Register Register

Author Topic: Best Special Pilot Ability combo?  (Read 890 times)

Speedbump

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 249
Best Special Pilot Ability combo?
« on: 22 October 2022, 16:16:34 »
This question is inspired by Vonshroom's thread on the best ever mechwarriors. No mechwarrior built within the Campaign Operations rules will be a match for Morgan Kell's latest pilot card, but within those limitations what combinations of abilities is the strongest for a custom 0/0 ace? Jumping Jack and Weapon Specialist both look like they'd be incredibly stong on the right mech, but maybe the initiative manipulation of Combat Intuition or Tactical Genius are more valuable? I haven't really played with SPAs so I'm curious what people who've used them think.

Daryk

  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 30536
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: Best Special Pilot Ability combo?
« Reply #1 on: 22 October 2022, 16:36:25 »
Jumping Jack absolutely tops my list.  Beyond that, it depends on what kind of fighting you prefer.  Sniper is the best generic one on the Gunnery side.  Melee Specialist and Melee Master can be truly brutal.

BATTLEMASTER

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2055
  • Lightning From Another Zip Code
Re: Best Special Pilot Ability combo?
« Reply #2 on: 22 October 2022, 20:00:19 »
Natural aptitude piloting and gunnery, sniper, jumping jack, and melee master.
BATTLEMASTER
Trombone Player, Lego Enthusiast, Engineer
Clan Smoke Jaguar, Delta Galaxy ("The Cloud Rangers"), 4th Jaguar Dragoons
"You better stand back, I'm not sure how loud this thing can get!"
If you like Lego, you'll like my Lego battlemech projects!

Charistoph

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2408
Re: Best Special Pilot Ability combo?
« Reply #3 on: 22 October 2022, 21:28:58 »
For our Narrative Campaign's force, Jumping Jack is the most common one, especially as most of our force has Jumping Movement, even having modified an Awesome to Jump.

Human TRO is our next most common SPA (one of our players REALLY likes it).

Sniper is our next most common SPA, with one person having respecc'd in to it from Range Master: Long.

We also have a Valkyrie pilot who has Oblique Attacker, and Sandblaster: LRMs.  Seriously, if I had planned my progression better, I may have gone a similar route in mech and SPA selection.

Still, Jumping Jack is probably the best thing for a very mobile force.  It makes one of my pilots an absolute terror in her Mercury II.  We also use Hit & Run for one of our Force Command Abilities, and Jumping Jack helps when we are not outnumbered.

Melee Specialist and Melee Master can be truly brutal.

Adding Fist Fire in to that mixture is just NASTY, too.
Are you a Wolf, a Sheep, or a Hound?
Quote from: Megavolt
They called me crazy…they called me insane…THEY CALLED ME LOONEY!! and boy, were they right.

Charistoph's Painted Products of Mechanical Mayhem

Taron Storm

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 581
  • Founding Member of Chaos Inc Merc Brigade
Re: Best Special Pilot Ability combo?
« Reply #4 on: 22 October 2022, 21:34:46 »
Love having Sniper. Another that I get is Terrain Master:Forest Ranger.  Great for those non jumping mechs through the trees.

Colt Ward

  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 27299
  • Gott Mit Uns
    • Merc Periphery Guide- Bakunin
Re: Best Special Pilot Ability combo?
« Reply #5 on: 24 October 2022, 09:29:01 »
I think part of it is going to depend on the mech . . . which is why you get some crazy stuff on the cards occasionally . . . Something like a 2/4 Awesome pilot that is a PPC Specialist and Hotdog.

Am I scout in a Locust stationed on a wooded planet?  Then Terrain Master/Forest and whatever ability that lets you run through a enemy occupied hex is pretty powerful- no matter what you are going to be able to get out and evade any attempts to encircle/box the scout.

But most OP?  In the IS it would have to be Falconer, Jumping Jack, and Rangemaster . . . my ERPPC & Gauss Rifle swap short for long and I get a +1 for my movement mod when engaged.  For the Clans the mech would have to be a Summoner, but IIRC you have to pick either a Gauss Rifle or ERPPC . . . or looking beyond that to secondline, the Guillotine IIC.
Colt Ward
Clan Invasion Backer #149, Leviathans #104

"We come in peace, please ignore the bloodstains."

"Greetings, Mechwarrior. You have been recruited by the Star League to defend the Frontier against Daoshen and the Capellan Confederation Armed Forces.

BATTLEMASTER

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2055
  • Lightning From Another Zip Code
Re: Best Special Pilot Ability combo?
« Reply #6 on: 25 October 2022, 10:47:41 »
But most OP?  In the IS it would have to be Falconer, Jumping Jack, and Rangemaster . . .

Why take Range Master over Sniper?  Point cost?
BATTLEMASTER
Trombone Player, Lego Enthusiast, Engineer
Clan Smoke Jaguar, Delta Galaxy ("The Cloud Rangers"), 4th Jaguar Dragoons
"You better stand back, I'm not sure how loud this thing can get!"
If you like Lego, you'll like my Lego battlemech projects!

Colt Ward

  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 27299
  • Gott Mit Uns
    • Merc Periphery Guide- Bakunin
Re: Best Special Pilot Ability combo?
« Reply #7 on: 25 October 2022, 10:56:58 »
Range Master swaps mods . . . so my Long Range for ERPPC & GR go from +4 to +0, which makes the Short Range mod +4 . . . the MLs on the Falconer do the same thing, but conveniently their 'long' range covers the upper short & lower med of those two weapons.

So the Falconer hops about 5 hexes at 15-22/23 hexes from their target . . . they have a +1 from jumping and +0 for range.  So say a regular pilot- 4 gun- means it the THN is 5 plus enemy movement & terrain.  Return fire?  Unless the other side has Range Master, we are looking at +3 for the Falconer's jump, +4 for range . . . and then we get into the enemy's movement and terrain.  A 4 gunner means . . . 4 (gun)+3 (target move mod)+ 4 (range, if in range) . . . so a 11 before you even get to anything else.

All for 4 SPA points.
Colt Ward
Clan Invasion Backer #149, Leviathans #104

"We come in peace, please ignore the bloodstains."

"Greetings, Mechwarrior. You have been recruited by the Star League to defend the Frontier against Daoshen and the Capellan Confederation Armed Forces.

BATTLEMASTER

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2055
  • Lightning From Another Zip Code
Re: Best Special Pilot Ability combo?
« Reply #8 on: 25 October 2022, 12:06:29 »
Range Master swaps mods . . . so my Long Range for ERPPC & GR go from +4 to +0, which makes the Short Range mod +4 . . . the MLs on the Falconer do the same thing, but conveniently their 'long' range covers the upper short & lower med of those two weapons.

So the Falconer hops about 5 hexes at 15-22/23 hexes from their target . . . they have a +1 from jumping and +0 for range.  So say a regular pilot- 4 gun- means it the THN is 5 plus enemy movement & terrain.  Return fire?  Unless the other side has Range Master, we are looking at +3 for the Falconer's jump, +4 for range . . . and then we get into the enemy's movement and terrain.  A 4 gunner means . . . 4 (gun)+3 (target move mod)+ 4 (range, if in range) . . . so a 11 before you even get to anything else.

All for 4 SPA points.

Thanks for the explanation!  This makes a lot of sense for highly-mobile units that are able to keep their targets beyond arm's length and still hit them reliably, whereas they aren't as likely to be hit by return fire.  This sounds like a great combination for anything that can jump 5 MP or more.
BATTLEMASTER
Trombone Player, Lego Enthusiast, Engineer
Clan Smoke Jaguar, Delta Galaxy ("The Cloud Rangers"), 4th Jaguar Dragoons
"You better stand back, I'm not sure how loud this thing can get!"
If you like Lego, you'll like my Lego battlemech projects!

Colt Ward

  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 27299
  • Gott Mit Uns
    • Merc Periphery Guide- Bakunin
Re: Best Special Pilot Ability combo?
« Reply #9 on: 25 October 2022, 12:14:14 »
Problem is if someone can get in under- then the situation is reversed.  The Trial of Bloodright Grand Melee we just ran table top was pick 1 SPA- I took Jumping Jack on a 3/5 Arcas . . . and using terrain I got under a Warhawk H's short range with them having Range Master- so their LPLs and HLLs were dealing with my +3 from jumping and the +4 at short range without the speed to get back away from my Arcas.

It definitely changes your game play when you make such a alteration.
Colt Ward
Clan Invasion Backer #149, Leviathans #104

"We come in peace, please ignore the bloodstains."

"Greetings, Mechwarrior. You have been recruited by the Star League to defend the Frontier against Daoshen and the Capellan Confederation Armed Forces.

Hammerhead

  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 141
  • "ZEUS - Lyran Recon since 2787."
Re: Best Special Pilot Ability combo?
« Reply #10 on: 27 October 2022, 16:56:12 »
I had a pretty good time in a 3025 Era game with a Crusader-3R, Sandblaster (x2) and Melee Specialist.

Higher cluster table rolls with the LRM’s while closing, then 2 ML’s, 2 MG’s, 1 SRM-6 with Sandblaster and a Kick with a bonus to hit/damage from Melee Specialist. All while staying heat neutral. Gnarly. 😁

Daryk

  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 30536
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: Best Special Pilot Ability combo?
« Reply #11 on: 27 October 2022, 17:55:59 »
Just wait until you get Melee Master and it's TWO kicks...  ^-^

Hammerhead

  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 141
  • "ZEUS - Lyran Recon since 2787."
Re: Best Special Pilot Ability combo?
« Reply #12 on: 27 October 2022, 18:32:53 »
Just wait until you get Melee Master and it's TWO kicks...  ^-^

Can’t kick and fire 1 SRM-6, tho… ;D

Daryk

  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 30536
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: Best Special Pilot Ability combo?
« Reply #13 on: 27 October 2022, 18:37:35 »
Actually, you CAN!  The second physical attack isn't restricted...  ^-^

Hammerhead

  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 141
  • "ZEUS - Lyran Recon since 2787."
Re: Best Special Pilot Ability combo?
« Reply #14 on: 27 October 2022, 21:09:15 »
Actually, you CAN!  The second physical attack isn't restricted...  ^-^

Wha…what? For real? 🥹

Edit: even the restriction on not firing any weapons in a limb making a physical attack?
« Last Edit: 27 October 2022, 21:10:46 by Hammerhead »

Daryk

  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 30536
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: Best Special Pilot Ability combo?
« Reply #15 on: 28 October 2022, 03:12:46 »
That restriction is still in force.  AToW, page 223 says:
Quote
When executing a physical attack, a MechWarrior with this ability can deliver one extra punch, kick, club, or hatchet attack during a physical attack phase (so long as all other restrictions are met, such as not firing weapons in the attacking limb).

Hammerhead

  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 141
  • "ZEUS - Lyran Recon since 2787."
Re: Best Special Pilot Ability combo?
« Reply #16 on: 28 October 2022, 04:59:03 »
That restriction is still in force.  AToW, page 223 says:

Ah. That was my reasoning; if I wanted to shoot everything I can while hitting that solid 13 pt (14 with Melee Specialist!) kick, all the other limbs have fired something…

pokefan548

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 1919
  • The Barracuda knows where it is, hence the -2 mod.
    • Poke's Aerospace Academy (Discord Server)
Re: Best Special Pilot Ability combo?
« Reply #17 on: 28 October 2022, 07:41:19 »
Slightly niche build, but Street Fighter + Melee Master + (optionally) Melee Specialist on any TSM 'Mech that can headcap on a punch (55t+ w/o claws, 40t+ w/ claws) is nasty. Assuming all attacks hit (because of course on this build you're pumping everything into piloting), you can just rock up to a 'Mech and have a 52% chance of headcapping the enemy 'Mech, not counting any non-arm weapons you choose to fire. And, even if nothing connects with the head, 48-52 damage to the upper body in 12-13 damage lots is still nothing to sneeze at for many 'Mechs, especially if some of that is rear torso.
Poke's Aerospace Academy
The best place to learn and discuss AeroTech.


BattleTech players: Throwing the baby out with the bathwater since 1984!
"Poke is just a figment of our imagination really." - Siam
"Poke isn't a real person, he's just an algorithm programmed by CGL to try and get people to try the aerospace rules." - Phantasm
"I want to plant the meat eating trees and the meat growing trees on the same planet! Watch that plant on plant violence!" - Sawtooth

Colt Ward

  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 27299
  • Gott Mit Uns
    • Merc Periphery Guide- Bakunin
Re: Best Special Pilot Ability combo?
« Reply #18 on: 28 October 2022, 09:09:16 »
Ah. That was my reasoning; if I wanted to shoot everything I can while hitting that solid 13 pt (14 with Melee Specialist!) kick, all the other limbs have fired something…

Check out Fire Fist
Colt Ward
Clan Invasion Backer #149, Leviathans #104

"We come in peace, please ignore the bloodstains."

"Greetings, Mechwarrior. You have been recruited by the Star League to defend the Frontier against Daoshen and the Capellan Confederation Armed Forces.

PuppyLikesLaserPointers

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1540
Re: Best Special Pilot Ability combo?
« Reply #19 on: 28 October 2022, 12:01:15 »
Jumping Jack absolutely tops my list.  Beyond that, it depends on what kind of fighting you prefer.  Sniper is the best generic one on the Gunnery side.  Melee Specialist and Melee Master can be truly brutal.

I second to this. Jumping Jack would be one of the best SPA for the mech. Although the pilot needs to have the mech with the jump jet, but mitigate +3 modifier to +1 is very good.

Daryk

  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 30536
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: Best Special Pilot Ability combo?
« Reply #20 on: 28 October 2022, 18:03:33 »
Generally as long as you have enough jump jets to make jumping worth more than +1 to be hit... though even UrbanMechs get something from it.  They can jump 2 and still be no worse off than walking 2...  :D

Speedbump

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 249
Re: Best Special Pilot Ability combo?
« Reply #21 on: 28 October 2022, 18:12:37 »
Thanks everyone for your input. Sounds like Jumping Jack is the best thing since sliced bread, other accuracy SPAs are more situational but still exceptionally powerful with the right mech and the initiative manipulaters aren't so much of a worry. Going all in on melee can clearly be pretty strong, but it strikes me as the fun kind of optimisation where you make something niche competive rather than making something mainstream overpowered. Does anyone disagree with that summarisation?

Daryk

  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 30536
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: Best Special Pilot Ability combo?
« Reply #22 on: 28 October 2022, 18:45:13 »
The only thing I'd add is that the initiative modifiers increase in value as you increase the firepower on each side...  ^-^

Charistoph

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2408
Re: Best Special Pilot Ability combo?
« Reply #23 on: 29 October 2022, 13:01:41 »
The only thing I'd add is that the initiative modifiers increase in value as you increase the firepower on each side...  ^-^

I'd say it increases depending on the maneuverability and fragility of your force, honestly.  I've had to pull out of a good position because of a bad Initiative roll, limiting my engagement profile.
Are you a Wolf, a Sheep, or a Hound?
Quote from: Megavolt
They called me crazy…they called me insane…THEY CALLED ME LOONEY!! and boy, were they right.

Charistoph's Painted Products of Mechanical Mayhem