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Jedi Cahlwyn
15 February 2003, 10:39 PM
Do we have a solid rank structure for the Alliance Military? I've read the X-wing novels (heck, all the novels to date) and have some old WEG supplements, but I'm not too good at compiling the data to figure out the "true" structure.

Also, I guess the same question pertaining to the Empire would be good. I'm planning a campaign and want rank to be important to the characters. Any suggestions on what they need to do to increase ranks would be helpful as well.

Anywho, thanks!

Rogue Janson
16 February 2003, 03:55 AM
Check out the star wars technical commentaries (http://theforce.net/swtc/) for what's probably the most detailed study of both Imperial and Alliance rank structures.

Vanger Chevane
16 February 2003, 05:46 AM
is Officer Ratings for Fleet and Starfighter Commands.

Apparently everyone in the Flanneled Imperium believe that any sort of Army Life is far to boring to even admit it exists.

Pel
16 February 2003, 02:36 PM
I do know that the Imperial services (and presumably the Alliance's too) have a combined rank structure but I have no idea how they're integrated or even what all the ranks are. Any help out there?

Frobi-Wan Kenobi
16 February 2003, 03:53 PM
Well, it seems from the New Republic Military is slipt into 3 branchs (kind of like the US's 4 branchs). Below is based on the rank structure printed in the Technicial Journal and the X-Wing books.

Navy

Ensign
Lieutenant
Lieutenant Commander
Commander
Captain
Admiral


Army

Lieutenant
Captain
Major
Lieutenant Colonel
Colonel
General


Starfighter

Flight Officer
Lieutenant
Captain
Commander
Colonel
General

Ardent
17 February 2003, 12:54 AM
I think it's actually 5 Mr. Frobi. You forgot SpecForces and then SpecOps/Intel.

It's generally not worth the trouble to overdefine a rank structure you'll exercise very little of. If you want the group to have an NPC CO and the highest ranking PC is a 2nd Lieutenant, then your NPC CO can be a Ground Captain, no sweat off your back. Need a mucky-mucky brass type? General or Admiral is generic and still intimidating.

Frobi, just as a point of reference, it's important to point out that members of Rogue Squadron in the X-Wing novels hold rank according to which branch they belonged to before transferring into the Rogues (which functions essentially like a SpecOp unit), which is why Wedge was a Commander and then gets promoted to General. He bounced between branches. Normally he'd just continue up the naval line to Fleet Captain.

However this CHANGES when Wedge is promoted and transferred to the Army. Rogue Squadron becomes an "Army unit" and everyone is re-assigned a rank in that structure. So, once again, confusion ensues. ;)

Oh, and yes, sometimes this makes me want to kill authors. But then I forgive them because of the whole artistic license thing. But then I just want to kill them again. ::narrow eyes::

Frobi-Wan Kenobi
17 February 2003, 01:22 AM
I would just consider the SpecForce as part of the Army and Intel under a whole different department (since in Destiny's Way the Head of Intelligence is considered to be of the same importance as the Commander of Military Forces). Intelligence would still use a rank structure since most of the members would simply be on permanent TDY to the Intelligence community.

I completely agree with you on the continuity thing. During the first half of the NRE Rogue Squadron is commanded by a Commander (Wedge, Tycho) but in the second half the rank of that position became Colonel (I thinkt that Tycho commanded the unit at that rank and know that Gavin did during the NJOE). The reason that General is at the top of the Starfighter ranks is that their are a couple of Generals in the Rogue Squadron series (General Salm is one and I know that a Wing of A-Wings was commanded by another General in the Wraith books).

What you said about 'overdefining a rank structure' Ardent is right on. But, don't forget that you as the GM have all of the Enlisted Rates at you r disposal too (just not in the Starfighter Corps, except would the mechanics and other support staff come under them?).

The next question would be - 'What are the enlisted rates?' And I'll be the first to say I have no idea.

Deck
17 February 2003, 06:52 AM
Well, as some already mentioned, the rank structure is a bit confusing in my eyes. I also didn't understand the alliance ranks on the SW Technical Commentaries entirely. It's probable that when the movies were made they didn't have a complete design for a ranking structure and instead gave the characters those badges with the funny red and blue points. I tried myself in coming up with a system but failed because you have either make small and large dots (like in one of the computer games) or have circles and filled dots (like Star Trek) or you have to mix blue and red points like on SWTC. Maybe we'll find a solution here... :)

Pel
17 February 2003, 08:39 AM
One could always just adopt the rank system of a real country, like the United Kingdom. It's functional, easy to understand, and time-tested.
Although, in a utopian military, command has more to do with ability than actual rank. Just a thought ;)

Vanger Chevane
17 February 2003, 02:26 PM
all one sees is Occifer Ranks.

Not one word that can be considered close to reliable about Enlisted Ranks of any service.


Take into account that Enlisted make up 60-80% any force and there's a monstrous gap in continuity here.

Frobi-Wan Kenobi
17 February 2003, 02:36 PM
Originally posted by Vanger Chevane
all one sees is Occifer Ranks.

Not one word that can be considered close to reliable about Enlisted Ranks of any service.

First, Occifer = Officer?

Anyway, I believe that there are several references to corporals, sergeants, etc. in the Rules of Engagement as well as in whatever book has info on the Katarn Commandos (if it's not the same).

Ardent
17 February 2003, 03:27 PM
Most heroic characters fall into the officer ranks (commissioned and non-com), anyway. Not a whole lot of PFCs who could really qualify as a hero in the Star Wars sense, frankly.

However, if the point was that there isn't a whole lot of information about non-com ranks, that's fairly true. It's probably best to stick with the basics and not worry about duplicating the complicated and laborious-to-research non-com hierarchy that modern nations possess.

If you think a character should hold a non-com rank, then they're very likely Sergeant material. If they should hold a com rank, then start them at 2nd Lieutenant, Flight Officer or Ensign.

In Star Wars and specifically in the New Republic's jumbled mess of armed forces, it seems very clear that most of the veteran soldiers have been offered and accepted comissions. What does this mean? This means they're enlisted, but comissioned officers. There are almost none, if any, Star Wars commissioned officers who couldn't be considered enlistees in the New Republic military, frankly. The Imperial services had no "boot camp" per se and simply sent all candidates, regardless of desired task, to an Imperial military academy, so almost no Imperial soldier would be an enlisted man, based on the technical definition. Food for thought.

Vanger Chevane
17 February 2003, 03:42 PM
this is great for movies & novels, but not RPG's.

Most characters do not start start out as Great Heroes. Sure, starter Snubbie Jocks are Flight Officers, but yer average Starting Character in the Imperial or Rebellion/NR forces is simply not going to be an Officer.

The near-total lack of any data on what to call a soldier beyond "Hey you" and inability to receive Promotions, or even Demotions does make the game dynamic that much tougher.

Ardent
17 February 2003, 04:11 PM
I disagree. Most of the faceless soldiers in the military fall into the Thug professional class, not the Soldier heroic class. There's usually no reason to define a Stormie's rank, for example, unless they have heroic levels.

If you're forcing your players to struggle through the ranks cut-and-polished you're working them too hard. Heroes defy the standard conventions and are assigned ranks based on merit, not seniority.

Jedi Cahlwyn
17 February 2003, 06:49 PM
Thanks for the replies, several have been useful.


If you're forcing your players to struggle through the ranks cut-and-polished you're working them too hard. Heroes defy the standard conventions and are assigned ranks based on merit, not seniority.

I'm not forcing my players to do anything. They take pride in gaining rank and awards. It is one of the things we liked about LUG's Star Trek RPG. It was a blast to be able to receive rank.

I want to use it like you see it in the X-wing novels and such. Rank comes and goes quickly in the Star Wars universe, and I don't intend to have my characters struggle for it like say in our modern military. I'm not going to make them RP for years to go from Flight Officer to Lieutenant. I want them to work a bit to achieve their ranks. I'm not forcing anything on them though.

Anyway... if anyone comes across another source that has defined rank for the Star Wars universe, please let me know.

Thank you all for your help.