In the second primer for my own personal favorite smashy Mcobotfest we’re going to talk about ranges, or as I like to call it “How far away is that guy and can I hurt him?”
Ranges are, beyond any shadow of a doubt, the most important part of understanding why you are getting killed so bad oh my gosh you died so hard why did that happen? Right, it happened because you, the new player, do not understand the subtleties of weapon ranges. Ranges are vital to knowing your weapon systems and the weapon systems of the enemy, so let’s begin!
Safe Range (1200+ meters)
What You’re Getting Hit With: Not a Damn Thing
This range generally only appears regularly on very large, open maps, such as Alpine Peaks or Caustic Valley. At this range you are invincible. Laugh at your enemy’s feeble attempts to damage your mighty war machine as his weapons plink harmlessly off of your invulnerable armor. Truly he is of no concern to you, MechWarrior, and you can proudly laugh at his shenanigans. Ha ha ha!
Sniper Range (1000 to 1200 meters)
What You’re Getting Hit With: Gauss Rifles, PPCs, AC/2s
Oww! Holy crap, this is starting to hurt, what the hell happened?! All of a sudden your armor is starting to take damage and your cockpit is shaking, what the hell is going on? Well, you just walked into range of the game’s sniper weapons, primarily the Gauss Rifle. While this is beyond the recommended range of any weapons in the game, high speed direct fire, long range weaponry can still hurt you, so you’d better start looking for cover. It only takes a few Gauss rounds at this range to start really feeling the hurt!
Bitching Betty Range (800-1000 meters)
What You’re Getting Hit With: Gauss Rifles, PPCs, AC/2s, AC/5s, LRMs
Why won’t the calm, soothing voice of Bitching Betty, your ‘Mech’s handy status updating computer, stop saying “Incoming Missiles”? It’s because you just passed into Long Range Missile (LRM) range! Now not only are the snipers going to be tagging you, but the sky has opened up and a steady rain of rocket propelled explosives are falling from the heavens. But you’re behind cover, how could they be hitting you anyway? Well, that’s because LRMs generally fly up and over cover, then come down on your stupid head; all they need is a spotter to target for them and the LRM boats can fire from back behind hills and mountains while sipping hot tea and watching The View. Better try and block line of sight between you and any other enemy ‘Mechs! If the LRMs lose targeting they’ll stop tracking you and will just fly straight towards where they were going when they lost you! Keep moving and stick with the ECM ‘Mechs!
Long Range (500-800 meters)
What You’re Getting Hit With: Gauss Rifles, PPCs, Large Lasers, AC/2s, AC/5s, AC/10s, LRMs
Golly, those stray sniper shots are really starting to hurt, aren’t they? That’s because you’ve finally moved into the recommended range of those long range weapons, so they’re going to be hurting a lot more now. Just one Gauss round is enough to strip all the armor off of a Light ‘Mech! You’d better stick with your team and let the big ‘Mechs start taking the heat from here or you’re gonna be toast pretty quickly! Cover is still your best buddy, but you’re gonna start getting flanked now, so keep your eyes open, stuff is finally starting to get really dangerous! Good luck!
Medium Range (300-500 meters)
What You’re Getting Hit With: Gauss Rifles, PPCs, Large Lasers, Medium Lasers, AC/2, 5, 10, 20, LRMs
Wow! This hurts so much! Whatever did you do to deserve this? Well, you just moved into the range of the most common weapons in the game, Medium Lasers, and the most powerful weapon in the game, the dreaded AC/20. Neither of these are doing full damage yet, but combined with all the fire from that other stuff you’re starting to get really hammered! You’d better stick to your teammates and concentrate on focusing your fire to take out one threat at a time or your goose is cooked!
Brawling Range (90 meters to 300 meters)
What You’re Getting Hit With: Everything*
Your armor is disappearing faster than Bitching Betty can tell you that you’re taking critical damage! You just lost an arm to an ammo explosion! They’re everywhere! OH GOD THEY’RE EVERYWHERE! Congratulations, you’ve survived to get into Brawling Range, where every single weapon in the game, no matter how big or small, is capable of completely ruining your day. Suddenly you have to worry about Short Range Missiles (SRMs) flashing out from your enemy and detonating on your torso in a cloud of explosive pain. Most of those don’t track, but Streaks will hunt you down and explode the moment that badguy gets a lock on you! Even ECM is mostly useless at this range, so you’d better be quick on that trigger and a good shot! Don’t forget to twist your torso to take damage on parts of your ‘Mech that don’t hold sentimental value (or weapons).
*LRMs stop doing damage at 190 meters, they just bounce off. Don’t waste ammo and heat by shooting them at Brawling Range!
Knife Fighting Range (<90 meters)
What You’re Getting Hit With: Everything but LRMs and normal PPCs
OH DEAR GOD HE’S IN YOUR FACE! YOU CAN’T GET AROUND HIM! HE’S STARING RIGHT INTO YOUR COCKPIT! WHAT DO YOU DO? WHAT DO YOU DO?! Amazing! You made it to Knife Fighting Range! I’m so proud. At this range Small Lasers start actually doing their full damage while Flamers and Machineguns start doing… Well, they exist, anyway. You’re right up in your enemy’s face, what’s left of your weapons blazing proudly and, at this range, probably wildly inaccurately if your target is faster than you. This is where heroes are made and Lights do their work. Put your back against a wall, shove the least damaged part of your ‘Mech into your enemy’s cockpit and blaze away cause it’s do or die time.
Try not to die.