What I realized is that you absolutely have to mount big ballistics and in numbers. You should be able to dump huge alphas in short time, capable of severely crippling any mech that dares to expose themselves to you. You make up your limited mobility and targeting with raw firepower and armor. Doing this also has a psychological effect on the enemy team, much like LRM spam. Any mech caught exposed by you will be instantly demoralized by how much armor they lost, classify you as a "must avoid target", believe the enemy has superior firepower and will be more passive afterwards. Heavy ballistics allow you to torso twist effectively by "dumping and twisting", which is crucial to protecting this mechs' relatively fragile CT hitbox.
I was experimenting more with ML/LL's before because I was trying to make the Banshee something they aren't. Fast(well, for an Assault) fire support and laser brawlers. But this ML/LL approach decreases your survivability by exposing you longer to return fire and doesn't create that psychological effect I just mentioned.
Another huge advantage the heavy ballistics offer is that they improve the hitboxes. Let's look at these two different Banshee's:
The first has a "clean" 3M with 5xML/3xLL combo. The second has 3xPPC/5xML with PPC's occupying the lower torso energy hardpoints. They look similar right? Let's take a look at what happens when you torso twist(keep in mind, the side "walls" of the CT still count as CT, not ST):
|90 degrees "clean" configuration|
|90 degrees with the PPC configuration|
|Clean configuration with some angle|
|PPC configuration with some angle|
The situation changes a bit for the more "realistic" angled case. The mounts cover more of the CT, especially the lower part of it. The arms block the vision from the Mechlab perspective, but when they're blown off the mounts give a complete coverage of the lower CT. So you actually benefit by filling up the lower hardpoints with PPCs and ACs.
The angled case also shows how hard it is to protect the CT, whatever the angle is the CT is always visible and vulnerable. What's worst, it also covers the the far ST further limiting the damage spread potential. The huge head also contributes to it. If you need to quickly take out a Banshee, go for the head area for more hits on CT. These pictures also show how important the arms are for the Banshee's survival, they block a fair amount of CT/ST view, especially in 3S' case.
I will detail the latest iterations of my Banshee builds in the next post.