Sunday, April 13, 2014

Gas Bandit Hates Your Mech: Part 2

Welcome back, ladies and germs, to part two of my insulting your favorite 50 meter K'nex set.  It's Gas Bandit Hates Your Mech, Parte the Seconde!

So we'll jump right into the Heavy mechs now.

16) The Dragon:

No mech has disappointed me like the Dragon has disappointed me.  This is a heavy mech! This is where things are supposed to start really kicking ass!  Why does the Dragon just stink... so... bad?  On the one hand you got your energy hardpoints, on the other, you got your ballistic hardpoints.  And you got missiles in the middle... and enough tonnage to actually do something with em!  But the damn thing is just too sissy to stand on the line with its larger brothers, but it's sure as hell too slow to keep up with the smaller guys.  Once it sticks its HUGE ridiculous schnoz out from behind cover, it never fails to catch more pain than a pro wrestler in a folding chair factory.  Could be because it's big beaked design encourages catching damage from the sides - and like several of the heavies, the side torso armor is much weaker than the center.  Whatever the reason, I seldom see a Dragon that doesn't fly to pieces within 5 minutes of dropping.

17) The Quickdraw

Ohhhh-ho-ho-ho.  The Quickdraw.  The Quickdraw is a sneaky little bastard. Anyone who's ever seen the tabletop model for a Quickdraw has a hard time taking it seriously - it looks like C-3P0 had sex with a bug-eyed anime chick, and then they drilled holes in the chest of the cyberbaby.  One has to give PGI credit for improving the thing's looks as much as I suppose could be expected, but they tacked on these wacky insect-antenna things that jut out like the ears on a scared cat.  Plus the thing is short and chubby now, and all of these factors come together to trick the unwary into thinking a quickdraw is less of a threat than it really is.  Despite being the same tonnage, it fields more armor than the hapless Dragon while still able to mount a decent amount of firepower - albeit with no ballistics, but let's be honest - you can't really excel at every weapon simultaneously in a 60 ton mech.  So your energy (and probably to a lesser degree, your missile) weapons get beefed up by necessity, you got more armor, you got the same speed, this is the first real honest to god heavy mech and it looks like the Kintaro's short, fat cousin from back east.  So it gets underestimated, and that's dangerous.  We all have to thank our lucky stars it looks so dumb because if more people could get past its goofy aesthetics those of us in actual balanced mechs would be in a lot of trouble.

18) The Catapult

Here it is, kids, your Beginner's Easymode Combo Pack.  Who needs aiming skills?  Let your teammates aim for you, and if you don't end up winning or doing enough damage, bitch at them for not holding targets long enough!  Your average Catapult pilot is found at the back of the pack with his feet on his instrument cluster, sipping on a drink that has both an umbrella and a bendy straw.  There's one button in the cockpit of the catapult, and that button is "ALL THE MISSLES."   Most times when your mech is being jostled about and all your armor readouts are constantly blinking, there's a Catapult somewhere to blame for it. Of course, every once in a while you run into the crazy sonofabitch who gets himself a K2 variant, which dumps the mickey mouse missile ears for giant energy pods, and since they're up above the cockpit it's great for peeking over rises and blasting then ducking.  God only knows what horrors would be unleashed if the K2 didn't have the jump jets stripped off. But yeah, don't associate with those K2 pilots.  Those guys are psychotic.  Bad news.  Dangers to themselves and others.  You'd HAVE to be to say, "Gee, I've got this nice comfy mech with one button that makes it so that either I'm instrumental in our win or blameless for our defeat, but I think I'll ditch on that to take my awkward chickenflappy ass right up on the line in a mech with the biggest, easiest to target cockpit in the whole damn universe and start drawing attention to my massive crazy self.  Yeah, that's a good idea!"

19) The Jagermech

I want to take you back in time to the 90s.  Mechwarrior 2 had just come out, and the nerdosphere was positively twitterpated with it.  Big stompy clan mech fun.  But while most of the comparatively normal nerds were enamored with their Timberwolves, their Warhawks, their Dire Wolves... there were the wierd kids who were head over heels for this derptastic stick-figure thing called the Rifleman II-C.   Sporting a rotating restaurant at the top and arms entirely comprised of gunbarrels attached to a shoulder actuator with a single degree of movement, these mechs became the darlings of the kids that ate paste all the time and whose mothers wouldn't let them go outside after 5pm.  But, as we all know, a short few years later there came the Massive Litigious Butthurt Copyright Wars that erased several iconic mechs from existence, and the Rifleman was one of them.  But by that time, it had carved out a niche that many pilots (or their fellow players) had come to rely on... and when the dust cleared and Harmony Gold had taken away their precious Rifleman, the closest faximile was this... thing.  This big, fat, slow, doorstop-shaped mess of a mech with guns mounted up high on the shoulders like a blackjack, but which nobody laughs at any more when it starts mounting AC-20s.  Or AC-2s, for that matter.  Or god help you, gauss rifles.  It's hard to find a better dedicated direct damage platform right now than a Jagermech.   The only thing stopping it from complete battlefield domination is it has the same weakness several other heavy mechs seem to have - soft, gooey side torso armor.  And it's a rare day indeed when you find a JM what doesn't have an XL engine.  So pick a side torso and keep hammering away at it... and brace yourself for the flow of obscene invective that vulgarly points out that, on paper, you should be dead 9 times over before you even saw the Jagermech.

20) The Thunderbolt

This mech is a myth, it doesn't actually exist.  All sightings of Thunderbolts in the field have actually been shown to be confused pilots barely catching hazy glimpses of Battlemasters or Griffins through scum-smudged canopy glass.  If you think you see a Thunderbolt, or someone tells you they have, take comfort in the knowledge that this simply isn't possible.  Next they'll be talking about Warhammers or Maulers, the poor bastards.

21) The Cataphract

Now we're getting into the bread-and-butter of the heavy mechs.  The Cataphract is a big bad battletub with good stats on paper, and a lot of people are drawn to them for obvious reasons.  However, once you pilot a Cataphract, you very quickly come to learn their rather glaringly-obvious-in-retrospect shortcoming.  Imagine you're a soldier.  Your commander issues you two weapons... good weapons! Except they're mounted along the hinges at the bottom of a pair of briefcases, with the triggers in the handles.  So to fire them, you have to hold your arms curved down and out to the sides, and blaze forth ruination from the level of your kneecaps.  A Cataphract in low cover is a Cataphract who can't shoot you.  They plod around like the universe's most disgruntled bellhops carrying their briefcases of doom that will surely pound you into paste so long as there isn't a knee-high wall between you and him.  Word has it that the team that designed this mech next went to work on toe-mounted sniper rifles, before their funding was axed and they were sentenced to chemical castration lest their obviously defective brains be passed on to future generations - no doubt through their lower legs.

22) The Orion

Choosy moms choose Orions, when it comes to heavy mechs.  It's a little on the slow side but it's got heap big center torso armor on a heap big center torso. Depending on who you talk to, that can be both a blessing and a curse, but when your CT has almost twice the armor your side torsos do it seems to me that if your hitboxes were more "fair" you'd end up sharing a room in heartbreak hotel with the Dragons and the occasional Jagermech.  Its arms mount weapons at the elbow instead of dangling from the hands a-la cataphract.  You know, it's actually hard for me to say much bad about the orion.  Except I HATE THEM.  Whenever I turn a corner and find an Orion there, I KNOW I AM GOING TO LOSE.  And it's the worst kind of loss - the kind of loss that makes sense. It's not bullshit like a Spider or Jenner, it's not easymode like a LRMboat, it's right up in my face, kicking my ass like it ain't no thang and I HATE YOU ORION WHY DOES MOM ALWAYS TAKE YOUR SIDE

Assault Mechs

23) The Awesome

I like to call the Awesome the NoobTrap.  The least expensive of the assault class, it makes for a tempting buy for new players who want to stomp across the battlefield in an honest-to-god assault mech dealing out devastation.  And to the untrained eye on paper, the Awesome sure looks devastating.  Look at all those energy hardpoints! You can even mix em with missiles if you feel like it!  This is great, why doesn't everybody drive an Awesome?!  I'll tell you why - because they cook you.  You derp your way into loading up your awesome with PPCs or ER Large Lasers and because it's so slow the biggest XL Engine you can cram in it, and suddenly you're a walking cannister of thermite with a great big easy-to-hit sillhouette.  The only way you can utilize all those energy hardpoints is if you load them up with medium and small lasers, but you haven't got the speed to keep things in range if you do that, so you gotta go big, right? If only the Awesome was 10 tons heavier, then you might put in some heat sinks too.  That's what your poor mother will wail over the coffee can that they scraped you into with a toothbrush... what little of your charred remains they could find in the mountain of cinders that used to be your mech.

24) The Victor

There are few pilots as contemptible and pitiful as those who sit in a Victor.  The lore behind the Victor, and the exploits of Prince Victor Steiner-Davion in the first Clan Invasion make this mech a lodestone for mary-sues - and you know they're out there.  You can hardly make a drop these days without seeing some poor bastard who's affected a last name like "Kell" or "Kerensky."  But much more eyerolling is that this is the first in this list in a (thankfully short) line of mechs with the biggest BS dynamic in the game, tabletop precedent or no - Assault mechs with jump jets.  It's never been adequately explained to me why a Cicada or Centurion can't have jump jets, yet the Victor (and even more egregiously, the Highlander) can.  Taken all things together, these factors make Victor pilots think they are some kind of super grand special snowflake warrior of destiny type person - a trait quite nauseating to those around them, and thankfully MWO, as with every other online PVP game, very quickly disabuses such people of their quaint notions.  Not that it changes how they act. Bleaurgh.

25) The Battlemaster

Ahh the Battlemaster.  The milquetoast of the Assault class.  The everymech for those who want to stand out without standing out.  S'matter, champ? Couldn't quite swing the c-bills for a top top TOP of the line mech?  Ah, that's fine.  Who needs the GT package on their car, anyway?  This is just as good.  Better maybe even! It even says it right in the name.  Battle. Master. Master of battle. I master the battle and battle the masters because I couldn't afford a Banshee I've got the tools and the skills to make it happen.  Really, 85 tons is all you need.  And who cares if it's the only Assault mech without a hero variant?  That doesn't mean anything!  It may not be the flashiest brick with arms and legs and a cockpit, but who needs fame and fortune? Not the Battlemaster pilot. No sir.  Plain toast, that's what gets him up in the morning.  Frozen dinners are what he has every evening.  No frills, fuss, or nonsense, just plain old boring efficiency.  You won't see a Battlemaster tarted up with flames and angry eyes and gaping, tooth-filled mouth decals.  In fact, it's almost a waste of time to shoot a Battlemaster.  It's already dead.  On the inside.

26) The Stalker

Here it is.  Great Grand-daddy Bullshit of the Oh-Pee brigade.  The Stalker is what Catapult pilots move up to when "All the missiles" aren't enough missiles.  This great ugly tub can carry enough LRMs to saturate a battlefield, do thousands of points of damage from complete safety - and have meter-thick armor with no inconvenient, easy-to-shoot-off mickey mouse ear missile pylons to boot.  Or, you can even load up a stalker with enough energy weaponry to turn a planet into a charcoal briquette.  Or hey, do a bit of both?  Why choose? With a stalker, you can do thousands of points of indirect damage AND have four large lasers just in case anybody comes looking for you.  And you can't even give them a taste of their own Lurmsauce because it's likely the damn thing has TWO AMS defense systems as well.  So when you're ready for a mech with push-button death dispensers with little in the way of drawbacks, this is the mech for you. No wonder it has the profile silhouette of a flaccid bell-end.  Congratulations, you're barely even playing a game any more.  You twat.

27) The Highlander

28) The Banshee

Somebody let the Shadowhawks get into the steroids and now there's pumped up goons everywhere.  Sure, maybe they can't jump anymore (thank God), and maybe it moves like a fat man trying to run uphill to catch a trolley, but it's hard to argue with 95 tons of direct firepower with just a dash of missiles.  They might as well give this mech a letterman jacket and trust fund because this is the king superjock that took the girl you like to the prom and got her pregnant afterwards, leaving you to sit alone in your parents' basement wondering about what might have been while you spank it to old copies of national geographic within which you used a sharpie to draw lingerie on the natives.  Years later you'll google/facebook stalk them and find out they got married and divorced and she's off in Vermont with a black eye and two of his kids doing who knows what to put her shattered life together and he's still living it up off his inheritance and a sinecure position as vice president of scotch and soda, banging his secretary and buying the neighborhood you grew up in to bulldoze and sell to a mall developer.  Fuck you, Chase. I mean Banshee! Banshee.  This entry is about the Banshee and nothing else.

29) The Atlas

Here we go! Mister 100 tons himself.  You know why you bought an Atlas. Everybody has to buy an Atlas. Because it's the biggest, so it's the best!  Obviously, it's the best.  It's the mech even people who have no love or familiarity with battletech see and recognize.  So why rock the boat? Why be original?  Why tweak out something with less tons and balance advantages and disadvantages and situational utility when you can just get an Atlas D-DC and be the goddamned best.  To borrow (or lift outright) a phrase from Mr. Regular, it's the best. It's the best mech. It's the gleaming gold standard against which all mechs are measured.  And it's the best. It's number one. You drive an Atlas because you want the best. You deserve the best. Only the best will do!  You root for the Yankees and you love the Cowboys because they're number one. You drink Sam Adams. That's the best beer.  You have the BEST MECH.  You put on "Dark Side of the Moon" at every party because it's the best and really, who's gonna complain about Floyd?!  Classic rock! Volunteer firefighters! BABY PHOTOS ON FACEBOOK!  The BEST! THE BEST!!  ITTH THV BVRRSST!  RRAGAGGHRHHGH!


DimentoGraven said...

Frickin' hilarious!

stevemac said...

HAHAHa I loved the poptart

DimentoGraven said...

Dude a thought occurs to me: Now that you've reviewed the 'mechs, you should do a "Gas Bandit Hates Your Weapon", and a "Gas Bandit Hates Your Map", and even a supplemental, "Gas Bandit Hates Your Game Mode"

PPMcBiggs said...

Cataphract had me laughing, pop tart too.

DimentoGraven said...

OH yeah, one of the funniest aspects of the Highlander comments, is having to explain it to a non-American.

Lots of Europeans have never seen a real pop-tart. They just adopted the name 'cause all the cool kids were using it.

It was hilarious explaining it to a couple of the other Rangers...