Mark Simmons (scorpio@best.com)
Tue, 4 May 1999 17:10:20 -0700


Richie Ramos writes,

> Actually, I tend to agree with the supply and maintenance theory.
>Considering all the stuff that Zeon had, and the types and modifications
>and all that, they were going for specialized warfare, and if it goes down
>to that, and with all the different mods and small numbers of the differnet
>mods, then it points to the idea of a quick and dirty war. The Feds
>thought about it as a long war, having a basic GM and a lot of adds-on
>stuff to a basic design. Very much designed for the long run, it seems.

  Or perhaps it's the other way 'round. The Zeons took their sweet time
phasing in new models, holding up the Gelgoog for a couple of months to add
beam weapon capabilities; the Federation cranked out prototypes of its
first mobile suits within a few months, and rushed them into mass
production as fast as it possibly could, customization and specialization
be damned. In effect, they overran the Zeons with Balls and GMs while the
enemy was fine-tuning its long-awaited Ultimate Weapons.

>Actually, I thinki of the MS types more like this:
>
>Zaku: Front line grunts, and used for garrison guarding, etc.
>Dom: Shock troopers and Heavy assault, possibly entrenchment specialists.
>Gelgoog: Interceptor/officer's unit. if in squad, then definitely also
>for assault and specific mission duties.

  Actually, no. All three mobile suits are intended to serve the same
general purpose, albeit with an increasing degree of sophistication. The
Dom is a replacement for the Zaku on the ground, and the Gelgoog was
supposed to replace it in space; due to the delay in the Gelgoog's
development, the Rick Dom was created as a stopgap. All these mobile suits
are intended for general-purpose combat, either in space or on the ground.

  In particular, the Gelgoog is _not_ designed as an officer's unit. You
almost _never_ see specialized officer mobile suits in Gundam, which makes
sense given that a souped-up officer unit would quickly ditch its slower
wingmen. At most, an officer will have a slightly tuned-up version of his
underlings' mobile suit, with a command antenna. The Crossbone Vanguard are
perhaps the only exception to this rule, and one can excuse it on the
grounds of their "nobility" fixation.

  Look at the last battles of the One Year War. Solomon is defended almost
entirely by Rick Doms, with a minority of leftover Zakus which are deployed
as reinforcements once the battle heats up. A Bao A Qu has few Rick Doms -
one assumes they were mostly sent to the front-line Solomon base - and
instead hosts a mix of brand-new Gelgoogs produced at the base's own
factories, and old-model Zakus left over from the early months of the war.
This mix of mobile suits is strictly a product of manufacturing and supply
issues, not combat roles.

-- 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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