compiled overview of the 70ton Archer 'mech, from various BattleTech novels and game sourcebooks:



The ARC-2R Archer is one of the best-known designs still in use today. First produced in 2474, the Archer quickly earned respect and popularity among BattleMech regiments that was unequalled by any other type. Star League records show that nearly 100,000 Archers were constructed before the beginning of the Succession Wars. Most of these have now been destroyed or lost to spare parts depots. However, some production of the many Archer variants continues to this day in most of the Successor States.

The Archer was designed initially as a heavy-hitting assault 'Mech, able to pound defending units at long range as it approached. Over the centuries, it has also been used in a variety of other roles, ranging from city busting to indirect fire support.

The ARC-2R Archer is an early model assault 'Mech. Its two Doombud LRM 20-racks can support an attack or defensive situation in the initial stages of combat. The two self-loading missile storage bins located on each side of the upper torso beneath the launchers are ample enough for continued bombardment as long as necessary. The four Diverse Optics Type 18 medium lasers are designed for medium- to short-ranged combat, with two of them positioned in a central turret above the cockpit for rearward fire.

The Archer is one of the few BattleMechs whose cockpit is located beneath the central torso. This obviously gives the pilot a battlefield perspective quite different from most normal cockpit positions. Armor protection is still about the same as in other heavy 'Mechs, however, as the torso armor belt is located above the cockpit area, protecting the gyro mechanism and the VOX 280 engine unit.

Like so many other 'Mechs, the Archer is plagued with heat build-up problems, which makes it dangerous to shoot both the long-range missiles and the medium lasers at the same time. Nor is the 'Mech particularly effective in toe-to-toe combat, despite its two heavy battle fists. Another problem is the Archer's familiarity. It has been around so long that all combatants know its design capabilities and its weaknesses too well. Though still an effective battle machine, there are rarely any new tricks an Archer can spring on an opponent.

During the defense of Rallonsdown Starport on the planet Chian in 2931, an Archer piloted by Suizo Ozawa of House Kurita Repair and Replacement Station 241 was set upon by a full lance of Bandit King Helmar Valasak 'mechs. After several hours of hit-and-run tactics, Ozawa had destroyed two of the four attackers. Heavily damaged, his Archer charged the remaining two pirate 'Mechs, crippling one with the last shot from his medium lasers. The remaining enemy Shadow Hawk delivered a devastating attack with his autocannon, followed by a series of punches that toppled Ozawa's Archer into the surrounding rubble of buildings. Knowing the Shadow Hawk was coming in for the kill, Suizo Ozawa set his Diverse Optics Type 18 medium lasers into overload in hopes of setting off its remaining ammunition and attempted to eject. The explosion engulfed both 'Mechs, and caught Ozawa before he could clear the escape tube. In 2932, Repair and Replacement Station 241 was renamed Ozawa Station in his memory.



Note: Information used here was the domain of FASA before they split the rights between Wizkids LLC and Microsoft (table-top gaming and video games respectively). Copyright of the fluff text is in limbo, but names of persons, places, & things are without any doubt the property of Wizkids LLC. Use of any terms here related to the BattleTech trademark are not meant as a challenge to Wizkids LLC's rights.

Sometime in 2004 or 2005, Adam Reed (one of the creators of the hilarious Sealab 2021) was wandering around a city in some foreign country or something and had trouble talking to a girl. In desperation, as men will, he resorted to his imagination, and imagined a super-suave and dashing spy who always had the perfect line ready and waiting.

Of course (and here I'm guessing rather than going by what I've read online) he probably then immediately fell back into thinking sadly about the various forms of office politics and corporate bureaucracy that he was likely dealing with, seeing as how he writes for television.

And then a miracle occurred.

All I've had today is, like, six gummi bears and some scotch.

-Sterling Archer

Archer is a short-form (half-hour time slot, so around 22 minutes without ad breaks) animated television comedy. It is about the (mis)adventures of the employees of a private espionage agency named ISIS. It is what you would get if you crossed James Bond, The Office and a bit of South Park. It is seriously irreverent (read: SWEARING AND NUDITY) and hilariously funny. At least, I think so.

The characters:

Sterling Archer: 'Lead' agent of ISIS. Code name Duchess which sort of pisses him off. A handsome, proficient-at-mayhem, and maybe even proficient-at-spying complete douchebag manchild.

Malory Archer: Head of and perhaps owner of ISIS, and Sterling's mom. Which explains so much. Carries on phone sex relationships with Soviet KGB officers (yes, the USSR still exists in Archer).

Lana Kane: 'Top' agent of ISIS. Actually competent, buxom, African-American, and Sterling's ex. There is bad feeling there.

Cyril Figgis: ISIS accountant; as of show opener, dating Lana. All-around milquetoast. Clingy.

Cheryl/Caryl/Carol: Malory's assistant. Has interesting tastes in sex. Apparently not very bright. Gossips a lot with...

Pam Poovey: Head of Human Resources. Responsible for the company newsletter. A plus-sized woman and big eater. Also, can fit three pool balls in her mouth at once. Has a big, big mouth in other ways too, which is unfortunate for the HR director responsible for handling mediations and personnel files.

Dr. Krieger: ISIS' version of Q. Head of the lab. Has a very wide-eyed, fixed stare, and tends to come up with disturbing solutions to problems. As well as disturbing anecdotes. Once built a sex robot he calls 'Fister Roboto.'

Ray Gillette: ISIS office worker and occasional field agent. Extremely gay. Voiced by Adam Reed.

The show takes place in a sort of alternate universe. Judging by some of the technology (cell phones, ATMs, and spy tech) it's present day. But judging by the fashions and interior decoration and the cars, it's the 1960s. If you go by the computers, it's the early 1980s. In the Archer universe, the USSR still exists, the KGB still holds sway, but terrorism is still a big deal. It's OK, just go with it, it enhances the funny.

One of the best characteristics of the show is the emphasis on office politics and boring corporate concerns when they're juxtaposed with the fact that everyone is armed and/or has access to serious weaponry.

These corporate bag munchers owe me $630 for my GODDAMN FLEX ACCOUNT!

-Doctor Krieger, brandishing a Molotov Cocktail over a stack of Health Plan forms

Not to mention problems with corporate hiring regulations...

Archer: "What? You're black...ish..."

Lana: "ISH?"

Archer: "Well, what's the word for it, Lana? You freaked out when I said 'quadroon!'"

...yeah. It just gets worse from there.

Anyway, that's the joke in a nutshell. It's a story about office politics and gossip and romance and general backstabbing, but it's set in a James Bond-ish or True Lies-ish spy agency. Oh, and Sterling has a completely dysfunctional relationship with his mother. And that's before somebody implants a chip in his head that makes him try to assassinate her.

Strongly recommended. You can find it on NetFlix streaming, or on various other avenues around the net. Season 3 is about to begin as of January 19th, 2012 on U.S. television, on FX. (GhettoAardvark says: "cracks me up to NO END that this is somehow the highest rated program FX has ever run." Amen.)

Arch"er (#), n. [archier, F. archer, LL. arcarius, fr. L. arcus bow. See Arc, Arch, n.]

A bowman, one skilled in the use of the bow and arrow.

 

© Webster 1913.

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