TBS—BattleTech experience and tips

Jan 16, 2020
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I'm still playing Battletech. Not going to lie, it has been stressful and the amount of save scumming in play has been excessive. Probably more then xcom imo. The problem is that combat is mostly a war of attrition with no healing abilities and the like, every shot counts and the RNG gods are not merciful. i've been looking at various youtube videos for tips and you soon discover stuff that isn't mentioned or i've overlooked ingame. Throw in the fact that i don't want to piss off various factions its kinda it leaves me indecisive. The taurians and the local pirates don't like me much and there haven't been any missions to keep them happy.
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
Throw in the fact that i don't want to piss off various factions its kinda it leaves me indecisive. The taurians and the local pirates don't like me much and there haven't been any missions to keep them happy.
If you're playing the campaign, the Taurians are a hopeless case. They're going to hate you.

I wouldn't worry much about the faction friendliness. You gain more rep for helping than you lose for opposing. You can back them over the horney cows, too, and get pretty positive reps. The black markets in this game are really nice, so you've got to be nice to those pirates.

It is "attritiony" at the start, I suppose. Your pilots don't have enough aiming skill to be able to pick out parts of mechs to target, so you just blast away until the enemy falls over. You'll also be missing pretty often.

Be careful what videos you're watching, too. The game changed a lot from the early days. (And read my guide - or the bits that are important to you, anyway. Reading start to finish would be pretty dull.)
 
Jan 16, 2020
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If you're playing the campaign, the Taurians are a hopeless case. They're going to hate you.

I wouldn't worry much about the faction friendliness. You gain more rep for helping than you lose for opposing. You can back them over the horney cows, too, and get pretty positive reps. The black markets in this game are really nice, so you've got to be nice to those pirates.

It is "attritiony" at the start, I suppose. Your pilots don't have enough aiming skill to be able to pick out parts of mechs to target, so you just blast away until the enemy falls over. You'll also be missing pretty often.

Be careful what videos you're watching, too. The game changed a lot from the early days. (And read my guide - or the bits that are important to you, anyway. Reading start to finish would be pretty dull.)

yeah just got to the point we've uncovered the old SLDF bunker and my god that was painful. So much save scumming practically every turn. The second i guess wasn't so bad, but the last section was nothing short of a nightmare; save scumming to victory. highlight of priority mission? me throwing my MC's dragon mech into the firing line to distract the tanks away from the warhammer that was hiding in the back. Was rewarded by being knocked over and being humbled by the drones. it was like being kicked and punched by school children praying that they didn't do any serious damage. Mercifully, despite being knocked down nothing blew up.

Hopefully getting the highlander will help me play the 3 skull challenges, i do have a warhammer but so far its been seriously underwhelming. I'm going to need to customize the mech, but sadly i'm a bit naff at it and the trade offs mean that my designs are usually worse. the only one that was successful was the centurion that i was able to pump full of armor and

My other issue is with called shots atm but i'm going to need to play around with it and see how to use it and go from there.

I might have to do a few more missions to please the pirates i guess. I'll probably go to the frontier and just piss about there for a bit.
 
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Zloth

Community Contributor
I might have to do a few more missions to please the pirates i guess. I'll probably go to the frontier and just piss about there for a bit.
Sounds exactly right! Well, you likely don't need to go off to the edges, but you might need to work your way up to some better mechs and pilot skills. If you're doing the story missions soon after getting them, that would explain the problem.

For mech building, the mechs at the top end of the weight class tend to be best. (This is due to some rules in the original game - you'll see the same thing in Mechwarrior.) That Dragon is a good example of one that's not so good. It's barely got more tonnage than a medium weight mech, but it has to waste a lot more space on its engine, so it ends up having little (if any) extra for armor and weapons.

Armor is good. Get lots of it.

Those little drones can be very deadly. A single SRM carrier can mess up a medium mech pretty bad. Two can kill it. (They aren't slow, either, so they can jump out and bite you!) I try not to even think about the devastators. Those things weigh 100 tons and have two AC/20s! Only a few assault mechs can survive if both those shots hit the center torso. (Heaven help us if the pirates ever field one with two UAC/20s.)
 
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Jan 16, 2020
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For mech building, the mechs at the top end of the weight class tend to be best. (This is due to some rules in the original game - you'll see the same thing in Mechwarrior.) That Dragon is a good example of one that's not so good. It's barely got more tonnage than a medium weight mech, but it has to waste a lot more space on its engine, so it ends up having little (if any) extra for armor and weapons.
yeah i share similar opinions concerning the dragon. not as good as the centurion but i had little choice but to use it as it had higher armor but it doesn't hit that hard. Not a big fan of the trebuchet either, i prefer the stock Griffin

Had a look at the warhammer and the immediate problem was why the bloody hell was MG ammo in the chest? that was the first to go. i scrapped the MGs to free up some tonnage for some armor. its preforming better, but no still jump jets... Hopefully when i get some heat banks, i can drop a few of the heat sinks and replace them with jump jets.

The highlander has been working a charm dishing out some serious damage so hopefully it might be enough to move up in the world. We'll see....

incidentally good guide btw. very helpful!
 
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Jan 16, 2020
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An update on my game i've spent a large chunk of my time travelling around the independent areas to try and appease the pirates and god damn, its took a long time to change from hated to indifference. (in the campaign anyway). the problem was just finding any bloody contracts with them. managed to make various other factions happy but the pirates took a long time. My suggestion? ALWAYs have low level contracts regardless where i am. better yet, for the hated factions just show the contracts i CAN take so if pirates can only take 2.5 difficulty max and i'm in a 3/4 difficulty? just show the 2.5 ones.

The good news is that the long journey has yielded some pleasing results, i was able to bag some heavy 75T mechs decked out with plenty of upgraded weapons and my handful of mechwarriors are hardened veterans with high tactical skill so called shots means i can bag lighter mechs with ease. technically my lance is 4.5 and bullying 2.5 - 3 isn't really a true test of skill. But now that I'm seeing 100T and 75T more often, i might be ok.

So far i'm liking the story/campaign for the game its made for some interesting twists and turns. yeah you were right about the taurians. They loathe me, but screw em, just another faction along with independent planets to piss all over.
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
Time for some builds, then!

In my first playthrough (before there were any DLCs), I tried to make a mech that would use heat weapons as its main attack. This grasshopper has six flamers!

It was... viable. Proper weapons would be better, but it worked well enough to be useful. I would use it sometimes for variety. There's no cushions in the cockpit, but I had enough pilots at the time to deal with any injuries.

When I played through a second time, I had the DLCs and access to the Inferno missiles, so I tried those:

That was more than viable. It could shut down a mech that had already fired in one shot most of the time. The NARC beacon made the target easy pickings for everything with missile weapons afterward, too. It would have been even better with more enhanced infernos. Though it still isn't as good as the same mech with powerful weapons. This makes the target easy to kill, proper weapons would kill outright so those missile mechs could shoot at something else. It was easily good enough to bring along for variety, though.

What about you @Johnway? Got any interesting builds yet? LRM boats? Melee specialists?
 
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@Zloth Sadly no. i did monkey around making minor adjustments here and there like for example the Warhammer for some stupid reason MG ammo is in the chest by default - great to exploit against the enemy, not so great for me. I took the MGs off and added additional armour in the chest.

part of the problem is that each mech is optimized to the limit and trying to make my changes of my own have been lackluster. either you have lots of armor or do minimal damage or you're a glass cannon. Even though i have called short mastery, i still prefer to have a selection of weapons to bring the hurt in as many ways as possible. Especially so when all weapons have pros and cons and the assualt mechs have so much armor i need to find an exploit quickly.

There is no real way to make the golden build and its probably why the highlander is so damn good; Has high amount of armor, does a lot of (various) damage, virtually no heat generation and even comes with jump jets to boot. Flexiblity, durablity and power rolled into one.

But wait? what about more specialist roles per mech? haven't really made much of an effort on that front either. partly i wasn't sure what i was doing at the start , partly because i only have a small number of mechwarriors. i've only hired an additional merc and don't need to hire any more. Yet. My tune might have changed if i could deploy more then 4 or perhaps land more mechwarriors at a time but since i'm stuck with the all star team and cycle in members as and when needed.
 
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Zloth

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They do get hurt sometimes - it's good to keep at least a couple of spare warriors. Glitch got killed in one of the early story missions in my game.

Have you tried one that's oriented toward melee? Little weapons (small lasers and MGs) come into their own in melee as they follow up the attack. The Hatchetman is the obvious one for that, but other mechs work well, too.
 
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They do get hurt sometimes - it's good to keep at least a couple of spare warriors. Glitch got killed in one of the early story missions in my game.

Have you tried one that's oriented toward melee? Little weapons (small lasers and MGs) come into their own in melee as they follow up the attack. The Hatchetman is the obvious one for that, but other mechs work well, too.
One of my main concerns/worries is that single mech will be the focus of the opposition. I could make the mech into a slab of metal, but it will only take so much until it cracks. if there are heavier mechs, turrets/tanks to sensor lock the closest thing to appear, i can bet that it will be shredded pretty quickly.

i suppose that's the wrong way to go about it. You screen the mech with shooty mechs and the melee mech slips in to deliver the knock out blow and hope it doesn't get picked to pieces or suffer serious damage.

i do use the warhammer and the cataphract for the occasional melee when the opportunity arises, but its just more effective to perform multiple Called shots to kill a mech or to knock the enemy mech over. if i knew how much damage each melee blow would do, i might use it more often.
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
It actually displays the along with all the other weapons in the lower right. It will also show the Death From Above damage if you land on another mech - but it does just as much damage to your own legs.

It sure is satisfying, though!
View: https://youtu.be/M7TRiSXHppw


(Melee would be 115 damage, DFA is 230.)

Melee specialists don't just do melee. You also give them short and maybe medium ranged weapons. The melee is just a very short ranged weapon. So, like you were thinking, it's best as a finisher or as a mech to knock down other mechs so everyone else can get free called shots.
 
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I dunno about DFA its a cool feature, its a double edged one especially when you receive similar damage performing it unless you had leg mods. Certainly overkill with an assualt mech and a quick way to expose structure.

So i can assume i'm on the final campaign mission now. i'm prepping to take the throne world but i need to prep 2 full lances. So i need to train up 2 more mechwarriors and bag myself at least another assault mech (i have 2/3 highlander parts so i should be ok and i currently have an atlas and star league era highlander maurauders and a black knight).

So another 2 weeks of grinding methinks.
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
I thought I would be landing two or three lances in parallel. Not so! You just get two missions back to back with no time to heal/repair. You'll only need two full lances if you get all your mechs beat up and mechwarriors injured.

With a Black Knight, you naturally will need to get both arms and a leg shot off before taking a screenshot. Because Monty Python.
 
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And so my battletech campaign comes to an end. 75 hours clocked. Main story beaten. Whilst it was nothing too stressful thanks to me getting a large number of assaults' mechs it certainly wasn't a push over without a couple of saves and time preparing for it.

So what next? i have the DLC to play, so the flashpoint missions and tick off some of the achievements. I did get the mercernary edition for £18 and it seems like i'm getting my money's worth.
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
The flashpoint missions will show up after the campaign, but might be on the easy side. There's some good stories for sure, but don't expect to have much use for the rewards.

You could start a new career. That takes the campaign missions away. Instead of trying to return somebody to a throne, you're just going for points over the course of however many years. That does make a fairly big difference to the overall strategy. It may not cost much to go from one planet to another, but it takes precious time! The various rules you can put yourself under make things interesting, too. You'll also be in a better position to do the flashpoints.

If you're really looking to get deep into the game: RogueTech gets hard core.

Or you can go off in a more action'y direction and play Mechwarrior 5
 
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mechwarrior 5 is atm on my wish list atm not in any rush to get it mind. i might play around for it tonight and see whats left. if there is any campaign missions left to play i'll finish it off but otherwise i'll probably wrap this one up and move onto my next game. What that is i don't know. Probably knock a few indie games off the play list.
 
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Sep 21, 2020
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And so my battletech campaign comes to an end. 75 hours clocked. Main story beaten. Whilst it was nothing too stressful thanks to me getting a large number of assaults' mechs it certainly wasn't a push over without a couple of saves and time preparing for it.

So what next? i have the DLC to play, so the flashpoint missions and tick off some of the achievements. I did get the mercernary edition for £18 and it seems like i'm getting my money's worth.

If your going to play the flashpoints i'd suggest you start over and play Career mode. If you play them after the campaign, most will be far out leveled.


btw, you really should be tweaking all your mechs. max armor on legs/arms front torso, You can drop some on the rear to just 5-10 points.

It sounds like your a new to BT, because there really should not be a need to save scumm this game. Every now and again a mission might be over your head because the RNG difficulty swing is huge but you can always just withdraw if that happens.

I'd suggest heading over to the steam forums, there are a whole bunch of folks that can really help you out. It's a fairly pleasant group most of the time which is rare for steam. :p
 

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