MechWarrior Tactics Beginner’s Guide

MechWarrior Tactics Beginner’s Guide by NikoSnow

MechWarrior Tactics, much like the MechWarrior Tabletop game from FASA, is a turn based, tactical game played out on a hex-grid map where you take on the role of Commander of a Lance (squad) of four ‘Mechs facing off against an opposing teams’ Lance. Players go back and forth selecting attack patterns and moving their ‘Mechs around the battlefield in an attempt to gain the advantage and destroy the opponents’ forces. To up the excitement from the tabletop game we have made the combat resolution play out in real-time with fully animated ‘Mechs, dramatic camera movements and explosive fire-effects!

Commanders must take into account each ‘Mech’s armament, mobility, field of view, heat levels, damage levels, elevation changes and other terrain qualities as well as individual ‘Mech pilot capabilities and skills in order to gain the advantage over their enemy. The maps are setup to be tactically symmetrical though they may not be a mirror image one side to the other. You will find the maps populated with human-built structures, hills and mountains, light and dense forests as well as rivers and lakes spread about the level, each costing additional movement points to get to as well as adjusting visibility and hit-chance.

Starting a Game

When you first visit the Beta site you will be presented with this welcome screen:

From here you can go to the Store, ‘Mech Bay, Arsenal, Mission Control and start a new game via the top buttons. At present there are no options available under the majority of these headers; additional options will be rolled out during the course of the Beta.

  • Select TUTORIAL or PLAY to start a new match
  • You will be presented with the MISSION CONTROL screen
  • Select CREATE and you will be offered VS AI (against a computer opponent) and VS HUMAN (against human player)
  • You will then be presented with the MISSION BRIEFING which will describe the game-play flow while the game loads.

Once the game is fully loaded click the LAUNCH button at the bottom-right corner of the screen and you will be brought to the game map.
Click CONTINUE on the middle ATTACK PHASE banner to begin your first round.

Attack Phase

Each weapon fired will cause the ‘Mech to accumulate heat by specific amounts as displayed on the vertical bar in the bottom-left tactical read-out when a ‘Mech is selected. As heat increases you will find the ‘Mech taking on negative stats regarding movement speed, hit-chance modifiers and, at very high temperatures, potential ammo explosions and shutdowns. You can foresee the effects by mousing over the vertical heat bar, checking against weapon heat costs and planning accordingly. Standing in a river or lake will improve your cooling capabilities.

  • Select ‘Mech from your Lance that will attack; enemy ‘Mechs within range will gain a red circle around them.
  • ‘Mech torso can be rotated 1 hex-side to change facing direction; available targets and hit chance percentages will be recalculated. Note that this is only a Torso rotation and not a standing rotation; your movement direction will not be changed by this adjustment.
  • Select target Mech; information for the selected enemy Mech will appear displaying current damage levels.
  • Select weapons that will fire at this target. A red line will appear connecting the firing Mech to its target.
  • You can select a second target to fire at and repeat step 4.
  • Select next ‘Mech in your Lance.
  • Repeat steps 2-6 until all ‘Mechs have fire orders.
  • Click “Confirm Attack” button at top center of screen to end attack declaration.

N.B. Any attack can be taken back or redirected until the “Confirm Attack” button has been pressed

Movement Phase

  • Select ‘Mech you wish to move.
  • Select movement type (No Movement, Walk, Run, Jump).
  • Orange hexes will appear on the ground in valid hexes that can be moved to. If walking or running: only adjacent hexes to the ‘Mech will be lit. If jumping: all available hexes within jumping range will be lit. (‘Mechs cannot run into water but can run out.)

Click desired hex to move to. If walking or running: your movement counter will drop by the number of movement points used by that “step” (terrain changes and ‘Mech rotation increase movement cost) and a new group of adjacent hexes will become lit dependent on the number of movement points remaining. Repeat until ‘Mech has moved to it’s final location for this turn. If using Jumpjets to move you are able to rotate by 1 hex side upon landing.

  • Repeat steps 1-5 until all ‘Mechs have been moved as desired.
  • Click “Confirm Movement” button at top center of screen.

N.B. Any movement can be taken back and redone until the “Confirm Movement” button has been pressed.

Combat Resolution

Once the Movement Phase is confirmed by both sides the camera will switch to a cinematic perspective to show the movement and fire resolution.
All ‘Mechs will fire all of their selected weapons before damage is calculated (i.e. a ‘Mech cannot be destroyed prior to firing it’s weapons). Any ‘Mechs reaching 0 armour on center torso or head will explode and be considered destroyed. Their corpse remains on the battlefield and renders the hex they died in unusable by remaining ‘Mechs.

Game End

Turns continue until all of the ‘Mechs from one team have been destroyed. Once a winner is declared XP and scrap will be awarded based on performance.

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