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The Doomed Sith Empire


SpacemanR's Avatar


SpacemanR
04.11.2013 , 08:36 PM | #11
Quote: Originally Posted by BradTheImpaler View Post
Well, somebody has to hire you!

True Dat, or I can always go where the money is flowing.

Euphrosyne's Avatar


Euphrosyne
04.11.2013 , 08:38 PM | #12
Quote: Originally Posted by zzoorrzz View Post
I think the best thing to do would be to figure out where Tython is and strike with all resources against Jedi. Without them Republic would be hopeless. yoomazir said it well. Republics politicians, corruption together with democracy is something that we beat easily.
Angral tried the Tython thing already. Didn't end well.

And it's not like making the assault force larger would help things. From an operational standpoint, a major offensive directed at the world would be sort of lunatic, because of its position in the Deep Core, far from Imperial bases, and at the end of an easily closed hyperlane. Send a battle fleet toward Tython and the Republic would do the same thing the GA did to the Vong at Ebaq 9.

Also, if you think that destroying Tython will put paid to the Jedi Order, you've got another thing coming.

Fundamentally, Marr's basic plan as elaborated at the end of Chapter 4 is more or less sound, in theory. It's pretty much the only Imperial medium-term strategy that doesn't have "this is insane and stupid" written all over it. Fall back to the more important systems, stop the overextension and the bleeding, and try to bleed out the Republic in defensive battles while playing Micawber, waiting for Wunderwaffen or a major Pub disaster or the Miracle of the House of Brandenburg or something. 'Something will turn up'.

Of course, relinquishing the initiative is generally a bad thing, and given the Republic's superior resources it's very easy to see a situation where the Empire can't get it back again, and bleeds off the Pubs while still taking heavy losses of its own, the sort of attritive calculus that it is guaranteed to lose. You can get trapped in that sort of circumstance very, very easily. But the alternative is much, much worse. Marr explicitly states that he picked the slow death that at least gave the Empire a puncher's chance of maybe potentially turning things around. Leaving troops and ships in extended positions throughout the galaxy would be a disaster. Even Napoleon was smart enough to try to cut his losses with his forces deep in Russia in 1812, although he waited too late to try and his army ended up taking it on the chin anyway. Jiang Jieshi wasn't, and because of that the National Revolutionary Army was pretty much eviscerated in 1947-48 in Manchuria. In related news, Jiang's Guomindang were forced to flee the mainland for Taiwan one year later in one of the fastest reversals of fortune in the annals of human military history.

---

I have to wonder about the claims of Republic 'corruption' and 'democracy' being severe detriments to its warfighting ability. Generally speaking, the character of a regime - democratic, authoritarian, whatever - has historically not meaningfully affected military effectiveness. Institutions matter, yes, but specific military and economic institutions are what have mattered, not whether the inhabitants are "citizens" or "subjects".

There are plenty of counterexamples for this, too. Take the Second World War. Hitlerite Germany, a more or less authoritarian state, suffered from insane divisions of resources and a weakened military that was ultimately destroyed by the combined actions of the authoritarian Soviet Union and the more or less democratic United States, Commonwealth, and associated powers. Imperial Japan's authoritarianism did not aid it meaningfully against the same array of democratic and undemocratic powers. There are plenty of other examples - Rome against the Makedones and the arche Seleukeia, Israel against the Egypt of Jamal 'Abd al-Nasir, Britain against Napoleon, Venice against the Byzantine Empire, and so on.

This is not to say that democracy is a check-box that automatically guarantees a win. There are plenty of democratic states and societies that have lost wars against their ideological opponents. Athens was defeated by Sparta (the first few times, anyway). The nascent French Third Republic lost out to Prussia and its allies. America lost the War of 1812 to the slightly less democratic British. Yes, of course. The point is that ideology does not determine military power. Whether the Republic or the Empire wins this war, the victors will not be the victors because of the ideological basis of their political system.

"Corruption" is a more difficult thing to discuss. It's hard to contest the notion that the Republic does have to deal with corruption, although it's frequently more told (by people like Harron Tavus) rather than shown (e.g. by quests). It's hard for me to countenance the idea, however, that the Republic's "corruption" is a more debilitating factor than the Sith Empire's variant. The Republic's version of corruption means that perhaps supplies aren't delivered properly, or that troops are positioned to defend objectives based on nonmilitary considerations, or things like that. The Empire's version of corruption means all that as well - because no society in history has ever eradicated that kind of corruption - plus random brushfire civil wars. Even the barest glance at Dromund Kaas, the Imperial capital world, shows evidence of multiple fratricidal conflicts: Baras against Vowrawn kicking off the slave rebellion, Hadra against the rest of the Empire, Grathan against everybody, and Lord Tytonus' invasion. Corellia was even worse, with Baras, Vowrawn, Thanaton, and the SI all facing off with each other in various combinations, and those were only the major players.

So if you claim that the Republic will lose because of its "corruption", that's just selective blindness, an eye conveniently closed to the nuclear [poop] bomb of "corruption" going off on the Empire's side.

---

Of course, none of this stuff really matters; the war will end in the way that it eventually ends because the writers choose to have it play out that way, not because of specific military concerns. Militarily, it made little sense for a tiny backwater tinpot dictatorship to be able to overrun large swaths of the galaxy in the first war, but that didn't stop the writers. And if you want the Empire to win because you have a hard-on for xenocidal racist authoritarian theocratic societies based on a foundation of slavery, fictional or otherwise, then hey, that's your own affair. (Or if you think the stories are more entertaining on that side. Or whatever. You get the idea.) It's just, you know, you think the Empire should win because you like it better.
Euphrosynē (n., Greek) - "mirth, merriment"
Fanfic: Beyond Good and Evil

drfumblez's Avatar


drfumblez
04.11.2013 , 09:22 PM | #13
Quote: Originally Posted by Euphrosyne View Post
Angral tried the Tython thing already. Didn't end well.

And it's not like making the assault force larger would help things. From an operational standpoint, a major offensive directed at the world would be sort of lunatic, because of its position in the Deep Core, far from Imperial bases, and at the end of an easily closed hyperlane. Send a battle fleet toward Tython and the Republic would do the same thing the GA did to the Vong at Ebaq 9.

Also, if you think that destroying Tython will put paid to the Jedi Order, you've got another thing coming.

Fundamentally, Marr's basic plan as elaborated at the end of Chapter 4 is more or less sound, in theory. It's pretty much the only Imperial medium-term strategy that doesn't have "this is insane and stupid" written all over it. Fall back to the more important systems, stop the overextension and the bleeding, and try to bleed out the Republic in defensive battles while playing Micawber, waiting for Wunderwaffen or a major Pub disaster or the Miracle of the House of Brandenburg or something. 'Something will turn up'.

Of course, relinquishing the initiative is generally a bad thing, and given the Republic's superior resources it's very easy to see a situation where the Empire can't get it back again, and bleeds off the Pubs while still taking heavy losses of its own, the sort of attritive calculus that it is guaranteed to lose. You can get trapped in that sort of circumstance very, very easily. But the alternative is much, much worse. Marr explicitly states that he picked the slow death that at least gave the Empire a puncher's chance of maybe potentially turning things around. Leaving troops and ships in extended positions throughout the galaxy would be a disaster. Even Napoleon was smart enough to try to cut his losses with his forces deep in Russia in 1812, although he waited too late to try and his army ended up taking it on the chin anyway. Jiang Jieshi wasn't, and because of that the National Revolutionary Army was pretty much eviscerated in 1947-48 in Manchuria. In related news, Jiang's Guomindang were forced to flee the mainland for Taiwan one year later in one of the fastest reversals of fortune in the annals of human military history.

---

I have to wonder about the claims of Republic 'corruption' and 'democracy' being severe detriments to its warfighting ability. Generally speaking, the character of a regime - democratic, authoritarian, whatever - has historically not meaningfully affected military effectiveness. Institutions matter, yes, but specific military and economic institutions are what have mattered, not whether the inhabitants are "citizens" or "subjects".

There are plenty of counterexamples for this, too. Take the Second World War. Hitlerite Germany, a more or less authoritarian state, suffered from insane divisions of resources and a weakened military that was ultimately destroyed by the combined actions of the authoritarian Soviet Union and the more or less democratic United States, Commonwealth, and associated powers. Imperial Japan's authoritarianism did not aid it meaningfully against the same array of democratic and undemocratic powers. There are plenty of other examples - Rome against the Makedones and the arche Seleukeia, Israel against the Egypt of Jamal 'Abd al-Nasir, Britain against Napoleon, Venice against the Byzantine Empire, and so on.

This is not to say that democracy is a check-box that automatically guarantees a win. There are plenty of democratic states and societies that have lost wars against their ideological opponents. Athens was defeated by Sparta (the first few times, anyway). The nascent French Third Republic lost out to Prussia and its allies. America lost the War of 1812 to the slightly less democratic British. Yes, of course. The point is that ideology does not determine military power. Whether the Republic or the Empire wins this war, the victors will not be the victors because of the ideological basis of their political system.

"Corruption" is a more difficult thing to discuss. It's hard to contest the notion that the Republic does have to deal with corruption, although it's frequently more told (by people like Harron Tavus) rather than shown (e.g. by quests). It's hard for me to countenance the idea, however, that the Republic's "corruption" is a more debilitating factor than the Sith Empire's variant. The Republic's version of corruption means that perhaps supplies aren't delivered properly, or that troops are positioned to defend objectives based on nonmilitary considerations, or things like that. The Empire's version of corruption means all that as well - because no society in history has ever eradicated that kind of corruption - plus random brushfire civil wars. Even the barest glance at Dromund Kaas, the Imperial capital world, shows evidence of multiple fratricidal conflicts: Baras against Vowrawn kicking off the slave rebellion, Hadra against the rest of the Empire, Grathan against everybody, and Lord Tytonus' invasion. Corellia was even worse, with Baras, Vowrawn, Thanaton, and the SI all facing off with each other in various combinations, and those were only the major players.

So if you claim that the Republic will lose because of its "corruption", that's just selective blindness, an eye conveniently closed to the nuclear [poop] bomb of "corruption" going off on the Empire's side.

---

Of course, none of this stuff really matters; the war will end in the way that it eventually ends because the writers choose to have it play out that way, not because of specific military concerns. Militarily, it made little sense for a tiny backwater tinpot dictatorship to be able to overrun large swaths of the galaxy in the first war, but that didn't stop the writers. And if you want the Empire to win because you have a hard-on for xenocidal racist authoritarian theocratic societies based on a foundation of slavery, fictional or otherwise, then hey, that's your own affair. (Or if you think the stories are more entertaining on that side. Or whatever. You get the idea.) It's just, you know, you think the Empire should win because you like it better.
THIS.

BradTheImpaler's Avatar


BradTheImpaler
04.11.2013 , 11:00 PM | #14
Quote: Originally Posted by Euphrosyne View Post
Angral tried the Tython thing already. Didn't end well.

And it's not like making the assault force larger would help things. From an operational standpoint, a major offensive directed at the world would be sort of lunatic, because of its position in the Deep Core, far from Imperial bases, and at the end of an easily closed hyperlane. Send a battle fleet toward Tython and the Republic would do the same thing the GA did to the Vong at Ebaq 9.

Also, if you think that destroying Tython will put paid to the Jedi Order, you've got another thing coming.
Fair enough.

Quote: Originally Posted by Euphrosyne View Post
Fundamentally, Marr's basic plan as elaborated at the end of Chapter 4 is more or less sound, in theory. It's pretty much the only Imperial medium-term strategy that doesn't have "this is insane and stupid" written all over it. Fall back to the more important systems, stop the overextension and the bleeding, and try to bleed out the Republic in defensive battles while playing Micawber, waiting for Wunderwaffen or a major Pub disaster or the Miracle of the House of Brandenburg or something. 'Something will turn up'.

Of course, relinquishing the initiative is generally a bad thing, and given the Republic's superior resources it's very easy to see a situation where the Empire can't get it back again, and bleeds off the Pubs while still taking heavy losses of its own, the sort of attritive calculus that it is guaranteed to lose. You can get trapped in that sort of circumstance very, very easily. But the alternative is much, much worse. Marr explicitly states that he picked the slow death that at least gave the Empire a puncher's chance of maybe potentially turning things around. Leaving troops and ships in extended positions throughout the galaxy would be a disaster. Even Napoleon was smart enough to try to cut his losses with his forces deep in Russia in 1812, although he waited too late to try and his army ended up taking it on the chin anyway. Jiang Jieshi wasn't, and because of that the National Revolutionary Army was pretty much eviscerated in 1947-48 in Manchuria. In related news, Jiang's Guomindang were forced to flee the mainland for Taiwan one year later in one of the fastest reversals of fortune in the annals of human military history.
Yep. Overextension tends to go badly. Pretty much an open and shut case here!

---

Quote: Originally Posted by Euphrosyne View Post
I have to wonder about the claims of Republic 'corruption' and 'democracy' being severe detriments to its warfighting ability. Generally speaking, the character of a regime - democratic, authoritarian, whatever - has historically not meaningfully affected military effectiveness. Institutions matter, yes, but specific military and economic institutions are what have mattered, not whether the inhabitants are "citizens" or "subjects".

There are plenty of counterexamples for this, too. Take the Second World War. Hitlerite Germany, a more or less authoritarian state, suffered from insane divisions of resources and a weakened military that was ultimately destroyed by the combined actions of the authoritarian Soviet Union and the more or less democratic United States, Commonwealth, and associated powers. Imperial Japan's authoritarianism did not aid it meaningfully against the same array of democratic and undemocratic powers. There are plenty of other examples - Rome against the Makedones and the arche Seleukeia, Israel against the Egypt of Jamal 'Abd al-Nasir, Britain against Napoleon, Venice against the Byzantine Empire, and so on.
Well, yes, to a point. It is an issue of the availability of resources, fundamentally, and how those resources are distributed. Those kinds of factors, though, can hardly be discussed as separate from the political system in terms of the nature of the division of power in a society. That is, it's mode of organizing resources and it's ability to command commitment to goals, etc., is absolutely relevant. Part of what allowed the Empire to launch a relatively successful campaign initially was the internal division and lack of political will among elements of the (arguably itself overextended) Republic at the time. That certainly was enabled, though, by how the Republic prioritized certain worlds for their resources and political importance. As a historical example to back this up, you know your history so I'm sure you're familiar with how Lenin and the Bolsheviks took advantage of the situation in WW1 Russia. The socioeconomic or political character of Russia thus did play a role in terms of morale, among other things.

Now you might say given that last point that this is more of a point against the Empire. However, the Republic has its own internal divisions to deal with, and because it is far more bloated and less commanding of a certain degree of loyalty from its allies and its own members alike that comes with being a smaller society faced with a larger external threat. While the results of division are undoubtedly more...lethal in the Empire, they can be very crippling in the Republic, as well. I will admit, though, that we have very different ideas of what constitutes "democracy", if you take the United States as "more or less" democratic society.

Both societies have massive inequalities, economically and thus politically. But here perhaps the Republic does have a distinct advantage. Direct repression and opportunism has led to slave revolts on Dromund Kaas, the population of which is very much drawn together. In the Republic, I don't think we've seen similar mass revolts by the poor in the undercity, probably because they're busy just trying to scrounge for a living and trying not to draw the attention of various gangs or otherwise seedy groups. So on this level the Empire does seem more enabling toward rebellion by the disenfranchised, and thus in effect less repressive if not by intention, and this works to its disadvantage.
On a galactic scale, though, the greater scope of the Republic does mean more resources, but it also means that you have far flung worlds that the core, because of weaker ties, are less motivated to devote resources to defend. In the case of the Empire, the sense of strategic desperation means that every world counts.


Quote: Originally Posted by Euphrosyne View Post
This is not to say that democracy is a check-box that automatically guarantees a win. There are plenty of democratic states and societies that have lost wars against their ideological opponents. Athens was defeated by Sparta (the first few times, anyway). The nascent French Third Republic lost out to Prussia and its allies. America lost the War of 1812 to the slightly less democratic British. Yes, of course. The point is that ideology does not determine military power. Whether the Republic or the Empire wins this war, the victors will not be the victors because of the ideological basis of their political system.
Again, probably very different ideas of "democracy", but your point about resources rather than ideology being key is well-taken. If ideology does come into play, its insofar as a victory is seen as an ideological as well as military victory, which boosts morale.

Quote: Originally Posted by Euphrosyne View Post
"Corruption" is a more difficult thing to discuss. It's hard to contest the notion that the Republic does have to deal with corruption, although it's frequently more told (by people like Harron Tavus) rather than shown (e.g. by quests). It's hard for me to countenance the idea, however, that the Republic's "corruption" is a more debilitating factor than the Sith Empire's variant. The Republic's version of corruption means that perhaps supplies aren't delivered properly, or that troops are positioned to defend objectives based on nonmilitary considerations, or things like that.
Which I don't think should be so quickly dismissed. If you recall what made Revan a legend in military circles in his day---that he would tactically leave some worlds undefended to fortify others, etc., when this is systematically done for political rather than tactical purposes, then you definitely have a problem. The Senators that marched out in protest early on certainly seemed to think so!

Quote: Originally Posted by Euphrosyne View Post
The Empire's version of corruption means all that as well - because no society in history has ever eradicated that kind of corruption - plus random brushfire civil wars. Even the barest glance at Dromund Kaas, the Imperial capital world, shows evidence of multiple fratricidal conflicts: Baras against Vowrawn kicking off the slave rebellion, Hadra against the rest of the Empire, Grathan against everybody, and Lord Tytonus' invasion. Corellia was even worse, with Baras, Vowrawn, Thanaton, and the SI all facing off with each other in various combinations, and those were only the major players.



So if you claim that the Republic will lose because of its "corruption", that's just selective blindness, an eye conveniently closed to the nuclear [poop] bomb of "corruption" going off on the Empire's side.
Hard to argue with a lot of this, which is why I think the more level-headed approach of Imperial Intelligence would be better, were it possible to adopt en masse in the Empire, than the Sith approach. Keep in mind the context in which such civil war has occurred here, though. When it comes down to an immediate threat of all out war, you don't see Sith killing each other in the Jedi Temple while they're striking at Coruscant. They set aside personal ambition (or at least put it on the back burner) where it matters most of all. Yet it didn't take long when times were tough in the Republic, after the Sacking of Coruscant, for worlds to openly abandon it and their common obligations for mutual defense. Yes, "to be united by hatred is a fragile alliance at best", but while it lasts it is frightening to see for a reason.

---

Quote: Originally Posted by Euphrosyne View Post
Of course, none of this stuff really matters; the war will end in the way that it eventually ends because the writers choose to have it play out that way, not because of specific military concerns. Militarily, it made little sense for a tiny backwater tinpot dictatorship to be able to overrun large swaths of the galaxy in the first war, but that didn't stop the writers. And if you want the Empire to win because you have a hard-on for xenocidal racist authoritarian theocratic societies based on a foundation of slavery, fictional or otherwise, then hey, that's your own affair. (Or if you think the stories are more entertaining on that side. Or whatever. You get the idea.) It's just, you know, you think the Empire should win because you like it better.
I think the Empire may be significantly larger than it lets on, one way or another. After all we've seen time and again just how often Imperials can lurk right in front of the Republic's, and even the Jedi's, eyes. while they're none the wiser.

Most of why I want the Empire to win probably does have to do with the latter half of that list---I started out as an IA and when I tried to play devil's advocate for this, I made at least some sense of it in my mind. I don't think the Empire is necessarily permanently bound to xenophobia/racism, and plenty of those in Imperial Intelligence are less than fond of dark side theocracy.

I'm very far from adopting this as a political philosophy for actual/historical societies. Still, I think, in the context of Empire v. Republic, I take a Machiavellian approach of stabilizing heavy-handedness as a means to eventual democratization, rather than supporting the current Imperial model as an end in itself. That way I don't feel so bad about it. Especially since my main companion is an anarchist!

Anywho, I just felt compelled to make a reply rant since I made this thread.
In the Imperial Army, it takes more courage to retreat than to advance.

pauljc's Avatar


pauljc
04.11.2013 , 11:40 PM | #15
Part of me thinks they pretty much have to throw the Imps a bone eventually, otherwise why make them a player faction at all?

Don't give me this "you were winning for 40 years" crap. That was backstory. Ever since the real SWTOR story began the Republic has been going from triumph to triumph. Oh, but they lost Taris and Hoth, two wasteland planets nobody gives half a @%#& about. The lamest part is most class and flashpoint stories have the Republic fighting the Empire, and the Empire ALSO fighting the Empire:

Spoiler


I mean, just for the sake of the Dramatic Arc, things have to change eventually.

jovianus's Avatar


jovianus
04.12.2013 , 12:01 AM | #16
Quote: Originally Posted by drfumblez View Post
You have been winning. The Empire's been winning for the past 40 years. -__-

Sorry the Republic actually managed to turn around and stop on your winning streak, but hey, maybe if the Sith stopped stabbing each other's backs, you'd win. /shrug
Meaningless. That's back story, ie stuff that had absolutely nothing to do with anything our characters do in game.

And frankly that just makes the current situation even more nonsensical. The Empire was winning for years, they secured a peace treaty on their terms with them in the superior position..then ten years later the Republic are suddenly UNASSAILABLE WAR GODS and the Empire are a pack of drooling incompetents who couldn't find one hand with the other in the dark.

The current completely one-sided storyline has severely dampened my enthusiasm for the game. I was holding out hope for Makeb being some kind of turn around, but the fact that apparently the only thing to come of it is the Empire adapting the strategy of 'Pray for a miracle' makes me glad I didn't preorder and seriously wondering if it's worth paying even 10 bux just for another , "The Empire loses again, lol." story.

At the very least there should be a little disclaimer in character creation when you pick Empire as your faction, "Developers Note: While we have made the Empire a playable faction, please be aware that your only purpose is to lose all the time, forever. Because the the Good Guy always win. lol."

Zardac_the_Great's Avatar


Zardac_the_Great
04.12.2013 , 12:42 AM | #17
Or because the Republic has more solid economic foundations and infrastructure, along with a larger population and is better able to recover from a bloody war.

It's not surprising they lost a war after not having any enemies for 300 years. What is impressive is how quickly they were able to turn that around. As I recall the backstory, the Republic had forced a stalemate in the war, and was in the process of turning the tide when the Sith used politics to draw the home fleet away from Coruscant and sacked it, forcing the truce. If not for that, I think it entirely likely that the Republic would have eventually won the first war.

Euphrosyne's Avatar


Euphrosyne
04.12.2013 , 12:58 AM | #18
Quote: Originally Posted by BradTheImpaler View Post
Well, yes, to a point. It is an issue of the availability of resources, fundamentally, and how those resources are distributed. Those kinds of factors, though, can hardly be discussed as separate from the political system in terms of the nature of the division of power in a society. That is, it's mode of organizing resources and it's ability to command commitment to goals, etc., is absolutely relevant. Part of what allowed the Empire to launch a relatively successful campaign initially was the internal division and lack of political will among elements of the (arguably itself overextended) Republic at the time. That certainly was enabled, though, by how the Republic prioritized certain worlds for their resources and political importance. As a historical example to back this up, you know your history so I'm sure you're familiar with how Lenin and the Bolsheviks took advantage of the situation in WW1 Russia. The socioeconomic or political character of Russia thus did play a role in terms of morale, among other things.

Now you might say given that last point that this is more of a point against the Empire. However, the Republic has its own internal divisions to deal with, and because it is far more bloated and less commanding of a certain degree of loyalty from its allies and its own members alike that comes with being a smaller society faced with a larger external threat. While the results of division are undoubtedly more...lethal in the Empire, they can be very crippling in the Republic, as well. I will admit, though, that we have very different ideas of what constitutes "democracy", if you take the United States as "more or less" democratic society.

Both societies have massive inequalities, economically and thus politically. But here perhaps the Republic does have a distinct advantage. Direct repression and opportunism has led to slave revolts on Dromund Kaas, the population of which is very much drawn together. In the Republic, I don't think we've seen similar mass revolts by the poor in the undercity, probably because they're busy just trying to scrounge for a living and trying not to draw the attention of various gangs or otherwise seedy groups. So on this level the Empire does seem more enabling toward rebellion by the disenfranchised, and thus in effect less repressive if not by intention, and this works to its disadvantage.
On a galactic scale, though, the greater scope of the Republic does mean more resources, but it also means that you have far flung worlds that the core, because of weaker ties, are less motivated to devote resources to defend. In the case of the Empire, the sense of strategic desperation means that every world counts.
I think that this is largely - not totally - correct, but misdirected. My original goal was mostly to show that the Empire's supposed advantages, as described by the quoted poster, were either not there or not advantages, not to try to hold the Republic up as even comparatively ideal.

Any judgments we on the forums make about Imperial or Republic resource management, corruption, or whatnot in a quantitative sense are going to be very badly flawed on the grounds that they're going to be almost completely guesswork. We don't get hard numbers, like, ever, with respect to anything, with the almost sole exception of that "10%" number that gets thrown around in the meetings with Malgus and Regus on Ilum. All that really exists is the sentiment that the Empire is losing, and more vague statements made by Marr, Malgus, et al. In this case, it's also backed up by the physical anecdotal evidence, of the Sith - Dark Council members, key military leaders, people who command "a lot" of troops and ships - repeatedly engaging in pointless fratricide.

Same with the effects of various kinds of governance on the populace. We really don't know about the sentiments of the people in the Republic or the Empire. There's constant, simmering nonhuman/nonSith unrest directed at the Imperials, but most of it is in evidence on worlds that aren't even Imperial in the first place, and largely in direct response to specific Imperial atrocities in the second. (The so-called Flame comes to mind here.) It's also not quantitative; we don't know how indicative the issues on, say, Nar Shaddaa are of sentiment across the Empire. Similarly, one can pick up sentiment among nonhumans and/or the economically disadvantaged in the Republic that the law handles them badly, especially on Coruscant. But, again: indicative of an actual problem? Who knows?

I'm not really interested in trying to use in-game evidence to minutely compare and contrast Imperial and Republic methods of 'doing things'. (The few people who can be bothered to read this undoubtedly rolled their eyes just now.) Trying to predict the path of this fictional setting based on the information given in the game is silly. My point in my original post is more that I wanted to get other people to accept this as well.

About those details on which I disagreed with you, though. First, I'm confused as to what you're getting at by deploying the example of Lenin. The Bolsheviks won the Civil War because they possessed a central position, because their various enemies never properly coordinated with each other, and because they were able to draw on the massive industrial resources that the tsarist empire had built up in central Russia. They also possessed political stability due to the early extirpation of KomUch, the only group able to command widespread support and ideologically outflank the Leninists. I'm unsure as to how this relates to the Sith Empire. If anything, the Sith would be more akin to the White Armies: frequently divided, except by convenience, and also frequently willing to see each other as rivals to allow the enemy to squash instead of allies against a common foe. The lack of a single unifying leader upon whom all could agree also aids the comparison, given the death of the Sith Emperor's body/True Voice/whatever and the universal hatred reserved by Denikin, Yudenich, Kornilov, and so on for Kolchak. (It falls apart on other grounds; I wouldn't push the comparison very far at all. It just makes more sense than comparing the Imps to the Leninists.)
Quote: Originally Posted by BradTheImpaler
Which I don't think should be so quickly dismissed. If you recall what made Revan a legend in military circles in his day---that he would tactically leave some worlds undefended to fortify others, etc., when this is systematically done for political rather than tactical purposes, then you definitely have a problem. The Senators that marched out in protest early on certainly seemed to think so!
Perhaps, but we have no real way of knowing how relevant this even was. The fact that a sentiment exists and even that it impels people to action does not mean that it is based on facts. We know that the Republic handled the war with the Sith 'badly', whatever that's supposed to mean. And we know that the likes of Tavus considered the Republic to have compromised itself, to have become incurably corrupt, and so on. But it's hard to find actual specific instances of this meaningfully affecting actions. Even Ando Prime at least theoretically had sound military grounds, those of not throwing good money after bad, not just the front line soldiers being 'sold out' by the civilians and the REMFs (a fairly tiresome trope in and of itself, at least in my opinion).

This isn't to say that it didn't have an effect. But one should be careful about what one actually knows here, and even more careful about employing that knowledge for predictive purposes.
Quote: Originally Posted by BradTheImpaler
Hard to argue with a lot of this, which is why I think the more level-headed approach of Imperial Intelligence would be better, were it possible to adopt en masse in the Empire, than the Sith approach. Keep in mind the context in which such civil war has occurred here, though. When it comes down to an immediate threat of all out war, you don't see Sith killing each other in the Jedi Temple while they're striking at Coruscant. They set aside personal ambition (or at least put it on the back burner) where it matters most of all. Yet it didn't take long when times were tough in the Republic, after the Sacking of Coruscant, for worlds to openly abandon it and their common obligations for mutual defense. Yes, "to be united by hatred is a fragile alliance at best", but while it lasts it is frightening to see for a reason.
Maybe. But where the Sith flaw of fratricide is not only institutional, but deliberately institutional, the Republic flaw of incoherence seems to be more contingent. Looking at the litany of galactic history, even the Alsakan Conflicts can plausibly be argued to have been less about sectionalism as an end in itself and more about who would run a unified Republic. The Republic simply doesn't split up very often, and when it has done so the splits have tended to be very impermanent.

The main exception to this trend is the cold war period with the Sith Empire, and there's an obvious story reason for this independent of canonical interpretations of galactic history - providing a familiar 'cold war' environment for players, with all of its attendant tropes, to be played out in neutral and wavering locations. Its very discontinuity with galactic history is what's most interesting and, honestly, most telling.
Quote: Originally Posted by BradTheImpaler
I think the Empire may be significantly larger than it lets on, one way or another. After all we've seen time and again just how often Imperials can lurk right in front of the Republic's, and even the Jedi's, eyes. while they're none the wiser.
Hah.

But seriously speaking, a tiny stretch of space in the Outer Rim being the nucleus for a galactic superpower? Makes me a little unhappy.

If the Sith Empire had come out of the area that under Palpatine's Empire would be referred to as the Unknown Regions, I'd have a lot fewer problems with this setting. Instead, they didn't even get the entirety of Naga Sadow's old Sith Empire, plus undefined 'other territories' scattered north of the Perlemian and possibly the Tingel Arm. Not exactly a formidable slice of space. Apart from the extreme proximity to settled areas like the Tion, the Sith Empire was also supposedly cut off from the main engine of galactic technological improvement and know-how, the Core Worlds, for over a thousand years, and had to begin, furthermore, from a standing start of archaic designs that the Republic's fleets had easily bested in 5000 BBY.

Also, where did its humans come from?
Quote: Originally Posted by BradTheImpaler
Anywho, I just felt compelled to make a reply rant since I made this thread.
Sure.
Euphrosynē (n., Greek) - "mirth, merriment"
Fanfic: Beyond Good and Evil

zzoorrzz's Avatar


zzoorrzz
04.12.2013 , 02:05 AM | #19
Quote: Originally Posted by Euphrosyne View Post
Any judgments we on the forums make about Imperial or Republic resource management, corruption, or whatnot in a quantitative sense are going to be very badly flawed on the grounds that they're going to be almost completely guesswork. We don't get hard numbers, like, ever, with respect to anything...
Exactly. Also that's what gives us chance to create theories how things could be in the future, without proof of course, but it can still be fun to make things up and discuss them later. Thx for a lots of feedback btw.

Allronix's Avatar


Allronix
04.12.2013 , 02:30 AM | #20
I'm playing an Imperial character (Bounty Hunter) after playing a Republic one (Consular). I went in hoping that, by playing an Imperial class character, I'd hear their side of the story, maybe sympathize with their point of view, maybe cast a shadow on my...er, Shadow. Nope. If anything, I hate the Imperials more when I'm playing one and am so freaking glad my relationship to those idiots boils down to "you pay me."

1) Human High Culture. This originated with George Lucas. He was working with a UK crew, and UK union rules, saying a certain amount of British actors had to be in his production. Lucas is not the kind of guy who likes being told what do do, so he had his required contingent of British actors sitting at the Evil Overlord table. And having blown his makeup budget in the Mos Eisley Cantina, they were all (old, white, male) humans. When the budget increased and the EU got a catalog of fantastic species to work with, the inevitable question came up about why all the Moffs were (old, white, male) humans. Making the Emperor and his toadies believers in human supremacy was his dodge. In-universe, the most likely explanation for this is that humans and Sith Purebloods likely had the easiest time cross-breeding, the highest rate of Force Senstivity, or that the majority of the Dark Jedi that got shipped to Korriban were humans, or some of all three. However, 90% of the galaxy's sentient population is made up of other species.

Say you're a Twi'lek, or a Sullistan, or something really out there like a Verpine. Say you're not Force Sensitive, but have a real gift for engineering. In the Republic, you are not legally barred from a decent university, or a job with a corporation. You can even strike out and make your own shop. In the Empire? Your best bet is a third-rate tech job where your incompetant human boss takes credit for all your work, or tinkering away your short, miserable life in a slave camp because, even if you are a genius, you aren't the "right" species. Now, which faction are you likely to support?

2) The Empire hits hard, but can't sustain a war of attrition. The Empire has manditory conscription, meaning they can summon an army in a hurry. Their entire economy is geared for military production, meaning they have the equjipment. The Sith are lean, mean, and built exclusively for combat. On the surface? An unstoppable juggernaut.

In practice? A complete joke. The Empire probably has a smaller population (compare Dromund Kaas to Coruscant) to begin with. Making it even worse is that the typical Imperial officer's solution to anything it "throw more grunts at it and hope it goes away." A Republic officer will at least make a token request to rescue his men. the Imperial guy? Forget it. they were "just" common soldiers, anyway. So, they're already throwing away manpower they can't afford. Add that to the fact that "aliens" aren't considered good enough for anything other than slave labor, and you have more self-sabotage. The Republic has no species barrier to recruitment, and a larger population. they can afford those attrition tactics, but most choose not to. Furthermore, the single-minded focus on weaponry technology neglects other fields of science, some of which could have tactical use.

3) Imperials are too busy fighting each other to effectively fight anyone else. This starts with the Emperor and works its way down to the lowliest officer. The Emperor has no interest in the citizens or even his Darths, except to keep them fighting amongst each other as to not interfere with him. The Darths have a short and brutal life expenctancy. They hold near-absolute power, and are expected to do day-to-day ruling. Thing is, most don't know a damn thing about governing or care a whit about their lack of knowledge in that regard. Their only qualification for office is being faster and better at stabbing the guy they replaced, and then keeping one eye open for the guy who's going to want their job. And Sith only advance by killing their peers and their masters.

This trickles all the way down. A Republic soldier who frags their commander is going to end up in the stockade. The Imperial fragging his boss? Well, it's the most accepted method (just be sneaky about it, doing it openly is so gauche). Furthermore, since it really is "every man for himself," they're actively sabotaging each other for a chance to look good with their boss at their peers' expense. Add that to the tendency to throw lives away with barely a shrug, and you get fewer competent officers, fewer candidates in the common soldier ranks to become good officers, fewer and less experienced Force Users, and fewer scientists, engineers, spies, etc. The Republic also has no problem rewarding talent in the military or politics, regardless of species or origin.

4) For all of its faults, the Republic is a stable society and much more of a meritocracy than the Empire. In the Empire, the Sith Order answers to no one. there is no procedure for removing a Darth from office, aside from hoping someone stabs him. A corrupted Senator can be removed from office using existing procedures and go to jail with a suitable replacement sworn in within a day or three. In the Empire, it's unfortunately common for a renegade Darth to splinter off, form his own fief, and dare his fellows to take it back, leading to wasted time and effort. By keeping the Jedi out of political power, the chances of that happening on the Republic side are nil. The Empire's reliance on slave labor also wastes effort, as slaves won't do any more work than absolutely necessary, revolt frequently, and can sabotage the work, leading to ineffiency and delays. The only place in the Republic that comes close to an Imperial-style mess is Belsalvis. The Republic's bureaucracy is also much-reviled, but the Empire is every bit as corrupted (see above for sabotage and backstabbing as standard operating procedure). Yes, it can tie the hands of a hero, but it also limits the damage one bad apple can do. Take out the Emperor and a few senior Darths (Remember, the Warrior and Inquisitor have been on the Dark Council for WEEKS at best), and the place goes to civil war. Take out a few members of the Jedi Council and the Supreme Chancellor? Suitable replacements are quickly and quietly found while the business of the Republic continues like normal. The Republic politicians, military, and Jedi are like siblings; sure, they can squabble up a storm and make life hell for one another, but when there's a crisis, they unite in a hurry and kick the shebs of the idiot causing the crisis before resuming their squabbling.

Overall, the so-called "efficiency," "meritocracy," and "adaptability" of the Empire is a complete joke compared to the Republic of this period. The question isn't why the Empire is losing, it's how they were able to get anything done in the first place. The only reason I can find is that Revan and Exile were glued to the idiot ball, walking into a trap that could not be more obvious if it was lit up by a neon sign, and failed to leave any notes behind. The Empire hit hard while the Republic wasn't expecting it, but they caught a breather, and while the Imperials did not adapt, the Republic did.
Alylia Terel of Guild Meridius, Bergen Colony
Meridius: Offering Assistance to Friends of the Republic. World Bosses, Imperials, and Sith defeated. Datacrons procured and worlds explored.