Beam saber or beam naginata?

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False Prophet
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Beam saber or beam naginata?

Post by False Prophet » Thu Nov 12, 2020 1:16 pm

I have been wondering why did Zeonic had the Gelgoog Marine and Jaeger using beam sabers instead beam naginata like the previous model? Is this because beam sabers are both easier to use and cheaper to make--I can imagine pilot scared of cutting themselves while using the beam naginata.

On the other hand, it has been demonstrated that pilots could just activate a single blade of the beam naginata and wield it like a dao. And maybe there are some automatic protocols and adjustments that could prevent the beam naginata to harm the mobile suit? We saw those things on the F91 and its beam shields.

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Re: Beam saber or beam naginata?

Post by PowerdGNFlag » Sun Nov 15, 2020 8:38 am

I presume that there might be some Zimmad influence that crept into those designs, using the tech from the Gyan's beam sword. If you take the movies at face value the vanilla Gelgoogs can also change the blades of their beam naginatas to a more "traditional" saber blade shape (which is totally not an excuse to recycle footage from the Gundam vs Gyan fight).
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Re: Beam saber or beam naginata?

Post by MythSearcher » Sun Nov 15, 2020 1:01 pm

False Prophet wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 1:16 pm
I have been wondering why did Zeonic had the Gelgoog Marine and Jaeger using beam sabers instead beam naginata like the previous model? Is this because beam sabers are both easier to use and cheaper to make--I can imagine pilot scared of cutting themselves while using the beam naginata.

On the other hand, it has been demonstrated that pilots could just activate a single blade of the beam naginata and wield it like a dao. And maybe there are some automatic protocols and adjustments that could prevent the beam naginata to harm the mobile suit? We saw those things on the F91 and its beam shields.
Likely a price choice.
Just like the GMs only have one beam sabre instead of Gundam's two, the naginata(okay, seriously, the real life naginata only have one blade on it, and the length of the beam naginata is more of a nagamaki...)

Considering all of the MS motions are set motions, they will not cut themselves unless they have a set motion for doing so, which is very unlikely.

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Re: Beam saber or beam naginata?

Post by JEFFPIATT » Mon Nov 16, 2020 1:25 am

MythSearcher wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 1:01 pm
False Prophet wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 1:16 pm
I have been wondering why did Zeonic had the Gelgoog Marine and Jaeger using beam sabers instead beam naginata like the previous model? Is this because beam sabers are both easier to use and cheaper to make--I can imagine pilot scared of cutting themselves while using the beam naginata.

On the other hand, it has been demonstrated that pilots could just activate a single blade of the beam naginata and wield it like a dao. And maybe there are some automatic protocols and adjustments that could prevent the beam naginata to harm the mobile suit? We saw those things on the F91 and its beam shields.
Likely a price choice.
Just like the GMs only have one beam sabre instead of Gundam's two, the naginata(okay, seriously, the real life naginata only have one blade on it, and the length of the beam naginata is more of a nagamaki...)

Considering all of the MS motions are set motions, they will not cut themselves unless they have a set motion for doing so, which is very unlikely.
I just thought some one at Zeonic was trying to sound clever and make there double blade beam saber sound cooler. "Zimmad with there suit only has one big blade on there Gyan beam saber, our Gelgoog unit had a twin blade beam naginata in addition to having a beam rifle"

it was likely marketing that when they actually got to mass production the late war sub types just dropped the more complected twin blade for a single GM style beam saber also letting them remove the recharge rack from under the backpack and the on backpack one.

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Re: Beam saber or beam naginata?

Post by MythSearcher » Mon Nov 16, 2020 4:02 am

JEFFPIATT wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 1:25 am
I just thought some one at Zeonic was trying to sound clever and make there double blade beam saber sound cooler. "Zimmad with there suit only has one big blade on there Gyan beam saber, our Gelgoog unit had a twin blade beam naginata in addition to having a beam rifle"

it was likely marketing that when they actually got to mass production the late war sub types just dropped the more complected twin blade for a single GM style beam saber also letting them remove the recharge rack from under the backpack and the on backpack one.
Maybe, but the beam naginata along with the spinning hand creates a primitive beam shield that is enough to block beam shots and smaller calibre rounds in the OYW, which the technology was then lost and only reinvented in 0120 on the SNRI F90.(The V-Type was the first to be equipped with a beam shield, if my memory serves me right. Although the RX-93's Fin Funnel was innovatively repurposed on field as something of a primitive beam shield, it was not designed for the purpose.)

I don't really think the MS-14 needed any extra selling points for it to win against the MS-15, the MS-15 just doesn't serve the purpose it will be placed into. I mean, no matter how close combat became dominant because of the Minovsky particles, it just carried too little effective and efficient ranged weapons. A beam rifle or at least a spray gun is needed at the time. Also, the political reasons are just so dominantly favouring Zeonic over Zimmad.

Come to think of it, the 14Jg even completely dropped the beam sabre, which is a bit too much because even if you are not going to use the sabre for combat, it can at least be used for cutting through ship debris.

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Re: Beam saber or beam naginata?

Post by Seto Kaiba » Tue Nov 17, 2020 8:04 am

False Prophet wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 1:16 pm
I have been wondering why did Zeonic had the Gelgoog Marine and Jaeger using beam sabers instead beam naginata like the previous model? Is this because beam sabers are both easier to use and cheaper to make--I can imagine pilot scared of cutting themselves while using the beam naginata.
Can't find any direct statement on it, but odds are it has a lot to do with the diminishing returns of a polearm-style weapon at extreme close range or against a more agile opponent.

Polearms like the naginata that have heads designed for slashing rather than stabbing take advantage of a long shaft to maximize the centrifugal force imparted by the wielder's swing so that the blade has a better chance of making a cut in the opponent's armor or making a bigger wound on a cavalry animal like a horse. Its greater reach and power comes at the cost of the weapon only being useful if you can keep your opponent at a distance. Once they're inside the swing or in a position to check the wing, it's basically useless. A beam naginata can only really make use of the greater reach since its blade has no mass and cuts by burning rather than by mechanical leverage. A shorter bladed weapon like a saber is more useful at those closer quarters.

TL;DR: the saber design is more conducive to the kind of close combat mobile suits actually experience than Zeon's original beam naginata design.
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Re: Beam saber or beam naginata?

Post by MythSearcher » Tue Nov 17, 2020 10:00 pm

Seto Kaiba wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 8:04 am
Can't find any direct statement on it, but odds are it has a lot to do with the diminishing returns of a polearm-style weapon at extreme close range or against a more agile opponent.

Polearms like the naginata that have heads designed for slashing rather than stabbing take advantage of a long shaft to maximize the centrifugal force imparted by the wielder's swing so that the blade has a better chance of making a cut in the opponent's armor or making a bigger wound on a cavalry animal like a horse. Its greater reach and power comes at the cost of the weapon only being useful if you can keep your opponent at a distance. Once they're inside the swing or in a position to check the wing, it's basically useless. A beam naginata can only really make use of the greater reach since its blade has no mass and cuts by burning rather than by mechanical leverage. A shorter bladed weapon like a saber is more useful at those closer quarters.

TL;DR: the saber design is more conducive to the kind of close combat mobile suits actually experience than Zeon's original beam naginata design.
The beam naginata already has very little disadvantage compared to a metal naginata.
Since the main damage comes from burning, you don't need to have a fast swing to give it the kinetic power to cut.
Stabbing is less of a concern here, holding closer to the tip of the handle gives you pretty much the same attack profile as a beam sabre, your only disadvantage comes from a slightly slower swing because of a higher moment of inertia of a longer handle, and you may not be able to do some of the swings because the longer handle have more positions that will hit your body(let's say the computer shuts off the beam on the other side if you execute a motion that will overlap, because that is just too easy to do) but in all sense, it can still cover pretty much all of the area closest to the MS body where a metal naginata cannot really cover a user's body because of a weak swing with the metal isn't going to do damage, but a light touch to the hot plasma will. Especially with that 360 degrees turning hand doing actions humans can't do.

The problem with the greater reach would be the tip going faster and thus you get less burn time, so your cut is likely less deep.(not that it really mattered because what we see in show is "enough" damage will be caused)

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Re: Beam saber or beam naginata?

Post by Seto Kaiba » Wed Nov 18, 2020 8:00 am

MythSearcher wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 10:00 pm
The beam naginata already has very little disadvantage compared to a metal naginata.
The beam naginata has a LOT of disadvantages compared to a real-world naginata... most of which stem from the beam naginata not being a single-edged weapon like its real world counterpart.

Because the manufacturer decided to shorten the haft to add a second beam blade to the other end, it sacrifices most the additional reach that is the main advantage of a polearm for unneeded extra complexity that also limits the available range of motions for the weapon. With only one blade active, it's a beam saber with a restrictively-long grip that can get in the way of manipulating it in combat. With two blades active, it has a much-restricted field of motion because the Gelgoog has to avoid accidentally cutting itself and it's dependent on a good deal of wasteful motion like spinning in order to set up an attack without endangering itself with its own weapon.

It's all-around a less efficient, less useful weapon than a beam saber or a beam naginata that had a properly long haft and only one blade.


MythSearcher wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 10:00 pm
Since the main damage comes from burning, you don't need to have a fast swing to give it the kinetic power to cut.
Which is why you want to be as economical with your motions as possible... something the beam saber offers that the beam naginaga doesn't. You don't need big swings or spinning to build up momentum for a slash.
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Re: Beam saber or beam naginata?

Post by MythSearcher » Wed Nov 18, 2020 9:51 pm

Seto Kaiba wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 8:00 am
The beam naginata has a LOT of disadvantages compared to a real-world naginata... most of which stem from the beam naginata not being a single-edged weapon like its real world counterpart.

Because the manufacturer decided to shorten the haft to add a second beam blade to the other end, it sacrifices most the additional reach that is the main advantage of a polearm for unneeded extra complexity that also limits the available range of motions for the weapon. With only one blade active, it's a beam saber with a restrictively-long grip that can get in the way of manipulating it in combat. With two blades active, it has a much-restricted field of motion because the Gelgoog has to avoid accidentally cutting itself and it's dependent on a good deal of wasteful motion like spinning in order to set up an attack without endangering itself with its own weapon.

It's all-around a less efficient, less useful weapon than a beam saber or a beam naginata that had a properly long haft and only one blade.
The length of the handle is comparable to a short spear or nagamaki.(In fact, if only one side is active, it looks much more like a nagamaki than a naginata)
The blade of the metal naginata isn't that long(usually 30~60cm), so the reach by comparison is far from the beam blade that will be around 90~100cm long on a human scale. (At least both of the MG versions provided the sword type beam blade that is full length of a beam sabre, meaning with the longer handle, it can still provide a longer reach than the beam sabre but is still able to hold further up to perform close to the light sabre.)

No reach is sacrificed by having a shorter handle, they added that to the blade length instead.

The other side's beam can always be shut down if it intersects with the body, just like the beam shields that came later. It will be very easy to include into the motion module, just maybe you lose some of the plasma, not likely a big deal. Most of the actions that the aft blade will intersect with the body are moves where you are attacking something on the right side, where a lot of them can be done with a different set of motion where either you place the handle on the side of you or change the angle of attack. MS are not human, they are directly controlled by motion capture on the field like the MF in G Gundam, they only run on pre-set motion modules that the pilots execute.
Which is why you want to be as economical with your motions as possible... something the beam saber offers that the beam naginaga doesn't. You don't need big swings or spinning to build up momentum for a slash.
But the spinning hand means it is using the least motion to give the largest range of motion. You just need a slight nudge to damage, and it does just that.

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Re: Beam saber or beam naginata?

Post by Seto Kaiba » Fri Nov 20, 2020 7:47 am

MythSearcher wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 9:51 pm
The length of the handle is comparable to a short spear or nagamaki.(In fact, if only one side is active, it looks much more like a nagamaki than a naginata)
The blade of the metal naginata isn't that long(usually 30~60cm), so the reach by comparison is far from the beam blade that will be around 90~100cm long on a human scale. (At least both of the MG versions provided the sword type beam blade that is full length of a beam sabre, meaning with the longer handle, it can still provide a longer reach than the beam sabre but is still able to hold further up to perform close to the light sabre.)
But at the end of the day, the longer handle and/or second blade is still more restrictive than having the shorter grip and single blade of a beam saber... and also more expensive since you need a larger e-cap and second beam emitter and i-field containment setup.

That, combined with the obvious issues in execution, makes for a fairly common sense explanation for why the beam naginata was abandoned in favor of the more compact and versatile beam saber that was already the standard in the Federation.

(It probably didn't help the beam naginata's case that the Federation had already demo'd a beam saber model which had an extendable grip that enabled it to function as a beam polearm while preserving its more compact size.)
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Re: Beam saber or beam naginata?

Post by MythSearcher » Sat Nov 21, 2020 5:24 am

Seto Kaiba wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 7:47 am
But at the end of the day, the longer handle and/or second blade is still more restrictive than having the shorter grip and single blade of a beam saber... and also more expensive since you need a larger e-cap and second beam emitter and i-field containment setup.

That, combined with the obvious issues in execution, makes for a fairly common sense explanation for why the beam naginata was abandoned in favor of the more compact and versatile beam saber that was already the standard in the Federation.

(It probably didn't help the beam naginata's case that the Federation had already demo'd a beam saber model which had an extendable grip that enabled it to function as a beam polearm while preserving its more compact size.)
Well, it basically is just two beam sabres made into one handle, I am pretty sure that if you cut in the middle it will still function as two separate sabres. That is pretty much all the problem it got. The military at the time can only support the mass production and logistics of one beam sabre per MS, not two. Their best mass-production MS, the MS-14Jg, didn't even have a single beam sabre. Shows how poor they are at handling the beam weapon logistics.

The restrictions and execution shouldn't matter since they already made all the hassle to record the motion modules on the YMS-14, and have all the combat data from the MS-14S. The restrictive nature of the longer handle shouldn't be much an issue any more at that point of time.

The EFF beam javelin is likely so expensive that it never got mass produced. Also, the beam javelin would make much more sense if the tip isn't turn into that ball but still a long sabre blade. Would be more effective than the hidden arms they made a few MS to have in the Gryps period. But yes, it will be much better than the beam naginata if we just consider the functionality of it and not the price.

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Re: Beam saber or beam naginata?

Post by False Prophet » Sat Nov 28, 2020 12:06 pm

MythSearcher wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 5:24 am
The EFF beam javelin is likely so expensive that it never got mass produced. Also, the beam javelin would make much more sense if the tip isn't turn into that ball but still a long sabre blade. Would be more effective than the hidden arms they made a few MS to have in the Gryps period. But yes, it will be much better than the beam naginata if we just consider the functionality of it and not the price.
Didn't we saw a few Beam Javelin in the hands of GM III in reserve service in Unicorn? Then again, we also saw a frankenstein GM II with the even more expensive and complicated twin beam spear. The fact that someone was allowed to basically "cosplay" with the GM II amuses me.
Seto Kaiba wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 7:47 am
But at the end of the day, the longer handle and/or second blade is still more restrictive than having the shorter grip and single blade of a beam saber... and also more expensive since you need a larger e-cap and second beam emitter and i-field containment setup.
So then the Geara Doga's beam axe and the Sazabi's beam tomahawk are inefficient designs? Are they be like that purely for looking good and make peple reminiscence about the Zaku?

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Re: Beam saber or beam naginata?

Post by Seto Kaiba » Sat Nov 28, 2020 3:23 pm

False Prophet wrote:
Sat Nov 28, 2020 12:06 pm
So then the Geara Doga's beam axe and the Sazabi's beam tomahawk are inefficient designs? Are they be like that purely for looking good and make peple reminiscence about the Zaku?
Eh... not to the same extent that the beam naginata is, given that they don't require a separate set of programmed motions the way the beam naginata does. That said, they're definitely more complicated and that complication on their part doesn't really add any extra utility to the weapon. It still works and is used essentially exactly like more traditional beam sabers.

Zeon seems to have a fondness for picking weapons that are flashy and complicated without actually offering better combat performance.
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Re: Beam saber or beam naginata?

Post by MythSearcher » Mon Nov 30, 2020 12:46 am

False Prophet wrote:
Sat Nov 28, 2020 12:06 pm
Didn't we saw a few Beam Javelin in the hands of GM III in reserve service in Unicorn? Then again, we also saw a frankenstein GM II with the even more expensive and complicated twin beam spear. The fact that someone was allowed to basically "cosplay" with the GM II amuses me.
Can those retract and extend like the original beam javelin?
I know they have a weapon with the same name, but it seems like they are just pole weapons that basically just have a long handle unlike the retractable RX-78 beam javelin? I haven't seen it in action, but if it is just a beam sabre/dagger with a really long handle, it is completely another matter.
A pole weapon like the 79FP GM Striker: http://dalong.net/reviews/hg/h72/h72_i.htm twin beam spear will actually make a bit more sense if they didn't make the end so heavy looking. Of course it will still make more sense if it is just one sabre.
The pole weapon argument up there actually works pretty well. Unlike metal weapons, where you need to have good edge alignment and a certain amount of inertia and force to cut, a beam weapon burns/melts/vaporises whatever is in contact with it. Meaning even with a really long pole and a very weak swing, it still cuts. This opens a lot of possibilities in the action module and reduces a lot of weakness of the spear.
The only problem is, the pole part will have no defensive capabilities like the traditional pole weapons. This is counteracted by the fact that the traditional pole weapons cannot defend itself by just lightly tapping your opponent with the metal part and hope for any damage, it will do none, but the beam pole weapons will do a lot of damage just by tapping the beam part on your opponent, meaning getting through that swing now just gets so much harder because
a) the swing does not require as much force, meaning you have much less openings after an attack.
b) if your opponent tries to cut your pole, all you need is to move your polearm a little bit to make it in contact with your opponent's blade/arm, whatever the situation fits.

There's very little description of what happens on the contact between beam blades, because it really doesn't make sense that they can produce so much force to lock both MS arms in place like what they depict in shows.
Breaking down the problem, we have a few questions need to solve:
1) Will the blades lock/bind.
This one is rather simple, real swords don't really lock well, and since the beam blades have EM and I-fields that likely will interact with each other, you can have it either way, or both. This is also why real swords have hand guards, they are for stopping the opponent's blade from sliding down and cutting your hand. This is also why light sabres in the Star Wars universe look so stupid to anyone who knows how to use a sword and they have to make a settings stating they bind to each other.
2) Will the hands lock.
This is one of the biggest mysteries in the metaseries. Since the blades aren't solid, it makes little sense that they have enough force to keep the two users in place and not just cutting each other in a double KO fashion. (Think of two people holding blow torches and trying to fight like they are holding beam/light sabres, it doesn't bold well.) In the CE-verse, eventhough bugs exists in show(which they fixed in the DVD and/or remaster versions), the settings claims the blades will not stop each other. In the UC-verse though, even the EM-field and plasmarised portion of the heat blades can stop the beam blades, and the hands, and the MS's complete inertia. My own rationalisation of this is that they have an unspoken agreement to enforce some kind of automatic brake in the system, it doesn't really help if you don't include the soft safety because if you don't stop, your opponent will also keep going and you just cut each other and you won't have an edge in the battlefield. In reality, I will of course try to exploit such system and make use of the sudden stop of my opponent to my full advantage. I can always just build my system around such safe guards and stop my opponents with the minimal power, like installing fake beam weapons that require very little power to make them stop while I use a real weapon to cut through them.(Hey, that twin beam spear suddenly make so much more sense now, doesn't it? No, it doesn't, because I'd rather just fire some kind of waist, wrist, shoulder beam guns at them while they stupidly bind beam blades. This is how stupid bringing a melee weapons to a gun fight is.)
If the fields of the beam weapons are this powerful to stop two whole MSs inertia, their output power will be so great that I'd rather a) just make a field so powerful that can block both beam rifles and sabres(hint: beam shield); or b) use that power to fire a wide angle shot that will just destroy everything and a beam sabre won't help you.
3) How will the blade react.
In 0083, we see that the blades' fields disrupts each other and the plasma starts to leak, but not in other shows. In the same show, Gato turning up the power of the beam sabre also seems to make the blades' bind more to his favour, which we also not see in other shows.(And he still couldn't really cut through with it)

Just talked to a friend yesterday about first Gundam, and he mentioned as a person who watched super robots show, and his saw the toys before watching the show. He was surprised that Gundam didn't have special moves, and thought the beam sabre will be used for the special move, but at the end it was pretty much just used when it ran out of ammo and it was nothing powerful, unlike later shows which put the beam sabre in a more and more powerful position. I also concur, especially in games, the melee attacks are just so much more powerful in dps that it really doesn't make sense, In bonds of battlefield they even make long range attacks virtually no damage in short range unless the opponent is executing a ramming action.(The game runs on something like Rock paper scissors in a melee-shooting-ramming order) If they want people to use the melee weapons, all they need is to have a real limit to the ammo instead of infinite, fast rechargeable ammo.(Making the recharge slower already helps a lot in making the players utilise melee weapons more)


So then the Geara Doga's beam axe and the Sazabi's beam tomahawk are inefficient designs? Are they be like that purely for looking good and make peple reminiscence about the Zaku?
I guess they have the same idea as in the beam javelin. They can concentrate the power output into a smaller area/volume so as to have higher energy density for higher damage. So in theory they cut better, and if you take the 0083 Gato's thoughts, the higher power blade may cut through the lower power blade.
They are just lucky that the EFF seems to program their MS to be the gentlemen and bind blades with them instead of exploiting their shorter blades.
Seto Kaiba wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 8:04 am
Can't find any direct statement on it, but odds are it has a lot to do with the diminishing returns of a polearm-style weapon at extreme close range or against a more agile opponent.

Polearms like the naginata that have heads designed for slashing rather than stabbing take advantage of a long shaft to maximize the centrifugal force imparted by the wielder's swing so that the blade has a better chance of making a cut in the opponent's armor or making a bigger wound on a cavalry animal like a horse. Its greater reach and power comes at the cost of the weapon only being useful if you can keep your opponent at a distance. Once they're inside the swing or in a position to check the wing, it's basically useless. A beam naginata can only really make use of the greater reach since its blade has no mass and cuts by burning rather than by mechanical leverage. A shorter bladed weapon like a saber is more useful at those closer quarters.

TL;DR: the saber design is more conducive to the kind of close combat mobile suits actually experience than Zeon's original beam naginata design.
Zeon do have a larger variety of melee weapons they are willing to make motion modules for. Zakus have hawks, Goufs have swords(2 types of them), Doms have rods and the Gelgoogs have naginata and sabres, the naginatas even have two operating modes(the short and long beams) which likely needed more care in motions)

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