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.
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