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Phract-3D Design: The Gershom


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#1 Wrenchfarm

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 11:38 AM

The Cataphract has been a staple of House Davion Lances since it's construction. A dependable heavy mech that could be relied upon, and The Gershom, a -3D variant piloted by loyalist Nicholas Reffin was no exception. With a pair of fearsome AC10s, four medium lasers and an experimental XL290 engine, The Gershom was a classic design that saw it's share of battles and always comported itself well on the field, bringing victory and honour to its pilot.

But a mechwarrior is never completely satisfied. While The Gershom was successful, Nicholas was always irritated by its limitations. The mech shouldered the vulnerability of the XL engine, but still moved at a mediocre speed. This sluggishness made close range confrontations unpleasant when the fighting moved in, especially against highly manoeuvrable mechs. This was only compounded by the mech's inability to quickly dissipate heat. Temperature ratings rested in acceptable tolerances when lobbing shells at range, perhaps with sporadic use of the MLAS. But frequent firing of all four MLAS in a brawl situation had a tendency to build an uncomfortable amount of heat.

Still, with limited resources, it was hard to justify any changes on a successful – if imperfect – mech. The Gershom was ran as a powerful, but conventional heavy support unit for some time.

But in a changing time of war, more flexibility is desired from a heavy chassis. Flush with an unexpected source of income, Reffin demanded a complete overhaul of some of his older configurations from his engineering team. First among these refits was a project to expand the tactical flexibility of the Gershom.

After much deliberation and several rejected designs, the Gershom was completely striped and rebuilt over a matter of weeks.

While unpopular with some, the decision was made to actually reduce the armament on the mech, replacing the dual AC10s with a pair of UAC5s. The argument was made that despite the drop in single shot punch, the rapid firing rate of the combined UAC5s, provided it was properly managed, could bring the total destructive power of the cannons to near parity with the AC10s; and in some use-cases actually exceed them. This fire power could be maintain while projecting a more suppressive effect on the battlefield, laying down a threatening barrage of shells rather than the sporadic hammering of the AC10s. This was though to be more in line with the Gershom's expanded role as a more active direct fire support unit.

The lighter and more space efficient cannons made way for the upgraded XL320 engine. Capable of moving the large Cataphract at the more impressive speed of 74kph, the engine was further augmented by an additional heatsink over the old design, helping to alleviate what minor heat issues the Gershom had without losing any of the four medium lasers.

However, the most extensive augmentation to the mech's design was the rebuilding of the internal structural using the new weight efficient Endo-Steel technology and addition of 4 class-III jump jets. While bulky, the new lighter frame brought the mech just in line with the proper tonnage to thrust ratio needed to make the jets worth while.

While the Gershom will never exactly soar over the battlefield, the jump jets give the mech a decent amount of vertical and horizontal movement. This aerial mobility combined with the mech's higher top speed allow for a much greater range of tactical options. Whether using the jets to reach a high vantage point to fire a storm of UAC5 rounds down on an enemy, to escape an unfavourable engagement, or to short-cut and overtake a fleeing enemy, the jump-jets are a constant surprise to the Gershom's foes in the field.

The Gershom's remaining limitations mostly centre around it's shallow ammunition stores, 100 UAC5 rounds can be used up quickly in an engagement of even moderate length. The XL engine is a constant source of vexation and due concern in the broad chested Cataphract, requiring constant awareness of the mech's torso condition.

TL:DR version -
Spoiler


(Special thanks to SwordofLight for the inspiration!)

#2 Phalen

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 12:28 PM

Love these narratives. Well written. Seeing as i just purchased a 3d myself, i feel inspired:-)

#3 Xenon Codex

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 01:00 PM

Nice writeup, thanks for posting. I'll have to try out this build, but never had much luck with the UAC/5. It always ends up jamming after a couple of shots. Is there a trick to keep it from jamming so frequently yet still be able to use it's burst-mode capability?

#4 Wrenchfarm

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 06:16 PM

Thanks!

View PostXenonCx, on 27 December 2012 - 01:00 PM, said:

Is there a trick to keep it from jamming so frequently yet still be able to use it's burst-mode capability?


They don't lock up so long as the weapons have fully recycled. Watch the red bar and tap just as it completes for maximum firing rate (they do reload a little bit faster than the AC5s and provide solid DPS when fired like so). Otherwise, holding down the button to double fire or tapping rapidly will let you spit hot lead, but at the risk of jamming.

Most of the time it is better to be very disciplined with your shooting and try your best to fire as fast as possible without risking a jam, but in desperate situations (say, rounding the corner to find a ECMed Atlas) it may be best to just roll the bones and spam out as much fire as possible before dying.

#5 Cato Phoenix

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 06:57 AM

I roll 3 LLAS and 2UACS in mine, but trade off the speed and jumpjets. Might try the medium lasers and see how it floats.

#6 bantapoo

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 07:08 AM

nice write up, it would be nice to put in bold the specs parts in your text, for quick read out of your build ;)
other than that, 3xUAC5 muromets kills any cataphract :D

#7 Jungle Rhino

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:58 AM

Great write up - I have a plan for my 3D (which I just purchased last night)

2x PPCs in L/R torso
Gauss Rifle in R arm
2x ML in L/R arms (backup)
4x JJ
280XL

With the PPCs mounted in the relatively high torso slots it ought to make for a better pop tart (in theory) while the Gauss in the arm rather than the torso should hopefully prevent any catastrophic explosions!

#8 jshill78

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 12:14 PM

The most deadly Phracts I've come across use a much simpler build. 4 Large Lasers. 2 in torsos, 2 in arms. Largest XL engine you can mount (340 I think), 4 jump jets, almost max armor, AMS and ammo, load up the rest with double heat sinks.

The thing will roll at 86.6 and can sustain it's damage indefinitely. I've seen dropping 700-1000 damage in a match with this simple build. Heat is easy to manage if you learn when to fire 1, 2, or 4 lasers based on situation.

#9 Wrenchfarm

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 03:09 PM

View Postjshill78, on 03 January 2013 - 12:14 PM, said:

The most deadly Phracts I've come across use a much simpler build. 4 Large Lasers. 2 in torsos, 2 in arms. Largest XL engine you can mount (340 I think), 4 jump jets, almost max armor, AMS and ammo, load up the rest with double heat sinks.

The thing will roll at 86.6 and can sustain it's damage indefinitely. I've seen dropping 700-1000 damage in a match with this simple build. Heat is easy to manage if you learn when to fire 1, 2, or 4 lasers based on situation.


You know, that is actually a great idea. I really love my build here and I like using the ballistics, but I can definitely see the potential in your idea.

Damn, I laserboat it up so much the 3D is one of my few slug chuckers and now you're tempting me to swap it up!

That said, I think the UAC5s still give you better range, excellent heat:damage value, and a hard targeted punch to specific components.





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