(Someone Else’s) Average Day In Beta
So I decided to change this one up a bit. I hope you all still like it.
It’s two minutes into the match, and I am dead. My Centurion took a wrong turn into an Atlas, Hunchback, and Catapult K2. I de-limbed the Atlas, so I at least did something. In spectator mode, I’m watching the Hunchback 4G equipped with a Gauss rifle and three medium lasers. He/she has a really interesting style – follow a hundred metres behind an Atlas. This works shockingly well – but let’s get to that as we go.
The Atlas being followed is a Founder’s – pretty much stock, except for dual SRM-6’s, a Gauss rifle, and I assume more heat sinks. Plodding forward on Frozen City, its gaze sweeps left and right. It is about 100 metres in front of the pilot I am viewing through. The Hunchback I am ‘ghosting’ is matching the speed of the Atlas in front, though I am not sure why. I understand the idea is to cover the Atlas, but why so far back? The loadout has obvious clues, but I don’t understand at first.
Following this is almost always a good idea.
The Atlas is between two buildings when it happens – a Commando jumps out. He’s mistimed the ambush though, and the Atlas pilot gets some glancing hits to the Commando’s side torso and legs with his medium lasers, and a couple of SRMs. The Commando quickly strafes behind the Atlas, and the Hunchback pilot’s strategy is clear. The Gauss rifle barks and the shell is there within miliseconds, just as the trio of medium lasers fires. The Commando’s right leg explodes, and the right torso gets damaged as well. About two seconds later the second volley hits, ripping through the right torso, blowing up the XL engine, and destroying the Mech. The Atlas looks, then pivots back to where he started and continues.
Most people assume ballistics are too hard to use against lights, but this pilot has no problems at all. The Atlas, ever forward, clips a Jenner running past it. The Jenner, popping a quick 180, jump jets over the Atlas. Already damaged from combat, the Jenner is suddenly surrounded by smoke as its left leg is removed, mid-flight. The Hunchback pilot has scored again. The Jenner lands roughly, and the second volley removes the other leg. Score two.
The Atlas pilot thanks my avatar with a quick ‘thx’ in chat. Quickly dispatching a damaged Hunchback, the Atlas crests a hill and is suddenly shaking under explosions. A Catapult has a lock on, and those LRMs are removing armour at a very fast rate. The normally calm and deliberate Hunchback pilot springs into action – pivoting left to the top of an outcropping of rock, and spots the enemy Catapult by the arc of the missiles. The familiar bark of a Gauss, followed by the shower of sparks and metal of an impact in the distance, indicates a direct hit. The enemy walks backwards to withdraw, but not before losing the right ‘ear’ of his Mech. Well, there go some incoming LRMs at the very least!
This is less intimidating when you’re not on the vanguard.
LRMs hit again, removing our right arm. How is it still- Oh. We see it, jump jetting above, firing directly down at us. Oh da- And suddenly, the single remaining ear explodes, and the Catapult shudders on its way down. The Jenner! That beautiful Jenner! We’re hit with four medium lasers, but the distance is so extreme it barely does any damage at all. We fire back with our head-mounted medium laser, again in defiance, cheering the Jenner on. We race over to help, and arrive just in time to watch the very damaged left torso explode. The ‘pult struggles to put the Jenner in the crosshairs, as we add our laser to the exposed right side. Quickly 180 spinning overhead, the Jenner fires down, destroyed the right torso, and the next volley cores the Mech. Without a word or glance, the Jenner races off. “Thanks!” we type. “NP” is the reply.
A well piloted light is an utter nightmare to face in combat.
Our defense had broken the flanking attempts by this point and had encircled the defending (and damaged) Awesome and, as we cautiously made our way over, I think about what an amazing bit of choreography team work can be. And as I think that, a Dragon whips around the corner, coring me with a quick Ultra AC-5/medium laser/SRM combo. We all laugh, myself, the Hunchback pilot, and our whole team as we capture the enemy base. Sure, we got destroyed – but through our efforts the team won.
And isn’t that what we’re all here for?