In the opening turns of the match, the 6T can provide some limited fire support with its missiles, but damage output will be nominal until the PPC is in range - this is when the mech becomes a force on the battlefield. A substantial number of heat sinks allow the Zeus to maintain maximum speed and an aggressive firing rate within 24", keeping damage output competitive with some purpose-built fire support mechs such as the CPLT-C1 Catapult.
Despite the large number of heat sinks, Zeus pilots should treat the LLas as a backup weapon while the LRM still has ammo. If the LLas is overused in conjunction with the PPC and LRM, the Zeus faces an aggressive heat ramp that redlines after 5 rounds of shooting. The heat benchmark shows the Zeus' susceptibility and sensitivity to overheating; 6T's total damage benchmark plummets 39.9% below baseline when running hot.
Zeus pilots should expend their LRM ammo as quickly as possible, not only to deliver damage early in the match, but also to increase their own odds of survivability.
With a respectable top speed of 64.8 kph, the Zeus can keep up with most heavy mechs and outpace nearly all other assault mechs of its era. The lack of jump jets on the Zeus can be problematic if the pilot runs into dense terrain, but the 6T can handle low-grade elevation changes and still claim a +2 target modifier. Ample heat dissipation allows the ZEU-6T to move at maximum speed and still maintain baseline damage from the damage benchmark (146.90 ACD while running versus 147.81 ACD walking, over 12 turns).
The 6T's alpha strike is maximally effective at 6", tapering off rapidly as range is reduced; an alpha strike at 12" is as effective as one taken at 3". Within 4" the Zeus struggles to remain competitive for its class, as both primary weapons are hampered with a minimum range. A noticeable damage plunge at point-blank places the this mech at a marked disadvantage against dedicated brawlers, and the 6T's lack of total armor limits its ability to survive in protracted short-range firefights.
The Zeus is a text-book Frontline mech, with weapons spanning across the range spectrum and enough speed to close on enemy fire support or keep brawlers outside of their optimal range. As long as the 6T stays within 20" and outside of point-blank range, it won't disappoint in terms of damage output. This mech sees its biggest maximum ACD bump at 12" where the MLas come into play and the PPC reaches medium range. The Zeus' mobility stacked with range penalties can offset its relatively low armor factor.
The LRM-15 and PPC tandem make the Zeus a enticing support choice, and it can preform admirably - until the LRM ammo runs out. Although the Zeus can effectively play a fire support role in medium or heavy lances, it will be outperformed over time by mechs with more LRMs and larger ammo stores.
Firepower, size, mobility and a low BV cost make this mech an attractive choice for your best pilot. As a command mech with elite piloting and gunnery levels, the 6T is tough to bring down and difficult to ignore. The Zeus is also one of the few mechs that is called out in the dual cockpit rules; a feature which can make it especially difficult for opponents to manage.
A simple and effective modification is to flip the rear-facing MLas to front-facing. The 6T has the heat capacity to put it to good use in the forward arc and the arm-mounted PPC is enough to fend off any targets that end up in the rear arc. The optimized ACD jumps by a substantial 7 points, and the Zeus becomes noticeably more effective within 6" since the less efficient LLas can be ignored in favor of firing a pair of MLas for more damage and less heat. By the numbers, this is a must-do optimization - on the table, it will give the ZEU-6T an additional degree of flexibility in terms of heat management, and allow the mech to transition seamlessly from medium to short range.