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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:17 am
  

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Knight

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Seto wrote:
Eh... they kind of were, because they were developing Robotech: the Shadow Chronicles as a sort of conclusion to the unfinished Robotech II: the Sentinels storyline.

True, but again this comes back to a choice HG makes. It's like they want to make things hard on themselves. After all they could have also thrown out RT2 completely in the reset, or enough to give them some freedom (like the OVA, but keep some of the general details but leave specifics out).

Seto wrote:
Eh... remember, Tommy tried that first one. It was called the VF-13 Delta Fighter and it never made it past the rough draft stage because, well, Tommy is no mechanical designer. Designing a fighter that transforms sensibly into a robot with a minimum of anime magic and that can be readily adapted into toys and models is HARD, which is why there are so few designers who can do it well and is also why so many of them moonlight in toy design as well. It's a skill that comes with a high price tag, which is why Robotech has never been able to afford it.

They couldn't use something like the fanmade VF-7 Sylphid either, because it just copied the VF-1's transformation practically whole-cloth and that'd get them sued for copyright infringement.

I thought it was called the Gamma Fighter and not the Delta? But in any case to use the YF-4/Conbat merging is unlikely if for nothing else than legal? Now adays they are likely better off going with the fighter that appeared in Col. Wolfe's Flashback* (not the Sylphid from TRM saga). Getting a transforming design is possible with either candidate, I am not saying it's easy or hard, but it seems like HG if they are going to do new projects with new mecha (especially veritechs) they really needs to add someone to the staff who can do this sort of thing.

There was a discussion some time ago on the old RDFHQ message boards about WFbF being a possible Veritech given design elements that could be discerned in the still shot coupled with a Toy from another line that shared similarities. This isn't the place to discuss that option though, but it has been looked at in the past in the fandom atleast once.

*Robotech Research's Picture Archive classifies it as REF Type 1 aircraft (picture archive), the uRRG calls it the AF-4 Volcano.

Seto wrote:
Considering they were convinced it was utterly impossible until they found Dr. Zand's Haydonite data-based notes indicating it wasn't? They'd probably never have gotten there, since they would have been wiped out attacking Earth in 2044.

A. The UEEF thought it was impossible because of Zand (prior to his disappearance)
B. Science does come with independent testing to confirm the results, which AFAIK has not happened for whatever reason.

Seto wrote:
That doesn't really make sense when you think about it, but then each of them is independently even worse against the Invid than the Alpha is..

Actually it does make some sense. As you point out independently the Conbat/Condor are worse against the Invid than the Alpha, so if you can replace two mecha with one design better suited to the enemy...

Seto wrote:
Given what we've seen, I don't think a shift in doctrine is a viable explanation there. What we see is not a shift in priorities but an across-the-board decline in capability in every role, sharp increases in the number of roles that AREN'T properly filled, the emergence of designs that are clearly overspecialized, and a rise of designs with frankly obvious fatal flaws.

I do not think doctrine is a perfect explanation (RT being what it is), but to me it makes far more sense than some technology backslide that is non-existent given various things one can point to that show technology has either (at worst) stagnated or (more likely) advanced.

While it is also true there is a capability gap from 1st Gen from certain POV, that capability gap does not have its origin in the absence of technology that humans lost. We know they can produce Earth-SSTO designs, BVR missiles, use of external hard points, etc. That means the capability gap is really not driven by a technology backslide in terms of what the UEEF/ASC CAN PUT OUT, but what it CHOOSES to put out. And there is a big difference in what can be done vs what one chooses to do. This means that the Doctrine of the ASC/UEEF is what is driving the technology they choose to put out and in what form and even how they chose to use the hardware.

I do not dispute that there are flaws in the designs of some mecha or needless designs. However the driving factor here is not technology, the issues in terms of flaws we know can/could be addressed. What we do not know is why the "flaws" are introduced in the first place. There could be reasons those "flaws" exist, and they only seem like flaws because we are looking at it from an incorrect POV based on incorrect assumptions. Can these "flaws" be given plausible explanations (perfect explanation is unlikely given RT's nature)?

The needless designs I suspect is more politically driven, each ASC "branch" wants its own take on mecha (even though a variant based on existing design likely could be done quicker and cheaper).


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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:23 am
  

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Peacebringer wrote:
Yeah; I pulled out my Zentraedi source-book today; Zentraedi warships were so packed with crews and soldiers, it's like a game of Star Control.

One question I do have is, who repairs and runs the ships? The only OCC for a Zentraedi PC is soldier. Do they run the ships until they can no longer fight or, is there something aboard their ships we haven't seen yet like robots or a caste-system of tech-Traedi?

In 1E I think they are expected to just use the hardware for a period of time before returning for repairs at a Factor Satellite.

Zentreadi soldiers do run the ship and systems, but these are specialists for assigned roles. Which the RPG might not have given OCCs (look at Exedore in the NPC section, he essentially is the template to wing an Advisor OCC).


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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:49 am
  

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Peacebringer wrote:
Yeah; I pulled out my Zentraedi source-book today; Zentraedi warships were so packed with crews and soldiers, it's like a game of Star Control.

Yeah, it got less bad in 2nd Ed. but it’s still pretty extreme.

When I worked backwards from the fleet composition given for the Boddole Zer main fleet in the original Super Dimension Fortress Macross, I got an average crew size of roughly 1,500 on the average-sized warship. RT2E cites about twice that number.

Of course, Palladium also weirdly insists that most of the troops are kept in stasis… something that was never a thing in Macross or Robotech.



Peacebringer wrote:
One question I do have is, who repairs and runs the ships? The only OCC for a Zentraedi PC is soldier. Do they run the ships until they can no longer fight or, is there something aboard their ships we haven't seen yet like robots or a caste-system of tech-Traedi?

Well, the Zentradi absolutely run their own ships. We see the bridge crews and often see the bird’s eye view of the Command Information Center on Vrlitwhai’s (Britai’s) ship, and we know from in-series dialog and some remarks in Perfect Memory that the gun turrets are also individually manned. The RT2E RPG includes a MOS for ship crews for Zentradi ships.

Repair is a stickier wicket. In Macross, some Zentradi ships are indicated to have a limited ability to autonomously self-repair, but for the most part the concept of repairing damage is not really part of the Zentradi mindset. Battle damage just accumulates until a ship or mecha can’t function anymore and then the ship or mecha is either broken down for materials recycling or it gets abandoned on the battlefield, depending on the circumstances. One of the things that the Zentradi found to be a real mindf*ck about humans - and one of the things that convinced them that this new alien race they’d found might be their long-vanished creators in the original story - was that they were able to not just make new things but make old broken things work again.

You probably noticed from the series that the battle damage on Vrlitwhai’s (Britai’s) ship stayed around until it was refurbished by the Earth forces after the war ended. That wasn’t because it wasn’t possible for the Zentradi to repair the damage… they didn’t know how, and repair wasn’t part of their mindset.

That said, this wasn’t much of a problem for the Zentradi in most respects. The main fleets have the logistical support of dozens of automated factory satellites (and arsenal planets in the SDF Macross series) which build a massive and unending stream of replacement war materiel that including warships, mecha, soldiers, and ammunition. In Macross, Zentradi technology is so incredibly robust thanks to who developed it and half a million years of refinement by the factory satellites that it will essentially run forever without needing maintenance until battle damage puts an end to it. Quamzin’s Glaug battle pod was built sometime before 278,000 BCE and sat in an armament warehouse after the destruction of the factory satellites building the Glaug until about 1691 BCE, when the warehouse was found again by the Boddole Zer main fleet. By the time it was in Quamzin’s possession, it had been out of the warehouse for 3,700 years and it was over 280,000 years old and still in perfect working order. (This isn’t even one of the more extreme examples of the ancient Protoculture’s Ragnarok-proof tech in Macross, a fair amount of their technology is found still functional after half a million years or more of neglect.)

Quamzin (RT: Khyron) does a fair amount of evil gloating about how he’s going to wreak his revenge on those dastardly Earthlings once he’s finished repairing the ship his renegades were busy salvaging out in the hinterlands using the knowledge of repairing technology they learned from the humans. They do successfully repair that ship and use it in their suicidal attack on the SDF-1.

This detail about repairs isn’t as significant in Robotech, but is still very much present.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:05 am
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
True, but again this comes back to a choice HG makes. It's like they want to make things hard on themselves. After all they could have also thrown out RT2 completely in the reset, or enough to give them some freedom (like the OVA, but keep some of the general details but leave specifics out).

As much as RT2 is a sacred cow to the fans… I don’t think so.

You saw how much people flipped their sh*t over things like removing protoculture from the first two generations of mecha. You know fans would go BERSERK if they messed with RT2. Just getting the series finished is the #1 fan request of the last three decades.



ShadowLogan wrote:
I thought it was called the Gamma Fighter and not the Delta?

You’re right, it was Gamma not Delta.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Getting a transforming design is possible with either candidate, I am not saying it's easy or hard, but it seems like HG if they are going to do new projects with new mecha (especially veritechs) they really needs to add someone to the staff who can do this sort of thing.

That’s more an administrative quibble… they have to be willing to spend the money to hire that kind of expert, and it doesn’t come cheap. Harmony Gold wants to make Robotech on the cheap, so… y’know… can’t have it both ways.

They’ve had people TRY, like Tommy did with the Gamma Fighter, the Hover Cyclone, the Ark Angel-class, etc. and the guys who did the short-lived and fatally ill-considered design work on Robotech Academy, but the results were inevitably poorly received because they just don’t have that incredibly elusive talent to make a believable transforming mecha and/or because the result was too obviously Macross-derivative to use.



ShadowLogan wrote:
This isn't the place to discuss that option though, but it has been looked at in the past in the fandom atleast once.

Forgive my brutal frankness, but the fandom has been wanting for new material for so long that EVERY conceivable option (and several inconceivable ones) has been explored, chewed over, and become the subject of bitter flame wars.



ShadowLogan wrote:
A. The UEEF thought it was impossible because of Zand (prior to his disappearance)
B. Science does come with independent testing to confirm the results, which AFAIK has not happened for whatever reason.

The UEEF’s in-house scientists are pretty bad at the science part of their jobs…



ShadowLogan wrote:
Actually it does make some sense. As you point out independently the Conbat/Condor are worse against the Invid than the Alpha, so if you can replace two mecha with one design better suited to the enemy…

But together they’re still horrible against the Invid,as their respective flaws don’t cancel each other out… you get additive suck instead.



ShadowLogan wrote:
I do not think doctrine is a perfect explanation (RT being what it is), but to me it makes far more sense than some technology backslide that is non-existent given various things one can point to that show technology has either (at worst) stagnated or (more likely) advanced.

Stagnated is pretty charitable considering some of what we see… there’s just so much obviously idiotic engineering going on.



ShadowLogan wrote:
While it is also true there is a capability gap from 1st Gen from certain POV, that capability gap does not have its origin in the absence of technology that humans lost. We know they can produce Earth-SSTO designs, BVR missiles, use of external hard points, etc. That means the capability gap is really not driven by a technology backslide in terms of what the UEEF/ASC CAN PUT OUT, but what it CHOOSES to put out.

Some of that technology doesn’t appear again until decades after the last example of it. To me, that points to it having to be redeveloped, or that they failed to adapt it to new energy sources so they effectively regressed by losing capability.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Can these "flaws" be given plausible explanations (perfect explanation is unlikely given RT's nature)?

The only ones I can think of involve inbreeding or ingestion of unwise amounts of alcoholic libations. A ship that can’t shoot off its port side? A carrier that can’t recover fighters? A high speed ground vehicle with an open cab and no restraints?

Clearly one of the lost advances of generations past was the Occupational Health and Safety Administration.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:28 am
  

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Seto Kaiba wrote:
A carrier that can’t recover fighters?


A what now? I feel like I've missed something...

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:51 pm
  

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Peacebringer wrote:
In the Zentraedi source-book, I believe it stated that every Zentraedi is issued a battle-pod; that's how many they have.


I'd say that's the equipment of Zentradi player characters, rather than the literal equipment of every individual Zentradi in-universe.

Peacebringer wrote:
One question I do have is, who repairs and runs the ships? The only OCC for a Zentraedi PC is soldier. Do they run the ships until they can no longer fight or, is there something aboard their ships we haven't seen yet like robots or a caste-system of tech-Traedi?


Classes for PCs would be limited to those most useful for play rather than representing every possible Zentradi job. The 2E Macross Saga Sourcebook has an "Auxiliary Specialist" class that covers repair and operations. That said, the show shows Zentradi starships in bad repair, so I assume their crews return them to robot factories when they're damaged. (I doubt they literally wait until the ships are completely nonfunctional.)


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:42 pm
  

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@Seto
Re: Sentinels.

At this point there isn't much to say, for the most part its hypothetical shoulda/woulda/coulda. Part of the fandom might not like tossing out Sentinels, but then again given what HG would have to do to animate the Sentinels likely means some fans are still not going to like it.

Re: Tech vs Doctrine
Seto wrote:
there’s just so much obviously idiotic engineering going on.

I do not dispute there are cases of this, but IMHO it does not appear to be due to loss of technology (or "technology backslide") they could have put into the designs. This is purely doctrine/requirements driven that decided what technology they put in. Ex. Earth-SSTO and BVR missiles for the Alpha could have been dropped from the design due to requirements vs lack of technology. In fact this seems to be the case when you consider the YF-4 was a design competitor to the Alpha prototype, assuming the YF-4 "breathtaking" performance is similar to the OSM). And as the Alpha is this way (based on its YF-4 competitor) it sets precedent for other designs that requirements drove choices in the design rather than any available technology.

Seto wrote:
A ship that can’t shoot off its port side? A carrier that can’t recover fighters? A high speed ground vehicle with an open cab and no restraints?

I'm drawing blank on the port-side thing, but that isn't a technology thing given we have examples of turrets that can traverse so it isn't a technology backslide thing, its what they chose to put in to the design.

Garfish/Ikazuchi fighter recovery has to be possible in some form when you get down to it, without such a feature how did the units get onboard in a launch position in the first place. Garfish recovery might look like ASC ship recovery, or it might not. Ikazuchi could look like a spacewalk returning to the airlock, at least for the QLBs.

The VHT restraint thing is an issue, but is it because the hardware doesn't exist OR pilots just not using them (VF pilots IIRC don't exactly strap in either)? As for the open cab, motorcycle racing is known to go as fast (if not faster) than the VHT in transport mode is capable of and the riders don't exactly have a cab either (the same applies to the Cyclone). For an open crew station on an armored vehicle also isn't unheard of, at least historically (US WWII Tank Destroyers had open/semi-open turrets, which was not limited to the US designs some of which didn't have a turret). The open nature of the VHT is an issue, but it also depends on how/when the modes where expected to be used when the unit was designed vs how it ended up used in the show.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:24 pm
  

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ESalter wrote:
Classes for PCs would be limited to those most useful for play rather than representing every possible Zentradi job. The 2E Macross Saga Sourcebook has an "Auxiliary Specialist" class that covers repair and operations. That said, the show shows Zentradi starships in bad repair, so I assume their crews return them to robot factories when they're damaged. (I doubt they literally wait until the ships are completely nonfunctional.)

The Auxiliary class doesn't exactly cover repair, what it has is actually a Salvage/Recycling officer MOS that's for Zentradi who are tasked with cutting up battle damaged ships or mecha so that their materials can be reclaimed and used to produce new gear. RT2E does make one reference to ships being repaired by factory satellites, but mostly emphasizes that Everything is Disposable part of the Zentradi mentality.



ShadowLogan wrote:
At this point there isn't much to say, for the most part its hypothetical shoulda/woulda/coulda. Part of the fandom might not like tossing out Sentinels, but then again given what HG would have to do to animate the Sentinels likely means some fans are still not going to like it.

It's pretty much a lose-lose scenario, which is another reason they'll leave it alone. They can do no right in the eyes of the fanbase when it comes to Sentinels, because there's been so much in the way of anticipation and hopes for it that nothing they could ever make even with an unlimited budget would ever live up to it.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Re: Tech vs Doctrine
Seto wrote:
there’s just so much obviously idiotic engineering going on.

I do not dispute there are cases of this, but IMHO it does not appear to be due to loss of technology (or "technology backslide") they could have put into the designs. This is purely doctrine/requirements driven that decided what technology they put in. Ex. Earth-SSTO and BVR missiles for the Alpha could have been dropped from the design due to requirements vs lack of technology.

This, IMO, doesn't really scan when you think about what the Alpha was developed for... this was a main fighter for planetary assault operations. It's made to escort troop transport shuttles down to a planet's surface and operate as close air support for those troops on the ground. It makes no rational sense that an aircraft built for this purpose is incapable of supporting a retreat back to orbit if the landing operation runs into problems. Retreating shuttles would be left without air cover on the flight back to orbit while the valuable escorts would be stranded planetside without logistical support, to be wiped out by the enemy. For this to be a strictly voluntary loss of capability doesn't make sense. It would mean they literally, strategically and tactically, forgot that retreat was a possibility. To not have this capability without being insane would mean that they were simply unable to achieve this capability.



ShadowLogan wrote:
In fact this seems to be the case when you consider the YF-4 was a design competitor to the Alpha prototype, assuming the YF-4 "breathtaking" performance is similar to the OSM). And as the Alpha is this way (based on its YF-4 competitor) it sets precedent for other designs that requirements drove choices in the design rather than any available technology.

They're not exactly presented as direct competitors in canon... the focus shifted from the YF-4 to VF-X-6 after the YF-4 program was suspended, but they weren't being run concurrently and the take in the HG-blessed RT2E fluff (while not 100% reliable) suggests the Alpha program was originally an unmanned fighter program intended to replace the Ghost that was later reworked as a manned fighter after the YF-4 program was terminated.

Titan's hot take on the situation is something a "dear god, why?" aimed at that decision, armed with the benefit of hindsight thanks to universe-jumping time travel. The Alpha was not necessarily a better fighter or even a better fit for requirements. Someone in power saw the YF-4's price tag and got sticker shock, and the VF-X-6 ended up filling the void it left by default because it had a lower price tag and could be adjusted without compromising the apparently-inflexible delivery timeline for the Pioneer mission.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Seto wrote:
A ship that can’t shoot off its port side? A carrier that can’t recover fighters? A high speed ground vehicle with an open cab and no restraints?

I'm drawing blank on the port-side thing, but that isn't a technology thing given we have examples of turrets that can traverse so it isn't a technology backslide thing, its what they chose to put in to the design.

That's the Ikazuchi-class. Some brilliant soul designed a warship that literally can't shoot to port with most of its turrets. The turrets are the same 360-degree traversal capable ones mounted in other parts of the hull... there's just an obstruction covering 180 degrees of their arc of fire. That's not a requirements problem, that's just pants-on-head idiocy. Same as a lack of seatbelts on a high speed vehicle with no roll cage or protection for the driver, etc.



ShadowLogan wrote:
The VHT restraint thing is an issue, but is it because the hardware doesn't exist OR pilots just not using them (VF pilots IIRC don't exactly strap in either)? As for the open cab, motorcycle racing is known to go as fast (if not faster) than the VHT in transport mode is capable of and the riders don't exactly have a cab either (the same applies to the Cyclone).

A 300lb racing motorcycle rolling over on you will break a limb or two... perhaps less if you're wearing a hardshell riding suit like what the Cyclone riders are wearing.

A rollover accident with a 58,200lb tank? That's a bit less survivable. If you end up under it, congrats... you're going to be crushed into a fine red paste.

A crash that throws the driver free on a motorbike doesn't leave the operator much space to get air. The much larger tank? That's more of a pivot arm to throw you and inflict greater injuries... and a lot more potential for a big heavy tank to roll over you afterwards.



ShadowLogan wrote:
For an open crew station on an armored vehicle also isn't unheard of, at least historically (US WWII Tank Destroyers had open/semi-open turrets, which was not limited to the US designs some of which didn't have a turret). The open nature of the VHT is an issue, but it also depends on how/when the modes where expected to be used when the unit was designed vs how it ended up used in the show.

Tank destroyer crew compartments were usually armored on four sides and just had an open top. This is rather different.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:15 pm
  

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If the Zentraedi ships were automated with respect to repairs, why not just have the Zentraedi replaced by machines?

You're probably right; there are repair/damage-control/tech OCCs that weren't covered in 1e.

I took a quick glance at 1e and they had to roll for alignment, only four options, which were evil and selfish; not if I were the Masters, I'd want an army of Aberrant soldiers; a Zentraedi ship/ military force would resemble a bunch of criminals and convicts; now, either the Masters lost control or they were incompetent (or both).

Anyways: I've always wanted to run a Zentraedi-based game where all the PCs were Zentraedi and had to live and interact in Zentraedi-society; I never thought of them fighting the RDF or even the Invid but another enemy. I need to fight some good graphics of a Zentraedi-style ship interior to make a map.

BTW, the Zentraedi 1e was the first RPG book I ever bought.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:29 am
  

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Peacebringer wrote:
If the Zentraedi ships were automated with respect to repairs, why not just have the Zentraedi replaced by machines?

Well, the self-repair capability that some Zentradi ships are indicated to have in the OSM is very limited. It’s not like it can repair any battle damage no matter how severe, and the repairs that it produces are not always enough to fully restore operation either. It’s mainly for things like fixing hull breaches and damage to control circuits, since Zentradi tech in the OSM is at least partially organic. For instance, the Boddole Zer mobile fortress’s main gun had sustained a lot of battle damage over its 120,000 year service life, and its limited self-repair ability had restored the gun enough to fire exactly once before it would go offline again.

Repair at factory satellites is a thing that is only in the RT RPG, so the implications there are a bit of a mystery.

As to why not replace the Zentradi with machines… well, there are two reasons for that:
  • In the original Macross, the ancient Protoculture who created the Zentradi essentially saw the Zentradi as machines. They were regarded as biological automata created to wage wars on the Protoculture’s behalf, produced and programmed en masse in factories, and every bit as disposable as the ships and mecha their automated factories churned out by the millions. They weren’t people, they were military hardware. Nowhere is this quite so blatant as the Protoculture response to the standard-issue male Zentradi being unable to handle the Queadluun-Rau. Their response wasn’t to make the mecha easier to handle, they just went and built a better pilot. This probably holds reasonably true in the Robotech version as well, given that the Invid suggest the Masters see the Zentradi as slaves (or worse) and the Zentradi still canonically live by their OSM “we have reserves, everything is replaceable” mentality.
  • The other reason is that high-end technological AI’s a bit of a cr*pshoot. In Macross, the technology to produce an AI that is as responsive and unpredictable as a meatbag pilot is VERY unstable and tends to eventually result in self-aware AIs that exhibit self-preservation behaviors and become mentally unstable. We saw this in Macross Plus with Sharon Apple, who went berserk shortly after being outfitted with a bioneural processor to fully realize her potential as an AI. Safer AIs suffer from predictable behaviors that give living pilots an edge. Cloning was a lot faster and more resource-efficient, and since memories and training could be downloaded right into the clone’s brain during the cloning process it was a lot easier to make a clone army which would fight more adaptably than an army of AIs. (The Macross Galaxy fleet from the Macross Frontier series tried to come up with some alternatives, but that mostly involved the ghoulish practice of installing combat AIs into cybernetically augmented people or creating bio-androids by reprogramming the salvaged brains of the freshly dead and installing them in cyborg bodies.

    In Robotech, AI seems to be a lot rarer and more finicky. The Masters Saga waffles a bit on whether the Bioroid pilots are clones or bioandroids as a way of talking around the much darker truth in the original where they were brainwashed humans, but other than that AIs are very rare, rudimentary, and/or unstable.



Peacebringer wrote:
I took a quick glance at 1e and they had to roll for alignment, only four options, which were evil and selfish; not if I were the Masters, I'd want an army of Aberrant soldiers; a Zentraedi ship/ military force would resemble a bunch of criminals and convicts; now, either the Masters lost control or they were incompetent (or both).

When you think about it, as a highly-trained, highly disciplined, rigorously drilled military that very literally lives and dies by teamwork and the military rulebook… the Zentradi’s default alignement ought to be Principled. Their lives are founded on following the chain of command, collaborating as a unit, rigidly obeying regulations (ie military law), and so on. They don’t have the concept of torture or material wealth, etc. The only area where they don’t quite fit the core rulebook’s terms for Principled is that they’ll attack an unarmed foe. They’re an army (literally) of consummate professional soldiers because military life is literally all they know.

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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: Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:04 am
  

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Peacebringer wrote:
If the Zentraedi ships were automated with respect to repairs, why not just have the Zentraedi replaced by machines?


I'd guess they weren't: they had to return to a factory satellite, whose automated systems were only capable switching out major modules, so: no minor repairs.

Peacebringer wrote:
I took a quick glance at 1e and they had to roll for alignment, only four options, which were evil and selfish; not if I were the Masters, I'd want an army of Aberrant soldiers; a Zentraedi ship/ military force would resemble a bunch of criminals and convicts; now, either the Masters lost control or they were incompetent (or both).


I think the alignments were developed for earlier games and Siembieda just imposed them on Robotech. I don't think they're a good fit. (I think the Recon alignments might work well for a military game.)

Peacebringer wrote:
I need to fight some good graphics of a Zentraedi-style ship interior to make a map.


  • Doesn't the 1E Zentraedi book have deck plans?
  • The 1E Ghost Ship adventure had a map of a small starship, but it might have just been a partial copy of the Zentraedi book map. (The adventure was pretty bad, in any case.)
  • Macross II had a series of deck plan books, and the Macross II manga shares some designs with "The Macross Saga," but I don't know any more details.
  • If you're looking for interior drawings, the Visual Archive has some, albeit small.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:12 pm
  

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Seto wrote:
It makes no rational sense that an aircraft built for this purpose is incapable of supporting a retreat back to orbit if the landing operation runs into problems.

I agree it makes no sense from the OSM perspective of Mars invading Earth.

From a Robotech Perspective it makes quasi-sense with available data, but there are possibilities to explain it:
-1. the beaten to death TSC scene is "accurate" and the Alpha Family does have the Delta-V as I've been saying for years
-2. the early Alpha family members (non-H/I/Z/S/X) DID have this capacity, but it was dropped for some other requirement added later we see on later model (H/I/Z/S/X).
-3. Extra-Solar Planetary Data provided by the Zentreadi shows that an Earth-SSTO-level was an un-needed feature (Lunar or Martian-SSTO is much lower than Earth's) on worlds they expect to visit
-4. Some other means is provided that allows the Alpha to handle Earth-SSTO escapes that we DO NOT KNOW ABOUT.

This is made the worse by the fact that we don't even know how much Delta-V the Alpha/Legoiss actually has, along with what it uses for reaction mass and where it is stored. We know it has to be somewhere between ~4.6kps (uncontested AFAIK in animation display/implied) and ~9.2kps (statements about Earth-orbital capacity).

Seto wrote:
They're not exactly presented as direct competitors in canon... the focus shifted from the YF-4 to VF-X-6 after the YF-4 program was suspended, but they weren't being run concurrently and the take in the HG-blessed RT2E fluff (while not 100% reliable) suggests the Alpha program was originally an unmanned fighter program intended to replace the Ghost that was later reworked as a manned fighter after the YF-4 program was terminated.

While the YF-4 isn't a direct competitor to the VF-X-6, the designs are roughly concurrent or close enough (FTS* comic/gn has both flying prototypes in 2015) that from a technology standpoint the technology that went into the design of the YF-4 would still be available to put in the VF-X-6 since there is no indication that the YF-4 could not be built because they lost the ability to produce given technologies.

By the 2E RPG timeline the YF-4 is shelved in 2015, with the Alpha program entering testing that same year (agreeing with FTS in terms of dates). The RPG also alludes to the Wraith project going back to 2011, and the YF-4 being shelved due to cost and "changing tactical needs" (pg96manga TSC RPG). Nothing about the UEG losing the ability to produce technology capable of doing certain missions. This means any technology available for the YF-4 in theory could make its way into the VF-X-6 eliminating the notion of a loss of raw technological ability and reinforcing the notion of doctrine driving the requirements that selected the technology they put into the design.

*FTS's SB says the Alpha is more maneuverable than the YF-4 (which if we account for the Alpha's JG engines in T/W rather than just the ATF engines would be true).

Re: Ikazuchi and VHT
These issues seem less of a technology backslide in terms of what they could do and more of a WTH are they thinking. The Ikazcuchi definatly falls into this category, the turrets are still 360deg capable which means no loss in technological ability and more in terms of WTH is the designer thinking (this could indicate the turrets are a late addition, or the "Galactic Code"** doesn't allow for attacking ships on the Port side for some reason).

The VHT is filled with WTH are they thinking, but nothing here is a direct result of loss of technology ability given the VHT's known VT contemporaries in the VF-4/5/6/7/8 show they had the technology to produce an enclosed crew station on variable mecha, which means it is not a lack of technology but rather doctroine/requirements that drove the VHT to have such an open cockpit in 2-modes (which also is done on the VHT-2 and VM-9 Silverback). While Tank Destroys did enclose on 4 sides, they still left the crew open from above, so there is precedent for the notion of a "semi-open crew station" on an armored vehicle, and there are self-propelled artillery that require the crew to get out to fire fire their BFG. This means the exposed nature of the VHT crew member is not without precedent, even if we agree it is a bad idea.

**Galactic Code is referenced in "Viva Miryia" when discussing searching the derelict ship en-route to the RFS as a reason NOT to search the ship, along with it being a possible Trojan Horse. The details of this "Galactic Code" aren't brought up again, so who knows what else is in it.

ESalter wrote:
Doesn't the 1E Zentraedi book have deck plans?
The 1E Ghost Ship adventure had a map of a small starship, but it might have just been a partial copy of the Zentraedi book map. (The adventure was pretty bad, in any case.)
Macross II had a series of deck plan books, and the Macross II manga shares some designs with "The Macross Saga," but I don't know any more details.

1E Zetnreadi book had deckplans for the 3 big ships (Flag, Command, Landing) leaving out the 2 smaller ships (Destroyer and Scout). The "Ghost Ship supplement added the Scout ship-class.

I don't know if I'd consider the Mac2 Deck plans very good, at best they look more like "zones", this area is a hangar this one is engines, etc. I think the RT plans (Zent, SDF-3, Ikazuchi) are more "detailed" than the Mac2 plans, especially when you compare overlaping ship types (Zen. Flag, Cmd, Landing).


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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:08 pm
  

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ESalter wrote:
Peacebringer wrote:
I need to fight some good graphics of a Zentraedi-style ship interior to make a map.


  • Doesn't the 1E Zentraedi book have deck plans?
  • The 1E Ghost Ship adventure had a map of a small starship, but it might have just been a partial copy of the Zentraedi book map. (The adventure was pretty bad, in any case.)
  • Macross II had a series of deck plan books, and the Macross II manga shares some designs with "The Macross Saga," but I don't know any more details.
  • If you're looking for interior drawings, the Visual Archive has some, albeit small.

Yeah, 1E had some rudimentary deck plans for the Zentradi ships.

The Macross II: Deck Plans books that Dream Pod 9 did for Palladium's Macross II RPG do cover several different classes of Zentradi warships. That said, what's presented therein aren't the standard versions of those ships used by the Zentradi Army. What they show are the improved versions of Zentradi warship the Mardook produce for their mind-controlled Zentradi and the retrofits that the UN Forces have made to Zentradi ships that either defected to their side or were captured during the various wars they've fought with the Zentradi over the 80+ years since the First Space War. For most purposes, the ones in Deck Plans have been retrofitted for miclone (human-sized) crews.

Macross: Perfect Memory has some production art showing interior detail of several of the Zentradi ships seen in the series. Scans are fairly easy to find. The "Visual Archive" book is basically a low-quality reprint of Perfect Memory missing about 2/3 of its content.



ShadowLogan wrote:
I agree it makes no sense from the OSM perspective of Mars invading Earth.

From a Robotech Perspective it makes quasi-sense with available data, but there are possibilities to explain it:
-1. the beaten to death TSC scene is "accurate" and the Alpha Family does have the Delta-V as I've been saying for years

Which isn't viable for reasons that we've discussed in depth many times, like the significant artistic license the "movie" takes with the distance between Earth and its moon.



ShadowLogan wrote:
-2. the early Alpha family members (non-H/I/Z/S/X) DID have this capacity, but it was dropped for some other requirement added later we see on later model (H/I/Z/S/X).

... dude, why would you even propose that? You're supposed to be trying to avoid explanations that require the UEEF to exhibit either suicidal insanity or a deliberate disregard for the lives of its troops.



ShadowLogan wrote:
-3. Extra-Solar Planetary Data provided by the Zentreadi shows that an Earth-SSTO-level was an un-needed feature (Lunar or Martian-SSTO is much lower than Earth's) on worlds they expect to visit

Unlikely, given that Sentinels ran with the standard sci-fi trope that all planets are Earthlike... and Tirol, the intended operating environment, was definitely Earthlike.



ShadowLogan wrote:
-4. Some other means is provided that allows the Alpha to handle Earth-SSTO escapes that we DO NOT KNOW ABOUT.

Which is explicitly not the case.



ShadowLogan wrote:
This is made the worse by the fact that we don't even know how much Delta-V the Alpha/Legoiss actually has, along with what it uses for reaction mass and where it is stored. We know it has to be somewhere between ~4.6kps (uncontested AFAIK in animation display/implied) and ~9.2kps (statements about Earth-orbital capacity).

It's generally irrelevant, given that it's an established fact it can't even achieve suborbital flight trajectories.



ShadowLogan wrote:
While the YF-4 isn't a direct competitor to the VF-X-6, the designs are roughly concurrent or close enough (FTS* comic/gn has both flying prototypes in 2015) that from a technology standpoint the technology that went into the design of the YF-4 would still be available to put in the VF-X-6 since there is no indication that the YF-4 could not be built because they lost the ability to produce given technologies.

A point of order, the prototypes flying at that point were at radically different levels of completion. The YF-4 was nearing completion, while the VF-X-6 being flown was the first prototype.

You're also assuming the VF-X-6's powerplant could provide the requisite levels of performance to support the technologies developed for the YF-4, which may not be the case.



ShadowLogan wrote:
*FTS's SB says the Alpha is more maneuverable than the YF-4 (which if we account for the Alpha's JG engines in T/W rather than just the ATF engines would be true).

Which is one of those claims that obviously doesn't make sense... like the AotSC book's claim that the flying brick Alpha is a passively stealthy design.

(Something Titan's writers seem to have picked up on, citing that the Alpha is markedly inferior to the YF-4.)

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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: Wed Jan 15, 2020 2:42 pm
  

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Seto wrote:
Which isn't viable for reasons that we've discussed in depth many times, like the significant artistic license the "movie" takes with the distance between Earth and its moon.

I disagree about its viability, but there isn't anything new. Taking this approach means one has to take the artistic licence interpretation and toss it out the window obviously, but it would have to be at the HG level.

Seto wrote:
.. dude, why would you even propose that? You're supposed to be trying to avoid explanations that require the UEEF to exhibit either suicidal insanity or a deliberate disregard for the lives of its troops.

We assume that the Alphas of this period are the same fundamentally to the Alphas of the NG period, this may not be the case. My full thinking on this is that the sacrifice in terms of Alpha capability was made up for with the addition of the Beta (which brings BVR missile capacity, and the better Earth-Moon transit capacity) to the TO&E.

Seto wrote:
Unlikely, given that Sentinels ran with the standard sci-fi trope that all planets are Earthlike... and Tirol, the intended operating environment, was definitely Earthlike.

True, but it has to be considered. Tirol and other Sentinel worlds might be "Earth-like", but that doesn't mean the worlds have 100% Earth-gravity, which could push the requirement down. Praxians and Kabarans are bigger than humans as normal, which could indicate their planets' gravity is actually less than Earths (counter intuitive as that may seem, biologically heavy gravity worlds favor shorter/stouter beings and lower gravity worlds favor taller beings).

Seto wrote:
Which is explicitly not the case.

I don't know how it can be explicitly not the case when it is something we do not know. In all likely hood TBTB haven't even considered the implication of lack of Earth-SSTO and its implications elsewhere. Which means we'll either get another dose of TSC disconnect or recton or some new thing we do not know about previously if they ever have to revisit it.

Seto wrote:
It's generally irrelevant, given that it's an established fact it can't even achieve suborbital flight trajectories.

I disagree. The Suborbital flight trajectory capability makes no sense. The lowest Delta-V for a sub-orbital trajectory I could find is ~1kps, which was for an airborne vehicle starting BELOW the Alpha's ceiling (listed 30km). 1kps would not allow the Alpha to do the things we see/imply it does in Ep83 at the Moon (and TSC, where it wouldn't be able to launch from lunar surface to orbit or land safely which would be about 4.6kps to do both using Apollo LMs as a baseline).

Seto wrote:
A point of order, the prototypes flying at that point were at radically different levels of completion. The YF-4 was nearing completion, while the VF-X-6 being flown was the first prototype.

You're also assuming the VF-X-6's powerplant could provide the requisite levels of performance to support the technologies developed for the YF-4, which may not be the case.

We know the technologies are available, even if the prototypes are at different stages of testing because they are both operational and intended for production in 2015, so there is no technology backslide based on loss of technological ability as the reason for the capability gap. Even at the level the VFA-6 powerplant operates at it is capable of the performance, what it lacks is endurance (tankage). Which is the reason given for the Beta (lack of range/endurance). The question the UEEF has to answer is Earth-SSTO loss worth the cost of whatever it gets in return? Which brings us back to doctrine/requirements as the only way to answer that from the UEEF POV (not ours).

Seto wrote:
Which is one of those claims that obviously doesn't make sense... like the AotSC book's claim that the flying brick Alpha is a passively stealthy design.

If Thrust/Weight Ratios are an indication of maneuverability, then the Alpha-H/I has ~2.3 (2JG + 4ATF) vs the YF-4's 2.01 (turbine only, if someone doing the research missed that qualifier then 2.01 vs 2.3 would favor the Alpha in that regard being more maneuverable, but as I've said repeatedly we don't have official specs on the YF-4 in RT and it might not matchup with the OSM spec).

The Alpha's passive stealthy design could have its origins in materials rather than shaping, though if the Alpha uses a (previously undisclosed) plasma field for drag reduction it would also give stealthy effect (weather the result is passive or semi-active I'm not sure).


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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:49 pm
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
Taking this approach means one has to take the artistic licence interpretation and toss it out the window obviously, but it would have to be at the HG level.

HG's stance for the last nineteen years has been that the series content takes priority over any subsequent work in the event of a conflict... which would tend to put the RTSC scene at a lower level of reliability, at the very least.



ShadowLogan wrote:
We assume that the Alphas of this period are the same fundamentally to the Alphas of the NG period, this may not be the case.

At present, I am not aware of any evidence in any official material which suggests that might be the case. It is a strictly theoretical possibility, but outside of the Shadow Fighter's retrofit there hasn't been any VF in Robotech which received a dramatic upgrade or change in capabilities while in service.



ShadowLogan wrote:
My full thinking on this is that the sacrifice in terms of Alpha capability was made up for with the addition of the Beta (which brings BVR missile capacity, and the better Earth-Moon transit capacity) to the TO&E.

But we know from existing official material that the Beta was always a part of the Alpha's requirements, so that would tend to argue against this line of reasoning.



ShadowLogan wrote:
True, but it has to be considered. Tirol and other Sentinel worlds might be "Earth-like", but that doesn't mean the worlds have 100% Earth-gravity, which could push the requirement down. Praxians and Kabarans are bigger than humans as normal, which could indicate their planets' gravity is actually less than Earths (counter intuitive as that may seem, biologically heavy gravity worlds favor shorter/stouter beings and lower gravity worlds favor taller beings).

While this would be true, it's worth noting that Sentinels didn't indulge in quite that level of hard science and that in the now-obsolete depictions of their homeworlds their planets were Earthlike enough for the Expeditionary Forces to get around without difficulty and often without any supplemental survival apparatus.



ShadowLogan wrote:
I don't know how it can be explicitly not the case when it is something we do not know. In all likely hood TBTB haven't even considered the implication of lack of Earth-SSTO and its implications elsewhere. Which means we'll either get another dose of TSC disconnect or recton or some new thing we do not know about previously if they ever have to revisit it.

They'll lean on exactly what has always been the case for the Alpha... it needs the Beta, it was designed to work with the Beta, and it can't do it without the Beta.



ShadowLogan wrote:
I disagree. The Suborbital flight trajectory capability makes no sense. The lowest Delta-V for a sub-orbital trajectory I could find is ~1kps, which was for an airborne vehicle starting BELOW the Alpha's ceiling (listed 30km). 1kps would not allow the Alpha to do the things we see/imply it does in Ep83 at the Moon (and TSC, where it wouldn't be able to launch from lunar surface to orbit or land safely which would be about 4.6kps to do both using Apollo LMs as a baseline).

Have you considered that it's not a thrust problem, but an aerodynamic problem? The Alpha's aerodynamics are AWFUL. It's a flying brick. It may also be that the Alpha's engines simply are unable to operate at the requisite altitudes in air-breathing mode, leaving them at the mercy of extremely limited onboard propellant supplies unequal to the task. The VF-4 (and YF-4) don't have that issue since they have larger engines with superconducting ram-air precompressors and can operate as nuclear ramjets and nuclear rockets.



ShadowLogan wrote:
We know the technologies are available, even if the prototypes are at different stages of testing because they are both operational and intended for production in 2015, so there is no technology backslide based on loss of technological ability as the reason for the capability gap. [...]

This presumes that there was no decline in manufacturing capability before the craft actually went to production... we only see the Alpha in the very earliest phase of its prototype testing, and some of the technology may not have been scalable or supportable via the Alpha's powerplant. A backslide in capability can have more causes than simply "lost technology".



ShadowLogan wrote:
Which brings us back to doctrine/requirements as the only way to answer that from the UEEF POV (not ours).

Not necessarily... it could be politics instead of doctrine. Given Titan's take, I am left to wonder if the Alpha is the Robotech universe's F-35... a calamitously defective piece of junk that made it to production and adoption due to conflicts of interest, bribery/lobbying, etc.



ShadowLogan wrote:
If Thrust/Weight Ratios are an indication of maneuverability, then the Alpha-H/I has ~2.3 (2JG + 4ATF) vs the YF-4's 2.01 (turbine only, if someone doing the research missed that qualifier then 2.01 vs 2.3 would favor the Alpha in that regard being more maneuverable, but as I've said repeatedly we don't have official specs on the YF-4 in RT and it might not matchup with the OSM spec).

There is an error in your math. The YF-4's thrust-to-weight ratio (turbines only) should, from the available data, be either 4.0142 or 4.8170. One oft-overlooked detail that is, yes, in the show itself is that the actual maximum output of the engines on the VF-1 and its OSM successors is 200% or more of the rated maximum (AKA "Overboost"). This is visible in the markings seen on the throttle lever. The OSM rated maximum for the engines is 137.2931kN per engine, so the actual maximum (depending on whether it's following Block 5 or Block 6 norms1) is either 200% or 240% of its rated maximum. That's either 274.5862kN per engine or 329.50344kN per engine.



ShadowLogan wrote:
The Alpha's passive stealthy design could have its origins in materials rather than shaping, though if the Alpha uses a (previously undisclosed) plasma field for drag reduction it would also give stealthy effect (weather the result is passive or semi-active I'm not sure).

They specifically attribute it to shaping... which obviously Does Not Work.



1. As seen in the line art, the maximum throttle position on the VF-1A Block 5 cockpit line art is 200%. The Block 6 version cockpit art for the movie, which is the representative cockpit for the production VF-4, goes up to 240%.

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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 Jan 16, 2020 12:20 pm
  

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Seto wrote:
At present, I am not aware of any evidence in any official material which suggests that might be the case. It is a strictly theoretical possibility, but outside of the Shadow Fighter's retrofit there hasn't been any VF in Robotech which received a dramatic upgrade or change in capabilities while in service.

2E RPG does go with the idea there is more than just the Alpha-H/I/Z (and X/S), Manga pg 95 "with continuous updates and new production keeping the vehicle completely up-to-date." (span of 30 years), pg97 "There are currently three major standard variations" (H, I, Z), which leaves room for other variations both major and minor (given the age I don't think the Shadow versions can be the only omission, especially given the Beta). So the idea of other variant models is out there.

Seto wrote:
But we know from existing official material that the Beta was always a part of the Alpha's requirements, so that would tend to argue against this line of reasoning.

In the OSM that is the case, but for RT this makes no sense. The Alpha is a circa 2015 design, the Beta by all indications was tacked on later (its first entered testing in 2022, 7 years after the Alpha's known first flight). Even if we assume the A/B was designed together, we know the Beta is shelved for over a decade which could mean the Alpha was modified for that period to some extent to help cover the loss of the Beta. When " the Beta concept was revived with significant updates and upgrades" (Infopedia), we don't know what form these updates/upgrades take on the Beta which could in theory require updates/upgrades to the Alpha inorder to work which gives us other versions of the Alpha.

If for not reason other than cost, the UEEF might have modified the Alpha to remove its Beta "connectivity" features that would go unused and waste resources to procure in the 2020s. Cost induced changes are possible, we know the UEEF is somewhat cost conscious given that is reason given for the YF-4 downselect and who knows what else.

Seto wrote:
Have you considered that it's not a thrust problem, but an aerodynamic problem? The Alpha's aerodynamics are AWFUL. It's a flying brick. It may also be that the Alpha's engines simply are unable to operate at the requisite altitudes in air-breathing mode, leaving them at the mercy of extremely limited onboard propellant supplies unequal to the task. The VF-4 (and YF-4) don't have that issue since they have larger engines with superconducting ram-air precompressors and can operate as nuclear ramjets and nuclear rockets.

The X-15 achieved suborbital velocity by going hyper-sonic (above Mach 5), Space Ship One achieved a similar feat by going supersonic (Mach 3, 900m/s), both vehicles did this on pure Rocket Power after air drop from subsonic vehicle below the Alpha's Ceiling (30km) and with a Delta-V of ~1kps. The Alpha's airbreathing maximum speed is ~833m/s at 30km, switching to rocket power at these speeds would allow the Alpha to retain that speed as starting velocity. The main hangup has always been how much propellant/Delta-V the Alpha actually has. From the show (ep83) it does fly around the vicinity of the Moon, and is implied to launch from the surface (which means landing there to), all of which means the Alpha has a Delta-V capacity of greater than 1kps. So no I do not think aerodynamics is the problem, the Alpha's air-breathing speed is close to the rocket speed used in a suborbital flight so with rocket power and the air speed as a starting point it can do it.

Seto wrote:
Not necessarily... it could be politics instead of doctrine. Given Titan's take, I am left to wonder if the Alpha is the Robotech universe's F-35... a calamitously defective piece of junk that made it to production and adoption due to conflicts of interest, bribery/lobbying, etc.


I would put politics as an extension of doctrine, since politics ultimately would be what selects the Doctrine. The UEEF and UEDF:ASC both have different doctrines they essentially developed concurrently to each other in the 20s.

Seto wrote:
There is an error in your math. The YF-4's thrust-to-weight ratio (turbines only) should,...

I pulled the YF-4's T/W ratio straight from your website's entry on the YF-4 in the OSM. The rest just illustrates my point, that if in the research HG just went with that number without considering other information relating to it they would be justified in that statement because the 2.01 T/W is strictly the turbine power rating and not the full extent of the engine.

Seto wrote:
They specifically attribute it to shaping... which obviously Does Not Work.

Shaping sort of works, at least at the superficial level which is likely all HG considered (or did the research on). I can sort of see the Northrop YF-23 Blackwidow mated with an F-117 in the Alpha design from certain angles and such, which might give the impression of stealth shaping on the Alpha. Odds are though HG isn't necessarily aware that even passive stealth vehicles like the F-22/YF-23/F-117/B-2/F-35 also involve materials (I think we might have to give some credit to PB in 2E as they at-least acknowledged that the Shadow Fighter's stealth features are not purely the Cloaking Device but also other attributes in the design, including materials).


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:06 pm
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
2E RPG does go with the idea there is more than just the Alpha-H/I/Z (and X/S), Manga pg 95 "with continuous updates and new production keeping the vehicle completely up-to-date." (span of 30 years), pg97 "There are currently three major standard variations" (H, I, Z), which leaves room for other variations both major and minor (given the age I don't think the Shadow versions can be the only omission, especially given the Beta). So the idea of other variant models is out there.

So, a few points here...
  1. "[...] continuous updates and new production keeping the vehicle completely up-to-date." does not necessarily mean new variants. Standard practice for real world militaries is for minor updates to be done at regular intervals via production block updates. There is no evidence of any dramatic changes in the Alpha's specifications from its introduction c.2022 to its de facto retirement in favor of the derivative "Shadow Fighter" version c.2044, which would suggest that the updates and new production could very likely be the same thing we see in the real world with new aircraft being built to the latest block standard (but not being a new variant) and older models being updated to the latest production block standard in a phased rollout based on parts availability.
  2. "There are currently three major standard variations" does leave room for others, though the common sense interpretation would be that there were originally two (the Eta and Iota) with the third (Zeta) being a late introduction as it was in the OSM. There is no evidence or mention of any prior variants in official setting materials. I do not recall offhand if the Marines sourcebook mentions any earlier Alpha variants, though the now-defunct Sentinels materials generally treated the H/I types as having been in service the entire 20+ year period and HG stuck to that line when they tried selling merchandise for them post-reboot. (Merchandise is not a reliable indicator of in-setting facts, but in this one very specific case it's about all we have as far as indication of direction.)
  3. Given that the original production specification of the Alpha was designed to work with the Beta, but also worked fine without it, there would be no pressing reason to remove the docking capability in the interim and thus no reason to assume such a modification would occur. It would be a redesign for no useful purpose.



ShadowLogan wrote:
In the OSM that is the case, but for RT this makes no sense. The Alpha is a circa 2015 design, the Beta by all indications was tacked on later (its first entered testing in 2022, 7 years after the Alpha's known first flight). [...]

A point of order... the VF-X-6 Genia is not, strictly speaking, the Alpha fighter.

We do not, in fact, know when the completed Alpha design first flew. Nor do we know when development of the Beta started. What we DO know is that experimental-phase prototypes of those aircraft first flew in 2015 and 2022 respectively. That is insufficient information for the conclusion you're asserting here. We do not know how long it took the VF-X-6 Genia to be developed into the Alpha, and we do not know how long the Beta was on the drawing board before it first flew. You cannot assert with any confidence that the Beta was not part of the Alpha's design during development.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Even if we assume the A/B was designed together, we know the Beta is shelved for over a decade which could mean the Alpha was modified for that period to some extent to help cover the loss of the Beta.

It could mean that, yes... but there is no evidence to support the idea that it DID mean that.

Given that cancelled programs are not typically revisited, the Beta was not cancelled but rather was suspended while solutions for its problems were investigated ("shelved" is the term the Infopedia is using), there would not be a reason to design the capability out of the Alpha if they intended to return to and complete the Beta while the Alpha was still in service.



ShadowLogan wrote:
When " the Beta concept was revived with significant updates and upgrades" (Infopedia), we don't know what form these updates/upgrades take on the Beta which could in theory require updates/upgrades to the Alpha inorder to work which gives us other versions of the Alpha.

There is nothing to indicate that any updates and upgrades were required by the Alpha for compatibility, only for the Beta concept to make it workable.

Given that the only evident problems were in the docking process, that could quite easily be limited to software on the Alpha's side.



ShadowLogan wrote:
The X-15 achieved suborbital velocity by going hyper-sonic (above Mach 5), Space Ship One achieved a similar feat by going supersonic (Mach 3, 900m/s), both vehicles did this on pure Rocket Power after air drop from subsonic vehicle below the Alpha's Ceiling (30km) and with a Delta-V of ~1kps.

Neither of them were doing it with airbreathing engines.



ShadowLogan wrote:
The Alpha's airbreathing maximum speed is ~833m/s at 30km, switching to rocket power at these speeds would allow the Alpha to retain that speed as starting velocity. [...]

But only if the Alpha's engines are capable of producing that much thrust in rocket mode, and if they have adequate supplies of propellant stored internally to sustain that level of thrust. Those are both unverifiable assumptions, and we do know for a fact that the Alpha suffers from performance issues due to having a more limited propellant capacity than other models of fighter. Given the Alpha's very poor aerodynamics, they might need that propellant just to reach 30km. (Its actual airbreathing service ceiling in the OSM spec is 18km.)



ShadowLogan wrote:
The main hangup has always been how much propellant/Delta-V the Alpha actually has. From the show (ep83) it does fly around the vicinity of the Moon, and is implied to launch from the surface (which means landing there to), all of which means the Alpha has a Delta-V capacity of greater than 1kps. So no I do not think aerodynamics is the problem, the Alpha's air-breathing speed is close to the rocket speed used in a suborbital flight so with rocket power and the air speed as a starting point it can do it.

What we see in Ep83 is Alphas flying low over the surface of the moon (not propellant-intensive) and Alphas cruising as part of a fleet in orbit of the moon. You're drawing some fairly sweeping and dramatic conclusions based on things that aren't actually depicted.



ShadowLogan wrote:
I would put politics as an extension of doctrine, since politics ultimately would be what selects the Doctrine. The UEEF and UEDF:ASC both have different doctrines they essentially developed concurrently to each other in the 20s.

I would differ in that assessment, since politics can occur in a very different forum to the creation of military doctrine... which is how we've ended up with a number of quite spectacularly stupid military acquisition orders over the years, like new rifles with the wrong kind of gunpowder for their operating environment that cost so many lives in Vietnam.



ShadowLogan wrote:
I pulled the YF-4's T/W ratio straight from your website's entry on the YF-4 in the OSM. The rest just illustrates my point, that if in the research HG just went with that number without considering other information relating to it they would be justified in that statement because the 2.01 T/W is strictly the turbine power rating and not the full extent of the engine.

I'm not sure why Chad hasn't put the overboost T/W ratio in the VF-4 article, TBH. But we know for a fact that, at every phase of its development, the VF-4 shared a significant percentage of parts with the VF-1 including the entire cockpit and that they didn't stop recording overboost as a separate output statistic until Macross 7, so it really ought to be there. Even HG would probably notice that something was up given that the top speed is significantly greater than the VF-1's. Nevertheless, I'll throw that on the docket of updates to be made.

Titan, at the very least, seems to be well aware and specifically cited the YF-4 as superior to the Alpha in this regard. Then again, they DO have a Macross fan on staff for the comic.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Shaping sort of works, at least at the superficial level which is likely all HG considered (or did the research on).

They seem to have gone no farther with the "research" than "angled designs do stealth"... which isn't how it works. The point of passive stealth shaping is to deflect radar pulses AWAY from the sender, and ideally any ground-based listening stations. The F-117's approach, which seems to be what they're referencing WRT the "chiseled" design, was specifically developed to reflect radar pulses away to space. The idea doesn't work for the Alpha, because it's EVEN WORSE than a non-stealth aircraft in that respect with so many 90 degree angles in its design. Not only would it not achieve a reduction in its radar return, its design would actually ENLARGE its radar return and make it MORE detectable than a more streamlined aircraft of similar size... especially at any 45 degree approach, where its wing roots practically act as retroreflectors due to the 90 degree angles involved. :?



ShadowLogan wrote:
Odds are though HG isn't necessarily aware that even passive stealth vehicles like the F-22/YF-23/F-117/B-2/F-35 also involve materials (I think we might have to give some credit to PB in 2E as they at-least acknowledged that the Shadow Fighter's stealth features are not purely the Cloaking Device but also other attributes in the design, including materials).

Well, I know Tommy is... because he and I have discussed on at least one occasion the use of passive stealth radar-absorbent coatings that double as ablative anti-beam coatings in Macross on at least one occasion. Whether the uRRG "researchers" who ghostwrote the RTSC artbook knew is another question entirely. Of course, I've suspected for a while now that changing the Shadow Fighter stealth to an almost literal cloaking device was an attempt to Macross-ize things by imitating the active stealth systems that were used so prominently in Macross Zero (which are based on inverse phase destructive interference).

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:48 pm
  

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Knight

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Seto wrote:
Given that the original production specification of the Alpha was designed to work with the Beta, but also worked fine without it, there would be no pressing reason to remove the docking capability in the interim and thus no reason to assume such a modification would occur. It would be a redesign for no useful purpose.

The redesign does serve a useful purpose though:
-1. the unit's production cost in terms of required resources (material, time) will go down since you aren't producing hardware that is not needed. Cost was a factor in cancellation of the YF-4
-2. the unit's complexity goes down given you don't have the hardware, or its interaction with other hardware/software to contend with. Complexity was a factor in cancellation of the YF-4
-3. the unit's mass would go down theoretically if the hardware is removed (which could offer a slight performance boost)
-4. maintenance man hours will go down, no need to maintain the system if it isn't able to be used
-5. simplified logistics trail (no need to stock spare parts for the system that isn't there)
-6. Per Sentinels OVA dialogue, the Alpha appears to be the cause of the docking failure (though this might be speculation on Max's part when he Defends Karren in the Hangar, Karen's linkup dialogue suggests issue is in the Alpha to given her reverse boosters shorted out) so some redesign on the Alpha end would seem warranted between the tail damage and the system short.

Seto wrote:
Given that cancelled programs are not typically revisited, the Beta was not cancelled but rather was suspended while solutions for its problems were investigated ("shelved" is the term the Infopedia is using), there would not be a reason to design the capability out of the Alpha if they intended to return to and complete the Beta while the Alpha was still in service.

While I agree it was shelved, we do not know what changes all happened with the Beta going from the -7 to the -9. Given that Docking System seems to be the cause for it to be shelved, it likely did receive changes. If the Beta side of the docking system received changes then the Alpha side likely also received changes along with it which would be a retrofit. If the UEEF doesn't know how long the program is "shelved" then it is possible for them to pursue interm solutions to make up for some of the loss in ability (likely not full loss in the Alpha given the Beta effort continued) especially as the period grows and looks like the Beta won't ever materialize.

Seto wrote:
A point of order... the VF-X-6 Genia is not, strictly speaking, the Alpha fighter.

I would not at all be surprised if there are differences between the Genia and later production units, but it would still be a member of the Alpha Fighter family (that includes the H/I/Z/S/X, Shadow Drone).

Seto wrote:
It could mean that, yes... but there is no evidence to support the idea that it DID mean that.

There is no evidence to support the idea that it DID NOT either given the huge lack of canon on this period in terms of depicted use.

Seto wrote:
Neither of them were doing it with airbreathing engines.

irrelevant, both are carried aloft to the release altitude by aircraft using airbreathing engines. The switch over in engines wouldn't matter, just like it doesn't matter on the VF-1 when it can no longer use its air-breathing engines and has to switch to rocket power to reach space. I know there have been concepts proposed for a single vehicle to have both airbreathing and rocket power to achieve suborbital flight, though none have gotten to actual flights AFAIK (ex. the RocketplaneXS uses airbreathing engines to reach ~12km altitude and speed of 500kph before using its rockets to reach Mach 11 and 120km altitude)

Seto wrote:
But only if the Alpha's engines are capable of producing that much thrust in rocket mode, and if they have adequate supplies of propellant stored internally to sustain that level of thrust. Those are both unverifiable assumptions, and we do know for a fact that the Alpha suffers from performance issues due to having a more limited propellant capacity than other models of fighter. Given the Alpha's very poor aerodynamics, they might need that propellant just to reach 30km. (Its actual airbreathing service ceiling in the OSM spec is 18km.)

I think it is safe to say the thrust in rocket mode is suitable given the animation of it flying around in space, especially given it is "flying" around in a Lunar Environment. Propellant Supply value is lacking, all we know about it is "short legs in space", which is pretty vague and relative when you get down to it (it might be "normal" compared to the VF-1, but "short" compared to the Beta for ex).

Seto wrote:
I would differ in that assessment, since politics can occur in a very different forum to the creation of military doctrine... which is how we've ended up with a number of quite spectacularly stupid military acquisition orders over the years, like new rifles with the wrong kind of gunpowder for their operating environment that cost so many lives in Vietnam.

I will say that Politics can cover a broad range with this that end up intertwined with doctrine on various levels from conceptualization to execution of said doctrine and possibly even interpretation of doctrine in how to execute it.

Seto wrote:
Even HG would probably notice that something was up given that the top speed is significantly greater than the VF-1's

FWIW, the issue of maneuverability in this case might not be tied strictly to the T/W ratio of the respective units, with things like aerodynamics or VTOL engines skewing the issue. I put VTOL on there due to the Falklands War and dogfights involving the AV-8 because its VTOL thrusters allowed it to do things the non-VTOL platform could not do (there is a difference in VTOL thruster design) which could extrapolate to the Alpha vs YF-4 issue.

While the YF-4 might have better speed than the VF-1 it doesn't necessarily translate to better maneuverability.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:08 pm
  

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Knight

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ShadowLogan wrote:
The redesign does serve a useful purpose though:
-1. the unit's production cost in terms of required resources (material, time) will go down since you aren't producing hardware that is not needed. Cost was a factor in cancellation of the YF-4

Well, for one, the connection hardware is all on the Beta side as far as we can demonstrate from the design itself... so there's nothing to remove.

For two, you're also investing resources reengineering the Alpha to remove that hardware and revalidate the aircraft after its removal (if there is actually something to remove). That's an unforecasted cost in the program's development, and one that'll be doubled when the capability has to be reintroduced down the road. Easier to just leave it be.



ShadowLogan wrote:
-2. the unit's complexity goes down given you don't have the hardware, or its interaction with other hardware/software to contend with. Complexity was a factor in cancellation of the YF-4

Does it? There is no evident connection-specific hardware on the Alpha's side and the data bus connections necessary to share flight control would be routed through the connection sites anyways as a means to control the thrust-vectoring nozzles and other hardware in that part of the airframe. Looking at it from an engineering perspective, this is a change that not only doesn't need to be made... it would be a change that does not reduce cost or complexity by anywhere near the amount it'd take to offset the additional expenditure of removing the capability. It is the very model of a sunk cost.



ShadowLogan wrote:
-3. the unit's mass would go down theoretically if the hardware is removed (which could offer a slight performance boost)

Almost certainly not, given how the Alpha and Beta connect. All of the connection hardware is on the Beta side.



ShadowLogan wrote:
-4. maintenance man hours will go down, no need to maintain the system if it isn't able to be used

As per the above, this is almost certainly not true because the Beta's doing all the actual legwork in connecting to the Alpha.



ShadowLogan wrote:
-5. simplified logistics trail (no need to stock spare parts for the system that isn't there)

Not if the hardware isn't on the Alpha's side.



ShadowLogan wrote:
-6. Per Sentinels OVA dialogue, the Alpha appears to be the cause of the docking failure (though this might be speculation on Max's part when he Defends Karren in the Hangar, Karen's linkup dialogue suggests issue is in the Alpha to given her reverse boosters shorted out) so some redesign on the Alpha end would seem warranted between the tail damage and the system short.

Actually, the dialog (from Karen) points to the Beta being at fault in the failed connection test... Karen notes during the docking failure that the docking gear, hardware we know from the official line art is on the Beta and not the Alpha, is not responding. This resulted in the Alpha essentially crashing into the unresponsive Beta.

You're also mischaracterizing Max's defense of Karen in the hangar. When Max defends Karen to her father in the station's hangar, he attributes the accident not to a design flaw in the Alpha but rather to damage he asserts Karen's Alpha must have sustained while it was being shipped to the station on a transport shuttle. (Why an important test article wasn't inspected before testing began is frankly more worrying, as it points to systematic negligence on the part of the transport crew, hangar crew, and both Max and Karen themselves.)



ShadowLogan wrote:
While I agree it was shelved, we do not know what changes all happened with the Beta going from the -7 to the -9. Given that Docking System seems to be the cause for it to be shelved, it likely did receive changes. If the Beta side of the docking system received changes then the Alpha side likely also received changes along with it which would be a retrofit.

The docking system hardware is entirely on the Beta side though, the Alpha's part of the docking interface airframe shaping around the engine nozzles that the Beta's docking interface plugs into.



ShadowLogan wrote:
I would not at all be surprised if there are differences between the Genia and later production units, but it would still be a member of the Alpha Fighter family (that includes the H/I/Z/S/X, Shadow Drone).

But not a representative sample of the completed Alpha fighter. It is a relative of the Alpha family, but not a proper part of it. It's classed as an Experimental airframe, not a representative proto in its designation.



ShadowLogan wrote:
There is no evidence to support the idea that it DID NOT either given the huge lack of canon on this period in terms of depicted use.

The answer with the fewest assumptions is most likely to be correct, as a general rule... the existence of additional, offscreen-only variant specifications that are not mentioned or described in any way would be an unnecessary assumption.



ShadowLogan wrote:
irrelevant, both are carried aloft to the release altitude by aircraft using airbreathing engines.

Not irrelevant, as those aircraft would've had a higher service ceiling than those test aircraft under their own power.



ShadowLogan wrote:
I think it is safe to say the thrust in rocket mode is suitable given the animation of it flying around in space, especially given it is "flying" around in a Lunar Environment. Propellant Supply value is lacking, all we know about it is "short legs in space", which is pretty vague and relative when you get down to it (it might be "normal" compared to the VF-1, but "short" compared to the Beta for ex).

I am not so sure we can make that determination, given the paucity of available evidence to support your assertion and official canon information that contradicts your stance here.



ShadowLogan wrote:
FWIW, the issue of maneuverability in this case might not be tied strictly to the T/W ratio of the respective units, with things like aerodynamics or VTOL engines skewing the issue. I put VTOL on there due to the Falklands War and dogfights involving the AV-8 because its VTOL thrusters allowed it to do things the non-VTOL platform could not do (there is a difference in VTOL thruster design) which could extrapolate to the Alpha vs YF-4 issue.

While the YF-4 might have better speed than the VF-1 it doesn't necessarily translate to better maneuverability.

Hey now, have you been sneakily reading my tech discussions thread on MacrossWorld? :wink: :lol:

We actually just had a discussion there about why Macross Chronicle asserts that the VF-4 Lightning III did not an improve on the VF-1 Valkyrie in terms of atmospheric maneuverability and was consequently supplemented in atmospheric roles with the VF-5000 Star Mirage. The completed VF-4 design, which emphasizes high performance in space, resulted in an aerodynamic profile which had much higher static stability than the VF-1. Since a fighter's maneuverability comes in no small part from being unstable-by-design, the VF-4's high static stability made it less suitable than atmosphere focused designs like the VF-1 or VF-5000 because it was less agile at speed. Its aerodynamics and equipment made it much MUCH faster than either though, and its heavier armament also made it an enormously deadly atmospheric interceptor and surface attacker on top of already being a space fighter better than the Super Valkyrie. If you're looking for an aircraft to provide air support to ground troops, it's almost ideal for CAS and interdiction operations because it's perfectly set up for precision bombing and long-range gun and missile strikes, which is likely a big part of how it ended up with two dedicated atmospheric-use variants (VF-4D and VF-4S).

Arguing that the Alpha is a high-maneuverability airframe is just manifestly silly. It's got a wing shape intended for high static stability, low wing area to body ratio, and very poor overall aerodynamic performance. Not only would it not outperform the YF-4 in maneuverability in practice, it'd handle like an irritable cow strapped to a hang glider in actual atmospheric flight. It needs that thrust-to-weight ratio to keep itself from falling out of the sky like the flying brick it almost literally is.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 5:23 pm
  

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Knight

Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:50 am
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Seto wrote:
Actually, the dialog (from Karen) points to the Beta being at fault in the failed connection test... Karen notes during the docking failure that the docking gear, hardware we know from the official line art is on the Beta and not the Alpha, is not responding. This resulted in the Alpha essentially crashing into the unresponsive Beta.

The failed linkup also caused a short circuit to occur (@38-19-22, her "reverse boosters are shorting out", which means she has a short circuit in the Alpha) which sent KP's Alpha into an uncontrolled state (this was before she says the docking gear is not responding @38:25-7). There was also a power surge mentioned (@38:34). From this alone it would be worth looking at changes to the Alpha to protect it from Beta related malfunctions.

All time codes above are from Legacy Extra Disk 3 for Sentinels OVA, treat as approximate and may not sync with the Remastered/SE version that cuts material from SDF:M/TMS out.

Seto wrote:
You're also mischaracterizing Max's defense of Karen in the hangar. When Max defends Karen to her father in the station's hangar, he attributes the accident not to a design flaw in the Alpha but rather to damage he asserts Karen's Alpha must have sustained while it was being shipped to the station on a transport shuttle. (Why an important test article wasn't inspected before testing began is frankly more worrying, as it points to systematic negligence on the part of the transport crew, hangar crew, and both Max and Karen themselves.)

I agree it isn't necessarily a design flaw, and as a test article there are a lot of WTH surrounding this. However if the tail section was damaged in the transport shuttle, it might be worth looking at a redesigned tail section to prevent damage like this from occurring in the first place being this potentially catastrophic. Or at the very least evaluate procedures around the Alpha to avoid damage in a transport and what constitutes "within spec".

The only thing I can come up with from a testing standpoint is that the tail section damage was deemed "within spec" which is why it was allowed to proceed. Though I have to wonder how Max could make that determination on the origin of the damage tail section (so soon after landing) as it could easily have been damaged as a result of the linkup itself.

Seto wrote:
The docking system hardware is entirely on the Beta side though, the Alpha's part of the docking interface airframe shaping around the engine nozzles that the Beta's docking interface plugs into.

I disagree, there has to be docking hardware on the Alpha's side. There is no indication that other vehicles/mecha can use the docking port either on the fly (like some of the UEEF destroids, or other vehicles).

Docking systems have corresponding compatible connection points on both participants. I can't physically "dock" my smartphone to my PC via a Serial Cable or Network cable, it has to be via USB (and specific USB connectors on each end). Even space vehicles have corresponding docking system components on both participants. Aircraft examples of docking mid flight, you have aerial refueling (different types, but you need appropriate port) and the old Parasite/Motherships that are outdated (even then IINM specialized hardware is shared by both that allow them to "dock"). This precedent would apply to an Alpha/Beta pair.

Seto wrote:
Not irrelevant, as those aircraft would've had a higher service ceiling than those test aircraft under their own power.

While the X-15 and SS1 do achieve higher altitude because of their carrier aircraft, that is irrelevant to this discussion because the Alpha's air-breathing engine mode essentially take the place of the B-52/WK-carrier in role, it doesn't matter the Alpha is just one stage and the other examples are two..

Seto wrote:
I am not so sure we can make that determination, given the paucity of available evidence to support your assertion and official canon information that contradicts your stance here.

IF we are talking strictly GCM I would agree the 4.6kps minimum is more questionable than in Robotech, only because TSC can make the case for 4.6 (or 2.4/2.2) by using specific legs of the discussed to death Alex/Marcus recon flight at the start of the OVA. Not to mention RT's version has the more energetic energy source which could justify a split from the OSM on this capacity (and others as if it did not it would be the equivalent of switching from Lead-Acid Batteries to Lithium-Ion and getting no benefit from the Lithium Ion).

In terms of GCM/RT-Ep83 interpreting Sue's shots of the SFA in the Lunar environment can be difficult, but even on the conservative side assuming it is acting as lunar flyer/hopper instead of surface-orbit-surface vehicle. A Lunar "flyer" studied for Project Apollo use (the LFV North American) has a calculated Delta-V of ~0.71kps and listed a range of 8.5km (max speed of 85m/s). This is the only example I could find with enough details to calculate that wasn't already capable of Lunar-SSTO. The LFV is an exploration vehicle, not combat one as such a role could justify a longer range and maximum speed for the Alpha pushing for a minimum of 1.0kps (since you want to get to trouble site faster and potentially farther away).


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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 8:02 pm
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
The failed linkup also caused a short circuit to occur (@38-19-22, her "reverse boosters are shorting out", which means she has a short circuit in the Alpha) which sent KP's Alpha into an uncontrolled state (this was before she says the docking gear is not responding @38:25-7).

Yeah, that’s a consequence of the crash caused by the unresponsive docking gear on the Beta’s side. Due to a malfunction, the Beta did not engage its docking gear and Karen’s Alpha crashed into it and suffered damage in the collision. The Beta’s malfunction is the obvious root cause, all the damage suffered by Karen’s Alpha was a consequence of that initial failure. It wouldn’t be at all surprising that the Alpha’s onboard computer would report errors within its local systems first.

(Another point against the Alpha being that there’s apparently no communication between it and the Beta during docking, which is just reckless. Karen had no knowledge that the Beta’s docking interface had failed until she crippled her own plane crashing into it. There’s no bloody excuse in this case, since both aircraft should have a multitude of communications antennae for everything from regular radio to VHF and UHF. Why there wasn’t a safety pilot in the Beta at the time as an extra measure against a testing accident is just another layer in this onion of incompetence that is the UEEF. This is just bad engineering practice start to finish.)



ShadowLogan wrote:
I agree it isn't necessarily a design flaw, and as a test article there are a lot of WTH surrounding this.

Not the least of which being the Sentinels dialog describing the damage as being to a part of the Alpha that DOESN’T EXIST. (One of those clear-cut cases of “you keep using that word, but it does not mean what you think it means”.) The Alpha is neither a helicopter nor a boat.



ShadowLogan wrote:
However if the tail section was damaged in the transport shuttle, it might be worth looking at a redesigned tail section to prevent damage like this from occurring in the first place being this potentially catastrophic. Or at the very least evaluate procedures around the Alpha to avoid damage in a transport and what constitutes "within spec".

Even then, Max’s explanation is the least likely one… at least in terms of the number of people on duty who’d have to have seriously f*cked up for that accident to happen. It’s more likely the damage was incurred during the crash itself.



ShadowLogan wrote:
I disagree, there has to be docking hardware on the Alpha's side. There is no indication that other vehicles/mecha can use the docking port either on the fly (like some of the UEEF destroids, or other vehicles).

The only thing that might be on the Alpha’s side is data bus connectors for allowing the onboard computers of the two aircraft to communicate. The Beta’s docking interface connects to existing parts of the Alpha’s propulsion system. It’s not capable of docking to other UEEF mecha for the simple reason that they lack the necessary structures for connection… the Alpha’s aft nozzle for VTOL and the sub-engines in its forearms.



ShadowLogan wrote:
IF we are talking strictly GCM I would agree the 4.6kps minimum is more questionable than in Robotech, only because TSC can make the case for 4.6 (or 2.4/2.2) [...]

You keep clinging to this, and we already know it’s not reliable because you’re assuming that the failed OVA is depicting space travel between Earth and the Moon 100% realistically when in fact it takes more artistic license with it than any other part of Robotech by an enormous margin.

Just in the first 100 seconds, before the opening credits are even done, we see that the moon is far FAR closer to Earth than in this film than it is in reality. You’re basing all your assumptions on evidence you KNOW is beyond unreliable to a comical extent.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Not to mention RT's version has the more energetic energy source which could justify a split from the OSM on this capacity

While it’s true that the Robotech version allegedly has a more energetic fuel, it’s essentially a meaningless factoid because you don’t know how much fuel that aircraft actually carries, you don’t know how efficient the mecha’s power system is at extracting and converting that energy into a usable form, you don’t know how much energy is actually in the fuel, or whether the way they’re extracting energy from the fuel is designed to maximize endurance or performance.

It can’t be put into a usable context, so it doesn’t mean anything.

You could take plutonium which contains a LOT of energy, but depending on how you extract its energy you’re looking at either a short-lifespan high-output power source like a fission reactor or a long-lifespan low-output power source like an RTEG. You don’t know which one this is.



ShadowLogan wrote:
(and others as if it did not it would be the equivalent of switching from Lead-Acid Batteries to Lithium-Ion and getting no benefit from the Lithium Ion).

Bad, bad, absolutely terrible example… because this doesn’t support your point, it supports my point. When electric vehicles made the switch from rechargeable lead acid batteries to the less heavy, higher capacity lithium chemistry batteries it wasn’t to improve powertrain output. It was all about improving ENDURANCE. Lead acid batteries could deliver more than enough power for normal driving, the driving force behind the switch was sustaining that same level of output for longer times, giving you greater range at the same level of performance. Candidates for the replacement of lithium chemistry are focusing mainly on improving recharge efficiency and the range of operating temperatures.

For my money, the Alpha not really differing in performance between the OSM and RT points to that more energetic fuel being used in an endurance-first power system. If the RPG is any fair indication (and it really shouldn’t be, but roll with it) what increased with the runtime not energy output.



ShadowLogan wrote:
In terms of GCM/RT-Ep83 interpreting Sue's shots of the SFA in the Lunar environment can be difficult, but even on the conservative side assuming it is acting as lunar flyer/hopper instead of surface-orbit-surface vehicle.

You’re also assuming that the Alpha isn’t benefitting from any outside assistance like catapults or riding along on the artificial gravity wake of the large ships it’s escorting in a manner not dissimilar to the way folding ships can carry other things with them.

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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 Jan 18, 2020 10:55 pm
  

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Dungeon Crawler

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Yeah: I know the 1e Zentraedi and Ghost-ship have deck-plans, but I want detailed maps like Crusader or Starcraft; at least at the late '90's graphics. AvP2 had a great level-editor but I could never get it to work!

Yeah: Principled would be best, but I just went with the Z1e book.

Yes, AI can be unpredictable and seems to always want to destroy it's creators (Terminator): But then again, Masters' incompetence etc. Perhaps it's only a matter of time before the Inorganics turn on the Invid!

And yes, the numbers say the Zentraedi-fleet and vaporize the Invid. But, if anyone is familiar with Battletech, the Clans and the Inner-Sphere, I HAVE defeated the Clans using 2025 Inner-sphere technology and playing a Battletech, Mercenaries, style game I have stopped a Clan Wolf Invasion of a Kurita world (Battletech: Mercenary games you have support units, supply-lines like a real war). Using asymmetric warfare against a superior foe works well in Battletech and against the Clans; and House Kurita's forces are that dedicated to do that. The Clans were superior in battle, but their dropships, supply-lines and even their aerospace-forces were vulnerable while the Clan mech-forces were off chasing Inner-sphere units. The Invid might have other ways of fighting the Zentraedi, like, perhaps, crashing the SDF on Earth and letting the Masters waste their Zentraedi forces fighting the Earthlings and then, when the Zentraedi are depleted, the Invid move in and take what's left of the Earth-forces?

Also, I don't take this discussion too seriously; I realize that Harmony Gold's writers probably had to mesh a plot to together in a short amount of time. Just think of all the other possible Japanese animie that could have been used instead of the designs for the Invid and the Masters like Gundam and Dougram.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 6:44 am
  

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Knight

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Peacebringer wrote:
Yeah: I know the 1e Zentraedi and Ghost-ship have deck-plans, but I want detailed maps like Crusader or Starcraft; at least at the late '90's graphics. AvP2 had a great level-editor but I could never get it to work!

Dream Pod 9’s Macross II Deck Plans books are about as good as you’ll get for Palladium and its licensed game lines… and they don’t get very specific.



Peacebringer wrote:
Yes, AI can be unpredictable and seems to always want to destroy it's creators (Terminator): But then again, Masters' incompetence etc. Perhaps it's only a matter of time before the Inorganics turn on the Invid!

Well, it’s all a matter of how adaptable you build your AI to be and how much autonomy you give it in determining the course of its own growth.

Smart money says the Invid Regent wouldn’t have to worry about his Inorganics going rogue, as they appear to lack any individual intelligence or autonomy. In Prelude, the Inorganics that we see on Tirol seem to be nothing but ugly lawn ornaments without the remote control of a very powerful computer system… much like the battle droids in Star Wars’s prequel trilogy.



Peacebringer wrote:
And yes, the numbers say the Zentraedi-fleet and vaporize the Invid. But, if anyone is familiar with Battletech, the Clans and the Inner-Sphere, I HAVE defeated the Clans using 2025 Inner-sphere technology and playing a Battletech, Mercenaries, style game I have stopped a Clan Wolf Invasion of a Kurita world (Battletech: Mercenary games you have support units, supply-lines like a real war). Using asymmetric warfare against a superior foe works well in Battletech and against the Clans; and House Kurita's forces are that dedicated to do that. The Clans were superior in battle, but their dropships, supply-lines and even their aerospace-forces were vulnerable while the Clan mech-forces were off chasing Inner-sphere units.

That’s more a case of players looking for ways to game the system than anything. The Invid are only really capable of one kind of warfare, and that’s a World War 1-style straight-line Zerg rush, relying on sheer weight of numbers.



Peacebringer wrote:
The Invid might have other ways of fighting the Zentraedi, like, perhaps, crashing the SDF on Earth and letting the Masters waste their Zentraedi forces fighting the Earthlings and then, when the Zentraedi are depleted, the Invid move in and take what's left of the Earth-forces?

That’d require the Invid to have Zor’s battlefortress from the outset, in which case they would’ve already had everything they wanted and wouldn’t have had any reason to start waging war with anyone. All they wanted was the Flower of Life back. They only discovered where it’d come to rest until decades after it’d crashed on Earth. If they’d had Zor’s battlefortress, they’d have just run off with it and the whole Robotech story would never happen.



Peacebringer wrote:
Also, I don't take this discussion too seriously; I realize that Harmony Gold's writers probably had to mesh a plot to together in a short amount of time. Just think of all the other possible Japanese animie that could have been used instead of the designs for the Invid and the Masters like Gundam and Dougram.

Oh, that’s a well-known fact that they had to put Robotech together in an enormous hurry… it wasn’t planned at all. Revell basically hijacked Harmony Gold’s plans to dub Macross for the US market to save a terrible Transformers knockoff it’d attempted to throw together in a bid to get a piece of Hasbro’s action. They had to throw the series together in such a hurry that the voice actors were literally sleeping in the studio hallways between takes in order to keep the cost of studio time down by working around the clock.

Some Robotech fans like to engage in pie-in-the-sky dreaming about what if other shows had been used in Robotech, but Harmony Gold would’ve never have been able to afford it. Robotech was made as cheaply as possible, and a big part of what enabled that was HG’s expansion of its existing licensing agreement with Tatsunoko Production that let them pick up a pair of commercially-unsuccessful shows from Tatsunoko’s catalog for dirt cheap to fill episode count to reach first-run syndication length. If MOSPEADA and Southern Cross hadn’t been failures in Japan, they would probably have been too expensive for HG to license them to use in Robotech and Robotech itself would likely have never existed, given that various other distributors had already acquired Tatsunoko’s other iconic sci-fi properties like Science Ninja Team Gatchaman or Space Knight Tekkaman. HG didn’t have the cash to go out and strike new distribution agreements with other studios, they could barely afford to produce Robotech as it was.

(One of the most popular fan what-ifs is that Macek wanted to have Orguss as one of the 3 sagas instead of MOSPEADA... which wouldn’t have been possible because it was done by a different studio (Tokyo Movie Shinsha), so they wouldn’t have been able to get the rights to the series from Tatsunoko.)

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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: Sun Jan 19, 2020 12:46 pm
  

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DP9 is nice, but I want something that I can create on my computer; all I have are DC tiles that really don't look, "Zentraedi".

I know, the Regent won't have to worry about his Inorganics going rouge, just like the Alliance in the movie based off of P.Dick's short-story, "Second-Variety:, did about their AI robots, "Screamers!"

Yes! A "Zerg-rush", but, is that what the Invid want you to think? Perhaps an Invid-brain realized that even if they go Zor's ship, the Zentraedi would take it and why not let it get involved with another species? Afterall, the Invid encountered many species before. One of these days, I will have an Invid/Zentraedi match-up as soon as I find a good random fleet program like Star-Trek or Star-Wars generator and convert it(the results, not the program) to Robotech.

I like Orguss; their designs are sooo Macross (same as Dougram). I've always wanted to run a Robotech game in which the OPFOR (Opposing Forcce) were other humans in Mecha; I ran a Robotech vs. Dougram mechs in Battletech having each side with the same tonnage; Robotech mech won.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 2:33 pm
  

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Knight

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Seto wrote:
Yeah, that’s a consequence of the crash caused by the unresponsive docking gear on the Beta’s side. Due to a malfunction, the Beta did not engage its docking gear and Karen’s Alpha crashed into it and suffered damage in the collision. The Beta’s malfunction is the obvious root cause, all the damage suffered by Karen’s Alpha was a consequence of that initial failure. It wouldn’t be at all surprising that the Alpha’s onboard computer would report errors within its local systems first.

Consequence of the crash yes, but you still had system malfunctions on KP's Alpha. Those malfunctions induced in the Alpha would necessitate the UEEF look at preventing them in the future. The "shorting out" boosters and the "power surge" ARE on the Alpha side per the dialogue which indicate the Alpha needs some additional protective measures to prevent a possible short circuit and power surge in the future from causing trouble (the Beta maybe shelved, but we know it is going to make a come back which would necessitate fixing the issue and we don't know if other things could induce such an event).

Seto wrote:
(One of those clear-cut cases of “you keep using that word, but it does not mean what you think it means”.

Given it is supposed to be a fictional futuristic setting (when it was written), the word may have adopted new/expanded meaning in universe. Afterall Pluto is still a planet in Robotech, the Solar System had a 10th Planet (Pamir), Venus doesn't appear to be hell incarnate (taking Scott's comparison at face value), there are at least 6 Lagrange Points at Earth (5 are what there should be, though I supose the ASC navigator could have been speaking in code).

Seto wrote:
Even then, Max’s explanation is the least likely one… at least in terms of the number of people on duty who’d have to have seriously f*cked up for that accident to happen. It’s more likely the damage was incurred during the crash itself.

I agree the docking incident itself is the more likely cause for the external physical damage seen and for the most part you are preaching to the choir on this area.

Seto wrote:
The only thing that might be on the Alpha’s side is data bus connectors for allowing the onboard computers of the two aircraft to communicate. The Beta’s docking interface connects to existing parts of the Alpha’s propulsion system. It’s not capable of docking to other UEEF mecha for the simple reason that they lack the necessary structures for connection… the Alpha’s aft nozzle for VTOL and the sub-engines in its forearms.


Re: other UEEF mecha docking
Cosmetically the UEEF Destroids in Marines (Defender/Tomahawk/Spartan/Phalanx) appear to use the same lower torso design as the Alpha that is a known connection port. So if the system is grabbing onto Alpha structures, then there is a good chance it would work for the UEEF Destroids (all 5 mecha in question have that crotch thruster vented nozzle), it would look more like the b-mode Alpha connected to the Beta, but cosmetically it would appear to be a viable option for some designs.

Re: connection ports
Given the VFA-6S/X (and VQ-6X) lack any VTOL propulsion system it would seem that the connection system is not the propulsion system but something that shares that area on the VFA-6H/I/Z else they would not be able to connect on the Beta's docking beam and we know they connect.

Seto wrote:
You keep clinging to this, and we already know it’s not reliable because you’re assuming that the failed OVA is depicting space travel between Earth and the Moon 100% realistically when in fact it takes more artistic license with it than any other part of Robotech by an enormous margin.

While the over all sequence of scenes might be questionable, I am just looking at specific instances within that sequence here not the sum (it's never been an issue if the Alphas launched or landed on the Moon, it was the transit from Lunar space to Earth and back). Technically canon does not have anything to say regarding operations at the Moon (or Mars), it just has the declaration about Earth capacity which doesn't make complete sense given what we see in the Lunar environment. Ep83's footage in light of TSC's lunar launch/landing be seen in the same manner, that we see SFA's launching into orbit (shown in orbit) with the implication of landing. Without TSC that is still an optional interpretation of the scenes in Ep83, but not the only one.

What we need to really settle the issue in terms of Lunar Operations is some idea of how long it can actually fly around in space (and/or Moon). The longer it can operate the more Delta-V it will require, which weakens the notion of the Alpha being unable to perform Sub-Orbital flight.

Seto wrote:
it’s essentially a meaningless factoid because you don’t know how much fuel that aircraft actually carries

16 Protoculture Canisters, each approx. 4.5L in volume based on the lineart of the identical canister used by the Cylcone. That is about the maximum volume amount of PC that can be in those canisters, so depending on thickness of material and actual height/length of the cyclinder (assumed it fully bisected the Cyclone).

Seto wrote:
It was all about improving ENDURANCE

Which would constitute a BENEFIT to using the Lithium-Ion over Lead-Acid in actual practice, the example was a hypothetical where there would be NO BENEFIT. Given what we know about PC, it should have some BENEFIT over the H2 fueled vehicles of the OSM but it doesn't given the OSM C&P for RT. The PC fueled engines could though in theory sacrifice endurance for additional performance, which would form the justification for not using the OSM in such a C&P manner.

The few examples I could find for comparing H2 fuel to PC (internally, not using OSM vs RPG) isn't exactly consistent either within the 2E RPG (the IMU AGAC in NG SB actually takes a penalty, the others in NG SB improve at different rates).

Seto wrote:
You’re also assuming that the Alpha isn’t benefitting from any outside assistance like catapults or riding along on the artificial gravity wake of the large ships it’s escorting in a manner not dissimilar to the way folding ships can carry other things with them.

Catapult launches are not going to magically solve the issue, especially since catapult launches do not appear to be a thing in GCM/NG (and TSC).

The ArG wake idea doesn't work since not all of Sue's shots show large ships to exploit, nor is there any indication that is even something that is done in Robotech (and IINM not an option for GCM, which might influence HG).


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Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 4:13 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."
Peacebringer wrote:
Yes! A "Zerg-rush", but, is that what the Invid want you to think?

Given that the average Invid doesn’t do a lot of thinking in general, I’d assume not…

As noted earlier in this very thread, the Invid are pretty harmless if you’re not an idiot. The only reason they’re a threat at all is because there are so bloody many of them and they’re basically indifferent to casualties like the Pseudo-Arachnids in Starship Troopers. The typical Invid mecha for almost their entire history has comically low survivability and no ranged weapons, so they’re only really a threat if you let them get into CQC range. If you leverage long-range beam weapons and conduct saturation bombardments of their formations, you can wipe them out and they’ll never even be able to touch you. The only reason the Invid were able to pose a threat at all was that the Tirolians had basically no defenses left when the Regent attacked, and that the UEEF is stupid enough to repeatedly attempt to fight the Invid exclusively on the Invid’s terms.

(This kind of goes back to the original Genesis Climber MOSPEADA, wherein the Inbit were essentially strangers to the concept of war as a whole. Their mindset was so different from what humans were familiar with that they didn’t even interpret human behavior as intelligent, they won their first “war” with humanity simply by following their swarming instincts and reacting to Earth’s defenses similarly to how Japanese bees react to predators. It worked, and it kept working, and so they never had any reason to try anything else or reconsider whether humans might actually be intelligent.)



Peacebringer wrote:
Perhaps an Invid-brain realized that even if they go Zor's ship, the Zentraedi would take it and why not let it get involved with another species? Afterall, the Invid encountered many species before.

None of the factions (except humanity) really give a damn about the ship itself, it’s what’s on it that they want… and the Invid wouldn’t have been able to get ahold of it first anyway, because nobody knew where it was after Zor shot it off into oblivion to keep it away from everyone who wanted it. The Invid’s only interest and stake in it was the flowers of life it carried inside Zor’s protoculture matrix, so it’s unlikely they’d let it go if they got their hands/claws on it.



Peacebringer wrote:
One of these days, I will have an Invid/Zentraedi match-up as soon as I find a good random fleet program like Star-Trek or Star-Wars generator and convert it(the results, not the program) to Robotech.

As noted earlier, that is a HILARIOUSLY one-sided fight… since the Invid ships and most Invid mecha have no ranged weapons, and the Zentradi ships have acknowledged gun ranges over one light second when used for bombardments. It’s not something you need a program to do a run-through of… you have only one side that’s capable of dealing damage, so the math is very straightforward.



Peacebringer wrote:
I like Orguss; their designs are sooo Macross (same as Dougram). I've always wanted to run a Robotech game in which the OPFOR (Opposing Forcce) were other humans in Mecha; I ran a Robotech vs. Dougram mechs in Battletech having each side with the same tonnage; Robotech mech won.

One of the most popular uses of the Robotech RPG is to run games in the original Japanese Macross setting for that kind of reason.

Robotech’s setting is geographically large - encompassing a galaxy - but is narratively a very small place. For all that galactic real estate, the story revolves almost exclusively around Earth’s circumstances with Tirol and Optera as peripheral concerns at best. There’s not a lot going on in the galaxy as a whole either, with the handful of planets capable of supporting life all being under occupation by belligerent aliens, humanity in space being a purely military culture, etc. The brief sideshow of the fight with Edwards’ renegades is the only time in the series proper that humanity ends up at war with itself, and since that only really lasts for two battles it’s not much to work with for an RPG.

Macross, on the other hand, offers a lot more narrative freedom because the setting itself is a lot broader. Instead of being limited to an isolated Earth under continual alien threat, humanity in Macross has begun to set itself up as a galactic civilization. With over a hundred and fifty emigrant fleets of various sizes launched to find inhabitable planets to colonize, and dozens that have already found planets to settle on, there’s a lot more variety in the conflicts that spring up in the galaxy. The Zentradi still present a threat when their branch fleets find an inhabited planet or fleet, but you also have civil wars popping up on colonized planets or between colonized planets, interstellar civil wars over “states rights” within the New UN Government itself, terrorism and acts of piracy, government and military conspiracies, abuses of authority by the military, rogue military forces, anti-government organizations, unlawful testing of banned weapons technologies and an array of conflicts with alien species for economic, territorial, and other reasons like those fought with the Dyaus, Vajra, Protodeviln, and Windermereans. All of that is without stepping one foot outside the official setting. Human v. Human is stupid easy to justify in that setting, with several different families of VFs existing specifically to fight other VFs like the VF-19 and VF-22 from the Macross Plus OVA and the SV-series VFs like the Sv-154 Svard and Sv-262 Draken III from Macross Delta.

(For instance, the campaign I'm currently planning for my group involves a New UN Spacy special forces unit being dispatched to investigate the recent violent overthrow of a pacifist fleet government after a series of violent riots in the fleet's habitat ships over a worsening economic recession, trade imbalances, and accusations that the previous government had tampered with the last election to stay in power.)

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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: Sun Jan 19, 2020 8:09 pm
  

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Dungeon Crawler

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I meant an random scenario generator like the one I have for Battletech that creates random units for pen and paper games; however, there's a enough from the books I can do a few random-encounters between in I and the Z.

Invid-brains do have an IQ score of 17 and are pscionic so who knows.

I always imagined a Sentinels game in which they find a former UEG colony with VF-1s that don't quite want to be drafted by the REF to fight the Invid (Veritechs vs. Alphas?).

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2020 12:52 am
  

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Knight

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Peacebringer wrote:
I meant an random scenario generator like the one I have for Battletech that creates random units for pen and paper games; however, there's a enough from the books I can do a few random-encounters between in I and the Z.

The way the math shakes out, one battlepod can take out a theoretically infinite number of Invid in combat simply by reversing away from them at the same speed the Invid are pursuing at, and firing on them from outside their weapons range (0-1.2km depending on type) while still within a battle pod’s weapons range (1.5km). It’s not even a fight, it’s a one-sided slaughter that’s more akin to trap shooting for the Zentradi pilot… he’s in no real danger no matter how big the enemy Invid formation is.



Peacebringer wrote:
I always imagined a Sentinels game in which they find a former UEG colony with VF-1s that don't quite want to be drafted by the REF to fight the Invid (Veritechs vs. Alphas?).

That’s one of those story ideas where you more or less have to completely part ways with the setting to do it… since in Robotech, the "colonies" (read: military-run resource stations) in the Sol system were converted fully into military bases before the Invid arrived and everyone living out in space (ie “not on Earth”) is already a soldier and apparently either happy to be so or at least suitably afraid of the military brass to not make waves. Probably wouldn’t be much of a fight regardless due to overwhelming numerical superiority.

HG tried to sort of backhand extrasolar colonies in there to make Robotech more like Macross with RTSC, but they screwed it up chronologically so there was never a window where they could DO anything related to colonization so the existing colony ships got repurposed into neutron-s missiles and the new class under construction got blown up by neutron-s missiles.

(RT2E’s Not-The-Sentinels-Honest! sourcebook AKA UEEF Marines actually indicates that the Expeditionary Forces still widely use the VF-1, so it’d be more like VF-1s and Alphas vs. VF-1s.)

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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: Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:21 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."
ShadowLogan wrote:
Consequence of the crash yes, but you still had system malfunctions on KP's Alpha. Those malfunctions induced in the Alpha would necessitate the UEEF look at preventing them in the future.

That assumes that they can even recreate the failure. Even a simpler vehicle like an automobile has so many different potential failure modes caused by collision-related damage that it’s utterly impossible to engineer around all of them, so they engineer around the most probable ones and the million-to-one corner cases are usually ignored because they can only occur in a complex or impossible-to-replicate interaction that requires millisecond-precision failure interactions in more than one system.

TL;DR: Just because Karen’s Alpha had some issues after the collision doesn’t mean the UEEF is going to modify its design in any way.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Given it is supposed to be a fictional futuristic setting (when it was written), the word may have adopted new/expanded meaning in universe.

This isn’t THAT far in the future… and Max was an aviator trained in the modern day. It’s just the writers being idots.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Afterall Pluto is still a planet in Robotech, the Solar System had a 10th Planet (Pamir), Venus doesn't appear to be hell incarnate (taking Scott's comparison at face value), there are at least 6 Lagrange Points at Earth (5 are what there should be, though I supose the ASC navigator could have been speaking in code).

Which can generally be attributed to the age of the material, dodgy translation, a fanciful Burt Ward-esque euphemism rather than unrealistic surface conditions on Venus, writers not being up on their science, etc.

In short, you’re using… generous… interpretations that are not consistent with common sense or the obvious realities of the material.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Cosmetically the UEEF Destroids in Marines [...]

… are really an entirely irrelevant matter, as they don’t exist in the official setting and aren’t at all engineered for flight. They have no reason to connect to a Beta.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Given the VFA-6S/X (and VQ-6X) lack any VTOL propulsion system it would seem that the connection system is not the propulsion system but something that shares that area on the VFA-6H/I/Z else they would not be able to connect on the Beta's docking beam and we know they connect.

Ah, once again you’ve jumped to a more convoluted conclusion and ignored the obvious answer in the process.

We know for an irrefutable fact that the Beta connects to the Alpha through the VTOL aft nozzle and forearm sub-engines because we have the original production line art. That is an irrefutable fact. The obvious simple answer to explain the Shadow Beta is that they changed the design of the docking connector to account for the original structure not existing anymore. This was one of those things they very clearly tried to avoid showing in RTSC, because they hadn’t bothered to actually figure it out… probably because they were expecting to have the Gamma Fighter for the movie instead.



ShadowLogan wrote:
While the over all sequence of scenes might be questionable, I am just looking at specific instances within that sequence here not the sum [...]

*sigh* The source as a whole is not reliable, cherrypicking from it won’t make it less so. I know you know this, so I am at a loss to explain why you’re even attempting to defend it.



ShadowLogan wrote:
What we need to really settle the issue in terms of Lunar Operations is some idea of how long it can actually fly around in space (and/or Moon). The longer it can operate the more Delta-V it will require, which weakens the notion of the Alpha being unable to perform Sub-Orbital flight.

On the one hand, we have an explicit and OSM-compliant statement that the Alpha is incapable of suborbital flight paths… on the other, some highly subjective interpretations of scenes which can be explained any of a dozen different ways. You’re gonna have to come up with something more objective if you want to argue against the facts. Especially when the parts which you’ve cherrypicked are the ones most dependent on the most obvious of the inconsistencies and errors.



ShadowLogan wrote:
16 Protoculture Canisters, each approx. 4.5L in volume based on the lineart of the identical canister used by the Cylcone. That is about the maximum volume amount of PC that can be in those canisters, so depending on thickness of material and actual height/length of the cyclinder (assumed it fully bisected the Cyclone).

That is a guesstimate. You’re estimating the maximum possible volume of the canisters from the external dimensions alone, not knowing what kind of hardware is inside, how thick the containers are, how much space is used for fuel vs. other materials like coolants, electrolytes (it IS indicated to be a fuel cell), energy conversion hardware, special fuel handling and containment hardware, etc.

It’s still utterly meaningless because of all the other things you don’t know about the fuel material itself, or the original version’s technology. You’re trying to make an assertion that’s indefensible due to lack of evidence. That’s the eternal problem with Robotech’s protoculture… because it’s a macguffin, it’s almost totally unexplained.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Which would constitute a BENEFIT to using the Lithium-Ion over Lead-Acid in actual practice, the example was a hypothetical where there would be NO BENEFIT.

Your argument was about direct benefits to overall performance. That’s not the kind of benefit you get from your example. It doesn’t make your car accelerate faster, or brake faster, or give your car a faster top speed. It just extends your range.

Any way you shake it, it’s a counterexample to your argument that protoculture must perforce mean an improvement in performance… which it doesn’t.



ShadowLogan wrote:
The PC fueled engines could though in theory sacrifice endurance for additional performance, which would form the justification for not using the OSM in such a C&P manner.

But that’s not supportable from the animation, which is why the performance numbers are pretty much the same as the OSM’s… and why the RPG went with greater endurance instead.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Catapult launches are not going to magically solve the issue, especially since catapult launches do not appear to be a thing in GCM/NG (and TSC).

We saw what appears to be catapult launches going on in RTSC… so I’m not sure where you’re going with that. They weren’t a thing in the original MOSPEADA though.



ShadowLogan wrote:
The ArG wake idea doesn't work since not all of Sue's shots show large ships to exploit, nor is there any indication that is even something that is done in Robotech (and IINM not an option for GCM, which might influence HG).

That it’s something used in the Macross OSM from time to time may influence them one way or the other on it, but Sue’s shots have a limited viewpoint and whoever took those shots had to be on some ship themselves… so the offending ship may be where the camera was, and thus not in frame because the cameraman is busy looking out of one of its windows.

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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: Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:40 pm
  

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Seto wrote:
TL;DR: Just because Karen’s Alpha had some issues after the collision doesn’t mean the UEEF is going to modify its design in any way.

Very true, but the UEEF is going to look at the issue of the crash and presumably take appropriate action. All we have to go on though is dialogue and what we saw in the OVA, we don't have the details of said investigation (which would happen given this was a test flight, so even in failure the UEEF should be looking to learn something) beyond the result of shelving the Beta (it doesn't mean the Alpha comes away clean).

Seto wrote:
We know for an irrefutable fact that the Beta connects to the Alpha through the VTOL aft nozzle and forearm sub-engines because we have the original production line art. That is an irrefutable fact. The obvious simple answer to explain the Shadow Beta is that they changed the design of the docking connector to account for the original structure not existing anymore. This was one of those things they very clearly tried to avoid showing in RTSC, because they hadn’t bothered to actually figure it out… probably because they were expecting to have the Gamma Fighter for the movie instead.

I think we'll have to agree to disagree on this. We agree those general areas are the source of the docking, but disagree where the connection points are actually located.

Seto wrote:
Which can generally be attributed to the age of the material, dodgy translation, a fanciful Burt Ward-esque euphemism rather than unrealistic surface conditions on Venus, writers not being up on their science, etc.

I agree those examples are a product of its time, but for the most part it shows that from a modern POV they use terms in ways we don't in present day. Pluto hasn't been a planet in over a decade, Pamir itself doesn't exactly qualify as a planet either (by modern definition). Scott has a strange idea of what Venus is actually like (Burt Ward-esque or not)

Seto wrote:
… are really an entirely irrelevant matter, as they don’t exist in the official setting and aren’t at all engineered for flight. They have no reason to connect to a Beta.

While I agree the UEEF Destroids from Marines aren't in the official setting, we know the UEEF itself has flight capable nt-battloids in canon that it deploys in space. Which could be a reason for them to connect to the Beta or other platform to give them space mobility (1E RPG gave them a space jet pack) or greater mobility , and might explain the lack of certain features (or use of them) by the VFs if hypothetically these roles where handled by these space mobile nt-bs. For example a space-mobile Phalanx-type would theoretically negate the need for LRM use by the Alpha (or Beta/VF-1 for that matter) in space (x1 24-element formation of P-types with matching number of Beta's, would theoretically have roughly the firepower of x1 144-element formation of VF-1s with FAST Packs or A/B combos).

Seto wrote:
But that’s not supportable from the animation, which is why the performance numbers are pretty much the same as the OSM’s… and why the RPG went with greater endurance instead.

Technically the RPG did not exactly go with straight endurance. Both 1E and 2E PB RPG allowed the Alpha/Beta (and other multi-cell mecha) to operate with only 1/2 the required number of cells but at penalty (speed/bonuses are reduced, 1E RT2 pg81 which is C&Ped from Bk5, 2E TSC magna pg99/116).

However there are ways to explain it in the animation: RPG's approach (not using full cell count, Lancer in Invasion Comic while prepping for the ground assault on the hive makes a comment about PC supply in the UEEF that suggests the UEEF could implement rationing by limiting PC cells used) and the Novels suggest different potency levels exist (in NG arc). I would also remind you that the animation itself can be shown to not support the specs (for all 3 sagas in terms of acceleration profiles).

Seto wrote:
That it’s something used in the Macross OSM from time to time may influence them one way or the other on it, but Sue’s shots have a limited viewpoint and whoever took those shots had to be on some ship themselves… so the offending ship may be where the camera was, and thus not in frame because the cameraman is busy looking out of one of its windows.

I do not dispute Sue's shots have limitations, but we don't know where she was when each of the shots was taken. For all we know she was in another Veritech Fighter (or on the 2E RPG's stupid Space Cyclone) or a ship, and possibly even it wasn't her who shot the footage she shows off. What we do know is there are different shots with the Shadow Alpha Fighter, one in "space" (nothing else in shot) and another flying close to the base (you can see lunar surface behind buildings/structures in background). I am considering the shots from Sue's to be the sole result of the Alpha w/no external help is true, but there is nothing in the show that indicates otherwise or that it can't operate in the Lunar Environment in the manner displayed.

Seto wrote:
On the one hand, we have an explicit and OSM-compliant statement that the Alpha is incapable of suborbital flight paths… on the other, some highly subjective interpretations of scenes which can be explained any of a dozen different ways. You’re gonna have to come up with something more objective if you want to argue against the facts. Especially when the parts which you’ve cherrypicked are the ones most dependent on the most obvious of the inconsistencies and errors.

The thing is we can't check the math of the OSM statement since we lack relevant values to check it against. We know scenes exist that show the Alpha is space capable and it flies in the vacinity of the Moon and orbit, all of which would require the unit to have some measureable amount of Delta-V which given real world examples of craft we can compare to to atleast determine if suborbital flight is actually possible.
Seto wrote:
That is a guesstimate. ...

I agree that the 4.5L volume is a guesstimate, but I also acknowledge that it is the maximum amount, and factors can reduce it (like material thickness).


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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2020 7:49 pm
  

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If the Zentraedi could easily defeat the Invid by simply thrusting backwards out of their range, why didn't the Zentraedi wage their own, "Sentinels", campaign of annihilation against the Invid eons ago?

And yes, I can see the UEEG marines use VF-1s because the USMC currently using older weapon-systems and writers like to mirror military/historical-events.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2020 11:40 pm
  

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They did. The invid were not a real threat to the masters until AFTER the destruction of the Zentraedi at earth. It was then the invid were able to move on the masters and sentinels worlds and even that was after the masters had fled the area and were headed towards earth.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 12:06 am
  

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Knight

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ShadowLogan wrote:
Very true, but the UEEF is going to look at the issue of the crash and presumably take appropriate action. [...]

Which we can say with certainty had serious design implications for the Beta, but which we have no evidence to suggest had any implications for the Alpha.



ShadowLogan wrote:
I think we'll have to agree to disagree on this. We agree those general areas are the source of the docking, but disagree where the connection points are actually located.

You can’t really “disagree” with objectively demonstrable facts.

We know how the connection between these two aircraft works because we have the production materials detailing how it works from the creation of the animation itself. The notes of the people who designed the bloody aircraft in the first place.



ShadowLogan wrote:
I agree those examples are a product of its time, but for the most part it shows that from a modern POV they use terms in ways we don't in present day. Pluto hasn't been a planet in over a decade, Pamir itself doesn't exactly qualify as a planet either (by modern definition). Scott has a strange idea of what Venus is actually like (Burt Ward-esque or not)

It shows that the writers variously were not scientifically literate, couldn’t foretell the future, and frequently wrote heavily dated and goofy things that sounded cooler in their heads. Taking that seriously is not advisable, to say the least.



ShadowLogan wrote:
While I agree the UEEF Destroids from Marines aren't in the official setting, we know the UEEF itself has flight capable nt-battloids in canon that it deploys in space.

Over very short ranges, where a Beta is not necessary.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Technically the RPG did not exactly go with straight endurance. Both 1E and 2E PB RPG allowed the Alpha/Beta (and other multi-cell mecha) to operate with only 1/2 the required number of cells but at penalty (speed/bonuses are reduced, 1E RT2 pg81 which is C&Ped from Bk5, 2E TSC magna pg99/116).

That’s the RPG, though… it’s going to have content that’s not necessarily reflective of the official setting to cover what-ifs and corner cases specific to the game rules.

If we take it seriously, that suggests the Alpha’s cell clusters are running in parallel… which is an odd choice to say the least, but that isn’t really a quibble about fuel but rather about how they’ve designed the generator. It would have a similar problem regardless of what fuel it was using with that configuration.



ShadowLogan wrote:
However there are ways to explain it in the animation: RPG's approach (not using full cell count, Lancer in Invasion Comic while prepping for the ground assault on the hive makes a comment about PC supply in the UEEF that suggests the UEEF could implement rationing by limiting PC cells used) [...]

A more rational explanation would be that they would ration protoculture usage by limiting their energy expenditure. Using fewer craft for patrols, restricting high-energy system usage, etc.



ShadowLogan wrote:
and the Novels suggest different potency levels exist (in NG arc).

The novels are worse than useless for drawing conclusions about anything, being obviously Robotech in name only before they were explicitly declared so by HG.



ShadowLogan wrote:
I would also remind you that the animation itself can be shown to not support the specs (for all 3 sagas in terms of acceleration profiles).

No, it can’t. I’ve seen your attempt to “prove” this, remember? It was almost entirely subjective, and depended on so many circular arguments and unverifiable assumptions that the conclusion you reached was worse than meaningless.



ShadowLogan wrote:
I am considering the shots from Sue's to be the sole result of the Alpha w/no external help is true, but there is nothing in the show that indicates otherwise or that it can't operate in the Lunar Environment in the manner displayed.

The unspoken question, of course, being “for how long?”. These snippets are too short to give any guidance on that front, so any conclusions about delta-v based on them are effectively not supportable.

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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 Jan 23, 2020 12:53 am
  

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Knight

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Peacebringer wrote:
If the Zentraedi could easily defeat the Invid by simply thrusting backwards out of their range, why didn't the Zentraedi wage their own, "Sentinels" campaign of annihilation against the Invid eons ago?

They wouldn’t even need to do that much… they could just roll right up to orbit of any planet with an Invid presence and flatten it in a matter of a minute or so with a mass bombardment like what they did to Earth.

The Robotech Masters had the surface of Optera, the second Invid homeworld, destroyed when they’d taken what they wanted from it. The Zentradi are almost certainly the ones who did it, the totality of the biosphere’s destruction being more or less their distinctive calling card in-series. It was a desire for revenge for the destruction of their homeworld, the loss of the flower of life, and the ensuing breakup of his marriage that drove the Regent to invade and occupy the homeworld of the now-absent Robotech Masters and then take over the rest of their former territory.

The Invid were only able to become a threat at all because they were tardy to the party. They’d only discovered where the protoculture matrix containing the remaining flowers of life went after every other faction had either been wiped out or fought to the point of complete exhaustion over the darn thing. The Zentradi were all but extinct and their great armada a ring of wreckage that continued to orbit Earth for decades, the Masters wore themselves out completely fighting what remained of Earth’s defenders and so both they and the UEDF were too badly depleted to fight the Invid effectively. The UEEF was too small and too poorly equipped to fight the Invid at any reasonable level. So the Invid effectively remained the metaphorical 98lb weaklings of the lot, but still beat up humanity because humanity broke its arms punching out two heavyweight prize fighters.



Peacebringer wrote:
And yes, I can see the UEEG marines use VF-1s because the USMC currently using older weapon-systems and writers like to mirror military/historical-events.

It’s actually because the VF-1 can do a bunch of stuff the Alpha can’t…

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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 Jan 23, 2020 1:25 am
  

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Peacebringer wrote:
Also, I don't take this discussion too seriously; I realize that Harmony Gold's writers probably had to mesh a plot to together in a short amount of time. Just think of all the other possible Japanese animie that could have been used instead of the designs for the Invid and the Masters like Gundam and Dougram.

Y’know, I thought of one that might actually be a good fit for Robotech. It’s a Tatsunoko TV anime from 2019 called Egao no Daika (lit. The Price of Smiles). The series was short, only twelve episodes, and it was a commercial and ratings failure so Harmony Gold could get it for dirt cheap.

Its story’d fit pretty well with Robotech’s, given that it’s a mecha series where the war is at least partly about possession of an exotic and essential macguffin powersource called chrars (full name: chrarslapis, a rare substance that, when processed, is believed to generate energy indefinitely). They could even spin it as the end of protoculture in the Robotech version, as the saw-it-coming-a-mile-off twist is that the ecological decay of the planet is caused by chrars draining energy from the nanomachines that terraform the planet into something that sustains human life.

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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 Jan 23, 2020 1:41 pm
  

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Seto wrote:
Over very short ranges, where a Beta is not necessary.

The Beta would not be necessary for the Condor or Bioroid Interceptor, both had their own options. Other potential designs might be a different story which is what I am looking at (Sentinels and Marines both postulate additional units beyond just those 2, indicating it is a common idea that the UEEF has more than 2 types of nt-b). Said option would also allow nt-b escorts for higher speed escort flights (Condor/BI aren't exactly fast in the 2E RPG, the Conbats they escort would have to restrict their speed or go with out escort).

Seto wrote:
That’s the RPG, though… it’s going to have content that’s not necessarily reflective of the official setting to cover what-ifs and corner cases specific to the game rules.

I agree it's going to have content balanced more for RPG play, which is why I don't consider it reflective of the series canon in this matter which doesn't give any indication of the performance benefits for mecha to use PC.

The Infopedia doesn't give endurance-type figures for any era mecha. The OSM gives some indication of time in some cases, but C&P-ing the values blind from the OSM is what leads to no apparent benefit for the NG mecha to use PC over H2 (of the 2 previous generations or the OSM). The only thing we know for sure is PC > Nuclear in terms of energy density which would be a benefit, but in terms of performance it doesn't appear to be there given we can compare them to contemporary nuclear designs in the show (TRM saga, A/B designed around same time) and their precursor (TMS saga) or the OSM version.

Seto wrote:
A more rational explanation would be that they would ration protoculture usage by limiting their energy expenditure. Using fewer craft for patrols, restricting high-energy system usage, etc.

Rationing though takes many forms, but the show suggests you can run the Alphas (and Beta) with fewer than the required number of PC-cells being loaded into them. "Curtain Call" IINM only shows Lunk load one 4 pack into the Alpha before Scott takes off (Lunk could have put additional cells in off screen, so it suggests 1-4pack but there could be more). "The Big Apple" has a few scenes that suggest this is also possible ("a dozen canisters or more" to power all 4 VFs, Rand tossing Rook a single cell because she was a quart low, possibly the number of cells they stole from the warehouse initially).

I would not rule out the basic premise of the Novels statement about potency as the show dialogue also mentions PC potency by the Masters in TRM saga regarding their own stockpile and that at the mounds (sorry I don't have quote/Ep citation available, it is fairly easy to find the reference in the Novels which is why I put it as Novel).

Seto wrote:
The unspoken question, of course, being “for how long?”. These snippets are too short to give any guidance on that front, so any conclusions about delta-v based on them are effectively not supportable

Sue's shots don't give an indication of how long. There are 2-shots I use to draw the conclusion on:
-1st shot has a close up of a group, but no indication of altitude or other craft in their vicinity. They are in motion though, so they are either operating as Lunar Flyer/Hopper or in orbit.
-2nd shot has two formations of Alphas, one appears to be launching/climbing close to the ground (takeoff?) destination unknown so it could be Lunar Flyer/Hopper or on an orbital trajectory. This gets followed up by another formation of that cut across the screen and then bank on an approach coming towards the camera operating as a Lunar Flyer/Hopper by all indications.

Given all the shots also are of the Alpha in flight, it is safe to assume they took off under their own power (no catapult in use in NG) and expect to land safely. Both of which will require additional operating time and Delta-V. I looked at different fuel configurations for the Legois/Alpha (different H2 states plus use of LOX oxidizer, "PC", most assume separate oxidizer storage) using 4L estimate for each PC/HBT cell and what the Specific Impulse AND operating time would be for a given Delta-V. If the Alpha/Legoiss is expected to have 5 minutes of Lunar Flyer/Hopper time at full thrust (assuming 4 ATFs and 2 JG w/JG=2ATF) you'll need a Delta-V of ~6.8kps (exact fuel setup will cause this to vary slightly) for the H/I (same engines as on the S IINM). At 1kps, full thrust would provide ~0.75 minute (45seconds), which seems a very unlikely operating time (at 4.6kps you get ~3.4minutes, at 9.2kps you get ~6.8minutes).

The main drawback of classifying these examples as a flyer/hopper is how far is it expected to travel and at what speed (unknown). The Apollo Flyer/Hopper I could find specs on doesn't go far/fast (about as fast as the Alpha can run in Battloid) AND it was to have a Delta-V of .7kps, which means if you want to go farther or faster you'll need more than this (at ~2.1kps you reach the ability to enter orbit).

Given the above and previous mentioned examples of real world vehicles, the Alpha has the theoretical capability to go sub-orbital under its own power. I would not object to the statement that it is TECHNICALLY POSSIBLE, BUT NOT PRACTICAL for it to do so. And there is a difference between technically possible vs practical in terms of operations.

EDIT ADDITION:
Seto wrote:
It’s actually because the VF-1 can do a bunch of stuff the Alpha can’t…

Which makes one wonder why they kept the Alpha in play and shelved the Beta in 2022 since operationally the UEEF would end up with a platform that could do a bunch more stuff than the Alpha and would be on par/better in some respects to the VF-1 (not that the Beta doesn't have its own deficiencies compared to the VF-1). By all indications the only real issue with the Beta that needs to be worked out is the docking system, which they could remove (and potentially replace with something more useful) or limit its use (no in-field-docking like the test flight).

Seto wrote:
We know how the connection between these two aircraft works because we have the production materials detailing how it works from the creation of the animation itself. The notes of the people who designed the bloody aircraft in the first pla

Sure they say "this is how it works" (I'll take your word on that), but does it actually checkout. Is that a structurally sound location to connect to (the nozzles which is what you are implying), especially if you expect to do aggressive maneuvering? I can certainly see a connection to some other part of the propulsion module, but not the nozzle (and going into the nozzle to connection might not be a good idea either if you misaligned you could damage the engine itself instead of just the nozzle).


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 3:15 pm
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
Seto wrote:
(One of those clear-cut cases of “you keep using that word, but it does not mean what you think it means”.

Given it is supposed to be a fictional futuristic setting (when it was written), the word may have adopted new/expanded meaning in universe. Afterall Pluto is still a planet in Robotech, the Solar System had a 10th Planet (Pamir), Venus doesn't appear to be hell incarnate (taking Scott's comparison at face value), there are at least 6 Lagrange Points at Earth (5 are what there should be, though I supose the ASC navigator could have been speaking in code).

ShadowLogan wrote:
Seto wrote:
Even then, Max’s explanation is the least likely one… at least in terms of the number of people on duty who’d have to have seriously f*cked up for that accident to happen. It’s more likely the damage was incurred during the crash itself.

I agree the docking incident itself is the more likely cause for the external physical damage seen and for the most part you are preaching to the choir on this area.


For what it's worth, I always thought Max was simply covering for Karen in front of her father. (Also vouching on her based on past performances, so that she won't get too much trouble out of that single accident. If she did, then her father might be able to pull some strings to get her to resign, which might be a loss from Max's POV. Plus, since we don't know too much about his own past; it isn't impossible that he would defend her impulsively - feeling the pressing need to correct a pr*ck taken at face value; maybe conflating her abilities in the process.) So, the part where you debate about the terminology being used as "wrong", might be considered a clever way for Max to make this known to Karen, while not explicitly stating it. (Especially in the comics, where the tail damage on the Alpha, pointed to by Max, is clearly the damage from Max's guardian mode's hand during rescue.) It also opens the door for Lang to take her defence and "promote" her officially.
In time, investigations would have been made that could have proven "Max's Theory" more or less right... However, they weren't yet made during this scene.
Karen knows this as much as Lang, the "accident" looks very much like her banging too hard on the Beta during link-up. However, her father seems to be out of his field with his arguments. At best, it's like he was following the work on the project out of sheer familial concerns.
Fooling him wouldn't be the hardest part indeed.
Tough some will probably credit me with putting too much trust into the writers again.

On the other hand, we have a few examples of Alphas using some sort of "fly-by-wire" system, in order to control an attached Beta in Shadow Chronicle.
(Seto mentions it as a "Data Bus".) Thus, I think that this link might be more complex than just a glorified trailer hook. If the Alpha can control the Beta's system when linked, it would need some way to connect with the Beta's computer. No mater which has the male or female plug-in; that would effectively give support to ShadowLogan's argument that the system is twofold. The plugs wouldn't be normally exposed and might need articulated "doors".
IMO, using any wireless exchange on this would make the link-up too vulnerable to interference.
The docking clamp remains on the Beta, of course, but something on both sides could be out of alignment with the connection ports.
Plus, wouldn't the Alpha need some sort of assisted guidance to pull that manoeuvre in reverse? That would imply sensors in the back of the plane, which could be wrongly calibrated. Making this a "software issue", not necessarily a hardware one.

ShadowLogan wrote:
Re: other UEEF mecha docking
Cosmetically the UEEF Destroids in Marines (Defender/Tomahawk/Spartan/Phalanx) appear to use the same lower torso design as the Alpha that is a known connection port. So if the system is grabbing onto Alpha structures, then there is a good chance it would work for the UEEF Destroids (all 5 mecha in question have that crotch thruster vented nozzle), it would look more like the b-mode Alpha connected to the Beta, but cosmetically it would appear to be a viable option for some designs.

Re: connection ports
Given the VFA-6S/X (and VQ-6X) lack any VTOL propulsion system it would seem that the connection system is not the propulsion system but something that shares that area on the VFA-6H/I/Z else they would not be able to connect on the Beta's docking beam and we know they connect.


An interesting Theory. Which even if it wasn't true, could be brought up by engineer players during a campaign.
On this, if I haven't made too many mistakes when building my scale chart according to the RPG, I have this to add :
I can only see the modification work with the SDR-05-Mk.XV Phalanx, the MBR-05-Mk.X Tomahawk, and the MBR-08-Mk.VI Spartan.
The Condor is WAY too big to fit in on that coupling. Same goes for the HWR-02-Mk.VII Monster.
The Golem would be too small, same would apply to the Bioroid Interceptor, the Valiant, and the Defender. (Some more adjustments would have to be made, but by this point, I'm not sure it would be worth the effort...)
I'm not sure about the Silverback, the hip part seems too large / different. Though even the idea seems pointless. The thing would be a tad light to put in front of such a rocket boost.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:22 pm
  

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Knight

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ShadowLogan wrote:
Other potential designs might be a different story which is what I am looking at (Sentinels and Marines both postulate additional units beyond just those 2, indicating it is a common idea that the UEEF has more than 2 types of nt-b). [...]

The ones that exist in animation have their own flight options, the others... well... are of dubious relevance and probably not intended for space use regardless.



ShadowLogan wrote:
The Infopedia doesn't give endurance-type figures for any era mecha. The OSM gives some indication of time in some cases, but C&P-ing the values blind from the OSM is what leads to no apparent benefit for the NG mecha to use PC over H2 (of the 2 previous generations or the OSM).

It wasn't done blindly, it was a well-justified and highly rational decision to provide official stats consistent with the animation. The problem comes with the fact that you have one show where the main mecha are very good at their jobs, two where they aren't, and all three at different tech levels. Basically, the inconsistency is an unavoidable problem of Robotech's cut-and-paste translation show nature.



ShadowLogan wrote:
The only thing we know for sure is PC > Nuclear in terms of energy density which would be a benefit, but in terms of performance it doesn't appear to be there given we can compare them to contemporary nuclear designs in the show (TRM saga, A/B designed around same time) and their precursor (TMS saga) or the OSM version.

Yup, which is why they seem to have gone with the idea that protoculture cells offer the benefit of greater endurance and ease of refueling rather than unsupportable-by-the-animation performance. It basically amounts to protoculture cells being a very powerful alternative to nuclear batteries, rather than a replacement for a high-output nuclear reactor.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Rationing though takes many forms, but the show suggests you can run the Alphas (and Beta) with fewer than the required number of PC-cells being loaded into them. "Curtain Call" IINM only shows Lunk load one 4 pack into the Alpha before Scott takes off (Lunk could have put additional cells in off screen, so it suggests 1-4pack but there could be more).

Or it could also be that only one pack needed replacement at the time if they're running in parallel and not in series as previously discussed.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Given all the shots also are of the Alpha in flight, it is safe to assume they took off under their own power (no catapult in use in NG) and expect to land safely. Both of which will require additional operating time and Delta-V.

At 1/6th Earth gravity, landing safely may not require any actual investment of propellant... they can probably just land unpowered.



ShadowLogan wrote:
I looked at different fuel configurations for the Legois/Alpha (different H2 states plus use of LOX oxidizer, "PC", most assume separate oxidizer storage) [...]

Given that what we're looking at here is an aircraft that's essentially running on high-powered nuclear battery equivalents, I'd assume that it's monopropellant... no separate oxidizer. Either it's an ion engine setup or they're powering a fusion engine with the output of the protoculture cells. Given its issues with limited propellant capacity, I would assume that it's likely not capable of exerting its full thrust for any significant period... much like the VF-1 without FAST Packs will run its vastly more capacious tanks dry in a matter of minutes at full power in space and needs to operate at reduced power in order to have a usable range unless it augments its fuel supplies with booster rockets and conformal tanks.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Seto wrote:
It’s actually because the VF-1 can do a bunch of stuff the Alpha can’t…

Which makes one wonder why they kept the Alpha in play and shelved the Beta in 2022 since operationally the UEEF would end up with a platform that could do a bunch more stuff than the Alpha and would be on par/better in some respects to the VF-1 (not that the Beta doesn't have its own deficiencies compared to the VF-1). [...]

Really, it actually asks a much more cutting question of why they kept the Alpha at all... since the UEEF Marines book suggests the UEEF Marines were using the VF-1 not just as a main fighter, but as a light bomber in the role the Beta was meant to be used. It could do BOTH.



ShadowLogan wrote:
By all indications the only real issue with the Beta that needs to be worked out is the docking system, which they could remove (and potentially replace with something more useful) or limit its use (no in-field-docking like the test flight).

It's certainly the only issue mentioned... presumably there must have been others.



ShadowLogan wrote:
Sure they say "this is how it works" (I'll take your word on that), but does it actually checkout. Is that a structurally sound location to connect to (the nozzles which is what you are implying), especially if you expect to do aggressive maneuvering?

What aggressive maneuvering? The docked combiner never maneuvers aggressively, it's too weighty to fling itself around like a dogfighter. The docking system is set up the way it is in no small part to allow the combined mecha to benefit from the engine output of BOTH component aircraft. That said, it should be quite structurally sound as it's tied into one of the main load-bearing structures on the mecha - the pelvis.


ShadowLogan wrote:
I can certainly see a connection to some other part of the propulsion module, but not the nozzle (and going into the nozzle to connection might not be a good idea either if you misaligned you could damage the engine itself instead of just the nozzle).

When I say nozzle, I mean the whole bloody thing... all it was is a nozzle in the original design, with the thrust coming from the main turbines.





xunk16 wrote:
For what it's worth, I always thought Max was simply covering for Karen in front of her father. (Also vouching on her based on past performances, so that she won't get too much trouble out of that single accident. If she did, then her father might be able to pull some strings to get her to resign, which might be a loss from Max's POV. Plus, since we don't know too much about his own past; it isn't impossible that he would defend her impulsively - feeling the pressing need to correct a pr*ck taken at face value; maybe conflating her abilities in the process.) So, the part where you debate about the terminology being used as "wrong", might be considered a clever way for Max to make this known to Karen, while not explicitly stating it. [...]

Trying to mislead a superior officer tends to be a rather dangerous thing for one's career, especially when one underestimates the officer's intelligence in the process or ends up implying the officer isn't all that sharp. I can't see Max doing something that would backfire so spectacularly, esp. considering Penn sr. was supposed to be one of the UEEF's REALLY GOOD senior officers with a significant level of field experience.



xunk16 wrote:
On the other hand, we have a few examples of Alphas using some sort of "fly-by-wire" system, in order to control an attached Beta in Shadow Chronicle.
(Seto mentions it as a "Data Bus".) Thus, I think that this link might be more complex than just a glorified trailer hook. If the Alpha can control the Beta's system when linked, it would need some way to connect with the Beta's computer. No mater which has the male or female plug-in; that would effectively give support to ShadowLogan's argument that the system is twofold. The plugs wouldn't be normally exposed and might need articulated "doors".

Data bus is the correct term for it, yes... the version used by modern fighter fly-by-wire aircraft is the MIL-STD-1553 data bus, or MIL-STD-1773 data bus for aircraft using fly-by-light setups. The fun part is that MIL-STD-1553 is practically the exact same technology used in everyone's cars for the Controller Area Network bus(es) (CAN bus). It's hilariously simple stuff, with the military version just having higher levels of redundancy built in than commercial vehicles do.

Locking connectors like a standard plug and socket are used mainly if you have non-removable hardware you want to connect. There are other approaches that can be used to provide the same levels of connectivity without having to worry about damaging connector pins or anything like that. The simplest, most straightforward, method to achieve the necessary connectivity would be to have a flat contactor on the surface of the docking arm and a matching contactor on the nozzle exterior. Really, anything that can carry an electrical charge can be turned into an ad hoc wire for carrying data by just introducing a modulated carrier wave to the line voltage and demodulate it at the receiving end. This idea is used for transmitting data over power lines (Power Line Carrier, PLC) and has been a commercially-available alternative to running ethernet in some homes and offices. Simply running a charge through the nozzle and using receivers in the docking arm would allow the metallic nozzle housing and thrust duct themselves to act as a data line for communication.



xunk16 wrote:
IMO, using any wireless exchange on this would make the link-up too vulnerable to interference.

Between two UHF/VHF communications antennae operating within a few feet of each other? Not likely... you'd have to dial them down to avoid hurting the pilot, but it'd take an astronomical amount of power to disrupt such powerful communications antennae at such short range. Other alternatives include directed laser transmission of data and beamformed direct-wireless transmission from dedicated transceivers. (I have some antenna systems designed for that kind of thing sitting in my cabinet at work, they're pretty scary... the size of a paperback pocket book, with an effective range of over a kilometer, and they run on a 5V carrier provided over normal Ethernet.)



xunk16 wrote:
Plus, wouldn't the Alpha need some sort of assisted guidance to pull that manoeuvre in reverse? That would imply sensors in the back of the plane, which could be wrongly calibrated. Making this a "software issue", not necessarily a hardware one.

You'd think so, but if there were then Karen wouldn't have crashed into the Beta BEFORE knowing the docking system wasn't working. There ought to have been pre-docking bidirectional communication going on between the two aircraft.

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Macross2.net - Home of the Macross Mecha Manual

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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