Ricky Lai (x-lai@uchicago.edu)
Sat, 23 Sep 2000 01:57:31 -0500

I never tried to dispute what was being depicted in the animation regarding the size
of fleets. The point I have trying to put across is that the writers of both Z and
ZZ series should have thought more deeply about the scale of those conflicts. Of
course, if the Gryps War began with great intensity like in Stardust Memories, the
series would not have lasted more than 10 episodes; but the series would have
benefited from a sharper escalation of scale.

Mark Simmons wrote:

> As Z Gundam begins, the Titans are a small elite force, with just a
> handful of ships. They can spare only two ships to pursue the AEUG after a
> raid on Gryps - the Titans' home base! - and are forced to requisition a
> regular Federal Forces cruiser as backup. During Operation Apollo, their
> attack on Von Braun City, half their ships are Musai cruisers borrowed from
> the Zeon Republic. After the capture of Von Braun, the Federation Assembly
> finally gives the Titans control of the Federal Forces fleet, but up until
> then they're a small force that has to borrowing ships from allies and other
> military branches.
> A mere dozen episodes after this, the AEUG persuades the Federation
> Assembly to switch sides, and now it's the AEUG that has the Federal Forces
> fleet at its disposal. (Thus, the Titans have _not_ "gradually swallowed the
> entire Federal Forces" - in fact, they've been kicked out of the
> Federation!) The final battle is fought between the Titans and AEUG fleets,
> reinforced by additional forces that each was able to borrow from the
> regular Federal Forces during their brief periods of official favor.

Can't help that Kishira, or whoever is the dumbass who commanded the fleet, comes up
with such a suicidal plan. I have always stressed the importance of personel: it is
useless to give a rookie a monster like Neue Ziel, since he/she will simply make
waste of it. Look at what happened to Alpha-Azieru: a result of Char's misjudgment
of putting yet another moronic newtype girl in the cockpit.

> It's possible to turn the entire ship, but it's not quick or easy -
> especially if the ships are moving at high speeds. Think of the clash
> between Kishiria's small fleet and the Federation fleet just before the
> Battle of A Bao A Qu, during which all of Kishiria's ships except the Gwazin
> are blown apart while running a gantlet of Federation cruisers. The Musais
> and Zanzibars are virtually powerless to fight back, since they're traveling
> at full speed through the enemy fleet.

While the Fed guns worked on her ill-fated ship this time, we see in 0083, when Lily
Marleen attempts to break off the U.N.T. fleet, the beam from Fed ships, mostly
Salamis class, seem to bounce off the Zanzibar class' armor rather than scoring
solid hits.

> For that matter, note that Kishiria's Zanzibar is blown apart when it
> attempts to escape A Bao A Qu, because it pops up in the middle of a bunch
> of Federation cruisers which immediately swivel their gun turrets and open
> fire on it. Clearly these guns are effective against Zeon cruisers, and time
> after time the ability of the Federation ships to fire in any direction
> gives them a visible advantage over the Zeon ships.

Although judging from the relative size of the MS hatch is by no means an effective
way, the Reyullura does have a relatively large hatch. Assuming that Neo-Zion is
not stupid enough to put an oversized hatch on their flagship, as hatches are after
all weak points, Relluyura can hardly be on par with ships of even, say the Gwanban

> It's hard to say - I've never seen specs for the Reyullura.

Perhaps it is the first REAL fine ship from the Feds. Aghama and Neul-Aghama don't
really count, as their hyper-mega-particle cannon is simply unrealistic: equivalent
of a colony laser? Please...

> But the
> Federation's Lar Kairam class is huge - 487 meters, according to V Gundam -
> and it carries just 6 to 8 mobile suits...

Yet it manages to pack in more firepower than any other ship of the same size (with
the exception of Sadaran if they belong to the same scale). How'd they do that!?

> One assumes not, but again, I've never seen figures for the Dogos Gear's
> capacity. Given its size and number of decks, and the fact that the Titans
> have few other ships in their fleet, perhaps the Dogos Gear is designed
> specifically to serve as a mobile suit carrier.

This point addresses a fundamental question that is bound to spark much
controversy. Why do ships need catapults for their MSs? Catapults don't really
save MSs much propellant anyway, since they are not quite long enough to bestow
adequate momentum on an MS and MSs use their own propulsion during "take off"
anyway. In a battle where reaction time is more crucial than anything, wouldn't
mother ships be better off in opening a hatch so that multiple MSs can dive into
action at once?

> One assumes that the mobile suit capacity would be proportional to the
> number of catapults - if a ship carried dozens of mobile suits but just two
> catapults, it would never be able to launch them all, so the Dogos Gear's
> abundance of catapults suggests it has an unusually high capacity.

That unit (MS catapult) would serve a much better job if it were a supersized

> Not sure what this implies for the Gwadan's unique swiveling MS launcher,
> though...

The Musai (Later production type) is certainly a 'lean' cruiser, in that it packs so
much power in such compactness. Nonetheless, it is still a cruiser, which means its
power is still no match to a battleship -- the Magellan class.

> Exactly; it's been redesigned along the lines of a Federation ship, with
> gun turrets in every direction and lots of anti-aircraft guns. As a result,
> it fixes the fatal flaws of the original Musai, and its heavier weaponry
> gives it an edge over the Salamis. In fact, its firepower is probably
> comparable to that of a Magellan.

What does the sheer size of the Axis force that comes to Aghama's aid say about the
capacity of Gwadan? The number of Gaza-C's is so overwhelming that simple a firing
formation serves to scare off a veteran like Yatsan. But then looking at Gwadan's
design, there are only 4 notable decks, implying that MS capacity is not necessarily
connected to abundance of decks.

> Still, there are a handful of ships that seem to have been designed
> specifically to carry a lot of mobile suits - the Doros and the Dogos Gear,
> with their multiple catapults, come to mind as examples. These are
> presumably designed to carry as many mobile suits as possible.
> The former category, cruisers & battleships, typically carry about 4
> mobile suits per catapult. The Doros, with its supposed capacity of 182
> mobile suits, has 26 per catapult (so it would take it a long time to launch
> them all into battle). I'd assume the Dogos Gear, with its 12 catapults,
> adheres to the battleship rule of thumb and would carry 40-50 mobile suits -
> a full battalion, in other words.

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