Introduction to Roguetech
- 1 The Comprehensive Beginners Guide to RogueTech
- 1.1 The Beginning
- 1.2 Basic To-Hit and Evasion Modifiers in RogueTech: By the Numbers
- 1.3 Tactics, Revised
- 1.3.1 Destabilize, Knockdown
- 1.3.2 Consider Timing Your Fire
- 1.3.3 Initiative: By the Numbers
- 1.3.4 Outnumbered? Pick 'em Off One-by-One
- 1.3.5 Mountains Are Made for Jump-Jets
- 1.3.6 Jump, Shoot. Then Shoot, Jump: The RogueTech Two-Step
- 1.3.7 Pilot Perks
- 1.3.8 Jump-Jets
- 1.3.9 Prioritize Your Targets
- 1.3.10 Force Enemy Pilots to Eject
- 1.3.11 Turrets and Artillery
- 1.3.12 Anti-Missile Systems
- 1.3.13 All the Pretty Colors: the AIM Mod
- 1.3.14 New Weapons Candy
- 1.3.15 Weapon Jams
- 1.3.16 Pick Your Early Battles With Care
- 1.3.17 Offensive Push = Morale
- 1.4 Specialized Combat Roles
- 1.5 RogueTech Components, Demystified
- 1.5.1 Tier One: Inner Sphere
- 1.5.2 Tier One-Point-Five: Pirate Gear
- 1.5.3 Tier Two: LosTech
- 1.5.4 Tier Three: Clan
- 1.5.5 Tier Four: Experimental
- 1.5.6 No Free Lunch in RogueTech
- 1.5.7 The Brains Are in the Head
- 1.5.8 Electronic Warfare
- 1.5.9 Engines
- 1.5.10 A Need for Speed
- 1.5.11 Arms and Legs
- 1.5.12 Activateables
- 1.5.13 Ammo Swapping
- 1.6 Are Your Mech Builds Optimum?
- 1.6.1 Pre-Requisites for High-End Bling
- 1.6.2 Being the Best at Everything Will Cost You
- 1.6.3 Pick the Right Chassis
- 1.6.4 Build Around Your Chosen TTS
- 1.6.5 Build Around a Weapon Type
- 1.6.6 Ballistic or Energy Weapons?
- 1.6.7 Missiles: LRM or MRM or SRM? RL or MML or iATM?
- 1.6.8 How Much Ammo Is Enough?
- 1.6.9 To Elite or Not to Elite??
- 1.6.10 Pace Your Move Upmarket
- 1.6.11 Both Bigger Mechs and Components Scale
- 1.6.12 Punching Above Your Weight
- 1.6.13 Delayed Gratification
- 1.6.14 To Assault or Just Stay Heavy
- 1.6.15 Optimizing Headshots
- 1.7 What's the Best Lance Structure?
- 1.8 Business Management
- 1.9 Conclusion
The Comprehensive Beginners Guide to RogueTech[edit | edit source]
By Hieronymos; aka Hieronymos2, Hieronymosofcardia
This guide was written specifically for RogueTech v.999P9, but is currently being updated for v.999P10HF2. Given the constantly evolving nature of the mod, with new components, mechs, vehicles, turrets and weapons added regularly—and their in-game values changing, this guide will most certainly need to be updated again in the future.
RogueTech is currently the most popular mod for Battletech by a long stretch, and after you play a bit you’ll understand why. But it’s a lot harder than vanilla, and at first the overwhelmingly variety of new toys with which you can equip your mechs will prove confusing. As will the tactics they’ll require for proper implementation. Accordingly, this guide will primarily focus on making sense of the more basic item types in the reams of new gear provided by RogueTech, along with some suggestions on their specific strengths and weaknesses, along with suggested tactical applications.
The rest of this guide will focus on the new tactics you will need to apply to win in RogueTech. It is assumed you’ve played through the vanilla storyline at least once and are comfortable with the strengths and weaknesses of Battletech weaponry: long and short range missiles, energy weapons, and ballistic weapons. You know when to concentrate your lance’s fire on a single enemy; or when to shoot for the legs or take that head shot. You know when to use a speedy or jump jet-equipped mech to attract enemy fire so the rest of your lance can fire on exposed flanks and rears. Because RogueTech will constantly match you with greater numbers of superior enemies, you will need to constantly innovate, or die. The straight-up-the-middle approach with superior firepower that worked in the storyline late game will just get your lance chewed up in RogueTech.
And getting your lance chewed up—especially in the early game, before you’ve got plenty of spare cash, mechs, pilots and components—can mean bankruptcy, as repair costs and time can be painfully steep.
Your mechs, your pilots, your tactics: these are the three variables you bring to every fight. It will take some time before you train up elite pilots and amass the superior components to pimp out your mechs in style. Therefore, it’s tactics that will make or break your early career.
The Beginning[edit | edit source]
When you start your first battle in RogueTech, you thank your lucky stars you had the sense to play through the vanilla storyline at least once. A vanilla campaign play-through is the de facto tutorial for RogueTech.
Serving Lady Arano of the Aurigan Restoration, and helping her reclaim her rightful throne, you learned not only about the tactics and logistics of fielding a mech lance in combat, but also about the politics of the Periphery, and how the small states there are dwarfed by the superpowers of the Inner Sphere. In the later stages of your campaign for Lady Arano you may have run missions for House Liao, or House Marik; or even the smaller Periphery states. You understand that known space is an awfully large place, with virtually endless employment opportunities for a fledgling mercenary company.
It is because of this that during RogueTech installation you’ve probably wisely chosen the randomized starting lance option. Which means your starting mechs will vary depending on where in the Inner Sphere, Periphery—or Clan space—you chose to spawn. Because RogueTech gives you over a dozen different starts to choose from. Try creating a couple of starts in different locations to get a look at some of the different faction-specific mechs and their gear. Davion, Steiner, Liao, Clanner, Pirate—it’s all there, and more. Remember the specific loadouts of each, so that you know how to counter them in the field. Because unless your starting lance's sensor gear is considerably better than the enemy’s, in RogueTech you often won’t be able to pierce the fog of war to know what an enemy mech is packing until they unload on you.
Your first battle will likely be fielding a mix of Mediums, and possibly a Light or two. Unless you set Mission Difficulty Variance to zero and Enemy Difficulty to Easy or Very Easy, you will find yourself outmatched on the field by superior mechs with superior pilots. Probably in superior numbers. This will be even more pronounced if you selected the extra AI buffs on install.
Even on very easy, your first reaction in combat will likely concern your severely degraded ability to land hits on your opponents’ mechs. While they seem to have less difficulty in hitting yours. Welcome to RogueTech.
Please note that the specific tactics, component evaluations, etc. mentioned in this guide have proven useful to the writer--but are by no means definitive, because he still has a lot to learn about the intricacies of the mod. Because RogueTech is a very balanced mod, there is no single slam-dunk way of winning with any combination of mechs, weapons, and components. If you like deep mods that are exploit-proof, then you've come to the right place.
Basic To-Hit and Evasion Modifiers in RogueTech: By the Numbers[edit | edit source]
As with many things, success or failure in RogueTech comes down to maximizing your odds of hitting while not getting hit. To simplify the numbers in this guide, raw to-hit bonuses are lumped with bonuses that negate enemy evasion pips, with the total referred to as "to-hit bonuses."
Movement, Firing Angles[edit | edit source]
Similar to vanilla, when you move a mech it gains potential evasion bonuses, as well as definite to-hit penalties: -1 to-hit walking; -2 sprinting; -3 jumping. The evasion bonuses gained are roughly inverted, with additional modifiers for how far—or little—you move the mech. Each pro or penalty pip is worth roughly 5% towards to-hit rolls; so do the math. Again, you want to keep your jumping/sprinting mechs up front--to both spot the enemy for your mechs further back, and to attract his fire to these, your hardest-to-hit-mechs; instead of to your possibly stationary Sniper/LRM mechs that you wisely stationed much further back in your rear.
Attacking the flank of a mech gives a to-hit bonus; attacking the rear considerably more so. I personally favor flank strikes, because they primarily impact the same-side arm and leg, and usually present more often than rear shots. With a flank shot, if you need to take out an arm, you may destroy 40-60% of the targets hitting power. Take out the leg, and it’s a knockdown, giving you and yours free Called Shots. And once you max out your Called Shot odds, there's always the same-side torso shot; which can insta-kill mechs with XL/XXL engines, and still provide respectable salvage. More on the pros and cons of RT engine modifications later.
Terrain[edit | edit source]
RT provides slightly different terrain combat effects and values than vanilla. Terrain can affect both to-hit and evasion; as well as damaged received. Forest is by far the most common terrain feature that you will utilize, giving a -1 to-hit when firing from, and a -2 to-hit malus when firing into, as well as a -20% reduction to damaged received. To check out combat bonuses and penalties of different terrain types, just hover your mouse over a terrain type; or over the terrain and unit status icons on both your own or fully scouted enemy mechs.
Resist Chasing Fool's Gold[edit | edit source]
In the beginning, enemy mechs that have sprinted or jumped, and that also possess ECM with a form of stealth armor can be insanely difficult to hit. Unless there's nothing else for you to shoot at, ignore them. At the start of a battle it's often paramount to focus on easier-to-kill targets--and just double down on gettting guns off the field. Be patient and come back to those hard-to-hit mechs later. One simple early-game antidote is the punchbot--if you were lucky enough to spawn one in your starting lance--which often has the best raw to-hit numbers of all early-game mechs against high evasion targets. But in the early game if you're lacking a Punchbot, nothing beats strikes to the rear.
Better Shooting Thru Technology[edit | edit source]
Pilot to-hit bonuses are considerably less in RT. Arm actuators can give a +1 to +3 bonus to hit with ranged weapons—but an inverse penalty to hit in melee; while yet others do roughly the opposite. Assuming you have a mech with lower arms that can actually mount them. There are shoulder actuators that can resist damage, reduce recoil and improve ranged shots (by one each), or aid with melee, or reduce weapon heat.
Mountable only in the head, FCS—Fire Control Systems—can give various bonuses (for example, the Energy FCS ++ gives a +1 bonus to hit--but with energy weapons only--in addition to range and critical bonuses), as do certain sensor systems and cockpits.
TTS’s—targeting computers add stacking to-hit bonuses of +2 to certain weapon types; but may have other limitations or prerequisites to function.
Certain gyros give evasion bonuses; or reductions to incoming damage or stability loss. Yet others save weight; but at the cost of base stability, or stability loss. The Friedhof Sparrow is one of my favorite gyros, as it provides a +1 to +2 evasion bonus when you move your mech, at no extra size or weight over a standard gyro.
Pulse lasers have basically a +2 to-hit bonus; while Streak SRM’s also have a +2 bonus. Certain other weapons have bonuses—or penalties. Pulse lasers are essential early-game weapons; but Streaks--imo--much less so, for reasons that will be explained later. Heavy laser variants like the rare and awesome Clan ER Heavy Pulse Laser is useful through to the end-game.
TAG’s and NARC Beacons, which are specialized target-painting or target-acquisition “weapons”—assuming you actually land hits with them—will provide +1 to-hit bonuses, as well as other targeting/combat benefits to every other mech in your lance. I usually arm 2 mechs with a TAG or Clan TAG.
We'll cover almost all of these in greater detail later.
It's Cumulative[edit | edit source]
The cumulative bonus/malus of each arm/shoulder/hand actuators; plus your FCS, Cockpit, etc. determines the final to-hit bonus (or malus) of ranged and melee weapon attacks. For example, if you put an X75 actuator (+3 to-hit ranged, -3 to-hit melee) on an arm with a Retractable Blade (+2 to-hit melee), your net to-hit with the Blade in melee would be -1. Similarly, by adding the Retractable Blade to an arm, it would overwrite the standard +1 melee to-hit provided by the mech's hand, giving only a +1 net to-hit (but providing other powerful melee bonii). But when it comes to ranged and melee bonii cancelling each other out, this dynamic is somewhat weighted against melee builds. Be mindful of adding ranged weaponry components to your Punchbots that don't impair their melee abilities.
Question: Does an X75 on each arm improve cumulative ranged to-hit by +3 or +6? Oddly, I'm not sure as modding team members on the Discord have answered both ways.
You will spend much time experimenting in the mech bay with the various components you begin to collect as your campaign progresses. I recommend you initially focus on tech that optimizes your chances to hit and avoid being hit.
Tactics, Revised[edit | edit source]
But in your first battle, you will likely have few if any of these enhancements to aid you, against an enemy who will tend to concentrate his fire on your most vulnerable mechs, and actively seek out side and rear shots on those mechs.
You must do the same. Sprint or jump mechs that are closest to the enemy, making them harder to hit, and hopefully drawing his fire towards these high evasion mech(s). Focus your fire on his most vulnerable mech or crawler. Prioritize shots to rears or flanks whenever possible. Once your weakest target is down, move up the chain.
Meanwhile, move your slower/weaker/damaged mechs to your rear; or just keep their movement-generated evasion pips at maximum, no matter how much it might degrade their accuracy. Even the loss of an arm--not to mention the entire mech--in the early game can push you into the foul clutches of bankruptcy.
Sometimes it’s better to divide your lance’s fire when >1 flank/rear shot is presented. But it’s usually just better to concentrate your fire on a single target until it pops.
Try having your fast Striker(s) break together to either the far left or right and fire upon an enemy column. If your Support-Sniper/LRM mechs are far enough to the rear that they are not yet detected, the enemy will likely turn to face your Strikers, giving your Support mechs free flank or rear shots. Mmmm!
My preferred default lance composition for the early- to mid-game is 2 up front; 2 far back. The two in back use long-range weapons that will mostly shoot from stationary (with no movement penalties). The two up front will keep together, moving to one enemy flank--to ideally provide the rear mechs flank shots.
But you can get more creative. With your Strikers on the flank of an enemy formation, try moving one of them completely to the rear of that column; still more rear/flank shots may present themselves as the enemy repositions his mechs and vehicles to adapt to your manuever. Just beware of enemy reinforcements that could scrag that Striker if they suddenly appear in its rear.
Ideally, taking down a target in a single turn is desirable; with all of your mechs firing on the same facing to punch though the armor and into the center torso (or side torso if using an XL or XXL engine—take out a side and the target is down). But until your pilots level up their gunnery and called shot skills, and lance morale is high, and you’ve pimped out your mechs with superior gadgets; being able to quickly dispatch targets in a single round will be difficult. Your first one to two dozen missions will by necessity focus on collecting new tech, training up your pilots--and not going broke
Destabilize, Knockdown[edit | edit source]
In RT, simply firing on an enemy mech will strip no evasion bonii. But landing enough damage to destabilize the mech will strip it of ALL evasion bonii.
Just like in vanilla, in the early game, knocking down a target is often necessary to inflict sufficient damage to kill it. Hit it enough—especially with ballistic weapons like autocannons--and it will fall. Then focus on the center torso until it pops. Or pop a thinner side torso if you know your target has an XL/XXL engine. You’ll need to wait until later in your campaign to have realistic odds of pulling off long range insta-kill headshots and/or of insta-leg-shots, Or just Side-Torso shots. Nothing beats those tactics for clearing the field quickly and maximizing salvage. But in the early game, receiving at start a Medium Punchbot is very useful, as with just a little enhancing it can often one-shot enemy vehicles, Lights and Mediums you'll be encountering.
It bears repeating that you need to fully destabilize a target mech to strip it of its evasion pips. This is unlike vanilla, where simply firing on an enemy would strip an evasion pip. Target destabilization also can add several bars of actual mech destabilization. But which usually means hitting the target really hard. But destabilize a target enough to where a tooltip informs you that the target is destabilized, ALL of its evasion pips and most other defensive bonii disappear. If it hasn't already toppled over, it'll be close.
Consider Timing Your Fire[edit | edit source]
Experiment with timing the firing order of your lance whenever necessary by selecting "Reserve" when a mech can fire, to ensure that your mech with the highest to-hit chances fires first. As pointed out above, hit a target hard enough to fully destabilize it, and you strip it of all evasion pips and most other defensive bonii, making it easy for the rest of your lance to land hits and maximize damage. But the same goes for you, as the enemy will prioritize targeting a destabilized mech. You can potentially turn this to your advantage, for example, if you jump a single high-evasion mech in view of the enemy. If he has no other targets to shoot at, he'll likely waste them on that mech. Then you can move your reserved units forward from cover as needed.
Initiative: By the Numbers[edit | edit source]
RT has a considerably more sophisticated initiative model than vanilla, but uses the same general principles. Since initiative determines who shoots first in a turn--both your own and enemy assets--it can have a crucial role during a fight. When I played vanilla, I usually didn't care about initiative. But now, playing RT, it matters a lot. Target-marking weapons like TAG, for example, are completely wasted on low-initiative mechs, because the +1 to-hit bonus it provides to your other mechs expires at the end a of a turn. There's a great RT Wiki article explaining initiative; this is just a recap. Mech weight-class is very important, with heavier mechs having increasingly lower initiative. Pilot Tactics levels and temporary buffs like "High Spirits" also increase initiative. During combat, getting punched or knocked down usually will lower initiative; while becoming "inspired" will raise it. Certain cockpit types can raise pilot initiative, or even add it to all pilots in a lance.
Up-engined and down-engined mechs in any weight class will get an initiative bonus or malus, respectively. SBI: Engine Impact Since your up-fronters are likely to be up-engined and your support mechs down-engined, giving your Striker/Scouts initiarive-dependent weapons--and high initiative pilots--is logical.
Because taking out enemy mobile assets will trigger a morale and temporary initiative boost, it reinforces the need to take out enemy units quickly. Which invariably means focusing on his weakest units first.
It's often simplest for your Striker/Spotters and Punchbots to have the highest combined mech/pilot initiative scores, because a) They'll be spotting and even using target markers like TAG for the rest of the lance to benefit from; and b) They'll be knocking down and/or destabilizing targets for the rest of the lance to finish off.
During combat, when your lance gets a morale boost, it also ups initiative. Which is why investing in Argo upgrades that improve morale is very important.
Outnumbered? Pick 'em Off One-by-One[edit | edit source]
Using terrain to reduce exposure to the number of enemies that can fire on your frontline mech(s) is crucial, especially as the campaign progresses, when lethal long-range heavy weapons like Clan ERPPC’s, Rotary Gauss Cannons, Rotary Autocannons and the like appear, mounted on Assault mechs or Super Heavies with superior targeting sensors and fire control systems. These nightmares can spew out torrents of armor-shredding fire that can instantly cripple or kill your Striker/Spotters. When seriously outnumbered or outgunned, the trick is to have a Spotter/Striker jump in close enough to gain line-of-sight on one or at most two targets, and fire upon one of them—using the rest of your lance in support to ensure a kill; or at least a solid battering, destabilization or knockdown. During the first round of this process—assuming you didn’t already kill your target—you ideally will destabilize (and/or overheat it if using heat-producing weaponry) it enough that it either doesn’t fire back; or fires a few weapons then walks a short way to restore stability. Ideally, you have jumped in to fire on a flank—perhaps using a Called Shot to take out a leg or a side-torso. Or jump to its rear; unless it exposes your own rear to its lancemates. But a rear attack makes little sense if the rest of your lance can only fire on another armor facing. But if both of your Strikers can jump to fire on the rear of the same target? That can mean a quick kill; leaving your rearwards support mechs free to start on the next target.
Mountains Are Made for Jump-Jets[edit | edit source]
In the very early game when the enemy is fielding a lot of Lights, these tend to be more aggressive with rushing.
If your map allows it, fall back and concentrate your fire on the most vulnerable front-runner. Once your lance is equipped with 'Jets, you can specifically choose rocky planets and mountainous maps to have your battles, where your superior mobility will allow you pull back and concentrate your fire on selective targets.
No matter what phase of the game you're in, assuming your up-front Strikers are fast and/or equipped with jump-jets, maneuvering your lance to pick off enemy targets that detach from the main group is ideal. This dynamic is further enhanced when you then kill that asset; or seriously degrade it's capacity for return fire, ensuring your Strikers face no direct-fire retaliation from surviving enemies. Each and every turn use terrain and stealth components to reduce the number of your mechs that the enemy can actually target to an absolute minimum. And when he can target one of your units? Make sure that it's one of your Striker/Spotters with 7 or more evasion pips that's just sprinted or jumped into a forest for that extra 20% damage reduction.
Again, this tactic works best on rough or mountainous maps, where the enemy will sometimes split his force up to move around both sides of a jump-only feature, giving you the opportunity to defeat him in detail. Sending one of your units part-way around a mountain can sometimes trigger the enemy to evenly split his forces.
Jump, Shoot. Then Shoot, Jump: The RogueTech Two-Step[edit | edit source]
The Ace Pilot perk: giving the ability to fire and then move is essential for almost all of your pilots in RogueTech. Jump over a ridge with your Striker and land near an enemy, maxxing your evasion pips. If your to-hit odds are good, fire some/all of your weapons. Or just brace for the considerable defensive buff and to vent heat. Especially if you know the enemy poses little risk, and you really need to vent heat, or conserve ammo. Then next turn fire from stationary—with no movement penalties—for full effect. Then end your turn by jumping/moving back to cover. This is the “RogueTech Two-Step,” which enables up to two high-evasion ranged attacks on a target(s). For as long as that mech has full visual range of any enemy, it also acts as a spotter for the rest of your lance, upping their chances to hit.
If you have two Striker/Spotters, either alternate their jumps/rushes; or even better KISS--keep it simple--and send both in at once on the same flank to divide enemy return fire—and concentrate their own. Keeping two Striker/Spotters together, timing their jump or move to an identical flank so they fire on the same target simultaneously is actually a really solid tactic. This is because the AI will want to punish both Strikers for hurting his people, and will almost always divide his fire. This can mean two mechs with minor armor damage; instead of a single one with serious armor damage--or worse. Meanwhile, your two rear area mechs get flank shots if the enemy has already turned to face your two Strikers, and all four can fire on the same the side torso armor facing that's visible. If the target has an XL or XXL engine mounted, then that's a kill for you. If you worked it so that let's say only 2 enemies were able to see and directly target your Strikers; with one enemy down they only need to face counter-fire from a single survivor. This is really important in the later game when you're often up against Elites and custom Assaults that can really dish out ranged hurt.
Pilot Perks[edit | edit source]
Mechwarrior Perks are different in RT. As touted earlier, give Ace Pilot to all your pilots except sometimes melee specialists. Who possibly do better with the two Guts perks and the first Tactics perk. But a decent argument can be made that the 2nd Guts perk isn't really worth it; providing only a measly +1 melee to-hit and +50% damage.
Striker pilots all do well to specialize in Phantom Mech--the piloting perk that gives a TWO turn +2 evasion bonus. Support pilots all get the advanced gunnery perk Warlord, despite it lasting only one turn; but which also provides slightly better Called Shot odds among other benefits. Sensor Lock, a vanilla favorite, is pretty much useless in RT. If you do want a pilot with Sensor Lock, assign it to one of your Spotter/Strikers, who can use it when he takes a round off in cover to stabilize and vent heat.
Update: Sensor Lock has been rehabilitated, allowing a pilot to both use it and move/shoot during a turn. It's now actually quite useful.
Jump-Jets[edit | edit source]
Are, imo, essential in RT. I currently equip all or almost all of my mechs with them, as such a high proportion of combat maps are set in hilly or mountainous terrain that severely restricts bipedal movement options. As stated earlier, on Rocky world types, jump jets utterly rule. The mobility dynamic is even more complicated in v.999 with the enormous forest fires that can rapidly blanket huge portions of the map and further limit the mobility--and usefulness--of mechs without jumpjets. While not as lethal as mines were in the original Mechcommander, in RT missile- and artillery-dropped mines are now a serious threat. 'Jets allow a mech that's just been surrounded by a minefield to beat feet free of charge.
‘Jets give your units enormous tactical flexibility, allowing you to disperse—or tightly concentrate them and their firepower within a single turn. To execute a rear strike on an enemy in a firing line, you can either use an up-engined mech with a supercharger, to race around the enemy line—or you can use jumpjets. Yes, they take up weight & space that could be used for weapons, ammo, etc. But for their mobility and as the essential ingredient in the “RogueTech Two-Step” maneuver, their cumulative benefits considerably outweigh their costs. There have been quite a few Meatgrinder and Destroy the (Superheavy) Prototype missions that I survived, battered but victorious against vastly superior forces only because ‘jets allowed me to escape being penned against the map edge or into tight corners. Superheavies have gotten an upgrade in v.999P10HF2, and are now essentially immune to headshots. More on this later.
But beware, using jump jets also adds instability to your mech with each new jump. Be careful of adding too much instability lest that mech be destabilized and then suffer a knockdown if it takes a little too much enemy fire. Dump instability and heat every few rounds by walking or bracing. This approach takes more time to grind an enemy lance down than you might be used to in vanilla; but is necessary except in rare cases when the enemy has superior sensors coupled with indirect missile fire, to deny your jumpers their little "rests," forcing you into rushing.
The only mech type I would consider not equipping with 'jets would be an indirect-fire LURM.
RogueTech has several modded Jump jet types; however, I’ve found the Improved-JumpJet model (in S, H, & A sizes) to be most useful on frontliners. Support mechs can do just fine with the regular models. Currently, DFA--Death From Above--mechs and the specialized components that aid them have depressingly low to-hit odds. Until/unless the rules change, If you're fond of melee, avoid DFA, and stick with face punching.
Prioritize Your Targets[edit | edit source]
Getting guns off the field is your initial priority when battle starts. This is especially true in missions where you've outnumbered 2:1 or 2.5:1. Which seems to happen a lot in RogueTech. Target thin-skinned crawlers or slower Light mechs first. Or turrets in base assault missions. Whatever is easiest to kill. The notable exception to this is extreme threats, like enemy melee mechs closing on your own, or heavy artillery platforms. Should the enemy rush you with a Hatchetman or other Punchbot, take it out post-haste before it can close to striking range. If you've got a lot of room to manuever, and you get rushed by an enemy scout or punchbot, sometimes it's best to pull your entire lance back and focus on on killing the enemy point mech. Once it's down, resume your advance.
Force Enemy Pilots to Eject[edit | edit source]
Demoralize an enemy pilot enough, and he may eject before you've completely destroyed his ride. This both saves you time and increases salvage. Lower his morale by flanking him and taking out weapons and limbs. Keep up the pressure and he may reach for the eject button. This is especially true of rookie pilots. But beware, the same is true of your own pilots, who may also bail if they think they're about to die. Later in the campaign, enemy pilot quality tends to improve dramatically with high-skull missions, with a corresponding drop in ejection odds. During battle, If your sensors are good enough, you'll see a tooltip flash over enemy mechs, informing you of changes to their morale. Spank 'em hard 'til they cry for Mama.
Turrets and Artillery[edit | edit source]
Fixed defenses are a lot more dangerous in RogueTech. Better armed and armored. And as the game progresses, increasingly armed with indirect-fire heavy artillery weapons like the Long Tom; which can really wreak havoc. When you take Capture/Destroy the Base missions, having really good sensors to locate Long Tom, Thumper, and Sniper Artillery turrets is important, so you can take them out first. That's right, if a base has two or three or four heavy artillery turrets, take them out first, and just suck up whatever the base garrison throws at you. Many turrets also often come equipped with AMS, to further complicate taking them out with missiles. High difficulty capture/destroy base missions may now routinely have all four turrets as a mix of ArrowIV's and Long Toms to really mess up your day. Heavy artillery can easily one-shot your mechs; or destabilize and knock down half your lance. I've also seen a few enemy mechs destroyed by their own artillery. Blue on blue (friendly fire) is sometimes unavoidable with artillery. Something to keep in mind if you want to equip a Superheavy in the late game.
Anti-Missile Systems[edit | edit source]
AMS are laser or ballistic weapon point defense weapons that target only incoming missiles, and which can be overclocked for even higher efficiency. Roughly half of all enemy mechs will equip AMS, as will a fair number (25%?) of enemy turrets and vehicles (25%?). AMS come in a range of different models, and will shoot down varying numbers of incoming enemy missiles with varying efficiency. In the early game, I tend to only equip my Striker/Spotters with a basic AMS; but by the mid-game everyone gets one, as they're just so darned useful, and really help keep post-battle repairs to a minimum. The Clan Laser AMS is my favorite, as it's lightweight and uses no ammo that can cook off, making it ideal for energy-weapons-only builds that you intend to run hot. When your mechs are fired upon by enemy missiles watch for the tooltip over each mech as the attack ends to see how many missiles your AMS intercepted. For playbalance purposes, the rules have intentionally made mortar shells, heavy artillery shells, and ArrowIV rocket artillery missiles invulnerable to AMS. Which may not be terribly realistc, but I'm assuming derives from TableTop tradition.
Only the Advanced AMS will target missiles aimed at other (friendly) mechs. Counter enemy AMS with sheer volume of incoming rounds--or just use non-missile weaponry. Certain missile types, like basic MRM rounds, have an intrinsic anti-AMS bonus. AMS can be overclocked; but with increased jamming odds.
All the Pretty Colors: the AIM Mod[edit | edit source]
Learn to recognize the various colors and weapons effects emitted by beam and other ranged weaponry targeting your mechs, as your sensors may not be strong enough to determine which weapons an enemy carries when you mouse scroll over his assets. It'll be up to you to remember which each enemy is packing by observing what they fire, when they fire. When targeting an enemy mech, you'll also see different colored lines intersecting the target which denote the armor facing that will be struck. Red means frontal; blue means side; green means rear. That's due to the AIM sub-mod, which also somewhat accurately determines to-hit odds.
New Weapons Candy[edit | edit source]
There are a lot of new weapons in RogueTech of every category imaginable. Almost all of these are "canon:" Meaning they (mostly) originated in the Tabletop (TT) version of the game, and will also be familiar to players who played the Mechcommander and Mechwarrior series of games. But some RogueTech weapons--as far as I can tell--are completely new. They're not really more powerful; just different. And introduced in plausible ways that complement Battletech canon. Weapons that are considerably superior--like the magificent Clan versions, for example--are either very expensive, or produce a lot of heat--or both. Rogue elite mechs--which can start to appear even very early in the campaign--are usually equipped with special weapons and/or components, most of which are lootable. We'll cover many of these goodies later on, but when you start let it suffice to say that Pulse Lasers and Streak Short Range Missiles (SSRM's) because of their to-hit bonuses are among the most useful weapons in the early game. Ultra-Autocannons--which can fire one or two rounds--are another really useful RT addition. And don't even get me started on the extreme coolness of Radial-Autocannons (RAC's).
But in RT every cool new toy comes with a drawback or some other limiting negative. Like jamming, for example, being the bane of multi-shot ballistic weapons.
There are no gameplay freebies in this mod. Any exploit is ruthlessly crushed by the mod team as soon as it is discovered.
Weapon Jams[edit | edit source]
As just stated, jams are a constant risk with certain weapon types, especially multi-shot ballistic weapons like Ultra-Autocannons, Radial-Autocannons, etc. This is even more pronounced with Pirate ballistic weaponry, and is one of the very strongest reasons with the v.999P9 patch to avoid ballistic weapons builds and stick with energy and non-+/++/+++ missile weaponry. While jamming chances depend on the weapon, they increase the more shots you fire from auto-fire capable weapons, and always seem to happen at the worst possible time. In a future patch, Jamming odds will decrease with higher Gunnery skill levels. Jamming also happens with higher-end non-Clan missile systems, like most Pirate systems, and the otherwise superb Zeus +++ LRM's. Until the new patch comes out, with rookie pilots when it comes to LRM's, stick with Clan models. They cost a lot and produce more heat; but at least they're reliable.
Update 05/26/2019: playing with the v.999P10HF2 version, Ultra- UltraLBX- and Radial-Autocannon jamming rates are now lowered somewhat by higher pilot Gunnery skill. Whew! These weapon types are now much safer to use once again. But +/++/+++ missile systems have yet to be patched.
So, what then can you do to lower your chances of a weapon jamming?
Jamming chance per turn is essentially a function of "flat jamming chance" X "per-shot recoil" X "number of rounds fired;" divided by "Gunnery Skill modifier". You can reduce recoil with certain shoulder actuators, lower arm actuators, FCS's, Cockpits, and certain rare experimental components. A high pilot Gunnery skill with recoil-reducing components can reduce jammable weapons from being a potential catastrophe to just a minor nuisance; assuming you follow any high RPM turn with a lower one. Fired all six rounds from your RAC5? If it hasn't already jammed, fire just 2-3 rounds next turn, and you might just stay jam-free.
Call me crazy, but it seems that jumping (or maybe just moving) after a weapon jam increases the chances of that jam clearing.
Pick Your Early Battles With Care[edit | edit source]
Mission content is sometimes altered somewhat in RT. "Defend-the-Base" missions, for example, always include defensive turrets and a pair of crawlers or wounded mechs for assistance. Which in the early game can prove invaluable, as even though your lance will be swamped by up to two and a half enemy lances on the board at the same time, the enemy will have lots of other things to shoot at besides your mechs. "Escort" and "Save the Mechs" missions are similar in this regard, and can be among the best mission types to rely on until your pilots have gotten some experience, and you've built up your cash reserves. There are also certain mission types like "Meatgrinder" that you will want to temporarily avoid for the same reason. Additionally, there are also a few trick mission types that are essentially un-winnable Kobayashi Maru scenarios. Well, at least until the very late game, when your mechs and pilots are all uber-elites and up for any challenge.
Offensive Push = Morale[edit | edit source]
In RT, "Offensive Push" is the morale-based ability that allows your pilots to make Called Shots. Temporary morale-boosters--like those from generous paychecks--will reset at the end of each month to whatever the base morale level is enabled by Argo upgrades.
Specialized Combat Roles[edit | edit source]
Striker/Spotter[edit | edit source]
You probably learned from your first battle or two that at least some mech specialization is the way to go. At least one, if not two, dedicated Spotter/Strikers are highly desirable: mechs that are very fast and/or have jump jets—preferably of the RT Improved variety (each improved jet gives a cumulative +15% distance bonus). Consider equipping this mech type with TAG or NARC; or both, to paint the target for your other mechs. This mech type will also do well to use ECM and/or EWS to degrade enemy sensors, and/or a Beagle Probe to enhance its own sensor/sight capability. Giving it some form of Stealth Armor is also not a bad idea. We'll get into sensors, ECM & stealth specifics later. Creating the perfect build of this type can be challenging, as you must make it hard to hit, well-armored, AND give it suitable offensive power.
Make sure its pilot has the Ace Pilot perk, and eventually the Shadow Mech perk. The extra +2 evasion bonus of the latter will prove invaluable to ensuring your spotter doesn’t get scragged when it jumps into weapons range of too many enemies at once. I usually up-armor my S/S's to enhance survivability. Because this mech type will be exposed to enemy fire far more than your support mechs, it needs any and all evasion bonii it can get. Sprinting--or jumping--every turn it's within enemy weapon range is often essential. Components like ECM, the Clan VR Pod, and certain gyros all add one to two evasion bonii per component. The Wolverine WVR-7K (55tons)—which you get with the Kurita start—or the Grasshopper GHR-5K (70tons) are both good examples for this role. In the early game I tend to arm mine with pulse lasers, TAG, and sometimes a NARC beacon. Later on when I'm fielding Heavies, I upgrade to Clan ERPPC’s or ER Heavy Pulse Lasers. An AMS (anti-missile system) is also essential on your S/S to degrade incoming missile fire. I’ve personally never been a fan of using SRM’s of any kind on Striker builds due to enemy AMS systems rendering them ineffective, but some players swear by them.
Starting out, I usually make kitting out a Striker/Spotter my first priority when choosing salvage, and pilot it with my starting character. It is the tip of the spear.
Striker[edit | edit source]
A pure Striker build has none of the goodies that would aid with ECM/ECCM. It would use the space/weight saved for more weapons, ammo, heat management, etc. and would thus be more lethal on the offense. If it's up-front, in close contact with the enemy, it would also be a de facto spotter for its lancemates. But unlike a Scout/Spotter, without specialized scouting electronics, unless it's assisted by another dedicated Scout or Spotter/Striker in its vicinity, it would suffer from degraded to-hit capabilities, and be unable to detect enemy units--like his vulnerable support mechs--further behind his lines. As such, a pure Striker is often suitable only for the early game, before you have enough gear to properly kit out a proper Striker/Spotter build. Using a Striker built around a short-range weapons package can also be risky, because it's gotta get up close. Which puts it at risk of being flanked or rear-ended, and/or of coming within lethal striking distance of a Punchbot. Swapping out regular Pulse Lasers, for example, for their Clan or Lostech equivalents will double your optimum firing range from 90m to 180m. Something to keep in mind for increasing your stand-off distance.
Need an inexpensive early-game Striker? load it up with multiple Rocket Launchers (RL's). They're unbelievably cheap, pack an enormous wallop-per-ton, and can easily produce the tube strength to overwhelm any Anti-Missile System. Supplement them with lasers or some other direct-fire weapons for staying power.
When it comes to SRM Striker or Striker/Spotter builds, see the section below on Support-Missile builds in light of enemy AMS capabilities. My advice if you want a SRM build is to go all out, with a minimum of 6 SRM6's--or not at all.
There is one specific Striker every player should try out, and that is the Lady Killer MCII-LK (Elite 90 tons), a Mad Cat variant that utterly showcases the capacity of massed Clan Ultra-Autocannons to savagely dominate middle-range combat. By packing a Supercharger, the Ladykiller can rapidly close on enemies; and keep Punchbots at arms length.
Scout[edit | edit source]
A pure Scout build specializing in just scouting. Typically a Light mech loaded up with great sensors and EW gear, it's also likely cloaked. But it's scouting/spotting excellence comes at the cost of offensive weaponry and/or targeting capabilities. Such a build can be useful when you've got some great LRM Missile Boats and Snipers to do the heavy lifting in combat from your rear; but is of questionable use except in the very early game when you lack the resources for heavier chassis kitted out as dedicated Striker/Spotters. If 35 or 40 ton Scout works as advertised it will be extremely careful about exposing itself to enemy fire. Because if the enemy OPFOR is Heavies and Mediums, it might take only one good hit to get knocked down and finished off. For this reason, pure Scouts work best as non-visual spotters for LURM's and Snipers. Not necessarily for Punchbots, which need visual spotting of a target to execute a melee strike.
Punchbot[edit | edit source]
Is a mech built for melee combat, that can be considered a sub-type of Striker. It preferably needs to be fast—possibly with Improved Jump-Jets or a Partial Wing—heavily armored, and carry superior melee weapons and components that provide melee to-hit and damage buffs (DNI Cockpit, Melee FCS, melee or evasion gyro, Claws, Talons, Chainsword, Plasma Lance, etc.). Adding a lot of kit that enhances melee to-hit and damage buffs is essential to obtain one-strike kills.
Add one or more of these: Pirate Engine, MASC, Supercharger, and TSM: these each increase walking/running speed by +50%, and some also provide buffs to melee damage. Add several, and your up-engined Punchbot will walk and sprint around the map at insane speeds. Along with at least a moderately beefy engine core, at least one of these speed enhancers is absolutely essential to get in—and out—quickly. There are also several shield types that RT provides for equipping an arm that give hefty defensive bonii; but limit weapon selections for that arm. Personally, I think that it's best to ditch the shield in favor of more weaponry and movement enhancers, using raw speed--and the death of your target--as protection. Consider having the pilot specialize in the two Guts perks to further maximize defensive/offensive melee bonii, and in either Ace Pilot or the first Tactics perk for stability. Shadow Mech isn't a bad alternative either. Up Piloting skill to increase raw melee to-hit odds.
Because they're as front-line as it gets, having good ECM/ECCM is highly advisable, and adding stealth armor is not a bad idea either. Which produces what should really be called a Punchbot/Spotter.
As one of the RT loading bars advises, also add a TAG and even a NARC Beacon to your melee mech, because it should ideally have the highest initiative rating in your lance to ensure that it does indeed hit (move) first. As stated earlier, TAG marks targets, giving its lancemates +1 to-hit until the end of the current round. For this reason, don't put weapons of this type on low initiative mechs. An up-engined Punchbot will get various initiative bonii. For example, a 70 ton Heavy with a 350-unit engine would get +2; with a 420-unit +4.
It usually pays to really focus on emphasizing raw melee to-hit and damage capabilities of melee mechs, adding ranged weaponry only as garnish. Focus on their core competency--punching faces--and your melee builds will shine. But if you enhance their ranged power at the expense of melee ability, you may be sorely disappointed when it comes time for hand-to-hand, unless you only intend to use them against crawlers.
The mid- to late-game Gladiator BLK-S7 (75ton Elite) is a near perfect example for this role. Jump it right behind an enemy for a rear point-blank weapons strike. If the target survives, next turn start ripping off heads in melee. Primary pro of Punchbots is their lethality; especially against hard-to-hit stealthed units and jumpers in the early- to mid-game. As just stated, against vehicles they're simply amazing. But cons include being a bullet magnet when an enemy lance stays tightly grouped. A Punchbot also tends to scrag the salvage value of its usually numerous kills. Also, as the game progresses, Punchbots don't do as well against mechs in heavier weight classes. Even fully kitted out and with elite pilots that have both Guts perks. My current attitude regarding melee mechs is that unless you’ve got a prime and exceptionally well equipped example like the Gladiator, after the mid-game their usefulness diminishes to the point where they’re not quite worth it. Especially if you've got elite pilots in headshot-making Striker and Sniper builds--which also excel at clearing the field. But from a safe distance. Again, this is something you'll need to determine for yourself.
Unless you intentionally intend to use a jumping or fast moving Punchbot as a fire-attractant, it's best to have them launch their strikes from cover. As already stated, an up-engined punchbot with Supercharger and MASC can cover enormous amounts of ground to make a strike. As stated earlier, you'll also need to have a Spotter/Striker visually ID targets for your puncher for them to make a melee attack.
Flamebot[edit | edit source]
Is another specialized Striker build that really shines on Arid/Desert/Lunar/Martian battle maps, where enemies are especially vulnerable to overheating. There are two main variants: first being short-ranged, using flamers (especially +++ Prometheus Flamers for their Inferno effect--up to four stack, with effects lasting 2 turns--and lightweight 0.5 ton Clan Flamers). Keep in mind that most flamers in RT enjoy +2 to-hit (actually they ignore two evasion pips, and may have an additional +1 to-hit). Because this variant has to get up close, it can be easily flanked by enemy units, as well as being vulnerable to enemy Punchbots. The +++ Prometheus was slightly nerfed a patch or two ago, making the ++Olympus Flamer the new RT non-Clan frontrunner.
The second Toaster variant uses ranged weapons like Plasma Cannons and incendiary missiles.
Like in vanilla, overheat a target mech enough and it shuts down, giving the rest of your lance free Called Shots, and a chance for its ammo to start cooking off if the shut-down lasts >1 turn. Many heat-generating weapons in RT provide enhanced offensive effects against already overheated targets, which can be utterly devastating. Flamebots are of much less use on Polar/Ice maps; or against cool-running mechs. But a Striker or Scout/Striker equipped with 3+ Clan Plasma Cannons is a pretty irresistible mid- to late-game ranged option when you touch down on hotter world types. It'll also give you just enough stand off capacity to stay outside of enemy Punchbot strike range. Mmmm, toasty!
The Stingray SYU-1X (45 ton Medium) is--or was--an excellent example of a stealthed ambush Toaster using Plasma Cannons. Unfortunately, RNGesus (the random number generator that creates enemy lance compositions from pre-determined lists) has been tweaked so that it rarely spawns anymore. At least not for me, anyway. *dabs corners of eyes*
When hot-running enemy mechs slide over the red-line--either due to your hits with heat-transmitting weaponry or their own firing--they often just cannot resist going all-out on the next round. And the next. Until they shut down. These are obviously the sort of enemy targets you want to have your Toasters focus on. Roughly a third of the mechs you'll face in RT tend to run hot. If you really want to be a Toaster specialist, you'd do well to compile a list.
So how do you handle your Flamebot or Punchbot when an enemy lance--or pair of lances--stays tightly grouped? If you rush the enemy, the entire enemy force could concentrate their fire on just one of yours. Not good. If you've got more hardy Striker-type builds, you could add them to the rush to divide enemy fire. Or if you've got some Missile-Boats you could snipe from a distance, slowly wearing down a target or two, waiting until the AI does something stupid. Like dividing his force. Once the enemy force is loosely grouped your Flame-/Punchbot can sequentially knock down or toast isolated enemies every turn or two for the rest of your lance to finish.
Support-Sniper[edit | edit source]
To be kept well back from the front line. Armor and engine size can be degraded a little to a lot, as it ideally won’t receive much if any incoming fire. Arm it with long-range energy or ballistic weapons; plus an FCS with TTS to match. Preferably it has lower arms, to which X75 Actuators can be attached for a recoil bonus and a +3 to-hit bonus. The strength of this build is its direct-fire weaponry, which tends to pack more focused wallop-per-ton than LRM missiles, and are much, much better for Called kill shots once your pilots become elites. But Snipers needs direct line of sight to target, which can be tricky on some maps, and/or require special tactics to make sure they’re always in a position to fire on targets. The Blaze EBJ-B-DW (65 ton Elite) is perhaps a perfect example, as it can hit targets clear across the map with little reduction in beam strength. I swap out one of its Clan ER Large Pulse Lasers for a Clan ER Medium version, and add jump jets for mobility. Perfect for headshots; or burning off enough of a single face of torso armor for its lancemates to complete a one round kill.
A down-engined Sniper can also suffer an initiative malus if sufficiently underpowered, ensuring that it will fire last in a turn--assuming that's what you want. For example, a 55 ton Medium would need to drop to at least a 220-unit engine to trigger a -2 penalty.
Quite a few direct-fire energy and ballistic weapons in RT have max ranges of >1,000m, with "sweet spot" ranges in and around 500m. Coupled with the limited visual/sensor ranges, this optimizes conditions for Sniper builds that can stand off and kill properly spotted enemies with impunity.
Many types of Fire Control Systems--like all the Clanner models--also provide good Called Shot bonuses. They also provide zoom accuracy bonuses that increase one pip per roughly 220m increment. Thus, with the FCS Predator, or the Advanced Clan FCS, at about 700m your Clan ERPPC's or ER Lg.Pls.Lasers (or other long-range weaponry) would get a +3 to-hit bonus. Many Sensors also provide ranging bonii of +1 to +2 that stack with the FCS. This can make for a perfect marriage of weaponry and electronics for sniping at ranges >500m. Once you've got pilots with maxxed Called Shot and Gunnery skills, it'll be your Sniper and Striker builds that'll be racking up those high-salvage headshots and leg-shots. But beware, the enemy will try to do the same to you.
In the early game, your Snipers will be limited to Autocannon2's, UltraAC2's, Large Lasers, ER Large Lasers, and such. Clan UltraAC2's are great for early-game Sniper builds, as they combine great range with low weight and respectable damage at a reasonable cost. Married to a zooming FCS and a zooming Sensor combo they really shine at ranges of around 500m. Clan RAC2's--radial autocannons that can fire up to six shots per round, are probably my favorite of all the RAC's, and absolutely superb for Sniper builds.
Support-Missile Boat[edit | edit source]
With regards to long-range missile fire, at present there are very few builds that can match a mech loaded up with multiple large banks of Clan LRM’s married to the Clan ArtemisIV FCS, using ArtemisIV LRM ammo; all of which provides a +3 cumulative to hit. Add Clan Recon Sensors and a Clan EI Cockpit for an additional +2 to +3; and a Clan TTS for a +2 to-hit, and you’ve got the ability to accurately hit spotted targets hard at extreme range with no risk of counter fire. Also, 40 or 70 or 100 LRM’s in volley will also completely saturate and overwhelm even advanced Anti-Missile Systems. The only real drawbacks of LURM’s—assuming you never let the enemy close on them—is a finite ammo supply, and the fact that up-armored enemies in the later game like Assaults can take a long time to cripple or kill with LRM's. It's important having a pilot with high Tactics skill, which ultimately provides a -5 reduction to the indirect fire penalty. Thus, until you've got a pilot with Tactics-10, indirect-fire LRM mechs cannot fully shine when they shoot from cover. For this reason, LURM's aren't terribly useful until at least a few dozen missions have seasoned your dedicated pilot(s). Until then, consider using them exclusively as direct-fire snipers. One possible workaround to this is the top-tier Indirect Fire FCS that provides +4 to-hit; but can't be used with ArtemisIV ammo. Try using Swarm LRM ammo instead.
A perfect mid-game example of this role is the KatyushaTBT-6X (55 ton semi-Elite Trebuchet variant). Or the mid- late-game Basilisk CPLT-S7 (75 ton Elite Catapult variant)—which with a little modification makes an excellent hybrid Support-Striker. Also very good is the Thanatos TNS-4S (75 ton), whose chassis has shoulders and lower arms, and can thus be modified into perhaps the perfect Heavy mech Missile-Boat.
As with the Sniper build above, consider a down-engined LURM build to both save weight for launchers and ammo; but to also to lower its initiative so it fires after your frontliners.
I've experimented with stealth armor + ECM on my Indirect-fire LRM Boats; but even when they moved/jumped after firing, it didn't seem to effect how much return fire they were subject to when enemy units came within range. Unless ECM rules change, ECM is still good for the +1 evasion and should be used for that and to squelch enemy sensors. But stealth armor on LURM's won't keep them cloaked or appreciably protect them more than AMS from LRM counter-battery fire. An AMS is far more valuable when it comes to minimizing incoming missile damage. Update: Stealth values have changed, and armors like the Null Signature System--NSS--now make perfect stealth armor for missile boats that often fire from cover. More on this later.
Missile Build Effectiveness Equation: The number of tubes available to a missile boat divided by the effectiveness of an enemy AMS essentially determines the worst-case effectiveness of a LURM. Which means that earlier in the game if you've got just rookie pilots and smaller Medium mech chassis to work with it might be better to temporarily ditch the LURM concept and go with a direct-fire missile Striker with HMRM's (heavy medium ranged missiles ) or even an SRM build--assuming you've got loads of missile hardpoints. Or even a RL (rocket launcher) build. On the right mech, each of these options can pack enormous numbers of tubes to saturate enemy AMS defenses. At least until you've got a good Heavy chassis or two to work with. Again, you be the judge, as this can be a hard call. Weigh this against the fact that in the early game, enemy mechs and vehicles are much more lightly skinned, and as such go down easy with LRM strikes. As with everything RT, it often just comes down to what sort of kit and chassis you've got on hand.
Having at least one LURM in a lance is crucial in the mid- to late-game, imo, because it can keep firing on enemy units during the turns you're resting your Spotter/Strikers in cover to shed instability and heat. The S/S's may not be visible to enemy units; but their sensors can still spot enemy units for your rear-area support mechs to fire upon.
Before RT added Anti-Missile Systems (AMS), missile spam--whether from LRM or SRM--was a virtual exploit that enabled super-easy kills. Since AMS from the mid-game onwards now shows up on roughly 50% of OPFOR mechs, and roughly 25% of enemy crawlers and turrets, LRM lethality is now pretty balanced. But SRM's--which add a maximum of 6 tubes per missile hardpoint--compared to 20 LRM's--can be easily swatted out of the sky by AMS, and in my opinion are now fairly ineffective against enemies with AMS unless you max out tube numbers.
Some players strongly disagree with this assessment. But The numbers speak for themselves: Against an AMS'd target, a dedicated Missile build with 4 missile hardpoints packing 80 LRM's would land a much higher percentage of hits than the same mech with 24 SRM's. If, for example, 12 of the LRM's were intercepted, versus 12 of the SRM's, total damage inflicted would be 264 to 96, respectively. In the same example, a mech with 6 missile hardpoints--packing 36 SRM tubes--could land 192 points in damage. Another factor against SRM builds is the relative to-hit superiority of almost all long range FCS and Sensors packages when used against targets at range. You might argue that this overall argument is a false equivalency, as a Heavy with 6 SRM6's (compared to one with 4 LRM20's) would still have plenty of tonnage & space left over for other weapons to up its damage score. However, this argument is about missile system effectiveness in the face of AMS. You be the judge.
The point here is that with Missile builds, either go with a high-tube-count saturation strategy to overwhelm AMS; or up your Electronic Warfare game to quickly ID enemy mechs with AMS to take them out with non-missile builds. Or just forego missiles altogether. But just adding a few long- or short-range tubes to your mechs as garnish will have a roughly 50% chance of ending up as wasted space.
Specialized Support[edit | edit source]
This is a catchall for mechs serving as platforms for the more exotic forms of RogueTech ranged weaponry. Long Toms, Sniper Artillery, ArrowIV’s, Mortars, Rail Guns, Thermobaric Thunderbolts—these are mostly mid- to late-game options that can be extremely lethal; but are often just as tricky to use properly, and as such are beyond the scope of this article. But one thing to keep in mind if you ever bag a 200 ton Superheavy and want to use it as an artillery platform for one or two big indirect-fire guns; ditch the Long Tom for the Sniper Artillery, despite the former's greater power. This is because the Long Tom currently has an absolutely insane AOE (area of effect) of around 240 meters--means over 12 hexes in diameter!!--making it very difficult to use without friendly fire issues. When encountering enemy mechs or turrets packing long range AOE weaponry like the Long Tom, assuming they're scoring hits on or near your mechs, and either knocking them down, overheating them, or severely destabilizing them, you need to disperse your mechs and take out those specific attackers ASAP or risk losing people. Closing with the enemy may help, as it seems the AI is "sometimes" reluctant to fire AOE weaponry if it will also damage more than one his own assets.
Regarding indirect fire, I've personally never been anything other than a "Missionary Position" player, preferring up until the very late-game to rely mainly upon Clan LRM's, Clan and Lostech energy weapons, and high-RPM ballistics. Accordingly, we need someone else to write a good guide on Specialized Support goodies and tactics by someone skilled in their use.
Hybrids[edit | edit source]
There are countless ways in which you can create hybrid combos of the major specialty types. The Punch-Flamerbot is a highly recommended--and popular--example, as most melee mechs builds have space for at least some flamers, and Punchbots will always need to be up close to do their thing. You can also further modify hybrids--or any other mech type--depending on what type of world you’re going to be fighting on. Heading to a Desert planet? While on route you might want to swap out some energy weapons for more heatsinks; or swap in more flamers and incendiary ammo.
For reasons already stated, Punchbot/Striker builds fail to deliver for me during melee. I've experimented with most of the Elite hybrids of this type, and find they really work best as ranged Strikers; using melee only against crawlers.
Superheavies[edit | edit source]
Mentioned here as a class of mech, rather than a role, RT includes the option to include mega-mechs of 150 and 200 tons. Called Superheavies, these monsters are typically outfitted in either a direct or indirect fire-support role with certain "mega-weapons" that only they are large enough to comfortably equip. Long Toms, ArrowIV's, Rotary Gauss...you get the idea. Superheavies used to be fairly simple to bag--if you used a careful mix of indirect LR missile fire and direct-fire headshots. But no longer. Their cockpits have been substantially strengthened, making legging them the preferable kill method. And more Superheavies pack ArrowIV's with killer sensors packages and extra-elite pilots, making indirect-fire camping a very difficult strategy to pull off.
Once a good late-mid-game strategy for amassing some killer fire platforms, Superheavy hunting is now only advisable as a mature late-game gambit, with maxxed 10-star pilots in seriously blinged-out Assaults. Even then, expect to lose pilots and mechs on the hunt for the biggest predators RT has to offer.
But what's the best loadout for a Superheavy if you manage to bag one? Personally, I'll have to go with a selection of Superheavy-only heavy weapons types: ArrowIV, Rail Guns, RAC10's, Rotary Gauss.
Ultimately, the perfect mech builds and lance compositions are for you to decide. Experimenting with different mech and lance builds is one of the most enjoyable features of RogueTech, because so much variation is possible. And just when you think RT innovation is slowing, along comes a new component type or weapons system to shake things up and keep players on their toes.
Personally, my current favorite default lance build for the mid- to late-game is: Striker/Spotter, Striker/MissileBoat, MissileBoat, and Sniper. In the early game I prefer 2 Spotter/Strikers and 2 Supports. Of course, how you kit out your lance often depends on what sort of gear and chassis you’ve got in your mechbay. Especially in the early game before you take that trip up to Clan territory.
RogueTech Components, Demystified[edit | edit source]
You’ve already got an idea of some goodies that might prove valuable to your RogueTech experience. There are roughly—and I mean roughly—four tiers (or five) of increasing quality to work with:
Tier One: Inner Sphere[edit | edit source]
Occupies the bottom rung. The +/++/+++ variants can be the equivalent of LosTech or even Clan quality. Otherwise, it’s all basic fare. Keep in mind that all vanilla components like +++ weaponry are given RogueTech values, and will behave differently. Sometimes relatively poorly. While ++/+++ Flamers in RT really shine, other weapons like the Zeus +++ LRM are simply terrible due to frequent jams. Most non-Clan mechs use IS gear and weaponry as basement defaults. The main pro's of IS tech is that it's cheap and plentiful.
Tier One-Point-Five: Pirate Gear[edit | edit source]
Some of it is really good—like UltraLBX Autocannons, Pirate Heavy Machine Guns, or the Pirate FCS. But much of it—in my opinion—is just too heavy and/or bulky, with too many to-hit penalties and overly high chances of jamming. Some folks will rave about SRM Acid Missile Ammo or other pirate gear, but I’m unconvinced. While pirate weaponry generally has potentially greater damage-per-ton numbers than many other varieties, this is balanced by very high jamming chances. Which frankly gives me the heebie-jeebies. But some players really dig that Mad Max thing, and riding the edge. Check it out, and decide for yourself.
Tier Two: LosTech[edit | edit source]
Double Heat Sinks, Tracker Sensors, X-Pulse Lasers—there’s some very useful LosTech gear, pretty much all of it considerably better than Inner Sphere, without being too much more expensive.
Tier Three: Clan[edit | edit source]
Superior in almost every way. Usually either more powerful; or lighter—or both. But it usually runs considerably hotter and is also much more expensive. Which means your mission difficulty--if you chose the difficulty by lance option on install--can rise astronomically when you field a lance of Clan mechs; or Inner Sphere mechs pimped out in pricey Clanner gear. I’ve found that depending on your taste, quite a few Clan mechs are near-perfect as chassis up until roughly the mid-game, when their inability to swap in alternative gyros, actuators, structure, engines, etc. can become a critical liability. Which is also an inbuilt way to prevent Inner Sphere mechs--and IS factions--from being totally outclassed by Clanners. Until the mid-game or later, however, most Clan mechs have lots of flexible hardpoints, and they're inexpensive to restore and repair. And a few are fully moddable by default. So do yourself a favor: as soon as you can, take the Argo up to Falcon or Wolf or Snow Bear territory. Assuming the Clanners don’t scrag you first, or drive you to bankruptcy, once you fill your mech bay with Clan gear and a few choice mechs, you’ll thank me.
Tier Four: Experimental[edit | edit source]
This includes obvious components like Experimental Heat Sink Kits, RISC Lasers and Laser Pulse Modulators, and the AtemisIV Missile FCS. And the unique “quirk” items found on those scary Rogue Elite Mechs. Some isn't really better, just different. But the rest is really good—and usually frightfully expensive—stuff. Much of it is also activateable—which we’ll cover soon—or has other Achilles heel drawbacks to provide gameplay balance. Most RogueTech Elite mechs come standard with several experimental weapons or pieces of gear. Some of these you can loot, while others remain "stuck" to the mech. Either way, Elites--assuming they don't kill you first--invariably mean good eating.
No Free Lunch in RogueTech[edit | edit source]
As just stated, pimping your mechs out in uber-lethal goodies will also proportionally increase mission difficulty. To be precise, every $3,500,000 of value you add to any one of your stable's four priciest mechs will add 0.5 skull mission difficulty globally. Considering that RT mission difficulty can rise to as high as 15 skulls--yes, that's a whopping fifteen skulls--going the platinum route can become unspeakably brutal. Personally, I just cannot resist RT bling, but obviate the risk somewhat by not taking on too many of the exceptionally dangerous RT mission types like Meatgrinder if I want to bling out before the late game. For example, if you've got a lance of Mediums or Heavies that are just dripping expensive bling, the more dangerous mission types will often see you up against OPFOR's of mostly Assaults, many of them elites, with a few Superheavies thrown in. Take these missions before you're ready and you'll most likely get creamed. If you just can't resist filling up on RT bling, sometimes it's best to wait until you've a full stable of Assaults to kit out. Then go kick some ass. In a later section we'll cover how you can use some micro-bling to moderately improve your A-Team's to-hit and evasion bonii with only small increases to your global difficulty.
The Brains Are in the Head[edit | edit source]
Fire Control Systems[edit | edit source]
We touched on FCS's earlier. Some are very specific, like the Energy FCS +/++/+++ series, which provides a +1 to-hit bonus for energy weapons only. Yet others are more general, like the Indirect Fire FCS +/++/+++ series, which can provide to-hit bonii of up to +4, but which can only practically be used with LRM's, Thunderbolts, Mortars, etc. firing from cover.
Zooming FCS like the FCS Predator, Clan Improved FCS and Clan Advanced FCS grant zooming to-hit bonii that increase by one in roughly 250m increments, up to a total of +5, +3, and +5, respectively. Lethal when combined with long-range weaponry. Some of the rare experimental FCS's are combined with cockpits, like the superb ones from Touhou Industries. While the Improved and Advanced FCS types have only zooming to-hit bonii, they also improve Called Shot odds, which is extremely valuable for headshots and legging. The Clan Advanced FCS is my current favorite.
In short, there are a lot of FCS to choose from. Pick ones that specifically enhance your chosen builds.
Cockpits[edit | edit source]
Another topic that was touched on earlier. Like most other component types in RT, there are many models to choose from. Perhaps the most all round useful example is the activateable Clan Enhanced Imaging (EI-C) module, that provides +1 to-hit, -1 recoil, and other bonii, that'll cost $870,000. Put one on all of your ranged mechs. The Clan Virtual Reality (VR) Pod is a rather rare item that provides a +2 evasion bonus, and other perks. The DNI Cockpit is purely for melee builds, giving a +1 to-hit in melee, along with other melee buffs, and which can be combined with Clan VR Pod just mentioned. There are also the RT-tweaked vanilla cockpits that aid in resisting injury, and which are all fairly useless, but cheap.
Sensors[edit | edit source]
Deciding which sensor module to install in the head of your mech can be a bit confusing due to the many choices provided in RT. For non-melee direct-fire mechs, an easy choice is the not uncommon Lostech Tracker Sensor, which provides a ranged +1 to-hit, and other sensory and EW bonii--but which costs a hefty $1,150,000. For Sniper builds, Clan Recon Sensors provide up to +2 to hit at ranges >500m, and stack with FCS, TTS, etc. These are two of my current favorites. These and many other types of sensors also provide stacking ECM and/or ECCM bonii to boost your EW mojo.
Electronic Warfare[edit | edit source]
ECM & ECCM[edit | edit source]
Covers the various sensor-enhancing (for you = ECCM) and sensor-degrading (against them = ECM) electronics, as well as stealth armors. To further complicate things, quite a few Sensors and Cockpits come with intrinsic ECM and/or ECCM (also sometimes referred to as ‘EWS’: Electronic Warfare System) capabilities. The rules and values around EW are still in flux and can be a bit confusing; and will probably become more so as the mod adapts to the newly released Urban Warfare DLC and 1.6 patch. Components of this type usually don't have to be placed in the head.
Essentially, the degree to which your lance's cumulative sensor and ECCM strength exceeds cumulative enemy ECM strength will determine how well your visual sight and sensors penetrate the fog of war to determine enemy mech and vehicle precise model numbers—and thus their precise weapons loadouts. If you’ve been keeping notes. Additional info can be provided on tonnage, and weaponry; as well as to the degree your attacks have destabilized enemy units beyond visual range. Inversely, if you equip no EW gear; but your enemy does, your to-hit modifiers will degrade, his to-hit modifiers will improve, and his stealthed units will be invisible unless within visual range. Not good. But the same goes for you: if you're fully kitted out, but the enemy has no EW gear, you'll see everything about his assets while being able to use ambush strikes from the shadows to rip him apart.
Accordingly, I’ve found it prudent to equip my Scout/Strikers with strong sensors—usually one with an AR-12 or better; and several of my other mechs with medium grade ECCM or ECM. As with everything, Clan models are best. In the mech bay, you'll be alerted if you try to install redundant or incompatible EW gear. Try to create a Sensors/Cockpit/ECM--or ECCM--package that either specializes in either seeing or in not being seen. Equipping stealth armor to the latter, not the former, is the best way to go if you wish to maximize a stealthy build. If you beat up enough Clanners, you'll soon get some Watchdog (C) ECCM units, that provide +1 evasion and many other bonii, and will help make your Spotter/Strikers into scouting gods.
Stealth Armors[edit | edit source]
These require ECM or another advanced EW package like the Watchdog (C) to install. They cloak the equipped mech to various degrees, depending upon the armor and on how beefy total enemy sensor strength is. They also provide defensive to-hit bonuses that increase with range to target; but which decay the more you move, making them at times challenging to use properly. Some stealth armors are better at degrading enemy sight; while others degrade enemy sensor detection. However, they all generate heat, increase base weapons heat, and all but one take up valuable component slots. I now usually stealth only my primary Scout/Striker. Stealth rules just got reworked, so I have had to change that assessment and now cloak at least half of my lance. As with everything RogueTech, you need to experiment with stealth and EW to form your own opinions.
Update 05/26/2019: Stealthed Missile-Boat and Sniper builds have been made super sexy, in that with stealth armor they can fire from cover and be more or less invisible in terms of enemy counter-fire. Just be sure to fit the right kind. NSS-Null Signature System--is great armor for indirect fire LURM's and direct-fire Snipers because it gives a -70% reduction to enemy sensor strength (but only a -15% reduction in visual range).
Engines[edit | edit source]
Engine cores come in all sizes. They determine how fast—or slow—your mech will walk or sprint, and how many jump jets it can mount. Larger engines allow you to install additional Coolant Modules, that buff your engine’s intrinsic heat management ability. For example, a +3 Coolant add-on with a Double Heat Sink Kit mounted would clear an additional -18 heat per turn.
XL/XXL[edit | edit source]
If you really need to free up tonnage, pretty much essential are the XL and XXL engine mods, which reduce engine weight by 50% and 66%, respectively; but take up 3 or 6 slots in each side torso, respectively. Clanner XL/XXL equivalents take up 2 or 4 slots per side. Refitting a mech with an XL or XXL engine is also pretty pricey. Especially for Clan versions, which are enormously expensive. But the weight reduction can be invaluable, even with the increased danger of losing the mech if you lose the side. Yes, completely lose a side torso of an XL or XXL-equipped mech, and it dies. But that goes for the enemy, too, and is one of the easiest ways to take out dangerous foes, especially Clanners, who are very, very fond of modded engines. Remember which enemy mech variants come standard with XL/XXL, and it will make your fights much, much easier. As your campaign progresses, nothing is sweeter than looting the relatively rare Clan XXL engine from a destroyed enemy mech *gets misty-eyed*. There are more experimental engine mod types found in elite NAOP mechs. But they are literally the most expensive components in the game, and will push your mission difficulty into the stratosphere. As such, they're not recommended until the very late game.
As one of the RT loading bars says: don’t be afraid to experiment with different engine sizes. A 75 ton punchbot, for example, might do really well with a 360-unit XXL engine with +4 Coolant addon. While a 75 ton missile boat could do just fine with a 225-unit XL that only supports 3 ‘jets. You can also use components like the Supercharger to compensate for a down-engined build with a fat ass when you've the need for speed. More on activateables like Superchargers later.
Heat Management[edit | edit source]
There are roughly four tiers of increasingly better--and more expensive--heat management systems to play around with in RT. Heat sinks have to be matched with their corresponding Heat Sink Kit to work. You start with the basic Inner Sphere tech, that also includes basic Exchangers--that reduce weapons fire heat by a small percentage, and Heat Banks--that increase your maximum heat levels. Next up the ladder comes Lostech Double Heat Sinks and Double Heat Sink Kits. Then comes Clan Double Heat Sinks and Clan Heat Sink Kits, and the superb Clan Exchanger and Clan Heat Bank. Finally, there's the experimental Prototype Heat Sink Kit and matching heat sinks. There are also a few very rare "quirk" models, like Clan Laser Heat Sinks.
Certain armor types--like all stealth models--will increase heat levels; while a few rare others--will decrease it.
Match Heat Sinks with Heat Sink Kits[edit | edit source]
This point bears repeating. The default heat sink kits on all mechs are SHS--Single Heat Sinks. To these mechs you can add Single Heat Sinks, and only SHS's.
If you wish to use Double Heat Sinks, Clan Double Heat Sinks, Prototype Heat Sinks--or any other type of heat sinks--you must first install a heat sink kit of the type you wish to use; then you can install as many sinks of the matching type as you wish. The carpet must always match the drapes. You also may not mix and match heat sink types. Only heat sinks of the type that match the installed heat sink kit are allowed out of the mechbay and into combat.
Engine Coolant Extras[edit | edit source]
Certain larger sized engines--anything larger than 275 units--will allow you to install extra internal heat sinks in the form of Engine Coolant Modules. These come in sizes from +1, all the way to +5, and while they will cost you tonnage, will take up no extra slots. There are also several different types of Emergency Coolant Modules, that provide situational engine cooling. I've got an irrational suspicion of them, have never used any, and so have no opinion on their usefulness.
How Hot Should I Run My Mechs?[edit | edit source]
There's a lot of debate on the Discord forum on how hot to make your different mech builds. Whether to make them easily overheated by weapons fire, jumping, etc. Or to instead craft "heat neutral" builds that never overheat. Because I like to dance to the "RogueTech Two Step," and thus need to rest my mechs every few turns to shed instability, it also makes sense to have frontliner Spotter/Striker builds that run moderately hot and can also shed heat while they rest. A fascinating concept I saw on the Discord in June was an Assault Sniper loaded up with lots and lots of Clan ER Large Lasers; but minimal heat management. It was designed to completely red-line within two turns of Alpha-strikes. Meant as a Superheavy-killer, the ER Lasers were for two massive Alpha Strikes that were to deliver pinpoint damage to the legs. "Pinpoint," because ER Large Pulse Lasers will only have one of their three shots hit the Called body location. While a non-pulse laser will either hit or miss the Called location. Crisp one leg. Then the second. And a virtually undamaged Superheavy is yours. Very clever concept.
A Need for Speed[edit | edit source]
Movement Accelerators[edit | edit source]
Punchbots, Flamebots, and CQB--Close Quarter Battle--Specialists all need to close their distance to target quickly when exposing themselves to enemy fire. Under-engined support mechs sometimes need a speed boost to escape inbound enemies, or keep up with their faster lancemates. As mentioned earlier, RT adds a series of speed-boosting components that each add +50% to walking and sprinting distance. Some also add a +50% melee combat damage bonus, or a boost to jumping distance. But all of them have failure risks and/or require activation. The Supercharger is arguably the most useful of these, providing +50% walk/sprint speed, while only taking up a single ton and a single slot. But even with an elite pilot, it's failure rates rise to critical levels after only a few turns, and thus needs to be used sparingly and in short spurts. The Pirate Engine mod is a sort of hybrid product, in that it lowers engine weight by 15% and requires six torso slots. But it provides +40% to walking/sprinting and jumping. It also generates heat and has a not excessively punitive catastrophic failure rate--for elite pilots. TSM--Triple Strength Myomer--provides various bonii, takes up 6 slots; but activates only when mech heat is >40, deactivating when it drops<30. TSM can be activated on hot-running Punchbots by choosing the "shoot at ground" option with energy weaponry a turn or two prior to entering melee range. MASC and Clan MASC both provide bonii upon activation, but are fairly heavy and bulky, in addition to having fairly high failure rates. There are also a few super-rare elite variants found usually as stuck "quirk" components on the high-end killer mechs designed by Darth Alekto and others.
Of the speed enhancers, imo, the Supercharger is most useful; with Clan MASC and the Pirate Engine tying for a more distant second place. The TSM variants come in third. A dedicated Punchbot should probably use two speed enhancers--along with a beefy XXL-engine. Or just the big engine and one enhancer. While a hybrid puncher can possibly get away with just one. Crafting Punchbot builds that effectively utilize these enhancers is an advanced topic beyond the scope of this article, especially with TSM's--which I've always had trouble getting to work properly. They're mentioned here only in an introductory capacity.
Jump Jets and Partial Wings[edit | edit source]
As mentioned earlier, RT features an Improved Jump Jet in Small, Heavy and Assault sizes. Each weighs +50%, and grants a +15% jumping bonus. The smalls are quite common, with larger models being comparatively rare. Very rare Directional Jump Jets also exists, specifically designed to assist with DFA--Death From Above--builds. But since DFA to-hit odds are pretty low, these are of little use. Partial Wings also exist for many mech weight ranges. Installed on the center torso, they increase jump distance by +30%, and also assist with venting heat. Unfortunately, their weight-to-benefit ratio pretty much sucks, imo, and they're only useful if Improved 'Jets are in short supply.
I personally find that only the Improved jets are useful out of this bunch, and equip them whenever they turn up. Whenever you see the larger sizes of these, strongly consider spending salvage picks on them. Maxxing out a faction rep with the Loot Magnet RT sub-mod can really help with sourcing rare goodies. More on that later.
There are also a few "LAM"--Land Air Module--mechs in the RT lineup, with special innards that assist with long-range jumping. Of these, the Phoenix PXH (55 ton Semi-Elite) with its' Fire Fists really stands out. With a few tweaks it can be a very powerful early- to mid-game Medium melee mech.
Again, I consider 'Jets to be an absolute necessity in RT. Especially given the predominance of battle maps with mountainous terrain, the frequency of huge fast-spreading forest fires (that burn even on arctic terrain or on rocks), the increasing prevalence of missile- and artillery-delivered land mines, and the fact that usually no more than 20-25% of enemy mechs equip 'Jets. Having a 100% Jetted lance means that if an enemy mech with jets rushes you on a mountainous map to spot for his pals, you can pull your whole lance back out of range of his buddies to focus exclusively on him. Problem solved, you can resume your advance.
Maxxing and Harnessing Initiative[edit | edit source]
Above each of your mechs in the battle HUD you'll see it's respective initiative score; with higher numbers getting their turns earlier. On well-scouted enemies you'll see the same, and know when they'll be able to move and hit your people. Use this information to your advantage. For example, if an enemy Punchbot is in striking range of one of your mechs, and two of your mechs will get their turns before that enemy moves; don't hesitate to use them to kill, or leg-shoot--or just pull out of extended walking range--of said Punchbot. Similarly, only put short-acting spotting enhancers like TAG that provide a +1 to-hit bonus to your other mechs on your two highest initiative mechs. And as the RT loading says, make sure your Punchbot is your initiative leader. If it moves first, it can either fatally stomp a crawler--saving its lancemates from wasting fire on it; or knock down a mech, so that your other mechs can inflict the killing blow.
As stated in the beginning of this guide, in the early game it can really pay for your mech with the best to-hit bonii to have primo initiative, so it can fire first and destabilize the crap out of the target so its clumsier lancemates can shoot a debuffed target.
You can also choose to delay a mech's turn by selecting "Reserve" when it's turn comes up. But this can be risky if it allows dangerous enemies to move up their initiative rating to attack your people earlier.
There's a fair number of RT goodies, many of them already mentioned, like the Clan Virtual Reality Module, and many cockpits that increase initiative. When these components primarily increase to-hit, evasion and other combat bonii; then use 'em says I. But if using an initiative enhancer is at the expense of these other bonii; it's usefulness drops. Please test the concept yourself and post your conclusions.
Arms and Legs[edit | edit source]
RT mechs come with different limb parts. At present, the lower limbs will always have three parts, and the upper limbs three parts or less. Several of these segments can be modified--actually, overwritten--with different actuators to increase various combat bonii, resist damage, lower recoil, vent heat, or assist in other ways. When limb parts are destroyed in combat, movement and combat abilities will drop considerably.
The Arms Have It[edit | edit source]
For arms the Coventry X75 actuator for the lower arm of non-Clan mechs (only) is my current favorite, as it provides a sweet +3 to-hit bonus to ranged weaponry. But it takes up an extra slot per arm, and about a ton of extra weight. Ouch! It also decreases melee to-hit by the same amount; so use it with extreme caution on frontline units, and not at all on melee mechs. It’s definitely worth it on Snipers and Striker/Snipers. But on any other build? You be the judge. The relatively rare Friedhof Recoil Compensator replaces the shoulder & upper arm, proving +1 to-hit and -1 recoil, and is essential on most hardcore ballistic weapons builds. But good luck finding enough of these for your needs.
For melee builds, always add pirate Spiked Boots to each leg, which add +1 melee to-hit per boot, and cost next to nothing compared to the much pricier Talons. Claws and many types of lootable swords and hatchets replace the hand, and provide more to-hit oomph and damage to your cumulative melee total. Support-type weapons like Fire Fists and the Plasma Lance can be installed on suitable arm hardpoints along with with Claws, blades, etc., and fire during melee attacks.
A Peg or a Leg?[edit | edit source]
Just trashing a few leg components--or shooting out an entire leg--will not help you from being flanked or rear-ended by an enemy mech if in close proximity. The AI loves rear shots--even if it puts its own rear at risk--and will do so at almost every opportunity; even if missing a leg. If you're used to previous 'Mech games like the Mechwarrior series, or Mechcommander, one-legged mechs in RT move uncommonly fast. Perhaps this will be addressed in a future patch; but until then, be careful of being rear-ended by one-legged mechs during knife fights.
Keep in mind that not all mechs actually have lower-arms, and thus cannot mount the Coventry X75 or any other lower arm actuator. Many but not all Clan mechs come with their own omnimech lower arm actuators, that provide +1 for ranged, but can’t be upgraded with models like the X75. Which can make them unsuitable for killer Punchbot or Sniper builds. Correction: Colo's Clan mechs can use the shoulder recoil actuator, that also provides +1 to-hit; combined with Omnimech lower arm actuators providing another +1 to-hit. However, PPC and ballistic weapons are excluded from mech arms so equipped, even Light PPC's and AC2's; which means laser and missile builds only. To determine which RT Clan mechs are Colo's you'll need to investigate the RT sub-mod of that name.
Until or unless arm and shoulder actuators get nerfed in a subsequent patch, the current rules make mechs with complete, equippable arms the best build options. A very high proportion of Lights and Mediums have complete arms; but often lack the tonnage to make adding that two or three ton TTS--targeting computer that gives +2 to-hit--truly practical. Whereas relatively fewer Assaults and Heavies have arms lower arms; but have the tonnage to comfortably mount a TTS. It's a trade-off of that provides all-important balance to the mod. If arm/shoulder actuators ever do get a downwards nerfing, be prepared to equip your lighter assets with TTS's--or make securing heavier chassis a priority. Since non-Clan TTS's are extremely rare in RT, this will in effect force you to accelerate your plans to visit Clan territory.
Activateables[edit | edit source]
Many of the juiciest RT goodies like Superchargers and Clan EI Piloting Modules need to be activated to provide their special bonii. But with virtually all of these, there are catastrophic failure risks on both activation and on every following turn they remain activated. Just recently, for example, I forgot to turn off the Clan EI cockpit mod (which provides +1 ranged to-hit) on a mech; which shorted out life support—taking out both pilot and mech. Double ouch! Fortunately, these failure rates are adjusted downwards, usually by the mechwarrior Piloting skill. A level 10 pilot can face no risk for at least twelve turns with the EI(C) Module. But rookie pilots face much more dangerous odds. Superchargers are exceptionally risky. Just don’t forget to turn off such goodies during lulls in the fighting or when they’re not needed. Or when the failure risk is just too damned high.
Because the game UI doesn’t (yet) formally support activateables, use Ctrl + click on the “walk” icon before moving or shooting to turn them on/off. You’ll get a pop-up window with a toggle switch that also shows which equipped components are active along with their current failure percentages. If you've got multiple activateables on your mechs, get into the habit of checking their failure chances each and every turn if you don't want any dead pilots or other mission-borking surprises.
There's a stickied Excel printout on the RT wiki showing per-turn failure rate odds for all activateables based on piloting skill. Check it out.
Ammo Swapping: in battle want to switch your AC5 ammo from Armor Piercing to Precision? Or your SRM’s from Artemis IV to Acid? Ctrl + click the rounds remaining number in the battle HUD.
Ammo Swapping[edit | edit source]
During battle, swapping an ammo type for a specific weapon can be crucial. Having trouble actually hitting the target with your AC5? Swap in AC5 Precision ammo. Once you've scraped off its armor, swap in AP--armor-piercing--ammo for it's +50% structural damage bonus. Just Ctrl + click on rounds remaining in the battle HUD to get the pop-up for ammo types for that weapon. There are a lot of custom ammo types in RT. Don't be afraid to swap ammo types mid-battle when appropriate tactical situations arise. And always be on the lookout to acquire the relatively rare double-sized ammo varieties that contain 25% more rounds than two singles. In fact, almost every single non-vanilla ammo variety can be hard to come by in the earlier parts of the campaign, so buy 'em wherever and whenever you can. Plan ahead.
Are Your Mech Builds Optimum?[edit | edit source]
If you’re wondering if any particular build is as good as it can be, check out the Mechbay section of the RogueTech Discord. Post a screenshot of your build, and one or more veteran RogueTech mechwarriors will give you helpful feedback. Or just go to check out the builds other players post and what the community has to say about them. It’s pretty impressive what players can come up with, and a great place to both learn and present new ideas.
Pre-Requisites for High-End Bling[edit | edit source]
XL(C) and XXL(C) engines; and Composite Structure (-50% structure, -50% structure weight, no slots taken)--these are pretty much essential as weight reducers to fully enable any truly legendary custom build. Just don't lose too much armor during a fight--especially on your torso--or you're screwed. But remember that custom engines and composite structure will give you lots of free tonnage to add more weapons and other kit, making your build worth more money. Usually a LOT more money. Don't forget that every $3,500,000 of added value to your four priciest mechs increases global mission difficulty by 0.5 skulls. This is a good reason to wait until you've got a stable of mostly Assaults before you make the move into using really expensive weapons and components. Just sayin'. Personally, I can never resist a certain amount of RogueTech bling. But is a lance that you've built up to be roughly twice as lethal, worth facing an OPFOR that's doubly or triply--or even quintuply--dangerous? That's for you to decide.
The Prototype Heat Sink Kit with a few Prototype Heat Sinks; along with the superb Clan Exchanger and Clan Heat Bank--these are your standard components for high-end heat management. Consider using these components with CASE or CASE2; or Clan armors with inbuilt CASE, as they explode like ammo when hit.
Being the Best at Everything Will Cost You[edit | edit source]
Do you want mechs that are fast, well-armored, AND armed to the teeth? If so, it's gonna cost you. Because it's only possible if you go with higher-level bling. We've touched on the topic of how all the high-quality but high-cost weapons and components you add to your mech will up it's cost--and create substantial increases in global mission difficulty. But it bears repeating. With the exception of RogueTech Elites, most mechs have to compromise when working with speed, armor and power. But the further up-market you go with internal components and weaponry, the easier it becomes to have it all. From painful experience, going fully up-market when you're fielding Mediums or even Heavies will make the game sometimes insanely difficult. But not impossible. We'll cover in a later section how to upgrade your mechs on the cheap before you reach the late game. Once you've got a stable full of superb Assault chassis that if fully upgraded can handle anything the mod can throw at them, then go all out.
Pick the Right Chassis[edit | edit source]
To really maximize to-hit numbers for a ranged direct-fire build you'll need: Friedhof Shoulder Actuator (+1); X75 LowerArm Actuator (+3); TTS (+2); FCS (+1 to +5); Sensors (+1 to +2); EI(C) (+1). All of which can provide anywhere from +9 to +13 cumulative to-hit. These two arm enhancements alone provide a +4 to-hit and -2 recoil. The take away from this is that mechs with complete arms holding plenty of hardpoints make the best ranged weapons platforms.
Build Around Your Chosen TTS[edit | edit source]
Having said all that, several key build principles flow from a single very specific component type. This is the TTS, or targeting computer, which provides a + 2 to-hit bonus that stacks to either energy weapons (the Energy TTS), ballistic weapons (Ballistic TTS), or to all ranged weapons (the Clan TTS). As far as I can tell, there's no longer a Missile TTS in RT; or if there is I've not seen one since 2018. To add to difficulty to your life, both the Ballistic and Energy TTS's are both pretty rare. Clan TTS's are easier to come by when doing high difficulty missions against Clan factions, as they seem to show more often on Clan Heavies and Assaults. But sometimes also in Clan crawlers. Whatever. Just go pound on the Clanners long enough and you'll get what you need.
Thus, it follows to concentrate your build around which TTS you intend to use. The Clan TTS is obviously the most versatile; but weighs a ton more and requires a Clan FCS, which are inferior to certain other FCS’s in raw to-hit potential--like the Pirate FCS (+3). But because they have both a called shot modifier and a zoom function are great for precision firing at long range, making them ideal for Sniper and Striker-Sniper builds. A rare addition to this formula is the experimental RISC Laser Pulse Module, which provides a +2 to-hit to lasers (only) and can be stacked with FCS’s & TTS’s—but at a prohibitively hefty cost in space and heat. There are also a few other special "quirk" targeting components on certain RT Elite 'Mechs that can also enhance or replace TTS's. Should you be fortunate enough to capture one.
An LRM boat built around a Clan ArtemisIV FCS (+1) and Clan TTS (+2), with Tracker Sensors (+1) and ArtemisIV LRM ammo (+3), has roughly a base +7 to-hit in direct- or indirect-fire modes. Impressive. Assign a 10-star pilot, and that mech becomes extremely lethal. If that mech has lower arms, another +1 to +3 to-hit bonus is possible, depending on actuators used. Another +1 can also be had from the rare shoulder actuator, that also provides a -1 recoil bonus; for a cumulative to-hit total of +11. If we added a Pulse Laser or two to the arms of this particular build, these could get a max +9 to-hit bonus. A dedicated pulse laser build could go even higher.
Build Around a Weapon Type[edit | edit source]
For this reason, it usually makes a lot of sense to build mechs that specialize in a single weapon type. Unless it's a Clan build, if you want maxxed to-hit numbers, you'll need to specialize in either missiles, energy weapons, ballistic weapons or melee. I personally prefer energy weapons and Clan LRM’s, which both run hot; and for this reason tend to avoid the hotter planet types where heat management is a challenge--but where ballistic weaponry shines. But what if you're a hard-hitting (pun intended) Punchbot fan? Or just love ballistics? Then Martian biomes or the desert is the place for you, where the heat means a majority of AI builds will quickly overheat and begin to generate less fire headed your way. Which proportionally makes Punchbots, Toasters and ballistic builds that much more valuable on those biomes.
Ballistic or Energy Weapons?[edit | edit source]
When it comes to crafting direct-fire non-missile builds, is it best to go with ballistic or energy weaponry?
There's no easy answer to this question; which is a good reflection on the sophistication of the mod and how balanced it is. But in terms of raw damage output and destabilization effects, ballistics truly shine. And then there's their low heat outputs to consider; which we know is really a godsend on hotter planet biomes. The rare pirate LBX Ultra-Autocannons are a prime example, able to spit out unbelievable amounts of damage-per-turn. But when used in autofire mode they can--and will--jam. Especially when used by non-Elite pilots firing at maximum RPM with builds low on recoil compensation. And they all too soon run out of ammo. The now nerfed Railgun was the king of long-range weaponry, with a base damage of 450. The ultimate one-shot-kill weapon. Mount two on a 200 ton Superheavy mech, and an elite pilot could kill two targets per turn. But no longer. What then is now the ultimate ballistic one-shot (or burst) insta-killer? The Heavy Gauss Rifle? The RAC-20? Depending on range, supporting gear, and other factors there's no easy answer.
But are energy weapons the answer? They don't require ammo (usually). They tend to weigh less and require a lot less space than comparable ballistic models. But lots of weight and space must be invested in heatsinks and other RogueTech heat management goodies to prevent those expensive energy weapons from becoming just pieces of useless white-hot junk that will shut down or blow up your mech. Personally, the Clan ERPPC and Clan ER Heavy Pulse Laser both hold special places in my heart. But they're super pricey and run hot as hell. In the early- to mid-game, Clan Medium Pulse Lasers and the rarer Clan ER Medium Pulse Lasers aren't too expensive and are pretty much without equal; with Lostech X-Pulse versions following a close second. On cooler worlds these beam weapons make for some of the strongest early- to mid-game builds.
Many veteran Roguewarriors favor using ballistic and energy builds for specialized roles in the same lance. For example, use a multiple Ultra-Autocannon build to weaken and knock down your target; and then a Heavy Pulse Laser or ER Laser build to crisp its cockpit, or six its legs. Ultimately, this is an issue for you to decide after experimentation in the field. And how blessed you are by RNG-esus.
Missiles: LRM or MRM or SRM? RL or MML or iATM?[edit | edit source]
Missiles are another dilemma presented to you by Roguetech: do you go with Short, Medium , Heavy Medium, or Long-Range missile systems? Further complicating the issue is the many new ammo types and missile version-specific FCS's. I'm already committed to Clan ArtemisIV LRM systems--the "missionary position" of RT missile weaponry, as it were.
But there's even more for missile lovers. There are MML's--that can fire both LRM's and SRM's. There are Heavy MRM's. There are Streak-SRM's, and Clan Streak-LRM's. There are single-use RL's--Rocket Launchers. and there are Clanner ATM's and iATM's--Improved Tactical Missile Launchers. There are also many new types of missile ammo to choose from.
In short, the amount of choice for missile builds is now simply mind boggling. Fortunately, the mod is balanced enough that virtually any well put together missile system can really kick ass. Quite often, the limiting factor is availability of ammo. iATM HE ammo, for example, is quite rare. At least for me. For this reason, make sure to visit the store on each new planet you visit and stock up on any and all rare ammo types to make new builds viable as your campaign progresses.
MML's and MRM's are probably the weakest overall missile types, imo, and the hardest to fully optimize. My personal preference is to go with Clan LRM's or the rarer but harder-hitting Heavy MRM's. SRM's and Streak-SRM's are lackluster as per my earlier argument, given that 50% of enemies now equip AMS and will thus easily intercept small-sized missile barrages with ease. Apparently, SRM missile spam was previously an exploit. But now the opposite is true with so many enemy equipping AMS's. Now pretty much any low tube count missile system can be rendered impotent. Which is also a reminder of why you will definitely want AMS on all your mechs. With the possible exception of stealthed support mechs.
Mention needs to be made here of the Chaff RL5, one of my favorite pieces of kit; and one that I try to put on most Striker builds. It takes up a slot; but weighs only 0.25 ton. It fires two times, 'blinding' hit targets with -2 to-hit and sensor penalties for two turns. Just jumped your Striker/Spotter right into optimal range of Gausszilla?! Spray that monster with some chaff--and a NARC Haywire Beacon--and you might just survive your mistake.
How Much Ammo Is Enough?[edit | edit source]
This is another one of those unanswerable questions that really depends on your chosen play style, what sort of weapons you're carrying, and the OPFOR that the RNG selects for you. Obviously, the longer any engagement continues the higher the odds are that you're going to start running dry. Refraining from using ammo when to-hit chances in a given round are abnormally low is one partial solution. As is using lower RPM settings with your Ultra- and Radial-Autocannons when odds aren't good. Which is why it bears repeating that it really pays to put Superchargers on your mid- and short-range ballistic Striker mechs--so they move or sprint quickly to optimal weapons range.
As a general rule of thumb, for example, for an Ultra-5 I like to keep 25-30 rounds; and for a RAC-5 around 50 rounds. Double-sized ammo bins are especially useful for maximizing ammo storage, as they contain 25% more than two single bins do separately. For LRM's, I like to keep between twelve and fifteen reloads.
Using an Offensive Lance Composition will likely require more autocannon rounds--but fewer missile reloads. Because in-your-face engagement ranges tend to be fast, furious--and short. Regarding missile reloads, going with an offensive lance structure it's usually better to go with more tubes and less reloads. But with a defensive structure, the inverse is definitely more practical, as you'll be doing a lot of indirect missile sniping and less direct weapons fire. As with everything RT, ammo supply for each build is something you'll have to experiment with for yourself.
To Elite or Not to Elite??[edit | edit source]
Keep an eye out for the Elite mechs provided by Darth Alekto, MXMach, NAOP, and others. Many have “fixed” weapons and other components--called "quirks"--that for playbalancing reasons can usually not be replaced with other goodies. This essentially forces you to use these rare and deadly mechs in their original configurations. An example of this is the Hellbat D-LA, a pirate 75 ton Melee/Striker that comes primarily armed with the rare and lethal Ultra-LBX20, which has the autofire capability of the Ultra wedded to the accuracy of the LBX. An extraordinarily fine weapon indeed. But if you ever want to experiment with any other primary weaponry options, you’re SOL. Which is not to say that in their intended forms these killer mechs do not truly shine. Maybe future versions of the mod will "unstick" more of their extra-special innards.
Other Elite chassis are much more flexible, like the Echidnae, a 55 ton Griffin variant that come with a special cockpit that gives all its lancemates +1 to-hit, as well as resolve and initiative bonii. It has no other "stuck" components, and tons of configurable hardpoints, making it a supremely useful chassis in the early- to mid-game. In fact, a goodly share of the Elites in the RogueElites sub-mod are highly configurable, to be built up almost any way you see fit. You'll just need to experiment to see which ones work best for you. Again, mechs that can mount both lower-arm and shoulder actuators combined with mucho arm hardpoints make the best firing platforms.
Generally speaking, you will probably find your later game high-end builds constructed with Clanner and Experimental innards and weaponry; using a fairly limited selection of Elite and non-Clan chassis. Try crafting a few truly magnificent component-chassis combinations. Assuming you like high-end builds--and high-end enemies.
Once you've created a piece of art, consider showing it off with a screenshot in the RT Discord Mech-Bay. But again, beware the perils of going up-market: if you selected the difficulty-by-lance option on install, a lance of mech masterpieces will massively increase OPFOR strength. RT mission difficulty as stated earlier can rise as high as 15-skulls (hidden)!! You have been warned.
Pace Your Move Upmarket[edit | edit source]
A starting randomized lance of mostly Mediums will initially be drawing missions in the one- to two-skull difficulty range. But swap out their existing weaponry for Clan versions; then put in some fancy cockpits, fire control systems, sensors, and XL engines--and the value added to that same identical lance could start drawing down four- to five-skull missions--a huge jump in difficulty. Unless you've got really hot-shot pilots and have really gotten your RT mojo on, you may find yourself in a little too deep, difficulty-wise. This section is to offer some tips on how to really spiff up the combat effectiveness of your lance on the cheap, and slow your rise up the global difficulty ladder.
Probably the cheapest boost to your raw to-hit numbers in the early game comes from lower arm actuators, like the X75 Actuator (+3 to-hit, -1 recoil)--which cost $200,000 a piece, and are surprisingly common in salvage. For defensive evasion bonii for your front-liners, the Friedhof Sparrow gyro can provide up to +2 for $900,000. Need to save some weight? Endosteel Structure costs $500,000, taking up 14 slots; but reducing structure weight by 50%. For your Sniper builds, upping to-hit bonii can come cheaply from FCS's and Sensors that use zoom technology, and can provide up to +4 cumulative to-hit bonii at ranges of 500-600m. A decent early-game sensor-FCS sniper combo will cost about a million-and-a-quarter; roughly the same as a TTS that only provides a +2 bonus, but takes up 2-3 tons and two extra slots.
If we swapped in some better weapons, then added all of the goodies just mentioned to a Sniper build, the total comes to just under $3,500,000.--adding 0.5 skull of global difficulty in return for a single mech with +7 to-hit (at long range), and +2 evasion. Is it worth it? If it's an early-game 55 ton Striker build, I'd say yes.
Another example would be if we just swapped in four pairs of X75 lower arm actuators for your entire A-team; and put a Friedhof Sparrow gyro on two frontliners. The total would also be around $3,500,000--adding a half-skull of mission difficulty for mild spiffing to the entire lance. Would that be worth it? Again, I'd say so. But you might determine otherwise.
Both Bigger Mechs and Components Scale[edit | edit source]
Another approach to moving up the difficulty ladder--especially in the early game--is to forego expensive bling in favor of heavier chassis. A 55 ton Medium compared to a 45 ton Medium, for example, is roughly $1,500,000--or 40%--more expensive. But it has proportionally greater armor, structure and weapons strength. Add the goodies listed in the paragraph above to the 55 tonner, and the bonii would scale to produce roughly an additional 40% combat effectiveness. Ultimately, the same goodies package on a 100 ton Assault would still cost just under $3.5 million; but create even more scaling advantages.
Generally speaking, it pays to forego lighter mechs in favor of heavier ones because of the scaling factor. Why pimp out a 35 ton Light, when the same amount of money--and global difficulty--will produce twice as much fighting strength on a 55 tonner? Lights and lighter Mediums are much more vulnerable to sudden death because of their lighter armor and structure. One hit from an Autocannon10, for example, could cripple or kill a Light; but might only scratch the paint on a 55 ton Medium.
Punching Above Your Weight[edit | edit source]
The best way to obtain larger mechs is often "punching above your weight," as the RT loading bar says. If you've got the components all saved up for a new build; or just directly want to upgrade to a bigger chassis or two, go for some lighter-weighted higher-skull missions like "Defend the Base." You can also up your mission difficulty variance and/or mission OPFOR difficulty; then travel to another system for the changes to take effect. When you arrive, take a rough mission or three with maxxed salvage to bag a big new chassis or two. Once you've had your fill, reset difficulty a bit lower and jump to another system.
Regarding Assault mechs, in my previous RT campaigns my first Assault was always added to a lance of Heavies (or sometimes a mix of Heavies and Mediums), and it was always as a support mech. Either a LURM or a Sniper. This was because Assaults invariably have fat asses--and tend to move slower than Heavies. Based on what sort of kit was lying around It always made sense to have them waddle along in the rear doing fire support.
Delayed Gratification[edit | edit source]
There's also a good argument to be made for training up your pilots before seriously upgrading your mechs, or even adding larger sized mechs. Unlike added mech bling or lance tonnage, upgraded pilots do not add to mission difficulty. Depending on the difficulty settings you choose, spending your first 200-300 days amassing money, kit, and chassis; upgrading the Argo; and training your pilots up to elites--can be a very prudent strategy. Once you've passed these milestones, then consider spending a mountain of cash to bring a few new bigger--and moderately pimped out--mechs into your stable.
Personally, I find that replacing any Lights or 40-45 ton Mediums is a priority on campaign start. A lance of solid Fifty and fifty-five tonners can take you well into the middle game.
To Assault or Just Stay Heavy[edit | edit source]
Graduating from relatively nimble 75 tonner Heavies to 95 ton or bigger lard-arsed Assaults can be uncomfortable. An easy transition can be to first upgrade Support-Snipers and Support-LURM's--which can do wonders with a roomier 95-100 ton chassis. For this reason, my Spotter/Strikers are the last to make the move Assault-wards. Same goes when you get your first Superheavy operational, which can prove irresistible to not kit out as a Sniper with Railguns or Rotary Gauss Cannons, or somesuch.
Optimizing Headshots[edit | edit source]
Headshots and dual leg-shots are both potentially primo methods for both quickly clearing the field and maximizing salvage. Assuming you can actually land them. The critical downside of head-shotting is that you'll strike out. The major downside of legging is that it usually takes two entire turns; and may still result in a crisped center torso. Pilots with the Assassin trait, and that specialize in the Warlord perk are your headshot hot-shots, who will maximize your base pilot odds for any Called Shots.
Regarding headshots, the single scaling constant is the 45 armor and 16 structure points that stand between you and a disabled enemy pilot. This is equally true for a 25 ton Light; as for a 100 ton Assault. Which is why headshotting heavier mech classes can be such a valuable tactic once you've got pilots and mechs fully optimized for the task. It also depends on having a weapon--or group of weapons--that can deliver 61 points of damage, adjusted for range, cover, etc. to the head. This dynamic was once true for Superheavies as well, and was virtually an exploit for zapping them. But like all imbalances in RT, it is no more, and Superheavies have fully reclaimed their place as RT's apex predators. But for all other classes, once you have maxxed to-hit builds with 10-star pilots, and FCS's like the FCS Adv TC (Clan)--that provides a 30% Called Shot bonus--you can maximize your odds.
RT weapons that can deliver >61 points of un-reduced damage with a single hit make up a pretty small list. They include Clan ERPPC's, Heavy PPC's, Clan Heavy Lasers, Autocannon20's, Gauss Rifles, and a few others. You can also rely on multiple hits from smaller weapons; which produces a much larger list--but which also requires more hits on the Called location.
Question: would an Assault mech with 4 Clan ERPPC's, or one with 4 Clan ER Large Pulse Lasers have better odds of a successful headshot? Assuming the attack was made from optimum range for each weapon type in an otherwise identical build, the award appears to be roughly equal, as the C-ERPPC build only needs one hit of four to do the job; while the laser build would need three of twelve hits to do the same.
What's the Best Lance Structure?[edit | edit source]
Trick question. There is no best lance composition, because so much depends on enemy force composition, the planetary biome(s) you'll be fighting in; and most importantly, what types of functional mechs and pilots you've got and the gear available to outfit them. Your starting lance is probably the single most important determinant of your lance composition from the early game possibly into the mid-game; while you're scrambling to amass salvage to kit your starting mechs out properly. All while keeping your pilots alive, and staying in the black. As you slowly start accumulating enough mech parts to assemble a new Medium--or Heavy if you're lucky--sometimes it just comes down to luck what sort of build will be most practical to create based on the salvage opportunities RNG-esus throws your way. That random number generator function can be all powerful.
Having said it all that, it seems that lance compositions can be roughly broken down into two general categories.:
Offensive Lance[edit | edit source]
Got a Punchbot? A short-range Striker/Brawler? A flamer-armed Toaster? These builds need to get up close and personal to do their thing. Which means that jump-jetting your stealth mechs into cover atop that mesa, whittling the enemy down with indirect LRM fire will not mesh well with one or more in-your-facers as an integrated strategy. Because if your point mech needs to get in close, it'll need support. At least one other Striker/Spotter to help it divide enemy fire. And to support it if--when--things get dicey. The rest of your lance can't just hang back; they need to advance along with your melee and/or short-range (or even medium-range) frontliners. This might mean 2 up, two back. Or even 3 up and 1 back. Or hell, even all 4 up front.
Your "defense" with an offensive lance structure is in offense: how quickly you can destroy an enemy target with melee and/or direct-fire weaponry, and then move forward to the next. Assuming the enemy comes along in bite sized chunks, you'll win. Easy. But if RNG-esus sends two lances of mostly Assaults to take on your lance of Heavies on one of the flatter maps, things can turn to shit real quick. Offensive formation mechs also tend to receive more fire. Which means more repair bay time and money.
When assaulting bases, if you've got a Punchbot; it'll need to go after defenders while your shooters take out the turrets. Which can get messy. Whereas a defensive lance can often hang back and pick off turrets and defenders from range. Or rush up, take out artillery and LRM turrets; then fall back to start picking off garrison units. My experience is that playing Offensive is both quicker and a lot more fun; but also harder to do well. For me anyway, playing Offensive results in considerably more FUBARS.
Defensive Lance[edit | edit source]
This is where two or even three support mechs do most of the heavy hitting from long range and/or with indirect fire. One, or "one-and-a-half" (meaning a hybrid Support-Striker/Spotter), or two Strikers/Spotters can do the spotting, and jump in and out of cover to use direct fire to finish off wounded targets. Assuming your mechs are reasonably well kitted out with ECM/ECCM and some stealth along with jump-jets, you can safely "camp" your people atop mountains, behind ridge lines, etc. And slowly pick off enemies. Until none remain. This usually means that battles with a defensive lance composition tend to last much longer--but usually result in much less battle damage. Which means your victorious lance can be back in the field much quicker, earning money. A defensive lance is sometimes the safest way to deal with a scenario of two enemy lances of Assaults with a few Superheavies in the AO--when you're just fielding Heavies. Sometimes it works reasonably well. At least until the missiles run out...Or if the enemy is packing ArrowIV's *sigh*.
As one of the Rt loading screens says, relying on only a single Spotter; i.e. 1 up, 3 back...usually doesn't work so well. Having one other at least hybrid frontliner to divide enemy fire, and/or provide backup if the primary gets too knocked around is pretty much essential.
Update: with v.999P10HF2 Superheavy mechs (150 and 200 tonners) have been toughened up regarding headshots, making it much harder to blow out their brains. You're now essentially forced to just go for their legs. It's now best to use mostly Assaults to go after these brutes. Even then, expect losses.
In my current mid-game campaign I just got lucky and took out two Lady Killers (90 ton Elite Assault). I salvaged enough parts to assemble and more or less fully restore one. Which I added to my existing A-team lance of two Striker/Spotters (both Grasshopper 70 tonners); a LURM-Striker (Basilisk 75 ton Elite); and a 75 ton LURM. But which of my existing mechs to bench? It was the Missile Boat, because with the arrival of her Ladyship the lance had clearly flipped from defensive to offensive in nature. I kept the Basilisk for indirect-fire sniping and general support. Now my primary lance is 3 up 1 back. But Lady Killer has to get to within 250m to really do her thing. Which puts the two Grasshoppers in the role of a fire brigade. And Lady Killer is indeed one deadly bitch; but she tends to take a lot of fire, and that Hyper-Diamond Plate Armor is expensive and time-consuming to fix. I haven't gotten any new Destroy the Prototype missions, and so don't yet know how her Ladyship will do against a field of much bigger fish. Meanwhile, I'm on the lookout for some longer-ranged Clan RAC2's or Clan RAC5's to arm her Ladyship with, as I'd feel much more comfortable not having to get so close.
It's up for you to decide what your preferred lance composition will look like. Assuming RNG-esus sends you what you want, and you get good salvage. By the late-game you'll be swimming in mechs and kit; but will probably always form your primary lance around your favorite--and strongest--mechs, and switch your lineup as needed for defensive or offensive formations.
It bears repeating that in the early-game it usually pays to ignore adding Lights and go exclusively with 55 ton or 50 ton Mediums that will scale with whatever goodies you would've otherwise put on those lighter mechs.
If you want to build a lance around a bigger Punchbot, pray to RNGesus to send a few 75 ton Gladiators or 100 ton Carebears your way.
Business Management[edit | edit source]
RogueTech considerably intensifies the perils of financial management found in the vanilla game. Fortunately, if you wish, many of these values can be softened—or made excruciatingly difficult—in the game difficulty settings. Play around with various options and find what suits you best.
RT default settings will make mech repair times in the early game exceedingly long, and were the main reason I went bankrupt just out of the gate in my first two campaigns back in '18. Combined with low mission pay and scrap values, making a living in the early- to mid-game on the default settings can be a grind. Make sure you're well into the black before you invest in repairing/equipping your first new mech. Unless it's a Clanner model that can be mended up on the cheap. And unless you're a masochist, be kind to yourself starting out and choose at least a few "Generous" and "Easy" game difficulty settings. Once your RT mojo is truly on, up the ante to taste. It's for this reason I now always choose 3-parts-per-mech-assembly on installation; there are just sooooo many more mechs and variants than in vanilla. It can take all of forever scragging foes to assemble a mech you fancy. Regarding Salvage, my insatiable greed for salvage always has me pick the "Generous" option. I've tried selecting "Normal" Salvage; but my mouse hand betrays me every time. Honest.
Not getting hit is the main antidote to ruinous repair times; but requires really upping your tactical game. Which will happen. Believe me. The mod will force you to sharpen your tactics and become a better mechcommander. Which'll be somewhat easier if you gravitate towards the defensive lance playstyle. Regarding ruinously long repair times, eventually improvements to the Argo will allow work on three mechs simultaneously--even if you only have a single lance of mechs--with considerably greater tech-point levels. This will produce dramatically shortened repair times. Which allows you to complete more missions in less time, upping your income proportionally. Make Argo upgrades a key facet of your business plan. Until you've gotten the Argo upgraded, walk softly until you've fully gotten your RT tactical mojo on. Getting a serious pounding in an early game mission that'll require months of mechbay time can be game over.
Getting the Most Out of Loot Magnet[edit | edit source]
Loot Magnet is a super-nifty RT submod that can enormously enhance the financial benefits of going for maxxed salvage rewards on missions. Especially if you're acutely in need of specific weapons, components, ammo, etc. Basically, the way it works is that the better your rep with the issuing faction, the higher the probability that you'll be able to pick multiples of identical salvage items, instead of just singles. For example, if your rep with Kurita is low, those Falcons you just scragged for them Snakes might give up six individual Clan Double Heat Sinks, and two single Clan Exchangers; requiring a total of eight pix. But if your Kurita rep is high, high, high that same loot selection might appear as two triple C-DHS selections and one double Clan Exchanger selection; for just three picks, total. Potentially saving you many salvage picks. Loot Magnet makes sucking up to a faction very profitable when salvage is your goal.
It also translates to mech parts. Those three separate Annihilator parts from that Assault you so carefully capped might appear as a single triplet of parts if you have really high rep with the issuing faction.
But Loot Magnet also has its dark side. If your MRB rating is low, the Board might decide to contest your award of those dearly won Annihilator parts, and more or less force you to accept something much less valuable. Youch! Which means that spending at least some time working your MRB rep is very useful if you want to get the most out of any other faction relationship.
Need Cash Quick?[edit | edit source]
If you're ever really strapped for cash, use a super-fast or super-jumper mech in Recovery missions to get in and out without much fighting. Just be careful to draw enemy forces away from the asset recovery location when you send in your jumper/runner. Position the rest of your lance so that they don't have to fight their way through the enemy to get to the extraction point. This approach will yield little to no salvage; so max your cash rewards for a big payout on the quick. Ka-ching!
Generally speaking, if you select maxxed salvage and store prices in difficulty settings, AND you've reached the mid-game, it usually pays more to go with maxxed salvage rewards on most missions, as the net payout is usually a bit better. Usually. Plus, there's always the chance of getting something really choice for one of your mechs. In the late game, a single piece of a larger Assault can sell for nearly a million.
Would You Like a Piece of Candy, Roguewarrior?[edit | edit source]
Be very careful of certain RT mission offerings that can be insanely--or even impossibly--difficult. Even on two or two-point-five skulls, for example, "A Beautiful Day" or "Meatgrinder" missions can be impossible to win. By impossible I mean your 4 Mediums face two and a half lances that are all on the board at once, combined in an OPFOR that includes a Superheavy and mostly Assaults; all with elite or super-elite pilots. This can happen. Especially if the Mission Difficulty Variance is set considerably higher than zero. Most of these super-challenging mission types indicate in their respective readme's that they include loaded dice, so do read the fine print. It might be practical to forego some of these missions until you've got a full stable of 10-star pilots, along with custom Heavies and Assaults of your own. If you just can't resist the challenge, with a defensive lance structure--and the luck to get a map that supports it--it is possible to beat these missions without too much of a pounding. Assuming you're not playing on Ironman, make a save. Then try some of these out. RNGesus could very well have mercy on your soul and send you a cakewalk OPFOR. But if you realize you're hopelessly outclassed on mission start, don't be afraid to call for Sumire to pull you out. Since the Superheavies got reworked I've had more than a few missions where I've cried like a little girl and called for mama when Sumire didn't show as fast as I would've liked.
Packrat Payback[edit | edit source]
A new optional development chosen on install is maintenance costs for all stored mechs, mech parts, weapons and components. Which can be financially crippling if you're a pack rat. This makes you really have to be choosy about which mech parts to collect for later assembly. Until someone writes up a compendium of RT, RT vanilla, & RT Elite mech variants and their specific hardpoint layouts, it might behoove you to examine the def_chassis .json files in the various RT sub-mods containing mechs. Just go to your Battletech\Mods folder and use a text editor to open def_chassis and def_mech files in RogueMechs, RogueElites, Experimental Weapons, DarkAge, NAOP, etc.. This will allow you to make informed decisions about which variants to keep, and which to sell immediately. I currently find that roughly 80% of chassis are useless to my preferred build tastes. For the first half of the game, pretty much anything without lower arms is either useless or just meh. Which makes inventory management a breeze.
But what's the best reason to browse the def_mech .json files? That's right, it's to keep track of which mechs come with default XL/XXL engines, and only need a single side torso puncture to kill. "Such a little thing," to paraphrase Tolkein. Or, like the Light Mechs Handbook says, take note of where the ammo is stored. Because "..once you know where the ammo bins are located, the rest is easy."
Know Thy Targets[edit | edit source]
Because it will impact your bottom line in so many ways. As soon as you ID the model variant of an OPFOR mech, it can really pay to Alt+Tab out and go browse RogueTech submods that contain mechs. Or go to the RT master mech list on the Wiki. Why, you ask?
First, because if you know what it carries, and at what range it prefers to hurt you, you can deny it any brilliant moves and consequently save bigly on repair bills.
Second, you know how you're going to kill it. And how you're not. Like if it carries an engine mod; or if you'll need to leg it, shoot it in the head, or scrag the center torso. If it packs an AMS or Advanced AMS, and behooves you to direct any low-tube-count Missile-Boats to other targets. If you've got two Missile builds and an enemy with an AMS; either use both against it--to saturate with tube numbers--or none at all.
Third, you know exactly what weapons/component salvage you want to prioritize on which targets. Which can also hugely affect bottom line. Because you've been sharp enough to max out your chosen faction reps to maximize salvage opportunities with Loot Magnet.
Fourth, you know which chassis you're keen and not keen to salvage; which means being entirely clear on the value to you of the ones you'll prioritize saving 'til last for legging or headshots.
Conclusion[edit | edit source]
Surviving--and thriving--in RT derives from just a few main principles:
Use tactics and carefully chosen goodies to optimize both to-hit and evasion bonii of your frontline jumpers, and at least the to-hit bonii of your rearwards shooters.
Make selective use of Electronic Warfare components and stealth armors to counter or exceed your enemy's capabilities.
Use specialized role builds in your lance structure; and further specialize those builds around specific targeting computers, FCS's, weapons and Sensors.
Have your support ranged weaponry pilots specialize in Ace Pilot and Warlord; and your Spotter/Strikers in Multi-Target and Phantom Mech.
Invest in Argo upgrades that enhance repair speed and morale. And carefully consider the cost of any lance upgrades on future mission difficulty.
In the field, concentrate your fire as needed to take out weaker and vulnerable enemies first; while using jump-jet mobility and terrain to limit the number of enemies that can fire upon your own people in any given turn.
Unless you're up against the clock, never be afraid to take the time to stabilize and cool your mechs.
These are the basics.
But to repeat it one more time, the absolutely key and utterly indispensable tactic required to win in RT is to concentrate your fire on a single enemy--while remaining non-targetable to as many of his lancemates as is humanely possible. If you make each fresh kill by firing from terrain positions that reduce potential return fire to zero or near zero, you will win every time. Even against overwhelming odds. Err,...unless your ammo runs out. Or if he's got heavy artillery. Or you're on a really flat map. Or, or...Well, you get it. Because no RogueTech mission plan survives contact with the enemy.
RogueTech is a rich and still evolving mod, with an active and innovative modding team that have collectively united most of the valuable mods and mini-mods available on the Nexus into a single, seamless package. It’s truly a community effort, and a definite class act. Unfortunately for you, once you start to excel in RogueTech, you'll be hooked forever.
Because after you've seen Paris, it's hard to go back to the farm.
On a brief technical note, playing RogueTech with 16GB of RAM or more will considerably improve framerate and loading times. It really worked for me.
Hopefully this guide will provide new players a better understanding of the tactics necessary to effectively utilize the reams of new weapons and components provided by the mod, and shorten your learning curve towards mastery of the RogueTech experience.
More detailed articles on component types, tactics, stealth, etc. can be found on the RT Wiki. I suggest you read them all if you haven't already done so.
Please provide feedback and suggestions for anything I’ve gotten wrong or could do better, and if my ADD allows it I’ll update the guide accordingly.
Thanks and Good Hunting!
P.S. Thanks to Darth Alekto and the RogueTech team for crafting an exceedingly fine mod; MXMach for editing and fact-checking this guide in addition to his other team duties; and to Battletech for coding up such an enjoyable and modder-friendly game.