Sorry for the late post, it's taken me a few days to get my thoughts together on the following subject. So, having said that lets take a look at SEED as an anime and see how this would work as a RTS shall we?
Gundam SEED is the story of a young boy who finds himself on a neutral colony in space during a war between the Earth and the Space Colonies. At first it seems like its going to be a reboot of the original story but it's far more than that. Soon the young boy finds himself in the cockpit of the Gundam Striker, the 5th prototype Gundam being developed on the colony, as it is attacked and the other 4 prototypes are stolen. Worse, he finds that one of the thieves is his long lost childhood friend. I can't imagine pitching this idea and keeping a straight face but apparently someone did it and did it well enough that it got made. Bravo random japaneese dude.
So what this really comes down to is a show with lots of "basic" mobile suits and a few high performance prototypes constantly fighting against each other. As the story continues people switch sides and new sides are formed which does not help our situation at all.
So what does all of this mean to you guys and the Mod? It means that we have potentially many different units to pull from but in the end with us only choosing units that would have been part of the Earth Federation, what exactly qualifies? And where do you draw the line? There are so many different Daggers and Windams, what ones do we go with? And the many MANY different Gundams and Mobile Armors... you start to see the problem.
In the end there are 2 major timelines from SEED that can be worked from, CE71 and CE 73. CE71 was the year of the Dagger where CE 73 was the year of the Windam. If we go with CE71 you have the Strike Dagger, Jet Dagger, Launcher Dagger, Dagger L, Jet Dagger L, and Doppelhorn Dagger L. If we go with the Windams of 73 you get the Windam, Jet Windam, and Doppelhorn Windam.
Units based on the Strike Daggers (Strike Dagger/Jet Dagger/Launcher Dagger) are teir 1 units that fill the basic attack/basic air unit/basic artillery positions. The Dagger L's would be the teir 2 units with the units following a similar pattern (Dagger L for basic attack / Jet Dagger L for basic air / Doppelhorn Dagger L for basic artillery). Finally if we did add the Windams in as the teir 3 units they would be the Windam/Basic Attack, Jet Windam/Basic Air, Doppelhorn Windam/Basic Artillery.
So thats our basic units setup. So far what we're looking at are 3 frontline, 3 air units, and 3 artillery units. The army so far is looking like a straight up fighting force. Where do the Gundams fit in?
I think how we should do the Gundams would be elite units that you can call on to support your forces in game. These units would be 1 time builds, built from a different structure or maybe summoned in using a support power. When I say 1 time builds I mean you only can have 1 on the field at a time. So what Gundams can we use?
Well, from the original show the first 5 prototype gundams were built FOR the Earth Allience so arguably even though 4 of the 5 were stolen if the EA wanted to build more they could have, they had the plans after all. That would give us the Duel Gundam, Buster Gundam, Strike Gundam, Blitz Gundam, and Aegis Gundam. We could also argue for the Calamity, Forbidden, and Raider Gundam but to me these always seemed like they belonged to Blue Cosmos and not the EA.
Out of the 5 original Gundams not all are going to make it, simply put we have to take things from a gameplay standpoint and I'm not going to put every gundam avalible in (we still have some to grap from 73 afterall). Out of the 71 series the ones that I would say "Yes, you should be there" would be the Strike Gundam, the Duel Gundam, and the Buster Gundam. These 3 units actually fit with our inital setup, with the Duel Gundam being the frontline unit, the Buster being the artillery unit, and the Strike being the air unit. The Strike continues to gain favor due to it's flexability allowing it to switch to artillery or front line with it's other forms to further it's position.
With the jump to 73 though we have a different issue. The Earth Allience did not use very many Gundams in its defense in this war, not ones that were truly theirs anyways. They did use the Chaos, Abyss, and Gaia. As these units were stolen from Zaft and held by the EA for quite a while it's arguable to say that if they wanted to the EA could have produced them as well. As such for the second teir of elites these would be the 3 that I pick. The Chaos abviously takes the slot as front line fighter, the Gaia takes the slot of air unit. The problem is with the Abyss gundam. As we don't have water as a transversal item (meaning you can't go in it thanks to the maps) the Abyss's armored mode is less that useful. However the argument could be made that we can modify it and make it's armored mode into a sort of stationary defense turret with long range having it fill the artillery slot.
Also these units help flow into the final class of units, the Mobile Armors of the EA. These bad boys are the Gells-Ghe, the Zamza-Zah, and the Destroy Gundam. I don't have to explain to you why these guys are picked. One downside to these guys are they would be VERY expensive to put onto the field, but they will be worth it.
So thats the basic forward facing design that I have come up with from watching the show and looking at the units. 9 basic units that each fill a basic roll and 9 elite units that will be able to stand against at least half a dozen units on their own (basic units that is, don't expect a Strike Gundam to take on GP03).
But wait! What about ORB and the Justice and Freedom?! Well, thats an interesting situation. I would like to put them in but really where do they fit? The Justice and Freedom never worked for the EA. Orb however DID at one point (even though they did it at gunpoint so to speak). This would fall into the "Addititonal Support" aspect of SEED. I know I want an ally system of some sort in there, where a player can choose either ORB, Three Ship, or Blue Cosmos to gain additional units. How this is going to work though has not been worked out. I'm thinking it's an additional defensive structure that will be built that will give "summon" powers to gain additional support.
ORB will grant the player access to the Astrays, the Murasame, the Strike Rouge, and the Akatsuki units. Three Ship will only give you access to the Freedom and the Justice. Blue Cosmos will not give you any additional unit types, but instead will give you additional units in the form of the teir 3 units. This means as Blue Cosmos you could attack an enemy with 4 or 5 Destroy Gundams at once! (Talk about power....)
So thats my thought process. Tell me what you think.