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Published March 26, 2013

Welcome back to Your Robot Sucks - once again, the brave mechnicians of themittani.com bring you horrible builds so that we all may learn from them. Rather than recap the ground rules I’ll just link them here and we can dive straight in to this hot mess of poorly selected components:

CTF-2X: WTFaphract

Mechromancer Link

Lets start with the most horrible part: that LRM 20 is jammed into a 4 tube launcher. In the name of science I strapped an LRM 20 to my 2X's arm and went to test it. You can watch it here if you feel so inclined. It takes about three seconds to discharge the 20 missiles (five volleys of four missiles each) and then it takes another 4.75 seconds after that for the launcher to cycle. Compare this to firing an LRM 20 on a Catapult C1 or a Stalker 3H (or an LRM 15 on other Catapults or on the Trebuchet)  where you'll start the reload cycle as soon as you've hit the fire button and you can see how the 2X is not a good choice as an LRM carrier. The multiple volleys means that your target will get notified as soon as the first one leaves the tubes that missiles are incoming, giving them time to get behind something to avoid at least part of the missile shaped rain that’s coming down on it, and it also gives AMS a better crack at knocking out missiles from the volley. Remember, kids, always match your LRM launcher to your available tubes - and if you’re not sure how many tubes you’ve got the simplest thing to do is check the stock configuration. Also, like the randomised Atlas from last time, we've once again got an ER PPC and an AC/5 being expected to work together. Which is still silly.

This is really saddening, because the 2X (despite being my least favourite Cataphract) is a really good robot at its core. Like all the Cataphracts, it's got those nice high torso energy mounts which are perfect for big energy weapons so you can just barely crest a ridge and shoot people while exposing yourself to minimal return fire - it's not the best sniper in the game, but it can make an OK one. It's also got that torso ballistic mount, as well as that little missile box on the arm, so you can make it into a good, solid brawler if you want. This player's build doesn't play to any of the 2X's strengths and tries to make it into something it's wholly unsuited to. Here's a couple of options then.

Brawler 2X

Mechromancer Link

On a 1X I’d suggest five medium lasers, but it’s just not possible to get that armament on the 2X. 3 Large Lasers actually do slightly more damage (27 points vs 25) for slightly more heat (21 points vs 20) and gives you a bit of range as well. Since the HSR update to netcode, lasers are positively beastly, even against fast movers, and the streaks will give you even more punch once you’re up close. You’ve also got the option of hiding behind ridges and cresting just enough to hit people with those shoulder lasers, which is always handy.

If you’ve got the cash and experience for modules then Advanced Sensor Range would work well here, mostly to boost the range you can lock streaks on ECM equipped targets. Target Decay is probably handy in that regard too. Although if you don’t want to take the risk of being shut down by ECM you can drop the streaks and a heat sink to fit a pair or SRM4s and two tons of ammo. Personally I don’t get on well with arm fired SRMs but that’s probably just me - the recent update to let you lock arms to the torso reticle may help with that though.

Snipedy 2X

Mechromancer Link

As said, the 2X isn’t the best Cataphact to be snipey with. You want to make use of those high torso energy mounts for peeping at people, but unlike the 3D or Marmoset you can’t get a PPC, gauss rifle AND an XL engine in (there just aren’t enough critical slots available). Depending on preference you can swap the PPCs for Large Lasers, or swap either of those out for their ER equivalent if you really like keeping people at arm’s length, though you’ll lose out on heat efficiency if you do.  With Alpine in the map rotation and its long engagement ranges, this isn’t as bad an idea as perhaps it once was. This is a far better ranged option than cramming an LRM into that dinky arm launcher. As with the brawly build above, you can peep and shoot those shoulder guns, but because you’re using PPCs you can fire and immediately back up - no need to keep yourself exposed, unlike with lasers that you have to give a second or so to deliver their damage.

On both of these builds you may want to drop ammo, heat sinks or engine size to cram in an AMS - the brawler would probably benefit from this more than the sniper, as in the latter you’re hopefully going to be either hiding behind something anyway or not have as far to go to get behind something while the missiles are inbound.

Conclusions

The 2X is a perfectly fine robot, but not if you just shove parts into it willy nilly. One thing it's absolutely not is an LRM boat, and you can't possibly make it into one that's worth a damn. To get the most out of it, you're going to need to decide are you going up close or are you going to hang back, and then build around it - and if you're going long then max out the energy and ballistic slots before you worry about the missiles. Personally I think the 2X is better as a brawler than a sniper, if only because most of the other Cataphracts do a better job at range than it does.

Fil5000
I've been writing words on the internet for years at www.tatp.org, but until I came to themittani.com, no one bothered to read them. I like robots, space and the internet and am therefore perfect for the MWO desk.

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