Re: [gundam] Beam weapon and safety range

Mark Simmons (
Sun, 28 Mar 1999 22:38:42 -0800

Doc writes,

>From the scenes in F91, we see that some shots do hit the colony
>cylinder wall (remember Seabook's mom falling off her scooter?)... but
>only when the MS start straying toward the walls. Thus, the effective
>range of a beam rifle would probably be just around a kilometer or so, I
>get this estimate from F91--the fight between Seabook and Cecily happens
>in the middle of cyclinder (in the clouds) and their shots apparently
>don't reach the surface (this is unqualified, though) and CCA--the Nu
>Gundam's relative distance from Keyra and Lezun when Amuro surprises
>Beam particles would probably travel farther than a kilometer but beyond
>this distance, their damage would decrease dramatically.

  Actually, the range is somewhat more. The Gundam's beam rifle is
supposed to have an effective range of 10 to 20 kilometers in open space;
the upper limit is the F90-IIL's huge rifle, with a hundred-kilometer
range. Atmospheric scattering would limit this range somewhat, but in
episode 9 of 08th MS Team, Sanders is still able to hit a Zaku from a
ten-kilometer range (with, admittedly, extreme dificulty).

  The apparent lack of side-effects from intra-colony beam fire may be
due to the relatively small holes created by beam weapons. It would take
days for all a colony's air to drain out of even a large hole, let alone
a beam weapon blast. The real danger in using beam weapons inside a
colony is that they can trigger mobile suit reactor explosions, which
create _much_ larger colony wall breaches.

Dafydd writes,

>1YW MS sensor radii range vary from 3.2 km (MS-06 Zaku II) to 6.3 km (MS-14
>Gelgoog) and you can't shoot what you can't see, so the ranged weapons
>should have an effective range somewhat less than the sensor radius.

  The sensor radius would presumably depend on the size of the target;
I'm sure Gato is firing from a lot further than ten kilometers away when
he nails the Birmingham with the GP02A's nuke. I'd assume that the listed
sensor radius is with respect to a mobile suit-sized target.

>By the time F91 was produced, sensor radius was no longer included in MS
>specs, but these *are* VSBRs, so maybe they give the same benefit as the
>PPG, making a "safe" burst of energetic particles that do little or no
>collateral damage.

  The VSBR can be set to either a low-speed mode that spreads out the
damage over a large area, or a high-speed mode for better penetration.
The latter mode, which is used to pierce enemy beam shields, would create
only teensy and easily fixable breaches; the former would be more
dangerous, but still nothing compared to the damage caused by a reactor
hit under any circumstances. Essentially, mobile suits shouldn't be
fighting inside colonies - or if they must, they should use missile and
projectile weapons as the Crossbone Vanguard do.

-- Mark

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