Money's a concern after you've put together an Annihilator loaded to the gills with LosTech weaponry? Not sure I see how, unless you're regularly losing LosTech components and need to replace them.I agree that 12-14 alphas is probably too many, but it’s a little peace of mind going into 4+ skull missions where the opfors are mostly Heavy and Assault Classes that sometimes come in waves. If I lose a mech to a lucky shot, then the Anni can still provide knockout punches until the opfor is whittled down to a more even basis.
The max frontal armor is probably overkill, but it’s a comfort zone from running lights in the early missions. More armor = more pilot survival = fewer structural repairs. Since armor repairs are free, this is a cost savings at a critical time during the career/campaign, in my mind. I generally don’t have to worry about ammo explosions either, even in the Assault units. I’ve used JJs in Assaults before, an earlier play through had them on all my Assault lance. But in the heaviest class, they don’t give you much more mobility and exact a significant weight and heat penalty. I do keep them in the HGNs though. Seems like the right thing todo for some reason.
And yeah while the assault class JJs are very heavy (the heat penalty is based on hexes moved, not JJ tonnage or count, so it's pretty trivial with just three) the mobility they grant you is absolutely worth the tonnage. Even if you don't carry the maximum, at least two will give you the ability to hop up or down cliffs and move to arbitrary facings when positioning, both of which are quite useful. I usually run three, though, because I hate how slow the slow assaults are, and with three JJs they can reposition so much more quickly and easily than without. It's absolutely worth the alpha reduction, because guns that don't shoot because you're not in position are doing no damage.
The way I look at ammo is 'how many kills can I get out of this much ammo'. For an Annihilator and the kind of guns it can tote, pretty much any reasonable configuration is going to average pretty close to a kill a round (particularly if you're taking advantage of called shots). Building in some buffer, you could call it six kills on eight rounds. If the other 'mechs in your lance can approach that you could very easily be packing the ability to kill eighteen opfor 'mechs before running out of ammo and still have room for a light or medium spotter!
And since most 'mechs also carry backup energy batteries -- heck, if you chop down the ammo load, so can the Anni, though I'd favour JJs --, you can in fact continue even beyond that. How many missions throw that much metal at you? Attack and Defends, I guess? But in most missions you're looking at a max of three opposition lances.
By the time an Annihilator runs out of ammo any opposition that isn't a smoking crater is going to be far too shot up to do anything seriousI generally agree, but considering that once this mech runs out of ammo, it becomes significantly less useful, I can understand why someone would want 10 or 12 rounds worth of ammo.