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Author Topic: Dealing with Assaults  (Read 1852 times)

Minemech

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #60 on: 03 April 2020, 23:36:10 »
Which would give it the armor of a Battlemaster.   I'm not seeing a Battlemaster as being "Low" armored.
While it is supposed to be a faction preferred mech, it is not my cup of tea. The armor of a Crocket better befits its mass, even if the armor of an Orion is not weak in a heavy mech sense.

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You claimed 3/4 had low armor.

I'm saying None of them has Low armor.

The Hellbringer has low armor.    The Rifleman/Warhammer have Low Armor.

Having max armor for a mech only 5-10 tons less isn't low, its standard.
You are simply using a different scale than I am. It is true that some mechs are aluminum cans for their mass.


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I think its GREAT at winning on its own.

In 3025 I used to have fun killing Awesomes with it on bog standard BT-2E maps.
Use the little cover they have to close & then proceed to dismantle it under the range of the PPCs.

Its in lance battles where it had issues because THEN you didn't have the ability to dodge just one opponent.
Much like trying to backstab with a FireMoth-H,  it sounds great on paper,  and works against a single opponent, but when there is a lance out there its a lot harder to pull that move off & survive to do it a 2nd time.
I primarily played company fights. Awesomes underperformed in 1v1. In fact, most tech 1 IS assaults are designed to work better in formations than alone. The Atlas is a great example of a mech that works well as a bodyguard, but is less effective as a loner.

Colt Ward

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #61 on: 04 April 2020, 00:46:44 »
Why would it be a DPS race machine when there are so many better weapons that do more damage for the tonnage?
ERPPC-c,  MPL-c, ERMLc,  ERLL-c
None of which it has.

The LPL is one of my least favorite things about the DW-A.
I just like it for the heat curve and 3rd ton of Gauss ammo.

Huh?  Most of the long range firepower is in the 3 cLPLs- its the reason it gets taken in a lot of BV competitive fights.  The cLPLs make it a DPS race machine because the Clan machine is trying to throw more damage before its armor becomes a memory.  While I prefer the cERLL, the usual opinion is the cLPL is superior- they do the same damage, the Pulse is easier to hit with for less heat.
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Greatclub

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #62 on: 04 April 2020, 02:33:32 »
Let me define what I meant by DPS race.

Take a Dire Wolf A, 3/4 pilot. ~3900 bv, 304 points of armor.

On the other side, a Victor and a Zeus (Neither considered well armoured), 4/5 pilots. ~2700 bv, 368 points of armor, way more internal structure, and there's enough left BV over for a good medium.

Most clan forces simply can't take as much damage as equivalent inner sphere forces. They have to deal damage faster or die. Fortunately, they can; the question is, fast enough



As for the LPL, on a sheer damage/ton/heat basis they fall behind other clan weapons, but make up for it in range and accuracy. Their relative worth rises in proportion with the speed of their opponents.
« Last Edit: 04 April 2020, 02:43:41 by Greatclub »

Nastyogre

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #63 on: 04 April 2020, 03:32:04 »
Tech level has a whole lot to do with this.

Intro-tech. Yes you can try and run around and flank and kick undergunned and slow assaults.  There is one thing often overlooked which I'll get to.

Star League/ IS Clan Invasion level, it gets dicey. Plenty of slow assaults left, but they are often better gunned than they were, more ammo etc. While the flanker units are too, those flankers still only have so much armor.

Clan and Jihad and after? Plenty of faster assaults that pack some really scary heat. The calculus gets impossibly tough. It is relatively easy to find some perfect flanker that can backstab assaults that can't cover themselves.

One point I think people miss at the Intro and SL level. Those flankers are often rather poorly armored. They often have just one weapon to plink away with. That WLF is not going to enjoy trying to trade it's armor against that Atlas, though to be honest people are making a near "Best in class vs Worst in class" (at least to deal with the problem being discussed) It's not a very legit comparison. That WLF is going to be one unhappy camper vs an Awesome. "Just get close" Sure, until you lose initiative and the Awesome gets to plop itself at 4 to 6 (best at 6) and melt you. Even something like a Banshee 3E, while being undergunned can rush a medium and make it fall back and potentially trap it against terrain or a map edge. Few lights would have the guns and armor to survive trading shots.

The other thing I don't dig about the false choices is that you don't often face an assault in this sort of a situation. The assault mech has friends. Those friends may well cover it's back. Even a BV Balanced game, a lance of Assaults would face 8 to 10 mediums, or a company of lights and Mediums.  Those mediums MIGHT be able to flank and circle. OR They might see 1 of their number evaporate every turn. Sure, All PHX, GRF's etc can probably plink them to death, if your force is tuned to do it. And you know Awesomes don't Death Star you. What happens if you take to 2 PPC shots and fail that PSR? That Atlas might be in AC 20 range next turn. 

I think people assume way too quickly that a fast flanker is going to down the assault. Atlas-D Sure. In a straight up fight with favorable terrain. If there is a mission involved? Perhaps heavy terrain that limits that move modifier, gives the Atlas cover or allows the Atlas to put their back to a building or a hill, or even a board edge? The Atlas has the armor to sit stock still and cut loose. If the Assault is a Banshee 3S, you can't dance and play. It will have the firepower to kill the flankers at range and up close and the armor to trade fire. You actually have to compare your armor and speed advantage to the armor and limits of the assault mech. If you are a PHX with a sad 128 points of armor and you want to use your 1 LL to drop an Atlas? That LRM 20 is mighty scary unless you can work behind the fatty.

I also reject that in play the "horde" tactic is effective consistently. Has it been done to me? Sure. Mostly through really well done combined arms with cheap but effective tanks, solid infantry and mechs that can come in an exploit things. Usually I got caught with a low mobility and high ammo force (In Mekwars campaigns you don't always have a lot of choice about what you have)

An AS7-D is 9.6 Million Cbills. 1897 BV. How do you want to balance the fight?

Tonnage? 5 Locust/Stinger/Wasps vs 1 Atlas. They are doomed. Not enough of them.  2 Centurions? They might win if they pull some sort of headshot, otherwise? That Atlas will get them. 2 Trebbys? Probably not enough ammo to drop the Atlas.  2 Griffins. IF the LRM 20 doesn't tear off an arm or leg and the map is big enough. They can probably take him. Course they are more expensive in Cbills and BV so by two measures that's not a balanced fight.

Balance by Cbills? so 6 bug mechs? No not enough. 2 Centurions or 2 Enforcers and something about 2.5 million Cbills? Commando or Valkyrie? Maybe? 2 Griffins are more expensive than An Atlas.

Balance by BV and one Griffin is on it's own with a rather cheap friend. 1897-1272= 625 BV left to take a friend. There are few mechs at 600 BV. Bugs are 4 or 500 tops. Most heavier lights or light mediums run 700. Atlas has a pretty good chance there.

It's just not a sure thing, or even likely to think mobility is always a killer against big slow assaults. It can be done, but it just isn't a simple as it seems.

I agree the OP was basically hosed with slow mediums vs big assaults. Either play for the interest "How long can the brave light/medium company hold out against the monsters?" Or Balance the fight by BV. If you can choose your forces, you can design a force that could plink the assaults to death. Unless they have Awesomes or Longbow 7Q's Or worse, An Awesome, A Longbow-7Q an Atlas and Something a bit faster like a Battlemaster or Banshee. Even a whole company is going to be pressed to down that.

Clans? Sure. Just bring fast units with LPL. Fun game that. Yes that will work. Unless they have Clan tech too and the right variant to match you or just flatten you with some monstrous ERPPC or mechwarrior nightmare weapon.

Minemech

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #64 on: 04 April 2020, 09:05:33 »
Tech level has a whole lot to do with this.

Intro-tech. Yes you can try and run around and flank and kick undergunned and slow assaults.  There is one thing often overlooked which I'll get to.

Star League/ IS Clan Invasion level, it gets dicey. Plenty of slow assaults left, but they are often better gunned than they were, more ammo etc. While the flanker units are too, those flankers still only have so much armor.

Clan and Jihad and after? Plenty of faster assaults that pack some really scary heat. The calculus gets impossibly tough. It is relatively easy to find some perfect flanker that can backstab assaults that can't cover themselves.

One point I think people miss at the Intro and SL level. Those flankers are often rather poorly armored. They often have just one weapon to plink away with. That WLF is not going to enjoy trying to trade it's armor against that Atlas, though to be honest people are making a near "Best in class vs Worst in class" (at least to deal with the problem being discussed) It's not a very legit comparison. That WLF is going to be one unhappy camper vs an Awesome. "Just get close" Sure, until you lose initiative and the Awesome gets to plop itself at 4 to 6 (best at 6) and melt you. Even something like a Banshee 3E, while being undergunned can rush a medium and make it fall back and potentially trap it against terrain or a map edge. Few lights would have the guns and armor to survive trading shots.
To put this in layman's terms, many mechs perform better in different environments. Mechs like the Zeus are much more dangerous as part of an integrated lance, than they are solo. A well constructed lance for a lance battle will be able to cover many of the weaknesses of its individual parts. In a company battle, the various lances will cover more weaknesses still. Then you have to add in the fact that the greater lance is capable of a barrage, which drastically increases the overall firepower being concentrated, and some mechs which seem well armored for their weight class can go poof.
 Furthermore, mechs like the Banshee tend to be underestimated because they are poorly armed for their weight class. That does not mean that they cannot mop the floor with mediums [My shot against the Charger still stands, because while it has nice 8 point punches, it is simply outclassed].

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The other thing I don't dig about the false choices is that you don't often face an assault in this sort of a situation. The assault mech has friends. Those friends may well cover it's back. Even a BV Balanced game, a lance of Assaults would face 8 to 10 mediums, or a company of lights and Mediums.  Those mediums MIGHT be able to flank and circle. OR They might see 1 of their number evaporate every turn. Sure, All PHX, GRF's etc can probably plink them to death, if your force is tuned to do it. And you know Awesomes don't Death Star you. What happens if you take to 2 PPC shots and fail that PSR? That Atlas might be in AC 20 range next turn. 
A tuned force might be able to prevail eventually, but a well designed assault lance is far from defenseless. Even a mediocre one can still fight.

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I think people assume way too quickly that a fast flanker is going to down the assault. Atlas-D Sure. In a straight up fight with favorable terrain. If there is a mission involved? Perhaps heavy terrain that limits that move modifier, gives the Atlas cover or allows the Atlas to put their back to a building or a hill, or even a board edge? The Atlas has the armor to sit stock still and cut loose. If the Assault is a Banshee 3S, you can't dance and play. It will have the firepower to kill the flankers at range and up close and the armor to trade fire. You actually have to compare your armor and speed advantage to the armor and limits of the assault mech. If you are a PHX with a sad 128 points of armor and you want to use your 1 LL to drop an Atlas? That LRM 20 is mighty scary unless you can work behind the fatty.
Mechs are ultimately caught within the limitations of their mass. While big guns have limits, they do matter.

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I also reject that in play the "horde" tactic is effective consistently. Has it been done to me? Sure. Mostly through really well done combined arms with cheap but effective tanks, solid infantry and mechs that can come in an exploit things. Usually I got caught with a low mobility and high ammo force (In Mekwars campaigns you don't always have a lot of choice about what you have)
Tactics alone cannot succeed. Your force has to be tuned to implement them, and you have to assume that the enemy is able to counter them.

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An AS7-D is 9.6 Million Cbills. 1897 BV. How do you want to balance the fight?

Tonnage? 5 Locust/Stinger/Wasps vs 1 Atlas. They are doomed. Not enough of them.  2 Centurions? They might win if they pull some sort of headshot, otherwise? That Atlas will get them. 2 Trebbys? Probably not enough ammo to drop the Atlas.  2 Griffins. IF the LRM 20 doesn't tear off an arm or leg and the map is big enough. They can probably take him. Course they are more expensive in Cbills and BV so by two measures that's not a balanced fight.

Balance by Cbills? so 6 bug mechs? No not enough. 2 Centurions or 2 Enforcers and something about 2.5 million Cbills? Commando or Valkyrie? Maybe? 2 Griffins are more expensive than An Atlas.

Balance by BV and one Griffin is on it's own with a rather cheap friend. 1897-1272= 625 BV left to take a friend. There are few mechs at 600 BV. Bugs are 4 or 500 tops. Most heavier lights or light mediums run 700. Atlas has a pretty good chance there.
There is no perfect balancing system, and some mechs are more efficient than others in a given system.

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It's just not a sure thing, or even likely to think mobility is always a killer against big slow assaults. It can be done, but it just isn't a simple as it seems.

I agree the OP was basically hosed with slow mediums vs big assaults. Either play for the interest "How long can the brave light/medium company hold out against the monsters?" Or Balance the fight by BV. If you can choose your forces, you can design a force that could plink the assaults to death. Unless they have Awesomes or Longbow 7Q's Or worse, An Awesome, A Longbow-7Q an Atlas and Something a bit faster like a Battlemaster or Banshee. Even a whole company is going to be pressed to down that.
A simple concept is not necessarily easy to implement. We need to know what your force is designed for. Is it a scenario force? Is it a force that is designed to beat a certain type of foe? Is it a general team, meant to take on anything? Do you just want to play with those mechs? Understand that limitations come with any choice.

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Clans? Sure. Just bring fast units with LPL. Fun game that. Yes that will work. Unless they have Clan tech too and the right variant to match you or just flatten you with some monstrous ERPPC or mechwarrior nightmare weapon.
Frankly, the Clans have supremacy in firepower and accuracy. Their weapons weigh less, and have better range, and damage. They also tend to have better gunnery skills. Even with balancing systems making their armor low relative to yours, be ready for a smacking.
« Last Edit: 04 April 2020, 09:09:01 by Minemech »

Hellraiser

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #65 on: 04 April 2020, 10:04:12 »
Huh?  Most of the long range firepower is in the 3 cLPLs- its the reason it gets taken in a lot of BV competitive fights.  The cLPLs make it a DPS race machine because the Clan machine is trying to throw more damage before its armor becomes a memory.  While I prefer the cERLL, the usual opinion is the cLPL is superior- they do the same damage, the Pulse is easier to hit with for less heat.

I'd say the reason it gets taken in BV games is because its Oversinked, Over-Ammo'd, & under armed & is an Alpha baby instead of a Bracket machine which means it has less overall firepower on an Alpha compared to the Prime-B or later models.

I guess I wasn't clear, the 3 LPLs are nice, and I accept that they do twice the damage of the Gauss in total.
Its that its main armament is C-LPL that annoys me.  I would much prefer a pair of C-ERPPCs for hole punching.

Use the remaining 6 tons to add a battery of MPLs to keep some accuracy against close range backstabbers.

The B is far more my taste in its Arm-weapons right till you get that ridiculous quad Ultra-2 turret which combined w/ no extra DHS ruins it for me. 

I use the DW-A not FOR the LPL's, which is why many love it, but for the overall lower BV, friendly heat scale, & the "feel" of the mech that it has proper ammo levels for a WAR-machine, instead of a "Duel" machine.
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Fear Factory

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #66 on: 05 April 2020, 14:13:45 »
Just to chime in again... low piloting skills are grossly underestimated.

I'm assuming if someone is pitting a lance of Assault 'Mechs against a lance of Mediums, you're going to balance it by giving the Medium lance better skills or have this some kind of scenario.

The Axman vs Atlas thing comes to mind. You can field a 4/1 Axman 2N against an 4/5 AS7-D for about the same BV. I've played this scenario against Abou. The 2N unloads all of it's missiles on the Atlas, then closes in for the blows with the Hatchet. It is surprisingly effective. Also, if the opponent likes to hang out on the map edge or on high terrain, charge/push them off. You're going to hit with a low piloting skill since you add the difference in piloting to the TN. Units that have large engines in the upper-tier of their weight class do wonders despite the flak they seem to get. One of the reason the Ostsol is a favorite of mine.

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #67 on: 05 April 2020, 14:28:09 »
Just to chime in again... low piloting skills are grossly underestimated.

I'm assuming if someone is pitting a lance of Assault 'Mechs against a lance of Mediums, you're going to balance it by giving the Medium lance better skills or have this some kind of scenario.

The Axman vs Atlas thing comes to mind. You can field a 4/1 Axman 2N against an 4/5 AS7-D for about the same BV. I've played this scenario against Abou. The 2N unloads all of it's missiles on the Atlas, then closes in for the blows with the Hatchet. It is surprisingly effective. Also, if the opponent likes to hang out on the map edge or on high terrain, charge/push them off. You're going to hit with a low piloting skill since you add the difference in piloting to the TN. Units that have large engines in the upper-tier of their weight class do wonders despite the flak they seem to get. One of the reason the Ostsol is a favorite of mine.
That's a very interesting idea.  I'd have to wonder how useful it'd be outside of quick pick-up games, since you can't exactly manufacture a mechwarrior with the right combination of low piloting stat and middling gunnery you need to make it work in the middle of a campaign.

Greatclub

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #68 on: 05 April 2020, 14:31:45 »
Instead of using an Atlas as the yardstick assault, how about we use a Banshee -3S or a Stalker.

When you get down to it, the Atlas is an overgrown hunchback with a long range token. It is startlingly easy to take down 1v1 if you have enough time and a PPC.

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #69 on: 05 April 2020, 14:36:57 »
Just to chime in again... low piloting skills are grossly underestimated.

I'm assuming if someone is pitting a lance of Assault 'Mechs against a lance of Mediums, you're going to balance it by giving the Medium lance better skills or have this some kind of scenario.

The Axman vs Atlas thing comes to mind. You can field a 4/1 Axman 2N against an 4/5 AS7-D for about the same BV. I've played this scenario against Abou. The 2N unloads all of it's missiles on the Atlas, then closes in for the blows with the Hatchet. It is surprisingly effective. Also, if the opponent likes to hang out on the map edge or on high terrain, charge/push them off. You're going to hit with a low piloting skill since you add the difference in piloting to the TN. Units that have large engines in the upper-tier of their weight class do wonders despite the flak they seem to get. One of the reason the Ostsol is a favorite of mine.

i am reminded of the Ostsol 8M i had in a campaign with a 4/2 pilot. dual-headcapper punches regularly needing TNs around 6-7 flying around at 7/11 speed had a disproportionate effect on shaping the battle

Ruger

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #70 on: 05 April 2020, 15:49:21 »
Instead of using an Atlas as the yardstick assault, how about we use a Banshee -3S or a Stalker.

When you get down to it, the Atlas is an overgrown hunchback with a long range token. It is startlingly easy to take down 1v1 if you have enough time and a PPC.

What if you used the Atlas-RS instead?

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #71 on: 05 April 2020, 15:57:27 »
What if you used the Atlas-RS instead?

Ruger

That works. Or a Samsonov.

The standard atlas works as a bodyguard or infighter. If somebody isn't coming to it and it can't get to the enemy, it's really lacklustre

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #72 on: 05 April 2020, 18:16:47 »
It doesn't matter if it's an Atlas or Banshee. I just used the Atlas because it was used for the scenario.

Getz

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #73 on: 05 April 2020, 20:25:59 »
Instead of using an Atlas as the yardstick assault, how about we use a Banshee -3S or a Stalker.

When you get down to it, the Atlas is an overgrown hunchback with a long range token. It is startlingly easy to take down 1v1 if you have enough time and a PPC.

This is what I was alluding to earlier.  Everyone who invokes the "assaults are easy to take down with light mechs" line always talks about taking down Atlases, but the Atlas 7D is one of the few mechs where this "high movement mods outside the range of it's main guns" strategy reliably works.  It's really slow, doesn't jump and only has token long ranged firepower so you can very easily keep outside the range of it's main weaponry and it cannot itself generate a high movement mods required to push the fire of an decent pilot from "this is going to take a while" into the "why am I even bothering" bracket.

But not all (or even most) assaults are Atlas 7Ds.  Even if we restrict ourselves to just Succession War machines, most are faster, have more significant ranged firepower or both.  The Awesome, Goliath, Banshee 3E and Zeus are geared around long ranged combat - if you can shoot at them they'll be shooting right back with most of their arsenal.  The Stalker and Banshee 3S are all range generalists that can hurt you for afar and crush you if get close to them.  The Battlemaster and Cyclops are mostly geared towards short ranged combat like the Atlas 7D, but they are at least a bit faster so they can make your shots harder and the most extreme is the Victor because it has no long ranged armament at all, but it can jump so it is the best of all at evading enemy fire.

The Atlas 7D is by no means the worst in class of the Succession war assault mechs, but it is the one least able to win a duel against a decently mobile light mech with a long ranged gun. Give me something as mundane as a Zeus and I'd be reasonably confident I could put down the light before it wore me down.  Give me a Marauder II and I'd fear nothing from the Succession Wars...
« Last Edit: 05 April 2020, 20:32:52 by Getz »

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #74 on: 05 April 2020, 21:21:46 »
Mobility is really the Assault killer, which is why I recommended what I did. Is it a perfect way to do it? No. It's hard to honestly call because it comes down to the game's setup.

Minemech

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #75 on: 05 April 2020, 23:40:26 »
 So we agree that the 3rd Succession War assaults were largely geared for working in teams rather than for operating independently?

Getz

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #76 on: 06 April 2020, 07:45:43 »
Mobility is really the Assault killer, which is why I recommended what I did. Is it a perfect way to do it? No. It's hard to honestly call because it comes down to the game's setup.

Oh, I completely agree that you're going to need mobility if you want to take on assaults with lights and mediums - that and a willingness to take losses - but I'm tired of hearing it implied that it's easy or in some way inevitable that the lighter mech will win.

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Re: Dealing with Assaults
« Reply #77 on: 06 April 2020, 12:56:41 »
Oh, I completely agree that you're going to need mobility if you want to take on assaults with lights and mediums - that and a willingness to take losses - but I'm tired of hearing it implied that it's easy or in some way inevitable that the lighter mech will win.
That's why I stated that I've taken down a number of Assaults over the years with just a Locust, but the Locust STILL loses most of the time.  A 100 tonner is a tough nut to crack, no matter what Light or Medium machine you take, but it's not invincible by any means.

Basically, you need to find an advantage, and exploit that advantage to the hilt.  Whether it's high mobility, long-range firepower, SRM, MG, or LBX spam for critical hits, or a boat-load of AC/2 autocannons and deep ammo bins, you need something to work with.  A bunch of 4/6 Mediums has practically nothing going for it.

 

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