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(Portland Intelligencer)   Fark the fireworks, watch space battles instead   (pdxintelligencer.com) divider line 36
    More: Spiffy, July 4th, Deep Space Network, cinematic history, jake lloyd, runner-up  
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3565 clicks; posted to Geek » on 05 Jul 2014 at 10:30 AM (15 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-07-05 09:51:11 AM  
Probably needs more Voltron

pbfcomics.com
 
2014-07-05 10:59:54 AM  
I had never heard of the Star Trek vs Babylon 5 thing, which was very cool and very well done.
 
2014-07-05 11:03:27 AM  
Hello Sailor.
 
2014-07-05 11:28:06 AM  
Deep Space Nine was the only Star Trek series that didn't make me want to punch something.
 
2014-07-05 11:37:56 AM  
I'm very glad DS9 and B5 are included. There were some great space-battles in both.

It would be easy to mention some vidya game battles too. I loved recording and re-watching some of my Homeworld battles, probably the only game I've ever done that for. I have buddies that play the X- series of games and there can be some really neat dust-ups if you set them up correctly.
 
2014-07-05 11:43:14 AM  
Re watching DS9 so I'm getting a kick etc etc
 
2014-07-05 12:04:27 PM  
Pegasus and Galactica fighting the Cylons over New Caprica should have been on that list.
 
2014-07-05 12:08:12 PM  
Let's pack our ships in so tight no one can maneuver.

That DS9 space battle was stupid and poorly filmed. What a waste of time.
 
2014-07-05 12:08:38 PM  

BalugaJoe: Hello Sailor.


Nothing happens here.
 
2014-07-05 12:09:08 PM  

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: Deep Space Nine was the only Star Trek series that didn't make me want to punch something.


And I think it's the one that makes me the most punchy. Imagine the fourth season of Babylon 5... the Shadows and Vorlons were just drop-kicked from the galaxy, the Centauri are slaughtering Narn by the hundreds and advancing against the league, 2/3 of the Minbari are at each others throats, Sheridan is preparing for the march to Earth, and Garibaldi just walked out on all of his friends.

Now, imagine in the midst of all that, they take an episode where the B5 senior staff plays a baseball game against a Drazi crew. That's it... that's the entire episode.

While it had some good moments, Deep Space Nine never stopped being Star Trek.
 
2014-07-05 12:40:41 PM  
No Macross/Robotech?
 
2014-07-05 12:45:45 PM  
I saw four towns' fireworks displays simultaneously while at our astronomy club's secondary observing site, then was out until 3 AM drawing globular clusters and galaxies out of the summer sky.
 
2014-07-05 12:47:08 PM  

RoyBatty: Let's pack our ships in so tight no one can maneuver.

That DS9 space battle was stupid and poorly filmed. What a waste of time.


Okuda has addressed that before - the fighting distance between Trek ships should be much greater than implied on camera, but the typical directors don't think the finished battle will be watchable unless they look like 19th-century ironclads exchanging broadside attacks.
 
2014-07-05 01:04:32 PM  

clkeagle: RoyBatty: Let's pack our ships in so tight no one can maneuver.

That DS9 space battle was stupid and poorly filmed. What a waste of time.

Okuda has addressed that before - the fighting distance between Trek ships should be much greater than implied on camera, but the typical directors don't think the finished battle will be watchable unless they look like 19th-century ironclads exchanging broadside attacks.


So I understand that, and can even agree with it, but I still think that DS9 battle is way over the top all the way to ludicrous.
 
2014-07-05 01:12:54 PM  

Shrugging Atlas: Pegasus and Galactica fighting the Cylons over New Caprica should have been on that list.


Should have been on the top of the list, you mean.

And Return of the Jedi should have ranked higher. Actually, Episode III also deserves some credit in this department as well.
 
2014-07-05 01:52:41 PM  
The only anime styled space battle they could bring up was from a fanmade Star Wars thing?

They didn't search well enough.
 
2014-07-05 02:20:33 PM  

RoyBatty: clkeagle: RoyBatty: Let's pack our ships in so tight no one can maneuver.

That DS9 space battle was stupid and poorly filmed. What a waste of time.

Okuda has addressed that before - the fighting distance between Trek ships should be much greater than implied on camera, but the typical directors don't think the finished battle will be watchable unless they look like 19th-century ironclads exchanging broadside attacks.

So I understand that, and can even agree with it, but I still think that DS9 battle is way over the top all the way to ludicrous.


And because of Deep space Nine space battles, Star Trek Online has depicted the Federation's primary mission as "blow up five of X alien race and earn ribbons!"

Which totally works for the Klingon side of the game.
 
2014-07-05 02:22:51 PM  

LaBlueSkuld: The only anime styled space battle they could bring up was from a fanmade Star Wars thing?

They didn't search well enough.


Does this count as a space battle?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoftDekaBBg

Start at 48:06.

Came out in 1986.  Silly movie.
 
2014-07-05 02:24:10 PM  
The big finish between Enterprise and Reliant was probably the best ever, even though the guys who laid it out watched one too many submarine movies.

/2nd place tie: the New Caprica battle and the final battle at The Colony in NuBSG.
 
2014-07-05 02:35:53 PM  
No Gundam battles in space? Really? Or Macross?!?!? WTH!?!?!?
 
2014-07-05 02:36:02 PM  
More Star Wars rip-offs, hey those never get old.
 
2014-07-05 02:44:15 PM  

AtlanticCoast63: The big finish between Enterprise and Reliant was probably the best ever, even though the guys who laid it out watched one too many submarine movies.


That's what made it so awesome though.  It's one of the few times you see a sci fi space battle actually involve tactics and invoke real tension.  Usually--as seen by the other examples in TFA--it all comes down to "MOAR ships!!" followed by "MOAR 'splosions!!!!!" as both sides simply line up across from each other like a game of Red Rover and just blast away.   Enterprise versus Reliantis awesome for that reason, and even more so because they did so much with so little.  Two ships, neither really a true combat vessel, and both already damaged from earlier encounters and it's more gripping than anything on that list.  Hell, even their initial run in earlier in the movie trumps most everything else on that list.

Interestingly, you site the New Caprica battle for second place, and I totally agree....and again there are what, 5-6 capital ships at most on screen at one time?  But it's still better than anything else because there's a real human element at work there, tactics and planning, and the at least momentary thought it's all for nothing before Pegasus saves the day.  The clip immediately before Pegasus arrives and the camera pulls back to show Galactica getting demolished--pulls back so far you can barely make out details--is one of the best moments of the entire series.
 
2014-07-05 04:11:25 PM  

clkeagle: RoyBatty: Let's pack our ships in so tight no one can maneuver.

That DS9 space battle was stupid and poorly filmed. What a waste of time.

Okuda has addressed that before - the fighting distance between Trek ships should be much greater than implied on camera, but the typical directors don't think the finished battle will be watchable unless they look like 19th-century ironclads exchanging broadside attacks.


Not even ironclads! It's more like age of sail style "stand beam to beam and tear each other to matchwood" "tactics".
It shouldn't be that hard to make an interesting and semi-realistic space battle.

That latest Thor movie pissed me off for similar reasons. The Asgardians had guided missile launching, flying boats and massive anti-ship gun batteries, but their PBI used swords and shields. The Dark Elves had melee only ships with a big ass blade on them, and their PBI used some sort of energy weapon, that was still a better sword than a sword. The technology doesn't seem logically consistent. "Hey you know these hand weapons we have? They work pretty good at range, maybe we should make a bigger one for our ships!"

"You know, being able to shoot people would be more efficient than stabbing them, I wish we had a smaller gun that we could carry around!"
 
2014-07-05 04:20:49 PM  
Biggest problem with space battles is a smart commander would try to engage from a very large range. An example would be for BSG, using kinetic weapons you could jump in, park a very long distance away and just unload with shells. As long as you account for gravitational and electromagnetic forces, the rounds will not slow down, be on target, and just as effective. Also could launches a bunch of missiles and have their boosters cut out before getting in range. An enemy ship would never know they were coming. Could also supplement using that by jumping in right when the rounds are expected to impact for a surprise attack. Mass Effect tried to use that idea in the best way by mentioning how powerful a kinetic round would be and the collateral damage of not hitting your target. Unfortunately, the last battle just had them get in close instead of just pound the reapers from a distance.

Gets even worse with more advanced tech. Star trek...destroy shields and beam in torpedoes. Use warheads with warp capability so the ship never gets within range of their enemy.

Also, a big issue most battles ignore is how do you detect your enemy. Most shows/games just have magic sensors that detect anything but in reality the only effective way would be with heat signatures or electromagnetic signatures. Once again, something that Mass Effect mentioned pretty well but threw it out the window in the last space battle by getting so close.
 
2014-07-05 04:56:51 PM  

ActionJoe: Biggest problem with space battles is a smart commander would try to engage from a very large range. An example would be for BSG, using kinetic weapons you could jump in, park a very long distance away and just unload with shells. As long as you account for gravitational and electromagnetic forces, the rounds will not slow down, be on target, and just as effective. Also could launches a bunch of missiles and have their boosters cut out before getting in range. An enemy ship would never know they were coming. Could also supplement using that by jumping in right when the rounds are expected to impact for a surprise attack. Mass Effect tried to use that idea in the best way by mentioning how powerful a kinetic round would be and the collateral damage of not hitting your target. Unfortunately, the last battle just had them get in close instead of just pound the reapers from a distance.

Gets even worse with more advanced tech. Star trek...destroy shields and beam in torpedoes. Use warheads with warp capability so the ship never gets within range of their enemy.

Also, a big issue most battles ignore is how do you detect your enemy. Most shows/games just have magic sensors that detect anything but in reality the only effective way would be with heat signatures or electromagnetic signatures. Once again, something that Mass Effect mentioned pretty well but threw it out the window in the last space battle by getting so close.


THIS.

Stars Wars was based on WW II battle footage films.  (Does this look familiar at all?)

People copying Star Wars keep unknowingly copying those old war movies.  We don't fight like that anymore.

Nobody attacking a ship today actually sees it.  Everything happens over the horizon.  All the fighting is done from computer consoles.
 
2014-07-05 05:06:34 PM  

studebaker hoch: Stars Wars was based on WW II battle footage films.  (Does this look familiar at all?)

People copying Star Wars keep unknowingly copying those old war movies.  We don't fight like that anymore.


At least Lucas started being honest about aping WWII footage after the internet age. There were days when he and his crew tried to say their depictions were plausible space battles, that fighters would be designed to mimic atmospheric ships, etc..

Babylon 5 handled space combat pretty well. Fighters would routinely spin/flip while retaining forward momentum, attacking a capital ship's rear, side, and front in a single pass. And capital ships didn't always meat head-on in the same plane.

I wish Ender's Game had been a bigger box-office hit, just to put zero-gee combat depictions into a more mainstream context.
 
2014-07-05 05:36:19 PM  

clkeagle: SacriliciousBeerSwiller: Deep Space Nine was the only Star Trek series that didn't make me want to punch something.

And I think it's the one that makes me the most punchy. Imagine the fourth season of Babylon 5... the Shadows and Vorlons were just drop-kicked from the galaxy, the Centauri are slaughtering Narn by the hundreds and advancing against the league, 2/3 of the Minbari are at each others throats, Sheridan is preparing for the march to Earth, and Garibaldi just walked out on all of his friends.

Now, imagine in the midst of all that, they take an episode where the B5 senior staff plays a baseball game against a Drazi crew. That's it... that's the entire episode.

While it had some good moments, Deep Space Nine never stopped being Star Trek.


Budget restrictions, fx people time restrictions, overall story arc, real world nothing outside the main story ever happens.

Lots of reasons such episodes occur and make sense.
 
2014-07-05 08:33:40 PM  

ActionJoe: Biggest problem with space battles is a smart commander would try to engage from a very large range. An example would be for BSG, using kinetic weapons you could jump in, park a very long distance away and just unload with shells. As long as you account for gravitational and electromagnetic forces, the rounds will not slow down, be on target, and just as effective. Also could launches a bunch of missiles and have their boosters cut out before getting in range. An enemy ship would never know they were coming. Could also supplement using that by jumping in right when the rounds are expected to impact for a surprise attack. Mass Effect tried to use that idea in the best way by mentioning how powerful a kinetic round would be and the collateral damage of not hitting your target. Unfortunately, the last battle just had them get in close instead of just pound the reapers from a distance.

Gets even worse with more advanced tech. Star trek...destroy shields and beam in torpedoes. Use warheads with warp capability so the ship never gets within range of their enemy.

Also, a big issue most battles ignore is how do you detect your enemy. Most shows/games just have magic sensors that detect anything but in reality the only effective way would be with heat signatures or electromagnetic signatures. Once again, something that Mass Effect mentioned pretty well but threw it out the window in the last space battle by getting so close.


The missiles would get shot down in a heartbeat. The Cylons would likely have a CIWS that is constantly watching and waiting to shoot down any missiles.
 
2014-07-05 09:55:16 PM  

Tobin_Lam: The missiles would get shot down in a heartbeat. The Cylons would likely have a CIWS that is constantly watching and waiting to shoot down any missiles.


The Cylons were prepared to fight against a heavily EW-dependent opponent with lots of guided weapons and counter-countermeasures. The Galactica was able to hold up because her systems weren't sophisticated enough to be impacted by that sort of technology. She clearly used dozens or hundreds of kinetic weapons and it's not unreasonable to think that those shells might've been MIRVs meant to overwhelm point-defense rather than outsmart it, if that's how the Cylons fought their previous war. Both sides clearly knew when nukes were inbound and the Galactica only had a limited supply, so those probably weren't meant for ship to ship engagement so much as orbital bombardment or sweeping large groups of fighters.

WRT to "jumping" in and out of an engagement, remember that it was extremely computationally and resource intensive for the Galactica. It may very well have been a valid tactic for the newer capital ships, but every decisive engagement was clearly a knife-range affair where one side or the other had to hold a position for some reason.
 
2014-07-05 10:28:51 PM  
Interesting.
 
2014-07-06 12:03:03 AM  
For space battles done correctly, read the Honor Harrington series. While I am not overly enthused about the stories themselves, the ship battles are exactly as I would expect them to be in the future.
 
2014-07-06 12:22:50 AM  

Caelistis: For space battles done correctly, read the Honor Harrington series. While I am not overly enthused about the stories themselves, the ship battles are exactly as I would expect them to be in the future.


I've certainly enjoy the evolution of naval warfare in the Honorverse. I just wish Weber didn't have to recapitulate the mechanics of his pretend physics every 250 pages so that he could get a new book out more than twice a decade.
 
2014-07-06 02:48:50 AM  
 
2014-07-06 10:32:54 AM  

AtlanticCoast63: The big finish between Enterprise and Reliant was probably the best ever, even though the guys who laid it out watched one too many submarine movies.

/2nd place tie: the New Caprica battle and the final battle at The Colony in NuBSG.


There is no such thing as too many submarime movies.
 
2014-07-06 12:57:34 PM  

RoyBatty: clkeagle: RoyBatty: Let's pack our ships in so tight no one can maneuver.

That DS9 space battle was stupid and poorly filmed. What a waste of time.

Okuda has addressed that before - the fighting distance between Trek ships should be much greater than implied on camera, but the typical directors don't think the finished battle will be watchable unless they look like 19th-century ironclads exchanging broadside attacks.

So I understand that, and can even agree with it, but I still think that DS9 battle is way over the top all the way to ludicrous.


Which is why nuBSG wins.

No lasers and photo derpedos launched from hundreds of thousand of kilometers away.

Just nukes, flack, and uranium tipped projectiles in close formation dog fighting.
 
2014-07-06 03:45:52 PM  

likefunbutnot: I've certainly enjoy the evolution of naval warfare in the Honorverse. I just wish Weber didn't have to recapitulate the mechanics of his pretend physics every 250 pages so that he could get a new book out more than twice a decade.


So much THIS and the deus ex machina shiat that comes out of nowhere. Why is Honor stronger than most men and can eat like a horse? Oh, magic, suddenly she's genetically engineered six(?) books in to the storyline! Surprise! fark an admiral who has a well known and dearly loved paraplegic wife (because Weber makes farking SURE to tell us every time Alexander is mentioned)? NO SCANDAL AT ALL! But, yanno, it's not like she's hounded by "teeps" everywhere she goes because she's the most celebrated woman in the history of allegedly ever in this backwater kingdom she's from.

My friend knows I'm a sci-fi junkie and he was kind enough to give me everything written last Christmas and I haven't the heart to tell him that while the battles are great, Weber isn't Heinlein. Or Varley. Or Scalzi.
 
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