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While playing the Empire campaign in Star Wars: Empire at War, I've noticed that the Rebels' fleets sometimes ignore my space defenses if I only have a space station and no ships.

More specifically, I remember the Rebels were able to move some ground units to Endor, and attack my ground forces there while ignoring my space station. When playing the Rebel campaign, I was able to do the same thing to Imperial-controlled Mon Calamari.

However, I was unable to replicate this behavior for other planets, so I think it might have something to do with whether the local population helps you (both Ewoks and the locals on Mon Calamari help the Rebels).

Could anyone clarify how this works?

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Could someone create a Star Wars: Empire at War tag and add it to this question. I don't have enough reputation to do it myself. – Aviv B. Jul 26 '10 at 17:16
Sometimes people use 'EAW' to denote Star Wars: Empire at War. I also included 'steaw' and 'Star-wars-empire-at-war' just to cover the bases. – George Stocker Jul 26 '10 at 17:25
@George Thanks for creating the tags. Also, those abbreviations are quite helpful. – Aviv B. Jul 27 '10 at 1:56
up vote 4 down vote accepted

This is a special ability the Rebel faction has. You can't stop them from bypassing your space fleet. It's called a "raid fleet". It's limited in size (maximum of four, non-hero units), so they can't bring a ton of units, but they do get to go straight to the planet's surface. The Rebel single-player campaign has a pretty good introduction to their use.

As far as I know, the only defense you can mount, really, is to make sure that every important planet has sufficient forces garrisoned to defend. You can't stop them from taking you by surprise, but you can make sure your defenses are good.

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I must have not gotten to that part in the Rebel campaign. After some experimentation, I found that the max size is actually 3 units, and that they must be vehicles. – Aviv B. Jul 28 '10 at 1:43
Hmm... I know that's false. I'm regularly able to use infantry/missile troops. – Phileosophos Jul 29 '10 at 17:45
Now that I think about it, when I was on the receiving end, the Rebels used infantry in a raid. I'm not sure why I wasn't able to do it while I played. – Aviv B. Jul 30 '10 at 1:52

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