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Venator-Class Star Destroyer
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Sutehp
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, now that you explained it, your rationale makes sense (or at least more sense than it did before). But there is at least one thing throwing me off:

CRMcNeill wrote:
The Star Cruiser variant (the version seen in ROTS and the Clone Wars) carries a Fully Reinforced Stormtrooper Battalion, with a total of 8 Companies. Bear in mind that the four additional companies also include the crews of all the Ground Assault Vehicles, like the Walkers, Juggernauts, etc.


Wait, doesn't this reinforced Stromtrooper battalion with the four additional companies of drivers and ground crews essentially become a mixed unit? Is this a stormtrooper unit or an Imperial Army unit? Or does it effectively become a mixed unit since it has stormtroopers as infantry and Imperial Army soldiers as the drivers and support personnel?

IIRC, stormtroopers don't drive AT-ATs or other Imperial vehicles, at least according to what I understood from reading the ImpSB (though, scout troopers with their speeder bikes are an obvious exception). Also according to the ImpSB, stormtroopers and Imperial Army troopers do not belong to the same OrBat. That said, I can understand the need for mixed units when the Empire wants to send out armor units crewed by the Army accompanied by stormtrooper infantry if the Army infantry is unavailable for some reason, or, as you mentioned, the mixed unit is a vanguard where stormtroopers would be the first ones to establish a beachhead to clear the way for the Army units. I'm just wondering how typical mixed units are, though I'd expect mixed units to be at least somewhat common. Mixed units are more versatile, after all.

And yes, I agree that the idea of stormtroopers not having any support personnel at all in their OrBat is tremendously silly. It violates 2 well-known and simple adages about warfare that any competent soldier does (and would have to) know (and that I think we're both familiar with, CRM), and both have been mentioned on this forum before:

1) As you said, "An army moves on its stomach."

2) And as I mentioned before (but maybe not in this specific thread): "Amateurs study tactics. Experts study logistics."

The ImpSB notion of stormtroopers being a purely combat unit with no logistical support personnel violates both of those truisms about warfare. And, to be fair, the ImpSB does lampshade the silliness of the idea when it mentions how no one knows how stormtroopers get resupplied or if they have a "shadow network" of some kind or whatever. It's like the Star Wars equivalent of saying "A Wizard Did It."

Yeah, the WEG books are fun to read, but they do have their flaws. Stats inconsistencies is one. Silliness like this is another.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
Eight wings would be the capacity if you stripped out all the ground vehicles and had the Venator function strictly as a carrier. My presumption is that the AT-TEs and SPHA-T's carried by the Venator during the Clone Wars would've been parked on or near the hangar deck, and taken up quite a bit of room that otherwise could've gone to starfighters.

Thanks. That clears it up for me.

CRMcNeill wrote:
But ultimately, there wasn't really a way around at least having deckspace for a ridiculous number of starfighters. Instead, I went with the idea that neither side (Alliance or Empire) actually put that deckspace to that kind of use. The Empire had shifted doctrine away from massed starfighter attacks, and thus didn't need 420 starfighters, converting their Venators to troop transports at the expense of starfighter capacity. The Alliance, on the other hand, would've loved to make full use of that many starfighters, but lacked the sheer numbers to be able to do so. Instead, their starfighters are scattered around the galaxy in squadron-sized units, not concentrated in one place aboard a relatively fragile carrier. So the deckspace is instead used to land and service assault shuttles, fast attack and patrol ships, gunboats, etc.

Thanks for this detail, but I got that Imperial doctrine went away from that number of fighters, and I quite agree that the Alliance wouldn't have the number of fighters to use all that deckspace.

I'm not asking for another write-up, but what do you think about the possibility of these ships being sold off to planetary governments? If so, how would they use them and all that deskspace? Could the ship maybe be repurposed as space station and use all that deckspace for refueling, maintenance and repair of smaller vessels like starfighters and light freighters? And what if any Venators fell into pirate hands? Could they use that deckspace to store pirated vessels until they were fenced?
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sutehp wrote:
Doesn't this reinforced Stromtrooper battalion with the four additional companies of drivers and ground crews essentially become a mixed unit? Is this a stormtrooper unit or an Imperial Army unit? Or does it effectively become a mixed unit since it has stormtroopers as infantry and Imperial Army soldiers as the drivers and support personnel?

Once you accept the idea of specialist Stormtroopers (scouts, medics, technicians and the like), it's an easy step to accept the possibility of Stormtroopers who are trained vehicle crew.

I picture these units being much like the Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable). Deployed aboard amphibious assault ships, they generally consist of a Marine battalion with several companies' worth of armored vehicles tacked on organizationally. The thing is, they don't tap the Army for those vehicles and crew; they're Marines who also happen to be vehicle crew.

I see the stormtroopers the same way; they're separate from the Army, even though they often fight alongside the Army, but they also understand quite well that they need support and transport within their own organization.

And it's not like there isn't some overlap. Per his background, General Veers was Imperial Army, but Vader wanted him for his personal ground troop commander, so the result was an Army General commanding a Stormtrooper Corps (more likely a Reinforced Legion, if we're just counting the Executor, but whatever)

Quote:
Yeah, the WEG books are fun to read, but they do have their flaws. Stats inconsistencies is one. Silliness like this is another.

Yeah, I like using the ImpSB as a baseline for designing Imperial units, but I'm also not averse to ignoring it if needs be, and this is just one example of why.

The closest I ever came to a solution to Stormtroopers not having a Logistics tail was an idea I pulled from another sci-fi novel. That novel centered around a group of light infantry who were each equipped with a device called a Convertor. What it did was, if you fed any kind of carbon into it (tree limbs and such), it would convert it on a molecular level to an unappetizing-but-edible glop that would keep the troops fed (with added advantage of producing water as a byproduct of the molecular reaction). In my head, I figured each Stormtrooper was equipped with one of these, especially for long-term deployments.

Of course, this still doesn't explain medical and technical support, or where they get all of their spare parts, replacement power packs, undamaged armor components, etc...
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
I'm not asking for another write-up, but what do you think about the possibility of these ships being sold off to planetary governments? If so, how would they use them and all that deskspace? Could the ship maybe be repurposed as space station and use all that deckspace for refueling, maintenance and repair of smaller vessels like starfighters and light freighters? And what if any Venators fell into pirate hands? Could they use that deckspace to store pirated vessels until they were fenced?

I would say that these are all possible, but not necessarily probable. IMO, the bigger combat starships get, the more likely it becomes that the Empire will be extremely picky about who else can get ahold of them.

IMO, a civilian space station with a large hangar deck would likely be more economical for the purpose you describe. As far as pirates, that's more likely, since there is at least one instance in the WEG material of a capital ship (Victory I) falling into pirate hands. I just don't think I'd let it happen more than once.
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Sutehp
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
Sutehp wrote:
Doesn't this reinforced Stromtrooper battalion with the four additional companies of drivers and ground crews essentially become a mixed unit? Is this a stormtrooper unit or an Imperial Army unit? Or does it effectively become a mixed unit since it has stormtroopers as infantry and Imperial Army soldiers as the drivers and support personnel?

Once you accept the idea of specialist Stormtroopers (scouts, medics, technicians and the like), it's an easy step to accept the possibility of Stormtroopers who are trained vehicle crew.

I picture these units being much like the Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable). Deployed aboard amphibious assault ships, they generally consist of a Marine battalion with several companies' worth of armored vehicles tacked on organizationally. The thing is, they don't tap the Army for those vehicles and crew; they're Marines who also happen to be vehicle crew.

I see the stormtroopers the same way; they're separate from the Army, even though they often fight alongside the Army, but they also understand quite well that they need support and transport within their own organization.

And it's not like there isn't some overlap. Per his background, General Veers was Imperial Army, but Vader wanted him for his personal ground troop commander, so the result was an Army General commanding a Stormtrooper Corps (more likely a Reinforced Legion, if we're just counting the Executor, but whatever)


That is actually a very good point. Any stormtrooper unit that has an officer wearing the grey uniform (either with or without the field armor chestplate) where you can see the guy's face is by default going to be a mixed unit because it has an Army officer and stormtrooper infantry. Two different branches of the Imperial military in the same unit.

And yeah, you're right that the above Imperial example is not entirely analogous to our Army and Marines. After all, the Marine Corps has it's own officers and is decidedly not led by Army officers. And you're also right that the Marines have their own vehicle corps and support organization. Hell, they even have their own air force!

Which leads into the notion of stormtrooper officers. As far as I can recall, I think I've only seen one stormtrooper officer in all of the Star Wars franchise. In fact, it involved General Veers. Remember when he turns to that snowtrooper in the AT-AT cockpit and says "All troops will debark for ground assault"? Look closely at the armor of that trooper and you'll see the lieutenant's officer badge on that guy's armor. That is the only stormtrooper officer I've seen in all my days of watching Star Wars!

Why haven't we seen more guys like him?

CRMcNeill wrote:
Sutehp wrote:
Yeah, the WEG books are fun to read, but they do have their flaws. Stats inconsistencies is one. Silliness like this is another.

Yeah, I like using the ImpSB as a baseline for designing Imperial units, but I'm also not averse to ignoring it if needs be, and this is just one example of why.

The closest I ever came to a solution to Stormtroopers not having a Logistics tail was an idea I pulled from another sci-fi novel. That novel centered around a group of light infantry who were each equipped with a device called a Convertor. What it did was, if you fed any kind of carbon into it (tree limbs and such), it would convert it on a molecular level to an unappetizing-but-edible glop that would keep the troops fed (with added advantage of producing water as a byproduct of the molecular reaction). In my head, I figured each Stormtrooper was equipped with one of these, especially for long-term deployments.

Of course, this still doesn't explain medical and technical support, or where they get all of their spare parts, replacement power packs, undamaged armor components, etc...


Yeah, that must have been lampshaded to hell and back multiple times since the first edition ImpSB first came out in 1989 and asserted that the stormtroopers didn't seem to have logistical support of any kind....
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