With the broad range of tech specs available (all the way up to 3055 for mechs, and 3058 for non-mechs), I got to thinking.
What would you consider to be essential units to have on hand (please include unit ref for easy lookup)? What role(s) do they fulfill (brawlers, fire-support, recon, etc)?
Please include a little blurb with your choices (as your views benefit the community as a whole). Also, please do not limit the scope to mechs strictly, as there is also a whole range of tanks, VTOLs, support vehicles available.
EDIT: Here's the offical Frontiers unit lit for easy reference (here).
[ Edited Sat Sep 11 2010, 08:10AM ] "Just because I have a burnt face, doesn't mean I can't fight crime!" -Burnt Face Man
I really love my PXH. Its fun to get right into the middle of the battle, alpha, and then jump / turn out of danger. Doing this you can even maneuver to get behind your target for an alpha into the back (rush, jump, 180 in mid air). This works best when done in concert with team mates who have heavier units to draw the fire.
Warrior (H-8) Roles: -recon -spotting -skirmishing -fire support -spotting
Pros: -fast -lateral movement
Cons: -tin can (compared to heavier units)
VTOLs can be great fun to deploy. They can also be rather tricky if someone takes a dislike to you. This one is nice in that its *fast* and it has a good mix of long range (LRM-5) and short range (SRM-2 (S)) weapons. So you have the ability to strife the battle field, and still defend yourself if another VTOL shows up. You also are in a prime unit for spotting, with the speed / maneuverability to help your team setup for IDFs.
I have gotten a *lot* of use out of my trusty ARC. Its perfect for solo-claiming objectives like Relays (LRM-20s). Its also heavy enough that you can claim base hexes. You have the option of grabbing data caches and doing courier runs since you also have hands. If you have a spotter, you can also do some nice IDF attacks from behind some terrain. "Just because I have a burnt face, doesn't mean I can't fight crime!" -Burnt Face Man
A few favorites of mine: Mercury (MCY-97)-- Uses: Cache grabber, recon, courier runs. Pros: Cheap. A frequent name on plists. Fast. Has BAP so NOTHING'S missed. Has hands, making it my favorite of the 'bug' class of mechs. Excellent scout. User-friendly and a good machine for noobs--AzurDrake sold me one ages ago and I learned a lot flying solo all across the map. Overall, a good mech to use for racking up the XP and C-Bills from courier runs and DC snatching. Cons: Outrun by ALM series of mechs. Too lightly armed/armored to be a harasser. MASC can screw up a noob if they're not careful. On close-quarters maps, cliffing is a huge threat. Thug (THG-11E) Uses: Brawler, defender, claimer, relay-slapper, gen-whacker, fire support, and general hell-raiser Pros: User-friendly. Even a noob is a force to be reckoned with if they're in a THG. Very nice ride. Low heat, which is good or bad depending on your viewpoint--doesn't give you overheating troubles but if it's a noob it takes longer for them to learn good heat management. Has hands, which is nice. Works wonderfully in solo dogfights, but when you work with a team it truly shines. Complements virtually any loadout, and is a good go-to mech for those with somewhat lower budgets. Cons: Outrun by several mechs of its class. Also outgunned, but only slightly. Not as good solo against _multiple_ heavy mechs. Warhammer (WHM-7K) Uses: Offense, defense, long-range assault, claimer, general combat roles Pros: Easy to learn. Has TAG for when things get a bit uncertain. Searchlight for night ops--a pair of WHMS can sneak right in if they use the searchlight correctly. ERPPCs can really dish out the pain. A good base defense mech. Cons: Slower than other heavy mechs. Runs somewhat hot. No hands. Other than that, no complaints. Blackhawk-Ku series (BHKU-OA, OB, etc.) Uses: Heavy assault, brawler, enforcer, claimer, overwatch, heavy fire support Pros: SImple to use. Excellent high-damage loadouts, ranging from simple and utilitarian to inventive and rather frightening. Noob-friendly--especially the -OA variant, which has dual AMS systems so they can stay alive long enough to open up with the dual ERPPCS, the heat production of which is controlled quite nicely. Cons: A tad slow. Short jumprange. No hands. Anvil (ANV-3R) Uses: Strike, ambush, lightning-fast raids, claimer, interceptor, versatile for a 'first spawn' when the situation is uncertain and combat circumstances are unknown, cache snatcher and courier runner for hostile territories where more armor is a must. Pros: Excellent payload of pulse lasers. Has hands for manipulating wreckage, data caches, and cargo boxes. Swift enough to compete with its class, and beyond. A good 'first-line' mech. Cons: Armor leaves something to be desired--you have to keep maneuvering if you're serious about getting out alive. Venom (SDR-9KA) Uses: Somewhat more versatile and hardened cache grabber than MCY-97; a bit higher-end and better-armored. Excellently made harasser mech and 'aggressive scout' unit. Pros: Good armor for its weight class. Great speed and jump range. Hand actuators, without which it would be virtually useless. Pulse lasers can make bigger mechs' eyes water. An excellent hit-and-run machine, and very effective when you need 'bait'; fast enough, with just enough armor to survive, but just slow enough to be worth chasing in the eyes of the enemy. Good for 'luring'. A good tactic in large heavy-on-heavy brawls is to pick out a hostile unit occupied by heavy-duty mechs in its forward arc; run up to it from behind, firing all pulse lasers, then kick. This tactic works; I've nabbed what some would deem impossible (for an SDR) kills by utilizing it. After the initial attack sequence, use fast land speed, and highly effective jumpjets if necessary, to escape. Cons; A tad pricey. No BAP or TAG. Not very good weapons range. On close-quarters maps, cliffing is a huge threat. Ferret Scout VTOL (Ferret) Uses: Aerial recon, cache spotting, infantry carrier, last-minute-desperate-sprint-to-thirty-hex-range-of-claim-that-ends-in-under-twenty-seconds dashes. Pros: Cheap. SERIOUSLY cheap. Infantry carrier tech to spawn battlesuits on the field. Fast. Common, so if you sell it or lose it somehow, no worries. Cons: Minimal armor and weaponry. Fragile. Can't spawn _that_ much infantry. But hey, it's 49-ishk. Zephyr Hovertank (Zephyr) Uses: Recon, battle support, disruption, harassing, assault, interceptor, fast-moving-missile-and-laser-bombardment gunruns. Pros: Semi-common. Has ECM and turret-mounted weaponry. Decent loadout. Decent armor. High speed. Versatile. Works well in combat if you work with your teammates well, like the THG. Cons: I never had much luck with it--the armor always seemed to fail me. Flying solo, you're screwed if you get in an entanglement with more than one or two cons. A bit expensive. Beware of forested hexes. No infantry carrier tech. No long-range weapons or searchlight. No TAG. Pegasus-58 Scout Hovertank (Pegasus-58) Uses: Recon, battle support, disruption, missile strike director, harassing, assault, fast-attack. Pros: Has a crapload of tech--TAG, ECM, searchlight, BAP...2 SRM-6's and an MPL--a respectable loadout. Fast-moving, good armor. BAP makes it an ideal scout craft. ECM and searchlight can give your team the edge, so this is a good one for complementing heavier machinery. SRM-6's are turret-mounted. TAG can be a real thorn in the side of larger mechs if you time it right. Cons: Good armor for its class, but it still will most likely get eaten alive unless you're careful. Beware of forested hexes. No infantry carrier tech. No long-range weapons, meaning you have to do repeated gunruns at close range--but that's fun. THIS IS CARCER!
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