[Mail call] 2017/02/15

“Is there any particular historical reason for certain of the girls having moles, or just Jeanex’s whims?”

On Iowa & Pacific Shipgirls

I commented on this earlier and much of the design concepts here stand true even to today.

Beauty spots themselves are a little hard to explain, since in different cultures there are different views on what the beauty spot itself symbolizes. In general, though, beauty spots are meant to emphasize a particular “personality.”

Okie’s, specifically, is meant to emphasize “sorrow” – we talked about this in vol. 1, where we just sat down and looked at the history of the USS Oklahoma, and went, man, that’s really unlucky.

Iowa, well, I think we all just wanted to make her a quiet beauty. Again, see the above post for a better explanation for the thoughts that went into Iowa’s design. We think of far more than just the ship, but also the state and the symbolism and everything else that might be associated with a particular shipgirl.

As for Yorktown? That’s a draft. If we do give her a beauty mark, it’d be to distinguish her personality from Hornet and Enterprise. 🙂

“Or, for that matter, girls with half updos and big hair ribbons, like Missouri, Wisconsin, Phoenix and WeeVee?”

Think about it from a girl’s perspective (not saying that November thinks like this – since I do it for him xD), why would you wear a big ribbon in your hair?

Well, you could say that it’s because it’s cute. What do you think of a ribbon, or rather, who wears ribbons in their hairs? Schoolgirls. Cheerleaders. Generally “youthful” or “vigorous” characters.

Or maybe you wear it because it’s a fairly simple way of displaying femininity. We’ve got a couple of tomboyish characters up even in that list, but again, I do want to re-emphasize that they’re young women, first and foremost.

These are just examples of two reasons (both in and out of universe) that contribute to the design of each character. We’re in the business here of making shipgirls, after all.

[Mail call] 2017/02/12 (On fairy expertise)

(I’m actually going to probably start adding subtitles to our updates. That way, you can know what it is that we’re talking about today.)

“Being able to swap out equipment is something that can be done in the game as well and it makes me wonder if there are any limits about what a shipgirl in Pacific can carry into battle. Would it be possible for the girls to outright switch riggings? Not just between sisterships or designs with historically interchangable/similar parts, like K9’s submarine example near the top of this page, but between classes or even something like a CA girl carrying BB equipment? Could those hardpoints attach multiple equipment types that aren’t historically accurate, like a South Dakota with 16’/50s or a Pensacola running around with nothing but triple turrets vs. the 2 triple 2 double configuration it had in real life?”

K9’s comments in navy.

Theoretically? Yes, the girls could outright switch riggings. But that doesn’t mean they’ll be effective in using that equipment. The girls all stick to their own equipment because that’s what they know how to use and it’s what they prefer.

Could San Francisco use Pennsy’s guns? Yes. But San Francisco’s going to be a terrible shot with them, and she’ll probably be sluggish with them too. She’s just much more combat effective using her own equipment.

Now, to answer your questions about the equipment types that aren’t historically accurate, again, it’s technically possible, but the girls just aren’t used to using them. With enough training they could probably pull it off, but the girls are perfectly happy with their current configurations, and the time it would take to re-train them to proficiency probably wouldn’t be worth it.

Why is this? Some people in STEC think it’s that the girls have some sort of biological affinity to their equipment. Others think that it’s a matter of fairy efficiency. Tell a fairy that’s used to firing 8” guns to suddently go shoot a 16”, and you can see how there’ll be trouble.

The one exception I can think of are aircraft. If there were enough wildcats even Langley could use them. If new aircraft are developed, the carrier girls can use them no issue. It’s really a matter of fairy proficiency.

Before you ask, Giving Enterprise a bunch of Zeros is possible but a horrible idea. You run into doctrinal conflicts.

Right. The reason why I bring this up again, is I’d like to take some time to talk about equipment operations. You see, while shipgirls are vital to the operations of any anti-Abyssal mission, what’s really important is whether or not the shipgirls are adequately supported by her fairies (and of course, the commander and the organization).

If you look at the designs of our shipgirls, you’ll notice that a lot of the equipment looks like they could be manually operated. This is intentional, but I do want to remind you that something like a shipgirl’s “smokestack” is actually a fairly high-tech piece of equipment. I’ve described them as something akin to a personal jetpack, and there are a lot of fairies inside operating the thing. One of these days we’ll probably sketch one to show you what it looks like. The thing is, a shipgirl can in theory operate these things entirely on her own. But, it’s much easier if she has a dedicated crew of fairies that are designed to do just that.

As we’ve mentioned. Fairies are difficult to communicate with. However, it’s easy to predict the sort of thing a particular “crew” of fairies would do based on, well, their historical counterparts. Take O’bannon, for instance. It’s been consistently observed that her fairies will bring her “power unit” to approximately 1/3rd of her top speed. After she’s reached this “cruising speed,” the power unit’s internal temperatures rise, and in this state, her equipment can ease itself towards her maximum speed, as well as a “supercharge” state where her equipment provides her with an absurd burst of speed.

This is actually fairly standard for all shipgirl equipment, but for the US girls, an important point is that there appears to be very strong standardization, and there’s nearly no loss in expertise (as far as this example goes) within the different fairy crews. In other words, if you picked up a burner-fairy from Maury and make it work on O’bannon’s power unit, it’ll probably fit right at home after some initial confusion.

You really can’t do this with say, a burner-fairy from say, a Japanese or British DD girl. It’d take them a lot longer to acclimate to their new surroundings, and the last thing you want is confused fairies running about and not knowing what to do. 🙂

[Mail call] 2017/02/10

Looks like things are going well. I’ll ask Zero for more pictures, but this particular convention’s apparently inside a … stadium?

Here’s pictures of set-up. That’s Aeronautica. 🙂


and one photo from the convention itself.

“Okay, something’s been bugging me. Some shipgirls don’t seem to have personal weapons. Why doesn’t STEC arm them all with the proper melee/ranged weapons if it’d be useful?”

For routine operations, shipgirl will carry proper equipment, defined as that of which is designated for the particular mission in which said shipgirl is assigned to. Requests for alternative or supplementation should be made as early as possible to the shipgirl currently overseeing mission logistics with clear reasoning. 

Speak to the commander if the situation is urgent.

memo specific to Chester: “but but Mike lets me sword things sometimes!” is not valid reasoning. 

A reminder that the general operational doctrine is still that the shipgirls should use their primary armaments rather than anything personal. Much like how you wouldn’t ask a soldier to drop his Garand for his 1911, short of very specific circumstances, it’s generally better to engage the Abyssals with the stuff that’s, well, meant to kill them.

This is more of an issue of logistics. Given all the other things materials need to go towards, creating additional personal weapons isn’t exactly very high on the priority list when again, doctrine dictates that shipgirls only use those as a last resort.

Thus, when STEC does have materials to spare, they tend to create things that are more useful towards the fulfillment of STEC’s objectives. For instance, given the role of personal weapons (and lessons learned from both triumphs and tragedies), a sizable portion of resources are devoted to the development of life-preserving or “bug-out” type equipment that would allow a shipgirl to retreat safely.

We’ll show a few of these in the future.

(Try to get in the head of STEC. In the same way as we will not throw away say, our F-22s willy-nilly, STEC recognizes that each shipgirl is in effect a non-replaceable “unit.” They’re definitely going to optimize their equipment and loadout towards the goal of preservation. With many years of covert operations on their resume, I’d say that most missions have the dual objective of eradicating the Abyssal and ensuring that the shipgirl returns home.

Also, at the end of the day, it really varies from shipgirl to shipgirl. If Chester wants a claymore (the sword not the mine) of course Lexington (above) wouldn’t give it to her. But, if you have someone like Phoenix manning the logistics depot for the day…

See you next time. 🙂 )