Gunpla Battle (ガンプラバトル, Ganpura Batoru) is a form of simulated battle involving the use of Gunpla. This concept first appeared in Plamo-Kyoshiro, but the term 'Gunpla Battle' was not introduced till the the Model Suit Gunpla Builders Beginning G and its assorted side stories (D, and J). It subsequently appeared in the Gundam Build Fighters and Gundam Build Divers anime series as well as related side stories.
In this series, simulated battle using model kits, which is not limited to just Gunpla, is known as Plamo Simulation. (The word Plamo comes from PLAstic MOdel ) The players put their model kits into the dome, and put on a special helmet after sitting down. They then participate in virtual battle. The damage in the battle is replicated on the real kits, and modifications done on the kits have an effect in the battle.
There is also the Biochip Plamo Controller (BCPC), which is housed in a huge facility called the ‘Plamo Simulation Center’. It seems to be an extension of the standard simulation but with an additional biochip which has the player’s biodata. To win the battle, the biochip hidden in the kit must be destroyed. In this system, psychic power is used to channel the player’s spiritual energy to control the model kits.
Model Suit Gunpla Builders Beginning Series
Gunpla battles are operated like flight simulators. In the OVA, players (also known as Gunpla Meisters) go to the local P.O.D. arcade, which has a Haro for them to place the Gunpla in. A giant Haro is available for larger Gunpla such as the RX-78GP03D Gundam "Dendrobium Orchis". For safety reasons, the player is required to wear a pilot suit. Game controls, as well machine specifications are based on how the Gunpla is created/customized. The Gunpla tournament involves battles between three-player teams. .The performance of machine is relative to the Gunpla itself, every bit of detail increase its performance, while shoddy work makes it lower. Scale also plays a major factor in Gunpla battle; for instance, a player can pilot an MA-08 Big Zam mobile armor, but if the Gunpla is 1/550 scale, then it is actually smaller in the battlefield than a 1/144 scale mobile suit.
Gundam Build Fighters Series
Gunpla battles are played on one or several large hexagonal table-like 3D image projector that are linked together. For example, the battle system in Iori Hobby Shop has only a single hex, Josef Kankaansyrjä's gunpla battle room has 4 hexes, and Seiho Academy use 7 hexes. The machines are set up in various locations around the world, and to operate them, a person is required to set a GP Base that registers the Gunpla and its builder as well as its pilot. This allows a co-op battle with the Builder of the Gunpla acting as the operator/navigator and the pilot as the Fighter. It is also possible for a person to act as both, in fact, this is often the case. The machine also projects a holographic interface around the participating combatants, with the Fighters given a pair of glowing orbs that act as the controls. Weapon and system slots are displayed, showing the Gunpla's current weaponry and which special system is available for use.
In Gundam Build Fighters Amazing, the battle system that appears in Toru Satsuki's vacation house is an older model that does not use the GP Base; it instead uses a large control panel to set various configurations.
The Gunpla are brought to life via Plavsky Particles. These particles are also able to fully replicate effects such as beam weaponry, thrusters, etc as well as the arena itself and its physics to increase the realism and immersion. A Gunpla's performance directly correlates to the quality of its construction as well as the materials that were used (For example, reinforcing a beam rifle's barrel with metal parts will increase its durability allowing it to fire a stronger beam without adverse effect). Through certain means of particle manipulation, special systems such as I-Fields can also be replicated, even on units that never had them in the original show as with the I-field used on the Apsalus III or new features such as the 侍ノ弐 Sengoku Astray Gundam's particle Fa Jin style.
Previously, the damage inflicted in combat was passed down to the actual Gunpla. Thus, if a unit was beheaded in battle, it would remain beheaded once combat ended. However, the rules had changed by the time the Yajima Stadium was unveiled four years after the 7th Tournament, leaving three levels of combat ratings, C through A. C was the lowest, where even if a suit was destroyed, when combat ended, the model was not damaged. B was the middle level and used for the regional tournaments; this allowed low-level damage to be incurred on your model, but not outright ruin it. A was the highest and it could lead to models being obliterated. As revealed in Our Gunpla, the Meijin Cup building competition utilizes Gunpla Battle to settle contesting of a winner, with the damage level set to C as to not damage the models.
Prior to the 13th Gunpla Tournament, ties were settled through a method called the "V-Attack Method", in which victory was given to the first Gunpla to inflict damage on the other. This however can prove frustrating should the opponents be very skilled, as the usage in the battle between Greco Logan and Ricardo Fellini dragged on for more than two hours before it ended. The deciding factor was later changed for the three man team format, whereby in the event of a tie, a single representative will be chosen to fight for their own team. Any damage to the Gunpla can only be repaired via what they have with them, thus it is highly possible to have a fight being done with quick kitbashed suits.
While technically each player can only bring in one Gunpla, the rule can be bent by using Bits or support units, as long as the Builder manages to construct these support units individually, make sense in the context, and/or start out attached to the unit. Examples that utilize such "loophole" including: Gundam Double X and their Bit mobile suits (story context); Gadelaza with its 154 bits (required to be built painstakingly); GM Sniper K9 with its K9 support unit.
As with Gunpla Builders, the performance of a Gunpla in battle is relative to how a Gunpla is constructed. A straight assembly Gunpla (or what is known as an out-of-the-box Gunpla) tends to be weak like a normal mass produced Mobile Suit. It's stated that even a Gunpla that's just been painted tend to do even better than a straight assembled one. However, it is known that a Fighter's piloting skill can compensate for the lower performance of a straight assembled Gunpla and even make it on par with a painted one. A Gunpla's stats are determined by six factors: Adhesion Intensity, Joint Motion, Paint Work, Special Processing, Reflected World, and Total Intensity. The higher the stats, the better off the suit is.
In Gundam Build Fighters: Battlogue, it was revealed that the battle system's OS was upgraded sometime between the 7th and 13th Gunpla Tournament, and its autopilot mode is equipped with artificial intelligence (AI). This allows those who have no control skills to still enjoy Gunpla Battle. Different kinds of AIs are available, including quasi-personality AIs based off of famous pilots of the Gundam metaverse that will act and fight like their namesake. For instance, the Char Aznable AI is shocked when the Ribbons Almark AI sounds familiar and when the Ribbons AI is replaced with that of Amuro Ray, Char demands to know why Ribbons sounded like him. As well, the AIs have no problem controlling units not from their universe as seen with the Amuro Ray AI controlling the customized CB-9696G/C/T Reversible Gundam, which is based on a unit from the Anno Domini universe.
Gundam Build Divers Series
Gunpla Battle was once conducted using a system similar to the Gundam Build Fighters series' and known as the Gunpla Duel (albeit with circular table). The Gunpla Duel, also known as GP Duel (GPD), was eventually phased out after the boom in popularity of the online game, Gunpla Battle Nexus Online.
Gunpla Battle in Gundam Build Fighters
Gunpla Battle World Championships
In the 7th Gunpla Battle World Championships at Shizuoka, Japan, 90 representatives from around the world who had qualified in the qualification tournament must compete in 8 qualifying periods of Gunpla Battle in several days. Some of the qualifying periods like Tamaire and 3-On-3 Team Battle requires the representatives to compete together as a team against other teams. Other periods such as 4 Person Knockout Competition and Rifle Shooting puts the representatives to fight against each other. Each qualifying period gives 4 points for the winners and 0 point for the losers. But, in Single Battle match for the 8th Period, the representatives will be given 2 points if the match ended in a draw result. After 8 qualifying periods have ended, 16 representatives with the highest points will be selected to enter the knockout phase.
- First Period - 4 Person Knockout Competition
- Second Period - Battle Royal Elimination Match
- Third Period - One-On-One Original Weapon Match
- Fourth Period - Rifle Shooting
- Fifth Period - Tamaire
- Sixth Period - 3-On-3 Team Battle
- Seventh Period - Gunpla Race
- Eighth Period - Single Battle
Changes by the 13th championships
By the time the 13th championships come, there are a few rule changes, at least for the under-19 championship.
- Team consists of three people, with up to three units - be it mobile suits or non-mobile suit support units.
- Mobile suits that can transform and dock count as one, even when separated, each of the parts must be controlled by one person (example used in promo video is the Victory Gundam that can split into 3 parts).
- Each team may use one large mobile armor-class unit instead of three mobile suits, which must be controlled by all three members.
- This also applies to mobile suits that was customized or super-sized enough to be classified as Mobile Armor, such as the Super Xamel employed by Team Nadeshiko.
- Mobile armors that can separate into parts must still be controlled by all three members.
- For Mobile armor-class units formed from 3 units, each operator needs to control its own section. (eg: Snibal-Drago-Gira)
- Mobile suits formed from 3 units can be controlled by 1 person. (eg: Tryon 3)
- Gunplas now have a finite amount of particles (unknown if it's a hard-set amount of simulated amount) rendering fighters to exercise caution in using particle-draining attacks sparingly. This is evident in battles such as Team Try Fighters vs Team SD-R and Team Celestial Sphere vs Team Von Braun. However, it is unclear if the particles can replenish slowly over time.
- A method to overcome this issue is by having 3 standard size Gunpla combined into 1 unit, be it another single Gunpla (Tryon-3) or a Mobile Armor class unit (Snibal-Drago-Gira), allowing it to utilize the energy and particle amount of 3 Gunplas.
- Machines for each battle can be changed between each match, but not during the match.
- A machine used during the tiebreaker must be one of the three that was used during the normal match, and can only be repaired by using parts used during battle.
- Battlefields are chosen randomly by computer.
- Each match has a 15 minute time limit.
- To win, a team may either:
- Defeat all other team's machines, either destroy them or throw/force them out from the field.
- Have more machines than the other team when time limit reached.
- If both teams have the same number of machines left by the time limit - a tie - a representative from each team will be picked for a 1-on-1 battle. During the finals of U-19, there is a 3-minute interval between the normal match and the tiebreaker.
- Damage depends on the game settings set before the match. There are three levels of damage settings in the game: A through C. C is shown to be the lowest or most likely non-existent as it is used for training; damage inflicted does not translate into real damage to the Gunpla. A is the highest setting, identical to the damage level set during the previous championships, meaning a Gunpla can be damaged or even destroyed in combat. Typical model damage level during regional matches is level B, while national and open (world) championship is set to level A. It was later revealed that the national championship damage level is level A in order to prepare the participants for their possible future participation in the open championship.
Gunpla Battle Fields
- Field 01: Space
- Simulates different parts of space such as the Moon's surface or a Universal Century battlefield. The City field can also be combined with this field if a colony is part of the setting.
- Field 02: Desert
- Simulates a desert setting in a hot dry weather.
- Field 03: Forest
- Simulates a forest or jungle setting in different seasons on Earth or inside a colony. In a colony stage, damage to the colony structure will result in an adverse change in atmosphere, with strong winds drawing all objects into the hole. A Gunpla loses by field-out if it is sucked out of the colony.
- Field 04: Mountain
- Simulates a mountain setting in different seasons.
- Field 05: City
- Simulates either an Earth city or the inside of a colony. As with the forest stage, colony city stages are susceptible to structural damage.
- Field 07: Ruins
- Simulates a city ruins setting.
- Field 08: Sky
- Simulates a sky setting filled with floating masses of land.
- Field 09: Canyon
- Simulates a canyon or gorge landscape in daytime or nighttime settings.
- Field 11: Castle
- Simulates a Feudal Japanese castle grounds.
- Field 12: Island
- Simulates a small Island with combination of Forest, Canyon, and other possible field types.
- Field 13: Tundra
- Simulates a polar environment with low temperatures.
- Battle Royal
- Combines all fields into one to accommodate multiple Gunpla. Players starting in the space field can make an atmospheric entry to Earth to continue their battles in the other fields.
- Gunpla Race
- A single race track built around the Forest field.
- A custom field developed by the Gunpla Mafia, it is a tower on an island built from a downed space colony. Players entering the tower are teleported into different fields to battle members of the Gunpla Mafia.
Previous Gunpla Battle World Championships Tournament Winners
- Carlos Kaiser - Winner of the 6th Gunpla Battle World Championships.
- Sei Iori & Reiji - Joint winners of the 7th Gunpla Battle World Championships.
- Tatsuya Yuuki - 3 times Winner of the Gunpla Battle World Championships and Hall of Fame member.
Model Suit Gunpla Builders Beginning Series
- Haru Irei - Gunpla Meister who pilots the GPB-X80 Beginning Gundam and GPB-X80-30F Beginning 30 Gundam.
- Boris Schauer - Gunpla Meister that is well known around the world. Pilots the GPB-X38-30 Forever Gundam.
- Takeru Nekki - Gunpla Meister from Model Suit Gunpla Builders Beginning J. Pilots the GPB-X80J Beginning J Gundam.
- Shingo Asume - Gunpla Meister from Model Suit Gunpla Builders Beginning D. Pilots the GPB-X80D Beginning D Gundam.
Gundam Build Fighters Series
- Aila Jyrkiäinen - Ex-Finnish Team Nemesis' member who piloted the NMX-004 Qubeley Papillon, a RGM-89 Jegan, and a SDV-04 Command Gundam. After quitting Team Nemesis, she pilots the AC-01 Miss Sazabi.
- Alice Imai - Participant in an All Girls Gunpla Tournament. Pilots a custom GF13-050NSW Nobel Gundam.
- C - Member of the Gunpla Mafia. Piloted the MSN-02MR Hell Zeong Marine and the MSN-02GA Hell Zeong Galaxy.
- Gawain Oakley - Ex-Finnish Team Nemesis' member and later Gunpla Mafia mercenary who pilots a JDG-009X Devil Gundam and a custom NRX-055 Baund Doc.
- Julian Ayers Mackenzie - English fighter who pilots the F91 Gundam F91 Imagine and later the V2 Gundam Imagine Fullburnern.
- Julio Renato - Argentinian fighter who pilots the RGM-79K9 GM Sniper K9. Previously piloted the RGC-80 GM Cannon, MSM-03C Hygogg, and the TMF/T BuCUE Tank.
- Mao Yasaka - Japanese fighter and builder, and member of the Gunpla Shingyo School who pilots the XM-X9999 Crossbone Gundam Maoh. Previously built a MSA-0011 S Gundam, and piloted the GX-9999 Gundam X Maoh.
- Mario Renato - Argentinian builder who operates the RGM-79K9 GM Sniper K9. Previously operated the MSM-03C Hygogg, RGC-80 GM Cannon, and the TMF/T BuCUE Tank.
- Master Chinan - Mao's mentor and teacher of the Gunpla Shingyo School. Pilots a GF13-001NHII Master Gundam and previously piloted a GF13-001NH Kowloon Gundam.
- Monta Gonda - Japanese fighter and student at the Seiho Academy. Pilots a MRC-F20 SUMO and a custom CONCEPT-X 6-1-2 Turn X.
- Mr. Ral - Japanese fighter who pilots the MS-09R-35 Dom R35. Previously piloted the MS-07R-35 Gouf R35 and the MS-07B Gouf.
- Nils Nielsen - American fighter who pilots the 侍ノ弐 Sengoku Astray Gundam, and previously piloted a MSN-00100 Hyaku Shiki.
- Rainer Cziommer - German fighter who pilots the MS-14A Gelgoog, Gaw, JMA-0530 Walking Dome, D-50C Loto and MA-04X Zakrello.
- Reiji - Fighter from Arian and co-winner of the 7th Gunpla Battle World Championship. Pilots the GAT-X105B/ST Star Build Strike Gundam. Previously, piloted the GAT-X105B/FP Build Strike Gundam Full Package, the GAT-X105B Build Strike Gundam, the RX-178B Build Gundam Mk-II, a GPB-X80 Beginning Gundam, a RB-79 Ball, and a LM312V04 Victory Gundam.
- Ricardo Fellini - Italian fighter who pilots the Gundam Fenice Rinascita and previously piloted the XXXG-01Wf Wing Gundam Fenice and a XXXG-01W Wing Gundam.
- Sei Iori - Japanese builder who operated the GAT-X105B/ST Star Build Strike Gundam, the GAT-X105B/FP Build Strike Gundam Full Package, and the RX-178B Build Gundam Mk-II. He is also a fighter, piloting the GAT-X105B/CM Build Strike Gundam Cosmos, the GAT-X105B Build Strike Gundam, the RX-178B Build Gundam Mk-II, and a XXXG-01W Wing Gundam.
- Takeshi Iori - Japanese fighter who pilots a PF-78-1 Perfect Gundam and previously piloted a RX-78-2 Gundam.
- Tatsuya Yuuki - Japanese fighter and Meijin Kawaguchi III. Previously piloted the RX-93 ν Gundam Vrabe, RX-93-ν2V Hi-ν Gundam Vrabe, RX-93-ν-2 Hi-v Gundam Vrabe Amazing and MS-06R-AB Zaku Amazing. As Meijin Kawaguchi, he pilots the PPGN-001 Gundam Amazing Exia, and piloted the PPMS-18E Kämpfer Amazing, and the PPGN-001 Gundam Exia Dark Matter.
- Tatsuzo - Former Japanese builder and fighter, as well as a World Tournament participant who operates and pilots the Apsalus III.
- Akira Suga - G-Master's latest member. Pilots the G-P.A.R.T.S DELTA G-Bomber and later the GT-9600-dV Gundam Leopard da Vinci.
- Daiki Miyaga - President of Seiho Academy's Plamo Club who pilots a custom AEU-09T AEU Enact Commander Type and AEU-MA07013 Agrissa Type 13.
- Fumina Hoshino - Try Fighters' leader and president of the Seiho Academy's Gunpla Battle Club. Pilots the SD-237S Star Winning Gundam, previously piloted the SD-237 Winning Gundam and RGM-237C Powered GM Cardigan.
- Junya Inose - Member of Team Titan and a former student of the Jigen Haoh School. Piloted the NK-13J Denial Gundam.
- Kaoruko Sazaki - Team Song Dynasty Vase's leader. Pilots the AMX-104GG R-Gyagya and later the YMS-15KRT02 Gyancelot.
- Kei Karima - Team Great K's leader and pilots the xvg-xxx Vagan Gear K and previously piloted a GN-006 Cherudim Gundam.
- Keiko Sano - Member of Team Song Dynasty Vase. Pilots the Rising K Gundam and later the ZGMF-X56S/gma Impulse GM wktk Custom.
- Lady Kawaguchi - Female counterpart to Meijin Kawaguchi III. Pilots the Kurenai Musha Amazing and previously piloted a Devil Dragon Blade Zero Gundam, a GSX-401FW Stargazer Gundam and the GSX-40100 Lunagazer Gundam.
- Lucas Nemesis - Von Braun's Gunpla Fighter who pilots the XM-X1 Crossbone Gundam X-1 Full Cloth Type.GBFT and once piloted a RGM-89 Jegan.
- Mahiru Shigure - Member of Team Song Dynasty Vase. Pilots the Nobel M Gundam and later the ZGMF-X56S/gmb Impulse GM (Mahiru Specification).
- Minato Sakai - A student of the Gunpla Shingyo School and a skilled Gunpla Builder. Pilots the MSZ-008X2 ZZII, and previously piloted the SF-01 Super Fumina, Gundam Tryon 3 and the Kouki Gundam.
- Mirai Kamiki - Student at the Seiho Academy, and Sekai Kamiki's sister. Pilots the KUMA-F Beargguy F (including its Petit'gguy subunit) and later, the KUMA-P Beargguy P.
- Saga Adou - Member of the Gunpla Academy's Team Celestial Sphere. Pilots the RX-END Gundam The End and previously the Cruel Gundam.
- Sekai Kamiki - Team Try Fighters' member and ace. Pilots the KBG-011B Kamiki Burning Gundam, previously piloted the TBG-011B Try Burning Gundam, BG-011B Build Burning Gundam, MS-09B Dom and Musha Godmaru.
- Shia Kijima - Member of Gunpla Academy's Team Celestial Sphere. Pilots the GNW-100P Gundam Portent and later, the GNT-0000SHIA Gundam 00 Shia Qan［T］.
- Shunsuke Sudou - Team G-Master's leader. Pilots the MSN-001M Mega-Shiki and previously piloted a AMS-129 Geara Zulu (Guards Type).
- Tatsuya Yuuki - As Meijin Kawaguchi, he pilots the PF-78-3A Gundam Amazing Red Warrior and previously the ZGMF-X10A-A Amazing Strike Freedom Gundam. Once piloted the LGZ-91 Lightning Gundam.
- Wilfrid Kijima - Leader and ace of Gunpla Academy's Team Celestial Sphere. Pilots the GN-9999 Transient Gundam.
- Yuuma Kousaka - Try Fighters' member who pilots the LGZ-91St Lightning Gundam Strider, and previously piloted the LSZ-006 Lightning Zeta Gundam, LGZ-91Fb Lightning Gundam Full Burnern, LGZ-91 Lightning Gundam, and a custom GW-9800 Gundam Airmaster. He also once piloted the PF-78-3A Gundam Amazing Red Warrior.