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foamyesque

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I agree about not liking the time limit of career, but the 1200 days is just what they score you on. During my one runthrough of career I didn't understand the Flashpoint system (this game really needed a manual), so I didn't visit half of the flashpoints until after day 1200, and finally tagged the last on them on day 1576. I play more for the roleplaying aspects, so it's important to me which factions I'm friendly or enemies with.

Thanks for the thoughtful comment.
No problem!

One of the challenges with ammo weapons is having enough gun to justify carrying the ammo at all. A single SRM4 or, even worse, a 2, is pretty much dead weight; you want at least a 6, and ideally more, for your one ton of ammo. With LRMs you want at least ten tubes (and even then it's arguable that the tonnage is worth it, though if it's a 'mech's only source of stability damage it could very well be). With autocannon, a single AC/2 is a waste; you want at least a UAC/2 or two AC/2s. AC/5s and /10s are in an awkward spot, because one ton of ammo for a single AC/5 an awful lot, but for two AC/5s might not be enough (and two AC/5s is a pretty big tonnage investment all on its own). With /10s the problem is reversed: one ton of ammo for an AC/10 is a bit on the low side, but two is again an awful lot, and a more reasonable balance of, say, two guns to three tons of ammo, requires a tremendous amount of spare tonnage. AC/20s work very well with two tons per gun; ten AC/20 shots is going to cause problems for an opponent, especially if you're cautious about low-percentage shots.
 
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Corraidhin

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You can never have too much dakka. Dakka requires ammo. Ergo, you can never have too much ammo.

I rest may CASE.
 
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Doctor Machete

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I shall note out loud those two are SLDF models and generally less likely to be available.
Yes, but if you say something is the best it may or not be at the end but in principle I think in principle you should expect it to be rarer and/or more expensive.


Doctor, I appreciate your dedication in writing in to answer my questions, but your game experiences differ so much from mine that I'm almost never able to take advantage of your advice. In my only attempt at a career it was around day 1100 before I got my second LRM/20++, and probably after day 900 before I found all the SRM++s I needed. I'm really looking for advice on weaponry that's available fairly early in a career or campaign.
Well, my advice wasn't very specific but mostly that you need to experiment with the amounts of ammo you use and get more experience with the game in general. And I mean actual experimentation, not a "don't touch it if it works" approach (unless you're playing Ironman). Because like I've said in other threads many times if you're not pressed almost anything works, so try to force some pressure with mock up missions to build some experience beyond the typical scenarios. That way can use it if in some serious mission if you find something unexpected or you make a big mistake.

The same loadouts may need more ammo for one player than for other just because the first one plays much more aggressively, for example. So you need to come up to a point when you can figure it out how many salvos you expect fire with each setup on average and in a worst case.

You can take advantage of the Load/Save features and for example, as a test, try a mission with half your normal amount of ammo or one less mech or regular versions of your weapons, etc... and see how it goes, and try it two or three times. Even if it goes badly in all of them you'll learn something from it. It's like in some games you can play them at higher speed or a self handicapped set of weapons so even if you're not able to complete them with those settings you get used to it and when playing normally is like playing with slow motion.

And sometimes running out of ammo is not that bad but in fact is expected. There are some loadouts with which I count on running out of ammo at some point during the mission. The point would be I'll have full firepower when I need it and lower firepower when it doesn't matter anymore, when the number of foes have been reduced and the ones left are very easily to manage.
 
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Kereminde

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Yes, but if you say something is the best it may or not be at the end but in principle I think in principle you should expect it to be rarer and/or more expensive.
I dunno. In some cases, I expect "expensive" or "rare" to not necessarily mean "better"...

... then again, I'm a MTG player so this attitude is one partly picked up from there.
 

Curtis Cook

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You can never have too much dakka. Dakka requires ammo. Ergo, you can never have too much ammo.

I rest may CASE.
I understand CASE, but what is 'dakka'?

I dunno. In some cases, I expect "expensive" or "rare" to not necessarily mean "better"...

... then again, I'm a MTG player so this attitude is one partly picked up from there.
You mean a Black Lotus isn't better than a Basalt Monolith? I am astounded, sir! ;
 

Doctor Machete

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I dunno. In some cases, I expect "expensive" or "rare" to not necessarily mean "better"...


... then again, I'm a MTG player so this attitude is one partly picked up from there.
I also don't expect "expensive" or "rare" to necessarily be better, that's why I said before "it may or not be at the end and "in principle". It isn't always the case, but it's useful as a general rule when you don't have enough information besides the price. Then if it is a better deal or not would be a different issue.


I understand CASE, but what is 'dakka'?
1605895576301.png
 
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Shark7

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Backstabbing sure is a very efficient use of ammo but it is not regarding safety. It gives you one big advantage but at the same time puts you in a potentially vulnerable spot as well.


Maybe you can always do that when fighting four assaults using four mechs. Not that easy (safely) to pull it off when fighting more than four mechs at the same time and/or using just one mech.

And there are several mechs far better than the Firestarter, including the Griffin-2N and the Phoenix Hawk 1B.
Honestly, each has their own opinion, as I stated "IMO." I will still rate the base Firestarter ahead of the 2 you mentioned due to those two being mediums vs the Firestarter being a light. The light mech does get an advantage with the chassis +1 hit defense that is built in over the mediums.

I do take 4 Firestarters into missions against multiple lances (heavy/assault) and win. It's a matter of using the terrain to my advantage, having well trained pilots and being patient. If you just rush in, you are going to pay, I agree with you there.
 

Kereminde

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You mean a Black Lotus isn't better than a Basalt Monolith? I am astounded, sir! ;
See, that's part of what I was saying earlier - a Lotus is an awesome card... if you can get your hands on it. It's also less likely something you'll be playing with because it's literally irreplaceable once a copy is gone. (Like Clint gyros.) And it does always depend on what you need either card for - because there's a third option which also yields the same mana boost and is even more narrow in scope: "Mishra's Workshop". Also an awesome card, in certain places.

However, as I said, it really depends on what you need, when you need it, and if you build just so - none of them are really necessary or useful at all.

The other actual thing holding back whether or not "best" is desirable is... well, it's the OpFor AI. So long as you can trick it easily or engage on your own terms, you don't really need the BEST. In fact, it just sort of becomes "flexing on the CPU player" the same way 'Cherry Tapping' is. In my perspective? Such things are a waste to plan for - better to make plans and figure out how to use things which are more readily available, replaced, and effective in their own right.

In case it's not been established yet on these forums? I'm weird like that, because I hobbled along on a PC system which was under minimum spec for the first six-to-eight months with this game and still had it be playable on minimum settings :) Making lemonade out of lemons is something I've grown used to doing.

Incendiary lemons, though, that's beyond my skillset.
 
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foamyesque

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Honestly, if you exclude the SL/quirk 'mechs, I don't think calling the Firestarter the best 'mech in the game is all that far wrong. It's a monster in Skirmish, for example.

But...

There's a few others I'd put up there as well: the Grasshopper, the Black Knight, the Stalker.

They all have good hardpoint layouts that can be best-in-class or nearly so at what they do and lots of free space. The Firestarter's better ton-for-ton IMO, but the Knight and Hopper can do well in both a straight up shoot 'em up or as a backstabber, and they both have the support hardpoints to be good at hunting lights or even carrying flamers to disable a big 'mech. And the Stalker is the premier missile boat of the game, bar only the Bull Shark M3 (which I count as SL kit and which is much harder to get anyway) and arguably the Archer (because of the quirk) -- and it's pretty damn good if you build it for a straightforward frontal battle, too.
 

Kereminde

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There's a few others I'd put up there as well: the Grasshopper, the Black Knight, the Stalker.
The Grasshopper is a great platform to build on, fairly quick and mobile and its base form isn't really terrible either as an option. The Black Knight has the trouble of being "all energy, all the time" which... is not what you want to bring to a hot drop zone, if you get my drift. (Arctic areas, though, go nuts. It's hilariously good fun.) You can mitigate it, but part of the charm of the Black Knight is how bracket-fire with the standard loadout can bring you great success. (It's also arguably one of the things you need for an achievement - to build a "fake Awesome" with three PPCs in it.)

But the Stalker... man that's a lot of options for a weapons platform. And I'd say all of them are good options, even without it having Ballistics to play with. If I could manage to recreate TheB33f's LRM100 Stalker it'd be fun.
 

foamyesque

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The Grasshopper is a great platform to build on, fairly quick and mobile and its base form isn't really terrible either as an option. The Black Knight has the trouble of being "all energy, all the time" which... is not what you want to bring to a hot drop zone, if you get my drift. (Arctic areas, though, go nuts. It's hilariously good fun.) You can mitigate it, but part of the charm of the Black Knight is how bracket-fire with the standard loadout can bring you great success. (It's also arguably one of the things you need for an achievement - to build a "fake Awesome" with three PPCs in it.)

But the Stalker... man that's a lot of options for a weapons platform. And I'd say all of them are good options, even without it having Ballistics to play with. If I could manage to recreate TheB33f's LRM100 Stalker it'd be fun.
Eh, the Grasshopper doesn't have a ballistics hardpoint either, and the only missile one it's got is that single slot in the head (which you'll want for electronics anyway, generally), which doesn't really justify carrying ammo. Both it and the Knight are basically straight energy platforms, the distinction being the Hopper has more (and more usefully placed) support hardpoints and the Knight has more tonnage (for bigger guns, more sinking, or more armour).
 

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[QUOTE="Kereminde, post: 27117709, member: 1289332"… part of the charm of the Black Knight is how bracket-fire with the standard loadout can bring you great success.[/QUOTE]

What is 'bracket-fire'?
 

foamyesque

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What is 'bracket-fire'?
It's when you put more guns on a 'mech than the cooling would otherwise warrant, and then fire a subsection of them as range permits. The Stalker and Black Knight are built around the idea that you drop off the long range weapons as you turn on the short-range ones. A lot of 'mechs do it to a modest extent -- swapping in small lasers for mediums, or mediums for larges, for example -- but those ones in particular, in their stock configs, will overheat very quickly if you try to full-alpha.
 
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Thanks. A friend of mine likes to design all of his tabletop mechs over 40 tons with dual weapons, one set to fire at range 10+ and one for up to range 9.
 

Doctor Machete

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Honestly, each has their own opinion, as I stated "IMO." I will still rate the base Firestarter ahead of the 2 you mentioned due to those two being mediums vs the Firestarter being a light. The light mech does get an advantage with the chassis +1 hit defense that is built in over the mediums.
Yes, I didn't interpret it otherwise, and responded with mine.

The initiative is mainly an advantage against other lights and partly against mediums but it is irrelevant against heavies/assaults, also it's not that important when you can very easily oneshot your opponents or when you can push them into one init above with PS. And don't take me wrong, better init is still useful even if you can one-shot with ease, just not as much as if you can't.

Then the Firestarter has more inherent evasion but four hard points are in the CT including the two support ones (Gyro?), less potential firepower, less cooling capacity... The PHX1B also has longer jumps, which makes easier both hit & run and engaging/disengaging combat. It seems to me a much better platform for long range or mixed close-medium range as well.

Also btw the Firestarter has +3 hit defense, not +2 (after some update long ago), but still I'd say is clearly inferior to those.


I do take 4 Firestarters into missions against multiple lances (heavy/assault) and win. It's a matter of using the terrain to my advantage, having well trained pilots and being patient. If you just rush in, you are going to pay, I agree with you there.
Like I think I implied before I never doubted you can win routinely in five skulls with four Firestarters. I do take a single 2N or a single PHX1B 1v9 in five skulls (although not all types of mission), and if with the PHX1B I'll probably headcap all of them with barely any damage taken, no damage at all or not attacked at all. The 2N not so good but still far better than the Firestarter IMO.

Unless noted otherwise all missions are in neutral biome:
Desert:


Martian:


Desert:


And this I'd say is also much better than the Firestarter too, both two without using PS or Vig:



Ammo based weapons are nursed during the fight, and it is mostly important only for the first few targets and to a lesser extent the last one (the objective in assa missions).

A Jenner is worse than the Firestarter but still I manage to do things like this, although not nearly as consistently as with the others. In this case all depends on the map, mostly if I can find a good choke point, and even then I can't be as carefree as with the others (part of it having no armor at all):


Also I'd argue the regular PHX1 is better than the FS9H too. Here a small comparison of backstabbing:
1605973168688.png

Notice that non lostech PHX have longer jumps as well, better killing power. And the PHX1B improves a lot on firepower and cooling and it isn't even specialized at backstabbing, it can do perfectly fine without ever entering close range.
 
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It looks like a difference in play-style honestly. I have never liked using heavy or assault mechs, and have always had far more fun using the lights. So my solution and my all around best mech would naturally be a light. I'm not saying the others are not good, but they will never be my personal best, as they don't fit how I play the game.

I also tended to favor lights in TT too, so it stands to reason.