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Author Topic: Mech of the Week: ZEU-** Zeus  (Read 12195 times)

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Mech of the Week: ZEU-** Zeus
« on: 17 May 2013, 20:49:42 »
Zeus, King of the Gods, ruling from afar on Mount Olympus, throwing lightning bolts at his foes (or just anything that might be interesting to throw a lightning bolt at). A glorious name for an assault ‘Mech from a nation with deep ties to ancient Greece. Yet many would miss that it is the Lyran Commonwealth, scion of Germanic influences, which is the state in question.

Appearing at the beginning of the First Succession War, as House Kurita was assailing the relatively recently absorbed Hesperus II facility, the Lyran forces unleashed their new BattleMech, driving off the invaders. Despite a low-tech structure (outside of CASE), the Zeus was outfitted with advanced weapons, an extended range laser, advanced guided missiles and either an extended range particle cannon or a ultra autocannon rounded out the core (and long range) firepower, with a pair of medium lasers covering front and back and double heat sinks to keep the ‘Mech cool. The PPC version had issues with heat build up that saw it meet any early end in production, which probably wasn’t unexpected from a ‘Mech that was designed and built in an amazingly short amount of time.

As well as this Zeus fared, the Succession Wars took away the suppliers of the advanced weapons and heat sinks, resulting in the ‘classic’ version, the 6S was probably the best 80 ton ‘generalist’ BattleMech in TRO 3025. Still equipped with fifteen long-range missiles, a large laser, class five autocannon and the dual medium lasers it wasn’t concerned with heat build-up unless the rear laser was brought into play. Though the bite it has was less than we are used to these days, for the Third Succession War it was adequate. What often wasn’t were the missile reloads, with a mere ton of ammunition being a mixed blessing. Just eight salvos left many MechWarriors wanting more from the seven tons of launcher but more than a few sighed a breath of relief when enemy fire ruptured the ammo bin only to find it empty.

With the Fourth Succession war on the horizon, the Lyran engineers solved the problem with the particle cannon (perhaps not using a Star League ER PPC was all they needed to do). Two more heat sinks helped the dissipation, but removed the Zeus from the ‘alpha baby’ group. The ammo bin didn’t grow any deeper, but in a fire-support role it could bombard the enemy with the PPC and LRMs for eighty seconds straight, adding in the large laser every other salvo. Despite the heat issues, the greater damage and less ammo dependence of the 6T made it the mainstay of low-end Lyran assault ‘Mechs.

With the return of the Clans a high tech Zeus was reborn. Similar to the 5S, it lacked the targeting for the missile system but had dual medium pulse lasers for infighting. This lackluster design was seen as an improvement but hardly the pinnacle of what the machine could become, especially with the revelation of the capabilities of the 5S.

Where the 5S stopped, the 9T took over. Using the innovative light engine, it became a devastating fire-support ‘Mech. The engine allowed more armor and heat dissipation plus a short-range fusillade of dual medium pulse lasers and an extended range medium. Capable of sustained fire of its long-range weaponry, not only through better heat dissipation than the 9S but also doubling the traditional missile supply to sixteen salvos. The 9T is most likely the pinnacle of the entire Zeus line.

With the Word of Blake finally doing what was thought impossible and capturing Hesperus II, they created their own version of the Zeus. Mounting more firepower than ever, the dual heavy particle cannons and quad extended-range medium lasers were backed up by an extended range large laser, capable of destroying over three tons of armor in one salvo at over 350 meters. Sadly it only had the heat sinks to compensate for the medium lasers and running. Even underwater this heat-hog would avoid an autoshutdown by one heat point while walking and unleashing an alpha-strike.

While the number of production variants stops at seven, four more experimental versions exist. A brief trial was tried on the 6S during the Succession Wars, called the 6Y. Downgrading the missile rack allowed the large laser to be increased to a blazer. The test designs did not fare well with the installation of the binary laser and the experiment was halted.

The remaining prototypes were all dubbed “Zeus-X”, known for mounting distinctive fins on the back of the ‘Mech and an XXL engine that pushed the top speed to over eighty-five kilometers per hour.

The first threw out the weapon load and mounted an LB-20 autocannon and MRM-30 launcher, backed up by a pair of medium X-pulse lasers. Reactive armor increased survivability on the limbs but composite structure made armor breaches much more deadly to the machine. The X2 was really a slight modification to the X, swapping out the autocannon for an ER PPC and heat sinks.

More famous that it’s ancestors, the X3 was popularized by the exploits of Stacy Church, the “New Black Widow”. Retaining the X2’s ER PPC, it dumped the rest of the weaponry for 4 ER medium lasers. While that resembled a Phoenix Hawk -6D without the targeting computer, the eight improved jump jets made it more maneuverable while over fourteen tons of armor made it tougher. At the hands of an elite pilot, this mobile assault ‘Mech is terrifying but quite different from the typical Zeus.

How does one use a Zeus? Obviously it varies depending on the situation, but typically it can be deployed two ways. Firstly is where it is an anchoring force for lighter units, using its long range weaponry to cover an advance and then switch to close-in weapons. In battles where assault ‘Mechs litter both sides, the Zeus can fill the role of fire-support excellently. Trying to find a sweet-spot at short range for the 6’s 5/6/7 main weapons can be troublesome, so try for nine or ten hexes, where everything is in medium range (and possibly longer for your opponent). A 9T can nestle into a tree line on a hill and send a potential thirty-eight points of damage down range for sixteen straight turns. Against heavy ‘Mechs, don’t forget to use the Zeus’s mass, sixteen point kicks will make an old Warhammer realize it is dealing with an assault.

How to defeat a Zeus? Picking on the left side is generally a good way to cripple it’s firepower and crit-seeking weapons are excellent for finding ammo in the Zues’ that mount multiple bins. For most models, getting close (quickly) will take the missiles out of play while leaving the ammo bin as a handicap and regular PPCs and AC/5s will worry about minimum ranges.

Remember, Zeus is the King of the Gods, not the King of the BattleMechs. It’s a powerful tool in the right hands but can also be a poor choice for someone who isn’t familiar with this Lyran hallmark.
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Re: Mech of the Week: ZEU-** Zeus
« Reply #1 on: 17 May 2013, 21:57:57 »
Are you doing any of the unique versions featured in the Turning Points? Turning Points: Glengarry had the Zeus Leonidas, which has a Gauss Rifle and an LRM-20 with 2 Tons of ammo for each, plus an ER Large Laser and 2 Medium Pulse Lasers to boot. However, it doesn't have CASE and has an XL Engine...
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Re: Mech of the Week: ZEU-** Zeus
« Reply #2 on: 17 May 2013, 22:26:47 »
Writeup is a little sparse on the info, in my opinion.

One thing to know about the Zeus is that they're somewhat anemic when it comes to armor, with the original 6S only sporting 11.5 tons worth.  Though most later variants fix that issue, it kinda paints the image of it's use- attacking constantly and doing as much damage as you can in an era where dual PPCs also cost you 8 tons of heat sinks to be used effectively. 
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Re: Mech of the Week: ZEU-** Zeus
« Reply #3 on: 17 May 2013, 22:38:36 »
The Ammo problems with the -6S are fixable, it's main weapons load (LL, AC/5 and LRM-15) only generate 14 heat, +2 for running and your at 16 but it mounts 17 for some reason, ditch the extra and you've got room for an extra HS

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Re: Mech of the Week: ZEU-** Zeus
« Reply #4 on: 17 May 2013, 23:38:51 »
Nice article, but I am missing my favorite ZEU-9S2 Zeus.

It has Gauss Rifle combined with ER Large Laser and supported with a pair of large LRM-15 racks with deep ammo bins. For me it is a very useful 'Mech. It can throw some theoretical 53 damage points 19 hexes downrange, although the real damage output will be slightly slower.

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Re: Mech of the Week: ZEU-** Zeus
« Reply #5 on: 18 May 2013, 03:27:23 »
I generally suspect that the Lyrans built the Zeus to fill the same role as the SLDF's STC-2CStriker, given the very similar weapons fits between the original Zeus and the Striker STC-2C. Same size, same engine, less armour but more heatsinks. And the Lyrans are noted to have one of the largest concentrations of Strikers left, so them wanting to replace or supplement them with something similar seems likely.

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Re: Mech of the Week: ZEU-** Zeus
« Reply #6 on: 18 May 2013, 11:14:33 »
Always liked the look of the Zeus.  I think the first thing to remember is that it's a heavy.  Sure it's an "assault" 'Mech, but it plays more like a 65, 70, or 75 tonner than some scary death machine that the title "Assault" tends to imply.  After that, it's all about team work, as the base model wont' have the stopping power on it's own.

I've used the 9T a lot and had great success, and I've played a series of Jihad era games against the MegaMek bot using the Zeus X3.  Have to be careful with the endo composite, but it sucks to have a 7-8 hex jumping assault 'Mech armor level thing moving around in your midst.  While it only has the firepower of a medium, you have to wear through the armor to get rid of it.  Fits my playstyle well.

Also, I thought Stacy Church has two different variants for her Zeus from Wolf and Blake?  I don't remember her using a X3...

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Re: Mech of the Week: ZEU-** Zeus
« Reply #7 on: 18 May 2013, 11:16:18 »
Nice article, but I am missing my favorite ZEU-9S2 Zeus.

It has Gauss Rifle combined with ER Large Laser and supported with a pair of large LRM-15 racks with deep ammo bins. For me it is a very useful 'Mech. It can throw some theoretical 53 damage points 19 hexes downrange, although the real damage output will be slightly slower.

Never heard of this one, though it sounds pretty good. Where's it from?
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Re: Mech of the Week: ZEU-** Zeus
« Reply #8 on: 18 May 2013, 12:26:12 »
Never heard of this one, though it sounds pretty good. Where's it from?

It is from the MechWarrior 4: Inner Sphere 'Mech Pak.

The record sheet for it is in the Record Sheets: 3050 Upgrades Unabridged - Inner Sphere.

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Re: Mech of the Week: ZEU-** Zeus
« Reply #9 on: 18 May 2013, 13:15:32 »
There's just something about the Zeus.  It always winds up on my table and it usually always makes it to the end of the fight.  They are surprisingly durable and capable of delivering a few good blows. 

I remember first falling for it when I played one of the scenarios out the intro box set.  You had to take a damaged Zeus and get it past the enemy. 
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Re: Mech of the Week: ZEU-** Zeus
« Reply #10 on: 18 May 2013, 13:25:16 »
There's just something about the Zeus.  It always winds up on my table and it usually always makes it to the end of the fight.  They are surprisingly durable and capable of delivering a few good blows. 
ZEU-10WB Zeus can be pretty mean, if you are luck and don't get your XL Gyro critted.

I remember first falling for it when I played one of the scenarios out the intro box set.  You had to take a damaged Zeus and get it past the enemy.

In original edition it was BLR-1G BattleMaster against Rifleman, Phoenix Hawk and Locust. But when problems with Unseen 'Mechs emerged, they had to change those 'Mechs to Zeus against JagerMech, Cicada and Commando.

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Re: Mech of the Week: ZEU-** Zeus
« Reply #11 on: 18 May 2013, 15:01:23 »
The Zeus is more of an overweight heavy than a pocket assault like an awesome. (Yeah, that totally didn't cost me any games in Megamek. *cough*) Just because its weight puts it on the other side of the Heavy/Assault dividing line like the Gargoyle doesn't make it any more of an assault mech in any respect but name.

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Re: Mech of the Week: ZEU-** Zeus
« Reply #12 on: 18 May 2013, 16:05:00 »
Always liked the look of the Zeus.  I think the first thing to remember is that it's a heavy.  Sure it's an "assault" 'Mech, but it plays more like a 65, 70, or 75 tonner than some scary death machine that the title "Assault" tends to imply.  After that, it's all about team work, as the base model wont' have the stopping power on it's own.

Agreed.  To me Zeus's were extra heavy Heavy mechs..
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Re: Mech of the Week: ZEU-** Zeus
« Reply #13 on: 18 May 2013, 16:06:29 »
Well, the weight classes are pretty arbitrarily defined anyway, the impact of weight as a whole on gameplay gets routinely overestimated, and there's plenty of RL historical precedent for military vehicles ending up bigger and heavier than originally planned and then only growing more so over successive upgrade cycles. So I can't really see anything particularly wrong with the concept of an 80-ton "heavy" 'Mech.

As for the Zeus itself...am I a bad person for personally liking the AC-equipped models better and considering the PPC variants just a little bit cheesy? Yes, they pack undeniably more punch and all, but I guess that to me the 6S will always remain the "original". :)

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Re: Mech of the Week: ZEU-** Zeus
« Reply #14 on: 18 May 2013, 17:11:10 »
I always loved the Zeus, I got hooked by the looks. On paper it should be very lack luster a bore yet in game it always performed very very well.

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Re: Mech of the Week: ZEU-** Zeus
« Reply #15 on: 18 May 2013, 23:52:02 »
Looking back, I've never had a Zeus die easily or without taking company along to the grave. I think the -6S and -6T hold up well in any era.
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Re: Mech of the Week: ZEU-** Zeus
« Reply #16 on: 19 May 2013, 01:13:29 »
Though a Lyran at heart, it took me a long time to warm up to the Zeus, but I agree wholeheartedly, the -6S is both excellent and surprisingly durable.  There are few other 3025 'Mechs that don't need to worry about heat.

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Re: Mech of the Week: ZEU-** Zeus
« Reply #17 on: 19 May 2013, 06:05:33 »
The 10WB has the heatsinks to handle the 4 ERMLs, the ERLL and running. Thankfully when the record sheets were redone a while back, they fixed the 10WB from the original travesty that it was and made it atleast useful, if somewhat overarmed, design. Use the HPPCs at range to open up holes, then if someone sneaks in under the minimums, open up on them with the ERMLs and ERLL.

Not the most efficient, but atleast it can use its HPPCs at the same time, unlike the original design.

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Re: Mech of the Week: ZEU-** Zeus
« Reply #18 on: 19 May 2013, 06:13:44 »
The 10WB has the heatsinks to handle the 4 ERMLs, the ERLL and running. Thankfully when the record sheets were redone a while back, they fixed the 10WB from the original travesty that it was and made it atleast useful, if somewhat overarmed, design. Use the HPPCs at range to open up holes, then if someone sneaks in under the minimums, open up on them with the ERMLs and ERLL.

Not the most efficient, but atleast it can use its HPPCs at the same time, unlike the original design.

Yeah, the original ZEU-10WB was a tragedy.

The 'Mech needed a permanently attached coolant truck. Just a small oversight.   :))

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Re: Mech of the Week: ZEU-** Zeus
« Reply #19 on: 19 May 2013, 15:15:25 »
A Clan player should always have a sneer when he discusses the kind of gear he faces in combat, if you really play as a Clanner.

But an INTELLIGENT Clan player should always have a healthy respect for the gear he faces too, when it deserves respect. And a Jade Falcon player should always, ALWAYS look at a Zeus as a pretty serious issue, every time one takes the field. It's quicker than you give an assault (particularly when you're used to Steiner's other assortment of high-weight toys), but still carries a pretty hefty amount of muscle to the field. It's tough- they seem to take forever to kill. And with the exception of the 10WB, they tend to be able to use their respectable firepower because they rarely suffer from major heat issues. It won't stand up in firepower to a Falcon assault-style machine like a Warhawk or Night Gyr, and it gets outmaneuvered pretty easily by a Summoner. But as part of a team, a Zeus can be a very difficult opponent for even a tough Clan force to deal with. I've faced them repeatedly in my time, and they never get any more fun to deal with. The recent 'X' versions only make things even more frustrating. ;)
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Re: Mech of the Week: ZEU-** Zeus
« Reply #20 on: 19 May 2013, 21:43:39 »
The 10WB has the heatsinks to handle the 4 ERMLs, the ERLL and running. Thankfully when the record sheets were redone a while back, they fixed the 10WB from the original travesty that it was and made it atleast useful, if somewhat overarmed, design. Use the HPPCs at range to open up holes, then if someone sneaks in under the minimums, open up on them with the ERMLs and ERLL.

Not the most efficient, but atleast it can use its HPPCs at the same time, unlike the original design.

I don't think I've seen that update, what did they change?
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Re: Mech of the Week: ZEU-** Zeus
« Reply #21 on: 19 May 2013, 23:59:46 »
lets just say it's original heatsink package wasn't as good has it's current form like not even able to fire the both HPPCs without being heavily overheated bad.
« Last Edit: 20 May 2013, 00:16:19 by AJC46 »

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Re: Mech of the Week: ZEU-** Zeus
« Reply #22 on: 20 May 2013, 00:28:10 »
More famous that it’s ancestors, the X3 was popularized by the exploits of Stacy Church, the “New Black Widow”. Retaining the X2’s ER PPC, it dumped the rest of the weaponry for 4 ER medium lasers. While that resembled a Phoenix Hawk -6D without the targeting computer, the eight improved jump jets made it more maneuverable while over fourteen tons of armor made it tougher. At the hands of an elite pilot, this mobile assault ‘Mech is terrifying but quite different from the typical Zeus.


Couple things:

Church didn't drive a Zeus-X3.  She had one of the test bed X's, ZEUX0003, with a Heavy PPC, LB-20X and three tons of ammo, and a pair of medium pulse lasers. Light fusion engine, 4/6, and 11.5 tons light FF armor.

But her most famous ride was the ZEU-9WD Zeus-X Stacy, with the Heavy PPC, LB 10-X, two medium ER lasers, AES in the right arm for the HPPC and Blue Shield, plus 13 tons of Light FF armor  and 14 DHS.  4/6 movement, with no jump jets.  It was a one-off, IIRC.

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Re: Mech of the Week: ZEU-** Zeus
« Reply #23 on: 20 May 2013, 00:58:10 »
I don't think I've seen that update, what did they change?

They followed the description more closely, with the design having 4 ERMLs, an ERLL and 2xHPPCs. Its got 17 DH, max (or close to it) FF armor and a LFE and XL Gyro. It was described in the fluff as being experimental, so you have to figure it was based on the 9T or something, and the heat sinks not changed from THAT, rather than some mystery bizarro, 10 DHS version floating around.

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Re: Mech of the Week: ZEU-** Zeus
« Reply #24 on: 20 May 2013, 02:21:40 »
What is the most recent date of introduction for the Zeus now?  The original date in TR:3025 had it predating the Mackie, IIRC.  If it's now been introduced in the First Succession War, would that make 2811 the year of its debut?

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Re: Mech of the Week: ZEU-** Zeus
« Reply #25 on: 20 May 2013, 04:29:42 »
What is the most recent date of introduction for the Zeus now?  The original date in TR:3025 had it predating the Mackie, IIRC.  If it's now been introduced in the First Succession War, would that make 2811 the year of its debut?

cheers,

Gabe

The MUL puts the ZEU-5T's introduction into 2787, with the 5S following it the year after that. So it postdates the dissolution of the Star League by just a few years. (Well, darn. With the 'Mech just about missing Kerensky's exodus, there goes the inspiration for my Clan Zeus...)

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Re: Mech of the Week: ZEU-** Zeus
« Reply #26 on: 20 May 2013, 04:55:38 »
The MUL puts the ZEU-5T's introduction into 2787, with the 5S following it the year after that. So it postdates the dissolution of the Star League by just a few years. (Well, darn. With the 'Mech just about missing Kerensky's exodus, there goes the inspiration for my Clan Zeus...)
Prototypes made their way into the hands of the exodus fleet, I mean there's the Jenner IIC. And it's odd that we've never received IIC a versions of the Atlas

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Re: Mech of the Week: ZEU-** Zeus
« Reply #27 on: 20 May 2013, 05:18:39 »
Prototypes made their way into the hands of the exodus fleet, I mean there's the Jenner IIC. And it's odd that we've never received IIC a versions of the Atlas

The Jenner came about a few crucial years earlier (7-A in 2779, 7-F in the Exodus Year 2784, 7-D in '85). I suppose I could go with something like "yeah, there was totally this one SLDF trooper who became a test pilot for Defiance after the fall of Amaris and who then managed to 'liberate' an early Zeus prototype before heading out to join Kerensky with it in tow, and then that one 'Mech lasted long enough throughout all of the Pentagon Civil War and Operation Klondike that later during the Golden Century some bright individual decided to build a few more working copies upgraded with Clantech"...but it'd honestly be kind of a stretch in a universe that's seen quite a few too many similar stretches before.

(Although...heck, now that I have gotten that idea stuck in my head, I suppose I might as well roll with it anyway. ;))

Edited to add: ...and then of course my actual physical printed copy of Historical: Operation Klondike chooses to list the ZEU-6S, formally introduced only in 2898 according to the MUL, on its Pentagon Powers RAT. Go figure. ::)
« Last Edit: 20 May 2013, 05:26:56 by A. Lurker »

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Re: Mech of the Week: ZEU-** Zeus
« Reply #28 on: 20 May 2013, 05:59:36 »
Guess they had access to the proposal documents... in the Core Kerensky took (man, would most of the Inner Sphere like to see the Sea Fox to leak that thing).

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Re: Mech of the Week: ZEU-** Zeus
« Reply #29 on: 20 May 2013, 11:15:18 »
A Clan player should always have a sneer when he discusses the kind of gear he faces in combat, if you really play as a Clanner.

But an INTELLIGENT Clan player should always have a healthy respect for the gear he faces too, when it deserves respect. And a Jade Falcon player should always, ALWAYS look at a Zeus as a pretty serious issue, every time one takes the field. It's quicker than you give an assault (particularly when you're used to Steiner's other assortment of high-weight toys), but still carries a pretty hefty amount of muscle to the field. It's tough- they seem to take forever to kill. And with the exception of the 10WB, they tend to be able to use their respectable firepower because they rarely suffer from major heat issues. It won't stand up in firepower to a Falcon assault-style machine like a Warhawk or Night Gyr, and it gets outmaneuvered pretty easily by a Summoner. But as part of a team, a Zeus can be a very difficult opponent for even a tough Clan force to deal with. I've faced them repeatedly in my time, and they never get any more fun to deal with. The recent 'X' versions only make things even more frustrating. ;)
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