Mark Simmons (
Mon, 4 Oct 1999 09:05:56 -0700

Kev K writes,

>Okay new topic folks. In the third Gundam Movie, "Encounters in Space", we
>see the climatic battle between the Feds and Zeons. What bothers me is the
>fact that Zeons lost the war to the punny Feds. We know that Zeons have the
>outdated Zakus going up against the more agile and better equipped GM. But
>what about the Gelgood units?? Weren't they designed to tackle Gundam or
>the GMs??

  Not only were the Gelgoogs few in number (165 were produced, out of
thousands of mobile suits at the scene) but, as has already been pointed
out, they were mostly in the hands of green recruits and drafted
high-schoolers (Kishiria even wonders the same thing during the battle,
and her aide Twanning gives her this answer). When Char finally gets to A
Bao A Qu, he's mightily pissed that these newbies have already taken all
the available Gelgoogs...

>Well, my speculation is this, the Zeons lost the battle because
>they lost all their valuable Tacticians.

  The battle certainly takes a turn against the Zeons after Giren is
killed. But then again, one wonders how good Giren's strategy really is.
While Dozul favors conventional fleet combat, and Kishiria advocates
mobile suits, Giren seems to adhere to the superweapon school. He sends
Dozul the Big Zam instead of regular reinforcements, counts on the Solar
Ray to wipe out the Federation fleet, and pins all his hopes on the
defense of A Bao A Qu on the huge carrier Doros.

  Actually, it's been proposed (for example, in the Shin Matsunaga
biography comic that ran in Hobby Japan's RPG Magazine Great) that Giren
deliberately weakened Solomon's defenses and sacrificed the base so that
he could justify using the Solar Ray. In other words, rather than
fighting a conventional battle and perhaps winning, he threw the match so
he could try his luck with his pet superweapon...

>So without these commanders
>in action the whole Zeon army were probably all confused and had no clue
>what to do.

  They were pretty confused _with_ these commanders. The constant
infighting between the Zabis didn't do their soldiers much good.

Rodrick Su writes,

>Remember an overwhelming number of GM can make up the difference between
>experience and inexperience. As for GM, it is just a bit worst off than
>Gelgoog, with the vast majority of medium to great Zeon pilots being killed
>@ Solomon, Zeon has been filling Rick Dom and Gelgoog with student pilots
>like Bernie Wiseman of 0080. By then, Federation have had some pilots of
>great abilities like Burning and Sanders.

  Right - even though the Federation's pilots had a tough time fighting
Zakus for the bulk of the war, by the time the Federal Forces started
producing mobile suits, they had a large supply of experienced pilots who
were chomping at the bit to take on the Zeons on equal terms. Yu Kajima,
Philip Hughes, and Master P. Rayer from the Side Story games are all
experienced fighter aces who are able to transfer their skills to mobile
suit combat, and the same is probably true of South Burning and his buddies.

Kev K writes,

> One interesting point though, the major aces we see Zeons lost are those
>who went to tackle against gundam. You mentioned that the Zeons were filled
>with the majority of their pilots fresh from the school. But isn't that's
>the same with the Feds??

  Not necessarily. Though the Federation no doubt had plenty of raw
recruits in its ranks, most of the GM pilots we see are experienced
fighter pilots who've been bumped up to mobile suits. (The only "pure"
mobile suit pilot we see is Chris Mackenzie, and you can see how well
_she_ does in combat!)

  As for the Zeons, it's true that most of the aces who get killed in the
last months of the war are killed by the Gundam. But dozens of others
were pulled from the front lines for test pilot duty, or recalled to Side
3 for political reasons (i.e. Shin Matsunaga). And that's not even
counting all the pilots who might have become aces if they hadn't been
killed in the first month of the war, in part due to Zeon's poor mobile
suit tactics (like using them for combat engineering rather than tackling
the enemy head-on).

-- Mark

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