I-Fields/Beam Shields on UC battleships

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domino
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I-Fields/Beam Shields on UC battleships

Post by domino » Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:24 am

Why did it take so long for Beam shields to be mounted on UC battleships?

Even in UC150s, IIRC, they are mounted as forward-facing shields and not as omnidirectional barriers or movable barriers (to protect from different angles of attack)

Thinking about it, I-field technology seems to have been understood and stable by 0083 but there are no attempts to incorporate even that in the top-line battleships. Battleship anti-beam defences have apparently not advanced past the anti-beam screens used during the Battles of Solomon & A Baoa Qu

Why is that? Is there something about Minovsky particles?

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Re: I-Fields/Beam Shields on UC battleships

Post by Juumanistra » Tue Jul 15, 2014 1:51 pm

It's because the purpose of ships -- at least those not belonging to named heroes or villains -- in UC Gundam is to die horribly at the hands of giant robots. They are props, usually but not always, for the present incarnation of the Zeon to destroy to demonstrate that a pilot is a threat to the heroes. As ships are treated as nothing other than props, why expend any creative energy doing logical things like trying to improve their efficacy against giant robots? (And other ships, for that matter.) That'd just impede their dying horribly to prove the enemy's a for-reals threat, after all.

Seriously. It's treated like a genre convention by UC Gundam, which is to be accepted without second though, similar to artillery not existing. It's not supposed to be commented upon, lest it shine a light upon the shoddiness of the Universal Century's world-building.

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Re: I-Fields/Beam Shields on UC battleships

Post by balofo » Tue Jul 15, 2014 1:59 pm

Juumanistra wrote:It's because the purpose of ships -- at least those not belonging to named heroes or villains -- in UC Gundam is to die horribly at the hands of giant robots. They are props, usually but not always, for the present incarnation of the Zeon to destroy to demonstrate that a pilot is a threat to the heroes. As ships are treated as nothing other than props, why expend any creative energy doing logical things like trying to improve their efficacy against giant robots? (And other ships, for that matter.) That'd just impede their dying horribly to prove the enemy's a for-reals threat, after all.

Seriously. It's treated like a genre convention by UC Gundam, which is to be accepted without second though, similar to artillery not existing. It's not supposed to be commented upon, lest it shine a light upon the shoddiness of the Universal Century's world-building.
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Re: I-Fields/Beam Shields on UC battleships

Post by Gone Astray » Tue Jul 15, 2014 5:08 pm

Juumanistra wrote:It's because the purpose of ships -- at least those not belonging to named heroes or villains -- in UC Gundam is to die horribly at the hands of giant robots. They are props, usually but not always, for the present incarnation of the Zeon to destroy to demonstrate that a pilot is a threat to the heroes. As ships are treated as nothing other than props, why expend any creative energy doing logical things like trying to improve their efficacy against giant robots? (And other ships, for that matter.) That'd just impede their dying horribly to prove the enemy's a for-reals threat, after all.

Seriously. It's treated like a genre convention by UC Gundam, which is to be accepted without second though, similar to artillery not existing. It's not supposed to be commented upon, lest it shine a light upon the shoddiness of the Universal Century's world-building.
The official explanation is that thanks to Minovsky particles interfering with traditional long range tactics--and this includes artillery--a big shift to close range tactics was required, with mobile suits fitting the bill. Ships are basically reduced to carriers and the occasional huge turret; so it's basically assumed that their main attack and defense forces are going to be mobile suits. There aren't a whole lot of direct ship-to-ship engagements in UC because it's simply not a priority in design. We also see that ships don't get nearly as much development as MS do, since a Salamis Kai being used in Zeta isn't as big of an issue as any MS from the One Year War being used, even though the machines are just as old.

This train of thought has a logical extension in Wing, where basically no ship except Libra has any weapons of any sort, except for the naval battleships we see on occasion. In a lot of Gundam series, for whatever reason the creative team comes up with, MS are the dominating and deciding factor in any battle.

Or we can sit here and screech about how these shows that are about giant robots and the psychic teenagers piloting them lack for realistic tactics.
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Re: I-Fields/Beam Shields on UC battleships

Post by AmuroNT1 » Tue Jul 15, 2014 5:26 pm

Juumanistra: Domino wanted an in-universe answer, not condescending snark. If you can't manage that, then why bother posting?
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Re: I-Fields/Beam Shields on UC battleships

Post by Xenosynth » Tue Jul 15, 2014 5:28 pm

Because he needs to be condescending, apparently, when it comes to mecha/technology threads. He did the same thing in the Seed thread on battleships, and he consistently doesn't really want to do anything except snark about worldbuilding, I guess.

Anyway, I also had it figured that maybe that ships couldn't form an I-field all around it (due to the long shape, and as far as I know, we've only seen large spherical i-fields) but I was surprised they didn't at least form one around the bridge of the ship, or other critical areas.

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Re: I-Fields/Beam Shields on UC battleships

Post by latenlazy » Tue Jul 15, 2014 6:06 pm

I think the simplest explanation is power limitations. Alternatively, we've only ever seen I-Fields as large as mobile armors. The technology might have problems scaling up to the size of an entire ship.

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Re: I-Fields/Beam Shields on UC battleships

Post by balofo » Tue Jul 15, 2014 6:11 pm

I-Field defensive range examples: http://imgur.com/aprfPTk

Beam Shield tech in V: we see an Adrastea emitting a beam shield from one the side beam cannon turrets in Earth. Only time I remember seeing this, might be animation liberty :)
Last edited by balofo on Tue Jul 15, 2014 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: I-Fields/Beam Shields on UC battleships

Post by toysdream » Tue Jul 15, 2014 6:24 pm

It's hard to see how I-fields would help protect ships against mobile suits. As we see with the Big Zam, they don't do anything once you get inside the barrier, so they're really only effective against longer-range attacks. Most cases of ships being badly damaged by mobile suits either involve projectile weapons (especially bazookas) or point-blank attacks, so an I-field wouldn't have changed the outcome.

There's a similar example in Unicorn, where the General Revil uses a temporary beam-diffusing screen to protect itself against Frontal and Angelo. So Frontal just shoots at it with a bazooka instead.

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Re: I-Fields/Beam Shields on UC battleships

Post by mcred23 » Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:35 pm

Just to put an official note on this: Juumanistra, don't be a jerk, m'kay? Thanks.

As for the subject, the lack of I-Fields is easy to explain, if for the reasons Mark notes if nothing else. It's worth remembering that warships almost always have missile launchers, and even in the later UC world where almost everyone is primarily using beam weapons, there are still enough conventional ones out there that can pose a threat that I-Fields are worthless against.

As for why don't they use beam shields anywhere but the prow of the ship, I'm not sure there is a single reason that explains it well. The first thoughts that came into my head is power limitations and detection. Warships presumably generate a lot of power, but perhaps creating a box of beam shields is too much of a drain on them, even if it's just in the event that they go turtle and run them all at once? I'm not sure if a beam shield could cover behind a ship's engines (Or whatever the hell they should be called, I'm drawing a blank at the moment :roll:) while they're going, so they might always have a major vulnerable spot?

However, I think the effect on sensors may be a bigger issue. The Crossbone Vanguard recon MS (The Ebirhu-S & Dahgi Iris) are said to have not used beam shields because they caused problems with their sensor systems, so having too many shields, or having them too close to the ship, would lead to similar problems, where as just having a single forward mounted one doesn't cause any issues with normal sensors under combat conditions.

Plus, I'm not sure if a ship being able to go turtle would help to much. Yeah, it'd be a nice feature to have, but it'd mainly be a long range defense, and may just serve to highlight exactly where you are (Since dummy ships can't turn into a glowing box of mega particles :P). From what we see in CCA & F91, those secondary guns on ships, particularly the Federation warships, can put out a lot of fire that can do pretty well keeping MS at a distance, and if they get close, then it's probably too late, and they'll either find a way to get through the beam shields (Cue VSBR's, and I think high powered beam launchers could punch through them too?), or it may just turn into a matter of waiting, cause eventually, the ship would have to lower those beam shields for one reason or another...

All of that basic does go into what Gone Astray said, which is basically that tactics really don't require ships to have beam shields on all sides, and that may just be reason enough for groups not to do that.
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Re: I-Fields/Beam Shields on UC battleships

Post by domino » Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:22 am

Thanks for the responses, everyone

I guess the Feddies chose to use beam-diffusing screens since it was "just as good" as an I-field and did not require a dedicated generator.

Beam-diffusing screens were also "good enough" and cheap enough to have deployed on existing battleships (refits or no) while the majority of R&D went into developing new/improved MS and Gundams.

Makes sense.

When I think about it, the beam shields would only be effective against typical beam rifle/cannon fire and would not only fail against VSBRs but also against mega particle cannons (like on the Nahel Argama) which the beam-diffusing screens can also guard against (i.e. Gundam Igloo final episode and Big Zam vs Feddie battleships)

Unlike SEED, UC battleships don't typically explode from one beam rifle shot.

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Re: I-Fields/Beam Shields on UC battleships

Post by domino » Wed Jul 16, 2014 6:26 pm

balofo wrote:I-Field defensive range examples: http://imgur.com/aprfPTk

Beam Shield tech in V: we see an Adrastea emitting a beam shield from one the side beam cannon turrets in Earth. Only time I remember seeing this, might be animation liberty :)
The image of I-field defensive ranges seems to imply that I-field range (and strength?) is dependent on the power output of the generator. The Ex-S Booster has a pretty impressive field - as does the Big Zam (given its size)

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Re: I-Fields/Beam Shields on UC battleships

Post by Gelgoog Jager » Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:51 am

Regarding the usefulness of I-fields during the Universal Century, I think that at least by the end of the Gryps Conflict, MS development began considering the possibility of ships equipped with I fields, or at least more compared to the Gryps Conflcit era itself:

-Almost all MPed MS used during that conflict rely heavily on beam rifles: GM II, Nemo, Marasai, Barzam, Gaza C, etc. Out of the most known MP units, only the Hizack, Galbaldy Beta, Dra-C, Gaza E and Rick Dias use ballistic weapons as their standard issue weapon. However the Hizack mostly uses a machinegun with limited usefulness against warships (same goes for the Dra-C) and the Gaza E & Rick Dias are relatively uncommon. The Galbaldy Beta might be the lone MS commonly equipped with missiles produced in somewhat large quantities, and incidentally it's configuration (standard handheld rifle and shield loaded with missiles) could be seen as the basis for the Jegan later on (more on the Jegan in a moment).

-Most high performance MS also rely primarily on beam weapons, with notable exceptions that have secondary ballistic weapons capable of destroying ships being the Palace Athene, Bolinoak Sammah and Zeta Gundam (vulcans would have a hard time getting the job done).

-By the First Neo Zeon War, the Gaza D and GM III began to become the mainstay MS of Neo Zeon and the EF/AEUG respectively. Both are designed to carry a significant amount of missiles as standard equipment (even if optional in the case of the GM III). The Geara Doga and Jegan follow this philosophy later on, though mostly in the form of shield mounted weapons, which ironically enough is a nod at the Galbaldy Beta, which though may not have been the most famous Gryps War MS, did had a balanced weapon.

Food for thought:

As we already have discussed before, the Dreissen and Zaku III are suppsoed to be among Axis earliest AMX MS, whose development was sped up by basing them on the Dom and Zaku II respectively. Much like the Gaza C, these two Axis MS also rely heavily on beam weapons. In comparison, later units like the Gallus J, R-Jarja and Bawoo already include secondary explosive weapons. Even more importantly, we have the Dooben Wolf, essentially a mass produced Psycho Gundam, which has been equipped with several explosive weapons, despite the Geymalk proving that taking beam weapon only approach, just like the Psycho Gundams, is possible for machines of their size.

Speaking of the Geymalk, it along the Qubeley, Hamma Hamma and Quin Mantha most likely lack explosive weapons due to the consideration that their remote weapons would be able to strike a ship from within effective range, even if the target is equipped with an I-field.

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