"Locust 1S models tend to sacrifice the little armor they normally mount to fire respectable SRM salvos. Definitely useful for hit-and-runs, especially if those shots provide the extra punch to knock down a target." - Yang Virtanen
The Locust LCT-1S is a Light-class 'Mech in Battletech.
The Locust 1S is the close-combat variant of the standard 1V model. The machine guns have been swapped with two SRM-2 racks, at the cost of one ton of armor. Remaining in motion is still the Locust's best defense.
While not quite the LCT-1M in terms of loadout versatility, the LCT-1S has the LCT-1V beat in terms of usable hardpoints, so that's a start. And really, four missile hardpoints do allow for some pretty silly things if you're willing to throw all pretenses of armor out of the window.
- The stock build is quite straightforward, playing much like a (very, very) poor man's Jenner with hit-and-run attacks that also contribute just a little stability damage with the SRMs. Lacks anything resembling the Jenner's potent laser carving power, though.
- Since you've only got one energy hardpoint and not much tonnage to work with, the ML is really the only viable energy weapon. The insane among us can strip everything to mount an LL or a PPC, but that kind of craziness is best left to the LCT-1V you started the game with as it does not have that much better to do.
- The single support weapon hardpoint can be used for an SL or Flamer at the expense of armor if you really like to get in close with the enemy. The extra damage of the former may be worth it to you, especially if you favor the hit-and-run strategy.
- Stripping the ML allows for the addition of a third SRM2 (or replacement of an SRM2 with an SRM4, or replacement of both with an SRM6...) to turn the LCT-1S into a pure SRM6 shotgun. It's faster than a Commando-2D (another light 'mech devoted to missiles) and might just get you that last bit of stability damage to knock the occasional enemy 'mech over. Sacrifices a little raw damage, though, and if you do run out of ammo (after 16.66666666... salvos) you're out of everything.
- Technically, the Locust does have 7 free tons if you are willing to forego armor entirely. If so, consider moving up to an SRM12 combo for maximum punch for all of 8.333333... salvos. Maximum is a relative term here, and fragility will likely limit you to hit-and-run only, which might actually reduce your ammo problem. Enemy sensor locks and LRM fire will ruin your day quickly, though. As will repair bills.
- In between the extremes, any combo from the stock SRM4 to SRM12 can be made viable depending on the situation and how much armor you dare to lose.
- Lastly, at the expense of all armor you can kit yourself out with a 3xLRM5 build that packs 1 ton of ammo to become the smallest of LRM boats. For 8 turns, you can have one-and-a-half LCT-1Ms for the price of one! Afterwards... well, there's always that 15 melee damage. Still, if you favor punch over consistency and can avoid return LRM fire, it's an option.
- In order to survive any kind of open combat while still contributing damage, Locusts need to take advantage of their speed to maintain maximum evasion at all times. Note that, without the tonnage to mount a meaningful number of jumpjets, the terrain of certain maps can make it very difficult to maneuver around the enemy in the way that you want. If the terrain allows it, try to maneuver to the enemy's rear arc, where even the lightly-armed Locust can do some meaningful damage in the early game.
- Alternatively, you can play with the initiative order by running in behind cover, reserving on the next turn until all enemy turns have passed, running in, firing, and then immediately ducking behind cover again at the top of the next round. Rinse and repeat ad nauseam. If the terrain doesn't get in your way (and the enemy doesn't have the speed to chase after you), this strategy can work wonders and keep the Locust perfectly safe, but it takes a lot of time to do significant damage since you're only firing the already anemic weapon loadout every other round. Getting the Ace Pilot skill removes the damage penalty, but by the time that you've got pilots with Ace Pilot, you should have something better than a Locust for them to take to the field in.
- If you've replaced the SRMs with LRMs to pretend to be an LCT-1M, use the same survival tips as that 'mech.
- As such, since it has no armor, don't ever take it. Ever. At least it makes it easy to wipe out.