Choose your ally!
I have an important goal with this post: verifying my RSS feed is working after messing with it all weekend.
But also, I want to know something from you. If you were going to recruit one combat-ready organization to aid you in some military goal, which would you choose: Ewoks or Stormtroopers?
Consider the Stormtrooper
It seems like it would be an obvious choice at first:
- Stormtroopers are armored battle machines with the latest weaponry.
- They can travel from planet to planet as easily as we can go from the dishwasher to the refrigerator.
- They are highly trained death merchants, and they are legion.
Wherever the Empire has a presence, that presence will take the form of bright white terminators.
Yet those of us familiar with how they perform in action have noticed some tactical misadventures. For example:
- That impressive armor has not been shown to block anything stronger than UV light.
- Unless there is a decent HUD in the helmets, peripheral vision is only something that happens to the rebels
- They ride side-by-side, not hiding their numbers
- Is there no place in the Empire where camouflage might be nice? Maybe the forest moon of Endor?
- Individual troopers might be tactical geniuses, but their command structure contains highly stupid people, starting with the Emperor.
- In all those movies, they recorded a total of one death. (I’m not counting the T.I.E. pilots — we’re talking infantry here.) And even that death was by AT-ST.
In this light, maybe it’s not a slam dunk?
Consider the Ewok
A three-foot tall teddy bear holding a spear might be a hard sell for your military campaign, even if they are 1-0 in the skirmishes we’ve seen. To convince anyone to hire them, you’ll have to do some fast talking to overcome the obvious disadvantages:
- They use spears.
- The one thing that the stormtroopers managed to kill? An ewok.
- Their tactics are effective against AT-STs in a forested area, but useless in every other conceivable situation.
- They have an unsophisticated theology.
They might be worse than simply useless in your war. They might be a hindrance. Still, we shouldn’t overlook their skills:
- They can make hang gliders. Teach them to drop grenades instead of rocks and you have a decent aerial assault upon an enemy, provided that enemy has no more than zero fighter craft.
- They can make swinging battering rams and rolling logs, effective against AT-STs and anything else that looks and acts exactly like AT-STs.
- One of them did show grief over the dead ewok. This suggests they might not be unthinking killing machines, although that may not truly be an option. Whether empathy makes someone a better or worse foot solider is a question you must ask yourself before hiring them.
- They throw a hell of a party after they win. (The stormtroopers might as well, but we have no way of knowing.) If you haven’t gotten tipsy on fermented bark juice and forbidden-danced to the Yub Nub Song, you don’t deserve to win your war.
Make your choice
Given all that, what is your vote?