When is an Archer still an Archer? If you are a new player to Battletech, after you have begun to play around with the combined arms tactics of mechs, vehicles, and infantry, there is always more to explore...
...like variants on your favorite mechs. I usually play stock mechs, but there are a few variants I will always now play that replace the stock mech- like the SRM locust variant. One medium laser, and two SRM-2 packs are better suited to running around on the table with 3-6 Locust mechs acting as their own mini disruption lance. I found that I was never using the machine guns since I would have to get so close to my target and that would cut down on my modifiers which protect such a small machine. With the Locust I want to be full running for that hex bonus and stack a big enough range bonus if I can.
Now I'm playing around with the 6W variant of the Archer, perhaps to work with my Longbows so the list plays a bit more aggressive. The 6W variant downgrades the LRM tech to simple rocket launchers- eight 20 packs and two 10 packs. We lose some range as these are clustered unguided missiles, but we gain the ability to fire as many packs as we want. Given the weight, armor, and fists of the Archer and the shorter range of the missiles, I'm experimenting with this. Longbows, Archers, a blocking unit- Demolisher tanks, Orion, Warhammer- depends on the battle value and fancy, and lots of infantry + Locusts.
The whole group stays close and at range and fires at range either directly or indirectly. When we close with enemy mechs, or they close, the infantry swarm as the Longbows start backing up and firing away. The Archers break and rush ahead firing off multiple missile packs before going in for a brawl with the fists and medium lasers.
Can the 6W be a kind of alpha strike?