Star Trek: The Next Generation : Why does Starfleet keep using energy weapons against the Borg?

Why does Starfleet keep using energy weapons against the Borg?

After watching various Borg episodes and First Contact I was kind of asking myself why does Starfleet personnel keeps using phaser or phaser-based weapons when they know the Borg will adapt to these weapons after a couple of shots?While physical weapons such as a Bat'leth or lead bullets will do the trick as well and I also wonder if the Borg's shielding would be able to protect them against physical weapons since it requires something more than changing frequencies of their shields and all.For all we know an ancient sword might be far more effective against the Borg than any phaser weapon?

Re: Why does Starfleet keep using energy weapons against the Borg?

Or, heck, why doesn't Starfleet just have some ships stand ready with a small arsenal of thermonuclear weapons ready to beam aboard the Borg Cube with a bunch of decoys, set to go off the moment they materialize aboard the Cube?

The reason is that IQ's dropped sharply in the 24th Century. These idiots are always trying to "think" outside the box for solutions that they never even examine the box first for a solution already. The obvious solutions elude them for this reason because they're not so much looking for solutions as much as they're trying to appear smart, because that's easier than actually being smart, actually thinking.

This is humanity's future as depicted by Burbank, California.

Re: Why does Starfleet keep using energy weapons against the Borg?

You're really trying to nuke the Borg, Wylde. You bring that back up all the time.

RIP Gene Wilder. One of the funniest people of all time. RIP Robert Vaughn

Re: Why does Starfleet keep using energy weapons against the Borg?

That's what they did in VOY CJ Wylde didn't come up with that.

Re: Why does Starfleet keep using energy weapons against the Borg?

Actually, I came up with that when I watched Best of Both Worlds for the first time when it aired. Plus, my solution would've meant an instant detonation the moment it materialized (and to be certain it would detonate in the Borg ship, I'd have a special sensor and computer on each to detect that it wasn't on the beaming ship). In Voyager, the bomb they transported detonated something like ten to fifteen seconds after materialization, which is ten to fifteen seconds too long.

Re: Why does Starfleet keep using energy weapons against the Borg?

Because nanites take too long? 😨

Luke Skywalker, your Mom was hawt! Darth Vader

Re: Why does Starfleet keep using energy weapons against the Borg?

We were talking simple physical weapons Kobi,you know knives,swords,spears,clubs,bullets,hand grenades that sort of stuff.🔪🔨📏🎿

Re: Why does Starfleet keep using energy weapons against the Borg?

Picard tommy-gunning the Borg in First Contact was cool.

RIP Gene Wilder. One of the funniest people of all time. RIP Robert Vaughn

Re: Why does Starfleet keep using energy weapons against the Borg?

Agreed. Also in First Contact Worf broke out some sort of bladed weapon after the Borg had adapted to his rifle and started slicing and dicing. That seemed pretty effective.

You should have taken the money. - Robert McCall

Re: Why does Starfleet keep using energy weapons against the Borg?

Indubitably. Worf has a ton of sharp things in his quarters he could use to slice and dice the Borg.

RIP Gene Wilder. One of the funniest people of all time. RIP Robert Vaughn

Re: Why does Starfleet keep using energy weapons against the Borg?

The Borg-Slice and Dicer © only $9.99

Re: Why does Starfleet keep using energy weapons against the Borg?

I got one. The Borga-slicer.

RIP Gene Wilder. RIP Robert Vaughn. RIP Carrie Fisher. 2016 is the worst!

Re: Why does Starfleet keep using energy weapons against the Borg?

The Slap Chop: Borg Version.

You should have taken the money. - Robert McCall

Re: Why does Starfleet keep using energy weapons against the Borg?


Or, heck, why doesn't Starfleet just have some ships stand ready with a small arsenal of thermonuclear weapons ready to beam aboard the Borg Cube with a bunch of decoys, set to go off the moment they materialize aboard the Cube?


I had that idea as well, although I assumed they would use photon torpedoes.


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Re: Why does Starfleet keep using energy weapons against the Borg?


thermonuclear weapons

starfleet probably consider them primitive and their yield is probably not nearly as high as a quantum torpedo.

I think they imply ballistic weapons would not penetrate an energy shield. I mean a deflector is designed to protect the ship against impacts from stuff they might otherwise run into at high speeds (FTL). If not, I'm pretty sure a ship or missile equipped with a battering ram would be just as effective at penetrating their ship shields.

Missile fires towards Borg and shuts down (goes dark) so they don't see them as a threat. Then it penetrates the shield and impacts the ship itself before detonating (or my idea is to fire up a warp drive and rip the cube apart)

"He's dusted, busted and disgusted, but he's ok"

Re: Why does Starfleet keep using energy weapons against the Borg?

Slice it up with a light saber. Uhp. Wrong series.

RIP Gene Wilder. RIP Robert Vaughn. RIP Carrie Fisher. RIP William Christopher. 2016 is the worst!

Re: Why does Starfleet keep using energy weapons against the Borg?

Bad CJ

Re: Why does Starfleet keep using energy weapons against the Borg?

They could borrow it. Luke and Riker went to school together back on Tantooine.

RIP Gene Wilder. RIP Robert Vaughn. RIP Carrie Fisher. RIP William Christopher. 2016 is the worst!

Re: Why does Starfleet keep using energy weapons against the Borg?

Riker is from Alaska not Tatooine CJ.

Re: Why does Starfleet keep using energy weapons against the Borg?

I'm aware. But he moved to Tantooine for a year or two in his early teens.

RIP Gene Wilder. RIP Robert Vaughn. RIP Carrie Fisher. RIP William Christopher. 2016 is the worst!

Re: Why does Starfleet keep using energy weapons against the Borg?

I think a lot of this is also due to writers' ignorance for science and technology as demonstrated throughout the franchise, but most egregiously from TNG onward. In their quest to add technobabble, they often do not correlate what it is they're writing to reality. For instance, I remember someone, I think it was Worf, talking about how much explosive energy of a weapon they had, and he was using "isotons." The prefix "iso" means "one," which means that he's using too many syllables here, when all he had to say was "tons," because 10 isotons is 10 tons, about the same as a MOAB "Daisy Cutter" bomb. Gambling on audience ignorance is a bad bet, because there are plenty of people who watch these shows who have a lot of experience in all kinds of things, from science and engineering, to medicine. The point of using that term is semantic, to convey a sense of complexity and intelligence rather than anything substantial.

I can believe maybe a 64MT (that's megaton, meaning 64 million tons of TNT) photon torpedo (that number I got from various Star Trek tech manuals) may not, for some reason, penetrate defensive shields, detonating harmlessly outside the ship. But if the same kind of warhead were beamed aboard a ship, and detonates the instant it materialized, not only should it obliterate the ship, but it should work if it occurs. At no point does the show or the franchise ever talks about why it wouldn't work.

Obviously, the writers do not know anything about explosives. They hear fancy-sounding words and think it conveys a sense of power (hence why they use it for semantics).

To inform you of what I'm talking about, atomic weapons come in two basic kinds: Fission and Fusion bombs. Fission bombs generally range in the kiloton range, meaning thousand-ton. Fusion bombs use a regular fission bomb to create a fusion reaction which generates more energy released as hydrogen atoms are violently fused to create helium, and the yield generally range in the megatons. The largest fusion, or thermonuclear weapon, ever officially detonated was the Soviet Tsar Bomba weapon, which had an estimated yield of 50MT. According to the tech manuals, that's 14MT less than a standard photon torpedo (which uses, as I understand, an anti-matter warhead). There are also Neutron Bombs, which is a different sort of bomb.

The USAF and US Navy routinely runs around with 2-10MT weapons, in different capacities and delivery systems.

The Hiroshima bomb was about 21KT (equivalent to 21,000 tons of TNT). That bomb, if beamed aboard a Borg Cube, will destroy the Cube, killing all hands. Even if it's beamed into a corner section of the Cube, it'll still kill everything aboard, and turn the Cube into a wrecked flotsam. The heat alone will kill everything aboard it, because for one brief second, that section of the ship will radiate more than 10,000 degrees F, and the superheated air will create a pressure wave that will annihilate what the initial fireball does not destroy. The radiation will take care of any other survivors, but even if there are sufficient survivors, the ship will be neutralized. And this is merely the one we used in WWII.

So, it should be well within Starfleet's ability to have such bombs ready for any threat.

Re: Why does Starfleet keep using energy weapons against the Borg?

I agree Wylde that any type of nuclear warhead transported on board the cube will cause it's destruction only people here tend to think we should fire missiles at the Cube the punch here is not the weapon in particular but the delivery system.
But my question was whether the Borg shield was unable to provide protection from the bat'leth and the lead bullets from Picard's tommygun because of the much smaller velocity with which both impacted the shield.The shields IMO in Star Trek seemed to be designed to provide protection against high velocity objects(when traveling at Warp speed)and high velocity weapons(phasers,disruptors photon torpedos etc) and most of these have a velocity greater or in the range of lightspeed.

Re: Why does Starfleet keep using energy weapons against the Borg?

I wondered about this. We've seen Starfleet personnel transport themselves into Borg cubes again and again. Why didn't they just transport a bomb over?




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Re: Why does Starfleet keep using energy weapons against the Borg?

They did in VOY Harry Kim(of all people)transported a photon torpedo charge(I believe it was) onto a Borg cube and detonated it(or it was set to self destruct).What I still don't get is that a bat'leth or lead bullets (on a holodeck) from a tommy gun seem far more effective than frequency-modulated phase weapons?

Re: Why does Starfleet keep using energy weapons against the Borg?

Given they referenced this towards the end of DS9 it's a wonder Star Fleet didn't roll out some prototype TR-116 rifles http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/TR-116_rifle. Could Borg shields (or any shields) deflect a bullet? Ship shields deflect torpedoes. Could Borg technology just nano-coat the chest plating of every drone in some sort of bullet proof metal?

Re: Why does Starfleet keep using energy weapons against the Borg?

Maybe the shields are only able to withstand objects and beams with a high velocity(to be honest the origins of my question was the scene in Dune where a blade is able to penetrate a shield)objects moving with a slower velocity just go through the shield unaffected.

Re: Why does Starfleet keep using energy weapons against the Borg?

Sensors would probably be able to detect incoming weapons fire and activate / amplify shields accordingly.

A much slower moving weapon such as a physical device may not be perceived to be so much of a threat and may be erroneously ignored.

If you only expect energy weapons to defend against, then your systems may only be configured for them.

I remember reading about how the Pentagon conducted war exercises to test a communication-intercept system it was so proud of. Turned out the opponent forces in the war game decided to go old-school and just used pen and paper to communicate with each other. The old-school technology was enabling the opponent to get a big upper hand and when the Pentagon big-wigs realized this would prove their costly communication-intercept system a big flop, the big-wigs canceled the exercise.

Re: Why does Starfleet keep using energy weapons against the Borg?

Nice explanation Eddys like I said in a previous post there was something similiar to your explanation in the movie Dune where they had those bulky CGI suits which would repel blasts from laser weapons but a slow moving blade was able to penetrate the shield so I wondered if the Borg shields could be working on that same principle.

Re: Why does Starfleet keep using energy weapons against the Borg?

The more advanced a society becomes, the harder it is to think in simplistic terms.

I remember when nuclear scientists who had assured everyone that Saddem Hussein did not have the proper equipment to refine uranium were shocked when they discovered he had used an outdated, slow, primitive methodology to do just that.

I learned during the Y2K scare that a lot of knowledge on how to do certain things had been lost due to automation. That's okay as long as the automation keeps working, problem is, what if it doesn't?

A discussion was had and agreement was reached that a full set of old encyclopedias was probably the best bet to recover that lost knowledge. Fortunately my mother possessed an old set from 1964 or so, if things had gone down that set could have been invaluable.

They should but apparently they don't, that is the government keep information around on how to do things old school. Nobody in that discussion had any idea where in the heck you would find an old set of encyclopedias.

I believe it was an episode of JAG where the military basically begged a supply expert who knew how to process logistics manually using paper forms to come back and teach those old methods at a base. Seems the sandstorms were causing the computers to become inoperable over in the middle east where the military was based.

I think you need a combination of old school and new school, it's fine to deploy your most up to date energy weapons but you also need to be able to throw something at your opponent that they might not be expecting.

I am having to type this on a tablet because I am reloading my operating system on my pc, so do forgive any errors and also my tablet wants to change some of my words to what it thinks they should be.

Re: Why does Starfleet keep using energy weapons against the Borg?

Star Trek is a shield-heavy environment, at least as I see it. They have massive energy shields that work against physical attacks of that nature. That's one reason they rarely use fighters - a smaller ship means a smaller power plant means a weaker shield, less defensive capability.

The Enterprise has rarely mentioned "navigational shields" (just the Outrageous Okona as I recall, simply to point out a ship was so weak it's laser weapons couldn't get through the nav shields), which work help to protect the ship against space dust or other things moving at high velocity relative to the ship. (one example in real life had a dent made in a space shuttle window from collision with a chip of paint freely orbiting the Earth)

Combat shields, or whatever you want to call them, are much much stronger and, correspondingly, weapons are also stronger so as to defeat these shields.

As such, I suspect they only use energy weapons as the overall output is much stronger than comparable kinetic energy weapons or harder to defend against. Also likely more versatile/configurable and, when used within a ship or other pressurized environment, less likely to puncture the hull.

Jake Meridius Conhale, at your service!
"Old Man" of the BSG (RDM) boards.

Re: Why does Starfleet keep using energy weapons against the Borg?

Very interesting, Conhale. Where do you get this stuff?

RIP Gene Wilder. RIP Robert Vaughn. RIP Carrie Fisher. RIP William Christopher. 2016 is the worst!
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