Author Topic: Won my 1st Megamek game...  (Read 635 times)

Pistol Pete

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Won my 1st Megamek game...
« on: 21 May 2024, 03:03:34 »
I've been wanting to have a go at Megamek for awhile now, but various factors kept popping up (crappy computers, etc), so I hadn't gotten around to it.

I had a HECK of a time just getting the darned thing to load up on my computer, but finally managed to get it to work. Then I had to try and figure out how to get a game going. Super frustrating!

But I finally figured it out and got a game going tonight.

Princess had a Cicada (CDA-2A) and a Shadowhawk (SHD-2H), and I had a Commando (COM-2D) and a Phoenix Hawk (PHX-1), for a little 2 on 2 action. The map was a 2x2 custom with horrendous terrain (choked with mountains, rivers, woods, rough terrain, etc).

Princess opened up the game with a "LEEEROY JENKENS" and zipped her Cicada up to my Commando to trade blows while the Shad pulled up the rear. Meanwhile, I was still trying to figure out the controls... you know, stuff like how to walk or jump or turn around (still very confused by much of that!).

Luckily, the Cicada whiffed and lost a medium laser when the Commando got his bearings. It wasn't long before the Cicada was mortally wounded, and the pilot ejected. But that brave little bastard kept calling in indirect artillery on my boys for several turns while I struggled to figure out how to do anything (though he fled after a few turns).

Due to a collossal misunderstanding of the shooting controls, my Phoenix Hawk had accumulated an obscene amount of heat (enough to make a Rifleman or Stalker pilot sweat). I panicked and jumped into a river hex to cool down, only to realize that it did NOTHING because I didn't have any heat sinks in my legs (didn't have my record sheets handy for reference).

Meanwhile, the Shadowhawk was cheerfully tearing my Commando a new one, and taking potshots at my Pixie while I desperately tried to cool down. My heat was out of control for a long time just because I had no idea what I was doing (like accidentally firing EVERYTHING when I didn't want to on top of a full length jump).

Princess, on the other hand, had a huge advantage in that she knows the rules already. And of course, her Shad ran ICE COLD.

The brave little Commando fought it's little heart out and managed to do chip away at the Shad while the Pixie tried not to spontaneously combust. Unfortunately, the little soldier lost his medium laser early, and eventually took a crit to the leg that reduced his speed to 4/6 for the rest of the game. This made it HARD to get away from the Shad.

Eventually, the Commando Stackpoled and the slightly dinged-up Shad was up against my lone Pixie.

I got lucky and got a crit on his AC5, which put a damper on his damage output, and shortly therafter got a hit on his gyro, slowing him down. I was finally able to get up into his rear and give him some tender loving with my medium lasers and MGs, and eventually landed a kick that knocked his leg off.

The pilot somehow managed to stay on his feet, but the end was near. I got behind him and knocked the pilot out, after that it was a BRUTAL beatdown that ended up crushing the Shad's head, along with the pilot.

In the end, the Cicada pilot escaped, and my Pixie survived without too much damage. Woohoo!

All in all, it was a real nail biter. It will take awhile for me to figure out the user interface and get comfortable with it. 

Lessons learned?

Due to the loss of the Commando's medium laser, his SRM's struggled to do anything to the Shad because they spread the damage around without actually putting any significant holes in the armor.

Likewise, my Pixie had to rely on MGs and Medium Lasers because I couldn't afford to fire that Large Laser very often. It took  a good long while before I managed to deal a significant blow to the Shad, and that crippled him just enough that my superior maneuvering could win the day.


Paul

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Re: Won my 1st Megamek game...
« Reply #1 on: 22 May 2024, 09:24:43 »
Princess had a Cicada (CDA-2A) and a Shadowhawk (SHD-2H), and I had a Commando (COM-2D) and a Phoenix Hawk (PHX-1), for a little 2 on 2 action. The map was a 2x2 custom with horrendous terrain (choked with mountains, rivers, woods, rough terrain, etc).

Interesting marchup. Definitely boosted the PXH as it has the most JJs.


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Due to the loss of the Commando's medium laser, his SRM's struggled to do anything to the Shad because they spread the damage around without actually putting any significant holes in the armor.

Likewise, my Pixie had to rely on MGs and Medium Lasers because I couldn't afford to fire that Large Laser very often. It took  a good long while before I managed to deal a significant blow to the Shad, and that crippled him just enough that my superior maneuvering could win the day.

Sounds like you had a good time, and you drew some correct conclusions about some of the things you could change.
One thing to consider: it reads as if the Commando was on its own for several turns. Keeping both Mechs involved on the same target is huge. In that situation, you may have been better off either retreating the Commando, or getting the PXH in to contribute MGs, kicks or punches while it cools down slowly. Especially once you got the gyro hit, being able to get 2 kicks in per turn would've really helped because the target would need to keep applying the 3 penalty whenever a kick lands. (And he'd have a reason to not risk kicks of his own, in case he missed).

Another thing to consider: with your PXH, you should be able to get behind the SHD most any turn where you win init. Even when only throwing punches, eventually that rear armor can't hold. (2 punches to the same spot should start causing critical hits). That can be another way to rapidly degrade it, vs having to shoot through allll that armor.
The solution is just ignore Paul.

Pistol Pete

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Re: Won my 1st Megamek game...
« Reply #2 on: 23 May 2024, 02:27:41 »
Interesting marchup. Definitely boosted the PXH as it has the most JJs.

Oh you'd THINK. But remember, I didn't even know HOW to jump with the wonky Megamek user interface. I managed it ONCE, but really couldn't figure it out, and eventually gave up on it because my Pixie was about to melt like an otter pop on a hot August day.

Princess had the advantage here because she KNOWS how to jump within the game, so even though the Shad only has 3 jumpers, she could always move him to her best advantage.

I've gotten a bit better at learning the Megamek controls, but there's still a lot that I'm not good at.

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Sounds like you had a good time, and you drew some correct conclusions about some of the things you could change.
One thing to consider: it reads as if the Commando was on its own for several turns. Keeping both Mechs involved on the same target is huge. In that situation, you may have been better off either retreating the Commando, or getting the PXH in to contribute MGs, kicks or punches while it cools down slowly. Especially once you got the gyro hit, being able to get 2 kicks in per turn would've really helped because the target would need to keep applying the 3 penalty whenever a kick lands. (And he'd have a reason to not risk kicks of his own, in case he missed).

Much of the maneuvering was complicated by the fact that the user interface is NOT intuitive, and the fact that there's no tutorial to kind of help you along like you get in a more refined console or PC game.

I made many HUGE mistakes in the early game just because I was struggling with the interface.

There were turns where I couldn't get my guys faced around the right way or where I skipped movement entirely because I couldn't make it do what I wanted to and hit the wrong key.

I got better toward the very end, but even then, I was still making mistakes because there's a high learning curve with the interface.

It wasn't so much that the Commando was on his own, but rather both mechs were sort of darting in and out of the fight, trying to avoid fisticuffs with the Shad. Likewise, the Shad would split fire between both mechs from time to time.

Unfortunately, the terrain wasn't very favorable to a mech without JJs, and he got stuck in an awkward part of the map that really restricted his movement, wheras the Pixie had more freedom of movement in their part of the map. 


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Another thing to consider: with your PXH, you should be able to get behind the SHD most any turn where you win init. Even when only throwing punches, eventually that rear armor can't hold. (2 punches to the same spot should start causing critical hits). That can be another way to rapidly degrade it, vs having to shoot through allll that armor.

Well yes, that would have been perfect. If I had any idea of what I was doing, lol.

If you remember the original Robotech cartoon in the 80s, it was a lot like the first episode where Rick steals a Valkyrie and then stumbles around the city smashing things up because he doesn't know how to drive the damned thing. 

After the first initial (disastrous) attempt at jumping, I realized I'd need to rely on running instead, unless it was to escape a bad situation. There were times where I'd have to run in, shoot a salvo, and then back out of the fight to cool off. The Pixie's weapons run HOT, and there were turns I couldn't fire anything but the MGs because she was running too hot.

Honestly, I think the P-Hawk needs a partner who is tanky enough to stand on their own for a bit while the Pixie runs off to cool down. The Commando is not that guy! He's kind of in the same bubble where he needs to be able to run in, fire everything, and run away because he can't go toe to toe with a heavier mech with good close range punch.

But he didn't have the speed to easily break away from the Shadowhawk (who is only a bit slower), and the Shad's long-ranged weaponry could still reach out and hit him if he did get some distance.

This wasn't my ideal mech selection, but a lot of the mechs I wanted to use weren't in the mech list. I don't know WHY, but there's tons of common mechs missing from the roster that I'd EXPECT to see on the 3025 list.

So I was using mechs I was less familiar with and made some dumb mistakes where I forgot certain details (like the fact that the Pixie has no leg heat sinks).

I also think that the Pixie and Commando are subobtimal tag-team for a 2x2 game. Both are fragile and have to disengage after a strike because they don't have the armor to trade blows with something heavier (unless it's a rare mech that SUCKS at close range). The Shad was fast enough to maintain contact with the Commando and outranged both of my guys. He also ran super-cool, so he had a huge advantage in terms of volume of fire.   

This, combined with all of the heat penalties the Pixie was suffering for the first few turns, made it hard for me to use the mechs to their best, despite having two mechs against one, and despite having a more powerful alpha strike on both mechs.

Princess's initiative dice were HOT for the early game, but they went cold as the game went on and eventually, I got a hot streak that really helped me outmaneuver her and get some nasty hits on the Shad.


Paul

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Re: Won my 1st Megamek game...
« Reply #3 on: 23 May 2024, 20:12:58 »
But remember, I didn't even know HOW to jump with the wonky Megamek user interface.

Yeah, that'll make things much harder...

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There were turns where I couldn't get my guys faced around the right way or where I skipped movement entirely because I couldn't make it do what I wanted to and hit the wrong key.

Autosaves may help with some of those moments.


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Honestly, I think the P-Hawk needs a partner who is tanky enough to stand on their own for a bit while the Pixie runs off to cool down.

Yes, that's a good insight. Pairing it with a more sturdy Medium, (Centurion, Wolverine) you'd get much better results.


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This wasn't my ideal mech selection, but a lot of the mechs I wanted to use weren't in the mech list. I don't know WHY, but there's tons of common mechs missing from the roster that I'd EXPECT to see on the 3025 list.

Not sure how you went about mech selection, but there's a number of filters that could be in play.


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This, combined with all of the heat penalties the Pixie was suffering for the first few turns, made it hard for me to use the mechs to their best, despite having two mechs against one, and despite having a more powerful alpha strike on both mechs.

I think your assessment is pretty good overall.

The solution is just ignore Paul.

Hellraiser

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Re: Won my 1st Megamek game...
« Reply #4 on: 24 May 2024, 14:14:19 »
I've been wanting to have a go at Megamek for awhile now, but various factors kept popping up (crappy computers, etc), so I hadn't gotten around to it.

I had a HECK of a time just getting the darned thing to load up on my computer, but finally managed to get it to work. Then I had to try and figure out how to get a game going. Super frustrating!

Oh you'd THINK. But remember, I didn't even know HOW to jump with the wonky Megamek user interface.
...
Much of the maneuvering was complicated by the fact that the user interface is NOT intuitive, and the fact that there's no tutorial to kind of help you along like you get in a more refined console or PC game.

Having "tried" to use MM over the years a couple times, I can only say "I AGREE!!"   :angry:


Hard to get it to run on your PC & hard to understand how to play once it is running.

I'd love to use it more but spending a day or 2 just trying to get the game to work isn't my idea of fun at all.   :sad:
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Pistol Pete

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Re: Won my 1st Megamek game...
« Reply #5 on: 06 June 2024, 00:26:02 »
Yeah, that'll make things much harder...

Well, I did eventually figure out how to do move and jump properly. Just not in the 1st game.

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Autosaves may help with some of those moments.

I figured out how to cancel a move, so that GREATLY helps when I do something unintentionally, though I do still make a lot of mistakes due to the clunkiness of the system.


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Not sure how you went about mech selection, but there's a number of filters that could be in play.

I made a list of the missing mechs and noticed that they were all at the end of the alphabet. Which was why I couldn't find Vindicators, Wasps, and Wolverines. This helped me realize that I might not be accessing the full list because I couldn't get to the bottom of it. So I poked around and found a hidden slider that allowed me to get all the way to the bottom (where you couldn't otherwise get to by scrolling... for reasons).


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I think your assessment is pretty good overall.

I got absolutely CLOBBERED in my 2nd game.

So I definitely need to play a lot more games to get the controls down to the point where I can work them instinctively. 

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Re: Won my 1st Megamek game...
« Reply #6 on: 08 June 2024, 20:19:52 »
So we play a lot of games at the MRC discord group, and have a pretty solid megamek community there.  There is usually someone in voice chat that will hop on and play/walk you through the megamek interface to get some games in, though I think weeknights after people get off of work is the most common time.

There is also a megamek discord with people who might play a game/talk you through it.

 

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