The Supernova certainly lives up to its name in some ways, if not others. This energy boat has nearly enough energy hardpoints to satisfy the cravings of even the most ammo-hating pilot, but its (relatively) low engine cap prevents it from being a personal favorite. With a maximum engine rating of 325, you are not only limited to a meager 62.9 KPH, but also a maximum of 3 additional engine heat sinks. When compared to competing Clan energy boats in the Asault class, it falls far short of the KDK-5 and the MAD-IIC on paper, which is a bad sign for a mech whose supposed specialty is energy weapons.
But mechs don't live and die on paper, and the Supernova has some real merit when it gets to the actual battlefield. If you are fortunate enough to own a variant with side torso energy mounts, they can be a real pleasure to use; the SNV-C is made quite enjoyable by virtue of its high mounts, and the Boiler is able to benefit from the same (though that mech finds its true strength elsewhere). Hitboxes are another strong point of the Supernova, at least relative to some of its fellow Assaults: I found that I was frequently able to roll damage quite well, even if the arms are only barely usable as shields.
It's also worth mentioning the quirks on a few particular variants of the chassis. While these recipient variants are generally the weaker ones, it makes the leveling process much less of a grind. It makes it so there's really only one variant that I didn't enjoy (the SNV-3) and it's just one of those lovely little boosts to quality of life. Though all the agility quirks in the world won't make up for the pitiful engine.
Anyways, I think it's time we talk about...BuildsSNV-1
The hardpoints are what you'd find if you stripped a stock DWF-Prime of its ballistics (and missile). So, not great, but there is a certain build that stuck out to me:
I will say that a huge part of my love for this build is just the way it feels. And a big part of that is putting the cLPL in last. Just knowing that the lasers are arranged so that a great big blue bolt fires from the center of a trio of medium lasers feels so right to me, even if the optimal way to build would be to put the cLPL in first so that it goes up top. But aside from all that, it's a pretty decent build, and can stand up at mid-range as long as you're not hill-humping.
This variant gets arguably the best quirks of the bunch, and that helps it rank as just below average for the chassis, in my mind.SNV-3
My least favorite variant, and probably the worst. The hardpoints are thoroughly unspectacular and the quirks don't do much to help with that. The centerline energy hardpoints are the only truly unique factor, and after trying a few ways of using them, I eventually decided to forgo them entirely.
It's not a bad build by any means, but it's not particularly good. The wide arms and low mounts make trading a real hassle, and it gets hotter than a mech with that firepower should. It's not the best choice, but I suppose it's decent enough.
Despite getting some of the best generic quirks (just a tad better than the SNV-1 for agility, but worse on defense and offense), this is my pick for worst variant, and certainly my least favorite.SNV-A
This is the most missile-oriented variant, and while I've seen a sad number of people making LRM boats out of it, I encourage brawling.
It's really hot for what it is, but that's not the end of the world. Still, it's not as good as I had hope for, and closing in this mech can be a real pain.
Despite all that, it's probably tied with the SNV-1 for my 4th pick. It's just got that unique flavor to it, and in the right situation it can really explode.SNV-B
This mech is meant to be a pretty generic energy boat, from the looks of it, and I suppose it did that job. The high number of energy hardpoints made this build a no-brainer for me:
I don't think you can understand how badly I want just one more energy hardpoint in that center torso. That would mean that each side of the mech can fire 6 cMPLs on its own, it would have a much tighter fit of heatsinks, and I would be happy
As is, it's still my 3rd favorite variant, though it only barely edges out the SNV-1 and SNV-A.SNV-C
This is easily my favorite of the energy boats. Absolutely no quirks, but it has actually high mounts, which makes it pretty much the best at everything ever.
I'm breaking my cardinal rule of putting jumpjets on any mech that can take jumpjets, but you don't get a whole lot out of them anyways. This build and versions that replace 2 or all of the PPCs with cLPLs are my favorites so far, though there are plenty of ways you can take advantage of the high mounts on this beast.
Despite its obvious strengths, its lack of quirks and low engine cap reall hold it back. It's good and I had fun playing it, but it's not a mech that would keep calling me back for more. Still, the second best of the bunch in my view.Boiler
This is pretty much a case of the Hero being better than the other options, and offering much more interesting builds. That being said, the main build I played wasn't exactly...groundbreaking.
It's not the only build you should run on this variant (there are some cool LBX options
), but it's clearly the best as far as I can tell.
And it's the best variant, too. I'm not super excited about that prospect, but at least it struggles to compete against fellow clan assaults like the Marauder IIC and Dire Wolf.Final Thoughts
It's an interesting and enjoyable chassis, but nothing really stands out to me. The Hero is the strongest of the bunch (which is a big no-no), and I think that it's strong enough to be concerning from at least a pay-to-optimize perspective, but I didn't find its power to be overwhelming. That being said, I'm a bit worried about if its jumpjets will propel it into greatness later on; certainly something to be wary of.
Despite my overall impression of it being not particularly special, it's not bad at all. Not on the level of the Kodiak or Marauder IIC for the most part, but I could see it being comparable to the Dire Wolf (at least certain variants). The best variants should be low Tier 1, high Tier 2.Scores
For what it's worth, I know these scores are silly, subjective, and just about irrelevant. Just kinda feels good to put abstract concepts into numerical form. Tickles part of my brain.
GMan129 is an officer of the Steel Jaguar competitive team, he is the owner of and writer for MetaMechs, and he does some writing for NGNG as well. He has been playing MechWarrior Online since the early days of closed beta, and has spent far too much time and money on this crap. If you're interested in supporting his self-destruction, consider checking out his Patreon!