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Old 12-13-2006, 07:06 PM   #121
machievelli
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The bugaboo of technology: Mothballing a vessel

The biggest foible I get irate about at present is the 'HK' coming to life along with someone in Luke Skywalker's time running around in the Ebon Hawk.

It isn't that I don't like the character or hate the Ebon Hawk. It's just that if you're going to have them running around 4,000 years after the events of KOTOR, you have to consider storage.

I waxed lyrical in a sci fi story set in the StarFire universe because of the problem of mothballing. Warships are expensive, and mantaining them in fighting trim even more so. As someone back in the 1850s commented that refurbishing the Constitution (Built in 1804) after she had been laid up using the technology of 1825 had cost twice what it had cost to build the ship originally.

Ships that had been laid up after WWI by the US took up to seven months to bring up to operation when we gave them to England under the Lend Lease act. The optic had to be replaced, even sections of the boilers or hull had to be replaced by, you guessed it, cannibalizing the ships the Brits weren't getting.

Mothballing only became possible after WWII because quite honestly, no one had even considered the problem before. After the second world war a lot of those ships merely went through refits (Called FRAMS for Fleet Refurbishment and Modernization Schedule) where older guns and tech were replaced with more modern stuff. But that began to cost too much too.

So we had to mothball them in case we would need them later. Modern mothballing requires filling every possible crack (Including the bases of the turrets and radar antennae) with foam, draining out the normal atmosphere, and filling with inert dry nitrogen. But even then you need several moths before the ship is up to specs again because you have to replace all of the antique equipment. The last time the US has dipped into the WWII mothball fleet was in the seventies for ships to sell overseas.

Now picture 4,000 years of disrepair. I commented to one such author that it was the same as Themistocles sailing the Greek fleet that defeated Xerxes in 485 BCE to attack the American fleet carriers Sea Wolf Submarines and all off Chesapeake Bay. A fleet of 400 odd 70 man power (Remember oared galleys) attacking a fleet of around 2,000 that can sail for a month without fadditional uel at 30 knots (Three times their oared speed) and either shoot you in the face with a missile at 1600 miles (Tomahawk w/ nuclear warheads) or kill you with guns at up to 50 miles, long before your bows and arrows (about 150 yard range) can even range the enemy.

Who do you think is going to win?

Now picture this;

Back in the 60s, they found what they believe was a dry cell battery in the desert of Iraq. A rather large construct. Yet it is not usable. 5,000 years of storage even in a desert has seen to that.

So:

How do we have this ship and our favorite homicidal droid survive to plague us yet again?

Remember that Star Wars is a space opera. If you had stuck the ship drifting in deep space, all it would need is cleaning. The computers would probably still be fried, but the ship would be at least partially operational.

This means however that the memories of the droids would probably be patchy as well, but we can't have everything.

Either this or a full scale stasis field, which I think is beyond the tech of Star Wars. Maybe carbonite...?


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
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Old 12-18-2006, 08:29 PM   #122
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Well Mach, I have something of that nature written into my fic, and when I wrote it I really just thought it was a fun idea, and tried to explain it away as best I could. Looking back I figured science fiction explains enough stuff away with bolonga that I could get away with it


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Old 12-18-2006, 09:36 PM   #123
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The first rule of Sci Fi is 'one impossible thing is acceptable'.

All I asked is that if you're going to use HK, find a way to keep him updated. If you don't see what I mean find a very bad movie call 'quest of the Delta Knights' which I was in to my chagrin. They had Archimedes make a death ray back in the 2nd century BC (And not the infamous mirror).


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

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Old 12-18-2006, 09:57 PM   #124
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actually...HK doesn't last long enough to be updated One of my characters gets rather annoyed with him. That said, I get your point and a valid one it is.


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Old 12-21-2006, 03:49 AM   #125
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How a war really works in Star Wars

Unlike in the massive WWs of the past with clearly established fronts, warfare on a galactic scale in Star Wars revolves around hyperspace routes. These are just as, if not even more important than having roads, bridges, trains, and etcetera in our world.

For a bit of background on what hyperspace routes are, let's compare it to the roads we have here on Earth. As they're a faster method of getting from one place to other than hiking through a forest, so are hypserspace routes the faster method of traveling in Star Wars. We all know about the hyperdrive, the impossible invention that provides starships with a faster-than-light form of travel. Since it's so fast, it's completely impossible for anything (artifical intelligence included) to move starships around once they've jumped into hyperspace. Try making a ship change its specific course when it's traveling at millions upon millions of miles an hour; nothing has such sharp reflexes.

To get back to the background of hyperspace routes, some are safe to travel and some are not. Since it's impossible to change course at specific instance, a starship will crash into anything between its starting point and destination at an unimaginably fast speed, will will result in a giant explosion where everyone onboard dies.

Because of this, only certain routes can work; for example, if the space directly between Byss and Tarkin's Fang is completely free of asteroids or other obstacles, a ship can jump into hyperspace at Byss and program the navicomputer to exit hyperspace upon reaching Tarkin's Fang. Since Tarkin's Fang would be a known destination to the ship, it can be programmed to go back into realspace upon reaching the destination. If there was an asteroid directly between those two points and no one was aware of it, there would be no time to change course and everyone on the ship would die horribly.

However, if the asteroid was a known destination in advance, the ship could be programmed to enter hyperspace upon leaving Byss, and exit it upon reaching the asteroid. From there, the ship could jump into hyperspace again and proceed to Tarkin's Fang. This is the basic principle of how galactic travel exists.

Because of all these different routes, the galaxy has some fairly haphazard borders. Two planets, for example, could only be a sector away from each other, but if no known hyperspace routes existed directly between them, they could end up having to travel several sectors along a different route to reach other. With a principle like these, two star systems physically next to each other could be, in a sense, twenty systems apart.

Although conventional travel through realspace is possible, it is an incredibly slow venture, and traveling halfway around the galaxy through hyperspace often takes less time. The only purpose traveling through realspace serves is for very short voyages, such as from neighboring planets.

The question 'why not just map out the whole galaxy and get all the routes?' seems like a ntural one. However, mapping out new routes is an incredibly dangerous task; a random jump into hyperspace could spell certain death if there's something in the way. Convential mapping through realspace is, as I explained earlier, far too slow. Early in the Republic's history, discovering new routes was a large business (since it could result in discovering new worlds), but an extremely hazardous one. By the time of the Galactic Empire, thousands of worlds had been discovered, and no one wanted to risk their lives to find more. (Although the practice actually was dicontinued in the eyes of the public, Palpatine would continue to discover new ones when he put Grand Admiral Thrawn in charge of a mapping expedition in the Unknown Regions.)

Another reason everything can't be mapped are some natural hazards the galaxy has. Nebulae, for instance, are dangerous for ships to pass through, and nothing can really be done to move them. The same goes for asteroids and other hazards.

Whoa, I got carried away there. Back to how this is all relevant to warfare:

As I've mentioned, hypserspace routes determine where people can travel in the galaxy. However, who possesses those routes and whether they share them is another matter entirely...

One example of this is how General Grievous was able to invade Corsucant in Episode III despite how countless neighboring star systems were under the control of the Republic. Palpatine provided him with some secret hypserspace routes that went through the Galactic Core, and allowed him to completely bypass the Republic's defenses. It had been thought traveling through the Core was impossible, (due to the extreme proximity of all the stars there) so there were no enemy forces for him to deal with. This allowed him to enter the Coruscant system without any opposition, despite being surrounded on all sides by hostile territory. This is obviously the main difference between Star Wars and one Earth; in real life, no army can just march to the enemy's capital city without any opposition.

This naturally makes borders and fronts a complicated concept. Again, planets don't truly border the ones that are physically close to them - they border ones ships can travel in a completely straight line between. If a planet in the Outer Rim had a direct route between itself and a planet in the Mid Rim, that would be the one it actually bordered. For further clarification:



In this case, during a war, it's more important to control the strategically placed planets than the ones that border them. Only in a case where every single planet that shares a direct route with a certain one is controlled does that really matter.

Since the rest of the logic behind this concept is apparent enough and I've typed a lot, I'll leave it at that.


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We will be great failures one day, you and I

Last edited by Emperor Devon; 12-21-2006 at 12:59 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 12-21-2006, 11:55 AM   #126
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very nice, and very informative!


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Old 01-12-2007, 07:15 PM   #127
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Creating your society: Or from the abundance of the memory...

There has been a discussion over in the Ahto Spaceport bar about why the Mandalorians started the war, and I go into it at the behest of one of the people there. The primary stumbling block was someone with a loose grasp of history, and I don't like dealing with that kind of person, primarily because while history is not an exact science, it is a science. His primary contention is that a: The Mandalorians figured they had a good chance to defeat the Republic (Like a mouse kicking an elephant in the privates) and that both the Sith and Republic knew this, which violates both common sense and force appraisals.

So I'm doing this article to explain how your mythical society is created, and using historical models to show them. Since all of us are here because of KOTOR, I'm using the societies we see there.

Mandalorians: The best example in History of what kind of people the Mandalorians are is the German nation since before the Unification of 1870. From the 13th century on, the German city states made money hand over fist hiring their armies out as mercenaries. For seven centuries they learned every aspect of war. They proved it quite conclusively during the Franco Prussian War where a numerically inferior Prussian army ran the French ragged and defeated them in four months. Thye proved it again in both WWI and WWII where they pioneered all of the innovations that makes modern day land warfare so efficient and bloody.

Say what you want about the Kaiser and the Nazis, they are still considered so efficient that James Dunnigan, a military historian and Analyst still rates them as #1 in Europe. Only the US is considered better, but our armed forces have three times the manpower even today.

The Republic: There are two historical examples, but I lean hardest toward the Polish government between 1920 and 1939. The Poles (The butt of every joke) gained that notoriety by having a parliament made up of 800 co-equal nobles who elected a king for four years, and had to have complete unanimity in session. Everyone looks at the force appraisals, the two armies were almost equal in size, but the Poles could not get a vote passed to declare war before the invasion. All they needed to block it was one man saying no. The Germans were able to convince about a dozen, and the Polish government was pinned down by that.

The Republic is more honestly a trade organizing body, trying to assure that the merchants are honest, and that planetary governments do not pass too many restrictive rules. Palpatine was able to use the complaints of the Trade Authorities to suggest something that was 'short of war', I.E. Conquering a planet and setting up an exclusionary trade agreement. Don't laugh. England used the Opium Wars (Fought not to stop the trade, but forcing the Chinese to allowthe English to trade the addictive substance. France used the same reasoning in the invasion of Mexico in the 1860s because the Mexicans had gone into debt to them.

The Sith: The Sith are an example of strong man autocracy. 'I'm the biggest and meanest, so I'm in charge'. A lot like the Ba'athist government of Iraq. Saddam merely had anyone he considered a threat eliminated. Part of our problem now in that war is he didn't leave any really competent enemies to take over. It also has overtones of Communism as practiced now in China and Korea, because the man in charge stays there by assuring that either he is the 'first among equals' such as the Chinese premier, or has no one to replace him, like Kim in Korea.

So when you create your society, use what you have seen in history. Or like I did talking about elected governmenys in my Return of the exile, have fun with how many silly ways you can create the same thing.


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
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Old 01-15-2007, 07:43 PM   #128
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Interesting comparisons mach. I actually utilized that when I created the Avalonians by using the Orient. It is a good tip to use.

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Old 01-18-2007, 11:42 PM   #129
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Of ships and planets and especially communications:

On the bridge of the USS Enterprise D patrolling the Romulan Neutral Zone, Captain Picard receives an emergency message from Star Fleet Command…

Wrong universe, I know, but there is a method to my madness. In Star Trek The Next Generation, this call is almost instantaneous. The distance is approximately 1500 light years from Earth. Yet in the Next Generation Technical Manual, direct talk and answer communications beyond 22.65 light years is not possible because of signal delay. All right, they are not paying attention to canon. So let’s scale it back…

On the bridge of the USS Enterprise patrolling the Romulan Neutral Zone, Captain Kirk receives an emergency message from Star Fleet Command…

Even worse. In the Deadly Years, Kirk orders a message sent to Starfleet and is told it will be several weeks before it is received. In one of the books they comment that while a ship of that era can travel warp 9 communications runs at warp 20, or 8,000C according to the old cube rule. By simple use of a calculator, I discovered that using that old rule, it takes 36.2 seconds for a signal to reach Proxima Centauri (So named because it is the closest of the three stars of that system) whereas USS Enterprise in that time would have taken a little over half an hour to get there.

I know, I know; this is a Star Wars site, right? Well the way they communicate in Star Wars is even less likely, but necessary for the plot to unfold swiftly. Ben Kenobi is able to go to a planet gods alone know how many light years from Coruscant (Kamino), and contact the council on Coruscant directly in conversational dialogue. He cannot do it later when he is shot up over Geonosis because of damage to his ship, not any equipment in between.

Why?

In the books, the hyper-com (Communications equipment) is little described, and as many times as I have seen writers here use it to talk to ships, I will show in a moment why it would not work.

Both Elizabeth Moon and David Weber in their own universes created a method for direct communications between planets or between ships (in Moon’s universe). They are called the Ansible (Moon) and Hypercom in Weber’s. In each case it is an installation (Small enough to mount on a ship for Moon) that literally connects two separate pieces of space in different places for a brief period. In Moon’s universe, it will allow direct communication, however it is hideously expensive. In Weber’s you have the problem that it must be beyond a set distance from a planet (Called the Powell limit), which for Earth would mean geosynchronous orbit, about 26,000 miles. A short enough distance that signal delay is no problem.

But for a shipboard unit in Moon’s universe, the signal is a packet. You don’t actually sit down and talk, you are responding to the equivalent of e-mail. If the authors here would use that it would be acceptable. But they insist on having the calls made as if it were a super telephone.

SIGNAL FREQUENCY
A ship traveling at high speed has a shift in first sound then light. The Doppler effect means that a noise is pitched higher when approaching because the sound waves are compressed, and lower when receding because the motion is taking the vehicle making that sound farther away with every second. When you reach a good fraction of light speed (around 15%) light has the same problem. Ahead of you, the stars shift in color toward the blue spectrum, and behind you to the red. Now assuming you were sending a signal to two ships headed the same direction within say half a light second, there is no noticeable difference. The signal is traveling in a straight line out the passenger window of your car, and in the driver’s side of his.

But if you are approaching each other at the same speed, the signal is coming from the front. At a light second range the signal (Which would take one second normally) takes only 7 10ths of a second. If the receiver were set like a normal FM radio at 66 on the dial, the signal would not be heard, because it would be received down around 95.

If you’re receding from each other, the signal now takes much longer because while it traveled that half light second (150,000 kps) you traveled an additional 45,000kps. Or 1.5 10ths of a light second. It will take that 1.5 tenths, while you add more, and just under a second after transmission, it finally reaches you. The same radio set on 106 is also receiving the message around 95 As you have noticed, you can have your set capable of receiving by having it cover a massive wavelength range making it possible to receive from ship A (paralleling you) Ship B (On a reciprocal course ahead) and Ship C, (on a reciprocal course behind you) so insystem communications is possible, just a tad difficult.

But if you include hyperdrive, it’s worse. To transmit to a ship you must know A: what its rate of pseudo-speed is; B. The direction it is traveling, and: C. the distance it is from you. Like Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, you cannot know this.

Worse yet, we do not know what the acceleration of the signal is. If you are traveling toward them, and the signal is in the EM band, they are receiving it in the high ultraviolet maybe even the gamma ray range. Whereas if they are behind you it is being received in the lower infrared even X-ray range. To have a receiver capable of receiving on all these frequencies is beyond even envisioning beyond this paragraph.

COMBAT AND COMMUNICATIONS

Modern warplanes carry what are called ‘frequency agile’ radios. They transmit on a set number of frequencies (The US and our allies typically use fifty or more) and the transmitter and receiver jump from one to the next every tenth of a second or so. To give you an idea, the aircraft of your formation hears you say ‘Fire’ but the enemy hears, ‘F-’. To break into their communications you need a system capable of rapidly jumping frequencies and, (the hard part) the encryption algorhythm used by their computers to tell the radio sets when to change. Without both, all you get is static.

Now you can, during a fight, communicate with your enemy is you know the frequencies they operate on, however, a fighter pilot in the middle of a battle does not honestly have the time to stop what he’s doing and set his radio to the channel. He’s busy with the standard cockpit chatter of a group of pilots turning and burning.

It is easier for a capital ship. The communication between the Romulan Commander and Kirk in Balance of Terror however happened during a lull in the situation. The Romulan ship disabled, the Captain of that vessel able to talk because there is nothing to really do. But in a space battle anything smaller than a Star Destroyer is merely a fighter aircraft writ very large.


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile

Last edited by machievelli; 02-23-2007 at 11:03 PM. Reason: screw up no one noticed.
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Old 02-09-2007, 02:12 AM   #130
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Of Medpacks, Stealth fields and other such things.

When I wrote my published Work Gryphonrider, I didn't give my character's sword a plus versus anything because as often as I've seen Elric or Conan whip his sword, no one ever commented on it's pluses. Even when I used the equivalent of a healing spell I had a specific time period in which it worked, and actually explained that after using the spell which speeds healing that the injured party needed to rest several hours afterward.

The problem with using these tools of the game is that they immediately say to the reader that you played the game, and couldn't think of another way to say it. A medpack is just a highly updated first aid kit which is when you come down to it, something used in an emergency to stabilize the injured party until he can be sent to a hospital. A stealth field is the equivalent of the modern day camoflauge, concealing you readily if you are not in motion, but like the bad guy in predator, it would create an area of motion that would be discernable against a background. In my own Return from Exile, you will notice that the one time i had someone use a stealth field, he knelt motionless until the enemy was within striking range.

Just a little pet peeve of my own.


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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Old 02-10-2007, 08:34 PM   #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by machievelli
A medpack is just a highly updated first aid kit which is when you come down to it, something used in an emergency to stabilize the injured party until he can be sent to a hospital.
Or for the treatment of minor wounds. It would have been more realistic if the character would open up the medpack, apply bacta/bandages/synthskin where needed and pack everything back up when done after a few minutes, but that would have been too much work to implement (and would have annoyed players).

KotOR does make other inaccuracies with items, though. One example would be the adrenal stimulants. They appear to be injections, but characters just jam them into their legs with only a second's worth of thought. Not only are there the usual risks of piercing skin covered with cloth, but also missing the muscle it's supposed to hit. Qualified doctors don't do that on the spot.


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Old 02-10-2007, 10:23 PM   #132
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Quote:
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Or for the treatment of minor wounds. It would have been more realistic if the character would open up the medpack, apply bacta/bandages/synthskin where needed and pack everything back up when done after a few minutes, but that would have been too much work to implement (and would have annoyed players)..
The problem is simple; the people who created the game probably learned using such games as D&D where you have potions and magicians throwing the spells.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
KotOR does make other inaccuracies with items, though. One example would be the adrenal stimulants. They appear to be injections, but characters just jam them into their legs with only a second's worth of thought. Not only are there the usual risks of piercing skin covered with cloth, but also missing the muscle it's supposed to hit. Qualified doctors don't do that on the spot.
For something like a stim, you could inject it anywhere. The body would use the adernalin analog where ever it was injected. The problem with them is that an excess of adreanaline in the system would cause a corresponding crash in the character's fatigue as well, just like with any drug.


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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Old 02-11-2007, 12:01 AM   #133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by machievelli
The problem is simple; the people who created the game probably learned using such games as D&D where you have potions and magicians throwing the spells.
Yes, those are magical and can defy the regular laws of reality. But it's also because it's much easier for the developers to do. Making a simple animation of a character jabbing his leg and giving back HP is easier than devising some system and animations for it that use medpacks realistically.

Works best when people don't follow every detail in the game to the core, though. There was one fic I was reading at KFM that was good other than how it presented medpacks as stim-like shots that healed people's wounds instantly. An irritating detail in an otherwise good story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by machievelli
For something like a stim, you could inject it anywhere. The body would use the adernalin analog where ever it was injected. The problem with them is that an excess of adreanaline in the system would cause a corresponding crash in the character's fatigue as well, just like with any drug.
The thigh is a poor place to inject it, in that case. And it's possible it might end up hitting bone, or actually injuring a muscle. The characters don't look like they're bothering with where they inject the stim very much. (Not to mention how they can do it while running)


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Old 02-11-2007, 01:23 AM   #134
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Epi-pens can be injected anywhere and they'll be effective.
The thigh actually is a pretty good place for an injection, because the quads are such big muscles. Nurses usually use the gluts (butt muscles) because those are bigger and a little less sensitive, and people don't freak out as much if they don't see the needle.


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Old 02-11-2007, 01:47 AM   #135
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Epi-pens can be injected anywhere and they'll be effective.
The thigh actually is a pretty good place for an injection, because the quads are such big muscles.
Seems odd characters could inject the stim while running. Probably the biggest health hazard, though, is how the needle is going through clothing. But the games can't be entirely accurate.

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Nurses usually use the gluts (butt muscles) because those are bigger and a little less sensitive, and people don't freak out as much if they don't see the needle.
Now that would look odd in KotOR.


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Old 02-11-2007, 02:51 AM   #136
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Jae, if you ever have to give me a shot go ahead and hit the thigh. I hate needles, but by the same token, it's better for her if I know what the nurse is doing.

You also forgot ED, that the emergency med kits issued to the military use e-pen designs, such as the atropine injector used for nerve gas attacks and morphine for serious wounds. The designers obviously considered the problem with clothing, and you get away with it by using a very sharp needle that injectas on impact of the pen on the muscle.

No doubt you have noticed I don't have a lot of medpacks in the stuff I've written. In fact the only comments I remember making about it is Dankia refusing to use stims because she doesn't like the effects, and her consideration of using her suit based meds fot a quick suicide.

The thing is, When I'm reading what should be a good piece of fiction, I don't like to hit the speed bumps.


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Old 02-11-2007, 04:52 AM   #137
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You also forgot ED, that the emergency med kits issued to the military use e-pen designs, such as the atropine injector used for nerve gas attacks and morphine for serious wounds. The designers obviously considered the problem with clothing, and you get away with it by using a very sharp needle that injectas on impact of the pen on the muscle.
That's where the inaccuracy of finding the same type of medpack throughout various areas comes in.

A lot of the problem with finding medpacks in a Sith military base is how about 9/10ths of the inhabitants are droids or armored troopers. The former you obviously have to heal in a separate way, but it's impossible for the later to give themselves injections on the spot because of their uniforms. Their actual armor a needle obviously can't pierce, and the same might be with that body glove they're wearing. Since it covers a fairly large amount of their body and shrapnel-based explosives and close combat are common, it would be sensible for that to provide some protection. Stromtroopers have a similar body glove, which shielded them from shrapnel and the like.

Granted, it's not 100% effective, but it wouldn't be very reliable to use in combat if needles could pierce it.

Civilian medpacks wouldn't need injections, too. It's probably assumed they won't be used during the middle of a fight.

Of course, this is just an animation we're talking about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by machievelli
No doubt you have noticed I don't have a lot of medpacks in the stuff I've written. In fact the only comments I remember making about it is Dankia refusing to use stims because she doesn't like the effects, and her consideration of using her suit based meds fot a quick suicide.
It would be annoying to write about the party using buffs on themselves, and the Jedi generally frown on things like stims. They don't really need to with the Force, anyway. It's far more useful than an adrenaline rush. (And less dangerous to one's health)


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Old 02-11-2007, 12:25 PM   #138
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One reason I am designing my own version of an RPG is I always gotten frustrated with the idea that just because you're a veteran, you have more hit points and therefore are harder to kill. So far I have found one, an old west rpg that actually take into account that bullets kill you no matter how good you are if they hit. A veteran survives because he knows how to take cover, is careful about laying accurate fire on the enemy, and knows when to either hold position or retreat.

That is also why in my melee scenes, I don't do a lot of description and having people hacked to bits. You have the rare individual who ignores injuries and continues fighting (Jim Bowie chasing away attackers with a sword stuck in his chest) but most times the injury distracts them sufficiently that they either withdraw or they get killed there. In a fire fight at the ranges you have in the average war game it should take only a few seconds.

As for her reaction to stims, the problem is not with being around drugged up associates. I was looking at the idea that it's good to have that boost but at the same time, you're writing checks your body has to cash whether you like it or not. If the military had the equivalent of stims, they would issue them, and a lot of the short term light casualties after a battle would be the ones who used them during the battle.

Tom Clancy called mild analgesics 'Light fighter candy' because you carry them into the field, and keep taking them pretty much all the time to getrid of the small aches and pains which will build up until you either rest or get out of the field.


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Old 02-13-2007, 01:48 PM   #139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
The former you obviously have to heal in a separate way, but it's impossible for the later to give themselves injections on the spot because of their uniforms. Their actual armor a needle obviously can't pierce, and the same might be with that body glove they're wearing. Since it covers a fairly large amount of their body and shrapnel-based explosives and close combat are common, it would be sensible for that to provide some protection. Stromtroopers have a similar body glove, which shielded them from shrapnel and the like.
Even with full body armor, there are spots on the body that don't get covered so that you're able to move and bend the joints--elbows, backs of knees, armpits, right at the hip, etc. You'd be able to find a spot to inject something there.


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Old 02-13-2007, 04:09 PM   #140
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Even with full body armor, there are spots on the body that don't get covered so that you're able to move and bend the joints--elbows, backs of knees, armpits, right at the hip, etc. You'd be able to find a spot to inject something there.
ED's comment isn't accurate for one primary reason; Assuming something like Kevlar, you have the fact that it is a woven cloth. A needle can quite easily slide through the intercises of it.

Also, Kevlar is excellent against high speed projectiles such as bullets and shrapnel, however low speed projectiles (Arrows, spears,) and pointed or edged ones (swords,arrows with armor piercing or broadheads and knives) will go through it readily.

David Weberand John Rongo have the four books that I call the Chronicle of Prince Roger. (March Inland, March to the Sea, March to the Stars, and We Few) and they used a ballistic cloth made to stop anything but multiple hits by a high speed projectile, but it didn't work against spears. At one point in the story a mass of natives fired muzzle loading arquebueses (try a 30 mm smooth bore, and one of the people who got hit stood up suggesting dire consequences.


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Old 02-16-2007, 01:10 AM   #141
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Even with full body armor, there are spots on the body that don't get covered so that you're able to move and bend the joints--elbows, backs of knees, armpits, right at the hip, etc. You'd be able to find a spot to inject something there.
Standard Sith armor leaves no skin exposed.

It does have a body glove like the stormtroopers, (how they were obviously able to bend) but for some reason, despite how the Sith virtually had unlimited resources they have a lot less armor. Kind of odd, since the plating is far more protective than the body glove and not that cumbersome.

Quote:
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ED's comment isn't accurate for one primary reason; Assuming something like Kevlar, you have the fact that it is a woven cloth. A needle can quite easily slide through the intercises of it.
I looked up the stormtrooper armor, and apparently needles can go through the body glove. The same could apply to the Sith troopers, but they have far less actual armor than the stormies do.


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Old 02-16-2007, 01:34 AM   #142
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I dis agree with the 'practically unlimited resouces' part. Having a super ship yard that can create entire ships and droids does not give you such a thing. I know that i used that consept myself in my KOTOR novel by locking the system into making emergency tents, but it would then come down to computing power. The primary reason people challenge Star Trek's transporters. It is one thing to transmit and have a reciever, it is another to send a message (Which is what the person is in transit) and have it just manifest in mid air.


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Old 02-16-2007, 04:30 PM   #143
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I dis agree with the 'practically unlimited resouces' part. Having a super ship yard that can create entire ships and droids does not give you such a thing.
In terms of technology, there was a practically infinite amount. Foodstuffs and people are another matter, but my original point was how odd it was for the Sith troopers to have armor like they did.


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Old 02-16-2007, 05:23 PM   #144
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In terms of technology, there was a practically infinite amount. Foodstuffs and people are another matter, but my original point was how odd it was for the Sith troopers to have armor like they did.
It might have been something as simple political or military intransigence. Even though the Vietnam war had proven that moder body armor could stop some of the casualties, people like John Kerry refused to back the funding for it from the mid 70s on as wastful spending. Then when the present war began beat the President over the head with his 'hard heatedness' at not supplying it.

Remember that the 1962 Navy Budget got hung up because a cabal of Admirals wanted to build battleships instead of the first of the super carriers.


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Old 02-23-2007, 05:41 PM   #145
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The economics and lag time of ship building.

Emperor Devon asked me about the death stars, part of the commentary suggested that the ships were built very rapidly.

I had to disagree, because throughout history, the time necessary to build a ship has been the same whether you were a Greek building a trireme in the 5th century BCE, or you were building a Super carrier.

The time from laying the keel, to operation status has always been four years. Back in greek times it was because of having to cut form and season the wood. In modern times it if connecting the plates with rivets, then later welding.

The first thing to remember is that only part of that is the actual building. A lot of it is fitting out and assigning the crew. The more unique the ship, such as switching from dried lumber to steel, steel to some other material sail to steam, new equipment etc, the harder it is to train the crew and work up because you simultaneously have to write the syllabus of how to operate that vessel. It is harder to crew something new and unique like the Monitor, which I will mention later, because you must teach the men how to deal with all of the innovations. You also spend more time on the average because everything is new and has to be literally created as you go.

When you build the ship, you a start from blueprints. I did not count this in the time needed, because all of that would have been done long before you lay the first keel block.

When a design is put forward in our modern day, it goes through a rigorous process. Engineers have to go over them to make sure you didn’t make mistakes in the design. Sometimes problems slips by or wrong thinking people screw it up. As an example of the former the Vasa, the largest ship the Swedes ever built for their wooden navy, sank because she carried too much sail, and her guns were mounted too high. When she used full sail, the ship rolled and sank. For the latter the British Ironclad Captain sank because the Admiralty refused to accept that the engine had sufficient range, so they ordered that fitting for masts be installed. The Monitor specifications were challenged, and the Navy department demanded that she be fitted that way four years before Captain sank. Only the direct intervention by Abraham Lincoln saved her from the same fate.

Once it has been cleared, only now does our build time begin. The keel is laid, and they start to build.

The actual solid parts of the ship are very small compared to the volume she takes up. On the average, a warship uses only 2.5% of that area. To give you an idea, I used a spherical ship about the same size as the original death Star, being 25KM in diameter. The reason I said this is that if the ship had been a solid mass of iron it would way over 400 times as much as I am going to describe. The actual vessel weighed in at about 6.6 gigatons, It would have weighed three times as much if it were a solid cube of ice. That is six point six Billion tons.

The figures I am using assume you would be building the Frigates such as the Endar Spire. So it takes four years from keel to operations for one of those vessels. The same is true later with the Star Destroyers, but not for the Super Destroyer. For it you would take about eight to ten years, because they are new. You didn’t even see a super star destroyer until TESB. But in another decade, they would have been cranking them out one every four because you are no longer using new technology.

So we have Count Dooku carrying the blueprints for the Death Star, and handing them to Sidious. This is three years before the Empire. First let’s work in the lag time before construction. Assuming (I will allow all challenges you wish to make as long as they aren’t merely ‘I think you’re incorrect.’. Be willing to show facts that can prove my assumptions invalid) the same time it takes here, cutting out endless Senate hearings, they began construction on the Original Death Star about five years after the Empire was formed. This gives them time to put down any small rebellions, and to get all their ducks in a row. This is 17 years before she was seen. But if they had built it at say the Kuati yards, she would have been there for everyone to see, even if she was done in about half the time.

The reason for the last remark is that everyone was astonished that that the Death Star was being built. This implies a serious amount of secrecy. Even with all of the paranoia of the old Soviet system, the US knew a year before they saw it that the Russians were building exact ‘bolt for bolt’ copies of the B29. They just didn’t believe it. The only thing secret about the Battleship Bismarck was her tonnage and radar system. The caliber of the guns, number, crew size etc was already known to Mi6. The same is true of the Battleship Yamato. The Allies knew a year before the first V2 hit London that the Germans had been building them, we even knew where. The Rebellion was lucky only in that they grabbed a copy of the blueprints. They probably knew a decade Earlier that the Empire was building such a monster. They just didn’t know her capabilities.


So the construction had to have been done in an out of the way system which is why the construction took so long. Billions of tons of material, hundred of construction vessels must have been diverted, and someone eventually noticed that.

The ship is unique in a lot of way if you use the word ‘ship’ rather than space station. They had to design a brand new engine suite to drive her, and the main gun must have been a new innovation as well, because the Empire hadn’t gone around blowing up planets before that. All of this means more time building and fitting out.

But what this also means is that the second Death Star had been started less than ten years earlier. The only difference was the Emperor demanding that her weapons systems be made operational, and leaking the data to the Rebellion.

Specific notes.

The only ships ever built that I can find that did not fit the criteria I described were the original ironclads of the American War Between the States. Neither set of plans were completely vetted before construction. The Virginia was built on the hull of the frigate Merrimac, and took just under a year from planning to sailing. The Monitor, built on what would be the equivalent of a war time ‘throw money at the problem’ operation took 101 days. If they had waited for government funding, it would have been 1865

Both had their problems. Virginia couldn’t wait for a brand new engine, and the one salvaged from the sunken vessel had been damaged, lowering her speed greatly. With Monitor the first screw they made for it was backwards, requiring another be cast. Then when they were testing her guns, the brand new friction clamp recoil system was set incorrectly, causing the gun to slam into the side of the turret. The flustered officer set the second the exact same way. This required that they remount the massive 11 inch smoothbores. Enroute to Chesapeake Bay, the ship almost sank because while Erricsson told them that the weight of the turret would keep her water tight, Captain Worden jacked it up, and stuffed the gap with standard sealing materials, which washed out. The same decision by the new captain after Worden was replaced because of his injuries is what caused the ship to sink.


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Old 02-24-2007, 01:27 AM   #146
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In the Mud: Or basic infantry tactics in the real world.

A thousand men in white armor run across a desert, guns blazing. Facing them come an many if not more battle droids.

We all remember the scene, The Attack of the Clones, battle of Geonosis. As someone who loves Star Wars, it was grand. But as the French Pundit once said ‘is it war?’.

The first thing to remember only a group of clones who cannot refuse orders would have made such a reckless charge. It does happen in real life, as recently as the Iran Iraq War, but against any competent fire control, all you would get is one hell of a lot of casualties. That was proven at Antietam and at Gettysburg.

So let’s look at the Infantryman’s rules of survival.

RULE 1: COVER IS YOUR FRIEND

In my work Return of the Exile, I have my character training some militamen. She has them marching toward an objective, and they are ambushed. The men depending on their inclinations either; seek good cover, just dive out of the way, stand there like cattle, or; charge the guns.

Once they had, the action is stopped, and holographic representations replace them. For the ones who have good cover, just a head represents them. If they dived for the ground, they are head and shoulders, for those who stood, full figure shapes, and for the charging men, oversized figures. Then the men lock and load, take aim, and blow up the targets that represent them. They are appalled by how easily they decimate their own numbers.

The reason behind the scene is simple. The stupidly brave (Those that charge) are weeded out ruthlessly in long range combat. They are not only standing up right, they are approaching, making them easier to hit. Those that don’t react in time are also weeded out because a standing stationary target is also easy to hit. Diving for cover helps, but if that cover doesn’t stop bullets, plasma rounds, etc, it is only good for concealment. Good thick and by all means heavy cover is what keeps the ground pounder alive.

RULE 2: IT ISN’T SHOOT AT THEM, IT IS FIRE, MOVE, AND ELIMINATE HIM
If you just sit in one place, unless those are your orders, you are just making yourself a sitting target rather than a standing one. An infantryman’s job is to eliminate that threat, not make them duck down. Fire and movement was known as far back as the Mongols, but so many didn’t even think to use it. It wasn’t until modern armies of the mid 20th century that it came into constant use.

In the movie diehard, they comment on the ‘two by two cover formation. However the way it is done in the movie is not. A proper two by is done by having two groups, separated enough that one lucky burst or pan of the gun will not kill all of them. One group moves forward while the other group covers them (Which is why it is called a cover formation). This is done by leapfrogging. The first group moves until they find cover, then stop and prepare to cover. The second team now moves forward. Think of a chess board. You move from square one to row 3, the other guy passes you going to line 6, then the first moves to 8 and you’re across the board.

Under fire, it works like this. You have reached row three, and the enemy opens fire. You dive for cover as team two takes them under fire. This force them to duck or change their target to team 2. Once you are under good fire, you start shooting at them They have to honor the threat, which mean now they start shooting at you again. If you are doing your job, Team two is now clear to move forwa until they can again start shooting, at which point you move forward.

Simple really.

RULE 3: FRIENDLY FIRE ISN’T

In the movie Kelly’s Heroes, Big Joe gives a long diatribe about getting shot at by his own side.

‘On the left the British on the Right Patton and the third army. Mulligan right behind us, and on top of that it’s raining, and the only thing nice about the WEATHER, is it keeps out own Air Corps from blowing us all to hell.’

When you shoot, the bullets go somewhere, and a lot of guys get shot or blown up by their own side. So to an infantry man, you aren’t on his side unless you’re in the same hole with him. The infantryman learns to focus in front of him when actually fighting, but when he moves it’s like a wild turkey ducking and weaving. If there is cover anywhere, he will find it, and he is as worried about one of his own actually putting a round into him as he is that an enemy might. He watches, he is wary. He survives.

TRAIN TRAIN TRAIN IS BETTER THAN DIE DIE DIE
In the late 70s, the Us Army opened the Fort Irwin Advanced Infantry School. Someone had FINALLY done an analysis of the US penchant for just tossing extra men into a unit when they needed it (No one else does that except in an emergency) and were appalled to discover that 60 percent of the casualties of new kids occurs in the first 30 days of combat. If you live the first 30 days, the odds are you have a good chance of surviving it all. The school simulates combat at such a level that even veteran soldiers with combat experience cringe from it. The course is for a month, obviously. The training is that intense because they want you inured to all of the problems before the first real bullet comes by.. It works too. In fact the A Cavalry unit that served in the Gulf War returned, and cycled through Ft Irwin, and got their butts kicked because the training was that much more intense.

TWO IS EQUAL TO EIGHT

The special Forces created the ground based version of the Air Force wingman because in a fast free flowing combat environment, men die most often when they are paying attention to one enemy, and another one pops up to the side and kills him. So they worked in teams, one man watching for someone who can kill the rather busy leader, and that man is the wingman. In a close in firefight where two men are operating in this manner, the two men are equal to eight men fighting in the older manner.

WHEN IN DOUBT, PRETEND YOU DIDN’T HEAR THE ORDER

I had a friend who had served two tours in the Nam. His unit was given an order by a brand new butterbar lieutenant that they knew was going to get them killed. Butter-bar is slang for a second lieutenant. He is the boss, his word is law, but there are times when, as they would say, you have to teach them how to wipe both ends. They have the same problem that newbie kid has. He’s here, he hasn’t seen the elephant or heard the bullet go wheet, yet he’s telling guys that have been there and done that how to do their jobs.

So they pretended that the order hadn’t been given, just long enough for a first looie to come by, hear what had been passed on and ream the new kid.

So if they’re clones, they can be that stupid. If they’re droids, they can. But if you take normal men in that situation, I will complain.

Bet on it.


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Old 12-27-2008, 01:59 AM   #147
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I hope you won't take offense machievelli, I'd like to offer a mere handful of technical corrections.

Quote:
The Russians during WWII had what they called Fronts, and they are what we would call an Army. Usually commanded by a General (4 stars)
A Soviet Front is anything bigger than an army and is commanded by a Colonel-General (5 stars). Technically it can be one army with some attachment (say, two tank brigades), but is more commonly 3-5 armies with a few attachments (5 tank brigades of various types and a paratroop corps). It might have say, 1.2 million combatants.

This corresponds to the Wehrmacht Army Group, which is commanded by a Field Marshal (or considering Hitler's whimsy, a Colonel-General who is Acting Field Marshal, such as for example Generaloberst von Wiechs in charge of Army Group B following the sacking of Generalfeldmarschall von Bock for his hesitance at Kursk-Orel in '42).

Soviet Marshals are a bit different, the term corresponding to "Marshal of the Soviet Union" and more like Hermann Göring's Reichmarschall rank, ie. unique and individual. Generally speaking the highest military rank in the Red Army is Colonel-General. Even in the Wehrmacht the rank Generalfeldmarschall in truth corresponded to the Prussian military aristocracy of the 19th century, I don't think there were any whom weren't a "von-something," so the highest rank for a non-aristocratic career military officer was also Generaloberst (Colonel-General).

In Star Wars the rank of Marshal or Generalfeldmarschall would correspond to Grand Moff. It is equivalent to the Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe say, and trumps the classical US DoD Field Marshal which is really the equivalent of a Colonel-General in Europe.

Quote:
Corps:
A corp is made up of between two and three Divisions and is usually comprised of about 35-60,000 men. Again, the variation in numbers is because of what it is composed of. Infantry units are heavier in manpower, Armor heavier in tanks (But smaller in men because you count the number of thanks, not their crews). This is what the Russians called an Army in WWII. Usually commanded by a Lieutenant (3 star) General
Among Soviet and Wehrmacht forces a Corps was either an understrength army or a reinforced division. It was not an interim between division and army but more an administrative title for specific purposes of something mid-sized, it works like this: Army (General), then Division (Lieutenant-General), then Regiment (Major-General), then Battalion (Colonel), then Company (Captain), then Platoon (2nd Lieutenant), then Squad (the ranking NCO en pointe).
You had a Corps when you had an understrength army or formed a special purpose force larger than a division, and a Brigade when you had an understrength division whether or not formed for a special purpose. Generally these were attachments to larger formations. They were commanded by a variety of ranks, nonspecific and usually (but not always) dependent upon the ranks of those placed under charge and those immediately above. More often than not a Corps in Europe was commanded by a General (4-star), except where it was formed by detachment from an existing army where a Lieutenant-General would be more typical (3-star). This can lead to confusion particularly in Soviet formations where Corps might be referred to as armies, but it is not the case. A Soviet army is as big as anybody else's and if anything infantry-heavy even when it's supposed to be a Tank Army.

Chuikov's 62nd Army for example had 13 full strength divisions plus 9 brigade attachments. Meanwhile the 6th Army of Paulus had 17 divisions plus a regimental attachment, which he divided into 4 Corps for special purposes and placed under Generals and Lieutenant-Generals. Hube (XXIV Panzerkorps) had 4 divisions, Heitz (VIII Legerkorps) had 2, von Seydlitz-Kurzbach (LI Legerkorps) had 8 divisions plus attachments. Hoth's 4th Panzerarmee had something like 4 divisions iirc, including the two given over to him from the 6th Army as a corps attachment (replacing earlier losses and bringing him back up to strength).

As you can see Corps and Brigades are more for battlefield purposes than strict military structure, at least among the two aforementioned nations as I'm not nearly as familiar with US or British doctrine. Even the term "Army" isn't strictly classified by strength but more command structure, ie. it has a General Staff with equivalence to the commander (except in the case of the Soviets whose only General Staff was Stavka, or the High Command and the Politburea). For the Soviets you'd classify an army as exceeding say, 6 divisions, with reserves and fully equipped for extended independent operations, and commanded by a General (4-star) or a Lieutenant-General in special cases (an understrength but very well equipped Guards Army for example).



According to the Imperial Sourcebook COMPNOR (the Commission for the Protection of the New Order) is the organisation responsible for Stormtrooper formations as well as certain other paramilitary personnel and has its own ranking system and battlefield organisation quite separate from the Imperial army and navy. It operates under the direct authority of the Emperor and obviously corresponds directly to the SS of WW2.
Stormtrooper squads have 5-10 men and are commanded by a Stormtrooper-sergeant.
There are no other ranks until battalion level, which contains 800 combatants and is commanded by a Stormtrooper-Colonel.
All members of a stormtrooper battalion are armoured combatants, including support personnel (such as AT-AT crews).
Stormtrooper battalions are usually placed under Fleet charge, but in truth operate at the Emperor's lesuire. This means they technically outrank all Fleet personnel, but are typically attached to them and therefore placed under their charge.
There are elite stormtrooper battalions (sandtroopers, snowtroopers, radtroopers and storm-commandos to name a few), and veteran stormtroopers (the closest thing to intermediary ranks, they're like unofficial lieutenants and captains with some real fighting prowess), but these all use the same ranking system and fighting doctrine.
Elite veteran stormtroopers are sometimes hand selected to become Royal Guardsmen. Upon acceptance they have the full authority of the Emperor upon specific missions and are generally treated with awe and without peer the rest of the time. Guardsmen are regularly rotated among Stormtrooper battalions among the fleets in order to keep them well practised in combat arts, when doing this they wear standard Stormtrooper armour and outrank the Stormtrooper-colonel, local generals, the fleet admiral and the regional governer. Often they prefer to act incognito.
Stormtrooper battlefield organisation is of course by squads, which are treated as platoon strength by the local (fleet or army) commander. Stormtroopers are always in communication with each other and should be treated as a collective, if simple minded intelligence for battlefield purposes. They act in unison, are not subject to failing morale and are the best equipped troops in the galaxy.

The highest rank among Stormtroopers is the Imperial Sovereign Protector. These are a special corps within the Royal Guard who have been trained to a limited degree in the Dark Side of the Force and equipped with ancient sith weapons (sithswords, alchemised slug-throwers, etc.). They were formed to protect the secret Imperial world of Byss deep within the Galactic inner-Core, amid the supermassive Black Hole at the heart of the galaxy in fact and impossible for all but a Jedi to navigate to. Hence the necessary training for these guardsmen, who occasionally find the need to venture out into the galactic slice.

COMPNOR officers also exist, they wear black uniforms instead of the fleet grey and army tan. Typically they're in charge of space stations and bases and some rivalry exists between them and Imperial naval and army personnel. Ranks are all equivalent, but training is separate.

Finally is the Royal Attache and Advisors. Darth Vader is an Attache, with the full authority of the Emperor. If he did something the Emperor didn't like, nobody he ordered around would be held reponsible and he would be dealt with by Palpatine himself. Advisors are like Palpatine's harem, they have no particular authority but nobody would mess with them. If one said, do this, it'd be smart to do it.

Last edited by vanir; 12-27-2008 at 07:44 PM.
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Old 12-27-2008, 02:59 AM   #148
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In Star Wars I found the Wizards of the Coast RPG Imperial Sourcebook invaluable around our gaming table for a detailed outlay of Imperial Fleet and Army strategic doctrine.

It broke up Ship classifications as those of the Line and support and transport fleets. This had as much to do with ship structure as types and classes, as there are many crossovers.

For example an Imperial Frigate as a ship of the Line was a powerful light cruiser with 2 years of consumables, capital scale hull armour and banks of turbolasers and ICBM-sized concussion missiles. Many even had embarked starfighters or starfighter-defence grids (ie. small, fast targeting blaster turrets), or both and all had fairly powerful shields, capable of withstanding a limited exchange with any other ship of the Line. Length ranges from 110-250 metres. The Frigate (ship of the Line) is the smallest battlefield worthy starship and roughly corresponds to a WW2 fleet Destroyer like the USS Johnson or Heerman, the KMS Type 36 or the HMS Kelly. They do get as big as a Light Cruiser though, some like the Nebulon-B are more like the HMS Dido or Newcastle, not quite as powerful as the US Northampton class or the French Montcalm, but a like the KMS Emden. Battleworthy but not for long bouts.

An Imperial Frigate in the support fleets assigned to regional governers was roughly the same size but designed for boarding operations and system policing rather than ship to ship battles. It had starfighter scale hull armour, a lot of automated systems (ie. much less crew) and reinforced blaster turrets with small proton torpedo banks. It could stay away from a shipyard for up to 6 months at a time. It probably cost a quarter as much to produce or less, was easy to operate and wasn't particularly maintenance heavy.

Corvettes in the Line were anti-starfighter screening vessels. They had relatively lightweight, long barrelled turbolasers for targeting snubnose fighters before they could get within their own weapons range. Very difficult for small vessels to take out but could not stand up to any other ship of the Line. Some were fitted with extremely powerful sensor arrays as used as picket and scout vessels for the Imperial Fleet. Size is similar to the Frigate and it is mostly fighting prowess which defines them, lengths range from about 80m-200m.

Corvettes in regional service were essentially upgraded yachts. They were starfighter scale for weapons and field defence, had fairly powerful shields and weapons and roughly equivalent to a small, deepspace scoutship. They could withstand an assault from a genuine warship even less than a real corvette, typically not beyond the first shot and suffered much more from other starfighter scale vessels than the corvette of the Line.

Light, medium and battlecruisers were essentially older battleships. They were used in support of the Imperial Fleet or formed the flagships of regional governers and independent systems. Virtually all held embarked starfighter squadrons (20 to 50 vessels), light and heavy batteries, tractor beams and powerful ion weapons or huge missile banks. Shielding is for battlefield use and consumables range from 2 to 4 years. All have fully equipped medical, engineering and construction facilities and are like a real world battleship and aircraft carrier rolled into one.

Star Destroyers are a cross between a space station, a battleship and an aircraft carrier. For all intents and purposes they are like flying a massive fort all around space, though they are power hungry and expensive to operate, containing about 6 years consumables before sucking the produce out of an entire system to restock. Fortunately they have all the machinery short of a dry dock with which to process minerals, construct technology, upgrade components and etc. with. An Imperial class Star Destroyer is a mile long (1.6km) has 60-80 ship to ship weapons banks (turbolasers on four fire arcs, tractor beams on six arcs and ion batteries on five for the later model Imperial II class). There are 72 embarked starfighters (four squadrons of fighter, one bomber and one mixed at Ep.IV whilst the bomber was switched for interceptor by Ep.VI), plus shuttles and other vessels in about a dozen well shielded hangar bays. There are landing ships for a stormtrooper battalion (800 souls under command of a Stormtrooper-Colonel), plus a number of AT-AT, AT-ST and speeder assault vehicles. There is also a battalion of Fleet troopers embarked for starship security purposes (black uniforms and helmets). In the massive hold there are three fully equipped garrison bases which may be landed, and plenty of passenger space for the three stormtrooper, army trooper or COMPForce trooper battalions to man them. Hence if pressed the actual troop force of one star destroyer is regimental or about 4200 souls and extremely well equipped. Total crew is about 15,000 depending on the model and fit with additional passenger space for several thousand more.
Its hull is space station grade capital scale, it requires the combined fire of an entire fleet of battlecruisers to penetrate the hull alone of an Imperial Star Destroyer. Shields however are typical for battleships and can be successfully defeated in the typical manner, which then leaves the Star Destroyer vulnerable to heavy missile fire from Frigates of the Line like the Corellian Gunship or Nebulon-B (much easier for smaller militaries to mass together than battlecruisers), or pinpoint snubnose fighter attacks upon individual vital systems.
During a fleet battle, even once ship to ship combat is long since over and a Star Destroyer is successfully defeated it may take further months to clean the hulk out of continuing resistance, it is much like defeating an enemy base which then requires occupation to prevent continued partisan action. Fighting a Star Destroyer is not like fighting a regular battlecruiser. Only a cataclysmic and extremely rare event can desintegrate a Star Destroyer, firepower alone simply cannot do it. The Empire sending just one Star Destroyer to pacify a region of space is more than enough to deal with most local fleet resistance. He had five fleets of 6 (with about 3000 support vessels and a super-class command ship for each).

In keeping with the mega scale of Star Wars, the Death Star space stations are in fact planetary scale constructs, more like flying a moon around than any kind of artificial vessel for damage, combat and all other relevent purposes.


Star Destroyers form the leading battlegroup of a Line. A general battle line is composed of three Star Destroyers plus three support fleets of cruisers, frigates and corvettes each. A Regional Fleet has two battle lines and a command ship plus attachments. A supply fleet, scout group and other consignments will accompany them to a particular sector. Then there are Imperial Army transport and escort fleets and COMPForce assault fleets, which are both devoid of Star Destroyers and operate independently of the Navy, though typically in concert.

Last edited by vanir; 12-27-2008 at 07:12 PM.
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Old 12-27-2008, 07:37 PM   #149
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I hope you won't take offense machievelli, I'd like to offer a mere handful of technical corrections.
To avoid a wall of words post, I'll place a "to be continued" here.
Why should I be upset? The descriptions I used for unit size was based on an American military analysts descriptions, usually going by sheer numbers. As you do not know the Western form, I don't know the Eastern and most of the terms we are both using weren't even finalized until a century ago. Even the units I have described (Or you) are bolstered by additional attachments, MPs, Quartermaster, medical staff, et al.

As for the information from Wizards of the Coast, I am ambivalent, because no Earthly navy went to the level of creating ships with the same class, but different designations as to whether they are line or support. Every navy we can compare them to assign ships as need. A fleet destroyer of the Fletcher class could be assigned to fleet operations, convoy support, anti-submarine warfare, as needed. It wasn't until the modern age (1950s on) where escort vessels suddenly specialized in specific combat situations. The only two that do not fit this statement are the 'anti-aircraft' cruisers of the Dido and Atlanta classes from WWII.

The Star Destroyer Classes and Death Stars are more logically considered terror weapons where you aim them at enemy worlds or your own. Excellent for bombardment, but in full combat easily swarmed under by much smaller vessels. This is why the Republic didn't build or steal masses of them.


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Old 12-27-2008, 08:48 PM   #150
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Quote:
because no Earthly navy went to the level of creating ships with the same class, but different designations as to whether they are line or support.
Hm, I'm a little confused by your wording.
The Japanese seemed to make the distinction of "fleet destroyer" as opposed to combat worthy supply vessels, whilst the Germans used light cruisers for both and destroyers as picket ships and sub screens. Consider the point it is not unusual for a destroyer to displace anywhere between 2500 and 9000 tons, and a light cruiser from 4000 to 12,000 tons. There is a vast breadth of fighting capability between different classes within the types, I guess you might look at the Wizards of the Coast description as a simplification of a classes grouping within the type (governed by damage scale, which essentially defined the power requirements and weapon types required to do serious damage in a quick exchange). Of course this was provided for gameplay purposes.

As far as Star Destroyers went my gaming group used the WotC system to produce massive fleet battles much like the Endor battle and it was perfectly workable. Lots of Nebulon-B frigates and Republic assault cruisers was the go, supported by a line of MonCal battlecruisers.
Whilst one star destroyer required a concentrated effort to render less deadly, a fleet of them was one seriously powerful combat force, especially considering in this outlay it would have a super-class command ship. The Royal Fleet for example (7 vessels) had the combat value of 15 or more MonCal battlecruisers, but there aren't even that many in existence. That's just in capital scale weapons and defences, add to this the troop force and assault vehicle value of about 50 full sized Imperial garrisons plus change.
By this reckoning it is true what you say that an Imperial Admiral would shortchange his combat value by using fleet tactics over a ground assault when dealing with enemy forces. Perhaps this is why Vader murdered Admiral Ozzel.
But it does not bely the fact the Star Destroyer was in part designed specifically for fleet combat, to be the most powerful battlecruiser type in the galaxy. Following early Imperial doctrine however its starfighter defences were poor, and it relied completely upon embarked TIE fighters and support vessels for small ship screening.

So the rule with star destroyers is, don't get in a fleet battle with them, but it's better than letting one or more assault your homeworld from orbit. Best choice is diplomacy, escape or a concentrated assault to take down shields (using frigates and assault cruisers), followed by heavy missile attacks and snubnose fighters to target specific systems and boarding actions by assault-shuttle or small tramp freighters. To have any chance at this you'd want to lure one into a ship to ship exchange with a battlecruiser to protect the initial frigate assault on the shields. You couldn't expect the battlecruiser to survive. And you'd have to be an entire sector military to even try it.
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Old 12-27-2008, 10:19 PM   #151
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Hm, I'm a little confused by your wording.
I meant that there is no 'destroyer, support type' (With the exception of the destroyer escort class) because you sent what you had. The Destroyer escort was developed during WWII because it took only 3/4s as long to build one as it did to build a 'fleet' destroyer. Cruisers are broken down into Heavy and light, but except for people who don't know the difference, they are clearly diferentiated. In the period right before WWI they even broke them down into Scout Cruiser (Usually armed with guns of less than 6 inch caliber and almost no armor), Light, with 6 inch guns and slightly heavier armor (Difference between one inch of steel in a Scout, 2 inch to three belt armor in light cruisers) Heavy cruiser (Originally called Armored cruisers) with guns of less than 9 inch, and armor less than 5 inch, and Armored cruisers (Such as the Scharnhorst of the Graf Von Spee in WWI) with guns of about 9" and heavier armor.

By WWII they were finally broken down into only two classes, heavy and light, and guns standardized to 5.5-6" (The Hawkins class had 7") and 8" for heavies. The larger versions were now called Battlecruisers, and were ships of the line.


But what you are describing is unnecessary diferentation, calling it dd support, etc. That is what I was commenting on.

You see, of the seven 'destroyers' that protected Taffy 3 at the Battle off Samar, only three were 'destroyers' the other four were destroyer escorts


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Old 12-27-2008, 11:26 PM   #152
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What I find interesting is the system described did seem to work very well for tabletop fleet combat and general RPG encounters. It was logical and explained combat capabilities among the different types of starships and cruisers of the Star Wars universe quite well.

I'm pretty familiar with much WW2 militaria in particular and still I find myself coming back to this simplistic tabletop system when writing SW fanfic or even sci-fi in general.
One element it describes is starship power systems and how weapons, sensors and shielding rely upon them. Bigger ships means more powerful weapons but not just due to the physical mass of the emplacements, but also the power generator requirements of a turbolaser as opposed to blaster cannon or simple lasers. How more powerful shields require much more powerful weapons to overcome.
It essentially breaks up ship to ship combat into comparisons of starship reactor capabilities.
There are speeder scale reactors.
Walker scale reactors.
Starfighter scale reactors.
Capital scale reactors.
Planetary scale reactors.

Therefore you can get crossovers within a type. A frigate with a starfighter scale reactor or a capital scale reactor. The shielding and energy weapon power will be scaled accordingly, so the lighter frigate can be easily assaulted by starfighters (though will still have a very sturdy hull structure and may require boarding actions or large vessels to completely eliminate). Whilst the heavier frigate is barely prone to starfighter attack (though individual systems are still vulnerable if the shields can be removed by other means), but is still small enough that it can only handle combat against something like a battlecruiser for only a very limited period alone, and probably couldn't survive a concentrated fire mission from it.

Within this system for example, the Imperial TIE fighter was really a walker scale vessel but it was equipped with no shields and given additional solar panels to produce starfighter class weapon and speed values. Its hull structure however is extremely fragile and hence they cannot use defensive tactics but are bound to offensive doctrine and otherwise rely upon numbers and pilot skill alone (which averages quite high).

Similarly capital scale weapons simply lack the power requirements to do any damage to planetary defences (including Death Star structure and shielding). Hence Vader's fleet could not bombard Hoth and all Rebel attacks on the Death Star involved chain reactions caused by internal subsystems.

The system also works in reverse. A capital scale weapon (turbolaser) will desintegrate a starfighter with one hit, shields and all. The only exception would be corvettes which are often starfighter scale in power outputs but have powerful enough shields to withstand a blast or two.
Some of the Millenium Falcon's modifications might be considered to include corvette class military shielding and weapons systems, and additional hull plating but this overloaded the stock light freighter reactor and required a wealth of avionics hacks and caused severe reliability issues. What this meant in game terms is that whilst the hull and shields of the Millenium Falcon were a smaller scale to the Imperial Star Destroyer turbolasers that hit it once in ESB (EpV), they had such high values that it could withstand one capital scale turbolaser blast at the cost of losing the shields on that quarter (rear facing).

A planetary scale weapon like the Superlaser can desintegrate any capital scale vessel similarly, with one blast at minimal power. The problem is that it is extremely difficult to target small scale vessels with larger scale weapons, as the sighting systems are designed to specifically combat equivalent scale threats. This is also why cruisers and capital ships require separate anti-starfighter screening weapons (powered by starfighter scale generators and mounted in light, fast moving emplacements), as well as their main weapon banks (powered directly by the vessels reactor core and mounted within the structure, requiring some manoeuvring for effective field targeting).

This element of reactor scales cannot be described with equivalence to real world sea going ships. I realise the air defence and main batteries of actual warships may represent the different scale of weapons well, but there is no equivalence to all the various scales ranging from speeders to planetary defences in the space operatic environment.

Hence I thought I'd add it as a possible expansion for fanfic writers whom wish to develop large scale, combined operations involving warships and vehicles of varying scales within battlefields in a simple, easy to understand system which the gameplay of WotC SW:RPG provided.
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Old 01-02-2009, 05:03 PM   #153
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Shows how good my memory is...those Wizard of the Coast book references I gave are actually West End Games publications, put out some time before WotC took over StarWars RPG. Yep, gettin' old.


I thought I'd toss in something else which kinda started off in WW2 military formations. Types of troops.

There are infantry and shock troops.
There are light infantry, regular infantry, motorised infantry and armoured. Shock troops are usually but not always armoured (where available).

Light infantry can be deployed quickly. They are riflemen with machine gun companies, motorcycle companies, signals companies and mortar companies. Support firepower is light and mobile, such as recoiless guns and small anti-tank field weapons (eg. 3.7cm PaK). AA batteries are likely to be self propelled machine guns or small calibre automatic cannon. Heavy support may be in the form of armoured car battalions or in extreme cases (Soviet) scout/amphibious tanks.
Early SS formations were light infantry. Later SS-Polizei formations were light infantry (from camp guards to occupational troops). Luftwaffe infantry (fallschirmjäger) are also light infantry (being airborne). Pioneer battalions are highly specialised light infantry (engineers).

Regular infantry relies upon the local military doctrine. This is quite important, the military heirarchy does not expect infantry to win wars for them, they expect to do so with effective strategy and doctrine whilst it is the infantry which does the hard work to allow these things to win wars. They are the men in the trenches.
Classical doctrine is to rely upon artillery. An infantry division is based around the artillery regiment. Two opposing armies bring their artillery up and pound each other to oblivion, then when nobody knows what is going on any longer, the infantry charge. Last man standing wins.
Infantry are well equipped for extended actions. They have the full breadth of support equipment the Army has to offer, from heavy artillery to howitzers and field guns. Local support comes in the form of machine gun companies, mortar companies and field weapon batteries (ie. anti-tank guns and howitzers, 15cm calibre and smaller, typically 5cm-10.5cm). Scout companies have armoured cars and light tanks. An infantry division will usually have at least one tank battalion of MBTs (eg. T-34, Sherman or PzIII/IV). They are deployed in regions where air support is available, and air superiority is regarded as a necessary ingredient for successful surface actions so will often be fought bitterly over new battlefronts (a late realisation for the Allies in WW2).
The problem about infantry is with all their equipment and support required to function effectively, they're not the quickest deployment option around. It can take weeks to mobilise a number of infantry divisions, and years to prepare them.

Shock troops are an early forunner to modern special forces regiments (the other would be partisan action such as those undertaken by British SOE agents). Waffen-SS had this role early on, from Poland to the Summer Offensive of 1942 (at which time they were rotated out of action and upgraded to Panzer divisions). Soviets also used the shock troop doctrine.
Essentially shock troops are a fast deployment of soldiers equipped for close combat and limited independence. They get in fast, sow dissention and cause dissaray to allow the battlefield formations to get into a winning position. They're also used to break defensive hardpoints quickly with attrition. Morale is necessarily fanatical, in the case of the Waffen-SS via political extremism, whilst in the case of the Soviets many times convict battalions were used, forced to move forwards by "friendly fire" from behind.
Obviously the Wehrmacht appreciation of Waffen-SS was far, far different from the respect accorded them by later war American troops in Western Europe (idiots was a popular title in the early war, whilst brutal streetfights between Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS on leave in France were not uncommon...though my evidence for these assertions is anecdotal).
Shock troops are equipped with submachine guns, pistols and grenades. Support fire comes in the form of anti-tank rifles (typically 25mm penetration) and light mortar companies. Generally they're deployed into hot spots in armoured transports with heavy fire support from assault weapons (ie. SPGs like the StuG).
Hence SS Panzergrenadiers are shock troops, but not necessarily all armoured troops are used as shock troops. Wehrmacht panzergrenadiers are used to support tank warfare.

Motorised infantry are just regular infantry in trucks. Their (motorised) artillery is pulled by tractors (halftracks or trucks) instead of horses.
Contrary to popular impressions the vast majority of all infantry during WW2, German and otherwise was basically identical in deployment to WW1. They walked everywhere, some were on horseback and mules pulled big old howitzers on wood carriages.
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