Mobile Suit range and Classifications

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Evex
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Mobile Suit range and Classifications

Post by Evex » Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:00 am

A few questions have been bugging me for some time on a mobile suits range.

1. What determines the effective range of a mobile suits weapons ? Is it the mobile suits sensor range, or is it the sensor on the weapon ?

2. How is a mobile suits range determined ? For instance what classifies a mobile suit as a close combat type, medium range , long range, high mobility and any mix of those.

3. What are the characteristics that make up a medium to long range mobile suit, and what are some examples of such suits ?

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Re: Mobile Suit range and Classifications

Post by MythSearcher » Mon Feb 03, 2014 5:08 am

Evex wrote:A few questions have been bugging me for some time on a mobile suits range.

1. What determines the effective range of a mobile suits weapons ? Is it the mobile suits sensor range, or is it the sensor on the weapon ?

2. How is a mobile suits range determined ? For instance what classifies a mobile suit as a close combat type, medium range , long range, high mobility and any mix of those.

3. What are the characteristics that make up a medium to long range mobile suit, and what are some examples of such suits ?
1) The range of weapons are usually pretty hard to determine. You get a maximum range that it can do damage to your satisfaction(notice an anti-armour Beam rifle, even if passed this range, should still be deadly for any humans for a pretty long distance), then you get a maximum distance the weapon can do accurate firing/aiming.
Effectively speaking, the lower of the two would be the determinating factor, since you can't really hope to do effective damage to your target out of that range.
The two should be similar to each other, if not, its usually a waste on one of the design features.
But under special circumstances, like in UC you have Minovsky particles, your aiming will be handicapped, and thus the weapons can have a much longer maximum damage range.

A fun example here would be the GM Sniper II's Beam sniper rifle(visually identical to the GM[G] sniper rifle but without the cooling drum)
Its spec gives us a "a few centimetres error in 1000km". But there's almost no way they can aim at a target 1000km away.(Actually, this kind of accuracy can give us a few dozen thousand km range if the mega particles are still focused enough if one is targetting an MS, missing a metre will still give you a pretty good hit rate, if targeting a ship, you can even give it 10~20 times range.)
On some occasions, they can have frontline soldiers helping in targetting, but most of the time they don't. So the firing range will be down to whatever the sensors on the gun or the MS can do, whichever is more.(The Sniper II sensing range is 8.7km, but from the settings, that is only a wide range scan range, it can do better if focusing in a single direction).

2) Not much is given. Rationally speaking, it is determined by the weapons used. If you are carrying a bulky long range cannon, you can't do short range combat.
The sensors configuration and design should also be playing some part as well, like the Gundam-head sensors are designed for close range combat, but the Guncannon's visor-head sensors are for middle to long range. The former does a shorter but faster scan on a wide range, and the latter does a longer yet slower scan. The actual numbers given is kinda a joke though, 5.7km and 6km...

3) If you design a closer range MS, you want it to have more of its mass focused closer to its centre of mass. This makes it easier to turn.
The reason is because given a same enemy unit, with the same acceleration, the closer it gets, the greater the change in angular velocity(greater angular acceleration), so you need to turn faster.
Thus a medium ranged MS should be able to turn faster than a long ranged one.
For the weapons, you usually need a longer barrel(actually, a longer barrel length to calibre, so a 50 calibre weapon is more suited than a 30 calibre weapon) to do a longer range attack, for higher accuracy, yet this is of course, making the unit harder to turn. A larger calibre in solid shells usually have a longer range since its more stable in flight(surface area to mass ratio is less meaning the wind has less effect to scale.)
You can also use the enlarged human rule, think of what human soliders use. The PDW, Carbine(Modern) and shortguns are usually for closer range,(yet still a bit further than the pistols and martial arts) the usual assault rifles are for medium range, battle rifles, rocket launchers and grenade launchers a bit longer, and the sniper rifles are for long ranges.

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Re: Mobile Suit range and Classifications

Post by HalfDemonInuyasha » Tue Feb 04, 2014 3:17 am

And, of course, just because a MS may be labeled as a certain range, that's really just what it's abilities are best suited for or it accels at best out of other ranges, but it doesn't necessarily mean it's lacking (much) in other ranges of combat either. It's usually the more (extremely) specialized MS that do.

Like the Wing Gundam Zero is clearly much more of a medium to long-range fighter with its twin buster rifle and vulcans, but it's still capable of decent melee combat with its beam saber. On the other hand, Epyon is extremely geared for melee combat, so has absolutely no ranged weapons at all, leaving it all up to the skill of the pilot (and his ability with the Epyon System) to make up for it.
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Re: Mobile Suit range and Classifications

Post by MythSearcher » Tue Feb 04, 2014 9:56 am

HalfDemonInuyasha wrote:And, of course, just because a MS may be labeled as a certain range, that's really just what it's abilities are best suited for or it accels at best out of other ranges, but it doesn't necessarily mean it's lacking (much) in other ranges of combat either. It's usually the more (extremely) specialized MS that do.

Like the Wing Gundam Zero is clearly much more of a medium to long-range fighter with its twin buster rifle and vulcans, but it's still capable of decent melee combat with its beam saber. On the other hand, Epyon is extremely geared for melee combat, so has absolutely no ranged weapons at all, leaving it all up to the skill of the pilot (and his ability with the Epyon System) to make up for it.
Usually this is controlled more by skills of the pilot unless the MS is overwhelmingly superior.
If you have pilots of the same skill level, giving them a WZC VS an Epyon and get them to fight in melee range, Epyon is going to win.
On enough difference in skill level, you can use a Ball to win in melee range against a Gundam.

A good example is always the Tallgeese II Treize VS Altron Gundam Wufei.
Wufei, eventhough with the Altron fighting spec at 170, highest of the period(better than even Epyon's 160), still pretty much just being played around by Treize's Tallgeese II with a fighting spec of just 100, matching with the Leo(the baseline comparison unit with all specs at 100).
Quite obviously he's making use of the Unit's higher speed spec(150 VS 130), however, given that Zechs broke his rib cage when using the Tallgeese's full thrust and Tallgeese II literally a same unit(with only the colour difference and a different head piece), Treize should not be able to do the full speed comfortably like what he did against Wufei. Yes, their skill level is that much apart.

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Re: Mobile Suit range and Classifications

Post by SonicSP » Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:46 pm

I'm under the impression that the classified range is a constructor specified range on what they want it to be specialized as. To use an AU example, I believe 00 Raiser is classified as a close range combat from wording if the MG Qan(T) manual, even though in practice it appears to be general purpose model and one that goes with the jack-of-all-trades stats (00 has also been noted to be able to match certain other specialized MS in their specialized stats in instances like one of the 00V Senki chapters, aside it being obvious in the anime). 00 Qan(T) is also another example of this as its classified as a close combat unit despite also being strongest in its other areas.

It certainly doesn't necessarily limits any other capabilities not mentioned though. Cherudim SAGA is classified as a close combat unit (despite lacking beam sabers; mainly because of its handguns) even though it still possesses mid-range sniping capabilities.

Equipment can make the differences in term of specialization. I recall the MG Exia mentioning that Exia is actually a general purpose frame and it received its close combat classification purely because of its equipment.

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Re: Mobile Suit range and Classifications

Post by MythSearcher » Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:51 am

SonicSP wrote:I'm under the impression that the classified range is a constructor specified range on what they want it to be specialized as. To use an AU example, I believe 00 Raiser is classified as a close range combat from wording if the MG Qan(T) manual, even though in practice it appears to be general purpose model and one that goes with the jack-of-all-trades stats (00 has also been noted to be able to match certain other specialized MS in their specialized stats in instances like one of the 00V Senki chapters, aside it being obvious in the anime). 00 Qan(T) is also another example of this as its classified as a close combat unit despite also being strongest in its other areas.

It certainly doesn't necessarily limits any other capabilities not mentioned though. Cherudim SAGA is classified as a close combat unit (despite lacking beam sabers; mainly because of its handguns) even though it still possesses mid-range sniping capabilities.

Equipment can make the differences in term of specialization. I recall the MG Exia mentioning that Exia is actually a general purpose frame and it received its close combat classification purely because of its equipment.
I guess unless you go to the extremes, most MS can change its combat range by only changing their main weapon.
By extremes I mean melee and ultra-long range firing(like the FAZZ's dozen thousand km)
For close to long range, you don't really need to have specialized specs, you only need a suitable weapon.
However, for melee, if you don't go extreme, its impossible.(I am against melee specialized units because they are basically suicide units in a more real life situation, carrying a beam sabre or two is reasonable just in case for cutting through whatever gets in one way though)
For ultra-long ranges, if you don't have the specific aiming functions, the MS might not be able to precisely aim that far away.

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Re: Mobile Suit range and Classifications

Post by HalfDemonInuyasha » Wed Feb 05, 2014 4:26 pm

MythSearcher wrote:I guess unless you go to the extremes, most MS can change its combat range by only changing their main weapon.
By extremes I mean melee and ultra-long range firing(like the FAZZ's dozen thousand km)
For close to long range, you don't really need to have specialized specs, you only need a suitable weapon.
However, for melee, if you don't go extreme, its impossible.(I am against melee specialized units because they are basically suicide units in a more real life situation, carrying a beam sabre or two is reasonable just in case for cutting through whatever gets in one way though)
For ultra-long ranges, if you don't have the specific aiming functions, the MS might not be able to precisely aim that far away.
Sort of like how the Heavy Gundam or the GM Cannon II have beam sabers, even though neither are necessarily meant to duke it out in melee given their speed reductions due to their heavier armor, but more like (surprise) weapons meant for self-defense should enemy MS get too close after getting past their longer range firing.
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Re: Mobile Suit range and Classifications

Post by toysdream » Wed Feb 05, 2014 5:09 pm

Mobile suit classification isn't just a matter of weapon range - a lot of it has to do with intended fighting tactics. Both of which are a bit wishful, since you can't always pick and choose your combat situation, but in this respect they're trying to emulate real-world weapons categories.

So you have some mobile suits that are intended for relatively close-range engagements with other mobile suits, much like a modern interceptor or air-superiority fighter. And you have others that are designed to break through enemy lines as high speed, largely ignoring the enemy's mobile suits, and take out major targets with heavy weapons. And you have still others that are meant to hang back from the fray and bombard the enemy forces from a safe distance.

For example, the Methuss from Zeta Gundam is classified as an attack type, like most of the AEUG's other high-end mobile suits. From the old 1/144 kit manual:
As for its offensive capabilities, typically for an attack type mobile suit, it specializes in out-range attacks such as dogfighting and long-range anti-ship attack. Anti-mobile suit melee, etc., is entrusted to interceptor type mobile suits such as the Nemo.
Thanks to its speed and maneuverability, the Methuss's mobile armor form can dogfight with other mobile suits as long as it keeps its distance from them, but like the manual says, it's not intended to duel other mobile suits at close range. The same is basically true of the Dom, Rick Dias, and so forth, which don't have shields or multiple melee weapons, but carry heavy long-range weapons that can damage or destroy enemy battleships.

The main difference between an attack or assault type (like the Kaempfer, Gerbera Tetra, and Alpha Azieru), and your snipers and artillery types, is that the former are meant to go through the enemy lines to get to their targets, and the latter are meant to stay out of the main battlefield and shoot at their targets from the sidelines.

This doesn't just apply to the U.C. series, either - you can see the same basic logic applied to mobile suits in the other Gundam worlds.


As far as weapon ranges, it's rare that a weapon's built-in sensor seems to have much effect on targeting range - mostly these seem to link to the mobile suit's own sensors for better accuracy. In general, when Minovsky particles are in play and mobile suits are limited to visual range, the physical range of their weapons is further than they can reliably see or aim, so the mobile suit's own sensors are the real limiting factor. It's instructive, I think, to look at the sensor ranges of the One Year War mobile armors, which are sufficiently huge that they really shouldn't have any size limits to their optical sensors.

Excluding the Elmeth, which can send its bits far away, the One Year War mobile armors have sensor ranges between 80 and 150 kilometers, which is presumably enough to cover the effective ranges of their weapons. The Elmeth's sensor range is 245 kilometers, which is close to the technological limit of One Year War sensors; the writeup of the YOP-04 Balor observation pod from MS Igloo 603 says that previous optical sensors were limited to a range of about 300 kilometers. (This is also the effective range of the QCX-76A Jormungand under Minovsky particle conditions, and longer than the firing range of a Magellan-class battleship.)

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Re: Mobile Suit range and Classifications

Post by Zeonista » Wed Feb 05, 2014 5:22 pm

Evex wrote:A few questions have been bugging me for some time on a mobile suits range.

1. What determines the effective range of a mobile suits weapons ? Is it the mobile suits sensor range, or is it the sensor on the weapon ?

2. How is a mobile suits range determined ? For instance what classifies a mobile suit as a close combat type, medium range , long range, high mobility and any mix of those.

3. What are the characteristics that make up a medium to long range mobile suit, and what are some examples of such suits ?
These are some good questions! Let me see if I can help...

1. Effective Weapon Range

In any Gundam Universe outside of G Gundam (near-exclusively close-range) range depends on several factors.
1. Effective sensor range.
This is variable, based on the MS's own sensor capabilities, and any limiting factors on the battlefield. Limiting factors like the notorious Minovsky particle make the most difference. Simple maximum effective sensor range is where the sensors allow targets to be sorted from background clutter and unknown bogies. Effective sensor range is where the MS pilot says "enemy, engaging". Of course, good old LOS-blocking terrain remains the best inhibitor of sensors, regardless of potential range! :)
2. Effective weapon power.
The effective range of the MS's ranged weapons will determine its effective range in a most definite fashion! Note, "effective range" is the farthest distance where the weapon can strike its target and cause effective damage. It may be easy for a given MS to strike a target at 5km, but is that helpful if the shot will only pierce the target's armor at 2.5km? This is why mega-beam launchers are popular with Medium and Long-Range style MS. Also, a long-range shot may be able to damage an enemy caught unawares, but a ready enemy may avoid the attack, regardless of the potential effect.
3. Targeting mechanism beyond the usual system.
The MS has an on-board system that lets the pilot shoot well, allowing engagement at longer range, with greater chances of hitting. Beam smartguns, sniper scopes, Haro co-pilot to let the pilot calculate a firing solution, all establish a better effective range than not using them.
4. Pilot capabilities.
Tech aside, the MS depends on its pilot for the most successful use. A pilot who is alert, familiar with his MS potential, and confident in his gunnery can engage targets well before his jittery rookie wingman can do likewise. Also, the pilot may enjoy an inherent advantage which allows a greater ability to identify enemies outside of normal limits. This is why Newtypes are desirable as MS pilots.
5. Indirect support from outside the MS.
The MS receives targeting data or assistance from an outside source and uses it to calculate aim for long-range targets. This is more or less indirect fire. It's not part of most MS systems, and more of a tactical solution, but that is a way to extend the chance of hitting something at long range.

2. Mobile Suit Range Type

A Mobile Suit's general "combat range" classification is related to its battlefield function.
Close Range
This type of MS is expected to close range on the enemy and attack with rapid-fire ranged weapons and melee weapons. It engages targets that are clearly visible, and well within its weapon ranges. Speed and maneuverability are good, since the MS needs to get close to its target to be effective.
Medium Range
This type of MS is expected to provide supporting fire to the close range fighters. It has 1-2 weapons with good range and accuracy to cover their comrades' advance (or retreat) and hinder enemy formations. Range is still visual, although that can sometimes mean a visual sensor confirmation of a target just beyond human sight. Speed is good, to let the MS stay in range, although maneuverability may not be as good.
Long Range
This type of MS has 1 long-range weapon that makes it more of a humanoid self-propelled artillery piece. Its main weapon has the range and power to 1-shot most MS, and destroy larger targets in successive shots. Speed and maneuverability take a back seat to lugging around the big gun.
High Mobility
This type of MS has the ability to move between Close and Medium range capabilities based on its pilot's needs in combat. It usually has 1 Medium-ranged weapon, 1-3 Close-ranged weapons, and a dedicated melee weapon or two. A balance of speed and maneuverability greater than the enemy's Close Range MS is definitely required! The Gundam Hero and Enemy Ace usually get this type of MS.

3. Recognizable Examples

A close reading of the characteristics above ought to let you classify most Gundam mecha without too much difficulty. ;)

EDIT: Ninja'd on the correlation between tactical needs & MS design & equipment by toysdream.
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Re: Mobile Suit range and Classifications

Post by Evex » Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:29 pm

Instead of me trying to regurgitate what every one else has said in order to see if I understand the idea of mobile suit classification. I've instead compiled a list trying to classify the mobile suits of the one year war . I only use the one year war period as its the simplest to identify mobile suit characteristics, as transformable designs can lead to a bit of muddy water in my opinion.

Close Range

Gouf
Gyan
Gouf Custom
GM Light Armor Type
Gouf Flight type

Close - Medium range

Gundam
Gelgoog
Z'gok
Gundam "Alex"
Kampfer
Z'gok E
Gelgoog High Mobility type
GM Cold District Type
GM Command
GM Command Space type

Medium range

Zaku II
GM
GM Ground Type
Dom
Rick Dom
Zaku II Kai
Acguy
Rick Dom II
Gundam Ground Type
Gundam Ez8

Medium - Long range

Guncannon
Gelgoog Jager
GM Sniper II
Guncannon Mass production Type
GM Cannon
Gogg
Hygogg
Zaku Cannon
Guncannon II
Guncannon Heavy arms type
Gundam Full Armor Type
Gelgoog Cannon

Long Range

Guntank
GM Sniper
GM Sniper Custom
Zock
Guntank Mass production type
Guntank II

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Re: Mobile Suit range and Classifications

Post by Brave Fencer Kirby » Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:28 am

toysdream wrote:So you have some mobile suits that are intended for relatively close-range engagements with other mobile suits, much like a modern interceptor or air-superiority fighter. And you have others that are designed to break through enemy lines as high speed, largely ignoring the enemy's mobile suits, and take out major targets with heavy weapons. And you have still others that are meant to hang back from the fray and bombard the enemy forces from a safe distance.
Interesting! So the three basic combat roles are "interceptor" (maneuverable close-combat units intended to defeat enemy mobile suits at close range), "assault" (fast, heavily armed units intended to blow through enemy lines and attack heavily defended high-value targets like ships and fortifications), and... what would you call it, "bombardment"? (long range units intended to hang back and attack enemy forces from a distance).

Thinking about it, those three roles really do seem to encapsulate 90% of mobile suits we see. Interceptor units tend to be focused on maneuverability, which means a very basic weapons loadout (typically a mid-range, relatively rapid-fire weapon like beam rifle or machine gun, plus a melee weapon or two) and relatively light armor with a hand-carried shield to boost defense -- the basic EFF grunt GM/Nemo/Jegan probably being the most iconic instance of this. Assault units tend to focus on straight-line speed over maneuverability, heavy armor in lieu of a shield, and more powerful but slower-firing weapons like bazookas -- suits like the Dom/Rick Dom, Rick Dias, Kampfer, etc. Bombardment units tend to be either "artillery" types with heavy armor and larged fixed guns (eg, any mobile suit with "cannon" in the name, from the Guncannon to the Zaku Cannon to the GM Cannon) or "sniper" types with powerful, long-ranged hand-carried armaments (though those tend to be rarer in Gundam -- the only example I can think of off the top of my head is the GM Snipers from 08th MS Team and the Zaku Sniper from Unicorn).

The odd ducks out there are transformable mobile suits, which seem to be an attempt to combine interceptor and assault types. In mobile suit mode, they fight more like interceptors, but when they transform, they tend to be faster but less maneuverable, with all their weapons facing in one direction to create a powerful salvo, like an assault unit. Of course, any number of units blur the line between roles, as well -- like ZZ, which has heavy armor and powerful fixed beam cannons that would make you think it's a bombardment unit, but duels it up in melee with the best of them like an interceptor.
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Re: Mobile Suit range and Classifications

Post by toysdream » Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:56 pm

Evex: As I just said, focusing exclusively on weapon range isn't really a helpful way of classifying mobile suits, and that's not how they're classified in the Japanese sources.

To pick just one example: The GM Light Armor plays the same role as the RX-81 Light Armor - making high-speed hit-and-run attacks on enemy mobile suits. The GM Light Armor was specifically designed for experienced pilots who'd switched over from conventional space fighters, so it's meant to employ the same tactics. The RX-81 version is even more specialized for this, to the point where it doesn't even carry any melee weapons! That hardly fits the mold of a "close combat type" that's meant to stay put and duel other mobile suits.


Kirby: I think that pretty much covers it. The "attack" label is probably a better general term for the machines that charge through enemy lines to attack major targets - the handful that are classified as "assault" types are basically a super-exaggerated version of this.

The one exception is the RX-81 Assault Armor. Despite its name, this is actually a close combat type like the GM Striker, designed to eliminate enemy mobile suits in direct melee combat. According to the HG-UC kit manual, the GM Striker's extra armor is meant to shield it from enemy projectile weapons so that it can close to melee range, and the same is presumably true of the RX-81 version.

Within these categories, we can start to break things out by range a little bit. The RX-78 Gundam, the GM Striker, the GM Light Armor, and the Gundam Exia are all basically designed to eliminate enemy mobile suits, so they're all "fighter" or "interceptor" types. But the GM Striker and Exia are designed to do that at close range, the GM Light Armor is meant to do it in ranged dogfighting, and the RX-78 is a mix of both. Generally, mobile suits designed for close combat tend to have smaller shields (because they're easier to handle in close quarters), and medium-range ones have larger shields.

Likewise, when it comes to bombardment types, the Guncannon is designed to provide medium-range support to its fellow mobile suits, while the Guntank is more useful for long-range bombardment. They're both meant to stay out of the thick of battle - that's why neither of them carry shields or melee weapons - but the Guncannon is supposed to at least be close enough to see what its allies are doing. :-)

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Re: Mobile Suit range and Classifications

Post by HalfDemonInuyasha » Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:18 pm

And as Amuro demonstrated, if need be and with the right pilot (preferably a Newtype, lol), even ones like the Guncannon can still handle itself pretty well in melee combat, even against melee-oriented MS like the Gouf. :mrgreen:
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Re: Mobile Suit range and Classifications

Post by Evex » Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:00 am

Scratches head* Hm... this is more complicated then I had thought. Okay so we can classify mobile suits into three basic types close combat, interception and bombardment. Using the GAT Series as an example of this classification.

Close Combat Type

Strike Gundam
Sword Strike Gundam
Duel Gundam

Interception

Aegis Gundam
Aile Strike Gundam
Raider Gundam

Bombardment

Buster Gundam
Launcher Strike Gundam
Duel Gundam Assault Shroud
Calamity Gundam

I'm honestly not sure where the Blitz Gundam fits into the classification system, would it be similar to a suit like the Kampfer. I'm also unsure where the Forbidden Gundam also fits into this. It feels like a close combat type, but at the same time could be an interceptor type.

Another Question that just came to my mind is it possible for any of these to have above average mobility and defense, with out the two taking away from each other ? For instance the Gelgoog Cannon is supposed to have good mobility, but if you increased its defence capabilities would mobility take a hit ? If so would there be a way to reach a balance medium ?

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Re: Mobile Suit range and Classifications

Post by Dark Duel » Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:27 am

toysdream wrote: The RX-81 version is even more specialized for this, to the point where it doesn't even carry any melee weapons!
That is weird, because I could have sworn I saw lineart of the G-Line Light Armor that had beam sabers equipped to it.
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Re: Mobile Suit range and Classifications

Post by HalfDemonInuyasha » Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:31 am

I'd put the Blitz and Forbidden as Close Combat personally.

As for defense and mobility, it'd probably depend on what systems are used.

Like with something like the Minovsky Drive System, then you can probably easily afford heavier defensive measures while still retaining good mobility (especially compared to standard MS) like the Victory 2 Assault / Assault/Buster Gundam ((albeit, still (much) less than normal)).

Or with the way the S Gundam is set up with the equipment to be the ExS Gundam or the 7th Gundam with the (Heavy) Full Armor Parts.

Of course, then you'd run into the problem of cost...
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Re: Mobile Suit range and Classifications

Post by PowerdGNFlag » Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:40 am

Dark Duel wrote:
toysdream wrote: The RX-81 version is even more specialized for this, to the point where it doesn't even carry any melee weapons!
That is weird, because I could have sworn I saw lineart of the G-Line Light Armor that had beam sabers equipped to it.
The M-MSV version don't seem to have them in the lineart, but the 0081 game version does (but is not listed in the specs).
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Re: Mobile Suit range and Classifications

Post by toysdream » Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:16 pm

Yep, Katoki's "G-Line" version seems to have beam sabers, but the original RX-81 Light Armor from the M-MSV series didn't, and this was specifically mentioned in the profile text.

Evex wrote:Scratches head* Hm... this is more complicated then I had thought. Okay so we can classify mobile suits into three basic types close combat, interception and bombardment. Using the GAT Series as an example of this classification.
Not quite! "Close combat," "interceptor," "fighter" etc are all just variations on the same thing - a mobile suit for fighting other mobile suits, like a modern fighter plane. The real third category is attack, which is a fast, heavily armed mobile suit designed to charge through enemy lines and take out important targets.

The Japanese sources have classified most of the U.C. mobile suits neatly into these categories. Here's a breakdown.


Fighter Type (戦闘型)
This is basically the default - most mobile suits are designed to fight other mobile suits, and most otherwise unclassified mobile suits fall into this category. These are among the few cases where it's specifically mentioned:

RX-78-4 Gundam (M-MSV)
RX-78-5 Gundam (M-MSV)
MS-14F Gelgoog Marine
MS-17 Galbaldy Alpha
AMX-006 Gaza D
RGM-109 Heavygun
XM-02 Den'an Gei
XM-05 Berga Giros

Some fighter-type mobile suits are specifically designed to engage other mobile suits at close range. You'll see these labeled as close combat type (白兵戦型) or melee type (格闘型). Examples:

RX-78 Gundam - by some accounts
RGM-79FP GM Striker (Harmony of Gundam)
YMS-15 Gyan
RX-81ST Standard Armor (M-MSV) - multiclassed as "bombardment/melee type"
F90 Gundam
XM-01 Den'an Zon
XM-04 Berga Dalas
F90D Destroid Type

A couple of mobile suits are classified as interceptor type (迎撃用 or 迎撃型). Basically the same thing, but more explicitly defensive.

MSA-003 Nemo
RGM-89 Jegan
F90 II Intercept Type


Attack Type (攻撃型)
Here's your second major food group. These are meant to break through enemy lines with minimal fuss and make high-speed hit-and-run attacks on major enemy targets - bases, ships, and so forth. Most high-end AEUG machines fall into this category, and since the Doms from Gundam 0083 are classified this way, the original Dom and Rick Dom probably qualify as well. (So the Rick Dias plays the same role as the Rick Dom.)

MS-09F/trop Dom Tropen
MS-09R-2 Rick Dom II
YMS-16M Xamel - also described as "long-range support type"
MA-06 Val Walo
RX-78GP02A Gundam
RX-78GP03S Gundam
RX-81 Light Armor (M-MSV)
RMS-099 Rick Dias
MSN-00100 Hyaku Shiki
MSA-004K Nemo III
MSA-005 Methuss
MSZ-006 Zeta Gundam
MSZ-006A1/C1 Zeta Plus
MSZ-008 Zeta II
MSK-008 Dijeh
RMS-108 Marasai
RMS-142 Xeku Zwei
PMX-000 Messala
PMX-001 Palace Athene
AMX-002 Neue Ziel
AMX-008 Ga-Zowmn - also described as a "fighter-bomber for anti-ship and anti-fortress attack"
AMX-107 Bawoo
RGM-89S Stark Jegan - classified as "anti-ship attack" (対艦攻撃用)
RGZ-91 Re-GZ
F71 G-Cannon
F91 Gundam

Whew! You can see that one's a popular category. A more extreme variant is the assault type (強襲用, 強襲型, or 突撃型). These often have drop tanks, disposable boosters, or disposable weapons for the sake of maximum speed, and they generally don't carry shields.

RTX-440 Assault Guntank
MS-10 Pezn Dwadge
MS-18E Kaempfer
MS-21C Dra-C
AGX-04 Gerbera Tetra
MSA-0011[Bst] S Gundam Booster Unit
RX-121 Gundam TR-1 Hazel Assault Form
AMX-011S Zaku III Custom
AMX-102 Zssa - multiclassed as bombardment type, but can play assault role with booster attached
NZ-333 Alpha Azieru
F90A Assault Type


Bombardment Type (砲撃戦用 or 砲撃戦型)
Third major group. These are meant to shoot at the enemy from a safe distance, and are often further classified as either medium- or long-range types. It's also common for these guys to be described as support type (支援型) since their main job is to back up their fellow mobile suits.

RX-75 Guntank - long range bombardment/support
RX-77 Guncannon - medium range bombardment/support
RX-78-6 Gundam (M-MSV)
RX-78SP Gunner Gundam (MSV-R) - medium range support
RX-81ST Standard Armor (M-MSV) - multiclassed as "bombardment/melee type"
RGC-80 GM Cannon
RGC-83 GM Cannon II - medium range bombardment/support
RB-79 Ball - medium range support
MS-06K Zaku Cannon - medium range bombardment/support
MS-12 Gigan - also described as "anti-air defense type"
MS-14C Gelgoog Cannon
YMS-16M Xamel - also described as "long range attack" and "medium/long range support"
MSA-005K Guncannon Detector
RGM-86R GM III - medium/long range support
AMX-102 Zssa - multiclassed as "assault/attack type"
AMS-119 Geara Doga Heavy Armed Type
F90S Support Type
RXR-44 Guntank R-44

A specialized offshoot would be the sniper type (狙撃型).

RGM-79SC GM Sniper Custom
RGM-79SP GM Sniper II
MS-05L Zaku I Sniper Type (Harmony of Gundam)
MS-14Jg Gelgoog Jaeger
RMS-106CS Hizack Custom
F90 II L Long Range Type


Reconnaissance Type (偵察用 or 偵察型)
Last but not least, let's remember the rare but charismatic recon type. Like the "fighter" and "attack" types, these play the same role as modern aircraft. Many of them are designed for reconnaissance in force (強行偵察, often mistranslated as "forced reconnaissance"), which is a tactic where you send a fairly obvious scout team into enemy territory to probe their defenses and assess their fighting strength.

MS-06E Zaku Recon Type
RMS-119 EWAC-Zack
XM-03 Ebirhu-S
XM-06 Dahgi-Iris


So that's the classic Universal Century breakdown. Based on this, you can classify stuff from the other series pretty easily. The "lead" Gundams - the Strike, the Duel, the Exia, the AGE-1 Normal, etc - are all fighter types specialized for various ranges, and we see plenty of attack, bombardment, sniper, and recon types as well. Maybe we'll leave that for followup posts though.

-- Mark
Last edited by toysdream on Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:35 pm, edited 4 times in total.

Xenosynth
Posts: 1168
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:03 am

Re: Mobile Suit range and Classifications

Post by Xenosynth » Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:38 pm

Actually, the RX-81 in the game is a bit odd. The BASE RX-81, Standard Armor, Assault Armor, and Light armor, without equipment, all have beam sabers on the backpack, because the backpack they use is similar to the RX-78-2. HOWEVER

http://ps3-gundam.net/

If you look under the mobile suit section, if you look at the versions with the Gatling Cannons, Assault Cannons, or Missile launchers, they don't appear to have the beam sabers equipped, and they have new backpacks + propellant tanks. The particular Katoki lineart linked was just for the RX-81 Light Armor without equipment, while the M-MSV version has the equipment backpack on it, particularly, the missile launcher pack, which has no sabers even in Katoki's version.

Here you can see the RX-81LA with missile launcher equipment, which was the version in the old M-MSV.

So basically for Katoki's RX-81:
RX-81 No Armor/ST/LA/AS = RX-78-2-like Backpack + Beam Sabers
RX-81 + Any additional weapon equip = New Backpacks + No Beam Sabers

Massignifico
Posts: 66
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:51 pm

Re: Mobile Suit range and Classifications

Post by Massignifico » Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:17 pm

Xenosynth wrote: Here you can see the RX-81LA with missile launcher equipment, which was the version in the old M-MSV.

So basically for Katoki's RX-81:
RX-81 No Armor/ST/LA/AS = RX-78-2-like Backpack + Beam Sabers
RX-81 + Any additional weapon equip = New Backpacks + No Beam Sabers
But you can see Beam Sabers under the backpack in the rear view, just like the ones in the Gm Command line.

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