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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Erik theNoble

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What do you think are the best 18 mechs to have in the Argo?

Mine are as follows:

Light: Raven for the ECM protective ability.

Medium: Hunchback with AC/20 replaced by UAC/20++ with ammunition doubled, Trebuchet. Also have Crab, Griffin, and Phoenix Hawk, all 3 of which are Star League versions.

Heavy: Grasshopper with ER lasers and 2 flamers. Archer. Star League Marauder as command mech. Star League versions of Black Knight and Warhammer as well. Orion K, with ac/10 replaced by tag++ and a pair of Snub PPCs++.

Assault: I use the Cyclops HQ as my command mech. I was able to upgrade the weapons to get it to 5/10 firepower, and I have armor at 1680. I treat it as the equivalent of a pass first PG in basketball, with a master tactician as pilot, and I place it in front to draw fire and set up my other mechs to use alpha strikes. I have a Stalker with 6 ER lasers, 2 SRMs and 2 LRMs. I am thinking about replacing it with a Star League Battlemaster or overhauling it. I have the Star League Highlander, with the 3 original lasers replaced with pulse versions, as well as the Atlas II and Bull Shark with artillery. Finally, the Annihilator. I have 4 UAC/10++ on it, with ammunition doubled. It can quickly destroy any mech.

I have noticed that some prefer to add jump jets to mechs, but I prefer to install more anti-heat equipment(my Atlas II can do 2 consecutive alpha strikes without overheating)add another weapon or add to armor. Thoughts?
 

Doctor Machete

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My tier list would be (no particular order within each tier):

1. All Marauders
2. BSK-M3 (only as LRM boat), A-II, ANH
3. Warhammer-7A (lostech), Black Knight B (lostech), Phoenix Hawk 1B (lostech)
4. Highlander 733 (non lostech, as LRM boat)
5. BSK-M3 (as non LRM boat)
6. Highlander 732b (lostech), Warhammer-6D/6R (non lostech), Black Knight (non lostech)
7. King Crab, Stalker

I have noticed that some prefer to add jump jets to mechs, but I prefer to install more anti-heat equipment(my Atlas II can do 2 consecutive alpha strikes without overheating)add another weapon or add to armor. Thoughts?
IMO JJs are more effective than armor defensively plus they also are very useful when in the offense, because for both cases controlling the line of sight helps a lot. I think they're beneficial in all but very few niche cases.

And two alphas is not exactly running cool. For example, my high-end A-II has over 700 dmg, -7 heat when alpha and full JJs. Only 11t of armor but that's more than enough.
 

MeiSooHaityu

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My favorite 18 mechs in looks, practicality and effectivnesd are...

Javelin 10F
Firestarter
Enforcer
Vindicator 1R
Hunchback 4P
Centurion A
Marauder
Warhammer
Cataphract 1X (0X also acceptable)
Grasshopper
Catapult K2
Archer
King Crab
Atlas II
Highlander
Stalker
Annhiliator
Bullshark
 

Panzer-Killer

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My battle-ready BattleMechs onboard the Argo are the following:
  • SLDF Highlander HGN-732B, 90 t, upgraded for max Cavalry performance
  • Highlander HGN-733, 90 t, customized as LRM-60 boat
  • Highlander HGN-733P, 90 t, customized as LRM-60 boat
  • Cyclops CP-10-HQ, 90 t, customized as Scout
  • Bull Shark BSK-MAZ, 95 t, upgraded to max performance
  • Bull Shark BSK-M2, 95 t, customized as LRM-80 boat
  • SLDF Atlas II AS7-D-HT, 100 t, upgraded for max Cavalry performance
  • SLDF Black Knight BL-6B-KNT, 75 t, upgraded for max Cavalry performance
  • SLDF Marauder MAD-2R, 75 t, customized as Headhunter
  • Marauder MAD-3R, 75 t, customized as Headhunter
  • SLDF Warhammer WHM-7A, 70 t, upgraded for max Cavalry performance
  • Cataphract CTF-0X, 70 t, upgraded to max EW/ECM performance
  • SLDF BattleMaster BLR-1GB, 85 t, upgraded for max Cavalry performance
  • Annihilator ANH-1A, 100 t, upgraded for max Sniper performance
  • SLDF Griffin GRF-2N, 55 t, upgraded for max Cavalry performance
  • SLDF Crab CRB-27B, 50 t, upgraded for max Cavalry performance
  • SLDF Phoenix Hawk PXH-1B, 45 t, upgraded for max Cavalry performance
  • Raven RVN-3X, 35 t, upgraded to max EW/ECM performance
 

NGV

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I have noticed that some prefer to add jump jets to mechs, but I prefer to install more anti-heat equipment(my Atlas II can do 2 consecutive alpha strikes without overheating)add another weapon or add to armor. Thoughts?
I had a recovery mission the other day which quickly went very wrong - Darius's intelligence was a good skull level too low, I took the wrong lance (never having used a Jaegermech before thought would give it a whirl having just salvaged one) and I split the lance between the two objectives rather than tackle them one at a time. Anyway despite taking heavy damage I managed to somehow salvage a win by capturing both objectives and then high tailing it to the evac point. Unfortunately the aforementioned Jaegermech, having done sweet FA all mission, was stranded with no sane path to the evac zone being stuck up a hill the wrong side of the map and not having jump jets to get anywhere. Had to eject the pilot to finish the mission. Good reminder of why I normally put jump jets on everything!

For example, my high-end A-II has over 700 dmg, -7 heat when alpha and full JJs.
Out of curiosity, mind sharing the config? I struggle to find a build for the Atlas II that really works for me, which seems a shame given all that free tonnage




Anyway on topic, towards the end of a career I'd be looking for

A pair of Pixie Hawk 1B for scouting and backstabbing
Pair of Marauders, preferably the 2R, probably one with mass ERML and a UAC2 and one with ERPPC and a UAC2
A decent energy boat, either a Warhammer 7A or a Royal Black Knight or indeed both
Annihilator with massed UAC2
Bullshark M3 with all the missiles
Another couple of light/medium mechs to fill out a light lance - firestarter maybe?

Add duplicates as required, plus quirky stuff for changing things up (ECM, mass infernos and so on)
 
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Doctor Machete

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Out of curiosity, mind sharing the config? I struggle to find a build for the Atlas II that really works for me, which seems a shame given all that free tonnage
Here we go:

Note that all weapons are meant to be fired at SNPPC/ERML range, around 320-360m. The LRM5 is there for some extra umph, not being able to add any other type of weapons without removing the Gyro.
 
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krustyklown

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Here we go:
[Picture that the forum won't let me post, even as a quote...]
I've seen a few of these stat sheets around - where/how are these generated? Thanks!

I haven't needed to fill all 18 slots - I drop 1-4 of the following:

Highlander HGN-732B Main battle tank
Marauder MAD-2R Headhunter (the extra ballistic hard point on the 3R is probably better... but I'm giving this one a try)
Archer ARC-2S LRM 60
Phoenix Hawk PHX 1B Backstabber (can solo 5500 exp missions - but I prefer dropping 2 just in case I run into a lot of scouts & get unlucky)
Phoenix Hawk PHX 1B Backstabber

Pull glass in case of structural damage:

Highlander HGN-732B
Atlas AS7-D-HT

Still looking for the royal Battlemaster, Black Knight and Warhammer.

If I need a smaller lance, I'll pull them out of storage - Centurion LRM boat, a Kintaro SRM boat, etc.
 
Last edited:

Jamey

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18 Urbies.
 
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Corraidhin

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On my first campaign run I ended up with 18 Highlanders of all types. There was a Highlander for every occasion, none of this 'There can be only one' nonsense. It was glorious.
 

Doctor Machete

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I've seen a few of these stat sheets around - where/how are these generated? Thanks!
That's a self-made spreadsheet I made long ago for my personal use which I've been improving over time. There is available to download an app called Mech Designer for offline planning as well, albeit with a very different focus to mine, it should be easy to find it in this forum or with google.
 
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LongRange

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I generally drop an assault lance, but was playing a FP the other night that called for everything 55t or less with a max of 200 so I went with a Treb (3 SRM6+++), another Treb (2 LRM 16, one +2d the other +2s), a HBK with UAC10++, TTS+++ and an ER Laser. That left me with 40 lance tons and I didn’t want to use a Cicada (aka, pilot death trap) so I used a Panther but maxed front armor, put on 2 L Pulse lasers ++ (think it was +d and lower tonnage), added a TTS and a Heat Bank. Worked out great. Heavier mechs took fire and scrubbed off armor, then the PNT could step in starting the next round and put the target out of his misery.

Normally move on up in weight class ASAP, but that was kind of fun and I may try that more often.
 

Corraidhin

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I generally drop an assault lance, but was playing a FP the other night that called for everything 55t or less with a max of 200 so I went with a Treb (3 SRM6+++), another Treb (2 LRM 16, one +2d the other +2s), a HBK with UAC10++, TTS+++ and an ER Laser. That left me with 40 lance tons and I didn’t want to use a Cicada (aka, pilot death trap) so I used a Panther but maxed front armor, put on 2 L Pulse lasers ++ (think it was +d and lower tonnage), added a TTS and a Heat Bank. Worked out great. Heavier mechs took fire and scrubbed off armor, then the PNT could step in starting the next round and put the target out of his misery.

Normally move on up in weight class ASAP, but that was kind of fun and I may try that more often.
I think most people start out wanting a full assault lance because, well, assaults :)

Then you try a grasshopper with ERMLs and 6 MG++ and thta scout assault drops from the lance. Then you try an Archer with LRM15++ and LL++ and one of you LRM assaults drops from the lance and so on. I think it's a natural progression as you understand the game mechanics and the mechs themselves more.
 

foamyesque

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Leaving aside the obvious -- Marauders, the SLDF mechs -- I really like the Rifleman C with quad UAC/2++s, a SLas/punchbot Firestarter for dealing with trash lights and mediums, any of the 50-ton slow mediums running a big autocannon (personal favourite is the Centurion if you want missiles, but the Enforcer has a better hardpoint layout if you don't), the Phoenix Hawks, and the King Crab's admirable clarity of purpose. There's also the Annihilator if you don't need to go anywhere much.

*Including* the obvious, I'm going to throw a marker down for the SLDF 2N Griffin, which can be modified into a ridiculously effective scout and disabler. Quad Inferno++s, a snub PPC, and a TAG, driven by a multishot pilot, and you can lockdown or debuff huge amounts of opposition, setting things up for free called shots from the rest of your lance, all while bouncing about the battlefield on five JJs.
 

Corraidhin

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There's also the Annihilator if you don't need to go anywhere much.
When you have an Annihilator, you don't often need to go anywhere much.

I'm going to throw a marker down for the SLDF 2N Griffin, which can be modified into a ridiculously effective scout and disabler
I found that I just love the Grasshopper for this role with a Master Tactician. Load it with 6MG++, ERMLs and double heat sinks, and arm modules, the 0 ton kind. Hop around the field picking your targets, then get close and watch them dissolve.
 

foamyesque

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I found that I just love the Grasshopper for this role with a Master Tactician. Load it with 6MG++, ERMLs and double heat sinks, and arm modules, the 0 ton kind. Hop around the field picking your targets, then get close and watch them dissolve.
The Grasshopper's fun, but it's not really doing the same thing. And it competes with other heavies that can do the same ERML + support-weapon spam, e.g. the Black Knight or 6R Warhammer.

The key piece about the Griffin, aside from the higher initiative, is that it mounts 4x missile racks and has the heat capacity (b/c SLDF) to eat jumping + firing a snub PPC without requiring additional heat management tonnage. A Kintaro would get you even more missile hardpoints, but you couldn't carry the supplemental weapons that the Griffin does.



It's just incredibly brutal. You can get three kills a round from called-shot CT cores from the rest of your lance, assuming they're well-gunned. At 40 resolve/turn, you can get 10 more resolve from coring out a shutdown mech, then burning 30 of that to get another core (and extra 10 resolve), leaving you with 30, which gets you another core, leaving you with 10, for a net profit on the round and also deleting three-quarters of a lance, quite potentially before they can even shoot back :D

Further, heat shutdowns negate bulwark and guarded, and a TAG can effectively negate cover, so you can convert even a guarded bulwarked covered assault 'mech into an easy target, and since if you're shutdown the only thing you can do is power up, you effectively kill that 'mech for a round anyway. Heck, even if you miss such that they don't get forced into shutdown, they're still gonna be boiling hot and so are limited to ground-pound moving and melee.

The Snub PPC allows firepower against turrets, ranged knockdown if someone's stab meter got filled, and can break light 'mechs or backstab larger ones if needed. I also carry a small laser for that purpose and to clear a second evasion chevron if I ever need to go punchbot (and of course the empty arm slots are all filled with melee mods).
 

Corraidhin

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IK
The Grasshopper's fun, but it's not really doing the same thing. And it competes with other heavies that can do the same ERML + support-weapon spam, e.g. the Black Knight or 6R Warhammer.

The key piece about the Griffin, aside from the higher initiative, is that it mounts 4x missile racks and has the heat capacity (b/c SLDF) to eat jumping + firing a snub PPC without requiring additional heat management tonnage. A Kintaro would get you even more missile hardpoints, but you couldn't carry the supplemental weapons that the Griffin does.



It's just incredibly brutal. You can get three kills a round from called-shot CT cores from the rest of your lance, assuming they're well-gunned. At 40 resolve/turn, you can get 10 more resolve from coring out a shutdown mech, then burning 30 of that to get another core (and extra 10 resolve), leaving you with 30, which gets you another core, leaving you with 10, for a net profit on the round and also deleting three-quarters of a lance, quite potentially before they can even shoot back :D

Further, heat shutdowns negate bulwark and guarded, and a TAG can effectively negate cover, so you can convert even a guarded bulwarked covered assault 'mech into an easy target, and since if you're shutdown the only thing you can do is power up, you effectively kill that 'mech for a round anyway. Heck, even if you miss such that they don't get forced into shutdown, they're still gonna be boiling hot and so are limited to ground-pound moving and melee.

The Snub PPC allows firepower against turrets, ranged knockdown if someone's stab meter got filled, and can break light 'mechs or backstab larger ones if needed. I also carry a small laser for that purpose and to clear a second evasion chevron if I ever need to go punchbot (and of course the empty arm slots are all filled with melee mods).
I'll try this build next run through if I get my hands on one, I always seem to get the grasshopper first, and use a Phoenix Hawk for scout before that anyway. It's always good to try new things though :)
 

foamyesque

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I'll try this build next run through if I get my hands on one, I always seem to get the grasshopper first, and use a Phoenix Hawk for scout before that anyway. It's always good to try new things though :)
:D

It's by no means an early-game build and the Grasshopper and PHX are both excellent 'mechs at what they do too, so don't feel obligated or anything. Lots of ways to play the game!

If you do run it though, something to note:

There's a very big breakpoint in effectiveness going from <4 ++ infernos (e.g. 3++ ones and 1 regular) to 4 ++ versions. This is because this works far better when it can shut down an opposition 'mech regardless of where its heat meter started, by doing 100+ heat damage in one volley. 3x ++ s can deal 90 heat damage; if the 4th launcher is a regular launcher you can afford no misses at all, and if the 4th is a + launcher you can afford exactly one miss of that last launcher if all the ++ weapons hit, but no misses at all of the ++ ones. With 4x ++ launchers you can afford one miss from any launcher, but not two.

Further to this, the person in piloting it really should have at least Gunnery 8, so they have the 95% cap, and as many targetting computers as you can feasibly add in order to allow you to hit through various maluses (evasion, obscured, mineral fields, pilot skill, etc).

Once achieved, though, it is very reliable at shutting down 'mechs.
 

Corraidhin

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:D

It's by no means an early-game build and the Grasshopper and PHX are both excellent 'mechs at what they do too, so don't feel obligated or anything. Lots of ways to play the game!

If you do run it though, something to note:

There's a very big breakpoint in effectiveness going from <4 ++ infernos (e.g. 3++ ones and 1 regular) to 4 ++ versions. This is because this works far better when it can shut down an opposition 'mech regardless of where its heat meter started, by doing 100+ heat damage in one volley. 3x ++ s can deal 90 heat damage; if the 4th launcher is a regular launcher you can afford no misses at all, and if the 4th is a + launcher you can afford exactly one miss of that last launcher if all the ++ weapons hit, but no misses at all of the ++ ones. With 4x ++ launchers you can afford one miss from any launcher, but not two.

Further to this, the person in piloting it really should have at least Gunnery 8, so they have the 95% cap, and as many targetting computers as you can feasibly add in order to allow you to hit through various maluses (evasion, obscured, mineral fields, pilot skill, etc).

Once achieved, though, it is very reliable at shutting down 'mechs.
This is one reason why I love this game. There are so many combinations of new mechs, old mechs, new weapons, new equipment. You keep finding new favourite things on each run through.
 

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;) I'm going to make a case that the 12 Star League 'Mechs (counting the Anni as SL) is all you need in the Argo - first 4 coming up real soon.