Author Topic: Battle of Hoth  (Read 1131 times)

Offline jkno

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Battle of Hoth
« on: March 22, 2004, 03:19 AM »
1. Why didn't the rebels use the X-Wings against the coming AT-ATs. They have torpedoes and are much faster than the snowspeeders.

2. Why didn't the Imperials use some air attacks to soften the rebels on Hoth? Some TIE Fighters or some Bombers?

Offline genraljake

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Re: Battle of Hoth
« Reply #1 on: April 5, 2004, 11:32 AM »
the at-at was to strong
and they were not exsecpting air attacks at all
« Last Edit: April 5, 2004, 03:11 PM by Jesse James »

Offline Jesse James

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Re: Battle of Hoth
« Reply #2 on: April 8, 2004, 12:32 AM »
Sorry for the late response here, but I've been busy.

What I'm gonna do is copy/paste my lengthy replies from REbelscum to this very topic there.  I won't include quotes I addressed, but I think you'll get the gist of Q's or points I countered by my replies...

I'll keep these all separate too.  Here we go:


The weather argument doesn't sit particularly well with me... WHile it was disevowed for this argument, it's still a paramount reason to disregard the idea that "the cold" had anything to do with not using X-Wings.

Short and sweet of it is that it's WAY colder in space than on Hoth.

As far as moisture goes... Luke's X-Wing was submerged, but flew perfectly fine after being taken from the swamp on Dagobah. Moisture obviously has no effect on Starships, or at least the X-Wing. With that in mind, climate, temperature, weather and the like seem inappropriate "reasons" all together by film evidence.

Also, we hear that the Speeders need adapted to the cold, but not the snubfighters which we could assume were all FLOWN to Hoth, nor the transports seemed to need adaptation to the inclement weather.

I would say it's all in strategy...

The Battle of Hoth is a route, not really a "battle". It's a mass retreat more than combat. As such, minimal support to hold off the walkers is going to be placed at the trenches. One squad of pilots it would seem flew Snowspeeders (That was a good analogy that they are more suited to ground combat as helicopters are in our own warfare, by the way. Their very physics seen in the film convey this), and it's debateable how many footsoldiers, but it didn't look like a TON there in the trenches either.

Basically, the line to hold off the mechanized armor lines of the Empire were cannon fodder. These guys, from the pilots to the grunts, knew they had to just wreak as much havoc for the oncoming walkers, at whatever the cost.

The Fighters, if you're to follow the Rogue Squadron Video games and how they play out the battle in more detail, have the Snubfighters at a rally point beyond a mountain ridge (assuming the ALliance base runs through this mountain ridge) for protection of all transports as well as protection of evacuating pilots straggling in from the speeder groups.

The Empire then has two objectives that are paramount... 1) blockade ANYTHING you can from leaving the planet, or better yet, shoot it down before it even gets off the ground. This is where the Empire then will divert remaining fighter/bomber units that aren't in orbit with the Destroyers flying escort for them. And 2) is that the Empire wants the ground assault to bring down the shield generators so the attack on the fleeing personnel on the ground can begin, and so that Imperial troop transports can "land" and disable the Ion Cannon wreaking havoc with their picket lines in orbit.

First the Walkers have to do their job "at any cost" one would assume... Even if it means a real out and out slugfest between Imperial and Alliance army units.

Upon that assault's completion, then they can swarm in with TIE's to assault the escaping transports that haven't left or are just taking off, and they can pound any forces still trying to make it to the rally point.

About the Speederbikes... I've always envisioned them as flying ahead of the AT-AT's feet scouting for possible mines that would blow the AT-AT's foot off at the ankle. That would/could be pretty nasty.
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: Battle of Hoth
« Reply #3 on: April 8, 2004, 12:33 AM »
Unless it's not TOO difficult for accurate/limber guns/gunners to shoot the warheads down. The AT-AT seemed capable of picking a human off from a great distance, and almost as an afterthought by a gunner, so a straight flying Torpedoe may only be effective against an AT-AT if fired point blank, or possibly fired without use of the "target lock" if the target lock would alert the AT-AT's crew that they were being targeted in the first place.

I think this seems reasonable somewhat if you go by EU... If you don't believe warheads are easy enough to shoot down though, that's another story then, and it leaves a slight hole there as to why anyone wouldn't attack AT-AT's with warheads.
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: Battle of Hoth
« Reply #4 on: April 8, 2004, 12:34 AM »
Arknew's explanation makes a good bit of sense to me I think, pertaining to the lack of defensive weaponry. I also don't think trenches are necessarily practical against AT-AT's at least. Even AT-ST's seem capable (judging by Endor's terrain) of negotiating some deep valleys and steep hills if they need to and the valley doesn't just all of a sudden appear in front of them (IE: a hidden pit to trip into).  

AT-AT's don't seem TOO unstable in design... If tripped by the cord they do, but walking over terrain, I don't know. It'd seemingly take a pretty big ditch for them to fall into one. Especially if we buy that their knee joints are quite able to bend to 90 degree angles and things... They'd be much more limber than they look anyway.

The lack of weapons placements though could be that either cost, or simply time/adaptation wasn't on the side of the Alliance.

EU claims the guns, given longer periods of time, can do damage to AT-AT's though... Prolonged fire and things can eventually penetrate armor plating of the walkers... It'd be interesting to see what a longer assault would've turned up. If the Alliance had somehow slowed the Walkers with some man-made traps or snares of some sort, like Herbert mentions in a large trench. Maybe then the Alliance guns would've had a more effective timeframe to punch holes in walker armor.

Those AT-AT's really just tromped right through though, and in an extremely "open" field of battle where the AT-AT would have an advantage because of it's simple height. The Rebels really chose a ****ty planet when you think about it. Too bad for them. Yavin IV was ideal with its treetop canopies, towering command buildings, etc... Much more suited to a ground campaign in the Alliance's favor it seems.
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: Battle of Hoth
« Reply #5 on: April 8, 2004, 12:35 AM »
Depending what sources you look into, Landmines do exist, and in a powerful format in Star Wars, but of course none are seen on film. Considering that Landmines are considered one of the deadliest forms of combat dating back to the late 19th century and on into today I think it's reasonable to assume they exist in Star Wars though, and can be effective.

I know the old CCG's actually visualized Landmines in Star Wars, the Jedi Knight/Dark Forces series show a variety of types of mines both proximity and self-detonated, and other WEG claimed them as well I think.

As for obstacles, I ask myself how effective they are against something as powerful as an AT-AT... Also, perhaps obstacles of some sort were set up and AT-ST's were able to clear them or warn the AT-AT's ahead of time since at least one ST was seen advancing ahead of the AT's... Perhaps that's its goal? Kind of like the Speederbikes (if we accept they're there).

While I agree about the use of cannons being that you want to penetrate armor as quickly as possible as well, in Star Wars, the AT-AT may just prove too "advanced" and require multiple hits as well... That or climate (and the need to adapt weaponry to it) as well as the limited time maybe didn't allow heavier artillery batteries to be set up? Some EU does say there's very similarly designed weapons to the ones at the trenches, but much larger and powerful... Force Commander showed Radar/Dish laser turrets that are stationary similar to the anti-infantry PD Towers that were in place. Maybe the Alliance hadn't adapted the larger artillery then yet?

The planetary shielding issue though is a whole other can of worms, but I think it's explainable... The properties and specifics of shielding in general, and the way the Rebels shield itself worked seem to be the keys to understand how the assault unfolded.

We know the shield DOES need dropped, as Leia says so, but a drop in the shield seems "minimal" from what she says and they probably are coordinating the Transport's exit with the shield's momentary drop and reinstatement... If that's the case, bombardment wouldn't be efficient at all.

Also, the Ion cannon doesn't necessarily need a shield opening to fire... At least the film doesn't mention it, so it's possible the Ioncannon fires outside the shields. Since Y-Wings and X-Wings are shielded but capable of firing OUT of their own shielding I think this is reasonable to assume it works similarly. Can't shoot IN, but can shoot OUT.

As far as weakening the shields by constant bombardment... I don't see a reason to doubt Veers' words that the shield would deflect "any bombardment". Maybe it's a slight exaggeration, but perhaps in the allotted timeframe they have to assault the base and stop the escape while the vessels and people are STILL within the atmosphere or on the ground then possibly he was speaking in the short term rather than if they simply took orbit and slammed the shields for hours or even days till it broke.

If the shields ARE really strong, we also know they have their OWN shield generator too. The shield generator is referred to as just that, not a "generator" generic, but a shield generator, and when it's lost the base seems to still have power itself (and EU claims the Ioncannon is still firing till the bitter end too). With that in mind, the generator isn't part of the rest of the base's energy distribution. it could then theoretically hold for the duration of a prolonged seige even.

It explains the importance of swiftly getting within range and destroying the Generator, thus allowing TIE's to swoop in on the rally points and hangar exits while troops deploy to sweep and clear the base itself.

Again though, for exiting transports it does open and I suppose shots could come in, but if the opening is coordinated well it's so brief that it could really be a crapshoot if the Empire even got one fighter or orbital shot in with the brief opening. Also, does the ENTIRE shield shut down for a brief moment, or only a small box, possibly only large enough for a vessel or two to exit? That's another good question to ask when determining the physical properties of the shield itself.

With that in mind, and judging by what we KNOW of the military assault and defense shown in the film, it seems to me that the shield's a very complex and customizable resource that the Empire basically sees as hopeless to combat itself... From what I can gather they'd hoped to hyper in a distance away and drop in fighter squads as fast as possible till the Alliance realized what happened (Imagine when they said "Oh crap", and flipped the "on" switch to the shields and the attacking TIEs that hadn't made it yet slammed them? Yikes).

Makes you wonder what WOULD have happened had Ozzel not F'd up. LOTS of Rebel losses, and likely a heavy space battle, though not in space but rather just in the atmosphere... X-Wings, Y-Wings, and TIE's duking it out while TIE B's go and blow the bejesus out of the shields allowing some heavy-duty troop landings. The Rebels would've been F'd pretty bad at that point.
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Offline Playgirl

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Re: Battle of Hoth
« Reply #6 on: April 8, 2004, 12:39 AM »
the at-at was to strong
and they were not exsecpting air attacks at all
This does not make sense.  how could the at-at be too strong for xwings, yet snowspeeders are the magic aircraft that will take them down?