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Dealing With Those Ac40 Mechs...


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#1 Mcchuggernaut

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 04:21 AM

We have all seen it. Glass cannon builds. The culprits: The Jagermech and the Catapult K2. While easy to kill due to their low speed and armor, one hit from these things can maim you and ruin the rest of your game, or if you get shot in the back, outright kill any mech due to the limits of weak back armor. Since I have been seeing a huge increase in these builds in PUGS over the last few months, I figured I would start a thread on how best to deal with these guys and my personal observations.

I know a lot of you pros will know these things, but for those who don't or I might have something you haven't considered, here's what I have to give:

1. Know what to watch for. You see a very slow Jagermech with two large gun barrels ONLY or a Catapult without the usual "Micky Mouse ears" of LRM racks, and what appear to be gun barrels protruding from under each side of it's torso, you probably have a troll with 2 AC20s. Forewarned is forearmed.

2. NEVER look directly at them. I would rather lose an arm than have most of my core armor blown off in one shot. Even in a front-heavy Atlas you lose over a third in one hit. Anything else is going to be even WORSE off. We're talking half or more of your game chipped away in one hit. This basically ends your front-line role, taking you out of the fight early. Everyone who sees your damaged CT will then try and rush you for an easy kill, making your day even worse.

3. Shoot between their shots. The AC20 has a very predictable recharge time of 4 seconds. Use and abuse your opponent's cooldown. Torso twist and present an arm. Listen for a shot or a hit on your arm or leg (preferably just the sound of a shot) and then turn and fire everything you have at the enemy in that 4 second window. Then twist back sideways, maybe presenting the opposite side than you did before. Rinse and repeat. These builds have very low armor because of all the weight they carry, and can only stand a few solid hits from your average mech. Better, a lot of them run XL engines. Go for a torso and you can often get a quick kill.

4. While doing the above, it is important to keep moving. You have to lead an AC20 when your target moves laterally. Make them miss. Stutter step. Back up, and move forward again. If they can't get a stationary shot to your front or rear they will often shoot wild, and then you have 4 more seconds to pound on them.

5. Keep your distance. They are useless at long range. Use that to your advantage. Back up so they can't close the distance, but still remember to torso twist.

6. Attack vulnerable points. Sometimes, it isn't best to try and core them. Their arms are much more lightly armored, and they can't twist away to buy time if their cannon arms are what they need to protect. A good torso twister running one of these mechs can kill you while you try and core him by spreading your damage. Don't even let them use this tactic. One good alpha to an arm will immediately make a slow, lightly armored mech with an AC20 out of them. Blow off the other and you have a free kill. And it's funny to watch them run away weaponless. Another good option is the legs. They keep their AC20 ammo in there, and armor them lightly. Ammo explosions are your friend in this situation. Also, they aren't going anywhere fast with a missing leg.

Hope these pointers help someone, and if anyone thinks of something I didn't, please share!

Edited by Mcchuggernaut, 09 December 2013 - 04:24 AM.


#2 Egomane

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 04:26 AM

Moving to the guides section of the forums

#3 Mcchuggernaut

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 04:38 AM

View PostEgomane, on 09 December 2013 - 04:26 AM, said:

Moving to the guides section of the forums


It does seem better as a guide. I was thinking the way the AC40 mechs effect balance, but your right.

#4 Piney II

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 10:32 AM

View PostMcchuggernaut, on 09 December 2013 - 04:21 AM, said:

We have all seen it. Glass cannon builds. The culprits: The Jagermech and the Catapult K2. While easy to kill due to their low speed and armor, one hit from these things can maim you and ruin the rest of your game, or if you get shot in the back, outright kill any mech due to the limits of weak back armor. Since I have been seeing a huge increase in these builds in PUGS over the last few months, I figured I would start a thread on how best to deal with these guys and my personal observations.

I know a lot of you pros will know these things, but for those who don't or I might have something you haven't considered, here's what I have to give:

1. Know what to watch for. You see a very slow Jagermech with two large gun barrels ONLY or a Catapult without the usual "Micky Mouse ears" of LRM racks, and what appear to be gun barrels protruding from under each side of it's torso, you probably have a troll with 2 AC20s. Forewarned is forearmed.

2. NEVER look directly at them. I would rather lose an arm than have most of my core armor blown off in one shot. Even in a front-heavy Atlas you lose over a third in one hit. Anything else is going to be even WORSE off. We're talking half or more of your game chipped away in one hit. This basically ends your front-line role, taking you out of the fight early. Everyone who sees your damaged CT will then try and rush you for an easy kill, making your day even worse.

3. Shoot between their shots. The AC20 has a very predictable recharge time of 4 seconds. Use and abuse your opponent's cooldown. Torso twist and present an arm. Listen for a shot or a hit on your arm or leg (preferably just the sound of a shot) and then turn and fire everything you have at the enemy in that 4 second window. Then twist back sideways, maybe presenting the opposite side than you did before. Rinse and repeat. These builds have very low armor because of all the weight they carry, and can only stand a few solid hits from your average mech. Better, a lot of them run XL engines. Go for a torso and you can often get a quick kill.

4. While doing the above, it is important to keep moving. You have to lead an AC20 when your target moves laterally. Make them miss. Stutter step. Back up, and move forward again. If they can't get a stationary shot to your front or rear they will often shoot wild, and then you have 4 more seconds to pound on them.

5. Keep your distance. They are useless at long range. Use that to your advantage. Back up so they can't close the distance, but still remember to torso twist.

6. Attack vulnerable points. Sometimes, it isn't best to try and core them. Their arms are much more lightly armored, and they can't twist away to buy time if their cannon arms are what they need to protect. A good torso twister running one of these mechs can kill you while you try and core him by spreading your damage. Don't even let them use this tactic. One good alpha to an arm will immediately make a slow, lightly armored mech with an AC20 out of them. Blow off the other and you have a free kill. And it's funny to watch them run away weaponless. Another good option is the legs. They keep their AC20 ammo in there, and armor them lightly. Ammo explosions are your friend in this situation. Also, they aren't going anywhere fast with a missing leg.

Hope these pointers help someone, and if anyone thinks of something I didn't, please share!


Good post. As a sometimes AC40 Jager driver, I'll add:

1. Not all AC40 Jagers are slow.

3. Don't take that 4 second reload / cool down time as the norm. The mech can be chain firing those AC20s. As far as very light armor goes, not necessarily true. I have run AC40 Jagers with the armor almost maxxed out, but even with max armor, Jagers are still a little squishy. I agree with the XL engine - just pop the side torso.

The best counter to AC40 Jagers is to avoid close-in encounters with them - thats's playing the Jager's rules. Work those side torsos over from distance and pop that XL engine.

#5 obsidiankatana

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 11:13 AM

I've recently taken to playing a Stalker-3F loaded up with large lasers, and I'll tell you what. I love me some AC20 arms. Been peeling those off at 600+ meters off for a week now from Jaegers and Blackjacks mostly, but man is it great.

Keep 'em coming!

#6 Redshift2k5

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 11:19 AM

View PostMcchuggernaut, on 09 December 2013 - 04:38 AM, said:


It does seem better as a guide. I was thinking the way the AC40 mechs effect balance, but your right.

AC40s do affect balance, but your post isn't a discussion of balance, it's about avoiding/killing enemy AC40. Which is not bad! Disucssing balance would be to bring some numbers, discuss their advantages, disadvantages as compared to other weapons, proposed changes, etc etc.

#7 Mcchuggernaut

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 12:42 PM

View PostPiney, on 09 December 2013 - 10:32 AM, said:


Good post. As a sometimes AC40 Jager driver, I'll add:

1. Not all AC40 Jagers are slow.

3. Don't take that 4 second reload / cool down time as the norm. The mech can be chain firing those AC20s. As far as very light armor goes, not necessarily true. I have run AC40 Jagers with the armor almost maxxed out, but even with max armor, Jagers are still a little squishy. I agree with the XL engine - just pop the side torso.

The best counter to AC40 Jagers is to avoid close-in encounters with them - thats's playing the Jager's rules. Work those side torsos over from distance and pop that XL engine.


You make a good point about the armor and speed, but builds that have either of those (it isn't practical to have both) generally lack in the other category, and both of those require that vulnerable XL.

#8 Void Angel

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 01:15 PM

Many AC/40 Jaegers strip their leg armor in favor of ammo - largely because they ridge hump a lot and their arms are their main threat. This means that many of them can be legged very easily. Conversely, if a Jaeger is willing to strip leg armor and ammo, he can attain relatively high speeds - and still be fairly well armored elsewhere.

Edit: clarification

Edited by Void Angel, 09 December 2013 - 01:16 PM.


#9 Daggett

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 01:34 PM

View PostMcchuggernaut, on 09 December 2013 - 12:42 PM, said:


You make a good point about the armor and speed, but builds that have either of those (it isn't practical to have both) generally lack in the other category, and both of those require that vulnerable XL.


Not necessarily. It is totally possible to put a STD200 Engine into an almost fully armored AC40 Jager with more than enough ammo.
Sure it's slower than most assaults, but with the correct playstyle you can negate this disadvantage.

The trick is to never, ever brawl directly. You stay behind a CQC assault, use him as a shield and shoot each of your arms individually at your target. Or do this behind an obstacle where you can hide after shooting your AC20 and be protected from rushes by your team.

It may sound like a waste of tonnage to mostly only fire one of both weapons in the early game, but this let's you live long enough to reach a gamestate where you can play more risky and use both guns more often and at already weakened mechs.

By doing this you don't need much speed and still be deadly if the opponents are smart enough to focus you behind that Atlas and destroy a side torso hoping that you run an XL like everyone does. :-)

And if you should find yourself in a brawl the enemy has only 2secs for torso twisting between shots when you fire both arms individually. You need to do this anyway because of the immense ghost heat you would produce by firing both guns at the same time.

When fighting an AC40 Jager it's probably best to aim for it's arms or legs to make him less dangerous.
But i would not count on ammo explosions, they are far too rare. However every mech with only one leg is as good as dead in most cases.
Going for the side torso is good too, but i would keep in mind that he can run a STD Engine. If you see him walk VERY slowly (<55kph) and doing what i described above, then the side torso is probably not be the best bet.

Personally i would not put an XL engine into any jager in most cases because everyone goes for the big side torsos.
The STD200 Engine fits into each possible build (i run it with 3xUAC5+2ML for example), and probably lets you live much longer than the 15-20kph more speed that a comparable XL would give...

#10 JediPanther

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 03:04 PM

I run the ac40 k2. Why? Mostly because ppc/erppcs are too hot and for the damage out put acs are simply better. Here's my replies from the K2 AC40 end:

1. Always asume that its the ac20. It can be a mix of any ac and the barrels do change length and thickness depending on type.

2. I'm not going to wait for a mech to look at me in hopes of coring out the center torso. If you're an enemy mech I'm taking a shot. i want to damage and/or destory your mech. I don't care where I hit it as long as one of my shots land.

3. Great advice. It kills my mech fast. When an enemy mech does this I know either I'm going down, taking a lot of damage or I might get luck and win.

4. Same as above. Nothing is worse than a faster mech constantly getting my side. If you know how to fight lights and break the circle dance of death you have a fifty-fifty chance of wining.

5. Range is limited. I don't know the exact limit but it is more than 300m. Often I have the adv. zoom module and I will fire a single shot to see if it hits then adjust aim and fire again. Once I score a hit I let loose both barrels.

6. Ture and False. My arms are not lightly armored. I have the same value of armor on my arms as the legs. I will torso twist (if I remember to) and use them as the shields they are. Also on where ammo is kept; I have it spread everywhere except the side torsos. I learned early on that ammo explosions on the side torsos with the gun is very bad. Most the time I don't have ams,ams ammo,ecm, or case because it takes up space needed for ammo. With only seven shots per ton the ac40 k2 is extremely ammo dependant and most back up weapons I use are two med lasers or two small lasers.

7. On XL's. The jag might have them due to the fact their balistic slots are not in the side torsos. The K2? No. You need the std 200 to fit both ac20s. Only ac10s and lower fit the xl. I'd upload the screen shots of my ac40 k2 if I knew how as proof that an xl is not viable for that build. Xl's require three dynamic slots of both side torso far as I know. The ac20 leaves only two forcing you into the std.

#11 DyDrimer

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 03:15 PM

Only issue with the ac40 build i find is if i dont see it, they are pretty easy to work around if you know they are there, kind of on the same level as a lrm boat to many ways to get around it to make it a big deal.

#12 Jon Gotham

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 03:43 PM

Mainly, try to avoid them in the first place!
Kill their support.
Then gank them as hard as is possible.
Otherwise, if you have a friendly LRM boat-get them to focus the AC40. Nothing else get them removed from the match ASAP.

If you can't perfectly time your exposure to them because of other enemy mechs then you are going to struggle. They will deal more damage than you can. You can't always engage out of range or fire inbetween their loads and 4 secs really is a VERY SHORT window of time. Eventually they will lolderp you.
The effect they can have on a match is shocking, best to utilise your team mates to stack the fight in your favour.
If I am in a scout, the AC40 gets the first tag/narcs.
If I am in a LRM boat the AC40 gets every missile I fire until he/she is dead.
That's the best way in my opinion, if you spot one start planning the gank.

#13 BrownRubberSafetyPants

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 03:46 PM

Nice write up mate. I have an AC40 firebrand and it can get nailed quite easily when I'm up against an expeienced opponent.

#14 Navy Sixes

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 03:56 PM

Your points about distance and attacking vulnerable points are spot on and key. If you can catch them at a long enough distance, you will find their rounds are slow enough traveling down-range toward you that it's possible to see the shot coming and torso-twist (or even move out of the way!) before it hits. Jagerbombs and boom-Cats mean XL engines. Jagers have notoriously exposed and weak STs.

Cats, in comparison, have well-protected STs, so targeting the ST may not be a good strategy against them. But remember that a Cat with AC20s in it's torso is going to have an extremely limited firing arc. Always try to engage a boom-cat from an extreme difference in elevations. If you're close and up the side of a cliff in Terra Therma or Canyon Network, they won't be able to get those guns on you, and K-Cats don't have jump jets.

#15 MnDragon

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 04:19 PM

Jagerbooms and Boomapults have a significant weakness: their range is done outside of 800m (no damage) LRMs are fun to stand out in the open and wreck face with while they hit with their shells and do no damage....I love watching them waste ammo while I destroy them. ;)

#16 Samziel

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 11:16 PM

Jagermechs have gigantic sidetorsos, at least I have no problem aiming at them. I'd say equipping direct fire pinpoint weapons like autocannons, gauss rifles or PPCs work best against them. Just aim for the sidetorsos. K2 however has smaller sidetorsos, so I would go for the legs since it's easier to get behind it to safety after you leg it.

Edited by Samziel, 09 December 2013 - 11:17 PM.


#17 Marmon Rzohr

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 03:39 AM

You make some good points :)

I'd like to pile on with a few of my own. It is paramount to stay close with your team. Since AC20s have short range, any of them attempting to engage you will have to close into the firing lines of most of your team if you stay close to each other. In the same vein staying close to your team means that if one of them attempts to go for a teammate, you can tear him open.

AC40 thrive as opportunistic predators, and pick off isolated mechs with unparalleled speed. Don't give them the chance.

Positioning is key (as always). What this means is, pay attention to where the enemy team is and where they are going at the start of the match. This way you will usually be able to predict where the enemy brawlers will come from. Always keep cover between yourself and the enemy team and put yourself in a position where you can fire on them if they move against you and your team. When they move into the open, punish them with heavy fire.

Assume every Jager that's not peppering you with AC2/UAC5/Gauss form the start of the match is carrying 2 AC20s.

On a final note:
The most important thing is building your mech well. If your mech can't deliver crippling fire on the enemy when given the chance, your build is wrong.

(there are exceptions - like specialized mechs - Spiders, Ravens, light hunters etc)

This is the key to fighting AC40s, Highlander poptarts and everything else. Damage. You need to have the ability to cripple the enemy when they position badly or make a mistake. Like an AC40 moving out of cover to your team.

#18 Arctcwolf

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 02:43 AM

staying out of range and line of sight of AC 40 setups are the main tactics to use.

I find dual gauss jagermechs more of a threat personally due to higher range.

alpha striking an arm tends to do the job of halving damage output. legs work as well if they shave armor off down below.

#19 Thejuggla

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 06:15 AM

Legs are good, I find a lot of jagers cheap out a bit on leg armor, have gotten a few 1 leg kills from ammo explosions.

#20 Petard

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 04:51 PM

You make some assumptions here that are incorrect OP......My AC40 Jager build uses an XL255, 2 x AC20, 2 ML, 7 tons ammo....In this configuration a Jager has almost max armor, and goes almost 70 kph with speed tweak.....To sum up, a JagerBomb is NOT always slow, and does NOT always have weak armor, although it's a given that it will have an XL if this is the case

Edited by Petard, 14 December 2013 - 04:53 PM.






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