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 Post Posted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 2:36 am 
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To those people talking about plate armour, you should know that historically a full suit of plate armour weighed around 20kg. Still light enough to run in and even swim in, but giving huge damage resistance to swords. However, scaled up that is 20 metric tonnes of weight that - say - a 21.3t Jegan is lugging around. There may be some weight savings achieved by using carbon fibre, plastic and ceramics, but not enough to make such armour practical. Therefore, you cannot say that a MS would automatically be protected against a purely physical sword "just because" it has scaled-up plate armour.

As an aside, I wonder if the power and effectiveness of guns might result in armour specifically designed to counteract bullets at the expense of being able to take less of a beating from brute-force weapons like a sword or axe. After all, guns are commonplace, physical swords are not, and so it may be worth designing your defence with the most common type of weapon your forces will be facing in mind Eh, food for thought.


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 Post Posted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 2:45 am 
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It is true that armor doesn't really protect against both.

Plate armor can't stop bullets, and bullet-resistant vests can't stop a knife. Wearing both wouldn't even be practical for a human's size, much less a mech. War being what it is today, it'd be a safer bet to say that mechs should be outfitted with firearm protection first and foremost.


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 Post Posted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 3:51 am 
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BlackLion wrote:
It is true that armor doesn't really protect against both.

Plate armor can't stop bullets, and bullet-resistant vests can't stop a knife. Wearing both wouldn't even be practical for a human's size, much less a mech. War being what it is today, it'd be a safer bet to say that mechs should be outfitted with firearm protection first and foremost.


Actually kevlar is tested for stab resistance and is usually worn in conjunction with ceramic. So most or at least many modern bullet resistant vests should also be stab proof and to some degree slash proof.

Also, for the structural stability of scaled up armor? Well same applies to a variety of factors. I mentioned the integrity of the joints of the machine wielding such a weapon, but the weapon itself will probably suffer similar consequences of scaling, especially after the folding and forging to actually make the sword. The point is, a giant sword? Not feasible, just like giant mechs Hahaha


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 Post Posted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:37 pm 
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Technically I'd said it was similar to plate armor, but anyway I don't think anyone said anything about MS having what's equivalent to a full suit of plate armor, the arms, legs, and head are all (on average) very lightly armed compared to the torso. Not to mention that most ballistic protection from armor is through the use of ceramics and other non-metal armor. Another thing is that I don't think anyone was saying that they were immune to the swords, just resistant.

Well, designing armor for long range weapons makes sense, I don't think they'd even have armor solely meant to work on melee weapons. However, ballistic armor would have some resistance to melee weapons, and that wouldn't work the other way around. Of course for infantry, ballistic armor is generally Kevlar (With ceramics for rifle rounds.), this does not work on a bladed weapon on it's own, it does however add another layer of something between you and the blade.

Technically the ceramics could stop a blade, but it's meant for rifle bullets. Stab resistant armor is generally a Kevlar vest with mail inside of it. Thing is though that MS use hard armor for everything, Kevlar could be used but it wouldn't be like a Kevlar vest, much more like the helmets and therefore would be hard armor. Hard armor is very effective against most kinds of damage, it would work on both the melee weapons and the ballistic weapons. The difference is that no matter what the bullets would have an easier time doing damage, even though the armor is meant for use against them, an exception being with something like PS (Though the melee weapons still work just as well, though they likely cause less of an energy drop on impact as well.) or the Positron Reflector.

Due to their using hard armor, swords can't "cut" in the regular way, they'd need to use their mass and speed to break through, but that means that a normal slice or stab should do little if any damage, as they'd lack a high velocity, and in the case of a knife lack the mass as well.
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As for the Jegan example, Jegans are considered to be very under-armored for a Mobile Suit. I'm sure they have decent protection (On the torso.), but other MS tend to have better armor then a Jegan. But that likely has more to do with the thickness of the armor then it's construction.

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Geoxile wrote:
The point is, a giant sword? Not feasible, just like giant mechs Hahaha

So true. Not even if they were Guntanks. <_<

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 Post Posted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 8:04 am 
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GundamMaker01 wrote:
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.

Weren't Viking swords singlehanders?

On topic:I can't see how such swords would be feasible even back when swords mattered,much less for futuristic warfare with particle beams.I mean,even if you were to downscale that stuff for human use,it would still be some of the most impractical nonsense ever.

Also,I don't see how anyone would use a sword for sheer kinetic damage.How about something more up for the task,like an axe or a mace?


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 Post Posted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:07 pm 
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Have any of you ever used a saw to cut through a metal pipe before?

It's not completely unfeasible that some metals can cut through others. You know, because it's been done before. I also know someone who used a real katana to slice a stack of quarters in half.

I know a steel pipe and whatever alloy quarters are made from aren't exactly armoring material, but for mech armor, there has to be some sort of alloy comparable that can damage it similarly.

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 Post Posted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:59 pm 
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I've used a hand saw, so yes I did, it just took a long time. I'm sure a powered saw would do much better. But in this discussion, an axe would be a better example (Though still not quite right.) than a saw as the axe does "damage" in a manner more like that of a sword.

Kinda, but those two are totally different from armor. Swords would need to break or crush the armor rather then cutting it. And no, there doesn't need to be some kind of metal that can "cut" through it easily, I mean sure if you do enough things to some kind of metal, it could probably cut through the armor. But who's gonna waste the time and money doing that for what is at best a secondary weapon? No one is saying swords wouldn't cause any damage, just that they wouldn't be able to do so using the normal method for a sword.

They'd need to act much more like a flail or mace for most damage, again using mass and velocity, so it would be better to just make one of those rather than a sword in the first place.

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


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 Post Posted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 2:09 pm 
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Or, as MSG and Crossbone Gundam does, a spiked ball and chain, lol. (Gundam's Hyper Hammer and Gundam Hammer, the Gasshia's Hammer Gun, and the Totuga's Hammerhands)

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 Post Posted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 7:33 pm 
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you know, not meaning to sound like an ass or anything, I feel I should point out this has gotten off a bit of the actual subject. a lot of the writing off of melee weapons in general being done is is based on gundam technology -i.e. proliferation of beam weaponry. but the original question had nothing to do with that at all. it's asking how well a solid blade would be in destroying a large machine, or if it would just collapse under it's own weight. furthermore black lion may have titled this "giant swords" but his referencing the Gebria Straight and Goulf's Heat Sword means that we're talking about relatively sized swords, not a "Buster Sword" like most of these comments seem to be looking at for reference.

That said let's reflect,
Mecha use various types of solid armor plating, and their internal structure isn't really going to be all that squashy since you know it's not flesh but metalwork. So we're not talking about the effects of a weapon on human-like anatomy, we're talking about a edge's ability to cut through or crush metal. Cutting through such material would be more difficult then crushing, because of the blade losing it's edge and such.

One quick observation about discussion about maces over swords is that it seems the impact area is being forgotten, using a larger striking surface increases the amount of surface area you're striking with a single blow allowing the pressure to be distributed over a larger area. where you might make a nice large dent in the armor that same force applied to a smaller area would have made a deeper dent. That difference in the depth of the dent may vary well be the difference between damaging internal mechanism or not.

Mobile suits in Gundam are specifically designed with ranged weapons first, from how well they can withstand projectiles (of any nature) to how accurate and mobile they can use fire arms. this is most expertly displayed in Gundam Astray when a MP Astray uses the Gebria Straight for a short while and burns out it's joints because of the words added weight and Lowe directly notes that everything from the joints to Red Frame's OS has been customized to use the sword.

That said a mecha designed with the use of solid body melee weapons in mind would likely be able to supply more force for melee attacks through the use of more robust motors and in general would be more capable of controlling said weapons. From that stand point realize this, compared to such machines the Mobile suits in Gundam would be Physicaly weak, even those with a empathis on melee weaponry since those weapons are almost always beam or heat based. Take a moment to think about some of the feats of strength we've seen MS do over the years.

The thing that pops into my mind in the Gouf custom tossing a section of an overpass to the side and how little it took for that mobile suit to penetrate the cockpit of the MP Guntank. The Gouf Custom is pretty much the closest we get to seeing a mobile suit designed for wielding a solid melee weapon. I say closest because the Gouf Custom was based off of the Gouf's Fly type, a mobile suit design that looked to make the close ranged Gouf more versatile and mobile, i.e. it's upgrades where designed to lessen it's focus on short range combat and both of those units used a heat sword.

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 Post Posted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 8:30 pm 
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Well, in terms of the Gouf Custom penetrating the Guntank cockpit, it did penetrate it through the top of the head where it would, presumably, be one of its weakest points of penetration besides right through the cockpit hatch in the front itself. Of course, trying to do that against a Guntank would be suicide with its cannons and missile launchers (or machine guns in terms of the mass production type) constantly firing at you.

The one small bit that makes it different is the Gouf Custom doing so with its "normal" sword and not using any heat energy for extra penetrating power.


And in terms of the Astray Red Frame and the Gerbera Straight, IIRC, the (custom) Gerbera Straight is like...the giant swords of all giant swords...150 m of (special) metal being carried by a 17 1/2 meter tall MS. ANY regular MS, without special modifications (like the Power Loader and Powered Red arms), with end up burning itself out trying to wield such a thing. The normal Gerbera Straight seemed fine though.

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 Post Posted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 9:43 pm 
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HalfDemonInuyasha wrote:
Well, in terms of the Gouf Custom penetrating the Guntank cockpit, it did penetrate it through the top of the head where it would, presumably, be one of its weakest points of penetration besides right through the cockpit hatch in the front itself. Of course, trying to do that against a Guntank would be suicide with its cannons and missile launchers (or machine guns in terms of the mass production type) constantly firing at you.

The one small bit that makes it different is the Gouf Custom doing so with its "normal" sword and not using any heat energy for extra penetrating power.

Well I realize that there's little armor on the top of the guncannon's cockpit (why the hell does it have a glass covered cockpit) but the sword doubtlessly does deeper then just through the pilots given how far the blade moves. even if it's entering through a weaker area of the armor the sword's going a fair bit into the the MS, which to me seems pretty amazing considering how little movement is being done by the gouf.
Regardless my point of the other gouf's sabers being heat assisted is that the gouf custom's frame while it was built for close range work was built assuming that it would be using an electric whip/cable and a heat sword. the various motors and what-not where based on that assumption so they aren't as powerful as those a mecha designed specifically to use a cold sword would be. despite that the Gouf had no trouble mangling the EZ8's luna-titanium alloy armored arm with three rather quick and light swings.

HalfDemonInuyasha wrote:
And in terms of the Astray Red Frame and the Gerbera Straight, IIRC, the (custom) Gerbera Straight is like...the giant swords of all giant swords...150 m of (special) metal being carried by a 17 1/2 meter tall MS. ANY regular MS, without special modifications (like the Power Loader and Powered Red arms), with end up burning itself out trying to wield such a thing. The normal Gerbera Straight seemed fine though.


there's a bigger version? um...rule of overkill? the scene I'm referring to was involving the standard sized blade in vol 2 I believe.

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 Post Posted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:26 pm 
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I guess part of the reason is because of how the Core Fighter folds up when it becomes part of the MS, so to make it able to fold up, it might've been weakened a bit, like we see in more complex transformable MS in Zeta/ZZ (ZZ being a prime example, requiring a Full Armor configuration to make up for it, even though it was only used once o_O;;)

And yeah, there's the normal Gerbera Straight, which is merely similar in size to a regular MS (17 or so meters), then there's a 150 meter long one made out of that special alloy, which required the Power Loader or the specially made arms for the Powered Red to wield.

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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 12:06 am 
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The Guntanks present in 08th MS Team were of the Mass Production Type which didn't have a core fighter that could separate.

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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 12:12 am 
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Well that Guntank didn't have a Core Fighter anyway, my theory on that is, why would you bother placing much/any armor in the middle of the body at all? If that section is taking damage armor isn't gonna change much since it would be rather thin since the internals need to be in there somewhere. Plus how likely are you gonna be hit from that angle? Even in reality tanks have less armor up top. I also don't recall if it hit anything aside from the Guntank with it's sword, and if it did I'm not sure it did much of anything.

And while you're right that a smaller impact point would allow deeper damage, the thing is that no sword ever matched the mass or velocity (Since most mace-type weapons have their own thrusters to speed them up.) of most mace-type weapons. With the Mjolnir reportedly having enough mass to damage phase shift, something no sword ever did. With the same force yes a sword should penetrate more, but only if they are of equal mass and velocity, or the velocity is high enough to the point that mass wouldn't matter, which means it'd basically need to be equivalent to a rail-gun firing a sword. That velocity would likely take the arm off the Mobile Suit though, so mass is the better option.

Though I'm sure that given enough velocity the huge Gebera Straight could do so as well, the issue with that thing is that for all practical reasoning (Not even sure how the Powered Red is strong enough to use it effectively to be honest since the arms are so much smaller compared to the power loader, so that'd mean some tech in there got advanced a lot.) there shouldn't be anything that could get it's velocity high enough to do much to an armored vehicle, and even if it did, the power drain (Moving that much mass would take more than most beams.) would likely be huge enough to fully drain a battery before the attack hit.

But while a melee designed unit would likely be "stronger", I'm not sure how much it'd be, and I doubt I ever will, aside from something like the Red Astray they aren't really made much, or at least not without beams. As I recall there was an image of a GM picking up a Dom, which means they are already very strong. The Gouf Custom is odd in my mind, since it was somehow able to pull a jet against it's thrusters to use as a shield (Not even gonna tough that it actually stopped the beam.). Though I'd say that the Red Astray is a better example for that, except that that unit's swords actually cut rather than crushing. But as a note the Gouf Custom's sword is heated, so I'd say it's unlikely that the thing would have been made with the thought that the heat wouldn't be used.

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


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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:50 am 
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Forgot about the MP Guntank lacking the core block.

But yeah, the Powered Red arms have some kind of powered cylindrical technology that enables them to "buff up" and strengthen them to wield the larger Gerbera Straight as seen here.

And I guess I'd chalk it up to more dramatic effect, as a lot of AU Gundam series' tend to be more about rather than "realism" of any sort.

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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 2:08 am 
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HalfDemonInuyasha wrote:
And I guess I'd chalk it up to more dramatic effect, as a lot of AU Gundam series' tend to be more about rather than "realism" of any sort.


Technically I'd say that could apply to most, if not all, melee weapons in a mech series. Even with BVR being limited you can still see far enough to shoot at well over 3,000 meters (With proper optics.) so the thought that they'd get as close as they do (That often anyway.) is rather silly, though BattleTech may be worse in that regard.

But "buffing up" is weird to say the least for a mechanical unit. :? That's probably gonna keep me up for a while tonight.

Anyway, another thing that I remembered is that a lot of MS have shields, and I don't recall a shield ever taking damage from a non-heated melee weapon, and even the heated ones often only cut part of the way into them. The main issue is that non-heated melee weapons are rare even before beams were around.

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


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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 2:24 pm 
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I don't recall shields being used to block melee strikes all THAT often in general, lol.

I know Amuro and the RX-78-2 Gundam blocked a few heat hawk strikes with the shield (don't recall if they were lit though).

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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 2:38 pm 
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we actually see a lot of shields being used to defend against heat weapons and beam sabers. in 0079 we see the gundam's shield getting sliced in half with the Gouf's heat sword, I believe char chops it in two once or twice, don't remember specifically, but we see the gundam's shield get cut in two horizontally a fair number of times.
In 08th ms team we see more examples of such with a heat hawk getting half through a shield, and such. the shields in 08th actually seemed to be more resistant to damage then Amuro's large shield. for example in the "time limit on trust" episode we see a missile fired from a heli hitting one of the gundams' shields and it is blow off the arm, not out right destroyed, as if the joint holding it broke from the blast.
In the Fight between the 08th and Norris we see the EZ8's shield get pitted when Shrio dives in front of automatic fire intended for a guncannon. the damage disappears later on when the same shield it is damaged by two swings of the gouf custom's sword. the damage left on the shield is comparable to the damage it took with the burst of fire.



RGM-79G GM Command wrote:
And while you're right that a smaller impact point would allow deeper damage, the thing is that no sword ever matched the mass or velocity (Since most mace-type weapons have their own thrusters to speed them up.) of most mace-type weapons. With the Mjolnir reportedly having enough mass to damage phase shift, something no sword ever did. With the same force yes a sword should penetrate more, but only if they are of equal mass and velocity, or the velocity is high enough to the point that mass wouldn't matter, which means it'd basically need to be equivalent to a rail-gun firing a sword. That velocity would likely take the arm off the Mobile Suit though, so mass is the better option.


My comments earlier would actually mean the most effective shape for a melee weapon would be an axe not a sword. I concede the point that the gundam "hammers" have thrusters that would increase the speed of the swing, but I don't think they increase it all that much that an axe or even a sword couldn't match the overall PSI of the blow. and if we're talking about a single blade Axe (like the heat hawk's shape) I don't see any reason we couldn't stick similar thrusters on the back end of the head.

but one particular point I feel I have to make about the gundam hammers, is that we see them being swung for striking stacks on both in down and up swing, a flail would be extremely hard to turn around to consistently strike with the same face of the head so there's likely thrusters mounted all about the weapon's head. Heck I believe there's even a shot of the flail head being used in a thrusting style attack with thrusters firing from it's base -though I admittedly can't say what that would have been from. This brings me to the next issue, the head is hollow, particularly it has to include not only the however many thrusters it has in it's design but also the fuel to power them since the fails are (almost?) always connected to the handle via nothing more then a typical chain, there's no sort of cables running up the chain to carry fuel or...hell electrical signals for the thrusters (how do the thrusters even known when to fire?)

My point is that these gundam hammers aren't solid spheres of metal with propulsion magically coming out of one end to make it's swing faster. and to be honest the only real benefit for the rockets would be to allow normal fast swing to have the momentum of a swing delivered after whipping the flail up to speed through rotations (ah that sounds more confusing then I intended but I'm sure you can decipher it).

Your line "With the Mjolnir reportedly having enough mass to damage phase shift, something no sword ever did" seems particularly shallow since the only physical sword we ever see begin swung at phase shift armor (that I'm aware of) comes from the Gin. There's a real big sample size. here's something to consider for a moment though concerning the Mjolnir's reported strength, the freedom's twin rail guns didn't even phase the destiny's armor. how on earth is the Mjolnir suppose to surpass that? (where does that information even originate from? seems like it'd be complete wash to me.) you following comment about a sword having to be launched from a rail gun to be just as effective as the Mjolnir seem in that sense just nonsense.

RGM-79G GM Command wrote:
But while a melee designed unit would likely be "stronger", I'm not sure how much it'd be, and I doubt I ever will, aside from something like the Red Astray they aren't really made much, or at least not without beams. As I recall there was an image of a GM picking up a Dom, which means they are already very strong. The Gouf Custom is odd in my mind, since it was somehow able to pull a jet against it's thrusters to use as a shield (Not even gonna tough that it actually stopped the beam.). Though I'd say that the Red Astray is a better example for that, except that that unit's swords actually cut rather than crushing. But as a note the Gouf Custom's sword is heated, so I'd say it's unlikely that the thing would have been made with the thought that the heat wouldn't be used.


whether or not the gouf customs sword is heated (the games would say yes, and the MAHQ profile would support this) the sword is not heated during use in the ovas and really since I'm mostly pointing out the damage it deals as an unheated weapon that's all that matters. the Gouf is at the same time pretty much the best example of a MS designed for melee since it's primary weapon -heated or not would have required more strength behind it then had it used a beam saber.

as for it's maneuver with the core booster. Notice how the cable is attached to the bottom of the craft, and how much just the weight of the gouf being added pulled it down. after that the gouf swing forward on the cable then uses it's boosters to 'jump' up -causing slack on the cable- before jerking the cable down and taunt. the resulting sudden force pulls the core booster nose down and now the force of the initial "yank" doesn't mater, the core boost is essentially diving into the beam's path. there's no 'against it's thrust' rather the thrusters would actually have assisted in getting the core booster into position.

now did that actually stopped the beam shot? I'd venture to guess that the gouf wasn't exactly in line with the shot and it's movements would have caused a miss anyhow. but that's just me guessing, it's a bit hard to tell how well lined up the shot was with the gouf since the core booster obscures the view during the critical shot.

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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 4:34 pm 
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crashlegacy14 wrote:
My comments earlier would actually mean the most effective shape for a melee weapon would be an axe not a sword. I concede the point that the gundam "hammers" have thrusters that would increase the speed of the swing, but I don't think they increase it all that much that an axe or even a sword couldn't match the overall PSI of the blow. and if we're talking about a single blade Axe (like the heat hawk's shape) I don't see any reason we couldn't stick similar thrusters on the back end of the head.

Your line "With the Mjolnir reportedly having enough mass to damage phase shift, something no sword ever did" seems particularly shallow since the only physical sword we ever see begin swung at phase shift armor (that I'm aware of) comes from the Gin. There's a real big sample size. here's something to consider for a moment though concerning the Mjolnir's reported strength, the freedom's twin rail guns didn't even phase the destiny's armor. how on earth is the Mjolnir suppose to surpass that? (where does that information even originate from? seems like it'd be complete wash to me.) you following comment about a sword having to be launched from a rail gun to be just as effective as the Mjolnir seem in that sense just nonsense.


True, never were many swords used, even less against Phase Shift. But don't forget about the Impulse's Anti-Ship Sword taking out Freedom. And yes an axe would be better, think I said that before, but a flail would be best in my mind due to the mass. As for the thrusters, yeah they make no sense at all, they work just cause they are there apparently.

As for where I'm getting that about the Mjolnir from, that would be here. And I said basically equivalent to a rail-gun, only meaning that it would need to be going very fast, much faster than it could be swung normally.

Yes an axe could have thrusters as well, but in general it's still not gonna match the mass of a "hammer". Oh and about the rail-gun not penetrating PS thing, I felt the same way, got told it was because the round didn't have enough mass. Now a rail-gun should make it so it doesn't need the mass, but against PS it apparently needs mass and velocity.

crashlegacy14 wrote:
whether or not the gouf customs sword is heated (the games would say yes, and the MAHQ profile would support this) the sword is not heated during use in the ovas and really since I'm mostly pointing out the damage it deals as an unheated weapon that's all that matters. the Gouf is at the same time pretty much the best example of a MS designed for melee since it's primary weapon -heated or not would have required more strength behind it then had it used a beam saber.

now did that actually stopped the beam shot? I'd venture to guess that the gouf wasn't exactly in line with the shot and it's movements would have caused a miss anyhow. but that's just me guessing, it's a bit hard to tell how well lined up the shot was with the gouf since the core booster obscures the view during the critical shot.


The thing is that the Gouf was meant to fight tanks, and it could use it's sword on them from above, hitting their weaker armor. But it still shouldn't take much more or less strength then a Heat Hawk, so I'm not sure the Gouf would be special in that regard.

Been a while since I saw it so I guess I didn't remember the scene right, but yeah it stopped the beam, if he wasn't in the line of the beam then him making a shield was pointless. I'd say it was just meant to show him as better/awesome since moving away would have been faster, more reliable, and easier. :/

EDIT: On second thought, the best melee weapon may be a pile driver of some kind, like on the Altisen or in Front Mission.

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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:31 pm 
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With the guntank line that was how they separated the core fighter and the gunner. it seems odd that both the mp and guncannon mk2 still use that layout and lack the core fighter that required the canopy head in the first place. at least the SNRI units placed all of the operators in one place.

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