Although many pilots prefer to keep the CPLT-C1 at maximum range, this mech actually thrives in the 9-16" range bracket, which is evident in the damage benchmark results. This is, in part, due to the array of MLas the C1 can bring to bear, but also a function of LRM's effectiveness; high modifiers at extreme/long range combined with the buckshot of missile hits can limit the ACD of these weapons. This by no means is a write-off for the Catapult as a fire support mech, simply a point-of-note that this mech is better suited to mid-field than deep-field positions.
The Catapult's Achilles heel is its short supply of ammunition. Its big hitting launchers are constrained to 16 shots in total, after which it must depend solely on medium lasers to finish the job. The ACD curve sees a dip from turn 8 to turn 11 in the benchmark, spotlighting the ammunition issue. Although even after the Catapult is out of ammunition, it can move at maximum speed and continuously fire all four MLas without any heat buildup. Heat only becomes an issue if the pilot has the opportunity to alpha strike before ammunition is tapped, or if the jump jets come into play. Firing both LRMs in conjunction with all lasers will push the heat scale to levels that impact gunnery and top speed immediately; successive shots will continue to move the needle over the redline in just 4 rounds, forcing a shutdown. Unless the Catapult has a clear hit & run opportunity, pilots should avoid alpha strikes due to the stacking heat penalties.
The C1 survived 43.8% of the runs in a 12-turn simulation that benchmarks survivability against an Awesome AWE-8Q. The Catapult suffered an incredibly high amount of motive hits, a byproduct of weak leg armor; there is a strong correlation between motive critical hits and eventual kills. Ammunition critical hits made up roughly 50% of the Catapult's deaths; not surprising considering that ammo bins are located in each of the side torsos, and the relative weakness of the arms (considering damage transfers inward). Despite its shortcomings in armor distribution, the CPLT-C1 exhibits acceptable survivability in the gauntlet.
The Catapult is powered by a Magna 260 series engine that propels the mech to a respectable 64.8 kph on the ground. The Catapult is also equipped with four torso mounted jump jets. These are exceptional for helping to maneuver the C1 into optimal firing position, especially when negotiating hills and rough terrain. Because the jump jets are mounted on the torso and not the legs, the Catapult can also traverse shallow rivers with ease. As noted in the defensive capabilities, the weak leg armor of the Catapult makes it a victim of frequent motive critical hits. In that regard, pilots are encouraged to use low-lying hills and structures to provide additional cover for its otherwise vulnerable legs. Tying back to the offensive capabilities, it is essential for the Catapult to begin closing almost immediately and move to point-blank once ammunition runs dry; even a single motive critical can substantially hamper the C1s overall combat effectiveness in this regard.
The CPLT-C1 can hold its own at close range, though for its BV and tonnage, there are much better options available. The four MLas can be lethal, especially considering the pilot can hold down the trigger thanks to the Catapult's immense number of heat sinks. The LRM-15s can also pose a threat within 12", but the Catapult doesn't have the ammunition to stay in the fight with these weapons and the lasers lack concentrated damage potential. Overall, the C1 lacks sustainable, big damage direct-fire weapons to be a real contender in a strike role.
The Catapult has a complete lack of weapons that are notably effective in the 13-20" range bracket, and especially lack mid-range direct fire weaponry. The C1 doesn't see any appreciable gains in damage until it crosses the 12" mark, where absolute maximum damage spikes an additional 20 points, and ACD increases by 11.13. In this regard, the C1 is not very effective at managing the middle of the battlefield, where it will find itself quickly outgunned by mechs packing more powerful direct-fire weapons like PPCs and AC/10s.
The twin LRM-15s make the Catapult a respectable fire support mech, though limited ammunition prevents it from spending the entire battle at long range. Still, the C1 can rain down 240 LRMs over 8 rounds of firing; with a little luck, this is enough firepower to decimate most other heavy mechs. It also carries enough fire power to force piloting checks at extreme range, potentially knocking over and disrupting enemy lance movement.
The Catapult is a great choice when a lance needs keep enemy mechs at bay - such as defending a line breaker style mission. The Catapult can dig in and soften up targets as they close, and then accelerate to maximum speed and go for the killshot with unrelenting MLas fire.
Overall destructions are reduced by just over 10%, ammo explosions decrease by 8%, and motive hits drop by a massive 30% . These are substantial improvements that will still maintain the baseline damage capabilities of this mech. The chart above compares the defensive benchmark totals from the stock C1 and the modified version with our recommended armor improvements. If anything, it underscores the vulnerability of the CPLT-C1's leg armor.