Combat Tactics 101: Land Vehicles

Introduction

In this course, you will be taught many different things about the application of vehicles in combat situations. You will see different vehicles and armor that will help towards your understanding of combat - how each armor and vehicle has its own unique design, their advantages and what problems you may encounter. Overall, this will make you look into what type of vehicle suits you in different situations and give you a better understanding of what can tip the balance in combat.

Common wisdom holds that the commander with the better equipped men win a fight, but is this true? Overall, the best way to succeed on the field of combat is to know what type of vehicle suits the type of battlefield or situation that it will be going into.

Transport Vehicles

The best way to be able to transport men around the battlefield is by using armored transports. The primary benefit to this is the fact that a vehicle moves faster than infantrymen, getting your troops to the battlefield in a more timely fashion as well as being safer en route. Most think of these as being the massive walkers the Empire used known as AT-ATs, but in fact they come in all different sizes. Any student of ground combat must remember that vehicles have limitations such as the types of terrain they can traverse as well as the amount of passengers they can carry.

All Terrain Armored Transport (AT-AT)

AT AT

  • Manufacturer: Kuat Drive Yards
  • Roles:
    • Armored walker
    • Mechanized infantry
    • Self-propelled artillery
    • Troop transport
  • Length: 20 meters
  • Height: 23 meters
  • Speed: 60 km/h
  • Crew: Pilot, co-pilot/gunner, commander
  • Troop Capacity : 40 Stormtroopers

Weapons:

  • 2 medium repeating blasters
  • 2 fire-linked laser cannons

In designing its primary ground assault vehicles, the Empire knew that fear and superstition would play a large part in destroying the morale of those who might oppose its ground forces. To this end, Palpatine approved a series of vehicles that resembled, more than anything else, massive beasts that dwarfed any repulsorlifts or crawlers in use by the worlds of the Old Republic. Assembled at the Kuat Drive Yards to exacting specifications, the AT-AT is the largest of the walker designs and can perform equally well in desert, forest, or snow conditions. These impressive metal behemoths move along at a surprisingly rapid and unstoppable rate, crushing anything and everything in their path beneath their massive durasteel feet. The great height from which it is controlled allows the AT-AT crew to see over obstacles that might hamper other vehicles, such as trees or low buildings. The AT-AT's head section is connected to the main body by a flexible armored tunnel resembling a neck, and this flexibility permits the control cockpit to swing from side to side and up and down as if the beast were peering around for its victims. The standard crew consists of an AT-AT commander, a pilot and a co-pilot, who is primarily responsible for weapons. AT-AT walkers load and drop the troops they carry by 'kneeling' to allow the use of a ramp in the main body. In this way, battle ready stormtroopers hit the ground running, weapons drawn, initially shielded from enemy fire by the massive bulk of the walker above and around them. Depending on the internal configuration, the AT-AT could also carry smaller vehicles like speeder bikes and up to two All Terrain Scout Transports.

A6 Juggernaut (Heavy Assault Vehicle)

  • Manufacturer: Kuat Drive Yards
  • Roles:
    • Armor
    • Troop Transport
  • Length: 49.4 meters
  • Height: 30.4 meters
  • Speed: 160 km/h
  • Crew: 12 pilots, 8 gunners
  • Troop Capacity: 50-300

Weapons:

  • 1 heavy laser cannon turret
  • 1 rapid repeating laser cannon
  • 2 medium anti-personnel laser cannons
  • 2 twin blaster cannons
  • 2 rocket/grenade launchers

The A6 Juggernaut model is twice as large as its predecessor, measuring 30.4 meters in height and 49.4 meters in length. Its interior space was greatly increased to allow for up to three hundred troopers and equipment, a complement of close support craft like speeder bikes and light airspeeders, or a mix of each. A combination of twelve crew members were required to pilot and control the massive vehicle, although with an automation package that requirement could be reduced to two. With thicker, thermally superconducting armor (capable of absorbing enemy fire and dispersing heat over a wide area) and a heavier load, the A6 Juggernaut could only achieve 160 kilometers per hour, and the turning issues of the A5 model were magnified with the A6. The slowness required for negotiating turns encouraged the A6's use on open terrain rather than urban battlefields. Against an unshielded target, a Juggernaut could deliver the heat of a nuclear bomb into a small area. From a small pod above the vehicle's back, a spotter kept lookout for enemy forces. Though this vantage point provided a great field of view, the exposed pod was an easy target for hostile troops. This observation mast could be retracted when not in use. The A6 model saw its heaviest use in service of the Galactic Republic during the Clone Wars. After the Clone Wars, the Imperial Army developed sleeker and more versatile combat vehicles. The various Juggernaut models were gradually phased out and during the Galactic Civil War, they primarily served on battlefronts in the Outer Rim. Some fell into the hands of the Rebel Alliance. Later-generation AT-ATs would borrow certain design-elements from the Juggernauts.

Multi-Troop Transport (MTT)

  • Manufacturer: Trade Federation
  • Roles:
    • Troop transport (droids)
  • Length: 35.94 meters
  • Speed: Unknown
  • Crew: 2
  • Troop Capacity: 112 B1 battle droids or 12 B2 super battle droids

Weapons:

  • 2 double blaster cannons

The Multi-Troop Transport (MTT) was a heavily armored repulsorlift transport vehicle used by both the Trade Federation and the Confederacy of Independent Systems to transport their B1 battle droids before and during the Clone Wars. During the Clone Wars, it was also used to transport B2 super battle droids. This vehicle was originally designed by Baktoid Armor Workshop as a modified cargo pod. Its reactor and main engines were in the rear, in classic Baktoid style. The MTT could carry 112 armed battle droids in a hydraulically powered deployment rack. This rack extended out from the frontal hatch, allowing the cargo to be deployed directly into combat if needed. The rack was also detachable.

The MTT's front was reinforced and studded with case-hardened metal alloy studs and was designed to smash through obstacles to reach its destination. With heavy armor and weaponry, the strongest Baktoid had ever made, this made the MTT almost unstoppable.

The MTT's control room was staffed by an OOM pilot battle droid and a droid gunner/engineer. It was armed with only a quartet of 17kv anti-personnel blaster cannons mounted in two ball turrets.

After the Battle of Naboo, it became clear that the MTTs deployed too slowly. Further models employed during the Clone Wars, including the ones used during the Battle of Muunilinst, deployed soldiers in standing and battle-ready position, four units at a time, allowing for immediate deployment of droids efficiently and reducing vulnerability. Some were also repainted in Separatist colors and retrofitted with new racks that could carry 12 super battle droids.

Tanks

During a battle, tanks are used to break-through most of an opponent's' heavily fortified positions. The commander’s dilemma, however, is just like a transport: selecting the correct tank that will best suit the current situation and what their advantages, armaments, and overall versatility are.

Armoured Assault Tank (AAT)

AAT

  • Manufacturer: Trade Federation/IDMR (Imperial Department of Military Research)

  • Roles:

    • Light artillery
    • Combat support
    • Combat tank
  • Length: 9.19 meters

  • Speed: 55 km/h

  • Crew: Pilot, gunner, commander

Weapons:

  • 1 heavy laser cannon
  • 2 lateral range-finding lasers
  • 2 lateral antipersonnel lasers
  • 6 energy shell projectile launchers

The AAT, or Armored Assault Tank, was the backbone of the forces of the Trade Federation, eventually folding into the droid armies of the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Eventually, these were later used by the Rebel Alliance, and even the Galactic Empire, in small numbers.

As a heavy assault tank, it sported thick frontal armor that gave it the ability to crush almost any obstacle that was in its path. Its repulsorlift systems further gave it the ability to traverse almost any kind of terrain. Finally, its armament was highly balanced, consisting of an anti-tank heavy laser cannon, two light laser cannons for anti-infantry work as well as six projectile launchers along the lower hull to deal with all manner of threats.

While well-balanced and generally a versatile assault vehicle, droid crews had the rather telling weakness of electromagnetic pulse weaponry, as well as its weaker side and rear armour being vulnerable to infantry-carried anti-vehicle weaponry such as missile launchers.

2-M Saber-class Repulsor

  • Manufacturer: Rothana Heavy Engineering
  • Roles:
    • Heavy cavalry
  • Speed: 40 km/h
  • Crew: Pilot, navigator, gunner
  • Troop Capacity: N/A

Weapons:

  • 1 anti-infantry laser cannon
  • 1 medium laser cannon turret
  • 2 concussion missile launchers

One of the fastest assault vehicles used by the Galactic Empire, and later the Imperial Remnant, was the 2-M Saber-class Repulsor tank. Unlike common walkers or land speeders, this repulsor lift tank was very maneuverable and easy to handle. It could be modified for various missions, but always had a considerable about of firepower. Like the earlier TX-130S and TX-130T tank models, the 2-M tank was outfitted with deflector shields. The tank itself was an upgraded version of the TX-130 Saber-class fighter tank, and was designed to counteract Rebel deployment of the T2-B repulsor tank. Despite the 2-M's tactical advantage over the Rebel T2-B, their expense and periods of long maintenance led to limited use during the Galactic Civil War.

T2-B Repulsor

  • Manufacturer: Yutrane-Trackata
  • Roles:
    • Reconnaissance
    • Anti-infantry
  • Speed: 80 km/h
  • Crew: Pilot, navigator, gunner
  • Troop Capacity: N/A

Weapons:

  • 1 quad light blaster cannon

The T2-B tank was originally used by the Rebel Alliance in the Galactic Civil War. As a repulsortank, the T2-B had the effectiveness of being all-terrain, including being able to travel over water. This, coupled with an advanced sensor package, made it ideal for scouting missions. To complement this, it is lightly armed, equipped only with a quad light blaster cannon; this made it highly effective against infantry but not so against heavily armored vehicles. Its first deployment was during the Galactic Civil War by the Rebel Alliance, who stole the plans from the Empire before they had a chance to use them. These plans were stolen during a raid on an Aridus manufacturing plant, along with those of the T4-B heavy battle tank.

Ultra-Light Assault Vehicle (ULAV)

  • Manufacturer: Sienar Fleet Systems
  • Roles:
    • Light assault vehicle
  • Length: 7 meters
  • Speed: 400 km/h
  • Crew: Pilot, gunner
  • Troop Capacity: N/A

Weapons:

  • 1 twin light laser cannon
  • 1 concussion grenade launcher
  • 1 medium blaster cannon

The Ultra-Light Assault Vehicle (ULAV) was a tiny landspeeder used early in the years of the Galactic Empire. They were eventually phased out due to a perceived "lack of intimidation" in their enemies, and were put into storage on Hifflis for possible later use. Due to raids on Imperial outposts, the Rebel Alliance soon gained a great number of these tiny speeders. With their great speed and agility, the ULAVs had an advantage in dodging most forms of artillery. The prestigious Raithal Academy included training simulations of attacking Rebel ULAVs to hone the abilities of its AT-AT pilots.

Although classified as a landspeeder, the ULAV qualifies as a tank because of its armored design.

Walkers

These vehicles are normally seen scouting. They hold little in the form of armaments, but can be hard targets to take down. These walkers are normally seen at the very front of the lines.

All-Terrain Scout Transport (AT-ST)

  • Manufacturer: Kuat Drive Yards
  • Roles:
    • Heavy cavalry
    • Reconnaissance
  • Height: 8.6 meters
  • Speed: 90 km/h
  • Crew: Pilot, gunner
  • Troop Capacity: N/A

Weapons:

  • 1 MS-4 twin blaster cannon
  • 1 light E-Web blaster cannon
  • 1 concussion grenade launcher

The All-Terrain Scout Transport is a relatively lightweight vehicle and a vital component of the Imperial ground forces due to its speed, maneuverability, and precise weaponry. A pilot and gunner, who enter the command pod via a small hatch on the topside of the armored module, man each scout walker. The scout walker was designed to protect and support the ground troops and guard the flank and vulnerable underbelly of the AT-AT walkers. Unfortunately, the scout walker has one major limitation: the vehicle's gyro balance system is highly susceptible to damage. There are many variations of the AT-ST that can be used depending on the mission and area of deployment. A few examples are the All Terrain Kashyyyk Transport which have big weapon-mounts fitted to the upper portion of each leg and are best suited for guerrilla warfare, as well as the All Terrain Riot Control Transport which sported additional weaponry and an open cockpit.

All Terrain Tactical Enforcer (AT-TE)

AT-TE

  • Manufacturer: Rothana Heavy Engineering
  • Roles:
    • Armor
    • Troop transport
    • Medium artillery
  • Length: 20.2 meters
  • Speed: 60 km/h
  • Crew: 1 pilot, 3 gunners
  • Troop Capacity: 20

Weapons:

  • 6 Laser cannon turrets
  • 1 mass driver cannon

The All Terrain Tactical Enforcer, or AT-TE, was an assault walker developed for the burgeoning Grand Army of the Republic at the onset of the Clone Wars. As the premier assault vehicle of the Republic military, it served multiple purposes: heavy assault, command as well as troop transport. Its primary armament consisted of a mass driver cannon, akin to a railgun, as well as six laser cannons placed around the vehicle to cover firing arcs otherwise inaccessible to the mass driver cannon. At the rear of the vehicle was a large loading door for offloading passengers as well as speeder bikes.

With its ability to handle all manner of environments, including zero-g in outer space as demonstrated by the 501st Legion, this walker served with distinction across every battlefield. With countless numbers of the AT-TE, the Republic found great use of them against the Confederacy of Independent Systems, which were eventually absorbed into use by the Galactic Empire. Thanks to the success of this walker, Rothana Heavy Engineering found many contracts for other vehicles by the Galactic Republic, spearheading their drive to develop many more kinds of walker-type vehicles as well as cementing their position as the prime developer of ground-based hardware for the Republic.

All-Terrain Personal Transport (AT-PT)

AT PT

  • Manufacturer: Kuat Drive Yards
  • Roles:
    • Heavy cavalry
    • Strike mech
  • Length: 4 meters
  • Height: 3 meters
  • Speed: 60 km/h
  • Crew: Pilot
  • Troop Capacity: 1

Weapons:

  • 1 heavy twin blaster cannon
  • 1 concussion grenade launcher

The All-Terrain Personal Transport (AT-PT) was an experimental single-person walker originally designed by the Galactic Republic. It was meant to turn a single soldier into a heavily armed force that could take on and defeat an entire squad of troops. The AT-PT project was initially cancelled by the Galactic Republic but later put into full production for the Imperial Remnant. The AT-PT does impressively well against conventional ground forces. The Project designers developed the walker to be used for open ground, shallow water, jungle, mountain terrain and urban areas. The independently adjusting Leg Suspension System allows this vehicle to scramble over inclines and obstacles that would normally block repulsorlift and treaded vehicles. The Drive Legs can be extended upward for high-speed movement or to give the pilot a much superior observation position, or the opposite can be done where the walker is put into a "half-crouch" position for superior balance. Small side hatches allow access. The command pod is equipped with a primitive sensor system for navigation and also houses the Main Drive Unit.

Self-Propelled Heavy Artillery (SPHA)

  • Manufacturer: Rothana Heavy Engineering
  • Roles:
    • Self-propelled artillery
  • Length: 140.2 meters
  • Speed: 35 km/h
  • Crew: 30

Weapons:

  • 1 modular weapons mount

The Self-Propelled Heavy Artillery (SPHA) was a multipurpose heavy vehicle designed by Rothana Heavy Engineering, the designers of the highly successful AT-TE. Created to serve as a modular artillery piece, it could be deployed on the battlefield only by spacefaring vessels due to the sheer size of the walker.

Its primary armament was the well-used and very prominent turbolaser (SPHA-T), which saw use at the Battle of Geonosis to sink the command modules of a number of Lucrehulk-class vessels. However, with a modular mount, it could be used to equip other weapons such as ion cannons and concussion missile launchers. To counter this, the walker's design necessitated heavy frontal armour and multiple legs in order to stabilise the bulk of the vehicle, making it slow and cumbersome, as well as needing to reposition itself in order to change firing angle. However, the sheer power of its equipped weapons made it a fearsome artillery piece throughout the Clone Wars, even being used aboard Venator-class starships as anti-capital ship weaponry.

To serve as close-in defense, the SPHA maintained an onboard contingent of thirty clone troopers, deployed via dorsal hatch. These troopers would then provide the anti-personnel defense of the vehicle, which would otherwise be vulnerable to infantry-carried anti-vehicle weaponry.

All Terrain Recon Transport (AT-RT)

ATRT

  • Manufacturer: Kuat Drive Yards
  • Roles:
    • Cavalry
    • Reconnaissance
  • Height : 3.2 meters
  • Speed: 90 km/h
  • Crew: Pilot

Weapons:

  • 1 laser cannon
  • 1 mortar launcher

The light construction of the All Terrain-Recon Transport makes it vulnerable against heavy weapons. Normally seen in scouting packs or used for police support, they saw some use in the Imperial Army. Some modified AT-RT's were also used by the Rebels, who painted them with camouflage to blend into the surroundings, and often replaced the massive repeating laser cannon with a floodlight.

All Terrain Attack Pod (AT-AP)

  • Manufacturer: Kuat Drive Yards
  • Roles:
    • Armor
    • Scout
    • Self-propelled artillery
  • Height: 11 meters
  • Speed: 60 km/h
  • Crew: Pilot, 2 gunners
  • Troop Capacity: N/A

Weapons:

  • 1 heavy projectile launcher
  • 1 heavy blaster cannon
  • 1 medium laser cannon

Originating during the Clone War era, commanders realized they had a need for a different type of armored walker on the battlefield. One of their new designs was the AT-AP walker. Although armored, the AT-AP was too weak to be utilized on its own. It would normally be in gun batteries, but these would have to be protected by some form of tank on the battlefield. The AT-AP artillery was used in the war as an artillery weapon. They proved effective for defending cities as well as launching barrages in preparation for assaults on separatists fortifications during the time of the Outer Rim Sieges. They also fell into the hands of Pirates and the Hutts, which lead to skirmishes against the Imperial or Rebels using the AT-APs on the front lines.

Speeders

74-Z Speeder Bike

Speeder

  • Manufacturer: Aratech Repulsor Company
  • Roles:
    • Cavalry
    • Reconnaissance
    • Motorized Infantry
  • Length: 5 meters
  • Speed: 500 km/h
  • Crew: Pilot
  • Troop Capacity: N/A

Weapons:

  • 1 light blaster cannon

This speeder bike was used by the Galactic Republic first during the time of the Clone Wars, along with another speeder known as the BARC Speeder. During the Galactic Civil War, both sides utilized this speeder, though the Aratech Company supplied the vehicles to Imperial forces.

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