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Which universes can Star Wars actually beat? 
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Starship Captain
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What with the new Disney canon in place and doing a severe nerfing of firepower, I can think of only a few sci-fi universes that SW could actually win against in ship-to-ship combat (not counting superweapons).

They are:
Firefly
Battlestar Galactica (new)
Babylon 5 (maybe)


Any others?


Fri May 12, 2017 1:23 am
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From what I've see, Star Wars can definitely beat Firefly. Shields may give it an edge against B5, though the Minbari stealth and the firepower of the beam weapons and the nukes may be issues for capital ships, assuming later sources don't give them better feats. However, numbers seem to favor Star Wars so I think that they should be able to pull off a win, but it will not be without cost. If properly utilized, the 500 megaton nukes should inflict devastating damage to Star Wars fleets. Nukes will also be an issue for dealing with new Battlestar Galactica, however, numbers should tell the tale for Star Wars in that scenario. Also, while I know that BSG's 50 megaton nukes were used against planets, I can't remember if such warheads were ever used against the ships, themselves. If so, then Star Wars has problems unless the Death Star comes into play. If not, though, conventional weapons and ships should be enough given Star Wars's significant numerical advantage.


Fri May 12, 2017 1:18 pm
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Starship Captain
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Has there really been no wankery in the new novels and such? I was sure there was. Murkhana comes to mind from Tarkin, a planet that suffered massive cratering and ecological catastrophe from seas being boiled away or somesuch from bombardment during the Clone Wars.


Fri May 12, 2017 11:10 pm
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The planet was bombarded, yes, but the damage was entirely to the planet's biosphere. The seas remained intact, but all animal life more complex than jellyfish in them was wiped out. If anything, a lot of the ecological damage was caused by toxins and radiation, IIRC.

EDIT: Just re-read the page. It said that it only became like that after years of orbital bombardment.


Sat May 13, 2017 12:05 am
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Starship Captain
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Here it is:

https://books.google.com/books?id=SovTC ... re&f=false


Sat May 13, 2017 1:30 am
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The crater sizes they mention in "Tarkin" suggest yields in the kiloton range. low double digit to low triple digit depending on some assumptions and what calculators you use.

To the original question:

The Expanse, since Firefly was already mentioned
Iron Sky, why not
Battlstar Galactica (1978) depending on how you feel about oBSGs firepower, fleet sizes were pretty small

Maybe some video game franchises.

Killzone
Halo, without getting all super wanky
Mass Effect might be fun, Poor kinetic protection with plasma weapons vs poor energy protection with slug throwers

For the ones already mentioned
Babylon 5, I would say depends on your scenario.

If the Empire can through its full weight against the younger races, no problem. Cripple the beacon network, blockade a world at a time Centauri style, overwhelming force when met with real resistance, and so on.

If there are still having to hold their own political situation together, then no. It would just leave them more spread out against the Rebels with actual militaries thrown in on top of it. That doesn't even involve wanky EU first ones needing to get involved.


Sat May 13, 2017 2:40 am
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Well, 350m is the necessary crater radius. We also need that as depth, since it was "impossible to tell the bomb craters from the circular repulsorlift pits that had once functioned as service areas for the Separatists' spherical core ships", which in most cases seemed to be half-buried in the ground. With a surface burst I get five megatons at http://nuclearsecrecy.com/nukemap/ to create a 330m crater radius, but it is only 500ft (a hundred and some-odd meters) deep. That calculator doesn't react to attempts to force subsurface detonations.

Also, I would pay real money to see The Expanse versus the new Battlestar Galactica. Both get whacked by the Empire, of course, with higher-g maneuvering and more powerful standard weapons besides nukes. That said, a fighter-delivered50MT device would ruin the Imperial day.


Sat May 13, 2017 10:46 am
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I wouldn't rule out higher yields, especially trying to hit the crater depth.

I found some information on buried nuclear tests.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedan_(nuclear_test)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chagan_(nuclear_test)

And some information on high explosive cratering and scaling
http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=AD0263170

The low number, double digit kiloton comes from Wong's crater calculator
The low triple digit kiloton number was an estimate based on some of this testing and looks to be low

Using the test scaling pushes up the yield to about 500 - 600 kt, but that probably won't hit the crater depth.
Your mileage may vary based on what materials and conditions you assume.


Sat May 13, 2017 2:29 pm
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Admiral
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Enterprise E wrote:
From what I've see, Star Wars can definitely beat Firefly. Shields may give it an edge against B5, though the Minbari stealth and the firepower of the beam weapons and the nukes may be issues for capital ships, assuming later sources don't give them better feats. However, numbers seem to favor Star Wars so I think that they should be able to pull off a win, but it will not be without cost. If properly utilized, the 500 megaton nukes should inflict devastating damage to Star Wars fleets. Nukes will also be an issue for dealing with new Battlestar Galactica, however, numbers should tell the tale for Star Wars in that scenario. Also, while I know that BSG's 50 megaton nukes were used against planets, I can't remember if such warheads were ever used against the ships, themselves. If so, then Star Wars has problems unless the Death Star comes into play. If not, though, conventional weapons and ships should be enough given Star Wars's significant numerical advantage.


Talking about nBSG.

Nuclear radiations could from time to time mess with the tylium's abilities to power FTL drives. Tylium is a made up element in the show that is used both for fuel, explosives such as mines and nuclear-like ordnance.
A fully armoured Battlestar could tank several nukes fired by several Basestars pounding it. It's hard to know how powerful these nukes could be. We've seen 50 KT ones fired by Cylon Raiders that seriously messed up the old, post-decomission Galactica.
Galactica as seen in the miniseries and the renewal show was shown to be a ghost of her former self.
Blood & Chrome revealed what she looked like when at full capacity (see here since the old wikia has been shut down), and she was a beast: full armour coverage, more guns and two operative and fully mechanized decks in the fighter bays.
Battlestar Pegasus' crew did take very seriously the one fired by another Raider during the holocaust on the colonies, which was probably a 50 KT one too, although during the series, the ship was seen tanking several nuclear shots from Basestars. These Cylon warships were known to carry anything from medium KT nukes to low to medium two-digits megaton nukes too.



In nBSG, Galactica was shown to have an array of nukes (many megatons per nuke considering the destruction they'd brought upon a planet, as per William0 Adama's words), but visibly not suited for ship to ship use; they were placed in silos such as those you'd find on nuclear submarines.
B&C did show a smaller Colonial warship with nuclear abilities and a capacity to fire at Basestars, although the ship had taken damage and couldn't fire the weapons so the captain had it sacrificed into the enemy's ship.


In firepower, warships seem to be even. Star Wars's heaviest warships seem to fit now in a range where their heavy weapons rain gigajoule bolts on their enemies, anything from low to high GJ. Their rate of fire seems higher than what nBSG ships ditch per second.
SW ships also rely on energy weapons to a large degree, which seem to require little to no ammunition to be stored, that for most of their heavy weapons.

Battlestars rely on heavy kinetic high-gigajoule penetrators and explosives over long-range, especially for the heavier ships, whilst the smaller ships (from not that small to much smaller) have been shown to come with a wide range of missile platforms. These weapons proved to be sufficient to damage Basestars which, in comparison, seem to be made of tissue paper; they're largely fitting the role of carriers, even if heavily armed, whilst Battlestars are multi-purpose'd "battleships".

As for fighters and bombers, Star Wars has a definitive edge when it comes to conventional weapons and shields that are relevant against such weapons.
However Colonial Vipers and Raptors carry much more potent explosives: Vipers are seen to use dialable conventional rockets that can go from simply killing a duo of Cylon Centurions and destroying a feeble prison camp's gate to literally gutting a multi-dozen meters wide asteroid into hot debris. Vipers, but above all Raptors, can be fitted with an obscene amount of nuclear missiles.
Colonial fighters would stand very little chances and would be forced to rely on missiles. Otherwise it would be ID4 all over again.


Star Wars portrays galactic powers which are simply too large, with too many redudancies to be threatened by the Twelve Colonies or even the secret Cylon Colony.

However, it all depends on how much the political entity you're interested in is ready to allot to fighting a group of worlds that are well united and coordinated.
Each Battlestar group is headed by a Battlestar battleship and its warship escorts in normal times, like a typical naval formation.

With a total of 120 Battlestar groups, plus ground defenses, this makes for a very large total fleet for such a small sector. In fact, it's a concentration of ships per world that largely surpasses anything we've seen in SW, aside from the battle above Coruscant that basically pitted the vast majority of both Republican and Confederational fleets.

Attacking the Twelve Colonies will still require the use of a significant fleet, most likely on par with what the Galactic Empire used at Endor, or even greater.
That Empire was about ten times bigger than the Republic and had an operational Death Star too at some point.
So basically, at best the 12C would be an irritating local problem against a pissed off Empire resolute in using the DS. Minus the DS, the story is quite different.
The Colonials' rather sluggish range of their FTL drives would really limit them to a defensive role. Even networked computers couldn't provide the sorts of speeds the SW forces tend to enjoy, although they seem largely due to the use of trade roads.
Against a force located in an uncharted territory, both sides would be probably be reduced to a crawl.

As for the Cylons, it's trickier. Their Colony can easily remain hidden and the Cylons would plot a lot. However, they may never build enough ships to endanger either the CIS, the Republic or the entire GE.
OTOH, the introduction of capable fighting machines on the ground during the Clone Wars would make for an interesting turn of events, since they Cylon Centurions are more than capable of using any kind of rifle and therefore blasters.
Although droids were designed to suck iirc, at suffering so many failures and waste during ground battles, the arrival of the Cylons would be rather interesting. Not only the Cylons could propose to serve the CIS, which seems eager to rely on machines, they'd also prove more efficient and probably cost nothing to the CIS since the Cylons would be making all the industrial work.
The CIS may allow the Cylons to grow in numbers by having access to greater manufactural power.
Now severely outmatched both in numbers and efficiency, Clone Troopers would be totally insufficient and even Jedi would be brought to their knees. Dooku would have a hard time keeping control of the Cylon faction, Palpatine would see his plan utterly ruined, the republic would be absolutely owned and then all the Cylons would need to do, with so many assets at their disposal, would be to turn their guns against the CIS too.
In the end, their new Basestars would have the best of both worlds, biomechanical regeneration mixed to shields, and weapons would actually be adequately balanced between energy weapons and missiles.


EDIT: SW's over reliance on very-low-blast and highly thermal beam weapons isn't going to play in favour of any SW faction.
Battlestars' ability to tank nuclear attacks from Cylon fighters gives them a high tolerance against high-power thermal weapons (nukes release their enegy within small microseconds).
Meanwhile, ISDs have recently been shown to be rather disadvantaged against sudden material stress induced by ship to ship impacts.
And even my most generous take on the CW series' battle of Ryloth has an Acclamator downed in one shot by a low KT nuclear-type of weapon.

The VS scenario doesn't disclose how the out-of-universe opposite force would be facing the Star Wars one. Generally the easier plot is just two fleets against each other. Colonials would still go down imho but it wouldn't be without incuring huge losses on the Wars side, regardless of the chosen time period.
Fully prepared fleets means the Colonials are packed with nukes, for all ranges of ships from Vipers and Raptors up to Battlestars and their escort ships, and these nukes will easily one-shot even the heaviest warsian ships.


Last edited by Mr. Oragahn on Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:00 pm
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Admiral
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Star Wars would largely dominate the human worlds from the Halo universe before any major upgrade due to several years of combat against the Covenant.

Aside from the silly wankery which was all the rage at the beginning of the series, later cutscenes provided more than enough evidence that even Covenant ships, at least the lightest warships such as corvettes, could be taken down by the firepower demonstrated by SW warships in the latest canonical material.
Sheer numbers, assuming the Empire could quickly assemble flotilla in relevant sectors, may be enough to compensate for the seemingly weaker firepower and defensive shields their ships rely on.

That said, the Forerunners were depicted in the literature as a very powerful and advanced civilization, but the final Halo game nerfed them so much that even they are not above being hurtfully bruised by a force such as the Galactic Empire.


Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:10 pm
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