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Thread: Cardassians in the 22nd Century

  1. #1
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    Cardassians in the 22nd Century

    Having read and reread the information about the Cardassians presented in the Deep Space Nine Narrator's Toolkit, the DS9 core book, and Steve Kenson's unpublished Cardassian works, I have decided to begin introducing the Cardassian Union and its military just prior to the founding of the Federation.

    The biggest question that I have is this: how would you introduce them? A chance encounter with a far-ranging gul exploring potential new client worlds (i.e. pre-warp, resource-rich planets)? A hostile encounter with an already-subjugated client world (i.e. Cardassian forces engage the PCs' vessel)? A secondary meeting through Vulcan allies (who still seem to know everyone in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants)? A lone Cardassian traveling with a multiracial crew? A political exile with a story about a once-great people fallen on hard times?

    Information presented in Star Trek Enterprise suggests that the Cardassians were capable of interstellar travel by the mid-22nd century ("Observer Effect", "Dead Stop"), so it seems unlikely that there isn't at least cursory contact by the dawn of the 23rd century.

    I know that the Federation and the Cardassians fought a war in the mid-24th century, but is there anything stating that there were no hostilities prior to that? I assume the Cardassian War (or Border War) was merely the culmination of a series of smaller conflicts that had gone on for years or decades, particularly given the Cardassian penchant to shoot first and ask questions later.

    Second question: what would 22nd-century Cardassian vessels look like (statistically speaking)? I imagine that they look significantly similar to the Galor-class vessels of the 24th century, so that's where I'd like to focus. Also, as they are not really built for exploration, their vessels should be militarily-powerful, but I don't consider them as advanced as the Andorians or Klingons, and certainly not the Vulcans or Romulans. I think that they should be comparable to the vessels fielded by Earth Starfleet, perhaps with better weapons and defenses but perhaps lower warp capabilities and sensors (?).

    I really hesitated using them in a pre-Federation Series before, but they have so much potential that I really want to explore them further.

    As always, questions and comment are fervently solicited.

    mactavish out.
    Our country's past progress has been the result, not of the mass mind applying average intelligence to the problems of the day, but of the brilliance and dedication of wise individuals who applied their wisdom to advance the freedom and the material well-being of all of our people.

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  2. #2
    Iloja of Prim was exiled to Vulcan sometime between the late 21st and early 23rd century, which means that Cardassia's government was grumpy enough to exile poets, but not grumpy enough to kill them. (I'm picturing Russia during one of its 'nice' phases.) Also, that means that an anthropologist on Vulcan can just ask Iloja of Prim, "Hey, what's Cardassia like?" so there's a certain amount of information the Federation has about them already.

    By the 22nd century, the Cardassian Union is already three centuries old. In addition, a cut scene from 'Tears of the Prophets' points to the Ventani system as the home of Tret Akleen, 'the Father of the Cardassian Union,' which means that many Cardassian colonies were established before the Union as a political body was, meaning that the 'Union' was between the colonies and the homeworld.

    We also know that the Hebitian tombs were first raided during that time period, so there must have been some economic upheaval where people suddenly needed cash. That could either have been a natural disaster, an economic disaster like the Great Depression, or a slow breakdown of agricultural production that led to a moment of civil disruption. It also means that Cardassia is in contact with other species who'll pay for cool Cardassian artefacts, or that what was once public property on Cardassia was sold to rich individual Cardassians, which would indicate an overclass of wealthy oligarchs who wouldn't otherwise be motivated to help other Cardassians when they were starving. It's also called 'The First Republic,' which indicates both that there was at least another republic afterwards, and that it was a republic as opposed to whatever came before or immediately after it.

    The thing is, your players are presumably going to expect the Cardassians as aggressive enemies. Instead, I'd have a situation that mirrors the Starfleet/MACO division in Enterprise—the ship itself is crewed and commanded by members of an exploratory organization, while they are 'overseen' by a First Republic political officer and a small cadre of explicitly military officers, whose duties are both to police the crew and to fight any hostile aliens. I'd probably have the Cardassians show up first as an alien ship that needs to be rescued from the deleterious effects of an alien artefact or resource sample (like naturally-occurring trilithium or something) that the explorers want to keep at all costs, and the military faction on the ship wants to keep secret (but need to be convinced that its harmful and needs to be destroyed). That puts the PCs in the complex position of having to convince the xenophobic jerks to be jerks to the guys the PCs would normally like. (If there's a Starfleet/MACO division between PCs, you can tailor the NPCs to appeal to particular PCs on either side of the split for extra drama.)

    The thing is, the Cardassians don't seem to have any contact with another major hostile power until they run into the Klingons, whenever that happens, so the idea that their ships need to be tough might not occur to them. In fact, the Betreka Nebula incident might be the thing that precipitates widespread poverty on Cardassia, as colonies which Cardassia relies on divert resources to a war effort. If the Cardassians are in ships flying around outside their territory, I'd be tempted to make them kind of weak, while their territorial patrol ships would be tough little fighters tasked with dealing with Miradorn pirates and Lisseppian smugglers.
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    I like the idea of a less aggressive Cardassian people, and also the "split" aboard their vessels. However, instead of being a purely exploratory ship, I was picturing them as serving an organization that looks for resources on undeveloped and underdeveloped worlds, carrying a military contingent "just in case." This is less savory than Starfleet, which is more about pure exploration than exploitation.

    I also like the idea that the Cardassians were less heavily-armed prior to first contact with the Klingons; I imagine anyone bumping into the Klingons would quickly realize that forewarned is forearmed. Further, your idea that they armed themselves right into the poorhouse to deal with external threats - once they realized that there were a lot of unsavory characters in the galaxy - and ended up destroying their entire economy is brilliant. I think it's a great idea and sets up their backstory: the Cardassians were always a little "out there," but it took making contact with the rest of the FTL-capable "neighborhood" to make them really reprehensible and utterly amoral regarding their dealings with other species (like the Bajorans).

    Regarding their patrol vessels and their explorers, what do you think? Size 2-3 and size 4-5, respectively? Or would you make their exploratory ships smaller than NX-01 Enterprise? I know that 24th-century Cardassians like big ships, but really no more so that the other major powers of the era (i.e. Klingons, Romulans, UFP). And for weapons? The "spiral wave disruptors" are really the hallmark of the Cardassian fleet in terms of offensive capabilities, but - since they're less advanced than the Federation in the 2340s - does it make sense for them to have defensive energy shields? Or would they have polarized hull plating (like Earth Starfleet), or perhaps even just more heavily-armored ships?

    Having a Central Command political officer and a contingent of soldiers aboard similarly makes historical sense, as the Central Command gradually usurped the power of the Detapa Council. Seeing the roots of this change from a civilization at the dawn of a slow decline makes it that much more heartbreaking, particularly since they were so artistic and socially advanced as a people prior to this militarization.

    I really like the direction that this is taking... please post more.

    mactavish out.
    Last edited by mactavish; 06-10-2016 at 04:53 PM.
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by mactavish View Post
    Regarding their patrol vessels and their explorers, what do you think? Size 2-3 and size 4-5, respectively? Or would you make their exploratory ships smaller than NX-01 Enterprise? I know that 24th-century Cardassians like big ships, but really no more so that the other major powers of the era (i.e. Klingons, Romulans, UFP). And for weapons? The "spiral wave disruptors" are really the hallmark of the Cardassian fleet in terms of offensive capabilities, but - since they're less advanced than the Federation in the 2340s - does it make sense for them to have defensive energy shields? Or would they have polarized hull plating (like Earth Starfleet), or perhaps even just more heavily-armored ships?
    Heavily-armoured makes sense for the patrol ship (to go along with the horseshoe-crab look that the Hideki has), while a flimsier, kind of cheaply-made exploratory ship will accentuate the contrast between civilian and military organizations. I'm not sure about the technology—it's more of a question of how common you want certain technologies to be among disparate cultures in your game. I'd be tempted to give them some weird defensive technology that's neither polarization nor shields, like some sort of 'plasma chaff.'

    The patrol vessels would probably be smaller than the exploratory ones just because they're not going to be operating far from a resupply base, while the exploration ships need resources for years' worth of travel—or technology to gather and process resources en route, which also takes up space.

    I really like the direction that this is taking... please post more.
    Glad you like it! Keep us updated on how the players react.

    Two other questions come to mind: DS9 depicts Cardassian society as having clearly gendered professions, with military service being a masculine job and the sciences, administration and teaching being associated with females. That means either a. the exploratory crew is probably going to have a gender split between the high-ranking explorers and the high-ranking military officers or b. that's something that develops later during the military takeover, and not portraying that means there's more contrast between 22nd and 24th century Cardassians.

    The other question is: What're the Bajorans up to? They're definitely not expansionists, as they've had some form of interstellar travel since the 16th century (although I presume it would be kind of one-way) and only Golana III sounds like it could predate the Occupation. (Every other Bajoran colony is usually described as recent or a refugee settlement.) But they're next door to Cardassia, and at a planetary level their economy has got to be way more robust than Cardassia's (otherwise, why occupy it?) which means that the Cardassians might be a market for Bajoran goods. Bajor has a caste system and stuff at this point, too, and maybe their government is made up of an aristocratic class of jerks, gouging poor Cardassian colonies? Anyway, Akorem Laan's lightship disappeared into the wormhole around 2172, and Kai Taluno observed the wormhole sometime in the 22nd century too, so they have some sort of space program, but their native-built ships are still lightships.
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    So I was looking at the Hideki-class in the DS9 core book and noted that it's a Size 3 ship with a crew of five. This seems like a decent size for a 22nd-century patrol ship.

    Now the big question is this: what would the stats be for this ship? I'm thinking that the Warp Drive is going to max out at about 2.5 (as the Cardassians are less advanced than their contemporaries), but their weapons will be at least average if not slightly better than those fielded by Earth Starfleet (though still not as good as the Andorians, Klingons or Vulcans). No deflector shields or polarized hull plating, but their armor is much heavier (as suggested in the previous post).

    I was thinking something like this:

    cardhideki.jpg

    Hebitian-class Patrol Ship

    Class: Patrol Ship
    Commissioning Date: Mid-22nd century

    Hull Characteristics

    Size: 3 (~72 m x ~54 m x ~12 m; ~100,000 metric tons; 1 deck)
    Resistance: 4
    Structural Points: 60

    Operations Characteristics

    Crew/Passengers/Evac: 5/30/60 [4 power/round]
    Computers: 2 [2 power/round]
    Transporters: N/A
    Tractor Beams: N/A

    Propulsion and Power Characteristics

    Warp System: 1.0/1.8/2.5 (6 hours) [2/warp factor/round]
    Impulse System: 0.36c/0.72c [4/7 power/round]
    Power: 75

    Sensor Systems

    Long-range Sensors: +0/6 light years [6 power/round]
    Lateral Sensors: +1/0.5 lightyear [4 power/round]
    Navigational Sensors: +0 [5 power/round]
    Sensors Skill: 4

    Weapons Systems

    Spiral-wave Disruptor
    Range: 10/3,000/10,000/30,000
    Arc: fv/fd (360 degrees)
    Accuracy: 4/5/7/10
    Damage: 6
    Power: [6]

    Dicobalt Torpedoes
    Number: 24
    Launchers: 1 ad, 2 fv
    Spread: 1, 2
    Arc: F or a, but self-guided
    Range: 10/100,000/500,000/1,500,000
    Accuracy: 6/7/9/12
    Damage: 8
    Power: [5]

    Other weapons/weapon configurations possible

    Weapons Skill: 4

    Defensive Systems

    N/A

    Description & Notes

    Designed and built to defend the borders of the nascent Cardassian Union, the Hebitian-class patrol ship is the hallmark of the Iron Order, the Cardassian border patrol. These ships are not capable of high warp speeds, but possess decent impulse speed and have significant armor (more than most other contemporary vessels). The lack of defensive systems (i.e. deflector shields, polarized hull plating, etc.) require the Hebitian-class to be quick and agile, allowing them to avoid as much combat damage as possible, though the heavier armor helps when the vessel is hit; stripped-down vessels of this type (i.e. fast patrol ships/scouts) are even faster at impulse when carrying less armor.

    Given the [relatively small] size of the Cardassian Union, and given the fact that many other races possess more powerful weapons and advanced defensive systems, patrol ships tend to travel in pairs or trios, making encounters more favorable to the Cardassians thanks to [typically] higher numbers.

    Cardassian patrols are fairly aggressive towards outsiders, and tend to stop anyone traveling in (or close to) their territory for inspection. The patrol ships of the Iron Order tend to shoot first and and questions later, particularly when strangers are involved (and even more so when sensor scans indicate the interlopers' vessels are less well-armed than the patrol ships).

    * * *

    What do you think? Remember, I've not done this for quite a while, so be gentle.

    mactavish out.
    Last edited by mactavish; 02-16-2015 at 08:24 PM.
    Our country's past progress has been the result, not of the mass mind applying average intelligence to the problems of the day, but of the brilliance and dedication of wise individuals who applied their wisdom to advance the freedom and the material well-being of all of our people.

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    As an addendum, I would like to add that the Cardassians, in all likelihood, acquired a substantial amount of their technology advancements from the Ferengi, with whom they doubtlessly trade for decades or even centuries. It's not that I think the Cardassians aren't smart enough to have developed deflector shields and transporters on their own, but I think that they probably [eventually] focused more on finding and conquering new planets for resources and subjugated labor, and less on developing new ideas on their own.

    This makes sense, as they doubtlessly encountered advanced, enlightened races who - rather than focusing their scientific research on weapons and such - spent their intellectual capital on things like medicine or matter-energy conversion or faster FTL engines. Thus, when the [comparatively] heavily-armed Cardassians showed up to negotiate "trade agreements," the unprepared victims gave up technical knowledge to either be left alone or to be treated as well as possible, given the circumstances (therefore avoiding a situation like the Bajorans found themselves in come the early 24th century).

    It also makes sense that - since conquering Feregninar would have been too difficult (given the advanced weapons/defensive technologies and potential mercenary hirelings the Ferengi could acquire/afford) or too taxing (given the distances and resources involved) - the Cardassians would trade with Ferengi merchants to secure technological advances. The Ferengi certainly aren't known for their scruples, so taking payment in the form of goods and resources stolen or strip-mined from conquered worlds would not bother even the most progressive Ferengi trader.

    While we didn't see the 22nd-century Ferengi raiders that attacked Enterprise use transporters or even fire their weapons, it is safe to assume - given the breadth of the territory they likely cover in terms of their trade network - that they had access to all but the most secretive military-grade technologies in the surrounding areas of both the Alpha and Beta Quadrants. It is even known that the Ferengi purchased warp drive technology from a Breen entrepreneur sometime prior to the mid-22nd century (I'm saying ~2049), so it doesn't seem unreasonable to think that the bulk of what they had consisted of acquisitions from other, more industrious races.

    Maybe part of the Cardassians' financial woes come in part from lopsided contracts with Ferengi arms merchants...

    mactavish out.
    Our country's past progress has been the result, not of the mass mind applying average intelligence to the problems of the day, but of the brilliance and dedication of wise individuals who applied their wisdom to advance the freedom and the material well-being of all of our people.

    -Conscience of a Conservative, Barry Goldwater

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    So do you suppose that the Cardassians are merely a second- or third-rate power in the 22nd century? A regional power with a handful of colonies and a couple of subjugated (or truly allied) worlds? Would you imagine that the Cardassian Union, at this time, is a multi-racial society with Cardassians as the only citizens and non-Cardassian "client races" as either second-class citizens or slaves?

    Does the ship I statted out above make sense for a tin-pot empire in the making, or should their primary "show of force" vessel be more (or less) impressive?

    As time has passed, I have developed a far greater appreciation for the primary races shown in Deep Space 9: Cardassians, Ferengi, Bajorans, Trill, and even the races of the Dominion (though they are certainly not even on the radar in the mid-22nd century). I am kind of interested in how they all fit into this era, especially [obviously] the Cardassians, but also the Trill and their symbionts.

    I've always tended to err on the side of canon, but having these disparate peoples and powers as contemporaries in the 2150s and 2160s shows great promise, even if canon is a little fuzzy [or blatantly contradictory] on one or more of my ideas.

    mactavish out.
    Our country's past progress has been the result, not of the mass mind applying average intelligence to the problems of the day, but of the brilliance and dedication of wise individuals who applied their wisdom to advance the freedom and the material well-being of all of our people.

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    Question

    I've always gotten kind of a North Korea (hermit kingdom) analogue vibe from the Cardassians especially in the TNG episode "The Wounded"; or maybe a cross-franchise reference to the Centauri from Babylon 5. By DS9 they're an empire in decline, more of a paper tiger than a real threat. Starfleet treats them with kid gloves but it took the Klingons less than a month to conquer most of the former union. However in the 22nd century I think they would be more of a major empire with corruption and possibly over-expansion taking their toll monetarily and socially. Clearly they would behave as an imperialist power, colonizing and exploiting anything useful ala 19th century Britain. They would probably rationalize their subjugation of lesser developed species as a kind of manifest destiny coupled with some version of noblesse oblige. Just my take on it.

    I've always felt that cannon is a good thing to build a series bible around, but the narrator shouldn't be beholden to it at the expense of a good story or series concept even if it contradicts some cannon elements.
    Last edited by ILikePike; 02-19-2015 at 11:00 PM.
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    ILikePike, I agree with many of your points, but I don't necessarily see the Cardassian Union as a major empire in the 22nd century (if ever). I see them as a significant regional power in decline at this time, and assume that they have been in space on their mission to seek out new life and new civilizations (and exploit and conquer them, respectively) for decades if not a century or more.

    What do you think about their force projection capabilities? They certainly have combat-capable ships, but I don't see them as a "large warship" kind of organization as this time (though the future Galor- and Keldon-class vessels certainly lend credence to the supposition that they become so). Would you anticipate a sizable armada of small [Size 2-3] warships or patrol vessels to further expand their area of control, or only a few of these ships meant to protect their current holdings?

    mactavish out.
    Last edited by mactavish; 02-22-2015 at 09:44 AM.
    Our country's past progress has been the result, not of the mass mind applying average intelligence to the problems of the day, but of the brilliance and dedication of wise individuals who applied their wisdom to advance the freedom and the material well-being of all of our people.

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    Thumbs down

    I think some of that depends on your take on their 22nd century neighbors. Based on Garak's (probably biased) waxing philosophically about Cardassia's art and culture, my guess is that they were probably among the more advanced races in their neck of the woods; in which case it would follow that small to mid-sized vessels (3-5) would be more than enough to impress the locals. If they were abutted against an aggressive neighbor, they may have felt the need to build one or two larger ships as a show of force.

    Ship design also depends a bit on their psychology in the 22nd century. Perhaps the Cardassians were more peaceable until a more advanced race came along and nearly conquered them or did conquer a neighbor, something like that, would drive the building of larger and well-armed vessels which shaped their culture in a more militaristic bent, or some kind of ecological catastrophe or outside actor fundamentally altered their world view might cause them to rapidly build lots of cheap and fast ships to ensure their survival. Or a moderately expansionist power would probably build a mixed fleet of multi use vessels probably mid-sized. (3-4)

    I think overall though anything larger than 6 would be a real stretch. I think ships like a proto-Hideki or half-sized Galor are probably more the norm at this point, although I like the idea of some funky non-shield based defenses. Maybe borrow the power absorption panels from Starfleet battles.

    (evidently my tablet feels the need to thumbs down my post...��)
    Last edited by ILikePike; 02-21-2015 at 03:49 PM.
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    What about starbases or, at the very least, automated (or minimally-crewed) weapon platforms along their borders? Given their penchant for large space stations (in the 24th century, at least), it seems that - combined with a fairly small fleet of mid-level cruisers - they might take a more "protect our borders" approach, maintaining what amount to automated defense drones with limited movement capabilities and fairly powerful weapons (i.e. spiral wave disruptors, dicobalt torpedoes, etc.).

    I was also thinking that, as well as trading with the Ferengi for arms and armaments, perhaps the Central Command purchased weapons early on from the Arsenal of Freedom on Minos. I was thinking something like an early iteration of the Echo-Papa series - larger model drones for semi-autonomous deep-space security/border partrol operations - as a supplement to the Cardassian patrols that travel their borders looking for trespassers.

    This technology then eventually evolves into the Dreadnaught artificially-intelligent missiles developed for use by the Cardassians against the Maquis (and, presumably, other enemies as well).

    Or maybe the majority of Cardassian weapon technology actually comes from the Minosians. The spiral wave disruptors that they use are [I believe] unique among the various spacefaring powers of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants. Maybe they commissioned the Arsenal of Freedom to devise weapon systems for them and then, given the high intelligence and technical skill of the Cardassian people, reverse-engineered some of those weapons and used what they learned to build their own.

    On a semi-unrelated note, I've chosen to arm the Cardassians with more primitive dicobalt-warhead torpedoes at this point rather than photonic-based missile weapons. I decided to go in this direction as a.) the Cardassians are somewhat less technically advanced than many of their their interstellar neighbors, b.) weapons of this sort puts them on par with Earth Starfleet (c.2150) as they are similar to spatial torpedoes, and c.) it gives me the opportunity to increase their offensive potential during the course of the Series, possibly acquiring photon torpedoes (or the Cardassian equivalent) from the Ferengi, the Minosians, or perhaps even from the wreckage of a Klingon warship that mistakenly entered Cardassian territory and was wolf-packed by a trio of Hebitian-class patrol ships.

    It's not that I think the Cardassians are incapable of developing weapons of this type on their own, but rather that their military is so focused on results that they are willing to bankrupt their economy to get those technical advancements as quickly as possible. And then, over time, as their knowledge of those technologies catches up with their implementation, they can take them apart, analyze them, and glean enough technical understanding to reproduce them (at least partially) using the resources harvested from allied, client and conquered worlds (as well as those uninhabited worlds they strip mine as well) that they took over using those very weapons.

    The Cardassians are a great enemy in this era as their history, culture, held territory, and so on is so wide open. I think that my Series will make use of both Romulans and Klingons to some degree, but that the Cardassians will be the primary enemy.

    mactavish out.
    Our country's past progress has been the result, not of the mass mind applying average intelligence to the problems of the day, but of the brilliance and dedication of wise individuals who applied their wisdom to advance the freedom and the material well-being of all of our people.

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    I think given their penchant for grandiosity, I agree that they probably have one or two stations of K-class size (maybe slightly larger) by the 22nd century as a home built project. If they have the resources to buy weapons from Minos, then they might have more, or at the very least have their existing ones very well armed. Probably guarding key sectors and acting as a trading hub or jumping-off point for military excursions.

    As for automated weapons platforms. Not sure how much of what we saw in DS9 was Cardassian (the architecture looked similar) but how much of it was Dominion influenced. At Chin'Toka, the platforms laid waste to an Akira-class, and an Excelsior, I think a couple of cannon-fodder Mirandas, and tore huge chunks out of the USS Galaxy. If those were a constant feature of the Cardassian border/defense strategy, I would think the Klingons would've had a much harder time of sacking the Cardassian Empire. My take is that until they get some Dominion "advisors" they would rely on patrol groups of small ships to ensure their border (much like what we saw in the episode where Tom Riker jacked the Defiant), reinforced by moderately crewed but well defended listening posts. I got the feeling from watching Arsenal of Freedom, that the drones were really for planetary defense and not for patrolling the border; they would make an excellent add to the listening posts and stations. That said, there's absolutely no reason whatsoever that you couldn't have them exist. If you were truly devious, you might have a larger Cardassian cruiser carry one to drop on an unsuspecting group of PC's if the cruiser is outgunned.

    I think its kind of an interesting dichotomy at play, the Cardassian military seems to very much favor quantity over quality, but their financial state makes them something of a glass cannon. They get maybe one or two good advances in, before their resource limits begin to restrict their advances. The AoF drones do play into that thinking somewhat, but maybe they bought a cheaper variant or broke their contract by reverse engineering them? The funny thing is, I don't recall Sprial Wave being mentioned on-screen but yes it is unique per most RPG books.

    This sounds like a lot of fun. Wish I could play...
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    I suspect the Cardassians may well have had Nor type stations for a couple of centuries, strip-mining conquered planets as they did Bajor. I see them as a middling sized regional power with at least cruiser-strength ships is some number. Not so big and powerful as the Rommies or Klingons, or even the 23rd century Federation, but a power to be reckoned with. I see them as a sort of a pre-WWII Nazi Germany with an expansionist agenda, at least in the immediate area of space, as much as a century ago. Prior to that, they were likely fairly insular, but perhaps engaged in trade with the Ferengi among others.

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    Owen: You suspect that the Cardassians had Nor type starbases for centuries beginning when? Are you thinking that they started building them in the 20th century and have them in place by the mid-22nd century? Or are you thinking that they started building them in the 22nd century, having several by the time of Star Trek: The Next Generation?

    And as for starships, are you similarly suggesting that the Cardassians are building Size 5-6 cruisers in the mid-22nd? Like a Galor-class precursor? What would that even look like?

    I guess I am confused about the time table in your last post. Were they (in your mind) "fairly insular" in the 22nd century, or prior to the 22nd century? Or both?

    I can see the Cardassians as a long-time spacefaring power, but - as a regional power with few other races of comparable advancement nearby - I don't see them fielding large capital ships prior to the 24th century. There simply wasn't the need for them prior to that.

    On the other hand, I guess I can see the "shock and awe" value of a Size 5-6 [22nd-century] Cardassian warship settling into orbit in all its terrifying grandeur over a Steam Age planet, and scores of dropships filled with Cardassian troops landing in all the major population centers just prior to a pompous Gul "inviting" them to become the newest members of the Cardassian Union.

    Gosh, I'm kind of torn here. I like the whole idea of them struggling to find their place as a big fish in a little pond within their own region of space, but I also like the concept that they destroyed their economy building massive vessels, and then had to conquer all their weaker, less-advanced neighbors to continue that cycle (i.e. conquer neighboring system, pillage technologies and resources, build more big ships, conquer neighboring system, etc.).

    Hmm...

    mactavish out.
    Our country's past progress has been the result, not of the mass mind applying average intelligence to the problems of the day, but of the brilliance and dedication of wise individuals who applied their wisdom to advance the freedom and the material well-being of all of our people.

    -Conscience of a Conservative, Barry Goldwater

  15. #15
    Here's some sketches I've dug up... cardassian ship concepts.jpg
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