Planetary assault tactics were a crucial part of any attempt at planetary assault. According to Michael Unther, an expert on the subject, who once gave a lecture at the Duluur Sector Naval Academy, there were four important stages to any planetary assault which offered several strategic options depending on the specific situation:
- Approach: the initial approach to the planetary system, including strategies for dropping out of hyperspace.
- Orbit: the strategic placement of warships in orbit.
- Invasion: the ground battle for control of the planet; naval commanders were required to have insights into this aspect of planetary assault although it was not their responsibility.
- Control: the final stage consisted of maintaining control of the conquered planetary system. Considered by Unther to be the most important phase, some important aspects of this phase were inducing fear in the inhabitants (by threatening them into submission with orbital bombardments), gaining cultural knowledge (study the local culture and traditions to gain more knowledge about the inhabitants), and propaganda. Knowledge of the enemy allowed for designing the most effective type of propaganda. Another important aspect of propaganda was to blame acts of sabotage on resisting military forces. Thus, Imperials often blamed the Rebellion for committing terrorism and causing famines. An often successful strategy was to bring food to the inhabitants after gaining control over their planet in order to gain their sympathy and admiration.