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Suppressive Fire
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jmanski
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Joined: 06 Mar 2005
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Location: Kansas

PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're referring to the Stormtroopers aboard the Death Star shooting poorly, remember one thing: if they kill the rebels Darth doesn't get his tracker to show him where the rebel base is.
In essence, the Death Star let them go. They were ordered to funnel the rebels to their ship and not kill them.
Just as a thought: why does everyone want to play down the Stormtroopers after their performance in ANH, but TIE pilots are seen as aces. Both were inept in ANH for a reason, but TIE pilots get a complete pass while Stormies get dumped on and laughed at.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a good observation, but stormtrooper accuracy doesn't seem to get much better in TESB or RotJ where they aren't trying to let the Rebels escape.
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jmanski
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But the TIE pilots don't seem to get much better, either.
I'm just playing devil's advocate here because I think Stormtroopers get a bad rap.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jmanski wrote:
If you're referring to the Stormtroopers aboard the Death Star shooting poorly, remember one thing: if they kill the rebels Darth doesn't get his tracker to show him where the rebel base is.
In essence, the Death Star let them go. They were ordered to funnel the rebels to their ship and not kill them.
Just as a thought: why does everyone want to play down the Stormtroopers after their performance in ANH, but TIE pilots are seen as aces. Both were inept in ANH for a reason, but TIE pilots get a complete pass while Stormies get dumped on and laughed at.


The way I interpret the films is just that: as films.

In general, a fire fight in a film is replete with "misses." But in order to satisfy that need for "action" and "adventure" (that is, in order to put the protagonists in enough danger that the film is actually entertaining), we have to see them get shot at. Of course, if they get killed in the first fire fight, then you don't have a movie... just a tale of a sad statistic.

On the other hand, the heroes miss all the time, too. This also facilitates the longevity of the fire fight for the sake of building drama and tension while things elsewhere act as a ticking clock against which the heroes are racing. In other words, the fire fight serves as a story mechanism to impede the heroes' progress toward a goal, the achievement of which is faced with a closing window of opportunity. If the heroes were all crack shots, then that dramatic tension is lost, also.

Even in stories where the hero is a crack shot, the storyteller delays his ability to make the shot rather than causing him to miss over and over again. Either way, once the winning shot is fired, then the story can progress, but the drama must not be a casualty of "realism," but instead should use some degree of realism in order to develop and support the drama (when disbelief cannot be suspended, the audience can no longer relate to the hero, and so dramatic value is lost in the face of a complete lack of realism or verisimilitude).

Lastly, I've never heard of the TIE fighters being considered "aces." I've always heard of and seen/interpreted the entire imperial military as disposable up to the threshold of the imperial royal guard, who, are also ultimately disposable, at the end of the day.

And, in case I wasn't clear before: a person who sucks at shooting (can't hit what they're trying to hit) will also suck at suppressing. Suppressing fire is of zero value if there is no threat of being shot. The targets being suppressed MUST believe that they are going to die if they break cover. I have been the "target" (I use the term very loosely) of "spray and pray" fire a few times, and in no case did I (or the others I was with) believe that we were in imminent danger of being shot. Was it possible? Sure, we could have been hit by a random bullet. But for the hundreds that were fired, not one even "zipped by" close enough for us to think "they're shooting at us." The spray and pray--under the circumstances--did nothing to impede our movements or even force us to adapt. It is the opposite of what we call "effective fire."
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WillTasker
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Joined: 25 Jan 2017
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
Lastly, I've never heard of the TIE fighters being considered "aces." I've always heard of and seen/interpreted the entire imperial military as disposable up to the threshold of the imperial royal guard, who, are also ultimately disposable, at the end of the day.


I'm running on no coffee today, so my brain ain't working right - but if IIRC, "Lost Stars" actually has a bit of dialogue about how TIE pilots are really good pilots solely because the fighters are nothing more than an engine and stripped of any excess weight / safety equipment.

That said, yes, without shields or an ejection system or anything remotely helpful to the pilot, flying one would be borderline suicidal.
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jmanski
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
jmanski wrote:
If you're referring to the Stormtroopers aboard the Death Star shooting poorly, remember one thing: if they kill the rebels Darth doesn't get his tracker to show him where the rebel base is.
In essence, the Death Star let them go. They were ordered to funnel the rebels to their ship and not kill them.
Just as a thought: why does everyone want to play down the Stormtroopers after their performance in ANH, but TIE pilots are seen as aces. Both were inept in ANH for a reason, but TIE pilots get a complete pass while Stormies get dumped on and laughed at.


The way I interpret the films is just that: as films.

In general, a fire fight in a film is replete with "misses." But in order to satisfy that need for "action" and "adventure" (that is, in order to put the protagonists in enough danger that the film is actually entertaining), we have to see them get shot at. Of course, if they get killed in the first fire fight, then you don't have a movie... just a tale of a sad statistic.

On the other hand, the heroes miss all the time, too. This also facilitates the longevity of the fire fight for the sake of building drama and tension while things elsewhere act as a ticking clock against which the heroes are racing. In other words, the fire fight serves as a story mechanism to impede the heroes' progress toward a goal, the achievement of which is faced with a closing window of opportunity. If the heroes were all crack shots, then that dramatic tension is lost, also.

Even in stories where the hero is a crack shot, the storyteller delays his ability to make the shot rather than causing him to miss over and over again. Either way, once the winning shot is fired, then the story can progress, but the drama must not be a casualty of "realism," but instead should use some degree of realism in order to develop and support the drama (when disbelief cannot be suspended, the audience can no longer relate to the hero, and so dramatic value is lost in the face of a complete lack of realism or verisimilitude).

Lastly, I've never heard of the TIE fighters being considered "aces." I've always heard of and seen/interpreted the entire imperial military as disposable up to the threshold of the imperial royal guard, who, are also ultimately disposable, at the end of the day.

And, in case I wasn't clear before: a person who sucks at shooting (can't hit what they're trying to hit) will also suck at suppressing. Suppressing fire is of zero value if there is no threat of being shot. The targets being suppressed MUST believe that they are going to die if they break cover. I have been the "target" (I use the term very loosely) of "spray and pray" fire a few times, and in no case did I (or the others I was with) believe that we were in imminent danger of being shot. Was it possible? Sure, we could have been hit by a random bullet. But for the hundreds that were fired, not one even "zipped by" close enough for us to think "they're shooting at us." The spray and pray--under the circumstances--did nothing to impede our movements or even force us to adapt. It is the opposite of what we call "effective fire."


I don't recall the TIE pilot references, I think they were mostly books (probably Zahn and the X-Wing series).

And I completely agree with your last statement: if you can't shoot you can't supress.

I appreciate the thought on cinema, I'm usually one to argue for cinema over realism in-game but for some reason that slipped past me this time.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wink

Gotta keep things in perspective, right?. Thumbs up.
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