Weighing in at 40 tons with a max speed of just over 165 KPH, the Assassin joins the ranks of such mechs as the Cicada, Ice Ferret, and Viper as "technically a medium but really it's an oversized light". I don't think this is necessarily a good or bad thing, but the way the pack is structured does
make me pretty happy.
First off, there's some uniqueness to some of the builds. Nothing is terribly radical, but at least it's not a situation like the MAD-IIC where virtually nothing is new (though I feel the need to point out that the Marauder IIC will absolutely be a stronger mech than the Assassin).
But the thing that I really love is how the hero and (to a lesser extent) the reinforcement pack both suck
. Not the worst mechs in the game or anything, and there are a couple of decent things you can do, but by far the best and most interesting builds on the chassis are found on the base 3 variants. And oh man, that's some nice stuff right there. I don't even remember the last time that happened. Kinda wish that it had happened for a more brilliant mech, but I'm not complaining!
So I'm a fan of the structure of the pack, but let's dig into the particulars about the variants themselves.BuildsASN-21
- Endo, Ferro (stripped arms, 7 in head, max elsewhere), XL325 (141.5KPH), 1 JJ
- 4x SRM4 with 4.5 tons of ammo
- 10 DHS
I'll just say it; it's a jumpjetting Oxide. Obviously we don't know what the quirks are, but...this build has the potential to be good. At the very least, I expect it'll be quite fun, and it's definitely my most anticipated. And yeah, unless it gets good PPC quirks, I expect it'll be the most powerful variant too. Which makes me quite happy, because it's so rare that the primary variant of a chassis is the best.ASN-23
- Endo, Ferro (left arm stripped, max elsewhere), XL320 (139.3KPH), 3 JJs
- 3x SRM2 with 2 tons of ammo
- 3x SPL
- 13 DHS
Certainly not one of the more impressive variants, but it's still got my engines going. I've got this dumb thing for SRM2s, but they never make any sense, and slapping some small pulse in there too just makes me so pleased. Could get pretty hot, but the DPS is decent (and focused) enough.ASN-101
- Endo, Ferro (left arm stripped, max elsewhere), XL265 (115.4KPH), 2 JJs
- 3x Large Laser
- 12 DHS
This certainly isn't the most powerful build I've ever seen, and I imagine it will still work better on all sorts of Cicada variants, but there's a limit on how bad it can be at least. It's hard to tell where those side torso energy mounts are going to be, so here's hoping they're near the top!ASN-26
- Endo, Ferro (stripped arms, 7 in head, max elsewhere), XL280 (121.9KPH), 4 JJs
- 2x PPC
- 12 DHS
This is probably my second most anticipated build, and the good news is that you can do it on most of the Assassin variants pretty well! I like it here because it puts both PPCs in the same side torso, but you can put it on the ASN-101 without issue, or the ASN-27 for ECM and a better chance at quirks (though you'll have to make sacrifices for that fit).ASN-27
- Endo, Ferro (stripped arms, 7 in head, max elsewhere), XL265 (115.4KPH), 1 JJ
- 2x LRM10 with 7 tons of ammo
- 10 DHS, ECM
Yeah I'm really not a big fan of this variant, so I figured "what the hell, might as well showcase LRMs". It actually fits surprisingly well (can't manage Artemis, but that's not much of a surprise), but I doubt I'll actually play this build on release.DarkDeath
- Endo, Ferro (stripped arms, 7 in head, max elsewhere), XL280 (121.9KPH), 1 JJ
- 2x Artemis SRM6 with 3 tons of ammo
- 2x MPL
- 11 DHS, ECM
Yeah, it's really nothing special. Cool that it can run ECM and all, but ECM isn't strong enough to make up for a massive dearth of hardpoints. We could be looking at another St. Ives' Blues (not the worst thing in the world, for the hero to be worse than the regular variants).Value
If you're going to get the pack, I would highly recommend just going for the base 3. If the reinforcements or hero are worth a damn, it's going to be by virtue of quirks, and you can't count on that. I'd just go for the base pack, and add others on later if
you like what you see in the quirks.
As far as whether or not it's worth buying in the first place, that's up to you. Obviously a 40-tonner isn't going to be giving you a bargain as far as the $$ to C-Bill conversion goes, but the idea is that the pre-order is there to support development rather than just buying this mech.Predictions
The ASN-27's 50% PPC heat gen and velocity quirks will make it an absolute powerhouse and it'll be included in every comp drop.
But seriously, this was clearly never meant to be a super-powerful mech. I could certainly see some of the variants being used if the quirks are good enough (in particular the ASN-21 and any variant that can mount two PPCs), but I'll be surprised if more than one or two variants make it out of Tier 4. Pleasantly surprised, though.
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!