[UC 0096] Restrictions on Defenser Use?

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TDR-10M Thunderbolt
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[UC 0096] Restrictions on Defenser Use?

Post by TDR-10M Thunderbolt » Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:42 pm

I've been puzzled by something we see in Gundam Unicorn and its related stories. The idea of Defenser packs to improve a machine appears to have caught on, as evidenced by their use in the ReZEL and ReZEL Commander. Sometimes, pilots will be given authorization to attach these packs and make their unit significantly more powerful.

What I don't get is why they need such authorization. What reason would the Federation have in making qualified pilots deploy in just the weaker, Defenser-less configuration? It seems to me like this is just intentionally putting those pilots at a disadvantage? Did I miss something that explains this?

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Re: [UC 0096] Restrictions on Defenser Use?

Post by AGF-Antoine » Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:37 am

I don't know about any official sources, but I have some ideas as to why.

For one, the Defensor packs can be highly destructive, thus can't be used just everywhere.
The other thing is the packs might give off a Titans-like oppressive feel (think of a modern day military parade).

Gundam SEED also had the issue coming up.
In which the permission of the commanding officer was needed to mount the heavy equipment of GINN.
The reason there was it being anti-fortress equipment.
But since Strike Gundam was too strong, the permission was still given.


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Re: [UC 0096] Restrictions on Defenser Use?

Post by MythSearcher » Mon Jun 12, 2017 5:54 am

TDR-10M Thunderbolt wrote:
Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:42 pm
I've been puzzled by something we see in Gundam Unicorn and its related stories. The idea of Defenser packs to improve a machine appears to have caught on, as evidenced by their use in the ReZEL and ReZEL Commander. Sometimes, pilots will be given authorization to attach these packs and make their unit significantly more powerful.

What I don't get is why they need such authorization. What reason would the Federation have in making qualified pilots deploy in just the weaker, Defenser-less configuration? It seems to me like this is just intentionally putting those pilots at a disadvantage? Did I miss something that explains this?
My take on this is that more doesn't mean better.
If you equip a unit with a heavier pack, you risk losing it in combat due to the simple fact that its combat performance in agility and speed has dropped.

Contrary to popular mecha design, a unit with tons of weapons strapped to it isn't necessarily more powerful, that is why we no longer see tanks with multiple turrets.

The massive and bulky arrangement of such packs are actually the worst in mass distribution, you do not want to have mass spread out far from your centre of mass, since that will increase the moment of inertia. Think of an ice skater, when s/he spread out his/her arms, the rotation speed is slow, but as s/he pull his/her arm closer to the body, the rotation becomes quicker. This effect will be exactly the same on MS turning speeds, packing tons of stuff hanging so far out isn't going to help the turning speed. The increased thrusters may not help much, since they may not be able to line up properly to thrust parallely in one single direction. Spec wise it may not have reduced the acceleration by much, but practically you simply cannot point the added trusters to some of the directions AND they are very likely to block the original thrusters.

Cutting that short, the Engineer in me is just screaming about how stupid the designs are. Especially the Defenser-a unit which gave up the firing option on the hyper beam sabre. With so much redundant mass on the thing they are expected to do melee combat? Oh, and the missile packs are not one use dettachable items.
I made my point in the defenser-b's over use of beam rifles/cannons in another thread.

All of these boils down to over compensation.
They may look intimidating with all those bulky look, but without plot armour, they are really really poorly/stupidly/irrationally designed units.
Katoki isn't even trying in these machines, seriously.
He did gave some effort to make his overuse of addons that much more reasonable in older designs like Sentinel and V2AB, GP03 is completely unreasonable as a unit but still shown to have been packed as tightly as possible. Even the romanticism Wing EW units are shown to be more mechanically oriented.
But the Unicorn FA, the ReZEL defenser a&b units are just mecha that showed no love and no effort placed on them by Katoki, or he placed too much love in them and went overboard.
To prevent pilots and squad leader making incorrect strategical/operational choice(which maybe correct in tactical level) authorization from people with a wider view in command has to give permission.

In-universe wise, the units are not easy to control, and requires skillful pilots(MG manual). Hghly likely even skillful pilots are handicapped with such units and all they relied on is a fast assault that catches the enemy off guard with they fire power(exactly what they did in Unicorn as described in the MG manaul) instead of a head on fight that requires much more skill.

Back to the world of adult reasons, making the weapons needing authorisation is just an easy indication to audiences(plot device) that the weapons are just that powerful. When used reasonably it gives the story that much more tension, if used unwisely it just shows how the director and writer is just that bad in military sense.

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Re: [UC 0096] Restrictions on Defenser Use?

Post by TDR-10M Thunderbolt » Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:30 am

Those are interesting thoughts; thanks for chiming in!

MythSearcher, what thread are you referring to when you speak of Defenser-B? I'm curious what you had to say about that.

The idea that the Defenser Pack makes it less agile overall makes sense, though this makes me wonder why the Gundam Mk. II used a Defenser pack too in that case. The extra firepower doesn't seem like it would be all that much help given how fast and aggressive units in the Zeta era. Not if a speed tradeoff is involved.

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Re: [UC 0096] Restrictions on Defenser Use?

Post by MythSearcher » Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:35 am

TDR-10M Thunderbolt wrote:
Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:30 am
Those are interesting thoughts; thanks for chiming in!

MythSearcher, what thread are you referring to when you speak of Defenser-B? I'm curious what you had to say about that.

The idea that the Defenser Pack makes it less agile overall makes sense, though this makes me wonder why the Gundam Mk. II used a Defenser pack too in that case. The extra firepower doesn't seem like it would be all that much help given how fast and aggressive units in the Zeta era. Not if a speed tradeoff is involved.
I meant this thread.

I have no concern the defensor-b acting as a support unit, which fires from the back against enemy ships.
Since those guns are developed from the FAZZ Hyper Mega Cannon, they are supposed to be used as long range artillery, not close to mid combat.(Exactly what's written in the MG manual, exact opposite of what they had in the show described in the MG manual.) In that case, they will be really like battleship main guns(I am of the view that MS are exactly that in space. The main guns of the warships. Long story short, the reason why I supported the space fighter idea over large battleships is because there are too many redundant parts and crew that shakes the battleship that is uncontrollable, but a single or co-piloted fighter/MS can be well controlled when firing which makes it that much better in long range barage.)
I can understand why you need clearance for firing the main guns of a battleship, they are indeed strategical weapons back then, and taken over by bombers and missiles onboard, and you do need clearance from the captain to fire those nowadays.

The main problem comes from sending them out as dogfight units. You don't take that many different weapons out to a dogfight, you cannot aim all those at the same time and thus most are dead weight that drag your performance down. You need at most 2, not that you can aim at the same time, but cover half of your sphere with each, so you don't need to aim you left gun to your right when targets appears. (Not that 1 isn't enough though)

The defenser-a makes little sense as a close to mid range unit(MG manual again), the onboard missiles are also from ZZ-FA/FAZZ and G-Defenser, which, originally, are basically last ditch weapon if the enemy gets so close to a support unit. It is a very bad idea to equip a single use short range barage weapon on a vehicle and hope that the hit-and-run tactics miraculously succeeds.
Gundam has a pretty bad history of this kind of design settings, they are pretty much just slightly better than the kamikaze attacks. I consider assault units like MS-18E Kampfer, AGX-04 are pretty much suicidal units. (I do like their designs, they are perfectly fine in normal combat situations, but the idea of rushing them into enemy lines, launching everything they have and running isn't, unless you give them longer range, higher accuracy and power weapons like the long beam rifle in RX-78GP04G, the AGX-04 beam machine gun is just too weak and does too little damage even when hit.) Hit-and-run tactics should be performed with long range weapons, preferably weapons that can be fired when you are running away. The Gaza series is one of the finest design as their main thrusters, under their feet, are pointed forward in their MA mode so they can fight AND flight.

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Re: [UC 0096] Restrictions on Defenser Use?

Post by Seto Kaiba » Mon Jun 12, 2017 1:35 pm

TDR-10M Thunderbolt wrote:
Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:42 pm
What I don't get is why they need such authorization. What reason would the Federation have in making qualified pilots deploy in just the weaker, Defenser-less configuration? It seems to me like this is just intentionally putting those pilots at a disadvantage? Did I miss something that explains this?
In all honesty, I'd always assumed that the Defenser pack was issued only when authorized for the same reason that certain models of FAST pack are restricted in Macross... cost and appropriateness.

All of that extra propellant and armament is expensive, and the armor material the packs are made out of probably isn't cheap either. So, even putting aside potential degradation to flight performance and appropriateness to their current operation, cost is a big reason to require special authorization to bolt all that extra hardware to a MS. It's also a cost factor if you're sending unnecessary weaponry or equipment into an operation they're not suited for, as losing that equipment or even using it ineffectively will rack up a nice big bill for no good end.
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Re: [UC 0096] Restrictions on Defenser Use?

Post by TDR-10M Thunderbolt » Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:00 pm

Oh, wow. I've been so tired lately I forgot about that thread. Yikes.

Anyway, these are interesting ideas. If various materials like the model kit manuals basically imply the Defenser packs are the equivalent of sending out a 'mini battleship' of sorts, that would certainly disqualify its use as a dogfighting unit. Thank you for the info!

EDIT: So, is it reasonable to infer a single Mega Beam Launcher on the standard ReZEL Commander also makes its stock loadout a poor dogfighter, or am I missing something here?

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Re: [UC 0096] Restrictions on Defenser Use?

Post by E08 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:44 am

MythSearcher wrote:
Mon Jun 12, 2017 5:54 am
...The increased thrusters may not help much, since they may not be able to line up properly to thrust parallely in one single direction. Spec wise it may not have reduced the acceleration by much, but practically you simply cannot point the added trusters to some of the directions AND they are very likely to block the original thrusters.
No worry about this in Waverider mode at least, the MG kit manual categorically stated that all the thrust from all the suit's thrusters are focused in a single direction in this form.

As for MS mode, the Tail Binders that replaced the normal ReZEL's side skirt armor are said to grant the suit a high level of mobility, allowing it to face the correct direction quickly.
MythSearcher wrote:
Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:35 am
The defenser-a makes little sense as a close to mid range unit(MG manual again), the onboard missiles are also from ZZ-FA/FAZZ and G-Defenser, which, originally, are basically last ditch weapon if the enemy gets so close to a support unit. It is a very bad idea to equip a single use short range barage weapon on a vehicle and hope that the hit-and-run tactics miraculously succeeds.
Just because certain MS use a particular weapon in a particular way doesn't necessary mean other MS have to use it in that way as well. It doesn't help that the Defenser backpack A and B is not meant for hit and run attacks. They are described as space-use assault backpack for rapid, first strike attack on the frontline or at enemy's stronghold. The Defenser A's micro missile are meant for wide spread, overwhelming first strike at the enemy in close to mid range combat.

An interesting fact is that while the standard ReZEL and ReZEL Type C are meant to work alongside the Jegans, hence their ability to function as Sub Flight System for the latter and have hand grips on their backpack, the Defenser equipped ReZELs are meant to function in a team consisting only of their kind, thus the omission of the hand grips on the backpack.
Last edited by E08 on Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: [UC 0096] Restrictions on Defenser Use?

Post by MythSearcher » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:52 am

Seto Kaiba wrote:
Mon Jun 12, 2017 1:35 pm
TDR-10M Thunderbolt wrote:
Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:42 pm
What I don't get is why they need such authorization. What reason would the Federation have in making qualified pilots deploy in just the weaker, Defenser-less configuration? It seems to me like this is just intentionally putting those pilots at a disadvantage? Did I miss something that explains this?
In all honesty, I'd always assumed that the Defenser pack was issued only when authorized for the same reason that certain models of FAST pack are restricted in Macross... cost and appropriateness.

All of that extra propellant and armament is expensive, and the armor material the packs are made out of probably isn't cheap either. So, even putting aside potential degradation to flight performance and appropriateness to their current operation, cost is a big reason to require special authorization to bolt all that extra hardware to a MS. It's also a cost factor if you're sending unnecessary weaponry or equipment into an operation they're not suited for, as losing that equipment or even using it ineffectively will rack up a nice big bill for no good end.
Ah, come to think of it, there's also the fatigue problem. Even if you add enough thrusters on the addon units to keep the acceleration, they simply increases the vibration and force applied on the joints and thus hasten fatigue of the unit. That is also a cost issue.

On the other hand, defenser-a's micro-missile pods shouldn't be expensive by themselves, the quantity isn't that much and if you design it a bit better, the casing can be completely disposable.

E08 wrote:
Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:44 am


No worry about this in Waverider mode at least, the MG kit manual categorically stated that all the thrust from all the suit's thrusters are focused in a single direction in this form.

As for MS mode, the Tail Binders that replaced the normal ReZEL's side skirt armor are said to grant the suit a high level of mobility, allowing it to face the correct direction quickly.
In reality, that is not possible. You always have mechanical tolerance and that will make the thrusters have more room to vibrate and create wasted thrust. The more you put on a vehicle the more waste you generate.

And the tail binder isn't a magic device, consider the mass difference, it cannot magically compensate all the other added mass that is spreaded further out than the lighter binder itself. And the tail binder itself is likely just another piece of added mass anyway.

It makes pretty much as much sense as a kid adding a bunch of stuff to a weapon and think of it as very powerful, since more is better. No, things don't work that way in reality. Even Judah know that you cannot simply add 15 tons on a unit and still keep its agility, he can maybe use his NT powers to compensate for the ZZ-FA, the ReZEL is supposedly designed for old type as well.
E08 wrote:
Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:44 am
Just because certain MS use a particular weapon in a particular way doesn't necessary mean other MS have to use it in that way as well. It doesn't help that the Defenser backpack A and B is not meant for hit and run attacks. They are described as space-use assault backpack for rapid, first strike attack on the frontline or at enemy's stronghold. The Defenser A's micro missile are meant for wide spread, overwhelming first strike at the enemy in close to mid range combat.
Because the original usage of the weapon makes just that much more sense.
Sentinel claimed itself to be the battle of "Real Gundam", and it at least tried to keep itself as realistic as possible within the UC frame.
BTW, Assualt (強襲) in Gundam means hit-and-run. That pretty much stuck on starting from Kampfer.

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Re: [UC 0096] Restrictions on Defenser Use?

Post by E08 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:38 am

Was just providing a in-universe explanation. Forgot that about the term 'Assault', but the impression I have from the manual is that while Kampfer and the like is meant to hit the enemy hard, fast and then escape, the Defenser equipped ReZEL is meant to create lots of damage, and then stay for the fight as other friendly MS arrive. Doesn't help that the manual did not use the term '一撃離脱', which is literally 'hit and run'.

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Re: [UC 0096] Restrictions on Defenser Use?

Post by TDR-10M Thunderbolt » Wed Jun 14, 2017 9:05 pm

So, this probably got lost in me editing my post well after others had replied here... I was curious, do any materials comment on how effective a single Mega Beam Launcher is as a main dogfighting gun? Or is it considered ineffective at that, such that a ReZEL Commander should switch to the beam rifle instead for that purpose?

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Re: [UC 0096] Restrictions on Defenser Use?

Post by MythSearcher » Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:21 am

TDR-10M Thunderbolt wrote:
Wed Jun 14, 2017 9:05 pm
So, this probably got lost in me editing my post well after others had replied here... I was curious, do any materials comment on how effective a single Mega Beam Launcher is as a main dogfighting gun? Or is it considered ineffective at that, such that a ReZEL Commander should switch to the beam rifle instead for that purpose?
I don't think there's any material, and is well reasonable to assume it as worse than a smaller rifle.

There is a reason why people tend to use hand guns(side arms) or PDWs over assault rifles in CQB/C.

Considering the launchers to be heavier(higher mass), longer(with its CoM further out), it increases the moment of inertia and thus reduces the turning speed, which is obviously not a good idea in a dogfight.
The advantages of a launcher weapon usually is a longer effective range and/or higher accuracy and/or higher power, which is all not very useful when the enemy is close to a point where the beam rifle is effective.

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Re: [UC 0096] Restrictions on Defenser Use?

Post by TDR-10M Thunderbolt » Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:10 pm

That makes some sense, yeah. Thank you for your thoughts!

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