Movement is life. Maneuver is victory. Each battlemech has its own speed of movement and range, directly affecting its battle role. Heavy and Assault mechs tend to be slow and cumbersome, trading finesse and speed for sheer durability. Medium and light mechs tend to be nimbler, making effective scouts and flankers, but poor brawlers.
Types of movement
There are three basic types of movement (All measured in 30 meter tile increments) :
- Walking is the slowest pace, but generates no heat, making it an effective way for cautious forays. However, it does not provide any special bonuses unless you end your move in the right terrain.
- Sprinting occurs when a mech consumes over 50% of its movement points. A sprinting mech gains five points of heat, but also gains the Evasive bonus (+50% to attack evasion) on top of increased range.
- Jumpjets allow a mech to rapidly clear obstacles and perform death from above attacks. However, they are the most heat-inefficient method, as the jumping mech gains 5 points of heat and an additional five per distance covered.
Maneuvering over the terrain has one major point: Gaining a tactical advantage. You can be in one of four positions relative to the target mech:
When firing on a target, you can hit its Front, Left, Right, or Rear Arc depending on your position relative to the target’s, indicated by the red arc at the base of the target. This arc determines which Locations on the target your attack will be able to damage: An attack on the left arc cannot damage the Right Arm. If you’ve been dealing damage consistently to one Arc of an enemy mech, it’s a good idea to try to continue dealing damage to the same Arc. This will maximize your chance of punching through Armor and damaging the Structure of Locations on that side of the ‘Mech.
Finally, terrain greatly affects combat. Apart from movement (roads give +50% bonus to movement while rough areas give an opposite, -50% malus), they have varying effects on your performance. Standing near a geothermal vent will double heat accumulation, while taking a stroll near a water source - or dunking the mech in - will halve it. Where you end up and how you exploit these opportunities is a crucial element of combat.