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Lit Astrography and Military Forces of the Empire of the Hand (plus Misc.)

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Darth Zack, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. Darth Zack Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2012
    I'd like to get as much information on the subject of the title as possible. I've done some research on the subject, but it occurs to me that there might be some tidbits of information in novels I haven't read and the like. I would like to run a Star Wars RPG campaign with the PCs being part of the command crew of a Star Destroyer (probably smaller than Imperial-class, maybe a Gladiator-class) under Thrawn's command in the Unknown Regions (I kind of think of it as being "Star Wars Trek", but really it only shares a basic premise with Star Trek, I'm not doing a crossover here.). However I need to establish a few things.

    I'd like to know how big the EotH is. I've heard a figure of 250 sectors, however Wookieepedia is unclear whether this is territory actually controlled by the EotH. In any case, since this is going to be relatively early, perhaps from 0 ABY to most likely sometime after Thrawn's promotion in 2 ABY, they won't have that many sectors yet. Furthermore, the Essential Atlas shows the EotH being in the north of the Unknown Regions, yet the EotH attacked Lhwekk immediately after the Battle of Bakura, and that seems rather far from his power base. This seems to suggest that the Empire of the Hand was active in regions far from the territory they actually controlled. I'd like to get people's opinions on about how far the EotH extended at the period I'm thinking about running.

    I'm also curious about the EotH's military strength. Especially whether there were equivalents to the Sector Groups of the main Empire. Likely if there are, they aren't quite as strong, even at the EotH's height. At 250 systems and 24 ISDs per Sector Group, that's 6000 ISD's, little less than a quarter of the highest number of ISDs the Empire ever had. That's clearly not likely to be right. Furthermore, it seems that Thrawn ruled with a light hand and the EotH was very much a confederacy of allied natives along with the Imperial's. It's seems likely that many systems would have their own Planetary Security Forces or even further ranging forces that might be at least semi-autonomous from the Imperial Navy. Might these be counted as part of a Sector Group, even if they are autonomous? Did the EotH have it's own shipyards? I have also posited the existence of a Imperial Unknown Regions Expeditionary Fleet, is this supported by canon (mostly is their enough ships out there to be a fleet, and are they actually organized into one, or at least is this a possibility given what we know?)?

    Obviously this is a lot of questions that may or may not have canonical answers. I encourage speculation, especially if based upon existing canon material. Also I am interested if any roleplayers that may have campaigned in the Unknown Regions have stories about their experiences. I am especially interested in how they may have interpreted existing material, including the Saga Edition book the Unknown Regions. I.e. where GMs may have placed certain planets, what kind of ships, weapons, vehicles they gave various forces, how they extrapolated from certain references like the greater role of various corporations like Tangan Industries from Iol, and Eeook Mining and Reclamation, and Tor-Ro-Bo Industries, beyond the planets they are mentioned in the description of and exactly what conflicts Lorgrombo might be involved (does he deal with the EotH, or perhaps provides warriors to enemies of Thrawn like Nuso Esva?). I hope this is the right section for this, it seemed the roleplaying forum was specifically for roleplaying on this forum.
    Last edited by Darth Zack, Dec 20, 2012
  2. Gorefiend Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2004
    star 5
    Go VicStar Mark 2 more iconic ;) otherwise you could allways pick a Carrack or Strike Class Cruiser, which we know Thrawn had for his expedition.

    Sectors don’t come in uniform sizesthough most are at least some 50 inhabited worlds
    hough as Mara puts it is is doubtful that there are more than a few colonies out there and those worlds that are inhabited are likely to be local races and properly not all that advanced.

    Since they didn’t occupy the area it really doesn’t have to have been more than a raid to destroy fleet capacity.
    It seems doubtful that that it was build up very far, as when the Admonitor is send out in 2 ABY the Ebruchi (which seem pretty well informed and do get around) don’t know about Imperial ships or tech.
    Somehow I doubt that Thrawn actually got more than one ISD and a few escorts for the whole undertaking and the rest would be locally build.
    Many worlds in the Empire had local System Patrols which would only have jurisdiction in their home system and were supervised by the Empire, though some local multi system governments would have System Patrols that were permitted to operate everywhere in its territory. Allied system of the Hand are likely to have just kept their own military in place, though supervised as well and likely having to contribute ships for Thrawns undertakings. Though it is doubtful that their own designs are as effective as Imperial ones, heavy ships are likely to be similar to Dreadnaughts or those Cruisers from the Unknown Regions source book, also Unkown Region designs seem to favor particle weapons rather than turbo lasers.


    Mara hints at it, plus those later Chiss TIE fighters and Chiss Star Destroyers designs must have come from somewhere as before that the Chiss apparently lacked ships bigger than escort frigates. Thrawn likely got a ship building program started, though you have to consider that ImpStars take a year to build and that is with optimal resources, so it is doubtful that they have much output in the beginning.


    There is Thrawns small formation in Choices of One, likely his command fleet.

    I mostly used designs similar to the Action freighter and modified Corellian Corvettes, just to represent generic bulk freighters and light warships. The Surfeik is also pretty ideal, as they are described as a typical UR design anyhow, just vary weapons load out and shields by function / faction.
  3. stung4ever Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2002
    star 3
    Delak Krennel and the ISD Reckoning served under Thrawn in the Unknown Regions, and Thrawn had no problem sending him and the ship back for Krennel's insubordination, so it's unlikely that Reckoning was the only ISD Thrawn had under his control.
  4. Mechalich Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2010
    star 4
    Okay, first off, the EotH did not attack Lhwekk - the Chiss Ascendancy did. The Chiss =/= to the EotH (this is a common problem since the NJO mistakely treated them as if they were the same). The map in the Essential Atlas that confines the EotH to the northwest corner of the galaxy is probably still very accurate in this regard, with EotH space extending in a roughly oval area from slightly north of Nirauan down to just north of the actual border of the Chiss Ascendency. if you extend that distance out to the edge of the disk, and presume that Thrawn's 'sectors' were rather small in size (as the Atlas sector maps have shown immense variability in sector size) that could easily be 250 sectors - alternatively the 250 sector number could reference more or less the entire western section of the galactic disk that has been mapped but the EotH only actively has holdings in a small portion of it.

    The Star Wars galaxy is vastly unequal in terms of planetary contributions to galactic industry, with a handful of major worlds having an industrial importance literally millions of times greater than the planetary mean output. The Unknown Regions doesn't contain any such worlds. The majority of the systems in the Unknown Regions don't even have spaceflight capability, and most of those that do have such limited navigational capabilities (because there's no centralized BSS database to access or a HoloNet) that they can only get to a few nearby planets. Thrawn might have had only a few dozen ISDs in total. At best he might have had 250, one for each of his 'Sectors' (or 1% of the total in the Fleet, which is probably a theoretical maximum for what Palpatine could viably 'lose' off the order of battle to support his efforts).

    Many EotH systems surely did have their own planetary defense forces, though these were surely small, outdated, and generally weak compared to Imperial hardware, though there were obviously regional powers scattered here and there. While the EotH surely had shipyards of its own 9at the very least some of the mobile units the Empire developed could have been dragged out to the Unknown Regions) the key question is what they were able to construct: just starfighters, smaller frigates and cruisers, or everything up to ISDs?

    Regardless of how powerful any EotH fleet might have been one key factor is that it was surely highly dispersed. The key factor seperating the Unknown Regions from the rest of the galaxy is barriers to navigation. Rapid response is effectively impossible, so any ships or fleet is moving on its own with limited support.

    I ran a Saga-edition campaign in the Unknown Regions. Ultimately, you're going to have to make a lot of decisions yourself and generate a lot of new stuff to fill the gaps. one useful trick is to create proxy equivalents ie. to describe some kind of new vessel or species and use existing stastistics from something that already exists, like a corellian corvette.
  5. jasonfry VIP

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Nov 11, 2003
    star 4
    We deliberately stayed away from the EotH in the Atlas because I'm pretty sure Zahn will want to explore tales set there someday, and I thought anything that might restrict him was ill-advised. (This is based on no inside information -- it's just a guess.) I stuck to that in Warfare.

    Question, though: What book has the reference to the 250 sectors? I strongly suspect those are old WEG-style sectors, not post-prequel ones.
  6. Gorefiend Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2004
    star 5
    Somehow I doubt that Thrawn actually got more than one ISD and a few escorts for the whole undertaking and the rest would be locally build.[/quote]

    Delak Krennel and the ISD Reckoning served under Thrawn in the Unknown Regions, and Thrawn had no problem sending him and the ship back for Krennel's insubordination, so it's unlikely that Reckoning was the only ISD Thrawn had under his control.[/quote]



    Had totally forgotten about the Reckoning, though somehow I think she would have been assigned later, as one should hope if he had more ImpStar early one he would have dragged a few along with the Admintor to take part in the Poln operation.




    I also think Zahn was going for WEG sectors here, though in the beginning of Spectre of the Past there is the reference of some 1000 inhabited systems in the Empire with its 8 rump sectors, so 30 times the size, we would get 30000 systems or so. Though Luke seems to just guessing here.
    Last edited by Gorefiend, Dec 21, 2012
    Cronal likes this.
  7. Palpmobile Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2012
    I wonder if anybody else other then Zahn will write a story set in the Empire of the Hand...
  8. Cronal Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2009
    star 4
    Mechalich makes a good point about distinguishing the Empire of the Hand and the Chiss Ascendancy. NJO does make this one problem as it does not distinguish the two properly and in fact makes them seem as if they are one and the same when they aren't.

    I believe thats Vision of the Future when Luke goes into Thrawn's old fortress and worries about the Empire of the Hand joining with Bastion's forces:
    Mind you, he does make the mention of it being the equivalent of two hundred fifty sectors.

    EDIT: Darn you Gorefiend! I wanted to answer Jason! :p Curse you and your quick Hutt ways... j/king
    Last edited by Cronal, Dec 21, 2012
  9. Darth Zack Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2012
    According to the Wookieepedia article on the First Battle of Lhwekk, the The New Essential Guide to Characters says the EotH and Thrawn were involved, but Unknown Regions says it was the Chiss.

    Hey, thanks for posting! Despite not really having much to say, it's nice to have such a personage post in a thread of mine. Would you have any "unofficial" insight to share? I really enjoyed the Essential Atlas and am hoping to get the Essential Guide to Warfare soon, maybe the 25th...
    Last edited by Darth Zack, Dec 21, 2012
    jasonfry likes this.
  10. Cronal Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2009
    star 4
    Heres what The Unknown Regions, pg 126 says about the conflict:
    The Empire of the Hand engaged I think in the initial battle in order to make any conflict 'lawful' under Chiss rules of battle thus allowing the Chiss Ascendancy to deploy the CEDF against the Ssi-ruuk. So, in some sense, both the EotH and Chiss were involved in the fighting against the Ssi-ruuvi Imperium. If thats the case, then the EotH did not attack Mechalich but rather it was the actual Chiss Ascendancy that did it. Only thing that the EotH did was perhaps circumventing Chiss law that did not allow for pre-emptive attacks.
  11. jasonfry VIP

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Nov 11, 2003
    star 4
    Hope Santa's good to you, Zack.

    No, no unofficial insights. Tried to give Tim a completely free hand there. Be fun to see what he comes up with, if he's so inclined.
  12. Darth Zack Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2012
    I would assume if Thrawn had forces larger than a line or small squadron (he seemed to have a squadron at Poln, according to the numbers he had apart from Death Squadron according to Wookieepedia, so...), he'd probably have most of his forces spread out of the borders of the EotH, looking for new worlds and the like as well as patrolling the EotH's territory. Thus why Thrawn might have not been able to draw upon large enough of a force from the EotH in operations like the Battle of Poln and have to call upon the parts of the rest of the Imperial Navy.

    Apparently, Nirauan is contained in the Gradilis sector, so that sector may be considered part of the Empire of the Hand. Exactly how big is it or how much is occupied, it seems I'll have to decide for myself. I think I will have one system contain a Cardan IV space station. The Cardan-class seems like it might be a big resource for the EotH, thanks to their shipyard facilities, perhaps the main source of shipyards for the EotH. According to the "Message to Spacers" the larger versions can build starships, unlike in Empire at War where all of them can. Maybe, Cardan IIs or IIIs will build either corvettes or corvettes and frigates respectively, Cardan IVs up to cruisers, and Cardan Vs up to heavy cruisers.
    Last edited by Darth Zack, Dec 21, 2012
  13. Darth Zack Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2012
    I would think that the EotH sectors might have been sparser and both larger in territory and lower in inhabited worlds than the Imperial Remnant ones, with Luke's guess of 250 being somewhat too high. That's just a guess on my part, though.
  14. Pelranius Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2003
    star 5
    The map could have included some of the satellite galaxies.