Lit Cynically Reliving the X-Wing Series

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Cynical_Ben, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. Ackbar's Fishsticks Jedi Grand Master

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    Aug 25, 2013
    star 2
    Oh, ouch. All that energy channeled into one point. Yeah, I can definitely see why they're so popular.
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  2. Gorefiend Chosen One

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    Oct 23, 2004
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    Which each SW cap ship design has because of the nature of the ship building in that galaxy. ;)

    You mean those scenes were they blow whole pieces out of the Death Star and Star Destroyers? ;)

    If they are no danger why does the Federation even launch it's own fighters against them then?

    They mount weapons in large numbers, haul along fighters and rule the stars [face_dunno]


    You mean were they use Torpedo bombers for it like at Taranto? ;)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Taranto
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  3. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    Ah, by giant bombers I didn't mean strategic bombers that made long haul flights. I meant dedicated beers, although yes, fighter-bombers were used too. My point was that it wasn't superiority fighters taking on capships, and that capships take a lot of killing.

    The games are better in this regard than the books -- they show high yield weapons being mounted by bombers because fighters can carry precious few. They have to be mounted by bombers because they're only effective at close range. This, I can buy. X-wings launching torpedoes at kilometers away while the crew is all woe to us is silly. If that were all it took, ships would mount racks and racks of this stuff.


    The reasons the Alliance used fighters so much is because they couldn't afford better. Their hit and hype tactics developed out of this reliance. Imperial thinking dismissed fighters -- the EU would have us think it'd out of idiocy, but it's more reasonably because standard tactics of war showed them to be ineffective. The Alliance changed that.

    But it's worth noting the Revels never used carriers in large numbers. We don't see many ships like the Flurry -- and Mon Cal cruisers carry fewer fighters than their Imperial counterparts. Curious, if fighters were supposed to be top dogs.


    Misa ab iPhono meo est.
  4. sharkymcshark Jedi Grand Master

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    Dec 12, 2013
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    I have this conversation semi frequently with another X-Wing fan as well haha.
  5. MercenaryAce Force Ghost

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    Aug 10, 2005
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    First off, let me apologize for derailing the thread like that. I should have remembered this was a touchy subject.

    Still, let me just throw in a few comments:
    There are plenty of dedicate bombers though: B-Wings, Tie Bombers, K-Wings, Assault Gunboats etc. Why would such ships even exist if their weapons were incapable of doing their job?

    This is reasonable.

    Still, most capital ships do carry missiles in their official profiles, and there are capital ship designs designed specifically to carry an obscene amount of missiles - the Trade Federation cruiser from Jedi Starfighter, for example, and the Marauder variant from Empire at War.

    Not to mention that raw power is not the only factor in weapon selection: range, rate of fire, accuracy, and ammunition space all matter. After all, there is a reason that tanks still use cannons even when they can be taken down by missiles. Hand held missiles even.

    Didn't the essential guide to vehicles say that Mon Cals carry more fighters? 120 fighters vs 72 to be exact.


    Concussion missiles are even worse I think.
    Last edited by MercenaryAce, Feb 11, 2014
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  6. stung4ever Force Ghost

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    May 17, 2002
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    Considering the Rogues had no problem using proton torpedoes in inhabited areas of Coruscant, I doubt they're nuclear.
  7. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    They're mentioned as nuclear with a 1.5ky yield. Concussion modules are weird -- most sources treat them as weSker or less focused, but ROTJ portrays them as having greater penetrative power than protons.

    Merc: that's only Home One. Standard MC80s carry three squads and MC80bs carry four. But we don't want to get to discussing Home One here.


    Anyway I've said my piece. I'm fine with bombers carrying high yield weapons that are big and slow and must be deployed close in lest they miss or get shot by point defense guns. I'm not convinced by proton torps being the ordinance of the gods though.


    Misa ab iPhono meo est.
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  8. Gorefiend Chosen One

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    Oh we also have ImpStars that get more fighters, but usually they haul 72 TIEs, whilst Mon Cals usually have 36 Wingers, whilst ships like the Flurry would normally only have a few Headhunters or even older designs because there was nothing else around. For that matter for the Bakura Mission they could also only just scrap together 27 fighters to give the Task Force.

    Oh Capships also take a lot of killing in the SW galaxy, fighters with strike capacity just happen to be able to do that killing as well, because they can be given ship killing weapons, just like modern http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multirole_combat_aircraft

    The Rebellion era X-Wing also only has 6 Torpedos ;) only 2 at the Battle of Yavin btw. because they could just not get more.

    Give or take, the weapons are described as rather expensive and hard to build, which is one of the reasons the VicStar Mark 1 got refitted for different weapons.

    And the reason the Empire stuck to the TIE was also because they could not afford to do something else after building the Death Stars and the rest of the fleet. ;)

    Because a pure carrier ship in the SW galaxy is just asking to get blown out of space, even the few more dedicated carrier ships we see come with heavy shields and defense systems, or are indeed little more then desperate patch together hack jobs like the Flurry or other refitted freighters
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  9. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    It's possible that virtually all that energy created by the nuclear (baradium?) warhead, is released in the form of a directed blast of high-energy protons - which plays havoc with shields - but doesn't do nearly as much damage to normal matter.

    That might explain why proton torpedo explosions seem relatively weak when not directed at shields.

    What's odd - is that these anti-capital ship weapons - seem to be consistently manueverable enough to bring down starfighters.

    It's like crossing an Exocet missile with a Sidewinder - so to speak.

    While it's lampshaded in the books that using them on starfighters is overkill - they still have that manueverability even if they don't normally need it.
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  10. FTeik Force Ghost

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    Nov 7, 2000
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    I wouldn't call a 1.5kt-warhead an "anti-capital-shipweapon". Especially, if you compare their over-the-top performance in Stackpole's novels with those in Allston's books. The only canon example of PTs manouvering is ANH and there Luke has to guide them with the Force.
  11. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    Sep 2, 2012
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    What about in the prequel trilogy - the torpedoes that pursue Anakin's ship - that he makes crash into one another by spinning sharply?

    Luke may have aimed them better than a computer did- but that sharp turn they make is not Luke using telekinesis - it's the torpedo's own homing ability.

    It isn't just Stackpole novels - they're portrayed as dedicated anti-ship weaponry in the Han Solo trilogy as well.

    And in TCW - which depicts them as also having manoeuvrability and homing abilities.
    Last edited by Iron_lord, Feb 11, 2014
  12. Ackbar's Fishsticks Jedi Grand Master

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    Aren't they only antiship weapons when used en masse (and synchronized too, if memory serves)? One of them individually isn't supposed to do the trick, it takes a whole bunch of them.
  13. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    Sep 2, 2012
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    Yup- though less are needed to bring a shield down, the smaller the capital ship is.
  14. Nom von Anor Jedi Master

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    I love the Wraith Trilogy, but I have a minor complaint about them. Throughout the trilogy, the New Republic never loses a capital ship, not even a corvette or a frigate. Sure some ships are damaged, and of course a lot of starfighters get destroyed. Zsinj on the other hand, loses Night Caller, Constrictor, Provocateur and Implacable in Wraith Squadron; Razor's Kiss in Iron Fist; and a whole bunch of ships in Solo Command(IIRC: one ISD, two VSDs, two Dreadnaughts, and a few Carracks).

    I'm not saying the New Republic should have suffered massive fleet losses. But if a few of their smaller capital ships were destroyed, or maybe even a single larger ship, it would have evened out things a bit!

    But again, this is a small complaint. I actually only took notice when I re-read the trilogy.
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  15. Cynical_Ben Force Ghost

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    Aug 12, 2013
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    Just my two cents on the weapons' discussion: when I was younger, (so much younger than today) I had it in my mind that proton torpedoes were meant almost entirely for anti-emplacement usage. In the Rogue Squadron game, your torpedoes star out dumb-fire, and fly straight forward upon release without any sort of homing or tracking capabilities. I assumed that, if they did have homing capabilities, they were the more simple sort, magnetic sensors akin to actual naval torpedoes or something similar. Concussion missiles I likened more to the modern Sidewinders and other anti-fighter weapons, able to home, track and turn along with their targets like the missiles we see in the films (Slave 1 in AotC, the vulture droids in RotS). Obviously, this isn't exactly true anymore.

    Just going by these books, this seems to be a bit of a confused issue. Stackpole has "missile boating", sitting just inside of targeting range and filling space with a series of homing shots, being a tactic employed to narrow the odds while an engagement is still at long range, but the abilities of the torpedoes vary; he sometimes has torpedoes miss their targets due to evasive maneuvers, only to track back and hit them after coming about, and other times a miss results in the torpedo exploding shortly after due to its tremendous speed taking it out of signal range in that instant. Allston, on the other hand, seldom has the Rogues or Wraiths use their torps against anything but large, almost impossible to miss targets like ground installations and the Iron Fist, and the few times they are used in a fighter engagement are at a much longer range. However, he also has capital ships firing missiles that explode after flying a certain distance to ward fighters off, albeit not very effectively in most cases.

    Anyway, it's pretty clear that while Stackpole derives his portrayal of the combat in his books almost directly from the X-Wing and TIE Fighter games, Allston is more general, using the films as a basis and fleshing things out with elements from both Stackpole's books and his own research into the crews aboard aircraft carriers. While this does mean his fights don't get bogged down in too much technical detail as Stackpole's sometimes do, it also means that the fighters the Alliance uses are very overpowered, to the point where the combined Rogues and Wraiths, along with Polearm and Nova squadrons, can bring down Iron Fist's shields and damage their engines, then cripple two Carrack-class cruisers in rapid succession without suffering a single pilot loss (bar Janson being ionized) at the beginning of Solo Command.

    Allston is a great writer of characters, but coming off of Stackpole's solid military sci-fi, his more fast and loose treatment of the intricacies of starfighter combat doesn't flow very well. It's not bad, I've read far worse treatments of space naval combat (like Darksaber for instance), but it's somewhat inconsistent, and in a series where almost everything else fits together so well, it's an easy flaw to spot.
  16. Ackbar's Fishsticks Jedi Grand Master

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    As long as there's a lull in the conversation, question - what was Zsinj's endgame? Was he actually trying to take over the galaxy, or just carve out a corner of it for himself and force the New Republic and Empire to recognize it? Was it ever explained? (I love these books but it's been a couple years since I last read them).
  17. Cynical_Ben Force Ghost

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    It's never explicitly stated, but going by Zsinj's operations that we see, he's definitely aimed toward carving out his own fiefdom, with his own power base that's independent of both the New Republic and the Remnant. He gets within a Wraith scheme of making off with a second SSD, and has biological processes and weapons in place that, while not as diabolic as Krytos, are still designed to rip the New Republic apart from inside. We don't see much of his efforts against the Remenant, but they must occur, or else Rogriss and his task force would not be out hunting him.

    Best guess is, he's trying to buy himself time, having the New Republic so concerned with internal affairs that they cannot move against him. Isard's demise likely meant the heat fell on him before he was really ready for it. Capturing the Razor's Kiss would mean he had enough firepower in two vessels to rival all but the biggest fleets in both the NR and the Remnant, enough to keep both at bay while he built up his power base through the underground businesses and contacts he'd implanted on worlds through the Rim. But aside from that, it's hard to say. He's a man with so many plots and contingencies layered on top of each other that it's hard to tell what his end game actually is.
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  18. CommanderDrenn Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 19, 2013
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    I'm on Isard's Revenge, and so far, I've found it mostly boring. Don't get me wrong, I loved the TiE Defenders, but I found myself skipping parts and only reading a half dozen pages at a time. Usually, I can read fifty to a hundred pages in a sitting.
  19. sharkymcshark Jedi Grand Master

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    Dec 12, 2013
    star 2
    It doesn't get enough time - one book wasn't enough. If you're going to do something in one book the soon to be discussed Starfighters of Adumar is the way to go - narrow focus, less characters, nothing galaxy defining.

    Isard's Revenge tried to do too much with too many characters in too little space.
  20. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    The New Republic lost the bulk cruiser Mon Valle at Borleias. It was the ship that General Kre'fey died on. It was crippled by numerous ion cannon shots and fell into the planet, IIRC.

    --Adm. Nick
  21. stung4ever Force Ghost

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    May 17, 2002
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    Yeah, but that was in Stackpole's books. He's talking about the Wraith series.
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  22. CommanderDrenn Jedi Grand Master

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    I was very excited at beginning of Isard's Revenge when Thrawn made a cameo. Unfortuanetly, as you all know,
    Show Spoiler
    he dies :mad:
    Last edited by CommanderDrenn, Feb 17, 2014
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  23. Ackbar's Fishsticks Jedi Grand Master

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    We moving on to Isard's Revenge, then? I actually have read that one recently, just don't want to be stepping on the Wraiths' toes.

    (Never a good idea to do that to folk whose motto is "pretty. What do we blow up first?") :)
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  24. CommanderDrenn Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 19, 2013
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    I don't think so, I was just offering some non-spoiled thoughts on the book.
  25. Ackbar's Fishsticks Jedi Grand Master

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    I'm one of the apparently few who did like the book, but didn't want to get into spoilery stuff either.