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Science fiction AFVs

Discussion in 'The Members Lounge' started by corpcasselbury, Jun 21, 2004.

  1. Ebar

    Ebar New Member

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    Without either side apparently convincing the other. Danyel Phelps believes the AT-AT is the bee's knees and almost always prevale, myself and others believe its a big target on legs.

    nobody is likely to move on this one.

    End of story
     
  2. Danyel Phelps

    Danyel Phelps Active Member

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    A big target that cannot be dispatched by any ground-based defense measure. Even large-calibre anti-vehicle weapons fail to penetrate the AT-ATs armour.

    And yes, it does just about always prevail. We never see in any of the Movies or literature any attack with AT-ATs be deflected.
     
  3. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    We do see 2 AT-ATs destroyed, though.

    Not through superior firepower, but 1 taking advantage of the high C of G (which the mine/trench hoped to emulate), 1 by a fluke/Luke (although there seems no reason why this fluke cannot be duplicated by ordinary infantryman, provided the other Imperial assault troops can be kept away!)
     
  4. Danyel Phelps

    Danyel Phelps Active Member

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    We see a grand total of two out of about eight taken out purely because of a lack of air support. When you're attacking a base that is equipped with attack fighters with just Tanks, you need to expect losses. The incident with Luke can not be duplicated by an ordinary infantry man. Lukes Light Saber is long lost Technology made from Materials that are not only extremely rare, but cannot be found anymore. The secret to the location of crystals capable of focusing beams like that were lost with the Jedi Council.

    You people are saying the AT-AT is a worthless piece of @#$% because two were knocked out in an unsupported engagement against a heavily defended base that had air support.
     
  5. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    No, no, not unsupported, there were AT-STs...

    Luke merely 'knocked open' an inspection hatch, surely?
    I was not aware that the inspection hatches were heavily armoured (if they are - apologies - but one cannot assume that inspection hatches are as heavily armoured as the main hull).

    We're not saying it was a worthles piece of *$#% (at least I'm not!), just pointing out that it ain't invulnerable. Which you know as well. Why are we still discussing this? :wink:

    P.S: there were 8 AT-ATs? I only remember 4ish, but you live & learn!
     
  6. Gatsby phpbb3

    Gatsby phpbb3 New Member

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    If the rebels in Hoth can field a shield generator, no reason why other conventional enemies cannot field shields as well. Shields deprive an attacking army of air support. This is, as far as I know, the only weakness of the AT-AT when deployed approparitely. Their limited anti-aircraft capability did indeed prove inadequete against a single squadron of speeders on Hoth. One must, however, remember that in order for them to take on AT-ATs in that manner they would have had to slow down in order to execute such tight, low altitude maneuvering, in which case they would make vulnerable targets for dedicated anti-air guns as well as most ground-based weapons systems improvised for the anti-air role. Note that the former was conspicuously absent in Hoth.

    Personally I don't think the Hoth assault demonstrated the full capability of the Imperial army, which incurred unnecessary and avoidable losses due to the lack of anti-air support. Surely Imperial planners must have perceived this weakness during the design of the AT-AT and created an approparite all-terrain anti-air platfom (a vehicle, created explicitly for this purpose, does in fact exist. Named the AT-AA, it does appear in the game Force Commander, and resembles a metallic frog with an anti-air turret mounted on its back).

    Of course, the AT-AT can only deployed effectively in the approparite terain. It would be all far less useful in forested or mountanious regions, where the uneven, jagged landscape or dense forest would limit mobility and hide ambush positions. The AT-AT does indeed have weaknesses, but it certainly isn't useless either.
     
  7. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    I wasn't arguing against its effectiveness but for its shock-and-awe effect when it appears on the battlefield. Any enemy that could hope to get away with his life if he surrendered would do so immediately if he percieved such a weapon assaulting his position, as they would with the Supertanks (indeed, unless they had some themselves).
    No, but remember, this is fantasy, not historical records. The writers of such literature surely would want their baby to look invincible, and just about anything can happen in SF works. So the fact that in no Star Wars related literature was the AT-AT ever repulsed doesn't really mean anything.
     
  8. Ebar

    Ebar New Member

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    Danyel I would point out to you that I have heard that Mr Lucas himself has made clear that only the films can be taken (metaphorically speaking) as gospel. Novels, tech manuals, magazines and comics books will be ignored by Lucas as convenient. Decide for your self whether this is a good or a bad thing.

    AT-AT's aren't worthless if I were an impirial general facing an open field engagement and AT-ATs were avaliable I'd take them. Howver a more balanced approach would be better.

    Here are some suggestions for both sides for a Battle of Hoth rematch

    Empire

    1 Lose the APC role for at least some of the AT-ATs use the space to fit a AA guns to the back. Put these machines on the flanks and rear of the AT-AT spearhead.

    2 Fit anti personel charges to the bellies of all AT-ATs

    3 A screen of AT-ST on the flanks and beyond them a screen of stormtroopers on speederbikes.

    4 Behind the AT-AT spearhead the starwars equivalent of M113s with more stormtroopers.

    5 Give serious thought to getting hold of some sort of proper artillery. Line of sight weapons are not acceptable on their own.

    6 Somehow provide your AT-ATs with air cover.


    Rebels

    1 Position your base in such a way that an attacker has to be really close before they get line of sight on anything important.

    2 Try using the kind of a missile Luke used to smoke the first Death Star on an AT-AT. It might not work but it is worth one missile to make sure.

    3 Anti tank ditches and anti tank mines. You either accept this or you don't. If you don't well treat my opinions with respect and I'll do likewise.

    4 Leave gaps in the above ditches and minefields to channel attacks.

    5 Give serious thought to getting hold of some sort of proper artillery. Line of sight weapons are not acceptable on their own. They likely won't be big enough to hurt the AT-AT but they would strip away screening elements

    6 Ground attack aircraft should approach from the sides not the front. Use the terrain to conceal approach.

    7 Rebel ground attack aircraft should be provided with some sort of fighter escort. The empire will be feeling motivated to provide their AT-ATs with some sort of air cover.

    8 Have trenches for your infantry to shelter in. These have to be cleared by an attackers infantry for they offer a means to close assault an AT-AT

    9 Equip as many infantrymen as you with the winch Luke used, a shaped charge to blast open an aperture and a grenade to throw in. This is still a last resort and is going to come under the heading 'bayonet charge against tanks' but the threat will make AT-ATs commanders a bit more wary.
     
  9. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    As a side note - so how come Luke made his own?
    I forget exactly when he did this. Was it after Yoda (therefore 'Yoda told him')?
    And arguably how can it be 'long lost' when the Jedi council was only eradicated by the generation before Luke Skywalker (as it was his dad who did it). You cannot claim that 'the Jedi live longer' as Luke's mum (for one) is not a Jedi, so unless Luke's childhood lasted for many many decades...
    The technology has probably been 'lost' for only a few years less than Luke has lived, and he appears to be late teens, possibly early twenties in the film.
    Plus, can it really be 'lost' if Darth Vader retains his lightsaber, and if the Sith (who use lightsabers) are in charge of the Empire?
     
  10. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    Poor Danyel is a bit under siege...
    We need more Star Wars enthusiasts to help him out!
     
  11. Gatsby phpbb3

    Gatsby phpbb3 New Member

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    You'll never walk alone, Danyel!
     
  12. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    David Drake's supertanks have, in his novels and short stories, fought in quite a few different environments, from plains to forests to...well, you name it. Hammer's Slammers do not just feature tanks; there are also combat car, infantry, and artillery companies in it. This is definitely a well-balanced unit. I'll post the regiment's TO&E as soon as I can remember to do so.
     
  13. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    Remember to do so! :grin: Just a reminder.
     
  14. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    And a very subtle one, Roel... :wink:
     
  15. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    I know, it's who I am... :wink:
     
  16. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    Table of Organization and Equipment, Hammer's Regiment


    Sec I: Headquarters Battalion

    Except for Artillery and Replacement, all the support elements were grouped for administrative convenience in HQ Battalion. In practice, a large percentage of the strength of these units was parcelled out to line companies according to need.

    a) Headquarters Company--Colonel Hammer and his personal staff, including battalion officers; satellite launch and maintenance personnel; finance; and a security element. Totyal:153 effectives.

    b) Maintenance--Capable of handling anything short of a full hull rebuild or internal work on fusion units. Company includes three tank and six combat car transporters, stretched chassis vehicles with fans at either end; ACVs cannot, of course, be towed. Total: 212 effectives.

    c) Communications--Includes not only the staff of Command Central, but also the staffs of local headquarters with area responsibilities. Total: 143 effectives.

    d) Medical--Twenty-four first line medics with medicomps linked to Central, and a field hospital with full life support capabilities. Total: 60 effectives.

    e) Supply--Includes Mess and Quartermaster functions. Total: 143 effectives.

    f) Intelligence--Order of Battle is performed by computer. Imagery Interpretation, study of satellite recce, is in large measure still a human function. There are three mechanical interrogation (i.e., mind probe) teams. Total: 84 effectives.

    g) Transport--312 men (heavily supplemented from Replacement Battalion) and 288 air cushion trucks for local unit supply from spaceport or planetary logistics centers. True aircraft, flying above the nape of the earth, would have been suicidally vulnerable to powerguns.

    h) Combat Engineers--Carry out bridging, clearing, minesweeping, and, very frequently, fighting tasks. Formed in three 16-man platoons, each mounted on a pair of tank chassis Engineer Vehicles. Total: 50 effectives.

    i) Recreation--Field brothels. The strength and composition of this unit vaired from world to world. Generally, teams of 3-6 were put under the direct control of company supply personnel.

    Sec II: Combat Cars

    Eight combat car companies, each of a command section (one car) and four line platoons. Each platoon contains a command car and five combat cars, or six combat cars. Company total: 100 effectives.

    Sec III: Tanks

    Four tank companies, each of a command tank and four line platoons. Each line platoon contains four tanks. Company total: 36 effectives.

    Sec IV: Infantry

    Four companies, each of four platoons. Each platoon contains four 10-man line squads; two 2-man tribarrel teams (jeep mounted); one 2-man 100mm mortar team (jeep mounted); and a command element. All but Heavy Weapons personnel are mounted on 1-man skimmers. Buzzbombs can be issued for special purposes; but in general, support from the armored vehicles allows the Slammers' infantry to travel lighter than most pongoes. Company total: 202 effectives.

    Sec V: Artillery

    Three batteries of self-propelled 200mm rocket howitzers. Each battery contains six tubes; one command car; and two munitions haulers. Battery total: 37 effectives.

    Sec VI: Replacement

    The training and reserve component of the Slammers, normally totalling 1500 men (including cadre) with about ten tanks, twenty-five combat cars, and a hundred trucks. Because Hammer had no permanent base world, training had to be performed wherever the Regiment was located. Because men were more vulnerable than the armored vehicels they rode, and the vehicels were too valuable to run undercrewed or held out of service while replacements were being trained, a pool of trained men had to be on hand to fill gaps immediately. Untile they were needed to fill combat slots, they acted as extra drivers, loading crews, camp police, and firebase security.
     
  17. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    One quick question about the 'supertanks' -
    if / when they meet, how hard do they find it to knock each other out?
     
  18. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    Interesting question. As far as I can remember, Hammer's Regiment has never met any other unit equipped with the same supertanks that they use. However, they *have* met units fielding what we would consider conventional tanks; i.e., tracked vehicles mounting various types of gun, most having turrets. So far, the Slammers have never lost any of those battles, although they have, of course, suffered causalties. I'll have to ask Mr. Drake if he's ever considered writing a story based on such a premise.
     
  19. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    We have forgotten one of the most important and interesting AFVs in all of science fiction: The Martian Fighting Machines from the movie, "The War of the Worlds". I count the protective blister as armor. Nice machine to take on any foe in, and the Heat ray and Skeleton Beam could take out even the mightiest opponents, even the Imperial walkers.

    BTW, can anyone tell me what kind of tank the US forces fighting the Martians in that film were using? I thought they were Pershings, but I'm not certain.
     
  20. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    I personally think that the AT-AT epitomizes the Imperial approach to war: Scare the daylights out of your enemy before you stomp him into the mud! They are, to a large degree, psychological weapons, meant to demoralize an enemy and make him more likely to break and run, or at least offer less resistance. This does not mean that they aren't potent fighting vehicles, however. They handled everything the Rebels could throw at them and gave back better than they got. And General Veers did take out the Rebel shield generator with one burst, which is a pretty good demonstration of firepower, I think.
     

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