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 Post Posted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 11:15 am 
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Cardboard Leo Ace
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Are giant solid swords like the Gerbera Straight or Gouf's heat sword physically feasible for chopping up other large machines, or would they collapse under their own weight?


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 Post Posted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 12:01 pm 
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the wouldn't exactly collapse under their weight like a mecha would (as they're essentialy a long and wide steel beam) but they wouldn't chop or cut, instead they would crush whatever they hit, (ever seen a car that has hit a stobie pole? it'd be kinda like that)

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 Post Posted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 12:03 pm 
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They really aren't, I mean for one thing they'd be very heavy, and therefore be slow to swing, though MS seem to be able to swing them around just like a beam saber, which means beam sabers should be faster then they are. It's also unlikely that they'd be able to cut, they'd probably break through with their mass and velocity, which means that the suits would in general need to be moving at full speed to cause damage.

Their being sharp isn't gonna make them able to penetrate the armor, people making MS think it would for some reason, but in general they'd be useless. The only plus about the Gouf's sword was that it was heated and didn't rely on the metal alone for damage. Not sure that they'd collapse under their weight, but they'd probably do more (internal) damage to the Mobile Suit using them just from picking them up.


EDIT: It would only look like a car hitting one of those if the sword was going fast enough, which could only be done by a unit boosting at or around full speed.

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ARTHUR: Good God, that’s almost a hundred-percent!


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 Post Posted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 12:29 pm 
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While we're on the subject of swing speeds, what about swords like the Grungust Type-0's zankantou or the Seidoutou used by Tohdoh's machines in Code Geass?
Does the use of thrusters to boost swing speed seem feasible in that regard? Or is it just Rule of Cool at work again?

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 Post Posted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 12:35 pm 
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I'd say a bit of both to be honest, it'd be far to expensive to be worth making, wouldn't have much fuel capacity, and would further add to the weight and size, slowing down the mech further and making it a more noticeable target. It would however allow for higher speed without the mech needing to go at full speed.

Plus the added mass adds tot he damage as well. So a bit of both, but leaning more on the Rule of Cool side. If you're bothering with that you may as well add thrusters to bullets to give them more damage, or even just something like the Bolter from Warhammer 40k. Since a ranged weapon should nbe the main weapon and therefore be much more important.

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ARTHUR: Good God, that’s almost a hundred-percent!


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 Post Posted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:28 pm 
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RGM-79G GM Command wrote:
If you're bothering with that you may as well add thrusters to bullets to give them more damage, or even just something like the Bolter from Warhammer 40k. Since a ranged weapon should nbe the main weapon and therefore be much more important.


except that rocket propelled bullets don't actually work well at all, just look at the gyrojet

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 Post Posted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 2:25 pm 
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A physical sword covered in (or made out of) anti-beam or beam-resistant material would do wonders against a beam shield. And a beam sabre would not be able to parry such a sword (although I question how beam sabres can parry other beam sabres in the first place, but whatever), yet the physical sword could reflect the beam sabre's beam back onto itself.

Physical swords also do not require as much power as a beam sabre, although they can get damaged. The blade is also unable to be extended, whereas a beam sabre could be made longer if more power and plasma are pumped into it. A shorter blade than normal is sometimes more useful too.

I'd say that they are feasible, but probably more as a rare weapon to outfox enemy grunts not used to it than as a standard-issue item.


Last edited by Izayuukan on Wed Dec 22, 2010 2:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post Posted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 2:26 pm 
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A sword the size of a Gouf's wouldn't necessarily be unfeasible, since the size of the mobile suit and sword are proportional to one another. Think of the broadswords of the Goths or Vikings, they were heavy sure, but they were still used to great effect, and certainly weren't unwieldy.

The speed of a swing would be a factor in damage dealing but, they wouldn't have to boost to break something. Swords slice because they concentrate the force of the swing on such a small contact area of the blade. The width of the blade makes it stiff enough to prevent it from breaking or deforming under impact. The armor of the gundam or any other mobile suit wouldn't slice necessarily but, it could be crippled or broken from a normal swing from a mobile suit.

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 Post Posted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 3:42 pm 
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Edges are always useful, no mater the scale or striking surface. What you're getting from the impact is pressure: force / area. For the same force, less area means more pressure. Thats why a light sword is just as deadly as a heavy mallet. Sharper is better, but you'll be losing edge smacking hard things.

The thing thats always bugged me about physical blades in gundam, is what they're made of. If you've got a blade tough enough to tear through armor, it might be made of something that would make good armor. Maybe it is too expensive, but then you're not handing it out to every grunt either. The biggest issue for me is the heat blades. Those things must be astoundingly hot to make much difference during the cut. A blade can't afford to be half melted or too brittle either. The blade must have enough bend to survive impacts, and still be able to withstand its own heat.

Izayuukan wrote:
A physical sword covered in (or made out of) anti-beam or beam-resistant material would do wonders against a beam shield. And a beam sabre would not be able to parry such a sword (although I question how beam sabres can parry other beam sabres in the first place, but whatever), yet the physical sword could reflect the beam sabre's beam back onto itself.

Beam sabers don't work like a flare that just diffuses at the tip. They have a I-field that traps the plasma inside. Those I-fields either impact each other directly or keep the plasma so trapped that its solid enough.

The effectiveness of anti-beam coating would depend on its effect. If it dispersed minovsky particles, it probably would do what you're suggesting. If the coating acted more like a mirror or wall it would just be able to withstand impacts with the beam better.


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 Post Posted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:16 pm 
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I don't get how the heat blade doesn't warp either, since metal creep would occur at 40% of the melting point. The only thing i can think of is some kind of ceramic/metal composite. Either way, the gundam universe doesn't go into great detail and we just have to accept it.

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 Post Posted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 5:11 pm 
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Are they practical? No.

Would they scare the daylights out of an enemy who didn't know better? OF COURSE!


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 Post Posted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:27 am 
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I'm not sure what sort of material and mechanics must be used in constructing an arm to keep it from tearing apart while trying to control a swing but obviously it makes a giant robot even less feasible and by extension a giant sword for a giant robot unnecessary.


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 Post Posted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 6:29 am 
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you do not have to swing it, you could extend the sword out and fly towards the target, like most of the beam saber cuts done by kamille in his gundam mkII, or the GINN on the mobius in the opening song


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 Post Posted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:13 pm 
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That makes it pointless...might as well use a gun. A sword is supposed to be versatile and viable for movement in close ranges but what you're describing is essentially just thrusting/stabbing. If that's the only way you can use a sword it's completely unnecessary and detrimental given you have to get up close just to use it.


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 Post Posted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:51 pm 
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Just for the record, the GINN's big burly heavy sword in fact does do damage primarily because of its weight rather than sharpness, as stated in Astray R. The Gerbera Straight, being more-or-less one of those reality defying fictional katanas that cut through anything, manages to have an impossibly sharp blade despite its size. I suppose one could raise some question how ZAFT managed to have a bunch of limited production units with effective katanas with the GINN High Maneuver Type II considering how exceptional the skills required to make the Gerbera Straight are supposed to be.

I think the only other big outlier in Gundam is the Gouf Custom using a cold sword in 08th, but then again it required some significant effort to penetrate Guntanks.


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 Post Posted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 6:38 pm 
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DeltasTaii wrote:
Just for the record, the GINN's big burly heavy sword in fact does do damage primarily because of its weight rather than sharpness, as stated in Astray R.

I don't know the context, but I can't imagine they're saying a round pole of the same weight would be equally effective against normal MS.

Certainly, if its being used on a machine employing phase shift, it would be unable to penetrate the armor. As I understand it, phase shift protects the surface, and normaly does nothing for joint fatigue. In that case, it might still be able to batter the opponent around, knock them down, ect. The mass would be all that matters.

For the more general case, they could be saying they can't keep an edge sharp enough for the sword to pierce very deep with a lighter blade. This would be an issue of the mechanical limits of the GINN, how fast it can move its limbs and how strong it is. A heavier blade has more inertia at slower speeds. If the GINN isn't strong enough to force the blade through without a swing (saw through a MS?), it'd need to maximize the inertia of its swing.


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 Post Posted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 9:47 pm 
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blind_dead_mcjones wrote:
except that rocket propelled bullets don't actually work well at all, just look at the gyrojet

Actually, for what it was I'd say that it worked quite well. It just wasn't refined. Now it could have been much better then it was, no one will deny that, and it also had issues. But it showed that it could be done. Plus, in universe if they were able to make mechs practical enough for combat use, I'd say something like this would be fairly simple.

Geoxile wrote:
That makes it pointless...might as well use a gun. A sword is supposed to be versatile and viable for movement in close ranges but what you're describing is essentially just thrusting/stabbing. If that's the only way you can use a sword it's completely unnecessary and detrimental given you have to get up close just to use it.

Honestly, that is the case normally, there are few times where a melee weapon of any kind would (Or should.) be used over a firearm. Plus I'd say a knife is more versatile, though less damaging, a sword will add weight and slow down the unit using it, a knife adds some weight but not as much, and neither one is going to be all that effective anyway (Speaking on against MS and mechs only.), the lighter weight of a knife though will allow more ammo for the main weapon, provided it's a ballistic weapon along with adding less weight to the unit to slow it down. To be honest, the Gundam Hammer and the Raider's Mjolnir are probably the best (non-beam) melee weapons, they have high mass and thrusters to increase speed.

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One thing to remember is that MS are basically fully armored in plate armor, which was highly effective on swords, a mace or flail was used to damage the person through the armor and it should be fairly similar in terms of MS. So no matter how you look at it, in terms of low velocity weapons like those used in melee, mass is needed more then anything else for damage. Bullets can be small because they are high velocity projectiles, and can be configured easily for more penetration. Aside from the katanas that show up non-beam melee weapons tend to be larger, though somehow the knives seem to work rather well, at least against Dagger Ls.

To me, MS seem to basically be given melee weapons just in case they need them, infantry engagements are on average at about 150-300 meter distances using purely visual targeting (And that's before scopes like the ACOG became common!), even with whatever they have jamming long range combat, MS should still be at least two times that distance for average combat, but I'd say five or ten times are more likely. Which in turn means melee combat is less likely for MS.

Based on how few advancements there are in melee weapons (It goes to Beam Sabers and stays there, though they get more powerful as time goes on, and technically Beam Shields could be counted here.) whereas ranged weapons continue to evolve (Even non-beam ranged weapons continue to be used, though more and more limited, and get better.), this (in my mind) implies that it's not common/important enough to update, some suits don't even have melee weapons when Beam Sabers are light, cheap, and powerful. The only times that I can think of a new melee weapon being made after Beam Sabers, were the Shot Lancers (Which had a ranged weapon anyway.) and the Raider's Mjolnir (Which had very high range for a melee weapon.).

But either way, Beam Sabers seem to have made even the largest metal swords (Aside from a select few in CE.) obsolete and if they weren't enough, the large Beam Sabers like on Nu and ZZ make them even less useful. A normal Beam Saber is going to be doing more damage then a metal sword anyway, or rather it will do more damage easier/faster. I mean if it ever came to the point of needing a melee weapon on something larger then a Mobile Suit (Though that brings up the question of why you're not shooting, so I'll use the Big Zam as an example and assume Beam Rifles are standard.), a metal one would need to be very large and heavy, therefore slow or using some feature to increase the speed a lot, whereas a Beam Saber is equally effective on most targets that aren't resistant to melee beam weapons.

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Thundermuffin's TEGSD: MEYRIN: Ma’am! The Archangel has arrived and launched a giant, man-shaped robot at us! Likelihood of it being a mobile-suit… (Meyrin does some quick calculations on her console)…ninety-nine point eight percent!
ARTHUR: Good God, that’s almost a hundred-percent!


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 Post Posted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:45 am 
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i have to disagree the advantage of any type of weapon is determined by your opponents defensive technology. Example in cross bone gundam hand to hand combat was preferable because all the sides in the conflict were armed with beam shields and it was hard to do damage at range against them, the crossbones gundams specialized in melee fighting. You see it again in gundam 00 the A laws use a beam disruptor field to reduce the gundams weapon output and attack with a force armed with conventional weapons or GN partical missles. Weapons effectiveness are only as good as the advantage they give you.

Now in terms of reality i don't think a giant sword would work as well i still think it could cut but it would have to have an ultra sharp blade and be made of something as strong as gundanium in order to not break or wear down ultra fast over all till we build a working giant robot.


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 Post Posted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:03 pm 
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Max42 wrote:
i have to disagree the advantage of any type of weapon is determined by your opponents defensive technology. Example in cross bone gundam hand to hand combat was preferable because all the sides in the conflict were armed with beam shields and it was hard to do damage at range against them, the crossbones gundams specialized in melee fighting. You see it again in gundam 00 the A laws use a beam disruptor field to reduce the gundams weapon output and attack with a force armed with conventional weapons or GN partical missles. Weapons effectiveness are only as good as the advantage they give you.

Close combat was preferred mainly by the few better pilots withing the Crossbone Vanguard, everyone else tended to stay at range, beam shields work just as well (If not better due to the lower speed and lower number of possible attacks and vectors.) on a saber as they do on a ranged attack, it's also faster and easier to get out more attacks at range which means more chances to get a hit on an area not covered or to overload the beam shield. And even though they said that, most fighting was done at range anyway.

And the Crossbone units didn't really specialize at close range, their pilots just went into close range often, the Crossbone units themselves were general purpose units rather then being specialized toward melee (Or anything else, except for fighting at Jupiter.). In Victory everyone still has beam shields (Or an equivalent.) but if anything range has increased, melee is used generally only to avoid causing MS to explode.

As for your second example, that's exactly why one type of weapon never really totally replaced everything else. Like I said, most MS tend to be armed with expecting unlikely things to happen, like melee or your main weapon not working on a target. With the smaller groups they do tend to have a more limited weapon selection, though that makes sense, and in general a Beam Rifle is the "best" weapon (Any range.) around, as in it's the best weapon for that role, same as to Beam Sabers for melee. But neither was ever the only weapon used.

Max42 wrote:
Now in terms of reality i don't think a giant sword would work as well i still think it could cut but it would have to have an ultra sharp blade and be made of something as strong as gundanium in order to not break or wear down ultra fast over all till we build a working giant robot.

Thing is though that being sharp doesn't help at all on what's basically plate armor, it needs mass and high velocity, not to mention that armor should be made out of the same thing, though armor would be thicker. (If it's light and cheap enough for a sword it makes more sense for armor.) the only type of metal melee weapons that would make sense are maces, flails, or even large axes since they'd all have a lot of mass.

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Thundermuffin's TEGSD: MEYRIN: Ma’am! The Archangel has arrived and launched a giant, man-shaped robot at us! Likelihood of it being a mobile-suit… (Meyrin does some quick calculations on her console)…ninety-nine point eight percent!
ARTHUR: Good God, that’s almost a hundred-percent!


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 Post Posted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 11:19 pm 
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your forgetting that the armor of most mobile suits is not the strongest metal there is because thats EXPENSIVE usually its not that strong


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