AMMO, HEAT & ARMOR
There are three factors to every ‘mech that need to be monitored: The units heat, ammo and armor. All three of these are represented in the sidebar, in that particular units frame.
The heat indicator is a colored bar that will increase as the ‘mech fires weapons, moves around and executes special maneuvers. Your ‘mech overheats and will shut down to allow its reactor to cool off if the heat bar reaches the top of the frame. Carefully manage a units heat to avoid shutdowns during combat, if a ‘mech is running hot it needs some time out of the fray. Not all ‘mechs are prone to overheating. Some units like the Jaegermech carry mostly ballistic weapons which do not produce much heat. Other units such as the Awesome or the Masakari produce vast amounts of heat, and can very easily shut down if they aren’t allowed to cool off every once in a while.
While ‘mechs with ballistic or missile weapons rarely overheat, unlike their energy weapon wielding counterparts they require ammunition to stay effective in the field. The ammo bar is located in the frame right next to the heat bar, and looks like a bar of small golden segments. The ammo bar starts out full, and slowly depletes as the ‘mech expends its shells and missiles. Different ‘mechs carry different quantities of ammo, and different weapons use more or less of the bar per shot. Large weapons like the LRM 20 or Ultra AC 20 can send a ton of ammo down range in less than a minute, while more humble ordnance like the AC 5 can fight for a whole mission on a similar payload. Some ‘mechs like the Wolfhound which are armed with only energy weapons carry no ammo at all. Whenever you make repairs at a repair bay your ‘mech will also replenish ammunition. The units frame also contains the reload indicator: a small bullet icon that dims when all of the ‘mechs weapons are being reload. By looking at this indicator you can get a better idea of when your ‘mechs are ready to make another attack, especially if they are equipped with weapons that have a long reload time such as gauss rifles and PPCs.
Your ‘mech’s armor is indicated by the ‘mech silhouette in the unit frame. Green locations have not taken any damage. Yellow parts of your ‘mech have sustained mild damage. Orange parts have sustained severe damage, and red parts are in imminent danger of being destroyed alongside all the equipment in them. Repair bays can repair your ‘mechs armor, but they cannot reattach missing limbs or restore destroyed weapons. This has to be done between missions. Because of this it is important to keep units that are in danger of losing limbs at the back of your forces. Pushing them recklessly into the fray will leave you with hobbled ‘mechs that have lost much of their usefulness for the rest of the mission.
A mech is considered destroyed when it has lost its center torso, head, or both legs.
Battle armor units such as Elementals have the ability to swarm ‘mechs if they get too close. When a ‘mech gets swarmed red indicators will appear over its frame in the side bar and it will gradually sustain damage to its various body parts. A ‘mech will eventually shake the battle armor off automatically but will lose more armor. Use the assist command to quickly clear a swarm attack and avoid the worst of the damage.
REPAIRING IN & OUT OF THE FIELD
During the course of a mission ‘mechs can use special structures called repair bays to regain armor on all body parts as well as replenish their ammo. Some repair bays may be under enemy control and must first be captured before they can be used. To use a repair bay a single ‘mech must be selected and moved close to the repair bay. Hold down on the repair bay to bring up the context menu and select the repair command. The ‘mech will now walk to the repair bay, enter it, and shut down. When repairs are complete the ‘mech will automatically start up again and exit the repair bay. Repair Bays have limited supplies denoted by the blue bar above them. Once these supplies are exhausted they can no longer repair ‘mechs. Repair bays also cannot repair body parts or weapons that have been destroyed these can only be repaired out of mission.
Once a mission is complete all body parts that were not destroyed have their armor replenished automatically. ‘Mechs that have had body parts destroyed must be repaired in the ‘Mech Bay by selecting the ‘mech and tapping the repair button. This will bring you to a repair menu that will allow you to repair all destroyed parts or selectively repair individual parts if you are short on resources. Restoring destroyed body parts and weapons requires the expenditure of C-Bills and Clan Tech depending on whether they use the Inner Sphere or Clan technology base.
‘Mechs that have been destroyed in previous missions can be made ready to deploy again by repairing the center torso, head or both legs in this manner.