-Z- (z@gundam.com)
Thu, 22 Jun 2000 15:24:18 -0700


> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-gundam@1u.aeug.org [mailto:owner-gundam@1u.aeug.org]On
> Behalf Of Lim Jyue
> Sent: Thursday, June 22, 2000 09:45
> To: gundam@aeug.org
> Subject: RE: [gundam] Colony Drop
>
> At 08:08 06/22/2000 -0700, -Z- wrote:
> >It helps that, just as the Federation is getting back on its feet, Zeon is
> >beginning to crumble from overextension, exhaustion, internal strife and its
> >own brand of incompetence, born of personal ambition and overconfidence.
>
> Still doesn't quite answer the question. How much bigger in terms of
> manpower is the Federation military compared to the Zeon military?

Same as it ever was. 9:2, with Earth and Zeon (Side 3) dead even at 1:1.

You start out with 11 billion people, 9 billion of whom live in space, 2 billion
of them in Side 3. You cut that number in half on both sides and spread the
casualties around and you end up with exactly the same ratio, just half the
numbers.

The only skew is if there were disproportionate casualties between Earth and
space. If no one on Earth was killed, the ratio wouls still be 9:2, but the
Earth to Zeon ratio would jump to 2:1. Allowing for Earth casualties up to 50%
of even, you still end up at 9:2, but an Earth to Zeon ratio of 3:2.

> Even with the MS advantage in the first half of the war, Zeon didn't
> always had a confirmed advantage; the Zaku was a great force multiplier, but
> a super-weapon it ain't. I think the main advantage the Zaku had over, say a
> Salamis class cruiser is that all it takes is for one Zaku pilot to send the
> entire Salamis crew to a airless grave.

And what would THAT ratio be? I've tried Mecha Domain and crew count is
conspicuous by its absence from the statistics there. (Yo! Burke! Wassup! How
many Federation officers does it take to swat a Zaku?) Even if you just
kamikaze into the bridge, you'll get a minimum of 4 Feds to 1 Zeon.

Back in Vietnam, we got sucked into the "body count" game. The rpoblem was that
the Viet Cong had lots and lots of people who were ready and willing to die, but
not much hardware. We, on the other hand, had tons of hardware and only the
few, the proud, and the drafted. So if we zapped 15 Charlies and only lost one
helicopter and its pilot, both sides declared it a victory. To Charlie, a
helicopter and pilot was worth 20 men. To us, the loss was compensated by 10
men.

The problem with statistics is that they are only meaningful in a human context,
which is usually stripped away by the process of compiling the figures.

In any case, war is not a zero-sum game. If it were, there'd be nothing but
pawns on the chess board. It's not even a win-lose game, but rather a lose-lose
game in which the winner is the one who loses the least.

> Otherwise, if we stick strictly to a naval battle, I doubt Zeon
> would have that big an advantage.

Zeon seems to have a significant submarine presence and their amphibious MS are
among their most powerful and fearsome.

> Puzzling thing -- the damage can't possibly be that critical; To
> turn the climate in a cylinder to a desert, now, that will take some time,
> won't it? It's likely the damage can be fixed, given enough time and effort
> which maybe the colonists didn't have, which was why they evacuated the
> cylinder, right?

Desert recipe: destroy mirror, bake at an even temperature for nine months,
serve hot. (Sorry, I just couldn't resist!) My point is that Texas was damaged
early in the War and White Base didn't dock there until close to the end. I
think a single month of continuous direct sunlight would be enough, given that
the Wild West theme didn't allow for much in the way of ground cover. It was
always a SIMULATION of a desert, but the business with the mirrors turned it
into an ACTUAL desert by evaporating the ambient moisture.

> For the surviving colonist just to abandon the cylinder just like
> that -- for stuck mirrors which shouldn't pose a major problem for a day or
> two, and which can be lived with for another week or so...

Well, there's not much use for a Wild West theme park during a war and much less
so for a Death valley. For all we know, everyone enlisted en masse to seek
revenge. (^_^)

>
> So why didn't they go back during the lull to fix the cylinder? Side
> 5 (Texas was in Side 5, right?) is smack in between the Earth and the front
> side of the Moon; I would have thought it would be the second safest
> Lagrange point to work from the Federation's perspective.

This may be a passing comment on the Federation's priorities. Texas had a
strategic position as the only even marginally habitable place in the Shoal
Zone, but the Federation simply used it as a stepping stone, with no regard for
the people who still lived there.

And the Zeon probably did the same thing. We know of at least one Zeon officer
who planted mines all over the place.

Hmm. Come to think of it, weren't those NUCLEAR mines, in clear violation of
the Antarctic Treaty?

-Z-

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