I was watching an Infinity Battlescape stream, (it looks fun I think I’m going to play it), and I was thinking about fighter mindsets, and commander strategy,
So basically the theme is, (pilots know this), fleet commanders will regularly need to use fighters in sacrificial ways, where the fighter pilots are certainly doomed, but it takes valuable time to fight them, so they can allow the Star Destroyers more time to maneuver… Fighter pilots live their lives under a blanket of secrecy, where they don’t even know they are really at war, and they CERTAINLY don’t know how they are being used in combat, in order to maintain critical obedience when fighters are ordered to go be cannon fodder.
Fighter pilots talk about their disappearing comrades, and inherently understand the battlefield at times, leading to rather frequent battlefield defection. (so much , in fact, that the rebels bank on it, often delaying the slaughter to give defectors a chance to show their intention and avoid the battle) , A successful rebel fight shows them returning to base with more pilots than they started with, as so many imperial pilots are desperate to do anything besides sit between two batteries of turbo-lasers blasting at each-other just to be in the way.
Imperial commanders even intentionally attack their own squadrons when they feel it might happen., further fragmenting the attitudes of the imperial soldiers.
In short, just like a starcraft2 match where so many infantry need to stand their ground for the commander to survive, fighter pilots have no choice but to fly directly to their certain death, often with a long time to see it coming, in order for the Imperial commanders plan to work.
Rebels are often living in secrecy, and although many rebels die in battle, they don’t have the same victory conditions, they don’t have to take the battlefield to be successful, they merely need to manage some distraction until illicit shipments get through, or to destroy a key piece of electronics to slow down some infrastructure project that will cost the rebellion a system. They aren’t a military, just individuals within the empire trying to avoid a criminal record.
Imperials, however, are often very sympathetic to rebels, they are “just another guy” if you meet them one on one. The highest levels of leadership within the empire are a mystery to them, and they can see the faces they know are not actually in charge of the most unpopular actions the empire takes. Most of the leaders they actually see or hear from are merely regional representatives discussing tax laws or police enforcing laws. Devestating Imperial action takes place with no apparent official leader, and so many Imperial pilots and soldiers die sometimes, with no explanation as to what they are fighting for, that it starts to be attractive for pilots to just risk friendly fire to try and simply fly away from the battlefield , ditch their fighter by ejecting, and signal for a rebel pickup. Sometimes, halfway through the battle, they just attack their own commander, knowing it’s the only way they can survive.