Star Trek: Martok’s Cavalry Raid – Battle Analysis

Star Trek: Martok’s Cavalry Raid – Battle Analysis

In the early months of 2375, the Dominion
War was at its most violent, with battles raging across the quadrant almost incessantly.
The Dominion’s entrenched supply lines and famed ability to construct ships at high speed
allowed them to maintain a level of pressure on the Federation Alliance that prevented
them from staging a serious counterattack. It was General Martok of the Imperial Klingon
Defence Force that finally proposed a solution to this problem. The General assembled a small
but nimble force of five B’rel Class Birds of Prey at the Federation Starbase Deep Space
Nine. These vessels and their volunteer crews were considered entirely expendable, and the
high probability of loss even inspired Martok to leave his usual flagship, the IKS Rotarran,
in drydock, instead taking temporary command of the IKS Ch’Tang. Martok planned a sequence
of rapid attacks on dominion installations across the sector, none of which were intended
to actually destroy the facilities, but rather to interrupt their normal functions, and force
them to undertake months of repair, creating vital breathing room for the Federation Alliance.
The Federation starship Defiant was placed at the head of a 7-ship flotilla and stationed
at a rendezvous point in the Kalandra sector, this would allow the Klingon raiding force
to lead any hostile craft into the Federation’s line of fire should they fall under pursuit.
The most important target selected by Martok was a Planetside Starbase on Trelka V. Upon
entering the Trelka system, Martok dispatched the warships Malpara and Ning’tao ahead
of the squadron to perform a single strafing run against the base and then retreat while
keeping the rest of his forces under cloak, the purpose of this move was to deceive the
Dominion Garrison into believing the attack was over, prompting them to lower their alert
condition and deploy their damage control teams. The Malpara and Ning’tao successfully
destroyed two defence towers in dive bombing attacks before withdrawing as planned, during
their escape they fell under attack by a Cardassian Galor Class Destroyer and the Malpara was
lost with all hands. As the Cardassians continued to pursue the Ning’tao, they left their
ground facilities undefended, and the base deployed its repair crews exactly as Martok
had predicted. Decloaking the rest of his forces, Martok was able to wipe out the vulnerable
repair crews and inflict major damage on the starbase facility.
During the final strafing run, General Martok was briefly incapacitated, and command fell
to the legendary Dahar Master Kor, who had requested a commission aboard the Ch’Tang.
In the confusion, Kor deviated from Martok’s strategy by continuing the attack long after
the planned withdrawal, this decision led to heavy losses aboard the IKS Orantho including
their captain and first officer, as well as causing serious damage to the rest of the
Klingon Fleet. Eventually Kor was removed from command and the retreat order was given,
allowing the four surviving birds of prey to reengage their cloaking devices and escape.
After assessing their losses and damage, Martok elected to move his fleet to the Federation
Rendezvous point to consolidate and recover before moving to the next target, but after
a few hours of travel at warp factor 7, the Ch’Tang detected a force of ten Jem’Hadar
attack ships that had used some manner of advanced sensor system to locate the fleeing
Klingon vessels in spite of their cloaking devices. Slowed by engine damage to their
ships, the Klingon force was unable to outrun their pursuers, and estimated that the Dominion
fleet would catch up with them in less than two hours, one hour and 45 minutes before
they could reach the Defiant and it’s support ships.
Faced with no alternative, Martok’s first officer Worf, proposed a self-sacrificial
plan to delay the enemy fleet and allow the Klingon vessels to escape. He offered to take
command of six volunteers aboard the IKS Ning’tao, the least damaged of the remaining Birds of
Prey, and to break formation with the intention of engaging the enemy fleet long enough for
the rest of the Klingon squadron to reach their Federation allies. On his way to take
command of the Ning’tao, Worf was ambushed and knocked unconscious by Kor, who had decided
to redeem himself for his actions at Trelka V by leading the doomed mission in Worf’s
place. Decloaking and dropping out of formation,
Kor and the Ning’tao closed on the Dominion Fleet. Upon reaching weapons range they engaged
an inverse graviton pulse that forced the Jem’Hadar ships to reset their drive units
before they could resume pursuit, this pulse was followed up by a full spread of torpedoes
from the Ning’tao, that confused the sensors of the Dominion vessels and threw them off
balance for the opening moments of the attack. Shortly afterward, all telemetry from the
battle was lost, but the final reports suggested that the Jem’Hadar formation had collapsed,
and that the crippled Ning’tao continued to hold the enemy fleet in their tracks.
Ten minutes later, the Ch’tang’s sensors confirmed that the Dominion fleet was no longer
able to catch the three remaining Birds of Prey before they reached the rendezvous point.
Though the specific details of Kor’s sacrifice could never be learned, there was no doubt
that his actions had saved the fleet and the lives of every warrior aboard the Ch’Tang,
Orantho and Slivin, and as the remains of Martok’s fleet reached the safety of the
rendezvous point, the bridge crew of the Ch’Tang drank a toast in honor of the fallen Dahar

About the author


  1. Follow us at and join us at 20:00 BST Tommorrow (16/09/18) for some Star Wars: The Old Republic!

  2. I use this strategy in Stellaris when a larger faction declares war on me. I'll have some torpedo boat type corvettes move deep into enemy systems and attack their orbital resource stations, forcing the enemy to respond, while I build up my main fleet.

  3. Very nice video, Stardock and one of my favorite episodes. You should take a look at the Descent Freespace universe or the Battletech universe. Battletech canon in particular is short on naval battles but the ones it does have – like the brief but critical space battle over Radstadt – might make for a fun video.

  4. I'm curious how come they didn't have a cloaked Klingon bird-of-prey just sitting there so if everybody done hauled ass transport 1000 Megaton nuke to the basement of that complex cuz it would not be expecting it and then slowly hug the ground as you're leaving so not picked up in any form or fashion go around to the space station it was floating over the planet sneak up on it transport all the people into space from it rip out any information out of its computers and let a couple of space mines around it as the base on the planet is destroyed completely even a massive crater in the ground just a thought

  5. LoLz, it was weird to hear you announce the date of tomorrow when you'd be making that stream as it's my birthday, just odd to hear it.

  6. The song the bridge crew sung in closing was just epicly glorious and indicative of honoring an old warrior's sacrifice. You should have added it to the video if it was allowed.

  7. Mi' qul qar'a'
    'ej Do' QI' la'
    QI' DO' Sum, qarI' Do' QI'la'
    Sutem pa' rI' tlho'
    mara' 'e' qor


    DaSo' pa qareH
    QI' ro'qa'
    ro' qa'
    ro' qa'
    ro' qa'

  8. Using WW2 Naval tactics in Star Trek was one of the greatest ideas ever put to screen. I've always had a problem with ship tactics used in the different series, sometimes they just sit there and trade fire and other times they go in straight lines like they are not in a vacuum. Even the bigger ships maneuver in 3 axis so they should use that capability. For The EMPIRE!

  9. I'd love to be able to see this as a valiant last stand, but… he's solving a problem he created himself. It won't bring back the people lost due to his previous failings.
    I do feel with him, a lot. I can understand. But it was still reckless of him to enforce his leadership for the mission, after he already realized how even he himself can't trust his own senses anymore. Pure vanity, endangering everyone for the chance to atone and to go out in a blaze of glory.

  10. You made a mistake in the animation that started at 3:30. You had 5 Birds of Prey, but it was actually only 4 since one was already destroyed.

  11. What video editing wizardry did you use to make the widescreen crop of the battle look good even though the series is only in 480p?

  12. Hate to actually criticise you but at 0:32 you say a force of five ships; at 2:05 one is destroyed; so why exactly are there still five klingon ships in the tactical display from 3:30 onward? Something does not add up

  13. Kor, the Da' Har Master….yet LIVES!….fueled by the blood lust of battle, Kor and his small crew beamed over to one of the Jem' Hader's damaged shipS right before the warp core detonated on the Bird of Prey….with brutal and legendary hand to hand attacks, they slayed the crew and took over the raider….
    While flying back to the Jem' Hader front…..Kor ordered a daring warp jump into an uncharted nebula(but not before destroying two additional raiders in a back stabbing attack)…lost for days in the nebula, Kor and his small crew discovered a lone habitable planet……

  14. That was a great episode and an honorable sacrifice for Kor. May the songs of his bravery and that of his crew ring loud and wide.

  15. Kor the first Klingon we ever saw in TOS was given the death that Kirk was denied by Brandon and Braga. "Kor died on the bridge instead of under one"

  16. I know its knit-picky, but there were only 4 ships fleeing the Jem'hadar, not 5. One of the raiders was destroyed while attempting to escape.

  17. It makes me wonder how anyone could mistake the Martok changeling for Martok. The Martok changeling had no strategic or tactical skill, as was demonstrated at the 1st battle of Deep Space 9, while Martok could come up with strategies and tactics like these.

  18. Once the Romulans got involved in the war, they should have suspended the anti cloak segment of the treaty of Algeron so the entire alpha quadrant Alliance could cloak, (maybe get a few concessions from the Federation in return, plus the agreement that once the war is over, the Feds go back to non cloaking). Federation ships are faster, so they could use this same tactic very effectively. But then they could also install surge protectors on all consoles, at least they aren't as incompetent as Star Wars Imperials.
    And the Cardassians Obsinian order had Romulan cloaks, shouldn't the Dominion have got access to them when they took over?

  19. Hey Spacedock, is there a reason you haven't touched the ships and technology of the X Universe?
    There's tons of different ship- and stationtypes, weapons and technology. And especially the ATF ships have some of the most beautiful designs in sci-fi ever.

  20. Not really an analysis, more of a summary. Which is fine, good episode and all that. But you didn't really add any of your own thoughts to the summary.

  21. Savor the fruit of life, my young friends. It has a sweet taste when it is fresh from the vine. But don't live too long. The taste turns bitter… after a time.

  22. Nice vid, but you made a mistake: when the B´rel retreated they were only 4, not 5 like your graphics show.
    One of the five ships was destroyed, after all.

  23. This wasn't an analysis. You explained the events of the fight, but at no point did you actually analyse them. The video was good for what it was, but it's not what the title said it was. Very disappointing.

  24. They really should've depicted Kor's final battle in the series. I know air-time is limited, but I say if you're going to have a side-character like Kor go out fighting, you should damn well show it.

  25. Unfortunately, this happens at my work all the time. The arsonist puts out the fire the started… and get's an award. He should first be remembered for getting a bunch of people killed.

  26. This is pretty much what happened at Leyte Gulf in WW2. Specifically, the battle of Samar, since the battle of Leyte Gulf was actually comprised of several separate engagements. Nevertheless, kudos to DS9 for using it for this episode, it WAS epic!

  27. A great analysis of a great battle in one of the greatest Star Trek Series. DS9 was allways the best from the plots and most of the space battles.

  28. So um, what is the Battle Analysis? All you did was recap the episode. I mean did you read it off IMDB? The most analysis you did was say that attacking the outpost would disrupt the dominion and give the feds breathing room. That word you keep using, I do not think it means what you think it means.

  29. I loved this episode of DS9. I was in tears, but I also knew that the episode showed what honorable warriors the Klingons were. DS9 showed, on many occasions just how bad ass a true, and honorable Klingon Warrior was.

  30. Great video. Though i have to be nitpicky; This is a recount or report, not an analysis. For that you would have to…you know, analyze and evalueate and compare tactics and stuff :_D

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