AirMech Beginner’s Guide



AirMech Beginner’s Guide by DeathofaStar

Table of Contents:

1. The Basics
—-i. Your mech and pilot.
—-ii. Your loadout.
—-iii. Your items
—-iv. Your minimap
2. Pre-Early Game
3. Mid Game
4. Late-End Game
5. Strategies
—-A. The ‘Aggressive pusher’ strategy (.aggresivestrat .pushstrat)
—-B. The ‘Overdue Victory’ strategy (.overduestrat .foreverstrat .toolongstrat .30minstrat)
6. Advanced Strategies
—-A. The ‘Backdoor Turtle’ strategy (.bdstrat .turtlestrat)
7. Individual Unit Information/Strategy
8. Final words

1. The Basics

i. Your mech and pilot.

Your mech and pilot choice is probably the most important thing other than your loadout, which will be discussed in the next section. For now, let’s talk about the mechs. Depending on your opponents and your team lineup, you may want to pick an offensive mech, defensive mech, or support mech (E.G. Striker, Bomber, Osprey respectively). Same thing with pilots. Do I need speed? Do I need extra energy? Does my team have a good offense/defense balance? Questions like those are what you should be asking yourself when making these decisions.

NOTE: When your mech dies, it costs money to respawn. I thought this was obvious, but apparently it’s not, so I figured I would put it here (I should have anyways, in hindsight). In other words: If you die and you have no credits, you will -not- start to respawn until you have the money (You have to have the money, metal isn’t free!).

ii. Your loadout.
Second only to your mech and pilot, your loadout also will decide whether or not you will win or lose. Depending on your mech and pilot, you may be more defensive or offensive with your units. Am I on offense? Am I capturing bases, or am I defending them? Am I making sure the team is not backdooring? Answering these will be the key to destroying your opponents base and winning the game. It is generally a good rule of thumb though to have at least one infantry unit, one anti airmech (t-99 or HAAT), and a few defensive/offensive/hybrid units.

iii. Your items
This is more of a personal preference right now, as the effects are very minor. I personally use the +2% unit cap because I like more units.

iv. Your minimap
ALWAYS watch your minimap. Many games have been lost simply due to not noticing a huge push before it was too late. Your minimap provides valuable information. Use it to your advantage!

v. Scouting
SCOUT! SCOUT SCOUT SCOUT SCOUT SCOUT! This is so crucial, I cannot emphasize it enough. Scouting your opponent’s base early allows you to see what kind of strategy they may be using, and that’s a huge key in countering their plays. Scout often!

2. Pre-Early Game

During this phase you should always build at least 1 eco unit (Moneymaker), 1 defensive unit (grinder, t-99, haat) and depending on what your team does, you should build units accordingly. This is where communication is key, and can decide the game if enough erroneous decisions are made. You should always have a small offensive force to capture a base or two as well, as getting base control is crucial. Be very wary when engaging enemy units, as your mech is paper thin until around level 3. Try to engage only when you have a unit nearby, or some way to heal. Go for bases with the least resistance, yet still close to you.

Unfortunately, all games do not play out the way you want to. You will undoubtedly lose a few games early, or be stuck in a tight situation so I will cover possible ways to come back. Here are a couple potential scenarios:

Scenario One:
Your opponent is starting to take over more bases than you and you just can’t keep up with him/her on it. Usually people who are doing this have little to no defense at their main base as they are focused on creep dropping. This also means that if you put out a few defensive units at the base while your team brings counter creeps, you can take the base back, but you have to do it before they get their defenses up otherwise it’s too hard to capture without a relatively sizeable force.

Scenario Two:
Your opponent has about the same bases as you, but he’s constantly killing stuff at your base because you just don’t seem to be there when he attacks(you’re capturing bases, etc). If this is the case, you may need to be looking at your minimap more. If this is not the case, you should consider scouting their base, if you haven’t done so already. Are they high on defense? If so, they may be attempting a backdoor victory, in which case you should immediately have either yourself or one of your teammates (two if necessary, even three sometimes is needed) go start building defenses and a lunchbox to alleviate the damage and hopefully stop future assaults.

Specific things to watch out for (thanks to Adreni for the situations encompassed in here, I rewrote it quite a bit)
-Zipper/Tango/Jackal Rushes

This is a rather basic rush as it relies heavily on the enemy not having a good defense as there are lot of cheap/disposable units. This rush is however, highly disadvantageous to you against an opponent who knows how to counter it it as this gives the opponent a lot of experience, potentially crippling you in the middle game. Thankfully, countering this kind of rush is very simple: Grinders. 2-3 Grinders with your Airmech shooting will stop them dead in their tracks.

-Tank (Armadillo/Longhorn/Gemini) Rushes

You have more time to prepare this rush as the units travel pretty slow. However, these units are significantly stronger than their jackal counterpart, and will not be taken down as easily. This is especially true if there is a Patcher/Ratchet in the mix. This is also why scouting is important, as if you do not see it coming you may not be able to stop it.

Countering this rush is slightly harder, as in this case grinders will be completely useless (80% damage reduction is no fun). This time, T-99s and Heavy Mines are recommended as well as your AirMech’s cannons (stay behind the T-99!). Don’t forget to pick them up to repair them at the base if you don’t have a repair unit nearby!

3. Mid Game

If you’ve made it here, you’re at the very least doing something right. Mid game is approximately 5 mins into the game, and by this time you should have map control (more bases than the enemy preferrably, or at least half), as well as a decent economy (3 or more money makers) and a solid base defense. This is absolutely imperative as it will give you the resources you need to keep a steady stream of units in production as well as being able to fortify other bases.
Try to see what your opponent is building, and counter their units. Don’t forget to always try to capture bases when an opportunity presents itself!

Also, you must remember to scout. Scouting can reveal plans that you may not have seen due to intense battles on the front or on the enemy lines. If an enemy mech has not been seen for a while, they might be building up a huge force, and if it’s big enough and well timed/positioned enough, you might not be able to stop it.

4. Late-End Game

You’re now at end game. The opponent is shaking in their boots as your map control starts steadily increasing. You should focus on solidifying your forward bases while still countering your opponents’ pushes. Don’t forget you can still lose if they manage to push back hard enough. You should be building powerful offensive units, such as the Goliath, en-masse if possible. If you can make a strong enough push or series of pushes, the opponent will not be able to recouperate, and victory will be assured. Make sure you have a solid force though before making any attempts, otherwise it will just be wasted resources. NEVER get too greedy, as this will cost you the game.

5. StrategiesA. The ‘Aggressive pusher’ strategy .aggresivestrat .pushstrat
You will want as much eco as possible, while still maintaining enough money to output a steady supply of units to capture all the bases within 2-4 minutes. Try to coordinate with your teammates on infantry drops, and always have a bear trap or two and maybe a grinder as well at the ready so that you can defend your newly captured base. Remember that HAAT are very strong versus other mechs, so you should aim to get a few of those as well to discourage ‘hot drops’. Make sure you always have enough of an attack force though to secure your bases; if you have too much d, you won’t have enough units to win the game!B. The ‘Overdue Victory’ strategy .overduestrat .foreverstrat .toolongstrat .30minstrat
This type of game is very passive, and your opponents will most likely dislike you for it (as the game will drag on………..) but it can be VERY effective if done right. You should have a decent grasp on microing your airmech and maybe one or two units at a time if you want to make this work. Make sure one of your teammates is an Osprey, as repair is CRUCIAL for this strategy to work. A Bomber would be a great asset as well. Capture all your bases and the middle base, if applicable, and hold out until 30 minutes, making light attacks on the enemy base when the opportunity presents itself. The hardest part about this strategy is holding out against enemy pushes. Make sure you have a strong defense (a combination of goliaths and grinders + haat is great) at each of your forward outposts, but don’t forget to have your base well defended as well. All your pads should be eco, EXCEPT for one at your base, which should be a lunchbox, just in case they get desperate and decide to try to backdoor (things get through sometimes, so having a buffer never hurts). Once 30 minutes hits, your opponents will start losing base hp, as well as you, but since you have one more base and have done more damage you will eventually win.

6. Advanced Strategies and TacticsA. The ‘Backdoor Turtle’ strategy .bdstrat .turtlestrat
This strategy is very hard, and requires intricate knowledge of your mech and it’s abilities, as well as a good grasp on all the units in the game. You must also have a well-coordinated team. You should avoid dying at all costs; you will eventually be outlevelled, but you will still win due to constant harass.Max your eco, and start harass early. You must prevent them from taking bases, while whittling down their base slowly. They must not be able to attack your base, so make sure you have one person dedicated defense, or a solid impenetrable wall. Lunchboxes are a high priority target, take them out first, then the eco, then focus on the base. Drop units where there is the least defense, even if it’s not the front. If the opportunity arises though, frontal attacks on the base do the most damage. You will not win fast, but you will definitely win if it goes to overtime, as your opponent will not have been able to damage your base much and theirs will undoubtedly be lower. If you did a good enough job though in the beginning, however, you could win within 10 minutes, or earlier. Remember: cheap but powerful units are your friends. (I.E. Jackals). Steer clear of grinders unless you have a unit tanking it (armored only!)

7. Individual Unit Information/Strategy
NOTE: THIS GUIDE IS FOR PVP ONLY! THIS IS NOT FOR PVE/LAST STAND/SURVIVAL! Ranks for survival WILL differ.
A comprehensive table of information can be found here for airmechs https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AgK1dKtv5mr9dExDUU01V0RabDExR2lIY0pRRGZsMEE#gid=3For units, https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AgK1dKtv5mr9dExDUU01V0RabDExR2lIY0pRRGZsMEE&pli=1#gid=0For more details on the lockboxes: http://gregrthenson.com/AirmechBoxCalculator/

Rank Legend
* = Terrible. Try to avoid using this unit.
** = Bad. Like above, try to avoid using this unit if possible (unless you need it to counter something/you have a special strategy with this unit).
*** = Decent. This unit is an average unit, expect a few of these in your lineup.
**** = Good. Like decent, expect a few of these in your lineup.
***** = Excellent. These are must haves. If you don’t have at least one or two of these in your lineup, you may be at a significant disadvantage vs someone who does.

The Units

Infantry

Probe
Rank = *
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This unit is bad. No offense, easy to kill, WAY too expensive. Stopped by beartraps. Free xp for your opponent. Only decent thing about this is the build time, but still nowhere near worth using.

Runner
Rank = **
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Not the best, but not the worst. Good speed, but low armor and high cost. Not your ideal choice of infantry, but can be viable.

Soldier
Rank = ****
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This is your bread and butter infantry unit. High Armor, decent attack damage, average speed, and low cost. You will find many people using this unit.

SAM
Rank = ***.5
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This unit has high damage and decent armor however it is fairly slow in comparison to most infantry, making it pretty easy to take out. It is also 400 credits more expensive, and has a longer build time. En-mass though, they can be formidable. You will probably see a few of these here and there, mainly for taking out arty/other defenseless things and/or capturing outposts.

Boomer
Rank = 0
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This unit used to be OP and could one shot Airmechs. Now it’s useless. Don’t even get this, it doesn’t deserve a star.

Fixer
Rank = **/***
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The fixer is really a mixed bag. It has the highest armor out of all infantry, isn’t too expensive, but has no attack at all and is the fourth slowest unit in the game, making it an easy target. While it can repair, it cannot be stationed at a location; instead, it will repair all units in the local vicinity, then keep moving forward. You may or may not find yourself using these, depending on your lineup, but IMHO the ratchet is significantly better for repairing (albeit it cannot capture like the fixer can).

Offensive Vehicles

Zipper
Rank = *
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The zipper is basically a more expensive soldier that cannot capture bases (unless destroyed, and does not always release infantry). Steer clear of this unit, except in low level games, as this is easily stopped by a single gatty.

Tango
Rank = *
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Like the zipper, steer clear. Basically just a slightly more expensive zipper.

Jackal
Rank = ***
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Fairly good attack power, pretty speedy, an average amount of armor. and quick to build, all while remaining not too costly. Not a bad unit, but not necessarily good either, as there are better options. An early game rush with these CAN beat your opponent, but a few gatty and/or other defenses will stop these dead in their tracks, so vs experienced/expecting opponents, it’s pretty useless. To reiterate: Pretty good early game, but later on pretty petty units. Try not to use these unless you know exactly what you’re doing with them.

Armadillo
Rank = **
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Slower than the jackal, slightly more armored, but with a weaker ground attack and no air attack. Also takes longer to build and is significantly more expensive. Easily stopped by T-99 and gattys. Say no to ‘dillo ( :( poor armadillo *huggles it* ).

Longhorn
Rank = ****
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This is a fairly decent bread and butter unit. Great armor, not a bad speed (fastest out of all the ‘heavy armor’) and pretty dang good damage. Takes only 8 seconds to build, and with a 4500 cost, it’s not bad. You will find yourself and your enemies using these.

Gemini
Rank = ***
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This unit used to be great. It’s now nowhere near as good as the Longhorn, and should be replaced with it in most situations.

*NOTE* ‘GAME ENDER’ *NOTE*
Goliath:
Rank = *****
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VERY strong unit. Hits ridiculously hard, and in packs of 5-6 will trounce nearly any opposition. ‘Doesn’t afraid of anything’ as the meme goes, meaning it will take a lot of damage before going down. Good for placing in the front lines to soak up damage. The downside is the high cost, slow speed, and level requirement. All in all, not a bad unit.

Seeker
Rank = ***
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Not a bad unit early game, with a crushing air attack of 200, a few of these will decimate any careless AirMech. However, that being said, they are very slow (as slow as the Goliath, tied for slowest in game), are pretty expensive, and have no ground defenses, making them easy kills for just about any ground unit. Still, not a bad choice, but there are better choices for defense.

Bucky
Rank = **
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This unit is only not a rank * unit because of the fact that it can end games really quickly if you get a ton of bucky to the enemy base somehow early game. They are semi-expensive, and their damage (being lower than the SAM) is not very good, not to mention the missiles aren’t even guided. Try to avoid using these.

Defensive Vehicles

Patcher
Rank = ****
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Cheap and quick to build, pretty decent movespeed, but low armor. Good for those clutch situations where you need something out fast to do repairs. Can also disarm mines, which can be useful against opponents that use them.

Ratchet
Rank = ****.5
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This unit. This unit. I don’t even know where to begin. This is by far the best repair unit (outside of the Osprey, but that’s an AirMech so it doesn’t count) in the game so far. With a fairly solid armor of 650 (slightly more than double the Patcher, at 320), and the highest repair rate in the game, while only costing slightly (700) more than the Patcher, this unit is a beast for all your repair needs. It takes a bit longer to build as well, and is one of the slowest units in the game, but the survivability it can provide should not be underestimated. Very solid unit.

Turtle
Rank = ****
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This unit is very versatile; it can be used as a lead for an offensive push, soaking up massive amounts of damage which would otherwise render your force useless, and on defense as well to protect your structures (enemy AI targets structures AFTER units, as well as the closest unit).
Turrets/Siege Weapons

Gatty
Rank = ***.5
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This is your standard anti-light-ground defense. Extremely useful early game, but not so much late game. Good vs grounded AirMechs as well, but useless vs a line of armored tanks.

T-99
Rank = *****
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This unit is incredible, with the ability to defend against most ground and air assaults of all kinds, it is almost a necessity to have this unit. High armor makes it very survivable to punishment, and one of them can ‘solo’ an AirMech at low levels. Take this into consideration when designing your lineup. The only downside to this unit is that when it is attacking something on the ground, it will not fire on enemy AirMechs.

HAAT
Rank *****
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Like the T-99, this is unit is stunningly powerful. It shreds AirMechs like paper, and the fact that the bullets are practically unavoidable makes this the best Anti-AirMech unit in the game by far. It can also hit AirMechs on the ground, albeit for 50% damage. Definitely a good defensive unit to have.

Artillery (Arty)
Rank = ****
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This is your standard siege unit. Amazing for breaking down lines of defenses, and coupled with a few anti-air defenses can win games very quickly. Not much more to be said here.

Archy
Rank = ****
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Like the Arty, this is also amazing at breaking down lines of defense. However, with a higher range, and slightly more armor (albeit slightly less damage [-7]) it is incredible at decimating defenses.

*NOTE* ‘GAME ENDER’ *NOTE*
Bertha
Rank = ****
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While it used to be bad back in the old alpha and early beta days, the Bertha is now a scary unit, dealing massive damage from afar. When in groups (and if well protected), they can deal crippling amounts of damage in a large area very quickly without fear of retaliation. 4/5 Stars only because it requires decent micro (it’s really a 5 star unit, but it’s not something you will be good with immediately).

Guardians

Coming soon

Miscellany (Other Structures/Units not defined above)

Moneymaker
Rank = *****
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This structure could quite possibly be a necessity (I think it is) as more income = more units. More units = good. I could rant all day about money makers, but I think it’s safe to say at least one person on your team should have MM on their lineup.

Lunchbox
Rank = ****
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This unit is sexy. Gives you a nice buffer for damage on your base (not so useful on outposts, although it does slow opponents there…I don’t think that’s a very good use of 2800 credits though), and helps to protect your base against overtime damage. Like the moneymaker, this is one of those possible ‘necessity’ units.

Honeypot
Rank = ****
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Most people do not know the actual use of this unit. It’s actually a ‘wall-test’ unit according to the devs. While it does have a good repair rate, it’s better used off the pads in combination with a repair unit and offense/defense units. Well placed honeypots can stop entire lines of enemy forces.

XXXBox (the moneyboxes)
Rank = * [/size]
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No. No. Please no. Don’t make me kill kittens, I love kittens. Waste of a spot in your lineup, has no real use. If you are giving away that many credits, it pretty much boils down to someone is doing something wrong. Still earns only slightly more than a moneymaker, and costs way more (so really not worth the investment).

Bot Spawner
Rank = ****
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This is an interesting unit. Depending on your strategy, this can be one of the most amazing units, or one of the most useless units. An extra runner each time means that you will have more pushing power (outpost capture) than your opponent, so if you are good at capturing and defending your outposts, this can pretty much win the game for you. I wish I had a better way of explaining it, but for lack of a better way: 4 units will capture a base instantly. 3 will not.

Booster
Rank = **
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Ungodly expensive, blows up on transform/death, just no. Like the lockboxes, effectively a waste of a slot in your lineup. On the plus side, it does let you carry +1 bombs (increases carry capacity).

Bombs
Rank = ****.5
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These can be both amazing and terrible at the same time. The usefulness of these really boils down to your ability to use them. You can nearly one shot grounded airmechs with these (from full hp), so they are not to be laughed at. They are however, relatively expensive, so if you miss well, you’re S.O.L.

Light Mine
Rank = ***
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Does what it should, decimates light units in (generally) 1-2 hits. Does significant damage to grounded airmechs. Only activates on motion (over the mine, you cannot place it on top of a unit and expect it to explode until it moves or something else moves nearby). Cheap, too (300 a piece), and you can carry three, so not a bad unit. Note however, this is innefective against

Heavy Mine
Rank ***
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Almost the same as regular mines, just more damage and a slightly longer fuse. The main difference though, is these are effective against all armors, and will decimate most things within 2 hits (sans the Goliath, but it’s a freaking Goliath lol)

Stasis Mine
Rank=****
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This puppy-er mine rather is very strong. It is significantly more expensive than your standard heavy mine (2000 vs 1200) BUT it has a nasty snare effect on top of the damage it deals already, making it your primary choice of mines for any scenario. Put these in chokes, but don’t leave them unattended if the enemy has a saucer…you might find them blowing up your units!

Bear Trap
Rank = ****
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This unit is boss. Can be used to scout, quickly secure outposts, and also assault outposts. For 300 credits, this unit is up there with the best.

8. Final WordsRemember, every game is different; you must always be able to adapt to your opponent. There is no guaranteed way to win other than that. Always be thinking of your next moves, 2-3 moves ahead is a good start. If possible, also think of what your opponent may do, and how to counter that if such a thing happens. AirMech, like many other games, is a game very dependent on your experience, so the more you play the better you will get. Don’t get discouraged because you lost, remember: A loss is a lesson, learn from it and better yourself so that you do not make the same mistake next time.Thank you for taking the time to read this, I hope it helped. See you in game!

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One Response to “AirMech Beginner’s Guide”

  1. awesome

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