Rants!

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Ibrahim Vareshi
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Rants!

Post by Ibrahim Vareshi » 2011-06-12 13:30

I'm not exactly sure where to put this; if any mods/admins feel it should go somewhere else, feel free to move it.

Anyway, I just wanted to rant about a few things. And hey, as long as the thread is here, if anybody else has some similar rants, why not throw'em here?

Anyway, rant #1: The Command Chair

I've noticed a few times some Naval Officers on the site (no names...actually, I couldn't recall who it was if you wanted me to name them) like to describe how their character sits in the captain's chair, giving orders to the bridge. The problem with this is that Imperial warships don't have captain's chairs. Go through any of the scenes in the movies where we see the interior of an Imperial warship's bridge. What you'll notice is that the captain is always standing. This is true of pretty much any ship's bridge anywhere (though Mon Cal ships seem to be an exception).

Why? Two reasons. First, the captain standing stoically over the crewmen in their crew pits is a physical example of leadership for them to look up to, and it keeps them on their toes and alert, as they'd have to be daft to try checking their Facebook page when at any moment there's the possibility the captain may be looking over their shoulder. Second, it keeps the captain himself (or herself) alert. It's hard to doze off when you're standing, much easier when you're sitting.

Rant #2: Holodecks.

Yes, we've all seen a few episodes of at least one of the Star Trek series. We've all seen how cool holodecks are. Unfortunately, they're also complete and utter nonsense, and there is precisely zero evidence that they exist in the Star Wars universe (and more than a fair bit of circumstantial negative evidence). I've seen this pop up in the TC more often than I've seen the mistake with captain's chairs made. There's no holodeck on the Nemesis, nor the Intimidator, nor the Deadly Surprise, et cetera.

"So how are our troops supposed to train without a holodeck?" I hear you ask. Simple: the old-fashioned way. They take a shuttle to a planet with an Imperial Army training facility (which is likely to be nearly every planet in NIF space, and the Nemesis and other large warships probably also have some limited facilities) and they train. What kind of opposition can you use in your training without holographic enemies? Well, in all likelihood, the opfor (that's military abbreviation for "opposing force"...the guys you're fighting against) in Imperial training exercises is going to be other Imperial soldiers. Now, obviously, you're not going to want to kill them, so you'll be using training weapons. These will be special versions of your ordinary weapons which are incapable of firing a blast powerful enough to do anything but sting. Remember that training drone that Obi-Wan had Luke use in Episode IV? Yeah. If that's not positive evidence that such weapons exist and can fairly effectively simulate the use of the real thing, I don't know what is.

The other alternative is droids. I'm sure the Imperial military has many training droids for authorized training exercises. There are probably droids to drill marksmanship, droids to teach specialized skills, and yeah, probably droids to serve as target drones for certain purposes that for some reason cannot be simulated with lower-powered weaponry.

For pilots and other characters that operate in an enclosed environment (tank drivers, for instance) there's of course simulators for those things. And thanks to gravitational/intertial technology, those simulators can probably simulate the sensation of motion with a high degree of accuracy.

Ok. That's my ranting for now. Hope this has been instructional and useful to somebody!

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Re: Rants!

Post by Tycho » 2011-06-12 14:49

Well, I know that I am guilty of the first offense, but I'd like to point out that just because you never see it doesn't mean it's not there. For all we know there very well and probably is a captain's chair. All you see in the movies is them standing at the forward viewport, with the bridge in the background. I'm sure there are many references to this in the EU books, but I can't remember any off the top of my head. Sure, the Captain may very well embody the role of strong, iron handed leadership by standing over his men, but that doesn't mean everybody does it.

My character specifically, Demetrios Gavril, is supposed to be a physically languid, mentally swift man who doesn't have much time for 'morale boosting' such as standing at the viewport or staring down into the crew pits. Not to mention the fact that the only views we see of Imperial warships are Star Destroyers, and many of us NOs captain things other than Imps.

As to the second, while I'm sure you're right about the holodeck I also would like to note that people use things different from a holodeck. In training centers they have the virtual link-up to a computer generated world (see the TC thread, The First Day)

Anyway, interesting thoughts.

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Re: Rants!

Post by Kane » 2011-06-12 15:17

Ibrahim Vareshi wrote:Anyway, rant #1: The Command Chair
Good initiative. It's sort of a counter-weight to Drav's shoutouts, and I think it can serve a positive function in bringing up topics of some contention.

But actually ships can have a command chair. We don't see any on imperial ships in the movies, but I recall at least two EU characters that have captain's seats. Thrawns was noted as a custom installation IIRC, but there's nothing wrong per se to have a command chair; I usually do. It should perhaps be an exception rather than a rule, but whatever floats.

Here's Thrawn's...
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... and here's Captain Plikk.
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Palpatine's throne didn't have pretty lights on it just for show, either.
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And well, yes, there's Ackbar.
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Ibrahim Vareshi wrote:Rant #2: Holodecks.
Well, we can be pretty sure that 'holodecks' didn't exist on Imperial warships per se. But we have complete technology to fully replicate holodecks (yes, complete with perfect resolution, force feedback, the whole kit. Smell shouldn't be too hard, but I think replicated food is where the imperial military draws the line although that could be done, too), and they would be a useful addition. So I don't see a problem with the tech-minded NIF to make regular use of hologram facilities for both training and entertainment. We actually see in the movies that holograms don't have to be blue:

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I choose this particular image because it has the colours red, blue, and yellow in it. RBY is sufficient to create any colour with.

Personally I've made use of a combination of droid and hologram tech, which is by the way what we can see Starkiller use with his holographic training droid in TFU (not the first droid with holo tech btw). The difference is that I use the holograms for the background environment. As for why not all holograms are full res and colour? Well, I think the answer is a combination of tech/com lag, cost-efficiency, and conscious choice. You can immediately determine a blue shimmering picture as being a projection rather than an actual person.

Here's two examples of full resolution, and for force feedback, I like the TOR trailer with the bounty hunter as an example; a holographic keyboard computer interface. It should be a pretty trival matter to install when you have stuff like repulsorfields and antigravity.
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Re: Rants!

Post by Spyker Katarn » 2011-06-12 18:43

I've stickied both this thread and Drav's "Shout Outs!" thread so that we don't have a million generic similar threads going on. If you want to say something specific about a thread, or offer help on something particular, by all means make a new thread. If it's something fairly generic though, toss it in here. Good show, the both of you!
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Re: Rants!

Post by Ibrahim Vareshi » 2011-07-02 04:49

Rant #3: missiles.

When I was younger, I player TIE Fighter, X-Wing, X-Wing Vs. TIE Fighter, X-Wing Alliance, Rogue Squadron...all of the good Star Wars flight sims (and some of the not-so-good ones). These games taught me a valuable lesson: missiles are freaking awesome. Have a problem? Throw a missile at it. Missile doesn't work? Throw another one. Missiles everywhere. To me, missiles are clearly the best starfighter combat weapon ever made.

...Or are they? (Come on, you all saw that coming, right? I wouldn't just be ranting about how cool I think missiles are, right? :P ) Anyway, we see plenty of starfighter combat in the films, at the rate of about one starfighter battle per film.* Now, how many times do we see missiles used as fighter-to-fighter weapons? To my knowledge, once, in Ep. III.** How many times do we see missiles used by fighters against targets other than fighters? Once in Ep. I, multiple times in Ep. IV, and once in Ep. VI (though the case could be made that this doesn't really count, as the Falcon isn't exactly a fighter).

So what gives? If missiles are candy, like they were in the flight sims, why do we barely see them used in the movies? And why did the Empire not see fit to equip missiles to its primary superiority fighters (both the original TIE and the later Interceptor)? I think the logical conclusion is that missiles are not widely regarded as ideal anti-fighter weapons, but rather, are more suited to strikes against larger and slower targets (targets such as thermal exhaust ports, reactor cores, and suspicious ventilation panels in the hangar bays of Trade Fed battleships).

Of course, I expect that this view is not widely shared, but I think it at least deserves some consideration.

*The Snowspeeder scene in Ep. V is apparently the starfighter combat scene for that movie, though it is certainly questionable at best whether it fits the label. The chase scene between Obi-Wan and Jango over Geonosis is apparently the scene for Ep. II; also questionable).

**Those weren't straight-up warhead missiles, either, but something akin to space mine delivery systems.

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Re: Rants!

Post by Kane » 2011-07-02 05:29

Ibrahim Vareshi wrote:So what gives? If missiles are candy, like they were in the flight sims, why do we barely see them used in the movies? And why did the Empire not see fit to equip missiles to its primary superiority fighters (both the original TIE and the later Interceptor)? I think the logical conclusion is that missiles are not widely regarded as ideal anti-fighter weapons, but rather, are more suited to strikes against larger and slower targets (targets such as thermal exhaust ports, reactor cores, and suspicious ventilation panels in the hangar bays of Trade Fed battleships).

Of course, I expect that this view is not widely shared, but I think it at least deserves some consideration.
There is an alternative explanation; missiles cost money.

In ANH, there's just X-Wings and Y-Wings going in to torpedo the DS1 and the few TIE fighters deployed had no missiles. The cash-strapped rebel X-Wings didn't even carry a full complement of warheads, just two each.

In ROTJ, the TIE Line Fighters and TIE Interceptors probably don't have any missiles, and the X-Wings carry proton torpedoes, which we know are less suited as anti-fighter weapons. It's true that the only deployment of concussion missiles we see are against the Executor and the Death Star II, but then again, the rebel fighters seem to do just fine against the unsupported TIE fighters. We even get to see a Y-Wing claim a kill. Considering that their objective was to torpedo the DSII and that they held their own with just lasers and the imperials had little in the ways of fighter-based missiles, it looks like a good plan.

In TPM, the Vulture droids don't seem to have any missiles. That probably came later; at this point the TF ships are little more than upgunned merchant vessels. The Naboo N-1 fighters probably didn't use their torpedoes against the Vultures, but rather, the droid control ship. For good reasons, obviously. The explosions we see that look like they would belong to warheads supports this idea.

If we look at AOTC, Jango Fett mostly uses his lasers to get Obi-Wan. When that fails, he plops a concussion missile. When that fails, he uses a seismic charge. I have to say that from the performance of Jango's missile, I think an average pilot would have been blown to bits by it.

In ROTS, we see two opposing clouds of fighters, but they only uses lasers in the exchange. Then again, most of the fighters involved there doesn't have missiles, and those that do - the ARC-170s - are heavy assault fighters. The only deployment of missiles vs. fighter we see are the buzz droids (discord missiles), which is a specialized weapon for disable and capture, not destroy.

An argument for Ib's view would be the A-Wing slash, noted for performing exactly the kind of large target missile run he speaks of (and was done against the Executor).

Based on the movie evidence alone, I would say that it's not conclusive. The only two times we see missiles deployed against fighters, they both failed, but not because they didn't perform very well. The discord missiles did exactly what they were supposed to, and Jango's concussion missile was close to nailing Obi-Wan when he pulled his crazy Jedi stuff.

There is one more event worth to mention, that of a clone trooper pilot saying that their LAAT gunship was out of missiles, rather than saying 'we'll never hit him with those'. It's also a bit of a easter egg scene because we can see that the LAAT still carries missiles. I usually treat it as the clone meaning that they couldn't fire missiles due to jam/no targeting solution/lack of faith/insert your own pick here.

Whether you go with Ib's view or not... well, to each his own.
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Re: Rants!

Post by Tavish McFini » 2011-07-08 21:57

I might have discovered a possible theory to your missile rant Ib.

Sadly, the evidence I'm about to bring forth is hardly the untouchable movie canon or even video game canon that probably holds its weight in such circumstances but, in this case, I think the West End Game canon might actually hold just as much weight in this debate if not more because it's a very simple matter for the designers, editors and publishers to have increased the ranges. You'll see why this is significant in a moment.

Looking at the Rebel Y-Wing according to the Galactic Empire Databank, a site that we have based a few of our own ship stats from, if you look down at the weapons, you'll see:
GEDB on the Y-Wing wrote:2 Taim & Bak KX5 Laser Cannons (Single or Fire-Linked)
Fire Control: 2D
Space Range: 1-3/12/25 Space Units
Atmospheric Range: 100 metres-300 metres/1.2 km/2.5 km
Damage: 5D
2 Turreted ArMek SW-4 Light Ion Cannons (Single or Fire-Linked)
[Note: Gun can be fixed forward for use by pilot. If so Fire Control is 1D]
Crew: 1 Gunner (Co-Pilot)
Fire Control: 2D
Space Range: 1-3/7/36 Space Units
Atmospheric Range: 100 metres-300 metres/700 metres/3.6 km
Damage: 4D
2 Arakyd Flex Tube Proton Torpedo Launchers (4 Torpedoes each)
Fire Control: 2D
Space Range: 1/3/7 Space Units
Atmospheric Range: 50-100/300/700 metres
Damage: 9D
So, look at those stats and tell me, what do you see? A lot of numbers, yes but, more specifically, the ranges between the laser cannons, ion cannons and the proton torpedo launchers. What the heck? The torps have less than half the range of even the laser cannons!!!

Just to prove this isn't some sort of one-off, you can look at the T-65B X-Wing, B-Wing, Assault Gunboat, TIE Bomber and even the Slave I.

All of them (with the exception of one instance with regards to the Slave I but it still has a Conc. Missile launcher with a 7 SU range) have missile/torp ranges less than their respective laser weapons.

In my mind, assuming all this is even remotely true- which, could very well be because, like I said earlier, the editors and designers of the WEG books could have easily upped the ranges of these weapons- it could go a very long way in explaining why snubs didn't use their missiles/torps all that much in dogfights. If I closed in on an enemy, I probably wouldn't wait to close in further and wait some more to establish a missile lock before I'ma firin' ma lazor! If, by the time I did get within missile range, I had stripped the shields of the enemy, would I really waste a missile at that point if my lasers could just as quickly finish the job, if not faster?

For me, I don't see it so much that missiles and torps aren't good against snubs (though, with respect to torps, they're probably more designed to be used against larger vessels anyways) but because of the short ranges you need to be in with respect to the lasers you're packing, I think it becomes a matter of "if I've already started tearing the bastard to shreds with my lasers, do I really need to waste my more limited ammunition?"

Having played Ace Combat a lot more (recently) than X-Wing Vs. TIE Fighter or even Rogue Squadron for the N64, I can see where the idea of using missiles against snubs comes from. Considering the machine gun on a jetfighter has a fairly limited range and the missiles are the weapons that are striking things far off beyond the horizon, it makes sense to use missiles in that case since you would rather destroy the enemy from as far away as possible and limit the chance of them destroying you. With the WEG stats, it seems the lasers are what's going to be hitting things beyond the horizon (okay, maybe not quite that drastically) while the missiles are better suited to either a) blow up that heavily armoured subcap your lasers will take forever and a half to punch through or b) blow up that bastard A-Wing who has somehow nimbly avoided your lasers but somehow managed to let you establish a missile lock on his sorry arse... :lol:

As for why we barely see them used in the movies? I could probably come up with a list that could be shot down but if the above is true, than the reason we don't see them used is simply because, by the time the snubs get within missile range, they've already destroyed their target.

Why didn't the Empire equip them on TIEs? Well, cost for one. The Empire fielded a lot more TIEs than the Rebellion had snubs which makes sense as their whole philosophy was to use superior numbers along with unparalleled mobility to dance around and destroy the tougher X-Wings while avoiding being blown to pieces on their own. If the Empire did decide to invest in missiles for their snubs, sure, for one TIE, it wouldn't be that bad but then we multiply that by the number of TIEs fielded in the Empire and yeah, it becomes insane expensive! Credits that could be better spent building massive battlestations of death! :lol: Makes you wonder how much they saved per TIE when you consider the removal of life-supports, no missiles, no shields... If TIE Fighters came in at 60,000 credits than I suppose if we tried giving it all the bells and whistles, you'd be looking at a cost of at least, what, 120,000? Plus constant replacement missiles which could run you 1000 a pop. What are the costs of various warheads anyways?

As for number 2, again, going back to the above, if your TIEs are blowing up reb X-Wings from beyond the reaches of missile ranges, why bother weighing the TIEs down with missiles that might never see use? Especially for a TIE that relies on its agility and speed and, frankly, the further you can keep your enemy away from you while you're pumping him full of lasers, 1) the safer you will be and 2) the more time you will have to react to any fancy flying and maneuvers they might try to pull (you know, like the 3 second rule when driving? :D)

That's my thought on the matter. I'm not so delusional as to try and claim it as the definitive answer but I do think it could be a plausible explanation.
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