A Review of Brian Young's Minbari vs Federation Video

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Mike DiCenso
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A Review of Brian Young's Minbari vs Federation Video

Post by Mike DiCenso » Sun May 06, 2012 9:49 am

All right, I said I'd get around to doing this, and I'm going to take a stab at reviewing this "case study" video by long time Versus debater Brian Young. A quick overview, SWST introduced Brian Young's SciFight.net website to us about two and half weeks ago in this thread. The site is a series of video commentaries on various science fiction franchise technologies, such as warp strafing in Star Trek or the validity of the Star Wars EU's AOTC:ICS' numbers. People have commented on those already in the thread itself, and so I am going into a more detailed look at the only actual crossover Versus commentary by Brian that he has posted so far on his new website; "Minbari vs Federation" in his "This vs That" section of his website. Brian pits the two together and just gives the Federation the long term win over the Minbari. But is that so? I noted in the original thread that there were some serious flaws in Brian's handling of the subject and so I will go into the good, the bad, and the very ugly about Brian's take on that fight. So without further ado, let's get to the nitty-gritty...

- The video starts off with Brian giving a very brief overview of the Earth-Minbari war as it happened canonically, which is all well and good as is his point that Trek and B5 have almost totally different technology bases; B5 has the extra-dimensional hyperspace accessible via jumpgates and Trek has space-distorting warp drive. Again all well and good. But then Brian goes off on a tangent of sorts talking about the TOS warp cubed formula and then pulls out a Star Trek the Next Generation Technical Manual book and takes the speed formulas from there and uses it as a basis for all Trek speeds while totally ignoring any canon TOS warp speed examples, of which there are plenty to chose from. Even after acknowledging that the canon had examples of speeds far faster than TM or writer guide formulas allowed for. But Brian seems to strangely pick the TNG TM formula numbers as if he's doing Trek some great big favor here.

- This gets to the next big issue, as Brian uses several apparently cherrypicked B5 speed examples to set B5 speeds in the 20-something thousand c range, though he does cite a couple lower examples, but dismisses them mainly as low-end due to them being Earth hyperspace speeds, and he claims that Earth hyperspace speeds would be inferior because Earth technology was inferior. In each case he chooses the highest examples possible for B5 and the lowest for Trek to give the Minbari an FTL advantage and a big one. This is blatantly unfair and dishonest for obvious reasons. First and foremost is that Brian in using the TNG TM is handicapping Trek using an official, but still non-canon book. Conversely in canon Classic Trek while we have inconsistent speeds as we do with B5, we do get many that exceed B5's given examples by a humongous range. Take for example TOS' "That Which Survives" from season three, where the Enterprise is traveling back over 990.7 light years to rescue Kirk and the rest of a stranded landing party on a mysterious and hostile alien planet. Once underway, the Enterprise soon achieves better than warp 8 and is holding that when we get the following estimate to arrive back at the planet:

RAHDA: We're holding warp eight point four, sir. If we can maintain it, our estimated time of arrival is eleven and one half solar hours.

SPOCK: Eleven point three three seven hours, Lieutenant. I wish you would be more precise.


Even if it took a few minutes or even an hour to reach warp 8.4, it won't affect the speed or time of arrival much. We have a clearly stated distance of 990.7 light years and a clear estimated time of arrival; 11.337 hours. We'll round up and say 12, just to cover possible acceleration time to warp 8.4. Thus 990.7 x 365 light days = 361,853 x 24 hours = 8,678,532 divided by 12 = 723,211 c. That's 31 times faster than the fastest example Brian gives from B5. Ah, but this is a one-time only example, right? Wrong. In TOS' second season episode "Obsession", we get this as Kirk, Spock, and McCoy discuss the vampire cloud creature:

KIRK: Whatever it is, Doctor, whatever it is, wouldn't you call it deadly?

MCCOY: Yes, there's no doubt about that.

KIRK: And what if it is the same creature that attacked eleven years ago from a planet over a thousand light years from here?

SPOCK: Obviously, Captain, if it is an intelligent creature, if it is the same one, if it therefore is capable of space travel, it could pose a great threat to inhabited planets.


That planet is Tycho IV and is stated here to be "over a thousand light years" away. Later a time estimate to reach that planet and return across that distance to rendezvous with another starship is given:

KIRK: Yes, I think I do. I don't know how I know, but home is where it fought a starship once before. (to Uhura) Inform them of our tactical situation and inform them I'm committing this vessel to the destruction of the creature. We will rendezvous. Round-trip time, Mister Chekov.

CHEKOV: One point seven days, sir.

KIRK: We will rendezvous with the USS Yorktown in forty eight hours.


So it takes them 1.7 days round trip, and Kirk pads in a few extra hours to bring that time up to 48 hours. That's a minimum of 2,000 light years x 365/48 = 365,000 c. Slower than "That Which Survives", but still 17 times faster than Brian's B5 example. And remember Kirk padded in extra time because Chekov gave 1.7 days or 40.8 hours. So really that's 429,411 c. In neither of these cases is the Enterprise modified by aliens or uses weirdness to enhance the speed of the ship as was the case in "By Any Other Name". And keep in mind these are not highly unusual speeds in TOS. In "Where No Man has Gone Before", the Enterprise reached the literal edge of the Milky Way galaxy and attempted to penetrate the Galactic Barrier to go out into intergalactic space, but was forced to turn back when it took heavy damage. Such a trip would have been extremely impractical if the ship were limited to a thousand c since even a trip straight up or down and back again would cover thousands of light years round trip and cost years off the 5 year mission, which did not happen. In "The Squire of Gothos" (middle of season 1), it's remarked that the Enterprise is some 900 light years from Earth, which given they visit Earth at the end of the next season ("Assignment: Earth"), they would have had to have no adventures (basically no stopping anywhere, not even for the numerous mentioned starbase layovers) and just spent the time in transit to get back in time for the events of that episode, which is clearly not what they did as anyone watching the series could tell you! The implied speed average is better than 10,000 c. So Brian's claims of not having clear speed examples in Trek is blatantly false and is fair proof of his dishonesty, especially since he jumps through hoops to spin away B5 hyperspace inconsistencies with one excuse or the other is really a slap in the face to fans who are knowledgeable and a disservice to those who don't know better.

Now this doesn't even cover the first 10 minutes of the video and we're already dealing with this much! To his credit Brian brings up the warp strafing tactic, which is good, but he goes to lengths to try and reduce it's importance in starship combat. He also gives Trek a fair advantage in troop capability over the knives and staff-weilding Minbari warriors. Again, all well and good, but it hardly makes up for the atrocious dishonest arguments he made prior and makes afterwords.

Which brings us to the next round in the starship firepower comparison where Brian once again cherry picks his examples and makes some rather huge leaps in assumptions and logic. Because we know now that the Minbari have no FTL advantage (they are actually at a huge disadvantage) along with warp strafing and ground forces capability are clearly huge advantages for the Federation. Brian next makes the claim that Minbari firepower is superior, showing examples primarily from Star Trek II and VI. But is that so? Let's look closely:

- In TOS' "Errand of Mercy", for example, the Enterprise engages and destroys a presumably shielded Klingon scout ship with just a few shots of return fire. Brian claims that warp core breeches are what are causing the one-hit or few hit kills, but he never backs these up. Furthermore, the E-A and Excelsior would never fire full-yield torpedoes at the BoP since the E-A was unshielded by this point and as was established in TNG's "Q Who?" and "The Nth Degree" that firing full yield, full spreads of torpedoes will likely severely cripple or destroy the ship launching them, if it is unshielded, so that's right out.

- Brian also disingenuously leaves out the context of the ST VI scene where the E-A allegedly fires on Kronos One. The E-A's shields are down (so a full-yield torpedo is out, especially at the close range of a few hundred meters) and the assassins had no intention of destroying Kronos One , merely crippling her so that they could board her and kill Chancellor Gorkon and frame the Federation for it. When we see torpedoes hit an unshielded E-A in the final fight scene at the end and from the small cloaked BoP (a ship canonically 10 times weaker than a refit Constitution-class starship), it blasts a huge hole in the nearly unshielded E-A's saucer section.

- Another important piece of information Brian leaves out; in Star Trek, particularly the TNG-era, we know of structural integrity fields (SIF), which as seen in "The Chase" can even reinforce the hull of the ship to withstand low-level beam weapon fire. In combat, why wouldn't SIF be cranked up to full? We also know that unlike Earth Force ships of B5, the hulls of Federation starships can withstand temperatures in excess of 12,000 degrees C as per TNG's "Descent, Part 2" without reaching the glowing point. So you need a lot of energy to burn the hull of a Federation starship, never rmind getting through the shields first, which can withstand thousands of terajoules of EM radiation. As Brian once calculated years ago, the hull of a Minbari Sharlin-class starship cannot take even a fraction of the energy from a single 2 megaton nuke, never mind what antimatter-matter photon torpedoes of many tens of megatons would do to them. Ironically enough, in his later warp strafing video, he shows the refit E-nil firing on and vaporizing a modest-sized asteroid in ST:TMP which clearly establishes such firepower for TOS-era ships, never mind the raw energy generated in episodes like "The Paradise Syndrome" where the ship actually nudges a nearly Luna-sized asteroid with her deflectors, which implies the warp core is capable of 1e23 watts or better. So the Minbari are hopelessly outclassed in firepower and defense. In fact, the Minbari don't have shields. Again, a lopsided fight, but Brian keeps on making fallacies to continue to allow for a balanced fight.

- Another fallacious example, assuming Khan had Reliant's phasers and torpedoes fired on full in the first battle in ST2. The Enterprise was disabled and Khan calls up Kirk to gloat and to get Genesis information from him, which Kirk exploits to lower Reliant's shields and damage it with a few phaser shots. Quite an important context there. Furthermore, just prior to Khan opening fire, Kirk orders yellow alert and they charge up some sort of defense fields on the hull. This seems remarkably similar to the polarized hull plating used by the old NX-class starships of 134 years ago. This may also be a raising of those SIF to reinforce the hull, again throwing off Brian's assumptions since the hull is now much tougher, even without shields. Thus any numbers you can derive are minimums, not upper limits, and it is a demonstration of just how freakin' tough Federation hulls are, even without shields and being much smaller than most B5 ships it is quite impressive! Brian also uses an example from "Who Mourns for Adonis?" from TOS season 2 to claim weak firepower, but again fails to note what anyone can see.... that Kirk and other members of the landing party are only a few tens of meters away from Apollo's "temple" structure (of which we know nothing of it's composition or if it is actually shielded somehow). I find it hard to believe Spock would fire down on Kirk and the landing party with full phasers and kill them when when what he did do was more than sufficient for the purpose at hand. It was also established that the E-1701 was firing down through small holes in Apollo's "hand" shield that was holding the ship in place, so we don't know if that also contributed to weakening the phasers. In either case Brian seems oddly neglectful once again of providing context.

- His comparison of the Enterprise surviving an unknown yield nuke in "Balance of Terror" to the Black Star's destruction in "In the Beginning" as a result of two 2 megaton nukes is similarly flawed. The E-1701 had been fighting a running battle with the Romulan BoP, and survived an earlier strike from the powerful plasma torpedo fired by the BoP. So whatever the nuke's yield, it was being used against a ship that had already suffered some damage and may not have had full shields. The Black Star on the other hand, was in pristine shape and was about to pounce on what it thought was a hapless Earth ship.

- Then we have a section where Brian tries to make the Minbari stealth technology look more awesome than it really is. He cherry picks a few out of context sensor examples to make Trek sensors look bad, then ignores that the Federation and before that, United Earth's Star Fleet have dealt with far more sophisticated stealth technology in the form of the cloaking devices that not only spoof target lock-ons, but visual as well, too, rendering the cloaked starship completely invisible. And yet in BoT, the E-1701 was still able to track that ship and fire on it's approximate location, causing heavy damage with proximity blast phasers. To say that the Minbari stealth would be useful against sensors that capable is silly. What's more interesting is that in "Tomorrow is Yesterday" [TOS, Season 1], the Enterprise demonstrates a cloaking ability similar to the Minbari's against 20th century radar:

SPOCK: We've achieved a stable orbit out of Earth's atmosphere. Our deflectors are operative, enough to prevent our being picked up again as a UFO. And Mister Scott wishes to speak to you about the engines

So their shields basically give them a similar capability, which may prove to be an advantage against the Minbari. So even if the Minbari stealth tech can spoof Trek sensors, Trek shields can possibly spoof Minbari and very likely Earth Force sensors, and neither side would be able to get an immediate bead on the other.

- Brian also goes off on a bizarre and unsupported series of tangents later on with throwing out the claim that the Federation was founded in the 2260s based on Kirk trying to explain UESPA and the construction authority to Air Force Captain Christopher of the 20th century. Yet Brian ignores that the Federation is firmly established in TNG and ST:ENT as being founded in 2161. More than a century prior to the events of TOS' "Tomorrow is Yesterday". He makes the claim that the Federation's experience in space is only a century old at most, and yet this ignores canon again where we know the Vulcans, Andorians, Tellerites and other members of the Federation were space faring centuries and even millennia before the Federation was founded!

He also makes the fallacious claim that there are only 12 ships in all of Starfleet when we know that at least dozens exist and of several different classes, such as Miranda, Soyuz, and Constellation. All of which are contemporaries of the Constitution-class, which the Enterprise is one of 13 such ships. So if there are similar numbers in the other classes of starship, then Starfleet is at least 52 ships strong. Star Trek:Enterprise also showed us that there are even older classes of starship, some of which might still be serving in the fleet in backwater areas of Federation territory. TOS' "The Menagerie, Part 1" mentions the old J class starships. Furthermore, the registry numbers for Starfleet ships indicate that hundreds of ships are available (registry numbers up to 2000 by 2285). We even see other classes of ship on display monitors in ST2 and ST3 which are taken from the old Franz Joseph Technical Manual, such as the Hermes and Saladin-class scouts and destroyers and the Ptolemy-class tugs. So we have quite a large number of ships to fill out the Federation battle groups with.

Brian also neglects to mention local theater and large-scale planetary shields for planet-side installations, the firepower of the massive Spacedock-class space stations that would bog down the Minbari fleets or just paste the crap out of them the way Deep Space Nine did with the Klingons and Dominion fleets. Imagine the Minbari frustration at being unable to land their warriors down on a planet covered with a full planetary shield like the one the Elba II asylum had in "Whom Gods Destroy" [TOS, Season 3]. Ground combat might never even occur at major planets, only minor outlying colonies. Furthermore it took the Minbari 3 years to deal with the small and very primitive Earthforce and just 12 or so planets. They'd be really in trouble dealing with dozens of Federation member worlds and quite literally thousands of colonies and starbase installations!

Most of the rest of the video is Brian saying that the Minbari would have a big weakness because of the jumpgates, which can be destroyed and without the beacons B5 ships would be lost in hyperspace forever or unable to travel anywhere. But as I have demonstrated, the fight would not necessarily even get this far with the other superior advantages on the Federation's side, such as transporters that would make this into a horrible curbstomp. The Minbari to put it simply have no chance whatsoever barring full out intervention from the Vorlons or other First Ones.
-Mike

Lucky
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Re: A Review of Brian Young's Minbari vs Federation Video

Post by Lucky » Wed May 30, 2012 7:58 am

Mike DiCenso wrote:All right, I said I'd get around to doing this, and I'm going to take a stab at reviewing this "case study" video by long time Versus debater Brian Young. A quick overview, SWST introduced Brian Young's SciFight.net website to us about two and half weeks ago in this thread. The site is a series of video commentaries on various science fiction franchise technologies, such as warp strafing in Star Trek or the validity of the Star Wars EU's AOTC:ICS' numbers. People have commented on those already in the thread itself, and so I am going into a more detailed look at the only actual crossover Versus commentary by Brian that he has posted so far on his new website; "Minbari vs Federation" in his "This vs That" section of his website. Brian pits the two together and just gives the Federation the long term win over the Minbari. But is that so? I noted in the original thread that there were some serious flaws in Brian's handling of the subject and so I will go into the good, the bad, and the very ugly about Brian's take on that fight. So without further ado, let's get to the nitty-gritty...

- The video starts off with Brian giving a very brief overview of the Earth-Minbari war as it happened canonically, which is all well and good as is his point that Trek and B5 have almost totally different technology bases; B5 has the extra-dimensional hyperspace accessible via jumpgates and Trek has space-distorting warp drive. Again all well and good. But then Brian goes off on a tangent of sorts talking about the TOS warp cubed formula and then pulls out a Star Trek the Next Generation Technical Manual book and takes the speed formulas from there and uses it as a basis for all Trek speeds while totally ignoring any canon TOS warp speed examples, of which there are plenty to chose from. Even after acknowledging that the canon had examples of speeds far faster than TM or writer guide formulas allowed for. But Brian seems to strangely pick the TNG TM formula numbers as if he's doing Trek some great big favor here.

- This gets to the next big issue, as Brian uses several apparently cherrypicked B5 speed examples to set B5 speeds in the 20-something thousand c range, though he does cite a couple lower examples, but dismisses them mainly as low-end due to them being Earth hyperspace speeds, and he claims that Earth hyperspace speeds would be inferior because Earth technology was inferior. In each case he chooses the highest examples possible for B5 and the lowest for Trek to give the Minbari an FTL advantage and a big one. This is blatantly unfair and dishonest for obvious reasons. First and foremost is that Brian in using the TNG TM is handicapping Trek using an official, but still non-canon book. Conversely in canon Classic Trek while we have inconsistent speeds as we do with B5, we do get many that exceed B5's given examples by a humongous range. Take for example TOS' "That Which Survives" from season three, where the Enterprise is traveling back over 990.7 light years to rescue Kirk and the rest of a stranded landing party on a mysterious and hostile alien planet. Once underway, the Enterprise soon achieves better than warp 8 and is holding that when we get the following estimate to arrive back at the planet:

RAHDA: We're holding warp eight point four, sir. If we can maintain it, our estimated time of arrival is eleven and one half solar hours.

SPOCK: Eleven point three three seven hours, Lieutenant. I wish you would be more precise.


Even if it took a few minutes or even an hour to reach warp 8.4, it won't affect the speed or time of arrival much. We have a clearly stated distance of 990.7 light years and a clear estimated time of arrival; 11.337 hours. We'll round up and say 12, just to cover possible acceleration time to warp 8.4. Thus 990.7 x 365 light days = 361,853 x 24 hours = 8,678,532 divided by 12 = 723,211 c. That's 31 times faster than the fastest example Brian gives from B5. Ah, but this is a one-time only example, right? Wrong. In TOS' second season episode "Obsession", we get this as Kirk, Spock, and McCoy discuss the vampire cloud creature:

KIRK: Whatever it is, Doctor, whatever it is, wouldn't you call it deadly?

MCCOY: Yes, there's no doubt about that.

KIRK: And what if it is the same creature that attacked eleven years ago from a planet over a thousand light years from here?

SPOCK: Obviously, Captain, if it is an intelligent creature, if it is the same one, if it therefore is capable of space travel, it could pose a great threat to inhabited planets.


That planet is Tycho IV and is stated here to be "over a thousand light years" away. Later a time estimate to reach that planet and return across that distance to rendezvous with another starship is given:

KIRK: Yes, I think I do. I don't know how I know, but home is where it fought a starship once before. (to Uhura) Inform them of our tactical situation and inform them I'm committing this vessel to the destruction of the creature. We will rendezvous. Round-trip time, Mister Chekov.

CHEKOV: One point seven days, sir.

KIRK: We will rendezvous with the USS Yorktown in forty eight hours.


So it takes them 1.7 days round trip, and Kirk pads in a few extra hours to bring that time up to 48 hours. That's a minimum of 2,000 light years x 365/48 = 365,000 c. Slower than "That Which Survives", but still 17 times faster than Brian's B5 example. And remember Kirk padded in extra time because Chekov gave 1.7 days or 40.8 hours. So really that's 429,411 c. In neither of these cases is the Enterprise modified by aliens or uses weirdness to enhance the speed of the ship as was the case in "By Any Other Name". And keep in mind these are not highly unusual speeds in TOS. In "Where No Man has Gone Before", the Enterprise reached the literal edge of the Milky Way galaxy and attempted to penetrate the Galactic Barrier to go out into intergalactic space, but was forced to turn back when it took heavy damage. Such a trip would have been extremely impractical if the ship were limited to a thousand c since even a trip straight up or down and back again would cover thousands of light years round trip and cost years off the 5 year mission, which did not happen. In "The Squire of Gothos" (middle of season 1), it's remarked that the Enterprise is some 900 light years from Earth, which given they visit Earth at the end of the next season ("Assignment: Earth"), they would have had to have no adventures (basically no stopping anywhere, not even for the numerous mentioned starbase layovers) and just spent the time in transit to get back in time for the events of that episode, which is clearly not what they did as anyone watching the series could tell you! The implied speed average is better than 10,000 c. So Brian's claims of not having clear speed examples in Trek is blatantly false and is fair proof of his dishonesty, especially since he jumps through hoops to spin away B5 hyperspace inconsistencies with one excuse or the other is really a slap in the face to fans who are knowledgeable and a disservice to those who don't know better.

Now this doesn't even cover the first 10 minutes of the video and we're already dealing with this much! To his credit Brian brings up the warp strafing tactic, which is good, but he goes to lengths to try and reduce it's importance in starship combat. He also gives Trek a fair advantage in troop capability over the knives and staff-weilding Minbari warriors. Again, all well and good, but it hardly makes up for the atrocious dishonest arguments he made prior and makes afterwords.

Which brings us to the next round in the starship firepower comparison where Brian once again cherry picks his examples and makes some rather huge leaps in assumptions and logic. Because we know now that the Minbari have no FTL advantage (they are actually at a huge disadvantage) along with warp strafing and ground forces capability are clearly huge advantages for the Federation. Brian next makes the claim that Minbari firepower is superior, showing examples primarily from Star Trek II and VI. But is that so? Let's look closely:

- In TOS' "Errand of Mercy", for example, the Enterprise engages and destroys a presumably shielded Klingon scout ship with just a few shots of return fire. Brian claims that warp core breeches are what are causing the one-hit or few hit kills, but he never backs these up. Furthermore, the E-A and Excelsior would never fire full-yield torpedoes at the BoP since the E-A was unshielded by this point and as was established in TNG's "Q Who?" and "The Nth Degree" that firing full yield, full spreads of torpedoes will likely severely cripple or destroy the ship launching them, if it is unshielded, so that's right out.

- Brian also disingenuously leaves out the context of the ST VI scene where the E-A allegedly fires on Kronos One. The E-A's shields are down (so a full-yield torpedo is out, especially at the close range of a few hundred meters) and the assassins had no intention of destroying Kronos One , merely crippling her so that they could board her and kill Chancellor Gorkon and frame the Federation for it. When we see torpedoes hit an unshielded E-A in the final fight scene at the end and from the small cloaked BoP (a ship canonically 10 times weaker than a refit Constitution-class starship), it blasts a huge hole in the nearly unshielded E-A's saucer section.

- Another important piece of information Brian leaves out; in Star Trek, particularly the TNG-era, we know of structural integrity fields (SIF), which as seen in "The Chase" can even reinforce the hull of the ship to withstand low-level beam weapon fire. In combat, why wouldn't SIF be cranked up to full? We also know that unlike Earth Force ships of B5, the hulls of Federation starships can withstand temperatures in excess of 12,000 degrees C as per TNG's "Descent, Part 2" without reaching the glowing point. So you need a lot of energy to burn the hull of a Federation starship, never rmind getting through the shields first, which can withstand thousands of terajoules of EM radiation. As Brian once calculated years ago, the hull of a Minbari Sharlin-class starship cannot take even a fraction of the energy from a single 2 megaton nuke, never mind what antimatter-matter photon torpedoes of many tens of megatons would do to them. Ironically enough, in his later warp strafing video, he shows the refit E-nil firing on and vaporizing a modest-sized asteroid in ST:TMP which clearly establishes such firepower for TOS-era ships, never mind the raw energy generated in episodes like "The Paradise Syndrome" where the ship actually nudges a nearly Luna-sized asteroid with her deflectors, which implies the warp core is capable of 1e23 watts or better. So the Minbari are hopelessly outclassed in firepower and defense. In fact, the Minbari don't have shields. Again, a lopsided fight, but Brian keeps on making fallacies to continue to allow for a balanced fight.

- Another fallacious example, assuming Khan had Reliant's phasers and torpedoes fired on full in the first battle in ST2. The Enterprise was disabled and Khan calls up Kirk to gloat and to get Genesis information from him, which Kirk exploits to lower Reliant's shields and damage it with a few phaser shots. Quite an important context there. Furthermore, just prior to Khan opening fire, Kirk orders yellow alert and they charge up some sort of defense fields on the hull. This seems remarkably similar to the polarized hull plating used by the old NX-class starships of 134 years ago. This may also be a raising of those SIF to reinforce the hull, again throwing off Brian's assumptions since the hull is now much tougher, even without shields. Thus any numbers you can derive are minimums, not upper limits, and it is a demonstration of just how freakin' tough Federation hulls are, even without shields and being much smaller than most B5 ships it is quite impressive! Brian also uses an example from "Who Mourns for Adonis?" from TOS season 2 to claim weak firepower, but again fails to note what anyone can see.... that Kirk and other members of the landing party are only a few tens of meters away from Apollo's "temple" structure (of which we know nothing of it's composition or if it is actually shielded somehow). I find it hard to believe Spock would fire down on Kirk and the landing party with full phasers and kill them when when what he did do was more than sufficient for the purpose at hand. It was also established that the E-1701 was firing down through small holes in Apollo's "hand" shield that was holding the ship in place, so we don't know if that also contributed to weakening the phasers. In either case Brian seems oddly neglectful once again of providing context.

- His comparison of the Enterprise surviving an unknown yield nuke in "Balance of Terror" to the Black Star's destruction in "In the Beginning" as a result of two 2 megaton nukes is similarly flawed. The E-1701 had been fighting a running battle with the Romulan BoP, and survived an earlier strike from the powerful plasma torpedo fired by the BoP. So whatever the nuke's yield, it was being used against a ship that had already suffered some damage and may not have had full shields. The Black Star on the other hand, was in pristine shape and was about to pounce on what it thought was a hapless Earth ship.

- Then we have a section where Brian tries to make the Minbari stealth technology look more awesome than it really is. He cherry picks a few out of context sensor examples to make Trek sensors look bad, then ignores that the Federation and before that, United Earth's Star Fleet have dealt with far more sophisticated stealth technology in the form of the cloaking devices that not only spoof target lock-ons, but visual as well, too, rendering the cloaked starship completely invisible. And yet in BoT, the E-1701 was still able to track that ship and fire on it's approximate location, causing heavy damage with proximity blast phasers. To say that the Minbari stealth would be useful against sensors that capable is silly. What's more interesting is that in "Tomorrow is Yesterday" [TOS, Season 1], the Enterprise demonstrates a cloaking ability similar to the Minbari's against 20th century radar:

SPOCK: We've achieved a stable orbit out of Earth's atmosphere. Our deflectors are operative, enough to prevent our being picked up again as a UFO. And Mister Scott wishes to speak to you about the engines

So their shields basically give them a similar capability, which may prove to be an advantage against the Minbari. So even if the Minbari stealth tech can spoof Trek sensors, Trek shields can possibly spoof Minbari and very likely Earth Force sensors, and neither side would be able to get an immediate bead on the other.

- Brian also goes off on a bizarre and unsupported series of tangents later on with throwing out the claim that the Federation was founded in the 2260s based on Kirk trying to explain UESPA and the construction authority to Air Force Captain Christopher of the 20th century. Yet Brian ignores that the Federation is firmly established in TNG and ST:ENT as being founded in 2161. More than a century prior to the events of TOS' "Tomorrow is Yesterday". He makes the claim that the Federation's experience in space is only a century old at most, and yet this ignores canon again where we know the Vulcans, Andorians, Tellerites and other members of the Federation were space faring centuries and even millennia before the Federation was founded!

He also makes the fallacious claim that there are only 12 ships in all of Starfleet when we know that at least dozens exist and of several different classes, such as Miranda, Soyuz, and Constellation. All of which are contemporaries of the Constitution-class, which the Enterprise is one of 13 such ships. So if there are similar numbers in the other classes of starship, then Starfleet is at least 52 ships strong. Star Trek:Enterprise also showed us that there are even older classes of starship, some of which might still be serving in the fleet in backwater areas of Federation territory. TOS' "The Menagerie, Part 1" mentions the old J class starships. Furthermore, the registry numbers for Starfleet ships indicate that hundreds of ships are available (registry numbers up to 2000 by 2285). We even see other classes of ship on display monitors in ST2 and ST3 which are taken from the old Franz Joseph Technical Manual, such as the Hermes and Saladin-class scouts and destroyers and the Ptolemy-class tugs. So we have quite a large number of ships to fill out the Federation battle groups with.

Brian also neglects to mention local theater and large-scale planetary shields for planet-side installations, the firepower of the massive Spacedock-class space stations that would bog down the Minbari fleets or just paste the crap out of them the way Deep Space Nine did with the Klingons and Dominion fleets. Imagine the Minbari frustration at being unable to land their warriors down on a planet covered with a full planetary shield like the one the Elba II asylum had in "Whom Gods Destroy" [TOS, Season 3]. Ground combat might never even occur at major planets, only minor outlying colonies. Furthermore it took the Minbari 3 years to deal with the small and very primitive Earthforce and just 12 or so planets. They'd be really in trouble dealing with dozens of Federation member worlds and quite literally thousands of colonies and starbase installations!

Most of the rest of the video is Brian saying that the Minbari would have a big weakness because of the jumpgates, which can be destroyed and without the beacons B5 ships would be lost in hyperspace forever or unable to travel anywhere. But as I have demonstrated, the fight would not necessarily even get this far with the other superior advantages on the Federation's side, such as transporters that would make this into a horrible curbstomp. The Minbari to put it simply have no chance whatsoever barring full out intervention from the Vorlons or other First Ones.
-Mike
I really think the biggest problem with the videos is that Brian does not provide context for what is going on in the clips, and the clips I've been able to identify are completely misrepresented as something they aren't.

It doesn't help he makes a number of assumptions that do contradict evidence he ignores.

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Re: A Review of Brian Young's Minbari vs Federation Video

Post by Praeothmin » Wed May 30, 2012 12:56 pm

Also, in DS9, there are many instances where ships core through other ships with their Phasers or Disruptors...
Now even if we assumed these ships were made of iron, and using a 90% empty space, we are looking at high KT of firepower...
For example, the shielded Excelsior getting cored through by Cardassian and Dominion defense platforms at Chin'Toka...

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Re: A Review of Brian Young's Minbari vs Federation Video

Post by Mr. Oragahn » Wed May 30, 2012 4:28 pm

In other words we're all wasting time with Young's rotten claims. He's been laying dormant in a cryostasis tube.

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Re: A Review of Brian Young's Minbari vs Federation Video

Post by Mike DiCenso » Thu May 31, 2012 3:18 am

Lucky wrote:I really think the biggest problem with the videos is that Brian does not provide context for what is going on in the clips, and the clips I've been able to identify are completely misrepresented as something they aren't.

It doesn't help he makes a number of assumptions that do contradict evidence he ignores.

Well, in essence that is what I say in my review. When you show clips out of context, it really changes everything. Hence I question Brian's motives here with his use of the ST2 and other Trek firepower footage.

One item I forgot to deal with concerns the destruction of Lazarus' spaceship as seen in "The Alternative Factor" [TOS, Season 1]. Brian disengenously uses this to claim low Trek firepower, then claims that the firepower is consistent in scale with the destruction of Lazarus' ship in all examples, therefore all firepower is the same even if the contexts are all different which would explain seemingly lower firepower in the other examples.

That's bad logic.

Even if there is one example of low firepower, it still is only one example without adequete explanation among about half a dozen or so. Thus we have to look more carefully at the one example and see why or what is different about it that might explain it away.

Well, the most obvious one right off the top of my head is the nature of the ship destroyed. Lazarus explains it in this dialog here:

LAZARUS: You wouldn't believe me if I told you.
KIRK: Try us.

LAZARUS: All right. I distorted a fact in the interest of self-preservation, for my holy cause. I needed help, not censure. Freedom, not captivity for being a madman. I was afraid that's what you'd call me if I told you the truth.

KIRK: I'll have the truth now.

LAZARUS: My planet, my Earth, or what's left of it, is down there beneath us.

KIRK: What are you saying?

LAZARUS: My spaceship is more than just that. It's a time chamber, a time-ship, and I. I am a time traveller.

KIRK: And this thing you search for is a time traveler, too?

LAZARUS: Oh, yes. He's fled me across all the years, all the empty years to a dead future on a murdered planet he destroyed. Help me! Give me the tools I need to kill him! The crystals! Don't let him get away! Don't let him get away.


So here is what we have. Lazarus' craft is not merely a little dinky shuttle or otherwise ordinary spaceship, it's a timeship, capable of traversing through time and between universes like a TARDIS from Doctor Who. Who knows what this thing is made of and what other strange effects are had around it that might effect the phasers. Certainly if nothing else, the level of destruction and it's effects are nothing like those seen in the other examples, especially "Wrath of Khan". Take a look here:

http://tos.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/ ... or_296.JPG

http://tos.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/ ... or_377.JPG

http://tos.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/ ... or_384.JPG

The timeship we can see isn't very big at all. Maybe 2.5 meters top. The Enterprise is also firing from high orbit, tens of thousands of km away (another factor).

Apollo's temple on the other hand, is a good deal big in material volume and the bench and tables were also destroyed. Being solid marble or whatever they were made of, they represented far more matter destroyed by the Enterprise's phasers in this example than with Lazarus' timeship. So they are not the same thing at all as seen here:

http://tos.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/ ... is0108.jpg

Then there's Wrath of "Khan":

Image

The destruction is also very different and we see here very DET-like effects that unlike the material disappearance vaporization seen in the previous examples. Then there's the yellow alert dialog:

KIRK: This is damned peculiar. ...Yellow Alert.

SAAVIK: Energise defence fields.

UHURA: I'm getting a voice message. They say their Chambers coil is overloading their Comm system.


We see this shot of a graphic showing gridlines on the ship's hull highlight indicating these fields are going up:

Image

As I postulated before, this is probably something very similar to the polarized hull plating on the NX-class starships of over a century prior and may also be an enhancement of the structural integrity fields. Thus trying to equate all these scenes to one another and claiming weak firepower just because of the one with Lazarus' timeship is poor rationalization at best and dishonest at worst.

Also his scaling of the airlock doors is faulty. He claims the doors are barely big enough to allow a person to walk through. But here they are in ST:TMP:

Image

Kirk and Scotty are only a meter or so beyond the door walking towards it. The door still is substantially taller than either of these two men who are nearly 1.8 meters tall. Furthermore, the travel pod doors are slightly smaller than the inner ring of the docking port on the Enterprise since it is designed to fit into it as seen here when docking with the starship:

Image

So more than 2 meters wide. That changes the nature of the damage even more by making it larger in the destruction done to Lazarus' ship.With all the other factors involved, Brian's claims are rendered invalid.
-Mike

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Re: A Review of Brian Young's Minbari vs Federation Video

Post by Mike DiCenso » Thu May 31, 2012 7:10 pm

I'm going to add some more illustration to the refit Enterprise's airlock's size. This image of the back end of the travel pod shows that the head room and the floor are not limited to 2 meters diameter:

Image

Image

Similar direct on view of the airlock port the travel pod is docking to, again not the floor structure at the "bottom" of the lock indicating that any scaling based on Scotty and Kirk walking through the doors in the interior scenes will yield a fairly conservative estimate. Also we have a person looking out a porthole and just the rough calculations the guy's head is .31 inches tall, the lock on the inside measurements is 3.15 inches for a ratio of 10.166 to 1. Assuming 10 inches height that makes the docking port just over 2.58 meters inside measurement and the outside including the red markings increases the lock diameter to over 3.63 inches or just over 2.92 meters diameter with respect to the man looking out the window. So however you slice it, the lock is not small at all. Given that I overestimated the timeship's size, I'd say this is more proof of significantly greater damage by Reliant's phasers on Enterprise's stardrive hull than the phaser strike on the timeship.

As for the damge suffered in the Mutara nebula, this is a battle again between two heavily damaged ships fighting in a less than ideal conditions and is not indicative their full capabilities especially when fighting in close quarters where say a full-yield torpedo would destroy both ships. The damage Enterprise does to Reliant in the final volley is also interestingly much greater than either ship had done to each other prior. A phaser strike blowing apart a large 100 meter long nacelle and a torpedo knocking clean off the remaining chunk speaks of very powerful weapons. More so because we know that warp nacelles are not hollow, they have huge, thick warp coils inside of them, each one solid material and the phaser blast on that nacelle vaporized most of that structure. A rather impressive feat that Brian attempted to hand-wave away to make Trek firepower look weak.

But here's a shot of the Enterprise's sistership Defiant making short work of a massive Vulcan D'kyer in "In a Mirror, Darkly, part 2":

Image

That Vulcan ship is about the same size as a Minbari Sharlin and the damage may even be somewhat mitigated by the fact that Vulcan ships, even in the 22nd century had actual deflector shields as well as armor, so anything you see here is highly conservative with respect to what the actual yields are for the torpedoes and this is from a pre-refit Constitution class starship to boot!

But that in turn brings up another issue Brian either failed to think up or ignored; the battle between various starships in Trek are often between powers that are comparable to their ow in terms of technological development. The Earthforce ships and the Minbari ships were not on anything like the same level. In fact, given that Earthforce ships have no shields and only regular armor plating as well as no gravity field or other similarly common tech to Federation starships, it's a bad, bad comparison, even if the average Earthforce ship is much larger than a Federation one because all things being equal, there's nothing they can do to prevent massive damage from the Minbari ships the way Federation ships can with shields, defense fields, SIF, and polarized hull plating.
-Mike
Last edited by Mike DiCenso on Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A Review of Brian Young's Minbari vs Federation Video

Post by Trinoya » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:22 am

I recall, years ago, I had to remind people that the 'explosions' we see in babylon 5 are actually huge sections of atmosphere being released... once you crack one of those ships open, they vent and break apart.. they may be armored on the outside, but they are gooey air filled center on the inside...

With the infamous 2 megaton incident, I think it's fairly clear, you break them on the inside, they are fucked.

Anyway, just my two cents.

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Re: A Review of Brian Young's Minbari vs Federation Video

Post by Khas » Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:30 am

This vid is currently being discussed on ASVS. You're welcome to pitch this info there.

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Re: A Review of Brian Young's Minbari vs Federation Video

Post by Mike DiCenso » Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:56 am

Thanks, I'm well aware of this as I've been following it. You're skipping out on a bunch of evidence provided in this and the other thread when you argue with Brian. In fact, you're failing to take advantage of many quotes and images which are available here on SFJN.

Oh, let me add another bit to illustrate. The scene of the Constitution-class U.S.S. Defiant pounding the shit out of the primitive 22nd century starships from ST:ENT's "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part 2" .

Note how the Defiant blows away half of a 400 meter Andorian Kumari-class starship away with a phaser blast. Also compare that and the destruction of the kilometer long Vulcan D'Kyr-type starship to the damage done to Earthforce ships from B5. Remarkably similar effects and on a similar scale, too.
-Mike

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Re: A Review of Brian Young's Minbari vs Federation Video

Post by Lucky » Sun Jun 03, 2012 5:39 am

Dear Mike D.,

Do you think I should post the questions and comment below?

_-_-_-_-_-_-_
When did Earth get technologies from the Vulcans?

What were those technologies?

As far as I can tell tech sharing didn't happen until the proto-United Federation of Planets was formed, and the Vulcans had actually tried to slow human technological development.
_____
The TNG tech manual itself states it is an unreliable source, and to use the TV shows and movies, but Brian pretends it is a reliable source. Why?
_____
Babylon 5 Hyperspace does not match to real space 1 to 1, and because of that a planet just one light year a way in real space could be farther then one 10 light years away or even unreachable.
_____
The Minbari might use Earth measurement systems because Valen was really human, and Babylon 4 was a human station/ship.
_____
Federation vessels are made out of super materials like tritanium and Duranium, and Earth force ships are not. pretending they will react the same way to Minbari weapons is dishonest.

Comparing a time machine made out of who knows what with unknown defenses to a Minbari fighter is rather dishonest.

The Enterprise was barely able to fire its phasers at Apollo's temple because of force fields of some sort they were barely able to counter with M-Rays, and Apollo was actively try to stop them after all. On top of that we never find out what the temple is made from

If I recall correctly Kirk had just given orders for modifications to the Torpedo fired.

Seems like Brian looked for the lowest looking showing he could find and took them out of context.
_____

Disregards the fact the Enterprise was already badly damaged in Tomorrow is yesterday, and Spock was only saying maybe a threat.

THe Romulan nuke was was point blank(less then 100 meters away), its yield is unknown, and we don't know what a Romulan out style nuclear weapon actually. Spock could not readily identify what kind it was implying it was infact exotic, and phasers can protonic shock wave. Why bring up an event that can not be readily quantified unless you want to be dishonest?

Brain has failed to show a Minbari advantage in firepower, and failed to prove Minbari weapons will even be able to get through a navigational deflector. There really is no difference between what the deflector deals with when at warp or high impulse and Minbari weapons.

Why does Brian ignore examples of firepower in episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise, and ignore A Taste of Armageddon?
_____
The sensor clips seem random, they tell nothing about the context of the scenes, or even what episodes or movies. The more I watch the more I think they are purposely being misrepresented.

The problem is that Star Trek sensors aren't all EM based like the Babylon 5 powers, and Star Trek Earth has had real time faster then light sensor since at least Archer's era, and tactics used to counter cloaked ships such as tracking them by their wake would be effective.

Kirk's enterprise could cloak itself from 20th centerury Earth just by turning on barely working shields. Brain has failed to demonstrate that the Minbari would be able to target a federation ship.
_____
Where do we actually see the Minbari have time manipulation technologies of their own? Not even the Vorlons and shadows have time travel technologies of their own, but any warp capable ship is a time machine that can go to seemingly any when.
_____
Where do we see holo technologies as sophisticated as TNG holo decks in Babylon five?

_____
The Earth force ships were disabled by Minbari sensor electromagnetic radiation as stated in the clip provided. This seems to mean that the Minbari use EM sensors, but the Federation can easily blind those just by turning on their shields even in an extremely damaged state.

Conversely Brian fails to quantify what kind of sensors the Enterprise was being probed with in the clip provided.

It's like he came to a conclusion, and then looked for evidence to support it even if he had to take things out of context.
_____
The Of the 4 founding members of the United Federation of planets, the humans are the youngest race. Vulcans have been an interplanetary power since the 9th century for example, and claiming a race should be advanced because they are old is flawed reasoning.
_____
12 constitution class ships in Star Fleet at the time of tomorrow is yesterday, but what about other classes?
_____
Why should Minbari weapons even pose a threat to Federation ships? The lowly navigational deflector effortlessly bats aside entire Earth like atmospheres for ships at warp, Titan like atmospheres for shuttles moving at 70% the speed of light, and Jupiter like atmospheres for ships at high warp. a few nutrons aren't going to phase it.

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Re: A Review of Brian Young's Minbari vs Federation Video

Post by Mike DiCenso » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:05 am

You don't need my permission or approval to post anything on ASVS. But if I were you, I'd spend some time going over the grammar and spelling before doing so as you several times misspelled Brian's name as "Brain". You may also wish to rephrase your questions so that you are directly addressing Brian. Watch out for repetitive statements and also make sure you have quotes, images and other evidence in order.

Otherwise those seem to be good questions and points.
-Mike

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Re: A Review of Brian Young's Minbari vs Federation Video

Post by Mr. Oragahn » Sun Jun 03, 2012 11:03 pm

Image

[on the right]
Someone's disturbed the Emperor while doing his poopoo.

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