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Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:47 pm
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
ESalter wrote:
What does that have to do with Beta missile bays?

Given that the VF-1 isn't shown to fire wing missiles at the same time with FAST Pack missiles it is an example of different systems being unable to fire together, even if they have same role which is what you think they should be able to do.

I don't know what "even if they have same role which is what you think they should be able to do" means, but the Armored Veritech Valkyrie's small missiles have a different purpose than its wing missiles; they have no reason to fire together.

ShadowLogan wrote:
ESalter wrote:
My point is, the show's mecha designer didn't think to himself, "I'm going to give this fighter a gun pod, and also nose guns, and I've got to make really sure they never fire together!"

We've shown the MM-20 system in question is an Animation Error based on the original shows armament specs (and even the lineart).

What does that have to do with whether the Beta's missile bays can fire together? (Or with the Alpha's guns, for that matter.)
(Also, you haven't "shown" any such thing, but that's a separate issue.)

ShadowLogan wrote:
ESalter wrote:
So you're saying that every time the Beta Fighter fires its forward guns it should flip its wings upside-down to fire its rear guns too? Why should it do that? Why should the show depict that?

No I am not saying that, I am saying that it is a hypothetical option.

So why bring it up? What does that have to do with the Beta's missile bays?

ShadowLogan wrote:
ESalter wrote:
Why? Why wouldn't they be able to fire together? Robotech mecha fire multiple missile bays all the time. Do you imagine that the man who designed the Tread said, "Be sure the two sets of missile bays never fire together." Why? Do you imagine that the man who wrote the Mecha Database said, "It's important that, for no reason, the two pairs of missile bays can't fire together, but I'm not going to write that fact down." Why?

All the examples of firing multiple missile bay mecha (Alpha, VR-041, Invid Commander, AGAC, VF-1 add-ons, Zentreadi FPA, Zentreadi Artillery Pods, Zentreadi Fighter Pod, Zentreadi Cyclops, even the Beta) involves:
A. the same size missile (ex. the Alpha doesn't fire its 78mm AND its 190mm missiles together)

  • If you could build a fire-control system capable of aiming a hundred X-Missiles at once, you should be able to build one capable of aiming fifty X-Missiles and fifty Y-Missiles.
  • Max fires two different missiles simultaneously in "Blind Game"; there are several other possible cases.

ShadowLogan wrote:
B. those bays are considered part of the same system (ie when the Alpha fires all its 190mm missiles from its 12 bays, those bays are part of the same system: MM-60).

Neither of which apply to the Beta. The Beta has both 190mm and 340mm missiles, which means they are not the same size. They also are firing from what is considered separate systems (MM-16 and MM-20) in canon.

Again, your definition of the word "system" only exists in your head; it has no meaning in reality.

ShadowLogan wrote:
ESalter wrote:
You think the fact that different missiles are listed on different lines (how else would they be listed?) means they're different "systems," and you think "system" means that it doesn't fire at the same time as other "systems," but all these definitions are in your head; they have nothing to do with the writer's intentions. The actual Mecha Database entry says nothing about them being unable to fire together, and of course Robotech mecha fire multiple missile bays all the time.

The Infopedia entries are based on the Animation/OSM notes. Given the Animation doesn't have the two different sized missiles firing together, it is a strong indicator they can not fire together.

No, it's not. There are many things the animation doesn't show that are nonetheless possible. AFAIK, we only see the Beta battloid fire missiles twice. Is there any reason to think it should have fired all its missiles? After all, the Alpha doesn't fire all its missiles every time it fires any of its missiles.

ShadowLogan wrote:
The Alpha lumps its 12 separate bays (2 per forearm, 2 shoulders, 3 per leg) into a single line entry in the Infopedia, illustrating if multiple bays are intended to fire together they would be on the same line.

No, it doesn't. The idea that weapons on one line cannot be fired at the same time as weapons on another line is something you just made up. (It's also provably false.)

ShadowLogan wrote:
There is also the real life precedent that you can only use one weapon system at a time.

No, there isn't. Or are you referring to your next sentence?
ShadowLogan wrote:
For the RPG, it also requires a declared statement that you can fire them together.

The RPG rules are garbage. You know they're garbage. Why even bring them up?


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Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:33 am
  

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Knight

Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:50 am
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ESalter wrote:
What does that have to do with whether the Beta's missile bays can fire together?

The issue of firing them together would never have come up from the shows original mecha designer because ONE SET OF BAYS DOESN'T EXIST as far as they are concerned.

ESalter wrote:
If you could build a fire-control system capable of aiming a hundred X-Missiles at once, you should be able to build one capable of aiming fifty X-Missiles and fifty Y-Missiles.
Max fires two different missiles simultaneously in "Blind Game"; there are several other possible cases.

Point 1. So you can fire # of X-missile at once, that doesn't mean the system can handle the same number of X and Y missiles at once.

Point 2. IINM those tail-fin missiles Max carried are also an AE.

ESalter wrote:
No, it's not. There are many things the animation doesn't show that are nonetheless possible. AFAIK, we only see the Beta battloid fire missiles twice. Is there any reason to think it should have fired all its missiles? After all, the Alpha doesn't fire all its missiles every time it fires any of its missiles.

While I will agree the animation doesn't show everything possible. There is no reason to think the missiles can fire together:
-they never do in the animation
-by the rules of the RPG they can't fire together
-there is nothing in the dialogue that suggests the opposite

ESalter wrote:
No, it doesn't. The idea that weapons on one line cannot be fired at the same time as weapons on another line is something you just made up

It is also in the rules, it is also shown that way in the animation. Gun Systems are shown to fire-linked*, but recognized/official missile systems are not shown to fire together.

*in some cases against the rules.

ESalter wrote:
The RPG rules are garbage. You know they're garbage. Why even bring them up?

This is an RPG forum.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:18 am
  

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Knight

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ESalter wrote:
I don't know what "even if they have same role which is what you think they should be able to do" means, but the Armored Veritech Valkyrie's small missiles have a different purpose than its wing missiles; they have no reason to fire together.

You can mount other weapons on the wing pylons, you know... including UUM-7 micro-missile pods which hold the exact same model of missile (Bifors HMM-1A) as the Super Pack's HMMP-02 micro-missile launchers. Due to Robotech's - and the RPG's - copying from OSM sources you'll find these micro-missile pods listed in the official Robotech stats1 and in the RPG2.



ESalter wrote:
What does that have to do with whether the Beta's missile bays can fire together?

You were harping on "the designer would never say these weapons can't fire together"... but the designer never included the missile launchers you're talking about. Your "Designer's intent" argument is a dead end, because as far as the designer is concerned the RPG's MM-20 launchers don't exist. I've quoted you the full spec of the AB-01 TLEAD from the animation model sheets here which shows that there is no such launcher on the design. But if you won't have it from me, have it from GearsOnline, who translated the same info I did.3



ESalter wrote:
  • If you could build a fire-control system capable of aiming a hundred X-Missiles at once, you should be able to build one capable of aiming fifty X-Missiles and fifty Y-Missiles.
  • Max fires two different missiles simultaneously in "Blind Game"; there are several other possible cases.

So, for your first bullet point... the type of guidance being used counts. With a semi-active radar or laser homing system, you can spam missiles of that guidance type all day long at one target as long as you can keep the guide beam in place. You couldn't, however, start spamming semi-active radar and semi-active laser homing missiles at the same time because they have different guidance and to fire them you need to be feeding them completely different sets of data.

As to your second bullet point, not really no... his VF-1A is equipped with twelve AMM-1A missiles on the pylons and more AMM-1A's racked to the stabilizers. The only other missiles introduced for the VF-1 Valkyrie at that point had been introduced one episode prior (Ep9) and were the much smaller micro-missile class weapons (SRMs by the RPG's standards). The VF-1 never got any other model of medium-range missile besides the AMM-1 in animation.



ESalter wrote:
Again, your definition of the word "system" only exists in your head; it has no meaning in reality.

... this is so obviously, patently false I'm at a loss to explain why you continue to insist it.

There is literally a JOB in military aviation called "Weapons Systems Officer".4



ESalter wrote:
No, it's not. There are many things the animation doesn't show that are nonetheless possible. AFAIK, we only see the Beta battloid fire missiles twice. Is there any reason to think it should have fired all its missiles? After all, the Alpha doesn't fire all its missiles every time it fires any of its missiles.

The TLEAD wouldn't be capable of firing all of its missiles at once anyway... because, on model, it's only capable of firing sixteen of its forty-eight missiles at a time.

You're hung up on an impossible possibility, simultaneous launches from one launcher that does exist and another that doesn't.



ESalter wrote:
No, it doesn't. The idea that weapons on one line cannot be fired at the same time as weapons on another line is something you just made up. (It's also provably false.)

ShadowLogan is actually correct, even the OSM spec lists all sixty of the Legioss's missiles as a single weapons system.

As for firing guns simultaneously, that's a bit different from firing different kinds of missiles since a gun just needs to be pointed in the approximate direction of whatever you want dead. It does not require guidance information.



ESalter wrote:
No, there isn't. Or are you referring to your next sentence?

Yes there is, military aircraft (especially fighters) have a weapons selector switch that is typically on the left side of the top of the stick which can only be in one position at a time... to fire a different type of missile, the selection of active armament has to be changed. (And if you're wondering, yes, this includes the gun as well because the switch functions as a gun safety too.)



ShadowLogan wrote:
Point 2. IINM those tail-fin missiles Max carried are also an AE.

Actually, they aren't.

Max's tailfin missiles are a deliberate inclusion by the lead animator Ichiro Itano... to address what would otherwise have been an animation error. He noticed that, in the scene where Max destroys the Quel Quallie theater scout pod, the animators had drawn more than the twelve AMM-1A missiles than Max's VF-1A was capable of carrying. Since reanimating the complex missile trails and destruction of the Quel Quallie would have been prohibitively expensive on the show's tight budget, he went back and added additional missiles to the vertical stabilizers of Max's VF-1A to account for the shot that had Max firing more than twelve AMM-1A's at the pod.

Even on a tight budget, Itano-san is a consummate professional. :)



1. On any VF-1 page as "1x short-range multiple ejection 150mm missile launcher containing 15 missiles".
2. As the "MLOP".
3. http://www.gearsonline.net/series/mospe ... cha/tread/
4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weapon_systems_officer

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Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:25 pm
  

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D-Bee

Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2019 6:40 am
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Seto Kaiba wrote:
Yes there is, military aircraft (especially fighters) have a weapons selector switch that is typically on the left side of the top of the stick which can only be in one position at a time... to fire a different type of missile, the selection of active armament has to be changed. (And if you're wondering, yes, this includes the gun as well because the switch functions as a gun safety too.)


Well... Since we are having a techno-babble oriented conversation now, I have to ask.
In theory; could a fighter be programmed, or jury-rigged, to fire all of its weapon systems at once? I mean, technically, some could use the same sensors... Or, in the case of many of Robotech's Mecha designs, you actually have a sensor head, which can orient all of the given sensors on one target. So... wouldn't that basically mean that as long as the head is on, given the computer would be able to access all of the weapons systems at once, one could fire them all?
Speaking from an engineering perspective, of course... since that usually wouldn't be very practical.

I'm also asking because I'm wondering if the weapon selector system you are speaking about, being a reality, wouldn't be related to some weapon platform limit. Especially since weight is an issue for anything that flies.
Isn't there a question of power issue, RAM used, or anything else that would request one's weapon systems to not be all operating at once?
The military hardly builds something for fun... So do you know why such a selector would be such basic knowledge?

I'm guessing it might also have to do with limiting the number of triggers on a dashboard... or diminishing the time needed to operate a screen based interface. While for a pilot this might seem a strange question, ergonomics being paramount and all, Robotech / Macross also have partly autonomous drones. (And an A.I. wouldn't have the problem of being connected to more triggers than fingers.)
I know that question desperately paint me as a neophyte; but by this point, I'm probably not alone.

Plus, technically, a character playing an engineer could wish to plug an A.I. on almost anything in the given setting.
Which begs the question of why it hasn't been done more.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:48 am
  

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Knight

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xunk16 wrote:
Well... Since we are having a techno-babble oriented conversation now, I have to ask.
In theory; could a fighter be programmed, or jury-rigged, to fire all of its weapon systems at once?

On a modern fighter jet, it would be extremely unsafe if not physically impossible given how their missiles are stored. It could get rather dangerous if you’re firing off a bunch of radar and infrared guided missiles at the same time, since the infrared missiles would be VERY close to those quite warm rocket engines, and it could trigger missile fratricide. Firing the vulcan could result in some bullets hitting missiles in flight very close to the airframe as well, which would also be bad for the operator’s health.

On something like an attack helicopter, you could probably get away with it a lot more easily with the lower levels of guided weaponry involved… wire-guided missiles won’t run into the problems with being in close proximity to so many other hot, radar-reflective objects, and unguided rocket pods can happily blitz away because they just have to be pointed at the enemy. It would still be rather unsafe, but less so than on a fighter.

We do see, in the (Macross) animation, quite a few cases where VFs are firing multiple guns at once (e.g. a rotary gunpod and coaxial laser cannon) or a gun and missile system at the same time (e.g. micro-missiles and the coaxial laser cannon). Macross’s VFs can get away with it in the animation because there’s an advanced AI avionics system (ANGIRAS on the first 3 gens, ARIEL on the last two) managing all the various aspects of movement and aiming, and because the missiles they’re using are “fire and forget” missiles with hybrid guidance including more than one guidance technology (typically radar, infrared, and optical). On the one occasion that I can recall where a VF fires more than one type of missile as part of a volley (Macross Ep.9) the volley is a sustained one in which all missiles of one type are exhausted and then it switches to the next. Specifically, Hikaru’s Armored Valkyrie volleys off all fifty-six GH-32 Grenade Crusher high-maneuverability micro missiles the pack had and then follows it up with the six H-22Ts that are mounted on the waist. (He never fires the GA-100s in the arm pods for some reason.)

The mecha in MOSPEADA are more limited in this regard, since in that original setting they were not working with technology that was anywhere near as advanced. The missiles from the original show were predominantly semi-active homing models using radar guidance (those that were mounted on the Legioss) or laser guidance (mounted on the Ride Armor). They each only carry one type of missile, so it’s not really as much of an issue but they still generally only fire a single weapon at a time even in later animation like Robotech: the Shadow Chronicles.



xunk16 wrote:
I mean, technically, some could use the same sensors... Or, in the case of many of Robotech's Mecha designs, you actually have a sensor head, which can orient all of the given sensors on one target. So... wouldn't that basically mean that as long as the head is on, given the computer would be able to access all of the weapons systems at once, one could fire them all?

“Sensor head” might be a bit of a misnomer in the case of the AFC-01 Legioss (RT: Alpha), since the head only really has cameras in it for sensors. The radar system is in the shoulder pod, as is the main communications antenna. The same for the AB-01 TLEAD (RT: Beta), where the head is mostly the cockpit.

The VF-1’s monitor turret could reasonably lay claim to the title of “sensor head”, as it has many different types of sensors including two radars (one for Battroid mode in the “face” and one in the crown of the head for air-to-ground use in Fighter mode), a cluster of high-powered optics incl. a rear-facing set and a small set covering the crown of the head (also used for bombing in Fighter mode), infrared cameras, laser sensors, laser rangefinders, guide laser oscillators, some comms antenna systems, a capacitor bank for the laser cannon(s), and various other odds and ends.

The VF-1 has been shown firing more than one weapons system at a time, though, as noted in the previous section, it’s typically two gun systems (the gunpod and coaxial laser cannon) or a gun system and a missile system (typically lasers and missiles). The most weapons systems a VF-1 has ever been depicted simultaneously firing is four: at the end of Macross: Do You Remember Love?, Hikaru’s VF-1S Strike Valkyrie fires its gunpod, its four coaxial lasers, its double-barreled particle beam cannon, and HMM-1A micro missiles from its UUM-7 pods at a single target (Boddole Zer). Though we do see that each weapon takes aim separately before firing together, and the missiles lag behind the guns.



xunk16 wrote:
I'm also asking because I'm wondering if the weapon selector system you are speaking about, being a reality, wouldn't be related to some weapon platform limit. Especially since weight is an issue for anything that flies.
Isn't there a question of power issue, RAM used, or anything else that would request one's weapon systems to not be all operating at once?
The military hardly builds something for fun... So do you know why such a selector would be such basic knowledge?

Well, when the armament selector switch was first introduced it was a concession to the HOTAS setup (Hands on Throttle and Stick). The goal was to improve survivability and ease of control by ensuring the pilot wouldn’t need to remove a hand from the controls to perform any essential task. There’s also only so many buttons one can usefully put on a joystick until it becomes too awkward to use while wearing gloves in a high-stress (and high-g enviroment). Consequently, it was easier to use one trigger and put a toggle so that only one weapon could be active at a time. Aiming missiles was, and is, something of an involved process with semi-active homing, so one system at a time was about the limit the human operator could handle safely since missile locks were indicated with both visual and audio feedback. (This gave rise to the “insurance” strategy of the one-two punch, launching a semi-active radar homing missile in a dogfight and following it up almost immediately with a passive infrared homing missile so that, if the target got outside of the guide ring and the radar-guided missile lost its lock, the infrared missile could still track in on the target and potentially secure a kill anyway because the enemy would be preoccupied with countermeasures against the radar-guided missile.) Also, missile accuracy being what it is, the military doesn’t want pilots spamming large numbers of missiles because those things are quite expensive and as the old joke goes they don’t call them “hitiles” for a reason.

Computer systems on modern fighters aren’t something that gets discussed frequently for security purposes, apart from the occasional joke that they’re so primitive compared to modern consumer electronics that they’re “hacker-proof” due to sheer obsolescence. You might have heard about the F-22A’s encountering an unhandled exception when crossing the international date line thanks to GPS-enabled clock systems that temporarily grounded part of the fleet.



xunk16 wrote:
While for a pilot this might seem a strange question, ergonomics being paramount and all, Robotech / Macross also have partly autonomous drones. (And an A.I. wouldn't have the problem of being connected to more triggers than fingers.)

This generally accounts for the number of instances in Macross’s animation where the VFs are shown firing multiple weapons (sometimes at multiple targets) simultaneously… the aiming’s done by the integrated airframe management and control AI (ANGIRAS on the VF-1), while the pilot is only really expected to designate targets and pull the trigger.



xunk16 wrote:
Plus, technically, a character playing an engineer could wish to plug an A.I. on almost anything in the given setting.
Which begs the question of why it hasn't been done more.

AI’s kind of a flaky prospect in either continuity.

The integrated airframe management and control AI on Macross’s VFs is a supervisory and safety system that’s there to reduce the burden on the pilot, a sophisticated computer that takes care of things like kinesthetics, balance, body posture, moderating the reactors, etc. so the pilot can devote his focus to flight/combat maneuvers. It’ll aim at the things the operator tells it to aim at, and it can use sensor fusion to suggest targets and target priorities, but it’s not a substitute for the pilot in terms of deciding what’s an actual threat and how to maneuver. Semi-autonomous AIs like the ones on the QF-3000 Ghost have stability issues in autonomous mode, which is why their operations are usually restricted. Even fully autonomous AIs can’t process situational awareness and responses as fluidly and unpredictably as a person, and the ones that CAN are prone to good old fashioned AI insanity (see Macross Plus).

The AI tech in MOSPEADA was much less advanced, and the Dark Legioss unmanned type was primitive enough that its full operating power was needed just to fly the plane, and was not set up for friend vs. foe target recognition. If it was in the engagement zone, it was a hostile… the reason that Bernard’s party had to shoot down the nominal friendlies on their way out of the hive.

The only sophisticated AI we see in Robotech is Janice Em, who may or may not have been sentient originally but was definitely self-aware and grappling with the emergence of emotions in the Shadow Chronicles and its unproduced sequels after swapping into a Haydonite-designed body c.2043. She was, however, a one-of-a-kind masterpiece AI created by Dr. Lang.

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Zer0 Kay wrote:
Damn you for anticipating my question. I've really got to unfoe you, your information is far more valuable than my sanity when dealing with your blunt callousness. :)


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Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:07 pm
  

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Knight

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It did occur to me to add to the above that neither the VF-1 Valkyrie in the original Super Dimension Fortress Macross animation nor the AFC-01 Legioss in Genesis Climber MOSPEADA have a true HOTAS cockpit since both designs require the pilot to take a hand off one of the control levers to operate the transformation controls. The mode toggles are left-hand controls in the Block 5 and earlier VF-1 and are a lever on the right hand side of the cockpit opposite the throttle on the AFC-01.

(When the design was updated for the first Macross movie, now referred to as the Block 6 update, the VF-1's cockpit became a true HOTAS setup with the transformation controls moved into the throttle lever.)

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Zer0 Kay wrote:
Damn you for anticipating my question. I've really got to unfoe you, your information is far more valuable than my sanity when dealing with your blunt callousness. :)


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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:47 am
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
ESalter wrote:
What does that have to do with whether the Beta's missile bays can fire together?

The issue of firing them together would never have come up from the shows original mecha designer because ONE SET OF BAYS DOESN'T EXIST as far as they are concerned.

That's my point. If the artist didn't draw the lower bays, he couldn't have intended for the lower bays to be unable to fire simultaneously. And if he didn't intend the lower bays to be unable to fire simultaneously, why are you so convinced they are?
(Again, assuming your theory that the lower Tread missile bay is an error is true.)

ShadowLogan wrote:
ESalter wrote:
If you could build a fire-control system capable of aiming a hundred X-Missiles at once, you should be able to build one capable of aiming fifty X-Missiles and fifty Y-Missiles.
Max fires two different missiles simultaneously in "Blind Game"; there are several other possible cases.

Point 1. So you can fire # of X-missile at once, that doesn't mean the system can handle the same number of X and Y missiles at once.

You're splitting hairs. Firing two types of missile may be a little more complicated than firing one, but come on. Alpha fire control systems can aim one hundred and twenty Hammerheads at once. Is eighteen Hammerheads and sixteen Coralsnakes really beyond them?

ShadowLogan wrote:
Point 2. IINM those tail-fin missiles Max carried are also an AE.

You use the phrase "animation error" an awful lot. No, it's not an "error," unless an artist mistakenly drew the Tarantula-killer when Rick leaves the Cat's Eye to attack the pods, and then mistakenly drew it again when Max fired the salvo (including giving the two types of missiles different exhausts!), and then mistakenly drew it again at the bottom of the "Force of Arms" Macross/Valkyrie pan.


ShadowLogan wrote:
ESalter wrote:
No, it's not. There are many things the animation doesn't show that are nonetheless possible. AFAIK, we only see the Beta battloid fire missiles twice. Is there any reason to think it should have fired all its missiles? After all, the Alpha doesn't fire all its missiles every time it fires any of its missiles.

While I will agree the animation doesn't show everything possible. There is no reason to think the missiles can fire together:
-they never do in the animation

So what? Why would you EXPECT to see them fire together? The Alpha doesn't fire all its missiles every time it fires any missiles.

ShadowLogan wrote:
-by the rules of the RPG they can't fire together

You know the RPG missile rules are bad.

ShadowLogan wrote:
-there is nothing in the dialogue that suggests the opposite

Just what dialogue are you expecting?
Scott: Boy, the Beta's upper and lower missile bays sure can fire simultaneously!
Lunk: Yup, they sure can do that.
Why would it even come up?

The reason to think the missiles can fire together is that it would be useful for the missiles to fire together, so the mecha's designers would have put that ability in.

ShadowLogan wrote:
ESalter wrote:
No, it doesn't. The idea that weapons on one line cannot be fired at the same time as weapons on another line is something you just made up

It is also in the rules...

You know the rules are wrong.

ShadowLogan wrote:
...it is also shown that way in the animation. Gun Systems are shown to fire-linked*, but recognized/official missile systems are not shown to fire together.

You see that your made-up rule is wrong, so you make up a new rule that only applies to missiles. Also, you're pretending lists of mecha ordinance are "recognized/official missile systems."
Let's say I write a shopping list:
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
The fact that "eggs" is on a separate line from "milk" and "cheese" doesn't mean eggs is a "recognized/official missile system"; it just means that that's what lists look like. You're mistaking a carriage return for a detailed description of vehicle operation. But not just ANY carriage return. Only certain, particular carriage returns.

ShadowLogan wrote:
*in some cases against the rules.

You're criticising the show for failing to be accurate to the RPG that followed it.

ShadowLogan wrote:
ESalter wrote:
The RPG rules are garbage. You know they're garbage. Why even bring them up?

This is an RPG forum.

But there are limits, surely. You know the combat rules are nonsense; you know missile fire doesn't work the way Siembieda says it works.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:24 am
  

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Knight

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ESalter wrote:
That's my point. If the artist didn't draw the lower bays, he couldn't have intended for the lower bays to be unable to fire simultaneously.

This argument doesn’t make sense… the artist can’t have had any intentions for something that DOESN’T EXIST. The lower bay doesn’t exist, so it can’t fire simultaneously with a launcher that does.



ESalter wrote:
(Again, assuming your theory that the lower Tread missile bay is an error is true.)

As indicated previously, it is a DOCUMENTED FACT that the “lower missile bay” is an animation error and not present in the animation model sheets or OSM spec for the AB-01 TLEAD.



ESalter wrote:
You're splitting hairs. Firing two types of missile may be a little more complicated than firing one, but come on. Alpha fire control systems can aim one hundred and twenty Hammerheads at once. Is eighteen Hammerheads and sixteen Coralsnakes really beyond them?

This claim has no basis in ANY kind of official source for MOSPEADA or Robotech.

Where are you even getting this nonsense? That’s twice as many missiles as the aircraft is even capable of carrying.



ESalter wrote:
You use the phrase "animation error" an awful lot. No, it's not an "error," unless an artist mistakenly drew the Tarantula-killer when Rick leaves the Cat's Eye to attack the pods, and then mistakenly drew it again when Max fired the salvo (including giving the two types of missiles different exhausts!), and then mistakenly drew it again at the bottom of the "Force of Arms" Macross/Valkyrie pan.

… I have absolutely no idea what you’re going on about. There is no missile by that name, and only one type of medium-range missile ever appears in the Macross animation: the AMM-1 Arrow.



ESalter wrote:
The reason to think the missiles can fire together is that it would be useful for the missiles to fire together, so the mecha's designers would have put that ability in.

Perhaps… if the “lower bay” were actually a thing. It’s an animation error though, so no such ability was even considered.



ESalter wrote:
You know the rules are wrong.

Not in this case, they’re not.

At this point, I can only conclude you’re trolling and not attempting to have a serious discussion.

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Zer0 Kay wrote:
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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 5:15 am
  

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Palladin

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Comment: Yeah yeah yeah just give me my damn XP already :)
Shadow and Seto....dude is just answering by going "nuh-uh" as if their fingers were in their ears. You've given factual evidence while they've given opinion. Continuing this is frankly a wasted effort on someone has zero interest in knowing fact over their own opinion.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:01 am
  

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Knight

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jaymz wrote:
Shadow and Seto....dude is just answering by going "nuh-uh" as if their fingers were in their ears. You've given factual evidence while they've given opinion. Continuing this is frankly a wasted effort on someone has zero interest in knowing fact over their own opinion.

Seems that way, yeah. This is shaping up to be fodder for another rant about how the Robotech fanbase is so poorly served by its own fans, with fansites like the uRRG doing far more harm than good by using their pretense of scholarly reference status to push unfounded theories and other blatant misinformation. :roll:

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Zer0 Kay wrote:
Damn you for anticipating my question. I've really got to unfoe you, your information is far more valuable than my sanity when dealing with your blunt callousness. :)


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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:51 am
  

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Palladin

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Comment: Yeah yeah yeah just give me my damn XP already :)
At this point MY rpg pages are a better more accurate tech reference than just about anything there is and that's just sad even as accurate as they are :lol:

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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:23 pm
  

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Knight

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Seto wrote:
I have absolutely no idea what you’re going on about. There is no missile by that name, and only one type of medium-range missile ever appears in the Macross animation: the AMM-1 Arrow.


uRRG. IIRC some/all of the uRRG missile names also are used in the novels (they aren't in the 1E RPG or series proper, I have no idea if they are in the old comics). Even the infopedia goes with generic size/range type instead of a name for its missiles on all the various mecha.

ESalter wrote:
Alpha fire control systems can aim one hundred and twenty Hammerheads at once.

60 missiles, the only time 120 missiles fire together is when you have TWO ALPHA's Synchronize their missiles (cluster rockets in dialogue in Ep81). This sounds a lot like they networked TWO FCS computers together.

Just because the Alpha's FCS system is setup for 60 simultaneous missile launches does not mean the Beta's FCS is setup for 36 simultaneous missile launches.

ESalter wrote:
So what? Why would you EXPECT to see them fire together? The Alpha doesn't fire all its missiles every time it fires any missiles.

I would expect to see them to fire together in the Scott v Corg in Round 2 of their duel with the Beta actually since Scott spammed all his Alpha MM-60 missiles in Round 1. Scott is king of missile spam of the TNG pilots (Lancer, Rook, and Rand typically don't use Alpha/Beta missiles).

The Alpha NEVER fires ALL of its missiles (both the MM-60 and MMDS-8) together.

ESalter wrote:
You know the RPG missile rules are bad.

Weather you think the RPG rules are "good" or "bad" is irrelevant. They provide a common frame of reference when discussing the game.

ESalter wrote:
The reason to think the missiles can fire together is that it would be useful for the missiles to fire together, so the mecha's designers would have put that ability in.

In universe mecha designers would not necessarily put it in or even be allowed to put it in, even if they think its a good idea because this means:
-new software, software designed to control two different missile types simultaneously
-additional testing, you need to test the software and show the actual hardware being able to fire together reliably and safely, you also have to make sure said software can talk to the Alpha without issues (a combo fighter does fire the MM-16), you need to make sure the software doesn't have bugs/conflicts with other hardware/software.
-additional complexity, the software to do this will be more complex, you know have to design a multi-toggle switch to arm the systems (and a safety mode preventing the lower bay from firing when connected to the Alpha), you have to have both launchers open up at the same time
-additional cost (money/resource, something we know is a factor from elsewhere)
-such a feature will result in added development time (the Beta-9 went from requirement in 2035 to operational in 2037)
-such a feature is also a waste for the primary role we see the Beta used in: that of a booster unit for the Alpha. (so now you have a feature you can't use, not a terribly relevant point given other features on the Beta also fall under this heading)

Out of Universe we know the system is an animation error on the OSM side from the people that did the design, though not one shared by HG.

As to the rest of your post, I am done discussing this with you. As others have said you don't appear interested in a serious discussion.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:10 pm
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
I would expect to see them to fire together in the Scott v Corg in Round 2 of their duel with the Beta actually since Scott spammed all his Alpha MM-60 missiles in Round 1. Scott is king of missile spam of the TNG pilots (Lancer, Rook, and Rand typically don't use Alpha/Beta missiles).

There's no kill like overkill.



ShadowLogan wrote:
The Alpha NEVER fires ALL of its missiles (both the MM-60 and MMDS-8) together.

... for exactly the same reason, ironically enough. The MMDS-8 is an animation error the same way the MM-20 is.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:25 am
  

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Seto wrote:
There's no kill like overkill.


Well its not like the UEEF made the best design choices in turning the Beta into a Missile Boat...

***WARNING PURE HYPOTHETICAL SPECULATION***
If we assume the UEEF was serious about turning the Beta into a missile boat by employing as much existing mature technology as possible with the Beta-9, and it decided to leverage the Alpha's MM-60 hardware. Here I am going to break the MM-60 down into 3 types of launchers: a 2x4 shoulder assembly (1 each), a 1x5 forearm assembly (2 each), and a 1x4 leg assembly (3each). All calculations are independent of using the Wing Hardpoints, the TSC FAST Pack, the mysterious 2x3 MRM in AotSC, and a converted bomb-bay.

Doing some back of the envelope calculations (okay really a 3x5 notecard) and measurements from the profile views of the 3D model in AotSC pg81.

The UEEF could fit by volume in the MM-16/MM-20 bay on each side:
-x4 shoulder assembly in a 2x2 grid facing forward (2 of which likely won't fire when connected to the Alpha). Given their shape and orientation they can replace the forward cover entirely if we reuse the Alpha's opening covers
-x4 forearm assembly laid behind them in a pop-up configuration, but could fire vertically even when closed. This likely can seat more missiles because technically between each when in the Alpha proper there is the engine that is now missing (unneeded), and this is likely maintaining the distance between said system.
-x2 custom launchers vertically launching out of the pop-up where the Alpha arm engine sits between the forearm assemblies. Size wise you could fit 1x MRM (~ @400mm diameter) or 2x SRM (190mm size) in a custom launcher

Total (4*8)+(4*5)+(2*2 w/SRM option)=56 SRM per side. Taken to the Max (56+16+12=84 SRM per side)

Technically there is enough room to fit an additional 2 shoulder assemblies on the end in place of the custom launchers for an extra +12SRM.

If the pop up launcher can't fire vertically like the Shadow Drone, you could fit 2 leg launchers for an extra +16 SRM.

Obviously if you don't have the pop-up launcher, and instead rely on pure vertical launch you won't have the options that depend on it. Relaod option I suppose is possible, but the MM-60 doesn't have such an off the shelf capability.

The UEEF could by area on each Forearm:
-x4 Leg Assembly as conformal launchers facing 2 in front/rear or all to one side

Total (4*4)=16 SRM

The UEEF could by area on each upper leg outer area:
-x2 Leg Assembly as conformal launchers (likely limited when firing in F-mode)

Total =(2x4)=8 SRM

Technically both the Forearm or Upper Leg areas are not optimized in terms of placement, so you might be able to get more in with some additional work. You could also potentially swap them out for the more potent forearm assemblies or shoulder assemblies or just mount the equivalent of the entire arm assembly, but here you run into issues of aerodynamic impact. The leg could mount 1 F-mode arm assembly and the forearm 2 (possibly 4).

This gives a grand total of 56+56+16+16+8+8=160 Short Range Missiles on the conservative side. Plus you have the wing stations available (and hypothetically the bomb bay and optionals).

For comparison that is a lot of SRM killing power by Palladium RPG standards, in the 1E Robotech RPG the 3 biggest SRM carriers are (Zaria Shell FPA @132+20 if you count the Core, Zent. FPA proper is 126, REF Beta is 100) and Rifts/Macross 2/RT-2E lines don't breach 100 (by RAW and the books I have for them) at the individual mecha size and missile classification.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2019 1:01 pm
  

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Really, I think the UEEF could save a fortune by just building something like the original Span Loader concept from MOSPEADA's development (a non-transformable booster that the Legioss could transform while attached to) and loading that thing down with internal missile launchers. From the size of it, if they went with surface launchers similar to what was used on the Legioss itself they could've easily fit over a hundred missiles on the Span Loader without using its dorsal or ventral surfaces.

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Zer0 Kay wrote:
Damn you for anticipating my question. I've really got to unfoe you, your information is far more valuable than my sanity when dealing with your blunt callousness. :)


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Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 10:32 am
  

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I agree for what the Beta can actually do in its role as a booster unit it is stocked with a lot of extras* it can't/doesn't exploit and would have made much better sense to develop a non-transformable (or even limited transformable drone) booster platform. What is really odd is that some mecha lost out/canceled due to cost, and here the UEEF goes and produces a costly booster unit it could have probably had for much cheaper had they not gone with the Ultra Deluxe Luxury Model. Or you know canceled the Alpha, and moved to put a modified*** Beta-7 into production way back in 2022.

*Extras like a manned cockpit (complete with life support), at least nearly 1metric ton of weapon systems**, battloid arm/hand actuators, duplicated avionics/sensors (some of which likely would still be need)
**assuming each of the 5 gun clusters has a mass equal to an EU-13, and each 6 SRMs requires the equivalent of a MK17 (MS-SB pg138m) in mass for the launcher (though with some different sized missiles it will likely be more, especially with a reload system)
***I would think without the need for the Alpha connection the design could be modified to be more optimized, and potentially a bigger asset given pre-modified it has a huge space range advantage over the Alpha (while lugging it around, w/o the Alpha it will be much more), has nearly as many SRMs (we should be able to up that regardless of using HG or OSM value), and more potent gun configuration. Its main stock drawbacks are more in terms of aerodynamics.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 11:34 am
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
I agree for what the Beta can actually do in its role as a booster unit it is stocked with a lot of extras* it can't/doesn't exploit and would have made much better sense to develop a non-transformable (or even limited transformable drone) booster platform.

This is, in large measure, an issue with the source material.

The AFC-01 Legioss was originally intended to have a non-transforming booster called the Span Loader, but the toy companies sponsoring the show (led by Gakken) wanted more transforming aircraft designs that they could use to get a piece of what Takatoku was raking in with their kanzen henkei VF-1 toy. So the TLEAD ended up crowbarred in relatively late in development which is why it didn't really get much screen time. The writers didn't really know what to do with it. This kind of carried over to Robotech in sequel development... leading to the UEEF treating a highly useful, heavily armed bomber as little more than a particularly pricy FAST Pack.

They should've showed the TLEADs operating in their own squadrons, since they were not only send down with the Legioss's but there were others carried down by Horizonts.



ShadowLogan wrote:
What is really odd is that some mecha lost out/canceled due to cost, and here the UEEF goes and produces a costly booster unit it could have probably had for much cheaper had they not gone with the Ultra Deluxe Luxury Model. Or you know canceled the Alpha, and moved to put a modified*** Beta-7 into production way back in 2022.

Yeah, it isn't particularly logical... but that's executive meddling for ya.

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Zer0 Kay wrote:
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Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:36 am
  

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D-Bee

Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2019 6:40 am
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Seto Kaiba wrote:
On a modern fighter jet, it would be extremely unsafe if not physically impossible given how their missiles are stored. It could get rather dangerous if you’re firing off a bunch of radar and infrared guided missiles at the same time, since the infrared missiles would be VERY close to those quite warm rocket engines, and it could trigger missile fratricide. Firing the vulcan could result in some bullets hitting missiles in flight very close to the airframe as well, which would also be bad for the operator’s health.

[...]


I have the feeling leaving that post without thanking you for it would be an injustice.
Thank you. It's been very informative.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:48 am
  

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[quote="Seto"]Yeah, it isn't particularly logical... but that's executive meddling for ya.p/quote]
For both incarnations really. I think there are ways they probably could make the situation work with their respective stories, it's in the execution where they seem to fall flat.

I almost wonder if it would better to break the Beta into separate sublines:
-manned fighter bomber (example of the Point-K recovered unit)
-unmanned dedicated booster unit (a simplified version of the Beta that removes hardware/features that aren't going to be used, this would be the units we see in Ep61 and the shadow version in Ep83-5/TSC).


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Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:02 pm
  

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Well, that mostly seems to be what the whole reasoning here is leading to.
Either you equip it as a booster, in which case you can technically take the stats as written.
Or you can think of upgrades that would be easily interchangeable by technicians... Which a few ideas here supports.
Mainly getting one of the weapons systems out and replace it by a missile re-loader. Then maybe create a "firelink" command in order to discharge a missile / bomb payload on a priority target; like a spaceship for example.

Given the little canon we have to go after Shadow Chronicle, I think it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to think that these would be ready by the time the war with the Haydonite would hit it's full.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:29 pm
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
Seto wrote:
Yeah, it isn't particularly logical... but that's executive meddling for ya.

For both incarnations really. I think there are ways they probably could make the situation work with their respective stories, it's in the execution where they seem to fall flat.

To be fair, the TLEAD/Beta is not an easy aircraft to work into most stories since its main role in the original Genesis Climber MOSPEADA was mostly as a booster for the Legioss or as an ad hoc utility aircraft to lug Jim’s truck around. It’s too cumbersome for air-to-air combat and its armaments are mainly those of an attacker or light bomber. It arguably shouldn’t have received the VF/B designation in Robotech in the first place, but I suspect someone was eyeing the then newly-proposed F/B-22 when they came up with the Robotech canon designation.

It got the short shrift in the Shadow Chronicles because the budget barely stretched enough to model the Alphas.



ShadowLogan wrote:
I almost wonder if it would better to break the Beta into separate sublines:
-manned fighter bomber (example of the Point-K recovered unit)
-unmanned dedicated booster unit (a simplified version of the Beta that removes hardware/features that aren't going to be used, this would be the units we see in Ep61 and the shadow version in Ep83-5/TSC).

Very possibly… or just replace the damned thing entirely with a drone support craft or a normal booster system like the Span Loader.

If HG actually still gave a damn, I do have something in my files that could conceivably be used to bolster an argument in favor of an economized Beta for booster-only purposes. You know as well as I how Tommy prefers stuff with OSM precedent, and it turns out there’s a VF-1 variant in the Macross franchise that did something like this. It was designated the VF-1L, a postwar (c.2011) VF-1 variant that was designed to be a low cost supplement to the badly depleted UN Spacy’s orbital defenses. Its transformation system was eliminated entirely, reducing its weight and simplifying the airframe while greatly expanding the onboard fuel tank capacity to extend its range and operating time in space. Once Earth’s manufacturing capabilities recovered and the VF-1L’s were no longer needed, they were converted into QVF-1 unmanned Valkyries and were disposed of as target aircraft for use in training exercises with live weapons.



xunk16 wrote:
Well, that mostly seems to be what the whole reasoning here is leading to.
Either you equip it as a booster, in which case you can technically take the stats as written.
Or you can think of upgrades that would be easily interchangeable by technicians... Which a few ideas here supports.
Mainly getting one of the weapons systems out and replace it by a missile re-loader. Then maybe create a "firelink" command in order to discharge a missile / bomb payload on a priority target; like a spaceship for example

Eh, IMO the “Beta full of missiles” idea falls flat on its face without radically redesigning the Beta or shunning the Robotech version of the spec for the OSM one that didn’t have a problem in firing its missile while docked.

My read of the Beta’s situation is that they were essentially too little, too late as an aircraft. Their design was likely completed around the requirements for retaking Earth, and by the time VF/B-9 units made it to the field in decent numbers the war was effectively over and their role vanished, leaving them little else to do besides being extravagantly expensive booster systems. I’d guess the UEEF would phase them out in favor of something simpler that better met the needs of their Shadow Fighters like a Span Loader or just a more robust FAST Pack like the Super Shadow Fighters.



xunk16 wrote:
Given the little canon we have to go after Shadow Chronicle, I think it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to think that these would be ready by the time the war with the Haydonite would hit it's full.

Of that, I am not so sure… Vince Grant did kind of destroy humanity’s main R&D facility with just about everything being developed there. The only things he salvaged were a prototype Cyclone, a handful of prototype Super Shadow Fighters, and one incomplete Ark Angel-class ship that was the only vessel under construction complete enough to fly. Everything else is now just a gravitational singularity and may or may not have evaporated as a puff of Hawking radiation.

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Zer0 Kay wrote:
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Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:09 am
  

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Palladin

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Comment: Palladium Books Canon is set solely by Kevin Siembieda, either in person, or by his approval of published material.
I would just like to toss this out there.
There is no plausible reason why two separate fire control systems can't be linked.
None. Zero. Less than none.
They are all getting the same targeting information from the same sensor array, processed through the same central computer. It is only at the output feed level that things become system specific.
I am pretty confidant that it would be fairly easy to make any number of missile systems all fire at the same target, regardless of what kind of missiles they are.
I state this as I worked on similar electronic systems in the military and with people whos job was missile fire control... and I am pretty confidant that our shop could have made something like this work had we been in the REF and not the US Army.
If our shop could do it at the Division level then there is no reason that a design team couldn't put it in from the ground level.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:43 am
  

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Knight

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Seto wrote:
To be fair, the TLEAD/Beta is not an easy aircraft to work into most stories since its main role in the original Genesis Climber MOSPEADA was mostly as a booster for the Legioss or as an ad hoc utility aircraft to lug Jim’s truck around. It’s too cumbersome for air-to-air combat and its armaments are mainly those of an attacker or light bomber. It arguably shouldn’t have received the VF/B designation in Robotech in the first place, but I suspect someone was eyeing the then newly-proposed F/B-22 when they came up with the Robotech canon designation.

Well the end product we got (TLEAD/Beta) needs work, though when they had to do the change (in pre-production) they could have executed it better (ex. giving the unit a special mode specific to docking).

They could also have tried to justify the end product better (basically if they can answer: why they had so many apparently uncrewed Betas in use it would look a lot better).

While the F/B-22 might be about the right time, I think it goes back farther. If you will review your 1E RPG books on designations used you'll see PB used VAF and VBF for the Alpha and Beta, now assuming A and B don't mean "Alpha" and "Beta" in the designations... The only other aircraft the readily springs to mind to use the F/B designation was the F/B-111 (others likely exist either in concept or execution, I just can't think of any at the moment).


Seto wrote:
Very possibly… or just replace the damned thing entirely with a drone support craft or a normal booster system like the Span Loader.

Well a drone craft would fall under unmanned booster unit, it just depends on how feature rich you want the thing.

A normal booster system I agree with, but I am trying to work with what we got in this instance. Then again as I said, why not just cancel the Alpha and modify the Beta since it can essentially do everything the Alpha can and more. Aerodynamics would require some degree of modification. The only other alternative would be to scrap both with a fresh design to meet all the requirements (they have the technology, they just need to put into a single package).


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Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2019 6:15 pm
  

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Knight

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ShadowLogan wrote:
Well the end product we got (TLEAD/Beta) needs work, though when they had to do the change (in pre-production) they could have executed it better (ex. giving the unit a special mode specific to docking).

True. On the occasions I've run Genesis Climber MOSPEADA sessions, I've gently encouraged the use of the TLEAD as its own aircraft. It's just semi-perpetually out of focus because, on its own, it's not a dogfighter and almost all the aircraft combat we see is dogfights.



ShadowLogan wrote:
They could also have tried to justify the end product better (basically if they can answer: why they had so many apparently uncrewed Betas in use it would look a lot better).

They had a golden opportunity to show some solo Betas in their element during the attack on Optera in Prelude... but sadly, no dice.



ShadowLogan wrote:
While the F/B-22 might be about the right time, I think it goes back farther. If you will review your 1E RPG books on designations used you'll see PB used VAF and VBF for the Alpha and Beta, now assuming A and B don't mean "Alpha" and "Beta" in the designations... The only other aircraft the readily springs to mind to use the F/B designation was the F/B-111 (others likely exist either in concept or execution, I just can't think of any at the moment).

The reason I suspect the F/B-22 is that it was being talked up right as Robotech was being rebooted and the VBF designation was jettisoned... but you raise a fair point. The F/B-111 could also be where they got the idea.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Well a drone craft would fall under unmanned booster unit, it just depends on how feature rich you want the thing.

If it's disposable, simpler is inherently better... and not having protoculture power systems onboard would make it invisible to the Invid without needing a shadow field.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:51 pm
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
ESalter wrote:
Alpha fire control systems can aim one hundred and twenty Hammerheads at once.

60 missiles, the only time 120 missiles fire together is when you have TWO ALPHA's Synchronize their missiles (cluster rockets in dialogue in Ep81). This sounds a lot like they networked TWO FCS computers together.

Yes, exactly. Alpha fire control systems can handle 120 simultaneous launches.

ShadowLogan wrote:
Just because the Alpha's FCS system is setup for 60 simultaneous missile launches does not mean the Beta's FCS is setup for 36 simultaneous missile launches.

The Alpha's fire control system is sufficient to handle its weapons. Why wouldn't the Beta's fire control system be able to handle ITS weapons?

ShadowLogan wrote:
ESalter wrote:
So what? Why would you EXPECT to see them fire together? The Alpha doesn't fire all its missiles every time it fires any missiles.

I would expect to see them to fire together in the Scott v Corg in Round 2 of their duel with the Beta actually since Scott spammed all his Alpha MM-60 missiles in Round 1.

If Scott spammed all his missiles in round one, and it didn't work, wouldn't that be a good reason not to expend all his missiles while he's working on a new strategy? Why should he have fired all his all his missiles in the second duel? What advantage would it have given him?

ShadowLogan wrote:
Scott is king of missile spam of the TNG pilots (Lancer, Rook, and Rand typically don't use Alpha/Beta missiles).

Does Scott fire ALL his missiles every time he fires ANY missiles? AFAIK, he doesn't, and calling him the "king of missile spam" doesn't change that.

ShadowLogan wrote:
The Alpha NEVER fires ALL of its missiles (both the MM-60 and MMDS-8) together.

So what? I'm not talking about the "MMDS-8."

ShadowLogan wrote:
ESalter wrote:
You know the RPG missile rules are bad.

Weather you think the RPG rules are "good" or "bad" is irrelevant. They provide a common frame of reference when discussing the game.

"King of missile spam" Scott decides to fire all his missiles at once. Since all his missiles are actually unguided rockets, he waits until Corg is directly overhead, then fires his shoulder missiles at him. He angles his arms so their missiles fire upward too. His leg missiles fire in other directions, including into the ground.
The shoulder missiles hit. This means ALL the missiles hit, including the ones firing in other directions. Apparently, your "common frame of reference" is NON-EUCLIDEAN.

ShadowLogan wrote:
ESalter wrote:
The reason to think the missiles can fire together is that it would be useful for the missiles to fire together, so the mecha's designers would have put that ability in.

In universe mecha designers would not necessarily put it in or even be allowed to put it in, even if they think its a good idea because this means:
-new software, software designed to control two different missile types simultaneously

If you can write a program to control 120 Hammerheads, you can write a program to control 18 Hammerheads and 16 Coralsnakes. And of course, they have to build a new fire control computer for (almost) every new robot they build. Why would the Beta, in particular, have such a limitation?

ShadowLogan wrote:
-additional testing, you need to test the software and show the actual hardware being able to fire together reliably and safely, you also have to make sure said software can talk to the Alpha without issues (a combo fighter does fire the MM-16), you need to make sure the software doesn't have bugs/conflicts with other hardware/software.

Sure, but again, they have to do testing for every new robot they build. Why would the Beta, in particular, have this problem?

ShadowLogan wrote:
-additional complexity, the software to do this will be more complex...

If you can design software to aim 120 Hammerheads, you can design software to aim 18 Hammerheads and 16 Coralsnakes.

ShadowLogan wrote:
...you know have to design a multi-toggle switch to arm the systems...

A veritech fighter has fifty-seven different controls...but a "multi-toggle switch" is an impossible complexity?

ShadowLogan wrote:
(and a safety mode preventing the lower bay from firing when connected to the Alpha)

What's that have to do with the upper and lower bays firing simultaneously in battloid?

ShadowLogan wrote:
...you have to have both launchers open up at the same time

It's an outer-space airplane that turns into a robot. But they can't handle a couple of extra doors opening?

ShadowLogan wrote:
-additional cost (money/resource, something we know is a factor from elsewhere)

The whole Beta design is an "additional cost," as is every other robot the UEG builds. Why do you imagine that this PARTICULAR ability, in this PARTICULAR mecha, is out of bounds?

ShadowLogan wrote:
-such a feature will result in added development time (the Beta-9 went from requirement in 2035 to operational in 2037)

Every "feature" the Beta has "will result in added development time." Seeing how they did manage to build a complete transforming robot, why should we imagine THIS PARTICULAR ABILITY is lacking?

ShadowLogan wrote:
-such a feature is also a waste for the primary role we see the Beta used in: that of a booster unit for the Alpha.

My point was, even if the Beta was designed as an Alpha booster unit, the weapons were more suited for independent operation. (Maybe because the Alpha has enough "Hammerhead"-type missiles? Note that the usable Beta weapon bays carry different kinds of weapons than the Alpha.)

Now, not all of your suggestions are unreasonable in themselves. I mean, you could take any random mecha and make-up a bunch of flaws for it, and it would be impossible to disprove. But there's no particular reason to believe that they're true, either.

ShadowLogan wrote:
Out of Universe we know the system is an animation error on the OSM side from the people that did the design, though not one shared by HG.

Wrong.

ShadowLogan wrote:
As to the rest of your post, I am done discussing this with you. As others have said you don't appear interested in a serious discussion.

Seeing how I had to ask you three times before you gave me (half) an answer about when you thought the Beta should have fired all its missiles, it's a little unfair for you to accuse me of not being "interested in a serious discussion."


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Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:33 pm
  

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Seto wrote:
If it's disposable, simpler is inherently better... and not having protoculture power systems onboard would make it invisible to the Invid without needing a shadow field.

W/n the confines of the respective shows such an approach does have its drawbacks.

You now need to make room for more of them on the ship transporting them if they are single-use, though a basic booster would likely be smaller than the TLEAD/Beta. Not necessarily an issue for fleet action like Ep61/Ep84-5, but for more long term assignments where it will be expected to operate (ex. long term patrol) it could become an issue. The Booster unit isn't strictly to get them into orbit, it's there to also extend the range in space.

There are even cheaper/simplier ways to increase the range on the Legoiss/Alpha w/o needing to resort to a booster unit. External Propellant Tanks, replace the unnecessary internal volume hogs into propellant tanks (discussed in the past IINM so I'm not going to cover them again).

External Propellant Tanks could take 4 forms:
-wing mounted drop tanks: if conventionally mounted below the wing would interfere with transformation requiring them to be jettisoned to transform
-conformal propellant tanks: these could be mounted more freely, the simplest location being to use the location of the model/toy intake missiles. One drawback might be the potential blocking of the leg missiles in F-mode. Assuming the uRRG is correct on the size (each missiles has a cylindrical volume of 59L, 3 per side with room to spare yields up >=177L, not terribly large compared to real world conventional conformal tanks on the F-16 and F-15).
-FAST Pack locations: this would require the location to be "wet" to allow propellant transfer and being around pre-SSF in some form
-replacing the dorsal missile pod from the toy/model kits with a propellant tank (possibly one for each arm).

The main hanging point to know if these can replace the TLEAD/Beta is we'd have to know the existing Detla-V of both craft and how much propellant (mass) it carries (ordnance/payload mass would also be helpful). Or substituting the Delta-V for Thrust, burn-time, and propellant mass (as at that point the Delta-V can be calculated with those 3 numbers for a dry state). The Legoiss/Alpha certainly has enough raw thrust to get into orbit, its main hangup is endurance (propellant capacity, ignoring TSC's implication and the sub-orbital capacity statements).

Seto wrote:
If HG actually still gave a damn, I do have something in my files that could conceivably be used to bolster an argument in favor of an economized Beta for booster-only purposes. You know as well as I how Tommy prefers stuff with OSM precedent, and it turns out there’s a VF-1 variant in the Macross franchise that did something like this. It was designated the VF-1L, a postwar (c.2011) VF-1 variant that was designed to be a low cost supplement to the badly depleted UN Spacy’s orbital defenses. Its transformation system was eliminated entirely, reducing its weight and simplifying the airframe while greatly expanding the onboard fuel tank capacity to extend its range and operating time in space. Once Earth’s manufacturing capabilities recovered and the VF-1L’s were no longer needed, they were converted into QVF-1 unmanned Valkyries and were disposed of as target aircraft for use in training exercises with live weapons.

Internally to Robotech there might be other cases given the tighter controls HG exercised on the 2E PB RPG possibly indicating their general thoughts at one time or another:
-Condor Battloid History, a Veritech yielding up a nt-battloid
-Cyclone's yielded up the non-transormable relative (MR-40, parts compatible with VR-03x/04x series. NG SB pg53)
-while not stated, visually the ASC's battloid jump pack (shown attached to an VHT-1) looks like it was made from parts on the AGAC (or more likely vise versa)
-the "updated" 1E-era Sentinels Destroids in 2E look like they are made out of parts from Alphas and Betas (or maybe even Condors) so might even be nt-based variants

That is before we even consider the possibility of treating some designs as cross saga relatives (ex VF-X-4/Conbat, Alpha/Carpenter-Fighter) of veritech to non-veritech, soemthing that the OSM wouldn't state but something that could apply to RT under the heading of "for better integration purposes".


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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:10 am
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
You now need to make room for more of them on the ship transporting them if they are single-use, [...]

In hindsight, "disposable" isn't quite the right word for what I meant.

What I'm talking about it something akin to the VF-1 Valkyrie's FAST Packs, which are reusable but inexpensive enough that they can be discarded in battle if they're damaged without anyong getting particularly upset. A true single-use booster system would be a pretty criminal waste of resources.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Not necessarily an issue for fleet action like Ep61/Ep84-5, but for more long term assignments where it will be expected to operate (ex. long term patrol) it could become an issue. The Booster unit isn't strictly to get them into orbit, it's there to also extend the range in space.

IMO, that's more a question of whether "long term patrols" are even a thing. The UEEF isn't really a space carrier force... their ships are configured more like LSTs than aircraft carriers, being designed around moving the maximum number of troops into orbit of a target planet so they can secure a beachhead and begin landing ground troops to capture the planet.



ShadowLogan wrote:
External Propellant Tanks could take 4 forms:
-wing mounted drop tanks: if conventionally mounted below the wing would interfere with transformation requiring them to be jettisoned to transform

It's operating in space, why not mount them on top of the wings instead to get around that problem? If you stick verniers directly on the tanks, you can even end up with a kind of vernier belt backpack for the fighter similar to those seen on a number of Mobile Suits in the Gundam franchise.



ShadowLogan wrote:
-conformal propellant tanks: these could be mounted more freely, the simplest location being to use the location of the model/toy intake missiles. One drawback might be the potential blocking of the leg missiles in F-mode. Assuming the uRRG is correct on the size (each missiles has a cylindrical volume of 59L, 3 per side with room to spare yields up >=177L, not terribly large compared to real world conventional conformal tanks on the F-16 and F-15).

I'd be more worried about the traversal of the hips and upper torso, one reason I suspect the "First Strike" missiles were scrapped from the final design for the series was that the clearance between the torso and hips is so low that they could easily get crushed in transformation or during normal operation.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:54 pm
  

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Seto wrote:
IMO, that's more a question of whether "long term patrols" are even a thing. The UEEF isn't really a space carrier force... their ships are configured more like LSTs than aircraft carriers, being designed around moving the maximum number of troops into orbit of a target planet so they can secure a beachhead and begin landing ground troops to capture the planet.

There are indications they engage in other activities:
-in TSC the UEEF did engage reconnaissance flights (2x) with veritechs
-RT.com Timeline. 2016: "Preliminary navigational surveys are conducted with long-range advance scout vessels, laying the groundwork for the main Robotech Expeditionary Force."
-the 2E RPG's Explorer Specialist OCC (and its organization) suggests the UEEF would have to engage in other activities with their ships
-unless the UEEF operates differently than the UEDF in the TRM era, some ships at location could engage in patrols.
-given the side mission of colonization associated with the UEEF, additional navigational surveys likely occur(ed) in support of this mission and might explain alien contacts (not necessarily just Sentinel/Invid)

Seto wrote:
It's operating in space, why not mount them on top of the wings instead to get around that problem? If you stick verniers directly on the tanks, you can even end up with a kind of vernier belt backpack for the fighter similar to those seen on a number of Mobile Suits in the Gundam franchise.

I have no objection to mounting them in such a fashion. Such over-wing use is pretty rare in aircraft for either missiles or fuel tanks, and with the Alpha might create additional blindspots for the pilot that would not occur in the usual underside position.

Installing Vernier (or other engines) gets into proper FAST Pack territory, which would be a different category IMHO. Question is when did the UEEF develop the FAST Packs for the SSFs, and did they have any precursors in the Alpha family. I'm also not necessarily restricting myself to just space operations, extra propellant availability would go a long way to giving the Alpha Earth-surfrace-to-orbit capability. Which it might need if a landing operation goes sour and the operation is aborted (this moves the point-of-no-return for the Alphas participating).

Seto wrote:
I'd be more worried about the traversal of the hips and upper torso, one reason I suspect the "First Strike" missiles were scrapped from the final design for the series was that the clearance between the torso and hips is so low that they could easily get crushed in transformation or during normal operation.

One advantage the tanks would have over the depicted missiles is that one would have a bit more freedom in terms of shaping the tank to allow for clearance. Shaping is probably going to happen anyway for aerodyanmic considerations (assuming one wants them available for atmospheric use).

I watched a video on youtube with the intake missiles on the Legoiss toy during transformation, the guy doing it did mention a potential clearance issue, but I'm not clear if it was an engineering thing related to the toy itself (his hands getting in the way, the missiles being finickiness in their station, etc) or the source design itself. It is a potential issue, but one that might be more manageable for a propellant tank than a missile rack given you have a lot more freedom in determine the shape of the tank than the missile.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:53 pm
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
There are indications they engage in other activities:
-in TSC the UEEF did engage reconnaissance flights (2x) with veritechs

Well, yes... but they were operating from a surface base in orbit of the planet they were reconnoitering, facilitated by some significant astronomical artistic license with respect to the distance between Earth and its moon.


ShadowLogan wrote:
-the 2E RPG's Explorer Specialist OCC (and its organization) suggests the UEEF would have to engage in other activities with their ships

Yes, but what is planetary exploration and surveying but a landing op where nobody is shooting at you?


ShadowLogan wrote:
I have no objection to mounting them in such a fashion. Such over-wing use is pretty rare in aircraft for either missiles or fuel tanks, and with the Alpha might create additional blindspots for the pilot that would not occur in the usual underside position.

The delta wing on the fighter is pretty far behind the cockpit, all told, so unless the tank were very tall it shouldn't cause any significant issue.


ShadowLogan wrote:
Question is when did the UEEF develop the FAST Packs for the SSFs, and did they have any precursors in the Alpha family. I'm also not necessarily restricting myself to just space operations, extra propellant availability would go a long way to giving the Alpha Earth-surfrace-to-orbit capability. Which it might need if a landing operation goes sour and the operation is aborted (this moves the point-of-no-return for the Alphas participating).

IINM, Robotech doesn't have any atmospheric-use FAST Packs the way Macross does... they're a space-only gimmick.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:18 am
  

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Seto wrote:
Well, yes... but they were operating from a surface base in orbit of the planet they were reconnoitering, facilitated by some significant astronomical artistic license with respect to the distance between Earth and its moon.


Marcus and Alex (x1) and then later with Skull Squadron (x2).

Seto wrote:
Yes, but what is planetary exploration and surveying but a landing op where nobody is shooting at you?

PLanetary Exploration is going to amount to a lot more than this. I would suspect there would be several landing sites on a target world, probably some missions to neighbors (moons, asteroids, comets, possibly other planets), etc. Something else to consider is if the ships engaging in this return to port after every world or make extended tours to multiple targets.

Seto wrote:
The delta wing on the fighter is pretty far behind the cockpit, all told, so unless the tank were very tall it shouldn't cause any significant issue.

I agree the extent can depend on the size of the tank, but it will put restrictions in the field of view regardless.

Seto wrote:
IINM, Robotech doesn't have any atmospheric-use FAST Packs the way Macross does... they're a space-only gimmick.

If we don't count the glorified FAST Pack that is the Beta you mean. Or 2E PB RPG's Battloid Jump Pack (TRM SB), which essentially is a FAST Pack for air drops.

Still if one is looking for cost effective replacements for the Beta for the Alpha, one is going to have to consider the Alpha's "range" limitations. In space the Beta is more of a big propellant tank, but one of the other roles the Beta plays is a "booster" to get the unit into orbit (on an Earth-like world).


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Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:28 pm
  

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One of the old comics had fast boosters for the alpha, it just couldn't transform when using them.....

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Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 9:37 pm
  

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jaymz wrote:
One of the old comics had fast boosters for the alpha, it just couldn't transform when using them.....


You mean this?
http://www.zupimages.net/viewer.php?id=19/35/yvkw.png

Invid War #4.
They don't necessarily state that they couldn't be kept for "half-guardian" mode. (Sometime Alphas can be seen using just their deployed legs, but not their arms.) Battloid mode is obviously out of the equation.
Technically, it was an attempt to get by the Invid in the upper atmosphere faster. They dumped them prior to re-entry.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2019 10:30 am
  

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xunk16 wrote:
jaymz wrote:
One of the old comics had fast boosters for the alpha, it just couldn't transform when using them.....


You mean this?
http://www.zupimages.net/viewer.php?id=19/35/yvkw.png

Invid War #4.
They don't necessarily state that they couldn't be kept for "half-guardian" mode. (Sometime Alphas can be seen using just their deployed legs, but not their arms.) Battloid mode is obviously out of the equation.
Technically, it was an attempt to get by the Invid in the upper atmosphere faster. They dumped them prior to re-entry.

Robotech Research IIRC did an article up on them, though how applicable the old comics are to new continuity is going to vary.

A cheap FAST PACK for the Alpha/Legoiss that doesn't cost transformation could be done (w/o invoking Macross feel). Take the basic structure of the Beta/TLEAD telescoping docking arm/boom is used, turn it into a propellant tank and put an engine (engine/block) in along with a full tricycle landing gear (might be able to work in air-intakes and/or a few extra missiles). The Alpha can then transform on it as if it was connected to a Beta (since the pack uses the same connection approach), in battloid mode it might look more like the Alpha is riding a flying broom stick than a jet pack.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2019 1:59 pm
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
Seto wrote:
Yes, but what is planetary exploration and surveying but a landing op where nobody is shooting at you?

PLanetary Exploration is going to amount to a lot more than this. I would suspect there would be several landing sites on a target world, probably some missions to neighbors (moons, asteroids, comets, possibly other planets), etc. Something else to consider is if the ships engaging in this return to port after every world or make extended tours to multiple targets.

The point is that they're not going to handle it any differently in terms of how they get onto the planet... a landing op is a landing op. They're not going to just send down VFs, it's going to be landers full of personnel.



ShadowLogan wrote:
I agree the extent can depend on the size of the tank, but it will put restrictions in the field of view regardless.

Less so than the VF-1's FAST Pack did, so it's well within the acceptable limits.



ShadowLogan wrote:
If we don't count the glorified FAST Pack that is the Beta you mean. Or 2E PB RPG's Battloid Jump Pack (TRM SB), which essentially is a FAST Pack for air drops.

We generally don't, as the Beta is literally an aircraft even if it's used like a FAST Pack... and the RT2E jump pack doesn't exist in the show.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Still if one is looking for cost effective replacements for the Beta for the Alpha, one is going to have to consider the Alpha's "range" limitations. In space the Beta is more of a big propellant tank, but one of the other roles the Beta plays is a "booster" to get the unit into orbit (on an Earth-like world).

Yes, which is why a booster is going to be vastly more effective than the Beta in almost any normal operating condition. It's cheaper, it frees the Betas up to be used for their intended purpose, and it solves the space operating range problem. Orbital escape is literally the only use case not covered by a booster unit, and let's be honest... the ONLY time that's ever been a problem was on Earth, the result of the UEEF's landing operation failing miserably.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2019 4:15 pm
  

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Just borrow elements from the delta in return of the masters revised

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Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2019 11:47 am
  

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Seto wrote:
The point is that they're not going to handle it any differently in terms of how they get onto the planet... a landing op is a landing op. They're not going to just send down VFs, it's going to be landers full of personnel.

True, but there is a lot more to consider in the Planetary Exploration than simply the landing op. In terms of the big picture a disposable single-use booster option just doesn't make any sense for this role, the disposable nature would require a large contingent to be carried to replace them as they are used up and how long the mission is to be in the field (do they hit only 1 world or more before restocking).

Seto wrote:
Less so than the VF-1's FAST Pack did, so it's well within the acceptable limits.

Yes and no. The VF-1 only created 2 blind spots, the Alpha comes with 2 built in blind spots (F-mode arms) and we are adding 2 more that in all likely hood will increase the size of said blind spots over an even wider arc.

Seto wrote:
We generally don't, as the Beta is literally an aircraft even if it's used like a FAST Pack... and the RT2E jump pack doesn't exist in the show.

I agree the Beta is literally speaking an aircraft used like a FAST Pack, that's why I said it was a "glorified FAST Pack".

While the Jump apack isn't in the show, it is essentially canon for the 2E PB RPG. Within the show you also have the Condor Battloid and its "jetpack" as seen in the animation (Ep71, I can't tell if it made it into the LLA's new stuff) Then potentially the ASC's Cyclops nt-Battloid (in animation), which when detailed has the optional jetpack (which is shown on it in animation, weather it is "optional" is not established here).

Seto wrote:
Orbital escape is literally the only use case not covered by a booster unit, and let's be honest... the ONLY time that's ever been a problem was on Earth, the result of the UEEF's landing operation failing miserably.


An orbital escape is very much a case for calling it a booster unit. (AotSC pg79 "and relies on the Beta Fighter to act as its booster to achieve orbit")

The only time we know its been a problem was on Earth you mean. We have incomplete data on the mecha in the later sagas (AFAIK we can't compute Delta-V for the 4 VFs), and practically no (canonical) data to go on for Sentinel events or their worlds (Mass, Diameter, or even how they compare to Earth) or the various worlds hinted at that the UEEF might have engaged any other number of "hostile" aliens (Invid, Space Pirates, others that might not like the idea of UEEF colonization into "their" territory, etc).

It would be foolish to think Earth was the only world to be an issue for the UEEF (and it isn't like they tried to abort at Earth even with the Beta available). Mercury/Mars-type planet is going to be much easier to operate from, but Venus is practically speaking very close to Earth, Gas Giants-type will be much greater. Then you have large moons that could be dwarf/full planets (Earth Moon, Jupiter's big 4, Saturn's Titan, etc) if they weren't already in orbit around a planet. That's just our solar system, what do the alien star systems look like (in real life we've got exotic worlds like Super Earths), aside from Fantoma/Tirol in canon (and Fantoma might not be the only planet in the system).

jaymz wrote:
Just borrow elements from the delta in return of the masters revised
[/quote]
Easy enough, though I have to admit the Delta's transformation for the Boosters causes issues (IMHO the "arms" that move them into new position retract into physical engines per OSM lineart, not to mention they block the arm MM-60 bays in F-mode limiting SRM availability). I'm not saying the issues can't be over come/fixed (really the loss of MM-60 stations is made up by the booster missiles, and the pods themselves could mount like the VHT-1/2 weapon/shield-pods instead), but they would necessitate the question of why the UEEF abandoned their use for the overly complex and costly Beta.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:32 pm
  

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My answer would be because the Beta had the potential to "double the numbers" if pilots were available whereas the boosters/fast packs do not.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2019 9:37 pm
  

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jaymz wrote:
My answer would be because the Beta had the potential to "double the numbers" if pilots were available whereas the boosters/fast packs do not.


That is true. But I'd like to add that simple boosters wouldn't be able to act as orbital comm relay / surveillance satellite while the ground operation is going on.
Plus, simple boosters usually aren't able to fly / fall to your help if in dire need of fast Evac.
Those are only theoretical, however... Since we never really have seen an Alpha / Beta duo work with both pilots at the same time.
Almost as if they kept the open space to bring back ejected pilots from downed Alphas.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 4:25 pm
  

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Knight

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ShadowLogan wrote:
True, but there is a lot more to consider in the Planetary Exploration than simply the landing op. In terms of the big picture a disposable single-use booster option just doesn't make any sense for this role, the disposable nature would require a large contingent to be carried to replace them as they are used up and how long the mission is to be in the field (do they hit only 1 world or more before restocking).

Not quite, no... you've overlooked one crucial detail. The fighters don't NEED a booster in a situation like that, because they can be ferried back into orbit by the same ships they escorted down.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Yes and no. The VF-1 only created 2 blind spots, the Alpha comes with 2 built in blind spots (F-mode arms) and we are adding 2 more that in all likely hood will increase the size of said blind spots over an even wider arc.

Looking at it, most of a dorsally-mounted drop tank is going to be in the already-existing blind spot... so any increase would be pretty trivial unless the tank were almost as large as the fighter itself.



ShadowLogan wrote:
An orbital escape is very much a case for calling it a booster unit. (AotSC pg79 "and relies on the Beta Fighter to act as its booster to achieve orbit")

That doesn't make it a dedicated booster, it just means it can be used that way... and that use case was a VERY new thing. The Alphas were doing just fine without them for almost two decades in the UEEF's various planetary invasions.



ShadowLogan wrote:
The only time we know its been a problem was on Earth you mean. We have incomplete data on the mecha in the later sagas (AFAIK we can't compute Delta-V for the 4 VFs), and practically no (canonical) data to go on for Sentinel events or their worlds (Mass, Diameter, or even how they compare to Earth) or the various worlds hinted at that the UEEF might have engaged any other number of "hostile" aliens (Invid, Space Pirates, others that might not like the idea of UEEF colonization into "their" territory, etc).

There is, at present, no evidence to suggest that the Alpha's inability to make orbit under its own power was an issue for the UEEF... or they would've had a solution decades earlier and the Beta would not be a thing. The Invid have no long-ranged capabilities in space combat, so there's nothing to stop UEEF ships from sailing right up to the kind of ranges where Alphas would have no issues making planetfall on their own.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 9:16 pm
  

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Knight

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Seto wrote:
Not quite, no... you've overlooked one crucial detail. The fighters don't NEED a booster in a situation like that, because they can be ferried back into orbit by the same ships they escorted down.

How the UEEF Planetary survey aspect is performed is hard to say because we are operating in a pretty good sized information vacuum. This means how we individually see the mission performed could be (and likely is) different, and Alpha deficiencies in some setups might require the use of a "booster" to over come the vague "short legs in space" HG says they have.

Seto wrote:
Looking at it, most of a dorsally-mounted drop tank is going to be in the already-existing blind spot... so any increase would be pretty trivial unless the tank were almost as large as the fighter itself.

I guess it depends on where the tank is placed exactly (we might both have different ideas on where it is), practically speaking though the overall size of the mecha's blind spot will increase. It's just a question of how much and to what extent it would impact on combat. There are probably reasons to not worry about it per say, but also reasons to consider it a potential issue.

Seto wrote:
There is, at present, no evidence to suggest that the Alpha's inability to make orbit under its own power was an issue for the UEEF... or they would've had a solution decades earlier and the Beta would not be a thing. The Invid have no long-ranged capabilities in space combat, so there's nothing to stop UEEF ships from sailing right up to the kind of ranges where Alphas would have no issues making planetfall on their own.

If the Alpha was doing fine without them, then why even develop the Beta? The fact the UEEF revisited the Beta suggests otherwise IMHO. And we don't know for sure what many of those planetary assaults actually looked like or why Earth was different in terms of assault. The only non-Earth ones we have are the two on Optera in 2044 in canon (Sentinel Novel/Comics are non-canon AFAIK), and one of those isn't a true assault (more of an evacuation).

Yes the UEEF could have had solutions for the Alpha decades prior, heck they could have had them in 2022 instead of going with the Beta-7 (which was started after the Alpha due to deficiencies becoming apparent, likely highlighted by changing requirements). FAST-Pack concept isn't new in 2044 (it goes back to the 2000s), and they had pilots/engineers from the TMS saga around (Rick, Max, Miryia, Lang, plus Edwards and others) so someone could have suggested it. External Fuel Tanks where pretty common for 20th Century Fighter Jets (so its hard to see the idea not being brought up or unknown). Given we know the Alpha gets new engines (on the Z), they could have also developed new more powerful/efficient engines.

Though it might be worth considering: How do we know they didn't implement one/more of these in some form and just aren't told about it? The Cyclone is a post Alpha development, but they had space for it. What was that space used for it prior to the introduction of the Cyclone? Honestly I don't think that's ever been said, and I don't see a need for a ~1m^3 space to store gear separately (though 1000L of reaction mass that could fit there might negate the need for the Beta*).

*Assuming the Alpha's Engines have a similar Specific Impulse to the VF-1 (for simplicity, unless you have OSM numbers for Thrust, propellant mass/volume, and burn time for the Alpha and Beta), and carries 1000L of SLMH in that volume before Cyclone storage adoption. That would give it a Delta-V of ~36.5kps, easily negating a need for the Beta's Delta-V as best as can be determined AFAIK based on what it is shown to do. Now if the Hold can only support a mass approximate to a VR-052 Cyclone the Delta-V drops to 5.7kps (not as good as TSC suggests). If Cyclone type is changed to the heavier VR-041 as the basis the Delta-V would raise to 6.1kps. To get into Earth Orbit is ~7.9kps.. None of these scenarios take into consideration any other storage tanks the Alpha has, which just means the end result is more though when one adds in the weapons payload the numbers will drop.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 7:48 am
  

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Palladin

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I'm just gonna toss this out...
But why is "my fighter can't fly into outer space from earth" such a huge problem that it must be solved?
I mean they DO have space ships that they are usually based out of... its not like the normal situation is that you start on earth, fly up for half an hour+ into space, engage your foe, and then fly back...
that's just silly.
If they are entering a gravity well, then it will either be
1) friendly so they can use boosters or a transport to get back up or
2) part of an assault in which by the time you are landing fighters you presumably have control of the orbitals enough that you can send in transports to pick them up.

either way you can... send in transports. Or use boosters. Which we know are a thing dating back to the first generation stuff.
If they decided later on that they needed to be doing hit and run raids on planets... then they might revisit the concept and come up with something (boosters, betas, whatever) but otherwise a Horizant seems to solve your problems 99 times out of 100.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:35 am
  

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Knight

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eliakon wrote:
But why is "my fighter can't fly into outer space from earth" such a huge problem that it must be solved?

One, at least two VFs in the show are specifically shown with this capability under their own power (VF-1, Beta). It would make sense the UEEF (and the UEDF:ASC) would not give up on this basic capability (performance numbers can/likely are different between respective designs).

Two, it provides planetary assault forces a wider abort window should the assault need to pull out if the assault should fail or be called off mid way for whatever reason.

Three, as depicted in the show UEEF transports are vulnerable to enemy mecha/fighters. This requires a fighter screen to protect them. Even if the transports could adequately defend themselves, recovery of their fighters will take time and it would be better if the transports and fighters evacuate separately initially.

Four, while boosters or booster-like hardware is possible, we don't know if they actually used them while the Beta was hibernating. And if they did use them, why they switched to the overly complicated setup with the Beta.

Five, it would be useful in planetary defense as it would allow fighters to be deployed en-mass without using a vulnerable transport(s) that could be shot down much easier (owing to the size). In the show, the UEEF actually DID shoot down an Invid Tranport before it could launch its mecha compliment, they didn't do it often (as it would make sense to attempt, though IIRC the comics have another instance).

Six, the technology allows for it with a small propellant load. The mecha are using nuclear fusion (or better, since Protoculture is supposed to be more energy dense than nuclear) energy source, which means their propulsion's efficiency can do a lot more with a lot less. For example you could replace the ~18,000kg of propellant on the Apollo CSM with ~47kg of propellant if its main engine was as efficient as the VF-1's nuclear fusion engines with no loss in capability assuming the mass of the engine does not change (at ~125kg of propellant the CSM could replace the Lunar Module, though some modifications would be needed here since the CSM isn't designed to land so a bit more in actual practice, at 300kg it would replace all the propulsion needs of the SaturnV's 3 stages and the 2 Lunar Module stages). Finding room on respective mecha to fit this much propellant on known Veritech Fighters should be trivial (with the likely exception of the Logan).

eliakon wrote:
2) part of an assault in which by the time you are landing fighters you presumably have control of the orbitals enough that you can send in transports to pick them up.

You'd think that, but based on canon there are several examples in the NG-era that dispute this idea that the UEEF waited until they had enough control of the orbitals before transporting down resulting in heavy losses.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 11:48 am
  

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Knight

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ShadowLogan wrote:
How the UEEF Planetary survey aspect is performed is hard to say because we are operating in a pretty good sized information vacuum. This means how we individually see the mission performed could be (and likely is) different, and Alpha deficiencies in some setups might require the use of a "booster" to over come the vague "short legs in space" HG says they have.

As I see it, there is no real reason to suspect that it would be carried out any differently from any other planetary landing operation.

The Alpha's severely limited ferry range in space would be a virtual nonissue as they would be deploying for reentry from a ship in orbit above the designated landing area. The only reason that Betas were necessary at all in the New Generation's first episode was that they were flying escort for a flotilla that was traveling sublight from their staging area on the Moon to Earth orbit instead of getting there by fold.



ShadowLogan wrote:
If the Alpha was doing fine without them, then why even develop the Beta? The fact the UEEF revisited the Beta suggests otherwise IMHO.

That's an excellent question. Really, that the UEEF waited almost twenty years to bother revisiting and completing the failed Beta design suggests there really wasn't a pressing need for it. That it was never widely adopted, even by the main UEEF fleet, would tend to argue that it wasn't actually that useful. For all we know, the Beta is the Robotech version of the F-35 program... an utter mess dragged kicking and screaming to completion because it was the pet project of someone influential despite being an obviously terrible idea.

(IRL-ly, we know this is because the TLEAD was hastily crowbarred into the original show and both the original writers and RTSC arc writers couldn't really think of anything to do with it.)



ShadowLogan wrote:
FAST-Pack concept isn't new in 2044 (it goes back to the 2000s), and they had pilots/engineers from the TMS saga around (Rick, Max, Miryia, Lang, plus Edwards and others) so someone could have suggested it.

*looks at the Super Shadow Fighter*

You don't say...



ShadowLogan wrote:
External Fuel Tanks where pretty common for 20th Century Fighter Jets (so its hard to see the idea not being brought up or unknown). Given we know the Alpha gets new engines (on the Z), they could have also developed new more powerful/efficient engines.

The obvious question is why it would have even come up in the first place. The Alpha was designed for exactly what we see it doing in the series... being launched from ships in orbit of a target planet to make reentry and engage in combat on the planet's surface. They're not space fighters, and they were never meant to be. The UEEF fundamentally isn't set up to be a space fleet... their ships are not designed for fleet warfare, they're designed for landing operations. (This is, of course, acknowledged rather bluntly by the original creators who even included WW2-style invasion stripes into their designs.)

The improved engines on the Z variant were specifically to improve its atmospheric performance, and have no real implications for space flight or propellant efficiency.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Though it might be worth considering: How do we know they didn't implement one/more of these in some form and just aren't told about it? The Cyclone is a post Alpha development, but they had space for it. What was that space used for it prior to the introduction of the Cyclone? Honestly I don't think that's ever been said, and I don't see a need for a ~1m^3 space to store gear separately (though 1000L of reaction mass that could fit there might negate the need for the Beta*).

Just because the Cyclone was completed later doesn't mean it wasn't part of the original program requirements for the Alpha.



eliakon wrote:
I'm just gonna toss this out...

Pretty much the same point I've been making... in a landing operation like the ones we see in the show, the fighters aren't the only things that come down. The ships land too once they've secured a beachhead. The only reason it becomes an issue in the New Generation is that the number of ships that were able to land was insufficient to mount a sustainable defense, and our hero didn't make a landing with the rest of the formation he came in with.



ShadowLogan wrote:
One, at least two VFs in the show are specifically shown with this capability under their own power (VF-1, Beta). It would make sense the UEEF (and the UEDF:ASC) would not give up on this basic capability (performance numbers can/likely are different between respective designs).

But the operating profile of the VF-1 was completely different... it was a fighter for planetary defense, not for orbit-to-surface landing operations and planetary assault. The way the UEEF is shown to operate would tend to make this capability unnecessary, because in normal conditions there would be ships present to ferry fighters back to orbit.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Two, it provides planetary assault forces a wider abort window should the assault need to pull out if the assault should fail or be called off mid way for whatever reason.

Generally speaking, if you're calling off a landing operation the troops you landed are kind of screwed... the only reason you'd try to call off a landing operation, which is a massive thing to commit to, is if the forces you had already landed had been massacred by greater-than-expected resistance. This is also why rendezvous points like Point K existed, for troops who couldn't be recovered in the event things DID go Tango Uniform to link up.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Three, as depicted in the show UEEF transports are vulnerable to enemy mecha/fighters. This requires a fighter screen to protect them. Even if the transports could adequately defend themselves, recovery of their fighters will take time and it would be better if the transports and fighters evacuate separately initially.

This is literally why the larger ships (e.g. Ikazuchi-class) are set up to rapidly deploy almost a hundred and fifty fighters as soon as they make orbit... to provide that cover for the transports that are attempting to make reentry. (This is also why the hundred or so Betas used in the 2nd ERF were there... to ferry the escort formation from the Moon to Earth. Orbital escape was never part of the equation.)



ShadowLogan wrote:
Five, it would be useful in planetary defense as it would allow fighters to be deployed en-mass without using a vulnerable transport(s) that could be shot down much easier (owing to the size). In the show, the UEEF actually DID shoot down an Invid Tranport before it could launch its mecha compliment, they didn't do it often (as it would make sense to attempt, though IIRC the comics have another instance).

But they already have a mechanism for deploying fighters en masse in space... it's called the Ikazuchi-class. It can ferry 144 fighters to the combat zone fairly efficiently and deploy them almost as rapidly as the Invid carriers... and unlike the Invid ships, it has guns too.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Six, the technology allows for it with a small propellant load.

Just because a thing CAN be done doesn't mean it's NECESSARY for a thing to be done.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:06 am
  

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D-Bee

Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2019 6:40 am
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Seto Kaiba wrote:
There is, at present, no evidence to suggest that the Alpha's inability to make orbit under its own power was an issue for the UEEF... or they would've had a solution decades earlier and the Beta would not be a thing. The Invid have no long-ranged capabilities in space combat, so there's nothing to stop UEEF ships from sailing right up to the kind of ranges where Alphas would have no issues making planetfall on their own.


Since the Beta and Alpha were researched as a pair from the start according to "the sentinels"; I guess at least some of the UEEF thought this could be an issue. I'd wager something akin to redundancy in a worst case scenario approach. NASA is infamously prudent with their own space project IRL, I don't see why an expedition receiving the whole attention of the military would be less careful. Especially since replacing troops and pilots would have been a difficult proposal, at best, with the little information they had on the situation of Tirol.
My bet is on pressure from the emerging ASC and Malcontent situation might have lead to budget cuts and more attention being given to the situation on earth.
The Beta was probably just low enough in the priority list to get canned according to needs, or maybe it had to do with the project's estimated time of completion. If it was too long to produce it in a satisfactory manner prior to departure, it might have been better to tell the think tanks to no longer count on that precise piece for their previsions.

ShadowLogan wrote:
Though it might be worth considering: How do we know they didn't implement one/more of these in some form and just aren't told about it? The Cyclone is a post Alpha development, but they had space for it. What was that space used for it prior to the introduction of the Cyclone? Honestly I don't think that's ever been said, and I don't see a need for a ~1m^3 space to store gear separately (though 1000L of reaction mass that could fit there might negate the need for the Beta*).


That's an interesting idea. That the Alpha were conceived with the Cyclone in mind, or not, doesn't prevent this same space to be used as an additional fuel reserve while a standard cyclone is still unavailable.

Eliakon wrote:
If they are entering a gravity well, then it will either be
1) friendly so they can use boosters or a transport to get back up or
2) part of an assault in which by the time you are landing fighters you presumably have control of the orbitals enough that you can send in transports to pick them up.

ShadowLogan wrote:
Three, as depicted in the show UEEF transports are vulnerable to enemy mecha/fighters. This requires a fighter screen to protect them. Even if the transports could adequately defend themselves, recovery of their fighters will take time and it would be better if the transports and fighters evacuate separately initially.

Four, while boosters or booster-like hardware is possible, we don't know if they actually used them while the Beta was hibernating. And if they did use them, why they switched to the overly complicated setup with the Beta.

Five, it would be useful in planetary defense as it would allow fighters to be deployed en-mass without using a vulnerable transport(s) that could be shot down much easier (owing to the size). In the show, the UEEF actually DID shoot down an Invid Tranport before it could launch its mecha compliment, they didn't do it often (as it would make sense to attempt, though IIRC the comics have another instance).

Seto Kaiba wrote:
The Alpha's severely limited ferry range in space would be a virtual nonissue as they would be deploying for reentry from a ship in orbit above the designated landing area. The only reason that Betas were necessary at all in the New Generation's first episode was that they were flying escort for a flotilla that was traveling sublight from their staging area on the Moon to Earth orbit instead of getting there by fold.


  • 2.2) Orbital control is very hard when your enemies can fold from anywhere at any moment. Plus, as far as I know, being able to create your own acceleration then drift with your systems off would still be better against the invid than the use of a single most noticeable fold point. In that way, the Beta could be seen as a way to mount "stealth" drops operations. (Albeit "stealth" in space most definitely needs the quotation marks.) The same way, a recon fighter fleet could be sent from relatively far away and have to manage back to their transport with minimal signature emission. (This could account for the numerous mentions of "long space patrols".
  • 3) Survival : You are burning your fuel in vain while the assigned transport is destroyed / unavailable. You might need to get down some place in order to be able to shut your protoculture systems and hide, waiting for help. It might later be less dangerous for you to climb than for them to come and get you : depending on the snafu you landed on. Rescue ship could lack the capacity for an atmospheric entry... (There is not much canon to go on this way, but there technically could be other races' ships involved. And battle damage could in theory handicap a UEEF's ship that way, yes? Let's say... having a hull full of holes.)
  • 4) Redundancy : You are in a dangerous situation but the carrier that is supposed to get you is damaged and can't presently come to the rescue. It might however be able to use a Beta in order to come and fetch you so that you'd be able to protect the repair operation instead of staying in needless jeopardy on the planet's soil. Or; the carrier you must join is currently a drifting derelict far from the original rendezvous point. You have sensor and communications problems of your own. The "space patrol" might be long before you finally meet and both having the fuel necessary to join might help... especially if you have been listed for dead and must pursue a ship under radio silence.

IF one is to take the "Sentinels" story-line into account, then there is no real contradiction between a fleet constructed for a major planet drop and later developing contingencies for the given "new situation encountered". While the Beta was certainly not a priority according to the original plan of "Meet, Negociate, Pacify if the need arise", a prolonged war in space might have brought new challenges about.
The delay in production might have been due to the need to reform an industry for it first.

Three : This is especially true if one is to believe the accounts of swarms of invid simply covering a hull to puncture it. Since a fleet in orbit could be vulnerable to attacks from folding enemies, they might have to recall fighters from a land operation for reinforcements. This is obviously undesirable, but at the same time... Leaving a landing force without orbital support during a planet hoping campaign seems like poor management of resources if you can avoid it.

Agreed for Four and Five. I sincerely think the most believable use of the Beta would be to counter troop attrition against an enemy vastly superior in numbers.

This also do not contradict the way the original authors had problems to use the TREAD in the New Gen situation. Since there is no support from an orbital fleet, and no credible option to use a beta as relay with too far away troops. Of course, in that precise case, I must admit I have developed a view of the Beta that is not dissimilar from the US army sky cranes. Something that is not directly suggested by printed material, but could explain the presence of TREAD on earth in the anime. (Meaning Beta being kept behind the lines until the need arise to go and recuperate fallen Alphas.)

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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 10:12 am
  

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Knight

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Seto wrote:
As I see it, there is no real reason to suspect that it would be carried out any differently from any other planetary landing operation.

I'm not saying it would be. What I am saying is there is a lot more to the Planetary Survey Mission than simply landing an exploratory team on the surface that could utilize the Alpha in space (and require a booster/extra fuel). There is site selection for example.

Seto wrote:
Really, that the UEEF waited almost twenty years to bother revisiting and completing the failed Beta design suggests there really wasn't a pressing need for it.

Not necessarily. Remember the issue(s) requiring the Beta in the first place predates its 20222 cancellation, not because of changing requirements (AFAIK) but the test results (RT.com Infopedia). So the requirement to extend the Alpha's space capabilities to be needed by the Beta would still exist. Now "pressing need" may or may not exist to address the issue in 2022, but it certainly appeared later and had the UEEF revisit the Beta (it appears in 2042, but realistically there likely is a few years of actual testing proceeded by a period of time where they likely debated how to address the issue, maybe even more time for a competition before development begins, the time it took to do the redesign. This easily pushes the need to appear back into the 2030s)

Seto wrote:
Just because the Cyclone was completed later doesn't mean it wasn't part of the original program requirements for the Alpha.

How old is the requirement for the Cyclone to be used a survival mecha? 2038 in Invasion#2 makes mention of the Conbats carrying them, which doesn't seem like something the briefing officer would need to cover if it was standard equipment. (I know this is the Conbat, and not the Alpha, but it is possible this indicates the use of a survival mecha wasn't part of UEEF requirements until late 2030s.)

Seto wrote:
But the operating profile of the VF-1 was completely different... it was a fighter for planetary defense, not for orbit-to-surface landing operations and planetary assault. The way the UEEF is shown to operate would tend to make this capability unnecessary, because in normal conditions there would be ships present to ferry fighters back to orbit.


True, while the mecha in question do use the capability differently, the both still have the capability. While the VF-1 likely can't do Re-Entry Attacks like the Alpha/Beta stack, the Alpha/Beta stack can do the planetary defense role. Overall I am not looking at specific time frame of RT or human faction in why this would be desired capability.

It's also worth pointing out that the UEEF has existed for 20years, BUT given the 85episode animation doctrine does appear to change (Carpenter vs MDs).

Seto wrote:
Generally speaking, if you're calling off a landing operation the troops you landed are kind of screwed... the only reason you'd try to call off a landing operation, which is a massive thing to commit to, is if the forces you had already landed had been massacred by greater-than-expected resistance. This is also why rendezvous points like Point K existed, for troops who couldn't be recovered in the event things DID go Tango Uniform to link up.

To a point I agree here, but there are other reasons to call off the invasion before you've even landed:
-greater than expected resistance (it need not be a massacre)
-something unexpected happens (new enemy weapon for example, didn't the Inbit in GCM do something to the upper atmosphere, ships take to much damage to safely preform re-entry, etc)
-unlikely with the Invid, but other races (in general) do engage in diplomacy allowing for some last minute discussions

Seto wrote:
Just because a thing CAN be done doesn't mean it's NECESSARY for a thing to be done.


I agree this is possible.

In this case though it would be far easier to give the Alpha sufficient propellant than to design something like the Beta Fighter. If the Alpha's Engines are as efficient as the VF-1, and each wing can hold ~240L of SLMH (or ~204kg), then the Alpha would have ~17.7kps of Delta-V, in a dry configuration. Obviously the efficiency, volume, and propellant selection/values aren't fixed. Given statements about Protoculture's energy density and its availability, I would think the efficiency would need to be on par with VF-1 (since it uses a less energy dense material that is a lot easier to get) if not better. The Maximum Wing volume is actually more (I went with a simple right triangle, so there are parts of the wing not included like the control surfaces and part of the wing and used 1/2 the thickness of the wing). Propellant selection is not limited to SLMH obviously. Though this is the UEEF we are talking about, bad design decisions abound.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:41 pm
  

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Knight

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xunk16 wrote:
Since the Beta and Alpha were researched as a pair from the start according to "the sentinels"; I guess at least some of the UEEF thought this could be an issue.

Granted, but that doesn't mean the idea was viable... there are, quite frankly, entirely too many examples of defense contracts for projects that were obviously terrible and entirely unworkable ideas that were nevertheless put into development, production, and widespread adoption. The Beta might've been developed in parallel with the Alpha originally, but given that development was cancelled and the design spent twenty years collecting dust it apparently wasn't all that essential to the operating profiles of the Alpha and UEEF.



xunk16 wrote:
My bet is on pressure from the emerging ASC and Malcontent situation might have lead to budget cuts and more attention being given to the situation on earth.

I hope you didn't have cash on that bet, because the opposite is true... the UEEF had a more or less unlimited budget and was accused of bogarting all available resources and personnel for its mission, leaving Earth in the care of a UEDF staffed by UEEF rejects and washouts and equipped with the very best clunkers the change they found under Leonard's sofa cushions could buy. Leonard apparently saw little point in keeping his frustration with the situation to himself, complaining in Sentinels that he wouldn't be able to defend Earth from a flock of ducklings.

Essentially, Earth was so completely secure that its defense budget was redirected to the Expeditionary Forces in the absence of any evident or expected threat to the planet.



xunk16 wrote:
2.2) Orbital control is very hard when your enemies can fold from anywhere at any moment. Plus, as far as I know, being able to create your own acceleration then drift with your systems off would still be better against the invid than the use of a single most noticeable fold point. In that way, the Beta could be seen as a way to mount "stealth" drops operations. (Albeit "stealth" in space most definitely needs the quotation marks.) The same way, a recon fighter fleet could be sent from relatively far away and have to manage back to their transport with minimal signature emission. (This could account for the numerous mentions of "long space patrols".

Er... put bluntly, this wouldn't have been a consideration because the UEEF didn't learn that the technology to detect the characteristic emissions of protoculture power systems existed until years after the Beta entered production. They didn't even figure it out on their own. Dr. Lazlo Zand may have discovered it on his own or he may have learned about it from the Haydonites when they shared the data on shadow technology with Edwards and the R&D team under his command, but the rest of the UEEF only learned about it at all because Dr. Zand and Gen. Edwards did a sloppy job of wiping the digital paper trail of their research into shadow technology before betraying the UEEF. Zand's notes were partially recovered by Dr. Lang during the investigation of Edwards's former command, which led to the Haydonites once again volunteering to "help" by explaining the problem (and covering their nonexistent butts by claiming Zand discovered shadow technology on his own).



xunk16 wrote:
3) Survival : You are burning your fuel in vain while the assigned transport is destroyed / unavailable. You might need to get down some place in order to be able to shut your protoculture systems and hide, waiting for help.

See the above as to why this reasoning doesn't work... by the time the UEEF became aware that active protoculture energy sources gave their presence away, Shadow Fighters already existed.



xunk16 wrote:
Rescue ship could lack the capacity for an atmospheric entry... (There is not much canon to go on this way, but there technically could be other races' ships involved. And battle damage could in theory handicap a UEEF's ship that way, yes? Let's say... having a hull full of holes.)

No standard UEEF ship lacks that... and they were the only ships doing the fighting.



xunk16 wrote:
4) Redundancy : You are in a dangerous situation but the carrier that is supposed to get you is damaged and can't presently come to the rescue. It might however be able to use a Beta in order to come and fetch you so that you'd be able to protect the repair operation instead of staying in needless jeopardy on the planet's soil.

... this line of reasoning really doesn't make sense. If the presence of a single fighter is enough to make a significant difference in the defense of a ship, they wouldn't send it away to recover another when it might not return.



xunk16 wrote:
Or; the carrier you must join is currently a drifting derelict far from the original rendezvous point. You have sensor and communications problems of your own. The "space patrol" might be long before you finally meet and both having the fuel necessary to join might help... especially if you have been listed for dead and must pursue a ship under radio silence.

... this also doesn't really fit how things work in the setting. Given who the UEEF was fighting, if your mothership was destroyed you're almost certainly already dead. Never mind that an Alpha has no chance of catching up to an interstellar spaceship moving under power, or that the Invid don't use radio so there would be no point in radio silence.



xunk16 wrote:
IF one is to take the "Sentinels" story-line into account, [...]

We shouldn't, because officially only the broad strokes of the Sentinels story apply to Robotech's official setting... which is what the RPG is based on.



xunk16 wrote:
The delay in production might have been due to the need to reform an industry for it first.

... they literally had a giant automated factory. More than one, in fact, by the time the Beta was actually built.



xunk16 wrote:
Three : This is especially true if one is to believe the accounts of swarms of invid simply covering a hull to puncture it. Since a fleet in orbit could be vulnerable to attacks from folding enemies, they might have to recall fighters from a land operation for reinforcements. This is obviously undesirable, but at the same time... Leaving a landing force without orbital support during a planet hoping campaign seems like poor management of resources if you can avoid it.

What folding enemies? The Regent's forces were groundbound robots and regular Invid troops. He had ONE ship. There's no sense in covering for contingencies that can't happen... and those ships are supposed to be landing too, because they're carrying ground troops and supplies.





ShadowLogan wrote:
I'm not saying it would be. What I am saying is there is a lot more to the Planetary Survey Mission than simply landing an exploratory team on the surface that could utilize the Alpha in space (and require a booster/extra fuel). There is site selection for example.

Surely site selection is a job for a reconnaissance craft, not a fighter haphazardly joined to a bomber.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Not necessarily. Remember the issue(s) requiring the Beta in the first place predates its 2022 cancellation, not because of changing requirements (AFAIK) but the test results (RT.com Infopedia). So the requirement to extend the Alpha's space capabilities to be needed by the Beta would still exist. Now "pressing need" may or may not exist to address the issue in 2022, but it certainly appeared later and had the UEEF revisit the Beta (it appears in 2042, but realistically there likely is a few years of actual testing proceeded by a period of time where they likely debated how to address the issue, maybe even more time for a competition before development begins, the time it took to do the redesign. This easily pushes the need to appear back into the 2030s)

Yes, there are plenty of examples of military development programs including requirements for things that later turn out to be useless, wildly impractical, or based on assumptions that turned out to be so wide of the mark that they'd have been laughable if there weren't a death toll associated.

That the Beta languished in development hell for almost two decades with no apparent consequence for the Alpha in normal operations, and that even after its introduction Betas are rare add-ons that the UEEF doesn't seem to have an actual use for beyond range extension would tend to argue this wasn't a case of a pressing need... but rather a "would be nice" that turned out to be a waste of time.



ShadowLogan wrote:
How old is the requirement for the Cyclone to be used a survival mecha? 2038 in Invasion#2 makes mention of the Conbats carrying them, which doesn't seem like something the briefing officer would need to cover if it was standard equipment. (I know this is the Conbat, and not the Alpha, but it is possible this indicates the use of a survival mecha wasn't part of UEEF requirements until late 2030s.)

That comic is full of "As you know" exposition, so I wouldn't take the mention of them as a clear indication that they were unusual equipment... it was probably to prevent the reader, who would not be inclined to suspect the Conbats carried them, from calling BS.



ShadowLogan wrote:
True, while the mecha in question do use the capability differently, the both still have the capability. While the VF-1 likely can't do Re-Entry Attacks like the Alpha/Beta stack, the Alpha/Beta stack can do the planetary defense role. Overall I am not looking at specific time frame of RT or human faction in why this would be desired capability.

The UEEF in general was not a planetary defense force... this would very likely not have come into consideration. This was a planetary invasion force.

Also, WRT the VF-1 not being able to carry out a reentry attack, the "From the Stars" comic would tend to argue otherwise. So would the RPG, come to that, given that it claims the UEEF Marines kept using them and even preferred them over the Alpha fighter. (This was also true for the old comics, where the UEEF continued using the VF-1s thanks to comics being legally merchandise.)



ShadowLogan wrote:
It's also worth pointing out that the UEEF has existed for 20years, BUT given the 85episode animation doctrine does appear to change (Carpenter vs MDs).

Carpenter's forces were a rear-echelon transport squadron operating outdated ships and equipment, not frontline troops... apples and oranges.

(Essentially, the UEEF sent the troops they felt would be least missed on the front lines.)



ShadowLogan wrote:
To a point I agree here, but there are other reasons to call off the invasion before you've even landed:
-greater than expected resistance (it need not be a massacre)
-something unexpected happens (new enemy weapon for example, didn't the Inbit in GCM do something to the upper atmosphere, ships take to much damage to safely preform re-entry, etc)
-unlikely with the Invid, but other races (in general) do engage in diplomacy allowing for some last minute discussions

Greater than expected resistance sufficient to call off a landing op would have to happen in space, where fighters could simply be recovered by the ships that launched them with no need for an orbital escape capability. If the enemy can't repel them in space, they have relatively little hope against them on the ground since they'd have a chance to dig in and fight a defensive battle with orbital support.

Something unexpected happening... well... that's too broad a topic to formulate a response to. The Inbit did modify Earth's upper atmosphere to make a landing op more difficult in the original show, but it only became a lethal obstacle because the resistance in space was so stiff that the mission commander rather irresponsibly tried to force a landing anyway at unsafe speeds, causing his ship to burn up on reentry.

Diplomacy seems to be a generally dead topic in the Robotech setting, races are either friendly or hostile... there generally isn't last-minute diplomacy from either side (thanks Leonard).



ShadowLogan wrote:
In this case though it would be far easier to give the Alpha sufficient propellant than to design something like the Beta Fighter. If the Alpha's Engines are as efficient as the VF-1, and each wing can hold ~240L of SLMH (or ~204kg), then the Alpha would have ~17.7kps of Delta-V, in a dry configuration. Obviously the efficiency, volume, and propellant selection/values aren't fixed. Given statements about Protoculture's energy density and its availability, I would think the efficiency would need to be on par with VF-1 (since it uses a less energy dense material that is a lot easier to get) if not better. The Maximum Wing volume is actually more (I went with a simple right triangle, so there are parts of the wing not included like the control surfaces and part of the wing and used 1/2 the thickness of the wing). Propellant selection is not limited to SLMH obviously. Though this is the UEEF we are talking about, bad design decisions abound.

The problem there is more that, if the Alpha has similar propellant efficiency to the VF-1's OSM spec... well... it's not going to get very far on 480L. That'd be enough fuel for about 3 minutes and 24 seconds of maximum thrust before the tanks ran dry.

You'd need a much bigger aircraft with much more internal fuel tank capacity to have a respectable range in space flight. That goes for the VF-1 as well, mind you... which is why the VF-1 Valkyrie had several different bolt-ons and optional parts to improve its fuel capacity and efficiency like the intake fuel bladders and the FAST Packs that more than quadrupled its onboard fuel storage while adding rocket boosters to reduce the need for main engine thrust. (To say nothing of also being why later models of VF in Macross were significantly larger.)

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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:41 pm
  

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D-Bee

Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2019 6:40 am
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Seto Kaiba wrote:
xunk16 wrote:
Since the Beta and Alpha were researched as a pair from the start according to "the sentinels"; I guess at least some of the UEEF thought this could be an issue.

Granted, but that doesn't mean the idea was viable... there are, quite frankly, entirely too many examples of defense contracts for projects that were obviously terrible and entirely unworkable ideas that were nevertheless put into development, production, and widespread adoption. The Beta might've been developed in parallel with the Alpha originally, but given that development was cancelled and the design spent twenty years collecting dust it apparently wasn't all that essential to the operating profiles of the Alpha and UEEF.


Be it that you are waiting for Karbarrans to reform their industry, or that you must be careful in the expanses of material brought with your own Robotech Factories, the result is the same. You won't invest in something you think you can do without if it is going to increase the production value of each fighter unit. And you are right in assuming this might have been a screwed up project from the beginning. There is quite a few lines of dialogue to the effect that the Pioneer mission was maybe too gung-ho on the hardware and not practical enough. (But all that is secondary canon now.)
However, something might sometime take a long while before getting recognized. A fanciful idea might become the only way to cope with a reality.
The history of technology is also full of these.
The Greeks and Chinese might have had knowledge of steam power in antiquity, but they had no application for it yet and it was forgotten.
Guns were so much trouble for reloading time that compressed air rifle once were used in military situations. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Girandoni_air_rifle
Etc.
Now we don't have to deal with a Mars Automatic Pistol here. (such a nice forgotten weapon)
The Beta eventually was extracted from the mothballs and put into service.
As much as it might be tempting to call this an inconsistency or a mystery, one who do run a RPG campaign must take it as it is.
Something must have motivated the enterprise.

Seto Kaiba wrote:
xunk16 wrote:
My bet is on pressure from the emerging ASC and Malcontent situation might have lead to budget cuts and more attention being given to the situation on earth.

I hope you didn't have cash on that bet, because the opposite is true... the UEEF had a more or less unlimited budget and was accused of bogarting all available resources and personnel for its mission, leaving Earth in the care of a UEDF staffed by UEEF rejects and washouts and equipped with the very best clunkers the change they found under Leonard's sofa cushions could buy. Leonard apparently saw little point in keeping his frustration with the situation to himself, complaining in Sentinels that he wouldn't be able to defend Earth from a flock of ducklings.

Essentially, Earth was so completely secure that its defense budget was redirected to the Expeditionary Forces in the absence of any evident or expected threat to the planet.


Unlimited budget, yes. Unlimited resources is impossible. And there was a factor of time included as a deadline for departure. Taking the best personnel available might have shortened the timetable for the pioneer mission alright, but it also left the earth vulnerable to political shenanigans leading to the ASC's extortion racket. (Secondary canon, again, lead us to believe that even UEDF troops were often lead to clash with themselves as mercenaries for different polities.)

Following that reasoning, it doesn't matter that the UEEF can literally print millions to finance anything they want.
The extraction, refining and production of resources themselves will slow during conflict. Civilians entering strikes against poor military management will also not help all that get into space. Malcontents managing to steal resources to rebuild Zentraedi mechas will not only stress the budget by doing so, but also by making the "washout" expand their own mechas and munitions against it. All these also represents costs. If at some point you have to make a choice between a third of your ordered mechas, or trashing the beta production to complete at least 3/4th of your Alpha faster; that might counts.

As for Leonard complaining... What kind of military junta leader doesn't try to pull a little more of the sheets on his side?
Of course he wants a part of the cake and new toys. As the leader of an inside coup, he also wouldn't want to get left out of the loop.
The relationship between the ASC and the UEDF during that era is very similar to the chicaneries of the USSR and China during the cold war.
Always criticizing while mostly doing the same.
Despite Leonard assurances and propaganda, the UEDF and UEEF did not wanted to leave the earth defenceless. There was some previsions that there could be troubles while the pioneer mission went away, or that the UEEF would fail. An expeditionary mission generally wants a home to return to in case things go awry.
That the biggest part of the cake was given to the "diplomatic" effort doesn't mean Earth was not included in the general calculation of military expanses at all.

Seto Kaiba wrote:
xunk16 wrote:
2.2) Orbital control is very hard when your enemies can fold from anywhere at any moment. Plus, as far as I know, being able to create your own acceleration then drift with your systems off would still be better against the invid than the use of a single most noticeable fold point. In that way, the Beta could be seen as a way to mount "stealth" drops operations. (Albeit "stealth" in space most definitely needs the quotation marks.) The same way, a recon fighter fleet could be sent from relatively far away and have to manage back to their transport with minimal signature emission. (This could account for the numerous mentions of "long space patrols".

Er... put bluntly, this wouldn't have been a consideration because the UEEF didn't learn that the technology to detect the characteristic emissions of protoculture power systems existed until years after the Beta entered production. They didn't even figure it out on their own. Dr. Lazlo Zand may have discovered it on his own or he may have learned about it from the Haydonites when they shared the data on shadow technology with Edwards and the R&D team under his command, but the rest of the UEEF only learned about it at all because Dr. Zand and Gen. Edwards did a sloppy job of wiping the digital paper trail of their research into shadow technology before betraying the UEEF. Zand's notes were partially recovered by Dr. Lang during the investigation of Edwards's former command, which led to the Haydonites once again volunteering to "help" by explaining the problem (and covering their nonexistent butts by claiming Zand discovered shadow technology on his own).


I'm not speaking about direct protoculture detection here, but fold detection and other known method of space target tracking.
Shadow Tecchnology has nothing to do with it.
During the Macross Saga, fold events are presented as very energetic phenomenons. Be it from light emission, magnetic emissions, heat emissions, etc... The UEDF has no problems detecting a fold event in the limits of the solar system. In fact, even for a single ship, this kind of event is so remarkable as to be easily identified by the masters from many parsecs away. (Something the Zentraedi would have been able to tell the UEDF's leaders.)
Now even without directly knowing about protoculture, the UEEF would also have known that an active engine emits more heat than a turned off one. A bigger object takes longer to cool off and is easier to detect than a smaller one, etc...

In this light, folding further away from your target might help you use the cover of planets and moon to delay your detection.
(Possibly "from the other side of a star" would be a better idea if you want anything more than poping up in your enemy's behind by surprise.)
And you could send a recon team more stealthily by accelerating it in the same astral shadow prior to manoeuvring it to sensor range. With a bit of luck, they could pass as slightly warmed asteroids. (You'd improve your chances by heating only the more powerful Beta, then leaving it in a stable orbit where you can reconnect with it later. In which case, having the "booster" with its own pilot offers way more flexibility.) Something more likely to be ignored than a whole fleet of active ships. And "small" asteroids are notoriously hard to detect and track against the darkness of space. You must be actively looking for such occurrences.
The Alpha / Beta configuration could then also double as a way to mask the signature of said recon team; passing it as half the "asteroids" they really represents.
Remember this is only a suggestion.
But I think if one is to make sense of why such a mecha would even exist, it might be good to try and find its advantages.

Furthermore, the UEEF's hardware was produced having the Zentraedi and Robotech Masters in mind. So the "fold" issue would have rated more importantly than anything protoculture related. Especially if you give credence to the possibility that there might still be rogue Zentraedis going around in the cosmos. (A suggestion that both the RPGs, the old comics, and the RNU take into account.)

Seto Kaiba wrote:
xunk16 wrote:
3) Survival : You are burning your fuel in vain while the assigned transport is destroyed / unavailable. You might need to get down some place in order to be able to shut your protoculture systems and hide, waiting for help.

See the above as to why this reasoning doesn't work... by the time the UEEF became aware that active protoculture energy sources gave their presence away, Shadow Fighters already existed.


Again. Heat. Radio signals. Radar Signatures.
Now that might be a ludicrous suggestion for IRL space physics, but Gloval did manage to hide from the Zentraedi using the shadow of a planet and a field of cold debris. So that kind of reasoning is kinda supported by still canon material.
The UEEF doesn't know about protoculture sensors. This doesn't mean they don't know how to try to hide themselves.
Get down, land underwater or in a cavern, cover you mecha in mud. Shut down the engine and activate the comms only temporarily.
When you think about it, the confusion as to which kind of sensors the Invid use and the already logical steps into avoiding detection might have been responsible for the "protoculture activation trick" to have stayed unknown for so long.

Seto Kaiba wrote:
xunk16 wrote:
Rescue ship could lack the capacity for an atmospheric entry... (There is not much canon to go on this way, but there technically could be other races' ships involved. And battle damage could in theory handicap a UEEF's ship that way, yes? Let's say... having a hull full of holes.)

No standard UEEF ship lacks that... and they were the only ships doing the fighting.


So... UEEF ships are never damaged enough that air drag and atmospheric friction would become too much stress for atmospheric re-entry?
Their thermal shielding is never so much scraped off as to be rendered ineffective?
Their structure is never so much full of micro-fissures and ruptured beams as to threaten to fail under the pressure of a landing / lifting operation under gravitational constraints? I don't recall what part of their technology would prevent this.
Yes canon shows us a mostly winning UEEF, but that doesn't mean the rolls of a campaign will always go that way.

Secondary canon has some references to karbarrans and haydonite ships.
A few others if your include the RNU.
But you're right that the RPG don't give us much in that department after the 1st ed. (Though the UEEF source-book does mention the existence of Karbarran ships and engines.) Now let's say that these ships never do any of the fighting, that doesn't mean they can't participate in the clean-up afterwards.

Seto Kaiba wrote:
xunk16 wrote:
4) Redundancy : You are in a dangerous situation but the carrier that is supposed to get you is damaged and can't presently come to the rescue. It might however be able to use a Beta in order to come and fetch you so that you'd be able to protect the repair operation instead of staying in needless jeopardy on the planet's soil.

... this line of reasoning really doesn't make sense. If the presence of a single fighter is enough to make a significant difference in the defense of a ship, they wouldn't send it away to recover another when it might not return.


A single mecha no. But assuming the ship have more than one to spare, pilots tends to be harder to replace than machines. And as far as I can tell, I don't see why the UEEF would be less "no man left behind" than any other heroic depiction of the military.
But even giving you the point. Wouldn't that be an argument for producing Betas in sufficient number such as to equip the ground teams with a back-up way to leave a planet and rejoin a transport on their own, without risking to bring a transport in the range of planetary defences? (See Invid Fury.)

What I am saying is that this is only one plausible scenario of how the Beta could have been brought back into production.
One daring pilot could have attempted a rescue in one, putting the "full of missiles" ability of it into full use.
He might have been reprimanded. But the fact remains that Alphas towing their own Betas wouldn't have been in need of such an extraction.
The argument might have inspired strategists to order a few prototypes here and there out of retirement.
And once proven on the battlefield, a small production number could have been officially issued.
Seeing as how we are speaking of the same force that maintained Conbat into active service for so long and even managed to find a use for their Condors, I don't see why the Beta would fit into a different kind of logic. (Use everything you got, and when it stops working, use it differently.)

Seto Kaiba wrote:
xunk16 wrote:
Or; the carrier you must join is currently a drifting derelict far from the original rendezvous point. You have sensor and communications problems of your own. The "space patrol" might be long before you finally meet and both having the fuel necessary to join might help... especially if you have been listed for dead and must pursue a ship under radio silence.

... this also doesn't really fit how things work in the setting. Given who the UEEF was fighting, if your mothership was destroyed you're almost certainly already dead. Never mind that an Alpha has no chance of catching up to an interstellar spaceship moving under power, or that the Invid don't use radio so there would be no point in radio silence.


No point yes. But broken equipment rarely has your need in mind. The radio silence might be imposed.
And a Beta pushing at escape velocity forces would produce more light and heat for the slowly going damaged transport to pick up... if they can at all.
Or, once again, you might want to try and attract the attention of a non-invid, non-UEEF ship.
Given that a ship dreadfully set on leaving you behind could outrun your wreck anytime, but a rescue ship actively trying to find you in the wrong direction might be going more slowly.

Seto Kaiba wrote:
xunk16 wrote:
IF one is to take the "Sentinels" story-line into account, [...]

We shouldn't, because officially only the broad strokes of the Sentinels story apply to Robotech's official setting... which is what the RPG is based on.

All depending on if you take Palladium seriously on their intent of making all their books more-or-less retro-compatible. Which would then include 1st ed.
And then... broader strokes I guess? It's all in the hands of the Gm in the end.

Seto Kaiba wrote:
xunk16 wrote:
Three : This is especially true if one is to believe the accounts of swarms of invid simply covering a hull to puncture it. Since a fleet in orbit could be vulnerable to attacks from folding enemies, they might have to recall fighters from a land operation for reinforcements. This is obviously undesirable, but at the same time... Leaving a landing force without orbital support during a planet hoping campaign seems like poor management of resources if you can avoid it.

What folding enemies? The Regent's forces were groundbound robots and regular Invid troops. He had ONE ship. There's no sense in covering for contingencies that can't happen... and those ships are supposed to be landing too, because they're carrying ground troops and supplies.


Yes. I can see how a perception closely limited to the rebooted canon would correctly induce that idea. Especially since there could have been only one ship at some point in the production process... I'm not privy to that information. And I don't see why a race that wiped a galactic empire would manage to do it with just one capital ship against millions. However, the sentinels comics did show more than one Starfish-Class super-carrier. (One of them being entrusted to an Invid Scientist and drawn considerably younger(?) and smaller than the Regent's own. I would have to re-check the whole thing in order to confirm if we ever see more than one at once, but I'm prepared to admit that maybe we don't.)

Now you can of course reject all these suggestions for their use of secondary cannon, but at some point... one would also have to reject the usefulness of the Beta. Then what would possibly be the UEEF's motive to re-introduce them into production?

Seto Kaiba wrote:
ShadowLogan wrote:
Not necessarily. Remember the issue(s) requiring the Beta in the first place predates its 2022 cancellation, not because of changing requirements (AFAIK) but the test results (RT.com Infopedia). So the requirement to extend the Alpha's space capabilities to be needed by the Beta would still exist. Now "pressing need" may or may not exist to address the issue in 2022, but it certainly appeared later and had the UEEF revisit the Beta (it appears in 2042, but realistically there likely is a few years of actual testing proceeded by a period of time where they likely debated how to address the issue, maybe even more time for a competition before development begins, the time it took to do the redesign. This easily pushes the need to appear back into the 2030s)

Yes, there are plenty of examples of military development programs including requirements for things that later turn out to be useless, wildly impractical, or based on assumptions that turned out to be so wide of the mark that they'd have been laughable if there weren't a death toll associated.

That the Beta languished in development hell for almost two decades with no apparent consequence for the Alpha in normal operations, and that even after its introduction Betas are rare add-ons that the UEEF doesn't seem to have an actual use for beyond range extension would tend to argue this wasn't a case of a pressing need... but rather a "would be nice" that turned out to be a waste of time.


Which answers the preceding question in a certain way. But where do we go from there?
As likely as it is that the production of Beta could be called off again, it seems unlikely that the produced units wouldn't be used to death on the field for economical reasons. Leading potentially to a LEP such as the one described in this topic from the beginning.
Would that be also a failure leading to the immediate recall and recycling of all Beta during the Shadow Chronicle era?
Who knows... there isn't, to my knowledge, canon that goes so far.

Seto Kaiba wrote:
ShadowLogan wrote:
True, while the mecha in question do use the capability differently, the both still have the capability. While the VF-1 likely can't do Re-Entry Attacks like the Alpha/Beta stack, the Alpha/Beta stack can do the planetary defense role. Overall I am not looking at specific time frame of RT or human faction in why this would be desired capability.

The UEEF in general was not a planetary defense force... this would very likely not have come into consideration. This was a planetary invasion force.


Not at first. But it did become such a force after re-taking Tirol from the Invid and prior to returning to Earth.
I rather agree that this suggestion could hold in order to explain the delay between the the Beta's development and Beta's service.
However, if this scenario is true, it would have been ironically wrong... since all instance of defending Tirol seems to be against threats already on its soil.
Paving the way for a "failed project" statement being issued at some point after the UEEF's schism. Depending on how much the brass would defend the option.
As we remember, otherwise unpractical projects tends to see the light of day despite reason in RT. The Grand Canon being a fine example.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 12:50 pm
  

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Knight

Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:50 am
Posts: 6129
Location: WI
Seto wrote:
Surely site selection is a job for a reconnaissance craft, not a fighter haphazardly joined to a bomber.

W/Re: to Planetary Survey Missions

I think it's best to move on given the information blackout we have. We have no idea really how the mission is performed, we have no idea what equipment is used (purpose built or existing adapted). We are more or less shooting in the dark.

But with respect to the Alpha/Beta fighter. 1. AFAIK the UEEF doesn't have a dedicated reconnaissance craft (AHR-15 as depicted seems more like an EVA pod used by the UEEF in Sentinels OVA and Prelude). 2. The Alpha is known to be used for reconnaissance patrol (TSC) 3. 2E RPG does allow for uncommon (or non-main) variants in both families (TSC manga pg 113 for the Beta pg97 for the Alpha) though doesn't describe what they might be (wiggle room). 4. Fighters and Bombers have been converted for reconnaissance in the past.

Seto wrote:
That comic is full of "As you know" exposition, so I wouldn't take the mention of them as a clear indication that they were unusual equipment... it was probably to prevent the reader, who would not be inclined to suspect the Conbats carried them, from calling BS.

Perhaps, however it is sort of ambiguous in how it should be handled. There are certainly ways it could have been phrased better, and Conbat and Alpha requirements for their inclusion as survival mecha may not be synchronous when it happened either. What we know is that both designs are pretty old (2010s) and predate any dating related to the Cyclone (-03x series designed late 2020s) in the 2E RPG.

Seto wrote:
The UEEF in general was not a planetary defense force... this would very likely not have come into consideration. This was a planetary invasion force.

True, but they do have several known surface facilities to defend, so they would have to consider the planetary defense role (unless that is handled by some other human military group, who could still use UEEF hardware).

Seto wrote:
Also, WRT the VF-1 not being able to carry out a reentry attack, the "From the Stars" comic would tend to argue otherwise. So would the RPG, come to that, given that it claims the UEEF Marines kept using them and even preferred them over the Alpha fighter. (This was also true for the old comics, where the UEEF continued using the VF-1s thanks to comics being legally merchandise.)

I recall FTS, however the wing stations are empty (and they are in FoA episode to) which could put an operational limit on what it could carry during re-entry. FAST Packs are also in use in FTS comic, but not FoA episode. Really the VF-1 w/FAST Packs I would treat differently than a regular VF-1.

Seto wrote:
Carpenter's forces were a rear-echelon transport squadron operating outdated ships and equipment, not frontline troops... apples and oranges.

This maybe true in 2029-30, but the UEEF mission itself spans 2022-2044 we might even be able to push it back into the 2010s IF we include preliminary surveys mentioned in the timeline. Given ship classification and statements about possible inventory, this indicates the UEEF doctrine changed over the course of the mission.

Carpenter was willing to attempt to engage enemy capital ship with his ship weapons (not successfully), something the Ikazuchi and Garfish seemed to be reluctant to do (ignoring TSC's recton, but not in the 85Ep series) even though shooting down those Invid Transports might have made their job a bit easier.

Seto wrote:
Diplomacy seems to be a generally dead topic in the Robotech setting, races are either friendly or hostile... there generally isn't last-minute diplomacy from either side (thanks Leonard).

I'm not sure it is:
-Breetai engaged in diplomacy late in the series (x2; Gloval/SDF-1 and then later Reno)
-Regis essentially did engage in unofficially talks in Ep84-5 w/Scott's group
-the Invid had negotiated "deals" with Col. Wolfe, possibly NG#2 community (hard to say at that point), Noristown (NG#5), possibly even Dusty Ares (given they broke off attacks for him)
-Sentinel alliance requires diplomacy to have occurred at some point (current canon being what it is specifics aren't available, non-canon we know)
-the Invid Regent and Edwards engaged in secret diplomacy
-UEDC was willing to engage in diplomacy with the Zentreadi, after they fired their BFG.

Even the Masters where willing to attempt diplomacy late in the war (how honest they where, well thats open to interpretation), Emerson wanted to try it early on.

Seto wrote:
The problem there is more that, if the Alpha has similar propellant efficiency to the VF-1's OSM spec... well... it's not going to get very far on 480L. That'd be enough fuel for about 3 minutes and 24 seconds of maximum thrust before the tanks ran dry.

There are ways to get around it mathematically (and I might be missing some):
-increase the efficiency of the engines, we know protoculture is supposed to be more energy dense than nuclear (which the VF-1 engines are) and in general the more energy dense the fuel the more efficient it is. I went with the VF-1 as it would be a lower limit to what we should expect in terms of performance. If the engine is actually more efficient (as things seem to indicate it should) then it would increase the burn time. The main hang up here is: how much more efficient it should be.
-use a more dense material for reaction mass. The uRRG's selection of Heavy Water (D2O) would mean that from a mass perspective, they are getting more reaction mass into the same volume (almost 3kps out of an extra 72kg if we go this route) and you would get more burn time to boot.
-17.7kps might not sound like a lot, but the stock OSM VF-1A's internal capacity only allows for ~6.67kps (SLMH is more dense than slush-hydrogen this is why the heavier Alpha outclasses the VF-1 with a smaller volume.). Off hand that is pretty darn close (a bit short actually) to the total for every Delta-V maneuver of the SaturnV/Apollo-CSM/LM-A&D stack does in the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon back in July of '69.
-480L might not be total Alpha supply, there might be other locations on the craft that can double as tanks (ex. there might be room in the intakes to hold some*, the nose's leading edge/wing-strake, etc) increasing the supply and burn time
-we could also toss out using the VF-1 efficiency and calculate a new one based on assumed propellant capacity and burn time, since we have an idea of how much thrust the Alpha has
-I tend to treat the nozzle section of the math (thrust equation) as having zeroed out, this would be true for the VF-1 which appear to have a Linear Aerospike Nozzle inside the foot, but the Logan/Beta/Alpha appear to use more conventional bell nozzle which at a mechanical operational simple level means they are optimized for specific atmospheric pressures (could go more complex route mechanically to keep it zero I suppose), outside of which they either generate more/less thrust. So if these mecha nozzles are assumed to be optimized for sea level thrust, in vacuum of space their thrust would approximately increase by a factor x2-x5 (depending on the craft, and I did the math with plenty of assumed variables awhile ago)

How the Beta w/Alpha compares to this I don't know, a low ball estimate would be close. The Stack though can act as a staged rocket, meaning it will always be better than the respective individual parts.

*Shadow Drone's pop-up launchers shows they might have available volume, there might also be space between the engine proper and the outer edge.

Seto wrote:
You'd need a much bigger aircraft with much more internal fuel tank capacity to have a respectable range in space flight.

Here's the 1,000,000 PC Canister question: What is "respectable range" in space? Is it constant for each generation/era? I know HG has "short Legs" for the Alpha, but then has the Alpha fly what could be considered a "respectable range" in space in TSC (taking the animation at face value).

EDIT: added to math section


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Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2019 11:19 pm
  

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Knight

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Comment: "My theories appall you, my heresies outrage you, I never answer letters, and you don't like my tie."
ShadowLogan wrote:
I think it's best to move on given the information blackout we have. We have no idea really how the mission is performed, we have no idea what equipment is used (purpose built or existing adapted). We are more or less shooting in the dark.

This is, of course, an issue with the nonsensical attempt to Macross-ize the New Generation and Sentinels arcs by making the Pioneer Mission about more than just finding the homeworld of the Robotech Masters.



ShadowLogan wrote:
But with respect to the Alpha/Beta fighter. 1. AFAIK the UEEF doesn't have a dedicated reconnaissance craft (AHR-15 as depicted seems more like an EVA pod used by the UEEF in Sentinels OVA and Prelude). 2. The Alpha is known to be used for reconnaissance patrol (TSC) 3. 2E RPG does allow for uncommon (or non-main) variants in both families (TSC manga pg 113 for the Beta pg97 for the Alpha) though doesn't describe what they might be (wiggle room). 4. Fighters and Bombers have been converted for reconnaissance in the past.

Well... from the RPG's perspective, we could say they have a reconnaissance craft in the VEFR-1 via the UEEF Marines book's insistence that the Expeditionary Forces marines continued to use the VF-1. I know they slightly tweaked the name in the RPG, but it was designated as a multi-role electronic warning and reconnaissance craft originally.

TBH, I'm not sure I would call what we saw in RTSC "reconnaissance" since they appear to have been flying a BARCAP op instead of actually scouting anything. The Shadow Fighter would make a pretty awful reconnaissance aircraft since most of its sensors are passive and, its main radar field-of-view is typically fighter-esque, and its other sensors are fairly ill-suited to the task.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Perhaps, however it is sort of ambiguous in how it should be handled. There are certainly ways it could have been phrased better, and Conbat and Alpha requirements for their inclusion as survival mecha may not be synchronous when it happened either. What we know is that both designs are pretty old (2010s) and predate any dating related to the Cyclone (-03x series designed late 2020s) in the 2E RPG.

Given where it's mounted, it could've been a capability retrofitted into the Conbat... but it was always supposed to be something that was designed alongside the Alpha.



ShadowLogan wrote:
True, but they do have several known surface facilities to defend, so they would have to consider the planetary defense role (unless that is handled by some other human military group, who could still use UEEF hardware).

... there doesn't seem to be a separate planetary defense group, and the one time we see one of their surface installations attacked they do such a rubbish job of defending it that it would tend to bear out the idea that they're not equipped for planetary defense.



ShadowLogan wrote:
I recall FTS, however the wing stations are empty (and they are in FoA episode to) which could put an operational limit on what it could carry during re-entry. FAST Packs are also in use in FTS comic, but not FoA episode. Really the VF-1 w/FAST Packs I would treat differently than a regular VF-1.

The gunpod and FAST Packs were still mounted, and the connections for those are pretty comparable to the pylons and it shows that even theoretically volatile munitions like armor-piercing ammunition can survive the reentry unharmed.



ShadowLogan wrote:
This maybe true in 2029-30, but the UEEF mission itself spans 2022-2044 we might even be able to push it back into the 2010s IF we include preliminary surveys mentioned in the timeline. Given ship classification and statements about possible inventory, this indicates the UEEF doctrine changed over the course of the mission.

It doesn't so much point to a change in doctrine, IMO, as it does the uncomfortable realization that ships designed around pre-1st War assumptions about space combat proving to be useless.



ShadowLogan wrote:
I'm not sure it is:
-Breetai engaged in diplomacy late in the series (x2; Gloval/SDF-1 and then later Reno)
-Regis essentially did engage in unofficially talks in Ep84-5 w/Scott's group
-the Invid had negotiated "deals" with Col. Wolfe, possibly NG#2 community (hard to say at that point), Noristown (NG#5), possibly even Dusty Ares (given they broke off attacks for him)
-Sentinel alliance requires diplomacy to have occurred at some point (current canon being what it is specifics aren't available, non-canon we know)
-the Invid Regent and Edwards engaged in secret diplomacy
-UEDC was willing to engage in diplomacy with the Zentreadi, after they fired their BFG.

It should be noted that these aren't really examples of diplomacy, as the individuals in question were either not authorized to negotiate on behalf of their faction or basically weren't negotiating at all. They wouldn't have stopped the fighting... and "play ball or we kill you" isn't a negotiation, it's an ultimatum.

The only diplomacy that went on was between parties that were NEVER fighting each other... namely, between the UEEF and Sentinels aliens.



ShadowLogan wrote:
There are ways to get around it mathematically (and I might be missing some):

Whatever theories we might come up with, it can be concluded relatively safely that the difference in performance is not that significant given that the Alpha carries a statement about short range but the VF-1 doesn't.

Mind you, the Alpha's main problem here isn't a delta-v issue so much as an inability to even reach altitudes where its lacking endurance could become an issue in the first place.



Seto wrote:
You'd need a much bigger aircraft with much more internal fuel tank capacity to have a respectable range in space flight.

Here's the 1,000,000 PC Canister question: What is "respectable range" in space? Is it constant for each generation/era? I know HG has "short Legs" for the Alpha, but then has the Alpha fly what could be considered a "respectable range" in space in TSC (taking the animation at face value).[/quote]
Given the considerable artistic license in play WRT the distance between Earth and the Moon, taking the animation at face value is a BAD idea... unless, in this alternate reality, the moon is only a few thousand kilometers from Earth's surface.

Of course, as we'd both agree, calling this a range problem fundamentally misrepresents the nature of the problem since in a vacuum you don't need to apply constant thrust to achieve a constant velocity. It's not a question of how far you want to go but how fast you want to get there and how much maneuvering you intend to do.

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Zer0 Kay wrote:
Damn you for anticipating my question. I've really got to unfoe you, your information is far more valuable than my sanity when dealing with your blunt callousness. :)


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Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 12:18 am
  

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Knight

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Comment: "My theories appall you, my heresies outrage you, I never answer letters, and you don't like my tie."
xunk16 wrote:
Be it that you are waiting for Karbarrans to reform their industry, or that you must be careful in the expanses of material brought with your own Robotech Factories, the result is the same. You won't invest in something you think you can do without if it is going to increase the production value of each fighter unit.

... eh, maybe if they weren't doing their defense manufacturing out of a moon-sized fully-autonomous robotic factory capable of handling everything from mining raw materials to assembling complete ships and mecha with no assistance or intervention from meatbags. But, of course, they are. Several times over, in fact.

There are several instances of the UEEF building things which are obviously not value-added, seemingly just because they could. They built an entire fleet of emigrant ships after they'd already lost all access to Earth, and immediately mothballed them before the paint was even dry. They reworked their entire force to use technology they didn't understand. They built tanks that leave the operators exposed to enemy fire from every side except below. To say they have questionable judgement would be putting it very, VERY mildly.



xunk16 wrote:
However, something might sometime take a long while before getting recognized. A fanciful idea might become the only way to cope with a reality.
The history of technology is also full of these.

These are typically outliers... the overwhelming majority of the time, a bad idea is exactly what it appears to be. Not that that stops determined idiots from pursuing bad ideas to production anyway in their own arrogance or foolhardiness. History is replete with idiots giving answers to questions nobody asked and ignoring obvious problems.



xunk16 wrote:
The Beta eventually was extracted from the mothballs and put into service.
As much as it might be tempting to call this an inconsistency or a mystery, one who do run a RPG campaign must take it as it is.
Something must have motivated the enterprise.

"Something" could be the congenital idiocy of the UEEF command staff, desperate Zeon-esque throwing anything and everything at the wall to see what sticks, or simply some nutter in the UEEF brass unwilling to let go of his pet project.

That said, the GM of a RPG campaign literally DOESN'T have to take it as it is. That's the beauty of an RPG. Unless they're running a strict canon game, they can write the damn fighter out if they want to, or replace it with something else, or remedy its problems with houserule stats.



xunk16 wrote:
Unlimited budget, yes. Unlimited resources is impossible.

I didn't say unlimited resources, you did... but when you think about it, they technically did have functionally unlimited resources. They had a factory satellite (later multiple) and access to an entire solar system's worth of resources. It's a finite quantity, but it's such a massive finite quantity that it's effectively unlimited.



xunk16 wrote:
Taking the best personnel available might have shortened the timetable for the pioneer mission alright, but it also left the earth vulnerable to political shenanigans leading to the ASC's extortion racket. (Secondary canon, again, lead us to believe that even UEDF troops were often lead to clash with themselves as mercenaries for different polities.)

We're not really considering non-canon resources here... given that the bone of contention is something in the official setting, and the RT2E RPG is based on official setting.



xunk16 wrote:
The extraction, refining and production of resources themselves will slow during conflict. Civilians entering strikes against poor military management will also not help all that get into space. Malcontents managing to steal resources to rebuild Zentraedi mechas will not only stress the budget by doing so, but also by making the "washout" expand their own mechas and munitions against it. All these also represents costs.

But none of them were actually factors... the extraction and processing of raw materials by factory satellites is done by robot ships, there are no civilian laborers involved and even development is done in-house by the armed forces, the malcontents were basically wiped out with Khyron, and the guys minding the house had nothing better to do that get in bar brawls and otherwise behave badly.



xunk16 wrote:
I'm not speaking about direct protoculture detection here, but fold detection and other known method of space target tracking.
Shadow Tecchnology has nothing to do with it.
During the Macross Saga, fold events are presented as very energetic phenomenons. Be it from light emission, magnetic emissions, heat emissions, etc... The UEDF has no problems detecting a fold event in the limits of the solar system. In fact, even for a single ship, this kind of event is so remarkable as to be easily identified by the masters from many parsecs away. (Something the Zentraedi would have been able to tell the UEDF's leaders.)
Now even without directly knowing about protoculture, the UEEF would also have known that an active engine emits more heat than a turned off one. A bigger object takes longer to cool off and is easier to detect than a smaller one, etc...

Several corrections... the UEDF had no problem identifying a MASSIVE fleet's arrival, with many times more ships than the UEEF itself even possesses (and each of which is orders of magnitude bigger).

The Masters didn't identify a fold from many parsecs away, but a massive detonation of reflex furnaces on an apocalyptic and entirely unprecedented scale.

The Invid, on the other hand, don't seem to notice or care about fold jumps and don't seem to use any type of detection system besides protoculture sensors for their threat detection.



xunk16 wrote:
Furthermore, the UEEF's hardware was produced having the Zentraedi and Robotech Masters in mind. So the "fold" issue would have rated more importantly than anything protoculture related. Especially if you give credence to the possibility that there might still be rogue Zentraedis going around in the cosmos. (A suggestion that both the RPGs, the old comics, and the RNU take into account.)

More just the Masters, in the official setting... the Zentradi were effectively finished as a threat after Dolza's fleet went kaboom and by 2042 or so were on the brink of extinction.



xunk16 wrote:
Again. Heat. Radio signals. Radar Signatures.

File under "things their enemies don't seem to actually bother with".

The first actual effort at stealth was the Shadow Fighter... barring an obviously absurd claim made in AotSC that the Alpha was meant to be a passively stealthy aircraft via airframe shaping (ala the F-117), which just revealed that the fans contributing to that book didn't know how radars even work.

If this were the OSM, you'd have a fair point though... but the Macross OSM has passive and active stealth technologies being fairly commonplace from the word "go".



xunk16 wrote:
So... UEEF ships are never damaged enough that air drag and atmospheric friction would become too much stress for atmospheric re-entry?

They're basically flying bricks... so unless the reentry is uncontrolled (a crash), there's not going to be a ton of difference there.



xunk16 wrote:
All depending on if you take Palladium seriously on their intent of making all their books more-or-less retro-compatible. Which would then include 1st ed.

Palladium was specifically barred from including 1e content in 2e, so I wouldn't go claiming that that makes 1e content admissible... esp. since HG considers 1e to not be Robotech at all.



xunk16 wrote:
As likely as it is that the production of Beta could be called off again, it seems unlikely that the produced units wouldn't be used to death on the field for economical reasons. Leading potentially to a LEP such as the one described in this topic from the beginning.
Would that be also a failure leading to the immediate recall and recycling of all Beta during the Shadow Chronicle era?

Amusingly, in the development of Shadow Chronicles they were originally going to introduce a new fighter set to replace the Alpha AND Beta.

Budget, unfortunately, dictated the plot there.



xunk16 wrote:
As we remember, otherwise unpractical projects tends to see the light of day despite reason in RT. The Grand Canon being a fine example.

The Grand Cannon was pretty damned effective, all told... accounting for nearly a million ships in a single shot. The problem is that, in the Macross OSM and Robotech's official setting, only one was in working order at the time of the final Zentradi offensive. There were at least two in Robotech's official setting, and five in the Macross OSM.

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Zer0 Kay wrote:
Damn you for anticipating my question. I've really got to unfoe you, your information is far more valuable than my sanity when dealing with your blunt callousness. :)


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