After finishing the game and seeing that alot of people are having trouble with it, I want to help.
Armor, Weapons, Skills
The game thinks that it is reasonable to sacrifice tons of armor in order for you to equip a single weapon, and to have you run hot while doing so.
- 1 ton = 90 armor, i.e
- 1 jumpjet = 45 armor
- 1 medium laser = 90 armor (25 damage per round)
- 1 ac2 ammo = 90 armor
- 1 ac2 = 450 armor (25 damage per round)
The first thing you want to do is pull off those jumpjets, nothing they do it worth the heat and the tonnage that they are bringing to the table. Then you want to max your armor sliders, anything you have to take off to do this is fine. Often you will have a non whole number at this point so take some armor off of your rear LT CT and RT until you have a whole number you can work with. Now we are ready to build the mech for success.
LRMs, PPCs, Large lasers, AC2/5/10 are not worth the weight they bring to your boats. (Catapult is a possible exception to the LRM statement because two LRM 20s can be useful at times)
Your best friends are SRMS, Medium lasers, and Small Lasers. Pack those onto the mechs and try to run as heat neutral as possible, you want to be able to fire every turn.
Idealy there are 3 skills you want on every pilot you have in order of importance as follows. Bullwark, Evasive Target, Multitarget.
Bullwark makes you take half damage while standing still, Evasive give you extra evage when you have to move, and multitarget is for later when you have good called shots and you know you dont need to put all your damage on one target.
Vigilance and Called shots are the general skills everyone has, dont use called shots until you have high skill in tactician which is the last tree you should raise up. Vigilance is amazing, Vigilance moves you up one slot in the initiative and puts you guarded and entrenched, Vigilance can be used before you move and still works at the end of a move (to include sprinting).
So in order to use all those SRMS and Medium and Small lasers we need to close the gap to our opponents but not have them hurt us in doing so. Pop Vigilance and then sprint forward you will end up with entrenched and guarded and a ton of evasion for the next round. Then you reserve to maintain those defences through the next round until you get to go last at which point your bulwark will kick in if you dont move. You should essentialy always be taking half damage.
Last thing is the AC20, dont use them until you have an assault mech. When you do get an assault mech slap these on there and then the game is even more easy mode.