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 Post Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:30 am 
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1.) We also can't forget that the Crossbone Vanguard had the advantage of superior tech at the time as the Jamesgun and Javelin weren't in full swing yet for the Federation, thus leaving a majority of them with 30+ year old Jegans and 10+ year old, first generation small-scale MS like the Heavygun and G-Cannon that stood little chance against the modern small-scale MS of the Crossbone Vanguard, which were faster and more maneuverable, so it's no surprise that they were usually, especially against Jegans, more easily capable of getting in close to use the Shot Lancer (which was ALSO able to be fired as a ranged weapon, mind you, AND some came armed with 2-4 machine guns too, thus they weren't solely melee weapons).


2.) Most of them were more prototypes that were simply tested to see how feasible they were. A lot of them barely make it to a prototype stage and are rejected while still paper plans. The only full mass production melee-oriented MS besides the Gouf that really made it that I can recall is the Jabaco of the Zanscare Empire, but even that was given a beam rifle to accompany its heat rods and it was a late-war model too, IIRC.

AUs have the luxury of usually being far more "true" super robot in flashiness, so they can afford to ditch a lot of the "realism" the Universal Century was known for in order to up the flashiness/plot armor and use stuff that would otherwise not be as practical outside of certain times and enable them to win. The xamples you give weren't so melee-oriented as they were strong in BOTH melee AND ranged abilities (or, in Sandrock's case, had A LOT of armor for defense), thus bringing up what I mentioned earlier about a bunch of melee-oriented MS not being very practical unless they had other qualities to back them up.


3.) Not everyone will simply panic and completely forget their training and other things, resulting in easy targets, and even ace pilots can be given a hard time or even defeated by "lesser" pilots. Nothing is guaranteed in MS combat, protagonist/antagonist or otherwise, and even just 1 lucky shot can mean the difference between life and death for anyone.


4.) The flaw here is that you seem to be speaking solely when it comes to a hero/villain, but NOT the regular soldiers. It's easy to think about such things when you got plot and other things supporting you, thus "guaranteeing" things for the hero/villain, but we're trying to talk regular troops without such fantastical things.


5.) Only way the Zaku was modified was Rick Dom legs to simulate its movements (which was more about raw speed than mobility in the first place). Otherwise, it had a Zaku II body and weapons. It's not unheard of for Zaku IIs and Rick Doms to be defeated by Balls either (the non-canon Crossbone Gundam mangas have a pilot, Umon Simmons, who piloted a LESS-effective Ball at the Battle of Solomon that was hampered with a Gundam faceplate, which panicked enemy pilots into thinking a giant Gundam was approaching, allowing him to take down 6 Rick Doms). It's rare, but it's happened, so Shiro is hardly unique in that aspect.


6.) It's not as huge a disadvantage as you may think. It's not like he's having to turn the MS sideways or contort it in some weird way to get a decent view or anything of the sort. So it's not like he was in a hugely desperate situation after losing his head. A MS can easily continue fighting without a head so long as losing it didn't damage/destroy any other vital systems.



But to stay on topic, while big metal swords may be cool and flashy to see used in animation, they just wouldn't be very practical if realy done.

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 Post Posted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 6:29 pm 
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Mysterious Masked Dude
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I find it funny that anyone can say "getting back on topic" in this thread with anything approaching a straight face. this thread has gone from a simple question of whether or not such a weapon could even exist to be used for it's intended purpose to a discussion over everything even remotely related to the topic line.

I think it needs to be said that in the last few posts we've been heading back towards gundam centric discussions. when it comes to gundam there's a lot to be said about the value of ranged weapons.

the power of ballistic weapons seems to jump around rather randomly, the Zakus 120mm was unable to damage the original gundam, the 120mm is supplanted by a 90mm that seems more capable of penetrating armor ect. ect. Beam weapons of various types are almost universally one hit kill affairs and a proper affordable defense isn't developed until the beam shield of F91. Some MS carried weapons are even capable to taking down battle ships in single shots.

Yet despite this every (or almost every) MS is outfitted with one or more melee weapons, we see examples where ranged weapons are outfitted with melee weapons (in zeta specifically), others where MS have had melee weapons mounted directly to their frames. if melee weapons where in fact as ineffective and impractical as some would lead us to believe then why are there so many designs that feature them? Why is such a large quantity of on screen deaths from melee weapons?

If we look at things realistically melee weapons should never see the light of day. I think maybe critics of the use of melee weapons should consider the the history of air warfare, particularly in the Vietnam Era.

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 Post Posted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 6:54 pm 
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Retconned MSV Ace

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crashlegacy14 wrote:
the power of ballistic weapons seems to jump around rather randomly, the Zakus 120mm was unable to damage the original gundam, the 120mm is supplanted by a 90mm that seems more capable of penetrating armor ect. ect. Beam weapons of various types are almost universally one hit kill affairs and a proper affordable defense isn't developed until the beam shield of F91. Some MS carried weapons are even capable to taking down battle ships in single shots.


That's because of greater velocity and for higher penetration. The 120mm is more for anti-tank/vehicle and such it seems.

As for the beam shield, the power required is probably something that couldn't be done (easily) early on, especially given beam technology in MS was still new early on. And even later on, with much greater generator power, it can still overheat if used too much, hence why a bunch of MS (besides if damaged and such) tend to carry an extra beam shield emitter somewhere like the F91 does. It's also possibly not as simple as we may think in terms of how it works.



crashlegacy14 wrote:
Yet despite this every (or almost every) MS is outfitted with one or more melee weapons, we see examples where ranged weapons are outfitted with melee weapons (in zeta specifically), others where MS have had melee weapons mounted directly to their frames. if melee weapons where in fact as ineffective and impractical as some would lead us to believe then why are there so many designs that feature them? Why is such a large quantity of on screen deaths from melee weapons?

If we look at things realistically melee weapons should never see the light of day. I think maybe critics of the use of melee weapons should consider the the history of air warfare, particularly in the Vietnam Era.


Zeta-era was really the only time we see built-in beam sabers in beam weapons (Zeta's beam rifle and even its hyper mega launcher, or the Feyadeen rifle of the Gabthley and Hambrabi), but they obviously aren't meant for full-on melee combat and more for surprise attacks against enemies that do manage to get in close, but not having time to reach out for your beam saber. The closest we got beforehand was the jitte in the GP01Fb's beam rifle for pure blocking.

Even bayonets like the R-Jarja (which itself was just a one-time melee-oriented prototype) and the Geara Doga's smaller beam rifle are extremely rare overall.

As for the death count.

1.) Dramatics. Looks cool, flashier, and more exciting than just winning with a single beam rifle shot to the cockpit all the time. Also, how often do you see grunts do melee like that? Hardly ever. And when it does happen, it's usually pretty boring to see. Like 0083 simply had that Zaku II F2 slash a GM Kai, only to get blasted point blank by the GM Kai's machine gun and both blow up. Nothing exciting there.

It's usually 2 main characters ((or the main character and the opposing ace(s)-of-the-week/month)) that end up resorting to (skillful) melee combat. Even Kou used the Dendrobium in an attempt to melee fight Gato in the Neue Ziel in a way it wasn't meant to (beam saber fighting between 2 Mobile Armor when its large beam sabers are meant for fly-by-slashing ships). Otherwise, when a main character uses their melee weapon, it's usually just a quick slash, and down the grunt(s) go.


2.) The general concept of MS did seem to be more for close-range combat in the first place, ironically, while the battleship carriers like the Musai were meant to take care of the larger long-range support.

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 Post Posted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:29 pm 
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AEUG Slapping Boy
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Back to the original topic-yes in space, no in gravity. And here's why:
Weight. I honestly have no idea how some of these weapons could even be hefted by a mobile suit-in some cases, these weapons are taller than the suits themselves (I'm looking at you, Astray Tactical Arms...), and unless they were hollow, would tip the suit over in gravity. Space here may be a different issue-control would then be the main factor in the usage of a massive sword, how swinging that thing would translate to movement for the whole suit.

Think about it this way-could a human being heft such an incredibly huge weapon as the 00 Seven Swords GN Buster Sword, were it in scale with a human being? Of course not. It would look crazy cool, but totally impractical.

And internet-please remember this is only an opinion. I'm no expert in physics or robotics, so let he who is cast the first stone :)

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 Post Posted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:17 pm 
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crashlegacy14 wrote:
Beam weapons of various types are almost universally one hit kill affairs and a proper affordable defense isn't developed until the beam shield of F91.

This is repeated a lot, but isn't really true. Yes, a solid beam rifle shot to a critical location like the torso or the backpack will almost always result in a hard kill, but that's true of basically every weapon. After the One Year War but before beam shields are developed, physical shields are almost universally treated with anti-beam coating to make them capable of defending against beam weapons, and heavily armored mobile suits like the O are capable of taking beam shots and surviving even without resorting to i-fields, beam shields, or anti-beam coating.

It would be more accurate to say that beam weaponry is good at penetrating armor than to say that they're almost universal one-hit kills. This doesn't mean that armor is worthless (we see armor deflecting or outright negating beam shots), but it does generally justify the speed-over-armor design philosophy we see starting in Zeta.

crashlegacy14 wrote:
if melee weapons where in fact as ineffective and impractical as some would lead us to believe then why are there so many designs that feature them?

Why do modern soldiers still receive bayonet training? Just because it's not the preferred method of doing things doesn't mean it's never useful. We're not saying that no one ever uses melee combat in Gundam, just that the average mook pilot doesn't focus on it.

crashlegacy14 wrote:
Why is such a large quantity of on screen deaths from melee weapons?

Because the animation focuses on extremely skilled pilots, which we've already said are an exception to the "ranged > melee" rule of thumb.

crashlegacy14 wrote:
I think maybe critics of the use of melee weapons should consider the the history of air warfare, particularly in the Vietnam Era.

I don't think anyone in this thread has advocated removing melee weapons from mobile suit designs entirely. The appropriate analogy would be putting an emphasis on long-range missile combat in plane design and pilot training with dogfighting as a secondary skill, rather than removing the dogfighting capabilities/training altogether.

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 Post Posted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:07 am 
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Mysterious Masked Dude
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crashlegacy14 wrote:
If we look at things realistically melee weapons should never see the light of day. I think maybe critics of the use of melee weapons should consider the the history of air warfare, particularly in the Vietnam Era.

The reason guns were used in air-to-air combat in Vietnam was political rather than military; political considerations required the US pilots to visually confirm that the aircraft they'd been following on radar for dozens of miles was in fact a North Vietnamese military aircraft. This required US military aircraft to allow NV aircraft to close well within missile range. Without this political ROE consideration, guns would probably not have returned to fighter aircraft.

Instead, the F-14's long-range TV camera was developed so that visual confirmation of enemy aircraft could be made at 20-40 miles, far out of range of guns and in the middle of missile territory.

And this 70s-era TV system in the F-14 makes UC Gundam's "sensor ranges" seem tiny, even though it's a visible-light system.


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