Still Early Game, 2.5 skull missions challenging, Repair times take long......doing something wrong?

Still Early Game, 2.5 skull missions challenging, Repair times take long......doing something wrong?

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bsquared97227

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Okay so. Was playing this game first back in 2018 and then put it down due to life getting busy.

Now fully back into the game and really enjoying it, but not sure if I may a thing or two (or five?) wrong.

I'm playing a campaign, and I have all the DLCs for the game. I have all 5 of my original mech warriors that you'd normally start with, and only had to reload an old save game ONCE due to a badly chosen contract (I was against assault-class vehicles on a 2.5 skull "destroy covoy" mission and I was NOT ready).

Last story mission I completed was liberation of weldry, and I'm thinking to start the next one to boost my credits up, potentially to buy my first assault mech (thinking a Stalker)

Currently my main mechs and their roles are as follows:
Blackjack: medium range lasers and an AC-5 for long range support (may swap to AC-2). to be replaced by shadow hawk
Vindicator: close range brawler. To be replaced by centurion or something beefier if I can get it (stalker mentioned above)
Archer: (bought this one from a store on weldry) long range fire support but low on armour due to how much ammo it carries to feed its two LRM 20's ;)
Trebuchet: mid to long range support, ideally the guy who sensor locks but in recent contracts I have to use it to actually fire at stuff lol

My MAIN ISSUE right now is that i"m starting to take a lot more damage in 2 or 2.5 skull missions, and repairs are starting to take longer than they should (even though they aren't expensive). To workaround this, I unlocked the 2nd mech bay so I can keep some mechs battle-ready at all times. Obviously this means more monthly expenses. I also got a 6th mech warrior as I sometimes am down 1 warrior as it recovers from an injury.

Am I doing anything wrong? Should I be changing my mech lineup or is there something else I can do?

Any advice is welcome. This is my 2nd attempt at a playthrough of this game (first one I abandoned as I spent more time figuring things out)
 
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I think that lance should be more than enough for 2-3 skull missions, and it seems to me you still need to get the hang of it. For the moment avoid Convoy missions. Because the time limit you might be making too many mistakes due to the extra pressure.

Stick to missions where you can take all the time you need and get used to the game. Before moving or attacking take a look at what weapons the opfor has and what pilots too. Take a good position and lure some foes into you with a JJ equipped mech, so you can focus damage on the mechs that come.

Try to rush at least one pilot for high Tactics so you get Improved Called Shots asap and later Called Shot Mastery, the other skill can be Bullwark and late game that pilot will be very good for assaults, but getting him faster in the best mech you have will make a big difference even if you're not going to take advantage from Master Tactician yet.

Use +dmg LRMs with the Archer, +stab is wasted with focused salvos as it doesn't matter for knockdowns where exactly you hit, but it does for raw damage concentrated in a single spot.

You don't have to attack every turn, often might be better just not doing it unless you expect to kill something almost for sure, like moving out of LoS in preparation for a next turn when you'll be able to attack with all your mechs at the same foe.

Don't get into close range unless you're sure about what you're doing. Close range is an equalizer in a sense, because every single mech can melee and you can't PS when meleeing.

Use JJs even if you need to downgrade some damage, and perhaps you can compensate the lost damage with more efficient weapons.
 
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Jade_Rook

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I've noticed there is a difficulty spike around the 2 to 3 skull level. Suddenly you'll be facing fully armored lances, enemy reinforcements are more common, and you haven't had a lot of opportunities to upgrade your forces with salvage (the Archer is a good addition).

Overall, it sounds like you are doing well. The second mech bay is good.

If you are doing missions for pirates, assume that the actual difficulty is 0.5 to 1 skull higher than stated. They seem to "underestimate" the opposition more often than other factions.

I would switch the Blackjack for a Shadow Hawk. The Hawk is faster, has better melee, and can carry about the same loadout. Try AC/5 and SRMs for close range since it is replacing AC/5 and medium lasers on the Blackjack.

Don't use the AC/2. The 2 tons you save isn't worth the lower damage and the range is rarely useful. You already have good fire support anyways.

Be cautious using the Vindicator as a close range brawler. It is a bit slow for its size. Make sure you are frequently using jump jets on it to maintain evasion.

Evasion is very important in keeping repair bills low. Sometimes it is better to focus on defense, rather than offense.

Make sure you are taking advantage of flank and rear shots when you can. Figure out which side of an enemy is most important to take out. A Centurion is just as dangerous without the left arm as it is with, but the right arm has most of its firepower. Hunchbacks don't care too much about arms, but if they are crippled if they lose a side torso. There armor is also tilted heavily towards the front, making them hard to crack head on, but vulnerable to back shots.

It is often worthwhile to take vehicles out early. They tend to be easy kills, but can still carry significant weapons. There are a few exceptions. Demolishers can take a beating, but they are only dangerous if they can get close. Stay out of their kill zone and you can deal with other targets first. LRM and SRM carriers are very dangerous and should be priority targets whenever you see them. They have lots of missiles, but almost no armor. Pop them quick before they can shred your mechs. Shreks can be a problem if they are at range. They have enough armor to take a few hits and 3 PPCs will make holes pretty quickly. Sometimes it is better to break line of sight from them rather than dealing with them immediately.

Use the terrain to your advantage. Take the high ground when you can as it gives you significant bonuses to hit. Use blocking terrain to limit how many enemies can fire back.
 
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Spartakus

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Destroy Convoy missions as well as Battle missions are significantly tougher than the others. Assasination sometimes too. The OPFOR tends to be in your face right from the start and the evac point is usually behind enemy lines.
Don't shy away from retreating if there is too much resistance.
 
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stjobe

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Blackjack: medium range lasers and an AC-5 for long range support (may swap to AC-2). to be replaced by shadow hawk
I would definitely replace this with a Shadow Hawk which is a far better 'Mech. Load the Shawk up as a brawler (e.g. 2xSRM-6, 1xSRM-4, max armour) and stick a Sensor Lock MechWarrior in there. Early fight, it will Sensor Lock for your LRM 'Mechs, then join in and melee/SRM the already weakened enemy to death.
Vindicator: close range brawler. To be replaced by centurion or something beefier if I can get it (stalker mentioned above)
I'd switch this one back to 1xPPC + 1xLRM-10, it's not that great as a brawler (55 base melee damage as compared to the Shadow Hawk's 85, and has worse hardpoints). Use it for indirect and direct support instead. Get a pilot with multi-target, and fire missiles at whatever target the Archer and Treb are firing at, while lending a PPC hand to whatever the Shawk is currently killing.
Archer: (bought this one from a store on weldry) long range fire support but low on armour due to how much ammo it carries to feed its two LRM 20's ;)
This guy should never be exposed to enemy fire. It needs a MechWarrior with Bulwark (and ideally high Tactics for the bonuses to indirect fire), and should never leave the woods. It fires on whatever the scout sensor locks.
Trebuchet: mid to long range support, ideally the guy who sensor locks but in recent contracts I have to use it to actually fire at stuff lol
The Treb is a mini-Archer and can be played the same way, just ignore those medium lasers. Use it to fire at whatever the Archer is firing at, and 40 + 30 LRMs should make that target a very easy kill for the Vindicator and Shadow Hawk.

You have a lance that is almost perfectly set-up for running a one-guy-up-front-three-in-the-back tactic, where you can stay out of sight with everyone and just Sensor Lock and send 80 LRMs per turn at whatever enemy you want. That should be plenty in the 2-3 star missions.
 

Spartakus

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You can also consider the tactical options granted by fielding a light mech. In a 2.5 skull contract I would always send a pilot with sensor lock (and ideally ace pilot) in a Firestarter or Jenner. The Firestarter is amazing as a stock mech, but you can mix and match with the support weapons and heat sinks. Jenner swaps armour for the SRMs.
 
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You can also consider the tactical options granted by fielding a light mech. In a 2.5 skull contract I would always send a pilot with sensor lock (and ideally ace pilot) in a Firestarter or Jenner. The Firestarter is amazing as a stock mech, but you can mix and match with the support weapons and heat sinks. Jenner swaps armour for the SRMs.
If you have Sensor Lock why using it in a light mech and not the highest fire power mech you have?. The light will be much better with Sure Foot + Ace Pilot and the heavier mech can spot visually when attacking and Sensor Lock when cooling down in a safe position. You don't need to be fast or evasive if you have SL.
 

Spartakus

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If you have Sensor Lock why using it in a light mech and not the highest fire power mech you have?. The light will be much better with Sure Foot + Ace Pilot and the heavier mech can spot visually when attacking and Sensor Lock when cooling down in a safe position. You don't need to be fast or evasive if you have SL.
Ace Pilot is a great skill for a skirmisher/scout light mech, but Sensor Lock is both easier to achieve and more versatile. The Light mech in a 2.5 skull scenario has two main tasks. The first one is obviously getting in the back armor arc and backstab a target. The second one is to use precision strike to get medium target (or a light one that was hit with precision strike in the previous round or will later get another one from one of your mediums) into the heavy phase so that your medium mechs and the heavy can concentrate their fire on it with impunity. This will cripple or kill whatever target you present.
The first task can very well be done by a fast medium as well, but the second one requires acting first and therefore a light mech.
Sensor Lock is the best skill to acompany both tasks because you will regularly face situations where your light has to retreat into cover or lose some heat. Sensor Lock allows it to make an offensive maneuver at the same time and leaves the actual weapon fire to the bigger guns.
 
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Ace Pilot is a great skill for a skirmisher/scout light mech, but Sensor Lock is both easier to achieve and more versatile. The Light mech in a 2.5 skull scenario has two main tasks. The first one is obviously getting in the back armor arc and backstab a target. The second one is to use precision strike to get medium target (or a light one that was hit with precision strike in the previous round or will later get another one from one of your mediums) into the heavy phase so that your medium mechs and the heavy can concentrate their fire on it with impunity. This will cripple or kill whatever target you present.

The first task can very well be done by a fast medium as well, but the second one requires acting first and therefore a light mech.

Sensor Lock is the best skill to acompany both tasks because you will regularly face situations where your light has to retreat into cover or lose some heat. Sensor Lock allows it to make an offensive maneuver at the same time and leaves the actual weapon fire to the bigger guns.
I couldn't disagree more.

For the first task AP is far superior, as it allows you to alpha two times in a row against heavier mechs, like two PS at the back and move away afterwards. Using 30 resolve just to move one medium into the heavy phase is a huge waste imo.

And for the second task you can just reserve with your meds, PS the target medium with one of yours and next turn attack with your meds before the foe (if he didn't die). This way you accomplish two objectives: dealing a more meaningful PS with a higher damaging mech and you also move him into the next phase for the next turn.

With a good AP medium mech you can easily solo those 2.5-3 skull missions and with a really good medium you can very easily solo five skulls. No need for light spotters at all.
 

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Not arguing against anything. Just missing an easy and obvious hint:

Hug Cover! Always. The only biome without cover is Lunar. On Lunar, try to use big cliffs and rocks. You need Bulwark pilots for that biome specifically. All others, there is cover. Martian? Whirlwinds. Hug them. Cover is your friend.
 

Jade_Rook

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For the first task AP is far superior, as it allows you to alpha two times in a row against heavier mechs, like two PS at the back and move away afterwards. Using 30 resolve just to move one medium into the heavy phase is a huge waste imo.

And for the second task you can just reserve with your meds, PS the target medium with one of yours and next turn attack with your meds before the foe (if he didn't die). This way you accomplish two objectives: dealing a more meaningful PS with a higher damaging mech and you also move him into the next phase for the next turn.
Depends heavily on the situation. Reserving can allow enemies additional shots that they wouldn't have been able to take otherwise. The initiative manipulation effects of the morale abilities are very powerful.

Light mechs, particularly the Jenner and Firestarter, can be quite effective. I didn't recommend them because the OP was having issues with survivability and light mechs are more fragile. Used right they can be near untouchable, but that takes some skill to do consistently.
 
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Spartakus

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I couldn't disagree more.

For the first task AP is far superior, as it allows you to alpha two times in a row against heavier mechs, like two PS at the back and move away afterwards. Using 30 resolve just to move one medium into the heavy phase is a huge waste imo.

And for the second task you can just reserve with your meds, PS the target medium with one of yours and next turn attack with your meds before the foe (if he didn't die). This way you accomplish two objectives: dealing a more meaningful PS with a higher damaging mech and you also move him into the next phase for the next turn.

With a good AP medium mech you can easily solo those 2.5-3 skull missions and with a really good medium you can very easily solo five skulls. No need for light spotters at all.
Eh, let's agree to disagree then. We appear to have vastly different playstyles. I do agree that Ace Pilot is an amazing skill however. It's just really expensive.
 
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Depends heavily on the situation. Reserving can allow enemies additional shots that they wouldn't have been able to take otherwise. The initiative manipulation effects of the morale abilities are very powerful.
If you reserve while in front of the enemy in plain sight then sure. But the idea is that you reserve while in a relatively safe position where they won't be able to reach you or if they do they'll have range penalty and/or you'll have good damage reduction plus evasion. That can be difficult if you don't have JJs, but you can have them, so it's not difficult.

And even if you ignore reserving with the meds you still have the can deliver two PS in a row with the light mech, and you have high evasion plus perhaps Bulwark too. Going for a PS with a light mech to push a medium one init phase back sounds to me like a very desperate move.

Alternatively if you have two meds and delay your light's action one of them will be able to act before the enemy medium without reserving, pushing him too and without need for the light to do that job while dealing a lot more damage. So what's the purpose of the light mech there?

IMO Sensor Lock in a light is waste of evasion because that's one of the main advantages it has (high evasion), being capable of spotting visually. But you're going to use SL then what the light mech has to offer that a heavier mech can't?. If you're going to spot without being evasive what's the point of a light mech if a heavier mech also can use SL at the same range and on top of that has a good chance of one salvo killing the target by himself when spotting visually?

And also it is a waste because the lost opportunity of using AP, which IMO is far far better until you get assaults. You also lose 50% stability reduction when walking or being still and one full chevron, which is much better for lights than for heavier mechs. The more evasion you have the better it becomes.

Light mechs, particularly the Jenner and Firestarter, can be quite effective. I didn't recommend them because the OP was having issues with survivability and light mechs are more fragile. Used right they can be near untouchable, but that takes some skill to do consistently.
If there is something AP provides is survivability and not having to rely so much on evasion alone. And because of that you can play much more aggressively with them, if you want (or just stick with the better survival playing more conservatively).

Eh, let's agree to disagree then. We appear to have vastly different playstyles. I do agree that Ace Pilot is an amazing skill however. It's just really expensive.
I also think Sensor Lock is an excellent skill, and I've used it a lot, really a LOT. Just not in lighter mechs who can take huge benefit from AP (or even CV for lights). The fact the AI can't reserve in vanilla but you can, makes it super easy to deal with meds using other meds (or heavies against other heavies).
 

bsquared97227

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Hey all,

First thanks everyone for the replies and apologies for half starting a debate haha.

Now onto a couple of replies to some of the comments above...

I think that lance should be more than enough for 2-3 skull missions, and it seems to me you still need to get the hang of it. For the moment avoid Convoy missions. Because the time limit you might be making too many mistakes due to the extra pressure.

Stick to missions where you can take all the time you need and get used to the game. Before moving or attacking take a look at what weapons the opfor has and what pilots too. Take a good position and lure some foes into you with a JJ equipped mech, so you can focus damage on the mechs that come.
I have always been seeing the mechs I'm up against but rarely paid attention to the pilots. Will definitely start looking at their pilots now too.

I did one destroy convoy mission and maybe got a bitttt too overconfident with that one. I'm likely going to avoid these as you suggested.

The reason I got the archer in the first place was to massively increase my missile barraging abilities. It has helped but it also meant I ditched my light mech in favour of having a 2nd LRM boat (i.e. the trebuchet, which is where Dekker is -- yes he is still alive lol).

I've noticed there is a difficulty spike around the 2 to 3 skull level. Suddenly you'll be facing fully armored lances, enemy reinforcements are more common, and you haven't had a lot of opportunities to upgrade your forces with salvage (the Archer is a good addition).

I would switch the Blackjack for a Shadow Hawk. The Hawk is faster, has better melee, and can carry about the same loadout. Try AC/5 and SRMs for close range since it is replacing AC/5 and medium lasers on the Blackjack.

Be cautious using the Vindicator as a close range brawler. It is a bit slow for its size. Make sure you are frequently using jump jets on it to maintain evasion.
I would definitely replace this with a Shadow Hawk which is a far better 'Mech. Load the Shawk up as a brawler (e.g. 2xSRM-6, 1xSRM-4, max armour) and stick a Sensor Lock MechWarrior in there. Early fight, it will Sensor Lock for your LRM 'Mechs, then join in and melee/SRM the already weakened enemy to death.

The Treb is a mini-Archer and can be played the same way, just ignore those medium lasers. Use it to fire at whatever the Archer is firing at, and 40 + 30 LRMs should make that target a very easy kill for the Vindicator and Shadow Hawk.

You have a lance that is almost perfectly set-up for running a one-guy-up-front-three-in-the-back tactic, where you can stay out of sight with everyone and just Sensor Lock and send 80 LRMs per turn at whatever enemy you want. That should be plenty in the 2-3 star missions.

Am doing all of these things (jumping for evasion pips, using terrain to my advantage, switching away from BJ). I think it's the idea that I got used to half-armoured mechs and didn't evolve my strategy to fuly armoured mechs. This is where the multiple LRM boats should probably work I guess...

And yes the Vindicator is being replaced by something beefier. When I get the stalker then that's what it will be used for as I believe it's armour is up to the task for being a brawler, nevermind it's missile and laser hardpoints lol.

Trebuchet -- maybe I'll remove those 2 lasers I have and add a 3rd LRM plus more ammo for that. That's a good idea (I barely use the lasers I got on it anyways).

(if anyone has a suggestion for what's a better brawler I'm all ears again)



Thanks all for your suggestions. Yesterday completed Liberation of Panzyr which was not hard at all lol (I swapped the BJ for shadowhawk and the vindicator for a centurion). I think I'm over-prepared for story missions but less so for the contracts.

Will report back as things change...
 
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SErick

Private
Jan 2, 2020
12
14
Interesting takes here on what to do with AP and sensor lock.... can't say I fully agree with what's here. I use sensor lock mainly to avoid return fire. I will keep my mechs out of sight and lock on, usually reserving to the last phase, to rain LRM's down on the opposition. Having high speed to get a good position is more important than having high initiative. This can be especially useful in convoy ambush missions where your LRM boats won't have to chase to get LOS and attack from range.

My suggestion to you for a stalker is to use it as an LRM boat. It has the hardpoints and tonnage to mount 4x LRM15, which can rapidly rip through just about anything. This plus the archer will take just about any vehicle in a single turn unless you are unlucky with spread. You'll get good knockdowns against mechs. You should be able to find a thunderbolt, marauder, or black knight to use as your brawlers pretty easily. Until then the Shadowhawk is a good choice, just keep it moving to keep it from getting pounded too hard.

I have had a lot of success using 2 indirect fire mechs and 2 direct fire mechs. You have enough LRM power with this to do serious damage, and you can keep the direct fire mechs moving around and using PS to target weak spots. getting knockdowns from the LRMS then picking off left and right torsos can lead to pilot kills and good salvage!
 
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bsquared97227

Recruit
May 17, 2020
8
5
Hey again. Thanks all for your continued replies. What @SErick said was right on point in his most recent post (as were a lot of you as quoted above..)

So here's my new crew after some experimenting and a lot of refitting (lol):

Missile boats (all M lasers and LRMs only):
Archer (never goes forward, low armour)
Treubuchet (sometimes goes forward)
Centurion (usually "mid field")
[no plans to add another one just now unless it's a decent assault mech]

Harassers: (I don't know what these are normally called)
Phoenix hawk (M lasers + flamers)
[need a 2nd one but have a flea potentially as a backup, to be tested]

Brawlers:
Shadow hawk (MG, M lasers, SRMs)
Vindicator (similar weapons as above)
[to be added: stalker for sure, possibly hunchback]

** General Strategy: **
- keep 2 missile boats + 1 brawler + 1 harasser on every mission, reserve (if not in danger) so that archer gets to fire first , LRM away then finish them off with harasser + brawler
- I prefer the archer and centurion over the trebuchet due their ability to take more of a beating (I lost arms on trebuchet on 2 of the 3 missions I took it on)
- currently 2/3 parts on stalker, will be put to brawler role (lots of SRM slots ;))
- eventually pilots put into the archer will get the master tactician role so they always have no less than initiative level 2 (currently that archer moves last and taht messes things up sometimes, but it's usually not in direct fire of anything)


I'm finding that this works very well. I'm really hoping to get some lostech like gauss rifles or coils but haven't run into those yet (I ran into coils a few times but I keep destroying them)

Also got a lot of light mechs in storage that I sell if I really need cash, but so far am doing OK (I got down to about 1 million before the Panzyr mission but very little repairs between missions these days)

Final questions:
- worth it to put L lasers on missile boats? Or stick with M lasers?
- any tips on how to outfit the 3 "classes" above?

Thank you guys for your answers and hopefully I can get through the game without dying too much (hey decker is still alive :) )
 
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stjobe

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Jan 3, 2018
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- worth it to put L lasers on missile boats? Or stick with M lasers?
In general, no. No matter if it's a LRM boat or a SRM brawler, you want as much weight as possible to go towards launchers and ammo. And when you start stacking launchers, you won't have the heat capacity to run LLs anyway. For dedicated LRM boats, you could even dispense with some of the MLs as well in favour of more LRM tubes (they should never have to fire those MLs anyway, if you don't mess up your tactics).
- any tips on how to outfit the 3 "classes" above?
LRM boats: As many LRM tubes as you can fit; everything else is secondary (except LRM ammo). Skimp on armour if you need to, but make sure you have as many tubes you can, and ammo to last a good 15 turns at least.
Brawlers: As high a short-range alpha strike as you can get without sacrificing armour. Jump jets if you can fit them without reducing armour or alpha strike. Make sure to fit a reinforced cockpit, because these guys WILL get hit.
Skirmishers: Jump jets and mid- to short-range weapons; your LL would fit fine here instead of on the LRM boat. Should probably have a pilot with Evasive Movement to maximise evasion, and Sensor Lock (unless you prefer to have that on a brawler). Should have a decent alpha strike but doesn't need to max armour like the brawler.

From your line-up, I'd outfit your 'Mechs like this:
Archer: LRM boat. Trade two MLs for two more heat sinks.
Trebuchet: LRM boat. Trade one ML for one more ton of LRM ammo.
Centurion: Skirmisher. Stock is fine, AC/10 packs a punch, and LRM-10 gives some extra weight to your LRM boats.
Phoenix Hawk: Skirmisher. Again, stock is fine. Remember you can toggle on and off weapons, because this one's going to run hot. Also remember to always jump before firing, for 20% more damage.
Flea: Just sell it. It is too lightly armoured to do anything worthwhile.
Shadow Hawk: As I posted previously, this makes an absolutely tremendous SRM-16 brawler. Any +melee damage mods you find goes here first, as does any +damage SRM launchers.
Vindicator: I like this one with PPC and LRM-10, to be used as a sniper.

From that line-up and outfitted like that, I'd take on just about anything with a lance of Archer, Trebuchet, Centurion, and Shadow Hawk. The Shawk would scout ahead and sensor lock any contacts, which the rest of the lance would fire 80 LRMs per turn on. Once visual range combat is engaged, the Centurion steps up to mid-range to engage with the AC/10, while the Shawk jumps around firing at any exposed backsides and meleeing to cool down. The Archer and Treb keep up the barrage with 70 LRMs per turn on the same target the others are engaging, or any other high-priority targets that present themselves (Demolishers, SRM/LRM Carriers, AC/20 'Mechs, heavies, assaults etc).
 

bsquared97227

Recruit
May 17, 2020
8
5
Hey @stjobe . Thanks for your response. Some comments to some snippets to what you said
(and also thanks for answering my questions at the end of my last post)

First off: the switch to shadow hawk for brawler was due to your suggestion. Now to address the other stuff:

LRM boats: As many LRM tubes as you can fit; everything else is secondary (except LRM ammo). Skimp on armour if you need to, but make sure you have as many tubes you can, and ammo to last a good 15 turns at least.
Brawlers: As high a short-range alpha strike as you can get without sacrificing armour. Jump jets if you can fit them without reducing armour or alpha strike. Make sure to fit a reinforced cockpit, because these guys WILL get hit.
Skirmishers: Jump jets and mid- to short-range weapons; your LL would fit fine here instead of on the LRM boat. Should probably have a pilot with Evasive Movement to maximise evasion, and Sensor Lock (unless you prefer to have that on a brawler). Should have a decent alpha strike but doesn't need to max armour like the brawler.
Thanks for clearing up the skirmisher thing. The name left my head when I posted above haha. And yeah I always put in a pilot with high evasion. But that same reason was why I was thinking the Flea (guess that won't happen now).

Large laser: I don't like them b/c of their heat build up relative to M laser, but I'll try it on the skirmisher for size and see how that goes

My LRMs can fire about 15-16 rounds before running out of ammo. I have only ran out of ammo in 2 missions with my archer (it's got 2 x LRM 20's and 600 missiles). One was where I faced waves and waves of mechs (like 14 of them), and the other was a campaign mission.


From your line-up, I'd outfit your 'Mechs like this:
Archer: LRM boat. Trade two MLs for two more heat sinks.
Trebuchet: LRM boat. Trade one ML for one more ton of LRM ammo.
Flea: Just sell it. It is too lightly armoured to do anything worthwhile.
---
Shadow Hawk: As I posted previously, this makes an absolutely tremendous SRM-16 brawler. Any +melee damage mods you find goes here first, as does any +damage SRM launchers.
Vindicator: I like this one with PPC and LRM-10, to be used as a sniper.
Archer: I'll make the change to swap the 2 ML's for more heat sinks. As I jump around with it a lot and fire pretty much every turn this will be a life saver. It never takes direct fire unless the map is really flat and i get a bad starting position (it's almost always hiding behind a mountain ;) )
Trebuchet: will make that swap,
Flea: fair point, I thought evasion would be a good idea but I kill them pretty fast these days.
Shadow Hawk: I moved this up to brawler as per your suggestion actually. It's great in this role. Added 2 melee damage boosters on it recently
Vindicator: Hmm, I had it as a brawler but it kept taking damage. Maybe I'll keep it as a backup over the trebuchet who keeps losing arms ;)


Thanks again, next campaign mission soon ;)