The role of tanks in Gundam

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The role of tanks in Gundam

Post by Underrated GM Custom » Sun Apr 25, 2021 10:22 pm

Hello everyone,

I was reading a Kazuhisa Kondo translated interview over at Zimmerit and thought it had an interesting take worth discussing. Primarily, the role of non-Mobile suits in combat. The interview is geared towards the PC-98 Gundam strategy game but also touches on Revival of Zeon.

Revival of Zeon is a manga with an interesting premise set between ZZ and CCA that show's Neo Zeon fighting on the ground. We see Zeta's primarily as bombers or hit and run strike craft, a surplus of Nemo's and MK-IIs engaging in ground warfare and machine guns as far as the eye can see. Additionally, many Zeon-esque Titan's units like the Hizack, Marasai and Gaplant are being used by Neo Zeon. It's visually striking and I really enjoyed the artwork in it.

In Revival of Zeon, Zeon is once again in a ground invasion of Earth and it isn't going great. Logistics are stretched thin and it looks like Zeon needs to breakthrough the lines IOT retreat back to Space. Thankfully they have the gargantuan The O-II (or Neo Jio if you prefer) to help with that, being piloted by Frederick F Brown the very same from the MS Gundam: Record of MS Wars. While the story doesn't spend a surplus of time on infantry or tanks I found this quote from the interview very interesting.
Plainly speaking, mobile suits are a step up in evolution from armored vehicles, so they’d excel at countering tank units. But tanks are more effective in taking down infantry, in addition to being more cost-efficient. And when it comes to seizing cities and occupying territory, infantry is the best choice. So no matter how advanced mobile suits get, tanks and infantry are never going to disappear. And since the suits are expensive to outfit and maintain, it’s probably not practical to deploy a large number of them as front-line units.
(Interview: http://www.zimmerit.moe/kazuhisa-kondo- ... operation/)

He makes a very reasoned point here, not matter how advanced your war machines you will always need infantry. You can send F-18s to bomb a city all day long but eventually your ground combat element will be sent in to capture it.

Kondo brings up what I would consider a more grounded point of view that even with the advent of super-light super-strong alloys that allow for giant robots to fly around and destroy everything in sight, tanks would still have a role to play from an economic and militaristic perspective.

Economically tanks should be wildly cheaper compared to a mobile suit. Militaristically they would be useful in engagements where Mobile Suits would either be inefficient or overkill. The AU series Iron Blood Orphans has Mobile Workers, a tank sized mech unit that fill this role nicely but we don't have an equivalent in UC where all the tanks disappear after the OYW.

Thinking about Tanks, Infantry and combined arms doctrine in Gundam I wanted to propose a few reasons as to why Tanks are no longer used in UC series set in later years. These will be in-universe explanations since the out of universe it's easy to explain that MS and Gunpla are the money maker for Bandai/Sunrise rather than tanks and wappas.

1. Tanks are featured during the OYW because afterwards MS advanced to a level where a tank could no longer keep up with the Mobile Suits overall speed and mobility.

The OYW featured the dawn of Mobile Suits, a brand new technology and war fighting device the drastically reshaped the battlefield for land, air and space. That said MS were pretty slow and clunky back then, yes they could still vault into the air and cut aircraft out of the sky, but many MS especially ground type models were slow enough that tanks could reliably target them be a threat. We see this in MSG, 08th MS Team and IGLOO.

(Sidenote: The game Federation Vs Zeon (PS2) features a personal favorite unit of mine which is a Zaku II wielding a magela top as it's primary weapon)

With Zeta Gundam we see that Mobile Suits are able to take to the skies for much longer periods of time as shown in the episodes with the Audulhulma (hope I spelled that right!). Now that MS can be aerial for far longer and are less likely to be on the ground for significant periods of time it again weakens the role of a tank on the battlefield.

2. Most MS Pilots were not competent or trained yet during the OYW.

Pilots of the mass produced GMs were in the crawl of the crawl-walk-run stages of learning when it came to MS Piloting. Thank goodness for that learning computer! We also see in 08th MS Team that adapting to using a MS on earth is quite hard.

While many pilots may be exceptional in aircraft MS Combat is a completely different spectrum and does not give a 1-to-1 transition of skills. Off the top of my head Ryo Jose, Yuu Kajima and Lydo Wolf were fighter pilots before MS pilots and the latter struggled when they first used a Guncannon MP. In some media we see that pilots do best when using the GM Light Armor (or G-Line Light Armor), a light MS that is more able to dogfight making their skills more relevant in the cockpit.

During the OYW pilots are thrown into brand new vehicles and sent to the front. After the OYW there's plenty of experience and training time to go around so Pilots are able to bring out a suits full capabilities turning MS into highly evasive and lethal machines.

3. Tanks aren't for space operation and are of a limited effectiveness in colonies.

Since Space and Colonies have become battlefields any military weapon that will compromise the bulk of your forces needs to be usable in that domain.

While we see Magella's used to a fun effect in The Plot to Assassinate Gihren, they are useful as a tool or support role only. Fighting inside colonies will always favor MS, especially with the changes in gravity as one nears the center playing havoc on artillery and ballistic calculations. Being unable to fight in 3 dimensions would make a tank obsolete.

4. Cost effectiveness

Overall I agree with this and Kondo's point. I think in ground based combats there would still be Tanks and APCs especially when it comes to Actions on Objective and capturing cities. As Kondo mentions Infantry and Tanks would work with MS in doing this.

Mobile Suits by their nature are very complex machines with many moving part, top of the line sensors and avionics so naturally they'd be more expensive than a metal boxes with treads. The argument could be made that a tank would be so significantly cheaper it wouldn't make sense to eliminate them entirely.

We see this a lot in Tabletop games where a few super soldiers in Power Armor may be worth the same amount of points as a platoon of Guardsmen. This comparison would work in MS, where one Gundam may hold the fighting equivalent of 10 GMs but doesn't work as well when comparing different vehicles.

That said I couldn't but think of the propeller plane and the jet after the end of WW2 for the cost effectiveness argument. Sure the propeller plane may be several orders of magnitude cheaper than the Jet, but the performance of the Jet is so wildly higher that no amount of propeller planes would really matter in a dog fight. Do we still use propeller planes? Well of course, what better way to hunt submarines or drop bombs, but they have their own missions which does not involve dogfighting.

With a MS that can quickly travel in three dimensions it's hard for the traditional tank to have merit. That said if Tanks were to mount weapons whose searching and traversing fire would let them easily follow airborne MS perhaps they'd be a worthwhile investment.

Although that does makes me wonder why we never see mobile missile batteries for short range missiles. Why yes Minovsky particles make missiles worthless at a certain range we see MS using missile pods and micromissiles often so why not a cheap delivery device with wheels or treads easily hidden and camouflaged. Just a thought.

5. Beam Weapons

With the advent of beam weapons mobility became key. While we do see several suits struck by beams and survive in MSG and Zeta Gundam, more often than not a direct hit from a beam weapon represents a kill shot which be the likely outcome for tanks hit by a beam.

Although I do have to wonder what warfare in MSG would look like if they had tanks with beam weapons. It reminds me of Battletech / Mechwarrior where the Tanks are nearly the same weight class as the Giant Battle Mechs and can be dangerous rather than a nuisance. Granted different universe with far less mobile Mechs.

So those are my thoughts on why we don't see Tanks in the media following MSG. I'd be curious to hear what your opinions on the matter and if you can think of any other reasons why Tanks should or should not have a place in the war zones of the Gundam universe either UC or AU. I'd also be curious to hear your thoughts on the warfare displayed in the Revival of Zeon manga. Thanks!

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Re: The role of tanks in Gundam

Post by Mafty » Mon Apr 26, 2021 1:41 am

To be fair tanks don't completely disappear following the OYW.

The usage in ZZ doesn't really count as they are left over from the OYW. However in Gundam Unicorn we see the Loto: an advanced form of the Guntank that sees use within the harbor area of Industrial 7, and works with treads and cannons to do battle in tight spaces.

By Gundam F91 we have the Guntank: an updated form of the original from an unknown release date, that is utilized by the civilian resistance. However the unit is older and piloted by two traumatized students and three Military Otakus, needless to say it goes badly, though how much that is due to age or how much is due to circumstance is unclear.

Even Victory Gundam has the Battle Bikes which are basically bike-tank hybrids; as well as the Motorad fleet which is supposed to be a giant bike, but is more like a giant landship tank. The Motorad fleet can operate in various environments in earth and space, and gives the League Militaire a very hard time.

Tanks in the more basic sense do appear in the AU's of Gundam Wing and Gundam SEED. in both cases this is the result of a new timeline wherein Mobil Suits are a more recent invention.

Gundam Wing has the tanks quickly supplanted by the all powerful Gundams, and thus are phased out/destroyed.

In SEED however the tanks fare slightly better. The opening battle shows tanks destroying GINN's and holding their own. Further the Lineargun Tank is more advanced and powerful than other tank types. Really the CE timeline dose actually show tanks in a better light in early battles; they are used on all sides of the conflict at first, and even resistance movements are shown to have luck against mobile suits if given a skilled enough pilot.

So the tanks will probably always be outpowered by the newer mobile suits, but depending on the timeline some can still prove effective.

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Re: The role of tanks in Gundam

Post by Kuruni » Mon Apr 26, 2021 2:02 am

In the case of AU, the Jiachong MA from 00 and IBO's mobile workers are more or less fill the role of tank.
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Re: The role of tanks in Gundam

Post by MythSearcher » Tue Apr 27, 2021 2:23 am

Underrated GM Custom wrote:
Sun Apr 25, 2021 10:22 pm
Kondo brings up what I would consider a more grounded point of view that even with the advent of super-light super-strong alloys that allow for giant robots to fly around and destroy everything in sight, tanks would still have a role to play from an economic and militaristic perspective.

Economically tanks should be wildly cheaper compared to a mobile suit. Militaristically they would be useful in engagements where Mobile Suits would either be inefficient or overkill. The AU series Iron Blood Orphans has Mobile Workers, a tank sized mech unit that fill this role nicely but we don't have an equivalent in UC where all the tanks disappear after the OYW.

Thinking about Tanks, Infantry and combined arms doctrine in Gundam I wanted to propose a few reasons as to why Tanks are no longer used in UC series set in later years. These will be in-universe explanations since the out of universe it's easy to explain that MS and Gunpla are the money maker for Bandai/Sunrise rather than tanks and wappas.
Quick answer, while his stories are all non-canon(They can never happen in the same universe from other series, they can't even happen in the same universe across different Kondo titles.) His views are at least more inline with people with more military sense.

Long answer, canon settings aren't that far off and provide more insight.

Before and during OYW, ground combat are mostly fought by tanks and planes.(nvm ships, most of them are sunk in the tsunami caused by the colony drop)
While MS, with their more advanced technology and much pricier tags, are more powerful than tanks, they aren't more cost effective within the atmosphere. They are only used because:
A) Zeon does not have the resources to produce a second set of assets just for ground combat, and they can fight on the ground.
B) EFF requires the know-how to build them for space combat and do not want to build ground specific vehicles that they don't think they will ever use en masse.

After the war, EFF holds the same idea, not that tanks cannot be more effective than MS on the ground, it's just that developing a new tank just for ground combat is completely inefficient because now you get even less incentive to do so with Zeon gone. No enemy is going to threaten EF on Earth(Yes, they are arrogantly incorrect) so why on Earth do we want to spend the money to do so?
MSs can be used in almost all situations because of they are designed to fight in space, including the colonies and on the Moon, thus it can also fight on the ground.(and it would be pretty useless if you have tanks in colonies that cannot move from one to another by themselves)

Basically, MSs are only cost effective if you look at the overall situation.

If you have more balanced fractions, MS will not be the only cost effective vehicle, but since you only have one dominating organisation, they will not weapons they don't find useful.
It makes sense, if you have space supremacy, your opponent(s) will have a hard time getting to you, even when you are on Earth; then when on Earth, EFF also have air and sea supremacy, so there really is little reason for them to care very much about having ground combat only vehicles. With so many surplus in outdated MS, re-purposing them for ground combat becomes more cost effective. They can always be taken to space and use there as well. And if anything happens, they can also bring their space force's MS down on Earth to fight.

Especially with SFS and TMS, they can have air supremacy while also maintaining a certain level of ground combat capability, if it doesn't look like their ground troops can handle it, they always have the luxury of fighting the enemy from air and take down enough of them before sending in the troops. Hey, they can even snipe the enemies from the Garudas from VERY far away if they want to.

Yes, just looking at the ground situation it's like they are using the least effective thing for it, but that is why it exactly shows the actual situation in the settings: EF is just that dominating to a point where they do not have to think of these things.

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Re: The role of tanks in Gundam

Post by Underrated GM Custom » Tue Apr 27, 2021 1:58 pm

It's been a minute since I've watched Gundam 00 S1, I had completely forgot about them featuring non-MS type units. It definitely merits a rewatch at some point. I was trying to remember if Gundam X featured any non-MS weapons but was having a hard time recalling as well.
MythSearcher wrote:
Tue Apr 27, 2021 2:23 am
Quick answer, while his stories are all non-canon(They can never happen in the same universe from other series, they can't even happen in the same universe across different Kondo titles.) His views are at least more inline with people with more military sense.
I find Kondo's works to be fascinating, either when they are a 'retelling' or a 'what if'' story like we see in his Zeta Gundam where Quattro works for the Titans. Really neat stuff, of course not close to canonical. I did really appreciate the design of his Zeta in Revival of Zeon, while I love the original version Kondo managed to produce one that was visually similar but completely different compared to a MSV that more often than not ends with a cannon slapped on the shoulder.

As you mentioned I also enjoy his work since he tries to put in more of a sense of logistical realism in his works. When I rewatch MSG with my wife a few years back I really enjoyed the scenes where Amuro gets berated for the Gundam getting damaged since there isn't an infinite resupply of spare parts. In particular the scene where Ramba Ral takes off a chunk of the Gundam's foot springs to mind.
MythSearcher wrote:
Tue Apr 27, 2021 2:23 am

Long answer, canon settings aren't that far off and provide more insight.

Before and during OYW, ground combat are mostly fought by tanks and planes.(nvm ships, most of them are sunk in the tsunami caused by the colony drop)
While MS, with their more advanced technology and much pricier tags, are more powerful than tanks, they aren't more cost effective within the atmosphere. They are only used because:
A) Zeon does not have the resources to produce a second set of assets just for ground combat, and they can fight on the ground.
B) EFF requires the know-how to build them for space combat and do not want to build ground specific vehicles that they don't think they will ever use en masse.

Basically, MSs are only cost effective if you look at the overall situation.
Aha! That's a very obvious point, I wish I would have thought of it. What's the point of producing tanks if there's no more need for land battles since the enemy has been driven back into space. That said I wonder why the Federation had tank corps to begin with on earth pre-OYW, what exactly were they needed for if the Earth Sphere had been united.

Great point on the Tsunami caused by the colony drop. I had never considered that before, I don't think it gets brought up in the animation but it makes sense a colossal tsunami from Sydney would've caused untold devastation throughout Oceania and SE Asia.
MythSearcher wrote:
Tue Apr 27, 2021 2:23 am

It makes sense, if you have space supremacy, your opponent(s) will have a hard time getting to you, even when you are on Earth; then when on Earth, EFF also have air and sea supremacy, so there really is little reason for them to care very much about having ground combat only vehicles. With so many surplus in outdated MS, re-purposing them for ground combat becomes more cost effective. They can always be taken to space and use there as well. And if anything happens, they can also bring their space force's MS down on Earth to fight.

Especially with SFS and TMS, they can have air supremacy while also maintaining a certain level of ground combat capability, if it doesn't look like their ground troops can handle it, they always have the luxury of fighting the enemy from air and take down enough of them before sending in the troops. Hey, they can even snipe the enemies from the Garudas from VERY far away if they want to.
Another great point and makes a lot of sense when you watch the assault on Torrington. Surplus MS that are outdated no longer have the mobility to survive in space but under the weight of gravity can still be useful.

I do have to disagree with EFF having sea supremacy. As I recall Zeon Remnants continued to move unabated underwater since the Federation never rebuilt it's sea force. Which I assume is why we see outdated Aqua GMs in 0096 as main-stays. Giving Zeon the sea allows for the narrative wiggle room to justify Zeon still being on earth or showing up in other engagements for other mainline titles or various manga.

I had never thought of using a Garuda / Auduhulma as a platform for sniping. If a Zaku I can do it I see no reason why a GM Sniper type can't do it either. That would have made for some very interesting clashes in Zeta Gundam if they had a GM Sniper II on board while being chased by Maj Buran. Are there any examples of Garuda sniping being used as a tactic like in Advance of Zeta or elsewhere?

Also I'm afraid I'm not familiar with the SFS or TMS acronyms.
Last edited by Underrated GM Custom on Tue Apr 27, 2021 2:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The role of tanks in Gundam

Post by Underrated GM Custom » Tue Apr 27, 2021 2:08 pm

Sorry for the double post, I couldn't quite figure out how to quote different people in one reply.
Mafty wrote:
Mon Apr 26, 2021 1:41 am
However in Gundam Unicorn we see the Loto: an advanced form of the Guntank that sees use within the harbor area of Industrial 7, and works with treads and cannons to do battle in tight spaces.

By Gundam F91 we have the Guntank: an updated form of the original from an unknown release date, that is utilized by the civilian resistance. However the unit is older and piloted by two traumatized students and three Military Otakus, needless to say it goes badly, though how much that is due to age or how much is due to circumstance is unclear.
I never liked the Guntank growing up but I really loved the depiction of the LOTO in Unicorn and vaguely remember the Guntank / Guncannon successors in F91. I suppose when I say tanks have disappeared I'm referring to very simple tanks more comparable to what we have in service today. While a Guntank, Hidolfir, LOTO, etc. are all tanks they also bleed enough into MS territory that I guarantee their costs are significantly higher than a simple tank that rolls around considerably closer to the ground.

That said it brings up another good point. Why don't see more cannon type units until 0096. While yes Beam Cannons are superior to physical Cannons in most circumstances, and the GM Cannon II is a great machine, beam cannons can't replicate the indirect fire of a ballistic cannon you'd see on a Guntank, Guncannon or Mudrock type unit.

I suppose the argument could be made that with other artillery, MS are fast enough and have good enough sensors that they are able to easily evade indirect fire.
Mafty wrote:
Mon Apr 26, 2021 1:41 am
Gundam Wing has the tanks quickly supplanted by the all powerful Gundams, and thus are phased out/destroyed.

In SEED however the tanks fare slightly better. The opening battle shows tanks destroying GINN's and holding their own. Further the Lineargun Tank is more advanced and powerful than other tank types. Really the CE timeline dose actually show tanks in a better light in early battles; they are used on all sides of the conflict at first, and even resistance movements are shown to have luck against mobile suits if given a skilled enough pilot.

So the tanks will probably always be outpowered by the newer mobile suits, but depending on the timeline some can still prove effective.
I had also forgotten about the tanks in SEED and Wing. Wing makes sense, the whole point of the show is to show how the Operation Meteor MS are just leagues better than everything else, so Leos, Aries, and tanks exist to be knocked over.

SEED is a great example since the whole premise of the show was until now only Coordinators were able to handle piloting MS since the OS had not yet been developed to allow normal humans to pilot them. I completely forgot about tanks though, was that in the early episodes? I admit most of my memories of Seed are from when it first aired and the scenes blazed in my memory are the 4v1 Gundam fights or the BaCue Zoid's esque MS fighting in the desert.

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Re: The role of tanks in Gundam

Post by MythSearcher » Tue Apr 27, 2021 9:39 pm

Underrated GM Custom wrote:
Tue Apr 27, 2021 1:58 pm
It's been a minute since I've watched Gundam 00 S1, I had completely forgot about them featuring non-MS type units. It definitely merits a rewatch at some point. I was trying to remember if Gundam X featured any non-MS weapons but was having a hard time recalling as well.
Yes, Gundam X had a bunch of land battleships, speedboats and AFVs.
I have not watched the series but at least the MAHQ database has them. ;9
I find Kondo's works to be fascinating, either when they are a 'retelling' or a 'what if'' story like we see in his Zeta Gundam where Quattro works for the Titans. Really neat stuff, of course not close to canonical. I did really appreciate the design of his Zeta in Revival of Zeon, while I love the original version Kondo managed to produce one that was visually similar but completely different compared to a MSV that more often than not ends with a cannon slapped on the shoulder.

As you mentioned I also enjoy his work since he tries to put in more of a sense of logistical realism in his works. When I rewatch MSG with my wife a few years back I really enjoyed the scenes where Amuro gets berated for the Gundam getting damaged since there isn't an infinite resupply of spare parts. In particular the scene where Ramba Ral takes off a chunk of the Gundam's foot springs to mind.
Yes, I like his style. Only thing I question his designs is that they have so many curves on their armour, how on Earth do they produce enough of them for repairs? Looks cool though.
Too bad story wise you must view each of the title as completely different worlds because he reuses some of his designs in strange ways.

Aha! That's a very obvious point, I wish I would have thought of it. What's the point of producing tanks if there's no more need for land battles since the enemy has been driven back into space. That said I wonder why the Federation had tank corps to begin with on earth pre-OYW, what exactly were they needed for if the Earth Sphere had been united.

Great point on the Tsunami caused by the colony drop. I had never considered that before, I don't think it gets brought up in the animation but it makes sense a colossal tsunami from Sydney would've caused untold devastation throughout Oceania and SE Asia.
I got these ideas from almost 2 decades of Gundam related discussions.
The Federations had tanks before OYW is simple, they do not have anything like the MS where they can just use on ground combat. While Earth claimed to be united, there are still pockets of armed forces(terrorists) here and there and they will need ground forces to both do the fighting and be a deterrent. While yes, planes bombing the place and walking the troops in probably will also do the job but you will need more cooperation from the EFGF and EFAF. The EFGF will also look pretty bad in those parades if they don't have some big guns. They also need them for defence against attacks if there's any.(Troops by themselves look like pretty good targets)
With the mass migration and loss of population on Earth, there are so many desolated cities where the oppositions can hide in, I won't be surprised if they can muster their own air forces and armoured vehicles as well.

Another great point and makes a lot of sense when you watch the assault on Torrington. Surplus MS that are outdated no longer have the mobility to survive in space but under the weight of gravity can still be useful.
While it makes sense on the face of it, the only problem of those surplus MS from OYW is actually too old. The main reason here is that most of the MS from the 0087 era mostly have a thrust to mass ratio higher than 1(so they can fly) and has some kind of hover function. So they likely will be moving much faster than OYW era MS. The surplus MS likely should serve more as fire support than actual MS combat units.(Oh well, the EF never anticipated to fight on Earth anyway)
I like the Dom because it got the hover function and should be very devastating during OYW with its ground speed. I don't see other walking MS even standing a chance against them. I guess when you have space combat level fire control it doesn't really matter anymore but still, they seem to be pretty devastating in various shows when they are not fighting main characters.
I do have to disagree with EFF having sea supremacy. As I recall Zeon Remnants continued to move unabated underwater since the Federation never rebuilt it's sea force. Which I assume is why we see outdated Aqua GMs in 0096 as main-stays. Giving Zeon the sea allows for the narrative wiggle room to justify Zeon still being on earth or showing up in other engagements for other mainline titles or various manga.
The main point is EF thinks they have sea supremacy. (Their policies are designed around what they think, not reality)

They did kinda rebuild the navy, just mostly consist of ships and a few Aqua GMs, maybe some captured amphibian MSs.(Hey, if a resort colony can use Zeonic amphibian MSs for luxury entertainment purposes, I don't see why the EFN don't have any for actually filling the gaps.)

The reason why Zeon Remnants continue to roam the seas is mainly because the EFN isn't trying to take them down.
MSV-R Return of Johnny Ridden gives a pretty good view from the Remnants point as well. The EFN ships run without a fight or just fire some warning shots when they see remnants subs, not because they cannot take them down, but because they are afraid of taking them down or even just damaging them will cause further budget cuts and downsizing of the military, so leaving the remnants out there, somewhere, provides a very good reason to maintain the status quo. So I imagine they mostly just keep an eye on the remnants, "losing" them sometimes so you get those extra budget for a scouting operation to "find" them and sometimes losing a crater of supplies here and there so the remnants can get them to continue to exist.
Frontline soldiers like it because they and their family have the privilege of living on Earth while they serve in the military.
Commanders like it because that secures their positions both militarily and politically. They can also maintain their fractions' powers within the EFF.
The Zeon Remnants have really mixed feelings about this, because most of those left aren't really that passionate about those empty words of Zeon's glory.
I'd imagine
I had never thought of using a Garuda / Auduhulma as a platform for sniping. If a Zaku I can do it I see no reason why a GM Sniper type can't do it either. That would have made for some very interesting clashes in Zeta Gundam if they had a GM Sniper II on board while being chased by Maj Buran. Are there any examples of Garuda sniping being used as a tactic like in Advance of Zeta or elsewhere?

Also I'm afraid I'm not familiar with the SFS or TMS acronyms.
I have not seen them use the Garuda as a sniping platform, it is just logistically reasonable to do so because sniping of the ground has a very limited range since the horizon is blocking most of your line of sight and thus beam.

SFS stands for Sub Flight System, it's those things the MS step on and fly around. (so technically the G-Armour is also a SFS)
TMS is Transformable MS.

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Re: The role of tanks in Gundam

Post by Underrated GM Custom » Wed Apr 28, 2021 10:17 pm

Good observation on Kondo's designs. Curved parts are more costly and difficult to machine so it makes you wonder where they get replacements. Still that's one part where the aesthetics trumps the logistical realism for me every time.

The Dom's are a devastating unit on the ground and we see that nearly every year of the universal century, even close to 20 years after their roll out. I always thought it was a shame they became the defacto unit for space. Their edge was always their extreme speed due to their hover capabilities which can't be replicated in space. Their armaments are excellent for anti-ship warfare but less useful for anti-MS warfare. Alas the Gelgoog came too late to have any glory.
MythSearcher wrote:
Tue Apr 27, 2021 9:39 pm
The reason why Zeon Remnants continue to roam the seas is mainly because the EFN isn't trying to take them down.
MSV-R Return of Johnny Ridden gives a pretty good view from the Remnants point as well. The EFN ships run without a fight or just fire some warning shots when they see remnants subs, not because they cannot take them down, but because they are afraid of taking them down or even just damaging them will cause further budget cuts and downsizing of the military, so leaving the remnants out there, somewhere, provides a very good reason to maintain the status quo. So I imagine they mostly just keep an eye on the remnants, "losing" them sometimes so you get those extra budget for a scouting operation to "find" them and sometimes losing a crater of supplies here and there so the remnants can get them to continue to exist.
Frontline soldiers like it because they and their family have the privilege of living on Earth while they serve in the military.
Commanders like it because that secures their positions both militarily and politically. They can also maintain their fractions' powers within the EFF.
The Zeon Remnants have really mixed feelings about this, because most of those left aren't really that passionate about those empty words of Zeon's glory.
I'd imagine
MSV-R Return of Johnny Ridden was exactly what I was thinking of when I wrote that, although it's canon is a step below animation. Fantastic series I'd love to finish one day. I did enjoy the explanation they gave where Zeon still operates freely in the sea and the federation lets them to continue the forever war.

Gotcha so SFS is a quick acronym for Dodais and Base Jabbers

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Re: The role of tanks in Gundam

Post by MythSearcher » Wed Apr 28, 2021 11:56 pm

Underrated GM Custom wrote:
Wed Apr 28, 2021 10:17 pm
Good observation on Kondo's designs. Curved parts are more costly and difficult to machine so it makes you wonder where they get replacements. Still that's one part where the aesthetics trumps the logistical realism for me every time.

The Dom's are a devastating unit on the ground and we see that nearly every year of the universal century, even close to 20 years after their roll out. I always thought it was a shame they became the defacto unit for space. Their edge was always their extreme speed due to their hover capabilities which can't be replicated in space. Their armaments are excellent for anti-ship warfare but less useful for anti-MS warfare. Alas the Gelgoog came too late to have any glory.

MSV-R Return of Johnny Ridden was exactly what I was thinking of when I wrote that, although it's canon is a step below animation. Fantastic series I'd love to finish one day. I did enjoy the explanation they gave where Zeon still operates freely in the sea and the federation lets them to continue the forever war.

Gotcha so SFS is a quick acronym for Dodais and Base Jabbers
Yeah, curve parts do look good, while I am more of a straight line person most of the time because of its beauty in practicality, I just love the MAN-010(The 07G is also quite nice)

The Dom being a superior ground unit just doesn't show up on canon too much. EFF should have confiscated a large number of Doms after OYW, so most of their surplus units should be Doms instead of GM and Gelgoogs, which can be used in space(and the GMs can be upgraded into GM II and then GM III.)

MSV-R RoJR is cool, but Ark Performance is really pushing their limits on this one and getting a bit out of hand right now(I just finished book 21). I like the non-Gundam Arpeggio of Blue Steel better. But those background concepts they introduced in RoJR are very sensible and adhere nicely with the UC world view.

I don't know when they started calling those SFS, but must be really early.

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Re: The role of tanks in Gundam

Post by Underrated GM Custom » Sat May 01, 2021 11:58 am

Kondo overdoes it on the Skirt armor but I found the up-armored Hizack and MK II to look great. The Goblin is a fun mech that is exactly what I'd expect of making as cheap a grunt unit as possible. Large, bulky up-armor on a unit purely for defense.

The G3 is a very interesting case isn't it. It's supposed to be descended from the Elmeth but looks more like a mix of the Aspalus and the Nightingale to me. To be fair the Elmeth is one of the goofy Super Robot-esque designs, not as bad as the Zakrello but is a giant helmet in space.

The G3 description mentions they planned on using the G3 as a stealth squadron with no indication of how. If we take the Elmeth as an example, it's incredibly long range funnels could fit the bill for a stealth mission since you hit the enemy before they notice you're there.

So here's a thought. What's your opinion on Mobile Armors taking over the role of tank type units in space. If we use the comparison of Mobile Suits supplanting fighters, you could make the case for the heavier armored Mobile Armors taking over a tank role. Granted many MA from the original had goofy monster of the week designs often focusing on claws, scythes, or electro-cages, but MAs were all about speed, powerful weapons and front facing armor.

Of course later we have super expensive Mobile Armors in 0083 which are more like mini-spaceship corvettes than a tank. I suppose we could think of Big Zam as the ultimate tank-inspired Mobile Armor. Ridiculous armor and shields and main cannon.
MythSearcher wrote:
Wed Apr 28, 2021 11:56 pm
The Dom being a superior ground unit just doesn't show up on canon too much. EFF should have confiscated a large number of Doms after OYW, so most of their surplus units should be Doms instead of GM and Gelgoogs, which can be used in space(and the GMs can be upgraded into GM II and then GM III.)

MSV-R RoJR is cool, but Ark Performance is really pushing their limits on this one and getting a bit out of hand right now(I just finished book 21). I like the non-Gundam Arpeggio of Blue Steel better. But those background concepts they introduced in RoJR are very sensible and adhere nicely with the UC world view.
In my opinion Dom's are like the chekhov's gun of an episode or OVA. Once you see a Dom on screen, it is almost always the unit with a skilled nameless pilot that pulls off an amazing manuever. I agree with you we should have seen more captured Doms, perhaps Federation pilots were uninterested in using a MS without a shield.

Dom's also present another argument for why tanks would die off in the Universal Century since they are an extremely fast and agile MS with an anti-tank gun. From a Gundam Seed perspective the BuCUE likely filled a similar role in being a linear tank hunter.

---BREAK---

I really enjoyed Arks Performance work on Plot to Assassinate Gihren, great amount of world building without actually changing the plot. Same for Return of Johnny Ridden, while there are a few things that are a little too far out there, the overall premise and adding some background to the events of Gundam has been terrific.

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Re: The role of tanks in Gundam

Post by Mafty » Sat May 01, 2021 12:36 pm

Mobile Armors supplanting Tanks in space is an interesting idea; you don't need treads in zero gravity, and most Mobile Armors aren't designed for use on Earth. Also maybe this is a stretch, however what does everyone think of Landships replacing Tanks? Many of the Gundam Landships are basically like if you made a tank into a battleship(for example there's the Big Tray in OYW, The Motorad in Victory, Most of the ships in X, The Lesseps in SEED, etc) Speaking of SEED theres another Tank Mobile Suit in the ZuOOT.

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Re: The role of tanks in Gundam

Post by MythSearcher » Sun May 02, 2021 5:08 am

Underrated GM Custom wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 11:58 am
Kondo overdoes it on the Skirt armor but I found the up-armored Hizack and MK II to look great. The Goblin is a fun mech that is exactly what I'd expect of making as cheap a grunt unit as possible. Large, bulky up-armor on a unit purely for defense.

The G3 is a very interesting case isn't it. It's supposed to be descended from the Elmeth but looks more like a mix of the Aspalus and the Nightingale to me. To be fair the Elmeth is one of the goofy Super Robot-esque designs, not as bad as the Zakrello but is a giant helmet in space.

The G3 description mentions they planned on using the G3 as a stealth squadron with no indication of how. If we take the Elmeth as an example, it's incredibly long range funnels could fit the bill for a stealth mission since you hit the enemy before they notice you're there.
Well, I always see it as Kondo's take on the Qubeley. Yes, you have the Nightingale features on it as well, it is basically a more bulky and less humanoid version of Qubeley, where Qubeley is Nagano's take on a humanoid Elmeth.
So here's a thought. What's your opinion on Mobile Armors taking over the role of tank type units in space. If we use the comparison of Mobile Suits supplanting fighters, you could make the case for the heavier armored Mobile Armors taking over a tank role. Granted many MA from the original had goofy monster of the week designs often focusing on claws, scythes, or electro-cages, but MAs were all about speed, powerful weapons and front facing armor.

Of course later we have super expensive Mobile Armors in 0083 which are more like mini-spaceship corvettes than a tank. I suppose we could think of Big Zam as the ultimate tank-inspired Mobile Armor. Ridiculous armor and shields and main cannon.
My view on this is heavily influenced by the book "Mobile Suit Gundam and WWII".
That book compared the MS to tanks and MA to Tank destroyers. It makes sense that MS are space fighters AND at the same time space tanks. They are not as vulnerable as fighters, but surely more manoeuvrable than tanks, but looking at the design concepts, it is quite obvious that you get the medium tanks like Zaku and GM, and heavy tanks like Dom. MAs are like tank destroyers that in order to install bigger guns, removed the rotating turret and relied on turning the whole thing to aim and shoot, which is exactly what the only mass-produced MA, MA-05 Bigro is. MA-04X is a predecessor of it, MA-06 is the advanced version, MAM-07 is the navy version, MAN-03 and 08 are the NT versions, Apsalus is the atmospheric verion and the only one with multiple cannon MA-08 that is of a vastly different design.
In my opinion Dom's are like the chekhov's gun of an episode or OVA. Once you see a Dom on screen, it is almost always the unit with a skilled nameless pilot that pulls off an amazing manuever. I agree with you we should have seen more captured Doms, perhaps Federation pilots were uninterested in using a MS without a shield.

Dom's also present another argument for why tanks would die off in the Universal Century since they are an extremely fast and agile MS with an anti-tank gun. From a Gundam Seed perspective the BuCUE likely filled a similar role in being a linear tank hunter.
Doms can just pickup a random shield to use so that is not really a big problem.
The only thing I can think of the EFF does not like the Dom is because it is bigger, and the standard docks they used cannot accommodate those. Obviously they made larger docks later, but at the end of OYW most of EFF maintenance infrastructures are designed around the GM, a 18m medium built MS. The only strange shaped MS is the Guntank, I have no idea how they fit that on those MS beds.
I really enjoyed Arks Performance work on Plot to Assassinate Gihren, great amount of world building without actually changing the plot. Same for Return of Johnny Ridden, while there are a few things that are a little too far out there, the overall premise and adding some background to the events of Gundam has been terrific.
They basically explained a lot of those plot holes without introducing more.

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Re: The role of tanks in Gundam

Post by BrentD15 » Sun May 02, 2021 11:57 am

MythSearcher wrote:
Sun May 02, 2021 5:08 am
The only strange shaped MS is the Guntank, I have no idea how they fit that on those MS beds.
From what I saw in my Federation vs Zeon game, the Guntank is normally kept behind the catapult itself, and then just rolls forward onto it.

It would probably be the first unit to launch, with other suits launching as they see fit, like Guncannons and GMs.
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Re: The role of tanks in Gundam

Post by Mafty » Sun May 02, 2021 2:02 pm

Does anyone else think that the G3 looks at bit like the Jamru Fin as well (mainly in the head, as well as the "crouching" design the Nightingale also has),It also seems to share some features with the Azieru.

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Re: The role of tanks in Gundam

Post by MythSearcher » Sun May 02, 2021 9:05 pm

BrentD15 wrote:
Sun May 02, 2021 11:57 am

From what I saw in my Federation vs Zeon game, the Guntank is normally kept behind the catapult itself, and then just rolls forward onto it.

It would probably be the first unit to launch, with other suits launching as they see fit, like Guncannons and GMs.
Yes, that is usually how it was depicted, but you need mechanical help when maintaining such a large object and the MS bed seems to be the reasonable choice.

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Re: The role of tanks in Gundam

Post by Underrated GM Custom » Mon May 03, 2021 5:07 pm

I think I finally figured how to quote multiple users. Here goes:
Mafty wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 12:36 pm
Also maybe this is a stretch, however what does everyone think of Landships replacing Tanks? Many of the Gundam Landships are basically like if you made a tank into a battleship(for example there's the Big Tray in OYW, The Motorad in Victory, Most of the ships in X, The Lesseps in SEED, etc) Speaking of SEED theres another Tank Mobile Suit in the ZuOOT.
I think that's a great hypothesis! Landships do tend to have great armor and considerable armaments which makes them an overall improvement to a tank but I do see two limiting factors to having them supplant tanks.

1. I don't think we really see Landships taking on an assault roll, they appear to be more of a defensive command and control node. Although it's been a while since I've seen the Big Tray in action so I could be mistaken.

2. Landships appear to serve more of a carrier role. So while a Landship can be tank-like it doesn't necessarily take on the same role. I see this with the Pegasus class of ships developed. While they had powerful guns like a cruiser or battleship, the primary purpose was to be a MS carrier, everything else was a bonus, so carrier focused ships supplemented rather than supplanted battleships or cruisers from their jobs. To be fair the Earth Federation probably should have switched over to assault carriers as their primary naval force but that's been covered in a few other threads.

To me the ZuOOT is more of a Guncannon than Guntank equivalent. I actually use the 1/400 model as a stand-in for the Guncannon Detector in a Gundam tabletop game since they made very few Unicorn suits at the 1/400 range.
MythSearcher wrote:
Sun May 02, 2021 5:08 am
My view on this is heavily influenced by the book "Mobile Suit Gundam and WWII".
That book compared the MS to tanks and MA to Tank destroyers. It makes sense that MS are space fighters AND at the same time space tanks. They are not as vulnerable as fighters, but surely more manoeuvrable than tanks, but looking at the design concepts, it is quite obvious that you get the medium tanks like Zaku and GM, and heavy tanks like Dom. MAs are like tank destroyers that in order to install bigger guns, removed the rotating turret and relied on turning the whole thing to aim and shoot, which is exactly what the only mass-produced MA, MA-05 Bigro is. MA-04X is a predecessor of it, MA-06 is the advanced version, MAM-07 is the navy version, MAN-03 and 08 are the NT versions, Apsalus is the atmospheric verion and the only one with multiple cannon MA-08 that is of a vastly different design.
Sounds like a fascinating book! The overall premise sounds about right too, Tank Hunters trade the super weapons for the loss of a rotating turrent in the same way a Mobile Armor trades the super weapons for a loss of sudden transverse impulse that a MS would have. Although it begs the question if MA are meant to be MS Hunters, why do see so few of them in use in space after 0083? Out of universe I imagine they don't sell as well.

While I'm fluent in MS designation numbers I had to admit I needed to look up every MA number you listed since I rarely see them discussed haha! I was surprised that the Aspalus is considered a Mobile Armor. I suppose it is, it certainly functions like one, but to me the sheer size of it never made me think of it as a MA.

Then again the Big Zam is a MA with it's absurd chicken legs. One thing I'll always regret is that we don't see a Big Zam II or MP in the animation that gets rids of the monster-of-the-week vibes for a mobile fortress with somewhat more sensible looking legs. It does make a terrific model and conversation starter for the bookshelf though!
MythSearcher wrote:
Sun May 02, 2021 5:08 am
Doms can just pickup a random shield to use so that is not really a big problem.
The only thing I can think of the EFF does not like the Dom is because it is bigger, and the standard docks they used cannot accommodate those. Obviously they made larger docks later, but at the end of OYW most of EFF maintenance infrastructures are designed around the GM, a 18m medium built MS. The only strange shaped MS is the Guntank, I have no idea how they fit that on those MS beds.
I had always assumed that Dom's were built in such a way that having a Shield would have an adverse effect on their hover system such that it would impede their maneuverability. The weight of the shield would off-balance the suit, making it easier to turn in one direction but not the other. I imagine this is why we see the Dom's often holding the gun sideways when cruising even though it's not aerodynamic it does balance the weight for them on the X-Axis.

Of course the royal guard's Rick Dom's in the Plot to Assassinate Gihren are armed with a big honking heat-lance and a shield they borrowed from the Gyan EOS from the looks of things. To be fair since they're space types the hover system wouldn't be an issue.

Unrelated note but those two suits looked like Rick Dom IIs to me, which would make sense considering how late in the war it is but I've always seen sources list them as a standard Rick Dom.

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Re: The role of tanks in Gundam

Post by MythSearcher » Tue May 04, 2021 11:55 am

Underrated GM Custom wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 5:07 pm
I think I finally figured how to quote multiple users. Here goes:

Sounds like a fascinating book! The overall premise sounds about right too, Tank Hunters trade the super weapons for the loss of a rotating turrent in the same way a Mobile Armor trades the super weapons for a loss of sudden transverse impulse that a MS would have. Although it begs the question if MA are meant to be MS Hunters, why do see so few of them in use in space after 0083? Out of universe I imagine they don't sell as well.
https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/4331509990
My own view on this is just like MSs are kinda mixing and matching fighters and tanks, MAs are mixing bombers/attackers and tank destroyers.
(It is pretty obvious that you get MS aces, which is definitely a system they brough over from fighters)
So if you use the aircraft view, the MA is an anti-ship vehicle, more like a torpedo bomber, but if you use the tank view, it is an anti-tank weapon.
This is pretty fun because in space, things are pretty different, and you can see that the MA-05 Bigro has a thrust to mass ratio close to Zeon MS (ahem, pretty low if you compare to EFSF ones, but nonetheless close to their own MS[i.e. tanks]) and a very quick 180 degree turn speed(1.3s, which is even faster than RX-78-2 rollout's 1.5s)

I'd imagine you can apply the real world tank and fighter development in-universe to rationalise the lack of MA(at least you don't see a lot of them until in late UC)
After WWII, both tanks and aircrafts shift to be multi-role instead. You no longer have light, medium, heavy tanks, but a main battle tank. You also get planes like the F/A-18, where they mixed the attacker role to the fighter. A F/B-22 was also proposed to mix in the bomber.
Basically people stop wanting to make so many variants, logistically speaking this is much easier and obviously technological advancement also make the vehicles able to fulfil more roles.
You also need less vehicles because of the relatively more peaceful world.
MAs are also kind of like those vengeance weapons of Hitler, they are big, sounded like they packed more punch and more powerful than regular weapons that can turn the tide of war, so the losing side is more prone to falling into the trap of making these in hope of doing so. (out-universe it is exactly because OYW is referencing WWII)

Out universe they don't sell as well, of course. Either you have to make them in smaller scales, or the bulk size and price will likely give you less buyers. I mean, I have trouble storing my first edition HGUC GP03 and thus it was not built and in the box the whole time until now and the same price can get me a dozen boxes of HG, maybe 2 dozens.
I built the Plan 303E Deep Striker before I figured I didn't measure the depth of my shelf and only the height fit, it is too wide to be placed in my shelf so back in the box it goes, in parts...
I do have the 1/400 GP03 and Neue Ziel, also the GFF non-scale Deep Striker and Z+C1[Bst] and GP03S+Weapon system, but that is like the max size I can have on my shelf.
Okay, the 1/200 Yamato I bought 20 or so years ago is longer than all of these but since it is less wide, it is actually easier to place on a shelf.
While I'm fluent in MS designation numbers I had to admit I needed to look up every MA number you listed since I rarely see them discussed haha! I was surprised that the Aspalus is considered a Mobile Armor. I suppose it is, it certainly functions like one, but to me the sheer size of it never made me think of it as a MA.

Then again the Big Zam is a MA with it's absurd chicken legs. One thing I'll always regret is that we don't see a Big Zam II or MP in the animation that gets rids of the monster-of-the-week vibes for a mobile fortress with somewhat more sensible looking legs. It does make a terrific model and conversation starter for the bookshelf though!
https://gundam.fandom.com/wiki/MA-09_Ma ... pe_Big_Zam
They do have a mass produced Big Zam in the SDGG games, while it does look better than the Big Zam, it also look much more like a random grunt unit. XD

The Big Zam is the one straying most from the MA-05 design, and is very hard to classify as a tank destroyer and more like those really old renaissance tanks where it is basically a round house with multiple guns pointing out in all directions.


I had always assumed that Dom's were built in such a way that having a Shield would have an adverse effect on their hover system such that it would impede their maneuverability. The weight of the shield would off-balance the suit, making it easier to turn in one direction but not the other. I imagine this is why we see the Dom's often holding the gun sideways when cruising even though it's not aerodynamic it does balance the weight for them on the X-Axis.

Of course the royal guard's Rick Dom's in the Plot to Assassinate Gihren are armed with a big honking heat-lance and a shield they borrowed from the Gyan EOS from the looks of things. To be fair since they're space types the hover system wouldn't be an issue.
You are right, they didn't build a shield for the Dom's because they do not want to be adding more momentum to the already heavy unit, and the heavy armour of the Dom is basically like why full plate armour kinda made the shield obsolete in the late medieval period, when your opponent have almost no means of breaking your full plate armour, you really have little reason to carry an extra shield for protection.
However, you can still carry one, and nothing is really stopping a Dom's pilot from doing so.
I'd imagine it will be needed post OYW because more powerful weapons are used and their armour no longer provide enough protection.
Even the GM's spray gun seems to be having no problem in dealing damage during OYW.
So I guess the Dom was not picked up by EFGF because of all of these reasons, logistically it is bigger and harder to fit into their infrastructure(even Zeon had to remove a turret from the Musai to get more space to house them, or they have to reduce the carrying cap by 1) and the heavy armour became kinda obsolete because of beam weapons. Since they are Zeon builts they are also harder to maintain(EFF designs can take off pieces of armour for repairs, Zeonic ones have much larger pieces and are harder to take apart) Their bigger built also makes shields harder to cover the whole thing even when they pick up a random shield from another MS.
Unrelated note but those two suits looked like Rick Dom IIs to me, which would make sense considering how late in the war it is but I've always seen sources list them as a standard Rick Dom.
Well, without looking at the picture in hand I don't really remember, but I guess being Ark Performance, they are very likely to have their own minor detail takes on the unit and may have sneaked in various parts from both the Rick Dom and II.

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Re: The role of tanks in Gundam

Post by Underrated GM Custom » Tue May 04, 2021 7:48 pm

MythSearcher wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 11:55 am
This is pretty fun because in space, things are pretty different, and you can see that the MA-05 Bigro has a thrust to mass ratio close to Zeon MS (ahem, pretty low if you compare to EFSF ones, but nonetheless close to their own MS[i.e. tanks]) and a very quick 180 degree turn speed(1.3s, which is even faster than RX-78-2 rollout's 1.5s)

Out universe they don't sell as well, of course. Either you have to make them in smaller scales, or the bulk size and price will likely give you less buyers. I mean, I have trouble storing my first edition HGUC GP03 and thus it was not built and in the box the whole time until now and the same price can get me a dozen boxes of HG, maybe 2 dozens.
I built the Plan 303E Deep Striker before I figured I didn't measure the depth of my shelf and only the height fit, it is too wide to be placed in my shelf so back in the box it goes, in parts...
I do have the 1/400 GP03 and Neue Ziel, also the GFF non-scale Deep Striker and Z+C1[Bst] and GP03S+Weapon system, but that is like the max size I can have on my shelf.
Okay, the 1/200 Yamato I bought 20 or so years ago is longer than all of these but since it is less wide, it is actually easier to place on a shelf.
Thanks for the link! Great point on these being super vengeance weapons that sound great on paper but less so in execution. That said the Big Gro did have an amazing turn around speed (even though it's thruster layout doesn't seem all that optimized for that) compared to other MS. I would've loved to see more space based Mobile Armors show up. Although I suppose you could make the argument that the TMS in Zeta essentially makes the MA obsolete since a TMS has the advantages of both with the disadvantage of cost.

I would have loved to grab a 1/400 Musai or 1/400 Ptolemy but I missed the boat on those and resellers have pushed the price close to $1,000. Hoo boy. 0083 did gives us the best Mobile Armors and are definitely worth the shelf space. I have the mini figure select version of them which I'd ballpark at 1/2000 scale, considerably easier to store and surprisingly decent detail for something that fits in the palm of your hand.

MythSearcher wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 11:55 am
https://gundam.fandom.com/wiki/MA-09_Ma ... pe_Big_Zam
They do have a mass produced Big Zam in the SDGG games, while it does look better than the Big Zam, it also look much more like a random grunt unit. XD

The Big Zam is the one straying most from the MA-05 design, and is very hard to classify as a tank destroyer and more like those really old renaissance tanks where it is basically a round house with multiple guns pointing out in all directions.
That is a very sensible design compared to the original, it also looks bizarre and alien and I'm sure it would inspire terror wherever it was dropped in. I thought I had heard there was a Big Zam variant in one of the Gihren's Greed games. Never played them but always wanted to give them a try.

I agree the Big Zam seems to be thrown in the MA pile because it doesn't fit anywhere else. Really I suppose Mobile Fortress would be a better designator. Aside from inspiring terror in the enemy forces it seems like it was meant to be an excellent spearhead unit that leads the Zeon fleet into the federation fleet. If only they mass produced the dreaded chicken walker.
MythSearcher wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 11:55 am
Even the GM's spray gun seems to be having no problem in dealing damage during OYW.
So I guess the Dom was not picked up by EFGF because of all of these reasons, logistically it is bigger and harder to fit into their infrastructure(even Zeon had to remove a turret from the Musai to get more space to house them, or they have to reduce the carrying cap by 1) and the heavy armour became kinda obsolete because of beam weapons. Since they are Zeon builts they are also harder to maintain(EFF designs can take off pieces of armour for repairs, Zeonic ones have much larger pieces and are harder to take apart) Their bigger built also makes shields harder to cover the whole thing even when they pick up a random shield from another MS.

Well, without looking at the picture in hand I don't really remember, but I guess being Ark Performance, they are very likely to have their own minor detail takes on the unit and may have sneaked in various parts from both the Rick Dom and II.
Very true. I recall reading a thread around here discussing how effective the beam spray gun is and one of in-universe references was that it could punch straight through the thickened armor of a Dom at close range. I had forgotten about the Musai conversions until just now, I remember reading about those on the Mark's website back in the day.

On further reflection a Shield can make sense for a Dom they'd just have to hold it as close to center mass as possible to avoid unintentional drift. I had an engineering class about 15 years ago that involved self-driving hovercrafts that were about 18" x 6". Much smaller scale but any imperfect weight distribution led to drifting which it made it harder for the programming to keep it driving straight and even worse when it took a turn. Man it was amazing how fast those things could move. The Elite Guard Dom has a Gyan style shield but it makes sense at least since the heat lancer can keep the balance. Of course the image linked has them both stored on the same size, I'll just choose to believe that's the 'order arms' stance for a parade formation.

As for a picture, it doesn't look like plot to assassinate Gihren is on MAHQ. Here's a wikia link. Initially I ignored the "Rick Dom" text since the same two-pager lists the Zaku 2 FZ as "Zaku". That said, I've flipped back and forth a few times and I think it's got more in common with the Rick Dom than the Rick Dom II so I will retract my claim.

Aside from honor guard I wonder what the purpose of a Dom with a shield and melee weapon would be. The standard Dom makes for an excellent anti-ship MS, and I would posit an excellent tank hunter. Perhaps they saw the success of the Federation's MS that came with shields by default and were considering the same on their own mass produced grunts?

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Re: The role of tanks in Gundam

Post by MythSearcher » Tue May 04, 2021 9:26 pm

Underrated GM Custom wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 7:48 pm


Thanks for the link! Great point on these being super vengeance weapons that sound great on paper but less so in execution. That said the Big Gro did have an amazing turn around speed (even though it's thruster layout doesn't seem all that optimized for that) compared to other MS. I would've loved to see more space based Mobile Armors show up. Although I suppose you could make the argument that the TMS in Zeta essentially makes the MA obsolete since a TMS has the advantages of both with the disadvantage of cost.
You also get those TMAs, yes, I know I know, there really isn't a firm categorisation of which is a TMS and which is a TMA, usually the larger ones are categorised as TMA.
There's also all the dead weight with all those transformation mechanism, so they are not only expensive, they are cost inefficient and actually have lower overall spec than a non-transformable MS with the same weight.(usually reflected in armour but can also be in thrust to mass ratio, the Psycho Gundam is a good example.)
I would have loved to grab a 1/400 Musai or 1/400 Ptolemy but I missed the boat on those and resellers have pushed the price close to $1,000. Hoo boy. 0083 did gives us the best Mobile Armors and are definitely worth the shelf space. I have the mini figure select version of them which I'd ballpark at 1/2000 scale, considerably easier to store and surprisingly decent detail for something that fits in the palm of your hand.
The 1/400 Gundam Collection series GP03 and Neue Ziel are kinda like gamble items, a lot of people have gotten defective parts, my Neue Ziel has a defective inner shoulder grey part not completely moulded, but I was already considered lucky because that part is shorter but still can snap on, some had it so short that the snap fit parts are not there and thus completely useless. This is likely why Bandai didn't bother to republish them unlike all those HG, MG models, the mould is defective and maybe beyond repairs.

I don't know about the ships but I guess they don't have those really small and detail parts that are more prone to be defective,

The smaller scale ones are cool as well, I also have the tiny GP03 that comes with the Cosmofleet set(you need to buy the whole set to assemble GP03) that is around 3cm long, so I guess is also around 1/2000?
That is a very sensible design compared to the original, it also looks bizarre and alien and I'm sure it would inspire terror wherever it was dropped in. I thought I had heard there was a Big Zam variant in one of the Gihren's Greed games. Never played them but always wanted to give them a try.

I agree the Big Zam seems to be thrown in the MA pile because it doesn't fit anywhere else. Really I suppose Mobile Fortress would be a better designator. Aside from inspiring terror in the enemy forces it seems like it was meant to be an excellent spearhead unit that leads the Zeon fleet into the federation fleet. If only they mass produced the dreaded chicken walker.
The MP Big Zam seems to be more inline with the other MAs, with forward facing main gun(s for the Elmeth) and mainly used facing forward.
Actually, I want to say the MP Big Zam is more like a MP Apsalus, but well, Apsalus is kinda like a modified Big Zam with no legs(the III has really tiny legs)
Very true. I recall reading a thread around here discussing how effective the beam spray gun is and one of in-universe references was that it could punch straight through the thickened armor of a Dom at close range. I had forgotten about the Musai conversions until just now, I remember reading about those on the Mark's website back in the day.

On further reflection a Shield can make sense for a Dom they'd just have to hold it as close to center mass as possible to avoid unintentional drift. I had an engineering class about 15 years ago that involved self-driving hovercrafts that were about 18" x 6". Much smaller scale but any imperfect weight distribution led to drifting which it made it harder for the programming to keep it driving straight and even worse when it took a turn. Man it was amazing how fast those things could move. The Elite Guard Dom has a Gyan style shield but it makes sense at least since the heat lancer can keep the balance. Of course the image linked has them both stored on the same size, I'll just choose to believe that's the 'order arms' stance for a parade formation.
Well, I don't think balance is an issue considering most MS have pretty unbalanced weapon load outs. The momentum problem should mainly be about the inertia from the mass making it hard to change directions.
So for the Guards, it really doesn't matter because they mainly fight inside the colony and not hovering, thus they are on their legs and the momentum is less of an issue.
As for a picture, it doesn't look like plot to assassinate Gihren is on MAHQ. Here's a wikia link. Initially I ignored the "Rick Dom" text since the same two-pager lists the Zaku 2 FZ as "Zaku". That said, I've flipped back and forth a few times and I think it's got more in common with the Rick Dom than the Rick Dom II so I will retract my claim.

Aside from honor guard I wonder what the purpose of a Dom with a shield and melee weapon would be. The standard Dom makes for an excellent anti-ship MS, and I would posit an excellent tank hunter. Perhaps they saw the success of the Federation's MS that came with shields by default and were considering the same on their own mass produced grunts?
The Guards are for in colony combat, so the range will be relatively really close when they scramble and you really don't want to fire powerful weapons in one.(That's why the GM Commands aren't equipped with beam guns)

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Re: The role of tanks in Gundam

Post by Underrated GM Custom » Fri May 07, 2021 5:18 pm

MythSearcher wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 9:26 pm
You also get those TMAs, yes, I know I know, there really isn't a firm categorisation of which is a TMS and which is a TMA, usually the larger ones are categorised as TMA.
There's also all the dead weight with all those transformation mechanism, so they are not only expensive, they are cost inefficient and actually have lower overall spec than a non-transformable MS with the same weight.(usually reflected in armour but can also be in thrust to mass ratio, the Psycho Gundam is a good example.)
Very good point. In addition to cost there is a deal of extra weight with all the internal motors required to transform. I do have to say from an in-universe perspective I do value that they made a point on how expensive TMS were and actively tested out cheaper version like the Methuss. I would also hazard a guess that the Gaplant with it's very streamlined design has the cheapest transforming mechanisms of the Titan's MS.

I had forgotten about TMA, those are primarily ZZ right? Then subsequently disappeared for the rest of continuity.

The Psycho-Gundam is an interesting point. It transforms into a mobile fortress. It's slow, cumbersome, nearly indestructible and packs some heavy firepower. Perhaps we've found our UC tank replacement?
I would have loved to grab a 1/400 Musai or 1/400 Ptolemy but I missed the boat on those and resellers have pushed the price close to $1,000. Hoo boy. 0083 did gives us the best Mobile Armors and are definitely worth the shelf space. I have the mini figure select version of them which I'd ballpark at 1/2000 scale, considerably easier to store and surprisingly decent detail for something that fits in the palm of your hand.
The smaller scale ones are cool as well, I also have the tiny GP03 that comes with the Cosmofleet set(you need to buy the whole set to assemble GP03) that is around 3cm long, so I guess is also around 1/2000?
Oh I know the set you're referring to, those are pretty tiny. Here's an example of the ones I was referring to, while most of the MS are 1/400 scale the MA are considerably smaller perhaps 1/800. The full Mini Figure Select (M.F.S.) visual list is shown here by a very helpful blogger.
The MP Big Zam seems to be more inline with the other MAs, with forward facing main gun(s for the Elmeth) and mainly used facing forward.
Actually, I want to say the MP Big Zam is more like a MP Apsalus, but well, Apsalus is kinda like a modified Big Zam with no legs(the III has really tiny legs)
You know I hadn't made that connection before. The Aspalus is essentially my holy grail of MA, it's a Big Zam without the silly chicken legs. Although it's also lacking all the AA MPC that Big Zam is fond of.
The Guards are for in colony combat, so the range will be relatively really close when they scramble and you really don't want to fire powerful weapons in one.(That's why the GM Commands aren't equipped with beam guns)
I had forgotten about that, the same manga they debuted in they mention they had war plans on how to defend from inside the colonies so it makes sense they have Rick Doms specifically for inside the colonies. I imagine Kycillia's Gyan EOS guards fulfilled the same purpose.

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