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RAM's Guide to the Catapult Chassis


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#1 RAM

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 09:26 AM

Background
The Catapult is an offense oriented, second-line fire-support BattleMech initially produced on a limited contract for the Terran Hegemony. It has ten tons of armor, fifteen heat sinks and top speed of 64.8 km/h, which allows the Catapult to deliver its payload of Long Range Missiles on an enemy from great distances without the risk of return fire. The use of four jump jets gives the Catapult a jumping distance of one hundred and twenty meters and the ability to pace faster units over broken terrain. The original Anderson 21 model jump jets tended to break down over prolonged use, venting into the machine's interior and overheating the 'Mech. A general recall in 2566 to replace the 21s with improved Anderson 25s solved this issue, though some Catapults never received this retrofit. The 'Mech is also unique for having a sideways ejection system which, while generally safe, can be quite a surprise to new Catapult pilots.


Representing Hollis Incorporated's first foray into the 'Mech market, the Catapult was produced in record numbers over its initial three-year period from the company's brand-new, state-of-the-art factory. However, when the contract came up for review in 2563, the Hegemony decided not to renew it; while the Catapult had performed adequately at its role, but was not quite what they wanted. With large numbers of the 'Mech still in the field, the Catapult would continue to see use in the Star League Defense Force with second-line and specialist formations such as mountaineering regiments. When the factory constructing them switched over to the more-successful BattleMaster, Hollis' limited production of spare parts couldn't keep the design's numbers from dwindling.


When the Star League fell, many of the remaining Catapults joined Aleksandr Kerensky on his Exodus. The Capellan Confederation collected most of the Catapults that remained in the Inner Sphere, and the Hollis factory on Corey briefly produced new models and spare parts. At the same time, the Draconis Combine managed to seize a sizable force in their capture of Dieron. The renewed production ended when the Corey factory was destroyed at the onset of the First Succession War, ensuring the rarity of the Catapult during the rest of that bloody era. Even with this rarity, occasional attempts to seize the remaining 'Mechs by all sides continued unabated.


Many variants of this venerable design were produced through its lifetime, and the Catapult's rarity began to reverse in 3033 when Yori 'Mech Works was contracted by the DCMS to produce the completely-revamped CPLT-K2 on Al Na'ir.

CPLT-A1: 5,564,279 CB / 2,230 MC
The A1 variant of the Catapult was designed without back-up weapons. While it doubles the amount of LRM ammo carried and adds on two tons of armor, it is highly susceptible to close range attacks and has little defense if an enemy does manage to close in on it.
2xLRM15 w/ 384 Armour
LA – 3xMissile
RA – 3xMissile


CPLT-C1: 5,804,127 CB / 2,325 MC
The primary weapons of the Catapult are two Holly LRM-15 launchers which allow the Catapult to give friendly units fire support at ranges of over 600 meters. In case an enemy closes to within the LRM's minimum range the 'Mech carries four Martell Medium Lasers, which are usually enough to dissuade most light and medium 'Mechs from closing with the Catapult. Since the Catapult was designed to stand well behind the main battleline, it lacks anti-infantry weapons or arms for close-quarters combat. Its greatest weakness though is ammunition: only one to, for each launcher gives the Catapult a level of endurance which is barely acceptable.
4xML, 2xLRM15 w/ 320 Armour
LA – 1xMissile
LT – 1xEnergy
CT – 2xEnergy
RT – 1xEnergy
RA – 1xMissile


CPLT-C4: 5,869,247 / 2,350 MC
Replacing each pair of Medium Lasers with a single Small Laser and removing some heat sinks, the -C4 instead carries two LRM-20 launchers with double the amount of ammunition, giving it about twenty five percent more damage capability at long range.
2xSL, 2xLRM20 w/ 320 Armour
LA – 2xMissile
CT – 2xEnergy
RA – 2xMissile


CPLT-K2: 5,304,023 CB / 2,125 MC
Breaking the mold of the Catapult, this House Kurita model removes the LRM-15 launchers and replaces them with two PPCs which allow the Catapult to act as a direct fire support 'Mech and take a more active role in front line combat. The 'Mech mounts five additional single heat sinks to help dissipate the added heat from the PPCs and two Machine Guns to deter infantry attacks. Space is made by removing the jump jets and two of the medium lasers.
2xPPC, 2xML, 2xMG w/ 352 Armour
LA – 1xEnergy
LT – 1xEnergy, 1xBallisitc
RT – 1xEnergy, 1xBallisitc
RA – 1xEnergy


RAM
ELH

#2 Lead Out

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 11:56 AM

Excellent guide. Every new PuG should fit LRMs on their A1 and PPCs on their K2. My C-bill earnings demand it!

The fluff is good, though.

#3 Punk KMSD

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 05:41 PM

A few things to add to here. Ram, like your guides my friend, keep it up.

The Cata is my 'Mech and has been for years, I'm fire support, always have been always will be, it's unglorious but throwing tons of missles at an enemy is what I do best.

The A1 is my Cata of choice. Those three missle hardpoints are the best thing ever. I've seen alot of pilots run with a 6 SRM6 config, and this is a deadly config at close range. If you're good at leading targets, heck you can get close enough where you don't need to lead and keep them rocking untill theres nothing left of the enemy but embers.

The config I use is to chain 6 LRM5s togeather, put in a smaller engine or even a XL if you're daring, AMS and as much ammo and heat sinks as you can. The chain fired LRM5s and a proper rate of fire lets you rain down a near constant stream of missles. Trick is on your first volley to press the fire button, not hold it down, count off a couple of seconds between salvos then when it recycles back to the first chained weapon THEN you hold down the fire button. Constant stream of death. I've taken out charging Atlas' with this config. It's very nice for us long range cowboys.

A word of note for newbies. Support your teams fire support Mechs, they are the ones tearing through the enemys armor so you can come in and finnish them off. Too often do I drop to find the enemy knows how to deal with me, IE; send in a light harrasser to keep me distracted from giving support, but my team mates do not know how to assist me. If I'm in my A1, I can't deal with a Jenny thats 90 meters away throwing lasers in my direction, no way i could outpace him, he's going to kill me, just a matter of time. So, fire support Mechs do sometimes need fire support themselfs, so if you're in a lighter chassie, give us hulking missle turrets a hand....and keep those &#&@&* Jenners off my ***! For the love of God kill them dead!

#4 dtgamemaster

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 02:12 AM

Specifically commenting on the A1 variant

6 SRM6s are NOT a viable build for an A-1.
You will run into heat/ammo/speed/accuracy issues. Worthwhile to try it for fun and treat it as a "shotgun" mech.

If you want to be competitive, 6xSSRM2s are the way to go. Hit and run. All aimed at centre torso, with homing to have a chance of landing FULL damage on moving targets, especially the fast ones.

Another workable weapon loadout will be to swap out 1 or 2 of the SSRM2s for a SRM/LRM Launcher of your choice. It works fine too. All a matter of personal preference.

And finally Mounting 6-LRM5s are a trick build. Inside of 180m range, you are totally vulnerable. If you dont mind being defenceless upclose, by all means use it.

The fun is in trying out different weapon loadouts. So feel free to make your own conclusions after trying stuff in battle.

#5 G34R B0X

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 05:35 AM

My cata has two LRM 15s and two SRM6's, with endo armor and a crap ton of heat sinks. Now im still kinda new to the build it your self Mech's its done very well for me. Im good at leading targets so the srms i have for close normaly take out what ever annoying Light the other team has come up on me, and the LRMS are great for support. Still kinda new to Mechwarrior but i normaly get more kills than deaths, and if i do take a death i DO NOT go easy... any suggestions on my mech build tho would be much App.

#6 Banekane

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 07:48 PM

my advice for a killer long range C1

use 2 lrm 10s or 15s and 2 ERLL works well with any open fielded mech not smart enough to take cover as well you can still support your team if you run out of ammo as well lasers as a small min range but adding 2 small lasers or medium lasers will help up close if needed

i usually had great success with that build

#7 Darius Otsdarva

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 08:01 PM

The Catapult is an excellent offensive and has been my mainstay mech for years. I personally enjoy using them in their intended role as back line support.

They also make decent brawlers, but the large cockpit hit box is a problem.

#8 Pelican1349

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 10:27 PM

I am incredibly late to post to this, but I just now started playing the game. I got into battletech through the mechassault games and the Catapult has always appealed to me. I am currently using the Catapult C-4 with two LRM-20+Artemis as well as TAG and the Beagle active probe. I decided to dump the lasers and jumpjets for armor and more ammo, also because I have a bit of a slot shortage in the center torso.
I got rid of the close in weapons because of the sheer fact that if I am close enough that I actually HAVE to use them, then things have gone horribly wrong anyways. Since I am in the C4 build as well, I only have enough slots to mount a pair of med. pulse lasers anyways. I am more effective just focusing on throwing missiles, of which I carry 7 tons of, (coming out to 1260 missiles :) .)
I use my Cat in the fire support role, and using the TAG laser, I can be even more effective in a direct fire role, as well as with brawling. But, I have to stay relatively close to other teammates, as I am absolutely out of luck if an Adder comes running along. When that happens, I usually just focus on flinging missiles and getting back to the rest of the team, as a lone light mech is a pretty good target for a couple heavy mechs.

#9 eFTy

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Posted 18 December 2014 - 01:49 AM

Drop a ton and fit a medum laser in there. Trust me, it will come in handy more often than you think. It's hilarious when you actually get a kill with it.





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