|Manufacturer||Bowie Industries (9M)
|'Mech type||Inner Sphere BattleMech|
|Communications System||Neil 9000|
|Targeting Tracking System||RCA Instatrac Mark XII|
|Heat Sinks||10 single|
The origins of the Archer date back to 2458 when Earthwerks Incorporated debuted a prototype known as the ARC-1A Archer. The design was created at the request of Terran Hegemony's HAF for a new "heavy fire support BattleMech" and took nearly nine years to finalize. This was in part due to the design team; a combination of former HAF MechWarriors, field technicians, and general officer consultants and the company's engineer team led by Supervising Engineer Linn Tommi squabbling over theoretical and practical issues. The complex engineering proposal brought before the HAF included complicated, hard-to-repair stabilization equipment and advanced, computer-slaved sensors, meant to make the Archer the most accurate BattleMech in existence. However, the final prototype abandoned these requirements in favor of a sturdier, blockier, and more heavily armored frame still familiar today. It was so successful that it remained the Hegemony standard for more than a decade and a half until advances in technology allowed Earthwerks to produce a more efficient model.
Introduced in 2474, the ARC-2R Archer became one of the best-known and most widely used BattleMechs available. A contemporary of 'Mechs such as the Thunderbolt and the Banshee, the Archer's primary role was fire support, though early in its combat career it was considered an assault 'Mech capable of long-range brawling, and it was used in a variety of other roles. More than 100,000 Archers were produced between its introduction and the start of the First Succession War, with tens of thousands of its variant models produced over the centuries. Though many were destroyed or dismantled for spare parts, they remained a common sight in the Great House armies, with six different factories producing new Archers throughout the Succession Wars.
The recovery of the Helm Memory Core had a profound effect on the development of the Archer. New variants were produced which utilized rediscovered lostech, giving the venerable 'Mech a few new tricks to surprise its opponents. By the time of the Clan Invasion, most of the major manufacturers had switched over to building these new variants for the Free Worlds League, Federated Commonwealth, Free Rasalhague Republic, and Wolf's Dragoons; only Vandenberg Mechanized Industries continued to build original ARC-2R Archers for the Taurian Concordat. Newer, more advanced variants of the Archer continued to be developed as technology progressed in the years since.
Weapons and Equipment
The Archer is primarily armed with a pair of Doombud LRM-20 missile launchers with four tons of ammunition, enough for two minutes of continuous fire. The ammo was split between the side torsos. When the design was still relatively unknown, some Archer drivers were known to keep their missile bay doors closed in order to fool the enemy, but this trick has since lost its effect. For close combat situations, the Archer carries four Diverse Optics Type 18 medium lasers. Each arm is equipped with a laser, with the other two mounted on a centrally located turret above the cockpit, giving them a clear field of fire to attack targets behind the 'Mech. Though not a particularly adept hand-to-hand combatant, the Archer's oversized battlefists serve it well in close combat and allow it to easily pilfer supplies when taking part in a raid.
The Archer was well protected by thirteen tons of armor and had a cruising speed of 44.1 km/h. However, it suffered from a poor heat management system, with just ten heat sinks to remove waste heat; an Archer firing both LRM launchers and its lasers would quickly start to overheat. The Archer also suffered in part for being so common; most enemy pilots were very familiar with the design's capabilities, and how to exploit that to their advantage. The most unique feature of the Archer compared to other humanoid 'Mechs was its cockpit placement, located beneath the central torso. Although giving the MechWarrior a unique battlefield perspective, this placement didn't provide any additional protection as it sat below the torso armor belt, which shielded the Gyro and engine from enemy fire.
- The original Archer prototype built for the Terran Hegemony in 2458 with Primitive Technology. It was slower than the successor ARC-2R variant with a top speed of 54 km/h with the inclusion of a 255-rated primitive engine. Its loadout was somewhat similar, with the frame housing a pair of LRM-20s and 4 tons of ammunition, but only mounted two medium lasers, one in each fully articulated arm for close-in defense. The inclusion of large armored access panels in the 'Mech's rear made reloading the limited ammunition stores easier. It was also protected by 16 tons of Primitive Armor. At the time, it was praised for its reliability and ease of maintenance, although in combat produced far more excess heat than the machine could handle if all weapons were fired - a similar issue carried over to the later Archer. BV (2.0) = 1,269
- The 2K Archer was a modification built for the Draconis Combine in 2856, designed to increase its direct firepower capability and give it more staying power on the battlefield once it had run out of ammunition. The 'Mech replaced the LRM-20 launchers with two FarFire 15 LRM-15 launchers and removed all of the medium lasers along with some armor. They used this extra weight to add a Large Laser in each arm, and two heat sinks. Besides its use with Combine forces, this variant became common among the KungsArmé following its formation. BV (1.0) = 977; BV (2.0) = 1,356
- Equipped with Star League technology, the 2Rb variant of the Archer was built for SLDF Royal units starting in 2752. Built on an Endo Steel internal structure, this variant dropped one of the rear-firing medium lasers and one ton of ammunition to equip the LRM-20s with Artemis IV fire control systems and CASE. The 2Rb also used ten double heat sinks to keep the 'Mech cool. BV (2.0) = 1,705
- The 2S was another modification made to allow the Archer to defend itself more easily against an enemy that managed to close range with it. Built for House Steiner in 2915, the 2S replaced the LRM-20 launchers with two LRM-15 launchers and used the saved weight to add two SRM-4 launchers, carried in either side torso along with one ton of ammunition per launcher, giving it additional short range firepower. BV (1.0) = 997; BV (2.0) = 1,393
- The 2W, introduced in 3010, was similar to the 2S model but increased its close range firepower in a different manner. Like the 2S, it mounted a pair of SRM-4 launchers but carried just one ton of ammo for them, and it retained the LRM-20 launchers. The two rear firing medium lasers were removed and armor protection was reduced by three tons in order to make these modifications. This was the trademark subvariant used by Wolf's Dragoons, built in the assembly plant aboard their space station Hephaestus Station until its destruction in 3028. Jaime Wolf stated around 3025 that all of the Dragoons' Archers were this variant. Most were eventually upgraded to the 5W, though Jaime's machine was rebuilt with Clan technology. BV (1.0) = 932; BV (2.0) = 1,338
- An upgrade using rediscovered Star League technology, the 4M was built on Calloway VI by Earthwerks in 3049 for the Free Worlds League. It used an Earthwerk Archer II Endo Steel chassis to free up weight for a number of improvements. It carried an additional half-ton of Maximillian 100 armor and utilized ten double heat sinks for added heat dissipation capabilities. The 'Mech also upgraded its twin Doombud LRM-20 launchers by adding Artemis IV fire control systems to the launchers and incorporated CASE to protect the four tons of missile ammo. BV (1.0) = 1,539; BV (2.0) = 1,705
- Developed by ComStar for the Battle of Tukayyid, this Archer variant uses an VOX 280 XL engine and Endo Steel skeleton to free weight, trading durability for enhanced firepower. Protected by eleven and a half tons of armor, it carries two Holly LRM-15s with Artemis IV FCS in each side torso, allowing it to outgun even the venerable Longbow. The arms carry the typical Diverse Optics Type 18 medium laser, and the rear-firing lasers are removed. The biggest drawback is the location of the missile ammunition: Though a ton of ammunition is carried in each side torso, the legs each carry two tons of ammunition. Elementals quickly learned to target the legs to disable the 'Mech. BV (2.0) = 1,609
- Built by the GKT Enterprise factory on Satalice for the Free Rasalhague Republic, the 5R was introduced in 3050 and bore similarities to the 2K model of the Archer. It carried a pair of FarFire LRM-15 launchers but mounted two Victory Nickel Alloy ER Large Lasers, one in either arm, in place of the medium lasers. It also linked Artemis IV fire control systems to the launchers and utilized twelve double heat sinks to improve waste heat dissipation. Despite being built around an Endo-Steel chassis, these improvements necessitated a decrease in armor protection by two tons. BV (1.0) = 1,319; BV (2.0) = 1,672
- The 5S variant of the Archer, built out of Defiance Industries' massive Hesperus II complex in 3050, was the official variant for the Armed Forces of the Federated Commonwealth. The 5S upgraded the engine to an Edasich Motors 280 XL engine, cutting the engine's weight in half while retaining the same speed profile. The 5S also reduced the LRM-20 launchers to Coventry Star Fire LRM-15s. This saved weight was used to add two Coventry T4H Streak SRM-2 launchers, one in each arm and fed by two tons of reloads in the side torsos. They also upgraded the four medium lasers to medium pulse lasers. Finally, the 'Mech carried a Doering Electronics Glowworm Narc Missile Beacon launcher in its left torso along with one ton of ammo. This allowed the Archer to tag enemy units with a beacon so that friendly 'Mechs could more easily hit the unit with their own missile weapons. All of the ammunition carried by the 5S was protected by CASE. BV (1.0) = 1,122; BV (2.0) = 1,353
- The 5W was an upgrade of the 2W variant, and was produced for Wolf's Dragoons by Bowie Industries at Alarion. This was done in an orbital 'Mech repair facility which was converted into a 'Mech assembly line. Introduced in 3050, the 'Mech was upgraded with an XL engine to save weight and used ten double heat sinks for greater heat dissipation. It retained the two LRM-20 launchers but replaced all other weaponry with one TharHes Blue SRM-4 launchers in each arm and a Doering Electronics Glowworm Narc Missile Beacon launcher in the center torso. The 5W was supplied with four tons of LRM reloads, two tons of SRM reloads, and two tons of Narc reloads, all carried in the CASE-protected side torsos. BV (1.0) = 1,128; BV (2.0) = 1,337
- The 6S variant of the Archer was built in 3067 by Bowie Industries using a new light fusion engine, which weighed three quarters of the mass of the original engine. The 'Mech carried two LRM-20 launchers linked to an Artemis IV fire control system, two Streak SRM-2 launchers, and two medium lasers for close combat. As a defensive measure, the 'Mech had an ER Small Laser mounted in the rear of its head. The variant carried six tons of ammo for the LRM and two tons for the SRM, all of which were protected by CASE. BV (1.0) = 1,480; BV (2.0) = 1,694
- The 6W was a Periphery modification of the Archer built by VMI out of New Vandenberg, which used older rather than newer technology. This variant carried its four medium lasers in its arms and mounted eight Rocket Launcher 20s and two Rocket Launcher 10s. These weapons gave it a powerful one-shot capability or could be used one at a time over an extended period. BV (1.0) = 1,239; BV (2.0) = 1,405
- This mixed tech design was produced on Terra and used the Republic of the Sphere. A 350-rated XL engine gives it a top speed of 86 km/h. Two Clan-spec LRM-20s are equipped with Artemis V Fire Control Systems, and carry two tons for each launcher in a CASE II protected bay in each torso. The medium lasers were swapped for Clan spec versions and are tied into a Targeting Computer. Fourteen double heat sinks control the heat, and it's protected by thirteen tons of armor. BV (2.0) = 2,408
- Built for the Capellan Confederation by Earthwerks in 3067, the 7L variant of the Archer incorporated new Stealth Armor and a Guardian ECM Suite for protection against enemy electronics in addition to making the Archer harder to target. The 'Mech carried twelve and a half tons of Stealth Armor and was armed with two LRM-20 launchers with Artemis IV pods and two ER medium lasers. The tradeoff for this massive upgrade was that the 'Mech's top speed was reduced to 54 km/h. In an attempt to compensate for this, the 'Mech also had three jump jets mounted, making it capable of jumping up to ninety meters at a time. The 7L was slated to enter the Capellan Confederation Armed Forces' new Shadow Lances. BV (1.0) = 1,612; BV (2.0) = 1,920
- The Archer 7S was an upgrade of the 6S model, and was introduced in 3070. It used Durallex Guardian Heavy Ferro-Fibrous armor with CASE in place of the Endo Steel structure used on the 6S. The 7S had two LRM-20 launchers with Artemis IV for increased missile accuracy and, for close range defense, carried a Diverse Optics ER medium laser and a rear-facing Magna 200P small pulse laser, in addition to the pair of Hovertec Streak SRM-2 launchers. BV (2.0) = 1,658
- The 8M variant of the Archer was built on an Earthwerk Archer II Endo Steel chassis and mixed elements of several past variants. Introduced in 3067 by Earthwerks for the Word of Blake Militia, this variant was armed with two Delta Dart LRM-15 launchers linked to Artemis IV fire control systems in either side torso and a Diverse Optics Sunbeam ER Large Laser in the center torso for long-range combat. It also mounted three Diverse Optics Sunfire ER medium lasers for short ranged support, one in each arm and the third in its head. This made the 8M effective at all ranges and gave it both long-range direct and indirect capabilities. The 8M was protected by thirteen and a half tons of Maximilian 100 standard armor which was better sloped in order to deflect weapons fire more easily. It carried twelve double heat sinks, and had a similar speed profile to the original Archer. Its upper body traversing assembly was improved over the original to better protect its hip actuators and its feet were redesigned to make it a more stable firing platform, whether standing or on the move. Four tons of LRM reloads were split between the side torsos and were protected by CASE. BV (1.0) = 1,377; BV (2.0) = 1,759 or 1,377
- The Archer 9K, introduced in 3071, carried four new MML-5 launchers that were capable of firing both LRM and SRM ammunition. These gave the 'Mech a great deal of tactical flexibility. For long range direct fire capabilities, the 'Mech had three light PPCs and a C3 slave that allowed the 'Mech to share targeting data with friendly units. BV (2.0) = 1,391
- This variant used a Defiance 210 light engine, which dropped the top speed to 54 km/h, but five Improved Jump Jets were added to compensate for this lack of speed. Built in 3076 on an endo steel chassis, the standard weapons were replaced by a Delta Dart LRM-15 with Artemis IV FCS and a Diverse Optics ER medium laser in each torso, and a Defiance 250 light PPC was mounted in each arm. Eleven tons of Light Ferro-Fibrous armor and CASE protected the 'Mech. BV (2.0) = 1,811
- This Republic of the Sphere variant started with an ARC-4M and replaced the engine with a 280-rated light engine and replaced the arm mounted lasers with ER versions. The rear-firing lasers were removed entirely. A C3 slave unit was mounted in the head. The LRM-20s were replaced by Extended LRM-15s with three tons of ammo per launcher. This ammunition was carried in CASE II protected bays in the torso. BV (2.0) = 1,668
- Used by the Word of Blake's Protectorate Militia in 3078, this Archer variant carried a pair of ER Large Lasers and Artemis IV-enhanced LRM-15 launchers, with a maximum speed of 86 km/h. For protection, the 9W used an experimental Angel ECM Suite and Void Signature System. BV (2.0) = 2,004
- Archer C
- A Clan-tech retrofit of the standard Star League Defense Force ARC-2R Archer and intended for second-line and solahma troops, the Archer C replaced all Inner Sphere weaponry with their Clan counterparts and used the weight savings to add ten more heat sinks. The Archer C mounted a pair of LRM-20s, capable of launching Swarm LRM munitions, and a quartet of ER medium lasers. BV (2.0) = 1,811
- Archer C 2
- A Civil War-era alternate configuration to the Archer C, the C 2 mounts two LRM-20s with Artemis IV functionality as its primary weapon group. Taking inspiration from the ARC-2S, the Archer C 2 also mounts a pair of Streak SRM-4s for close-range firepower, and a medium pulse laser in each arm complete the point-defense package. Twelve double heat sinks provide adequate heat dissipation, but operators should be wary of this variant's propensity to overheat itself with repeated alpha strikes. BV (2.0) = 2,167
- ARC-4M Archer Ismail
- Personal 'Mech of Lieutenant James Ismail of the Lexington Combat Group's 180th Dragoon Combat Group has been refit for close combat. This is achieved by dropping both the Artemis-enhanced LRM-20s for eight SRM-4 launchers, four per torso, while the two rear facing medium lasers are also removed for two forward facing medium pulse lasers.
- ARC-2R Archer Morgan
- The Personal 'Mech of Kell Hounds commander Morgan Kell, during the Clan Invasion he had his stock ARC-2R model upgraded with recovered Star League and salvaged Clan systems. Using Clan-grade LRM-20s and double heat sinks freed up weight for more armor, more LRM ammunition, Artemis IV, CASE and a Clan Active Probe in the head to enhance its command abilities. After Kell's death, the 'Mech was preserved as a monument on Arc-Royal, but was completely obliterated when the Jade Falcons bombarded the world from orbit in 3146.
- Archer Wolf
- Originally an ARC-2W, this Archer was rebuilt with Clan-spec equipment. The arms mounted ER Large Lasers, while a pair of Small Pulse Lasers covered the rear. The LRM-20s were enhanced with Artemis IV Fire Control Systems, and an ECM Suite and AMS protected against incoming fire. CASE was carried in each side torso and fifteen double heat sinks kept the 'Mech cool. Following Wolf's death, piloting this machine became an honor given to top Dragoon cadets during ceremonies. BV (2.0) = 2,365
- ARC-AGC Agincourt
- Piloted by Baron Oliver Kincaid who once served with the prestigious Free Worlds Guards before being dishonorably discharged. After that he spent some time as a mercenary serving with Nik's Cavaliers which is when he gave his Archer the name 'Agincourt'. When he was asked to explain why he chose that name he replied that it was named to remind him of how powerful the turns of fate can be, and to work hard to earn back what he once had. The Agincourt is armed with a medium laser and an SRM-6 in each arm with two tons of ammo for the SRM-6s, a Streak SRM-2 and an LRM-10 ST (Stream) are equipped in each side torso with two ton of reloads for the Streak SRM-2s and two tons of reloads for the LRM-10 STs, a Beagle Active Probe is additionally mounted in the left torso, two medium pulse lasers are mounted in the center torso, and fourteen double heat sinks keep the 'Mech cool.
From MechWarrior Online:
- ARC-T Tempest
- Named for Morgan Kell's pirate lover, MechWarrior Online's Archer Hero 'Mech plays to the fan rumors that Kell's Phantom 'Mech ability was actually just LosTech he recovered from the Periphery before his return in 3006. Identical to the standard ARC-2R in most respects, the addition on an Endo Steel frame frees up the weight for a Guardian ECM suite and two extra heat sinks, all of which are upgraded to double heat sinks boosting the Tempest's endurance.
- The introduction date for the ARC-2R Archer is listed as 2474 in a couple early sources such as TRO:3025 (Original) and TRO:3039 whereas XTRO:Primitives V lists the production date as 2475.
- In German products, the unit's proper name was translated to Schütze. The model code was accordingly changed to SHT-2Z.
- In French products, the unit's proper name was kept as Archer, which holds the same meaning in both languages.
- The Archer C was retconned in RG:ilClan v10 from the previous version in The Battle for Twycross, p. 49 and Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 161, increasing the number of heat sinks and, consequently, the BV 2.0 (previously 1,721).
ARC-4M Archer from TRO:3050
ARC-6S Archer from TRO:Phoenix
ARC-9M Archer from TRO:3085
ARC-1A Archer from XTRO:Primitives V
Archer from RG:ilClan v10
An Archer undergoing repairs from BattleTech Compendium: The Rules of Warfare
Model of an Archer from MWO
Archer miniature from BattleTech: Inner Sphere Command Lance
- Objectives: Lyran Alliance, p. 29
- Technical Readout: Clan Invasion, pp. 148–149: "ARC-8M Archer"
- Field Report 2765: Periphery, p. 11: "Infrastructural Integrity"
- Technical Readout: 3039, p. 296
- Technical Readout: 3085, p. 256
- Era Digest: Age of War, pp. 11, 22: a primitive technology Archer was introduced in 2458
- MUL online date for the Archer
- Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged, p. 499
- Experimental Technical Readout: Primitives, Volume 5, p. 6: "ARC-1A Archer 'Mech Profile"
- Technical Readout: 3025, p. 92
- Technical Readout: 3050, p. 162
- Technical Readout: Project Phoenix, p. 44
- MUL Profile for ARC-1A includes BV2.
- Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged, p. 482
- Record Sheets: Operation Klondike, p. 46
- Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 10, p. 24
- Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 160
- Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged, p. 484
- Wolves on the Border
- BattleTech: Legends, p. 39
- Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged, p. 485
- ForcePack Record Sheets: Wolf's Dragoons, p. 5
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 148
- Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 10, p. 25
- Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 10, p. 26
- BattleTech: Battle of Tukayyid, p. 166: "Archer ARC-5CS"
- Archer ARC-5CS entry on the MUL
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 149
- Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 10, p. 27
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 150
- Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 10, p. 28
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 151
- Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 10, p. 29
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 152
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 153
- Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 10, p. 7
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 154
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 155
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 156
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 157
- Record Sheets: 3145 New Tech, New Upgrades, p. 149
- Technical Readout: 3085, p. 257
- Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 10, p. 31
- Technical Readout: 3085, p. 256
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 160
- Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 10, p. 32
- ForcePack Record Sheets: Wolf's Dragoons, p. 6
- Combat Manual: Mercenaries, p. 53: "Lexington Combat Group - Lieutenant James Ismail"
- BattleTech: Legends, p. 45: "The Succession War Era - Morgan Kell - ARC-2R Archer
- BattleTech: Legends, p. 45
- Field Manual: Mercenaries, p. 81
- ARC-2R Rubinsky MUL entry
- BattleTech: Legends, p. 39
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 162
- MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries, Call to Arms
- MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries, Heroes of the Inner Sphere
- MechWarrior Online Archer Sale Page
- BattleMech Manual, p. 90: BattleMech Quirk Table - Archer Entry
- The Battle for Twycross
- BattleMech Manual
- BattleTech: Battle of Tukayyid
- BattleTech: Legends
- Combat Manual: Mercenaries
- Experimental Technical Readout: Primitives, Volume 5
- Field Report 2765: Periphery
- ForcePack Record Sheets Wolf's Dragoons
- Master Unit List
- MechWarrior Online Archer Sale Page
- Objectives: Lyran Alliance
- Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 10
- Record Sheets: 3025/3026
- Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged
- Record Sheets: 3050
- Record Sheets: 3067
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix
- Record Sheets: 3145 New Tech, New Upgrades
- Record Sheets: Operation Klondike
- Record Sheets: Phoenix Upgrades
- Technical Readout: 3025
- Technical Readout: 3039
- Technical Readout: 3050
- Technical Readout: 3085
- Technical Readout: Project Phoenix
- Total Warfare Style Record Sheets: Phoenix Upgrades
- Wolves on the Border