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 Post subject: Star Wars Expanded Universe Space Battles PostPosted: 2012-04-18 04:26am
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How are space battles in Star Wars Expanded Universe generally fought? I seen the ones in the film trilogy and I sincerely doubt that an advanced interstellar civilization with advanced computers, sensors and extremely powerful energy weapons would engage in extreme close-range whaling / slug-fest like Battle of Coruscant in Episode III or Battle of Endor in Episode VI (granted, the latter was a deliberate strategy on part of the Rebel Alliance to avoid getting hit by the Death Star II).

Is there also other things about space battles in the EU that are different from the portrayal in the movies?



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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars Expanded Universe Space Battles PostPosted: 2012-04-18 08:19am
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The Rogue and Wraith series of books have plenty of space battles well described both in fighter/bomber vs capital ships and convoy escort taking it's inspiration heavily from the X-wing VS Tie Fighter series of games. There's even a nice description of a 1 on 1 Star Destroyer vs Star Destroyer fight that conveys the facts of SW capital ship engagements right up until the third star destroyer shows up and what was a slugging match becomes a rapid curb-stomp.




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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars Expanded Universe Space Battles PostPosted: 2012-04-18 09:21am
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EU space combat is a mix of WWII Pacific carrier combat and WWI battle of Jutland combat. The Bacta Wars has massive missile spam and capitol ships rotating (spinning) to present new shields to targets. Thrawn books have strategies in them, like reading their art and magically winning battles, no real explanation. Although there are some cute tactics in them, like the cloaked ship shooting under a shield to make it look like an uncloaked ship above the shield can shoot through it. Lots of mention of the Acbar slash, which is supposed to be all cool and shit, but is little more than two units maneuvering to encompass the enemy.



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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars Expanded Universe Space Battles PostPosted: 2012-04-19 12:21am
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Knife wrote:
EU space combat is a mix of WWII Pacific carrier combat and WWI battle of Jutland combat. The Bacta Wars has massive missile spam and capitol ships rotating (spinning) to present new shields to targets. Thrawn books have strategies in them, like reading their art and magically winning battles, no real explanation. Although there are some cute tactics in them, like the cloaked ship shooting under a shield to make it look like an uncloaked ship above the shield can shoot through it. Lots of mention of the Acbar slash, which is supposed to be all cool and shit, but is little more than two units maneuvering to encompass the enemy.


IIRC in one of the Thrawn books there's also a tactic to use an Interdictor to bring a ship out of hyperspace in perfect position to land a heavy blow on the enemy before said enemy can respond.



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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars Expanded Universe Space Battles PostPosted: 2012-04-19 09:07am
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Yep, he uses that at Coruscant to hammer a Golan-II. Bel Iblis recognizes the tactic but he isn't in time to warn the Republic commanders (Admiral Drayson IIRC). Te catch is that for about two seconds the ship that's pulled out of hyperspace has no shields up and is unable to do anything due to the shocked of the transition.

The New Republic uses a similar tactic as a contingency when they took Coruscant. They deploy an interdictor on the outskirts of the system with gravity wells on. Once the shields on Coruscant were knocked out, they shut down the grav wells to let the fleet through. Quite clever really.



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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars Expanded Universe Space Battles PostPosted: 2012-04-19 02:38pm
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IIRC the "Ackbar Slash" seems to take advantage of some limitation or blind spot in sensor technology. It made a lot more sense to me when Pellaeon modified it to use missiles instead of A-wings. But anyway, hide one faster and more destructive unit behind another and surprise the enemy by having the first unit break and both attack. Sort of a local surprise doubling of forces.

...of course, shooting at the first unit with heavy weapons should take care of both units pretty thoroughly. I hear Star Wars combat doesn't make much sense and runs by the logic of various analogies to the real world?



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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars Expanded Universe Space Battles PostPosted: 2012-04-19 02:44pm
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Is that what the Ackbar Slash is? Every mention of it I've come across implies it's a capital ship thing and involves sticking your ships in among the enemy ships at point blank range (a la Battle of Endor) so enemy ships have to restrict their fire rather than blasting away at max power.

One of the Wraith Squadron books has Wes Janson thinking about a tactic "The Ackbar Slash, Starfighter style."



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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars Expanded Universe Space Battles PostPosted: 2012-04-19 03:26pm
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I thought the Ackbar slash was driving in amongst them so they shoot each other... Sort of like crossing their T, but more dangerous for them... There's a picture out there somewhere...
Image
There it is



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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars Expanded Universe Space Battles PostPosted: 2012-04-19 04:04pm
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What Anguirius Described is not the Ackbar Slash, but the A-Wing Slash developed by Garm Bel Iblis. Which involved distracting defenses with fast A-Wings so they were out of position when X-Wings attacked.

A variant was shown in the NJO which is the reverse. With the slow X-wings mixed up with Coralskippers. Allowing A-Wings to slash through the dogfight scoring easy kills.



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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars Expanded Universe Space Battles PostPosted: 2012-04-20 11:58am
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Oh yeah, I'm thinking of Bel Iblis' whatever it was called. My bad, it's been awhile. :lol:



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This is the guy they want to use to win over "young people?" Are they completely daft? I'd rather vote for a pile of shit than a Jesus freak social regressive.
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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars Expanded Universe Space Battles PostPosted: 2012-04-22 04:20pm
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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars Expanded Universe Space Battles PostPosted: 2012-04-22 08:15pm
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Crazedwraith wrote:
What Anguirius Described is not the Ackbar Slash, but the A-Wing Slash developed by Garm Bel Iblis. Which involved distracting defenses with fast A-Wings so they were out of position when X-Wings attacked.

A variant was shown in the NJO which is the reverse. With the slow X-wings mixed up with Coralskippers. Allowing A-Wings to slash through the dogfight scoring easy kills.



You mixed it up there. It's X-wings causing distraction with A-wings swooping in for the kill.



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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars Expanded Universe Space Battles PostPosted: 2012-04-23 12:30am
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barnest2 wrote:
I thought the Ackbar slash was driving in amongst them so they shoot each other... Sort of like crossing their T, but more dangerous for them... There's a picture out there somewhere...
Image
There it is


I so wish you were kidding. Was Akbar's performance such a pure platonic version (as opposed to the mad desperate scramble depicted on some sub-canon source called Rerun of the Xagi or something) that they named it after him? Were all previous comanders lunatics on a level to make Duck Dodgers look like a military genius?*

*This may also explain Thrawn.



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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars Expanded Universe Space Battles PostPosted: 2012-04-24 05:30am
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The Ackbar slash made sense, if starship combat were routinely conducted at long range, something supported by Lando Calrissan comments in ROTJ.



The problem is, it doesn't make sense with the Clone Wars and ROTS movie, where what would become the Imperial navy is shown routinely engaging in such close range slugging matches.


The A-wing slash actually made even less sense in the Thrawn book. What it was was the X-wings dispersed, ending their attack run to save the NR starship, forcing the TIEs intercepting them to also disperse........ so a bunch of A-wings could somehow break through and inflict enough damage to distract a couple of star destroyers? Just what were they packing? AIDs?



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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars Expanded Universe Space Battles PostPosted: 2012-04-24 06:36am
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It's an extension of the common view of the Battle Of Endor with Star Fighters causing serious Damage to the Executor. Concentrated missile barrages from fighters are a common tactic in the EU.

And for my 2p its not hard to see why people think that. Ackbar has the line 'concentrate fire against that Super Star Destroyer' and the next scene is fighters attacking said SSD, we don't really see the rebel fleet hammering it with turbolaser fire at any point.



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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars Expanded Universe Space Battles PostPosted: 2012-04-24 12:42pm
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Since I haven't seen the Clone Wars stuff, I'll just comment on the close range ROTS fight. It's worth noting that the close quarters slugging match was forced on both sides as they were trapped under the planetary shields. So it wasn't a conscious choice but rather what circumstances dictated.



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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars Expanded Universe Space Battles PostPosted: 2012-04-24 05:41pm
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It's also worth pointing out that there's been at least one instance of fairly long-range space combat in CW (the one with the cloaking ship, I think)--as far as visual sci-fi goes, anyway. Honestly, for the most part it's not much worse than what you saw in the original Tartakovsky series, or various comics.



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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars Expanded Universe Space Battles PostPosted: 2012-04-24 09:58pm
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Eternal_Freedom wrote:
Since I haven't seen the Clone Wars stuff, I'll just comment on the close range ROTS fight. It's worth noting that the close quarters slugging match was forced on both sides as they were trapped under the planetary shields. So it wasn't a conscious choice but rather what circumstances dictated.

The comment isn't about the stupidity of close range combat. Rather, its based off Calrissan statement that the Imperials have little experience at fighting at close range combat.

The newer shows show that they did.



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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars Expanded Universe Space Battles PostPosted: 2012-04-24 11:15pm
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Those newer shows are about events ~25yrs prior to the events of Return of the Jedi. How many people who were captains/admirals during the Clone Wars were still around by Return of the Jedi?
No doubt many who were lower ranked during the Clone Wars would have been but would they have had the same experience/lessons learnt as those who were in command?



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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars Expanded Universe Space Battles PostPosted: 2012-04-25 09:16am
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atg wrote:
Those newer shows are about events ~25yrs prior to the events of Return of the Jedi. How many people who were captains/admirals during the Clone Wars were still around by Return of the Jedi?
No doubt many who were lower ranked during the Clone Wars would have been but would they have had the same experience/lessons learnt as those who were in command?

actually quite a few clone wars veterans are still in service during the orginal trilogy era you got to remember that the more advanced medtech of the GFFA allows people to stay active(or alive) for longer then today should they choose to do so. For example the general in charge of the Yavin 4 base (Dodonna it was spelled I think) was one of Obi-Wan's fleet commanders, while he's called "commander Dodonna" the phrasing suggest a position rather then rank since they refer to his flagship and a commander(rank) wouldn't be in charge of a fleet of Venators, hell a commander wouldn't in charge of a single Venator, suggesting he's captain or probably a low level flag-officer (commandore or similar) and he's not the only one.

that said this doesn't have to mean Empire (and by extension the rebels) don't normally use long range, after all it's implied that before the clone wars there hasn't been any major wars and thus major fleet engagements since the last sith wars 1000 years pior, so when the clone wars came it's quite possible that both sides were making up tactics on the go and as lesson from the clone wars imperial doctrine is to avoid close ranged battles as they tend to devolve into clusterfucks with large casualities.



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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars Expanded Universe Space Battles PostPosted: 2012-04-25 11:20am
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PainRack wrote:
Eternal_Freedom wrote:
Since I haven't seen the Clone Wars stuff, I'll just comment on the close range ROTS fight. It's worth noting that the close quarters slugging match was forced on both sides as they were trapped under the planetary shields. So it wasn't a conscious choice but rather what circumstances dictated.

The comment isn't about the stupidity of close range combat. Rather, its based off Calrissan statement that the Imperials have little experience at fighting at close range combat.

The newer shows show that they did.


But Calrissian doesn't say anything about the Imperials have little close quarters experience. To the best of my recollection, this is the exchange:

Lando: "Yes I said closer! Get as close as you can and engage those Star Destroyers at point-blank range!"
Ackbar: "At that close range we won't last long against those Star Destroyers."
Lando: "We'll last longer than we will against that Death Star, and we might just take a few of them with us!"

No comments on experience there. Lando was picking the lesser of two evils; get in close and get pounded but hope the DSII will limit it's fire while the fleets are merged.



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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars Expanded Universe Space Battles PostPosted: 2012-04-25 12:01pm
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Eternal_Freedom wrote:
But Calrissian doesn't say anything about the Imperials have little close quarters experience. To the best of my recollection, this is the exchange:

Lando: "Yes I said closer! Get as close as you can and engage those Star Destroyers at point-blank range!"
Ackbar: "At that close range we won't last long against those Star Destroyers."
Lando: "We'll last longer than we will against that Death Star, and we might just take a few of them with us!"

No comments on experience there. Lando was picking the lesser of two evils; get in close and get pounded but hope the DSII will limit it's fire while the fleets are merged.


The novel was pretty explicit in that there was little experience with that type of combat, though it also stated that the scale of the vessels was larger here than in previous attempts. Presumably the vessels in the Clone Wars were less advanced or merely less powerful than in the Battle of Endor. It is also likely that many of the vessels at Endor were better optimized for capital ship combat.

ROTJ novelization p.154 wrote:
Desperately, he was shouting into his comlink, over the noise of continuous explosions, talking to Ackbar in the Alliance command ship. "I said closer! Move in as close as you can and engage the Star Destroyers at point-blank range- that way the Death Star won't be able to fire at us without knocking out its own ships!"

"But no one's ever gone nose to nose at that range, between supervessels like their Destroyers and our Cruisers!" Ackbar fumed at the unthinkable- but their options were running out.

"Great!" yelled Lando, skimming over the surface of the Destroyer. "Then we're inventing a new kind of combat!"

"We know nothing about the tactics of such a confrontation!" Ackbar protested.

"We know as much as they do!" Lando hollered. "And they'll think we know more!" Bluffing was always dangerous in the last hand; but sometimes, when all your money was in the pot, it was the only way to win- and Lando never played to lose.

"At that close range, we won't last long against those Star Destroyers." Ackbar was already feeling giddy with resignation.

"We'll last longer than we will against that Death Star, and we might just take a few of them with us!" Lando whooped. With a jolt, one of his forward guns was blown away. He put the Falcon into a controlled spin, and careened around the belly of the Imperial leviathan.

With little else to lose, Ackbar decided to try Calrissian's strategy. In the next minutes, dozens of Rebel Cruisers moved in astronomically close to the Imperial Star Destroyers- and the colossal antagonists began blasting away at each other, like tanks at twenty paces, while hundreds of tiny fighters raced across their surfaces, zipping between laser bolts as they chased around the massive hulls.

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars Expanded Universe Space Battles PostPosted: 2012-04-25 12:09pm
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Ah fair enough, I was going on the films not the novelisation.



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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars Expanded Universe Space Battles PostPosted: 2012-05-02 09:31am
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PainRack wrote:
The Ackbar slash made sense, if starship combat were routinely conducted at long range, something supported by Lando Calrissan comments in ROTJ.


I don't think it makes sense at all. It basically involves rushing headlong into a line of ISDs primary firing arcs. Flanking is really the only thing you can do to an ISD if you are trying to avoid their firepower, which should be foremost on the mind of any rebel and their likely antiquated and inadequate starship.

If the intention was to rush through the arc to get behind the ISDs instead of trading long range broadsides (and most ships don't have a 100% firing arc at any angle like an ISD) that sort of makes sense, but there is little reason to assume you would survive that rush and the tactic never mentions anything about using the position behind the ISDs to any effect.

I am open to suggestions, but I see nothing that should make this maneuver special, and generally less than suicidal for most rebel ships.

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars Expanded Universe Space Battles PostPosted: 2012-05-02 10:53am
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The problem is that in space, there's absolutely nothing to prevent an ISD commander from simply rolling the ship to present its primary firing arc to any given target. You gain at most a few seconds reprieve by trying to flank one, and even that's debatable in a fleet-level melee like Endor was. Sure, there aren't heavy cannon trainable to the ship's stern, but there's the engines themselves, and judging by the power of an ISD's reactor and its sheer bulk, one doesn't want to be any nearer to those than necessary.

Bottom line - tactics of maneuver are of limited utility in three dimensions; modern fighters don't worry overmuch about battle lines. They're even less useful in space, where you can simply flip a fighter around and shoot at whatever's pursuing you, or roll a capital ship to put its primary weapons arc wherever you like. Even in the Napoleonic Wars, the last time broadsides were really vital (turrets change the problem to one of firing arcs, not broadsides) formations stopped mattering once fleets got to their equivalent of Endor ranges.

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