Saturday, 22 June 2013

MechTalk - Jagermech


Designed by Kallon industries as a successor to the older Rifleman in an attempt to address the problems prevalent in the original 'mechs design.  Overheating, low ammunition and poor armour made the Rifleman inefficient on the battlefield during longer engagements so the Jagermech was designed to improve on all of these and more.

Replacing the large lasers with Medium lasers allowed more ammunition for the autocannons and increased armour for better survivability on the field.  Of course it sacrificed in a few areas to achieve this but overall the design was an improvement on the Rifleman in every way.  The Jagermech performs well as both a anti aircraft platform and artillery battery amongst other roles.

Mechwarrior Online introduced the Jagermech as a ballistics heavy that had an emphasis on support and sniping roles.  It's ability to mount multiple autocannons or Gauss rifles means it can be either a stationary support sniper 'mech, or mobile artillery platform backing up bigger 'mech such as the Stalker.  It's energy loadout can be limited but allows the 'mech to maintain some combat ability when it's ammo runs dry.  One of it's most attractive features is the positioning of it's arms which allow it to fire over cover without worrying about exposing too much of the chassis to return fire.

Of course it isn't all roses with the Jagermech.  It is still relatively weak in the armour department and as such doesn't weather a storm of fire as well as other heavy 'mechs like the Cataphract or Quickdraw.  it's torso is relatively large and easy to hit from long range and because of it's ability to mount several heavy hitting weapons it immediately becomes a priority target when spotted by the opposing team.

Advantages

The Jagermech is capable of mounting multiple autocannons and as such can vary it's loadout accordingly.  A popular variant for high damage and easy kills is a dual AC/20 variant as is dual Gauss rifles.  On the opposite end of the scale 6 AC/2 Jagermechs can quickly wear down even assault 'mechs if they are unable to get into cover fast enough although the Jager will likely only have enough ammo for a single target before running out.

Still the best models are those that run somewhere in the middle, utilising both the ballistics and energy slots of the chassis.  The A variant can also bring missiles to the fight although it's effectiveness as an LRM boat compared to others is debatable.  It has a decent speed for a heavy and when mixed with XL engines it can easily keep pace with medium 'mechs for a rush.

Disadvantages

Obviously the Jagermech is somewhat ammo reliant and thus always runs the risk of a critical ammo explosion destroying the 'mech outright.  It's low armour rating means it generally fares badly in a one on one battle with anything faster than itself, while it's large torso's are prime targets for snipers and fast moving light 'mechs.  It also has a very distinct profile that allows players to quickly identify and prioritise it during the early stages of a battle.

Tactics

The Jagermech should always run with a friendly to ensure the best use of it's payload.  Jagermechs can quickly turn the tide of a battle by simply being able to wade in during a furball and do massive amounts of damage before the enemy know where it's coming from.  As such you should try to hang back a little and wait for the enemy to be located before making any attack, as then you will be able to pick your targets at your leisure.

A lone Jager can do good damage and if forced to face a target alone, try and keep your back to a wall and focus on a single point, for example the right torso of an Atlas to eliminate that autocannon it's using.  This applies to light 'mechs also and you should aim to blow a leg off with your weapons rather than going for the torso.

Always remember that enemy pilots loathe facing a Jagermech simply because it can bring massive firepower to the battle.  You have that edge on them so use it as they will be panicked in trying to down you quickly, running the risk of overheating.  Take your time with each shot and show them why the Jagermech earned it's reputation in Mechwarrior Online.

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