Mark Simmons (scorpio@best.com)
Fri, 17 Nov 2000 19:09:34 -0800


Nicholas Paufler writes,

>I was reading rec.arts.anime.models the other day (truly a pleasant
>newsgroup to read) and there was an interesting thread on continuity busting
>caused by the 08th MS Team. Among the obvious questions of how you can
>resolve the RGM-79[G], RGM-79[E], and RX-79[G] into the existing timeline

  The (belated) official explanation works for me, I guess. After all,
Tomino himself said while the original show was on the air (in an
interview with Rapport's editors) that the main difference between the
Gundam and GM was that the Gundam is a general-purpose 'bot designed for
every occasion, while the mass-produced version is more specialized... in
this light, it makes sense for the Gundam to give rise to multiple mass-
produced versions that incorporate some subset of its abilities.

>The majority of people thought it would make
>more sense to have the Gundam Grountype as a squad leader's MS, so each team
>would have a Gundam and a pair of GM's.

  However, this almost never happens in Gundam. Teams of three or four
mobile suits are almost invariably homogenous (i.e. made up of the same
type of mobile suit). Makes sense - otherwise there could be huge gaps in
mobility or performance between the team members. Why do you think the
military doesn't mix F-14s and F-18s into the same squadron?

  Another thing - if all the members of the team are using the same type
of mobile suit, you only need to keep spare parts and supplies for one
type. In Blue Destiny (the novelization, that is), it's explained that Yu
Kajima's test team is made up of five mobile suits - three combat units,
one to guard the headquarters group, and one spare. If they were using
multiple types, they'd need two or more spares. This is probably also the
reason why Zeon mobile suits are usually mass-produced in multiples of 14
- enough for one 12-member squadron, plus two spares.

  Your mathematical explanation is interesting, but I'm not sure whether
the vagaries of tactics and pilot talent allow for so precise a
computation on the part of the commanders. In the case of the 08th MS
Team mobile suits, we're dealing with a pretty kick-ass GM and a pretty
lame Gundam, so the difference in capabilities is presumably pretty neglible.

-- Mark

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Mark Simmons / scorpio@best.com / http://www.gundamproject.com/
"If you can kill it, it's not a god, just a good old-fashioned monster."

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