The Mech Lab allows you to customize your ‘mechs weapons and equipment load out. It can be accessed from the ‘mech bay. Select the ‘mech you wish to customise and press the ‘mech bay button on the right side.
Everything that can be put into a ‘mech is determined by its hard points. There are four types of Hard Points: Ballistic, Energy, Missiles and Omni. Ballistic hard points designated by their yellow backgrounds are for mounting auto-cannons, gauss rifles and machine guns. Energy hard points are red and accept all forms of lasers and PPCs. Green Missile hard points are for mounting, LRMs and SRMs. Omni hard points are grey and they can be fitted with both ballistic and energy type weapons.
Equipment such as ammo bins, heat sinks and anti-missile systems (AMS) can be placed in any type of hard point.
Every hard point comes in different sizes. The humble Wolfhound’s energy hard points can’t mount anything bigger than a large laser while a Mad Cat’s Omni slots can be refitted with ER PPCs or even the feared Ultra AC 20.
MechWarrior: Tactical Command does not take tonnage into account.
When viewing the ‘mech lab press the equip button to bring out the equipment menu. Select a weapon category to show a weapons list of that particular type. Keep in mind that energy weapons do not use ammo but generate more heat while ballistic and missile weapons use ammo.
When viewing the weapon list you can scroll through it by swiping vertically. Tapping on a weapon lets you see it’s stats on a side panel. Holding down on a weapon allows you to drag and drop it on to a hard point.
To remove a weapon drag it off its hard point and release it over empty space or on the equipment list. You can also remove everything from the ‘mech by pressing the strip button which is above the equip button.
THE FINISHING TOUCHES
When you are done choosing your weapons you should fill up any remaining space with heat sinks or ammo bins. Mechs that have any missile or ballistic weapons must have ammo bins or those weapons will not fire. Mechs that have a lot of energy weapons should also consider adding extra heat sinks.
Once you are happy with your mech’s new load out you can press the save button. This will deduct the cost of the changes from your existing Clan Tech C-Bill reserves. At the bottom of the screen are two sets of numbers for Clan tech and C-bills. The top set shows your existing reserves while the bottom set displays the cost of changes. Weapons are can be sold for 100% of their cost so it’s possible to gain resources by outfitting your ‘mech with a cheaper load out.
You will also be prompted to give your ‘mech a new name if you haven’t already. You can also edit your ‘mechs name by tapping on the name displayed in the left panel.
NUMBERS, NUMBERS, NUMBERS…
The ‘mech lab displays a lot of stats to help you understand the capabilities of your ‘mech. Across the top of your screen are four bars representing Optimal Range, Heat Efficiency, Ammo Efficiency and Firepower from left to right.
Optimal Range gives you a break down of how much damage your ‘mech can dish out at different ranges. The bar is split into three segments representing a fraction of your ‘mech’s total weapon damage at short, medium and long range. The largest part of the bar represents your mechs optimal range. From left to right the segments represent, short range, medium range and long range damage.
Heat Efficiency is a measure of how quickly a ‘mech can dissipate heat in relation to how much it generates. Mechs with low heat efficiency won’t be able to fire their weapons for long before they risk overheating and shutting down. You can boost heat efficiency by reducing the amount of energy weapons used or equipping more heat sinks.
Ammo Efficiency is measure of how quickly a ‘mech will expend its ammo in combat. Low ammo efficiency means your ‘mech will only be able to fire a few shots of its missile and ballistic weapons before needing to reload at a repair day. You can increase ammo efficiency by adding more ammo bins to the ‘mech. However if your ‘mech only has energy weapons then ammo is not an issue.
Firepower is an abstract measurement of the total power of your ‘mechs weapons based on a theoretical maximum. Generally only heavy and assault class ‘mechs can achieve high firepower ratings because they can equip more weapons.
When the equipment list is retracted there is an information panel on the left side of the screen that displays the following information:
- The ‘mech’s unique name.
- The Heat Sink Type. ‘Mechs with double heat sinks are capable of dissipating twice as much heat per heat sink compared to their counter parts using single heat sinks.
- The total number of heat sinks a ‘mech has. ‘Mechs get 10 heat sinks for free in addition to any extra heat sinks you add. This number takes the default 10 into account.
- Weapon heat shows the total amount heat generated by all weapons equipped.
- Total ammo shows how many units of ammo the ‘mech is currently carrying. Each ammo bin adds 50 units of ammo.
- Ammo depletion shows the average amount of ammo your weapons will expend over a ten second period.
- No. of Rounds shows how many times your ‘mech can fire all of its ammo consuming weapons before needing to reload.
CLAN VS INNER SPHERE
There is a distinction to be made between Clan and Inner Sphere technology. Clan technology is generally better. All Clan ‘mechs use double heat sinks, while not every Inner Sphere ‘mech has them. During the year the campaign is set in only Clan ‘mechs have omni hard points. Clan weapons are also generally better than their Inner Sphere counter-parts with standard lasers and auto-cannons being completely obsolete to the Clans. In the game’s campaign Clan weapons cannot be bought with C-bills, only the comparatively rare Clan tech resource. They are denoted by a small C in their icons as well as a different background to their Inner Sphere counterparts.
To equip Clan weapons on an Inner Sphere ‘mech you need to buy an Inner Sphere Clan Refit. These ‘mechs are denoted in the buy menu by the CR after their names. For regular Inner Sphere ‘mechs Clan weapons will not be visible in equipment menu.