Rodrick Su (
Wed, 1 Nov 2000 20:22:34 -0800

> -----Original Message-----
> From: []On
> Behalf Of Andrew Dynon
> Sent: Wednesday, November 01, 2000 11:05 AM
> To:
> Subject: [gundam] For Mark Simmons: Piloting Styles
> Hi Mark,
> About a year ago, you posted the short version of an essay on piloting
> styles to the list. Could you post the full version? (I kept meaning to
> ask this but getting distracted).

Below is the text of that message:


Amid all the back-and-forth about Char versus Gato versus whomever, I'm
reminded of a feature I wrote a few years back for the never-published
second issue of the Gundam fanzine Julie and I were working on. Here's a
super-digest version...

In essence, I broke down the ranks of Gundam ace pilots into four
categories. The premise was that any experienced pilot can kill off
plebes with little effort, but their tactics for battling other veterans
were quite distinct. Here are the primary types, each with a cutesy name:

* Steamrollers are aggressive types who favor in-your-face frontal
assaults, raining blows on their enemy to keep them off-balance.
Experienced pilots can almost always dodge a frontal attack, but if you
keep pressing the attack, sooner or later they might slip up and take a
hit. Char, for all his acrobatics, basically sticks to this tactic; ZZ's
Rakan Dakaran, overall a mediocre pilot, gets a lot of mileage out of it.

* Bushwackers are cunning, devious pilots who eschew easy-to-evade
frontal attacks in favor of taking potshots from the rear or other blind
spots. When engaged in a duel, they try to wriggle out of it and drop out
of the enemy's field of view so that they can come in from another
direction and catch the foe off-guard. Frequently, bushwackers will
sacrifice spare weapons as decoys, distracting the enemy so that they can
ambush them from behind. Amuro Ray and Anavel Gato are masters of this

* Blitzers or snipers are similar to bushwackers, but lack the skill to
escape a duel. Instead, they hide behind asteroids and colonies, popping
up to take potshots at their targets, and try to avoid close combat and
running battles at all costs. Camille Vidan, a textbook example,
frequently has to be rescued by his sidekicks when he gets stuck in a
duel and can't get away to launch surprise sniper attacks.

* Pluggers - for want of a better term - are defensive players, who
manage to stay calm and collected even under continuing attacks from
bushwackers or steamrollers. By continually dodging and deflecting enemy
attacks, they can tie up otherwise dangerous foes in time-wasting
sparring matches, and may even be able to sneak in the occasional
counterattack. This tactic is typically the province of secondary
characters like Emma Sheen and Marbet Fingerhut, but V Gundam hero Usso
Ebbing also fits the profile.

So that's my analysis, take it or leave it. As for the specific scenarios
we've been discussing of late...

  Gato, clearly, is a sneaky bastard just like Amuro. He uses spare
weapons as decoys, and loves to somersault over his enemy so he can
attack 'em from behind. As Amuro proves over and over again, these
tactics are very effective against Char - the Red Comet is prone to
distraction anyway, so once you become confident enough to weather his
initial barrage of attacks, it's quite possible to drop out of his field
of view and then hit him from his blind spot. Gato, like Yazzan Gable, is
a rotten shot but a master at these sneaky tactics; I'd give him good
odds of kicking Char's ass.

  Kou Uraki, the talented amateur, tends to stay on the defensive when
fighting Gato. His saving grace here is his superb reaction speed; every
time Gato takes a swipe at him, he comes up with a last-minute evasive
manuever, or sacrifices some part of his Gundam to deflect the blow. This
pretty much nullifies Gato's efforts to catch him off-guard, since he can
always save himself at the last second. Against the nonstop in-you-face
barrage of Char, however, this nervous rookie would probably panic and
get himself killed.

  Amuro versus Gato would be pretty weird, since they'd both be obsessed
with squirming away for a surprise attack. I have to wonder whether
they'd ever finish the fight, or whether it might come down to a
simultaneous surprise attack where the fastest draw wins...

-- Mark


[ Rodrick Su [ ]
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