping into a battle and destroying a Cylon basestar with a few shots from its biggest guns. Pegasus is larger and more modern than Galactica, though. In the series finale, the Galactica battles a large space station at point-blank range, and we get to see lots of guns firing that are clearly inspired by a battleship’s naval rifles.

            FTL in BSG (at least in the reboot) is not portrayed as: accelerate to FTL, go somewhere, decelerate. It is portrayed as: spin up the drive, everybody prepare for jump, flicker out of existence somewhere, flicker into existence somewhere else. The show never discusses how this works. The ship jumps what seems to be light years in a split second. Ships often are “stationary” (not depicted as being in motion relative to other nearby objects) before a jump, and after jumping, they still appear to be “stationary.” When many ships jump at the same time, they see each other flicker out of existence, then when it’s their turn to jump, they appear next to their friendly ships. Perhaps there is some wormhole-based explanation of this, but no explanation was ever stated either in the show, or, to my knowledge, in any of the production team’s interviews or public commentary. The show’s creator, Ronald D. Moore, stated his dislike of “techno-babble” and has avoided trying to detail such things. We are told in the show that jumps are untraceable, even in theory, meaning that another ship couldn’t chase a ship in jump. It could only pursue it if it knew that ship’s jump coordinates, and executed its own jump there. I say all of this so that I can say this – it does not seem that an observer (say, the Enterprise) would see anything heading their way, or even see space folding. Enterprise’s warp drive works by folding space in front of it, but Galactica’s FTL does something else, whatever that is.

            Baltar is Baltar … nobody’s hero, though in the reboot, his intentions are not usually evil, simply self-interested in the extreme, and he perhaps redeems himself at the end. The blonde Cylon who kills the baby may have been committing a mercy killing, knowing the nukes would go off soon, or she may have been confused by the baby’s physical structure, or jealous she couldn’t have a baby of her own. She, like Baltar, has a long and interesting journey in front of her, and perhaps redeems herself at the end. Cylons are the enemy throughout much of the series, but at some points, some Cylons are allies, and at the very end, Cylons have an important role to play as part of a larger plan that is apparently the will of God. That annoys some viewers, pleases others, but in any case, it’s a part of the series that ultimately can’t be ignored or explained away. And yes, the idea of the Cylon (she is usually referred to as Caprica Six) shielding Baltar from a nuke with her body is absurd. I also think that if the producers could go back in time, they wouldn’t have female Cylon spines glow red during intimate moments. Not long after, we have medical doctors and trained scientists with well-equipped labs struggling to differentiate Cylons and humans, with benefit of blood and tissue samples, MRIs and any other method they care to use, and often failing. “Check for red lights in the spine” would seem like a nice shortcut.

  23. Jack,

    You are correct, of course, that the human factor needs to be taken into account. In Wrath of Khan, for instance, Kirk allowed a friendly ship behaving oddly (since it had fallen under the control of decidedly unfriendly people) to pull right up alongside the Enterprise-A without raising her shields, and ended up getting his butt handed to him by Khan as a result. Adama (reboot series) got shot twice in the heart because he allowed a raptor pilot with a recent history of violently self-destructive behavior to stand next to him on the command deck with a loaded sidearm. In both cases the situation would have gone very differently had the respective commanders simply exercised due caution.

    It should be noted that, late in the reboot series, Adama accepted reengineering assistance from his renegade-cylon allies to upgrade the FTL capabilities of the fleet, including Galactica. Cylon FTL had longer range and far greater precision than colonial designs. It should also be noted that slug-throwers do not create a detectable energy spike prior to firing. If Galactica used its new FTL drive to suddenly appear out of nowhere alongside Enterprise-A practically within docking-range, and its innumerable machine-guns immediately started hosing the sky down with its cylon raider-killing depleted uranium ammo, the outcome would hinge entirely on the reaction time of Enterprise’s human crew. Get the shields up in time, take moderate to heavy damage to every deck along one side. Fail to raise the shields, and Galactica cuts Enterprise to ribbons without wasting even one nuke.

    (The same tactic would not work in ST:TNG. Enterprise-D was equipped with some kind of magic “spider-sense” that would automatically raise the shields whenever the mood music got even a little dark. Galactica’s only hope in that situation would be that Enterprise’s defective starboard power coupling would break down before she could retaliate.)

  24. Ya see Janeway would beat them all, she’d fly past at warp and have Seven beam torps aboard every ship!

  25. I always find these silly. “Why, yes, an Apache would wipe out a squadron of biplanes.” The ships are designed to engage comparable vessels. Anyway….

    64 Megatons is waaaayyyyy more than 150 kilotons so how you gave that to Galactica is plain weird. Vipers over shuttles, that is it, and even that is a joke because Enterprise would not send shuttles against fighter craft. This entire engagement lasts less than 90 seconds.

    As for rules of engagement, once Enterprise is fired upon they can and will defend themselves.

    If it were the Enterprise D… that could take on the Cylon fleet.

  26. None of this comparison is fair, especially within the contexts of the two stories. The Galactica is a beat-up old warhorse with obsolete technology, whose only benefit is that it was too old-fashioned to be affected by electronic countermeasures (the virus planted in the combat software). Enterprise, on the other hand, is the latest and greatest ship of human manufacture (nobody knows how it would stack up against Vulcan ships, and even some of the other Federation races are shown to have technological sophistication). Totally ignoring the “actual” statistics for their respective armament, and not trying to wargame this “realistically”, the comparison is really about attitude: Galactica is about what a beat-up resistance can still do against overwhelming odds thanks to the human spirit, and Enterprise is (at least partly) about the comeuppance of overweening pride when “the best” run into something that turns out to be bigger than they are. (Similar theme in Babylon 5, years later: “Ah, arrogance and stupidity all in the same package. How efficient of you.”)

    That said . . . Galactica has no energy weapons or shielding; it’s a WW2 aircraft carrier in space. Enterprise’s energy weapons slice it to pieces. No contest.

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