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 Post subject: Evolution of the Imperial Star Destroyer PostPosted: 2009-10-31 05:10am
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Author’s Note: I wrote this a long time ago for a role-playing forum where a friend and I were arguing over why the Star Wars ships were fighting at ranges that would to be comparable to knife-fights, when their ranges for fighting were actually much greater. I couldn’t fully answer him for that reason beyond simple “it wouldn’t fit into a movie screen if they did that” at the time; that is until I researched a bit and made my own conclusions. The theory I developed is below.

Evolution and Doctrine of the Imperial Star Destroyer

---

As we all know Star Destroyers are iconic vessels of the Star Wars universe. Star Destroyers are depicted as large dagger-shaped and extremely well-armed warships, serving in large numbers in the immense Imperial Starfleet (estimates have put the number at 25,000 total over the entire galaxy) and elsewhere, including in the service of the Galactic Republic, the New Republic, the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances — and possibly even in the corporate war fleets of the Confederacy of Independent Systems.

The designation "Star Destroyer" refers to the common dagger-hulled combat vessels used by the Empire in the three films of the original trilogy. They are commonly referred to as Imperial-class Star Destroyers, their official designation as of a short time after the declaration of the newly formed Empire. During the earliest weeks of Imperial regime and the latter days of the Clone Wars, the class was known as the Imperator-class. This is regarded as the most common class of Star Destroyer, and one of the most important symbols of the Galactic Empire, serving the Imperial fleet for at least five decades. When the term "Star Destroyer" is used without further qualification, it usually refers to ships of this class.

So where did these massive ships come from and how did they come about?

To discover this we must go back to the origins of the Clone Wars, just after the initial battle of Geonosis. At this time the Republic was given a clone army from a supposed Jedi benefactor. This was later found to be a devious plot of Palpatine’s. The ‘Grand Army of the Republic’ as it was dubbed, was an army of clones made to be to be the perfect fighting soldiers; and as such were outfitted with the best possible equipment and fighting vehicles.

To serve as transports and fighting vessel was the Acclamator-class Assault Ship. The 752-meter-long Acclamator class assault ship was the first capital ship designed for use with the Grand Army of the Republic, referred sometimes simply as the "Republic assault ship." It can be considered the ‘grandfather’ of Star Destroyers, for it was the Acclamator that set the precedent, or design, of the arrow-shaped hull. However, unlike its later cousins it was not designed as a space combat starship or even a cruiser; rather, it was designed as a heavily armored and armed troop transport for planetary bombardments and surface landings.

However the Republic was lacking in space combat worthy vessels. To settle this the newly outfitted for war Republican shipyards and such major manufacturers as the Kuat Drive Yards and the Rendili Stardrive began building newer models of ships to settle into the role of a space combat ship.

Both KDY and RS were racing against each other to create a ship that would be bought by the Republic, each wanting the major contracts and cash that would come along with it. The RS were at somewhat of a set-back, as the Acclamator was made by the KYD and as such had only very basic schematics to work with, however they were undaunted and designed what was named the Victory-class Star Destroyer.

The Victory Star Destroyer was designed to be a jack-of-all-trades ship: capable of taking on and defeating enemy capital ships, fielding a fairly large fighter compliment, and being able to carry a large compliment of clonetroopers. It was bought in large numbers by the Republic. At 900 meters long the Victory became the largest capital ship capable of entering the atmosphere, this was exemplified when a certain Captain Tarkin (before reaching higher rank) used his Victory Star Destroyer to crush a large crowd of protestors at what became known as the Ghorman Massacre. It should be noted that the Victory II, a later model of the Victory, was not capable of entering atmosphere.

Against the Victory design the KDY created another arrow shaped vessel after their successful Acclamator. Designed to be a starfighter carrier/destroyer the Venator-class Star Destroyer was the Kuat Drive Yards master piece of the time. Beating the Victory in length at 1,137 meters, the Venator was the largest Star Destroyer yet then made. The Republic bought roughly equal numbers of these vessels as they had Victory Destroyers.

Now, at the time of the Clone Wars, the most basic naval tactic was to fight your enemy en masse with hopefully superior numbers and often times in traditional firing lines (similar to how the British often would have their Redcoat soldiers line up neatly and fire into the enemy repeatedly) by which the two enemies would engage each other and, thanks to the dimensions of space, become fluid lines of battle.

Clone War commanders based their tactics on using their ships (Venators, Victorys, Acclamators) as a base of firepower, or a weapons platform. This was meant to establish a powerful rear or base. Fighters then took up the spearhead of an attack and were on missions to destroy not only enemy fighters but also to inflict damage upon enemy ships, or 'weapons platforms'. This tactic was little changed from the beginning of the Clone Wars to its end, and the tradition and tactic as such was carried into the Imperial Fleet when Emperor Palpatine took power.


Now we have ourselves a clear understanding of the past, and the three vessels that pre-dated the Imperial Star Destroyer and were its ancestors.

Everyone has to understand that the Star Destroyer MkI and MkII were based upon this evolution. That evolution of the Venator and Victory class Star Destroyers. A weapon is designed according to the need of the battlefield. Its parameters based upon battlefield experience. When Imperial Commanders were fighting at Endor, they were doing so with a paradigm mindset and tactical needs according to the doctrine of heavy weapons platforms backed with fighter compliments. (Which ultimately they did not do, seeing as the Emperor forbade them to engage, only to hold.)

This in turn reflects upon the battles of the Clone Wars. The Clone Wars were in a sense similar to the battles upon the seas between the 1500s-1940s. You lined up your capital ships, tried getting a better position by maneuver, and then wailed at your enemy until he was dead or retreated. Thus Venators provided a powerful addition to the Grand Army by having eight heavy turbolaser cannon batteries, proving to be an extremely useful weapons platform (some captains even opened their fighter bays and let their Clone vehicles fire out with their weapons, adding to their firepower). (The Victory had quad turbolaser batteries but no heavy batteries as the Venator did.)

The Imperial Fighting Doctrine was based upon Old Republic Grand Army Doctrine. Many of the officers from the Old Republic were transferred into the Imperial Fleet (the Emperor could hardly afford to kill off all the most brilliant and best fleet officers now that the Independent Star Systems were defeated leaving him no other pool of effective fleet commanders). Thus we are provided with Old Republic paradigm within the new Imperial navy.

In addition to this old paradigm of capital ships being heavy weapons platforms combined with effective fighter squadrons became the Emperor's ideal of 'Rule by Fear'. Imperial fleet engineers decided to take the already proven and effective design of the Venator and the Victory (based upon results from the Clone Wars) and combine it with that ideal of Rule by Fear. From that was born the Imperial Star Destroyer.

Not only did it dwarf the Victory and Venator classes, but it provided a far heavier weapons base, larger fighter compliment, heavier shielding and hull, and provided the Imperial Fleet with the final addition to their doctrine. The Star Destroyer, or Imperator, was the epitome of Imperial Strategic and Psychological Doctrine: Rule by Fear and Fight by Maximum Power (provided by the largest capital ship then in existence, i.e. the ISD).

A better way perhaps to understand the development of the ISD is to study the development of Nazi Germany's Panzers: from the Panzer I to the Panzer VI, known as the Tiger. Their development of tanks was based upon what they encountered on the field of battle. The same happened for the Empire.

The innovative tactics of using heavier armed and more maneuverable fighters as well as a newer class of starship (Mon Cal) allowed the Rebel Alliance and then the New Republic to challenge and thus utterly wipe out several decades worth of Imperial Doctrine. Admiral Ackbar took his cruisers into closer range of ISDs, not only making them less likely to be targeted by the DSII but also because ISDs perform at their best only when at a distance and as a weapons platform. Thus Ackbar's more flexible strategy (albeit more forced by Calrissian) both confused Imperial ship commanders and provided them with an unprecedented situation; for their experience and doctrine gained from the Clone Wars did not provide them with any viable alternative.

Knowing now about the doctrine to use it, we need to look at the ISD as a weapon.
So the ISD is not weak because of its design. No weapon is 'stupid'. It is simply that those who built it and used it were not prepared for the type of situations which examples like the Battle of Endor presented.
Therefore it is understood that the reasons for the way in which the Galactic Empire conducted its fleets was a result of more than 25-30 years of experience based on older practices and doctrines: the dominating role of the capitol ship as a weapons platform, the large amount and presence of star fighters, and the lack of innovation that those two precedents leave for a commander. (well, an average commander. We all know several Imperial commanders that used ISDs in ways that were both innovative and incredible.)

And now pretty pictures to take your mind off my horrible theory. Shiny.
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 Post subject: Re: Evolution of the Imperial Star Destroyer PostPosted: 2009-10-31 08:57am
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I's an interesting exercise, but you're working from very partial data.

I suggest that you go to http://www.theforce.net/swtc/warships.html, read through that- at least- and then come back and tell us what you would change based on that more comprehensive look at the Imperial Starfleet.

For my money, the Imperator, later Imperial class are not the culmination of anything, they're the mainstay type because they're in the place where a lot of separate lines on graphs cross. Power, endurance, efficiency, cost initial and running, deployment capability, throw-weight- it's a well judged and successful compromise design.

The details; it was probably an open secret in the Empire's corridors of power that Palpatine had the dark side of the Force, and some of them no doubt remembered the ravings of the jedi on the subject and put two and two together, but I don't think it was ever revealed to the general public that the Clone Wars had been a gigantic and callous fraud, at least nt until well into the next crisis.

Look at the big ships that already existed- KDY's Mandators, Procurators and Praetors, Corellian Engineering's battleships. Ships of force already existed, what they needed was numbers- swarmships.

I don't know what you think Dundas' drill book has to do with space combat, or anything other than what it was intended for, late eighteenth century infantry- for the state of the army's discipline and the military technology of that specific time. None of which is true in deep space high energy combat. (And little of which was true about fifteen years later either...look at how the peninsular army, asked to go to war on the basis fo that drill, actually behaved in the field.) Stop trying so hard for an analogy, and just let the pieces fall into place. The phrase "fluid line of battle", incidentally...if it wasn't tragic it'd be hilarious.

Twenty years? Try twenty- five thousand. And an experiment. Get a model aircraft, and a laser pointer- laser tag gear would be good but they don't use visual wavebands mostly-, and a clear day and a clear space where you aren't likely to accidentally zap anyone's eyeballs. Do the obvious. Get someone to fly the model, and try and hit it with the laser pointer. Be careful while doing this.

Easy on a straight course at close range, yes? Not so easy flying evasively, at ranges where you can barely even see the bloody thing, (DO NOT do nap of the earth- the chances of accidentally hitting somebody are too high), ducking and twisting out of the beam. Even less easy when you're firing short bursts, not a continuous beam.

Hit probability is the key concept here. Look at the numbers, the area of the sky a destroyer takes up at theoretical turbolaser range, how large an area it could be in based on thrust and the flight time of the bolt, jamming and counterjamming- understand the problems the design was intended to deal with, and you will understand the design.



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 Post subject: Re: Evolution of the Imperial Star Destroyer PostPosted: 2009-10-31 09:06am
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Apart from the fact that:

- the ISD is a medium sized destroyer escort, which can act like a mini capship in the less developped areas...

the best real life analogy of an ISD would might be the protected cruisers used in colonial roles where they were the king of the seas (well until a battleship happened to arrive to the area)

- Endor was not a sign of a new trend, but an execption... the NR quickly build up their capital ship force capable of winning the standard linear battles

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 Post subject: Re: Evolution of the Imperial Star Destroyer PostPosted: 2009-10-31 11:20am
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bz249 wrote:
- Endor was not a sign of a new trend, but an execption... the NR quickly build up their capital ship force capable of winning the standard linear battles


To expand a little bit upon this the New republic built and designed the Nebula-class Star Destroyer, which was specifically designed to defeat any single Imperator in combat. They also created the Viscount-class Star Defender, a 17km analogue to the Executor-class designed by the Mon Calamari.

I should also add that the Star Destroyer's heritage goes much farther back than simply the Clone Wars, the Clone Wars was just what made them associated primarily with the Empire. Kuat had some Acclamator-esque ships and Star Destroyers defending their system during the Stark Hyperspace War (Shortly before TPM). The Star Destroyer design goes as far back as the Mandalorian Wars or 6000BBY with the Centurion-class Battlecruiser. The Mandalorians also had a ship of the Star Destroyer's aesthetics that looked remarkably like a Venator.



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 Post subject: Re: Evolution of the Imperial Star Destroyer PostPosted: 2009-10-31 04:46pm
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Agreed with Eleventh Century Remnant that the ISD is not a culmination of capital ship design, but rather a multi-purpose vessel such as the OP described the Victory class to be.

Also, correct me if I'm wrong but Endor is not the first example of large ships fighting at very short ranges. In fact, the Battle of Coruscant also has ships fighting very close together (especially obvious when one of the Republic ships gets into a broadside exchange with Grievious's flagship).

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 Post subject: Re: Evolution of the Imperial Star Destroyer PostPosted: 2009-10-31 06:14pm
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Well the ISD, apart from being a jack of all trades troopbattlecarrier :wink:, is AFAIK is larger and more powerful than any preeceding destroyer-class, in agreement with the Tarkin-doctrine (use the fear from the force rather than the force itself whenever possible, and when you use the force always use decisive force). Thus it can be seen as a kind of culmination for mass produced warships, although not a very remarkable one (since later SD-s are even bigger and even more powerful).

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 Post subject: Re: Evolution of the Imperial Star Destroyer PostPosted: 2009-10-31 06:25pm
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Hm, will resist the temptation to begin another argument over the definition of "Star Destroyer." :)

Anyways, it seems that short-range action would make the most sense for a collection of small ships attempting to destroy a very large one, regardless of specific circumstances like Endor or Coruscant.

With both sides going all out under idealized gunnery conditions, the increase in hit probabilities at close range is going to favor the collection of smaller ships in a race against the heat dissipation of the big ship's shields. With a 100% hit rate, an equivalent smaller force is going to land >10x the amount of firepower per second on the bigger ship than if they stood off at a range that allowed for 10% hits, giving them a much better chance to do real damage. They might take horrendous losses, but that's going to be expected anyway. Better than taking 10x as long to do exactly nothing of consequence but generate a debris and gas field equal to the mass of the small ships and a huge amount of neutrinos.



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 Post subject: Re: Evolution of the Imperial Star Destroyer PostPosted: 2009-10-31 11:56pm
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The Romulan Republic wrote:
Agreed with Eleventh Century Remnant that the ISD is not a culmination of capital ship design, but rather a multi-purpose vessel such as the OP described the Victory class to be.

Also, correct me if I'm wrong but Endor is not the first example of large ships fighting at very short ranges. In fact, the Battle of Coruscant also has ships fighting very close together (especially obvious when one of the Republic ships gets into a broadside exchange with Grievious's flagship).
Coruscant may have been another special case because both sides were forced to fight in close quarters. The CIS fleet got as close to the planet as they could to cover their raiding forces (I can only assume they had goals other than capturing the Chancellor), and the Republic couldn't stand off at long range and bombard them because the only place for them to do so would be in high orbit... where their stray shots would be smacking right into the Republic's capital world at gigaton and teraton ranges.

I'm imagining the whole thing as a complete mess from the point of view of the Republic high command, with reinforcements pulled in helter-skelter from all over the galaxy and thrown into a knife range melee against the CIS forces because there was no other safe way to use them. There may have been a breakdown of command and control involved, too, if the forces were large enough.

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 Post subject: Re: Evolution of the Imperial Star Destroyer PostPosted: 2009-11-01 12:45am
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The Rebel strategy to engage at point-blank range was effective in part due to the fact that crews were not trained to engage at such close proximity. In the end though, it was a crucial contribution in destroying Imperial morale, moreso than actually destroying it in combat. Had the Imperial fleet maintained cohesion and not routed, it's likely that there wouldn't have been a Rebel fleet left to fight with.

It's interesting that, by and large, the mainline ISDs were actually ignored, with the Rebels preferring larger targets like Executor or the Communications ship.

Edit - the ISD, and to a lesser extent the VSD, likely represent an effective combination of various capital ship roles where more dedicated one-purpose warships like the Venator or Tector/Allegiance prove less appealing. The fact remains, VSDs and ISDs are still in production in one form or another more than four decades after they entered service



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 Post subject: Re: Evolution of the Imperial Star Destroyer PostPosted: 2009-11-01 03:41am
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ECR has speculated that the Imperator class is relatively easy to modify; that might help to explain its long service life. A highly customizable platform with solid multirole capability* in its default state is likely to stick around long after more specialized rivals begin to fade. I don't feel qualified to say more about his reasoning, though I'd like to hear what he has to say on the subject.

*relative to its tonnage

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 Post subject: Re: Evolution of the Imperial Star Destroyer PostPosted: 2009-11-01 09:23am
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Three converging sets of data; Dr. Saxton's fleet lists, the number of individual variations mentioned on Wookiepedia, and the ICS drawings.

After the initial Imperator- I, there is the Imperial- II, interdictor variants of both hulls (with damnably awkwardly placed domes, showing that the naval architects don't get it right every time- or the domes are considered much more important to the function of the ship than the main battery), the Tector which seems to be a pure gunship based in the Imperator hull, and Anonymous Star Destroyer #4, as yet unnamed, which seems to be a major reorganisation to bring the main reactor dome within the armoured hull and extend the flight bays- a squadron support carrier.

Six major variations at fleet list level. Then there are the one- offs and personal flagships, like Cronal's stealth- coated, slightly uprated hyperdrive Singularity;
the Virulence, later Errant Venture;
the major calibre mount armed legacy era Anakin Solo;
the Accuser, later Emancipator, retuned engines for higher mid range speed (at the cost of peak thrust, lower impulse, higher mass flow?), experimental major calibre weapon, later uprated torpedo battery;
Thunderflare, sacrificing hyperdrive capability for increased weapon power;
Exactor, very early Imperator-I which commissioned with the tower design not seen in mass service until the Imperial-II;
Elegos a'Kla, a New Republic development of the Dominator interdictor variant;
Empire, the Imperial-II protoype, with thicker shielding than the main production version;
Battle Lance, which may be a bad example (new model reactor- failed catastrophically on testing);
there's one I can't find which is basically a zwilling, two hulls stuck together top to bottom- there are many minor and not so minor variations. (Some of which admittedly make more physical and tactical sense than others.)

The ICS drawings give some idea where the reserved tonnage is, too. Forward of the hangar bay there's a large area devoted to 'raw materials storage' presumably for damage control purposes to some degree but it just takes up too much space for that, most of it must be for outpost establishment; the superstructure itself- I think it was originally West End data, but the minimum crew of an Imperator class to sail and fight the ship for short periods, but not conduct flight and ground operations or damage control, has been repeated by other sources as five thousand.

Rather more in line with their relatives in the fleet list, the Venator's seventy-four hundred including flight crew and the Acclamator's seven hundred. I think the overmanning comes out of their function as small scale capital ships; they're also the school ships of the fleet. A lot of the superstructure could go, really; there's no major facility there, nothing vital to the ship's function (except the offices, and that's debatable)- you could lose or convert five sevenths of it, let's have a little more than the minimum requirement, without costing the ship much.

So, lose the feather bedding, transfer the planetary engineering role to other, more appropriate ships- there may be an entire eighth of the ship's volume used for ancillary purposes that could be sacrificed to future expansion.



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 Post subject: Re: Evolution of the Imperial Star Destroyer PostPosted: 2009-11-01 10:05am
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The Star Destroyer concept is neither new nor revolutionary, but rather a return to an old concept. The Centurion class was 1200 m long and somewhat fit the bill of a Star Destroyer. The only issue is that the Republic's constant warring led it to lurch from one era to another with an amnesia to match.



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 Post subject: Re: Evolution of the Imperial Star Destroyer PostPosted: 2009-11-01 10:44am
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Fingolfin_Noldor wrote:
The Star Destroyer concept is neither new nor revolutionary, but rather a return to an old concept. The Centurion class was 1200 m long and somewhat fit the bill of a Star Destroyer. The only issue is that the Republic's constant warring led it to lurch from one era to another with an amnesia to match.


Amnesia would be based on the assumption that Star Destroyers were not built routinely even after the Ruusan Reformation, just in smaller numbers by places like Kuat for themselves and other clients. Mandators still need escorts, after all.

TC Pilot wrote:
The Rebel strategy to engage at point-blank range was effective in part due to the fact that crews were not trained to engage at such close proximity. In the end though, it was a crucial contribution in destroying Imperial morale, moreso than actually destroying it in combat. Had the Imperial fleet maintained cohesion and not routed, it's likely that there wouldn't have been a Rebel fleet left to fight with.


Well, if the Executor group had not been told to let the Rebels live for the DS2 demonstrations, the Alliance fleet wouldn't have made it to point blank range to begin with. I think that political restriction has far more to do with it than any training, tactical, or technical restrictions.

And closing to point-blank, assuming you can do it without losing most of your force, is the most effective thing to do against something like an Executor anyway. Admittedly, the "run like hell" option might be more sensible to most formations like the Alliance fleet at Endor in most circumstances.



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 Post subject: Re: Evolution of the Imperial Star Destroyer PostPosted: 2009-11-01 12:05pm
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The Romulan Republic wrote:
Agreed with Eleventh Century Remnant that the ISD is not a culmination of capital ship design, but rather a multi-purpose vessel such as the OP described the Victory class to be.

Also, correct me if I'm wrong but Endor is not the first example of large ships fighting at very short ranges. In fact, the Battle of Coruscant also has ships fighting very close together (especially obvious when one of the Republic ships gets into a broadside exchange with Grievious's flagship).

The Rebels had not engaged in such fighting against the Imperial vessels. One would note Ackbar rebuttal closely. The Republic warships did not have the shields to repel the Imperial firepower, this even though the Mon Cal Cruisers shields is explictly stated to have redundant and somewhat better shielding than the ISD.



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 Post subject: Re: Evolution of the Imperial Star Destroyer PostPosted: 2009-11-01 12:24pm
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fractalsponge1 wrote:
Fingolfin_Noldor wrote:
The Star Destroyer concept is neither new nor revolutionary, but rather a return to an old concept. The Centurion class was 1200 m long and somewhat fit the bill of a Star Destroyer. The only issue is that the Republic's constant warring led it to lurch from one era to another with an amnesia to match.


Amnesia would be based on the assumption that Star Destroyers were not built routinely even after the Ruusan Reformation, just in smaller numbers by places like Kuat for themselves and other clients. Mandators still need escorts, after all.


Probably, assuming galactic infrastructure hasn't been too damaged to allow for large scale construction of ships. The Ruusan Reformation suggests the Republic was teetering on the edge just as it was after the Jedi Civil War.



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 Post subject: Re: Evolution of the Imperial Star Destroyer PostPosted: 2009-11-01 12:25pm
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PainRack wrote:
The Rebels had not engaged in such fighting against the Imperial vessels. One would note Ackbar rebuttal closely. The Republic warships did not have the shields to repel the Imperial firepower, this even though the Mon Cal Cruisers shields is explictly stated to have redundant and somewhat better shielding than the ISD.


It would be a bit of a stretch from "we won't last long against those star destroyers" to 'had not engaged before' or 'cannot engage, ever' in such action. He might well have meant that in normal combat against a full Sector Group, never mind a bleeding Star Dreadnought, they would not last very long. But of course the imperial fleet was not firing full alphas at the edge of their reactor capability or concentrating fire to eliminate the Rebels as quickly as possible before they entered point-blank range. The Executor alone should have been able to eliminate the Rebel fleet in short order on the approach otherwise.



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 Post subject: Re: Evolution of the Imperial Star Destroyer PostPosted: 2009-11-01 12:30pm
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Fingolfin_Noldor wrote:
Probably, assuming galactic infrastructure hasn't been too damaged to allow for large scale construction of ships. The Ruusan Reformation suggests the Republic was teetering on the edge just as it was after the Jedi Civil War.


Fair, but it's not like a single world like Kuat, Corellia, or Rendili couldn't have replenished a substantial galactic navy in a few decades if necessary. I don't think we ever heard about large scale loss of shipbuilding infrastructure at the Reformation, just that the central military forces were drastically down-sized. Doesn't say anything about member-state militaries.



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 Post subject: Re: Evolution of the Imperial Star Destroyer PostPosted: 2009-11-01 12:32pm
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PainRack wrote:
The Romulan Republic wrote:
The Rebels had not engaged in such fighting against the Imperial vessels. One would note Ackbar rebuttal closely. The Republic warships did not have the shields to repel the Imperial firepower, this even though the Mon Cal Cruisers shields is explictly stated to have redundant and somewhat better shielding than the ISD.


When Ackbar stats 'our star cruisers can't repel fire power of that magnitude' he's referring to the Death Star's Superlaser. Star cruisers can and did repel the fire power of the imperial fleet since Home One survived that battle.



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 Post subject: Re: Evolution of the Imperial Star Destroyer PostPosted: 2009-11-01 01:02pm
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fractalsponge1 wrote:
Well, if the Executor group had not been told to let the Rebels live for the DS2 demonstrations, the Alliance fleet wouldn't have made it to point blank range to begin with. I think that political restriction has far more to do with it than any training, tactical, or technical restrictions.


Blind luck also can't be ignored. Were it not for Lando, the Rebels would have simply retreated. It's an irony of sorts, Palpatine, the one who gambled with the highest stakes in the galaxy at play, thwarted by a gambler.

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And closing to point-blank, assuming you can do it without losing most of your force, is the most effective thing to do against something like an Executor anyway.


That's basically what the "Ackbar slash" is in principle.

Crazedwraith wrote:
When Ackbar stats 'our star cruisers can't repel fire power of that magnitude' he's referring to the Death Star's Superlaser. Star cruisers can and did repel the fire power of the imperial fleet since Home One survived that battle.


"At that range we won't last long against those Star Destroyers!"



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 Post subject: Re: Evolution of the Imperial Star Destroyer PostPosted: 2009-11-01 01:54pm
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fractalsponge1 wrote:
Fingolfin_Noldor wrote:
Probably, assuming galactic infrastructure hasn't been too damaged to allow for large scale construction of ships. The Ruusan Reformation suggests the Republic was teetering on the edge just as it was after the Jedi Civil War.


Fair, but it's not like a single world like Kuat, Corellia, or Rendili couldn't have replenished a substantial galactic navy in a few decades if necessary. I don't think we ever heard about large scale loss of shipbuilding infrastructure at the Reformation, just that the central military forces were drastically down-sized. Doesn't say anything about member-state militaries.

Sure. But galactic trade was no doubt seriously damaged in the aftermath of the Ruusan Reformation and the Jedi were trying to help rebuild the war torn Republic. No doubt that most of the shipbuilding resources might be devoted instead to rebuilding infrastructure for trade etc.

But we will likely never know I fear.



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 Post subject: Re: Evolution of the Imperial Star Destroyer PostPosted: 2009-11-01 02:17pm
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TC Pilot/Ackbar wrote:
"At that range we won't last long against those Star Destroyers!"


Except, they clearly did. As Ackbar did, in fact, survive the Battle Of Endor.



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 Post subject: Re: Evolution of the Imperial Star Destroyer PostPosted: 2009-11-01 03:37pm
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General Schatten wrote:
I should also add that the Star Destroyer's heritage goes much farther back than simply the Clone Wars, the Clone Wars was just what made them associated primarily with the Empire. Kuat had some Acclamator-esque ships and Star Destroyers defending their system during the Stark Hyperspace War (Shortly before TPM). The Star Destroyer design goes as far back as the Mandalorian Wars or 6000BBY with the Centurion-class Battlecruiser. The Mandalorians also had a ship of the Star Destroyer's aesthetics that looked remarkably like a Venator.


From WEG's Dark Force Rising sourcebook, p.137. " Before the Clones Wars shook the galaxy, the Dreadnaught-class heavy cruiser was the largest warship to patrol the space lanes. It was the backbone of the Old Republic fleet, the warship that kept the galaxy safe and the space lanes open."

I'm assuming that they mean the largest warship (600 meters) that was produced in any sort of large numbers.

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 Post subject: Re: Evolution of the Imperial Star Destroyer PostPosted: 2009-11-01 04:11pm
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I don't think you can consider Endor at all representative of SW fleet combat.

The imperial fleet was hamstrung by its rules of engagement; block the Rebel fleet from escaping and wait for the DS2 to destroy it piecemeal. Thus it was forced to allow the Rebels to close to point blank range and thus endure far more punishment than if it had simply shot at them with everything they had at the beginning of the engagement. This continued until the chain of command broke down and the fleet scattered, by which time it had already lost its main unit of force (though admittedly if the DS2 wasn't there the Executor might well have been brought under control and back into action).

Running the numbers of known assets and it's freakishly improbable that the Rebels would have survived, let alone been victorious, if both sides had been allowed maximum freedom of action.

And, ugh, that WEG source.



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 Post subject: Re: Evolution of the Imperial Star Destroyer PostPosted: 2009-11-01 04:34pm
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Crazedwraith wrote:
TC Pilot/Ackbar wrote:
"At that range we won't last long against those Star Destroyers!"


Except, they clearly did. As Ackbar did, in fact, survive the Battle Of Endor.

Thanks to a chaos in the Imperial chain of command: even after the Executor and the Death Star were destroyed, the Imperial fleet was still winning when chaos erupted into the chain of command with FIVE separate officers in command of the fleet (Pellaeon as acting commander of the Chimaera (the ship supposed to take the command after the Executor), admiral Harrsk as most senior officer of the fleet after the Chimaera commander's death and grand admirals Takel, Makati and Teshik as most senior officer presents) giving contradictory orders. With Harrsk unable to take command due communication problems on his ship or having fled immediatly (the fact is not clear) and Takel and Makati running away and Teshik still in the process of reaching his ship, Pellaon ordered a retreat, and most of the fleet fled to Annaj and admiral Prittick. Even with these losses and the low morale after the battle meditation stop and the destruction of a Star Dreadnought by a mere fighter, Teshik was able to hold the line for three hours.

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 Post subject: Re: Evolution of the Imperial Star Destroyer PostPosted: 2009-11-01 05:22pm
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lord Martiya wrote:
Crazedwraith wrote:
TC Pilot/Ackbar wrote:
"At that range we won't last long against those Star Destroyers!"


Except, they clearly did. As Ackbar did, in fact, survive the Battle Of Endor.

-snip-


All of this is actually irrelevant. PainRack was using the above quote to justify the claim that rebels had never previously engaged the Imperials in close range naval combat prior to the Battle Of Endor, when in facd said quote implies no such thing. It's Ackbar summing up their current situation in the Battle OF Endor not a treaties on the history of naval combat.



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