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Mech Role By Weight Class

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#1 Agryfvar


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Posted 10 October 2013 - 10:51 PM

Greetings MechWarriors,

I am known here as Agryfvar, don't worry about that you will likely forget it a few moments.

I've been fighting here a while and I just wanted to share my observations and the way I approach combat based on a Mech's classification. I know there are likely a dozen or more of these guides out here and this is more a general overview for those who are wanting to pick which weight class is most interesting to them. Granted there are ways to change your mech's role on the battlefield but again this is the general behaviour of a battlemech.

A few words about what I mean in my following notes.

The primary directive is what your weight class does best. This is what you should start doing the moment your mech powers up.

The secondary directive is what you can do while achieving your primary directive without harming your chances to achieve your primary directive. Feel free to do other things with your mech.

Easy Targets.
These are targets that you will, in general, have more advantages then disadvantages over when attacking. They are by no means 'easy' to kill but they are easier to handle.

Neutral targets.
These targets you are, in general, fighting against without any major advantages or disadvantages. They can still kill you and in some situations will have more advantages then you but with practise you can compensate for.

Hard targets.
These targets hold more advantages then you will and attacking them has to be done properly or you will get your mechs' metal rear handed to you very quickly.

These are again generalizations based solely on my observations of weight class. There are so many possible chassis and load out combinations it would be a far longer guide and beyond the scope of what I intent to do here. To go into the general advantages of each cassis and each variant and each common customer load out, so on and so forth is not feasible here.

On with the observations.


Primary directive, Attack.
- You are the tip of the spear. You are going to take a lot of hits but you have the armour to take it and the weapons to deal death right back at the enemy. Assaults are slow so you have to have your plan of attack before you even drop. If you don't know where you are going you will get cut off and destroyed.

Secondary directive, Fire support.
- You have big guns and lots of them, use them to hit your enemy from afar. You are not fast but missiles, lasers and cannon rounds are. Let them do the hard work of reaching your enemy. Your allies can spot for you so let them and bring the rain upon your foes.

Easy targets, Heavy mechs.
- Heavy mechs carry less firepower and armour then you do and do not possess the maneuverability to escape your firepower easily.

Neutral target, Medium mechs.
- They have far less firepower and armour but that much more maneuverability, you can still hit them and with a few good shots take them down.

Hard targets, Assault, Light mechs.
- Assaults; you are fighting on even terms, which is a bad place to start. It will be the MechWarrior who knows and manages their mech better who will win.
- Lights; These buggers are fast, small and hard to hit. Baring any allies, your only hope is to have your arms unlocked and try to get some good hits on them as they go by in a blur. They don't have much firepower but they can hit you where it hurts most, your back, and they likely can outmaneuver you and stay behind you if the pilot is good. And that little 'reverse your turn' trick will work on some but if the light pilot is watching you and not just running in circles they will stop circling and get a few extra shots on your rear armour.

Heavy Mechs.

Primary Directive, Flank attack.
- You have firepower and mobility so use it. Get to the sides of your enemy and focus your fire. Surprise and cunning are your best allies here. Keep your enemy in your fire arcs and stay out of theirs as best you can.

Secondary Directive, Mop up.
- Any enemy that has disengaged from your allies or managed to evade them is still dangerous lock on, find their damaged areas and make them curse you from the sidelines.

Easy targets, Medium mechs.
- They are lighter and carry less firepower then you and likely cannot escape you. The weight of your attack will bring them down in short order if you are accurate.

Neutral Targets, heavy mechs.
- You are hitting on even terms but you can win if you can put other advantages in your favour.

Hard Targets, Assault, light mechs.
- Assaults; hit harder and carry more armor then you, they are all around hard to take down and if you do your mech will pay for the victory with its own durability making you an easy target for the next guy to come along.
- Lights; You may move better then an assault but if the light pilot is crafty they can still stay behind you and rip away your armour and kill you in short order. These guys cannot be ignored or it will be a light that kills you.

Medium mechs.

Primary Directive, Cover Fire.
- You may not have a lot of weapons but you have enough to give any flankers something else to think about other then their primary target. When battle lines merge you will be the one to keep enemy mechs off your allies backs.

Secondary Directive, Light mech hunter.
- Your prey are the light mechs running around, find them and make them pay for trying to recon your team, set an ambush or cap a point.

Easy Targets, Light mechs.
- For once you have the firepower to deal with a light mech and the maneuverability to keep up with them in the short term. Keep focused and you will burn away their armour and leave them a smoking pile of salvage.

Neutral Targets, Medium mechs.
- Any even fight is not one you want a part of. Fighting on even terms places more effort on you and you must make your shots count as you won't get many of them.

- Hard Targets, Assault, Heavy mechs.
- Both these classes hit harder then you and carry more armour. If you are not careful they will send you to the ground easily.

Light mechs.

Primary Directive, Recon.
- Speed is your armour, move, keep moving and only stop when you are firmly latched onto someone's behind and don't stop firing. You are also the first to detect the enemy. Spot for your allies and stay alive. Maneuver because your life depends on it. You do have armour but that is only there to stop you from being oneshot'ed by the enemy the moment someone gets a bead on you and fires.

Secondary Directive, Harassment.
- Not the illegal kind but make the enemy worry more about you then your allies. Most mechs have difficulty dealing with light mechs and so fear them more then they will care to admit. If you pop up at the right time and confuse the enemy your allies just may get to take down needed to win. If the enemy does not take your presence seriously you just might walk away with a kill or two.

Easy targets, Assault mechs.
- You have the speed and special extras to make it past their guns and behind them. Watch their reactions to your presence and if they don't, bonus.

Neutral Targets, Heavy, Light mechs.
- Once again we find ourselves on even terms with the lights and just maneuverable enough to escape a heavy.

Hard Targets, Medium mechs.
- These guys will kill you. They will hunt for you and make sure you do not have a leg to stand on.

I hope this helps.

#2 Hex Pallett


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Posted 10 October 2013 - 11:03 PM

No, it doesn't.

You'll have to break the roles down to every chassis.

#3 Wispsy


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Posted 11 October 2013 - 01:55 AM

Well that is how it was originally meant to work..not quite true in game though!

#4 Polignac


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Posted 11 October 2013 - 04:26 AM

I've been playing MWO for a good year or so now, and I think this is VERY accurate. In particular, I think medium mech pilots should take note...all too often I see mediums plow into battle alongside assaults and get nailed. Excellent overview!

#5 SKFirebird


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Posted 11 October 2013 - 09:39 AM

In broad strokes this is pretty accurate, however once pilots start tinkering with load outs then you can have light mechs, loaded with a PPC take on the stated role of a Heavy(Flank Attack/Mop Up) or a Spider loaded with MGs turn into a light hunter.

Jaggers and Catphracts Seem to be at the front line of an assault as often as a Atlas, in my experience, while I've seen Centurions and other mediums act as scouts and spotters.

All to say, armor class roles are a decent beginner rule of thumb, but an experienced player can make just about any mech fill the role they want to play, as long as they can mount the appropriate modules and options on it along with load out.

#6 Skexy


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Posted 12 October 2013 - 11:10 AM

There are exceptions to every rule; as people here are quick to point out; however, before you can find the exceptions, you must write the rule.


#7 Bront


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Posted 13 October 2013 - 07:11 AM

Generally well done, but its not 100% accurate. It is how things were generally intended though, and isn't a bad guide for new players.

#8 Agryfvar


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Posted 13 October 2013 - 11:02 AM

Thank you for your reviews.

This is intended as a starting point, and there are plenty of exceptions even just considering weight, but these are things you pick up after you have been piloting for a while.

#9 Agryfvar


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Posted 20 October 2013 - 03:22 PM

A simple update to this, with the introduction of the Locust, a 20 ton mini-mech, we see an example of an extreme mech, one at the extremes of the weight band.
Tactics for such a light weight mech are going to be based around speed and mobility. That single medium laser and MG's won't do too much damage, some of those variants increase firepower at the expense of armor. As if you could shave off more, 88 points won't protect you much at all. If armor were a swimsuit the Locust would be in a speedo and there isn't much gain from endo-steel structure or FF armor as there just isn't that much there to begin with.

This one still falls into my categories it is just a more extreme example of a light mech. Just keep moving and let your speed carry you away from harm.

I look forward to the speed tweak and I'll bet we hear "punch it Chewie" a lot more and watch these little guys vanish before us. Still with armor being wafer thin a few good hits with a large laser should bring it down and we get something even single lighter weapons can take down.

The Locust is a harder mech to learn to use effectively as you are so light torso twisting is a must. You have to learn to evade. The best armor for these guys is to just not be there when the shot lands. The question is does it have the speed to counter most weapons fire or is it just an explosion waiting to happen.
Good luck Locust pilots.

#10 Amsro


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Posted 31 October 2013 - 04:56 PM

In the current game meta there is only ONE role, kill the enemy mech, if you can't do this don't bring that mech. Boring I know but thats the Meta. 12 vs 12 blob of death. GG.

#11 Kai Harper


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Posted 06 November 2013 - 11:50 AM

View PostAmsro, on 31 October 2013 - 04:56 PM, said:

In the current game meta there is only ONE role, kill the enemy mech, if you can't do this don't bring that mech. Boring I know but thats the Meta. 12 vs 12 blob of death. GG.

I can't say I completely agree with that, Amsro. I've had numerous matches where scouting was the deciding factor, or where hit and run tactics took out key targets over the last couple of weeks. Some matches just turn into that kind of cluster----, but it's not anywhere near 100% of the time, in my experience.

#12 Bront


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Posted 06 November 2013 - 01:05 PM

It depends. Assault? Scouting can make a huge difference. Conquest? Capping, hit and run, and rapid responce can win a match. Sure, it does eventually come down to killing, but it helps when you can force the engagement on your terms and where you have an advantage in your role.

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