Lit Armies and Navies of the Galaxy

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Adrian the Cool, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. Adrian the Cool Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 3
    Hi,

    are their any numbers given about how many soldiers (ground troops and spaces) and starships the Republic Army/Navy, Imperial Forces or New Republic Defense Force did consist of?

    The EA points out over one billion inhabited planets in the galaxy. I assume to control the galaxy it needs millions of capital ships and several dozen, if not hundred, billion ground troops.

    During Old Republic Era, the centralized Republic Navy was made up by millions of ships, plus member's fleets.

    A third of the Navy was destroyed in the Mandalorian Wars and another third stolen by Revan and Malak, who later recruited heavily. It's unknown how many ships the Starforge was able to produce, well, a lot.

    For a long time 3,2 million clonetroopes were the canon number for soldiers in the GAR. The EGW puts it eventually higher with those three millions being just Sifo-Dyas "initial order". Beside clones, Judicial and Planetary Forces together with more local military fought side on side for the Republic.

    How many droids the Confederacy had in the war can only be guessed. Some canon sources mention quintillions and others just millions.

    The Imperial Navy had ~2400 capital ships in each sector, 1600 were combat vessels. First they seem to be many, but with one billion planets while half of them known this would mean 500,000 worlds per sector and one capital ships for 200 planets.

    The Imperial Army numbered in the tens of trillions, but cause to limited fleet capacities it was unable to make use of all this troops.

    No guess about the number of Yuuzhan Vong and their fighting force's size.

    So, the Alliance to Restore the Republic was relatively small. Only few systems were officially part of it. Army and fleet grew rapidly after the founding of the New Republic.

    Let's discuss.

    --Adrian the Cool
    Last edited by Adrian the Cool, Jan 8, 2013
  2. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    May 28, 2003
    star 6
    All I can say, as an old Fleet Junkie who has seen this discussed many times before, is simply this:

    IT'S A TRAP!

    --Adm. Nick
    Last edited by AdmiralNick22, Jan 8, 2013
  3. family_business Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Saw the thread title, immediately thought of:

    [IMG]
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  4. Dr. Steve Brule Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2012
    star 4
    I guess I'll take this chance to say I don't really like how armies have been minimized, in the EU in general but more specifically in recent years. First there was the KOTOR guide making the ridiculous decision that the Republic never had a standing army from its birth into the Mandalorian Wars, and then the Essential Guide to Warfare basically dismisses both Imperial Grand Generals and the New Republic Army as existing almost entirely on paper.

    Of course, as I said this is a (perhaps understandable, given the appeal of SW) tradition that goes back far, at least to the days of Stackpole where apparently all that's needed to take over a planet are a few X-wing dogfights, and then presto, entire planet has been secured.
  5. Gorefiend Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2004
    star 5
    Rebel Alliance sourcebook, Imperial sourcebook, Crackens Threat Dossier and the Rebellion era campaign guide do provide some numbers to work with.
    You can’t control the galaxy; it is a simple as that. The Atlas and Warfare guides are rather good at explaining why. That’s why the Republic, Hutts, the Empire and even the Vong use politics more than simply brute force.
    Thing here is, it takes 10 years to grow new Kamino Clones unless the additional order was placed years before the Clone Wars your not going to get New Clones until the Emperor uses different Clone Sources.

    Afaik the Clone Wars Campaing guide gave us a concrete number (which I can’t recall at the top of my head) and the EGW pretty much made anything higher than that one wild rumors. Though even here normal troops will actually do a lot of the fighting for the Confederation as the Seps were losing Droids at much too high rates to keep up.

    Skipray gunboats are apparently also counted among those combat ships, so even less “capital warships”, plus the tons of sectors that where simply underequipped, though the thing here is that sector patrols are not even strictly Sector Force duty, as Imperial customs, local planetary forces and the Sector Rangers usually conducted those.
    As Han and Leia Solo put it „How many of those new interdictors could they possibly have?“ “Well they grow them….”

    Ships are likely to actually be far less of a limiting factor for the Vong than conventional forces, they are more limited by numbers of actual warriors available, which they can’t really grow (though they go through a breeding program halfway through the war). Though having willing auxiliary troops with the Peace Brigade forces (which happen to include the warriors of Ailon) and unwilling auxiliary troops (with those spore slaves) certainly is a nice boon, as is the fact that they don’t really have to occupy planets, since they can simply Vongform them and watch the locals die off, or actually be turned into mindless minions.

    The Rebellion is made up of people of the Empire, many of them former Soldiers of the Empire. It’s a rather classic civil war, which is also why the Empire has so much trouble battling it, as it is in no way a “conventional” enemy. So numbers really matter less than political support. The rapid growth of the New Republic armed forces is simply due to mass defection of forces and factions formally loyal to the Emperor.
  6. Gorefiend Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2004
    star 5
    Who would they fight against anyway, plus you can always ask planets to contribute soldiers if the need arises.
    Well Grand Generals literally only show up in one place and never get mentioned again, plus why would they be any different in the „just for show” regard than Grand Admirals? As for the Republic army, it kind of makes sense if you read how they organized the New Republic Defense Forces that ground forces would be the domain of member worlds.

    A major plot point of that book was how they motivated the Alien population to rise up and help take over the planet (same thing happened on Tyferra with the Asher Rebels)
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  7. Darth_Kevin Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2001
    star 5
    This thread reminds me of many arguments on this board of years past....

    I think that Zahn started it all with an underestimate of the scale that should have actually existed in a galactic starfleet. The Dark Force was not that impressive looking back, and Thrawn running around with just a few star destroyers trying to recapture the Empire is a bit of a stretch.

    I would say that there is a difference between the centralized Imperial or Republic fleets and the locals. The Imperial / Republic / New Republic fleets are really meant more as a collection of strike forces that can be focused in multiple areas as issues arise. I think that each region or system also must have a local fleet to maintain order on a regular basis.

    Major planets will have a higher military presence or central authority men, and less important planets will not.
  8. Sable_Hart Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2009
    star 4
    More to the point, is it maintained that Imperial armed forces are larger than those of the CIS? The Ultimate Visual Guide says the Galactic Empire had the largest military in galactic history; just curious if that assumption endured in the EGTW.
  9. Gorefiend Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2004
    star 5
    Why would it not? The CIS seems to actually control less space than the Hutts during the Clone Wars for that matter.
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  10. Dr. Steve Brule Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2012
    star 4
    Who would they fight against? How about the dozens of conflicts established between the creation of the Republic and the Mandalorian Wars? The Tionese, Hutts, Star Dragons, Alsakans, Pius Dea crusade victims, Dark Jedi, Sith...and by that logic, why bother with a Navy when they can just have local planets contribute their defense fleets.

    That's a logical fallacy. By that logic everything that appeared for the first time in the Essential Guide to Warfare can be dismissed because it's just been in a single source.

    That's my point, I don't think it does make sense.

    I'm not referring to a single book. It's basically every since planetary liberation in the X-wing series, and a lot outside of it as well.
  11. Gorefiend Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2004
    star 5
    Wait Kotor mentioned there was no Republic Army at all before ever? o_O I thought only at the time leading up to the Mando Wars. Of course no army ever makes no sense in that regard. Though granted they might really just have considered them "Fleet Security" before and used local troops for ground battles.

    I was actually referring to the Grand General that show up in Force Commander (where it shows up for the first and only time outside of a guide) and even there it seems to be just a fancy title handed to Malcor Brashin, who is not all that amazingly competent, so it really just seems to another one of those titles the Emperor handed out that did not really mean all that much, just like Grand Admiral.
    The reorganized NRDF was designed as flexible quick intervention force and to keep the Imperials bottled up in the handful worlds they had left and respond to crisis on hand, working closely with whatever local forces happened to be available in the area. They don’t really need occupation forces for that mission profile.
    Taking over a decently populated planet where you don’t have local support is a classic no win scenario, that’s why the Rebels don’t really care for it all that much, especially as they rose up against the Empire precisely because the Emperor was, among other things, turning his army into a occupation force of the Empires own member worlds.
  12. Mechalich Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2010
    star 4
    It's important to remember with regard to this sort of discussion how bombardment dictates the strategic military situation of the galaxy - which is to say, utterly.

    A tiny fraction of inhabited planets have planetary shields. My estimate is that the number is roughly equal to the 'full member worlds' number of 1.75 million. Most of these are undoubtedbly in the Core. Any planet that does not have planetary shields is effectively helpless before any capital ship whatsoever if it can't find a way to get it out of orbit. The ship just moves along and slow blows apart anything and everything on the surface it finds threatening. you don't even need to have the ship in constant orbit. Any planet that doesn't have planetary shields and is within say, twenty-four hours of the nearest Star Destroyer, can't rebel past a certain point before it starts losing cities. Control in Star Wars is not projected via boots on the ground, space is simply too big, but through repression via threat of repirsal.

    The Death Star was simply a method to take this calculus to it's ultimate conclusion (and bypass those pesky planetary shields in the bargin).

    So yeah, you don't really need a whole lot of ships to control a vast region, especially since 'control' is a term used loosely. Only a handful of heavily industrialized systems (we're talking about a few thousand) produce almost all advanced technological product, everything else basically supplies tribute to them to churn out your Empire. So you can let the people on a planet do pretty much whatever they want, so long as the taxes are still paid.

    As regards ground units, the point about bombardment holds again. The entire purpose of a surface attack is to isolate defenses, such as shield generators and destroy them, so that you can then take control via bombardment. Since this tends to ruin the infrastructure you're trying to take, it's not done a whole lot, so ground battles simply aren't very common. Now, Star Wars media is not very good about protraying this, largely because ground battles are far easier to stage than space ones, but the reality is the campaigns of the Star Wars universe are decided in space, not on planetary surfaces.
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  13. darthscott3457 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 25, 2007
    star 3
    That just makes way too much sense :)

    Unfortunately, for the most part, all you will find in regards to the size of Star Wars militaries are numbers that are on the extreme end of being minimalistic. You will also find many terrible explanations for these minimalist numbers. EU authors like to have their cake and eat it too when it comes to giving bad numbers even though they don't make any sense for the story settings. I really wish SW authors actively avoided giving any sort of numbers for anything, at all costs.

    But if this bothers you as much as it bothers me, then my advice would use your imagination or get interested in other Sci-Fi verse's where there is a bit more reasoning behind the numbers.
  14. Tzizvvt78 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 2009
    star 4
    Interestingly enough, they had multiple fleets. In the RECG, a fleet was defined by hundreds of capital ships. So, several fleets of hundreds of various capitals each, from gunships/corvettes to cruisers to a few battlecruiser-scale warships (a few Lucrehulks and Bulwarks, possibly the Dauntless-class was one, too).

    This is only a fraction of the Imperial Navy, of course. It also doesn't account for all the scattered remnants of the Confederacy. One of the finest new pieces of lore was the section on Separatist/Rebel relations and occasional volatility.
    *On top of these three, there's private fleets like Tyber Zann's, Nuso Esva's, mercenaries and pirates.
    *TCW shows how a guy like Hondo Ohnaka can have several frigates under his flag. Bar-Kooda had a massive mothership that could carry smaller scouts and gunships. The Neimoidian pirate Dool Pundar had a Lucrehulk he stole from the Trade Federation, etc.
    *Then there's far-out threats like the Silentium and Yuuzhan Vong raiders.
    *In one of WOTC's last sourcebooks, there's even a module for creating scenarios where random fleets come out of the Unknown Regions and you have to beat back their ships and destroy the mothership of the fleet.

    Barring all those possibilities for conflict, there's always the occasional Imperial traitor, local system uprisings or a dependency/client state going AWOL. A system navy like the Dorneans held out against the Empire with 80 ships in their roster.
    Last edited by Tzizvvt78, Jan 9, 2013
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  15. darthscott3457 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 25, 2007
    star 3
    Also who knows how many ships they got from the local Corellian Navy.

    Thankfully there aren't a whole lot of numbers for the local planetary navies and armies, at least that i know of, so there is always hope they can be pretty large.
  16. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 28, 2003
    star 6
    After almost ten years on these boards, and after numerous debates and battles over the size and scope of galactic navies, I have come to the following conclusion:

    Each fan can and should decide for themselves how "big" or how "small" navies in the GFFA are. To argue or debate a particular viewpoint is rather futile, as no side can win this debate and frankly it varies in the EU on a author by author basis.

    --Adm. Nick
  17. Lugija Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2009
    star 4
    There are exactly 2342 star destroyers in the galaxy. No more, no less.
  18. johnthejedi24 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 2004
    star 3
    One of the WOTC source-books, either the "Force unleashed campaign guide" or the "rebellion-era campaign guide" gave the personnel numbers in the Palpatine era Imperial navy as in the "trillions".
  19. darthscott3457 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 25, 2007
    star 3

    Yup 100% right on, I think it would be great if they erased all of the “total” numbers from the SW-verse and leave everything to the imagination

    For me, no matter what the current numbers are, city planets will always be densely populated, superwepaons will be plentiful, armies will large in size and most importantly the space lanes would be filled with a plethora of large warships

    Not even the vastness of space would deter me :D
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  20. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
  21. Mechalich Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2010
    star 4
    The surface area of the Earth is 510,072,000 km^2. With 1 trillion people that yields a population density of 1960 people/km^2. That is roughly double the density of Bangladesh, the most densely populated large country on Earth, but considerably less than the population of any major city. The population density of Singapore, for example, in 7,500 people/km^2. Given suitably advanced agricultural and recycling technoogies, it is quite reasonable to justify something in the low trillions for Coruscant and other eucumenopoli.

    On a more general note, to echo @AdmiralNick22's point, there is considerable variability in what is portrayed. If anything the EU tends towards a minimalistic perspective, but it does so for a reason. Portraying gigantic space battles in a convincing way, on page, panel, or screen, is difficult. Through too many ships together at once and you produce degenerate chaos. It might be impressive looking chaos, as in the Battle of Coruscant in ROTS, but to actually show what's giong on and to describe the battle with a dramatic narrative becomes more and more difficult. It also takes more verbiage to do so. Setting up, initiating, and then fighting out to its conclusion a single major space engagement takes tens of thousands of words - there's a reason this is both rarely done, and when it is done it happens mostly offscreen with the focus on lesser actors, as in the later X-wing novels.

    So, personally I'm comfortable with the relatively minimalist perspective advanced in the Essential Guide to Warfare, because it enables better storytelling.
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  22. Adrian the Cool Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 3
    Coruscant's size various in different sources, from 12,240 km diameter (EA) to ~16,000 km diameter (Coruscant and the Core Worlds) and ~18,000 km. One trillion is to low, the population density would be less than major cities on Earth that do not have 3 km high skycrapers build on top of other building. Empress Teta's describes as a big part of it's surface being part of one city, the most important one in the Deep Core, while the planets population is given as 1,4 billion. The diameter is 14,000 km, for example, Earth is 12,740 km, has got 7 billion people, but less than 5 percent are covered in cities.
  23. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Maybe most of the buildings are unmanned, droid-run industrial ones.

    Coruscant Nights has the 1 trillion figure as only the registered population- with unregistered underdwellers and visitors taken into account, it's 3 trillion.
  24. cthugha Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 24, 2010
    star 3
    Huh. For some reason I just thought this thread was called "Arms and Navels of the Galaxy".

    I guess I shouldn't stay up so late. And post when I don't really have anything to contribute. :p
  25. darthscott3457 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 25, 2007
    star 3
    Didn't mean to bring Coruscant into the conversation, I was just kidding around :)

    I 100% understand the the reason for the minimalist approach. It is hard for many to think, write, and imagine things or events that involve very large numbers or take place on a galactic scale. I assume authors also try to make thing more relatable by bringing certain aspects of a story more in line with conditions seen on present day Earth.

    Again I am all for no numbers, but in my opinion when they are inserted they really weaken the story. On the brighter side of things, after a long day of work, the explanations for some of these minimalist numbers can bring me a much needed laugh every now and then [face_laugh]