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Ksyr

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Consider these made up numbers:
  • You fit an AC and kill an enemy mech in 10 turns. The enemy has been shooting back for 10 turns.
  • You fit an UAC and kill the enemy in 5 turns. The enemy has been shooting back for 5 turns.
It is more complicated than this, but how much the enemy gets to shoot back is an (the most?) important part of the equation. Can you fit an AC+laser instead of the UAC and what does it do for your heat?

I don't have a definite answer, but UACs are good and if I go with one I always make sure I have a pilot that can handle the recoil.
 

Jade_Rook

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UACs will almost always be preferable over regular ACs. We could probably find some situation where an AC is better, but those are likely rare. Besides the quicker time to kill that has already been mentioned, I can think of two more benefits to the UAC. It lets you concentrate your damage more on rounds when you want to go on the offensive. Sometimes you want to stay defensive, taking time to reposition or focusing on defense. Other times you want to go for the kill. Being able to unload your ammo faster in those situations is better. UACs also combo better with the Breaching Shot ability.
 

Lukas316

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Thanks. I have a pilot in a Marauder where I swapped out one of the PPCs for an AC5, as I found the stock version tending to overheat. He also has gunnery 10 and breaching shot. So I guess I'll remove the AC5 for a UAC5 then.
How do I ameliorate the effects of recoil? As I understand it, if I fire the autocannon two turns in a row, the 2nd turn suffers a penalty to aim. However if I fire, wait a turn, then fire again there is no recoil penalty. The Guts statistic also offers some buffs against recoil.
Have I understood the gameplay mechanics correctly?
 

Curtis Cook

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I've recently been making much use of an Ultra20, and it's definitely a mixed blessing. (Note that the version I'm using does 120 damage per round and saves a little on tonnage.)

On the plus side, it's 240 points of damage, and with the right pilot (as mentioned by Jade Rook above) can ignored cover reductions.

On the minus, even with not firing every turn it requires 4 tons of ammo and heat is through the roof. I almost always allocate the 'called shot' to this pilot, who has Called Shot Mastery (Tactics 9), but it's still a pleasant surprise when both shots hit, much less hit the same location.

I tried this on a Hunchback and gave up on it. I'm using it now in a Victor (80 ton/jump-4), and with maximum armor (necessary, as it's a damage magnet) the only other weapon it can carry is a small laser… and I'm still having heat problems. In a way that's good, as it forces me to take a turn off from firing to bleed heat, and that resets the shock malus. It's still going to be very tough ammo-wise if I end up in a prolonged firefight. I'm soon going to try it in an Atlas II. All things considered, though, I think I really prefer the Gauss.

On the other hand, I replaced the AC5 in a Shadow Hawk with an Ultra, and made a Wolverine with 2 Ultra2s (and nothing else), and those both work wonderfully. I'm toying with the idea of an Annihilator with 4 Ultra10s, but don't know whether I'll ever get the chance to try it out.

Note that pilots with Guts 5 reduce shock penalty by 1 per shot (eliminating it entirely for Ultra2) and Guts 8 reduces it by 2 (eliminating it for Ultra5)., which is just an elaboration of something Lukas316 already mentioned.
 
Last edited:

MarkDey

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...the shock is so bad that your second shot in the same round has a worse chance to hit than the number listed...
This is news to me. Can anyone else verify that the second shot in the first turn of UAC firing is affected by recoil?
 

MarkDey

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I'm toying with the idea of an Annihilator with 4 Ultra10s, but don't know whether I'll ever get the chance to try it out.
I've done it, but needed the ++ models to make it worthwhile, and filled the rest of the space with Double Heat Sinks and ammo. I called it Crazy Eights because it could shoot 8 AC/10 rounds for 8 turns, and it worked well to annihilate any opposition. One thing I wanted to try was 5x UAC5++ but I haven't assembled enough lostech to try it yet. :)
 
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Curtis Cook

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This is news to me. Can anyone else verify that the second shot in the first turn of UAC firing is affected by recoil?
Try building a mech with an Ultra 20, then while you fire it watch the box in the lower right corner that lists the chances to hit. It might help to go into Settings and make the changes to slow down combat resolution. I'm telling you what I'm seeing, but it does go very fast, so maybe I'm mistaken (it wouldn't be the first time).
 

MarkDey

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Try building a mech with an Ultra 20, then while you fire it watch the box in the lower right corner that lists the chances to hit. It might help to go into Settings and make the changes to slow down combat resolution. I'm telling you what I'm seeing, but it does go very fast, so maybe I'm mistaken (it wouldn't be the first time).
I guess one way to test it would be to temporarily modify the recoil of a UAC2 to be something huge like -50, mount five of them on an ANH-1A, set up a firing position with a 95% hit chance against a well armored target, and then open fire.

I always expected recoil to only matter after the first turn, so the first salvo of two shots from a UAC would have the same to-hit percentage. Then again, regular autocannons only ever fired one shot per turn, so now I'm curious. I might have time to test this over the weekend (unless someone else gets to it first.)
 

MarkDey

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That was fast! Makes a UAC20 not so bad for at least the initial shooting, and hopefully that's enough firepower where there isn't a target left for the following round.
 

Napoleon1971

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I tried this on a Hunchback and gave up on it.
You shouldn't have. Its brilliant in fights against medium and light mechs if you manage to stumble on one early on. You just have to do weird stuff to make the AI get suckered into the "Hunchback ambush" at times. But, man, its like "BAM, auto-kill" if you set it up right. Its nice to one-shot CT on a fresh enemy mech.

I had max armor, the UAC-20 and 3 tons of ammo on my set-up. So, you basically did "hide-hide-hide-oneshot_something-melee-try to oneshot again....and so on. The AI will try to avoid the hunch if it can see it. But, I mean, there is almost always cover. Just pretend your one of those annoying AI-run LRM carrier vehicles that is in a trench or whatever.
 

Curtis Cook

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You shouldn't have. Its brilliant in fights against medium and light mechs if you manage to stumble on one early on. You just have to do weird stuff to make the AI get suckered into the "Hunchback ambush" at times. But, man, its like "BAM, auto-kill" if you set it up right. Its nice to one-shot CT on a fresh enemy mech.

I had max armor, the UAC-20 and 3 tons of ammo on my set-up. So, you basically did "hide-hide-hide-oneshot_something-melee-try to oneshot again....and so on.
I see that this fit your style of fighting better than it did mine. I wasn't able to set this up until after I was regularly facing 65-80 tonners, but aside from that, my style is much more aggressive. The closest I ever come to your 'hide-hide-hide' is when I hit and rotate away, so I'm effectively backing away about a half-move every turn, in order to keep half of the OPFOR from coming to close range.

There was a poster here a couple of years ago who had a system that involved each mission running 40-50 rounds, and you might be at least academically interested in that, but the very idea made my eyes glaze over. I'm better at the 'you must accomplish your goal within (X) rounds' missions.

Thank you for posting, though; I'm glad to see somebody made it work.
 
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Napoleon1971

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I see that this fit your style of fighting better than it did mine. I wasn't able to set this up until after I was regularly facing 65-80 tonners, but aside from that, my style is much more aggressive. The closest I ever come to your 'hide-hide-hide' is when I hit and rotate away, so I'm effectively backing away about a half-move every turn, in order to keep half of the OPFOR from coming to close range.

There was a poster here a couple of years ago who had a system that involved each mission running 40-50 rounds, and you might be at least academically interested in that, but the very idea made my eyes glaze over. I'm better at the 'you must accomplish your goal within (X) rounds' missions.

Thank you for posting, though; I'm glad to see somebody made it work.
My trick wasn't so much "hide-hide-hide" as it was "bait, lure, smash". I was trying to use some of the basic concepts that Napoleon did in the 1st Italian campaign through mechs. Keep enemy lances divided and smash them separately. The Hunchback with the UAC-20 was ridiculously good for speeding the destruction of enemy lances fast enough that the "main force" didn't get there before the reinforcements were already dead.

I mean, rarely could you shoot the hunchback two rounds in a row. But, man, it was a beauty. I even kept it for a bit once fighting 65+ tonners. I just saved it for "Called head shots" on fresh mechs then. I mean, you have two shots at around 18% to one-shot a mech, right? Even if you blow the called shot, you probably hit it somewhere to be picked apart.

I did eventually move the UAC20 to a King Crab with a Gauss+ on the other arm. That was terrifying to behold.