Battletech (2018 PC game) Page 17

  • neems 12 Dec 2019 13:20:08 4,785 posts
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    @Rogueywon

    Holy moley.
  • rice_sandwich 12 Dec 2019 13:30:29 6,052 posts
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    Comprehensive. Thanks!
  • TechnoHippy 12 Dec 2019 14:10:13 15,838 posts
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    @Rogueywon Thanks - I've just restarted the campaign after failing miserably months ago, and that's a useful guide.
  • AcidSnake 12 Dec 2019 14:10:56 8,215 posts
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    Good summary there...

    I'd like to add a bit to the Melee section, the DFA attack.

    Basically if your mech has jump jets (and is in range) it can attempt a Death From Above melee attack. It does a lot more melee damage though has less chance to connect and will damage your legs...

    Also when hovering over an enemy to see your hit chance the game assumes you move as close as you can for the theoretical shot which isn't always beneficial. A better bet is to simulate the move order and then hover over the enemy again to see the percentages and then canceling out the move order...

    If anyone does head into campaign mode first I found the first two true story mission to be longer than expected and slightly harder than the following ones, don't be discouraged...
  • Rogueywon Most Generous Forumite, 2016 12 Dec 2019 14:55:42 7,407 posts
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    And now the more advanced stuff:

    Health bars are a lie

    In battle, there's a health bar above each mech. It has, to begin with, a grey-coloured section on the left and a white-coloured section on the right. The grey section shows the health of your mech's internal structure (and turns orange once internal damage has been taken), while the white section shows armour.

    Nice and convenient. Also a lie. Don't get me wrong, it's a useful lie. A glance at the health bar can give you a snapshot of how damaged a mech is, but it is a long way from being the complete picture.

    Mechs do not have a single health pool. They have seven areas that can take damage - head, center torso, left torso, right torso, left arm, right arm, left leg and right leg. Each of those areas also has armour that must be depleted before it takes internal damage, with the three torso sections having separate front and rear armour. All of these can be viewed by clicking on a mech to look at its status. When areas of the mech have full armour, they will be shown as white. As the armour is chipped away, it goes darker shades of grey. Once the armour is gone and the internals are being hit, it goes orange.

    A couple of exotic weapon types will always deal some internal damage, even through armour (e.g. Gauss Rifles).

    When all of the internal health for a section of a mech is gone, that part of the mech is destroyed. If a side torso section is destroyed while the arm is still intact, both the torso and the arm will be destroyed. If the center torso or head is destroyed, the mech is out of the fight. Same if both legs are destroyed.

    When an arm is destroyed, any weapons and ammo on it are gone. If a mech loses one leg, it will fall over. It can stand back up again, but it will only be able to limp slowly and its stability threshold will be reduced.

    So directional damage matters

    When one mech shoots at another, the damage can land on the parts of the target mech that the shooter can see. If if you come in from the left side of a mech, most of the shots are going to land on the left arm, left torso and left leg, with some hits maybe spilling over onto the center torso and the head (head hits are rare). The right arm and right torso are safe.

    So in battle, keep an eye on where your mechs are taking damage. If their left side has had most of its armour stripped, keep their right side turned towards the enemy as much as possible.

    Mechs have much thinner rear armour, compared to the front. Letting enemies get behind you is generally a bad idea (and getting behind the enemy is a good idea). But sometimes, if a mech is near death and its only remaining armour is on its back, doing a runner and turning your back can be the safest move.

    When attacking, if you want a quick kill, try to focus all of your attacks on one side of a mech. You'll probably blow the arm and torso off first. After that, most of your hits are going onto the center torso and pushing it towards death. That said, when trying to maximise salvage, there are times you will want to spread your damage around rather than going for a quick kill.

    Mechs have roles

    The game has a huge range of mechs (particularly with the DLCs) and they all have their own roles. Many chassis come with multiple subtypes, with those subtypes sometimes being very different. So the C1 and C4 variants of the Catapult are missile-boats. The exotic K2 version, on the other hand, loses all of the missiles for a pair of PPCs.

    Using mechs in their role properly is important. The most straightforward role is the multi-purpose brawler - the mechs without a deep specialisation that can be versatile and adapt to most kinds of fight. There are examples of this across all of the weight ranges, from the 35 ton Jenner to the 100 ton Atlas. A good lance might be centred around one or two of these brawlers, but will also be supported by some more specialist mechs.

    You get a few mechs, particularly in the heavier category, which are under-gunned but compensate with high speed and very strong armour. The 60 ton Dragon is one example, with the 95 ton Banshee being a really extreme example. These are best used to get right up close and personal in a fight, essentially functioning as your "tanks". They can make good melee mechs and can be used to tie down enemy mechs in a brawl while your longer ranged attackers do the real damage.

    Another role is the sniper - typically a mech with a high-damage long-range weapon which hangs back behind the line and throws heavy-hitting punches from a distance, often using jumpjets and high speed to avoid getting pinned down. At the lighter end of the scale, the 35 ton Panther can do this. At the heavier end, you've got the likes of the Highlander (90 tons).

    And then there are the dedicated fire-support mechs. These tend to be lightly armoured and poor in point-blank combat, but they pack ferocious long-range firepower, in the form of LRMs or batteries of autocannons. Examples of this include the Trebuchet (50 tons), the Catapult and the Jagermech (both 65 tons) and the Stalker (85 tons).

    In addition to the basic roles above, you've gone some more deeply specialised mechs. The Raven, Hatchetman and Cyclops all have very distinct niches. The King Crab, a 100 ton monster, is designed for the sole purpose of exploding things very quickly at medium range.

    A good lance will balance the above roles, with some flexibility as to the mission type and biome. But knowing what mechs can do is also key to sorting your target priority.

    And of course, customisation can change a mech's role. For instance, one popular version of the Highlander removes its sniper weapons and turns it into a fast-moving close-quarters melee attacker with supporting heavy autocannon.

    Choose targets carefully

    Prioritising targets is a massively important part of the game. Mech battles have a heavy element of attrition, so you ultimately want to be wearing the enemy down faster than they can wear you down. How you choose your targets will help determine whether you can do that.

    Take two 60 ton mechs - the Dragon and the Quickdraw. The Dragon has heavy armour but is under-gunned. The Quickdraw has a hard punch but is fragile. So if you target the Dragon first, you'll spend a long time wearing it down, with the Quickdraw pumping out damage all the while. Targetting the Quickdraw first lets you knock out the harder-hitting enemy fast.

    There's a lot more to targeting priority than this, but as a general rule, you want to be reducing the enemy's offensive fire as fast as possible while minimising your own damage. Fire support mechs, which hang back and deal out both raw and stability damage, can be high priority targets, but getting within range of them can involve a risky dash past the enemy brawlers.

    And a note on vehicles. They are not, by and large, an equal for mechs on the battlefield, but they can still hit hard. LRM and SRM carriers in particular have huge firepower. Fortunately, they don't take much damage to kill. Even the largest vehicles in the game can usually be one-hit melee-killed by a heavy or assault mech. Even though vehicles are weaker than mechs, clearing them up quickly at the start of a battle is usually a good idea.

    Mechs take a lot of killing

    Mechs are big and they don't die easily. Even light mechs will typically take a couple of salvos to die. To kill a mech, you must do one of the following:

    - Destroy the center torso (1 salvage)
    - Destroy the head (3 salvage)
    - Destroy both legs (2 salvage)
    - Inflict enough injuries on the pilot that they are incapacitated (3 salvage)

    As you can see, the amount of salvage you can get from a mech at the end of the mission depends on how you killed it. Centre torso kills are the most common, but only give 1 salvage. To fully salvage a mech, you must get three parts for it (though these can be from different missions).

    By and large, to get 3 salvage, you will want headshots (a pilot with a tactics score of 9 or 10 will have a good chance of these via called shots), side torso destructions and knockdowns. I've written some more detailed advice on incapacitating pilots on previous pages.

    Mechs sells

    By and large, it's better to choose to get more salvage from contracts, rather than more cash. Take mech parts as your first pick on salvage. You can make a shitload of money by putting together spare mechs from salvage and selling them.

    Plus you'll get access to better mechs more quickly this way.

    And for god's sake get access to black markets

    As you move around the galaxy, you'll get occasional pop-up events. One of these will give you an offer to buy - for a high fee - access to black markets. You want this. If you can afford it, get it. If you can't, it'll come back again later.

    Once you have access, your star map will show which systems have black markets. In these systems, there will be a separate page on the store tab. Until recently, black markets were a bit meh. Since the patch that accompanied the Heavy Metal DLC, they are awesome. They are filled with high-end gear, including LosTech like pulse lasers, gauss rifles, double heat sinks and ancient mech variants with insane firepower and heat management.

    Edited by Rogueywon at 14:57:05 12-12-2019
  • ButterVoucher 12 Dec 2019 17:05:08 70 posts
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    I bought this when I had a dog shit gaming laptop. Might try it again now I've a decent setup.
  • sunjumper 13 Dec 2019 01:54:23 3,531 posts
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    Rogueywon has pretty much nailed everything you need to know about the game, listen to him for he is wise.

    I would like to add the following tips:
    Read the map
    Pretty much every mission has a straight road towards your goal. Taking it is almost always a bad idea. Your enemies know that if someone would attack them that's the space where they would come from and are usually prepared.
    Even if there is fog of war you can read the map and look for alternate routes, good places to lay an ambush or just spaces where you have better cover. Take that extra minute to look for advantages, especially in the early game this will save your life.

    If you don't hit them you are not interesting
    I missions where you have to escort someone or protect a location the enemy mechs will start shooting their targets immediately upon seeing them often concentrating fire of single targets. This will ruin your day. How ever if you shoot them first they will instead shift their focus to you. This is a great moment to multi-target as only the enemies that you have hit will attack your party.

    Jump jets are your friends
    This is a bit of personal taste but I have no mech in active duty that doesn't have jump jets. For one you get much better protection against enemy fire after a jump and you can chose the direction you want to face freely.
    Furthermore you can use jump jets to climb hills and mountains and use them for cover, better shooting positions or as shortcuts.
    Remember how I said that you should read the map at the start of a mission? The jump jets will allow you to take alternative routes that would have been impassable under different circumstances. Even my largest assault mechs have them and I'd rather drop a weapon or a bit of armour than not have them.
  • magicpanda 13 Dec 2019 10:21:33 14,934 posts
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    This is helpful stuff. What about loadouts? It's the only thing that's really confusing me at the moment. Weapon heirachy etc.

    Edited by magicpanda at 02:30:01 14-12-2019
  • Rogueywon Most Generous Forumite, 2016 13 Dec 2019 11:10:29 7,407 posts
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    @magicpanda There isn't a strict weapons hierarchy as such. The game is pretty well balanced by this point and pretty much every weapon has its niche. The one hard and fast rule is that weapons with +s after their names are better than weapons without them (and the more +s the better). Other than that, it can actually pay to go for variety.

    Some mechs will lean heavily on certain types of weapon (and hardpoints do set constraints). Catapult C1s and C4s are missile-boats. If you wanted, you could strip off the LRMs and replace them with SRMs, trading range and beyond-line-of-sight capability for more up-front punch, but the essence of the mech remains the same.

    That said, very few "stock" configurations can't be improved on. I'd recommend trying mechs with their stock loadout for a while and then looking for opportunities to improve. So, for instance, with a King Crab, I will dump the L Laser for a pair of M Lasers and some extra A/C20 ammo. That gives better heat management and compensates for the stock loadout's horrible ammo shortage.

    Similarly, the Stalker runs far too hot by default, but by increasing the size of its missile racks and stripping off the PPC, you can turn it into a huge-firepower LRM boat with great heat endurance.

    Edit: Also, the limb mods can be used for some really powerful builds. The arm build increases melee power. Put that on an assault mech, while stripping off many of the weapons and adding armour and you have a nigh-unstoppable punchy juggernaut. Put a leg mod on a Highlander and increase its leg armour and you have the ultimate Death From Above machine.

    Edited by Rogueywon at 11:15:45 13-12-2019
  • magicpanda 13 Dec 2019 11:37:59 14,934 posts
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    Cheers. I got a blank centurion and just had no clue how to load it up.
  • Huggybear 13 Dec 2019 11:58:47 1,639 posts
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    One of these days I need to get a new PC and this game. Have fond memories of playing tons of MechForce on the Amiga in the early 90s.
  • Rogueywon Most Generous Forumite, 2016 13 Dec 2019 11:58:48 7,407 posts
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    @magicpanda Centurion's a bit of an all-rounder, with a mild close-up brawling specialisation. I'd suggest a versatile armament - maybe with a large-ish auto-cannon for a bit of ooomph.
  • rice_sandwich 13 Dec 2019 21:17:59 6,052 posts
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    First campaign mission completed. For a tutorial it actually seemed a little difficult. My mechs took a fair amount of damage which I didn't really expect. Definitely reminds me of Mechforce back in the day.
  • Rogueywon Most Generous Forumite, 2016 13 Dec 2019 21:28:18 7,407 posts
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    @rice_sandwich Mechs do get shot up most missions in this. By and large, if a mech has no armour blowthroughs (i.e. orange health bar damage) at the end of a mission, you can consider it a "clean win", as armour is replenished automatically and for free between missions. But getting through a mission with all four of your mechs like that is rare.

    By comparison to XCom, this is not a game that lets you get away with perfection very often.
  • rice_sandwich 13 Dec 2019 21:41:39 6,052 posts
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    @Rogueywon

    Good to know. Very positive first impressions although I'm not sold on all the rpg intermissions.
  • Rogueywon Most Generous Forumite, 2016 13 Dec 2019 22:07:38 7,407 posts
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    @rice_sandwich They get less frequent as you get further into it. Plot comes thick and fast to begin with, but gets much more spaced out in the later parts of the campaign.
  • rice_sandwich 13 Dec 2019 22:17:19 6,052 posts
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    No undo option either, as far as I can tell. Slightly irritating if you click incorrectly. Good game though, very tabletop boardgame like.
  • Rogueywon Most Generous Forumite, 2016 14 Dec 2019 00:28:33 7,407 posts
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    @rice_sandwich The lack of undo is annoying, if you accidentally move when you just wanted to test what it would look like (and still haven't attacked). I do tend to save-spam a bit to avoid accidentally fucking my game with one of those.

    And yeah, it's very, very tabletop.

    Pushed on with this a bit tonight in my Heavy Metal playthrough. I'm in the post-game now and mopping up flashpoints. Lance is Atlas 2, Atlas, King Crab, Annihilator, so basically a Steiner Scout Lance. Annihilator is very, very good provided you keep it as a support mech and don't take it up close and personal.
  • GloatingSwine 15 Dec 2019 00:35:58 3,862 posts
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    Rogueywon wrote:
    @magicpanda Centurion's a bit of an all-rounder, with a mild close-up brawling specialisation. I'd suggest a versatile armament - maybe with a large-ish auto-cannon for a bit of ooomph.
    In my current playthrough I have my Centurion specced as a combat initiator. Lots of missiles (2 SRM6 and an SRM4+), a couple of medium lasers, and up-armoured.

    Good for getting lots of armour stripped off so I can walk in afterwards and execute whatever it is with my Hunchback.


    Another couple of things to think about, as hints are being handed out:

    Don't ignore those blue buttons on your action bar. Precision Strike is not only good for getting a called shot but it also reduces enemy initiative by 1. That means you can shove an enemy mech down the turn order to let the rest of your lance unload onto it, meaning that something that would have acted on the same initiative as you might never get to.

    Also, if an enemy has lots of evasion but is close to you, go and thump it. Melee ignores evasion and very often leaves a target Unsteady, which makes it lose the rest of its evasion and makes it a sitting duck for the rest of your lance.
  • IRWATWO 15 Dec 2019 01:05:30 419 posts
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    Wow, amazing detail. I really hope to play this one day. Sounds very similar to GWs current Adeptus Titanicus tabletop, without the glue and paint and all that obviously.

    One slight correction Rogueywon (just to prove I've read it all :) ), you refer to seven damage areas, but head, 3 torso and 4 limb, is eight?

    Thanks Rogueywon and everyone for the effort :)
  • Zyrr 15 Dec 2019 08:20:42 414 posts
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    Interestingly, Battletech was released as a tabletop game back in 84/85 :) The core gameplay has stayed pretty much the same over the past 35 years (right up to the latest edition) and the PC game is actually quite a faithful representation.

    Big fan of Adeptus Titanicus here, too. I remember buying the original back in '88 and absolutely playing it to death. Have played a few games of the new edition and it's an impressive remake, but a year on since release and I still haven't found the time to finish painting my Titan maniple. I guess that's the real advantage of having these games in a 'digital format'!
  • Rogueywon Most Generous Forumite, 2016 15 Dec 2019 08:51:35 7,407 posts
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    @IRWATWO Whoops, yes, eight areas.
  • IRWATWO 15 Dec 2019 09:10:43 419 posts
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    @Rogueywon Good,, thank you, eight is a much better number :)

    Zyrr, I'm hoping that (as with Battletech) in AT non mech vehicles start to appear, and then we get a full blown reboot of Epic, with massed infantry and tank battalions and and and....

    'Homer, you're dribbling on the mic again.'
  • TechnoHippy 15 Dec 2019 09:33:51 15,838 posts
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    Zyrr wrote:
    Interestingly, Battletech was released as a tabletop game back in 84/85 :) The core gameplay has stayed pretty much the same over the past 35 years (right up to the latest edition) and the PC game is actually quite a faithful representation.

    Big fan of Adeptus Titanicus here, too. I remember buying the original back in '88 and absolutely playing it to death. Have played a few games of the new edition and it's an impressive remake, but a year on since release and I still haven't found the time to finish painting my Titan maniple. I guess that's the real advantage of having these games in a 'digital format'!
    One of my few claims to 'fame' is that I reached the 1990 Space Marine championships in epic scale. Unfortunately my neuropathy means I can't paint anymore and I'd love a decent digital adaptation. Before then I used to play Car Wars and Battletech with cardboard counters.

    /stealth I'm getting old post :-)
  • Zyrr 15 Dec 2019 09:38:40 414 posts
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    @IRWATWO Yep, that's exactly what I'm hoping for as well :)

    Signs are looking good: the Aeronautica Imperialis reboot is the same scale as new AT (8mm instead of 6mm), so it definitely feels like there's a plan for the future there somewhere!
  • IRWATWO 15 Dec 2019 09:47:37 419 posts
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    @TechnoHippy

    That sucks dude, sorry to hear, superb claim to fame. Loooads of good painting services out there if wadded, no replacement for painting your own I know, but a good way to get a cool army to play with.

    Zyrr, yep, more to come hopefully. Not especially impressed with the usual GW thing - go 8mm so all the 6mm around doesn't work. But when the models, background, official status etc are this good ... no choice.

    Going to stop thoroughly derailing Rogueys Battletech thread now, sorry dude. Maybe the warhams thread will retrurn as a regular soon :)

    Edited by IRWATWO at 09:50:52 15-12-2019
  • Rogueywon Most Generous Forumite, 2016 15 Dec 2019 09:53:38 7,407 posts
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    Hey, not "my" thread.

    There is a Titanicus game in early access on Steam. I've been tempted, but it looks rough as hell (being developed by a 2-man team).
  • TechnoHippy 15 Dec 2019 09:57:35 15,838 posts
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    @IRWATWO Thanks, although painting the army was half the fun for me, plus I know live in the middle of nowhere so not many opponents available :-)
  • IRWATWO 15 Dec 2019 10:51:49 419 posts
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    @Rogueywon

    Ah yes I know sorry, but you've produced such great advice, just wanting to leave it clear :)
  • TechnoHippy 19 Dec 2019 11:23:35 15,838 posts
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    This has become my lunch time game and progressing slowly through the campaign, although doing many side missions to get the experience, salvage and cash.
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