Author Topic: EX-Gear  (Read 204 times)

Offline Zed

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EX-Gear
« on: January 30, 2019, 06:10:16 PM »
So in character sheet prep for Magister I was reflecting on how Pilot: VF is generic, and how Pilot: Power Armour is used to use Ex-Gear itself...so here's my question, should there be a Pilot: VF Ex-gear skill as well to reflect the difference between the cockpits of say a VF-1 with or without EX-Gear systems?

Offline Sketchley

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Re: EX-Gear
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2019, 12:18:17 AM »
I've been doing the skills like this: http://sdfyodogawa.mywebcommunity.org/Stats/Statistics/character/GCGS/GCGSmain.php#Step5

As far as rules go, as the EX-Gear INSIDE a Valkyrie is just a fancy interface, I suggest using Pilot VF (the Pilot EX-Gear skill is used when the EX-Gear is used as a Powered Suit outside of a Valkyrie).


What does EX-Gear do?  It reduces the G-load on the pilot.  So, in the G-Factor rules I've come up with, the EX-Gear's anti-G capabilities are added to the calculation to come up with the piloting bonus (see link above.  In short, no skill rolls, and pilot skill and attribute are incorporated into the bonus dice).

There are other options to use (E.g. averaging pilot Valkyrie with pilot EX-Gear), but less math, and less dice rolls, is easier, no?

Offline Zed

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Re: EX-Gear
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2019, 03:46:44 AM »
I agree completely but wanted to discuss if in principle the interface would be enough of a difference that it would be like flying a different VF or not.

Offline Sketchley

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Re: EX-Gear
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2019, 11:19:07 AM »
That's hard to answer.  The only clear thing is this: http://sdfyodogawa.mywebcommunity.org/Stats/Statistics/Avionics/CockpitANDantiG.php#EXgear

Why is it hard to answer?  Well, not every VF can incorporate EX-Gear.  Of those that can, they are generally newly made from the ground up (EX-Gear isn't backwards compatible, in other words).

For example, the VF-171EX in Macross Frontier isn't a stock VF-171 with EX-Gear capabilities later added.  It's an entirely different beast of an aircraft.

As for the VF-1EX?  Well, going by "Variable Fighter Master File: VF-1 Battroid Valkyrie" (which I don't, because it's not part of the official setting), a 'clean' VF-1EX has flight performance that approaches that of a Super Parts equipped VF-1.  The book goes into a little bit of detail about how the VF-1EX also incorporates 40~50 years of near continuous modernization.


So, replacing a standard cockpit seat with EX-Gear is possible (though the arms will be cramped and there's no room to move the legs), the question then becomes: is the airframe able to handle the additional G's?  Will the airframe be 'bent' by those additional sustained G forces?  And will the EX-Gear be able to interface correctly with the control AI and other avionics?

My opinion is that plopping EX-Gear into any old VF would be like Basara's guitar interface: it enables a few extra tricks, but the underlying aircraft performance is unchanged.

Offline InfernosCaress

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Re: EX-Gear
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2019, 12:12:54 PM »
What about when remote piloting a valkyrie?  Would that use the EX-Gear skill, the Valkyrie skill, or different skill altogether?


On an unrelated note, where all of these people when we started our game?

Offline Sketchley

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Re: EX-Gear
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2019, 08:57:47 PM »
What about when remote piloting a valkyrie?  Would that use the EX-Gear skill, the Valkyrie skill, or different skill altogether?

Pilot Valkyrie, as one is only moving the EX-Gear to move the Valkyrie (not moving the EX-Gear to, well, move the EX-Gear. :lol: )

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On an unrelated note, where all of these people when we started our game?

That's what I'd like to know...  :(

Offline Zed

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Re: EX-Gear
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2019, 11:14:39 PM »
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That's hard to answer.  The only clear thing is this: http://sdfyodogawa.mywebcommunity.org/Stats/Statistics/Avionics/CockpitANDantiG.php#EXgear
...
My opinion is that plopping EX-Gear into any old VF would be like Basara's guitar interface: it enables a few extra tricks, but the underlying aircraft performance is unchanged.

I presumed as much, which is why I thought it might be its own whole separate Pilot: VF Ex-gear.  Since its usually an individual model though with an EX suffix, is it safe to presume that the Macross universe has EX versions of each old frame?  It seems to be that they're slowly showing retrofitting and upgrading of each classic mech chassis to match Frontier or Delta era tech, so if one accepted that one could likely extrapolate said special models for the sake of an RPG.  Thank you, though, you've answered exactly what I needed to know with regards to how it will effect Magister!  I swear, getting my head wrapped back around Palladium after 10 years is definitely a mental flex.

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    On an unrelated note, where all of these people when we started our game?


That's what I'd like to know...  :(

I take responsibility for that.  One, I've drastically made it easier to access the boards in the past two weeks I think, and two, I've fixed the transaction email server capabilities.  In dealing with my health issues the past 3 years I let maintenance and improvement of the MRG lapse.  Hopefully we'll see a big turn around with these improvements in general.  Not that I'm suggesting we gut the MRC of its only Macross game, but if it ever comes down to functionality issues, you're welcome to bring it back.  Now that I understand the subdomains and such, we can also discuss either mirroring or moving your stats page from your free host to a dedicated subdomain here since I have unlimited storage and traffic.  Conversation for another topic though.

Offline InfernosCaress

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Re: EX-Gear
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2019, 02:06:51 AM »
Pilot Valkyrie, as one is only moving the EX-Gear to move the Valkyrie (not moving the EX-Gear to, well, move the EX-Gear. :lol: )


How much control do they have over the valkyrie in remote state?  Can they do, say, short range bombing runs?

Offline Lance

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Re: EX-Gear
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2019, 09:51:00 AM »
I believe that would boil down to the onboard systems of the plane itself and the GM's interpretation of the limit.

If we go by EX-GEAR related feats we do see Alto capable of accessing the gun pod of RVF-25 when rescuing Luca.  And he was able to bring the plane towards him to get in as well as do basic activities such as maneuvering the plane at much slower speeds then what would be recommended for a Bombing Run so to speak.  Nevermind that Alto had to physically connect to the RVF-25 to gain control of the Gun Pod.  While one could argue that this is because he needed to over-ride Luca's connection we never actually saw any combat feats (weapons discharges and the like) from a purely remote standpoint of the EX-GEAR interacting with the VF-25 and that's a pretty cutting edge plane.

Given what we have seen (Macross Frontier and related movies) personally I think the remote capabilities of the EX-GEAR/VF link are meant to be limited/fluff.  We also don't know the maximum range of the remote link so that would also deter combat maneuvers outside of hold your ground and pull the trigger when the unit is in GERWALK/Soldier Mode and has a gun pod in hand.  There is also from what I have seen no control system that would let you toggle between weapon systems.
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Offline Sketchley

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Re: EX-Gear
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2019, 10:05:25 AM »
I presumed as much, which is why I thought it might be its own whole separate Pilot: VF Ex-gear.  Since its usually an individual model though with an EX suffix, is it safe to presume that the Macross universe has EX versions of each old frame?  It seems to be that they're slowly showing retrofitting and upgrading of each classic mech chassis to match Frontier or Delta era tech, so if one accepted that one could likely extrapolate said special models for the sake of an RPG.  Thank you, though, you've answered exactly what I needed to know with regards to how it will effect Magister!  I swear, getting my head wrapped back around Palladium after 10 years is definitely a mental flex.

Actually... it's only the *new* ones that are getting the EX-Gear treatment.  The exception to the rule is the VF-1EX.  Because (nuf said).

So, the Official Setting EX-Gear equipped Valkyries are: VF-1EX, VF-171EX, YF-25, VF-25, VF-27, VF-29, VF-30, VF-31, and the VB-6 (but that was a custom one-off for the Frontier Branch of S.M.S.)

Even the VF-24 (alluded to in Macross Frontier related materials) doesn't have EX-Gear (it has it's own super-dooper anti-G mechanisms).  So, not even all of the *new* (as of Frontier) Valkyries have them, either.



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Not that I'm suggesting we gut the MRC of its only Macross game,

They have more—4 if I'm not mistaken.  They're just blocked from non-members (and I believe that includes non-members of the particular game).
« Last Edit: February 01, 2019, 10:11:49 AM by Sketchley »

Offline Sketchley

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Re: EX-Gear
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2019, 10:08:12 AM »
I believe that would boil down to the onboard systems of the plane itself and the GM's interpretation of the limit.

If we go by EX-GEAR related feats we do see Alto capable of accessing the gun pod of RVF-25 when rescuing Luca.  And he was able to bring the plane towards him to get in as well as do basic activities such as maneuvering the plane at much slower speeds then what would be recommended for a Bombing Run so to speak.  Nevermind that Alto had to physically connect to the RVF-25 to gain control of the Gun Pod.  While one could argue that this is because he needed to over-ride Luca's connection we never actually saw any combat feats (weapons discharges and the like) from a purely remote standpoint of the EX-GEAR interacting with the VF-25 and that's a pretty cutting edge plane.

Given what we have seen (Macross Frontier and related movies) personally I think the remote capabilities of the EX-GEAR/VF link are meant to be limited/fluff.  We also don't know the maximum range of the remote link so that would also deter combat maneuvers outside of hold your ground and pull the trigger when the unit is in GERWALK/Soldier Mode and has a gun pod in hand.  There is also from what I have seen no control system that would let you toggle between weapon systems.

Good points.  Many of them I was going to bring up.

The only additional point is the task difficulty level (re: skill roll): as one is outside of the plane in question, everything would be at a higher difficulty level (so something at the easy level would be at regular difficulty.  Difficult tasks would be nigh-impossible, etc.), and that's all ignoring things like remote control range, weapons interface, etc., or even the mere task of flying the EX-Gear while flying a Valkyrie to keep up with it (within remote control range)!

Offline Lance

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Re: EX-Gear
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2019, 10:29:39 AM »
Sketchers and I on the same wave-length!

I had also thought about that, there's timing issues.  Keep in mind even combat speeds are hundreds of kilometers per hour to give you some kind of protection against anti-air options depending on where you're bombing.  And if we factor in how likely it is you're going to slip out of remote control range VERY quickly at those speeds, and if you were in those ranges the timing lag is EXTREME.

Keep in mind remote piloting options have a delay and modern drones require satt comms and a control center the size of a damn sixteen wheeler with a large trailer.  Factoring in obvious tech leaps I still doubt you're going to have a sattelite comms on your EX Gear to get your range beyond LOS.  The training for full remote combat piloting (Hunter Killer Drones) and actual fighter pilots are also completely different as you're trained for different reactions completely.  Not to mention jamming vulnerabilities....

Then there's one last major factor.  Remote Controlled Units and AI piloted craft are still HEAVILY debated within the NUNS/UNS military depending on the timeline because of the Sharon incident, there could also be deliberate sabotage in the progression of that tech as we see Luca literally having to over-ride deliberate program limitations to cut loose his ghosts.

=========

Is the EX GEAR an amazing piece of pilot equipment?  Absolutely it protects the pilots far better then a standard G-Suit allowing them to achieve more ridiculous maneuvers then was possible.  I could even argue that the EX Gear provides a greater level of manipulation for the pilot in GERWALK and SOLDIER modes and a better over-all reaction time across all three modes in general as the EX-GEAR provides a control assist module almost, improving ease of use for your more average pilot.  From that fundamental it's obvious why you would want EX-GEAR options installed on your VFs and why we see the tech being employed on the NUNS-VF171 which was a standard grunt fighter that was made because the NUNS needed a modernized fighter and the 19 and 21 turned out to be too difficult for your average pilot and too expensive for mass production.

Which means that the benefits of EX GEAR out-weighed the costs if the 25th Fleet was willing to mass-produce the EX-GEAR model because if it was just a matter of anti Vajra weaponry it would be cheaper to retrofit your planes rather then build something from the ground up.

Is it a viable substitute for a full-blown remote/drone control command center?  No it is not.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2019, 10:32:02 AM by Lance »
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Offline InfernosCaress

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Re: EX-Gear
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2019, 01:28:31 PM »
I had also thought about that, there's timing issues.  Keep in mind even combat speeds are hundreds of kilometers per hour to give you some kind of protection against anti-air options depending on where you're bombing.  And if we factor in how likely it is you're going to slip out of remote control range VERY quickly at those speeds, and if you were in those ranges the timing lag is EXTREME.

Keep in mind remote piloting options have a delay and modern drones require satt comms and a control center the size of a damn sixteen wheeler with a large trailer


The EX-Gear remote delay is minimal. In the final Frontier episode, the VF-25 reacts before Alto makes the corresponding hand gestures. I realize that is likely because the CGI and the drawings were not properly synced, but in-universe it happened.

Distance and timing is probably not much of a factor in units equipped with fold crystals, or with Windermerans since their bodies naturally grow fold crystals. The same can probably be said for people with the Var; they would be subjected to EX-Gear delay, but not the reaction time deficit, and, you know, the minor side-effect of death.


Actually... it's only the *new* ones that are getting the EX-Gear treatment.  The exception to the rule is the VF-1EX.  Because (nuf said).

So, the Official Setting EX-Gear equipped Valkyries are: VF-1EX, VF-171EX, YF-25, VF-25, VF-27, VF-29, VF-30, VF-31, and the VB-6 (but that was a custom one-off for the Frontier Branch of S.M.S.)


It is worth noting that the VF-31 has the EX-Gear built in to the cockpit.  It forms around the pilot as part of the ejection procedure, but the pilots do not wear it normally as was the case with the older Frontier-era suits.