Re: [gundam] average "grunt" MS pilot experience in various Gundam


Mark Simmons (scorpio@best.com)
Fri, 5 Feb 1999 13:35:56 -0800


Rodrick Su writes,

>0079:
>Zeon: Comprised of lots and lots of recruits off the street, with an
>excellent mixture of aces. Towards the end of the war, as the aces
>dies off, the mixture between green/veteran dropped significantly.

  Another big die-off took place at the start of the war. During the One
Week War and Operation British, before the Zeons learned to use mobile
suits effectively, they lost a lot of their experienced pilots and were
forced to hastily recruit a new batch. By the end of the war, they're
relying on student recruits like Bernie; as Kishiria's flunky Twanning
observes during the Battle of A Bao A Qu, this effectively negates Zeon's
technological edge.

>Federation: Comprised of (and correct me if I am wrong) mostly
>replacement pilots and some space-fighter pilot converts. The vast
>majority of the MS pilot probably have less than 500 hours piloting a
>MS. Win the war by the sheer numbers and better MS.

  Absolutely. While the Federation did have a lot of fighter pilots to
transfer to mobile suit duty, I imagine the casualty rate of fighters
versus mobile suits must have been pretty gnarly. Most of the top
Federation mobile suit pilots were likely veteran fighter pilots from
earlier in the war.

>0083:
>Delaz: comprised entirely of veteran, otherwise they wouldn't have
>been stuck in Side 5. There isn't a green/veteran ration as opposed
>to veteran/ace.

  Right. All veterans, no newbies. No wonder they're so bad-ass!

>Zeta: Since I have only seen 4 episodes, I'd let someone fill out the
>blanks.
>Federation, excluding Titan:

  Probably about the same as in 0083. They have some training, and mobile
suit tactics are better understood now, but they lack combat experience,
quality leadership, and motivation.

>Titan:

  The cream of the Federal Forces. These guys are about as good as
Federation pilots have ever gotten. Key point: Even their plebes know how
to dodge, allowing them to waste the time of ace pilots instead of being
complete clay pigeons. Unlike in other Gundam series, you almost never see
a single ace pilot taking on multiple enemies at once.

>AEUG:

  Much like the Delaz Fleet. These guys are mostly veterans, or at least
experienced Federal Forces defectors. The terrestrial Kalaba are a bit less
skilled, since until the Jaburo drop they haven't had any mobile suits to
practice on.

>Axis:

  Whooh, talk about pathetic! Basically, these are the _kids_ of the One
Year War-era Zeons. They have only a couple of genuine war veterans - Rakan
Dakaran, maybe August Ghidan and the Jamul 3D team - and the rest are
second-generation Zeons who were kids during the war and have no combat
experience whatsoever. Like the Zeon forces at the end of the war, they're
children with expensive toys. A few of them - Hamaan, Mashma - have some
natural talent, but that's just a lucky coincidence. Overall, possibly the
worst pilots in Gundam history.

>Char's Counterattack:
>Londo Bell: the vast majority of Londo Bell pilots have a least 1
>major war under their belt, some with 2. This is one of the most
>experienced unit of MS pilots.

  Yep. I'd say they're on a par with the Titans, with even the plebes being
decent pilots.

>Neo Zeon: Like Londo Bell, Neo Zeon also have their fair share of
>very experienced pilots. However, their experience ration is
>probably lower than that of Londo Bell.

  I'd say that's fair. They're probably in the same position as the Axis -
a bunch of kids drawn to the Neo Zeon cause, few of whom were old enough to
fight in the previous rounds of wars.

>F91:
>Federation: Very poor. Perhaps the long peace have lead major
>complacency. The MS experience is almost on par with early GM pilot
>experiences.

  Yup. While they don't lack for training, they're under-motivated, sloppy,
and complacent. You can tell they've never fought with live ammo. ;-)

>Crossbone Vanguard: Very good. This is a well train, well equipped
>small army that makes up for their lack of actual fighting
>experiences with training and equipment.

  And how! The CV are probably the most rigorously trained and disciplined
fighting force in Gundam history. Incidentally, according to Tomino's F91
novels, Zabine Chareaux actually enlisted in the Federation, went through
their pilot training course, served his term as a Federal Forces soldier...
and then rejoined the CV and taught them everything he'd learned. So, on
top of all their other advantages, these guys know everything their
_enemies_ have been taught!

>Victory:
>Zanscare Empire: Similar mixture of experience to Zeon in 0079,
>mostly new recruits with very experience troops in specialized units.

  If anything, I'd liken them to the end-of-the-war Zeons. Very heavy
reliance on student recruits to fuel the massive Zanscare war machine, very
few pilots with extensive combat experience. Most of their really good
pilots are former employees of the Federation's SNRI research institute,
whose BESPA division became the core of the Zanscare military.

>League Militaire: Composition is actually similar to Crossbone
>Vanguard, except they are poorer and smaller in size.

  Worse-trained, too. Like the Kalaba, they've historically been hurting
for mobile suits, so when they finally get them their soldiers have a
pretty severe learning curve. They're also short-handed, with lots of
seniors and kids and not a lot of mature adults. Like the AEUG, their ranks
do include some ex-Federal Forces pilots, especially as the series
progresses. But overall, I'd say the fact that they can hold their own
against numerically superior Zanscare forces just serves to indicate how
lousy the average Zanscare pilot must be. :-)

-- Mark

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Mark Simmons <mailto:scorpio@best.com>
MacAddict: the magazine! <http://www.macaddict.com/>
Gundam: the Project! <http://gundam.anime.net/>



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