Cataphract CTF-3D Dual UAC/5 Brawler

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I am happy to provide you with a final guide for the regular Cataphract variants. A guy named Wrench from the official forums was kind enough to allow me to use the guide here. Be sure to check out his profile and the original thread in the official forums to drop him a like and thumbs up. Enjoy:

Introductory Lore

 

The Cataphract has been a staple of House Davion Lances since it’s construction. A dependable heavy mech that could be relied upon, and The Gershom, a -3D variant piloted by loyalist Nicholas Reffin was no exception. With a pair of fearsome AC10s, four medium lasers and an experimental XL290 engine, The Gershom was a classic design that saw it’s share of battles and always comported itself well on the field, bringing victory and honour to its pilot .But a mechwarrior is never completely satisfied.
 
While The Gershom was successful, Nicholas was always irritated by its limitations. The mech shouldered the vulnerability of the XL engine, but still moved at a mediocre speed. This sluggishness made close range confrontations unpleasant when the fighting moved in, especially against highly manoeuvrable mechs. This was only compounded by the mech’s inability to quickly dissipate heat. Temperature ratings rested in acceptable tolerances when lobbing shells at range, perhaps with sporadic use of the MLAS. But frequent firing of all four MLAS in a brawl situation had a tendency to build an uncomfortable amount of heat.Still, with limited resources, it was hard to justify any changes on a successful – if imperfect – mech. The Gershom was ran as a powerful, but conventional heavy support unit for some time. But in a changing time of war, more flexibility is desired from a heavy chassis. Flush with an unexpected source of income, Reffin demanded a complete overhaul of some of his older configurations from his engineering team. First among these refits was a project to expand the tactical flexibility of the Gershom.

After much deliberation and several rejected designs, the Gershom was completely striped and rebuilt over a matter of weeks. While unpopular with some, the decision was made to actually reduce the armament on the mech, replacing the dual AC10s with a pair of UAC5s. The argument was made that despite the drop in single shot punch, the rapid firing rate of the combined UAC5s, provided it was properly managed, could bring the total destructive power of the cannons to near parity with the AC10s; and in some use-cases actually exceed them. This fire power could be maintain while projecting a more suppressive effect on the battlefield, laying down a threatening barrage of shells rather than the sporadic hammering of the AC10s. This was though to be more in line with the Gershom’s expanded role as a more active direct fire support unit.

The lighter and more space efficient cannons made way for the upgraded XL320 engine. Capable of moving the large Cataphract at the more impressive speed of 74kph, the engine was further augmented by an additional heatsink over the old design, helping to alleviate what minor heat issues the Gershom had without losing any of the four medium lasers.

However, the most extensive augmentation to the mech’s design was the rebuilding of the internal structural using the new weight efficient Endo-Steel technology and addition of 4 class-III jump jets. While bulky, the new lighter frame brought the mech just in line with the proper tonnage to thrust ratio needed to make the jets worth while.

While the Gershom will never exactly soar over the battlefield, the jump jets give the mech a decent amount of vertical and horizontal movement. This aerial mobility combined with the mech’s higher top speed allow for a much greater range of tactical options. Whether using the jets to reach a high vantage point to fire a storm of UAC5 rounds down on an enemy, to escape an unfavourable engagement, or to short-cut and overtake a fleeing enemy, the jump-jets are a constant surprise to the Gershom’s foes in the field.

The Gershom’s remaining limitations mostly centre around it’s shallow ammunition stores, 100 UAC5 rounds can be used up quickly in an engagement of even moderate length. The XL engine is a constant source of vexation and due concern in the broad chested Cataphract, requiring constant awareness of the mech’s torso condition.

Armor - StandardEndo Steel StructureDouble Heat SinksNo ArtemisView Build Online at mwo.smurfy-net.de

Build Info and Engine

  • Cataphract CTF-3D
  • XL Engine 320
  • Maxed Armor

Armament

  • 2x UltraAC/5 (4x ammo, best placed in legs)
  • 4x Medium Laser
  • 4x Jumpjets

Link to original AuthorLink to original thread

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Cataphract CTF-2X Dual SRM6 Brawler

This build provides a short description of a nice CTF-2X brawler build with relatively high damage output (whooping 50 alpha strike) while still maintaining a very nice heat efficiency to fight for extended periods of time. Long range combat is not recommended but you will still be able to harass over long distances with an Ultra AC/5.

CTF-2X SRM6 Brawler

CTF-2X SRM6 Brawler

Armor - StandardStandard StructureStandard HeatsinksNo ArtemisSorry, no mwo.smurfy-net.de link available, yet.

Build Info and Engine

  • Cataphract CTF-2X
  • XL Engine 255
  • Max Armor except legs (~51 each)

Armament

  • 3x Medium Laser
  • 1x Ultra AC/5 (~2x ammo)
  • 2x SRM 6 (~3x ammo)
  • 1x Anti-Missile-System (1x ammo)

Playstyle and Hints

  • Despite being a heavy and having a considerable amount of armor: play save, do not lead the charge. Use the increased speed from the engine to outmaneuver your opponents.
  • You will be an easy victim for LRM boats despite having an AMS and driving a heavy chassis. Try to avoid open spaces at all times.
  • If you spot enemies at the horizon, use heat vision (hotkey H) and zoom (hotkey Z) and place some single UltraAC/5  hits. Most enemies will duck behind cover and cease to or not even open fire.
  • If you are not proficient with SRMs, yet, set your SRM6s weapon group to chain fire (hotkey BACKSPACE) and fire single bursts. If you want to fire both missiles at the same time, double tap the weapon group´s hotkey.
  • Remember that you can use your mouse cursor (yellow circle) to aim your SRM6s.
Average round as CTF-2X SRM6

Average round as CTF-2X SRM6

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Cataphract CTF-1X Damage Brawler (5xLazers!)

The Cataphract CTF-1x offers 5 energy slots (and one ballistic slot). It will occur to most people to use some mixture of a smaller ballistic weapon (UAC5, AC5, AC10, LB10X) and multiple Large Lasers. However, if you don´t need the range and just want to dish out loads of damage with ease, a Medium Laser centered build usually brings nicer results in regards to the endgame screen. This build provides a successfully tested allround build with an emphasis on high damage dealt utilizing Medium Lasers and a complementary Gauss Rifle as a heat efficient secondary weapon.

CTF-1X Build OverviewCTF-1X Build Overview

Armor - StandardStandard StructureStandard HeatsinksNo ArtemisView Build Online at mwo.smurfy-net.de

Build Info and Engine

  • Cataphract CTF-1X
  • XL Engine 255
  • Max Armor except legs (~39 each) and cockpit (~10)

Armament

  • 5x Medium Laser
  • 1x Gauss Rifle (~4x ammo)
  • 1x Anti-Missile-System (1x ammo)

Playstyle and Hints

  • Despite being a heavy and having a considerable amount of armor: play save, do not lead the charge. Use the increased speed from the engine to outmaneuver your opponents.
  • If you find your Gauss Rifle destroyed a lot before you can use up all the ammo, remove 1-3 ammo and replace them with heat sinks.
  • If you are at high heat levels, do NOT fire your lasers again and overheat. Instead, fire your Gauss Rifle which produces almost no heat.
  • If you overheat and face a strong but slow opponent (Atlas, Stalker, other heavys oder assaults), do the following: override shutdown immediately (hotkey “o”), do not fire, and run for it. Take the fight back to them if you are behind something solid and recovered.

CTF-1X Ownage

 

Link to original Author

 

Endo Steel Structure Explained

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Endo Steel Structure is a Mech upgrade that you may purchase for roughly one million cbills on every mech (depending on mech size). It will provide you with a hand full more tons (5% of total weight) to play with but also occupy many critical slots (the lines where you put your equipment in).

Endo Steel Structure Upgrade

Endo Steel Structure Upgrade

Cost versus gain

Depending on your mech´s size the upgrade will roughly cost one million cbills. Beware that undoing the upgrade will cost you roughly half that amount again! In addition you will lose internal space to put items, called critical slots; 14 to be precise. In turn your mech´s structure will weigh only half and thus adding 5% more tonnage to play with. These 5% depend on your mech size and can be calculated as “Maximum tonnage times .05”. Example: for an Atlas you will have 100 tons and upgrading Endo Steel Structure will yield you 5 additional tons. A Hunchback weighing only 50 tons will get a bonus of 2.5 tons.

Dynamic Structure Slots

Dynamic Structure Slots

How does it work ingame: Dynamic Structure Slots

Once you´ve purchased the Endo Steel Structure upgrade, you will notice two new kinds of items appearing in your critical slots (the lines where you equip your stuff): Dynamic Structure Slot and Structure Slot. These mark the places where the Endo Steel Structure resides within your mech. However, they can be automatically moved to a certain extent: Dynamic Structure Slots can be treated like free slots. The Structure will be moved to another part of your mech (where ever some space is left) and you can mount your items in Dynamic Structure Slots like in any other free slot.

Once you no longer see Dynamic Structure Slots you are out of space. If you are out of space and still have some tons left, I´d recommend maxing out armor and see if you can upgrade a weapon to something heavier without using up (much) more space e.g. Medium Laser to Medium Pulse Laser.

When to purchase Endo Steel Structure

The following list will give you a rough idea on when to consider Endo Steel and when you should think of something else. However, certain situations and builds may contradict these guidelines.

  • Endo Steel Structure is  highly recommended on light and medium mechs. Heavys often times but normally never a good idea on Assaults.
  • If you need more heat sinks and/or more ammunition do not go for Endo Steel but consider upgrading to Double Heat Sinks.
  • If you are planning not to put much/anything in your arms go for Endo Steel Upgrade.
  • The smaller/lighter your mech the higher the chance Endo Steel is worth a look.
  • If your mech runs with a lot of lasers, stream srm2 and other small weapons with little/no ammo Endo Steel Structure is worth a look, too.

Cataphract Quad AC/2 Screenshaker Build

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With the latest patch from November 20th a new heavy mech has been deployed to the field: the Cataphract! One of the most appealing variants is the CTF-4X due to its four (4(!)) ballistic slots. Now lets see what one can do with this:

Cataphract Mech Image

The Build:

Cataphract CTF-4X

  • Standard Engine 210
  • Endo Steel Structure
  • Double Heat Sinks (~13)
  • Maxed Armor

Armament:

  • 4x AC/2 Autocannon
  • 2x Medium Laser
  • 8x AC/2 ammo (put 4 in legs and 4 in torso protected with CASE)

Playstyle and Tips:

  • The ammo is very expensive so try to work with auto 75% rearm (turn auto-ream off and launch into new match).
  • Do not brawl first row. If you get caught in a melee fight with an Atlas you will likely lose. Try to stay in the 2nd row or keep at least 200+ distance.
  • If you find a Gausspult (Catapult armed with 2x Gauss Rifles) fire at it! The screen shaking from 4x AC/2 will ensure that the Gausscat cannot aim properly and will be rendered useless.
  • Only fire your lasers when encountering light mechs or when you have run out of ammo.
  • Set weapons to alternating (by pressing BACKSPACE) to maximize fun for yourself and screenshaking for your foes.
  • If you find yourself overheating a lot, try to fire in short bursts rather than holding down the trigger.