My second try. Don't be intimidated by the large posts. If you don't want to read through it all, I can summarize, or fill you in on details as the RP moves.
The sections that PCs must read are the Intro, Character Sheet, and Strategic System. (Sort of)
If you're unfamiliar with Gundam, you may want to read the Background.
If you're unsure of what kinds of characters are acceptable, or are simply undecided about what sort of role yours will play, then read the Archetypes.
For background information on the landmarks and areas in the setting, Solamente Archipelago, then read Settlements.
Gundam 0080: The Forgotten War
The Solamente Archipelago is a little known island off the coast of Australia. An unusual biome similar to New Zealand in its strange, varied environments made more distinctive by the disrupted movement of the planet since Operation British, Solamente is a landscape filled with opposites: Rich jungles like those common in southeast Asia, and dry, arid forests strangely reminiscent of European coniferous forests. There is a snowed-out mountain range to the north of surprisingly high altitude in the midst of the forest region and a flat basin towards the south of the archipelago where a sub-munition from nuclear warheads earlier in the war struck, leaving the land barren and desert-like. The central section of the island is a tough and impenetrable rainforest. Solamente itself is vaguely similar to Greenland in shape, and is roughly 100 nautical miles wide from east to west at its largest point, and 200 miles from north to south.
The landscape is rich in natural resources, which were prized by the Zeonic forces during the early months of the war. Part of the reason why the colonies signed the Antarctic treaty was to eliminate the Federation’s tactical nuclear advantage, but also because the war would inevitably shift planetside, and there Zeon’s forces could begin gathering resources to fuel their massive war machine, slowly growing too large to be supported by Side 3 and its allies alone. But overall the island has only slight tactical importance in the grand scale of the Federation/Zeon war. UC 0079 is almost at a close, and Zeon is slowly being pushed back by a series of victories spurned onward by a mysterious prototype unit in the hands of the Federation, with a young pilot, ironically, from the colonies, rumored to be the next stage of human evolution.
But here on the sleepy island of Solamente these things are nothing more than rumors. The terms “Newtype” and “Gundam” don’t register with the small local population, or the pilots of the Mobile Suit detachments sent to this inconsequential place. A garrison of Zeonic troops was sent here in ’79 to set up a mining facility and appropriate food supplies from the local farming communities, but was shocked to discover a little known backwater Federation Base located on the Northern half of the archipelago. Fueled onward by the peak of the war frenzy between both sides, the “Feddies” and “Zekes” here continue their useless battle, isolated from the greater conflict between the earth and sky.
Here there are no heroes, and no aces. Just tired, jaded young men and women who continue to "fight" the war on the eve of UC 0080 in a series of short confrontations and scouting battles. Half a year has passed since hostilities officially commenced on Solamente, and no progress has been made. Adversaries glare angrily over their borders and from behind their gun emplacements at each other. More soldiers are taken out of combat by dysentery and sickness in the jungles than are killed in combat with the enemy. An ancient soldier once described a similar situation in the wars of the past, when earth was still divided by nations, and space travel was a child’s dream, as the “sitzkreig.”
All of that is soon about to change.
Earth Federation is the united planetary government that has abolished all the old nations and is waging a war against the Principality of Zeon, the rebellious space colonies who want independence from the Earth. (It's more complicated than this, though; see Background.)
(If you are Pilot, Officer, or Operator) Rank: (In order of lowest to highest: Cadet, Ensign, Sergeant, Warrant Officer, Lieutenant, Major. I will approve and disapprove ranks at my own discretion, so you don't need to fill this out unless you prefer a position, but that's no guarantee you will get it. Don't worry, military decorum is not a large issue on either side.)
Experience: (The One Year War is almost over. Your experience depends on whether you were test piloting mobile suits or part of experimental training divisions before 0079. If you are Federation, it is unlikely you will have more than a year of MS experience, but you may have piloted other vehicles like tanks and space fighters for long before that. If you are Zeon, you are far more likely to have over a year of MS experience because your side invented MS and has been running training exercises with them for longer. Note that this does not have any bearing on your actual skill in combat in the course of this RP's battles, unlike real life. So don't complain if a rookie manages to beat you somehow through some ingenious and lucky trick.
For non-pilot classes, experience is fairly open ended. I will look at it.)
Appearance: (Height, eye/hair color, and any unique physical traits or marks. On-duty characters are required to wear Federation/Zeon designated uniforms at all times, but you may modify them slightly, like wearing the collar open, different pants, a jacket, etc. Off-duty clothes are pretty much anything you want.)
Distinguishing features: (Marks, things the character carries with him/her that are readily visible/identifying mannerisms/things that make your character noticable or stand out. He/she may have none.)
Background: (Secrets and personal things you don't want other PCs to possibly know or find out without your choosing, PM to me. Small things that you decide for yourself to make up are okay, but don't go making up lots of "secrets" on a whim please. Have a solid base for your character from the get-go. I will not allow sudden revelations that affect the main plot strongly unless you tell me in advance. On the other hand I will possibly decide other small things that will secretly happen to change your character's background and reveal them in the course of the RP.)
The Federation side has one division of three squads, each containing five MS, one operator APC, as well as a small number of air superiority and attack fighters. There will be 5 Federation pilot characters, but the squad may be shifted around, so I am willing to allow a few over that amount. (Like one or two.) In the same way, the Zeon side has two squads with five MS, as well as the same support numbers as the Federation. They are outnumbered slightly (To offset the superior experience and slightly earlier access to high grade MS), but the maximum number of Zeon PCs will be roughly the same.
All of the PCs on both sides involved in the piloting of mobile suits or the operation/command/maintainence of those MS will be in the same squad. The other squad/squads will be NPC with the possibility of one or two exceptions of the RP gets more crowded than I'm expecting.
Why is this important? I will create a squad roster that will look like this:
Officer in Command:
*Name* *Rank* *MS*
*Name* *Rank* *MS*
*Name* *Rank* *MS*
*Name* *Rank* *MS*
*Name* *Rank* *MS*
*Name* *Rank* *MS*
Designated Patrol Sector: (Will be designated once I design a map.)
Confirmed Targets Destroyed:
*Number of MS*
*Number of Vehicles*
*Number of Fighters*
*Number of Tactical Targets*
So, both sides will have one squad of PCs: This is what your teams will look like. There will be other squads of NPCs that you will fight against and probably kill off or otherwise rout.
As you can imagine, this will get complicated. But in reality, all you need to worry about is what you want from your MS, your character, and fighting occasionally. I’ll handle the grittier aspects, since I don’t intend for this RP to be larger than 5 pilots or so on each side.
I will keep records of your team's performance, and you WILL actually be fighting PCs and NPCs on the other side, so be fair and do not godmod
. Although in Gundam, your MS's destruction usually means your death, if your MS is destroyed due to your choices, I will let you escape to fight again, although, if you godmod, you may be leaving an arm or a leg behind as you scramble out of your metal carcass.
Unlike other RPs, I will be watching the fights carefully, since being GM, I play all NPCs. The battles against NPCs will be "easy battles" and "hard battles" while the battles against PCs will obviously vary depending on how well you play. Use strategy, take advantage of your MS's weapons, and I will award hits of varying severity to other MS. If you feel that a decision was unjust, don't worry. I don't plan on killing off any PCs unless it is important to the plot. Your safety isn't guaranteed, but you are guaranteed that even if your side loses the battle, you won't get kicked off the island or anything by the others.
Even so, take the battles seriously.
The victor will be awarded with new MS parts, as well as any discarded parts that they can scavenge from the battlefield. These parts and equipment will go into the Stockpile and is left for your squad's use alone. It's up to the members of the squad to decide who gets what and who is most qualified to use a newly readied MS, though obviously the last say goes to the officer. If there is too much of a debate, I will decide for you. Be fair. Your teams won't always get a full upgrade, so put the MS where it will go to the best use.
For Federation: Supplies are ample but of average quality. If you lose an MS's arm, you will be able to replace it, and a constant stream of ammunition and equipment flows into your base because of the Federation's superior production capacity and logistics. Still, you may want to go into the city to find better parts, and perhaps even something the Zeon side made in the hope of getting one of their MS someday.
Zeon: Zeonic engineering is masterful, but look out. Be very careful not to get damaged. It takes longer for Zeonic troops to regenerate their damaged MS back to maximum shape. You may find yourself going into the city to buy contraband MS parts that are inferior in quality to the original.
This sounds a lot like Front Mission and not Gundam, doesn't it? The best approximation of what you will be capable of is, predictably enough, Gundam 8th MS Team, or perhaps even a little better than that. If you are confused on the atmosphere or way battles will be played out, you can look to that anime or talk to me to figure it out. As you can see, without the heroic Gundam and the superhuman Newtypes, it becomes a story of normal people who live and die by the bullet and charged particle to satisfy a farcical conflict.
Added after 25 minutes:
Background of RP: GUNDAM
In the years leading up to colonial settlement in space, the world experienced a period of turmoil in which numerous ethic and border conflicts led to the creation of a United Earth Federation, which assumed control of the world’s government and dissolved previously standing nations. Although this was at the expense of regional autonomy, and the political body of the Earth Federation maintained the power of stronger nations over the weaker ones, it created a protective umbrella that at the very least helped lessen wars and violence between former nations worldwide.
Perhaps the Federation’s greatest accomplishment was the establishment of the space colonization program. In order to combat world overpopulation nearing 10 billion, the O’Neil space colony design was used to great effect to create space-going communities, and the Universal Century chronology was adopted to describe the new phase human civilization had entered.
At that time, the first colony cylinder cluster Side 1 began construction, and the human race would enter a new era in which people born in space, and people born on their mother earth, struggled to define their existence and justify their own ways of life.
The space colonies, groups of O’Neil cylinders settled upon Lagrange points to remain relatively static in relation to the movement of Earth and the other planets, became civilization in earnest when vast numbers of humans began to settle in Sides 1-8. The solar-powered colonies that utilized centrifugal force to simulate gravity allowed human beings to adapt admirably to living in space, but they were still connected by an umbilical cord of supplies to the Earth. By the year UC 0040, 40% of humanity had migrated into space. Entire generations of human beings were raised and had children in the colonies.
It was not long before the colonies, gradually reaching a level of relative self-sustenance, began talk of independence. Schools of philosophy such as “Ere-ism” evolved that described the mother planet as a sacred place, and that it was mankind’s destiny to move into the stars. “Side-ism” was naturally the belief that Side colonies should be independent from the earth. Eventually these ideas culminated into the philosophy “Contolism,” proposed by Side 3 thinker Zeon Zum Deikun. This escalated until his home colony declared independence in UC 0058 from the Earth Federation, which immediately enacted sanctions upon the colony known as the Bardot Policy and converted their more recently established lunar colony Von Braun into a military base and research laboratory.
The New Republic of Zeon lasted for 10 years with its new independence before Deikun died mysteriously, and was replaced by Degwin Sodo of the influential Zabi family. Differing strongly in his policy from Deikun, the Zabis expanded Zeon’s military force and eventually replaced the Republic with the Grand Duchy of Zeon in UC 0069. Degwin’s radical son Ghiren commenced a purge of Zeon’s followers, and Side 3 began a new direction of military expansion and aggressive rhetoric towards the still-hostile Earth Federation. Ghiren would later propose, in light of new human evolution theories and the mysterious “Newtypes,” that the colonial “Spacenoids” were actually superior to their earth-bound ancestors.
UC 0079: War broke out between Zeon and the Earth Federation.
In the first week of the war, nuclear weapons were used indiscriminately along with chemical warfare devices. As a result, a massive number of civilians were killed and the colonies of Side 5 were completely obliterated. The most dangerous weapon in Zeon’s arsenal was the O’Neil cylinder itself: During Zeon’s Operation British, a colony from Side 2 was filled with nerve gas, killing everyone inside, and the cylinder was moved into earth orbit to attempt a trajectory capable of hitting the Earth Federation’s South American military headquarters at Jaburo. The colony instead hit Sydney, Australia, destroying much of the continent and permanently damaging the Earth’s natural environment, even going so far as to distort the Earth’s rotation slightly. The world underwent subtle but disruptive environment changes in some parts.
Side 5 was destroyed by the Federation’s nuclear weapons in order to prevent a massive colony drop as an indirect result of the Battle of Loum, which saw the first large scale battle involving a deadly new weapon created by Zeonic scientists: The Mobile Suit.
Essentially a humanoid tank with great agility, the MS was to revolutionize warfare. Conventional tanks and fighters stood no chance against the new weapon, which could fulfill both of their combat positions with superior proficiency. The Earth Federation, badly beaten at Loum, scrambled to create their own MS to match Zeon’s flexible and effective Zaku II.
Eventually the material and human losses were so great that the Earth Federation and Zeon agreed to sign a ban on nuclear arms and colony drops known as the Antarctic Treaty. From there on, the battles would be fought with conventional forces and the new Mobile Suits. Zeon quickly prepared an operation to begin invasion of Earth and neutralize the Federation as a power, so that it would no longer have any influence over any colony, or even over its own planet. The Federation meanwhile concentrated on improving its military forces to reel in the rebel colonies and force them into loyalty with the mother planet.
It would seem that signing the Antarctic Treaty gave the warring powers of the Universal Century free reign to continue their bloody war. For how long, no one could say.
The struggle between the colonies and the Earth and their trials to define humanity’s destiny continues.
This is to give you an idea of what kinds of characters we will be seeing here. Suggestions, as it were, as to what kinds of roles will be open to your character. In other words, you don’t have to read this, but it might help you if you’re stuck. When making a character, consider how active you are going to be, and remember that your position can always
change; plot moves, and I’m pretty accommodating. If you may not be able to post often, a support position would be better than an active combat position. If you don’t know much about the mechanics, don’t be a mechanic or operator. Even a few civilian positions will be open.
MS pilot: Basic character class. Almost all characters will be MS pilots. These are the “fighter pilots” of the UC, but also the soldiers. There are “aces,” yet they are in ground combat and have an idea of the grittiness of warfare too. Imagine a hotshot young ace mixed in with the grizzled old veteran archetypes from real warfare. MS pilots are attracted by the glory only to find themselves as the average grunt. But occasionally ones of exceptional skill are awarded with better MS. Thus there is a certain kind of “ace” mentality amongst pilots, in that they behave like normal soldiers, but the ones of exceptional skill are rewarded like fighter pilots. Their tactics are coordinated in the same way as ground troops and fighter wings, rather than armored divisions as you would expect. But right now, most of the MS pilots are sitting and off duty, and many react in different ways to this. Some are antsy and itching for a fight, wanting to go up in rank so that they can pilot a better MS; or perhaps they simply want to destroy the other side. Others are happy that there is no combat, and don’t know what they would do if hostilities flared again. Most are dedicated to their sides and/or to the friendships they’ve made with their comrades in arms.
Officer: One of the academy graduates on either side who was sent for whatever reason to the backwater Solamente archipelago to take command. In the Zeon base, the officers are highly qualified and experienced, and were sent there as a sign of respect, but in the Federation base, the officers, while still highly qualified, were likely stationed there as a punishment for insubordination, or a particular attitude not liked by their superiors. They can also be an MS pilot, or an operator. Although the ranking system on the archipelago has broken down on both sides, there are still those with military rank. Mostly, there are those who can order others around, and those who can’t. But a lot of that means little because many of those who were once in charge are now dead, and the soldiers mostly take their orders from higher ranked soldiers. Thus the stagnation of combat has taken root, for there are few soldiers in charge, and even fewer gutsy enough to start another offensive. Those officers that remain are often mediators between soldiers growing irritable and uneasy over the long wait for combat, as well as soldiers themselves. Since almost all of the warfare on the island takes place in MS and not with ground troops (The hilly terrain and dense jungle would just wear out the soldiers to the point of uselessness, whereas the MS can sort of plow through or hover over problematic areas.) the officers are also in charge of making sure the mechanics stay on task, on-site law enforcement against the soldiers in the place of official MPs, filing paperwork to have replacement parts and ammunition shipped in, and other dreary business. One has to wonder if these officers will ever put their academy training to use.
Mechanic: These are the workers who help keep the MS in working order. The heavily armored machines are surprisingly fragile. Powered by a Minovsky fusion reactor, it needs no fueling, but the average Mobile Suit is still a demanding child to take care of. Its complicated balance system that keeps the machine from keeling over in the same way that humans do when they stand straight can be damaged, and the MS becomes useless. Joints and internal skeletons stretch and wear out faster in certain conditions than in others. The camera and head of a mobile suit is especially a problematic area. Mechanics are also responsible for modifying MS, painting them with camouflage, and adjusting machines for different environments and operations. Keeping the machines stocked with ammunition and spare parts is an invaluable but inglorious job, and many mechanics on site at both the Federation and Zeon bases fulfill other tasks, even though they already have their hands full outfitting each MS for the many varying environments one can encounter on the archipelago.
Operators: Basically communications officers, who are also sometimes mechanics, and intelligence officers who run the radar arrays and communication lines from the base to the soldiers, and sometimes from a MS or armored vehicle on the actual battlefield. Managing information is the key to victory in warfare, and the operators spend most of their time making sure Solamente stays in touch with Federation and Zeonic garrisons that were set up in the smoking remains of Australia. But the communications systems on both sides have been conspicuously quiet, and it has been some time since either side has heard from their allies, besides the occasional order from command. The shipment of MS parts is predetermined; no communications necessary as long as a computerized checklist is sent in to the factory by officers, so whether or not new machines are showing up at the base is no indication of the situation on the mainland. Operators only need to act as the soldier’s eyes and ears in the field, where the fog of war can often leave a squad isolated and alone, unaware of where enemy patrols are. Both sides participate regularly in a delicate dance involving squads just conveniently showing up at the same area at different times, in order to avoid all-out confrontation, which neither the Zekes or Feddies have resources to go through. Skilled operators are responsible for this activity being possible. Some of them are brave enough to run communications from smaller APCs and armored fighting vehicles on the front lines, so close to MS that could squash them like a bug.
A large number of mechanics and operators are also assigned to do the dirty work at the base. Some have to cook for the soldiers or go into town to buy supplies. Others are janitors. Only the most qualified and skilled mechanics, or ones who are clever at keeping themselves busy, escape extra responsibilities outside of the hanger.
RGM-79G GM Ground Type "Block A"
During the stalemate period of the One Year War, the Earth Federation Forces were playing a fast game of catch-up on the introduction of mobile suits into warfare by the Principality of Zeon. One of their earlier prototypes was the groundpounding RX-79[G] Gundam, based loosely on the original "Project V" prototype RX-78-2 Gundam operating elsewhere during the war. From the RX-79[G] came another experimental unit, intended for mass-production. Called the RGM-79[G] GM Ground Type, it used 80% of the same parts as its RX-79[G] predecessor, as well as its extremely durable lunar titanium alloy armor and its ability to use beam rifles, but was more powerful yet cheaper to produce.
(Copied from Mecha HQ)
Note: Federation GM Ground types here use superhard steel rather than lunar titanium.
GMs are the workhorses of the Federation military. Hastily designed off of the experimental Gundam, they were made in large numbers in the early months of 0079. Because the Earth Federation's defense budget was notoriously "thrifty," the GM's overall performance was originally vastly inferior to that of most Zeon mobile suits, and large numbers of pilots lost their lives struggling against the machine's shortcomings to put up a fight. Over time the military acknowledged the need to improve their MS and the GM soon grew more effective with each revision. It is easy to use, fairly quick, and unlike the Zaku, can use beam weapons and beam cap weapons freely without impacting its performance. However, untill recently, the GM's primary disadvantage versus the Zeonic troops was the inexperience of Federation pilots and its paper-thin armor.
The GM Ground type used here (Which technically shouldn't be because 12 were used in the Kojima battallion and the rest assigned to fighting Zeon's offensive in Europe but who cares? XD) is a modified "Block A" version; the antiquated designation being used at the end (Improperly as well) to show that these GMs are heavily tweaked to provide superior performance. Unique to Solamente's Federation garrison, the Block C GM has had its internal parts stripped and reorganized/replaced with simpler mechanics to make it easier to service and repair. The refitted structure of the machine does not provide more protection, but it is lighter and affords the GM a higher power/weight ratio. So its performance is closer to that of a Zeonic Zaku II than a normal GM, with a slight advantage over the Zaku in speed, although it still has a tad bit less armor.
MS-06J Zaku II Ground Type
During the One Year War, the Principality of Zeon's most heavily mass-produced mobile suit was the MS-06F Zaku II. However, many variants of the F-type Zaku were also introduced during the war, and the MS-06J Zaku II was almost completely identical to it. The J-type was built exclusively for ground combat, removing the vernier thrusters required on space-use F-type models. The J-type also carried a slightly more powerful powerplant (possibly to assist in its mobility under the full-gravity conditions of Earth) and was waterproofed for limited underwater operations. Despite this minor differences, the J-type Zaku is 99% visually identical to the standard F-type. The J-type also uses all of the same standard armaments as its spaceborne counterpart. J-type Zakus were notably employed in the Southeast Asia campaign and in Australia, as well as by the Midnight Fenrir team during the assault on Jaburo.
(Copied from Mecha HQ)
The Zaku II reflects Zeon's advantage in warfare using MS. Quite some time before Federation military strategists came to understand that small, fast, versatile soldier units would be more effective than their old-style "large fleet of capital ships" tactics, Zeon was already experimenting with a military grade mobile suit. The Zaku I would eventually be replaced with the Zaku II, which improved upon the basic design substantially. It proved to be such a reliable frame that the Zaku II was modified endlessly, and until the creation of later MS that would supplant it in more specified roles, it fulfilled all the Zeonic military's MS needs. It later began to show its age as the Federation became more experienced with MS and developed newer, more lethal experimental suits. And even though it was mass produced, Zeon's limited resources meant that each MS was more expensive to their war effort, and the Federation could still have substantial success by submerging their superior Zaku II enemies with a sea of GMs, which were easier to produce and far cheaper.
The Zaku II J is a ground type mobile suit reflecting Zeon's "invade Earth" phase of their battle plans. Unlike its Federation counterpart, the Zaku cannot mount beam weapons, but this isn't specifically a disadvantage, as machine gun weapons used by MS are generally almost as effective as the typical GM beam spray gun, and the Zaku II's infamous "heat-hawk" axe is still lethal at close range, if with less reach than the GM's beam saber. The Zaku II Js fielded by the Zeonic attack squadron stationed on the archipelago are generally the same as the standard issue one, for it does not need modification and their resources are limited. Their performances, however, are optimized to allow the Zaku II to work in a wider range of environments without modification, since there are such a wide range of terrain types in Solamente.
Mobile Suit Data
1-10, 10 being best.
Power: Reactor power
Speed: Ground movement speed
Thrust: Flight ability (Limited in most MS)
Agility: Stability and flexibility/turning/response time
Armor: Outer structure durability/Internal structure
Reliability: Ease of repair/reliable mechanisms
RGM-79G GM Ground Type "Block A":
Thrs : ØØØ-------
Arm : ØØ--------
Rely : ØØ--------
MS-06J Zaku II Ground Type:
Thrs : ØØ--------
Arm : ØØØ-------
Rely : ØØØ-------
Weapons (So you know I'm actually working on this...)
Beam Spray Gun
: Close ranged particle weapon. Damage falls off extremely fast at a distance. Good destructive value at point blank.
90mm Machine Gun
: Light machine gun with low ammunition capacity. More accurate and more consistent damage that doesn't fall off at range.
: Single-use MS-thrown ordinance. Higher explosive power/lower area of effect.
: Superheated plasma blade. Creates wider cuts and has a longer blade than Heat weapons, but energy depletes fast making backup necessary.
120mm Machine Gun
: Higher damage and ammunition capacity, characteristics similar to the 90mm.
90mm Machine Gun
: Similar in performance to Federation Model. Higher ammunition capacity.
: Grenade with six explosive bomblets. Indiscriminate weapon that can cut down light foliage, good anti-personnel effect.
: Zaku's characteristic melee weapon; an axe with a heated blade designed to cut through heavy armor. Less damaging and flexible than a beam saber, but spares are not needed.