How can your average Ace earn his special MS?

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False Prophet
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How can your average Ace earn his special MS?

Post by False Prophet » Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:24 am

I am not just talking about custom MS, but also includes high-performace limited-production models such as the GM Striker or F91 Gundam. How can your average Ace - that is, someone who is not affiliated with any experimental program and is serving actively - can get his hand on one of these models? Must he pass a certain rank to file a request? Or there is a test to be done? Or maybe his superior looks at his combat record and then pass his recommendation to the HQ?

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Seto Kaiba
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Re: How can your average Ace earn his special MS?

Post by Seto Kaiba » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:23 pm

False Prophet wrote:
Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:24 am
How can your average Ace - that is, someone who is not affiliated with any experimental program and is serving actively - can get his hand on one of these models? Must he pass a certain rank to file a request? Or there is a test to be done? Or maybe his superior looks at his combat record and then pass his recommendation to the HQ?
Based on what I've seen and read, there are four basic ways that normal soldiers would be selected to pilot a "special" Mobile Suit:
  • Newtype status:
    This one's pretty self-explanatory... a known newtype, cyber-newtype, or suspected emerging newtype can usually count on the military to immediately cough up a state-of-the-art mobile suit for their exclusive use even if they're not the most experienced or skilled pilot available. The Federation and the various Zeon-esque forces opposing it invariably believe newtypes have superior combat potential and thus try to outfit them accordingly. (These are too many of these to count.)
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  • Special Forces service:
    Pilots assigned to special forces units are, pretty much by definition, more skilled and/or experienced than the rank-and-file. As a result, special forces units tend to get dibs on those special mobile suits because the more experienced pilots will be able to use the higher-performance mobile suits to their fullest potential. (These are your guys and gals from the Titans, Londo Bell, ECOAS, the White Dingo team, Phantom Sweep Corps, Task Force Alpha, Barghest, etc.)
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  • Being a top-scoring ace in a crisis:
    On rare occasions, when there isn't a newtype around to bogart all of the midseason upgrades, we've seen high-performance mobile suits end up in the hands of mooks who were either in the right place at the right time or were the best (or least awful) pilots in a particular theater and thus gained recognition as the local "top ace". Top aces have propaganda value, so they tend to get custom hardware or higher-performance gear. (This is for guys like Kou Uraki, who lucked his way into a Gundam by being closest when Gato started his heist, Ramba Ral, who was a celebrated ace from the Battle of Loum, or Io Fleming's first Gundam that he earned by being the least useless member of the Moore Brotherhood.)
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  • Favoritism/Nepotism/Friends in High Places:
    Some pilots are special. They're either members of the Great and the Good themselves, or close friends with someone who is. They could be related to space nobility, or members of parliament, or wealthy industrialists. Either way, they get special treatment from the military brass because the Important People are different. They might not even have to ask, since the military might want to curry favor by assuring that the spawn of some bigshot has a primo assignment that ensures they'll get recognition. (This is for guys like Char Aznable, Riddhe Marcenas, the Zabis and their various family attendants like Haman Karn, the Sahalins and their family attendants like Norris Packard,
    Io Fleming the second time around, Harry Ord, Bellri Zenam and Aida Suguran, Chronicle Asher, etc.)

I don't recall running across anything that would suggest that there was a standard procedure by which a pilot could request a better mobile suit or that a better mobile suit was a typical privilege of rank (even Dozle Zabi had a humble MS-06 Zaku II).
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Dark Duel
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Re: How can your average Ace earn his special MS?

Post by Dark Duel » Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:13 pm

Even IF such a procedure existed, I seriously doubt individual pilots would be able to request them. I think it is far more likely that provided there is a hypothetical procedure for a regular forces pilot to be assigned a new model, this would be done by the unit Commanding Officer and/or other ranking parties up the chain of command. As to what criteria would be used, I imagine service time would play a part, as well as how much experience/time they have in standard mobile suits, skill level, and possibly other merits/factors.
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Arsarcana
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Re: How can your average Ace earn his special MS?

Post by Arsarcana » Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:19 pm

Another likely criteria would be logistical. Depending on what duties a given military unit is performing and what their supply situation is, if there were a procedure for COs to request more advanced suits for particular pilots they'd have to take into consideration whether they can effectively support a non-standard unit. Any parts that aren't shared with MS already assigned to a unit, any ammunition not shared etc would need to be obtainable in sufficient quantities to keep the machine in the field. And there would be considerations about whether the technicians could adequately maintain a suit or if ones trained for it could be assigned to the team. This would presumably be a bigger issue for particularly cutting-edge designs.

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MythSearcher
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Re: How can your average Ace earn his special MS?

Post by MythSearcher » Sun Sep 03, 2017 6:03 am

Seto Kaiba wrote:
Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:23 pm
Based on what I've seen and read, there are four basic ways that normal soldiers would be selected to pilot a "special" Mobile Suit:
I'd suggest a 5th, but I guess is only a sub-set of 2rd.

Be a top test pilot and be attacked/survive during testing.

You may not really get your own special MS (nor anyone anyway, they all belong to the military), but at least you will get to pilot the newest model the earliest.

Think about Chris, who piloted NT-1, probably the most powerful model EFSF had at the time, with no real combat experience.
Think about Kou, who piloted GP01, seriously had a lot of problems and no real combat experience.
Think about the Zudah racer (no, I refuse to call him a pilot, those idiot GM as well)

EFF seems to fit military school top grads into test pilot role and that might be the fastest way to use a special MS.

But you still need to be:
1) REALLY lucky
By lucky I mean surviving enemy attacks (the original RX-78 test pilot didn't), and have some idiot higher ups that can "see" through your inability and just let you pilot the multi-billion dollar piece of art (i.e. Voice of creator), oh , and also the test unit actually works and not a fail prone machine that can't walk straight or will explode by simply accelerating.
2) Top of the batch
Chris and Kou were at least top notch students in military school (or in Kou's case, being born on Earth was the privilege he get to be assigned to the test team with the top notches so he gets pure pilot training)

6th or sub-set of 4th:
Be a lead MS design engineer.
Probably a special case, but Elliot of Zeonic got on the first MS (so technically must be unique and special before the mass-production begins) because he is the lead engineer of the MS design team of Zeonic. In this case, he became the friend of some guy in high places with his ability of design and piloting.
Of course you still need to be good at piloting.

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