We introduce the All Terrain Anti-Aircraft (AT-AA), the quick moving, four-legged, strong firepower mobile anti-aircraft walker used by the Galactic Empire. If an AT-AA has appeared on the scopes of Alliance speeder and bomber pilots, they were terrified, and bathed in icecold sweat. The Imperial All Terrain Anti Aircraft walker had prestige, and was so abhorrent, that was enough to deter Rebel forces from employing starfighters in ground-based attacks.
The Rothana Heavy Engineering started the
development of the AT-AA antiair platforms during the Clone Wars, but the design began mass production in the early days of the Galactic Empire.
The four-legged assault craft has a heavy flak pod turret, (or more often turrets) mounted on its back. The multi-ordnance pods ruled the sky with the huge amount of homing missiles fired up with a deadly accuracy, which
AT-AA missiles and charges were capable of shredding through starfighter armor or disrupting delicate aviation electronics, depending on the projectile type. The AT-AA walker also carried complex electronic counter measure devices that can scramble missile guidance systems, and with this this great AT-AA was able to defend itself, or at least to lower the risk of incoming missile from above.
But the AT-AA was helpless against any ground vehicles, due to the complete lack of defensive weaponry! For this reason, AT-AAs are rarely deployed alone. Since the AT-AA relied heavily on escorting vehicles it was never deployed all alone on the battlefield.
The Empire had the AT-AA developed and built with a low profile so the AT-AA could hide amongst the taller imperial walkers, which made them harder targets for enemy units. The Galactic Empire preferred the large, powerful, frightful vehicles, so this sort of short, and stealthy vehicle was unconventional in other Imperial army.
On most models, the only weapon was a powerful rotated flak pod turret, capable of blanketing the sky with deadly plasma charges, there was no mercy.
During the Battle of Kalaan, such AT-AA batteries protected the armored columns of imperial vehicles, and these AT-AAs guarded the air till the dozens of barges and troop transports brought airborne troopers, and vehicles for the offensive. Then they escorted them into the city, basically destroying all of the arriving defending Alliance airspeeders almost without a lost AT-AA, as it was seen in the game Star Wars: Force Commander. Other
AT-AA versions could be equipped with rocket-launching tubes. The prototype AT-AA was equipped with one rocket launcher, but the fully developed AT-AA version had three rocket-launching tubes. They launched homing missiles so quickly, that the rockets could darken the sky. In this screenshot you can see how much rockets were left - so many rockets were fired against a Rebel Alliance snowspeeder, that after it was detonated, there were remaining plenty of rockets in the air. What a waste, you may think, but never mind, the next huge amount of rockets are coming soon for the next rebel fighter, who is just realized that his
fellow pilot friend is no more. In Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds we can see these AT-AA walkers, and we can try them, too, but only if we chose the Galactic Empire in the gamestart.
The third appearance was in the game Star Wars: Empire at War, but that was not new, since the sensational Star Wars: Force Commander, and the super Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds had already maximized the benefits of this AT-AA project, so EaW decided to apply the well-known conceptions, but in a newer outfit. And we must admit looking at these pictures, they were successful, the AT-AA became beautiful, the graphic is great. EaW is a newer game, it was expected like that, and really, these anti aircrafts are really nice, and respectable indeed. This is the only Imperial siege
weapon that the Expanded Universe gave for the fans, and the only one, that appeared in all three of the major Star Wars Real-time strategy games. The troopers aboard (an AT-AA driver and the crew) wore a grey fireproof overall, and an open helmet. However they have a healing mask on their face under the helmet, which supports the fresh oxygen. They have a darkened eye visor, since the enemy pilots often attack from above with the Sun behind them, so those, who stare at them, will be blinded by the sunshine.
While playing the game Star Wars: Force Commander you can apply the AT-AA anti air walkers in almost all combat situations perfectly. The AI likes to put them on the lead of a convoy because they are cheap, (100 command point) they are perfect for shields, I mean since they appear first from the Fog of War, they often get the shots first, and the other, more expensive units can avoid damages back in the row. For example if a rebel Hover proton tank fires its torpedoes towards an AA walker, to get rid of them, and to be able to send the rebel fighters against the walkers, they wont have more torpedos to fire against the strong AT-AT-s, and AT-ST-s, who will destroy them with their great firepower for sure! In addition the imperials still have Tie fighters to deploy quickly to aid the armored vehicles, if the rebel fighters decide to towcabel the walkers, or to bomb them with Y-wings.
AT-AA trick, which I also often apply, is to use them while and after taking an enemy command center. I retreat my soldiers from the captured building, which will self-detonate itself very soon, so to prevent the enemy capturing such an important building. But they need to order an other one from the Star destroyer, since only a fully operational Command center, which is deployed
on the battlefield can request reinforcements. So that is absolutely logical, we gotta stand underneath the arriving enemy builder shuttle with some AT-AA anti air units, who will destroy it in a second! So they will have NEITHER command center NOR builder shuttle! You gotta know, that if your builder shuttle was destroyed, you have to buy the next one for 1000 money! If you have that money, (or rather command points) you can make an other futile attempt
to buy an other command center, but if you sadly notice, that the second one was also destroyed easily by AT-AA walkers, you may want to quit the mission ... Especially if the opponent has taken the nearby defender turrets, too like I did with the AI, I have its AntiAir turret which was near to his Command center, so the combined power of my AT-AAs and the AA turret makes almost impossible to fly over this designated area within some square miles even for a small bird. :-)
I have mentioned the third usage for you in the section opening article. I have written in that article, that you can select a limited number of your stored units before some
missions, in addition of those, that the AI would have given to you! But of course you have to some extra money saved from the previous mission! If there are available
AT-AA platforms in your hangar before the Battle of Hoth, and you have the
necessary funds to transport them, just simply
click on them, and put them into an empty, and available transport ship!
You need to know that these "extra" orders are cost more. I mean if an AT-AA
is 100 CP when ordered from the surface IN a mission, then it will cost 200
BEFORE mission (I think)! But it worth double! First, the ordered rookies are novices,
and without experiences. But your veterans are experienced, tested, and highly
ranked men and vehicles. Second, and that is very important, they can be sent
to battle immediately, you don't have to order them, and wait for their slow
arrival, they will arrive WITH YOU to the battleground, and instantly
available! In addition, you wont be able to order from the ground on Hoth! That means you have to win the battle only with those units, that arrived with you in the landing zone. The extra AT-AA walkers will give you a brutal advantage, they will be able to protect you AT-ATs, which will be vital during the siege of the Echo base, to disable the shield generator, and and against the AV (Anti vehicle) and AI (Anti infantry) turrets. Not to mention the rebel armored vehicles, the Hover tanks, and the Hover proton tanks, for example you can see a proton tank missile fired from the bottom right corner by a Proton tank from the dark, far, and unseen.
Anyway, every gamers can make use of the AT-AAs, I arrived in Hoth with 4 anti-air units. These vehicles are very strong, they represent the ultimate air defence and a
nightmare for all aircrafts! Just imagine those rebel snowspeeder pilots who
flew out from Echo base to tie up my walkers' leg. You can see in this screenshot, a single AT-AA can blast them all, you can still see the detonations in the air around my walkers, one snowspeeder is still towcabling my walker, but not long,
no one can challenge an AT-AA! :-)
IF YOU CLICK on an AT-AA, you'll hear the following reporting ins, and voices! Listen to the original sounds of the Force Commander
AT-AA driver in MP3!
Anti aircraft platform here.
Anti aircraft ready!
Anti-aircraft systems operational.
Ready to serve the Empire.
Right away commander!
Watching the skies!
The Emperor's will be done
IF YOU ATTACK with an AT-AA walker, you'll hear these sentences:
I got them on my scopes!
In my sights!
Missile pods targeting!
Targeting incoming aircraft!
They won't know what hit them!
We'll put them out of their misery! :-)
Take a look at my
Custom AT-AA driver figure.
Custom AT-AA driver figure front
Custom AT-AA driver figure back
Custom AT-AA driver figure
Custom AT-AA driver figure
Thanks for your attention, visit CustomStarWars frequently!
written by: Norbert
Rostas 2009. 07. 10 the figure was made years before