Ideal lance for medium, heavy, and assault classes

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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Corraidhin

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Standing still in a tree-line is just not my play style.

I do use the tree line for my 3 main firepower mechs. The Archer will reliably land two sets of ~80 dmg in single locations, the Mad-2R with +30 stb PPCs will largely destabilise anything it hits, and will headshot reasonably often with PS. The SDLF Highlander is just lethal.

They form the anvil though, the real hammer is the PHX-1B. Watching the enemy lances literally not know which way to turn is immensely satisfying.
 
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LongRange

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Most of the FP tonnage requirements for a medium lance is Max 55 with Max 200 total drop. I usually go with something like:
HBK-4G but swap AC20 for UAC-10++, similar damage but longer range.
HBK-4P with mix of LL and ML, using ++ and +++ versions as available
KTO-18 with 3x SRM6+++ (dmg and stab)
45 ton filler, either VND, TBT or PHX depending on availability

TTS’s and appropriate heat management plus up-armor everything as much as possible.

For Heavy I like:
MAD, preferring the AC5 version, which I swap for a UAC-5 plus LL or PLL in the arms. Headshot ace.
CPLT-C1 with 2x LRM15. Hard to find the +dmg versions, so I usually end up using the +stab weapons.
GRH with mix of LL and MLs
JM6 with either a couple UAC5s or UAC10s

Assaults:
ANNI w/4x UAC-10s
ANNI w/5x UAC-5s
BSK-M3 with 4x LRM20s (+ and ++ as available)
BSK w/artillery and mix of 2x UAC5s and 2x UAC10s.

TTS+++ for everybody. Rangefinder+++ in at least one. +4 morale in at least one (To keep the PS’s coming). And lots of armor, probably everyone is in the 1500 total armor points range.

In every case, I target large caliber ballistic first, then missile boats. I can usually eliminate or knock over any spotter the opfor trots out, forcing the snipers to show themselves. I used to use pilots with bulwarking, but now am favoring ace pilot for the early move option.

The only missions I still have trouble with are high skull TA’s. Even attack and defend, worst case is I just hang around defending until there are no more opfor mechs then address the attack portion.
 

Harmon Ward

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I removed the Autocannon from my Marauder 2R. I have nightmares about ammo explosions. It now has a lot more armor and a lot more heatsinks.

An assault lance made up of four Highlander 732b would be able to avoid anything it could not easily beat. For Convoy missions you might need to substitute something faster to make sure those pesky vehicles don't get away.
 

Wayward Son 5

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I removed the Autocannon from my Marauder 2R. I have nightmares about ammo explosions. It now has a lot more armor and a lot more heatsinks.
When you can get one, gauss rifles take care of that worry. Gauss ammo is immune to ammo explosions. They have the added benefit of really great range and accuracy, plus the bonus armor piercing structure damage. Nothing better than causing an ammo explosion on, say, a King Crab without actually pounding through the armor first.
 

Doctor Machete

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I removed the Autocannon from my Marauder 2R. I have nightmares about ammo explosions. It now has a lot more armor and a lot more heatsinks.
I don't know what the problem is but that mech can be built so (as a one mech lance) in most types of missions you can consistently run circles around the opfor while having one UAC and low armor.


An assault lance made up of four Highlander 732b would be able to avoid anything it could not easily beat. For Convoy missions you might need to substitute something faster to make sure those pesky vehicles don't get away.
A lance made up of four heavy/assault of any type can't be built to avoid anything it cannot easily beat.


When you can get one, gauss rifles take care of that worry. Gauss ammo is immune to ammo explosions. They have the added benefit of really great range and accuracy, plus the bonus armor piercing structure damage. Nothing better than causing an ammo explosion on, say, a King Crab without actually pounding through the armor first.
The ammo cannot explode but the Gauss itself can. The armor piercing is only really useful against Turrets. You may get some ammo explosions once in a while but you cannot rely on that, as you only get one try and the hit must hit the mech, then must hit the location, then pass the crit roll and then hit the actual internal slot with the ammo.
 
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Wayward Son 5

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"The ammo cannot explode but the Gauss itself can."
That is not correct. I understand it could in the lore, but there's no mechanic for it happening in this game.

The armor piercing is only really useful against Turrets. You may get some ammo explosions once in a while but you cannot rely on that, as you only get one try and the hit must hit the mech, then must hit the location, then pass the crit roll and then hit the actual internal slot with the ammo.
Which is the same mechanic for a crit after the armor is destroyed. This just gives additional chances for the crit to occur before the armor is removed.
 

Doctor Machete

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That is not correct. I understand it could in the lore, but there's no mechanic for it happening in this game.
I have no idea if that's the case in the lore but it is in this game. The ammo cannot explode but the weapon itself can. As a curiosity another weapon that also can explode, and in this case it uses no ammo at all, is the Coil.


Which is the same mechanic for a crit after the armor is destroyed. This just gives additional chances for the crit to occur before the armor is removed.
Yes, it is the same mechanic, but the Gauss has no "additional" chances to crit if there is armor present. I mean, other weapons just can't at all and the Gauss potentially can because it bypasses armor, so technically it has more chances than zero (if there is actually something to crit, because you can crit on an empty slot). But... only has one hit per weapon-salvo (armor removed or not), only one try from a very heavy weapon, vs potentially lots of tries for some other weapons once the armor is removed, and some of those weapons also have a bonus to the crit roll.

In general I don't think crits are very useful, and even less for the Gauss, because it is much more unpredictable, where if you have already armor removed you can count (more or less) on critting something with several MG+SRMs for example.
 

Wayward Son 5

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I have no idea if that's the case in the lore but it is in this game. The ammo cannot explode but the weapon itself can. As a curiosity another weapon that also can explode, and in this case it uses no ammo at all, is the Coil.
Yes, it's a unique mechanic put in place for a COIL to balance the potentially game-breaking nature of its variable damage. (I spent a good portion of a max-difficulty career running a Cicada with a COIL-M dealing 100-125 damage per shot depending on terrain.) I tend toward sniper builds on a lot of mechs and use gauss rifles frequently. I've had them receive crits, I've had them destroyed by crits. I have never, since beta or in the 2185 hours of game play since, had a gauss rifle explode. The possibility isn't mentioned in the weapon description or any online listing for the vanilla game. I hate to put it this way, but:

Screenshot or it didn't happen.


"Yes, it is the same mechanic, but the Gauss has no "additional" chances to crit if there is armor present. I mean, other weapons just can't at all and the Gauss potentially can because it bypasses armor, so technically it has more chances than zero"

You've come around to my point from the beginning. While there is armor over the hit location, all other weapons have a crit chance of zero. Since the gauss causes some internal damage in addition to its normal damage, it has a crit chance that is greater than zero on all hits. If it's worth it or not is a question of preference and playstyle.
 

Harmon Ward

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I don't know what the problem is but that mech can be built so (as a one mech lance) in most types of missions you can consistently run circles around the opfor while having one UAC and low armor.

Harmon Replied, "One of my Mechwarriors was in a Enforcer once. The ammo cooked off, and the Mechwarrior was confined to sickbay for about a hundred days. I don't need that to ever happen again.
 
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Doctor Machete

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Yes, it's a unique mechanic put in place for a COIL to balance the potentially game-breaking nature of its variable damage. (I spent a good portion of a max-difficulty career running a Cicada with a COIL-M dealing 100-125 damage per shot depending on terrain.) I tend toward sniper builds on a lot of mechs and use gauss rifles frequently. I've had them receive crits, I've had them destroyed by crits. I have never, since beta or in the 2185 hours of game play since, had a gauss rifle explode. The possibility isn't mentioned in the weapon description or any online listing for the vanilla game. I hate to put it this way, but:
This is not something new I've come up right now. It has been commented a few times in this and other forums. Also this mechanic iirc exists only since the Gauss was buffed (that, a bit earlier or a bit later) with the 5 extra piercing damage. And the description not mentioning it doesn't mean anything. There are many mechanics also not mentioned in the description nor any online listing for the vanilla game, some of them with an impact on the game far greater than the ability of the Gauss of exploding on crits.
 

Wayward Son 5

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This is not something new I've come up right now. It has been commented a few times in this and other forums. Also this mechanic iirc exists only since the Gauss was buffed (that, a bit earlier or a bit later) with the 5 extra piercing damage. And the description not mentioning it doesn't mean anything. There are many mechanics also not mentioned in the description nor any online listing for the vanilla game, some of them with an impact on the game far greater than the ability of the Gauss of exploding on crits.
OK. For some reason I can't seem to find those threads on this forum or others. Can you please link one?
 

Doctor Machete

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OK. For some reason I can't seem to find those threads on this forum or others. Can you please link one?
Posting external links is not allowed but google searching a bit found a couple, one in reddit and another one in the steam forum. Also don't forget that for a very long time Gauss ammo actually could explode and was complained about, I think just until that was reversed around the HM release.

Also you could take a look into the Gauss json file.


Edit:
Forgot to comment about this:

You've come around to my point from the beginning. While there is armor over the hit location, all other weapons have a crit chance of zero. Since the gauss causes some internal damage in addition to its normal damage, it has a crit chance that is greater than zero on all hits. If it's worth it or not is a question of preference and playstyle.
I said it like that because your comment sounded to me like there was a base chance to crit with all weapons and the Gauss just had a higher chance than usual.

What it is not a matter of preference is that critting with a Gauss is not reliable, armor or no armor, you cannot realistically base your strategy on that. First because many mechs don't have ammo or don't have it in a "good" location you would be interested to target anyway; hits can land on empty slots. Weapons like MG/SRM/LRMs can be pretty good even if when ignoring this facet of the game, but if chance arises (armor is removed) then you can rely on them to crit if you have enough hits (which most of them will have a higher chance to crit than a bypassing armor Gauss crit).

With a single Gauss you still need to pass four rolls before you land a crit (hit the mech, location, crit roll and slot location). And then the target might not have ammo or have it but in an non desirable location to aim. And those crit rolls before the ammo is removed are going to have slightly more than the lowest chance to crit (which is 50% against the AI). For other weapons works the same way (once armor is removed) but if you have 50+ hits from MG+SRMs or something like that... Oh, and an top of that an ammo bin won't explode (just destroyed) if it is less than half empty.
 
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Wayward Son 5

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Posting external links is not allowed but google searching a bit found a couple, one in reddit and another one in the steam forum. Also don't forget that for a very long time Gauss ammo actually could explode and was complained about, I think just until that was reversed around the HM release.

Also you could take a look into the Gauss json file.
I did some similar searches when you first commented (as I'll admit when I'm wrong when presented with evidence to the effect.) Oddly, my Google searches earlier today turned up the complaints about the ammo exploding, as well as the bug reports, but all I saw in the reddit and steam forums had were people going back and forth with one saying "Gauss rifle explodes!" and the other saying, "No it doesn't." Image searches for screenshots only turned up modded gameplay images with any indication of the weapon exploding. When I search the Paradox forum with "gauss rifle explodes", I get no results found. I'm just not seeing what you say is there. Can you provide anything more than your statement that the weapon explodes?
 

Doctor Machete

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I did some similar searches when you first commented (as I'll admit when I'm wrong when presented with evidence to the effect.) Oddly, my Google searches earlier today turned up the complaints about the ammo exploding, as well as the bug reports, but all I saw in the reddit and steam forums had were people going back and forth with one saying "Gauss rifle explodes!" and the other saying, "No it doesn't." Image searches for screenshots only turned up modded gameplay images with any indication of the weapon exploding. When I search the Paradox forum with "gauss rifle explodes", I get no results found. I'm just not seeing what you say is there. Can you provide anything more than your statement that the weapon explodes?
I don't remember exactly how I founded but the one from Steam is titled ´My Phoenix build´ and the one from reddit ´Am I reading this right? UAC/2 vs Gauss´. And have you looked into the json files?, because that alone I think settles it.


Update:

I've made a little test with an ANH equipped with Gauss (no ammo) and I didn't manage to get a weapon explosion in two tries until the mech died in a half skull mission so now I'm not sure.
 
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foamyesque

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Don't think I've ever seen a gauss rifle explode, myself, but that's a bit afield from the topic of the thread, no?

TBH I've had trouble coming up with a lance composition that's more effective than this one:

20210319114157_1.jpg



Triple Royal Marauders configured out with UAC/5++s, jumpjets, and ERML++s. Command vehicle carries comms, the other two rangefinders. Mech #4 is a Royal Griffin carrying quad Inferno++s, two TTS+++s, jumpjets, a TAG++, Snub PPC++ (dmg), and an ERSL++.

With +1 shipboard morale, you generate 40 points of resolve a turn. This is a critical breakpoint. The Griffin can reliably one-shot shut down 'mechs from 0 heat, which gets you a called shot. If that called shot is a kill, which it should be with the Marauders, you get +10 resolve, putting you at 50. You can then use that resolve with a precision shot, killing a second 'mech. That costs you 30, but gains you 10 back, putting you at 30. You can then precision shot again, for the third called shot in a round, for potentially your third *kill* of that round.


Quite frankly it feels like cheating: Enemy lances just evaporate. The Griffin is a key piece and punches way above its weight in setting up the other 'mechs, and can contribute in its own right via the Snub PPC or melee. The TAG's also useful in negating one level of damage reduction for everybody else.

I favour the pilot skills as above, because fighting in the medium round when you can remove that much firepower from the board in one go is amazing, and while you don't take a lot of return fire, bulwark on everybody allows you to skimp on armour without risking the enormous pile of LosTech in the 'mechs. The Griffin is a bit more flexible, but since it runs hot, needs defense, and wants to hit multiple targets at once, I prefer the multishot/coolant vent combo.
 

Harmon Ward

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I just got ERPPC ++ for my Warhammer. With the Capacitor Bonus they do 84 points of damage. Even if you miss the head, that is going to leave a mark on anything it does it.
 

Harmon Ward

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"A lance made up of four heavy/assault of any type can't be built to avoid anything it cannot easily beat."
I do not understand this statement. In my experience, four Highlanders can avoid anything they cannot easily beat, ( when playing against the AI. ) . When playing against a human opponent all bets are off, but I though we were discussing playing against the computer.
 

foamyesque

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I just got ERPPC ++ for my Warhammer. With the Capacitor Bonus they do 84 points of damage. Even if you miss the head, that is going to leave a mark on anything it does it.

I love the ERPPCs. Headcap damage from across the map, just like Gausses, but without needing to worry about ammo. Mount 'em on a Warhammer (or a Phoenix Hawk) and shoot a TAG'd target and you can get clean up to 100 damage, same as a baseline AC/20.

The heat generation's brutal, but they're so fun :D
 
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The PHX-1b is so overpowered it's broken. I run one in my assault lance (every lance really) and it gets more kills by far than any other 'Mech in the game. Jump behind the target, call shot the rear CT, then rinse and repeat. Sadly, it got so bad, I just became bored with the entire game as it made it just too easy. I now have to force myself *not* to use one.

On a positive note, it did inspire me to write a pair of Flashpoints, one weight restricted to 40 tons and below and the other with a minimum weight of 60 tons.
 

foamyesque

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The PHX-1b is so overpowered it's broken. I run one in my assault lance (every lance really) and it gets more kills by far than any other 'Mech in the game. Jump behind the target, call shot the rear CT, then rinse and repeat. Sadly, it got so bad, I just became bored with the entire game as it made it just too easy. I now have to force myself *not* to use one.

On a positive note, it did inspire me to write a pair of Flashpoints, one weight restricted to 40 tons and below and the other with a minimum weight of 60 tons.

It is very good, although my personal preference is for Marauders as 'deadliest 'mech in the game'. The Griffin can do very much the same thing as a PHawk, too.