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Galactica Vs. Enterprise

by Keith McDuffee, posted Feb 21st 2006 9:55AM
picard vs. adamaI couldn't resist posting this extremely geeky question to all our Battlestar Galactica post readers. Reader Matt over on the Captain's Hand episode review posed the following simple question: in a battle between Admiral Adama (of BSG) and Captain Picard (of Star Trek: TNG), who would win?

I have my own take on the question, after the jump, but of course I want to hear what you all have to say about it.

Now, if Matt was asking who would win in a hand-to-hand fight, I'd have to go with Picard. Adama is recovering from multiple gunshots to the chest, at point-blank range. A couple of chops to Adama's midsection, and he'd crumple to the floor. Also, Adama, at 5'9", is just a little shorter than Picard, at 5'10", so he doesn't even have that advantage. I'm not sure Adama even has a regular workout regimen, whereas Picard can be found in the Holodeck from time to time, maybe doing some jogging.

How about a battle between the Galactica and the Enterprise? Again, I'd have to go with Enterprise here, though only slightly. While the Galactica can take on several nuclear detonations, they're no match for the Enterprise's active shields. Also, the Enterprise's near-instant phaser shots would hit Galactica multiple times before it had a chance to prepare. The Galactica's shots are slow and telegraphed -- much easier to maneuver away from, at least for the Enterprise. However, Galactica does has its Vipers, which could easily chop away at the Enterprise's shields from multiple locations, and what's the Enterprise going to send after the vipers? An away-team craft? Please.

OK, I've taken my geek hat off. Time for you to put yours on and tell me who you think would win such a battle, and why.

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Johnny Bravo

Well, the enterprise should win this...it is over 100,000 years newer than the galactica. But BSG is a much better TV series than Star Trek.

October 19 2010 at 3:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brent H

Enterprise wins hands down.

I've seen this topic debated elsewhere and what surprises me is that everyone is giving BSG a small advantage because of Vipers. Vipers would be a non-factor. If you read the TNG Technical Manual you'd know that the Enterprise's shields are designed to withstand an impact from an asteroid. A bunch of tiny spacecraft firing bullets would do jack against that.

December 09 2009 at 1:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have used physics to calculate many aspects of a battle. The information I have gathered came from different sources through the internet, deep space nine technical manual along with the movies and show visual effects. Ok first lets lay down some guide lines for this fight. They can use any conventional methods that they would normally use for a combat attack; they can not run and must stay to the end. The means to damage the opposing ship must come from defence systems and not by other means.

Next let's take the 40 year old Galactica out of the equation and stick in a Mercury Class Battlestar such as the Pegasus. We will also use a Sovereign class star ship such as the Enterprise-E for the Federation.

Let's look at the rolls of each ship, the sovereign class is an exploratory/combat vessel while the Battlestar is a Military capital battle ship/carrier. The federation ship is only 685 meters in length, 240 meters wide and 88 meters high, has a crew of 700 and is armed with Phaser arrays along with photon and quantum torpedoes, this ship uses extreme amounts of energy for its systems and sub systems. The Sovereign is a combat vessel with exploratory and long duration technology. The Battlestar is 1,652 meters in length, 678 meters wide and 331 meters high. The Battlestar has primary and point-defence kinetic energy weapons, Main prow rail gun battery's, conventional missiles, nuclear warheads, Vipers (200), Raptors (20). The numbers to crew a Mercury class Battlestar range from 2000-3000. The Battlestar is designed so it can stay in a fight even if parts of the ship are non functioning, such as the engines or main power. It is true that the sovereign has the technology advantage but we can't forget about the physics involved.

The Mercury Class Battlestar has 30 twin linked hull mounted electromagnetic kinetic energy weapons and 4 prow rail guns and 300 point defence turrets. If we use the formula kinetic energy =1/2mv^2, the mass of a shell is 400Kg and we know they travel at 1/4 the speed of light 74.9x10^6 m/s, so it comes out to 268 megatons per hull battery, each battery can reload in 5 seconds, while the Prow rail guns lob shells the size of a midsized car(1200Kg)that travel around 1/2 the speed of light, 3213 megatons per shell with the main rail gun battery. The distinct advantage the rail gun's have is that they release the whole amount of energy, a pushing force rather than a radius explosion, this enables them to do much more damage than a conventional explosion. The one downside with Kinetic Energy Weapons is the ammunition, once out it has no main offensive or defensive weapon, although it still has vipers, raptors and missiles.

The Sovereign class has 16 Phaser banks, each section of the ship has its own capacitor that can hold 1.76x10^18J and takes 5 seconds to drain at full power output by one Phaser and 1.67 seconds to charge to full power, so the energy output is 84 megatons per second. A standard Photon Torpedo would produce 64 megatons = 2.682x10^17J and the quantum torpedo would produce double the energy output 128 megatons, The figure from the Star Trek deep space nine technical manual is 25 isotones = to 64 megatons (remember it is a projectile traveling at about 1/4 the speed of light with a weight of 186.7 kg) = 5.23x10^17J = 124 megatons so the total value of a photon torpedo would be 189 megatons and a quantum torpedo would be 253 Megatons. With 1 megaton being equal to 4.19 x 10^15J. The main benefit from phaser fire is that as long as the ship has power it has an unlimited supply. The phaser's primary purpose is to disable energy shielding, while the torpedo's main purpose is to penetrate the hull and explode inside of the ship causing hull breaches and large amounts of damage to systems.

The defensive systems found on each ship are very different, each design is unique and both systems being very effective at there rolls. The Battlestar uses heavy armour plating with multiple hull levels coupled with the mass of the ship, these vessels can take large amounts of damage before her structure fails. Another great feature are the way Battlestars are designed, most of the critical components are deep within the ship and only some sensors and weaponry are located on the surface, the Battlestar is heavily reinforced to protect the super structure during a nuclear attack and during jumps, both of these cause massive torsion and stress on the ship.
The federation ship has many defensive systems, these include 26 shield generators and armour along the hull. The phaser system can target many objects at once, eliminating the need for defensive flack. The downside to the heavy shielding is the amount of energy required to power them. We know that if the ship takes to much damage or the output is too great th

April 15 2009 at 9:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Rob's comment

Hey Rob

I actually really like your analysis.

For the sake of discussion, I'll assume that your analysis on the weapon's effectiveness is correct.

I'd like to hear your take on the difference in weapon's and scanning range.

I would say that Battlestar's scanning technology wouldn't allow it to see the Enterprise soon enough. The Enterprise's scanners would detect the Battlestar well outside of the range of the Battlestar's scanners.

Enterprise scanners would be able to detect the number of lifeforms, weapons systems, main power location, propulsion specifications, and a map of the Battlestar's corridors before the Battlestar knew that there was a threat.

The Enterprise's effective weapons range is far superior to the Battlestar's. How would they cope with a ship that can outrun and outrange them.

Let's leave out the fact that the Enterprise has teleporters for now. It's more fun that way.

July 28 2009 at 7:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I love both series. But, I agree with most people. The Enterprise and Galactica are way too far apart technologically. The Enterprise has shields, phasers, photon torpedos and, in the "E" incarnation, quantum torpedos. The Galactica has standard 20th century weapons like artillery shells and at most, nuclear missles. The Vipers serve the same purpose as today's jet fighters, and fire the same type of guns. The Enterprise is faster, more manuverable, and better armed.

January 23 2009 at 2:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wow, I'm such a geek for this stuff, and I love this whole premise, but so many of the commenters are completely out to lunch!

Enterprise destroys Galactica without even bothering to call a red alert. Case closed.

Now, to a bunch of erroneous commenters, I have to say, what friggin TV shows have you been watching? If you're geek enough to comment here, you damn well better have your geek facts straight.

Galactica universe HAS NO DIRECTED ENERGY WEAPONS. They rely on bullets. Yes, bang bang bullets. Maybe exploding bullets, but bullets all the same. Watch the show already. They rely on chemically propelled missiles with chemical explosive warheads. They rely on fission nukes. That's it.

Why would NONE of those have any effect on TNG era Enterprise? Active shielding as said many times above. These shields can protect the ship even for short periods inside the friggin corona of a star! You think pathetic megaton rated nukes can degrade shields like that? If so, you are a retard, not a geek. Of course it goes without saying that the weaponry below the nukes in the BSG universe would not even degrade the navigational deflector. That deflector can easily deflect the kinetic energy of meteoroids travelling at a relativistic speed of many tens of thousands of miles per hour. You think that bullets and chemical explosives are even close to .000000000000001% of that? If so, you are a retard.

Some morons have stated that TOS era enterprise was vulnerable to nukes, citing the 1960's fighter episode. WRONG. Enterprise was severely damaged, in the upper atmosphere, and their SHEILD WERE DOWN. Even so, Spok states that the nukes could damage them, NOT destroy them. Since TNG era Enterprise is many orders of magnitude more powerful than TOS era Enterprise, I call RETARD on this.

Vipers. PUHLEEESE! Why are there no fighters in the Star Trek universe? Because they are useless. If they were not, they would exist. They don't exist because tiny ships like that would simply smash themselves against the shields like bugs on a windshield. Come on, can so many of you be so retarded?

Galactica shooting down photon torpedoes. UGH! PEOPLE! YOU ARE REATARDED! Simple logic, dummies, if point defense weaponry could protect against photon torpedoes, all ships in the Star Trek universe would HAVE point defense weaponry. But they DON'T, because you can't defend against photon torpedoes like that. You either dodge, or take the pounding and hope the shields hold. DUH!

Galactica marines vs. Starfleet. Again, the word RETARD comes to mind. As mentioned by some, Enterprise has internal forcefeilds. Simply box up those pathetic bullet shooting marines and gas them. A friggin first year ensign could handle them. So on the ship, forget it. On a planet, forget it too, unless a marine somehow snuck up behind a Fed guy and shot him in the back. Oh, but wait, that could not happen. Why retards? Tricorders is why, retards. No marine could sneak up on Fed troops. EPIC FAIL.

Cylons defeating Borg, are you f-ing high or just retarded? Somebody forgot to tell you to watch the show then? Because if you did, you would have noticed that little bit about the Borg drones having personal energy shields. Only reason why Feds can shoot them for a little while is rotating phaser frequencies. Even that is only good for a few shots until Borg adapt. You think stupid ass bullet (might as well be rocks) shooting poor excuse for a T-800 bots stand the slightest chance? If so, how? Shields prevent Cylons from being able to touch the drones. Sorry retards, EPIC FAIL. As for Cylons hacking? Oh, those masters of hacking that were so inept that they needed Baltar to GIVE THEM THE CODES?
Also, for you lot that obviously don't watch the shows, the Borg are CYBERNETIC, as in they are as much organic as not. Cylons can hack old school computer networks is all, and not even very well. Sorry, the Cylons are so pathetic that the Borg would pass on assimilating them as they do for cultures which are below a certain standard.

As for Cylons trying to engage in ship-ship, not even a retard would think this is possible. Borg shields are stronger than Feds, which are impenetrable by any BSG universe weaponry. Even if somehow the Cylons damaged a cube, did you forget that little bit about the cubes REGENERATING? Sigh...WATCH THE SHOW ALREADY!

Only thing that makes any sense is Adama kicking Picard's ass. I agree on that. But Kirk would tear Adama a new asshole, piss in it, then sew it back up for him to die of sepsis, all without breaking a sweat.

Now, for an interesting meeting of geek universes: BSG arrives at Earth in the Babylon 5 universe. Much closer match, though ultimately League World ships would exterminate any Cylons or Colonials who got uppity. Would be cool for a full Cylon onslaught against the B5

January 23 2009 at 11:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Enterprise and all other ships with the last generation have some kind of armor that makes kinetic (projectile) weapons useless against them.

you see in the series that they are laughting at a 300mt nuke launch at them (shields don't even buldges)

The reasons some thiink the Startrek ships are weak is beacause their opponents are as strong as they are, so their weapons match the federation technology.

To even compare Galactica isn't fair, all their weapons are pre-warp... FTL was devlop by federation but abandon as a poor transportation methods and the risk to shred time/space continium...

Anyway, comaparing pre shield ship would be about the right thing and best thing to do.... Even if Galactica FTL and fire... Red alert would rise the shields in a sec... about 5 sec too soon for their balistic weapons to reach the enterprise and the ptp on galactica could not defend vs photon... since photon goes at warp speed to hit, only ftls ptp system can defend agains these (phasers or micro photon torpido like on Hydrans ships)

Now like a lot of you I would say that Adama is > captain then Picard as he isn't afraid to pick a fight and assume responsabilities.

August 03 2008 at 4:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

A standard torpedo off enterprise has a yeild equivalant to 64.5 megatons, which is a hell off a big blast compared to the average nuke. And bear in mind the federation uses quantum torpedos now, 4 of which destroy an unshielded borg cube. ok, the old torpedos could damage a borg ship, but not badly and the borg adapted. the fact is quantum t's would rip a hole through anything including bsg.

Phasers travel at the speed of light so there would be no escaping from one by big slow bsg moving out of the way.

And enterprises shields would stop anything bsg threw at them, including nukes. if they can withstand torpedo hits then nukes would be as good as flicking peanuts at them! lol.

Borg vs cylon. Hand to hand maybe the cylons would have the borg, but ship to ship, the borg would have them tactically and could adapt to any new weapon attacks the cylons tried.

enterprise nx-01 probably wouldn't have much chance against bsg, and kirk's enterprise may be an even match.

Star Trek wins any day though!!!

June 14 2008 at 6:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ron Chu

wouldnt it be cool when they found earth, being pursued by the cylons, that Starfleet ships arrive to their aid??? Oh man I can hear the sounds of those phasers now picking off those cylon fighters with deadly accuracy.

April 13 2008 at 2:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i'm a fan of both and and i've asked myself this very questioned before and i've think that the galaxy class starship enterprise is more then a match from the battlestar that we all love. i'm sorry to say but its true, the enterprise could sit outside the galactica's weapons range and just simply blast it with its phasers. the enterprise could shoot down the raptors while they were still inside the launch pods or if the enterprise didn't want an all out fight then drop out of warp 40,000 km away beam over a few antimatter bombs or photon torpedoes and warp away and watch the bang on the sensors.

February 25 2008 at 9:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Couple things...

Galactica stands no chance against any SHIELDED Federation ship starship. As for the NX-01, Galactica would have to hit it first. Mayweather?'s stick and rudder expertise and any hack at tactical could take out or dodge those nukes forever.

Second, isn't ALL startfleet technology based on anti-matter? If so, I would think their torpedos are anti-matter based. If I remember physics, nuclear reactions are .8 percent efficient where as anti-matter is 100% anhilation reaction. This would make a pound for pound outclassing of Galactica's strongest weaponry. An Enterprise torpedo would have 125 times the yield of an equally sized Galactica Nuke.

January 08 2008 at 2:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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