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Thread: On the stupidity of the Imperial Army and how to alleviate it.

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    Lightbulb On the stupidity of the Imperial Army and how to alleviate it.

    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?

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    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.
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    Default Re: On the stupidity of the Imperial Army and how to alleviate it.

    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.
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    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

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    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!

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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...)
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    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.

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    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.

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    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.
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    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).

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    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?

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    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.

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