Tactical Operations Briefing: Advanced Tactics

Attacking Imperial Star Destroyers

By Captain Tony "Kid" Marco, Rogue 6

Inside the Calamari Cruiser Liberty, pilots were filling the ship's main lecture hall. Today's topic was one that affected the Alliance as a whole, so many pilots were attending that many found themselves taking a place against the wall in the back of the room. There was a slight murmur as pilots talked amongst themselves, this fell silent as a young lieutenant entered the room and stood behind the podium, which everyone was facing.

The man's uniform identified him as a pilot of the famed Rogue Squadron. His eyes flickered around the room as he studied the audience, and then began to speak.

"Welcome, I am Lieutenant Tony 'Kid' Marco, also known as Rogue Six. Today I will teach you some of the best known methods of destroying the Empire's newest model of the Imperial Star Destroyer."

Kid hit a button on the podium, which triggered the holo projector to his right to display a strategic layout of an original Imperial Star Destroyer and that of an upgraded version.

"I'm sure that we are all aware that the Empire's recent upgrades to their capital ships have resulted in a great amount of Alliance fighter pilot casualties. The most dramatic change between the two models shown here is the increase in the shield radius of the newer model, which has now been extended to protect the twin shield generators on top of the destroyer's bridge." As he said this, the two displays shifted to a side view of the monstrous destroyers, and were covered by a translucent yellow color, which mapped their amount of shield coverage. "This has eliminated the most common and successful tactic that was used by our strike forces. This was to destroy the shield generators with three torpedoes each, thus taking down the ships shields leaving it open to a direct attack from warheads, lasers, and ion cannons."

Then the displays shifted to a forward view and highlighted the tip of the upgraded versions arrow shaped hull with red. "Another improvement over the old model, is the addition of a forward mounted warhead launcher. This provides the ship with a defense against incoming warheads and snub fighters. It can automatically lock on to any ship that has it targeted, and proves to be quite lethal when there are advanced concussion missiles loaded."

The display of the older model dimmed, then was retracted as the newer models display became larger. "Although we haven't had much time to perfect our methods of attacking the improved Star Destroyers, we have analyzed many reconnaissance reports and have drawn up a few useful ways to approach this new threat.

"Our strike fighters, especially Y-Wings, have had a hard time maintaining a red lock on these ships. The reason for this is the overwhelming amount of fighter escorts and the use of the Star Destroyers warhead launcher on incoming fighters. The solution to this is to launch your warheads from greater distances, this requires the use of the tactic of dumbfiring warheads. The size of the Star Destroyer makes it an easy target from distances as high as fifteen kilometers. You may want to be sure that the speed of the warhead is fast enough to hit the destroyer before it detonates.

"The dumbfire tactic also proves useful when you are protecting a mission critical craft. This will allow you to get your warheads off before the Imp. pilots, who seem to have a stricter adherence to the policy of getting a red lock on a ship before firing. After firing, at least one or two fighters, if your critical craft has no escort, should stay and take care of the incoming Imperial fighters.

"A third instance wherein to use the dumbfire tactic is when the number of fighters lost impacts the mission outcome. In these circumstances you should dumbfire your warheads, then protect any craft still firing, after all craft in a flightgroup have fired hyperspace home, if there are ships waiting to replace you."

The holo of the ISD once again turned to a distant front view, as an X-Wing appeared at a distance of five kilometers from the STD's warhead launcher.

"After all the warheads have been launched, the next step is to attack the destroyer with lasers. The worst thing to do in this situation is flying straight at the Star Destroyer, you want to take a more tactical approach.

"The safest and most time consuming method, is to attack the destroyer while in a barrel roll, firing when the STD is directly in front of you. When you want to head away from the destroyer, pull up and continue rolling away until your HUD indicates that the destroyer is no longer firing at you. If performed correctly this maneuver can get you in and out of the Star Destroyer's range without taking any hits. As I said before, when incorporating this tactic, be aware that with only one or two fighters attacking the destroyer it will take a long time to wear down it's shields."

As Kid explained this the X-Wing closed on the Star Destroyer. Once it was within two kilometers, the fighter pulled up and headed toward the destroyer's starboard side. The X-Wing began a barrel roll that took it within the turbolaser's range. The fighter got five quad shots off before pulling up and heading out in a roll that took it past the STD's port side. The readout of the Star Destroyer showed that the X-Wing's attack had only taken the shields down 3%.

"A less desirable, but much faster, way to attack an ISD with lasers is to hug it's hull while pummeling it with laser fire. You must be extremely cautious when doing so, as that one slip could send you into the destroyer's hull. You must also be weary of the laser fire that will be undoubtedly be eating away at your shields. When your shields become too low, pull out and recharge them for another pass."

Once again the X-Wing in the holo dove into the green flak of the Star Destroyer. This time when it was close to the hull the ship pulled up and began jinking along the destroyer's superstructure, while doing so the fighter sent scarlet bolts into cap ship two at a time. After getting hit a few times, the X-Wing pulled out of turbolaser's range and began to recharge it's shields.

"Once the Star Destroyer's shields fail, you can do one of three things, either disable it using a Y-Wing's ion cannons, continue attacking the hull with lasers, or you could destroy the ships warhead launcher and go inside."

The holo reshaped itself to show the X-Wing 2.5 klicks off of the Star Destroyers tip. The status of the STD was now "0% Shields". The X-Wing began to close as Kid explained the scenario.

"Now that the STD's shields are down, the X-Wing will make a few laser runs at the warhead launcher. The launcher should not take more than two or three quad shots to destroy so you will not be exposed to as much turbolaser fire as you were while taking the shields down." The X-Wing came within 1.5 klicks of the warhead launcher and began firing fire-linked shots. After two shots had made a direct hit the warhead burst into a small explosion. The X-Wing immediately pulled out of laser range and lined up with the newly created gap in the STD's hull.

"The gap in the hull allows a single fighter to fly into some of the destroyer's internal ducts, where it is protected from the external turrets and can destroy the ship from within." The fighter quickly flew through the hole in the hull and began firing shot after shot into the destroyers innards. The readout showed the destroyer's hull integrity weaken as the holo faded.

The pilot turned away from the holo to face the crowd once more. "This tactic may be shortly eliminated if the Empire decides to reinforce the destroyer's hull behind the warhead launcher. Which forces us to rely on the tactics already used to take down the ship's shields."

"Good luck to you all and may the Force be with you."