Author Topic: Favorite AtB Lances  (Read 1071 times)

doulos05

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Favorite AtB Lances
« on: 21 March 2017, 06:54:48 »
Hey guys, I just started properly playing AtB, and OMG IS IT AWESOME WITH MekHQ! My unit is currently in 3035, and I'm wondering what you guys prefer to use for your lances in that era. It's a lot of fun to try to get lance builds under the weights required. One struggle I'm having is my love for the Phoenix Hawk (any model). I typically make that my lance leader for a light scout lance. But, that leaves you just 85 tons for the rest of the lance. Since I prefer 4 mechs to a lance, that means just 25 tons a piece for the other mechs. Here are some thoughts I've had about scout lances, but I'd welcome any other lance types as well.

Scout Lance 1:
Phoenix Hawk, Jenner, Bug, Bug (Any time I've got Bug, my first choice is the Stinger with 2 Med. Lasers, but any of them will do).

Scout Lance 2:
Phoenix Hawk, Firestarter, Bug, Bug

Scout Lance 3:
Phoenix Hawk, Valkyrie, Valkyrie, Bug. This one is good for standoff battles, but those aren't always easy to get in AtB battles, the maps are fairly close on those.

Another challenge I've found to build are Medium lances. I always like my medium lances to have at least 1 relatively fast heavy in them. That eats into your tonnage budget considerably.
I mean, it's not like once you having something in low Earth orbit you can stick a gassy astronaut on the outside after Chili Night and fart it anywhere in the solar system.

Kovax

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Re: Favorite AtB Lances
« Reply #1 on: 21 March 2017, 12:25:39 »
If you check the option to count vehicles at half weight, you can go 45t PXH, 35t light, 20t bug, and have up to 40t of vee-hickles.  My one campaign started with a PXH-1, FS-9A, LCT-1V, and Saracen hovertank.

Stormforge

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Re: Favorite AtB Lances
« Reply #2 on: 21 March 2017, 23:14:54 »
Just me, but all my scouts need jump jets, unless playing on a flat, barren world.

Assassin ASN-21
Clint CLNT-1-2R/2-3T
Phoenix Hawk PXH-1/1D
Vulcan VL-2T/5T
Firestarter FS9-A/H/K/M
Javelin JVN-10F/10N
Jenner JR7-A/D/F
Ostscout OTT-7J
Spider SDR-5D/5K/5V
Stinger STG-3G/3R
Wasp WSP-1A/1D/1K/1L/1W

Of the above my goto is
Phoenix Hawk PXH-1/1D
Vulcan VL-5T
Jenner JR7-F
Spider SDR-5D/5V

Actually a medium lance, but usually do not have too many troubles in scout battles. Usually the first lance I fill with veterans. No cluster weapons for vehicles, but between the weapons mix and physical attacks they usually die fast.

I like the Assassin, but it needs to make up it's mind on missiles. Either 2 SRM-4s or 2 LRM-5s. Being it is a scout mech, first thing I usually do is rip out that SRM-2 and ammo then add another LRM-5
« Last Edit: 21 March 2017, 23:31:20 by Stormforge »
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Shin Ji

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Re: Favorite AtB Lances
« Reply #3 on: 23 March 2017, 06:27:00 »
I find it's really tough to beat 2 Phoenix Hawks paired with two 55 tonners.  The perfect 200 ton package.  Fast enough to stay ahead of any serious trouble, but tough enough that losing init once doesn't lead to you losing a mech every time.

Skyth

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Re: Favorite AtB Lances
« Reply #4 on: 23 March 2017, 07:52:56 »
Battlemaster
MAD-3M Marauder
ARC-2S Archer
Hunchback.

280 tons and at the edge of a heavy lance.

Southernskies

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Re: Favorite AtB Lances
« Reply #5 on: 23 March 2017, 08:06:37 »
Scout Lance: 4 Atlas...   O:-)

Sharpnel

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Re: Favorite AtB Lances
« Reply #6 on: 23 March 2017, 08:14:12 »
Scout Lance: 4 Atlas...   O:-)
A real scout lance: 4 MSK-9H Mackie ;)
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Skyth

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Re: Favorite AtB Lances
« Reply #7 on: 23 March 2017, 09:15:09 »
Scout Lance: 4 Atlas...   O:-)

Unless something changed, not legal for ATB ;)

Shin Ji

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Re: Favorite AtB Lances
« Reply #8 on: 23 March 2017, 13:09:10 »
I came up with a system that allowed for lances bigger than 390 tons.  I called them Omega lances.  Had a fun set of tables for them too.  Saves the extra roll to determine if you end up facing Vee, Mixed, or Mech lances.  Also, it allows for you to occasionally end up completely outmatched.

Player Lance is Light         
Roll   Bot Lances      
2   1 Med Mech      
3   2 Light Mixed                
4   1 Light Mech, 1 Light Vee      
5   1 Light mech, 1 Light mixed      
6   1 Light Mech, 1 Med Vee      
7   2 Light mech      
8   1 Med Mixed, 1 Light Vee      
9   1 Med Mixed, 1 Light mixed      
10   3 Light Vees      
11   1 Heavy Mech      
12   Roll on Medium Table      
         
Player Lance is Medium         
Roll   Bot Lances      
2   2 Light mech        
3   1 Med Mixed, 1 Light Vee       
4   1 Med Mixed, 1 Light mixed      
5   1 Heavy Mech         
6   1 Med Mech, 1 Light Vee        
7   1 Assault Mech       
8   3 Light Mixed        
9   2 Med Mixed       
10   1 Heavy Mixed, 1 Light Mixed       
11   1 Med mech, 1 Light mech       
12   Roll on Heavy Table      
         
Player Lance is Heavy         
Roll   Bot Lances      
2   2 Light mechs, 1 Light Vee      
3   4 Light Vee        
4   3 Light Mechs       
5   1 Med Mech, 2 Light Vee       
6   2 Med mech       
7   1 Heavy Mixed, 1 Med Mech       
8   1 Assault Mech, 1 Med Vee      
9   2 Heavy Mixed      
10   1 Assault Mech, 1 Heavy Vee       
11   1 Hvy mech, 1 Assault Vee      
12   Roll on the Assault Table      
         
Player Lance is Assault         
Roll   Bot Lances      
2   2 Medium mechs, 1 Light Vee       
3   1 Assault Mech, 1 Assault Vee       
4   1 Medium Mixed, 3 Med Vee      
5   1 Heavy Mixed, 2 Hvy Vee       
6   1 Medium Mech, 2 Medium Mixed      
7   2 Medium Mech, 1 Light mech       
8   2 Heavy Mech       
9   2 Heavy Vee, 2 Med Vee      
10   1 Assault Mech, 1 Heavy mech       
11   1 Hvy Mech, 2 Med Mixed      
12   Roll on the Omega Table      
         
Player Lance is Omega         
Roll   Bot Lances      
2   2 Assault Mechs       
3   4 Hvy Vee      
4   1 Ass Mech, 3 Med Vee      
5   1 Heavy Mech, 2 medium Mech        
6   2 Assault Mechs, 1 Light mech        
7   2 Heavy mechs, 1 Med Mech      
8   2 Assault mechs, 1 Medium Mech       
9   3 Heavy Mechs       
10   1 Assault Mech, 2 Heavy Mech      
11   2 Assault mechs, 1 Heavy mech      
12   3 Assault Mechs       

BlueThing

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Re: Favorite AtB Lances
« Reply #9 on: 23 March 2017, 16:16:29 »
I really like what I think of as a skirmisher lance. Every mech is 5/8/5 or faster. Total weight fits in medium.

My current Skirmish lance is:
WVR-6M Wolverine
ASN-21 Assassin
GRF-1N Griffin
PXH-1D Phoenix Hawk

I've also been known to roll with 3 55 ton 5/8/5 and a Jenner or a Firestarter.

I really like the combo of speed and lethality. Also, the lance can play a swing roll, comfortable as either Fight or Scout. Anything it cannot stand up to it can evade long enough for reinforcements to swing the odds.

Snimm

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Re: Favorite AtB Lances
« Reply #10 on: 04 April 2017, 07:33:09 »
I will usually start out with only 3 Mechs in three lances, or maybe I'll have a single 4-Mech lance.  The remaining 2 or 3 Mechs I use as substitutes in the event a Mech takes a hip crit or damage to an unstocked component that sidelines it for a while.

For example, in my current rendition of The Enigma Group, I started out with
GRF/WVR-R/SDR,
CRB/CP-Z/CN9-A, and
VL-2T/LCT-1V/JVN-N/FS9-H
with a very green GRF-N and CN9-A as reserves.  I was blessed with a 3/3 LCT pilot to whip them into shape.

I've since acquired a couple Jenners (JENNERS!!!!!) and the LCTs have been replaced (I LOVE the LCT-1V with rapid fire MGs, but when playing with quirks and all my MM options, their no torso twist and minimal arms quirks can really reduce their usefulness).  My Command lance now has JR7/JR7/WVR/GRF.
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doulos05

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Re: Favorite AtB Lances
« Reply #11 on: 04 April 2017, 07:54:03 »
I will usually start out with only 3 Mechs in three lances, or maybe I'll have a single 4-Mech lance.  The remaining 2 or 3 Mechs I use as substitutes in the event a Mech takes a hip crit or damage to an unstocked component that sidelines it for a while.

For example, in my current rendition of The Enigma Group, I started out with
GRF/WVR-R/SDR,
CRB/CP-Z/CN9-A, and
VL-2T/LCT-1V/JVN-N/FS9-H
with a very green GRF-N and CN9-A as reserves.  I was blessed with a 3/3 LCT pilot to whip them into shape.

I've since acquired a couple Jenners (JENNERS!!!!!) and the LCTs have been replaced (I LOVE the LCT-1V with rapid fire MGs, but when playing with quirks and all my MM options, their no torso twist and minimal arms quirks can really reduce their usefulness).  My Command lance now has JR7/JR7/WVR/GRF.

That's an interesting idea, running lances of 3. I worry that my guys will be outnumbered and overwhelmed. There's also the risk of "loss by RNG". If I've only got 3 guys on a Hide and Seek Mission, for instance, and one of them gets head-capped (like just happened to my Jenner in the last game to a wild Rommel), I've lost. Even if I destroy the whole enemy force, I still lost because I lost 1/3rd of my guys. With 4 guys, I have a cushion.
I mean, it's not like once you having something in low Earth orbit you can stick a gassy astronaut on the outside after Chili Night and fart it anywhere in the solar system.

Snimm

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Re: Favorite AtB Lances
« Reply #12 on: 05 April 2017, 00:47:53 »
Yeah, you can be living on a razors edge if you start this way, but usually by the end of the first contract I've at least gotten out of debt and maybe acquired a unit or two.
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Snimm

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Re: Favorite AtB Lances
« Reply #13 on: 11 April 2017, 15:44:08 »
My new favorite AtB lance:  A Cyclops-Z paired with a heavily modified Blackjack which removes the ACs for 4 SRM 6 packs.  With only one ton of ammo between them.
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Schugger

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Re: Favorite AtB Lances
« Reply #14 on: 22 June 2017, 09:37:00 »
I use mostly medium weight lances (up to 200 tons) following the AtB rules and 'mechs with jump jets only.
Two Phoenix Hawks for 45 tons and two 55 tonners (Shadow Hawk, Wolverine or Griffin) pack a nice deal between mobility, standing power and damage dealing. Thats my basic setup.
Occasionally I sneak in a heavy or even assault 'mech with jump jets. In my ongoing 2950 I have a lance including a Victor, a Griffin a Spider and a Firestarter. You really have to be careful with your light 'mechs as they are quite fragile. I also use very few ASF but they are kind of overpowered (at least in my opinion) when you know how to use them effecitively agains the bot if anything wents fine. Otoh ASF can really let you down if you botch a low maneuver roll and that thing flies of the map only to return when the battle is almost over.
When using the vehicle rules in AtB (counting them only for half their ton value when calculating lance weight), vees become an option. VTOLs can be very effective. Just dont expose them to the enemy if they are the only target or somehow become a target which is the easiest to hit - they are really brittle little buggers.
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devorao

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Re: Favorite AtB Lances
« Reply #15 on: 22 June 2017, 18:05:51 »
I tend to play 3025, using heavy and medium lances mostly equipped with jump jets, and for the most part energy-biased. The lances below are usually made with whatever I can scavenge or buy and then modify to my taste; these are my most trusted models.

Heavy with jump jets: GHR-5H or 5N, CPLT-C1, TDR-5SE, MLN-1A, QKD-4H or 5A, GLT-4L if available.
Heavy fight lance: MAD-3D, WHM-6D, GHR-5H or 5N, CRD-3D, FLS-7K if available.
Medium with jump jets: WVR-6M, TBT-5J, PXH-1D, DV-6M, ENF-4R (slow, but hits hard).
Light lance: 2 JR7-F and 2 JVN-10F can melt their way out of any engagement if they are well piloted. FS9-A or M works well too, as does a VL-5T.
The odd assault lance: AWS-8Q, BLR-1G or 1D, STK-3F, AS-7D, less frequently VTR-9B, HGN-733P if available, and once I managed to get a MAD-4A which is a beast.

Adding one or two Manticore tanks to any heavy or medium fight lance will make you happy, providing terrain is good for tank warfare, but strains leadership in the long run. I tried to run an all-vehicle campaign and ended up being a nightmare of randomly wounded personnel, contract completion making me cry, and sometimes unwinnable scenarios.

CDAT

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Re: Favorite AtB Lances
« Reply #16 on: 23 June 2017, 23:56:01 »
What are the weight limits you are using? It sounds like this is something that has changed (and I have not payed any attention to this so no idea when). The weight limits that I am used to is light lance less than 140 tons, medium lance 140 tons up to but not including 240 tons, heavy 240 tons up to but not including 320 tons, and assault 320 tons or greater. (Once super heavies become a real thing I would guess that they would be anything over 400 tons).

Snimm

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Re: Favorite AtB Lances
« Reply #17 on: 24 June 2017, 00:06:07 »
The divisions should be 130 for light, up to 130-200 for medium, 200-280 for heavy, and 290-390 for assault weight.  If you don't have the rules 2.31 Excel file, you'll want to get it.  It at least gives you all the basic rules, which may or may not be exactly how people play.

The organization isn't perfect, but it's been revised a few times.  Whatever you don't understand, ask.  That's what the AtB thread is for! :)
« Last Edit: 24 June 2017, 17:09:34 by Snimm »
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CDAT

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Re: Favorite AtB Lances
« Reply #18 on: 24 June 2017, 02:51:05 »
The divisions should be 120 for light, up to 120-200 for medium, 200-280 for heavy, and 290-390 for assault weight.  If you don't have the rules 2.31 Excel file, you'll want to get it.  It at least gives you all the basic rules, which may or may not be exactly how people play.

The organization isn't perfect, but it's been revised a few times.  Whatever you don't understand, ask.  That's what the AtB thread is for! :)

Thank you, I think I have the file, just never looked at it as I have been using the numbers I gave for going on 30+ years of table top. I just never stopped to see if they had changed what weight it was for the lance classes.

Snimm

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Re: Favorite AtB Lances
« Reply #19 on: 24 June 2017, 17:04:20 »
oops, I'm sorry, it's 130 max for light lances.
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NickAragua

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Re: Favorite AtB Lances
« Reply #20 on: 14 July 2017, 10:48:54 »
Since I don't custom-build my lances (I just take whatever mechs the RNG gives me at the start and whatever I can get via salvage/unit market), it's a hodge podge usually. I tend to build medium lances. Light lances are a little... uh... light, while heavy lances run the risk of running into enemy assault lances. However, some of my favorite lances to come out of that have been:

Awesome, Quickdraw, Whitworth, Stinger.
The Awesome serves as the lynchpin and attracts attention and fire, in addition to pumping out PPC shots. Meanwhile, everyone else is jump capable so can move around in night time conditions. The Quickdraw and Whitworth provide a good mix of long and short range firepower. Meanwhile, the Stinger is super annoying and occasionally gets back shots or vehicle disables.

Thunderbolt-5SE, Blackjack, Griffin-1S, Assassin:
Every mech is jump capable. I also happen to prefer the 1S model of Griffin, as it doesn't have the minimum range and overheating issues of the 1N.

Snimm

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Re: Favorite AtB Lances
« Reply #21 on: 15 July 2017, 07:04:59 »
I find that sometimes you find very interesting lance combinations when you play with whatever the RNG gives you.
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Kovax

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Re: Favorite AtB Lances
« Reply #22 on: 17 July 2017, 10:51:51 »
I find that sometimes you find very interesting lance combinations when you play with whatever the RNG gives you.
Interesting, except that it rarely ends up being conveniently just within one of the AtB weight brackets.  Inevitably, I've got 140t, 210 tons, or something like that, so I'm typically facing something that's intended for a unit 50% heavier than what I'm actually fielding.

Normally, I'll specify a starting budget (usually 10M or 20M C-Bills), and purchase the unit's equipment as it becomes available on the market.  That means, I've got some choices, but it's limited to a set of monthly lists provided by the RNG.  I also limit hiring to less than the skill level of my HR team (either Regular or Veteran, meaning that I can only hire up to Green or Regular recruits).  If running a House force, I ONLY recruit Green or Ultra-Green personnel, and train them up from there; I'm the "regular army" that all those "veterans" left from, before your Mercenaries hired them.  By the time I've purchased enough equipment and hired enough personnel to take a contract, I'm generally pretty close to the first annual retirement roll....and I haven't even gotten to the first contract location.

I've taken a liking to running Combined Arms lances, where I field a light 'Mech as a skirmish element in a lance of Armor, or a heavy vehicle to provide fire support for a lance of 'Mechs.  The vehicles bring a LOT of firepower for their weight, but tend to be "glass cannons", while the 'Mechs are better able to soak damage and maneuver (and do physical attacks), but don't deliver as hard a hit in a single phase.  As long as the 'Mechs can keep the opponent's attention from focusing on the tank(s), the armor keeps pouring heavy fire downrange, and whole effect can be greater than the sum of its parts.

Snimm

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Re: Favorite AtB Lances
« Reply #23 on: 17 July 2017, 13:52:45 »
Yes, at the start of a campaign in which I've randomly rolled up units, it can be hard to min/max the weight brackets.  But usually having just 3 units in a lance solves that problem, and gives me a reserve besides in the event of hip crits or location losses.  The tradeoff, as mentioned earlier in this thread, is dancing on the razor's edge of disaster for that first contract...
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