Casual CTF-3L "Pugly Poker" (2x LPL, 1x AC/20, MASC, STD 285)

Thread in 'CTF-3L' started by ChetSinclair42, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. ChetSinclair42

    ChetSinclair42 New Member

    3
    2
    3


    I've had a lot of fun and success in Quickplay with this build on the loyalty (L) variant given for free a while back. The large pulse lasers in the side torsos are mounted relatively high, allowing you to hill hump with them, while the AC/20 in the right torso is better suited for right side poking but it you're careful it isn't mounted too low.
    Without MASC engaged it has a top speed of 66 kph, and only 84.4 kph when engaged, but the boost to speed is not the reason for the MASC. With MASC you have near instantaneous acceleration (185%) and deceleration (175%), and a big boost to your turning rate (35%). To properly use this build you need to have throttle decay turned OFF, bind a key for the MASC (NOT toggle, that will just get you into trouble and burn your legs out), bind a key for Full Stop, one for Set Throttle 100%, and one for Invert Throttle. I wish there was a key bind to set your throttle to -100% (full reverse), but the MASC still lets you get to max reverse speed very quickly with or without inverting the throttle.
    Don't just hill hump or poke like this is any other mech. You NEED to use the MASC to peek, release MASC and shoot as soon as your target reticle calms down, then IMMEDIATELY start reversing, torso twisting, and turning to the side with MASC engaged to retreat to cover. OR, if it is "safe" to shoot another salvo and/or finish them off you can immediately go back into full speed ahead and punish your target before they can finish twisting and getting back behind cover. People are constantly caught off guard by a 70 ton IS mech with a pancake profile being as agile as this thing is. The MASC can also get you from cover to cover more quickly, and if you really need to GTFO you should be able to max out the MASC meter and not blow a leg by the time it cools back down.
    It can run rather hot, so personally I put skill points into all the Cool Run and Heat Containment nodes under Operations, as well as the Heat Gen nodes under Firepower. I also took half the Survival tree for 12.8% armor bonus, and the Auxillary nodes to be able to equip 2 Cool Shots. I would avoid putting any points into the Mobility tree as the MASC provides all you need. With both Magazine Capacity nodes you'll have 30 AC/20 shots, not 24. I spread the rest of my points among the Range, Velocity, Laser Duration, and Cooldown nodes.
     
    CarloArmato likes this.
  2. CarloArmato

    CarloArmato Professional Potato Carrier

    1,108
    336
    165
    Welcome to mechspecs!

    Build is quite interesting but if you are planning to exploit the MASC for safe pokes it means you are planning to receive little to no returning fire, hence I would rather shave arms to 0 armor, slightly downgrade the engine and fit an additional DHS.


    As a pure poker I would prefer my HGR+5xERML build: bigger alpha, almost identical sustained damage...

    But your build actually gave me another idea: why not fit SNPPCs? One of the main issues of the MASC is that you can't fire while it is activated, so activating the MASC during a poke will result in bad aiming and wasted damage... But you can avoid it at all if you fit SNPPCs and be even quicker to poke thanks to a bigger engine. This build also features a very similar sustained DPS and can side poke / nascar from the right.
     
  3. ChetSinclair42

    ChetSinclair42 New Member

    3
    2
    3
    To successfully land all five of those ERML, or any of those snub-nose PPC you have to expose much more of yourself for much longer because the arm weapons are so low slung. If you are humping a hill you're only doing 35 damage from an alpha with the 5x ERML + HGR build, and you require more face time to get the full burn of the lasers and the the charge of the HGR if you're not holding it while you position yourself. With the 2x snub PPC build you're only doing 20 damage from your alpha. The rest of your damage is hitting the ground. And that is assuming either the HGR or the AC20 doesn't hit the ground (it may not be drastically low mounted but it is still low), which would otherwise reduce your damage output down to 10 and 0 respectively. With this build the torso mounted LPLs will still spit out 20 damage even if the AC20 slug hits the ground.
    Despite being a pancake the arms are actually pretty good at shielding, with skill points and the armor quirks you're actually looking at 30 points of armor in the arms, and I personally like having the extra padding to shield with. This allows you to still poke when it isn't "safe", and provide that extra buffer to shield with when you need it.
    MASC does mess up your aim, but it only takes a moment for the reticle to settle down once you release the button, which plenty of time to pop someone in the CT and twist/hide away before they can lay into your CT. You can also fire with MASC engaged, it just fouls up your aim. If you're fighting someone face to face, as long as they aren't a tiny light or small/skinny medium then you are likely to hit them with both LPLs and the AC20, but you sure as hell aren't hitting their CT with any of them unless you get lucky or you're so close you're grinding torso armor against them.
    Personally I just don't like playing with guass rifles much because of the charging time required, and I felt much less agile and able to respond to my opponents with the HGR. The AC20 also has a small edge in optimal range. The cooldown of the HGR is a bit longer than the AC20 and combined with the charging time I find I can press home the advantage on someone's open CT or rear with the AC20. That being said, it does lack arm weapons, so you can't shoot down any UAVs over head and it is harder to track those fast moving lights. I feel it is easier to shoot lights at point blank range with the AC20 than the HGR though, and the short duration of the LPLs does help a lot against them.
    Really a lot of this boils down to personal preference and play style, but the CTF's arm mounts really are crap. Sometimes I miss having arm lasers, the faster velocity of the HGR slug, and the higher alpha, but personally I found myself performing better in this. A few extra kph isn't going to improve the CTF much, it is still slow, and the power of the MASC is the accel/decel boosts not so much the raw speed.
     
  4. CarloArmato

    CarloArmato Professional Potato Carrier

    1,108
    336
    165
    IMHO it feels more natural to side poke and never ever think about hill humping with this chassis: you will find a way to "win" bad hardpoint location and you will be able to alpha strike a lot easier... To be fair, there are other mechs, like warhammer 6R, that can achieve this very same build with LE but without MASC, or even better poky hill hump damage with dual gauss and mediums.

    I do get you want to hill hump with this chassis and the build you posted is probably the best it can be pulled out with the given hardpoints. I honestly never thought about hill humping with this mech because it simply doesn't work decently compared to other builds and that's the reason I've never bothered trying due to lack of hardpoints. In the end I found out side poking is less common due to maps geometry, but works as well.
     
  5. ChetSinclair42

    ChetSinclair42 New Member

    3
    2
    3
    I would go further and say there are just better mechs for it. No argument with you there. A Hunchback's hunch is much better mounted for both hill humping and side poking and can spit out more damage with better heat, but there are also much better mechs for basically everything, compared to the CTF-3L. There aren't a lot of builds for this variant on here, and I don't often see it in game. When I do see someone else piloting it, they're usually running 4x LPLs on it, and not doing well.
    I've been asked a few times in-game recently how to build this, so I figured I'd post it and give people some more options.
     
    CarloArmato likes this.

Share This Page