Saturday, 13 July 2013

MechTalk - Awesome


Designed during the Star League era to replace the ageing STR-2C Striker assault 'mech, the Awesome has become a staple of all house assault forces ever since.  Packing heavy long range firepower the Awesome is sent in to deal a crushing blow to defensive hardpoints or act as a deadly defensive fire point itself using it's PPC's.

When used as a fire support screen for recon units, very few mechwarriors are willing to face the Awesome in combat without overwhelming numbers or another Awesome at least.  It's well armoured frame allows it to absorb plenty of punishment while being able to maintain a relatively constant stream of return fire in any battle.

In Mechwarrior Online the Awesome was the sixth 'mech introduced after the Dragon and became a hit with snipers until the addition of 'mechs such as the Cataphract, Jagermech or even the Misery.  Awesome 'mechs in MWO are now used sparingly due to a mixed bag of issues that sometimes outweigh the benefits of the chassis.  It does however give a good account of itself in most matches online and usually surprises opponents when in the hands of a skilled player who has learnt to compensate for it's more obvious issues.

Still it's one of the cheaper assault 'mechs in the game and doesn't disappoint for the price.  Much like the tabletop version it has great armour, decent speed and plenty of customisation for those of you who prefer builds that are not reliant on ammunition.  Probably it's biggest downside is it's near unmistakable silhouette which makes it an easy target at range when out in the open.

Advantages

Most Awesome variants mount multiple energy weapons which means you never have to worry about ammo explosions or mounting things such as CASE.  An all energy loadout also means you get plenty of choice when it comes to weapons as the list here is larger than that of the missile and ballistics options.  The standard three PPC variant is a favourite for the current meta but it can easily be redesigned to accommodate multiple large lasers if you prefer.

The Awesome is also great at managing heat, which is a must considering it's energy heavy approach.  There is plenty of space to mount near thirty single heatsinks, but obviously double heatsinks can be more effective.

Disadvantages

It's most glaring problem is it's size.  The Awesome is wide for a 'mech which means at medium to long range it's easy to snipe specific locations before it can return fire.  In close range battles the problem only becomes more pronounced.  Of course it's weight doesn't help with speed either so use of terrain is key to minimising damage until engaging your targets.

Heat can become an issue depending on your loadout.  It can be tempting to stick several lasers on the 'mech simply because it can mount so many, or in the case of the 8V, 8R and 8T LRM 20's.  Be sure to mount enough heatsinks to cover you heat buildup to continue firing.

Tactics

The Awesome is typified as a ranged fire support 'mech similar to the Jagermech.  Tactically it should move with lighter 'mechs to provide them with high damage missile fire or accurate energy fire to bring down targets quickly.  You don't need to be fast as you are an easy target for opportunistic snipers so wait for the battle to start before bringing the pain.

This close support role also means that if you are swarmed by light 'mechs you can have support nearby to drive them off or kill them if they are poor pilots.  Never march off on your own unless you know you can handle any threat you encounter, otherwise you will quickly die.  I know this seems like a no brainer but you would be shocked to see how often assault 'mechs wander off on their own.


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