So, I'm uploading the finished Star Wars thing this/next week to Youtube (music is just being finalised). And it may get a fair few views, but really people will only be watching it because it's Star Wars and may well praise it despite the numerous flaws just because "wow, anime Tie fighters."
So I've been thinking for a while of doing something of my own, not based on any existing property. Obviously this wonn't be for a while, as I have to get all the ideas and designs and things in place, but I do have a bunch of people (voice actors, a very good 3D modeller, very good SFX guy, top notch music guy , an inbetweener, etc) and via Kickstarter or whatever it's quite possible that I could animate a 30-45 minute one-off mecha OVA with all the little details and 5 tone shading and (when necessary) over the top gore that just isn't feasible in commercial anime anymore, but is totally doable if it's not being made with profit or toy sales in mind.
Obviously I'd develop it using /m/ as a crtitique/test base so you can keep me in check and make sure I don't so anything too stupid like laughing Heeros and forced memes.
So anyway! Currently I have the following in mind:
>Steel Battalion/Armored Core-style "realistic" mech setting (no Gundam SEED-style "press this button to defeat all enemies with magic laser spam.")
>A 4-person team dropshipped down to a colony planet to take out the air defences around a pirate/rebel fortress to allow ground troops to land and take the facility intact/maybe rescue hostages?
So a squad of 4 mechs will have to land on space Vietnam some distance from the fortress to avoid radar and walk to the target. Lots of in-cockpit chatter/cockpit porn between the 4 pilots along the way (I'll need to design 4 memorable and not cliched characters).
>It's very LOGH-style tactics/strategy based, so at key points will cut to a narrator or possible future historian explaining via some maps why going across the river or sticking to the shore was the best move, why they were keeping certain units at the back of the formation, etc. We can only see what the 4 guys in the mechs see, so these bits would be our only chance to see enemy movements, gun emplacements and the like that are out of their field of view.
>4 mechs, each basically the same frame but adjusted for specific role, VF-1-style. So the squad arrives at the planet via a carrier, is dropshipped down to the surface, and then deploys with 2 assault mechs (big cannon and rocket launchers), 1 Rear guard/Anti-Air support (Itano circus mech which also lays down defensive smokescreens and has repair stuff and replacement parts onboard) and a lightly armored intelligence support unit with a radome which connects intel to the carrier in orbit/provides satellite views and mapping as well as jamming enemy radar to allow for a stealthy approach.
The pilots can get out and scout ahead on foot and the like. Maybe even some situations like a tree branch has got caught in one of the mech's joints and they have to work it free, or other "realistic' things we don't usually see in anime.)
Attached above is what I've come up with for the basic mech frame (it's the assault version. For the intel one, think no weapons and a lot of the armor removed, and for the anti-air version just think missile pods everywhere). So...
Does it look shit?
Does it look like a 100% Metal Gear ripoff?
Obviously I need to get the design looking good, then I can get a rough 3D model made and rigged for some animation tests.
So really, this thing would feel like a tank sim, I guess. In terms of "heaviness" I'd like the machines to walk with purpose, like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOC-fs9JHEo
Also, because there are no bosses and no rules for the project, I can kill everyone. I can have enemy and friendly pilots being graphically shot to shreads in the cockpit by minigun fire if we like. Or moral choices like, they come across a civilian camp and may have to mow them all down to prevent any spies radioing ahead and compromising the mission. Who knows?
Throw ideas at me if you like. I shall gladly steal them!
In short, how would *you* make a 30-40 minute
OVA about slow moving mechs interesting?
Obviously I'll be watching some tank documentaries for reasearch and intend to show every single control and button in the cockpits being used and what they specifically do.
Those appendages with the ladders on Sylvester Stál-lone's face seem needlessly complicated in design. Perhaps changing them into an isosceles trapezoid instead?
Also, will there be any horses in this?
>An exposed, detachable reactor looks like a backstab waiting to happen.
Mmm, I was worried about that. I just put those fuel tank looking things there because it looked cool and made it look like it wouldn't tip over from being too front-heavy (and made up a reason later), so if you can think of a different function for them then by all means go for it.
>Those appendages with the ladders on Sylvester Stál-lone's face seem needlessly complicated in design. Perhaps changing them into an isosceles trapezoid instead?
I certainly can do if it looks that confusing. My reasoning was that if these things are marching through low hanging trees then the "head" is the first thing to go through and so I put those armor plates on there to kind if streamline its passage, like a cowcatcher on the front of a train I guess. But yeah, at this point everything is totally changeable. If people want to do quick paintovers or whatever then please do.
>I'm sorry Otaking but that's the first thing I think of when I see it and it is what I continue to think of as I look at it more closely.
Hmmm... I wonder..
I think it might be because it has such a iconic Metal Gear "huge gun on the left and stubby thing on the right" silhouette. Maybe if I move the weapon placement around it'll look less like REX. I'll mess around and post up a quick revision in a bit.
>The pilots can get out and scout ahead on foot and the like
Why not have drones do the scouting. Small drones that can be deployed by the walkers or have a small spec ops team accompany the walkers to perform rolls like that.
The one thing I'll say about this design is why have the anti-personnel weapon field of fire blocked. If it needs to engage infantry, it would have to point its body at the infantry because of those gunshield things.
skip to 1:30
I'd center the gun, move the cockpit deeper into the core of the body and switch the tank things into something like tanks of water to cool the cannon, some kind of evasive smokescreen generator thing, or just barrels of ammo for some desperately needed CIWS.
I have a lot of problems with a forward offensive unit with a gun twice the length of its body though. It's like giving a rifleman a howitzer.
My newtype senses remember this thread for some reason. Might be an extreme case of deja vu, but for some reason I remember this really clearly. Has this been posted before?
Personally I think that the more simplified geometry of these panels makes it look more militaristic, but that's just me.
But then there's the issue that >>10955036 brought up about the anti-personnel weapon.
Just a suggestion.
Add caterpillar treads and allow the feet to fold flat? If the mechs leave rough terrain, they should have the option to roll out rather than continue to thump along.
If you're going for a semi-realistic military feel, you could use a squad of power armor users instead of mecha tanks. Do it Starship Troopers style with limited jump jets/fuel to add some mobility during the, I presume, inevitable firefight.
>I think it might be because it has such a iconic Metal Gear "huge gun on the left and stubby thing on the right" silhouette.
Also being the same kind of squat, wide and fat as Rex. And having the beefy high-heels and everything.
Something like this I guess , from the suggestions?
>In short, how would *you* make a 30-40 minute OVA about slow moving mechs interesting?
Have all 4 manage to make their way to their final target, with varying stages of damage, then have all 4 of the die to Stryker-like light tanks and mobile missile launchers with the last one falling short of even getting close enough to use their nuclear self destruct.
Or upon reaching their last objective, maybe a command HQ or something, they end up picking the wrong fight when part of it detaches and becomes a
Boloand kills them all. A play on the ever so loved Tanks > Mechs debate.
More sloped armor and stuff?
>jamming enemy radar to allow for a stealthy approach.
If it was by itself then it probably could do DRFM jamming,
but since it has to cover other units if it started jamming the enemy would know instantly something was up. I do like the idea of an EW platform tho.
Cheers for the feedback, all. I have to sleep to get up for my exciting day job, but I'll post up a redesign in the morning.
Also, adding all of the suggestion to my notepad. I think the "they limp to the finish line and everybody dies" approach might work...
Nah, I reckon something like >>10955208 will probably do it! I'll have a go tomorrow and hopefully break away from the REX look.
I do kind of want something along those lines though. The ED-209 style of walker.
Consider moving the larger guns to arm mounts for a ED-209 style design.
And if you really want/need a BFG, put a single massive cannon along the centerline or a pair of large cannons on the back of an artillery type and fit the arms with missiles launchers.
Are you going for a Mission Complete end or a Mission Failure end? Both can still result in death; the only difference is whether the last person dies triggering their self-destruct in time and in position or not.
Or are you going for a complete-and-backstab end where the mission is completed but it turns out the mission was not what it seemed and thanks to doing the dirty work, the survivors are rewarded with death.
While I have to agree, it's not really our place to dictate what Oatyking does with his time and abilities. The design doesn't look very conducive to action though. They're the kind you see in concept art and think you might want a model of to sit on your desk, but seeing them in "motion" is a lot less entertaining. I guess they're fine if you like watching villagers get mowed down by point defense vulcans, but cannons that size should be able to strike over the horizon, making any sort of engagement look a little ridiculous.
Also giant robot stealth missions remind me of the sillier parts of Mechwarrior, stomping around at night in an Atlas, but with the headlight off so no one can see a hundred tons of royal guard camo endosteel carving a swath through a jungle with a waist-high treeline.
This. If you have robots, you can still have the commentary and such, but I'd place it as a more louder raid then stalking through the jungle.
If the target's big enough to send robots after it, it's worth just cruise missiling it to death.
I'd say to check out the rescue of a captured British patrol in Sierra Leone for the sort of thing.
There was tension, diplomacy, negotiation, reconnaissance on the ground, but when push came to shove, it was a shit ton of paras and SAS dumped on them via helicopter.
>So, I'm uploading the finished Star Wars thing this/next week to Youtube (music is just being finalised). And it may get a fair few views, but really people will only be watching it because it's Star Wars and may well praise it despite the numerous flaws just because "wow, anime Tie fighters."
I don't want to say 'change this' because at the end of the day, you're the guy doing this.
But if I was running it, I'd have say a poltiical crisis; cold war gone hot sort of thing. I'd have the robots sent in on transporters or such, I'd have build up and tension with escalation of the political situation. Then when the balloon goes up, send the robots in and have the tragic awesome action occur.
A city or something would be better. Perhaps on a border. Something like the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.
Having mechs plod through the jungle sounds a bit too 08th MS Team. Not to mention VOTOMS did robot vietnam better.
How does the Stal deal with recoil? From the size of it, even with the feet acting as anchors, it looks like the first shot would just rip itself off the frame of the mech.
As for 'realistic' things pilots would do. That would just make it look like the machines were poorly designed if they can be disable by a tree branch, because that would mean there's an exposed joint large enough to not only let it it, but it can't create enough pressure just to crush the branch. It could be a situation you don't send a machine into an environment it can't handle. Like anything with treads in an extremely muddy terrain, but it still seems silly to have to manually get out to deal with a problem like that.
If you're looking for cockpit porn, why not have it where the pilot deals with the problem without having to get out of the cockpit. E.G. the branch getting stuck in the joint. Mech can't function properly, and the sensors picks it up, so the pilot jimmies whatever the input is (peddle, joy stick) to move the limb in a fast enough fashion to loosen or break the branch.
Actually this reminds me more of a walking dendrobium than the MG Rex, due to the torso.
Regarding the cannon, unless it's meant to be a fire support artillery type, there's no need for it to be that long. If you're gonna be walking around in triple canopy, you'll be stopping every 50 meters to get untangled from the trees, not to mention the inability to turn.
But I hope it doesn't end up like something from battletech or the earlier metal gears. Your original design looks fine, just cut the barrel down and maybe make the protruding bits able to be packed or tucked in. Think the APC turret from Aliens.
Not sure if you want to have the mech engage in close combat, like the Rex X Ray battle, but if so, it needs to have limbs of a certain length. Just a thought.
And maybe add some smoke emitters, like the ones on tanks, together with fittings like camo netting, tow cables or extra jury cans to give it the realistic look. You can have them in compartments were it's logical, or somewhere unobtrusive like real tanks.
I think it might be unique and probably more realistic to have the story be presented more like war coverage from the future Al Jazeera/BBC/whatever. Or hell even something like District 9.
Like if you made the battles in the story too big and decisive it makes it a bit too anime and you aren't as readily able to kill off everyone, but if you just make all of the battle skirmishes in a regular context like 08th MS or something without a greater overarching plot you risk the stakes not being high enough for people to be interested. I think given the 30-45 minute limit a small little glimpse like a live news report could be a cool way to do it.
Also as for "press this button for magical laser spam" it could be cool to show off buttons in the cockpit for specific macros rather than only pedals and levers.
Just to give a suggestion for the plot, it might be interesting to make the squad leader a veteran tank commander, who was reassigned to the mech corps for certain reasons against his will, and placed in charge of recruits or troublemakers. This way, you can have the know how and tactics of a tanker, coupled with the irregular actions of a bunch of rookies who might just do something heroic. And die.
For a 30 to 40 min mission, I'd suggest making it a search and destroy mission (one of the most common themes), where the oddball squad is supposed to link up with a regular squad to check out suspicious activity along the border, but when the regulars never show up, they get ordered to continue to the coordinates anyway by a sloppy commander back at base.
Along the way, the team commander would instruct the rookies to use tanker tactics to push forward into potentially hostile territory, such as leap and bound, use of terrain features, and moving in heavy vegetation, while fishhooking back to check for contacts. This turns out to be fortunate, as they encounter a heavy enemy patrol while they were hidden.
Closer to the coordinates, they would observe their target, and end up in an engagement which either damages or kills the radioman mech. The last report sent out was that the target (or targets) is en route to some critical point of the defensive line, either as a beach head force or a weapon of mass destruction.
The commander locates a strategical point which the target has to pass through, and decides with the team to hold the line there. Do a 300. Have some drama, everyone dies, but they either deal enough damage to the target to force it to pull back, or reinforcements arrive in time to push them back.
Epilogue: Oddball squad is lost in the confusion of battle, and the base commander thinks they went AWOL. The enemy commanders would record the battle though, and salute the bravery of the enemy.
Just a quick bump to say I'm still alive and reading. I'm just in the middle of my day job right now but will post up revisions when I get off work.
I think I've managed to get it away from a total Metal Gear ripoff now and reduced the cannon barrel length as well as giving the minigun some actual field of view now instead of being blocked by those armor plates at the front.
Also, regarding storyline, >>10956720 is actually pretty cool.
Changing up some things in the cleanup.
This sounds pretty awesome. Bonus points if you have the robots get unloaded at the beginning from transports at the start before they enter the area of operations.
Some additional details to ramp up that verisimilitude factor. Have some llght recon elements attached to them, four armoured cars/light tanks or such (who can get snuffed out easily to focus on the robots and show off the bad guys). A strong enemy air defence would also A: give an excuse to show off some planes flying in and getting blown up for action sake and B: give a reason why they don't just send drones/planes to wipe the target off the map. Essentially, you're showing the wider machinery at work, but giving reasons why you've got these machines out ahead of the rest of the force without any support.
An excuse to show why you've got this force away from battalion or brigade support is have the main force of the protags be pulling back to a more strategic location; this would also make the issue of the big bad thing they have to destroy more important because if the enemy catches them moving, they could roll up a flank or punch through or something.
I don't think it's needed right here.
Although as a follow up piece, something related to Bolo or Hammer's Slammers would be so amazing I dare not even speak it for fear it'd drive you off.
Anyway, best of luck with this, Paul. Remember, this is probably going to be the first this sort of animation made in the UK for quite some time.
This better? Commit to the changes?
If you're chucking robots that big around, I'd look into Heavy Gear and how they treat and field landships and such.
Because something that big would have entire brigades screening their formations.
So here's what I have now. Hopefully it looks less Metal Gear Rex now.
I'm liking these designs in >>10958012
>>10957188 , but I can't really just steal your designs and use them..! Haha. I'd feel like I was cheating.
Obviously it'll be impossible to please everyone, but what do you think of this quick reworking? If we can get a basic frame that most people are happy with, I can start on the customised ones.
That's looking quite a lot better. I'd mount the bottom minigun in a turret or at least armour it myself; you're trying to evoke armour here, not gunships.
From the looks of things, I'm guessing a 20mm minigun, a 40mm chaingun coax to the main gun which has to be at least 200mm a side, plus a shed ton of missiles/rockets.
Also, unless those things on the thighs are supposed to be them, I'd add a couple of smoke/grenade launchers. In fact... they'd clutter up the design. Better to just turn the thigh launchers into the smoke dispensers.
I know this is nitpicking, but how does the pilot get down from the mecha in the field? Is their a retractable ladder or something on the armor skirt? Does it bend down towards the ground until the armor skirt is resting on it? If so does the gatling gun retract?
Paul, just a bit of advice here regarding script and such.
Yes, I know giant robot shows don't operate on the logics and reality and such but if you can, talk to someone who knows a lot about land warfare; someone from a cavalry regiment or such would be best and get their opinion on a few things.
You don't have to use it at all, but a good knowledge on how militaries actually do things do wonders for verisimilitude and excitement. Especially in animation where showing stuff off pays dividends.
>talk to someone who knows a lot about land warfare
Definitely, yes. Once I get to that phase, I'll maybe even head over to /k/ ...
>how does the pilot get down from the mecha in the field?
I guess something like the attached scribble.
The mech could also bend down somewhat, bringing the head lower to the ground, but yeah...
>I'd mount the bottom minigun in a turret or at least armour it myself; you're trying to evoke armour here, not gunships.
Certainly! Do you have any reference pics of real life examples?
Instead of a glass canopy, assume the cockpit is somewhere behind the psuedo-head area. More assumed armored areas of the legs and less mesh clipping of joints/limbs.
I'm not yet completely sold on my own idea of the railgun but it will look less like a field mortar.
>Steel Battalion/Armored Core-style "realistic" mech setting (no Gundam SEED-style "press this button to defeat all enemies with magic laser spam.")
Why not have each mech be crewed by a small crew of about two or three, with each member handling and/or keeping watch over certain aspects of the mecha and its functions?
I'm just gonna grab some food and possibly a nap, but will be watching and adding critiques and stuff to the fabled notepad.
But so far, it looks like the new design is OK with most people, but too big (so, scale the pilot size up).
Hah, unfortunantly, not on actual armoured vehicles, because unless they're a commanders or loaders weapon, they're going to be mounted on the main armament or down in the hull (which hasn't been a thing since the first world war).
However, because you've mounted it underneath the hull, I've been forced to, ironically for my statement, to refer back to gunships!
Here's a picture of an AH-1 Cobra gunship which shows you what I mean. Look at pics of Apaches for the opposite; they put the cannon and it's mount out in the open, but then again, it's not a rotary.
However, as a ground vehicle, you've got to account for all sorts of nonsense; forget enemy fire, and you don't want some random twat terry or squaddie with a gat fucking up your main anti infantry dakka with a few well placed rounds, you've also got to remember dust and mud and water and nonsense.
If you want an equivalent in terms of armoured vehicles, you could look to the cupola turret on the M60.
The mechs are much larger than I thought.
If you do decide to go for a dedicated artillery unit as well as drone recon units, I wouldn't be surprised if it sort of ends up looking like the Omega and its support drones.
Maybe they could fight something like the Rattler MKII. A mobile base that can reach up and smack a ship in orbit. But is hiding and obscured by a powerful ECM field, so they must ferret it out and destroy it.
Idle question for later, Otaking, only out of curiosity and a general lack of information. We have MD Geist confirmed as a cameo in that SW animation of yours - is Rei somewhere in there as well? I believe she was put down for a random appearance somewhere, though I could be mistaken.
>Steel Battalion/Armored Core-style "realistic" mech setting
>no magic laser spam
>feel like a tank sim
>same frame but adjusted for specific role
I'm loving the idea because it sounds familiar to comic idea I've been toying with on and off over the last few years, which was inspired by the Battlefield 3 Thunder Run tank demo from E3 way back when, plus a bit of World of Tanks and Project Reality I was playing.watching at the time.
To make the slow paced mech movements interesting there would need to be chatter. Not just military comm. chatter, but banter between the pilots themselves.
Also/Or the right atmosphere, suspenseful and what not, would work better with slow moving scenes.
You should actually do this instead of the imaginary Japanese Mechwarrior you're undoubtedly thinking of when you say that.
>primary forward offensive unit
Why on earth does it have two ginormous fusion generators strapped to the back an an enormous unwieldy railgun? That's not medium-range armament at all, there's no way you can make combat maneuvers with that thing either. That mech is fire support.
OK, how about this?
If this is OK, I'll go ahead and ask Mechmaster to do a glorious 3D model for me to rotoscope.
>OVA about slow moving mechs interesting?
>Obviously I'll be watching some tank documentaries for reasearch and intend to show every single control and button in the cockpits being used and what they specifically do.
I'd be fucking disappointed if you did otherwise. God speed you giant fignut.
Honestly, I'm more confused as to how it's supposed to walk at all. Now, I'm far from an engineering expert, but the legs on it just don't look like they'd be able to walk in any practical fashion. Every time I try to imagine them lifting up, my head automatically pictures the entire thing either falling over or just collapsing back on to the raised leg.
It's so big, wide and ungainly looking that treads or something look far more feasible for the design than a pair of legs.
Because the only people who would go to see that movie would be mech fans.
And no one wants to watch a movie about tanks. Tanks are boring as fuck.
move > shoot > spend 8 years changing cannon's direction > shoot > move
That's because the original art for the Stone Rhino was made by Japanese designers; it's an Unseen.
The Omega is actually a totally different mech. A 150-ton Word design.
Otaking, you're a great guy and I really admire your artistic skill, but between those non-euclidean battleships you drew and this design straight out of the Deviantart School of Weelistic Engineering, I gotta say that independent mechanical design is not your strong suit.
It seems that this project didn't go at all as planned.
Back to the drawing board then...
A large portion of mech fans would probably have no interest either, because it'd come across as someone who doesn't like mechs making a bitter, angry pet project about how shit they are rather than as any kind of homage to them.
Plenty of parodies of mecha tropes have been made without coming off as cynical and fatalistic criticisms of the genre. A parody typically doesn't approach with the attitude that something is stupid and ineffective. It'd be like a "parody" of an action movie where the hero gets shot in the first few minutes, passes out and spends the rest of the movie in a hospital waiting room or bleeding out on the floor.
>It'd be like a "parody" of an action movie where the hero gets shot in the first few minutes, passes out and spends the rest of the movie in a hospital waiting room or bleeding out on the floor.
Someone's invariably going to say they'd like to watch that.
Pretty much this, I guess? I mean, it sort of comes with the caveat that there's not much plot, but if you're going to make an 80s as fuck OVA then the plot doesn't matter as long as robots do stuff.
We do wanna see you do stuff, Otaking. Just get someone else to help you out with the mecha design.
Watching mechs get shot down all day isn't exactly realistic. If you want to be totally realistic you should show a wadded-up blueprint at the bottom of a trashcan, because no one would okay the development of a machine twenty times the size of a tank that loses to some dudes on foot with a bag full of C4.
"Oh, hey, here's these mecha, people are bound to love these!"
"Hm, how to ground them in realism yet make them entertaining for the audience to watch, though. That area raises so many questions, and-"
"Have them all get blown up by tanks and RPGs and invalidate mechs ever being introduced in the first place!"
"...Give that man a fucking raise."
Is basically what you're saying here.
That isn't a parody, it's basically shitting on a genre by having mechs be totally useless.
>you can't make a mecha movie by realistic portraying mecha
>you can't make an action movie by realistically portraying a gunfight
>you can't make a wizard movie by realistically portraying magic
>you can't make a time travel movie by realistically portraying time travel
You're absolutely correct.
If we must have propellent-like tanks, they'd be better off as extra radiators/coolant tanks. For what, I don't know; maybe the cannon if it's changed to a railgun and/or the engine system.
Then the worst that would happen is reduced movement and railgun/gauss weapon firing rate when someone's radiator/cooling system is busted. We Mechwarrior with this.
Dude, i'd watch it, it's just that some people (like me) are getting hung up on your mech design, especially what you want it to do with what it looks like it can do
You built up that thing to be a forward assault unit. In my opinion, It's way too big and bulky, and with too many exposed parts that look like one god flak round would take out half of them. It looks more like a rearward fire support/artillery/siege unit, especially with that size.
If you want that assault unit, try basing it off the Gekko instead.
>can actually fit in city streets
>capable of multi-level engagement
>maybe cram a cockpit in there or something?
They could be Soviet-tank-style detachable fuel tanks, used for when the mech has to go on long marches without being able to stop and refuel. When the tanks are empty, or in heavy combat, the mech can dump them.
I think Halo: ODST or Starship Troopers style power armor would work better personally. And make for more exciting and dynamic fights at that - even if it cuts the cockpit porn. You can just replace it with armor/infantry/equipment porn though or something I guess.
And as an addendum...Gekkos? The machines whose sole means of offense are .50 machine guns, grenades and blowing themselves up? Maybe anti-tank missile launchers, if you're lucky?
>They could be Soviet-tank-style detachable fuel tanks, used for when the mech has to go on long marches without being able to stop and refuel. When the tanks are empty, or in heavy combat, the mech can dump them.
That wouldn't be a problem if OtaKing wasn't so insistent on having something to give the rear more "balance" (though I feel that the massive cannon's equipment plenty counterbalance's the front).
You know what else came with drone support and a similar crab build? Mega Blok's Future Force mecha kits.
actually yeah, that's exactly what i was thinking.
Not really. The Gekko is stupidly flexible because of nanomachine magic or some shit like that.
I was also thinking that the bad guys, being cheap ass pirates, could have automated drone mechs cabled to a fusion reactor. Like the drones in Patlabor 2. They could be walking CIWS.
The idea is fine and most people will watch it if you do anything.
The issue is that if you want to have it grounded in the sort of scenario you put forward, then people are going to go and tell you how this sort of thing happens.
Now, if you want to just go flat out crazy and have robots doing robot things, that awesome. And if you want to drench this thing in verisimilitude, then that's also awesome.
But I think the things people (including me) have raised here are kinda valid. However, don't think anyone here wouldn't love to see a full on robot OVA from you. And remember, /m/ doesn't have the monopoly on taste or good ideas. That said, if you're doing the groundpounding route, then the best thing you could do, and something to set you apart from others would be to crank up that verisimilitude.
Look Paul, the core idea is fine. You are basically taking what most people want from combat mecha shows, stripping out the quirky japanese stuff and focusing on stuff westerners normally expect out of war shows. Like band of brothers, Full metal Jacket, Apocalypse now with mechs. Great idea, and you should totally go for it. Also I'm just fine with stompy mechs.
Ignore the people saying "mechs aren't realistic". Well duh. You aren't making a fucking documentary, you are making a war story with mechs. They'll just have to cope.
As for design, maybe you should watch those tank documentaries first, and THEN make your design. But by all means go ahead with your project. It's something you want to make, and something I want more of.
>Ignore the people saying "mechs aren't realistic"
Only a handful of people are saying that. The prevailing problems with the design- the giant cannon, the huge size, the resemblance to another existing mech- are hardly rooted in realism. It just doesn't look like it'd make sense in action. Going all deviantart "ignore the haters and be yourself" isn't going to make those problems go away.
A good way to get around this is scale up the action. Don't have it a raid or a seek and destroy thing, have it be a big offensive with these machines providing support but then having to be sent forward as the front collapses and there's nothing else to send?
>Only a handful of people are saying that.
And those are the people I'm saying to ignore. I don't fucking care that cruise missiles should solve any conflict and neither should you. It's a fucking mecha show and you can't take the mecha out of a mecha show. Suspend your god damned belief, or stop watching mecha.
The problem being that Otaking himself is that one that stated he wanted some degree of realism. Having a huge stompy bot like the one he initially designed doing the kind of stealthy things he suggested, creeping through a jungle at night to catch an enemy base unawares causes a fundamental disconnect for some. Something that shape and size just won't be believable regardless of how much verisimilitude you wrap it in for some, myself included I imagine, because it's simply too bulky for the scenario he's designed. It's like designing a cartoon with an anthropomorphic elephant dressed as a ninja creeping around a church to kill a priest at the alter or something - you just can't picture it working. He'd make too much noise, destroy too much shit just with his size and weight - how would something like that not be noticed?
Better to go with something smaller and sleeker in it's design, so that it fits the action. That, or change the scenario up a bit to suit the design, if he's more attached to that than the idea of a jungle raid.
To make a suggestion of a different tack, you could probably write up a small bit of mythos regarding a bigger picture to infuse the setting with some more life and hopefully try and leave viewers with a desire to know more. Propaganda posters regarding recruitment or a rebellion, news bulletins about far-off places playing on a radio in an encampment, that kind of thing. Make the film come across as a side-story to something bigger, like it's the 0080/0083 to a non-existent property essentially. If you wanted, you could even have a "hero" of some kind viewed obliquely within the story - just at the edge of shot during the finale being congratulated for doing something, contrasting his happiness at triumph against their sorrow at the loss of comrades or something.
Personally, I would say screw the design flaws, and just go with what you have. No war machine started out perfect, and what generations of soldiers have done is complain about the flaws of the machines they use. Its part of the characterization. Give hints to future units having further improvements, and rumor mills on experimental units. Have the enemy units designed in contrast with this one, but with opposite flaws. For every problem with the design you have, come up with a solution that a veteran pilot would think of, while newfags stumble over them. It's a great way to cover personalities in the script.
Problem is that a lot of the machines they complained about were still usable in their designated roles to some degree.
If this thing's designated role is lumbering through dense bush as it currently stands, it really doesn't look like it can be used there. Maybe it's because of how big it looks compared to the pilot, maybe it's because of how big it is in general - when you want to creep through a jungle and search for enemy patrols undetected, the last thing you bring is a mech that shakes trees with every step and has a cannon positioned in such a way that in the middle of a thick forest it could easily collide with things.
That, and there's no readily evident clue as to how the thing would even walk due to the lack of visible joints.
Also, random propellant tanks that make for very outstanding targets.
Stuff like that is why people are suggesting that Otaking revise his design further, or change the setting outright, because this mech is designed for indirect fire support at best, not jungle incursions. And perhaps it wouldn't be as bad, if Otaking did not state that he wants to convey a sense of realism.
Not that it matters, anyway, since he's apparently thrown the idea aside.
What on earth makes you think just because they're in a realistic setting they have paper for armor?
They can be story tall walking tanks with a big reactor, that also projects a magnetic shield, ignoring their special armor, but also slowing down incoming ballistic projectiles enough to significantly reduces their power.
Because the individual who made the quoted post clearly said "Mechs get slaughtered by tanks and infantry." We're kind of led to assume that the hypothetical mechs have paper for armor and peashooters for guns.
And he also wanted grounded realism, and I'm not sure if a magnetic field can slow sabot rounds.
I hope Otaking doesn't drop that project. I think it could work if there were 2 mech models. The big one shown in this thread could be a long range artillery unit protected by 3 lighter mechs. The story could be as follow :
- side A wants to destroy a planetary fortress of side B. They drop a squad of mechs far from the fortress, out of range of its defenses.
- stealth is not an issue as intel estimates that side B doesn't have units so far from its base.
- intel is wrong, of course.
- as the movie progresses, the artillery mech tries desperately to reach a position from which it can nuke the fortress, the 3 other mechs are destroyed ono by one trying desperately to protect the artillery mech and enemy units try desperately to kill the artillery mech before it can fire.
To be frank, the bigger it is, the less stealthy it will inherently be, and the less problems it will face in forests, since it will have the mass to knock down trees, much less branches. I thought I read that he plans to scale the pilot up though, which will give a walker which is about 8 meters high, say two stories.
And I had assumed that the design was meant to be a heavily armored walker type, since I can count at least four hidden joints in the leg assembly, the hip, knee, ankle and toes. We also cannot tell if this is in its standby mode squatting down, or in movement. People who saw MG Rex in its standby mode alone would make the same remarks about it's movement.
And those fuel tanks, have you looked at russian tanks from the 50s to the 80s? They have fuel drums mounted on their rears as well. Sure, they make outstanding targets, but they don't matter much in a limited battle since they are spare fuel tanks... The internal tanks would have enough to fight, and by the time the tanks reach the battlefield they would be half empty at least.
And speaking of machines usable in their roles, some of the earliest fighter planes designed by the US to be bombers ended up being used as attacker planes. And you can't say that this mech can't be used as an assault walker on ground, just that it's not really suitable to be used in woodlands. Stormtroopers, and ATATs on Endor comes to mind as an example.
Except REX, from the very start, had legs that indicated at a large degree of movement. That, and, well, REX was tall. Very tall.
This walker, on the other hand, is presumably designed to be small enough that it can trundle through a jungle without raising suspicion, and designed the way it is, it seems so squat and close to the ground that one struggles to imagine how the legs will move without the whole thing just falling over or the legs failing to rise. Burdening the legs with smoke launchers and obstructing their movement with random hanging armor plates is not wise, either.
That's also an assumption about the height, seeing as we have no idea what the size of this thing is to begin with.
>by the time the tanks reach the battlefield they would be half empty at least.
That doesn't exactly remove the problem of them being very easy targets for anything equipped with incendiaries.
> ATATs on Endor comes to mind as an example.
Well, it's a good thing the Imps had AT-STs on hand. Maybe this design could take a lesson from them.
>not really suitable to be used in woodlands
It's not really suitable for assault, either.
Long-range missile launchers, a single cannon of presumably equal range and smoke dispensers do not make an assault machine. It looks like artillery at best.
>Long-range missile launchers, a single cannon of presumably equal range and smoke dispensers do not make an assault machine. It looks like artillery at best.
Yeah, the weapon loadout is my biggest problem with the design. I feel like they'd benefit from having more close-range weaponry. Fixing the armaments (probably with each squad member using a different weapon setup) would go a long way towards making the design work.
I do, of course, demand that one member of the squad be piloting the mecha version of the A-10.
I'm awake again!
Honestly, I think I should I should have made it a bit clearer from the start when I said 'Steel Battalion/Armored Core-style "realistic" mech setting' that really I meant "not super robots" rather than "intricately researched down to the exact ammo type."
I'm not even a military otaku type, so I wouldn't know the difference between AX, HEAT and sabot rounds.
Really I meant "they're in a squad using formations and maps and shit," kind of like 08th MS Team or episode 2 of 0083 (Endless Pursuit) I guess. So, the fake impression of realism.
But yeah, the main robot design doesn't seem to have gone down very well, so I think it's best to bin the design and just sketch up a bunch of quick mech ideas today.
>Honestly, I think I should I should have made it a bit clearer from the start when I said 'Steel Battalion/Armored Core-style "realistic" mech setting' that really I meant "not super robots" rather than "intricately researched down to the exact ammo type."
I got that, but people took "realistic" too seriously I guess. You are just trying to make a walking tank, but they freaked out about it.
Don't feel too bad though, I've seen /m/ pull the same thing with Flag! and Front Mission. As long as you stick with the project, I'm happy.
This sounds awesome, OtaKing.
If you're taking requests:
1. /m/ will throw a shitstorm about realism if there isn't an anti-radar technology, which is where all the "could real robot be real" discussions stop.
2. Can you animate a terrain-adapting foot mechanism? Like thin or low-contact patch for mountains or forest and wide-contact patch for sand, etc? Showing it decreasing noise, enemy listening for ground thumps, etc.
3. I actually like the 1st design. Lowrider reverse knee joint seems realistic and stable to me. And bad-ass if you show a ground-level view of it running by at speed. Please keep that aspect.
4. Rail guns, I think, are unlikely to be cylindrical, due to the way it works.
But basically, looks awesome. Looking forward to it
I think most of us here can suspend our disbelief more than the average person, but I personally can't even envision how a battle with this thing would go down given what I've been told about it. I keep trying to picture a pilot 420noscoping with a fixed-orientation cannon that's still as long as the mech, trying to both stay stompy and swivel its whole body to face all of its weapons towards a target. Mechwarrior at least typically lets you twist your torso, but the leg orientation here would force a pilot to move the whole body to engage a target a kilometer off if they had the good sense to walk slightly to the left or right. This isn't really a matter of realism- it just doesn't physically work out, and I think once you started animating it you'd realize at some point along the line that you either have to cheat a lot or change the design to be more conducive to movement.
Even if you were just making a straight up super robot anime, if the mid-show upgrade was to double the size and add a pair of giant shoulder cannons and some cruise missiles, it'd be a little ridiculous for the cast to try and hype up its close-range assault and stealth abilities. The thing is that in that setting you could at least play on how ridiculous it would be.
>But yeah, the main robot design doesn't seem to have gone down very well, so I think it's best to bin the design and just sketch up a bunch of quick mech ideas today.
Nah to me it's cool, you should just make it look less tacticool and more like the Monster Class from Macross.
And THEN you can make some support suits that look like the suits from Appleseed the manga.
The space lesbians will have to wait for another day, alas. Or two of the pilots could be lesbians. But /u/ lesbians who look at each other and blush and that's all.
Here's a sketch. No weapons or anything yet. Does it look better than the previous ones? It seems more agile and the upper body platform is 360 degree rotatable.
>looks neat-o, but where do you put the dakka?
Wherever we want! Big cannon can go on top though.
>The side vents and canopy clash with the rest of the body... I'll just go at it then.
Feel free to do a quick paintover if you like. I like the size as-is though. If anything I'd like it to be bigger but, ah well.
>fix those little feet
>Looks nice but personally it'd put some little side things on the feets,kinda like the ED-209 feet.
OK, that should be easy enough.
This might be the closest thing to something you want to do.
Rather than kick a dead horse, I'll just give you some advice you probably already know.
>So, I'm uploading the finished Star Wars thing this/next week to Youtube (music is just being finalised). And it may get a fair few views, but really people will only be watching it because it's Star Wars and may well praise it despite the numerous flaws just because "wow, anime Tie fighters."
>and via Kickstarter or whatever it's quite possible that I could animate a 30-45 minute one-off mecha OVA with all the little details and 5 tone shading
Leverage this. HARD. If the video goes viral like it did last time, use it to your advantage. Like in your comments mention "this was a lot of fun, but next I'd like to do something of my own, would you like to see more?"
If all goes well you are going to get thousands of hits and a ton more subscribers. Use that to start planting seeds for your kickstarter on day one. And follow up on it soon. Like that week. Even if all you have is concept art. Hell, start recording you kickstarter pitch now. Strike when the iron is hot.
/m/ aint going to be enough to carry a kickstarter, you'll have to milk as many mainstream people as possible.
I don't think that would work out. Right now there is no script, no budget plan and nobody ready to commit to a project full time. It would be a production nightmare for sure.
But the idea is sound. Maybe when the OVA is ready for funding, having something else to release and grab attention would be a big help. It might also be a good idea to promise more at the end of the current Star Wars video.
>Mechs are unfortunately impractical because cruise missiles would solve problems better
Hey, he said he wanted verisimilitude, I'm just pointing something out here.
It just shows that you've considered this and instead of going 'lol robots', you've gone 'lol robots oh and here's something extra'.
Bruce Lee was very passionate about martial arts. So passionate he created his own martial art style called Jeet Kun Do. Jeet Kun Do centers around an economy of motion; taking the least action, but resulting in the greatest effect. But Bruce Lee was also an actor and film-maker, and in his movies Bruce Lee did not use Jeet Kun Do; favoring instead a stylized Kung Fu. Lee knew that the style of martial arts he had created to be the best was so fast and so simplified that--while it was extremely effective--it was boring to watch.
Think in Gladiator when Maximus kills all his opponents outright and his master scolds him for it, pointing out that he's not a mere killer, he's an entertainer. The violence and success was a necessary part of the equation, but so was showmanship.
We /m/en, we /m/echa-fans, are passionate about mecha. Realism in mecha, and mecha that can be taken seriously, is important to us. Indeed, it is more important to us than to anyone else (most people don't care about it at all). BUT, like Bruce Lee and Maximus Decimus Meridius, we need to acknowledge that truly realistic mecha does not make good watching; accept that fact; and move on from there.
All very interesting, but almost no-one is saying that the film should concentrate on totally realistic mechs (if anyone) - they're only saying that having a big, wide, stompy robot as part of a stealth mission through a jungle just comes off as silly.
There's one minor thing that bugs me about the new design.
That head/cockpit piece is all curvy and round while the rest has more straight edges.
How about trying a combination of a re-scaled version 1's cockpit block plus version 2's leg units?
Huh, actually that doesn't look all that bad.
I really like AT's from VOTOMS. If they just walked they'd look silly because of how bulky they are, but they have this sort of, ski position, and then their treads start. i'm not sure how you feel about treads, none of the prototypes have had them, but if the legs are going to be stockier, like the earlier versions in this thread, I think it needs that kind of AT movement
Somehow I get the feeling it should look something like this.
The original concept art for it was done by Flyingdebris.
I live! Here's a "naked" version of the mech frame. If it looks OK, we can experiment with weapons loadouts.
the whole Kickstarter thing, that's just a potential idea and I do have a day job contract for the next 10 months so even if the Star Wars thing gets a billion views I can't really leverage that into anything straight away, sadly. Also, sorting out the various mechs, land vehicles and story will take a while so I defininitely can't set up a campaign anytime soon. I guess I just have to hope that by the time this project is ready to go (if and when that is) I still have some residual internet fame from the Star Wars animation for people to actually be interested.
But like I said, previous things I've done on Youtube have been successful just because they've been based on extremely popular properties (Doctor Who and Star Wars), and most of those viewers really won't care about something I've just made up on my own. Especially mecha which is already pretty niche.
Fortunately, my funding needs for a Kickstarter would be really low. Basically, "give me enough money to pay the rent for a year, and I'll make an OVA," I guess (that's like... £14,000 / $24,000? Anita Sarkeesian raised $158,000 for her project on kickstarter and made 4x 20 minute videos of herself talking to a webcam).
Star Wars is 7 minutes long and took me like 3 years, working on it at weekends whilst doing a full time job. It's also 7 minutes of only action shots. A whole year of uninterrupted animating, including talking shots where really it's just the mouths moving, and I could easily turn out a 45-minute thing, I reckon.
Based on your views, I would advise you use synergy, release your kickstarter RIGHt when you release star wars complete. I mean, I could see you easily making 14K, doubly so when reddit/buzzfeed/kotaku get it.
Now, I admit I know absolutely nothing about the subject I'm about to talk about, so I might be completely off-base here, butare there any copyright issues here? I mean, it's one thing for you to make a Star Wars fan film (Lucasfilm's always been cool with that; I assume Disney/Lucasfilm will continue to be), but something else entirely to make a Star Wars fan film and say, "If you liked this, give me money." I'm not too sure Disney/Lucasfilm would sit still for that. I also admit to oversimplifying this.
Well, you could but at the same time, it would have to state "I am not free for the next ten months and even then, you're looking at a year or so before getting anything solid.'.
I'd still chuck £20 at you.
See these highlighted areas? These areas are parts that clash with the rest of the design. You can say it looks like a design language that's foreign to the rest of the design language of the 'bot as a whole.
See, he is using the fanfilm (and his project with a Japanese indie artist), to prove he can make things that are his own IP. Using fanfilm is a time honored tradition to do before jumping to original product, look at Rooster Teeth for the classical example of halo fanfilms, to their own IP.
The head's a little complicated, but I wouldn't say it was over complicated. And the feet are fine.
If anything, this is the best design we've got so far. The hatch on top works fine, but could be a bit more flush and the vents I imagine are for some jump jet thing, so Ithat's fine too.
The groin is a nice call back to other robot designs, so I'm perfectly okay with that.
Not to shit on the current design or anything, since it's obvious there's an aesthetic you're going for and would prefer to stick to that, but if you want to catch people's eyes you might be better off giving it a more unique silhouette or something that makes it stand out a bit from the crowd. The TIE fighters in Star Wars are instantly memorable for instance for both their silhouette and the front viewscreen's slatted design. The X-Wing for it's profile and splittable wings. Even the mass production Zaku's in Gundam have their mono-eye to set them apart. Yours looks, by intention in your own words, quite similar to a lot of other stuff and really has nothing that makes it look unique or memorable - to me at least. I'm not a huge fan of that school of design though, so maybe I'm just not the target audience.
I'll still pony up for it regardless mind you - I just think your design could be more memorable if you're trying to appeal to a wide audience to fund this.
There better be an Obari pose somewhere in this or I won't back it (kidding, but it'd still be pretty cool)
This may sound a bit silly, but maybe taking a look at how REX in the Metal Gear series moves would be a good start to have decent speed for movement but still have a semblance of realism. Maybe Front Mission (all the series except Evolved) could be used to get an idea of slow-moving "realistic" mechs as well
Well, here's the basic thing with some weapons thrown on. Any thoughs?
I wonder if adding those big fuel tanks on the back again might make it look more distinctive.
Easy use a gun in place of hands and a sword
Putting those huge tanks on that design just won't work it would look bad. But if you do decide to do it why make them fuel tanks? why not make them hold an assortment of drones? or maybe some mines?
Then again I already see the perfect place to put mines on it right now that nice round thing on its back would make a perfect mine dispenser.
Not that anon
but that looks much better now the gun looks like it can move with out breaking its ammo box and damaging the the small wing at the same time
But put a little armor around it looks to exposed to easy to cause a lot of damage to the mech with very little effort, ditto for the cannon drum.
Yeah, the missile launchers do look like low-polygon Playstation 1 things right now. I can fix them up into something a bit better looking.
As for smoke launchers, I just googled some and got stuff like pic related.
Here's a sheet of three different takes on the tank. More roller-y and more compact. Also additional legs and struts to support the railgun firing.
Kind of Gunhed-ish , A and B.
I like that, at least for the shoulder-mounted one. It's a smaller gun, so it would make sense for it to be conventional. Changing the shape of the center cannon would be a good idea, though.
I can't say I'm a fan. Spend some time looking at real-life armored vehicles and try to pull off the aesthetics while trying to maintain a silhouette. Yours looks like a hodgepodge with too many details and clashing shapes. The details are also way too big for its scale.
Try more armour plates, fewer exposed parts, less helicopter gunship aesthetic.
Would you like scaling down and going for a more Western armored look like in >>10980540?
Something like Armored Core V-ish? BT mechs with Abrams kibble?
You mean go back to being REX? No thanks.
I just think the whole idea of a large, long range, low refire cannon on a mech meant to get in close is a goofy idea., and the way it just sits on top makes it look tacked on. I'd suggest replacing it with something actually interesting or innovative like caseless guns or primitive plasma weapons but that'd likely require deviation from the current course.
I like these!
I think the general layout is fine, it just needs to "look better," like have all the parts drawn to be more unified, more mechy. Even though it's a military type robot it should still have a nice style to it.
How should I refine it to get it to something Otaking would like? Since they're still sketches, the armor plates can still be refined. I don't want to make it more "heavy and primitive" than the premise could reasonably allow.
Testing the angular, armored vehicle look.
Cleaned it a bit from a photo; Scanner's not around.
Look! Here is a new iteration.
I'm gonna get a coffee and do a load of really quick kind of sketchy weapon loadout variant silhouettes.
PS - I'm thinking this animation would me more like a tank sim, so probably not featuring super awesome laser, plasma and railgun tech, and instead mechs shooting each other from tank distances (what's that, like, 2000metres?).
>shooting each other from tank distances (what's that, like, 2000metres?)
Then why use mechs at all? Specially XBAWX hueg ones? Why not go for something small, hell look at this small thing.
> We also want to see cool robots do cool things
That's not a cool robot though. I don't doubt you find it cool. Otaking obviously does too, else he wouldn't be drawing it. I do however doubt that a large portion of the public is going to find it cool - and he's asking them to fund it, so it kind of matters.
A scaled down, much sleeker version of the current mech design is still possible though. It would also make much more sense given the whole DEEP INFILTRATION IN ENEMY TERRITORY spiel.
But well, whatever.
Anyhow have some power armor.
I would debate that, especially given how popular Pacific Rim managed to be despite using such a mainstream, humanoid design. There's really not much in the way of evidence either way though, so it's probably not worth discussing.
I really like the eye-like cockpit and the monocle it's got on the side, there. What's the purpose of the fin behind the head? Pic related, I circled it there. I'm guessing it's either a place for additional parts, given the handle, but it seems like it would just stop the cockpit from moving up whereas it seems quite capable of looking down, given the distance between the 'eye' and the 'jaw'.
While I commend your speed in assuming a defensive stance, I hope you realize that the point of that question is that if the mechs are kilometers apart when they "fight" you're not going to be able to see much of anything, much less something cool.
I'm thinking the smoke launchers should be smaller and with more barrels...
Or just move them somewhere else and make them rotary smoke launchers. The space between the intakes and the spine look like a nice spot for small, pop-up smoke dischargers. Either above or below the "wing" structures.
I still have to question the need to place a cannon on the top of a walker. In the first place, its going to be the first thing everyone sees coming over the horizon, and its going to get caught up in stuff. And second, while the turret of a tank is there to give the gun some elevation and mobility in targeting, here it's already on a walker, which can turn on its own torso. It's like having the main cannon of a tank on top of the turret, instead of in line with it.
If anything, there should be a sensor mount on top of the head, something like an R2D2, to spot targets from elevation. And have the weapon mounts capable of over head shooting, if you plan to go "hull down".
You put this a lot better than I have so far. I just think the big main cannon in general looks jank, and the fact that the same post where he says it won't be super future laser tech sees it changed to a gun straight out of Halo just sitting on the head is far from promising improvement.
Just to add a suggestion to my comment, it might be better to have the main cannon offset in one of the torsos, where it's protected by the main hull, instead of on top and exposed. You can design it so that the main cannon mount can be extended upwards over the head for hull down tactics, though it can't fire at full charge then.
Concerning the whole, "theses mechs are too big to be stealthy in the jungle," thing:
The 08th MS Team had it's share of problems that folks love to complain about, myself included, but that stealthy game of cat-and-mouse Shiro was playing with that Zaku early in the series (Episode 2?) was NOT one of them. Obviously something that shakes the ground when it walks isn't going to be stealthy, but people bought it because of the verisimilitude.
All the designs are interesting; the problem is whether or not they fit into the narrative OtaKing wanted (the fat designs did not).
The cannon overhead makes sense to me; it should have its own sensor equipment as part of the weapons and allow it to peek out from hull down operation, effectively allowing sniping without putting the rest of the unit into harm's way.
I do agree with earlier sentiment that it's probably best to leave that cannon on one or two of the units playing support and artillery, with the others having something less visible; such as missile racks or smaller medium to sort ranged cannons that are closer to the body and don't need to fine-tune their shots as much as an artillery design.