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Non Meta Light Mech Tactics Guide.

Light mech Tactics

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#21 Spleenslitta


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Posted 12 June 2015 - 10:04 PM

View PostProfessorD, on 12 June 2015 - 05:57 PM, said:

Also wrong, though. When an enemy FS9-A finds you in the FS9-S you described above, you're going to lose badly.

The techniques in this thread are mostly very different from the "meta" techniques for the SPL FS9-A, but this post is actually a great lesson on how to use the recently very meta large laser RVN-2X effectively.

2x ER LL Raven and Panthers with 2 PPC are very commonplace and i concider it to be the light mech sniper meta builds.
So it's from that perspective i wrotte it.
You just need to ask yourself a simple question. Would you rather be in a 2x ER LL Raven, 2x PPC Panther or a light mech with weapons for all ranges when you run into an 8x SPL Firestarter?

I mentioned this very build in post #5. Qouted below.

View PostSpleenslitta, on 06 April 2015 - 12:23 PM, said:

But did i have any matches that were outright disasters? Of course i did.
Ran into many Firestarters with 8 SPL's.

My tactics are not flawless neither am i. If i ever claim to be flawless i might need serious medication.

Besides...these tactics are about shooting and relocating so far and often that these SPL Firestarters have problems finding you.
But when they do find me and get within range it's pretty much a slaughter unless the SPL FS is allready moderatly or more damaged.
Then it becomes more of a 50/50 odds fight.

Appriciate the analysis though. Meta Light mech tactics for me seems like- Stick with the team, protect assaults from fast mechs, chase away the enemy light mechs.
If not sticking with the team...chase down loners (like myself).

As for the "Having a mech capable of hitting from any range not only helps you to better defend yourself if you run into someone, but also strangely helps you avoid damage through raising your unpredictability." comment.

Look at it from this angle- Let's say an enemy first get's struck from long range by an ER PPC from the east and he cannot respond before his light mech attacker dissapears.
He expects the light mech to break cover from the same location or somewhere else close to the first shooting location.
The reason he will expect this is because the majority of players do not relocate very far after firing no matter which mech they are in.
A lot even just keeps poping out of the same piece of cover over and over.
This especially happens at long range were you have to travel farther to get around the target.

What that enemy will not expect is the same light mech appearing from the north or south at close range. So it's all true.
I think the reason most players do not relocate far is because they get hung up on the idea: If i'm to do lots of damage i do not have the time to move all that distance.

View PostAlardus, on 12 June 2015 - 06:59 PM, said:

I don't know if you can really call good tactics meta. Attacking from the opposite side of which the enemy's gun barrels are pointed is a tactic that is 100% legitimate in every game.

I think meta for OP means more along the lines of not having to be an ML spam bot going 160 kph. On the other hand, slow lights are completely anti-meta, and he's not encouraging the smart use of them. I would encourage the smart use of them. They have the drawbacks of being light in terms of lower firepower and armor that you would expect. They're not going to slugfest directly for being slower, but they're not going to flank, either. They're going to harass or supplement. I think its totally okay to choose slower lights or mediums, provided you have an understanding of good tactics to employ them well.

I am encouraging smart use of both fast and slow light mechs. If a player does 450 damage and only receive 10 damage in return from a single PPC hit i'd say that player has played smartly.
I've also done 270 damage with not a single scratch on my mech.
i've gotten results like that. It's all in post #5 in the last spoiler button.

I am encouraging the smart use of slow light mechs. But it hasn't been updated in the guide....it's written over 2 months ago before i bought a Kit Fox and Vindicator.
Now it has become as i said before in post #16 when i first responded to you Alardus.

I simply haven't updated the guide because it was buried in the forums till you bumped it up Alardus. Thought almost no one would look at it anymore.

Edited by Spleenslitta, 12 June 2015 - 10:06 PM.

#22 Alardus


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Posted 14 June 2015 - 02:48 AM

In Eve Online, it was a smart and quick meta shift to focusing all on one gun range and then fighting from there. I don't know, but I think that was the intention of the game designers to begin with. It just seemed right with the way there's various speed buff or debuff systems to apply to yourself or the enemy.

Focusing all at one range is an excellent damage system, as oversized weapons, like AC10/20 on lights or light-mediums, or mass srm/laser packs (commando/cicada) can attest. At the same time, there is a lack of flexibility. Unlike EO, there is a third metric in heat, which usually comes to the point of http://pages.cs.wisc...ech_design.html


Heat dissipation: how much heat can it dissipate? A mech can have all of the weapons in the world, but if it can't fire them, they're useless. A mech should have enough heat sinks to fire all of its weapons of a similar range together. If you have four PPCs, but only enough heat sinks to fire three, then the fourth is redundant. Similarly, if you have two PPCs and a bunch of medium lasers, having the heat sinks to barrage everything at once does little good, since the optimum range for the PPCs is different from the optimum range for the medium lasers.

Some modification has to be allowed for the fact that this isn't turn based 10 second rules but live action with faster firing rates and less heat generation per shot. This allows some stacking to occur, which edges towards single range bands being more effective. On the other hand, with enough weapons, it is still possible to have range bands of different weapon systems to take advantage of heat sinks at any range for near-neutral heat while doing damage at any range. Since there's no speed modifications prior to MASC, however, range banded mechs can have an advantage over purely short range mechs of same or lower speed by staying out of range and tickling them to death.

#23 Bill Bullet


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Posted 14 June 2015 - 07:00 AM

Fantastic stuff, an interesting take on Light Mech engagement tactics. Very well thought out and presented.

#24 stealthraccoon


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Posted 14 June 2015 - 07:32 AM

I have to admit it, I took my Urrbanmech to Meta-land, and it rocked!

I've never taken to using UAC5 before, but I paired one with a med pulse laser and did some drops last night (I was desperate to redeem myself after about 15 pathetic matches trying to basic my Ilya Muromets).

Pop-up, double-tap, wub-wub then scoot and relocate. Caught a few slow movers and hammered on them until the AC jammed, the run away! I think I will keep this load out for my R63, the others carry AC10/20 so this rounds out the bunch.

Use cover constantly, and pay attention to which direction the red Doritos are pointing, never attack head on if you can help it.

Edit: forgot to mention, I can run with an XL170 for a tweaked 101kph, but going to an XL145 lets me pack in three tons of ammo while still skipping along at 86kph.

Edited by stealthraccoon, 14 June 2015 - 08:06 AM.

#25 Alardus


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Posted 14 June 2015 - 02:31 PM

I can't wait til its available for c-bills. I'll roll with the 32kph speed. :P

#26 Kmieciu


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Posted 31 August 2015 - 11:10 PM

View Poststealthraccoon, on 14 June 2015 - 07:32 AM, said:

Edit: forgot to mention, I can run with an XL170 for a tweaked 101kph, but going to an XL145 lets me pack in three tons of ammo while still skipping along at 86kph.

XL 180 or bust.

#27 Not A Real RAbbi


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Posted 01 September 2015 - 09:02 PM

<3 this post. May I ask its hand in marriage? I offer some LCTs in dowry.

#28 Spleenslitta


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Posted 01 September 2015 - 09:05 PM

View PostTheRAbbi, on 01 September 2015 - 09:02 PM, said:

<3 this post. May I ask its hand in marriage? I offer some LCTs in dowry.

If your talking about my original post then you can have it. I give you my blessing.
It may be fat, ugly and disliked by the Meta enthusiasts but it's still my creation. I wish you two happiness.

#29 Not A Real RAbbi


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Posted 03 September 2015 - 12:27 AM

View PostSpleenslitta, on 01 September 2015 - 09:05 PM, said:

If your talking about my original post then you can have it. I give you my blessing.
It may be fat, ugly and disliked by the Meta enthusiasts but it's still my creation. I wish you two happiness.

Many thanks.

So yeah, I tried that out for a couple matches tonight. One, on River City, it worked great. Lots of damage, a kill, assists on all but 2 other kills, did I mention LOTS of damage, and so on. Stunning victory with PUGs. Second drop was Tourmaline, and the team was just not up to it. Got surrounded and out-sniped. Me? I stuck to the far edges, poked a lot, got a fair bit of damage in there, and was eventually gunned down as my team's last mech standing (legged out--ain't that some stuff). Still, second-best match score on our side, top damage, in an ACH-A with 1x cERLL 3x cSPL cECM, not even any ELITE skills on it yet.

I'm gonna run that some more in PUG drops. It was fun. In the victorious instance, I managed to get some good mutual support things going with the team. We defended (assault) our cap in lower city from the river bank. Even moving under ECM, the enemy's position was given away by their fires, and it was easy to spot them with night vision and pluck away at the numerous heavy and assault mechs that (rather oddly, I thought) wandered into the open water. ALMOST got the kill shot on a Jagermech that was opened-up in the CT, but he managed to hide behind a bridge piling, and someone else snuck in the kill shot. Whatever, a win is a win. Great job by a PUG team there, sticking to cover and trading intelligently and covering one another. The dude that took charge of the drop and issued orders, he was on point. The various enemy mechwarriors that ignored the every-few-seconds ERLL fire to their side and rear torsos? Not so much. Their ERLL RVN-3L was a real credit to the team, and with better aim he might have single-handedly turned the fight. Hard to hit in a brief dogfight. Good job making a hard target and taking smart shots at me. I might yet build my RVN-3L to the meta for just that reason (all-time favorite mech). Might even buy a mastery pack, for the Premium time and the ridiculously-brawly-for-a-light Huginn (have you SEEN the SRM-4 quirks on that beast?!).

Okay, so some observations of the last three years, that I find relevant to your OP guide...

Lights and very fast mediums (mostly Cicada and Shadow Cat, and maybe certain builds of Blackjack, though I think this is out of the Storm Crow's lane) are natural choices for flanking. The flank needs to take place when the enemy has reason to believe it knows the general position of your team. And it has to be initiated before first contact, in order that the enemy doesn't have a clear idea of the whereabouts of that cavalry end-around maneuver. Drop commander MUST MUST MUST be aware, and have final say in where it's setting up and how many mechs can be spared for it. If it's gonna happen, there needs to be a competent light hunter with the main force. I'd recommend NO MORE THAN THREE (3) mechs for the flanking force, preferably two (2). One REALLY fast one, to be able to reposition, put a little distance between mechs in the flank team, and play distraction once the cat's out of the bag. He's the left hand that the audience is watching, while the right hand is performing the REAL magic. The second, heavier mech, should also probably be ECM equipped, or at least have that radar deprivation module and maybe the no-longer-meta AMS (which needs a toggle on/off).

Pick a side to start. You needn't STAY on that side, but start there. Somewhere with good visibility across the likely engagement area, and likely enemy routes of movement to contact. Hit a couple times, and move. Split up a little, assuming you're not being swarmed by the enemy's light escort, and agree to a rally point from which you can either A.) locate any remaining unaccounted=for enemies, or B.) resume fire on the known enemy mechs. Harass, move once spotted or suspected, repeat.

TL;DR- I'd like to get together for some drops, Spleenslitta, and see if we can't develop a 2-mech update to your VERY HANDY guide here, for an unconventional but effective twist on light mech tactics. Maybe also play with some various chassis. FS9, ACH, JR7, SDR, LCT, and so on, and well as SHC and CDA. Could be interesting.

Long ago, before I took my 16-month MWO hiatus, when I was trying to pull weight with [QQ] competitive drops in MCW and such, a fellow MW called [QQ]Noober and I used to do a bit of JR7 and LCT wolfpacking, and it sometimes worked pretty well. I miss that like no one's business, having a reliable light mech jockey's lead to follow, and to learn. It's fun when it's done well.

Another thing that can be non-meta but quite effective. The light mech as spotter, with competent LRM boat providing indirect fire support and harassment. One light carries TAG and/or NARC, gets around behind the enemy, spots targets, pops UAV, keeps spotting targets, stays as out-of-sight as possible, while CPLT-A1 pilot rakes in the major damage numbers and WE rake in teh C-Bills for spotting assists and such. Win-win.

Anyhow, I'd be honored to learn from you in-game as a #2.

And either way, thanks again for a wonderful guide (and apparently official fiancee). Norway is cool again in my book, thanks to you.

#30 Spleenslitta


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Posted 03 September 2015 - 10:41 AM

I got another student? But i got one just the other day. Things are looking up. Spleenslitta Sensei...I like the title.
Maybe this martial art could be called "Rat Fu" or "Rodent Fu". We basicly pop out from nowhere and dig our way to our next destination after all.

Before i tell you about the training program that involves gnawing through bricks and learning how to consume even the most rotten food without hurling it back up...... let's discuss how a tag team using these tactics could work.
I'll send you a friends request in a few moments.

I've tried tagteaming with other fast mechs before. I'll call the example tagteam Skitter and Nibbler.

Striking at the same time is important if we stick close togheter. If Skitter arrives to the shooting location first and shoots immidietly Nibbler will catch the gauss slug meant for Skitter since he has allready gone into cover.
I seem to be too eager sometimes and my wingman suffers for it.
The obvious way to arrive at the same time is equal speed, but there might be a better way-

- Let's say Skitter is the leader and Nibbler is the...henchman. Skitter should have a slightly slower mech and he will be running slightly ahead of Nibbler.
Nibbler will hold his speed to his leaders level and run about 20 meters behind him. The better topspeed will also allow Nibbler to catch up if he missunderstands Skitters intentions.

Since Nibbler runs slower than his top speed he will turn faster to go whatever place Skitter has selected to shoot from.
If Nibbler believes he will arrive too late he just accelerates to full speed to match Skitter's timing better.

Skitter will turn his torso slightly towards the destination and wave his arms towards it to give Nibbler an a headsup on what's going to happen.
It could also be made clearer by using a small laser to indicate the destination. It has a short recycle period and low heat too.

This should hopefully help the tagteam arrive with better timing. It might also give the tagteam more flexibility in the loadout since they don't have so strict speed requirements to each other.

- Keeping a carefull eye on the mini map could be the way to keep track of each other in the moment just after getting back into cover before the relocation.
I'm not certain about this part.
Since we would be far from our teammates this should not present too much of a problem.

Sticking togheter has it's perks but staying about 300-400 meters apart could be major advantage too if communication is good enough.
But i think it should only be attempted once a tagteam knows each other well enough.
It's close enough to come to each others defence when hunted by enemy light mechs.
Striking alternatly could make the victim feel more stressed, confused and threatened which could mean a free shot or two at the victims arse as he runs away.

I hope all this makes some kind of sense. I have some thoughts about your post.
I've been a part of a full lance tagteam that was full of ordinary PUG's.
None of us knew each other...we just ran and slaughtered loners while always staying on the move.
So it is possible for a flanker team to have 3-4 in numbers but the higher the number the faster they have to be so the mainforce doesn't take too heavy a pounding before the flankers get into position.

PUG teams don't really have a commander so it would be sufficient to let the team know that there is a 2-man flanker tagteam that will flank.
Anything else will just take up too much of our time. But even telling the team could have detrimental effects-
Let's say we tell our team that we will flank...then someone completly random with a mech not suited for flanking decides to come along.
He could become a hindrance rather than helpfull.
But when it comes to other things about teammanagement and tactics...i'm blank at the moment.
I'm not much of a leader when i play MWO since i make a point of deciding as much as i can on a whim to confuse my enemies.

Last words. My other student said he enjoyed my tactics so much that he felt like he was back at the start of MWO.
Back when everything was less routines and more do that and see what happens.

Norway cool? RANT TIME

Edited by Spleenslitta, 03 September 2015 - 12:16 PM.

#31 Not A Real RAbbi


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Posted 03 September 2015 - 09:03 PM

View PostSpleenslitta, on 03 September 2015 - 10:41 AM, said:

Norway cool? RANT TIME

First, I know that that Anders Breivik dude was the exception, not the rule. Europe's very ethnic nationalist, IMO, but not nearly to any VIOLENT extreme (for the most part--I have my concerns about Hungary).

Second, Dead Snow and Dead Snow 2. IIRC, those took place in Norway. {Godwin's Law} zombies done right? Y'all are awesome. My life is SO much better for having watched those two films.

Third, if you believe all the polls, Northern Europe in general is a very happy place. At least, European flats are so much nicer than what we get around here in the forgotten armpit of the USA (aka- Coal Country).

Whale? Cool. If I can handle eating horse and ostrich in Russia (Republic of Tatarstan, city of Kazan', which is RAD in the Summer), whale should be no problem.

Okay, on to seriousness. I used to get a good bit of practice time in with [QQ] Noober, and we ran lights a LOT. He was a firm believer in the value of light mechs in competitive teams. We were PSYCHED when the LCT released, and it was the single most blazingly fast mech in the game BY FAR. There wasn't even a Pirate's Bane back then, just the -1V, -3M, and -3S. And we Elited them RIGHT away. I could take or leave any of the other Phoenix mechs, but THOSE were worth every penny of the Overlord and Sabre packages. Speed may kill, but you gotta die somehow.

I get what you're saying about team coordination. It takes a bit for a tag team to find a groove, or find that they CAN'T groove. Whichever. As opposed to flying solo, in which case you'll never know if you could or couldn't groove with a fellow light driver.

I feel that the VOIP function in the game is SO useful right now, if you can do a mic. If not, the text team chat is kinda clunky, in that it requires you to take your hands off the controls for a few seconds. Something like using a small secondary weapon to signal? Cool for the most part, but remember that on night maps it gives you away even if the beam itself isn't directly observable to the enemy. Further, you should know, you may be under observation already, too. Best to give the enemy as little chance to fix your position as possible.

This seems to be most viable when the enemy is moving heavy and in a large group, and has already caught sight of one of your friendlies. In PUG play at least, the tendency is for everyone to get tunnel-vision and focus on the direction of last contact. OR where they last took fire from. Your teammates are more dangerous to the enemy than you are, or so goes the conventional wisdom (and meta game). So, let the team get the enemy's attention, get them looking away from where you plan to be, and THEN look for opportunities to poke. Can't tell you how many times I've managed to get 3, 4, or even 5 full-length hits on an enemy's back, because he was more focused on playing the trade game with one of my friendlies. Got quite a few kills today that way.

There's also understanding the maps that we have, and where the meta puts the usual brawl locations, where the most likely routes of movement to contact are, and so on. If a brawl takes place, say on River City, around Theta and the upstream side of the Citadel, then we're all set to run those buildings downstream of there and poke from behind EXCELLENT cover. We even have a fairly well covered/concealed route back to either side. Or, if it goes into the upper river, around the rocks from Theta, then poking from upper city or the airstrip can be great. Add the difficulty of non-JJ mechs in advancing on you there. That map is a sniper's paradise.

I like the idea of picking a set of cover objects, and poking in turns from opposite sides of it. Find a nice rocky outcropping off to the far side on Tourmaline Desert, set up one of the tag team on either side of it. Lead fires, then retreats (or moves forward around the edge, whatever). As the enemy's looking to return fire on lead, tail takes a poke at same enemy.

I consider ECM a pretty valuable resource here. Used to be, you just sat outside 800 meters and poked all day. Outside of sensor range. Most mechs don't like the ASR module, unless they're mastered (less likely in PUG), and even then it's not choice #1 for most builds. They DO, however, like active probe for missile builds, and TC for Clan direct-fire builds. That extends the sensor range (in the latter case, also projectile speed and weapon range), and can put you in their sensors at max LRM range, where even ERLLs' effectiveness starts to drop off dramatically. Best to deny them the sensor data. Also, denying the enemy the red box and dorito, means denying them the ability to fire masked. That is, mechs with high-mounted weapons (shoulder mounts on EBJ, for instance) can fire over cover without exposing the cockpit at all, as long as the WEAPON clears cover and the target is bracketed. The red bracket box is ALWAYS centered on the target, so aiming against the center of the box works. I've done this a LOT. ECM denies them the red bracket box on you, so they MUST unmask more of the mech to return fire, and that's a great target opportunity for your tag-teammate.

At least one of the two, anyhow, should be ECM, though I'd prefer both in case they get chased-down by an enemy ECM light (SDRs are notorious, though ACHs do this well too). One to COUNTER, the other to maintain DISRUPT, so the enemy light's buddies can't start hucking LRMs in there to support him unless he also brought NARC or TAG.

I LOVE the ACH for this role. Ran mine today a lot. Completed ELITE skills on two of them just in a few hours this evening, running this build. Had one match, on Crimson Strait (I <3 that map!), with 4K 5A 970DMG. That little 31-alpha build. Got the CREEPING DEATH achievement for it, too (3+ kills in a match, 90%+ health remaining). Talk about a PUG team pulling it together, too! That was a comeback from 2 or 3 mechs behind, too. Testament to the build and philosophy of a poking fast light. And no, I didn't camp the island. Haven't set foot on it since early 2014, when PPC poptarts were meta AF and the 2x ERLL RVN-3L was just finding its spot in the meta (considered inferior because it couldn't run a pair of PPCs with ECM and reasonable armor).

Got a few JR7s, a RVN-3L, a bunch of LCTs (though I owe them in dowry), and a set of ACHs. Even a set of SHCs, too, because REASONS.

Anxious to find someone to run around in PUGlandia with and have some fast light mech fun.

Got the invite. You rock.

Carry on, sir.

#32 Spleenslitta


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Posted 03 September 2015 - 10:44 PM

I got a mic but i haven't used one in almost forever. I'll give it a go though since i agree that it is a necessity.
Mechs i own (all the for C-bills variants of said mechs). Light mechs - Jenner, Firestarter, Kit Fox and Panther (barelly touched Panthers)
Mediums - Blackjack, Nova, Trebuchet(can't use it) and Vindicator with hero. Vindicator 1AA is my fav medium.
Heavys- Quickdraw.

What do you think about the slower but leading tagteam leader and faster henchman concept for the sake of timing strikes?
I like the idea of seperating and striking from opposite sides really well too. There is just one obstactle for me but it's probably just me.
It's the fact that i do not plan ahead much so meeting up again could become a problem. I try to make certain that everything i do is decided on the spot according the current situation.

Sometimes i succeed at doing the thing i love about these tactics...i blank out and do not know what i'm going to do during the next few seconds.
I become all about situational awareness and respond before i even think things through. Long trips on a mere whim becomes frequent.
Just wish i could flip a switch to maintain that state of mind whenever i wanted to.

You've given me some juicy stories....

No time for stories. I'm of to work.

#33 Not A Real RAbbi


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Posted 03 September 2015 - 11:11 PM

The speed-differential idea? Not bad. Maybe not entirely necessary, but not bad. Again, if you are obviously braking into a position, and there's some indication of an enemy in a certain direction from that position, then the other mech can take a moment to settle into that second firing position while you take the shot. By the time lead is moving out along that covered/concealed egress route, the location of the enemy should be pretty apparent, and tail should be opening fire right behind you. Distract him from his distraction. By the time tail is approaching the next open area enroute to lead, lead may be settling into a new firing position. Distract target, tail takes another shot from nearby position. Etc. Rinse, repeat. Harder to do on Mining Collective, a little tough on HPG. Not too bad on other pub maps. Fun and easy on Caustic Valley and River City. Vote's still out on new Forest Colony.

We've definitely gotta get together and try this a few times.

#34 Spleenslitta


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Posted 04 September 2015 - 07:58 AM

Since i got a job i'm most active around 18:00 CEST (Central Europe Summer Time) till 23:00.
Converted to US time at Washington Seattle that's 09:00 till 13:00.
If that's not convinient then i'm in front of my computer all sunday (not necessarily MWO though).
Every other saturday i'm not available from 09:00 till 16:00 CEST. Tomorrow i got such a workday.

When it comes to who should take the leader role i think you should take it whenever we get seperated by a significant distance.
Because i'm no good at planning ahead....my head just goes totally blank when i get in the "Zone".
I become a nonsentient bag of bones when that happens.

In any case we need to test out a bunch of different ways to coordinate our attacks while suffering minimal risks from return fire.
Forest Colony is a good map for doing this. But not on the side that contains the grounded ship since there is too much activity there.

Edited by Spleenslitta, 04 September 2015 - 08:01 AM.

#35 Not A Real RAbbi


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Posted 04 September 2015 - 04:19 PM

Sounds like Sundays are the best bet. I'll keep an eye out for you in game!

#36 Not A Real RAbbi


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Posted 05 September 2015 - 10:06 PM

So, some initial observations from those few drops...

1.) Seems that 2 mechs MAY be a bit much for the team to lose. It'll take longer to be sure (we don't even have a statistically valid sample size yet), but I felt distinctly as though our departure from the main fight left the team at a disadvantage, and they usually succumbed to it.

2.) The distraction is VERY valuable, if the team can capitalize on it at all. This will likely require better communication with the rest of the team. (Sorry, the future Mrs. RAbbi was sleeping off a BAD headache right next to me, so I couldn't VOIP. Computer's in the bedroom. #FirstWorldProblems) Being that ECM is so common and powerful, it was pretty frequently that targets we attacked just didn't show up for the rest of the team. If they weren't directly observing US, they might not have any idea at all that we were in contact unless we tell them, and even THEN they'd be well served by a quick SALE report (something I'm working on for scout mech drivers: Size of the enemy element, Activity of that element, Location of that element, and Equipment they're carrying, adapted from SALUTE and/or SALT report formats for this game) over VOIP or text. I detest the latter, as it takes my attention away from the situation, and my hands off of the controls. But we DID draw some attention, and some fire, and turn some mechs to us (potentially exposing them, in turn, to heavier fire from the bulk of our team). That is demonstratedly valuable.

3.) ERPPC is a good weapon for this task. Your mech carried one, and it was probably the better idea. Rather than a beam with a duration of over 1s, you had one projectile. With Clan tech, it's a fairly efficient weapon. Since we're not BOATING them on lights anyway, the heat isn't as big a problem (though it's even less valuable in the inevitable close fight, and the extra weight cuts into our ability to field backup weapons). The additional range and damage (and SPLASH damage for a Clan ERPPC) may well make it more worthwhile, as well as the increased difficulty for the enemy in tracing the fire back to us. I'm going to look into alternative builds that trade that ERLL for an ERPPC for our next outing.

4.) The ECM is valuable, but it's not necessarily the case that a 2-mech team needs TWO ECMs. If/when we learn to anticipate one another better, it may be just as well to save that weight for additional heat sink or weaponry. For a solo harasser, though, I'd recommend having the ECM. Make the enemy find YOU, not just your DORITO.

So far, that's all I've got that's relevant to the tactics discussed above. I'm going to review it all this weekend. Also, I'm off on Monday (US holiday--Labor Day--so HURRAY for being a state employee!) so I'll be available and looking to capitalize on premium time to MASTER the variants of that mech. I must apologize, that the one I ran with you was not yet ELITEd, like my other two, but soon will be. I intend to have them all three MASTER, and some other Clan mechs at least ELITE, in the next couple months. Trying to build a respectable set of Clan CW drop decks, with options.

What are your thoughts?

#37 Spleenslitta


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Posted 06 September 2015 - 01:40 AM

1) I think you're right about 2 mechs might be enough to tip the balance. We both got ECM mechs which makes it worse for our team.
Once ECM range gets cut in half this will matter less though. A lot depends on how fast we are to get to our first position.
If we take a long time getting there the impact of us not being with our team is greater.
Faster mechs and less caution when selecting the first firing position would cure that. But the other solution would be to ask the team to hold back a little on their advance so they can use more time to form a deathball.
This would give us more time to get into position for our first strike. But naturally this probably won't work with a PUG team.

2) I don't use the mic often, i got a bit of an accent and to tell you the truth i'm a bit shy so i stutter when speaking into the mic.
I probably speak too low too. In short i'm not much good with a mic even when i get it to work properly.

But my mainproblem with reporting back to my team would be that i rarelly stick around long enough to get target information.
I've gotten into the habit of not even hitting R since i know i most likely won't stick around for longer than it takes to fire my weapons.
I'll admit It's an old habit by now.
Oh yeah....I get in the "zone" when i'm stressed out. I become like a hyperactive vegetable in my chair and i stutter even more when i'm like that.
It's hopeless to get a sensible word out of me at such times. Been there often enough throughout my MWO career to know my limitations and habits.

3) Less valuable in a close range fight and limited sideways twisting of the arms is a problem. 2 extra tonns is a lot for a light mech.
Fortunatly i just exchanged an SPL for CERSL, drop a heatsink and 1/2 tonn of ammo to replace the ER LL with the ER PPC.
So i got enough backup weapons to defend myself at close range although it's a farcry from an 8x SPL Firestarter.

Speaking of backup weapons...I've found that having just 1 CERML does wonders to boost my offence in most situations.
Yeah yeah....i know i've mentioned it before but it's so effective i'm more than just a bit surprised.
Combining large and medium ER lasers worked really well for me in my last build. It even worked well with my IS mechs despite the ML's limited range.
Most times we shoot at long range we're at 400-600 meters.
IS weapons has shorter range so you tend to get closer anyhow to make use of long range weapons so the ML's limitations matters less than one would think at first.
So a medium laser becomes an effective easy to hit damage booster no matter what kind of long range weapon or tech you use.
The boost is more remarkable with Clan tech though.

4) We couldn't agree more. When i use my Firestarter the lack of ECM hurts but it can be overcome by using feints to make the enemy go the wrong way when they hunt me.
The higher speed of the FS makes up for the time i lose on feints. Now that ECM has spoiled me rotten i don't make feints so often anymore.
Since the Cheetah and Spider has speed, JJ's and ECM i suspect they are the ultimate mechs for using Rodent Fu.

My thoughts-
A ) We had a match on Tourmaline Desert were the enemy was engaging our team across a ridge at close range.
It's rare for two teams to have the main engagement at such close ranges.
The enemy team mostly ignored us even though i made the mistake of staying in the same general area to shoot repeatedly.
I suspect this was because they were afraid of charging us and getting a short range alpha in the back from our mainforce.

B ) I think we should look at a less organised way of timing our attacks. The more methods we find the better the guide gets.
Besides there are a lot of players that might not want to practice timing so much.
A more dynamic method might work like this.
How about having 200-300 meters between us and just not time our attacks at all? That's close enough to get to each others rescue when the light hunters come.

But more importantly when we're at long range the victims are have a longer reaiming time if they fail to get one of us.
It's like this- Let's say you shoot the enemy and he aims to respond but you dissappear into cover as usual before he can shoot back.
Then his next target will be me if i'm in sight but if there is some distance between the two of us then he has to take more time aiming at me.
The fact that he has to move more to shift his aim over to me makes it more obvious that i'm his target.
This gives me a huge hint to get out of there fast.
This should give both of us plenty of time to fire and get into cover safely.

When we get closer to medium range (300-400 meters) it would be natural if we got closer to each other to focus our attacks.
But what if we stayed at the same range from each other instead? That would mean the victim would have a much harder time keeping track of both of us.
Then full alpha strikes to the victims backside becomes easier. This would also give us an alternative to just running up close and brawling.
This also makes the point i made in 3) about having a mid range weapon among the backup weapons more effective.

When it comes to mastering mechs. The Fridge i bought recently was nice at first but everytime i see a place where i could make good use of JJ's i just see it's limitations.
This once more confirms how important JJ's are for me to stay mobile and surprise the enemy.

Edited by Spleenslitta, 06 September 2015 - 01:44 AM.

#38 Not A Real RAbbi


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Posted 06 September 2015 - 12:25 PM

Agreed and agreed.

Two ways we might go about a 2-mech harasser scheme, as far as I can tell. First is as you described, with the two being further apart and not necessarily worrying about timing attacks, but within range to support one another should one get caught out by hunters.

Second, both go opposite directions, but stay within maybe 600-ish meters of that far end of the home team. Not AS effective for distraction, in that there's not some element of OUR team 1.5 km away from where we 'should' be by meta. On the other hand, one more direction from which to defend, for our enemy. With even a little help from the team, should be able to get back to support from bigger, harder-hitting friendlies quickly enough. Enemies in a crossfire, ESPECIALLY in PUG play, are kinda fun to watch when one inevitably loses his cool.

Something occurs to me. That team (I think you did a better job of this than did I) needs to pull a little more weight in DPS. Not like meta-DPS weight, obviously. But the time between shots, and the damage that those couple of long-range weapons could throw out, maybe didn't justify having two mechs out in left field. AGAIN, the damage we did came with an added bonus, in slowing part of the enemy team from advancing and distracting their attention from our teammates ("Pay no attention to the mechs behind the curtain."). That drop on Tourmaline Desert showed this off pretty well, I thought. But even there, where we pulled a win and we both finished the match upright, I feel the damage contribution (at least on my part) was maybe only marginally acceptable. A lot of that came after we abandoned poking and dove into the melee. (That poor Stalker spent like 2-3 minutes wandering around, neutered, trying to find a way to be of use to his teammates, and it was a VALIANT effort to be sure! That was torso twisting 101 with a healthy dose of intermediate meat shielding. Anyone who didn't spectate that, lost a real opportunity to see a great job of prolonging a mech's lifespan on the battlefield and giving teammates EVERY possible opportunity to turn the fight around.)

JJs are super to have for this role. The added mobility is a pretty obvious advantage for a role, in which mobility is key to everything. The role, as I understand it, is about being mobile and never being seen in the same spot twice. Anything that enhances that capability is a positive, so long as it doesn't come at the cost of a primary long-range weapon system (and in our case, it didn't). Even if it's just one or two JJs in a mech, that's more than enough to enhance your hillclimbing on Alpine Peaks, or to allow you to drop OVER a ridge of crystals (instead of going all the way around) on Tourmaline Desert. If nothing else at all, they soften the landing if you have to take a dive off of something to avoid return fire, and that in itself is HUGE for light mechs, which live or die by their legs. Not an ABSOLUTE must-have, but a MAJOR enhancement to the role at least. Arguably the biggest reason that I wouldn't consider sacrificing one of my beloved Locusts to this role (You can fit a LL on one without getting too otherwise-derpy).

Looking forward to Round Two of non-meta light mech madness!

#39 Spleenslitta


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Posted 06 September 2015 - 01:13 PM

Good idea on going seperatly in opposite directions. On maps like Canyon Network, River City, Tourmaline Desert it would work for sure.
Not certain about the other maps. I had particular doubts about HPG Manifold but it might work there too.
Therra Therma always presents a problem due to the long relocation distances and if the enemy takes the centre the confusion we can spread is limited.

Something i often see in my matches is that i have little damage to my mech at match end and caused moderate damage but i know i could have done more.
But then i also look at it from another angle. If the enemy team has killed all my teammates i would be in a prime position to finish what my team started.
I would have a mostly undamaged mech facing 2-4 enemies who're likely heavily damaged. Even if they got an 8xSPL FS he is probably so damaged i can bring him down quickly.
I become like a playing card my team kept up it's sleeve's for emergencies like that.

Besides if we become more aggressive the risk goes through the ceiling. When i started on making all of this i was using a brawler type Jenner.
The damage i dished out was extremely unstable but with some equally extremely high numbers at times.
In the end it was much too unstable.
Besides whenever matches become long those extreme damage numbers become possible once more.

I saw that Stalkers effort. I wish i could do something like that. Unfortunatly my defensive torso twisting is lacking.
I guess i'm too used to having a piece of rock between myself and the enemy.

I recently played a match on Alpine where my damage contribution was mediocre, but i kept a Thunderbolt and a Jager totally out of the mainfight.
Getting good damage is all good but sometimes there are more subtle things that can be just as important.
I sounded kinda arrogant and condescending there....at least in my mind. Pardon me.
I just wish there was a way for the game to measure those subtle contributions too....But that's impossible.

I find that JJ's makes the KFX almost as mobile as 130 Kph mech since i can take all those shortcuts.
I tried using the Fridge with my Rodent Fu but i just kept seeing the places where JJ's could put me into good shooting positions.
Ultimatly i can't do it without JJ's. I have been tempted to try it with a Locust but i've decided i'm gonna go nuts and try it with an Executioner instead.
I know that's nuts but if i got someone to protect me it might be doable on Canyon Network. I doubt i can do it on other maps though.

Sorry that i didn't play much MWO towards the later part of the day.

Edited by Spleenslitta, 06 September 2015 - 01:30 PM.

#40 Not A Real RAbbi


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Posted 06 September 2015 - 08:47 PM

No worries. I played a good bit today with fellow [QQ] members, and stuck to that role a lot. (I DID deviate for a few drops, and go back to the 5x cSPL ACH, which helped out the KDR a little, but I honestly like this role better.)

Aggressive tactics in light mechs? Not a cool idea. At least, not usually. FS9 has a lot of potential there, and ACH can also play up close. Used to be that the JR7 could do wonders up close, too, but lately it seems that quirks have left the Jenner behind.

But I'm not really advocating more AGGRESSIVE fighting necessarily. We DO need to work on volume of fire, though, I think. A few pokes here and there, with the time that goes between them, don't seem to contribute much. While it DOES get the enemy distracted at times, the longer breaks in between pokes mean they get their focus back on the main fight. It may be worth risking a little PPC or Gauss fire (ACH and KFX can handle at least one torso hit from either without wilting), giving them a target to see and try to aim for, before fading and repositioning. MOST gratifying is if we can get a couple to take the shot and miss. Wasted heat, cooldown, and even ammo, is a small victory for the friendlies.

Another thing, and it's something that I personally REALLY need to work on, is knowing the map. That cost me a save today. Got down to me and one friendly against 3 enemies. My friendly was out of weapons and hurting, and two of the three enemies were in rough shape. The friendly (HBR) went full-on meat shield nuisance to buy me an opportunity. First, I had a tough time getting into position to get good shots on them while they focused him. THEN, once he was down, and they were focusing me, I caught Hell trying to get to a better position. One of the enemy mechs was all MLs and SRMs, or so I think. Outside of 500m, he's almost neutered against me, and that cERLL can still work its magic. They were all three half my speed, I think (all 60-ton or heavier, at any rate, IIRC--one was a KGC), but I was unable to get out of range and reposition to get shots on them. ALSO, I'd had my ECM in COUNTER and forgot to switch back to DISRUPT, which likely cost me being tracked pretty easily. This was on Canyon Network, one of my favorite poking maps.

So, knowing the map I'm on, being familiar with how to navigate it and use my speed to my advantage, cost my team a match. I should have been able to salvage that, or at least pull two of the three (one of them, maybe the KGC, was pretty fresh) for a draw.

Finishing skills are still important.

I played a little with the single cERPPC on an ACH and a SHC today, and I don't care for the extra heat. Given that it also cuts even deeper into backup weapons, it's hurting me to carry it. MAYBE on a more conservative SHC build, once I get around to ELITE skills on them, it might be viable. For now, though, I'm keeping my ACH to cERLL and 4x cERSL, ECM, TCompI. That's been working well this evening.

Also played with a 2x cERLL loadout. Does fairly well on heat, especially when I'm still in poke-and-run mode. Doubles up the long-range damage, which is nice. Sucks up close, though, with that long duration and cooldown. Also costs either ECM or arm armor (the latter I don't mind giving up so much).

Considering trying a cLPL build to see if that works, but the long-distance stuff on Tourmaline and Canyon and Caustic will obviously suffer. Can do max damage up to 600m, and a little more with the proper module. Can fit 3x cERSL for backup, along with ECM. That would benefit from Target Info Gathering, since it lacks a TComp, and wouldn't get much out of ASR or AZ modules. Trading range for DPS, sacrificing a little up-close damage potential, but otherwise looks potentially viable as long as engagement ranges aren't getting out of hand. That said, being closer to the enemy means more likelihood of return fire, and with deadlier weapons. :-/

I've been working on building a respectable Clan drop deck for CW, so the module inventory is just going to grow. Also going to work on my IS mechs from time to time (though I think I'll wait until after the next balance pass to go buying any more mechs), so a RVN-3L or JR7-F might get some work now and then. As will the SHCs.

I'll be keeping an eye out for ya!

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