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View Full Version : On the stupidity of the Imperial Army and how to alleviate it.



pilnick1944
22 March 2005, 09:24 AM
My apologies if this is only an echo of any old topics.

I was thinking a lot about the Imperial Army and the extent of stupidity it displays.

Primo: combat tactics. This goes to the AOTC and to the TPM (in a lesser degree) as well as the Rebel Alliance Sourcebooks from WEG.
Man!!! How can be anyone so stupid as to deploy infrantry in large anitque chunks?!? That's not the way to fight a war with blasters if you put your infrantry in such large, compressed groups where they can be mowed down by repeaters, large-scale blasts, etc. Okay, in AOTC it's a bit better, as the clones rush out in a tyralliere-esque manner... Though it reminds me of the Red Army during WW II. Which is not a big compliment for the so-called highly-trained Clone Troopers...
What is more probable is the squad-level action and armour pincer movements, air support, etc... I mean, more credible - at least to me. Enlighten me if I err.

Secundo: camouflage. Imagine:
Endor moon. Green forest everywhere around.
-Hello! Guys! I'm soooo cool. I'm a scouttrooper, you know. Didn't see me coming, huh?
-Actually, we've seen you and the rest of the white guys from the moment you've landed on this moon.
So. Take a handful of examples from 20 c. history - the soldier wants to stay alive so he camouflages himself. German soldiers painting their feldgrau helmets to suit the theatre of war more fittingly. Using cammo uniforms since mid '43. Using the white winter uniforms to stay virtually invisible in winter. Americans painting their faces in 'Nam, etc.
Now think how the heck can a Scouttropper scout anything if he's seen from a long, long way away? I believe the only trooptype that uses cammo are the Stormtroopers. The elite of the elites. And what about the rest? I'm sure they don't want to make themselves into obvious targets for Rebel sharpshooters.

Tertio: weaponry.
The average stormtrooper uses only their E-11. With the exception of the squad leader, who - if I am not mistaken - uses a light repeating blaster. So we would have a squad with enormous firepower at close quarters, weak firepower at mid distances and practically nil firepower further than that. It's in line with stormtrooper units resembling SS shock troops, okay, but it's more fitting to give the stormies something to shoot with on longer distances in adequate theatres of war.
Like during the attack on Hoth. Those snowtroopers actually used E-11s, didn't they? What courage.
Also, I imagine the snipers would use slug-throwers - so as to not give away their position upon firing. Or are there any muzzle-flash suppressors (I think I've read something about them in real-life)?

Any comments?

Kordeth
22 March 2005, 10:34 AM
Well, Star Wars isn't really intended to be a realistic war movie--but I do agree that, if you want to run any kind of gritty military action game in the Star Wars universe, you have to rewrite a lot of things.

Rostek
22 March 2005, 10:43 AM
Originally posted by pilnick1944
My apologies if this is only an echo of any old topics.

I was thinking a lot about the Imperial Army and the extent of stupidity it displays.

Primo: combat tactics. This goes to the AOTC and to the TPM (in a lesser degree) as well as the Rebel Alliance Sourcebooks from WEG.
Man!!! How can be anyone so stupid as to deploy infrantry in large anitque chunks?!? That's not the way to fight a war with blasters if you put your infrantry in such large, compressed groups where they can be mowed down by repeaters, large-scale blasts, etc. Okay, in AOTC it's a bit better, as the clones rush out in a tyralliere-esque manner... Though it reminds me of the Red Army during WW II. Which is not a big compliment for the so-called highly-trained Clone Troopers...
What is more probable is the squad-level action and armour pincer movements, air support, etc... I mean, more credible - at least to me. Enlighten me if I err.
Because it looks really cool on-screen, and more importantly is easy to shoot/create because of the compressed nature of the groups. :)
The Red Army is a good compairison- more than likely Lucas based the scene off of old Red Army newsreels (as he based the 1st Death Star scene off of The Dam Busters, among others).
Realistically, there would of course be movements more in line with "Modern Warfare", but that's not easy to film. When running a game, just go off tactics used by postwar Soviet, US, British, French, German, etc. armies- that would be about as "realistic" as you can get.



Secundo: camouflage. Imagine:
Endor moon. Green forest everywhere around.
-Hello! Guys! I'm soooo cool. I'm a scouttrooper, you know. Didn't see me coming, huh?
-Actually, we've seen you and the rest of the white guys from the moment you've landed on this moon.
So. Take a handful of examples from 20 c. history - the soldier wants to stay alive so he camouflages himself. German soldiers painting their feldgrau helmets to suit the theatre of war more fittingly. Using cammo uniforms since mid '43. Using the white winter uniforms to stay virtually invisible in winter. Americans painting their faces in 'Nam, etc.
Now think how the heck can a Scouttropper scout anything if he's seen from a long, long way away? I believe the only trooptype that uses cammo are the Stormtroopers. The elite of the elites. And what about the rest? I'm sure they don't want to make themselves into obvious targets for Rebel sharpshooters.
Well, on Endor, it could be postulated that the scout troopers are in white in order to keep the Ewoks at a distance. Primitives are generally cautious around guys in weird, bright white skin, after all. Even if they knew the Rebels were around, Palply wanted them to attack the bunker, so probably didn't care to disguise his troopies too much. And if they're going to get ambushed by the bunker, then there is really no need to camo up his stormies.


Tertio: weaponry.
The average stormtrooper uses only their E-11. With the exception of the squad leader, who - if I am not mistaken - uses a light repeating blaster. So we would have a squad with enormous firepower at close quarters, weak firepower at mid distances and practically nil firepower further than that. It's in line with stormtrooper units resembling SS shock troops, okay, but it's more fitting to give the stormies something to shoot with on longer distances in adequate theatres of war.
Like during the attack on Hoth. Those snowtroopers actually used E-11s, didn't they? What courage.
Also, I imagine the snipers would use slug-throwers - so as to not give away their position upon firing. Or are there any muzzle-flash suppressors (I think I've read something about them in real-life)?

Any comments?
Well, the E-11 is a good gun- fair range (better than most think, anyhow), good damage potential; but like all military hardware, it's a comprimise. It's got a max effective range of around 300 meters (iirc), which is more than enough in most cases, especially if you can usually hit within 60 or so. It's the German theory of squad design from WWII. The Germans built their squads around a machine gun (MG-38, or MG-42) and the rest of the squad sported submachine guns or bolt action rifles. Later, they would have (extrapolating if they had the industrial capacity) carried assault rifles, I.E. the E-11 style gun.

scott2978
22 March 2005, 10:57 AM
1. Of course, as with all things Star Wars, they must be taken with a grain of salt since we are talking about a fictional universe with certain basic laws that defy those of our own galaxy (like sound in space). We have to keep in mind that the actions we see on screen are engineered for one purpose: entertainment of the audience watching the film. Things like using viable tactics, white camoflage in a jungle and blaster sniper rifles that leave a streak of brilliant red energy in the air are all done with a flair for the dramatic, with less consideration for plausability in the real world. But, if we were to import those things into a real life scenario...

2. As for the Empire's tactics, there are a few things to consider. In general the Empire is the strongest military force in the galaxy during the time of the trilogy. the tactics like those used on Hoth are viable when taken in context. The Hoth rebel troopers making a stand on the North Ridge were a diversion, to draw Imperial effort away from the launch bay and the power generator and delay their progress until the rebel forces could escape. The Empire didn't really employ Snowtroopers except in the mopping up of the North Ridge and in the breaching of the Rebel command base. I may be mistaken but I don't recall seeing any snowtroopers on the ground when the AT-ATs are marching along.

3. As for camoflage, the Empire's forces on Endor didn't need to be stealthy. Since the whole thing was a trap for the Rebel commandos in the first place, it didn't matter if the Scout Troopers were noticed or not. Note also that somehow, even with white armor and deployed scout walkers, the rebel commandos failed to notice an entire Legion of nearby Stormtroopers! Speculating on this, my opinion is that for the Empire, it's better to employ some type of cloaking device to hide your troops until the right moment, and then unleash them in their fearsomly familiar white armor, or in the case of offensive operations, nobody is going to miss a Star Destroyer in orbit launching Landing Barges full of Stormtroopers... so there is no need for camoflage then either. The whole Endor equasion is not so much a curious failure as when you examine it from the perspective of the victorious Ewoks... defeating an entire legion of the Emperor's hand-picked best Stormtroopers. Not bloody likely is it? But, this leads us back to #1 above. To summerize, the Empire doesn't really need camoflage. They take the stance that "being frighteningly visible is better than hiding". Since they can apparently become invisible at will when needed, it makes some sense.

4. As for the Empire's weaponry, it seems rather well suited to the task if you ask me. Stormtroopers are rarely employed in large scale conventional battles where range is part of the equasion because in "modern" battles, the Empire can simply pull up in a Star Destroyer, bombard the planet from orbit for a while, then drop it's Stormtroopers directly on the enemy command and control facilities. Or, in cases like Hoth, where dropping directly onto the enemy base is impractical or imposible, the Empire can employ heavy armor (AT-ATs, AT-STs) troop carriers to penetrate the enemy perimeter, and then drop the Stormtroopers onto the enemy base from those instead of from orbit. Stormtrooper duties obviously include boarding actions as well, a situation where cumbersome, long range weapons with lots of firepower are undesireable. No sence in punching holes in the hull and venting the atmosphere into space with an E-Web when an E-11 will do just fine. As in real life, the weapons used can dictate the tactics, or vice versa, depending on the nation's doctrine. The Imperial doctrine is more heavy handed, requiring more generalized troops and less specialized ones. When your attack playbook includes a few plays, all of them offensive and all of them involving dropping your troops directly on the enemy's front porch, you don't have much use for a sniper rifle.

Scott

pilnick1944
22 March 2005, 11:42 AM
Well, Scott, I DO agree with all the things you have written, as well as I agree with Rostek - yes, on second thoughts the Empire WANTED to be seen on Endor.

But that doesn't change the fact that the scouts are of little value if they stay the way they are.
That stormies are inflexible. However, when I was writing the previous post, I had in mind the weapon descriptions from WEG Rebel Alliance Sourcebook... Which - as it turns out - is to be blamed for stupidity, since the Rebel blasters are 'better' than E-11s because they pack more range... Range which, as Scott rightly points out, is unnecessary on the modern battlefield. At least for a line-trooper.
And, yeah, Rostek, thanks for specifying - I hadn't thought of the E-11 as an equivalent of an assault rifle, somehow I thought it was the echo of the Mp-40s.

You guys helped to redeem the Imperial Army in my eyes, a bit! :stormtpr:

McBride
22 March 2005, 12:33 PM
With respect to camoflage and the scout troopers, there are suits of armour that incorporate camo fields for scouts. I don't recall what sourcebook it's in, but I think it's the Rebel SpecForces guide for D6. It's essentially scout trooper armour with a built-in generator that mimics surrounding environment when stationary and moving slowly. It is likely that in situations calling for stealth that the Imperial Scout Troopers would be issued similar suits of armour.

A similar system could also have been used to mask the presence of the stormtroopers on Endor for the ambush, or at least used to explain why they weren't noticed, aside from it being part of the story.

(NRN) Brotz
26 March 2005, 01:26 PM
http://www.theforce.net/swtc/insignia/empire.html
http://www.galacticempiredatabank.com/EmpireTroops.html

Well, let's remember the Stormtroopers and the Imperial Army are two very different things.

Anyways......Let's remember that the armor was created in mass by the Kaminoans, and the armor was very advanced. Palpatine's first priority was to inspire terror in the galaxy. Stormtroopers were Palpatine's tool in accomplishing that.

But using Stormtroopers as normal army troops was too expensive and timely, so they designed the Imperial Army as a minimally trained troop that can hold worlds from the Rebellion.

In the movies, it doesn't display the true Imperial arsenal of weapons. In the Jedi Knight game series, some stormtroopers are armed with repeating guns w/ concussion launchers. Besides, in the OT, the Imperials never expected resistance in the form it came in. Han Solo and Chewbacca had skill and experience with avoiding stormtroopers that most Alliance Special Forces members lacked.

On a Death Star, who would expect a human smuggler with a Wookiee to come onboard with a YT-1300 Transport. The Imperials weren't expecting resistance like that. Besides, heavy weapons were likely to do more carm than good. Solo and Chewbacca were mostly fighting in close-quarters. The stormtroopers weren't sucuidal (as I said, very low quality stormies in the movies).

But let's remember: Palpatine was over confident. He kept making the same mistake over and over again until the Empire had taken snificant loses ESB through ROTJ.

McBride
26 March 2005, 05:44 PM
All very good points. I just wanted to add that the only time regular army soldiers are seen at all in the Original Trilogy is in the role of vehicle crews, and therefore weren't expecting their position on the battlefield to be questioned. the prime example of this is on Endor, where the Walker crew is dragged out and their walker is commandeered. The arrogance and self-assuredness that came with their imperial indoctrination caused them to feel secure that no one would try to steal a fearsome imperial war machine, let alone try and attack it or its crew on foot.

Second, the Imperial forces were essentially fighting their first real war. Sure there was the purge and the Clone Wars and the various subjugations, but those didn't really test the Army in any way. So with that in mind, the Imperial forces didn't really fare all that badly for being a relatively untested force fighting an irregular war.

I agree that the Empire could have done better, such as not repeating the same mistakes over and over, but the fault does not lie with the Army itself, but rather with Imperial Doctrine. The Empire throws troops at the enemy wave after wave as a fear tactic, not because it works. It marches it's troops into combat in archaic block formations for the same reason. It is far more terrifying to have the enemy marching at you as a seemingly impenetrable line, rather than individual squads working on their own. Much of the shortcomings in Imperial tactics and strategy stem from this driving need of theirs to instill fear in their enemies at all costs.

As to the weapons of the Imperial Army and the Stormtroopers, which are, as was noted, seperate entities, they're suited to the role that ground troops have in the Imperial war machine. The Empire does as little fighting on foot as can be managed. Why dismount vulnerable troops when a wave of walkers can both decimate and demoralize an enemy? Sure, this doesn't work so well in urban environments, but in urban environments the E-11 and Stormtrooper One have all the range that is needed. When the situation calls for it, the Army has other, heavier weapons to put to use. They have the PLEX Missile launcher for AA and AV roles, the Golan Arms Flechette Launcher for taking out infantry formations and light vehicles. They have snper rifles, such as the Sharpshooter V, and Imperial Special Missions and Imperial Intelligence/ISB have the Xerol Nightstinger with it's invisible bolts. None of these weapons show up in the movies, but the point is, they do exist and the Empire does use them when the situation demands, such as against rebel starfighters or captured repulsor tanks.

In short, while the Imperial Army does seem to be inept and totally inefficient, that is only due to a combination of Hollywood storytelling and the "rule" that the "Good Guys" have to have the best toys and have to win.

wolverine
26 March 2005, 05:54 PM
I am one of those who feels that the 'good guys should always win' rule needs to be tossed out. WHY can't the bad guys win for once (or twice...)

McBride
26 March 2005, 06:18 PM
I agree. Probably why I enjoy watching Farscape, the Good Guys are rarely on the winning side of that, and the enemy doesn't have inept, low quality troops. Babylon 5 is another one where the Good Guys didn't always win.

I mean, if the Star Wars movies used average Imperial troops it woulda been neat. I personally would have liked to have seen some of the aformentioned weapons systems come to use in the movies. Like Snowtroopers with PLEX launchers at Hoth, or the Stormies wielding Flechette launchers on Endor.

Seems to me I've seen a movie recenty, or series, one of the two, where the bad guys actually do win. I don't remember what it was though. Wasn't Farscape as I haven't seen that in a while.

Darth Fierce
26 March 2005, 07:10 PM
Well, one could make the case that the Empire "won" in many senses in ESB. Basically, the heroes are in a "worst case scenario" at the end of that movie.

Darth Fierce :vader:

wolverine
28 March 2005, 01:26 AM
Many say that of TESB, though with not a single main character dead, and most of thsoe from hoth escaped, imo it was a loss, but not that big of one. Yea, there were lots of mooks that got capped, in the hoth fight, but so did that ISD.

pilnick1944
28 March 2005, 10:29 AM
I side with those who would like the bad guys to win for once!

Nota bene - I read a while ago that Ep V (or was it VI ?) was to be directed by D. Lynch, and that it was supposed to be a lot more grim...

Too bad Lucas never allowed it. He would have spared us a lot of EU nonsense (not that it's all complete rubbish).
:thrawn:

Ardent
4 April 2005, 05:26 PM
Just to be fair; the military is by its nature a many-headed and highly illogical and uncoordinated beast. The larger it gets, the truer the truism becomes. The thing that really, really needs explaining, however, is clone troopers -> stormtroopers. HOW did that happen?

That's about it. ;)

scott2978
5 April 2005, 09:56 AM
There are already some precedents for Stormtroopers NOT being clones, so I doubt that they are (or will turn out to be). The short story of Davin Felth in Tales from the Mos Eisely Cantina discribes stormtrooper training in some detail, and from the movies we can see some things that would refute a "clone stormtrooper" theory. Not all stormtroopers are the same height, they don't all have the same voice, ect ect. My guess is that the clones will dissapear after the clone wars somehow. Of course doing something totally breaking the continuity like making the clones change armor and become stormtroopers would be pretty much in line with the quality of the rest of the prequel movies IMHO.

pilnick1944
6 April 2005, 01:30 PM
A few days ago I was actually able to find some visual material showin dark-green clad scout troopers.
It was from Star Wars: Galaxies, from the Jump to Hyperspace add-on.

What I'm curious about is: was it introduced basing on player-requests (who would like to be a scout that's seen from miles away) or did the creators think it up themselves...
Anyone in the know?

farr0095
6 April 2005, 02:38 PM
Let me throw out a short opinion piece.

The Imperial Army was very well-suited for its missions. It was to attack less capable militaries with a powerful assault and retain order through a show of force.

The stormtroopers, by most accounts, were initially shock troops, but also a highly visible image of the Empire. Their stark-white armor displayed their deep standardization and the invincibility of the Empire. If one were to look at a legion of the white troops against almost any background, and then observe their unfettering determination in their assault, the common individual would be awed by the display and likely cower in fear.

The faceless aspect of the stormtrooper filled much of the same role. The Empire was ubiquotous (sp?) and had the same trooper (with the mask on) everywhere. Very much designed to impress the masses.

The issues with the weapons have already been directed. My additional point is if you plan to conquer through massive bombardments and heavy assault vehicles such as the AT-AT, the individual weapons are much less necessary to be all-powerful, and it's cheaper to buy a more restricted model. You could always bring out the squad's heavy weapon specialist or an E-web for the major problems.

Against a standard military, the Empire had no match. It had the technology (near monopoly), logistics and shear size to overwhelm most enemies. By accounts of most books, the Rebel Alliance attempted many battles in standard military formation, trying to match the Empire, and lost. It was the use of indirect or guerilla warfare that gave the Alliance an edge.

Indirect warfare seeks to capitalize on the weak links in a massive military force. Mao Tse-Tung has written a classic on the subject with his book On Guerilla Warfare. It is an excellent work and I highly recommmend it as reading. The basic nature is to fight unlike your enemy.

For the most part, the OT displays this style of warfare. The aforementioned raid in the Death Star by Han and Chewie is a classic example. Never did the Empire expect such an attack, nor for it to continue with the attack against the exhaust port. The Alliance indirectly attacked the Death Star by not taking it on gun for gun, but by flying down a less-defended trench and hitting the precise point - weakly defended - to destroy the powerful enemy weapon.

In RotJ, the Emperor forsaw this style of attack, and prepared for it. He countered the indirect warfare with another form of indirect attack. He made the Rebels believe they had caught the Imperial Forces by surprise, and then unleashed a foe they had not prepared to fight. Luckily for our heroes, their unlikely allies, the Ewoks, attacked the Empire in yet other unforeseen (so much for the Emperor's vision) manners. They used unconventional (by the Empire's standards) tactics (log weapons) to overcome the Empire's mighty military.

I could go on, but I'm afraid I would just be babbling.

Long and short, stormtroopers have/had their role to fill. Most of the time they did it very well. Unfortunately, they were unprepared for an insurgency which fought in unconventional manners. They did not adapt fast enough to the change of combat techniques (quite likely because enough conventional skirmishes took place across the galaxy to overshadow the few key, critical unconventional battles) and ultimately lost.

I think the prequels show the power of pre-stormtroopers in conventional tactics against conventional foes. But, I only speak with knowledge from AotC, as I avoid all knowledge of Ep3.

Anyway, that's my two creds.

Tao
7 April 2005, 07:11 AM
first off... to explain clone troopers -> stormtroopers...
during the war with the separatists, the republic needed a large army, fast. since the galaxy had been at peace for so long, there was no chance of a sufficient army being raised in time to make a difference, but clone's provided the solution... reliable, highly trained, and obedient troops that were more or less expendable. as the Republic began to gain ground in the war, people's sentiments changed, and they abandoned their pacifistic inclinations, accepting and even embracing the Republic Army. holovids would have turned soldiers into heroes, and propaganda films ensured that people respected the Army and what it stood for. gradually, as the Clone's begin to age past their prime, the Army (whether republic or imperial at this point is immaterial) begins recruiting regular everyday joes to join the force. The armor and weaponry is also modified over time, possibly in favor of something slightly more cost-effective. More and more citizens join out of prestige, tradition, etc. and soon you have a large standing army, no longer made up of clones, wearing a modified version of the original clonetrooper armor. I would assume that the change in name took place sometime shortly after the Republic was dissolved and the Empire was created, though the specific time when it took place is immaterial.
the important thing to remember is that not everything is an event or groundbreaking change. most of life is a slow process or a gradual evolution.

secondly, i would simply like to say that the average stormtrooper was not as much an infantry soldier as it was a police/security guard. after the clone wars, the emperor thought he had a lock on the galaxy. there were NO major threats anywhere. do you think that the garrison on Mos Eisley was ready to defend against an assault from a large military force? what about all of those stormtroopers on Coruscant, or even more laughably, the Death Star? do you think that on a space station designed to blow up planets there is a need for a large, well trained invasion force? of course not. if the death star parked in orbit around your planet, one of two things happen. you submit. or your planet gets blown up. the average citizen will calm down mighty quick, and the stormtroopers just need to go down and tie up loose ends. they dont need to be camoflauged to do that. they need to be as visible as possible. same goes for a scout trooper. if you see a scout trooper coming into your town, you know whats coming. certainly, a hostile force might see him and knock him out. the empire looses one soldier. the retribution would be horrible. i dont think i am wrong to assume that the empire would raze any village or city that harbored a trooper-killer. the message is sent.
bottom line is, stormtroopers are visible symbols of the empire's might. they are untouchable because of the backing that they have. and as symbols, they need to be seen to be effective. thats why they wear white. thats why they march in formation. thats why they do not fear the loss of a few men. there are always more. because the empire is soooo powerful.

scott2978
8 April 2005, 10:02 AM
Very well put Tao

sal_p
9 April 2005, 05:39 PM
ok, you guys explained things pretty well, but you won't be able to defend the ultimate argument:
a new hope: ok, so this is the particular spaceship that carries unbelievably important data, that might even threaten our lovely death star that we spent so long to construct and are so proud of? aha, and we can't find the data anywhere? hmmmm... oh, look a safety pod just launched itself from the ship in question... no, it must be a coincidence, a short circuit for sure, after all short circuits launch safety pods almost every day these days... and look, it doesn't contain life forms. that settles it. not that we live in the universe infested with droids of all kinds and shapes... maybe we shoot the pod just to make sure? nah, let's not waste our valuable ammo, we're only the greatest military power this galaxy has seen, we don't have 1 missile to waste...
need i say more? :P

pilnick1944
11 April 2005, 11:02 AM
Tao, I beg to disagree.
Look - here it is, the Empire. The invincible Empire.
They train a scout for real, hard credits - of course, they have loads and loads and loads over loads of them, but still - real currency.
It takes time, resources... etc.
So I don't think that the best use for a scout that the Empire can think of is to get him shot on his first mission.

Besides, the soldiers of the Army aren't suicidal drones.

With which we arrive at another point worth mentioning - the Navy. Namely, the hard-trained, so called 'elite', TIE-pilots.
So you train such a pilot for x-years and you send him out in the Galaxy's probably cheapest fighter to die? So what that it's an agile fighter, vulnerable nevertheless.

And you send such elite in crappy fighters against who? Moisture farmers in the Galaxy's best figher craft?
Aw, c'mon.

Or the Death Star - yeah, we've got thousands of TIEs, hundreds of which could be at the combat scene in minutes, could overwhelm the X-Wings, blast them to pieces before they could escape, and what do we do?
Yes! Nothing! Only that freak, Vader, takes his personal wing into combat.
Why? Because we're invincible!
Well, guess again! Those X-Wings are killing some more trained personel... Wasting some equipment. Eventually - whoa! destroying the Death Star!

:tieln:

The bottom line: How could such a lethargic and wasteful force ever control the Galaxy?

Tao
11 April 2005, 02:01 PM
Originally posted by pilnick1944
So I don't think that the best use for a scout that the Empire can think of is to get him shot on his first mission.


The point is... he wont get shot. People know what happens if they shoot a stormtrooper. Maybe they win a 'moral' victory and take out one of the Empire's soldiers. But he wont escape, his family will pay for it with their lives and livlihoods, and more than likely whatever cause he is championing will be clamped down on even harder.
In all honesty its no different than the way gangs treat cops. A typical street gang could easily shoot a couple of police officers out on patrol. They rarely do. Why? Because they know that whatever legal problems they might otherwise have will only be infinately compounded if they kill an officer of the law.
Bottom line... Stormtroopers are not soldiers as much as they are police. Clone troopers... yes, they were soldiers. But once the war was over, there shouldnt have been a need for more soldiers, since there was no longer any opposition to combat. All that was left was keeping the peace, a job, not intended for front line soldiers, but for law enforcement officials.




Originally posted by pilnick1944
Or the Death Star - yeah, we've got thousands of TIEs, hundreds of which could be at the combat scene in minutes, could overwhelm the X-Wings, blast them to pieces before they could escape, and what do we do?
Yes! Nothing! Only that freak, Vader, takes his personal wing into combat.
Why? Because we're invincible!
Well, guess again! Those X-Wings are killing some more trained personel... Wasting some equipment. Eventually - whoa! destroying the Death Star!

The destruction of the first death star was a complete fluke. If it weren't for what we would call a "miracle" (ae: the intervention of a greater power) the Empire's superweapon would have escaped unscathed. The Alliance's best bombers were unable to target the exhaust ports properly, and I doubt that without the aid of "the Force", something that Tarkin obviously didnt give much credit to, there was no way the Rebels were going to make a stand against the Death Star.
As for the reason for not scrambling TIEs, that is a more sensative issue. My theory is that the Empire, and Tarkin in particular, was trying to fight a psychological war. Had the Imperials simply launched their TIE fighters and ran the Rebels off through their sheer numbers, the Rebels would attribute their loss to numerical superiority of their opponant and simply return and attack at some later time. By allowing them to launch their assault unhindered, Tarkin hoped that the Rebels would see the futility in their actions and be forced to regard the Death Star as literally invulnerable. The one in nine billion odds that someone was going to be able to target the station's exhaust port was not worth considering.
In retrospect it appears as though the threat was worth analyzing, but at the time, Grand Moff Tarkin chose the option that was psychologically the most viable, even if it wasn't the best strategy from a more martial point of view. The Tarkin doctrine of rule by fear was only viable once the Rebels had seen for themselves that the death star was truly invincible. Thanks to a little luck and farm boy from Tatooine that never happened.

PsychoInfiltrator
11 April 2005, 02:37 PM
Tao is right. So far, on all counts, IMHO.

One other thing-perhaps the Empire didn't know about the weakness. Maybe that's why they called it invulnerable. Let the rebels have the plans coz it wouldn't help them.

Any one of the designers could have and would have fixed this design flaw in an instant apon noticing it. It was fixed for DS2. (course thet made that a whole lot bigger...)

Perhaps the reason it wasn't noticed is because the inept Imperial commanders in charge of the Death Star, as well as Palpy, didn't think the rebels were a threat, much less a squadron of snubfighters accompanied by some flying slugs with ion cannons.

We all know that better quality Imps, such as Piett, Thrawn, Veers, etc. would never have made such a mistake, but this was the Imperial ruling military council. The polticos with cannons.

You know, I could denounce their ineptness and pride for hours...I once did.

MikeLynch
12 April 2005, 09:47 AM
ok, you guys explained things pretty well, but you won't be able to defend the ultimate argument:
a new hope: ok, so this is the particular spaceship that carries unbelievably important data, that might even threaten our lovely death star that we spent so long to construct and are so proud of? aha, and we can't find the data anywhere? hmmmm... oh, look a safety pod just launched itself from the ship in question... no, it must be a coincidence, a short circuit for sure, after all short circuits launch safety pods almost every day these days...
Yeah, and those guys are low-ranking gunners who likely didn't even know the whole mission their ISD was on.


nah, let's not waste our valuable ammo, we're only the greatest military power this galaxy has seen, we don't have 1 missile to waste...
But think about it from the gunners' perspective. The area of space surrounding the ISD was at that time no longer a combat zone. If I'm a gunner on an ISD, and we just captured some ship, and all the other gunners are standing down from their previous orders to shoot that Corvette, and I all of a sudden pull the trigger, I'll have someone to answer to. I was not ordered to fire on anything.

Even IF I knew that the DS1 plans *might* be on that pod, it'd be foolish to fire upon it. Vader's on board, for cryin' out loud. How do I know he won't strangle me for my trouble?


The one in nine billion odds that someone was going to be able to target the station's exhaust port was not worth considering.
Yes. And, Tarkin didn't believe in the Force. Otherwise he might have had just the teensy-weensiest moment of doubt.


One other thing-perhaps the Empire didn't know about the weakness. Maybe that's why they called it invulnerable. Let the rebels have the plans coz it wouldn't help them.
Even the Empire's not that overconfident. They did send Vader, and he obviously wasn't treating the operation as a pointless training exercise. Note how pissed off he is when he strangles the Rebel dude (still supposed to be Capt. Antilles? :raised: )-- there's a sense of urgency there. He knows the risks.

Either that, or he's in a bad mood because he knows he's orbiting his mom's tomb.

McBride
12 April 2005, 12:18 PM
I doubt that the Empire didn't know about the flaw seeing as they had one of the greatest engineer minds in the galaxy designing and building the Death Star. I find it more likely that the flaw was a product of Tarkin's harsh timetable, as I doubt that they would have intentionally left such a flaw, no matter how small.

Tao
12 April 2005, 12:46 PM
i honestly think that they considered the vents too small to cause any problems. according to the rebel pilots it was a once in a lifetime shot. when the rebels began making their attacks, the imperials also analyzed their strategy and realized there was a risk, though it wasn't considered to be a significant enough threat to worry about.

pilnick1944
12 April 2005, 01:47 PM
Okay.
If the Imperials wanted to follow the Doctrine of Fear, relying on the fact that no one would EVEN DARE to question their might- let alone attack them - BUT the Rebels didn't give a bantha poo then...
What's the sense of sticking to the thing.

What's the sense of observing some artificial principles that are counterproductive to the - nomen omen - WAR EFFORT?
(if you produce more and more of super weapons, if your constantly skirmish across the galaxy with some pirates/rebels/terrorists/ etc. - then I consider it to be war effort)

On the other hand - no wonder. Most of the high ranking staff are old, veritable geezers who are still probably stuck on the Republican doctrines of war, aren't they? :hansolo:

wolverine
12 April 2005, 05:18 PM
Probabily because with great forces, comes longevity in transit. One group sees its battle plans are not working agianst foe Y. Later on group 3 is facing the same foe. Unless group 1 filed its after battle reports on time, promptly had their chain of command, then said COC got with their battle planners to rework it, and then filter the new plan down, group 3 will not know about it.

Tao
13 April 2005, 04:59 AM
Originally posted by pilnick1944
Okay.
If the Imperials wanted to follow the Doctrine of Fear, relying on the fact that no one would EVEN DARE to question their might- let alone attack them - BUT the Rebels didn't give a bantha poo then...
What's the sense of sticking to the thing.


True, but instilling that kind of immobilizing fear isn't an overnight thing. That's why they had to let the Rebellion see for themselves that they were helpless against the Death Star. I personally feel that if the attack against the original Death Star had failed, the Rebels would have disbanded and the Empire would have won. The fact that they did defeat the Empire's "invincible" weapon is what gave them the courage to keep fighting and the hope that they could maybe win this thing.


Originally posted by pilnick1944
Okay.
On the other hand - no wonder. Most of the high ranking staff are old, veritable geezers who are still probably stuck on the Republican doctrines of war, aren't they? :hansolo:
A fair assesment.

MikeLynch
13 April 2005, 05:51 AM
I personally feel that if the attack against the original Death Star had failed, the Rebels would have disbanded and the Empire would have won. The fact that they did defeat the Empire's "invincible" weapon is what gave them the courage to keep fighting and the hope that they could maybe win this thing.
I've always felt that way. Which is why to this day, the most thrilling moment in the whole trilogy is still the final trench run in ANH.

pilnick1944
13 April 2005, 06:23 AM
Originally posted by MikeLynch

I've always felt that way. Which is why to this day, the most thrilling moment in the whole trilogy is still the final trench run in ANH.

You've got a point there: Ep IV already pitted the heroes against such odds that it was hard to recreate or beat that level of heroism.
Do not underestimate the power of moisture farmers. :D

DarkLordXul
4 May 2005, 01:22 PM
Storm Commandos wear black armor. Several novels describe different colored scout and stormtrooper armor.

scott2978
4 May 2005, 03:48 PM
As for the recurring stormtrooper question, one thing to consider if the stormies are really clones, is that they may not be very good with various different missions because they are clones, and are only really good at what they are cloned to do. Though I would say that is definitly "to be a grunt shock troop" instead of a police officer, either way they would be difficult to retrain. More so than to just make some different clones to do a different specific job, like scout troopers.

As for the death star question, I'd never really thought about it before but the assertion that Tarkin believed the Death Star to be invulnerable was in fact because he didn't believe in the Force. Vader knew better, when he said "don't be too proud of this technological terror..." but we are led to believe in the rest of that scene that nobody else, including Tarkin, truly believes in the Force. And, as we know from the movie, barring the Force, even the best bush pilots in the galaxy couldn't hit the exhaust port without it. Tarkin was essentially correct, the death star was indeed invulnerable - to normal people. Perhaps he should have listened more carefully to Darth Vader!

As for rebel guerilla warfare defeating the Empire, that's just not the case. The rebel alliance didn't defeat the Empire so much as the Force did. The rebel alliance was losing every major engagement against the empire, except the ones where Luke used the Force. It can be argued that even the battle of Endor was won using the Force, since it was the Force that convinced the Ewoks that C-3PO was a god and allowed him to convince them not to bar-b-cue Solo and the others. And we all know what would have happened if the shield generator was never destroyed... that's right, Endor would not have been turned into a devastated wasteland by the destroyed death star wreckage plummeting to the surface with the force of a billion atomic bombs. No wait, that wasn't my point... *sigh*

And finally, I'd like to comment about the Tantive IV and the escape pod. We're clearly shown that the gunners didn't fire on it because it didn't have any life signs. The officer standing next to the gunner didn't say anything about stolen death star plans. Clearly, he didn't know why he was there, except to prevent anyone from leaving the rebel ship. The death star plans were more valuable than life itself, it just wouldn't do to tell every lowly trooper about their existance. In fact the only people that you ever see Vader talking to about the plans are Stormtroopers, the one kind of Imperial that you can be absolutely 100% certain of their loyalty.

MikeLynch
5 May 2005, 07:13 AM
it just wouldn't do to tell every lowly trooper about their existance. In fact the only people that you ever see Vader talking to about the plans are Stormtroopers, the one kind of Imperial that you can be absolutely 100% certain of their loyalty.
Sounds very reasonable to me. In fact I'd guess that some of our militarily-experienced forum members can vouch for the fact that when you're basically a grunt, you're not always told the purpose behind every engagement.

wolverine
5 May 2005, 10:14 PM
Yup. While you MAY get told the reason for some things, others you wont. It also depends on who you ask, their rank, and yours...

BrianDavion
9 May 2005, 11:48 PM
the reason for tatics are understandable if you look at em.


re the republic era tatics, kindly remember that a major war hadn't been fought in over 1000 years. and the droid army lineing up like they did in TPM... well these are droids. if you don't care HOW many fatalities you take and your troops aren't much smarter then a toaster I wager A tight packed formation might be the best ;)


as for the E-11s? how are these INFERIOR.

the war agaisnt the rebellion is NOT a conventional war people. it's a war against an insurgancy.

take a look at iraq. in iraq the US is issueing it's troopers light carbines for use, instead of big bulky rifles. the empire proably is doing the same for the same reasons

pilnick1944
10 May 2005, 12:51 PM
The E-11 is inferior in the light of the argument given in The Rebel Sourcebook (WEG). The argument states that the Rebel troopers can drop Stormies from a distance, due to the fact that their bulky rifles have longer range.
Ridiculous, when you come to think of it.

BrianDavion
10 May 2005, 05:14 PM
how often did the rebellion and empire engage each other upopn open plains?

the E-11has a decent barrel, I mean most of the gun IS a barrel. the stock is just collapseable.

and yet again for the types of situations te empire finds iitself mostly in, it works

Rostek
10 May 2005, 05:50 PM
Originally posted by pilnick1944
The E-11 is inferior in the light of the argument given in The Rebel Sourcebook (WEG). The argument states that the Rebel troopers can drop Stormies from a distance, due to the fact that their bulky rifles have longer range.
Ridiculous, when you come to think of it.

Hardly- it's like saying that "The M1 is a superior firearm than the M4 carbine because it is harder hitting at range", you're comparing apples with oranges.
George based the ground army stuff off of WWII Red Army v. Wehrmacht stuff- the Germans were superior soldiers with high powered bolt action rifles supporting a squad machine gun, wheras the Soviets were armed primarily with rapid fire submachine guns and a few shootists with heavy rifles- while the Germans would wipe the floor with the Soviets in the open field (given reasonably balanced numbers on both sides), the Soviets were had the edge in street to street fights.
The Empire was concerned primarily with keeping their centers of power (the urban areas/on ships) controlled and had the edge in the fight their- the problem came when they were forced to try rooting out the Rebels from the hinterlands (and even that was not a tremendous problem- artillery, air/naval gunfire support and armor/mechs were in plentiful supply for the Imps).

(NRN) Brotz
11 May 2005, 06:53 AM
The Imperial Army isn't that bad. They actually had a many victories against Rebels pre-Yavin, but Palpatine was too confident and wanted to end the war so he gave the Rebel Alliance the location of the Second Death Star.

The Imperial Army was very sucessful for the first 19 years of service, but after the Battle of Yavin, they were less formiable in inspiring fear in their enemies. The Battle of Endor was perhaps the worst mistake the Empire made, and they fell.

It is not that they weren't good and capable, it was that the Empire's leaders were incompetent against dealing with the Rebel Alliance, which they didn't realize was a major threat to the Galactic Empire.

pilnick1944
30 May 2005, 06:30 AM
May I humbly point out the cammo scouts on Kashyyyk in Ep3?
Does that merit a retrospective modification of the old movies' photage and a new version for Lucas to sell?

Anyway, it seems that Lucas' line of thinking does exclude the 'fear' doctrine that was suggested by Ronin (i.e. that Imperial scouts have no need for a cammo armour, since everyone would be afraid to kill them).

I'm stubborn, I know. :D

BrianDavion
30 May 2005, 10:11 AM
it seems that yes under certin circumstances that the imps employ camo.

why not on endor?

it could be anything, even simply a lack of SUPPLIES. much like how canada sent troops into afghanastan in forest camo.

Corr Terek
30 May 2005, 10:18 AM
May I humbly point out the cammo scouts on Kashyyyk in Ep3?

Huh? Where? I can't see them! :D


Anyway, it seems that Lucas' line of thinking does exclude the 'fear' doctrine that was suggested by Ronin (i.e. that Imperial scouts have no need for a cammo armour, since everyone would be afraid to kill them).

Or it could simply be the fact that these are clonetroopers in the Clone Wars, not scout troopers in the Galactic Civil War. The *Republic* was not operating under a doctrine of fear. The *Republic* was engaged in full-scale, hard-hitting, ground-and-space action.

The *Empire* was operating under a doctrine of fear. The *Empire* wasn't dealing with anything like the Confederacy, but instead a rag-tag bunch of rebels.

You can't use Republic military to disprove someone's theories on Imperial militiary. It's like comparing apples and oranges.

BrianDavion
30 May 2005, 12:57 PM
I disagree, the republic's army was the same army.

Corr Terek
30 May 2005, 02:06 PM
I disagree, the republic's army was the same army.

Yes, but their methods were different. The Republic has to keep at least a pretense of democracy going, whereas the Empire doesn't even have to pretend. The Republic cannot use "rule by fear" without becoming the Empire. Therefore, you cannot compare Republic methods of fighting with Imperial methods of fighting.

pilnick1944
30 May 2005, 02:25 PM
Originally posted by Corr Terek

You can't use Republic military to disprove someone's theories on Imperial militiary. It's like comparing apples and oranges.

Actually, more like comparing green apples to red ones - because in fact they are the same guys, probably trained in a virtually the same way.

The Empire has a no less need for live scouts than the Republic did for its clone troopers. Cammo has been done before (and it works - just look at them whizzing here and there, jumping on some droids and blasting them to pieces!), it's nothing new. Ergo - why not ensure better troop survivability - in fact, why not allow the scouts to do their job (as stated before - you can't scout anything if you're visible from miles off).

Okay, this is getting boring. I have to find something else I can pick on. B)

BrianDavion
30 May 2005, 05:06 PM
heck the scout armor was virtually identical

Corr Terek
30 May 2005, 05:12 PM
Actually, more like comparing green apples to red ones - because in fact they are the same guys, probably trained in a virtually the same way.

The Empire has a no less need for live scouts than the Republic did for its clone troopers. Cammo has been done before (and it works - just look at them whizzing here and there, jumping on some droids and blasting them to pieces!), it's nothing new. Ergo - why not ensure better troop survivability - in fact, why not allow the scouts to do their job (as stated before - you can't scout anything if you're visible from miles off).

I keep saying the same thing over and over, and it's getting kind of boring. But, as I keep pointing out, the Empire first of all can afford a few losses, and second of all they have that doctrine of fear. They aren't supposed to be upholding good and all that sort of thing.

The Republic can't just vape a planet because a citizen shoots one of their troops. It's not the Republic way. It's the *Empire's* way.

What I'm trying to say is that Episode 3 doesn't disprove Ronin's "doctrine of fear". After all, we're discussing the Imperial army, not the Republic one. And no matter what else you say, you have to agree that the methods of the two armies are very different.

wolverine
31 May 2005, 01:23 AM
Originally posted by BrianDavion
heck the scout armor was virtually identical

it looked a little bulkier in the back than i remember, but otherwise it did look the same...

pilnick1944
31 May 2005, 03:05 AM
Originally sung by Peter Iver in David Lynch's "Eraserhead"
In heaven everything is fine
In heaven everything is fine
In heaven everything is fine
You've got your good things
And I've got mine
;)

It appears that we're dug in too deep to change our positions. I guess it's a point-of-view problem.

PS. I'm not saying that Ep3 invalidates Ronin's 'doctrine of fear' (or was it Tarkin's ;) ). Imma gonna say it only shows that Imperial army is stupid as compared to it's nucleus form of Clone Troopers. And the way to remedy this particular problem (i.e. the presence or the absence of cammo on scout armour) is to HAVE the darn cammo on the darn armour.
From my point of view it would help the 'doctrine of fear' - you would be more afraid of someone who can stalk up your back invisibly than of a funny clown that nearly glows in dark. And the Empire cannot be THAT blind not to realise that it would pay off.
PPS. For my part - I give up. It's the scouts' problem, not mine afterall.
PPPS. And my new concern is:
What exactly is the 'doctrine of fear'. Could anyone elaborate what it means - basing on various sources?

Tao
31 May 2005, 06:28 AM
doctrine of fear is the practice of ruling through violance or threats of violance, to the extent that people are afraid to speak out against your rule.

examples of this would be the ancient babylonian empire and the modern nazi rule. im sure you have seen photos of the giant military marches in nazi germany. these marches had a duel purpose... 1) they motivated and energized their supporters and 2) they produced fear in those who would oppose them.
hypothetically, with a visible, active military and police presence, people are too afraid to produce any worthwhile opposition and they simply give up. the empire was attempting the same thing, and the pinnicle of their acheivment was to be the death star.

BrianDavion
31 May 2005, 01:25 PM
not quite. the Trkin Doctrine was rather "rule through fear of force rather then force itself"

basicly it was pragmatic reckongization that "if the eneitre universe rises up at once we're scrrewed so let's make em afraid to do so"

to put it into a real prespective.. let's say you walk into a room with a dozen people in it with a 6 shooter revolver.

now.. you could actu8ally only kill 6 of the people tops, and if they decided "screw it he can't get us all let's swarm him" you're sunk.

BUT, most people don't work that way. they'll be too afraid of being one of the 6 corpses that they'll not do anything.


or thats my understanding of it

Aldaron
31 May 2005, 11:22 PM
Just as a slight aside, why does everything and everyone insist on calling it the "Imperial Navy"?

The only two times it's ever referred to in the films (from memory) is once by Han Solo: "That's impossible! The entire star fleet couldn't destroy the whole planet. It'd take a thousand ships with more firepower than I've..."

The other instance is during the briefing, when Jan Dodonna says the Death Star carries "...firepower greater than half the star fleet".

Why isn't the Imperial collection of starships referred to as the Star Fleet, or is it a case of Star Trek envy? :D

Seriously...I've never understood it. To me, a Navy has ships and floats on water! :D

scott2978
1 June 2005, 09:59 AM
Uhm... While it is true that the words "Imperial Navy" never appear in any of the original trilogy screenplays or scripts (I checked), the words "Imperial Fleet" appear many times. Since it is a "Fleet" of ships, it is implied that a fleet is part of a larger spacefaring organization, and not the only spaceships the Empire has. Such an organization, composed of many fleets, would properly be referred to as a "Navy". Thus the term "Imperial Navy", while not technically canon, is a proper discriptive term for use in discussion of the entire Imperial spacefaring military.

As an aside, the words "Star Fleet" appear only in A New Hope, and never again in all of Star Wars canon, presumably because the term "Starfleet" entered widespread use in Star Trek movies about the time of TESB.

BrianDavion
1 June 2005, 10:22 AM
Why isn't the Imperial collection of starships referred to as the Star Fleet, or is it a case of Star Trek envy?

it's a case of trek avoidance IMHO. basicly starfleet is so associated with trek that it's left to trek

SmugglerJedi
4 June 2005, 07:57 AM
Second, the Imperial forces were essentially fighting their first real war. Sure there was the purge and the Clone Wars and the various subjugations, but those didn't really test the Army in any way. So with that in mind, the Imperial forces didn't really fare all that badly for being a relatively untested force fighting an irregular war.

Excuse me? Not to bring up a long-dead paragraph, but the Clone Wars was a major test for the army. Let's face it - even though Palpy had it all organized, it came close to destabilizing and possibly destroying the entire Republic. And in a way, it did.

As for the Republic army vs. the Imperial army, they are both the same and different. The Republic army is the first "evolution", and the Imperial army is the second "evolution." The Republic based their army on the clone troopers, while the Imperial army was based on regular folks drafted - or volunteered - for the service. IMHO, Kamino stopped producing clone troops for the Republic when it became the Empire and they realized what Palpy was doing. So, they made sure to hide themselves, produced a powerful force of clones as a protective army, and waited out the Empire.

Some clones still went on, but the tactics used against the CIS were much different than those used against the Rebellion, or they should have been. The Rebellion was much different. They simply weren't expecting this puny force to challenge the might of the Empire, and it is a combination of underestimating the force of guerrilla warriors and the inexpeirence with dealing with such a force that makes the Imperial Armed Forces look like half-drunk teenagers who were just told to shoot somebody not wearing their own uniform.

IMHO, however, we only saw part of the war machine. I believe that many more, many more well trained troops exist, and that the whole of the Stormtrooper Corps is in fact very deadly. The Imperial Army and "Imperial Navy" (I apologize if I've annoyed anyone) are also dangerous in the extreme. Especially the Navy. "Oh, just vaporize that ocean over there, the Admiral wants a bubble bath..."

SJ.

(NRN) Brotz
4 June 2005, 05:32 PM
The Galactic Empire lasted for 24 years, and they fought very well against the Rebel Alliance. The Imperials were able to inspire fear into their enemies, keeping most of the former Republic star systems in line. The Imperials made a fatal error by blowing up Alderaan then letting the Death Star be destroyed, because fear in the hearts of people turned into a lack of power and insanity within the Empire.

The Imperials weren't finished then, they attacked Yavin IV in force, hundreds of stormtroopers on the surface attacking the Great Massassi Temple. The Imperial Army and Stormtrooper Corps did a very good job, but the Imperial fleet had lost a lot of money and ability to chase after the Rebellion, yet the Imperial Navy still managed to destroy entire fleets of Rebel taskforces near Yavin IV, but the smaller groups escaped.

Rogue Squadron, Luke Skywalker's official elite squadron of the Rebel Alliance, had been a key factor in fighting against the Imperial control in many sectors. The Rebel Guerilla warfare was superior to Imperial defensive tactics at that point. Small Imperial bases were taken out by the Rebel Alliance before the Imperials could round up a large force of military units capable of taking down the Rebel's elite special forces before they escaped.

The Imperials lost many resources and personnel in these attacks, and the Rebel Alliance expanded out of known space, and the Imperials needed to defend the large territories of the Galactic Empire, leaving few units to pursue the Rebels.

The Imperial Death Squadron under Darth Vader did track down the Rebels and give them hell at Hoth and many worlds after that, but the Imperials relied on force in numbers of military units, and such force takes time to round up, so the Rebel Alliance had all the advantage.

The Battle of Endor took the lives of nearly a million Imperial personnel, and wounded thousands of others, the final blow to the Galactic Empire.

So, the Empire was superior in numbers, but the Rebel Guerilla tactics were able to counter these Imperial strategic methods of holding the galaxy.

Tao
6 June 2005, 05:51 AM
no one is saying that the imperials arent good at what they did. the original question was "why did stormtroopers wear white armor and have bad tactics".

first, its a movie. not an action movie. not a wartime documentary. a space fantasy. george lucas is not a five star general. hes a director. even if he were familiar with wartime strategy, to make a good looking film, certain strategic elements may need to be sacrificed.

second, the imperial army has every reason TO BE visible.
to further illustrate... imagine yourself driving down the interstate going 95 miles per hour. you pass a police officer's cruiser. what's the first thing you do? you hit the brake. you know he's already spotted you. you know that you were speeding. but you slow down, hoping against hope that you dont get pulled over. maybe you get a ticket, maybe you dont, but that officer's VISIBLE presence made you seriously reconsider speeding. if there were enough police cars on the highways, and if the fines were harsh enough, the threat would be eliminated, simply because people would be AFRAID of the consequences. in that instance one visible officer is worth more than a thousand invisible ones. because his presence is respected by everyone who sees him. an undercover officer only affects those few that actually warant being brought in.
the imperial army is that, on a much greater scale. they have conquered everything that needs to be conquered. the key at that point is control. control does not come from being invisible. it comes from being a prevelent part in people's everyday lives. the empire already has its myths... the inquisitors, the hands, the emperor himself... they keep the big problems in check. but to keep the everyday joes from shoplifting and creating a ruckus, the stormtroopers are the men for the job.

third, there's no way you can accurately say how good the imperials weapons are. youve never used one. you only know the few comparisons that have been made in other books. maybe the e-11 is more reliable, or better in cold conditions, or is easily repairable, or cheaper, or has a more powerful stun setting, or poses less of a threat for puncturing a hull in shipboard operations, or was designed by the grand moff's nephew. the fact of the matter is, youve never used it. you cant really make the comparisons. why did the soviets, and other eastern nations favor the AK? why does China still purchase MIGs instead of designing a more "powerful" fighter? in each of these instances there is a reason. the AK, while less powerful, is more sturdy and less succeptible to breaking in a firefight or misfiring due to the dust that is so prevelent in some parts of the world. the MIG is cheaper, allowing the Chinese military to take advantage of the great number of available pilots and manpower. Americans sometimes scoff at "lesser" military equipment, but no matter how good your jet is, being outnumbered twelve to one is not good. and the best gun in the world is worthless when it jams during a firefight.

fourth, its a movie.

Tao
6 June 2005, 05:59 AM
Originally posted by Aldaron

Seriously...I've never understood it. To me, a Navy has ships and floats on water! :D

na·vy n. pl. na·vies
1. All of a nation's warships.
2. often Navy A nation's entire military organization for sea warfare and defense, including vessels, personnel, and shore establishments.
3. A group of ships; a fleet.

fleet n.
1. A number of warships operating together under one command.



Both words are originally references to waterbound military. The difference is quantitative. Fleet and navy are technically interchangable in some instances, though the correct term for a multitiered organization under seperate commanders would be navy. in that respect, the correct term for the imperial's spacebound military is actually navy, and it would appear as though the Trekkies are in error (although I wouldn't know... never even watched it myself).

SmugglerJedi
6 June 2005, 04:57 PM
I was just saying that the tactics against the CIS and the Rebellion were different, and the commanders were more used to Clone Wars tactics, not Civil War ones.

Though I believe that their tactics are much better in the EU, I think.

SJ.

wolverine
7 June 2005, 05:16 AM
Originally posted by Tao
no one is saying that the imperials arent good at what they did. the original question was "why did stormtroopers wear white armor and have bad tactics".

first, its a movie. not an action movie. not a wartime documentary. a space fantasy. george lucas is not a five star general. hes a director. even if he were familiar with wartime strategy, to make a good looking film, certain strategic elements may need to be sacrificed.

second, the imperial army has every reason TO BE visible.
to further illustrate... imagine yourself driving down the interstate going 95 miles per hour. you pass a police officer's cruiser. what's the first thing you do? you hit the brake. you know he's already spotted you. you know that you were speeding. but you slow down, hoping against hope that you dont get pulled over. maybe you get a ticket, maybe you dont, but that officer's VISIBLE presence made you seriously reconsider speeding. if there were enough police cars on the highways, and if the fines were harsh enough, the threat would be eliminated, simply because people would be AFRAID of the consequences. in that instance one visible officer is worth more than a thousand invisible ones. because his presence is respected by everyone who sees him. an undercover officer only affects those few that actually warant being brought in.
the imperial army is that, on a much greater scale. they have conquered everything that needs to be conquered. the key at that point is control. control does not come from being invisible. it comes from being a prevelent part in people's everyday lives. the empire already has its myths... the inquisitors, the hands, the emperor himself... they keep the big problems in check. but to keep the everyday joes from shoplifting and creating a ruckus, the stormtroopers are the men for the job.

third, there's no way you can accurately say how good the imperials weapons are. youve never used one. you only know the few comparisons that have been made in other books. maybe the e-11 is more reliable, or better in cold conditions, or is easily repairable, or cheaper, or has a more powerful stun setting, or poses less of a threat for puncturing a hull in shipboard operations, or was designed by the grand moff's nephew. the fact of the matter is, youve never used it. you cant really make the comparisons. why did the soviets, and other eastern nations favor the AK? why does China still purchase MIGs instead of designing a more "powerful" fighter? in each of these instances there is a reason. the AK, while less powerful, is more sturdy and less succeptible to breaking in a firefight or misfiring due to the dust that is so prevelent in some parts of the world. the MIG is cheaper, allowing the Chinese military to take advantage of the great number of available pilots and manpower. Americans sometimes scoff at "lesser" military equipment, but no matter how good your jet is, being outnumbered twelve to one is not good. and the best gun in the world is worthless when it jams during a firefight.

fourth, its a movie.

That is one heck of a valid point. Some times people forget that the imperials DID win lots. We only see the few rebel victories in the films due to movie licence. IMO the imperials (like they did on the tantaveIV) scored a lot more victories than we give them credit for.

MikeLynch
7 June 2005, 12:03 PM
Yeah, if it wasn't for all their victories, the Empire wouldn't have amassed such incredible resources, nor would they have been hated by otherwise ignorant young moisture farmers on backwater planets.

pilnick1944
7 June 2005, 12:47 PM
Originally posted by wolverine
IMO the imperials (like they did on the tantaveIV) scored a lot more victories than we give them credit for.

[Please, note the "IMO"]

The problem is: the movies hint too little about Imperial competence (off the top of my head: Obi in Ep4, likewise Luke... Well, Hoth... Hmm... That would be it - though haven't seen ESB and ROTJ for a long time). The picture you get is that Imperial competence isn't at all presumed and you get those things like putting on the Imperial-apologetic-hat and verbalizing thoughts like "IMO the Imperials scored a lot more victories" (nothing personal, wolverine)... Obviously, they had to score some victories, because controlling the Galaxy is difficult when you get your arse kicked all around.
Adressing this issue in the movies more would have made the difference, I think.

SmugglerJedi
7 June 2005, 01:38 PM
Well, I agree. The Empire had to win a lot of victories to be on top. That, and didn't the opening roll of ANH say a bunch of things about a whole bunch of Imperial victories, or am I incorrect? Please verify.

SJ.

pilnick1944
7 June 2005, 03:32 PM
Nope, it's about a REBEL victory ("Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire").

BrianDavion
7 June 2005, 06:53 PM
their first victory. the E3 novel indicates that the rebellion had been forming since the formation of the empire, this implies MANY defeats.

pilnick1944
8 June 2005, 12:48 AM
Well... That satisfies me.
Though what was the crucial change in the Rebels tactics?
a) Luke? But he couldn't be everywhere, just couldn't affect the entire Galaxy with his awe-inspiring presence.
b) Hit n' run? If this were the case then what tactics did the Rebels use earlier? I doubt it could have been open fight, because the Rebelion was simply too weak at that time - nor was it strong enough later, with the occasional exception (like Endor). Was the X-fighter the thing that made the difference? Also doubt it, you don't win wars by possessing one superior type of military equipment (vide the limited effectivity of Me-262 or Type-XXI U-boats when confronted with the numeral superiority of Allies in WWII, or the fact that Hueys didn't win the war in Vietnam, or Soviet Mi-24s and 28s an in Afghanistan [though I am aware that Vietnam and Soviet Afghanistan were not a case of hit n run]). It has to be a whole range of factors that give you the victory (cf Finnish superior training and weaponry and winter equipment PLUS fortifications vs Red Army in 1939/40 until the Soviet numbers became too big PLUS they recieved immense artillery and aerial support - i.e. the Finns were no longer at an advantage in the entirety of methods of war). [But I digress :raised:]
c) Maybe the cooperation with the Bothan Network? I may be wrong, but weren't the Bothans credited for getting the DS plans? That the Bothans made the difference is quite credible, I think.
d) degrading performance of the Imperial military that grew complacent with unending victories? Probably. Maybe we should think about where from did the Empire get its officers - because in the movies they are the biggest bums. Was it placing New Order loyalty above skill - sort of like Marxist-Leninist classes in Warsaw Pact military academies?

Any other ideas?

MikeLynch
8 June 2005, 07:43 AM
I'd go with D. That's always been my assumption. That, and perhaps a gradual increase in the number of Rebel sympathizers/actual Rebels in the galaxy, which would lead to better resources available to the Rebels.

I ran a Very Early Rebel campaign, set a decade or so before ANH, in which the characters basically could not count on much of anything in the way of resources. There was no main base, no network of well-coordinated agents -- I portrayed it very much like the resistance was being built from the ground up, and the PCs got the feeling that it was quite decentralized, such that they seldom have any "high-ranking" Rebels to answer to at any given moment. Obviously, that has changed by the time of ANH and ESB.

Ardent
8 June 2005, 10:43 AM
Supposedly the big turn of momentum was the defection of a lot of former Republic officers (and some Imperial officers) around the time of ANH. Jan Dodonna, Adar Tallon et al.

pilnick1944
8 June 2005, 11:35 AM
So why did all the best guys defect?
What - all of them suddenly decided that they're fed up with the Emperor's New Order?

MikeLynch
8 June 2005, 01:19 PM
What - all of them suddenly decided that they're fed up with the Emperor's New Order?
Well, there's a difference between "deciding you're fed up" and "deciding to actually do something about it," and for career military men, the step of defecting is one they'd have to
1) think about long and hard
and
2) wait for quite a while until the opportune moment arises

pilnick1944
8 June 2005, 01:26 PM
That's what I'm asking - what pushed the defectors beyond the line of hesitation and made them "think about long and hard" and "wait for quite a while until the opportune moment arises"?

Vanger Chevane
8 June 2005, 01:30 PM
Originally posted by pilnick1944
So why did all the best guys defect?
What - all of them suddenly decided that they're fed up with the Emperor's New Order?
The destruction of Alderaan is credited as a major turning point in Imperial Defection. Many Imperials defected right after ANH, include Rogue Squadron's Tycho Celchu

You really have to wonder if you're one of the Good Guys if your gubmint goes around vaping inhabited, and peaceful, planets. ;)

Corr Terek
8 June 2005, 02:03 PM
Though what was the crucial change in the Rebels tactics? Luke? But he couldn't be everywhere, just couldn't affect the entire Galaxy with his awe-inspiring presence.

You're right about that. But in the NJO, Cal Omas mentions fighting alongside Jedi during the Rebellion. Is it possible that such a high-profile character as Luke would cause many Jedi-in-hiding (Padawans or whatever) to join the cause as well? THAT would make a difference.


Hit n' run? If this were the case then what tactics did the Rebels use earlier?

Hit and run. I think that what really happened during the trilogy is that a lot of things had just come together for the Rebel Alliance. The destruction of Alderaan, the acquisition of X-Wings and the invention of A-Wings/B-Wings, the defection of some major Imperial people. It just kept getting better after that.


Maybe the cooperation with the Bothan Network? I may be wrong, but weren't the Bothans credited for getting the DS plans? That the Bothans made the difference is quite credible, I think.

That's probably another major thing. But what I want to know is what convinced the self-serving Bothans to join?


degrading performance of the Imperial military that grew complacent with unending victories? Probably. Maybe we should think about where from did the Empire get its officers - because in the movies they are the biggest bums.

Exactly. It had a lot to do with prestige and who was in the Emperor's favor. I've heard theories about the stormtroopers as well -- that after the Jango stock gave out they just simply started cloning people (you know, like cloning some Moff's son or something). This would explain the way the troopers act in the movies.

pilnick1944
8 June 2005, 02:43 PM
I agree with the fact that Padawans, Jedi-in-hiding would come out upon hearing of Luke Skywalker. Though many of them would be probably prejudiced to do that.
a) Skywalker.
"-Doesn't the name tell you something, Master?
-Hmm. Vader was named Skywalker.
-Oh. That's a shame."
b) Pride (and prejudice ;) )
Look at the Jedi in the NT - we see them proud in many moments, sometimes even arrogant (discounting Anakin, for obvious reasons). It is difficult for me to imagine such a proud Jedi Knight, or even a long-trained solitary Padawan, to bear the thought that he is going to join that moisture-farmer, who has only had a glimpse of the knowledge of the Force.

But. Coming back to the topic.
My guess is that what got the Bothans moving was the "fear of this battle station" that did not keep their "local systems in line".
Actually, it's quite clever. You give only the info and get somebody else to do the job - i.e. the Alliance. Maybe even they gave the info to the Rebels without the Imperials knowing where from it originated. That would go as far as ensuring their (relative) safety should the Rebels fail to destroy the Death Star.

Thus, we reach the problem of ISB and Imperial Inteligence - and their incompetence... How can two intelligence agencies, having an entire Galaxy of resources at their disposal, fail to apprehend Rebel agents - unless by sheer luck?
It makes me think a little about the fair ineffectivity of Gestapo in occupied Poland and the way it failed to counter the growing Home Army resistance. I imagine that the ISB was modelled exactly on Gestapo... The problem is the same in both examples - a basic lack of wit. And again - underestimating the enemy.
I think that the lack of locals' support was a problem for the ISB/Ubiqtorate BUT it needn't be the case. The Russian NKVD hadn't any problems with the Home Army on its side of the occupied Poland - they simply executed nearly everyone at the beggining and didn't need any evidence to start suspecting something (unlike the Gestapo) and deported people to Siberia haphazardly, often hitting the right people.
Well, I always thought they teach you to be ever vigilant when they train you to be a spy/secret police. I wonder what do they teach at the ISB/ Ubiqtorate academies?

Dough, there is no stoping to the holes in the Empire cheese.

wolverine
8 June 2005, 07:53 PM
I feel a lot of it, had to do with
A) more people coming into the rebellion, though i think a good chunk came AFTER alderan/yavin. The first major victory happened before hand..
B) more resources being available, through sympathisers, contacts and smugglers.
C) complacency in the imperials. Back in the Hunt for Zjini, han commented on you cannot keep the troops on edge/hightened skill for too long as they get complacent.

SmugglerJedi
9 June 2005, 11:41 AM
Ah, but in the Death Star II situation, Palpatine wanted the Rebels to get the data, so ISB/Intelligence were instructed to not apprehend the Rebels. Ticked them off, to be sure, but they followed orders.

And Alderaan did anger a lot of officers, who felt it was unecessary and would never believe the COMPNOR *BS* (so report me) that the Alderaanians were building up biological weapons or whatever. So they waited for the right time, then defected. The influx of training (or what it was supposed to resemble) drained the well-trained Imperial officer corps and also boosted the skill of the Alliance Officer Corps. Meanwhile, ships and supplies were being brought along, which hurt the Empire at the same time it helped the Alliance.

All in all, when Alderaan went, I think the Empire just screwed itself.

SJ.

pilnick1944
9 June 2005, 12:33 PM
Stupid Tarkin. I never liked him, anyway.

wolverine
10 June 2005, 06:39 AM
Good point. Goes to show, that overconfidence and therefore stupidity runs in the high ends of the empire.... palpy, ozzel, tarkin...

EntilZha
14 June 2005, 04:03 PM
Originally posted by pilnick1944
My apologies if this is only an echo of any old topics.

I was thinking a lot about the Imperial Army and the extent of stupidity it displays.

Primo: combat tactics. This goes to the AOTC and to the TPM (in a lesser degree) as well as the Rebel Alliance Sourcebooks from WEG.
Man!!! How can be anyone so stupid as to deploy infrantry in large anitque chunks?!? That's not the way to fight a war with blasters if you put your infrantry in such large, compressed groups where they can be mowed down by repeaters, large-scale blasts, etc. Okay, in AOTC it's a bit better, as the clones rush out in a tyralliere-esque manner... Though it reminds me of the Red Army during WW II. Which is not a big compliment for the so-called highly-trained Clone Troopers...
What is more probable is the squad-level action and armour pincer movements, air support, etc... I mean, more credible - at least to me. Enlighten me if I err.

Secundo: camouflage. Imagine:
Endor moon. Green forest everywhere around.
-Hello! Guys! I'm soooo cool. I'm a scouttrooper, you know. Didn't see me coming, huh?
-Actually, we've seen you and the rest of the white guys from the moment you've landed on this moon.
So. Take a handful of examples from 20 c. history - the soldier wants to stay alive so he camouflages himself. German soldiers painting their feldgrau helmets to suit the theatre of war more fittingly. Using cammo uniforms since mid '43. Using the white winter uniforms to stay virtually invisible in winter. Americans painting their faces in 'Nam, etc.
Now think how the heck can a Scouttropper scout anything if he's seen from a long, long way away? I believe the only trooptype that uses cammo are the Stormtroopers. The elite of the elites. And what about the rest? I'm sure they don't want to make themselves into obvious targets for Rebel sharpshooters.

Tertio: weaponry.
The average stormtrooper uses only their E-11. With the exception of the squad leader, who - if I am not mistaken - uses a light repeating blaster. So we would have a squad with enormous firepower at close quarters, weak firepower at mid distances and practically nil firepower further than that. It's in line with stormtrooper units resembling SS shock troops, okay, but it's more fitting to give the stormies something to shoot with on longer distances in adequate theatres of war.
Like during the attack on Hoth. Those snowtroopers actually used E-11s, didn't they? What courage.
Also, I imagine the snipers would use slug-throwers - so as to not give away their position upon firing. Or are there any muzzle-flash suppressors (I think I've read something about them in real-life)?

Any comments?

Keep in mind George Lucas's expertise lies in film making, not military minutae. (sp?)

SmugglerJedi
16 June 2005, 04:17 AM
Exactly! What more needs to be said?

SJ.

pilnick1944
16 June 2005, 11:14 AM
Well, okay.
Is that what I'm supposed to tell my players when acting out my NPCs?
Player: "So why did that Stormtrooper legion got their asses mopped, anyway?"
NPC: "Keep in mind George Lucas's expertise lies in film making, not military minutae."

I intended this thread to be something like - "So-you-want-to-make-the-Empire-look-dangerous-this-time" guide.
Maybe I posted it in the wrong forum (perhaps the Gamemaster forum would have been better).

EntilZha
16 June 2005, 05:42 PM
Part of the fun of Star Wars is that Stormtroopers (in the original trilogy anyway) can't hit the broad side of a barn. Their shots merely land close enough to the heroes to let them know they're being shot at. :D

Personally, I don't think the Imperial forces were as much stupid as overconfident. The Emperor gave his governors and commanders broad, sweeping powers which they exploited with great zeal, easily overcoming all initial opposition, especially in subjugations like Ralltiir, Ghorman, and Agamar. With 25,000 star destroyers and millions of men and tons of materiel, available, I'D feel pretty darn invincible if I were in the Imperial forces. With such overwhelming force and the authority and freedom to use it, subletly may not have been considered vital. The Empire wanted to be seen, to be visible, to remind all that it was the dominant power in the Galaxy. Many Imperial commanders joined the Emperor in regarding the Rebellion as "insignificant." They wrote off the Ewoks as a bunch of little, primitive savages who didn't pose any threat to their plans. It was this flaw that gave the Rebellion its greatest advantage. As long as the Empire considered them to be inferior, they could give them nasty shocks from time to time to keep them off balance. JMO.

wolverine
16 June 2005, 06:37 PM
IMO not so much as overconfident, but INCOMPIENT. When you have so many soldiers, and firepower, why train properly. Yes you will get losses, but when the job still gets done and you have 100000ss more, who cares,. That was a good chunk of the problem. AND only until the rebels proved themselves to be a threat, did the empire stand up and start properly training their folks...
You also have the cost factor.
Say it takes 20,000 credits to totally train up to an ok fighting level AND equip each trooper. Multiply that by all the troopers and you will soon bankrupt most systems, heck a good chunk of their available creds IMO were beign drained off for the DS and SSDs...

CaamasiJedi49
17 June 2005, 07:35 AM
But Palpy was a wizard at fuzzy math. How else could a Republic/emerging Empire that was recently on the verge of collapse be able to pay for a death star AND an huge fleet building program?

Caamasi Jedi49

pilnick1944
17 June 2005, 09:11 AM
And to add to that, they used forced labour. That was bound to cut down the workers wages.
Though it is surprising - the ammount of credits that must have gone into weapons programmes only... Probably not much left of it for other things the government has to shell out for.
So, you could *extrapolate*, the citizens of the Empire were being squished out of all the juice they had. No wonder that it paid off more to invest in the possible destruction of your planet during the course of war operations and to side with the Rebels!

SmugglerJedi
17 June 2005, 01:13 PM
Perhaps Palpy said "Well, since this is a military purchase, they don't actually have to use money, just give us this stuff." Not sure if that's how it is, but maybe, just maybe. He was a mean totalitarian dictator, you know.

SJ.

CaamasiJedi49
17 June 2005, 01:37 PM
Nah, Palpy may be greedy, but he did pay for it. But he could have, as you suggested, gotten discounts instead of just getting it downright free.

Caamasi Jedi49