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 Post subject: Star Wars and engineering PostPosted: 2009-03-02 04:04am
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Recently I was reading the main site article Engineering and Star Trek. I was wondering whether we could have a similar article on SW engineering. While not as inane as Starfleet , they do have their flaws

Imperial incompetence

Death Star 1

This had a thermal exhaust port that was it's downfall, a single torpedo blasted the reactor and caused the station to explode. Such a problem should have been predicted far in advance and the exhaust tube guarded very well. Why do the SW reactors explode on being hit anyway ( this is a generic sci-fi brainbug though ).

Death Star 2

In many ways this design was even worse. Now instead of just a torpedo getting in through some way to the reactor core, a whole huge ship was able to travel into the core and blast it. To repeat such a mistake TWICE is colossal engineering stupidity, even if the first one was dismissed as an oversight. Is there any reason to envision reactor power generation as such. Would it kill them to design a distributed power system. Or if you have got to have a reactor/bomb inside your station, you should atleast put a huge layer of armor and shields around it so that a torpedo can't get inside, let alone an entire ship. Apparently the Empire doesn't learn much from its mistakes.

Star Destroyer

In ROTJ, we see a rebel fighter crash into the bridge tower of the Executor. It then apparently 'loses navigation' and crashes into the Death Star. How stupid is that? It should have at least 3-4 backups for something as basic as navigation. Imperial engineers designed a navigation system with a single point failure? Unbelievable.

AT-AT walkers

AT-AT walkers are slow, clumsy things that are designed in such a horrible way that they can't possibly be useful in anything. Just look at the design and how they perform in the Battle of Hoth. First of all tetrapedal ( or bipedal ) locomotion is so much worse than wheeled/tracked or repulsorlift based ( hovertanks ). They are slow. If they trip and fall over they can't seem to get up. If they lose one of their 4 legs they can't even stand. And that's just the beginning. What useful function are they supposed to perform? Consider an analogy to a modern army.
Tanks: AT-AT's are exceedingly slow, they manage what, 10 kmph? Their main guns have extremely limited firing arcs, they can't swivel 360 degrees ( like a modern tank turret ).
Artillery: Their main guns are laser/beam weapons, which mean they have no non line of sight weaponry which make them much less useful against long ranged targets ( which artillery is supposed to hit ). They cannot fire over small hills or anything that gets in the way.
AA gun: If AT-AT's are pathetic artillery, they are downright terrible as AA guns. They don't seem to have specialized AA guns which means they move their heads to take pot-shots at fighters. It's a miracle they actually hit fighters at Hoth. Would it be asking too much to carry some guided missiles?
APC: Armoured personnel carriers are supposed to be fast ( that's the whole point of mechanized infantry ). These monstrosities are slow, putting one leg forward at a time. And how do troops get in or out of the thing? Presumably it can kneel, but seems rather inconvenient.
In fact the only thing they are good at is the 'shock and awe' factor of being large and imposing. It's job can easily be done by a combination of repulsorlift/wheeled tanks, artillery and APCs and done much better. AT-AT's design is a huge military self indulgence at the cost of engineering sense.

Other walkers

Many of the above criticisms apply to other walkers, such as the one seen on Endor in ROTJ. In addition this one had to undergo the indignity of being captured by Chewbacca and a few teddy bears with spears.

Trade Federation incompetence

Trade Fed. battleship over Naboo

1. If you destroy the spaceship, the ground forces get deactivated. Consider how silly this is. You are making your ground forces dependent on space forces. You can't land your forces on a planet and go somewhere else. If your space ships get destroyed, you lose the ground force too. Trade Fed. engineers must be absolutely clueless. If they really need a central station, why can't they have it on the ground?

2. Blowing it up from inside. With Death Stars, Luke and Lando at least knew what they were doing. Anakin just presses a button by mistake, a torpedo hits something and the whole battleship goes boom. Wow, I can see where that Death Star designer learned his engineering.

B1 battle droid

Who ever designed these things. They are barely any more than cannon fodder. Why not shift the entire production to droidekas, cr something more useful.

Gungan incompetence

Gungan catapult

What happened to all the guns? They're launching shells with catapults. How safe are these shells when not fired. Not much, because they explode just like that anyway. Have the Gungans ever heard of engineering safety?

Dinosaurs

Sigh. No mechanical vehicles, let's use dinosaurs because they're so cool.
Oh, and let's put Jar Jar Binks in charge.

Of course, SW engineering stupidity pales when compared to Starfleet incompetence ( where a ship explodes because of a computer virus, or something like that ) but the point is, it isn't good either.

Please note , I an an SW fan as well as ST. Star Wars isn't long enough ( just 6 films ) for more examples of engineering stupidity to be displayed or else you might just have as many 'Treknology gone wrong' stories.

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars and engineering PostPosted: 2009-03-02 04:14am
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saurc wrote:
Death Star 2

In many ways this design was even worse. Now instead of just a torpedo getting in through some way to the reactor core, a whole huge ship was able to travel into the core and blast it. To repeat such a mistake TWICE is colossal engineering stupidity, even if the first one was dismissed as an oversight. Is there any reason to envision reactor power generation as such. Would it kill them to design a distributed power system. Or if you have got to have a reactor/bomb inside your station, you should atleast put a huge layer of armor and shields around it so that a torpedo can't get inside, let alone an entire ship. Apparently the Empire doesn't learn much from its mistakes.


The station wasn't even finished.

saurc wrote:
Star Destroyer

In ROTJ, we see a rebel fighter crash into the bridge tower of the Executor. It then apparently 'loses navigation' and crashes into the Death Star. How stupid is that? It should have at least 3-4 backups for something as basic as navigation. Imperial engineers designed a navigation system with a single point failure? Unbelievable.


Sudden massive damage to sensitive areas can cause bad, unpredictable things to happen. Executor lost helm and crashed, which is pretty terrible, but it had backup control systems.

saurc wrote:
AT-AT walkers

AT-AT walkers are slow, clumsy things that are designed in such a horrible way that they can't possibly be useful in anything. Just look at the design and how they perform in the Battle of Hoth. First of all tetrapedal ( or bipedal ) locomotion is so much worse than wheeled/tracked or repulsorlift based ( hovertanks ). They are slow. If they trip and fall over they can't seem to get up. If they lose one of their 4 legs they can't even stand. And that's just the beginning. What useful function are they supposed to perform? Consider an analogy to a modern army.
Tanks: AT-AT's are exceedingly slow, they manage what, 10 kmph? Their main guns have extremely limited firing arcs, they can't swivel 360 degrees ( like a modern tank turret ).
Artillery: Their main guns are laser/beam weapons, which mean they have no non line of sight weaponry which make them much less useful against long ranged targets ( which artillery is supposed to hit ). They cannot fire over small hills or anything that gets in the way.
AA gun: If AT-AT's are pathetic artillery, they are downright terrible as AA guns. They don't seem to have specialized AA guns which means they move their heads to take pot-shots at fighters. It's a miracle they actually hit fighters at Hoth. Would it be asking too much to carry some guided missiles?
APC: Armoured personnel carriers are supposed to be fast ( that's the whole point of mechanized infantry ). These monstrosities are slow, putting one leg forward at a time. And how do troops get in or out of the thing? Presumably it can kneel, but seems rather inconvenient.
In fact the only thing they are good at is the 'shock and awe' factor of being large and imposing. It's job can easily be done by a combination of repulsorlift/wheeled tanks, artillery and APCs and done much better. AT-AT's design is a huge military self indulgence at the cost of engineering sense.


You mean like that article on the main site about AT-ATs? LOL.

saurc wrote:
Please note , I an an SW fan as well as ST. Star Wars isn't long enough ( just 6 films ) for more examples of engineering stupidity to be displayed or else you might just have as many 'Treknology gone wrong' stories.


You disgust me. Why would you even say this shit? It's irrelevant. If you think the rate per hour of engineering incompetence is similar, prove - the maths wouldn't even be hard. Don't be a coward and try to deflect criticism by saying 'omg i luv teh sw'.



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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars and engineering PostPosted: 2009-03-02 05:33am
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There are more than a few observations here that are ignorant, unfair or both:

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Now instead of just a torpedo getting in through some way to the reactor core, a whole huge ship was able to travel into the core and blast it.


The second Death Star wasn't finished. Its loss is not an engineering failure, it's a failure of the military that was supposed to protect the construction site. Had the shield stayed up, had the fighters picked off the craft heading into the tunnel, hell had the surface gunners not been sleeping on the job, the attack would've been a complete disaster, the work would be completed and the reactor would have been safe. The worst you can say is that they could have put a grate over the tunnel while it was being worked on, but again this comes back to the engineers relying on the fleet to protect them and getting shafted.

(Wasn't it said somewhere - yeah, great source work here, I know - that the DSII's thermal vent was changed from a single big shaft to thousands of pencil-thin ones?)

Quote:
Blowing it up from inside. With Death Stars, Luke and Lando at least knew what they were doing. Anakin just presses a button by mistake, a torpedo hits something and the whole battleship goes boom. Wow, I can see where that Death Star designer learned his engineering.


High explosives inside a ship are bad. Who knew.

Anakin 'knew' what he was doing, or at least the Force did. The novel goes into some detail - he intuitively knew there was something Very Bad he needed to shoot those torpedoes at, so it wasn't a shot in the dark.

As for the reactors being vulnerable; yes, that's a flaw. But only a flaw if the Droid Control ship had been a dedicated warship, and not a freighter fitted with antennae. This is not an engineering mistake, it's an error of the TF's bosses deciding that a freighter would work just fine as a warship if you glue on enough guns.

Quote:
Who ever designed these things. They are barely any more than cannon fodder. Why not shift the entire production to droidekas, cr something more useful.


$$$

The battledroids did just fine against the Gungans and the Naboo, at least through the occupation. One-on-one they're not much use but masses of them against a lightly-armed, demilitarized planet? Worked like a charm.

Quote:
What happened to all the guns? They're launching shells with catapults. How safe are these shells when not fired. Not much, because they explode just like that anyway. Have the Gungans ever heard of engineering safety?


When was the last time the Gungans had a war? You just assume they keep state-of-the-art weapons lying around?

You're also underestimating the Gungans. They have force field technology and advanced electronics, yet you assume they are too stupid to add a safety to those cannon balls? One that might be turned off when, I don't know, they're about to be used?

Quote:
Dinosaurs

Sigh. No mechanical vehicles, let's use dinosaurs because they're so cool.


Or because they are cheap, have excellent mobility on rough terrain and easier to keep around than tanks that don't get used anyway?

There's a lot that can be said about SW engineering but you really manage to pick the lousiest examples there.

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars and engineering PostPosted: 2009-03-02 05:43am
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You disgust me. Why would you even say this shit? It's irrelevant. If you think the rate per hour of engineering incompetence is similar, prove - the maths wouldn't even be hard. Don't be a coward and try to deflect criticism by saying 'omg i luv teh sw'.


Hm, excuse me, where did I say that? Ok, let me explain. How much technical incompetence do you see during the whole of TOS- not much, huh. But the longer a franchise goes on, the more things you are going to let through, and create storylines based on technology gone wrong. SW storyline focuses around the Skywalker family. It hasn't anything to do with science or tech.

Quote:
The second Death Star wasn't finished. Its loss is not an engineering failure, it's a failure of the military that was supposed to protect the construction site. Had the shield stayed up, had the fighters picked off the craft heading into the tunnel, hell had the surface gunners not been sleeping on the job, the attack would've been a complete disaster, the work would be completed and the reactor would have been safe. The worst you can say is that they could have put a grate over the tunnel while it was being worked on, but again this comes back to the engineers relying on the fleet to protect them and getting shafted.


The reactor WAS finished. Is it too much to put a large shell of armor around it. Especially as it is the one damned thing that can blow up the whole station if anyone takes pot-shots at it.

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars and engineering PostPosted: 2009-03-02 05:46am
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The reactor WAS finished. Is it too much to put a large shell of armor around it. Especially as it is the one damned thing that can blow up the whole station if anyone takes pot-shots at it.


The same shell of armour that was under construction?

I suppose it would be a massive failure of engineering too if a ship doesn't float before the hull is finished?

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars and engineering PostPosted: 2009-03-02 05:56am
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If you think I'm being unfair, here are some good examples of SW engineering

General Grievous' ship- Took massive damage, lost half the ship when it broke up and could still land on the planet surface. A prime example of what starships should be constructed like. Unlike the Executor , which collided with the Death Star just because it lost navigation.

Death Star 2 's thermal port being changed into millions of small ones. Well the imperial engineers did learn something. However it doesn't change the fact that the reactor was the most important part of the station and they should have made it top priority to protect it, rather than get the superlaser online ( or other things ).

Droidekas- A tough droid that can take on even Jedi.

and so on.

I'm not claiming that SW engineering is anywhere near as incompetent as ST. But I think it can be mentioned on the main page.

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars and engineering PostPosted: 2009-03-02 06:01am
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If you think I'm being unfair


"Unfair" doesn't mean you don't praise SW enough, "unfair" means you are reaching for examples and try to pass off design choices as "failures" when they are in fact justified.

If you want bad engineering in SW, point to the Invisible Hand's external glass bridge, or the lack of railings, but don't point to a group of swamp-dwelling luddites and go "rofl they don't have anti-grav hyperwalkers".

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars and engineering PostPosted: 2009-03-02 06:09am
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That's what I wanted to say as well. Don't worry about appearing "fair" by complementing/criticizing both sides. Just worry about being accurate in the examples that you give.

Here's some more possible examples of Star Wars engineering incompetence:

The pathetic AI of the standard battle droids (this is arguably up their with the worst of Star Trek)
The exposed bridges on many large warships
The ease with which R2 hacked into the Death Star computer (arguably).

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars and engineering PostPosted: 2009-03-02 06:09am
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Quote:
Invisible Hand's external glass bridge, or the lack of railings


True, I didn't think of that. And well, I retract my criticism of Gungans, but cant seem to edit my post. Isn't it possible to edit?

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars and engineering PostPosted: 2009-03-02 06:12am
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Quote:
The pathetic AI of the standard battle droids


That actually has a reason. They don't want the droids to be 'too' smart, or else they will turn on their masters. Personally I think this could easily be pre-programmed into the droids, so that they can't harm their masters ( like Isaac Asimov's three laws of robotics ).

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars and engineering PostPosted: 2009-03-02 06:14am
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Bounty wrote:
As for the reactors being vulnerable; yes, that's a flaw. But only a flaw if the Droid Control ship had been a dedicated warship, and not a freighter fitted with antennae. This is not an engineering mistake, it's an error of the TF's bosses deciding that a freighter would work just fine as a warship if you glue on enough guns.


Also, how likely was it that someone would manage to fly a fighter in there?

Quote:
The battledroids did just fine against the Gungans and the Naboo, at least through the occupation. One-on-one they're not much use but masses of them against a lightly-armed, demilitarized planet? Worked like a charm.


Though to be fair, masses of anything against "a lightly-armed, demilitarized planet" should work. That's hardly a resounding endorsement.

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars and engineering PostPosted: 2009-03-02 06:16am
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Isn't it possible to edit?


Not in this forum (except the first few minutes after you post). I think its to prevent dishonesty in debates.

As for the AI issue, surely they could make them loyal/stupid without making them fucking clowns? :evil:

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars and engineering PostPosted: 2009-03-02 06:19am
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Though to be fair, masses of anything against "a lightly-armed, demilitarized planet" should work. That's hardly a resounding endorsement.


I'm trying to draw the distinction between "good" and "good enough". Battledroids weren't good soldier replacements by any stretch of the imagination, but they were good enough - at least until the situation changed. If their purchase price and running costs are low enough, "good enough" performance would be justified from the TF's point of view.

Quote:
That actually has a reason. They don't want the droids to be 'too' smart, or else they will turn on their masters.


That's just complete bullshit and contradicted by them having a keep-alive signal. What's wrong with simply accepting that they were built and programmed on the cheap?

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars and engineering PostPosted: 2009-03-02 06:24am
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saurc wrote:
That actually has a reason. They don't want the droids to be 'too' smart, or else they will turn on their masters. Personally I think this could easily be pre-programmed into the droids, so that they can't harm their masters ( like Isaac Asimov's three laws of robotics ).


Fuck you're stupid. Many of the poor design decisions made in ST and the real world are 'for a reason'. It's bad engineering when THAT REASON IS STUPID/UNSAFE/WRONG/ETC. Ie, over-reactivity in the Galaxy reactor increased output but was massively unsafe, the Death Star had a single point in a trench covered in a massive AA network to assist in cooling the stupendously huge planet-smashing turbolaser but the threat from fighters was undervalued, and mounting secondary turrets on top of primary turrets on USN pre-dreadnoughts saved deck space but made the ship topheavy and rendered the secondaries useless.

Thus, making your soldiers hell stupid is bad because it reduces their effectiveness. They're physically unremarkable as droids go, but we've seen what droids can do when designed to be properly intelligent. The tradeoff with 'loyalty' doesn't excuse the mistake they made in TPM (which frankly is almost exactly the same mistake the Empire made with the DS1 and people even noticed this at the time).



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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars and engineering PostPosted: 2009-03-02 06:28am
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Bounty wrote:
That's just complete bullshit and contradicted by them having a keep-alive signal. What's wrong with simply accepting that they were built and programmed on the cheap?


How does having the signal contradict making them stupid for security reasons? It would simply make it a redundant security feature, wouldn't it?

Not that there is any evidence so far as I am aware that battledroid stupidity was in fact designed with loyalty in mind.

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars and engineering PostPosted: 2009-03-02 06:38am
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The Romulan Republic wrote:
Bounty wrote:
That's just complete bullshit and contradicted by them having a keep-alive signal. What's wrong with simply accepting that they were built and programmed on the cheap?


How does having the signal contradict making them stupid for security reasons? It would simply make it a redundant security feature, wouldn't it?

Not that there is any evidence so far as I am aware that battledroid stupidity was in fact designed with loyalty in mind.


A useless redundant security feature that severely hampers performance. If your troops are too stupid to rebel, you don't need the keep-alive signal; if they're smart enough to rebel you just need to make sure the signal is cut at the first sign of trouble. Having both with a severe penalty in performance is piss-poor design, so unless the "loyalty" theory is backed up somewhere I'm going to disregard it.

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars and engineering PostPosted: 2009-03-02 06:43am
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Well as far as loyalty is concerned, I do think there's potentially merit to having a backup security feature unless your first is completely foolproof, but I agree that in this case the stupidity of battledroid AI seems to have hampered their combat performance to an unnessissary and unacceptable extent.

As another example of an engineering failure, is the Executor in general an example of a bad design? Its rather under-gunned for its size is it not? In addition to the usual exposed bridge flaw.


Last edited by The Romulan Republic on 2009-03-02 06:47am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars and engineering PostPosted: 2009-03-02 06:46am
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saurc wrote:
This had a thermal exhaust port that was it's downfall, a single torpedo blasted the reactor and caused the station to explode. Such a problem should have been predicted far in advance and the exhaust tube guarded very well. Why do the SW reactors explode on being hit anyway ( this is a generic sci-fi brainbug though ).

The torpedoes caused a chain reaction that eventually lead to the DS's destruction, and this is only after the Rebels had penerated the DS's capital ship oriented shields, avoided surface fire to get into a trench that reduced the number of guns that could aim at them, and did the equivilent of accurately throwing a couple of hand grenade from a fair distance into a small air vent to then somehow triggering the total destruction of a nuclear silo.

Quote:
Death Star 2

In many ways this design was even worse. Now instead of just a torpedo getting in through some way to the reactor core, a whole huge ship was able to travel into the core and blast it. -snip
(from new post)
The reactor WAS finished. Is it too much to put a large shell of armor around it. Especially as it is the one damned thing that can blow up the whole station if anyone takes pot-shots at it.

Sorry, but your whole argument fails to take into account that the DS2 had to be vulnerable enough for the Rebels to take the bait, and the fact that shields that should have been up would have made any attempt to get into the DS2 entirely moot, and the fact that the Rebels had survived with far more assets than they should have thanks to Lando's judgement call.

Also, the destruction of the reactor required Wedge to destroy the power regulator with his X-Wing's torpedoes, quickly followed by Lando firing the Falcon's concussion missiles into the main core. This is after flying through OVER 400KM of the DS2's interior, with TIEs dogging their tail the whole way.


Quote:
Star Destroyer

In ROTJ, we see a rebel fighter crash into the bridge tower of the Executor. It then apparently 'loses navigation' and crashes into the Death Star. How stupid is that? It should have at least 3-4 backups for something as basic as navigation. Imperial engineers designed a navigation system with a single point failure? Unbelievable.

As already mentioned, the Executor does have backups, they simply didn't have enough time to save the ship. In any other situation, the Executor simply would have smashed through any other capital ships or debris until they regained control.

Quote:
1. If you destroy the spaceship, the ground forces get deactivated. Consider how silly this is. You are making your ground forces dependent on space forces. You can't land your forces on a planet and go somewhere else. If your space ships get destroyed, you lose the ground force too.

Given that even the crappiest battledroids show personality, would you really risk armed and dangerous killer droids turning their guns on you? Of course the TradeFed need some way of keeping the droids under control, and keeping the droids dependent on a heartbeat signal is a lot more safe than having to send a signal to shut them down in an emergency, since that has the risk of them trying to kill you before you can send the said signal.

Quote:
Trade Fed. engineers must be absolutely clueless. If they really need a central station, why can't they have it on the ground?

You mean place it on the ground where infiltrators would have easier access to either destroy or subvert it, rather than somewhere essentially impossible for infiltrators to get to? Who's the clueless one? :shock:

Quote:
B1 battle droid

Who ever designed these things. They are barely any more than cannon fodder. Why not shift the entire production to droidekas, cr something more useful.

Oh yeah, the US military's humvees are barely any more than cannon fodder. Why not shift the entire production to main battle tanks or something more useful? :lol:



"Those Chinese f..kers are trying to rat-f..k us," -credited to Kevin Rudd, the former Prime Minister of Australia :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars and engineering PostPosted: 2009-03-02 06:53am
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pj1351 wrote:
Oh yeah, the US military's humvees are barely any more than cannon fodder. Why not shift the entire production to main battle tanks or something more useful? :lol:


Yeah (and I hate to keep harping on this one topic), but the B1 design was utter garbage. Fragile, stupid, with pretty crap accuracy from what I've seen. Their canon fodder unit should have been super-battledroids, which as far as I am aware are basically B1s with decent armor, better firepower, and a better AI. Weren't the super-battledroids built using B1 parts? They can't be that much more expensive, surely.

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars and engineering PostPosted: 2009-03-02 06:56am
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Fragile, stupid, with pretty crap accuracy from what I've seen.


Cheap, foldable. That counts for something... if you're buying glorified guards. The big failing, IMO, is not that the TF used B1's or that they used them on Naboo, but that they kept relying on them as frontline troops. They were the right, albeit shoddy, tool for the completely wrong job.

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars and engineering PostPosted: 2009-03-02 07:10am
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Cheap and foldable is indeed nice, but their AI is still fucking retarded. Other than that, they're fine as cheap security guards I suppose. But once the Clone Wars began, they should have dropped the things as frontline troops in favor of super-battledroids. How much more expensive can they be, to outweigh their presumably greater combat effectiveness?

In fact we have seen instances of all-SBD forces in the Clone Wars cartoons (Grevious's introduction in the first series, the wanky Mace Windu battle earlier in the same cartoon I think, and Ventris's rescue of Gunray in the new series if I recall correctly). So maybe they have some writers who realize how superior this design is as a front-line combat unit. Or maybe they just know it looks more bad ass. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars and engineering PostPosted: 2009-03-02 07:33am
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Youngling
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The Romulan Republic wrote:
pj1351 wrote:
Oh yeah, the US military's humvees are barely any more than cannon fodder. Why not shift the entire production to main battle tanks or something more useful? :lol:


Yeah (and I hate to keep harping on this one topic), but the B1 design was utter garbage. Fragile, stupid, with pretty crap accuracy from what I've seen. Their canon fodder unit should have been super-battledroids, which as far as I am aware are basically B1s with decent armor, better firepower, and a better AI. Weren't the super-battledroids built using B1 parts? They can't be that much more expensive, surely.

True, they are essentially tin-can rubbish, especially once the heartbeat signal stops and they pretty much fall apart on their own (partially held together by electromagnets, perhaps?), but there are some justification for their existence. As Bounty points out, they are cheap and foldable, which counts for plenty when you just want to have a high quantitiy of "warm" bodies and blasters to suppress a populace. These are droids used by a bunch of glorified merchants, and mass taken up by having stronger droids on ships means less available for any cargo. Also, as the scene with C-3PO's head stuck on top of the rest of a B1 (who was still walking around and shooting at the Jedi, despite not having a proper head) implies, the droids are standardised enough that TradeFed can quickly salvage pretty much any B1 parts in decent conditon, slap them together and send it back into the battlefield. And I also seem to recall reading (from one of the Visual Dictionary, I believe) that the thin, skeletal appearance is at least partially for psychological purpose.

Anyway, as far as I can tell, based on pictures of B1s and the SBDs, while they may come from the same foundation and share some parts, the major parts that goes into building them are likely quite different. The legs themselves are quite a bit more solidly built, and would require stronger/more powerful servos to support the weight difference between the droids. There's also the wrist blasters, which would require connection to the droid's core, and the SDB's torso armour alone is likely worth another two or more B1s in terms of raw material.



"Those Chinese f..kers are trying to rat-f..k us," -credited to Kevin Rudd, the former Prime Minister of Australia :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars and engineering PostPosted: 2009-03-02 08:31am
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Spirit of Vengeance
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Ah useless posturing and yabbering by the new trekkie retard.



MM /CF/WG/BOTM/JL/Original Warsie/ACPATHNTDWATGODW FOREVER!!

Sometimes we can choose the path we follow. Sometimes our choices are made for us. And sometimes we have no choice at all

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars and engineering PostPosted: 2009-03-02 08:49am
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Ghost Rider wrote:
Ah useless posturing and yabbering by the new trekkie retard.


Wow, I wonder how your forum can get any visitors at all.

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars and engineering PostPosted: 2009-03-02 08:58am
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Sith Marauder
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"Wow, let me deflect any criticism by feining moral superiority when caught!"

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