Mech Spotlight 2: The Summoner
Welcome to the second Mech Spotlight, an intermittent series where I take a look at a chassis in BTA that I love more than is perhaps reasonable. This spotlight is on the famous Clan OmniMech, the Summoner.
The Summoner is a 70 ton heavy Clan OmniMech. There are 9 variants of the Summoner, with a wide variety of loadouts between them. The Summoner, as a Clan OmniMech, has both the Clan positive/negative quirks as well as the OmniMech quirk, giving it extremely rapid repair and refit times, even when blasted into scrap. The Summoner's affinity is Unlimited Power, which gives 10% damage to all energy, missile, and ballistic weapons, just enhancing its flexibility.
The Summoner comes with 9 variants, however as an OmniMech, they aren't actually that different. Because the base gear on OmniMechs is locked to the chassis, most variants are interchangeable. The only thing to consider when looking at OmniMechs is their hardpoint layout and the Summoner actually has no hardpoint variation among its variants, having 2 omni hardpoints in both arms and both side torsos on every variant.
The Summoner model comes from MechWarrior Online, which is made by Piranha Games Inc.
Because it is an OmniMech, going through the variants is largely pointless so I won't bother. They're defined only by their stock loadouts. Instead, with OmniMechs I'll be discussing their "base gear" and how that defines the chassis. The Summoner itself is an interesting chassis, if a little strange. As a 70 tonner, the Summoner's 350-rated Clan XL engine gives it a high ground speed of 6 hexes on a walk and 9 on a sprint. Additionally, the 5 hard-mounted heavy jump jets increase the maneuverability by a significant amount, giving the Summoner the ability to get anywhere on the field of battle relatively quickly. It comes with hard-mounted Clan Ferro-Fibrous armor, for a little weight-saving, but lacks Endo-Steel. The heat sinks are fixed Clan DHS as well as fixed E-Cooling +4, ensuring the Summoner has excellent heat dissipation at all times (84 heat in a neutral environment).
Looking over the chassis, the thing that comes to mind is that the Summoner was made for maneuverability over everything. It is fast for its weight and the jump capability really improves upon that maneuverability. This suggests to me that it would serve best in a sort of fast flanker role: coming around the side of the enemy to pressure the flanks and distract them while the main combat force takes advantage of that distraction. The lack of Endo-Steel means that it can carry slightly less tonnage than would be idea, but the cXL engine and the cFF armor do give enough weight-savings for decent loadouts. Coming with 8 hardpoints across the whole body gives a good spread of possible builds, with both laser spam and missile spam working well. The main weapons that the Summoner cannot make use of effectively are heavy ballistics, as it just doesn't have the space. From stock, the mech has 22.5 tons of pod space to work with, which isn't enough for heavy ballistics. At best, it could do a 20-class AC of some flavor and a few lasers for backup, but there's much better chassis for that than the Summoner. One of my personal favorite Summoner builds is SRM spam with ArtIV. The mech can easily carry SRM 30+ with ammo and thanks to its speed and maneuverability it can put those SRMs where it hurts, every time.
The Summoner is a mech that I like quite a bit. I enjoy the heavy flanker role and the Summoner does it better than a lot of other mechs. It's not great at holding a line and trading fire and it's not an incredibly versatile 'mech due to limited pod space, but if you use it to its strengths (fast, heavy, flanking strikes) it'll serve you well. Not a huge amount else to really say: it's got a specific job, it does it well, it looks good doing it, not much to complain about. The only real negative the 'mech has in my eyes is the fairly glaring lack of Endo-Steel. Almost every variant has space for it, it's just a silly omission by the original mech designers.
The Summoner is a 'mech with a role. Use it in that role and you'll profit. Don't, and don't. Simple as that. Come back next time for a wild card mech that you might not think about too much!