AMX-109 Capule: An Inefficient Amphibious MS?

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Gelgoog Jager
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AMX-109 Capule: An Inefficient Amphibious MS?

Post by Gelgoog Jager » Mon May 16, 2016 6:56 pm

Over time I have come to questions several of the claims on some of the older Mahq profiles. More recently, with the release of the UC OVAs and mangas (the later which even indicate that it has some chest mounted beam weapons on the square openings on it's armor), I have come to question the validity of whether the Capule should be considered a flawed design.

As some of you are aware, this claim spawns partially from the animation itself, where the Zeon soldier that piloted the Capule at first decides to switch to a Zaku Mariner, claiming that they are familiar with them. Earlier in the episode, this same soldier said that the Zeta Gundam wouldn't be able to hit him in the Capule since it is a specialized MS.

I'm inclined think that these Zeon soldiers are actually Zeon remnants that were supplied a Capule and the 6 Zaku Mariners they have by the Neo Zeon forces, and tasked to form a larger force using locals. This would explain why they have 7 MS for just 3 people and why they say they find the Zakus more familiar (the average Axis soldier would probably find the Gaza C a more familiar unit instead).

On the other hand, the Mahq profile claims that the Capule forgot lessons learned during the development of amphibious MS during the OYW. As far as I can tell, the only significant downside the Capule has is the absence of fixed arm guns, which became a staple of later MSM units such as the Acguy, Hygogg, Jurick and Z'gok. However, I should point out that the last MSM series unit, the Zock, doesn't have fixed arm guns either, instead relying on its several beam weapons mounted across its body for overcoming the need for them.

More importantly, I dare say that the Capule actually fixed an issue that OYW amphibious units had, which is the weapon restriction caused by their "cruising mode", basically meaning that their weapons only work in either that mode or in a standing position. For example, the original Gogg is unable to fire at enemies "in front" (top of the head) of it while cruising underwater, since it's belly weapons cannot aim in that direction. The Z'goks head missiles are an example of weapons intended to be used in crushing mode, but which in standing position would require to fire at an angle or for the MS to crouch in order to get a better firing angle. The Zock is the most clear example of trying to overcame this problem by having multiple beam weapons placed across its body, allowing it to fire in any position.

The Capule's cruising mode keeps it's torso weapons facing to the front, overcoming the above mentioned limitation, giving it access to all of its firepower regardless of whether its fighting the enemy underwater, on the surface of the water or on land. As an added benefit, the pilot get's to keep facing at the same direction all the time, which the cruising mode of older amphibious MS wouldn't allow (they would normally be facing down inside the cockpit of their MS).

I do think that the absence of fixed arm guns does limit the Capule on its usefulness on land, where said weapons are most useful while engaging other MS, but overall I think that the Capule do is a proper refinement of amphibious units rather than a half-cooked design made in space, as we were led to believe.

However, although it might have been an unintended retcon, the existence of the AMA-X7 Shamblo could indicate that the Capule actually had a different role in mind: to serve as the escorts of the giant amphibious MA.

As some of you might have heard, the background info on the Shamblo indicates that it was a design from the 1st Neo Zeon War that wasn't completed during said conflict. Given that the Shamblo seems to borrow technology from the Psycho Gundam Mk II, namely the reflector bits, I'm inclined to think that perhaps the design was modified in order to incorporate such technology, which lead to the delay of its development.

But if we leave aside that part, the Shamblo has some unique characteristics, namely the ability to hover, which in theory should allow it fast movement not only on the land, but also on the water's surface. On the other hand, its underwater battle capabilities do seem a bit lacking, given it's lack of torpedoes or phonon masers that work best underwater. This makes me think that the Capule might have been meant to escort it underwater and on the water surface, but afterwards keep its distance once the battle moved to the land, where the Shamblo is most efficient.

I'm also thinking that perhaps the obscure sonic blast weapon of the Capule, which we have never see in use could not be a weapon at all, but rather work as a decoy for producing a large signature similar to a MA, or simply disrupt the sonar of the enemy, allowing the Shamblo to sneak to its target more easily.

Food for thought: assuming that the Capule was in charge of frontal underwater engagements while escorting the Shamblo, maybe would could presume that the original design of the Shamblo had missiles instead of bits and were meant to fire them upwards, perhaps as the Grublo's surface to air missiles for airborne targets or targets on the shore/land. I think such arrangement could work if someone ever decided to make Shamblo prototype or similar.

In conclusion, I think that despite the info we had, the Capule actually fixed several issues that previous amphibious MS had, and worked best when used either underwater, or when fighting on the water surface. However, it's undeniable that the lack of fixed arm guns did limit its usefulness on the land. Also, it's really interesting seeing how the Shamblo's unique characteristics could complement well the Capule (and vice versa) and how they could have worked well in tandem.

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JEFFPIATT
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Re: AMX-109 Capule: An Inefficient Amphibious MS?

Post by JEFFPIATT » Wed May 18, 2016 9:23 am

The AMX-109 Capule was an ambitious aquatic MS but Axis ended up with the same handicap Zeon had building the First AMS series units no actual aquatic environments for testing beyond the oversized fish tanks in the colony block. The units deployed in the first Neo zeon war had issues with the waterproof seals and the other reason most zeon earth attack force remnants would keep with captured federal Zaku Mariner units is that the RMS series of ms would be closer to the more common zeonic and zimmid controls there older oyo units they already had the other advantage being that Zaku Mariner being designed with access to real marine biomes would have been better configured for underwater use as an finalized production unit while the AMX-109 was still an prototype with any underwater testing pre earth fall in an colony recreational pool witch would have an standardized water ph and salt level among other issues.

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Gelgoog Jager
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Re: AMX-109 Capule: An Inefficient Amphibious MS?

Post by Gelgoog Jager » Wed May 18, 2016 3:45 pm

I won't rule the possibility that the conditions in which the Capule were developed (lack of large ocean bodies" could indeed result in a design with underwater seal issues.

However, the other units in question, the Zaku Mariners, aren't exactly the pinnacle of amphibious MS either. Quite the opposite, they are supposedly based on the MS-06M-1 version of the Zaku Marine Type, which lacked the seals of the MS-06M-2/MSM-01, and by extent we can probably assume that the design is not better suited for underwater use than the later. In fact we know that the Titans special forces team at Hong Kong used the Marine Hizack version of the MSM-01 for their operation instead of the RMS-192M. The existence of the RMS-188MD also hints at the Zaku Mariner not being properly equipped for use on deep waters.

On the other hand, we know that later Zeon based amphibious units were developed by space-based Zeon remnants: the AMS-129M Zee Zulu (said to have been provided by the Sleeves), the AMA-X7 Shamblo (as already stated, it was designed by Axis as well), and even the OMSM-07RF Z'gok. These units are known to be fairly successful. Also, the existence of the MSM-07DI confirms that the space-based Zeon forces had acces to the data on amphibious MS from California Base. There's also the case of the MS-13 Gasshia which is essentially a space-based Z'gok. My point is that even without the proper facilities, Axis did had reliable data from the MSM and MAM units from the OYW which should have allowed them to produce a drain that took into consideration the need of proper seals for operating underwater, specially with a transformation mechanism.

This leads me to another point: the Gundarium Gamma alloy. The ZZ manages to fight underwater despite not being designed for such role thanks to it, and despite the claim that its core block system made it structurally weak (a flaw corrected in the MSZ-010S upgrade). Furthermore, the Capule, happens to have a unique two-layered Gundarium Alloy armor, most likely meant for its use underwater, perhaps as a fail safe mechanism in case the first layer was breached.

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