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Hey folks, so after making a rebel tank commander character, Im trying to work out a way to play him. In the campaign im in, only 2 planets are actively fighting the empire. Both of these planets have a imperial blockade, local garrisons, and Tie fighter support on standby.

 

Anyone got any ideas on how to have tank combat in these environments and not get instantly smashed?

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Hide.

Other than that, use AT-AAs with deflector shields as your tanks.

For (semi) practical solutions, maybe the planet has an extensive underground, big enough to support tanks.

Under the conditions you outlined, it would be very hard for tanks to survive for long.

Edited by P-47 Thunderbolt

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The real issues are A: Air Support, and B: Orbital ISR and support. Logically correct those and you're free to conduct your tank battles. Fortunately there's plenty of options to cover that.

just a few ideas:

- The TIE bases can be hit by the players early on, disabling their ability to launch attacks and patrols. Even seriously reducing their numbers would be sufficient as they'd have to decide between patrols and a QRF.

- Blockades are expensive. You can't just park a single Star Destroyer in orbit and call it good. You need fighter patrols, sensor buoys, support ships, and so on to make it work. The Empire will look for alternatives to avoid dedicating that kind of resources for long. If the planet has only one known hyperroute to it, stationing an Interdictor and a light cruiser or two along that route would do the job. With the big ships out of the way, orbiting ISR and support would no longer be as big a concern.

- Airborne repulsor use can have technical issues. Perhaps the planet has unusually high ionization in the atmosphere causing repulsors to build up an internal charge and overload, thus preventing repulsorcraft from operating more than an hour without some way to discharge that charge. Ground vehicles can run a simple dragged grounding device down and discharge on the move, but aircraft need to land roughly every hour to discharge or they'll start taking damage. This allows ships to still move surface to orbit, but prevents most air support from functioning beyond a certain range of their base. Is ionization naturally occurring? Maybe it's Seasonal? Perhaps it's artificially generated by the players somehow?

- Usually the way armies keep aircraft away is with air defenses. A Speeder Truck with a mounted Concussion Missile Launcher is movable, a handful can cover a large area, and the missiles are powerful enough that TIEs won't want to risk operating in the same space as them. Close-in the venerable Missile Tube can be either mounted on a vehicle or man portable. While not the most powerful weapon in the game, it's enough to 1-shot a minion controlled TIE with ease. and of course Autoblasters and light blaster cannons can mount on a landspeeder with ease.

- Support takes time. Even a prepped airborne QRF is going to take 30 mins to an a hour to spin up and get moving, and then you've got travel time. If your tank battles go fast enough you can be done, gone, and under cover before the TIEs even arrive.

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11 hours ago, Ghostofman said:

The real issues are A: Air Support, and B: Orbital ISR and support. Logically correct those and you're free to conduct your tank battles. Fortunately there's plenty of options to cover that.

just a few ideas:

- The TIE bases can be hit by the players early on, disabling their ability to launch attacks and patrols. Even seriously reducing their numbers would be sufficient as they'd have to decide between patrols and a QRF.

- Blockades are expensive. You can't just park a single Star Destroyer in orbit and call it good. You need fighter patrols, sensor buoys, support ships, and so on to make it work. The Empire will look for alternatives to avoid dedicating that kind of resources for long. If the planet has only one known hyperroute to it, stationing an Interdictor and a light cruiser or two along that route would do the job. With the big ships out of the way, orbiting ISR and support would no longer be as big a concern.

- Airborne repulsor use can have technical issues. Perhaps the planet has unusually high ionization in the atmosphere causing repulsors to build up an internal charge and overload, thus preventing repulsorcraft from operating more than an hour without some way to discharge that charge. Ground vehicles can run a simple dragged grounding device down and discharge on the move, but aircraft need to land roughly every hour to discharge or they'll start taking damage. This allows ships to still move surface to orbit, but prevents most air support from functioning beyond a certain range of their base. Is ionization naturally occurring? Maybe it's Seasonal? Perhaps it's artificially generated by the players somehow?

- Usually the way armies keep aircraft away is with air defenses. A Speeder Truck with a mounted Concussion Missile Launcher is movable, a handful can cover a large area, and the missiles are powerful enough that TIEs won't want to risk operating in the same space as them. Close-in the venerable Missile Tube can be either mounted on a vehicle or man portable. While not the most powerful weapon in the game, it's enough to 1-shot a minion controlled TIE with ease. and of course Autoblasters and light blaster cannons can mount on a landspeeder with ease.

- Support takes time. Even a prepped airborne QRF is going to take 30 mins to an a hour to spin up and get moving, and then you've got travel time. If your tank battles go fast enough you can be done, gone, and under cover before the TIEs even arrive.

I think you are mistaking me for the GM, Im a player in a greater westmarches campaign.

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5 minutes ago, Samuel Richard said:

I think you are mistaking me for the GM, Im a player in a greater westmarches campaign.

Most of my advice could still apply...

- Hit the ground based TIE bases first to prevent them from being able to hit you.

- Set up air defenses.

- Hit the blockade, or come up with a way to reroute them.

- Don't sit around, hit your target and GTFO before the TIES show up.

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Make it a stealth tank. There are a number of attachments in Cyphers and Masks which could help with this: holographic shell (disguise); hush kit (muffle engine noise); retractable weapon system; sensor shunt (passive signature stealth).

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Also thinking about it some more, Sensors in Star Wars aren't as powerful as you see in other Sci-fi like Trek. A Star Destroyer typically can't easily locate a group of speeders moving around on a planet's surface, and they rely more on things like local patrols, scout teams, probe droids and the like over orbital sensors, satellites, and ships. 

Brining that up with the GM might give you both more to work with. The GM can have entire encounters, modular encounter, and adventure threads based around knocking out sensor masts, avoiding or neutralizing patrols and droids, and hitting Imperial FOBs and logistics bases to hinder their ability to track and engage you. 

Also worth mentioning is ye olde WEG book Rules of Engagement which features bases and some chatter about a rebel base on the planet Nishr that caters to an armor unit.

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Well I AM a GM and my group of players are Special Ops types who also deal with similar issues.

As a Tank driver you're not (right now) looking to get involved in a set piece battle with Imperial Ground troops.

Even if you're running around in a . . . tank, you need to still employ Strike and Fade tactics.  Just like the fighter jocks.

Step 1: Find a secret base.

Step 2: Get some tanks to the Secret Base.

Step 3: Find a ship that can quickly transport Tanks from the Secret Base to an attack zone.

Step 4:  Make friends with some Fighter Jocks who can cover you from the Aero/Space angle.

Step 5:  Find missions where you sneak a tank into a lightly defended area and then wreack havoc!

Step 6:  Be prepared to abandon your tanks!  You can probably sneak your way off planet . . . but you may need to abandon those tanks.

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Also dont forgot how useful camouflage is, especially in regards to fooling enemy airborne assets. Star wars isn't as heavy on sensors as  other sci-fi universes. So it would probably be a good start to look up WWII tank tactics, camouflage use, and making a perfectly functional tank look nothing more then battlefield wreckage (think Fury, but it was also a tactic used by German TDs to fool planes, and infantry).

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On 12/2/2019 at 12:52 PM, Samuel Richard said:

Good news folks, a second front has opened up on a different ice planet. And we have limited air superiority in places! I mean everyone is also starving but we will get to that later.

That just means you've got to step up raids on the local imperial supply lines

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