Mecha Match-up #3: Dragonar-1 Custom vs Aile Strike Gundam

Let’s go back to some old-school air-to-air Real Robot battles for the third round. And we have two of master Kunio Okawara’s iconic design for this round: the most Gundam non-Gundam titular mech: the Dragonar-1 Custom from Metal Armor Dragonar, going up against one of the most famous Gundam: the Strike Gundam with Aile Pack from Gundam Seed. Both are exemplary articles of “the basics work”. They are very simplistic designs that ooze Okawara-sensei’s principle.
Kikou Senki Dragonar Dragonar-1 Custom vs Gundam Seed Aile Strike Gundam
We’ll take into account atmospheric combat in this match, cause we want to see them backpack going to work. Both are state-of-the-art machines that were developed in secrecy to obtain battlefield dominance. Both have a similar load-out as well as equipment. You can say they are brothers in terms of design. Of course, the pilot’s factor won’t be counted since SEED Mode is quite…OP. We’ll consider both pilot to be literally the same guy with the same skillset.
Dragonar-1 Custom
  • The Dragonar-1 is a balance machine. Standing 17.6 meters and weighing in around 91 tons. All of its manoeuvrability are from the backpack’s thrusters, which does give it significant boost even in atmosphere. The unit has a fusion reactor so operational time shouldn’t be an issue.

  • The D-1 Custom has multiple layers of hybrid ceralite coating, which protect it from a certain amount of damage. But if weapons of the same caliber as its rifle or a laser sword for example, the unit can still sustain some damage. On-board the unit is a supercomputer support AI navigator.

  • The D-1 carries a very standard Real Robot loadout: a high fire rate rifle capable of firing standard and HE rounds at 1800 rounds/minute. Fore-arm mounted machine guns and a multi-function dispenser that can launch a variety of utility rounds. The backpack also has hardpoints to carry some extra dakka.

  • For close combat, this is where the D-1 Custom really resemble the Strike. 2 daggers and 2 laser swords – along with a hybrid shield. Although the shield’s size is quite small at only around fore-arm size rather than covering half the body like the Strike’s. The Dragonar is a fearsome machine more in close combat rather than from a distance.
Aile Strike Gundam
  • Morgenroete’s secret state-of-the-art Mobile Suit. The Strike stands at 17.72 meter and weighs 85.1 tons. The Strike on its own has thrusters on its back, but with the Aile Strike Pack, its mobility and aerodynamic is greatly improved. The Strike operates on battery pack, so its energy isn’t unlimited, but the Aile Striker can carry extra batteries to replenish should it need to.

  • The Strike has one of the most OP armors in Gundam: Phase Shift Armor. The PSA grants the Strike extreme durability against both physical and beam attack. The only downside is the armor drain the battery so if the Strike take too many hits, the PSA will power down. But as long as the armor is online, the Strike’s near invincible.

  • The Aile Strike is equipped with your standard Gundam’s beam rifle that can punch through thick armor. On its head are CIWS head vulcans that fire 75mm rounds. The beam rifle can probably punch through D-1’s armor with ease.
  • For melee, the Strike pretty much mirrors the Dragonar. The Strike came equipped with 2 vibroblade combat daggers “Armor Schneider” by default. The Aile Pack give the Strike an extra 2 beam sabers as well. After the OS reprogram by Kira, the Strike’s mobility has been upgraded significantly. Thanks to the Aile Pack’s maneuverability, the Gundam is a force to be reckoned with.

So, How will this play out? If you’ve watched both series, you will realize these two are all-rounders unit that will do well in all kinds of battlefield – especially atmos and space. Both aren’t uber-agile or super-heavily armored, but rather well-balanced fighters that will pick off other units one-by-one. This match will turn into a hit-and-run dogfight really quick where both will exchange fire from a distance, and try to close in for that beam/laser finisher. The Aile Strike definitely has the edge on armor as well as mobility, but the Dragonar-1 Custom has better operational time and a more diverse range of arsenal. The D-1 pilot will have to use everything at his disposal to elude the Strike’s pursuit.

So what is the win condition for both? The Strike can easily claim victory with a well-timed shot of its rifle or a nice swing of the beam saber that hit a critical part of the Metal Armor (cockpit, thrusters, reactor,…). The Dragonar can clinch this match by playing keep away with the Strike by using its diverse launcher and elude the Mobile Suit. But it wont be easy due to the high mobility of the Aile and the fact that most of the D-1’s rounds are standard projectile that will be repelled easily with the Phase Shift Armor running full power. This will surely comes down to the last drop of power the Strike has and the last bullet or dagger the D-1 Custom has. This match may start in the air, but will definitely end on the ground.

A very “standard” match-up between “balance” unit. Neither of them are over-specialized for mobility, firepower or durability. Both have an all-rounder equipment that will match very well with each other and will surely give us a satisfying duel if it ever get animated (which I don’t think it will be any time soon). But still, having two main characters suit that is as by-the-book as Real Robot gets squaring off against each other maybe a good change of pace instead of going up against a quirky unit. How do you think this match will go and which one will come out on top?

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