Cardassian protocols

In planning for a reconstruction themed series of Star Trek Adventures taking place in the Cardassian Union after the dominion war, I had a couple of questions: how do you think the Cardassian Union would handle first contact? They had client races in the union, right? Were they as mistreated as the Bajorans?

The Cardassian Union was based on both the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany …

On the West’s propaganda of the CCCP, mind you :grin:


Generally, the Cardassian Union thinks itself as culturally superior to all other nations. This was one big reason for joining the Dominion: They believed they were the rightful rulers of the Alpha Quadrant.

Also, Gul Dukat genuinely believed that the Cardassians did the Bajorans a favor by subjecting them to Cardassian rule and that the Bajorans were just ungrateful children.

This all points to a major superiority complex. I imagine that the Cardassian Union is not warmongering per se. They just believe themselves superior and essentially see other species as dogs: They are neither as intelligent nor as culturally advanced as the Cardassians, and you are actually helping them by putting them to work under your rule. And when the dog bites back, they are ungrateful and need to be put down.

That’s what I think first contact is like. Aliens are never on the same level as Cardassians. Of course, this attitude may have changed after the Dominion War.

I’m not sure if they had other cultures under their rule besides Bajorans. Maybe smaller and less advanced nations. Cardassia Prime is known for having not much natural resources, so it is feasible that the Cardassians need to get those from elsewhere, possibly from inhabited planets.

In any case, the reconstruction theme sounds very interesting. Our campaign plays in the same time period and one huge problem is that Cardassian guls or legates sold off many military assets after the end of the war which lead to a black market filled with Cardassian ships and weapons.


So you see the Cardassians as more like colonial European nations than like Soviet/Nazi’s?

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Quite friendly, actually, as long as the aliens contacted would not pose an immediate threat. Cardassians love to talk; they are very social. Unless you have something they need and/or look stronger than they are or feel.

As far as I remember, only the Bajorans were shown on screen. But in general, that’s a very fair assumption.

Not necessarily. Anyone who would obey Cardassian sovereignty could, in principle, live a serene live, I suppose. In TNG 7x20 “Journey’s End” it was shown that the Cardassians were adamant in their territorial claim on Dorvan V but ready to accept a Human settlement on said planet as soon as the inhabitants accepted Cardassian rule(s).

But it’s also fair to assume that Cardassians would be more racist i.e. believing in and acting out of “Cardassian Supremacy”, so to say. I think that is up to you.

I am not sure whether I would go that far. On the other hand, what they did to the Bajorans could actually qualify as genocide…

Let’s say the Cardassian Union is a totalitarian military dictatorship with virtually no respect for individual freedoms and the readiness to occupy and exploit any planet/civilisation in their wake. :wink:

@Shran We know for a fact they do have more subjects than just the Bajorans…

the former federation colonists in the Badlands. And they learned from their Bajoran conflict… Suppress, not enslave. Still, it generates the Maqis, but every occupation generates its 5th Column. Also, the Dominion war took out most of the warhawk leadership…


You can compare the situation of the Cardassian Union after the Dominion War with Russia in the years after the dissolution of the USSR but with major differences:

  1. The Obsidian Order has been completely destroyed by the Dominon before the war.
  2. The Military has also been nearly obliterated during the last stages of the war.
  3. Cardassia itself lies in ruins.

So unlike Russia who managed to keep itself together the Cardassian Union will break apart because all the client species will push for independence and Cardassia has not enough forces to prevent this.


I think somewhat both. They definitely are Nazis in a sense that they see themselves superior to all others. But they are not so blatantly evil that they eradicate entire people.

If you see Bajor as Africa, then the Cardassians may very well be colonial Europeans. There are many similarities, only that they did not really export slaves, just natural resources.


That is true. The Federation-Cardassian peace treaty placed several originally Federation colony worlds under Cardassian rule. And while they did not enslave them like the Bajorans, they certainly bullied and harassed them, which also gives some insight into how Cardassians treat “aliens”.

In my game, I see post war Cardassia being rebuilt by the UFP and eventually joining it. In the long run, so do the Klingons and the Romulans. Similar to what Roddenberry envisioned for Andromeda.

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“Let’s say the Cardassian Union is a totalitarian military dictatorship with virtually no respect for individual freedoms and the readiness to occupy and exploit any planet/civilisation in their wake.”

Peculiar: This type of society was exalted by peeps like Heinlein (in Starship Troopers, for instance). So it all depends on the eye of the beholder.

Starship Troopers was written as a satire, criticizing militarism.


Not to my knowledge; Heinlein was quite the rightwinger.

Don’t suppose we could drop the real-world political BS now, before it gets really ugly, could we?


I wish I could heart that twice! :+1:

Lets keep it light shall we

I have just watched DS 9 4x05 “Indiscretion” and would like to recommend it as it a) stresses the point I quoted from @Shran and b) gives us some insight into Cardassian (okay, primarily Dukat’s) psychology.

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Dukat is and only sometimes is not, the spirit of Cardassia.

I wish I could tell that to the Cohns n the Yangs!

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