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Monday, June 24, 2019

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 057: Throat-Kicking to a Happy Marriage

In This Episode:
  • Erin and Weer’d talk about Gun Free Zones in the news;
  • The Egghead talks about his new project of building a Theremin for Weer'd;
  • Weer'd Fisks a video on the Brady Campaign Changing Their Name;
  • Oddball is Joined by Panya to tell the story of that one time when he kicked her in the throat;
  • and Loveball returns to the show to tell us about Storyland, a great place for kids in New Hampshire.

Did you know that we have a Patreon? Join now for the low, low cost of $4/month (that’s $1/podcast) and you’ll get to listen to our podcast on Friday instead of Mondays, as well as patron-only content like mag dump episodes and our hilarious blooper reels and film tracks.

Show Notes

Main Topic
Weer’d Audio Fisk
Loveball’s Segment:

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Unknown Armies Episode 8

Hopefully the weirdness is building as the PCs investigate UT Austin and realize that not all is as it seems on campus.

Now that Weer'd Beard is a player (although he missed this session), he's able to clean up to audio for me and reduce the dead air. So a track which used to be 2:46:18 is now 1:55:13. That's much better, both in terms of storage space and listener frustration.

In time I'll go back and correct previous episodes.

Oh, I almost forgot: there's swearing in this one (and, I think, in all previous episodes, but this one specifically had a player ask me to put up a warning) so consider it NSFW.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 056: The Bad News Edition

In This Episode:
  • Erin and Weer’d talk about unprofessional behavior from the NRA 2nd Vice Preisdent, the latest mass shooting in Australia, and the Vox Ad-Pocalypse;
  • Weer'd Fisks Cory Booker and his Presidential anti-gun platform;
  • and David gives us a lesson on some common misconceptions regarding the design of the AR-15.

Did you know that we have a Patreon? Join now for the low, low cost of $4/month (that’s $1/podcast) and you’ll get to listen to our podcast on Friday instead of Mondays, as well as patron-only content like mag dump episodes and our hilarious blooper reels and film tracks.

Show Notes

Main Topic
Weer’d Audio Fisk
Gun Lovers and Other Strangers:

GunGals Live Chat with Scott of Celtic Holsters

It's technically a Gun Gals episode but we're broadcasting on Armintha "That Guy's Wife" Dover's channel tonight!

Sunday, June 16, 2019

A Busy Spring with More to Come

As we close out spring and welcome the beginning of summer, I'd like to take a few moments to let people know all that Operation Blazing Sword and Pink Pistols have accomplished lately.

Training and Education
Operation Blazing Sword continues its pattern of teaching, on average, at least one queer person how to safely operate a firearm every other week. The "at least" disclaimer is important here, as OBS does not require its students to out themselves before our volunteers will teach them due to the immense social pressure against firearm ownership within the queer community. Therefore, it is entirely possible that we trained more than 26 people last year; a number closer to 50 is more likely, and perhaps even more than that.

This is another core component of our mission, because if people don't know we exist then we can't help them. In April I had the privilege of speaking at the University of Mary Washington's Second Amendment Day (you can see video of my presentation here), and one of the attendees was a young gay man named Beau who wanted to learn use firearms for self defense and who wanted to know more, yet was at a loss regarding how to proceed. As a result of his questions, the father of the young woman who ran the 2A Day event offered him his services, which is more impressive than it sounds because her father, Michael Johns, is the rangemaster for the NRA range in Fairfax!

Additionally, we held a raffle for a range day and one of the winners donated their prize to Beau! So now Beau is going to get exceptional training by some of the best instructors in the business, all absolutely free of charge. I cannot and will not take full credit for this -- I didn't make Mr. Johns offer to comp his range time, nor did I make the raffle winner give his prize away, those are both amazing acts of kindness and generosity that belong solely to those people -- but I feel safe in saying that had I not been a speaker, Beau wouldn't have attended (he told me as much) and if he hadn't attended he wouldn't have asked those questions, and if he hadn't asked then he wouldn't have gotten the help he wanted.

Gun Laws
Since Operation Blazing Sword is a 501c3, we cannot agitate politically (endorsing a candidate or denouncing another) without endangering our nonprofit status. However, what we can do is speak out against ridiculous firearms laws, such as New York City's draconian ban on transportation of lawfully owned firearms. To that end, the Pink Pistols -- a division of Operation Blazing Sword since September 2018 -- filed an amicus curae brief in favor of the plaintiff, the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association (NYSRPA). I encourage you to read the entire writ as it's extremely well-written and reads quickly, but in case you don't have time, here are the amazing concluding paragraphs:

Pulse Anniversary
I will close out this post with thoughts on the tragedy which started OBS by Gwen Patton.

Click to embiggen

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Erin Palette and Tony Simon: The Second Amendment Protects Us All

My appearance on "Cam & Company" alongside Tony Simon​ at the 2019 NRA Annual Meeting.

Say what you like about the NRA and/or NRATV, Cam Edwards​ has been a great friend to me personally and to Operation Blazing Sword. He gave me my first nationwide appearance and has had me on his show every year since the founding of OBS. He's a lovely fellow and I can't say enough good things about him.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Interviewed by WMFE Orlando

I was interviewed for the 3rd anniversary of the Pulse terror attack by a local NPR affiliate station.

I held off from posting this because I hoped a longer version of my interview would be published -- it was nearly 30 minutes long -- but instead I'm only given one paragraph at the very bottom of the article and only 3.5 minutes of the interview were embedded.

Still, it's a positive representation of me, my cause, and of gun owners, and hopefully my message will be seen and heard by those who didn't realize Operation Blazing Sword exists and is ready to help them.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 055: Let's Talk About Other Things

In This Episode:
  • Erin and Weer’d talk about the parting of ways between the NRA and Ackerman McQueen, then discuss the shooting in Virginia Beach;
  • Oddball tells us about non-metal knives;
  • Egghead reviews the MantisX Training System;
  • and the ACP House Dick tells a sordid tale involving a GPS Tracker and a bridge over muddied waters.

Did you know that we have a Patreon? Join now for the low, low cost of $4/month (that’s $1/podcast) and you’ll get to listen to our podcast on Friday instead of Mondays, as well as patron-only content like mag dump episodes and our hilarious blooper reels and film tracks.

Show Notes

Main Topic

Oddball’s Corner Pocket

General Purpose Egghead

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Interviewed by the Tactical Leprechaun

This is a great interview of me by CloverTac, aka the Tactical Leprechaun.

In this interview I talk about not just the history and purpose of Operation Blazing Sword, but also my own firearms journey, the history of the Pink Pistols (now an incorporated division of OBS), the problems within the NRA, and the need for a politically neutral pro-Second Amendment advocacy group.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 054: A Passion for Fashion

In This Episode:
  • Erin and Weer’d talk about the new Swiss firearm laws and Erin's recent media appearances;
  • Erin interviews Amanda Suffecool about her brainchild, the Concealed Carry Fashion Show;
  • and David examines the very important issue of "How do you use the restroom or otherwise disrobe when carrying concealed?"

Did you know that we have a Patreon? Join now for the low, low cost of $4/month (that’s $1/podcast) and you’ll get to listen to our podcast on Friday instead of Mondays, as well as patron-only content like mag dump episodes and our hilarious blooper reels and film tracks.

Show Notes

Main Topic
Concealed Carry Fashion Show

Sunday, June 2, 2019

GunGals Live Chat with Michael Sodini of Walk the Talk America

The Gun Gals asked me to come back as a regular, so tune in every Sunday night at 9pm Eastern to listen to our show live, or catch up on YouTube anytime!

Tonight we interview Michael Sodini, founder of Walk the Talk America ... but a surprise guest crashes the interview midway through!

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Making Sense of Star Trek 3: the Classes of Axanar

In my previous post on this subject I defined the various ship classes of Star Trek and their roles within the fleet. Now I'm going to return to where I began this series by explaining how the ship designs of Prelude to Axanar just make sense to me (unlike those of later Treks).

We're going to ignore the Klingon ships, because let's be honest, most fans care more about the Federation ships anyway.

One of the things which I noticed is that the saucers on the first four ship classes, i.e. the ones which existed prior to the Four Years' War (and if you don't know what I'm talking about, go watch Prelude again) have the same radius. Look at the measurements under the names: the first is length, the second is width, and the third is depth. Notice that the second measurement of all four ships is the same: 122 meters. Notice that the nacelles don't extend out further than the saucer, either.

Why is this important? Because it means Starfleet was using standardized saucer sections across ship classes. I don't know about you, but I think that's brilliant, because it suggests to me that Starfleet had standardized specifications for hulls, nacelles, etc and instead of designing a ship wholecloth they just plugged parts into a design to get what they wanted.

Yes, they got the name wrong. I'm guessing there was a last-minute naming convention swap between the Hermes and the Geronimo (see below). 

The USS Hermes, on the far left, is a frigate. (See this post for an explanation of what that means.) It has one engine, meaning it's not very powerful (see my explanation of nacelles = boilers here.) It's obviously a scout which has been retrofitted for war by attaching a weapons "roll bar" to the top of the saucer in order to give it the ability to fire photon torpedoes.

The joy of this is that classes are now configurable for their missions. Do you need a Fast Frigate? Add a second nacelle to the top (this would obviously not be compatible with the rollbar). Need an Endurance Frigate? Add a secondary hull instead... you know, like the USS Kelvin.

Image found on Pinterest

Want a ship with the power of two engines that can also shoot photon torpedoes? No problem, that's the destroyer USS Magellan, just move the mounting points over to accommodate two nacelles on the ventral side and integrate the photorp launcher into the saucer, right above the impulse engines and ready to absorb energy straight from engineering. You can easily see how this design became the USS Reliant.

Want a destroyer with more endurance? Just put a secondary hull onto it and call
it the USS Korolev, a light cruiser. Now it has more flexibility, more sensor power, more small craft.

I'm sure some of you are wondering why it has a notch cut out of the saucer. I contend that it's there to add visual distinction to the design, because otherwise it would be confused with the Magellan class. It already looks like a Magellan with a secondary hull, so adding a cutout increases its visual distinctiveness. It's bad reasoning for a navy, but it makes perfect sense for a movie.

Talking about saucer cutouts brings us to the USS Geronimo (erroneously labeled the Hermes in this picture. I don't know why they decided to halve its primary hull, as its double secondary hulls and dorsal nacelles (a design not seen again until the Constitution) looks plenty distinctive already. I truly can't explain why they gave up so much valuable real estate. But if you look at the top-down picture where the photorp launcher is, you can see that the dome on top of it is in almost exactly the same place as the one on the photorp launcher of the Magellan.

See, I told you they switched the names. 

That one very odd quirk notwithstanding, I really like this ship. It's clearly a medium cruiser and it seems optimized for two things:
  1. Science operations, with its double forward sensor arrays in the navigational deflector dishes of the secondary hulls;
  2. Small craft operations, with a plenty of room for shuttles (and Fast Attack Craft in wartime) in its deep double shuttlebays. 
In other words, it's a carrier that also doubles as a sensor platform -- all the better to coordinate small craft attacks and carry out electronic warfare during battles. 

All of this uniformity of design changed during the war, because as per Prelude to Axanar, the Klingons were handily defeating Federation ships in all battles which necessitated a bespoke design. Still, you can see how the design of the USS Ares is an example of "Like the Korolev, only moreso" with its longer secondary hull and more widely-placed nacelles.

Of course, everyone knows this lady. The Constitution class is certainly dramatic looking, with her long goose neck and swept back nacelles.

From a tactical standpoint, these design choices don't make sense, but it's worth repeating that the Enterprise was designed, first and foremost, to have a striking and unique design for a visual medium. In that sense the designer Matt Jeffries succeeded beyond his wildest dreams, as the Enterprise is still iconic 50 years later. This is, unfortunately, also where Starfleet designs stop making sense to me, with far more exposed parts and each class a custom design with a unique hull configuration.

Thank you for riding with me on this in-depth geek-out regarding the ship classes of Starfleet. I hope you had fun! Leave your comments below. 

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Unknown Armies Episode 7

This is a "building" episode. I've realized that my PCs simply aren't proactive and need to be told "This way towards the adventure", so I have accommodated them by having their reward from last week being "Here's the adventure, go do it, you'll learn stuff."

I also added a new player to the group:  my podcast co-host Weer'd Beard. He's been enjoying listening to these episodes (in fact, I think he might be the ONLY person who listens to them) and wondering why the players didn't ask X or do Y, so I just asked him straight up if he wanted to join the game. As you can see, he said yes.

So now the players are investigating strange going-on at the campus of University of Texas, Austin. Again, I worry that I'm not properly capturing the feel of the Texas Gothic aesthetic and/or the mood of Unknown Armies. I know how those things ought to be in my head, but I'm not sure how to express them properly.

Advice is welcome from my listeners -- but does anyone else listen to this? Or am I just shouting into the void?

Monday, May 27, 2019

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 053: Rights of the Round Table

The crew decided to do the show in a slightly different format. Think of this as a cross between the regular show,  the "on location" shows we do from the road, and an ACP Mag Dump with the potty talk scraped off.

In This Episode:
  • David and Oddball talk about the changes to the Tennessee Carry permits and the political process that got them there;
  • Erin showcases the Pink Pistols Amicus Curae writ on behalf of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association in their case against New York City's firearm transport ban;
  • Oddball explains some new Developments in the New York City case against the "Gravity Knife" ban;
  • Erin discusses the new changes to Florida's Lobbying laws;
  • Steve talks about Rick Ector's Women Shoot in Detroit;
  • and we all spend a little time talking about the NRA and its turmoil.

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Show Notes

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Erin on GunGals Live

Armintha, aka That Guy's Wife, the lady whose interview of me I posted on Wednesday,  invited me to be a guest on her live hangout with her co-hostesses Gunpowder Beauty and Gun Snob's Wife.

This has some stuff you haven't heard before, such as how I struggled with suicidal thoughts as a teenager, as it's 1 hour 13 minutes of us just chatting rather than a structured interview.

I had a great time with these gals and I know they felt the same, as they asked if I'd be willing to come back. My answer "Yes! I'll come back any day you like!"

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

That Guy's Wife Media

I'm in a video! You've probably heard all of this stuff before (I get asked the same questions so I end up repeating myself), but it was taken right after the Concealed Carry Fashion Show by my friend Armintha Caldwell Dover. Please  give her channel (That Guy's Wife Media) some love!

Monday, May 20, 2019

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 052: Touch the Bit

In This Episode:
  • Erin and Weer’d have some  random thoughts but no main topic;
  • Weer'd Brings us the third and final fisk of the New Zealand gun ban;
  • Oddball teaches us how to tell if the store you're in caters to Mall Ninjas;
  • David gives us some tips on how to become knowledgeable on classic firearms;
  • and Weer'd's daughter gives us a review of the drawing instructional site Art for Kids Hub.

Did you know that we have a Patreon? Join now for the low, low cost of $4/month (that’s $1/podcast) and you’ll get to listen to our podcast on Friday instead of Mondays, as well as patron-only content like mag dump episodes and our hilarious blooper reels and film tracks.

Show Notes

Main Topic

Weer’d Audio Fisk

Oddball's Corner Pocket

Gun Lovers and Other Strangers

Kid Review

Monday, May 13, 2019

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 051: The Gang is Back in Town

In This Episode:
  • Erin and Weer’d Talk about how we've decided to make our latest ACP Mag Dump FREE!  Check it out on our Patreon Page to get a taste of what the paying customers enjoy.
  • The General Purpose Egghead returns to talk about stocking ammo for prepping, and he just might slaughter a few sacred cows while he's at it;
  • Weer'd (finally) brings us Part 2 of his fisk of the New Zealand Gun Ban;
  • Oddball's wife Panya steps in and tells us the story of how Oddball made a VERY bad life choice and bought a VERY terrible knife;
  • and David answers Erin's request to talk about the differences of interpretation between Jewish laws and firearm laws.

Did you know that we have a Patreon? Join now for the low, low cost of $4/month (that’s $1/podcast) and you’ll get to listen to our podcast on Friday instead of Mondays, as well as patron-only content like mag dump episodes and our hilarious blooper reels and film tracks.

Show Notes

Main Topic
General Purpose Egghead
Weer’d Audio Fisk
Oddball’s Corner Pocket
Gun Lovers and Other Strangers

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Unknown Armies Episode 6

I know that Unknown Armies is supposed to be about "furious action and transcendental horror", but I really enjoy throwing in loads of Grand High Mystical Weird Shit at the PCs and seeing if they make any sense of it.

Unfortunately, it feels like in this case the PCs didn't have any interest in making sense of things. UA works best if the PCs are proactive, but I think I'll need to break out the Plot Whip (Hyaa! Git along, li'l PCs!) and drive them into "Do stuff or die" territory.

The really interesting thing about this session is that most of the background material is real. The Beto 2020 campaign really is ripping off the Whataburger asthetic, and there really is a profile portrait of him made in a farmer's field outside Austin. I just gave it some magickal significance.

I'm really trying for a "Texas Gothic" aesthetic. Not sure if I'm succeeding.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

ACP Mag Dump #12: NRAAM AAR

In This Episode:
  • After consulting with Weer'd on this, we've decided to open this up to all our listeners so that all of you can hear our analysis of the goings-on at NRAAM. Also, if you're not an Ultimate Access subscriber you might not know what a Mag Dump is like. Here's a free taste so you can decide if you want to up your pledge!
  • But be warned, Mag Dumps are NOT safe for work! We are unscripted and uncensored, so make sure you're listening in a location where f-bombs won't cause distress!
  • Last Week we recorded Episode 50 on the first day of the NRA Annual Meeting, and as you might have heard, this year's meeting was very interesting.  Join Weer'd, Oddball, and Erin as they discuss what they saw, what they think is going on, and of course whatever else comes to mind in this After-Action Report Mag Dump.

Listen to the episode here.

Did you know that we have a Patreon? Join now for the low, low cost of $4/month (that’s $1/podcast) and you’ll get to listen to our podcast on Friday instead of Mondays, as well as patron-only content like mag dump episodes and our hilarious blooper reels and film tracks.

Show Notes

    Wednesday, May 1, 2019

    Concealed Carry Fashion Show

    I'm a model
    You know what I mean
    And I do my little turn on the catwalk at 19:35

    For those who'd like to get a better look at me, here are some pictures courtesy of  the talented Craig Fritz:

    I've just finished crossing the stage and am about to do my first pose for the crowd.

    Amanda told the crowd to "give it up" for me, so I did a little dance.

    This is my favorite photo. 

    At center stage, about to make my big reveal.

    The big reveal!

    The bag I modeled was the GTM (Gun Toten Mamas) 108 Sling Backpack.
    It was VERY nifty and I wish I could have kept it!

    All of us models together on the stage.

    A different angle.

    Monday, April 29, 2019

    Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 050: NRAAM 2019

    In This Episode:
    • This is a show done live from Weer'd and Erin's AirBnB. It isn't as structured as others,  but we do have a big surprise for you!

    Did you know that we have a Patreon? Join now for the low, low cost of $4/month (that’s $1/podcast) and you’ll get to listen to our podcast on Friday instead of Mondays, as well as patron-only content like mag dump episodes and our hilarious blooper reels and film tracks.

    Show Notes

    Friday, April 19, 2019

    My UMW 2A Day Presentation

    For those of you who were unable to watch the livestream of my 2nd annual "2A Day" presentation at the University of Mary Washington, I present to you a recorded version thereof. Be sure to stay for the panel Q&A afterwards!

    Monday, April 15, 2019

    Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 049: The Rough Cut

    In This Episode:
    • Erin and Weer’d talk about the Bumpstock ban and the widespread non-compliance with it;
    • Oddball talks about New York's definition of a "Gravity Knife" and how that law is applied today;
    • Weer'd brings us part 1 of his fisk on the New Zealand press conference discussing the nation's sweeping gun bans;
    • and Sean Sorrentino brings us a guest post talking about that time he attempted to upgrade the trigger on his Ruger Mk III.

    Did you know that we have a Patreon? Join now for the low, low cost of $4/month (that’s $1/podcast) and you’ll get to listen to our podcast on Friday instead of Mondays, as well as patron-only content like mag dump episodes and our hilarious blooper reels and film tracks.

    Show Notes

    Main Topic

    Weer’d Audio Fisk

    Friday, April 12, 2019

    Unknown Armies Episode 5

    As you may have noticed, I enjoy giving my NPCs interesting voices. I might not be able to do an adequate impression of someone, but at least it sounds distinct when they speak.

    I was disappointed that the evening ended when it did, but we were a player short and another one was crashing from fatigue, so it really couldn't have gone on longer.

    I'm also not sure when we'll play again, since next week I'll be in Virginia giving a speech for UMW's second annual 2A Day, and the week after that I'll be in Indianapolis for the NRA Annual Meeting. So I guess sometime in May?

    Regardless, enjoy the episode!

    Tuesday, April 9, 2019

    Making Sense of Star Trek 2: Classes Defined

    See part 1 here.

    What's a destroyer? Is it larger than a frigate or smaller? What purpose does it serve within a fleet? These are the kinds of questions that this article will attempt to answer. But first, a few caveats:
    1. I am not an expert on naval terminology. However, this isn't that big a deal, because...
    2. ... a lot of naval terms aren't consistent even within the same country's navy, let alone across the fleets of different nations. 
    3. There's a difference between surface ships and space ships, obviously, including their roles. 
    4. Therefore, this article's purpose is make sense of Starfleet and to be internally consistent throughout, not to be consistent with other navies. 
    5. I'm going to be using military terminology (because navies are military) which may be a little jarring to some people who believe the fiction that Starfleet isn't a military. 
    Classes, Listed
    Starting with the smallest actual warp-capable vessel and going to largest:
    • Fast Attack Craft
    • Corvettes
    • Frigates
    • Destroyers
    • Cruisers
    • Capital Ships

    DISCLAIMER: In no way is this chart canonical.
    It is, however, the best reference I've found so far. 

    Classes, Defined

    Fast Attack Craft
    On Earth we know these as Gunboats, Patrol Boats, Torpedo Boats, etc. In Star Trek, they are shuttle-sized ships that have warp capability, phasers and/or torpedoes, and a crew of 1-2. FACs have a high impulse speed due to their small mass, but their warp speed is based upon their mission. For example, a FAC designed for patrol will have a lower-rated warp rating, trading maximum speed for endurance, whereas a FAC meant for high-speed attack will be capable of much faster bursts of speed but for a much smaller amount of time, greatly reducing its range. 

    Examples of this are the Federation attack fighter and Maquis fighters, as well as the Danube-class Runabout when equipped with a weapons pod. 

    Corvettes are the first of what you would consider actual ships instead of "boats" or "craft". They have a bridge instead of a cockpit, a captain* instead of a pilot, and an actual crew complement, but they are still quite small in comparison to typical Starfleet ships. Compared to other ships, corvettes are lightly armed and armored (this includes shield strength) and are suited only for specialized roles. Within those roles, they do an exemplary job, but outside of them they are completely inadequate.

    Examples are the Maquis Raider and the Oberth-class science vessel. A Klingon Bird of Prey might be a corvette, depending on which size it is; see Bird of Prey Size Paradox
    * By which I mean "holding the position of ship's captain" rather than "holding the rank of Captain". An actual Captain would not be in command of such a small ship; it's far more likely that this would be the first command of a Commander. See Starfleet Commissioned Officer ranks for more information. 

    While the corvette is the smallest class of ship, the frigate is the smallest ship you'd want to take into battle. In fact, it's the smallest of the Ships of the Line, "the Line" referencing a wet-navy tactic of the 17th to 19th century in which ships would form in columns (aka The Line) and sail past each other while delivering volley fire from their broadside cannons.

    Being warships, frigates effectively outgun anything that doesn't belong to another military; however, being lightly armed, they don't do well against heavier military ships unless there are a lot more frigates than enemy ships. Fortunately, frigates are rather easy to build, which means that wolfpack or swarm tactics are an effective option. In a defensive role, they make great escort ships, either protecting merchant convoys or screening, which is preventing other ships (FACs, corvettes, and possibly larger ships if there are enough frigates) from overwhelming the larger, slower ships in the fleet. In peacetime, frigates  make excellent anti-piracy patrollers and long-distance scouts.

    Examples are the USS Kelvin and the Hermes and Saladin classes. Based on its size and crew complement, the Saber-class is probably also a frigate.

    A destroyer can be summed up as "an average warship". It has good speed, endurance, weapons and defenses, but it is slower than a frigate (which it outguns) and faster than a cruiser (which outguns it). As the name says, the purpose of destroyers is to destroy things, and usually those things are specified within the ship's mission. For example, some destroyers might be optimized to battle swarms of smaller craft like FACs but be unable to hold their own against frigates; others might be glass cannons, designed to destroy larger vessels but unable to defend themselves effectively. Pairing a destroyer with several frigates makes a useful fighting element where the strengths of one class compensate for the weaknesses of the other.

    The USS Defiant is both an excellent and terrible example of the class. On the one hand, it is specifically designed to destroy ships larger than itself; on the other hand, it is both smaller than expected (sized more like a frigate) and punches well above its weight (it fights more like a cruiser). The USS Prometheus is also likely a destroyer, although its size in comparison to other Starfleet vessels, as well as it its crew complement, is unknown; this assumption is based on the ship being designed for "deep space tactical missions", i.e. battle, and it's ability to split into three elements for said battle.

    Other examples are hard to come by, as the writers of Star Trek like to think that Starfleet isn't a military and therefore don't have dedicated warships, the Defiant and Prometheus notwithstanding. However, hazarding a guess based on ship size, crew complement, and armament that even the Enterprise lacks -- dual aft torpedoes and fore/aft "mega phasers" affixed to the weapons "rollbar" -- the Miranda-class USS Reliant could be a large destroyer. Ships of similar volume and known to be used in wartime are the USS Centaur and the Constellation-class.

    The Pasteur is another good atypical example; even though its size makes it more like a light cruiser, its highly specialized mission as a hospital ship (i.e. a destroyer that doesn't destroy anything) means it relies on support ships for protection in fleet operations.

    Interestingly enough, cruisers are hard to define in terms of size because in both real life and in Star Trek there are several types of cruiser: light, medium, and heavy (sometimes known as battlecruisers or "pocket battleships"). In light of this I have chosen to define a Starfleet cruiser as "any starship larger than a destroyer which is capable of operating independently of a fleet or other support vessels for a sustained period of time." Cruisers have a good mix of offensive and defensive capabilities (see "operate independently") and can be good "jack-of-all-trades" ships.

    The ur-example of a Starfleet cruiser is the Constitution-class USS Enterprise,  and the Excelsior might have been a heavy cruiser of its time (if so, it's a perfect representation of the pocket battleship); in the TNG era, the increased size of ships would result in it being downgraded to a medium cruiser at best. Intrepid-class explorers are an excellent example of a TNG-era light cruiser, with both the Ambassador and Akira classes filling the role of medium cruiser and Nebula-classes as heavy cruisers.

    Capital Ships
    This is another name which is sure to cause dissension within the ranks of hard-core Star Trek aficionados, but what else would you call the Enterprise-E, a ship bristling with planet-busting weapons and by itself able to turn the tide of battle against a Borg cube, or its even larger predecessor the Enterprise-D? These ships are unquestionably the flagship of any fleet action and often have battle groups built around them.
    "These characteristics define a capital ship: if the capital ships are beaten, the navy is beaten. But if the rest of the navy is beaten, the capital ships can still operate. Another characteristic that defines capital ships is that their main opponent is each other." - William S. Lind, America Can Win, p. 90
    The capabilities of capital ships are well-known thanks to seven seasons of The Next Generation and subsequent movies. Their main drawbacks are being slower than smaller ships (the Enterprise-E has a maximum speed of Warp 8) and a vulnerability to being swarmed by smaller vessels. Even with their ability to engage multiple opponents at once, too many ships can overwhelm their defense grid if they are attacked on multiple vectors simultaneously. Eventually a capital ship becomes a large, slow-moving target, and while some of the swarming ships will undoubtedly be destroyed, enough will get through and do damage. After all, that's how the Federation defeated the Borg cube in First Contact.

    In my next post I'll show my work and explain how all of this ties in to Prelude to Axanar

    Monday, April 8, 2019

    Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 048 Take 2: Technical Incompetents

    In This Episode:
    • Erin and Weer’d talk about several wins for the Second Amendment in the last few weeks;
    • Weer'd brings us part 2 of his fisk of Dr. Joseph Sakran's testimony in favor of universal background checks in the House hearing on gun violence;
    • Oddball gives us his take on knife clips and the the pros and cons of their orientation;
    • and David tells us more of his horror stories as a gun armorer.
    Listen to the episode here.

    Did you know that we have a Patreon? Join now for the low, low cost of $4/month (that’s $1/podcast) and you’ll get to listen to our podcast on Friday instead of Mondays, as well as patron-only content like mag dump episodes and our hilarious blooper reels and film tracks.

    Show Notes

    Main Topic
    Weer’d Audio Fisk

    Wednesday, April 3, 2019

    I'm a model, you know what I mean / And I do my little turn on the catwalk

    So, this is happening.

    I'm honored, and flattered, and more than a little intimidated to be a part of this, especially since all of the other women who are participating are freaking gorgeous. Hell, even the men look better than I do!

    Also, I am legitimately befuddled to be called an icon. I can't be that important -- I don't even have a Wikipedia page!

    Anyway, if you'd like to attend the Concealed Carry Fashion Show in Indianapolis, it's on Saturday, April 27 (NRAAM weekend). The doors open at 5 pm, the event starts at 6:30, and it lasts until 8 pm.

    The tickets cost $40 each, which I know is significant, but it benefits two Second Amendment charities: the Indiana State Rifle & Pistol Association and REALIZE Firearms Awareness Coalition.

    Go here to buy your ticket:

    Monday, March 25, 2019

    Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 047: Honestly Bad For You

    In This Episode:
    • Erin and Weer’d are obligated to talk about the recent mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand;
    • Weer'd Brings us a fisk of Dr. Joseph Sakran as he testifies in favor of universal background checks before the US House of Representatives;
    • Oddball invites his wife to tell a story on why she holds a grudge against CRKT knives;
    • and Steve tells us about trap and blind lines, and how a Private Investigator might use them.
    Listen to the episode here.

    Did you know that we have a Patreon? Join now for the low, low cost of $4/month (that’s $1/podcast) and you’ll get to listen to our podcast on Friday instead of Mondays, as well as patron-only content like mag dump episodes and our hilarious blooper reels and film tracks.

    Show Notes

    Main Topic
    Weer’d Audio Fisk
    Gun Lovers and Other Strangers:

    The Fine Print

    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial- No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

    Creative Commons License

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