You can find appropriate vehicle stats to whatever era you’re using in the various Saga Edition sourcebooks. The generic ones I give here can be used to plug in some holes, although many of them are closely based on stats taken from various sourcebooks to begin with. The main draw for this post is going to be the organization of armor or artillery companies, and that is going to be interesting mainly to the extent that your players are fighting an entire enemy regiment, in pieces or all at once as a massive and spectacular set piece.
First up, APCs and gunships. These are both attached one a piece to a platoon or preferably entire company of infantry in order to make them more mobile and either slightly or terribly more frightening, depending on whether it’s an APC or gunship, respectively. Getting through the DR on these things pretty much requires heavy weapons, as even a heavy blaster in the hands of a level 6 PC will only deal something on the order of 18-20 damage, barely enough to scratch the paint on one of these. At levels when regular old infantry squads are going obsolete as a threat, APCs and especially gunships can be overwhelming. A full platoon equipped with four of them (one for each squad) can take the level 8-ish threat posed by an infantry platoon and nearly double it to more in the neighborhood of level 14 or 15. I’ve seen basically two counters to these vehicles, outside of just being level 20. The first is to get a Force user in range to chuck it into a mountain, which is the point when your players will suddenly notice that Force powers are actually very close range attacks. The second is to buy tanks and/or fighters.
Speed: 10 squares
Autogun +7 (4d10)
Concussion Grenade Launcher +5 (8d6)
Speed: 12 squares
Mass Driver Missile Launchers +7 (6d10*2, 2 square)
Light Autogun +7 (3d10)
Light Autogun +7 (3d10)
Now getting into tank platoons. A tank company will be comprised of four or five tank platoons. Each platoon will contain three or four tanks. These can be mixed and matched in all kinds of ways. My standard tank platoon is two light tanks, one destroyer tank, and one heavy tank for cheaper militaries and two destroyer tanks and two heavy tanks for more top-of-the-line elite units.
Light tanks are cheap pieces of shit for the most part (APCs are about as threatening), but they’re still tanks and can make a good early-ish boss on their own (level 5 or 6 is about when a light tank becomes beatable), with only 10 DR and SR, low enough HP to be worn down in just two or three rounds by a full party’s concentrated fire, and dealing 44 damage per shot on average, which is enough to plausibly bring a PC from full health to bleeding out in one round, but with only one weapon to fire action economy will not be their friend. In platoons, light tanks can contribute their attacks to wearing down enemy tanks or enemy heavies, but they aren’t very good in an anti-personnel role, because they are not quite immune to small arms fire and their cannons can only fire on one enemy unit at a time, maybe two if they’re clumped up close enough to catch two with a full-auto burst. Light tanks are also quite fast, which means they can be used in a fast attack role alongside mechanized infantry with APCs, while being smaller, lighter, and thus less expensive than those APCs (thus answering the question “why not just bring more APCs, since they are just as good at being tanks as the light tanks are?”).
Destroyer tanks have both fantastic anti-personnel capabilities as well as very high single target damage for use as a tank hunter. It’s still not quite as high as the heavy turret of its larger cousins when fired alone, but the destroyer tank shines in its ability to fire an assload of weapons all in one go. This means on the one hand that the destroyer tank wears shields down much faster than normal, but also that it faces more resistance from DR. It can also serve as an effective light tank hunter to screen out the light armor from wearing down the heavy armor in their squad and with a pinch of luck it can take out a heavy tank – heavy and destroyer tanks on average both take five rounds to kill the other. Destroyer tanks also have the dubious distinction of being the most vulnerable of all to plucky heroes, since they have no SR to wear through like the light tank, their DR and HP are both lower than that of a heavy tank’s, and while reflexes of 19 might be high compared to the heavy tank’s +4 attack, it’s not that great compared to even a level 6 party (level 5 sergeants hit them 50% of the time, and they’re not exactly optimized). This makes destroyers a pretty good boss fight for heroes high enough level to survive the onslaught of heavy weaponry they carry, since the destroyer by itself is about half of a light/light/heavy/destroyer platoon’s firepower and yet is fragile enough to be taken out in just one or two rounds by a level 10+ party of five.
A heavy tank has the best single-shot damage of all, although its raw damage output is not as good as that of a destroyer tank. It has higher DR and HP, which means it can absorb more damage, and although the spread of its missiles is not as wide as a destroyer tank’s, the heavy tank still has enough AoE to be a pretty hard counter to infantry, especially since 6d6 missile launchers look particularly feeble in the face of 200 HP. While the destroyer goes through enemy positions like a fire through dry grass and relies on killing the enemy before it can be killed to stay alive, the heavy tank advances like a glacier, slowly pummeling infantry platoons into obliteration while having enough HP to shrug off missile launchers and mortars and enough DR that small arms fire is frequently absorbed altogether.
Speed: 10 squares
Twin Vulcan Cannons +7 (4d10*2)
Speed: 8 squares
Pintle-Mounted Autogun +5 (4d10)
Twin Vulcan Cannons +7 (4d10*2)
Heavy Missile Launcher +5 (8d6, 4 square splash)
Turret Cannon +5 (8d10)
Speed: 6 squares
Heavy Turret Cannon +4 (6d10*2, 2 square splash)
Pintle-Mounted Autogun +4 (4d10)
Missile Launcher +4 (6d6, 2-square splash)
I haven’t found a place to note it below and I probably should, but the artillery requires a full-round action to reload. It would otherwise be shockingly competitive in tank battles, capable of destroying a destroyer tank, though still losing to a heavy tank (and that’s just on average – a slightly lucky artillery piece could win against a heavy tank if it didn’t have to reload after every shot). Likewise, not depicted is its crazy-go-nuts range, which I usually explain to players as “an artillery gun’s range is ‘yes.'” An artillery piece’s role in an encounter can be as a target, being defended by its crew and probably some infantry squads. The artillery’s crew is a plain old infantry squad whose gun team has no gunner (or other specialists, if a professional squad), just riflemen and a sergeant who man the weapon itself, while the rifle team protects it. The second way I typically use artillery is as an off-map weapon firing salvos onto the battlefield, their 4-square splash of heavy damage landing on some randomly determined square within a certain area every other round. A full platoon of four artillery pieces can alternate to hit the PCs’ half of the map twice every round. It is not a fun time. You can also combine this so that the artillery are at one end of the map and the PCs and their allies have to fight through enemy defenses to take the artillery pieces and disable the enemy forces.
Speed: 4 squares
Mass-Driver Cannon +7 (7d10*2, 4-square splash)
I talked last post about hypothetically having PCs square off against an entire regiment. The sheer number of enemies involved means this is necessarily a massive, multi-session (or marathon session) battle, but as the apocalyptic climax to a war campaign, that can be acceptable. My plan is to use two infantry companies with three standard infantry platoons each, one artillery platoon each (for a total of eight guns, landing four hits on the players and their allies per round – the map will have to be big enough, and the potential target area of the artillery wide enough, that this doesn’t result in immediate obliteration, but does result in a friendly squad occasionally getting blasted apart), and one elite platoon each, one mechanized company with three mechanized infantry platoons, one armor platoon using heavy/heavy/destroyer/destroyer configuration, and one elite mechanized infantry platoon, one armor company with four standard tank platoons using light/light/heavy/destroyer configuration, and one assault company with two aerial (i.e. with gunships) infantry platoons, one elite aerial infantry platoon, and one commando platoon, plus the colonel with a supercommando squad of bodyguards.