Man that’s really not an attractive name.
As you may be able to infer, Gauss Vomit is basically a version of Laser Vomit that replaces some of the lasers (and heatsinks) with one or more Gauss Rifles. These builds were popularized by the OG Space Whale, on which Laser Vomit alone would have left about 20 tons over, but the philosophy was soon extended to the Timber Wolf and Stormcrow. Due in large part to the fitting efficiency of the cER Medium Laser, Gauss Vomit builds have been restrained mainly to Clans, though there are a few good options for IS as well.
- Gauss Rifle
- cER Medium Laser
- cLarge Pulse Laser
- cER Large Laser
- Large Laser
- Medium Laser (sort of)
- Gauss Vomit builds capture the vast majority of favorable qualities that come with Laser Vomit builds. The firepower, range, and formulaic nature of the builds remain largely the same, with only slight adjustments.
- Heat problems are somewhat lessened from pure Laser Vomit – the inclusion of a Gauss Rifle gives you a weapon which can be spammed (well, maybe spammed isn’t the right word) no matter the heat.
- Using a Gauss Rifle means that your damage gets more focused than with pure Laser Vomit, in addition to adding a psychological element to the damage which Laser Vomit really lacks.
- Gauss Rifles have a more skill-intensive firing mechanism than lasers do. It’s hardly rocket science, but you have to actually devote a bit of attention to what you’re doing, including listening and looking for auditory and visual cues of the charge.
- Due to the front-loaded nature of Gauss Rifles, these builds are less forgiving. If you miss your shot, you miss your shot; you can’t drag the crosshair over to the target and adjust the flight path, whereas you can do so with lasers.
- You end up having a similar heat efficiency as a Laser Vomit build, due to the Gauss Rifle(s) taking tonnage away from heatsinks and more heat-efficient weapons.
So I re-read the tips from the Laser Vomit Guide and they’re literally all applicable to Gauss Vomit too. So I’m just gonna copy & paste them below the rest of the tips and italicize them so you don’t have to re-read them if you already have.
- Syncing up the Gauss Rifle and lasers can be a bit of a challenge, particularly when you’re first starting out. There are a few ways to approach this, depending on the situation.
- The first method to charge the Gauss Rifle with one mouse button, and then as you release that one (to fire), you click the mouse button(s) for lasers. This solves the issue of leading the Gauss Rifle while keeping your lasers on target at the same time, but it means that you end up waiting up to a full second from when you see the target to when you shoot. It’s best used at range, when the target is moving quickly, or fast enough that you have to lead by a decent amount, and when the timing of the shot is not essential. A slight variation on this is that, if you have a good idea of where a target is going to peek out from, you can charge your Gauss over and over (without firing) while waiting for them to poke out, and then hit them with your lasers right afterwards.
- Method 2 is to click both at the same time, and release the Gauss once it’s charged. It gets all the damage out the fastest of all methods, but can result in your Gauss round missing/hitting the wrong component, or some of your laser damage getting spread out over the target if you move your mouse to lead the target mid-beam. It’s best used at short range, or when you need to hit the target as soon as you get line of sight.
- Method 3 is to fire the lasers, start charging the Gauss about halfway through the duration, and then fire the Gauss after the beams end. This ensures that you get all the beam on target (well, as much as you would normally at least) in addition to the Gauss, but if the target is going for cover you may never get the chance to hit them with your Gauss Rifle which is a big deal. The only reason for this method is if you need to absolutely maximize your damage and aren’t worried about any complications. It focuses on precision over pretty much everything, which I don’t think is usually a great idea, but every once in a while it’s called for (for example, if nobody’s shooting you and they’re all standing out in the open and you want to burn them down ASAP).
- If you have any unused weapon groups, I recommend mapping your Gauss Rifles to those empty groups: when a Gauss Rifle is charged, the little weapon group indicator for it around the crosshair will turn green, indicating that it’s ready to fire. Personally I don’t find it particularly helpful as it’s such a subtle indication and the sound is way more pronounced, but if you find it helpful go ahead. (Props to /u/mcgral18 for the reminder)
- Try lowering your mouse sensitivity: hitting your target mech and component is only effective if you manage to keep the laser focused there for its duration. A lower mouse sensitivity will help you avoid making overcorrections and will otherwise stabilize your aim.
- This may seem to directly contradict the last tip but, when trading, you don’t need to expose for the full beam duration. If you can avoid being shot back by ducking behind cover early (and you know this), don’t be afraid to do so. This isn’t always the case, as sometimes you need to focus more on dealing damage than receiving it (particularly if you’re healthy), but if you manage to figure out when and when not to do this, it should serve you well. This much is particularly true for Gauss Vomit, as the Gauss Rifle will be frontloaded, meaning that you get a lot more damage out quicker.
- Trade intelligently: note that I use the word “intelligently” instead of “conservatively” or “cautiously”. That’s because, while sometimes you do need to be conservative or cautious or defensive, sometimes you need to be aggressive, reckless, brutal. Your objective, however, should always be for your trades to be “worth”. This can mean a few things. Usually it means that you’re dealing more damage than you receive, but sometimes there are exceptions to this, such as taking a bit more damage than you deal, but if your damage is more effective, like if it kills a mech or takes out their weapons. Another good rule to keep in mind is never to trade against a firing line, as you’ll usually take more damage while exposing than you do total. With Gauss Vomit, you can’t really expect to have free trades due to exposure team, so you often gotta eat the return damage and just make sure that you wreck them in the process.
- If you’re on resting heat, take every opportunity to deal even the tiniest amount of damage, such as if you’re running through cover where there are incremental gaps. Any damage is better than no damage.
- cLarge Pulse Lasers do more damage per heat than cER Medium Lasers, which do more than cER Large Lasers (though of course cER Large lasers are more heat efficient when you get a bit outside the cER Medium Laser optimal range). When running hot, prioritize accordingly. Similarly, for Inner Sphere the Large Laser is more heat efficient than the Medium Laser, which is more heat efficient than the ER Large Laser, though the Large Pulse Laser is far more heat efficient than any of them (but I count that as more of a brawler weapon).