So the match starts (Forest Colony), and I run my Gauss-totting Dragon to the top of a hill, and start spotting for LRM’s on our team. I zoom in, and though I can’t fully target them from afar, I know an atlas upper torso when I see one, way in the distance. Angling my shot, I fire my Gauss, impacting just beside his skull-Head. Arm damage, crap. Lining up again, I heard the distinct whistle/shreak/scream of LRM’s, and given my position, I can guess where they’re headed.
Wheeling my ’Mech around I sprint behind some cover and power down. I take a few LRM hits, but it’s entirely armour damage and nothing is the worse for wear. I run up and poke my head up in the trees again, spotting that same Atlas (sure enough, I had hit his arm). Taking more careful aim, this time I do hit his head – and follow up with some lasers.
Sure enough, the pilot knows what I’m doing, and takes refuge behind an outcropping of rock. Meanwhile, our teams are going at it in the centre of the map. I see a K2 with dual Large Lasers, quad Medium Lasers, and a pair of Machine guns circling behind a Hunchback, who is desperately turning to turn and face him. His nine Medium Lasers scorching some of the side of the K2, but mostly missing, I decide to add to his fate, and fire a Gauss shot into his right torso, followed by two medium laser burns. Since the K2 had already had this same plan in mind, a dull ‘thud’ reaches my ears as his right torso explodes. The K2 should have him now, so I move on.
Other than that fight, things aren’t going so well. Our Jenner pilot accidentally crashes into another Atlas, knocking himself to the ground. The Atlas pilot, unimpressed, proceeds to Alpha Strike into the Jenner, killing him.
Close-in is a bad place for a Light pilot to make a mistake.
Our Hunchback 4SP gets a wicked dual SRM-6 blast knocks one of the legs off an enemy Commando who’d managed to get into a bad turn. I fire a blast at him, taking an arm clean off in a delicious explosion. The Commando is finished by the lasers on the 4SP, who then takes an AC-10/Medium Laser/SRM alpha from a Dragon (the 4SP does not survive).
The friendly K2 is gone, and it occurs to me now that things are quite perilous. It’s down to me in my Dragon against another Dragon, and that damaged Hunchback that I see run behind a hill. I turn to face the Dragon as the immediate threat, when I realise all that shaking isn’t my Dragon.
It’s that Atlas.
This is pretty much a worst-case visual scenario.
He’s right up next to me, and as he fires I managed to fall backward off the hill I’m standing on. I’m panicking, as this is pretty much a worst case scenario. I toggle my target to the Atlas, and note that at the very least, that K2 really gave as good as he got. The Atlas has low armour to his centre torso, left arm (thanks to me) and right leg. His head is doing very poor, with virtually no armour. As I fall I valiantly attempt to headshot him with my Gauss rifle, yet again hitting his left arm as I add my lasers, which hit his centre torso.
I run behind a hill as I take some laser damage to the back, but nothing severe. I juke back around the corner, with the CLINK of a Gauss shell loading, and pot-shot into the Atlas. I hit his arm, again, and my lasers hit his arm as well – an explosion rips out of him as his arm sails through the air. It’s not a lethal injury, but I’ll use what I can get.
As I fade back into the hills, the Atlas pilot manages an amazing turning shot where his AC-20 slams into the very front end of my gauss rifle, causing it damage, followed up by an SRM hit to it, my centre torso, and my left torso. His remaining lasers (those not lost to the arm) manage to hit my left leg and centre torso. Though I am now in cover, that exchange went worse than I’d hoped. I attempt to go around the hill, but as I come around the corner, there he is, aimed right at me. My Gauss destroys his LRM/SRM’d left torso (really?) as I discover to my chagrin that this Atlas is not using an XL engine. In recompense, I lose my Gauss rifle and more right torso health. My medium lasers firing, I notice his entire centre torso is nearly black – all that damage I did to the arm and torso has been adding inward, and he’s ready to collapse. Time seems to slow as our weapons charge – his arm-mounted large laser nears readiness, his AC-20 seems to whisper to me that it is about to fire. I feel, rather than see, his AC-20 round pass within centimetres of my head, the contrail behind it momentarily obscuring my view. I blindly fire into his core, at this point just lashing out, as an azure Large Laser beam sails through where my right arm was – and then an explosion. The Atlas, cored, falls backward.
It seems all that combat had drastically overheated him, and his last ‘override’ cost him. I wanted to feel cheated, but watching his own ammo rock his ’Mech apart I can’t help but shout for joy.
And then, way off to my right, I see the Hunchback trying to encircle me, or at least capture my base. Our ’Mechs look like they’re straight out of a demolition derby – his with no right torso to speak of, a nearly destroyed right leg, and severe damage everywhere else. Me with one arm, two medium lasers and severe structural damage. So of course I charge around the hill straight at him.
At this point he is in my base capture zone, but we both know this is ending in a kill. I swing around the corner and fire at his leg, hoping to cripple him so I can fire from behind. His twin medium lasers attempt to finish the job on my centre torso, so I twist and turn to take fire on my less-damage left torso. My second blast of lasers collapses his leg, and throws his aim off. As I attempt to go behind him, my cockpit flashes WARNING: CRITICAL DAMAGE in an attempt to get me to retreat, make a better attack.
Of course I don’t listen, and of course he’s in the same situation. As my centre is now near black in health I know I’m likely done for, and a twin blast of lasers hits me, I assume I’m done for.
At this point, I’m just being stubborn.
I flick my crosshairs over him as I take that hit, and the jostling moves my lasers right over his cockpit. Destroying it.
VICTORY flashes across my screen as my near-dead Dragon watches the Hunchback fall lazily backwards.
A cry of ‘What? No!’ rings in my ears as I slowly stand up, lift up my arms, and shout: