Greetings. Posting answers to forum questions. 1. Yes, light and medium mechs are necessary. Some missions have a 55 ton max. Also, the most versatile mech I know is a Fire Starter...6.9.6, 2 D sinks, 6 +10 damage small lasers and a tactician. This is your scout and spotter for 3 of anything with a big LRM and a gunner. It also jumps behind and kills even heavies with 180 aimed-shot damage. This is also the place to use those zero tonnage arm and leg mods. 2. Yes, using a Cyclops in the early game is useful, if you get one. It looses value when you get 2 or more tacticians (scouts) up to level 7 and your common lance-minus-scout moves last anyway. 3. Yes, faction relations DO matter. It greatly affects prices, even to the extent of refusing access to stores if too low......especially important for the black market (pirate faction). It means that the low relations faction will not give you some missions, or any at all if too low. 4. Yes, train up those pilots. Tactical skills for your scouts and gunnery for the rest. Guts is the general secondary for damage reduction. Piloting primary, with tactics secondary (spotting) can be useful for scouts.