MWO: Let's Build A Good Cicada

Welcome to another irregular feature in which we will tell you how to build a good and sensible mech loadout. You've already read about how bad your loadout is in the “Your Robot Sucks” series, so it's finally time we describe in detail how to create a good loadout. This includes looking at other Mechs which fill identical roles and trying to find well suited niche for the chosen Variant. To keep things interesting, Mechs built will not always be done on the best or most often used Variants.

To kick this feature off, we're going to take a look at “THE X-5.” On the first look, the X-5 seems to come with a perfect loadout, which is actually true to an extent. But the hard truth is that the stock build of the X-5 is actually a very good Jenner-D build, not a very good Cicada build. Some players might try to improve upon the stock loadout, ending up with a bastard build.

Cicada Build Rule #1: If your loadout can be fit on a Commando, it’s not a good build for a Cicada.


Understandably, you should want to put off buying another engine for the X-5, especially since the stock engine seems like such a good deal. But as long as you own a Jenner or Raven, those are your go-to Mechs for fast robots. A Jenner can actually run the same build as the X-5 while retaining a higher speed, but if you don’t own a Jenner or Raven, the X-5 might fill that role for you. Just keep in mind that the Jenner is a lot smaller target and can fit Jump Jets, which is a remarkable difference in mobility. By now, you should have accepted that the Cicada is not the best go-to go fast Mech. Of course, it’s best not to fall to the other extreme end of mech builds and fit the smallest engine possible just to add lots of big guns.

This table shows the weight left over for weapons, ammo, equipment and armor. The only equipment fitted is the engine, of course. Internal structure is upgraded to Endo Steel to get realistic values.

As you'll notice, the 330XL doesn’t work to the strength of the Cicada. A Jenner can go faster with a slightly lower payload. Fitting the biggest engine on both mechs leaves us with the same weight allotment for stuff to shove into our violent combat robots. A X-5 is still a worse choice for bigger engine sizes. It has a larger hitbox than the Jenner, and one really should use the highest amount of armor possible. Since the Cicada chassis can use about 1-ton more armor than a Jenner, using that extra armor is preferable.

The make it simple: just slap a 300XL engine into your X-5. The amount of armor found on the stock X-5 is perfect (268 points of Ferro-Fibrous armor). However, you should remove some arm armor to get the most protection on the torso sections. The ratio between front and rear armor also has to fit your play style. Usually it’s best to have a 4:1 to 5:1 front:rear ratio. Thanks to Endo-Steel Internal Structure, this leaves us with 15 tons for weapons and equipment.

I'm an elistist ass that prefers his table to be sorted alphabetically. When I'm not shooting Gundams with my fiancee, I'm actually putting my horrible opinion into barely legible articles (Don't read my stuff, thanks)