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Discussions Lacking Hyperspace Strike - GE fail

Discussion in 'EU Community' started by starbuck_archer, Aug 17, 2020.

  1. starbuck_archer

    starbuck_archer Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Jul 23, 2019
    The Imperial Navy, at least around the period of the TIE fighter series (which starts a short 2 years before Endor), lacks a long-range hyper-capable bomber and escort craft. The entire TIE series, for most of its lifetime (remember, the TIE Advanced and TIE Defender were deployed in numbers likely comparable to the Me262, the first jet aircraft to see operational use in combat but too small to change the outcome of the war), lacked the ability to strike outside of sub light distances.

    This is important because, even in Star Wars, naval strategy is build strategy. In order for the Galactic Empire to strike a target, they must engage their capital ships in the fight as well. While the Empire builds this into its design (the Imperial-class's rectangular design allows the maximum focus of forward-facing weapons onto a single point), they must still risk a capital ship when delivering a starfighter strike: the ISD, frigate or cruiser must hyperspace into the area and launch squadrons. Or, they must rely on slow and badly maneuverable craft that are hyper-capable, such as the Assault Gunboat to escort even slower torpedo/rocket carrying transports.

    Contrast this with a force comprised of hyper-capable fighters and bombers. The A-Wing, which could outmaneuver the TIE Interceptor and was a close match for the TIE Advanced, could provide highly-maneuverable escort for a Y-wing or B-wing strike, without "risking" a capital ship by being physically present at the target. The Rebels/New Republic had the capability to deliver a long-range strike, well escorted by highly maneuverable fighters armed with missiles (at least, in the X-Wing game), comprised of heavy-striking spacecraft such as B-wing heavy bombers, which beat the TIE Defender/Advanced to the scene by several months. Or using more conventional heavy bombers such as Transports and Assault Transports.

    This means that if the Alliance/New Repubilc want to strike a target, they don't have to risk their valuable carriers/capital ships when attacking a pirate base or enemy fleet: they can launch their airwings at multiple targets at once or mass their fighter-craft for a single attack on a larger target. The Galactic Empire can either send a poorly-escorted strike by Assault Gunboats or hyperspace in a valuable frigate or star destroyer in order to deliver their strike craft on target.

    Overall, IMO, this is a plot point that works well into why the Galactic Empire lost: the Germans lost WWII partly because they failed to properly develop a long-range strategic bomber like the B-17 Flying Fortress but did make the first widely-used jet fighters.

    The Rebels "hit and run" tactics maximized the tactical/operational capabilities of their own spacecraft while the Empire strangled their own operations by lacking the ability to deliver an effective strike without hyper-ing in an expensive warship. The reason given for this is somewhat lacking: the TIE Fighter is often compared to the Japanese A6M, better known as the Zero: the Zero had a spectacular range, comparable with modern day F-16s and carrier-based F18Es, and ability to maneuver in close-quarters, low-speed dogfights. But it lacked armor, and self-sealing fuel tanks. The video game TIE Fighter doesn't care about game balance: in X-Wing, your ship could take a dozen or more hits by laser blasts. in TIE Fighter, your TIE Fighter takes two hits. Two. Before you blow up. But it can outmaneuver almost anything but the A-wing.

    The Galactic Empire's lack of decent hyper-capable starfighter power-projection is one of the (in-character) explanations of why they lost the war: in addition to having very little political appeal to non-humans (which comprise the majority of sentients in the galaxy, I am sure), the short-sighted planning of the Imperial Navy led them to neglect a weapon that was, kilo for kilo, more dangerous than the Death Star: the hyper-capable starfighter.
     
    Sarge and Iron_lord like this.
  2. Alpha-Red

    Alpha-Red Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 25, 2004
    I dunno, it's hard to say. The Empire did have some hyperspace-capable fighters...the question is how many? Are assault gunboats good enough for the job? Maybe they'd get torn up by X-wings and A-wings, but what if the Rebels are using mostly older starfighters? Can you put an external hyperdrive booster onto a TIE fighter? Maybe the Empire had enough escort carriers to ferry their TIEs around such that they didn't really need hyperspace-capable fighters? This is all just speculation on my part, but my point is that (as far as I know) there's no canonical source that really establishes any sort of hard numbers...so this is kinda just left up in the air and open to speculation. So was the Empire actually losing? And was the reason a lack of hyperspace-capable fighters? Even if the Empire did have a suboptimal strategy for dealing with the Rebels, I would think that it's so big and powerful that it probably wouldn't have turned the tide.

    I think what has been established as being decisive factors in the war are 1) the destruction of Alderaan and 2) the death of Emperor Palpatine. The destruction of Alderaan turned a significant portion of the galaxy against the Empire, while Palpatine's death shattered Imperial unity and allowed the New Republic to establish itself.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2020