I think I might be the only one here who prizes my faction handbooks!
So, I have decided to travel around a bit before grabbing the next story mission.
Salvage is such a gamble though. I did a recovery mission, put in full salvage because it was against the directorate, and all it was was light mechs and tanks. The second mission was a 2 skull rescue mission, and it was 3 heavies and a medium. Of course I had selected only 1 salvage. Still, it was enough to complete my Orion, which I used to replace my Thunderbolt!
I laughed out loud. And I rarely laugh out loud when alone. To live is to suffer.
I’m sure it’s been touched upon in this thread, but there are 2600+ posts.
Basically, how do you spec your mechs out?
I’m currently running my main character in a centurion with shirt range missiles and jump jets, max armour. Can brawl quite nicely and take a serious beating. Main character has sensor lock as well, so he goes forward, spots things, bashes them and everyone else piles in from range.
Best case scenario is he knocks and enemy down and the other 3 get called shots in the same round. It’s happened about twice now and feels good.
Everyone else is long range, either lrm or ppc.
Seems to work.
I did have autocannons at one point but they seem a bit underwhelming.
Ditto machine guns and lasers.
Best weapons in the game are AC20s, medium lasers and missiles, but that’s long term.
I do favor losing weapons to max armor. Very few times the trade off is not worth it, specially with heavies or assaults.
I usually have one LRM boat (avoid LRM 10s whenever possible, they are a fools game) and one Brawler.
I personally love AC 5 and AC 10, for it’s mix of range and it’s stability damage.
I recently got 2 PPCs that each deal 30 extra stability damage, and those are a lot of fun, especially on a sniper mech with breach shot.
One of the great things about this game is customizing mechs to match your playstyle.
I tend to have somewhat balanced mechs which go heavy on the armor and light on the heat sinks. Two are better at range, two are better in close. I also ALWAYS load up my support weapon slots to help with finishing off downed mechs. I also have a communications system (which keeps building morale during battle) and cockpit mods wherever I can, plus I search for gyros which give hit avoidance (makes it harder for all weapons to hit that mech).
edit - as for weapons in particular, their value does change over the course of the game. Don’t underestimate AC’s, but early on their weight just takes up so much of your severely limited usable tonnage. Medium and small lasers are terrific at precision strikes and targeting knocked down mechs. Large lasers are best left adorning the walls of your mech bay to look cool.
I wonder what the next balance patches will bring, especially in respect to the Large Laser and PPC.
I should mention I am still fairly earlyn in the game. I just liberated Panzyr, which was a fun mission. I used 3 mechs to distract the enemies, and used my close combat mech to jumpjet all the way to the objective and smash it down.
I have an AC20 somewhere, but it seems a bit…not that good.
And LRM10 is the best LRM I have.
And I have found precisely one modification, whihc is a leg gyro.
Two LRM 5’s weighs less, and produces the same heat as an LRM 10. Whenever possible, ignore the LRM 10.
It’s great once you don’t need to be overly concerned about its mass and the risk of its ammo going “boom.”
The value to it as opposed to other more efficient weapons is all the damage is on a single spot. That annoying Jenner which keeps lasering you or the Firestarter which loves to ruin your day? BOOM! Want to get extra salvage for another medium mech? Precision shot on leg.
I’ve tried a bit of everything on my mechs, and now in the late game (just have Coromandyr left to go) I’m still favouring putting jump jets on everything - even my Atlas. I tend to run my mechs hot, and the ability to jump behind a convenient ridge to cool down and escape from enemy LOS is fantastic.
I do have one missile boat, but otherwise am finding PPC’s to be great all around weapons. Two missions ago I had enemy reinforcements show up behind me. My Stalker missile boat was now facing off against the enemy lance, and everyone else was hurrying back to support it. PPC’s allowed my lance to provide covering fire while the Stalker fell back, killing a heavy well before entering medium range.
Granted, these are the +30 stability damage type PPC’s, but they are just fantastic.
Agreed that large lasers need a buff. Too much heat, but no stability damage…no good. The +++ models are good if you’re short on tonnage and want a longer ranged weapon, but even then…
Jump jets on everything seems to be a good idea. It’s annoying for a heavy without jets to get picked on and picked on by everyone targeting it. Unless you waste a couple of turns sprinting it out of combat it’s kinda doomed. But with jets you can just waste a single turn or even half a turn with that morale defense thing and pick up with it later on, maybe having shed some heat or used it to sensor lock something or whatever.
Yeah, I’ll gladly lose a heat sink or two for jump jets on a mech every time.
The other reason I love jump jets is the ability to set your facing at the end of the move. Right torso armour stripped? Spin and present your left side. It’s considerably more difficult to pull off when sprinting…you usually end up with your back to the enemy.
My general tips on outfitting mechs:
The way you equip a mech for doing lots of called shots vs general combat differs. I generally have at least one mech that specializes in called shots in my lances after mid-game or so. Once I have a pilot with tactics 8 for called shot mastery anyway. The whole goal of a called shot mech is to unload maximum short range damage. Just the net damage output from an alpha strike is all I look at. Since I’m using called shots, I don’t care if it comes from one big gun or lots of little ones. In general the math works out well to use a mix of Medium Lasers and SRM +++ racks to accomplish this. Generally I’ll use a Kintaro or Battlemaster for this role, with high armor and max jump jets. Swoop in, call a CT or CT-rear shot, destroy an enemy, and then worry about cooling down and getting away later.
Light/Medium/(and most Heavy) mechs should be specialized to be either a short range combatant or a long range combatant. Trying to do both on a mech with limited tonnage available just dilutes the effectiveness of the mech and makes something that isn’t particularly effective at either. Short range mechs should load up on the Medium/Small lasers and SRMs. Short range mechs should have jump jets so they can control the range of the fight effectively. Long range mechs should mix LRMs with a PPC or AC/5 or AC/10. In a lighter mech I’ll go with a Large Laser +++ and LRMs to save a few tons. This mech doesn’t need jump jets (though they can help), but does need enough heat sinks and ammo to fire everything just about every turn.
An indirect fire mech is a fun, if cheesy, way to supplement your firepower. For this mech find something with 2 or 3 missile hardpoints and build it as a pure LRM platform. It will stay well back from the main fighting so stripping down the armor to something a Locust would sneer at is doable. This should free up plenty of tons for LRM racks, ammo, and heat sinks.
In the later game, when assault mechs are common, it’s possible to do a true multirole mech that can do long range combat and short range combat. My King Crab recipe, for example, mixes a PPC, a LRM-15, 3 SRM racks. and a few medium/small lasers for a mech that can put out effective hurt at any range. The stock Highlander designs are also good examples of this, mixing a LRM with a PPC or AC and some SRM/MLs for close range punch.
I’ve found that by mid to late game, you need the ability to deliver decisive focused damage more than general damage. Unless the target is something really interesting I might want to salvage, and I have the situation overall well in hand, I just focus fire center torsos with alpha strikes or breaching shots on high-damage weapons. AC/20s are great but you have to be able to close the range. Otherwise, any AC/10 with +'s or a + PPC is good; SRMs and MLs of course in numbers work too, but I do like the punch of an autocannon for coring.
One habit I had to break was multiple targets. While there are some cases, and at least one mission, where it’s either ok or necessary, generally the rule of “take the gun out of the fight” applies. Gang up on a target, kill it, move to the next.
Multi shot is pretty cool if you have breaching shot and three big guns. Each can do full damage, and reduce Evasion.
As for range focus versus general, I like to have a least one long range weapon on each mech, so that every mech can contribute something as it moves in. My Black Knight has a PPC to back up it’s medium lasers.
On the other side, I like to have a few medium lasers on my LRM boat in case somebody gets to close. It’s a good bit of backup damage for every little tonnage, and since I only use it a few times in the game, the extra heat usually doesn’t cause too much trouble.
I’d have to disagree. The AC/20 is not good unless you spec it with a maxed out accuracy pilot, and has a + for accuracy, or spend weight to add a TTS. I have way more success with AC/5’s or 10’s if I’m going with inertial weapons.
Note that if you have mobile mechs, you can more easily take advantage of the range overlap between short and long range weapons. If you’re using LRMs that overlap may only be a hex or two, but if you’ve got PPC’s then you have a lot more depth where you can use both your long range and short range weapons at optimal accuracy.