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View Full Version : Snow Walkers and the Ground Assault



stillakid
10-10-2007, 11:45 AM
I've been trying to figure out why the Empire would send in AT-ATs to destroy the power generators when they could've just flown a few TIE Bombers in to do the job quickly. The AT ATs are landed some distance from the target (why?) and have to walk over to the base which wastes time and troops.

All I can figure is that Vader wanted a ground assault so that he could capture Luke. We can assume that he learned about Luke's existence and his last name in between ANH and ESB.

With that in mind, Vader already has interest in finding Luke...the question is why and for what? It isn't until later that he hears from Palpatine who also suddenly wants Luke captured. It's as if Palpatine didn't "sense" the son of Skywalker and the danger he posed until sometime after the Hoth incident. But Vader clearly had designs on his son before Palps ever realized the danger.

So, is that why Vader wanted a ground assault instead of just leveling the Rebel Base?

mabudonicus
10-10-2007, 12:00 PM
Makes sense- Hell, I'd figure a few star destroyers could have done an aerial bombardment if wiping the place out was the idea, no need for small bombers.

I do believe that Vader was already seeking Luke to offer him the "join me" option, since he was probably kind of aware that Palps also was onto the fact that Luke existed- Vader was pretty quick to play the "Maybe we could NOT kill him" card when the subject got broached after all
:beard: Iso & Baws
Besides, if Vader asks you to prepare a ground assault, you prepare a ground assault and don't bother pointing out that it'd be a huge waste- I doubt the rank-and-file would have much of an idea of the over-arching stuff going on

Blue2th
10-10-2007, 12:48 PM
Those generators were powering the shields?
The Star Destroyers were vulnerable to the Ion Cannon?
Smaller landing craft could punch through the shields (like the Rebel Transport) and land in an area not covered by the Ion Cannon?

stillakid
10-10-2007, 01:58 PM
Those generators were powering the shields?
yes


The Star Destroyers were vulnerable to the Ion Cannon?
Yes, but...


Smaller landing craft could punch through the shields (like the Rebel Transport) and land in an area not covered by the Ion Cannon?
...that's what I was getting at. First, we should assume that the Star Destroyers had shields, but Ozzel did not use them for some reason, even though he thought "surprise was wiser." Odd that.

Anyway, the Destroyers pull in to orbit but can't directly fire at the base because of the shield surrounding the (entire?) planet...at least the airspace above the base.

So the Empire lands some craft some distance from the base and the AT ATs lumber toward the target in hopes of blowing up the generators which power the shields. Ok, no problem there... except,

...why not just have TIE Bombers fly in to the same place the AT ATs did, then fly quickly to the target (generators) and quickly bombard them. Doing so would have enabled Vader's ship to land sooner and presumably, give the Rebels less time to escape, and presumably, give Vader a better chance at capturing Luke. But landing AT ATs instead of flying TIE Bombers gave the Rebels and Luke time to get away thus unnecessarily prolonging the battle and letting everyone escape.

But I suppose the AT ATs looked cool. :smoker:

vader121
10-10-2007, 02:45 PM
Maybe Tie Bombers weren't adapted to the cold of Hoth. Maybe they wouldn't fly right or at all.

Didn't the rebels state at some point that the Snowspeeders were adapted.

The other idea is that level of arrogance the Empire had at that point. They seemed less concerned with losses and just through the ground assault units together. Plus the fact that the sound of the approaching AT ATs would scare the Rebels (intimidation factor).

Blue2th
10-10-2007, 03:50 PM
Then again, after the pasting the Empire took at the Death Star, and knowing the skill of the rebel pilots, maybe they decided the TIE bombers were too vulnerable.
By sending in the Tanks so to speak which doubled as troop transport, the Empire covered the necessary tactical problem of taking out the Generators in armoured At-At's and unloading the troops for invasion and securing hostages.
Besides, Vader probably knew Veers was a very competent General and would get the job done.

Man, I would like to see Veers in action again, somehow. Maybe as a young up-and-coming officer in Clone Wars.

Droid
10-10-2007, 04:44 PM
And why did Sandtroopers ride Dewbacks?

Mando3lite
10-10-2007, 05:15 PM
vader wanted luke because he was his son, and hoped that if he could turn luke to the darkside then vader would kill the emporer and rule the galaxy.

JediTricks
10-10-2007, 05:41 PM
We've never seen a TIE Fighter or any variant thereof fly in an atmosphere, and have no reason to believe it's even possible for them to do so.

stillakid
10-10-2007, 05:42 PM
We've never seen a TIE Fighter or any variant thereof fly in an atmosphere, and have no reason to believe it's even possible for them to do so.

Yes we have. TIE's in pursuit of the Falcon at the end of ESB under Cloud City.

JediTricks
10-10-2007, 06:38 PM
Oh yeah, I forgot about that. Haven't seen any TIE variants though. :p

El Chuxter
10-10-2007, 08:01 PM
TIEs fly in atmosphere all the time in the Rogue Squadron games, too.

TeeEye7
10-11-2007, 03:20 AM
If the strategy was to snatch people of interest (i.e. Leia, Luke, etc.) it would make sense to send a smaller, but tactically superior force in to do the job.

Look how we operate in Iraq and Afghanistan: we send small units (with appropriate back-up, read: F-18s, Apaches, C-130s) to body snatch people as we did when Saddam was found. We didn't flush Saddam out of his spider-hole with a B-52 strike.

That would have been a bit counter-productive, no?

stillakid
10-11-2007, 09:22 AM
If the strategy was to snatch people of interest (i.e. Leia, Luke, etc.) it would make sense to send a smaller, but tactically superior force in to do the job.

Look how we operate in Iraq and Afghanistan: we send small units (with appropriate back-up, read: F-18s, Apaches, C-130s) to body snatch people as we did when Saddam was found. We didn't flush Saddam out of his spider-hole with a B-52 strike.

That would have been a bit counter-productive, no?

True, but
A) the Imperials knew that the Rebels had been tipped off about their arrival
B) the Imperials needed to get in fast before the targets (officers, Skywalker) could escape.
C) using only AT ATs would delay the destruction of the generators thus giving the Rebels more time to escape
D) had they used TIE Bombers to quickly get in and destroy the generators, the ground troops could have been landed much closer to Echo Base and there would have been a better chance at capturing the targets.

Kidhuman
10-11-2007, 02:05 PM
the armor on the AT-AT's couldnt be beat by the firepower the rebels had. It was there only way of getting into there succesfully

2-1B
10-11-2007, 06:18 PM
Veers should have sent in some battle droids to walk through the shields just like they did against the Gungans.

CaptainSolo1138
10-12-2007, 07:27 AM
Veers should have sent in some battle droids to walk through the shields just like they did against the Gungans.
Or maybe battle droids dressed as Gunguns to further facilitate the surprise.

"Meesa berry roger, roger!"

Slicker
10-12-2007, 10:20 AM
Well, they couldn't bombard it because Veers says that the shield is "strong enough to deflect any bombardment". Perhaps the shield is like the one in TPM where fast moving objects can't penetrate it (TIE's) but slow moving objects (AT-AT's) can. It could also be a case of the land forces wanting a piece of the pie. Hermann Goering did it in WWII by claiming that he could eliminate Dunkirk to try and win some prestige for the air force because the wehrmacht was getting all the glory to that point. Maybe the Imperial Army wanted some glory because it seems the Imperial Navy usually gets it all.

stillakid
10-12-2007, 10:31 AM
Well, they couldn't bombard it because Veers says that the shield is "strong enough to deflect any bombardment". Perhaps the shield is like the one in TPM where fast moving objects can't penetrate it (TIE's) but slow moving objects (AT-AT's) can. It could also be a case of the land forces wanting a piece of the pie. Hermann Goering did it in WWII by claiming that he could eliminate Dunkirk to try and win some prestige for the air force because the wehrmacht was getting all the glory to that point. Maybe the Imperial Army wanted some glory because it seems the Imperial Navy usually gets it all.

Maybe, but I (sorry...) assumed that aerial bombardment meant hitting the shields from the Star Destroyers.

If he did mean that the shield would protect from even an atmospheric attack, I still don't know why they couldn't fly Bombers in low, at AT AT level, and then release the bombs. The Imperials didn't lob torpedos at the generators which means that the target wasn't really ray shielded, at least near the ground. And we've seen that solid objects can make it through "shields" which is why the first Death Star blew up.

Slicker
10-12-2007, 10:44 AM
I assumed that the bombardment meant the Star Destroyers as well but I also assumed that if it can stop the firepower and wattage of a Star Destroyers guns then it could easily stop an atmospheric attack. I know it's an assumption but I thought it was a pretty easy one to make.

As for the flying at AT-AT level, you got me. I'll just stick with TPM shield theory where fast moving objects (TIE's or missles) get stopped and slower moving objects go through. Not much of an argument but that's all I have right now.

CaptainSolo1138
10-12-2007, 11:07 AM
I still don't know why they couldn't fly Bombers in low, at AT AT level, and then release the bombs.Because the resulting explosion would knock them out of the air.

darthvyn
10-12-2007, 02:44 PM
If he did mean that the shield would protect from even an atmospheric attack, I still don't know why they couldn't fly Bombers in low, at AT AT level, and then release the bombs.

the closer you fly to the ground, the easier it is to get shot down. that's why the best tactic is to bomb from on-high. but if that's not an option (say, because of some sort of shield) then you've gotta go in on the ground with heavy artillery.

stillakid
10-12-2007, 03:11 PM
the closer you fly to the ground, the easier it is to get shot down. that's why the best tactic is to bomb from on-high. but if that's not an option (say, because of some sort of shield) then you've gotta go in on the ground with heavy artillery.

So, we know from ANH that the Star Wars Universe has shields capable of repelling "energy," presumably like "lasers," plasma, or electricity even. Those same shields allow solid objects to pass through.

But with the Hoth situation, we are to now assume that shield technology exists that repels solid objects (like bombs and torpedoes) as well?

And if that's all true, then based on the attack, the shield only protected the generators from attacks from above? But the Imperial officer told vader that they detected a force field protecting the entire planet?

Given that, it seems that the Rebels did not (or could not) protect the generators from a side attack, which is ultimately what destroyed the generators.

So why didn't the Imperials fly TIEs in that could fire torpedoes (the technology exists as we know from the Prequels)?

El Chuxter
10-12-2007, 03:39 PM
Something in something I read about the ground battle in TPM says that the shields can repel energy attacks, large physical objects (like tanks or starfighters), and fast-moving objects (like bombs or torpedoes), but are useless against smaller, slower moving objects (like Battle Droids).

darthvyn
10-12-2007, 03:44 PM
So, we know from ANH that the Star Wars Universe has shields capable of repelling "energy," presumably like "lasers," plasma, or electricity even. Those same shields allow solid objects to pass through.

true enough.


But with the Hoth situation, we are to now assume that shield technology exists that repels solid objects (like bombs and torpedoes) as well?

VEERS: My lord, the fleet has moves out of light-speed. Com-Scan has detected an energy field protecting an area around the sixth planet of the Hoth system. The field is strong enough to deflect any bombardment.

apparently. deflect ANY bombardment. that would suggest... um... ANY bombardment, be it energy or projectile.


And if that's all true, then based on the attack, the shield only protected the generators from attacks from above?

generators and everything else around them, apparently...


But the Imperial officer told vader that they detected a force field protecting the entire planet?

as quoted above, he said "an area around the sixth planet" so no, not the entire planet.


Given that, it seems that the Rebels did not (or could not) protect the generators from a side attack, which is ultimately what destroyed the generators.

i don't know about a "side attack" but obviously a ground assault was the only viable solution to vader:

VADER: Make ready to land out troops beyond the energy shield and
deploy the fleet so that nothing gets off that system.


So why didn't the Imperials fly TIEs in that could fire torpedoes (the technology exists as we know from the Prequels)?

um, because they'd get shot down. like i said before...

so given what we've eked out of our understanding of the situation, it's a different type of force field than say, on the death star or a star destroyer - one that deflects everything, energy or projectile, but is vulnerable to ground attacks. i can only postulate that the shield is formed like a sort of "glass ceiling" (sorry ladies, no room for you in the rebellion, but you already knew that) that hovers above the area it's generated from, low enough to make flying under it hazardous, thus making ground assault the only viable solution, which is a much longer task than aerial attack, thus giving the rebels enough time to escape. this much sounds reasonable.

the question remains, why did they then need to open the shield to let their transports escape, instead of flying out from under them? my only answer is that perhaps the ion cannon had a limited range of attack, and to benefit from it's use the transports had to fly within it's range...

LTBasker
10-13-2007, 01:41 AM
Maybe Tie Bombers weren't adapted to the cold of Hoth. Maybe they wouldn't fly right or at all.

Didn't the rebels state at some point that the Snowspeeders were adapted.

I think this can also be backed up by the fact that the Rebels had X-wings on Hoth, but they only used them to evacuate. So, why didn't they use those to attack the AT-ATs instead of going with the primitive (and convenient) tripping idea?

Of course, a spaceship shouldn't have trouble in the cold since space is also very cold. But, the moisture to create ice is probably the large problem, not just the cold in general. This might be why planetary vehicles like the AT-AT and Snowspeeders were better/easier to use, they were probably built with the intention to adapt to environments in mind. The fighter crafts on the Rebel side seem to be primarily designed as being housed in a base or a carrier (considering the inconvenience of the astromech hold), so not exposed to the elements much, and the Imperial fighters look primarily designed for space flight.

AussieScott
10-22-2007, 06:48 AM
I think Slicker has nailed this. If you look at Episode 1, there's a hint there, when the Gungan shields deflect a concerted bombardment but the slow-moving battle droids can walk through them.

It's not a new idea either, anyone who's familiar with the Dune novels will remember that personal shields will deflect a fast-moving blade, requiring you to (somehow) bring your weapon through your opponent's shield slowly.

Finally, remember the demise of Admiral Ozzel. He brought them out of lightspeed close to the system, to facilitate a surprise attack, a perfectly sensible tactic if you're going for complete annihilation. Vader killed him for this, clearly he didn't want tactical surprise, he wanted to meet prepared opposition, presumably to scatter his opponent rather than destroy them. This might make a certain amount of sense seeing as he wanted to capture his enemies rather than destroy them, although it's not clearly spelled out.

JediTricks
10-23-2007, 06:10 PM
Ozzel's plan sucked, the element of surprise gave them enough advance warning to raise their shields before his spacial bombardment could begin, thus he blew it - without the Death Star, even the entire Imperial starfleet couldn't destroy a planet, it'd take a thousand ships with more firepower than.... :p

stillakid
10-23-2007, 07:39 PM
Ozzel's plan sucked, the element of surprise gave them enough advance warning to raise their shields before his spacial bombardment could begin, thus he blew it - without the Death Star, even the entire Imperial starfleet couldn't destroy a planet, it'd take a thousand ships with more firepower than.... :p

Truth be told, I've never understood Ozzel's tactic and why the opposite would have worked better.

The way it is made to sound, Ozzel thinks that if he drops the fleet into regular space as close to the planet as possible, somehow the Rebels won't detect their presence until after the bombardment from orbit begins. I have to say, Ozzel's plan seems like the most reasonable, except that he stopped too soon. Maybe they couldn't get the Destroyers close enough to orbit and had to ease them in to firing range. In that case, the tactic would never work, but you'd think that it must've in the past for Ozzel to want to do it that way.

Vader's comments seem to suggest that the fleet should've dropped out of hyperspace a long way away from Hoth, in which case the fleet would have to slowly inch toward the planet. It seems that the Rebels would've easily detected the slowly encroaching Empire just as easily as they saw them with the "surprise" tactic.

So I'm not sure why Vader killed Ozzel. I mean, unless they can drop out of hyperspace right into orbit with a hail of gunfire, there is no way to sneak up on a planet and begin attacking before the Rebels detect them and raise shields.

Am I missing something?

AussieScott
10-23-2007, 07:54 PM
Vader's comments seem to suggest that the fleet should've dropped out of hyperspace a long way away from Hoth, in which case the fleet would have to slowly inch toward the planet. It seems that the Rebels would've easily detected the slowly encroaching Empire just as easily as they saw them with the "surprise" tactic.

So I'm not sure why Vader killed Ozzel. I mean, unless they can drop out of hyperspace right into orbit with a hail of gunfire, there is no way to sneak up on a planet and begin attacking before the Rebels detect them and raise shields.

Am I missing something?

It's not clearly spelled out, but I think this is what the intent was:

Surprise would have resulted in the complete annihilation of the rebel base in an orbital bombardment.

No surprise resulted in them meeting a prepared defense, requiring a ground assault, and allowing ships to evacuate. Departing ships could be intercepted and captured, and ground troops could have captured those still at the base. Vader's aim was to capture Luke Skywalker, and probably Leia and as many senior commanders as possible, alive. This was Vader's original plan, and Ozzel overrode him and ordered the fleet to drop out of hyperspace much closer than Vader had told him to. Insubordination = oxygen starvation. Also, the pause in their preparations while Vader dealt with Ozzel gave the rebels back the time they would have had otherwise.

An interesting thought has just occurred to me. Review Vader's actions with the prequels in mind, remembering the kind boy he used to be, and how he was tricked into embracing the Dark Side rather than taking to it with open arms. He doesn't particularly value the lives of Imperial lackeys, but could he have been hoping to minimise the loss of life among good people fighting for what they believed in? Luke could sense his inner conflict...

stillakid
10-23-2007, 08:04 PM
It's not clearly spelled out, but I think this is what the intent was:

Surprise would have resulted in the complete annihilation of the rebel base in an orbital bombardment.

No surprise resulted in them meeting a prepared defense, requiring a ground assault, and allowing ships to evacuate. Departing ships could be intercepted and captured, and ground troops could have captured those still at the base. Vader's aim was to capture Luke Skywalker, and probably Leia and as many senior commanders as possible, alive. This was Vader's original plan, and Ozzel overrode him and ordered the fleet to drop out of hyperspace much closer than Vader had told him to. Insubordination = oxygen starvation. Also, the pause in their preparations while Vader dealt with Ozzel gave the rebels back the time they would have had otherwise.

An interesting thought has just occurred to me. Review Vader's actions with the prequels in mind, remembering the kind boy he used to be, and how he was tricked into embracing the Dark Side rather than taking to it with open arms. He doesn't particularly value the lives of Imperial lackeys, but could he have been hoping to minimise the loss of life among good people fighting for what they believed in? Luke could sense his inner conflict...

But Ozzel's plan could not have worked because they obviously were detected before they could fire off a shot. So what went wrong? It seems that while they dropped out of lightspeed too close to the system (as Vader explains), Ozzel didn't get close enough to do the bombardment for annihilation as you suggest.

To do Vader's idea and creep up on the planet would've A) resulted in the shield going up, so there's no difference there, AND B) would've given more Rebels a chance to escape before the Imperial fleet was anywhere close to the system.

Looking at it again, Ozzel actually did the ONLY thing that would have resulted in the possible capture of Skywalker. Drop out of Hyperspace a little later and Echo Base might've been blown away from space. Drop out too soon and all the Rebels fly away before the fleet gets there. I think that Ozzel deserved a medal instead of a pine box.


As far as the Jake-akin theory goes, the first problem is that there are three distinct characters all claiming to be Anakin. Jake-akin is way too happy-go-lucky Opi Cunningham to ever become the Vader in the OT. And of course Hayd-akin is no where near the character of Vader/old man Anakin from the OT.

But forgetting all that for a second, the ESB Vader was just beginning to feel those "good man" urges. He wouldn't be able to do what you suggest until after his martyr moment at the end of ROTJ. He was too focused on Luke at that time.

AussieScott
10-23-2007, 08:20 PM
But Ozzel's plan could not have worked because they obviously were detected before they could fire off a shot. So what went wrong? It seems that while they dropped out of lightspeed too close to the system (as Vader explains), Ozzel didn't get close enough to do the bombardment for annihilation as you suggest.

To do Vader's idea and creep up on the planet would've A) resulted in the shield going up, so there's no difference there, AND B) would've given more Rebels a chance to escape before the Imperial fleet was anywhere close to the system.


I've just had another look at it... Ozzel was probably going for the surprise bombardment but stuffed it up. But Vader's first order to Admiral Piett is to deploy the fleet so that nothing gets off the system. Obviously Ozzel robbed of the time they needed to do this properly, as quite a few seemed to get away.

JimJamBonds
10-24-2007, 12:35 AM
But I suppose the AT ATs looked cool. :smoker:

...... and made way cooler toys.

Exhaust Port
10-24-2007, 02:35 PM
The AT ATs are landed some distance from the target (why?) and have to walk over to the base which wastes time and troops.

I would assume they were landed far away for staging. Being that the AT-AT's were transported to the planet in large cargo containers (or something like that) they would be vulnerable to attack as they exited the pods. Like we see with any ground attack now or through history with large attacking vehicles or animals, they are staged away from the battle and then brought in along with ground support. Plus no large attack vehicle can go into battle solo, they are always are part of an attack package (ie smaller attack vehicles, ground troops, etc.). That's another reason they would have landed away from the base, to form the battle group and then proceed with the attack.

JediTricks
10-24-2007, 04:34 PM
Ozzel's plan seemed to be all about "Shock and Awe", a pretty common tactic for the Empire from what we're led to believe, it's all about how the galaxy perceives the forces, so they might get a surrender before even firing a shot. However, it has the disadvantage of not really thinking through anything beyond scaring them, they aren't ready to fire the large-scale weaponry and the troops aren't massed for the assault and ready to go. Providing they aren't busy just crapping their pants, this gives the Rebels more time prepare for the assault while the Imps are doing the same, and now the heavy weaponry of the Star Destroyers is TOTALLY useless.

If Vader's plan was apt, the thinking is that the Rebels don't have scanners that can detect that much further out, so the Imps amass and ready outside the range of the planet and then pull up and get off a few shots from the Star Destroyers while simultaneously landing troops IMMEDIATELY.