Department of Gaming & Combat: Advanced Warfare
This course will begin by explaining the purpose of warfare and the different types of warfare. Then, this course will seek to explain various levels of waging war and examples of its use in the galaxy. Building upon this knowledge, the course will conclude with the use of advanced warfare concepts in gaming. By the end of this course, the reader should have acquired an adept knowledge of advanced warfare in the Dark Jedi Brotherhood.
1. Warfare and Its Purpose
When diplomacy has failed and bargaining for peace is not an option, warfare is usually the result. Warfare is the act of two or more entities engaging in open conflict, utilizing all methods of conflict at their disposal to defeat their enemy, or enemies. It is important to note that ‘open’ conflict is key to defining warfare, as more subtle machinations exist that also cause ‘concealed’ conflict. Concealed conflict can take the form of smaller skirmishes, political maneuvering, or clandestine operations prior to a declaration of war, to name but a few examples.
Warfare, however, is never without purpose. The purpose or intent of warfare is usually determined prior to the start of conflict. Ultimately, the purpose of war is dependent on context. Who are the parties involved, and what do they seek to gain or lose through war? War can be two clans on a world fighting over resources on a distant world, or two gargantuan armies waging long and bloody campaigns in fealty of a higher power such as the First Order, or the Galactic Republic.
2. Types of Warfare
Warfare takes many forms. Below, you will be provided a further explanation of the three different types of warfare: ground or planetary warfare, space warfare, and total warfare.
2.1. Ground Warfare
Ground warfare, which can also be referred to as planetary warfare, is one of three types of warfare in the galaxy. It describes the use of organized armies in battle on the surface of a planet or other celestial body. These armies typically consist of infantry, various types of ground vehicles, and other equipment such as mobile artillery, communications platforms, and more. Starfighters or airborne speeders may also be involved in ground warfare, providing support from the air for troops on the ground.
Ground warfare will normally be conducted by a general or some military equivalent, who devise large-scale battle plans detailing how they are to engage the enemy.
The purpose of ground warfare is to gain or maintain control of the surface of a planet or other celestial body. More specifically, ground warfare is usually waged on planets with some sort of value. This value can be tangible, such as resources or a strategic galactic position; the value can also be abstract, such as honoring political alliances. Regardless of the reasons, ground warfare is crucial to the success of any war.
2.2. Space Warfare
Space warfare is the second of three types of warfare. Space warfare refers to the act of armed spacecraft waging battle in space. These spacecraft can be heavily armed warships such as Star Destroyers, as well as smaller starships, or starfighters. In reality, any space-worthy craft that is armed with some form of weaponry can participate in space warfare.
In order to effectively wage war in space, various starcraft will typically be organized into fleets. A fleet is a large group of various starships, support craft and starfighters led by an admiral or other equivalent officer. Fleets can be comprised of different types and numbers of starships based on the conflict it intends to conduct.
The primary purpose of space warfare is to gain or maintain control over an area, or multiple areas in space. There are various points of interest that concern admirals when planning for space warfare. Control of hyperspace routes and the space over allied systems is paramount. Just as important is the protection of key installations located throughout the galaxy, both on celestial bodies and built in space. Sometimes battle will be waged in deep space away from any important locations, the opposing fleets intending to destroy one another. Regardless of the specific location space warfare will occur, control of important sections of space, along with maintaining the most effective fleet is imperative to any good strategy.
2.3. Total Warfare
Total warfare is the third type of warfare, and also the most unique. Some might think that total warfare is a simple combination of space and ground warfare, though this explanation is too simplistic. Total warfare refers to a war that is unrestricted in terms of the weapons used, the territory or combatants involved, or the objectives pursued, especially one in which the established protocols of warfare are ignored. Warfare of this scale will be of the highest caliber, involving numerous armies and fleets across a massive battlefield that spans the wide breadths of space.
The goal of total warfare is to inflict the maximum amount of damage possible on the entities involved. In a ‘total war’, anything can be identified as a legitimate military target. This method of warfare is rare, though some of its elements were employed by the former Galactic Empire. Besides its obvious use of the planet-killer, the Death Star, the Empire also attempted to maintain complete dominance over its domain through strict military rule. It exercised its military might and was willing to annihilate and obstacles in its path.
3. Waging War: Strategy, Tactics, and Operations
In order to effectively engage in warfare, there are established methods of decision-making that guide the decisions military leaders will make. Strategy, tactics and operations are the primary modes military leaders learn to use when waging war. This is because military leaders have numerous factors to effectively manage at once, and the circumstances of their task will shape their objectives. For example, a general in control of a large army will seek to achieve large goals, while a captain in charge of a smaller force will seek to complete smaller, more specific efforts. The task of the ultimate military commander (or military commanders) and the force under their command is to end the war after it begins. Ideally this will also include outlasting your opponents, with the ultimate goal of winning the war - though this is not always the case.
Typically, a military force will be associated with a state and its government, such as the Grand Army of the Republic, and will seek to execute the intention of that state’s governing body. However, numerous organizations exist with access or direct control over sizable armed forces that are not officially aligned with a galactic state. These can take the form of private corporations in control of armies or fleets to protect its assets, or renegade paramilitary forces dedicated to an ideal or cause, such as Saw Gerrara and his rebel cell.
Strategy is an important first step on the path to waging effective war. The concept involves the formulation of ideas on how to best deploy an entire military force in order to achieve an objective. For supreme military commanders, this objective is to retain a favourable or superior position compared to your enemy upon the conclusion of the conflict. Specifically, strategy involved the long-term planning of war, overall arrangement of available military forces, and outsmarting or fooling the enemy. Ultimately, strategy was influenced by the governing organizations or actors that controlled it.
For example, the ultimate objective of the Grand Army of the Republic was to end the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Various strategies were developed to achieve this objective. Early on during the Clone Wars, the Galactic Republic fought for control of major hyperspace routes throughout the galaxy that were vital to the war effort. An early strategy of the war was to conduct missions that attempted to either wrestle control of the hyperspace routes, or find alternate methods to maintain supply lines and transport routes.
Strategy and tactics are considered to be ideas. Specifically, they are established methods and concepts to be used during war. However, the enactment of these ideas - otherwise known as strategies or objectives - is accomplished through the creation and implementation of an operation. Operations can vary and size and scope, though they all seek to achieve specific goals. When considering an operation, a military commander must take into account numerous factors to achieve their specific goal: what means (troops and supplies, for example) are available to achieve a goal, where can conflict be waged most effectively, when can an operation be launched and how much time will it take, and what is the desired result of the operation?
Operations are unique in that they can be presented to other military leaders in a specific, linear way in order to be easily understood by as many people as possible. This is also known as an operational briefing. A commander will first seek to identify and communicate the situation that has lead to the creation of the operation in order to provide context. The situation provides context which will likely impact the goal of the operation, sometimes referred to as the mission. In order to fully explain the mission, a detailed analysis of friendly and enemy forces, the battlespace, and other relevant information will be provided. After the intelligence estimate, the desired outcome of the operation, as well as important factors to consider will be available, along with a detailed plan of organizing the military force at their disposal.
For example, the Second Battle of Geonosis was a large and complex military operation. It involved a large number of space and ground-borne troops working in tandem to achieve a specific goal. In this case, the goal of the operation was to destroy the new droid foundries on Geonosis and, if possible, capture the Geonosian leader. This operation was part of a larger objective by the Republic to degrade the Separatists ability to produce droids for their war effort.
Where strategy is the decision-making affecting an entire army and operations are the plans of action, tactics are the concepts that military forces use when they engage in direct conflict. Tactics seek to provide a military commander a method to achieve immediate effect on the battlefield. For instance, a common tactic among ground troops is to engage the enemy and attempt to attack from different angles. This tactic can be referred to as a flanking maneuver. Any military commander with the knowledge and skill necessary can use tactics they have learned in battle.
Tactics can be determined by many factors, including the weaponry and technology available, military of cultural philosophy, and other knowledge. Many tactics have not changed over thousands of years of warfare, and a common among most contemporary military forces. Assaults, ambushes, and reconnaissance are all examples of common tactics.
3.4. Other Relevant Factors
Before the detailed formulation of a battle plan can occur, there are other factors that will affect the outcome of war. Commanders must consider the environment(s) where they intend to wage war, methods of gathering intelligence or information, information and electronic warfare, logistical issues such as food and ammunition for ground troops, or manufacturing and resource requirements to repair starships.
The art of warfare is complex and nuanced, ever-changing and adapting to new technologies, beliefs, and interests. There are numerous types or classes of warfare, and an established set of methods that military commanders use to engage in war. These methods are in place to provide everyone from the lowest trooper to the highest rank officer as in-depth an understanding as possible of the tasks they will be ordered to complete during armed conflict.
It should be noted that the use of strategy, operations, and tactics is immensely important to activities outside of the domain of conflict. For example, when playing video games such as MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) or team-based strategy games (to name but a few), teamwork will inevitably be a necessity in order to access superior content and increase in rank and prestige amongst your fellow players. To be successful in these games, it should be the responsibility of the player to understand varying play styles (tactics), plans of action to defeat or overcome certain sections of the game (operations), in order to effectively win some part of the game (for example, the winning of an individual round of a strategy game, or the winning of a raid in an MMORPG).
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