The Well-Configured Mech
Specialization

Since the Company B plan revolves around excellent pilots, all mechs are reconfigured to be custom training and mission vehicles. Second Roster are called in to pilot in-mission stock mechs, mostly to Extract (unless we need to do major damage to something and don't care about salvage) and then are either sold off or immediately reconfigured. This keeps the bank balance high for all the weapon-swapping costs of customization.

I get into the habit of naming my mech variations and keep in mind an eventual "Ideal Mech" for her weight class and type. As new weaponry becomes available, I tend to upgrade rather than heavily reconfigure. The first mod my units get is armor, because we tend to like face-to-face encounters. I also have specific configurations and team rosters in mind.


A powerful mech can be relatively helpless if mismatched with the wrong pilot. Someone trained in ER lasers will have poorer aim with Pulse lasers or PPCs, so matching the right mech to the right pilot can be a crucial skill.

The Lao Hu to the left (the Doctor) has been set up for an Ace Laser/ER Laser/PPC Sharpshooter to do one-shot headshots, and is more than a match for a stock 'Hu. She is also capable of taking on an Atlas, Blood Asp or Highlander with ease. Her relatively long firing time requires a good bodyguard to protect her while she readies her next devastating shot. Her armor has also been reinforced; Liao mechs are notoriously armor-thin. She can take several heavy shots with little harm, giving her enough time to leap out of harm's way from short-range weaponry and recharge for another blast, or charge inside an enemy's range to deliver the coup-de-grace. The trade-off on space is made up for by the skill of the operating pilot and the weapons of her matching specialties.

At 75 tons, a modified Lao Hu can pack as many LRMs as a Catapult and as much weaponry as a Mad Cat while retaining the speed and jump capabilities of a stock 'Hu, which neither the 'Cat nor the 'Pult have. This mech is capable of taking the head off a light or medium mech in one or two shots in the hands of a skilled pilot, and without requiring the space or the recharge time that a Gauss rifle would demand.

We assume you have read our previous rantings on configuration and take it for granted that every one of the Company B mechs has the max armor allowed for its' class. A stock Lao Hu carries 194t but can carry 290t, an almost 100t upgrade, giving the 'Hu as much armor as all but a stock Atlas! A Men Shen can carry 272 (stock 176), a Raven 160 (stock 96) and the tiny Anubis 128 (stock 96), so when you salvage a mech and decide to keep it, strip it and armor it first before considering weapon loadouts.

You must know your mechs, their capabilities and weaknesses, and the relative strengths of each weapon in the mechwarrior's arsenal in order to build the perfect mech for your Ace pilot. The process of customization helps you thoroughly understand the capabilities of your mechs and those of your opponents. It also gets you intimately familiar with stock mech loadouts and configurations. This is a good thing; often you will see a gaping hole in an otherwise formidable mech's stock configuration (like stock Liao mechs' armor, or the ridiculously-over-specialized Hollander).

 

Some General Observations on Mechs

The Company B plan revolves around quick and nimble mechs. Most often, this will leave you seriously undermatched by weight class. Do not fear. Brains and cunning, not to mention style and a certain... je ne sais qua, weigh a lot less than a klutzy autocannon.

The PBs swear (on various arcane and generally icky substances) that House Liao mechs are to be preferred for their excellent sensors and nimble engines. They need armor, but you can mod them with Clan weapons to offset the lost weapons space. Liao mechs matched with ER and Clan weapons are capable of cutting through Steiner mechs like a hot butter knife through a Denebian slime worm. Wait, they are Denebian slime worms! Well, there ya go! When you get the chance, go Liao. You can always sell Steiner mechs eh heh. Lots of 'em :)

In this scheme, Atlases and Zeuses, Hunchbacks and Shooters seem like the clumsy, lumbering beasts they are. Sure, they can eat up a light mech when they finally trundle onto the Killing Field... but who waits for them?!? Not the PBs, that's for sure. They are too busy jumping, shooting and generally dazzling the opposition forces to be waiting for a hug from a loving Atlas. Besides, they have probably already poked his eyes out and are merely mopping up while Salvage brings in another pilot to operate the still-smoking machine. Do you have any idea of how nasty BBQ pilot smells? (pretty bad, which is why we let the boys pilot the big'uns we salvage. They like that sort of thing :)

This scheme also allows you to pack more mechs per weight limit into your dropship. This means more pilots for specialized skill training. By Mission 1 Op 4, Bandit Convoy, you can be training your core team of 5 pilots in their specialties, with a 3-mission headstart on your Laser Aces.

Here's a table of the dropship weight limits and starting Resource Points for each mission:

Mission
Name
Weight Limit
Starting RPs
M1o1 Raid: Airfield
*
2200
M1o2 Reacquisition: Base Gemini
170
6000
M1o3 Ambush & Acquire: Mobile HQ
190
6000
M1o4 Seach & Destroy: Bandit Convoy
205
1600
M1o5 Night Ops: Liao Raid
220
7000
M1o6 Defensive Counter: Base Aries
260
2500
M1o7 Sector Occupation: Garrison
200
6000
M1o8 Combat Rescue: Claymore
160
0
M1o9 Breach: Bandit Headquarters
300
30000
M2o1 Liberate: Gulag
280
6000
M2o2 Facility Assault: Hijack
160
0
M2o3 Mobile Intercept: Killdeer
210
0
M2o4 Remote Assault: Eclipsed
230
0
M2o5 Covert Ops: Orbital
75
0
M2o6 Facility Assault: Legion
320
6000
M2o7 Acquisition: Base Hermes
320
6000
M2o8 Honor Guards
360
0
M3o1 Defensive Counter: Bannikburg
320
1600
M3o2 Mobile Assault: Mt Cho
330
12000
M3o3 Combat Recovery: Dropship
320
12000
M3o4 Night Ops: Scorpio
200
0
M3o5 Baxter's Gambit: Liao Palace
380
16000
M3o6 Liberate: Starport
300
36000
M3o7 Endgame: Operation Goliath
450
16000

As you can see, many missions limit you to close to 200 tons; you only really get to start packing some weight at M1o9: Bandit HQ, and for more than half the Liao ops you are around the mid-200's. If you are working heavy mechs, one or two will account for your entire Lance allowance. This is silly, as you'll be passing up the opportunity to train pilots.

Here's an example for M1o9- Breach: Bandit Headquarters. Weight limit is 300 tonnes; a typical team loadout (taken from an online forum) would be a Zeus, Shootist, Highlander and a Men Shen.

Yes, i know; the thrill brushing everything aside as if it were a matchstick in a Highlander can be amusing at times. But here's the typical Company B Lance for the same mission: 3 Starslayers, 2 Sha Yu, an Anubis and a Raven. That's 7 pilots, all getting kills and advancing through their Skill levels in mechs that would make some Commanders uneasy, but which have zero trouble completing all objectives while sustaining minimal damage.

Let's compare team loadouts:

 
Company B
Company X
Mechs 3 Starslayers, 2 Sha Yu, Anubis, Raven (7) Zeus, Highlander, Shootist, Men Shen (4)
Weapons

7 ER Large lasers, 4 Large Pulse Lasers, 2 Large Lasers,
6 Lasers, 6 Pulse Lasers, 3 LRM

2 PPC, 1 Heavy Autocannon, 1 Gauss rifle, 7 Pulse lasers, 3 Large laser, 6 Laser, 15 LRM, 4 Machine Guns, 3 Streak SRM
Fastest Mech
130 (Anubis)
97 (Men Shen)

Slowest Mech

86 (Starslayers)
54 (Highlander)
Average Speed
103
70
Remarks 5 Veteran Specialist pilots; all but Raven jump-jet equipped; speedy. Slow; boringly predictable; 1 jump-capable; doomed.

And what are we facing here? Swarm Lrms for starters, which will hurt Company X with their slow and un-jumpable mechs. A few Urbanmechs and Fire Ants for appetizers, which are hardly a threat to the Starslayers (or even the modded Sha Yu team). More ground-clutter vehicles and light mechs. A few armored Heavy Choppers, which are perfect for laser puncturification. More Swarms and regular LRMs which will pound the Shootist and Men Shen some more. Finally, you'll run into a Starslayer team and a Lao Hu. But your three-Slayer team will munch them up with some help from the jumping Sha Yu. The Raven, piloted by a Veteran Sensors/ER Laser Specialist, is a great substitute for the heavier and slower Men Shen and has the same wide Sensor range. We have the Anubis as a sprint decoy and to capture turrets. So what, of the above, would frighten you enough to drag along two Assault mechs and a Heavy??? What are you, some kind of weak-kneed sister??!?!

The Company X team has the Gauss rifle, PPCs and a slew of LRMs, but will go toe-to-toe with the Lao Hu's Ultra Heavy Autocannon when it keeps jumping into their faces, making the Gauss Rifle moot. The PPCs and rockets will also generally destroy the Lao Hu, which is a very-desireable mech and not available for purchase until well into the middle of the game, so critical-ing it is a definite no-no.

Meanwhile, the Company B team relaxes, confident in their ability to toast the Urbans, Ants and LRM turrets at range with their ER lasers and concentrate on bagging the 'Hu with a minimum of damage. Sure, the Highlander can punch a Lao Hu's lights out... but so can three Starslayers. The ultra-slow recharge time for the Gauss and PPCs means that Company B can take three shots to every one shot of Company X's main weapons. Rather than the Highlander getting most of the kills <and hence the skill points for this mission>, all 7 of Company B's pilots will gain kill points and advance during this mission.

[Take a look at some of the Lance configurations for different missions to get a better idea of the firepower that can be packed into a small, lightweight team. Sure, it's fun to play Godzilla in a Highlander, but it's more fun to leap into someone's face from hiding and twist their head off just like that <snick!> and get a new pilot into that new mech before its' actuators even quit twitching. At least we think so]

The Mechs of MechCommander 2

Here is a table of all the mechs in MechCommander 2 at stock configurations. I have not included weapon loadouts because you will be customizing these from stock models. The only time you should use stock-equipped mechs is when you salvage them in-field for the duration of a mission.

Mech Name
House
Weight
Armor
Top Speed
Notes
Light Mechs
Anubis
Liao
30
96
130
Jump Jets
Cougar
Clan
35
96
86
Fire Ant
don't
even
think
about
it
Hollander
Steiner
35
96
86
Raven
Liao
35
96
97
AdvSensors & ECM
Razorback
Steiner
30
112
97
JJ, Med Sensors
Uller
Clan
30
96
97
Urbanmech
Don't
even
think
about
it
Wolfhound
Davion
35
112
97
JJ
Medium Mechs
Bushwacker
Steiner
55
144
86
Enfield
Davion
50
176
86
Hunchback
Steiner
50
144
65
JJ
Men Shen
Liao
55
176
97
AdvSensors & ECM
Ryoken
Clan
55
208
97
Shadow Cat
Clan
45
112
97
JJ
Sha Yu
Liao
40
112
119
JJ
Starslayer
Liao
50
176
86
JJ
Heavy Mechs
Catapult
Liao
65
176
65
JJ
Jagermech
Davion
65
130
65
JJ
Lao Hu
Liao
75
194
86
JJ
Mad Cat
Clan
75
226
86
Shootist
Steiner
70
226
65
Thor
Clan
70
194
86
JJ
Vulture
Clan
60
162
86
Assault Mechs
Atlas
Steiner
100
304
54
Blood Asp
Clan
90
240
65
Cyclops
Liao
90
272
65
Clan Adv Sensors; ponderous
Highlander
Steiner
90
276
54
JJ
Zeus
Steiner
80
194
65

The above-table can help you make sense of the Company B mechbay by offering comparisons of chassis by weight category. In many cases, you will be able to easily see why Company B prefers one chassis over another model.

Building a Mech

My first 'Slayer is named Buffy ( for obvious reasons) and the second, Willow. Buffy's role is to train laser shootists so she is originally outfitted by beefing up her armor and swapping out for large lasers, and follows her mods up through the ER chain, emphasising power and reach. Willow is her companion mech, tending towards pulse lasers for heavy infighting. Together they make a long- and medium-range team; while Buffy takes her time with hot laser shots, Willow moves in for distraction and pounds away with her quick pulse lasers.

Jodi comes third and is a pulse laser companion to Willow. These three mechs are the core team of "The Charmed Ones" who wield "The Power of Three" (see the Team Roster). Mr French comes next and tends to carry LRMs and Swarms for that oh-so-French flambée effect but has been known to pack a nasty Ultra Autocannon upon formal occasions.

These general templates also hold true for the Starslayer's sisters as well. The Lao Hus Doctor, Dolly and Nurse, and the Sha Yu team Ming, Ching and Chan are evolutions of Buffy, Willow and Jodi, and Serene and Sublime are further pilot-honed variations for late in the game. But The Charmed Ones are always energy-weapon oriented. If I know someone needs laser training, or I need a hot shooter, I'll be putting them in Buffy or the good Doctor.

The Main Mechs of Company B


Starslayer

First cherished mech in the bay is the honorable Starslayer. At 50 tonnes, this is some mech: more armor and faster than a Hunchback; equipped with jump jets and room enough to pack 2 Clan Large ER and Clan Regular ER lasers; a quick-moving and deadly long-range assassin. Have a look at the mission drop teams for the Campaign and you'll see a Starslayer appear in almost every mission, including the Endgame. That should tell you how good this mech can be.


Sha Yu

Next-acquired are the small but scrappy Sha Yu. This little mech is a tiger when in a pack, not to be dismissed lightly. A Sha Yu can comfortably pack 2 Clan ER Large lasers and another Clan ER laser it its' small (40 tonne) footprint, and its' speed and jumping ability serve to keep it hopping and out of major trouble. Slightly heavier than an Anubis, this mech packs a lot more punch. An additional bonus is its' Medium Sensors, which an even moderately-skilled Sensor Specialist can use almost as well as a Raven's Advanced Sensors (with a little less range though).


Lao Hu

The main workhorse of Company B (as soon as we get them) is the Lao Hu. You get one at the end of the Steiner Campaign (M1o9 - Breach: Bandit Headquarters) if you are careful, and others show up about mid-Liao Campaign for purchase. At 75 tonnes, the 'Hu is at the top of her weight class, and even a stock config has as much armor as a Zeus (an Assault mech)! What sets the 'Hu apart from her class bretheren is her speed (86kph) and her jump jets. This is one mech that can leap into a base and secure a turret control, then hold position through some pounding until the rest of the team shows up. Pack her with 2 Clan ER Large Lasers and a Clan ER PPC and then try to get her to quit hogging all the kills. MVP and Mech of Choice for the Pink Berets.


Men Shen

The Honorable (and Venerable) Men Shen is usually employed for Scouting but can be turned into a capable fighter by equipping it with 2 Clan Large ER lasers and an assortment of Clan LRMs or Swarm LRMs. An Ace Sensor pilot in this mech will give you a huge radar envelope due to its' Mark I Advanced Sensor Array and be able to sneak past enemy mechs with its' Electronic CounterMeasures (ECM). This configuration is also good for quickly destroying SRM or LRM turrets from a distance and taking minimal or no damage. When we need a Scout to be more than a Scout, we take along a Men Shen.


Raven

The Raven is the Men Shen's petite sister, equipped with the same MKI Advanced Sensors and ECM. Use this mech when you need the extra 20 tonnes you'd get over taking a Men Shen and your Scout will be merely scouting, not fighting. Packing 1 Clan Large ER laser and several Clan LRM racks, this swift mech is also a good sneak turret-destroyer, as well as adding an additional Clan ER laser to a fire barrage.


Anubis

Last but not least, the Anubis makes an excellent Scout mech. It has Medium Sensors, incredible speed and maneuverability. Train someone in Sensors, ER, LRMs and Light Mechs and have them be your main Scout. The lesser radius of the Anubis' sensors compared to a Raven is well-offset by their speed, zipping from one side of the map to another to give you good sensor awareness. Jump jets make this mouse a good turret control bomber and capturer in light assault situations; for that use choose Jump Specialist over LRMs.

Honorable Mention
Second Team

You'll notice that we choose mostly Liao mechs for their speed and maneuverability, compensating for their (relatively)(stock) light armor by reinforcing it and equipping them with Clan and ER weaponry for range. However, some mechs deserve honorable mention for their utility, no matter where they come from; we aren't House Snobs, really!


Razorback

Ah, little piggie; we knew ye fondly. One of the first mechs you'll acquire and a good beginning mech; they run quickly, can pack a nice laser array, jump and have moderate armor. When my Sensor Aces are trained, we will sometimes substitute this mech for an Anubis when we know the Scout will have to do some turret captures under light fire; sometimes that extra 16 tonnes of armor is the difference between a limping Anubis and a scrap heap. The Medium Sensors also provide a nice range for a trained Scout.

You might also honor the little piggie for his contribution to your overall profits and welfare; you will baconize many Razorbacks in your quest for glory and C-bills. Someday when I am bored, I will count just how many Razorbacks you can salvage and how much profit can be attained thereby. Except many a piggie will die in a Critical Overload by mid-game. Oh well. Mind the grease stains.


Shadowcat

This is a feisty little mech and the smallest mech to be able to pack a Clan Gauss Rifle and engage in some furtive assassination work. A bit light on the armor, the little 'Cat makes up for it in speed and maneuverability and has jump jets. If you're 5 tonnes short of being able to take a Starslayer, take a Shadowcat. Not for sale until the Davion Campaign so salvage them when you can.


Thor

We keep this mech around mostly for sentimental reasons; Thors are boffin' kewl in the cockpit games. It can run fast, jump and pack along that occasional autocannon we feel need of. Not for sale in the entire game so grab the one on the Moon and add it to your collection.


Mad Cat

ahhhh the old Clan model Timberwolf/Shadow Cat, fearsome and dangerous. The only thing denying this mech an MVP is the lack of jump jets (I suppose this much power needs some restraining handicap). Fast, good armor, good weaponry room; can be a "little Assault mech" all on her own if configured appropriately (3 Clan ER Large lasers, 3 Clan Pulse Lasers and 4 Clan LRMs; or two Clan ER PPCs and misc). Mad Cats aren't available until the Davion Campaign so grab the one at Base Hermes early.


Highlander

Och, this mech! I know, I know; the thrill of watching enemy combatants wet their panties when a Highlander falls out of the sky and starts to crush things can be very gratifying. But it is so s-l-o-w, like all the Assault Class mechs. The only thing that redeems the Highlander for special purpose assaults is its' jump jets, and when we need to "drop a mountain on it." Unfortunately, when a Highlander addresses a lighter-class mech, usually all that's left is smoke and a stain on the tarmac (we hate that). We usually only use salvaged Highlanders in-mission for base-bustin' power or to cover for a lighter mech main assault. [see the Company B Mech Roster below for an amusing Highlander configuration, "Only One," used for base-busting and general mayhem]


Vulture

The Vulture is a nice mech; good armor and speed for its' class; you might consider allowing this mech to play just because it is so pretty (but no jump jets *sigh*). Pairs off well with the Mad Cat in a stationary deployment as the stinger in a lure trap (configured with lasers) or a mountain-top bombadier (with LRMs).

 

All The Rest
Your Ca$h Cow$

Blood Asps have thick armor, which they need due to their s-l-o-w speed, and they come very late in the game, by which time the Ace Sharpshooters prefer the 'Hus for their maneuverability. Catapults suffer from a speed problem and also have awkward weapon mounts; good for long-range fire support but ignored because the 10 LRMs do too much damage to salvageable mechs. They do have jump jets though, so think mountain-top Rain of Fire for them. Bushwackers are silly; why bring one when you can bring a Starslayer? If you want to bring an autocannon, that's your problem... Cougars can be dangerous in packs but futile solo, even with their Clan weaponry.

Cyclops - at first this mech seems desireable; in the hands of even a moderately sensitive Sensor pilot, this mech can provide you with radar coverage of most of the entire mission map! Good thing too, because you'll need it; this mech is so darn slow that you might as well consider it a stationary object. It is heavily-armored, but it isn't even a very good Assault mech. Forget it. If you simply must see the entire map, pack some Ravens or Men Shen, or blow RPs on a Scout Chopper or Probes if you're a wussy.

Enfields can hurt with their Ultra Medium Autocannons and seem to come in pairs, so keep jumping back to use your ER lasers. Hollander: i hate these nosy mechs! Get right in their face but hurry up about it because they are somewhat fast (if you want to make a Hollander cry, run around it with a Shadowcat and show it what a real Gauss-packin' fightin' mech is all about). Crush them; they are un-natural. The Jagermech can be a formidable beast, jumping back continually for the range to chip away at you with its' 4 Autocannons. (see why you need fast mechs?) The Ryoken is fast, and armored, but at 55 tonnes you could well-substitute a Starslayer or Shadowcat and get more use.

Shootists? I laugh at their pretentions; slow and ungainly; the only thing going for a Shootist is its' monstrous (226) armor plating that makes it tough and chewy; mostly used by Steiner geeks to give you some target practice and to doggedly hold on to turret controls.

The Uller has less armor than even a Razorback and doesn't have the sensors or jump jets (remember, Clan weaponry can me equipped on any mech in MC2). Urbanmechs? Don't make me laugh. The Wolfhound is a slightly-denser version of the Anubis, with neither the speed, loadout capabilities or sensors to favor it over the mouse. The Zeus, a mech to be fondly remembered, does not have the fearful capabilities of its' cockpit incarnations; at 5 tonnes less, a well-equipped Lao Hu can push a Zeus over, make it eat mud and cry "Mommy! Mommy! Please don't let them punish me anymore!"

The Fire Ant has not been mentioned because it is stupid. Ok? Ok. Just cash in their smokin' carcasses and try not to think about how stupid a pilot must be to get into one of these no-powered death-traps only to die. Pitiful.

Matchmaking ala Mech

The following table is a compilation of several missions showing the various configurations of mechs and their respective target pilots (check the Team Roster). It will give you some idea of the care I take in building mechs with various pilots in mind and might help you understand how pilot training and mech configurations go hand-in-hand with team makeup. It certainly will give you a clue as to my rather strange sense of humor :)

Some configurations, like Boom-Boom, are just for fun - Jinxie loves to play with Boom-Boom! Unfortunately, last time she got so excited that we have to build another Storage Hangar now, so Boom-Boom is currently off-limits to her :(

The Company B Mech Bay

C = Clan model

Mech
Chassis
First Mods
End Mods
Usual Pilot
Doctor
Lao Hu
 

2 C ER
2 C ER lg
4 C LRM

Longshot, Flash
Dolly
"
  4 C Pulse
2 C Pulse lg
2 C ER
Dagger, Jinx
Nurse
"
  2 Laser
4 C Pulse lg
Jinx, Meat
Serene
"
  2 C ER lg
5 C LRM
1 C ER PPC
1 C ER
Dagger
Sublime
"
  2 C Pulse lg
1 C Heavy lg
1 C Heavy
1 C Pulse
Dagger
Buffy
Starslayer
2 Lg Laser
4 Laser
2 C Heavy
2 C ER lg
Longshot, Flash
Willow
"
2 Lg Pulse
3 Pulse
2 C Heavy
2 C Pulse lg
Dagger, Jinx
Jodi
"
1 Pulse lg, 1 Laser lg, 2 Pulse, 2 Laser 3 Laser
2 C Pulse lg
Dagger, Jinx
Mr French
"
8 LRM 3 C Streak SRM
1 C Ultra Med AC
Jinx, Meat
Babysitter
"
8 Pulse 2 C Pulse
2 C Pulse lg
Meat, Flash
Honorable
Men Shen
2 ER lg, 3 LRM 2 C ER Lg
2 C LRM
Longshot, Flash, Dagger
Venerable
"
2 Pulse lg, 3 LRM 2 C Pulse lg
2 C LRM
Flash
Inscrutable
"
3 Pulse, 3 ER, 3 LRM 4 C Pulse
2 C ER
Shadow, Jinx
Ming
Sha Yu
2 Lg Laser
2 Laser
1 C ER Lg
3 C LRM
Longshot or Flash
Ching
"
2 Lg Pulse
1 Laser
2 C Pulse Lg
Dagger or Jinx
Chan
"
1 PPC
1 Lg Pulse
1 Laser
1 C ER PPC
1 C Pulse lg
Dagger or Jinx
Fong
"
1 PPC 1 C ER PPC
2 LRM
Meat
Wu
"
7 LRM 7 Swarm LRM or 7 Clan LRM
Shadow
Sehkmet
Anubis
1 ER PPC 1 C ER PPC
Shadow, Flash
Horus
"
3 LRM
1 Lg ER laser
1 Lg ER laser
3 C LRM
"
Ra
"
5 LRM 4 Swarm LRM
1 C LRM
"
Thought
Raven
1 ER lg laser
3 LRM
1 C ER lg
2 LRM
Shadow, Flash, Longshot
Memory
"
"
4 Swarm LRM
Shadow, Flash
Arkansas
Razorback
2 Laser lg 1 C ER lg
2 C ER
Longshot
Kentucky
"
"
1 C Pulse lg
2 C Pulse
Dagger
Halfbreed
"
1 Laser lg, 2 Laser 1 C Pulse lg
1 C ER lg
Jinx
Mussolini
"
5 Lasers 5 C ER
Shadow
Pakistani
"
6 LRM 6 Swarm LRM
Flash
Boom-Boom
Atlas
 

2 Long Toms or 2 Thunderbolts or 1 & Swarm LRM fill-in :)

Meat, Jinx
Only One
Highlander
  9 LRM
1 C ER PPC
1 C ER Lg
Claymore
Kitten
Mad Cat
  1 C ER PPC
5 C LRM
1 C ER lg
1 C ER
Longshot
The Governator
Thor
  4 C Pulse
1 PPC
1 C Ultra Medium AC
Meat, Jinx
Homey
the Clown
Zeus
1 ER PPC, 2 ER lg, 3 ER, 2 Laser lg  
Meat, Longshot

A Discussion of Weaponry

Ok, let's talk about weapons for a bit. I'm sure by now you have seen that the Company B philosophy revolves mostly around lasers/PPC. True, we have the occasional mad LRM bomber config, or pack an autocannon or two once in awhile; but the main weapon of choice is the laser chain. Why? Because lasers seem to be a lot more accurate for targeted shots with less "splash" damage. Autocannons tend to chew up a mech and increase the repair costs, a no-no for Company B. Autocannons and LRMs seem to go from that one-shot cripple to critical overload on one hit, resulting in a scrap heap that can't even be recovered at the end of the mission. No way!

Lasers are lighter, meaning the amount of lasers you can pack into the weight/space of just one Ultra-Heavy Autocannon is silly; they are much more accurate; and jump jets keep you popping in and out of enemy range while taking those devastating headshots.

The Energy Weapon chain - Let There Be Coherent Light

The ultimate aim for a Pink Beret is to be able to single out the pilot of a mech for a killing headshot, so ER lasers are the requested item. All mechs start out with Lasers (if they have no beginning Specialty) in order to get used to using the concentrated power of the group as early as possible. Even 4 Razorbacks can pack 4 Large lasers, 4 regular lasers and several LRMs to compliment a Starslayer's 2 Large and 4 regular lasers; that's 6/8 lasers, all focused on one target at a time. ER lasers are swapped out when they become available and tend to stay til the end.

Now, the specs of ER say, "Long-Range Attack." However, that doesn't mean the mechs won't fire at close range! About the only time they seem to hesistate is when an enemy mech is directly in their face, or close to it. Fortunately, under the Company B plan, you won't be letting enemy mechs get this close, and can revel in your growing skill at Flying Headshot Kills (Target Head Shot [numpad 8] then Jump [J]). Even if an enemy mech is at "close range," when your team is flying above and back from them, you'll find the range is just fine for ER lasers. Keep small Clan ones as buffers on your long-range shooters, or pack a couple of Clan Regular pulse lasers along to give you a "pushback" shot while you leap away from danger.

I always train at least two Ace ER Sharpshooters. First I train one, then i start an Ace in Pulse Lasers in order to be the shortstop/cover man for the ER shooters. Pulse Lasers fire faster and provide good stopping power in a barrage in a medium-to-short range. Mixing in Large and Regular Pulse Lasers results in a fairly constant rate of fire, the regulars firing with the third-volley kick from the Large lasers. The second Ace ER Sharpshooter is then trained.

A Secondary Team member will branch off into PPCs, which can be devastating when aimed by a Sharpshooter. Don't mind sticking in a heat sink instead of that silly SRM pack; it's well-worth it. It's the most-damaging energy weapon in the game excepting the Clan Large Heavy Laser, which comes too late to the party to be any real fun. Some smaller mechs can jam an ER PPC in, and 2 or 3 quick-jumping mechs with several ER PPCs mounted can do serious damage.

Always choose the Clan/ER models of weaponry. The ER model is for reach and the Clan models have a faster firing rate. All the C-bills you'll be making by selling mechs will let you easily afford swapping and upgrading weaponry. Most of the mechs you really want become available on the battlefield well before you are able to purchase them on the free market, so your only expense will be upgrading and swapping weaponry. Neat, hmmm?

A final laser to acquire late in the game is the Clan Heavy Laser. They run hot as the Devil but are pure meltdown. They also fire v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y, so pack only the Regulars to spice up your attack. Take 'em when you don't care about salvage (like the last mission) or when you just feel hot-tempered.

A final, and silly, member of the energy chain is the Flamer. It's... silly. You have to cuddle up right next to a clawing, spitting mech to use it; it is not at all effective, unlike its' cockpit-games sibling; it is only dangerous in packs to very light mechs. Forget it. Laugh at the Fire Ants who pack it and whop them in the head with a laser. They will think they have seen God. Perhaps they have.

Missle Weapons - Much Too Fat And A Little Too Long

Yes, missles are fun. Yes, missles are kewl. Yes, missles do a lotta damage. In fact, they chew things up! You can't use a mech salvaged in-field if it's main weaponry has been blown off. You can revive a mech in the field but if its' weaponry has been destroyed, a Repair Bay or Vehicle will be unable to restore it (makes sense). Most often, a last LRM volley will push a damaged mech into critical overload, in which case you get ash for your troubles.

Due to the unique fighting methods of the Pink Berets, SRM missle packs are quickly discarded for something useful. Sure, if you want an amusing spectacle, try packing a Highlander or Atlas with only SRM packs and give someone the Bear-Hug of Death. Meet me in the spacer's bar when you're done.

LRMs, on the other hand, and Swarm LRMs, can be quite useful in taking out turrets and ground-crawlers. You can target, then jump over a turret or swarm of ground vehicles while raining down flaming hell from above. One LRM volley from a trained Rocketeer will melt even heavy turrets and Storm tanks with ease. Pack a light Scout mech like an Anubis with the Clan version, which fires twice as fast; you get 2 volleys from 5 Clan LRMs to one of an enemy's Regular LRMs.

A hilarious but generally useless weapon in this family is the Thunderbolt missle. There's no AMS (Anti-Missle Systems) in this game, so missiles always do damage, and the T-bolt does damage that is plain overbake. It also takes a huge amount of space; there are only a few mechs that can pack it. The problem, as in the cockpit games, seems to be in targeting; it is so slow to fire that it can easily miss or glance off a quick target. Just for kicks, put two of 'em in an Atlas, pack the remaining spaces with Swarm LRMs and watch it crush buildings in one spectacular firegasm. Ok, it's out of your system now.

Ballistic Weapons - Maxwell's Silver Hammer

You know that Company B frowns on damaging potential salvage, right? So you know that the ballistics are a neglected branch of our family, being runts and the playthings of the Secondary Team, right? Ok, as long as you understand that. So we can talk about some of the merits of this branch, because we do occasionally pack along an Autocannon.

Let's talk Autocannons. If you really like strat/sim games, you'll have turned off "Unlimited Ammo" in the Options menu. As always then, packing ballistics means considering ammo loads also. However, I have never had a mech run out of ammo in the field. There's enough Repair Bays around, and heavier and more dangerous autocannons also fire slowly, excepting the irritating Ultra 2s and 5s (ping!pingping!) which can hurt you quite smartly when clustered. A Repair Truck can get quickly exhaused refilling ballistic ammo loads as well as repairing, so consider that too.

Forget anything in the light and medium categories despite their tempting ranges. Heavy AC and Heavy Ultra AC are the most useful choices. They are also ungodly huge, taking up most of the available space in a mech (if it has enough) and heavy, so generally limited to medium-and-above class mechs. One thing in their favor is that they generate minimal heat. Another is that the Heavy and Ultra versions do pack a huge, short jab; a mech Haymaker. If you need a solid mech to leap into a base and capture and hold a turret control while sustaining fire and keeping off defenders, pack a big one into a Lao Hu and you'll have a trusty and stalwart friend.

The Gauss rifle can be murderous in the enemy's hands, when they have concealment on their side and long open spaces, but the reload rate is turgid. A Gauss rifle is also so huge that it is just about the only weapon you can pack into many chassis (excepting the Shadow Cat). I have trained a Clan Gauss Rifle Specialist before, though; it was fun and definitely the thing to do for sneaky assassination work. It is even more effective than an ER PCC in beheading an unsuspecting mech; one-shot deaths are a frequent occasion. It takes a lot of work, though, to train an Ace in this specialty; because of the slow firing rate, their kill rate will not advance very quickly unless you let them kill prit' near everything.

Lastly, the Long Tom wallows in. Read the notes regarding the Thunderbolt missle; they apply here doubly so. Again, a hilarious Abbot-and-Costello pair can be made of two Atlases or two Highlanders packing Long Toms and Thunderbolts with complimentary Clan or Swarm LRMs. See how crazy we get on a Saturday night? Just don't expect any salvage back.