AT-AT vs. Scarab: who would win? We all know these arguments. Matchups between characters from different universes are as old as time. Batman v. Superman, Captain America v. Iron Man, Superman v. Goku, etc.
Today though, I’ll be speculating on matchups between military vehicles. Specifically, I will be discussing a matchup between two very similar vehicles which are basically each other’s counterparts within their respective militaries: the AT-AT (Galactic Civil War-era) and the Type-47B “Deutoros” Scarab. But first, an explanation of each vehicle.
AT-AT (Galactic Civil War-era)
In this corner: the AT-AT!
The AT-AT (All Terrain-Armored Transport) is a quadrupedal walker used exclusively by the Galactic Empire. It measures 66 feet long from nose to rear, and stands at a colossal 74 feet tall. To put this into perspective, Carfax Tower in the UK is 74 feet tall, and it’s already taller than the 4-story buildings around it.
The AT-AT’s role is that of a breakthrough tank combined with an APC. The walker’s primary weapon is its chin-mounted heavy laser cannons, which are powerful enough to obliterate a large building the size of the shield generator on Hoth. In addition, it also has a pair of cheek-mounted medium blaster cannons for antipersonnel and light anti-vehicle work. The walker is also able to carry 40 fully armed stormtroopers plus 5 74-Z speeder bikes, allowing it to serve as an adequate APC. Lastly and surprisingly, it’s able to reach a top speed of 37 mph, which means that it’s able to keep pace with a T-72 main battle tank.
Type-47B “Deutoros” Scarab
In the other corner: the Scarab!
The Type-47B “Deutoros” Ultra-Heavy Assault Platform, more commonly called the “Scarab”, is a quadrupedal walker used by the Covenant before its dissolution. It was originally used as a mining and excavation vehicle, before the Covenant repurposed them for military use.
To be more specific, the Scarab has features of both a breakthrough tank and an APC. It’s crewed by a mass of Lekgolo worms wearing the Scarab like a giant suit of power armor. The Scarab generally measures a total of 159 feet long and 158 feet wide, and stands at an even more colossal 127 feet tall. This makes it as tall as the Vostok-K rocket that launched Yuri Gagarin into orbit.
I say generally because the Covenant did not have any sort of standardization as we know it. The result is that no 2 model of vehicles look alike. In fact, even this particular model of Scarab has 2 variants which only somewhat resemble each other.
The Scarab’s primary armament is its head-mounted focus cannon, which is able to rip apart large buildings in seconds. Secondary armament consists of its dorsal heavy plasma cannon turret, which is normally used as an AA gun, but can also be used to engage ground vehicles. In addition, the Scarab has 3 small plasma cannons for anti-infantry and anti-light vehicle work mounted around the hull: 1 on each side, and 1 facing rearwards. It can carry up to 50 troops within for security. Lastly, it has a top speed of 47 mph, meaning that it can actually outrun a M1 Abrams tank.
Now let the battle commence! Or as Michael Buffer would say:
To start with: let’s establish the situation. The two walkers are on a flat plain, out of line of sight of each other. The crews and carried troops are also of equal skill.
Considering the Scarab’s height, this means that the two walkers are at least 13.8 miles away from each other. During the Battle of Hoth, General Veers’ gunner in Blizzard One reported that the distance to the Rebel power generator was “one-seven-decimal-two-eight” just before they fired. If we assume the units to be in kilometers, then the AT-AT’s main guns have a range of at least 17.28 km.
This information tells us that the AT-AT has a longer range for its main guns than the Scarab, due to the AT-AT’s main guns being much higher off the ground than the Scarab’s. Thus, the AT-AT would be able to shoot the Scarab first assuming that it spots the Scarab first. The AT-AT could then march backwards, firing all the while, until the Scarab is brought down or one of its legs is destroyed. If even one of the Scarab’s legs is destroyed, it will be crippled and will have no chance to outflank the AT-AT before it’s destroyed as well.
However, if the Scarab spots the AT-AT first, its faster speed would allow it to close the range with the AT-AT. If the Scarab is able to outflank the AT-AT, it’d then be able to circle-strafe the AT-AT. The AT-AT would be unable to turn itself around in time to catch up, and would be helpless to stop the Scarab from hitting it with its focus cannon. Eventually, the AT-AT would be brought down, either by a shot to its neck or underbelly, or due to one of its legs giving out under the weight of fire.
If we allow the walkers’ troop complement to join in though, the battle becomes a different story. The AT-AT’s speeder bikes gives it a massive scouting advantage. Scout troopers riding speeder bikes would be able to easily spot the Scarab first, and report its position to their AT-AT. The Scarab’s security troops would be helpless to respond, since they lack their own fast recon vehicles. This small but crucial difference would allow the AT-AT to win the engagement pretty much all the time.
The only chance the Scarab’s security detachment would have is to aggressively scout far ahead of the walker, and take out any and all speeder bikes they see before they’re able to spot the Scarab. Given the sheer speed and agility of the speeder bikes though, this is a highly unlikely scenario.
If the walkers are by themselves, it’s a toss-up every time. Victory would depend on who spots the other first. However, if the carried troops are allowed to join in, then the AT-AT’s victory is virtually guaranteed. Combined arms tactics really are the best.
And as a final word, EckhartsLadder also did a video about the exact same subject. I urge you to watch his channel if you’re a fan of sci-fi universes in general.