, 10:23 AM
The magnetic tracking missiles lock onto a signature that isn't masked by the cloaking device, allowing them to home in on the target regardless of whether the device is activated or not. The only problem is that unless you have a place to fire the weapon initially, it won't know what signature to lock onto. This problem can be worked around in two ways:
1. Sith with particular skill in Force Sight, or sensitivity to such disturbances in the Force, in the CIC can alert the missile batteries when the gravity well pulls the incoming ships back into realspace. They only need a direction and range to lock the missiles on target, and since the radius of the gravity well is a known constant, the Sith only need to provide the direction of the ship they sensed. Death by science.
2. I'm pretty sure that stealth fields can't be engaged when making the jump/transition to or from hyperspace. They're a serious drain on the ship's power plant, and running them continuously during a hyperspace jump (even if it were possible, which is not known for certain) would probably burn out the systems, or put undo strain which could damage them.
So, if pulled unexpectedly from hyperspace by the gravity well there would be a delay while the stealth fields were engaged. This would provide an additional window where the Sith warships could get additional targeting information before the cloaking devices kicked in, further enhancing the missile's lock on their magnetic signatures.
As Darth Vader would put it "Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed. The ability [...] is insignificant next to the power of the Force."
Yes, back to the battle. While stealth technology will enable the droids to evade any roving patrols on their way to the Academy, and likely sneak around Storm Beasts, this doesn't eliminate the threat posed by the storms, etc. which may still enact a toll on the droids from collapsing rocks, shifting ground, gravitic tremors, and the other natural hazards of Malachor V.
But back to the battle, let's not forget what we're dealing with here. A small army of stealthed HK-50 assassin droids armed with advanced weaponry and most importantly anti-stealth technology. What this means primarily is that the Academy won't see the attack coming, nor will any sentries (if there any) and for that matter, nor will any storm beasts. So the droids and effectively move silently and safely towards the academy without encountering a single threat.
So, they get close to the Academy, possibly even up to the bridge itself, without detection by the Sith. This will give them tactical surprise, but not strategic surprise. What I mean by this is that the Academy will be on standby to defend against an invasion, but they won't know quite when it's coming.
So they'll be able to ambush the guards near the entrance, and perhaps force their way across the bridge. However, even if they reactivate their stealth fields, the Academy's defenders will know they're coming (blaster fire and explosions at the entrance aren't very ambiguous. Once the shooting starts, the Sith will man their posts). So, they try sneaking into the Academy to achieve tactical surprise again, but this is where their precious stealth fields will fail them.
The simplest techniques are often the most effective. Advanced technology can often be defeated through straightforward methods. For example, to counter enemies known to be using stealth fields, simply scatter fine powder on the floor at key chokepoints leading into the Academy and watch for footprints, then light 'em up.
This leads me to the concept of "kill zones". When you set up a defensive position, you look to create overlapping fields of fire with your emplaced weapons (turrets and repeating blasters) and to allow mutual support between your firing positions. Then you walk the enemy into a position where you can simultaneously engage them from two or more angles, creating a crossfire. Such positions are generally called "kill zones", for obvious reasons.
Droids do, in fact, wear down. Like any machine, they require routine maintenance to remain in peak functioning condition. However, by attrition, I was referring to losses incurred en route to the Academy. These losses could be from any number of environmental hazards, and remaining outside and exposed to the harsh conditions of Malachor would not be a viable position, even for droids.
Let's also remember that droids don't wear down. Attrition rates will be extremely low because they only way to stop them is to blast them to pieces, these droids won't retreat, they won't surrender. They'll keep blasting organics until the planet blows up. There is no need to get off the planet, if the attack fails, G0-T0 can just make more.
And droids, especially extremely advanced models like an HK-50, are very expensive. All that durasteel, the advanced weapons they're armed with, the electronic components, sensors, and processors which are used in their construction, all these things require money. Lots of it. So while G0-T0 can produce the HK-50's at his factory, they aren't free. In fact, they represent a significant investment.
As for the Mass Shadow Generator, there is a very real chance that Bao-Dur will be assassinated by Traya's Sith before he can determine how to reactivate the MSG and brief G0-T0's forces on it. This is also assuming that he will be willing to cooperate with G0-T0, which might take some time and persuasion.
Bao-Dur is a suspicious and introverted individual, he prefers to take matters into his own hands and has some trust issues when it comes to large organizations (Militaries and corporations in particular). He despises criminals almost as much as he hates the Mandalorians, so G0-T0 would need to be very careful in approaching Bao-Dur. Kidnapped him isn't off the table, but it would make him unlikely to cooperate with G0-T0, and he's not the type to be broken by torture or threats. He has no family or friends to blackmail him with, and is more than capable of breaking out of most restraining facilities.
Again, I also need to emphasize that there is no evidence the MSG is buried in Malachor's surface. The fact of the matter is that we don't know what it really is or looks like. So it's equally plausible that Traya could relocate or destroy it, depending on her preference.
The Heir to ChaosAdded Chapter Sixteen-- 17 APR 2013
“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” ~ George Orwell