Misc career questions (for Kerensky Rank)

Misc career questions (for Kerensky Rank)

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Kalliss

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Hi peeps, just a quick question about early game career. I get the idea that you should try to salvage as many mechs as possible early on, both for the completionist aspect (get 1 of each chassis), but also to pick up better mechs to do harder contracts.

The problem I'm having is I'm coring mechs left, right and centre in error. Tried approaching from the side and blasting their left/right torso, but as my pilots are noobs the called shots are unreliable at best for hitting legs for the 3rd pilot hp. Hitting the head is nearly impossible without mg's.

I've not got the best setup(best I've found so far sadly), running Dragon with standard loadout + extra armour(dropped some LRM ammo), Enforcer with AC/10 + LLaser combo, Laser Firestarter with 6 SLaser, and a Vulcan with CQC Suite + 4 mg's + MLaser. The Enforcer and Dragon are too heavy handed for precise dismantling of mechs, but the Firestarter is a beast for dealing with left/right torsos. Vulcan is useful for mg's to the head but otherwise it's a bit meh.

The issue I'm having is that 2-3 pilot injuries is relatively straightforward, but consistently trying to incap the pilot is really really hard. Is there a knack to doing it that I'm missing out on?
 

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As I remember, the best option to incapacitate in the beginning is stability damage, so the 'Mech is knocked down. There are several options for this:
  • LRM's (and SRM's to some degree)
  • Autocannons
  • Death from above and melee attacks
If you combine this with shooting off the left or right torso, you should be able to incapacitate some pilots.
I remember that I used DFA a lot in the beginning of my career anyway.
 
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MarkDey

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I would agree that stability damage is key to getting pilot kills, and LRMs are the best weapons to use for that outside of specialized melee builds focused on stability damage (best stability damage to damage ratio). Until I got good pilots, I'd accidentally blow up mechs often, and I still do that now. One thing I've found that I think is true is that mechs which are protected by Bulwark reduce damage, but not stability damage. So, if you can target that sort of mech, as long as it isn't taking only 50% stability damage because it's braced or its pilot has Sure Footing, then you will be able to knock it over even if you can't blow through its armor.

I rarely use Death From Above attacks, but when they hit, they work well.

If you're aiming for pilot injuries via headshots, MGs, SRMs, LBX autocannons, and Snub PPCs work best because of the sheer volume of fire. LRMs do not because of how they cluster their many hits.

In general, what I would recommend is targeting a mech that is not protected against stability damage, and hitting it from a side with LRM or SRM fire. A 100 ton mech will take about 200 stability damage to fill up its bar, and I believe that it scales downwards linearly. An unmodified LRM20 will deal 40 stability damage if all missiles hit. Do enough stability damage to knock it over, and then let it stand up again. Repeat once more if possible (depends on your target's armor). That's two pilot hits, and then destroying each torso will do two more injuries. To knock it over a third time, blow off a leg. There are some pilots that have 6 hits to kill, but those are only Elite X pilots. Typically, if I'm inflicting stability damage from the side to knock a mech over, if I use precise shot I target the head to try and inflict an additional wound.
 
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Kalliss

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Thanks both!

I think my main issue was I had few weapons doing Stability damage, I was rocking a lot of lasers and MG's. I've just finished a refit of a GFN-1S to use a LRM20+ and a LRM20 which is now my fire support mech, doing lots of stability damage with this. Got AC/10, AC/5 and LRM10 on other mechs so I can knock over a few mechs now. Still a bit inconsistent, but on the right track. Ditched the Vulcan for now, running a full SLaser Firestarter and a full MG Firestarter as well.

I'm concerned at my progress, I'm 85 days in and still only got a single heavy, a mediocre Dragon. Roughly at 70k points in overall rating. Not completed any groups of mechs yet (damn LCT-1S and LCT-1V seem to be like gold dust).
 
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Harmon Ward

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85 Days is still really early, but you are wise to watch all of the metrics from the very beginning. I agree with flanking tactic. I picked up lots of great salvage by incapacitating the mechwarrior through side torso and leg damage.
One of the critical aspects of the game to remember is you control how fast a round of combat happens. The time to think through where you are in the turn and where you want to be. I have had some luck using a Firestarter to jump the maximum into trees or behind rocks to draw fire. This exposes the enemy flanks to you bigger guns.

As soon as possible, get Cockpit Mods to keep your mechwarriors from getting injured.
 

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Yeah sadly no cockpit mods so far I've seen. As my pilot skills are too poor for Called Shots, I'm having success with positioning facing one side and just Alpha'ing it, usually it results in at least an arm and either a torso or leg destruction (sometimes all 3 for lighter mechs). Firestarter is especially good for this! Then I switch sides, and if luck is with me the CT stays relatively undamaged. Landing the last hit or 2 for a pilot kill is the tricky bit, usually I try MG's for a lucky hit to the head. Obviously this ain't so good for heavier mechs, so for that I usually try for a Called Shot on rear LT/RT using a Firestarter with 6 SLaser. Sometime I can shear off an arm quickly making the dismantling easier.

I've been unlucky with my salvage so far, other than the GFN-1S and the Extra Firestarter, I'm still running my starting Firestarter and 2 Enforcers. Not seen any decent mechs like Centurions, ShadowHawks, Hunchbacks etc. 2 Trebuchet's got cored, so still 1 piece short for that. Saw a Black Knight in the field on a recovery mission but I was getting shot to hell and needed to get out so no chance to bring it down.
 

Harmon Ward

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You probably already know this, but when the left or right torso is destroyed, the mechwarrior takes damage. If the ammo in the torso explodes, they take damage. When the mech falls they take damage. I found it significantly easier to incapacitate mechwarriors through torso damage than headshots. One huge advantage to flank attacks is the probability of hitting the Center Torso goes down, so you get consistently more salvage.

Keep on the lookout for good partial mechs in the stores. They are not cheap, but more than once I have recovered all of the parts for a Trebuchet on the battlefield way after I had procured a much better Catapult.

Have fun and remember, if it was easy then winning would be meaningless.
 

Kalliss

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Just to clarify, if a side torso has ammo in it, and the side torso gets destroyed and the ammo explodes within, is that counted as 2 pilot hits? Or still one?
 

Harmon Ward

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Just to clarify, if a side torso has ammo in it, and the side torso gets destroyed and the ammo explodes within, is that counted as 2 pilot hits? Or still one?
(Corrected by comments listed below) One. In my experience, Salvage went way up when I started focusing on the flank attacks. I often don't fire at the front as I angle for the flanks. Way to often, the Center Torso would get destroyed first. That sometimes happens on the flanks, but the odds are still in your favor.
 
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Kalliss

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Ah ok cool! Yeah my salvage went right up using flank attacks also, at least until I get tactics 9 and high gunnery + an appropriate mech (hello Marauder)! Also it weakens the enemy mechs significantly, trying to headcap a fully functional mech is a recipe for disaster as they shoot up my team. At least wrecking the sides eliminates most of their weapons, then I just need to avoid getting punched in the face :)
 

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Ammo explosion in a side torso is only ONE pilot hit. Ammo explosions and side torso loss both cause pilot injuries, but since they happen together, only one counts. The only way to get a second pilot injury with an ammo explosion is for it to explode in a limb. Leg ammo exploding is automatically two injuries because the fall is considered to take place separately.

There are three points in an attack which can cause a pilot injury, but it is limited to one injury at each point:

1. Regular weapon attacks (head hits, side torso destruction, and ammo exposions)
2. Falling
3. Support weapons after a melee attack.


(It's been a while since I checked this, but i don't think it has changed)
 
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Kereminde

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There is exactly one way to "double dip" pilot damage. And that's to hit the head, explode ammo, side-torso destruction... AND to have them fall due to stability damage. Even multiple weapon strikes to the head in the same attack round will not cause more than one hit, though you can splatter the cockpit through head destruction.

(Old Backer Beta people: Remember that brief period when someone could crit the cockpit? That was fun.)
 

Confector Tyrannis

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(Old Backer Beta people: Remember that brief period when someone could crit the cockpit? That was fun.)
Remember when a Commando could melee insta kill an Orion or taller mechs with a headshot?

I remember filing a very cranky repot on *that* one lol. Seriously, how does a Commando (not a dfa attack, run up to you and punch style) even reach the head on 'Mech twice as tall? seriously... he performing a Rising Uppercut ala Ryu/Ken style here? (refraining from adding another seriously here... cuz.. redundant >.> ) hehe

ON the subject of ammo explosion pilot injuries.... are there 2 types of ammo explosions? ones that just injure vs ones that just kill? Or if an otherwise uninjured pilot (no falls or cockpit hits, no torsos lost) dies from ammo explosion, is that because each separate ammo canister that went up counts as an injury in those cases so enough cans exploded = superseded pilot injury count limit?
 

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There is exactly one way to "double dip" pilot damage. And that's to hit the head, explode ammo, side-torso destruction... AND to have them fall due to stability damage. Even multiple weapon strikes to the head in the same attack round will not cause more than one hit, though you can splatter the cockpit through head destruction.

(Old Backer Beta people: Remember that brief period when someone could crit the cockpit? That was fun.)
You can theoretically get a third pilot hit using a melee attack. Need to remove a side torso with the initial melee (or cause an ammo explosion, head hit is probably an auto kill), then they have to fall over from stability damage for the second injury, and finally support weapons need to fire and hit the head (or take out the other side torso). It is incredibly unlikely, but technically possible.

Remember when a Commando could melee insta kill an Orion or taller mechs with a headshot?

I remember filing a very cranky repot on *that* one lol. Seriously, how does a Commando (not a dfa attack, run up to you and punch style) even reach the head on 'Mech twice as tall? seriously... he performing a Rising Uppercut ala Ryu/Ken style here? (refraining from adding another seriously here... cuz.. redundant >.> ) hehe

ON the subject of ammo explosion pilot injuries.... are there 2 types of ammo explosions? ones that just injure vs ones that just kill? Or if an otherwise uninjured pilot (no falls or cockpit hits, no torsos lost) dies from ammo explosion, is that because each separate ammo canister that went up counts as an injury in those cases so enough cans exploded = superseded pilot injury count limit?
There is only one type of ammo explosion. Ammo explosions always destroy the location they are in and cause a pilot injury. If they are in a side torso, no second injury is caused by the loss of a torso. Additional ammo in the same location has no effect. If the ammo is in the center, it is an automatic mech kill. CT destruction is also automatic max pilot injuries and is likely to kill the pilot. Never store ammo in the CT if you can avoid it.


On the subject of the beta, I remember when Urbanmechs could head-cap Atlai in a single shot. My favorite lance was 3 Urbans and an Awesome because it was just under the 15 mil light lance limit. :D
 
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Kereminde

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On the subject of the beta, I remember when Urbanmechs could head-cap Atlai in a single shot. My favorite lance was 3 Urbans and an Awesome because it was just under the 15 mil light lance limit. :D
I... remember those discussions and a certain pink-hatted merc leader "enjoying" it as well.
 
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Kalliss

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Thanks all for the tips and info, it's super useful!

Had a couple of bad missions in the last 15 or so, losing me 2 pilots and 2 mechs. Fortunately, I had a spare of both mechs and one of the pilot deaths I'd literally just hired, so only minor long term damage. Forgot how deadly SRM Carriers are, got in a bad position and my Firestarter took a full salvo, poor pilot had no chance :(

Finished 2 flashpoints, Of Unknown Origin and Hunting Season. Got a few ++ bits from OUO, but Hunting Season netted me a SLDF Highlander, and as I don't have Unequipped Mechs turned on, it's loaded to the max with lostech stuff, and a Gauss Gun! Considering my biggest mech up to now was a Dragon, this is a massive jump :)

I'm about 150 days in, score about 140-150k. Need to start increasing the difficultly as C-Bills are lagging way behind!
 
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Kereminde

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Finished 2 flashpoints, Of Unknown Origin and Hunting Season. Got a few ++ bits from OUO, but Hunting Season netted me a SLDF Highlander, and as I don't have Unequipped Mechs turned on, it's loaded to the max with lostech stuff, and a Gauss Gun! Considering my biggest mech up to now was a Dragon, this is a massive jump :)
Just be careful, while it's very good and can be extra-useful...
- You probably won't replace that Gauss without Black Market connections.
- Replacing the Double Sinks is much harder.
- You can still get pilots turned to chunky salsa :)

Stick with it, and you should easily be able to push the C-Bills earned up!
 

MarkDey

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Nice upgrade! I found that my C-Bills score lagged behind a timeline-based assessment (e.g. 25% of the days gone and not having 25% of the C-Bills score) but during the last half of the career time, I was able to gain C-Bills points rapidly since most of the contracts were 4 or 5 skulls, which significantly increased the value of the salvage.
 

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Just be careful, while it's very good and can be extra-useful...
- You probably won't replace that Gauss without Black Market connections.
- Replacing the Double Sinks is much harder.
- You can still get pilots turned to chunky salsa :)

Stick with it, and you should easily be able to push the C-Bills earned up!
Yeah I'm not sure how to fit this bad boy. I could go all long range and use Gauss Gun + LRM's, or maybe a head popper with LLasers. Deffo need to up the armour to max, don't want to lose this one!

Nice upgrade! I found that my C-Bills score lagged behind a timeline-based assessment (e.g. 25% of the days gone and not having 25% of the C-Bills score) but during the last half of the career time, I was able to gain C-Bills points rapidly since most of the contracts were 4 or 5 skulls, which significantly increased the value of the salvage.
Yeah I'm waaay behind on the C-Bills atm, only hitting about 1k score so lots to still get! So far my medium/light lance has only been able to take contracts up to about 2.5 skulls (and 2.5's were not easy in some cases), but with the addition of the Highlander I'm sure I can start hitting at least 3's and start to get me some more heavies!