Tuesday, 16 July 2013

MechTalk - Cicada


Produced in 2840 around the beginning of the end of the Star League to replace their lost Locust assets the Cicada was an attempt at producing a 'mech as fast as the Locust but bigger and more capable of defending itself in a fight.  Although it's original Hartford heatsinks where shown to be defective causing excess heat build up the Cicada has remained a highly effective light recon medium 'mech for many years now.

In Mechwarrior Online the Cicada is a highly versatile medium battlemech able to fill multiple roles on the field while also being capable of surviving battles that light 'mechs would be destroyed in.  Many players mistake it for a light 'mech due to it's high speed and relatively small frame, but those extra 5 tons of weight allow players to bring much more pain to targets than any light 'mech currently in the game.

It's C-bill variants rely heavily on energy weapons but the 3M does come with a single ballistics slot along with ECM making it the most tactically diverse version of the Cicada available.  Still many pilots underestimate this little 'mech due to it's non-threatening appearance and small stature for a medium.

Advantages

The Cicada is very fast for a medium battlemech.  Capable of reaching speeds of over 179Kph before speed tweak is unlocked the 'mech can literally streak past foes gathering target data and strafing them before they can react in time.  It's energy weapon focus means it doesn't rely on ammunition to remain effective on the field and it's small size can make it a tough target at even medium ranges.

The ECM variant can quickly move to quiet areas of a map keeping an eye on the enemy team without being noticed while providing sniper fire using it's ballistics slot.  Overall the Cicada is a brilliant scout for players who want to support their team by spotting targets and finding the enemy, but also have the ability to do some damage when the shooting starts.

Disadvantages

The Cicada isn't the most durable of the medium lineup being 40 ton it has very light armour and has trouble managing heat when a lot of weapons are mounted.  It needs to maintain constant motion to avoid fatal damage.

Probably it's most notable weakness is it's legs which are very long and easier to hit when compared to other light 'mechs like the Raven and Spider.  It's torso is also a big target when the Cicada closes the distance so it's profile is very distinct and easy for a skilled pilot to knock out if you aren't careful.

Tactics

Momentum is key to survival with the Cicada, always being on the move means you can harass larger foes without the minimum of damage in return.  Stopping in a Cicada in the middle of a melee is suicide as it will only result in instant death.  Speed is the key since you can run rings around every 'mech outside of the light category and even some of the lights will have trouble matching your speed.

Medium lasers are your best friend when building a Cicada, unless you have the 3C which instead offers you the chance to run 4 machine guns just for fun.  The 3M is the most team oriented chassis since it mounts ECM but it can be setup to use 2 ER PPC's so it can deal some good damage.

It can be easy to get carried away chasing another 'mech in a Cicada so try to stay close to your team, unless you're protecting base or going to cap yourself you will do more good scouting ahead or taking pot shots at targets with the rest of the team in a firefight.


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