Which is the better mech for an LRM boat?

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Lukas316

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So I've been using the Archer 2R with 2 x LRM 20 and 2 x ML as my arty battery for the lance. However I recently acquired a Stalker and I've kitted it out with 4 x LRM 15 and 2 x ML and 3 JJ, the rest being heat sinks.
Which makes a better LRM boat? On the one hand the Archer has the missilery suite but the Stalker does 50% more damage per salvo than the Archer, and can engage 3 targets with missiles using multishot.
 

MarkDey

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The Stalker is the better LRM support Mech in that case. You can even do 4x LRM20, but that doesn't leave much room left for armor after you add ammo and heat sinks. That's a sort of fragile mech that you keep out of sensor range of everything so it doesn't get Sensor Locked.
 
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Kereminde

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The Stalker is the better LRM support Mech in that case. You can even do 4x LRM20, but that doesn't leave much room left for armor after you add ammo and heat sinks. That's a sort of fragile mech that you keep out of sensor range of everything so it doesn't get Sensor Locked.

If I recall correctly, this was practically the unit to have as fire support in the original vanilla release. The OpFors would fall down far more often, as the skills had not been rebalanced, and a LRM 80 'Mech could pretty much fill the stability bar for a non-braced 'Mech. Thus you could net salvage just by killing off pilots in the late game, since Assault 'Mechs rarely tended to die just off LRM damage.

Since the change which made 'Sure Footed' more common among OpFors... it's less effective than it used to be. But it can absolutely murder buildings and/or turrets in missions where that's a concern.
 
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Doctor Machete

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So I've been using the Archer 2R with 2 x LRM 20 and 2 x ML as my arty battery for the lance. However I recently acquired a Stalker and I've kitted it out with 4 x LRM 15 and 2 x ML and 3 JJ, the rest being heat sinks.
Which makes a better LRM boat? On the one hand the Archer has the missilery suite but the Stalker does 50% more damage per salvo than the Archer, and can engage 3 targets with missiles using multishot.
The Missilery suite makes the Archer less apt for a support role and more for a damage dealer role. More spread is beneficial when supporting other mechs without Precision Shot. So it turns out the Archer doesn't compete with other LRM boats as much (it still does to some extent) as with other direct damage dealers, and that also means competing for the resolve expenditure.

Basically with Precision Shot (as damage dealer) the Archer is the best LRM boat, but without Precision Shot is well behind the assault LRM boats. Those are going to be a lot more consistent and dependable when supporting other mechs.


The Stalker is the better LRM support Mech in that case. You can even do 4x LRM20, but that doesn't leave much room left for armor after you add ammo and heat sinks. That's a sort of fragile mech that you keep out of sensor range of everything so it doesn't get Sensor Locked.
The Highlander 733 is better, unless you want to add jump jets. And with DLCs the best is the BSK-M3.
 
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Curtis Cook

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Just to be contrary, my missile boat of choice is the variant archer (S model?) that has four missile hardpoints. I find it almost impossible to find LRM20s with +2 damage (and darn hard to find similar LRM15s), so I generally end up with some combination of smaller launchers in order to get the better damage-dealers. With four mounts you can take full advantage of your multi-shot and can designate an LRM5 to do nothing but take movement chevrons off a target or two to improve the chances of your other shooters.

Note also that as a semi-bogus minimaxing thing you can pair an LRM5 with an LRM15 to get the same firepower as an LRM20, but save a ton (save two tons if you do it twice). Dump LRM30 on some poor fool, then knock chevrons off two other targets.

But wait! There's more…. As a bonus feature you can take advantage of of the Archer's increased SRM shock ability. I love me a Kintaro with jump5 and three SRM6s, each with +4 damage and +2 stability damage, but put four of those bad boys on a variant Archer and you're doing 288 points of direct fire damage plus very impressive stability damage, and the heat is very manageable.
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In the very late game I am a fan of the Stalker LRM boat. I usually build mine with only LRM50 (often two each LRM10s and LRM15s) and bump up the other features — extra armor, maybe medium lasers to cover your minimum range, jump jets because everything is better with jump jets*, etc.

* = rif on an old "Big Bang Theory" joke with the punchline, "Why add Bluetooth?" "Because everything's better with Bluetooth."
 
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Kereminde

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Ah yes, I've fitted an Archer 2S as a close range brawler - 2 MLas, 6 SRM4s, arm mods for melee. Absolutely a beast close up.

I tried this once.

... will absolutely do it again when I do my next Career playthrough.
 

Curtis Cook

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Ah yes, I've fitted an Archer 2S as a close range brawler - 2 MLas, 6 SRM4s, arm mods for melee. Absolutely a beast close up.
Glad you like it; it's good up through 3 1/2 skulls, or 4 with some care as the weak sister in a lance.

For other readers who stumble across this thread, that would be 4 SRM6s, as there are only 4 missile hardpoints on the Archer 2S.
 

Cyttorak001

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Another consideration is mobility.
If you're having problems with the OpFor closing range on your LRM boat, you might think about taking a Catapult instead for the jump jets (assuming you are keeping to canon restrictions on JJ availability).
 
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Curtis Cook

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Another consideration is mobility.
If you're having problems with the OpFor closing range on your LRM boat, you might think about taking a Catapult instead for the jump jets (assuming you are keeping to canon restrictions on JJ availability).
That's a good thought. I consider the Catapult A1 and C4 to be the poor man's versions of the Archer, but the jump jets really put them into a category of their own.

One thing to like about the Archer and Catapult C1 is the four medium lasers. While nothing to write home about, they do provide a useful self-defense capability when ammo runs out or enemies get too close.

For some reason I never add jump jets to 70-75 tonners, but I do to the speed 3 assault mechs — Atlas, Stalker, Awesome. The speed 4s I do not, though I am a big fan of the Victor, swapping out the AC20 for either an Ultra20 or a Gauss.
 

Kereminde

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That's a good thought. I consider the Catapult A1 and C4 to be the poor man's versions of the Archer, but the jump jets really put them into a category of their own.

One thing to like about the Archer and Catapult C1 is the four medium lasers. While nothing to write home about, they do provide a useful self-defense capability when ammo runs out or enemies get too close.

For some reason I never add jump jets to 70-75 tonners, but I do to the speed 3 assault mechs — Atlas, Stalker, Awesome. The speed 4s I do not, though I am a big fan of the Victor, swapping out the AC20 for either an Ultra20 or a Gauss.

A Gauss is a worthy swap for the Victor, just at first blush. I'll need to look into that when I start my game back up, but I think it's slightly heavier and takes more slots. (Ammo capacity per ton being the same, however.) A quick check shows it is a ton heavier, but the ++ version is a ton lighter.
 

thejynxed

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This question all depends on if your game is vanilla, vanilla+dlcs, vanilla+mods, or vanilla+dlcs+mods.

I play with the latter combo, and prefer a Stalker variant for indirect fire, and an Archer variant as a direct-fire brawler. That being said, my mods give me access to the Thanatos and Improved Advanced Tactical Missiles, and I've turned one of those into a solid missile boat utilizing an Artemis IV system and it is completely capable of dropping an Assault mech in a single round of firing all launchers.
 

Shark7

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This question all depends on if your game is vanilla, vanilla+dlcs, vanilla+mods, or vanilla+dlcs+mods.

I play with the latter combo, and prefer a Stalker variant for indirect fire, and an Archer variant as a direct-fire brawler. That being said, my mods give me access to the Thanatos and Improved Advanced Tactical Missiles, and I've turned one of those into a solid missile boat utilizing an Artemis IV system and it is completely capable of dropping an Assault mech in a single round of firing all launchers.

This. I play with DLCs and Mods and have a lot of other chassis available to me that are not in the base game.

For missile boat in vanilla + DLC Stalker is still the choice, though I do it a bit differently than every one else, with 2 x LRM15 and 2 x LRM10 and lots of ammo, with MLs for back-up.

With the Mods, its an Atlas A variant that has 6 missile hardpoints. This also works as a very hot, but very effective SRM boat 6 x SRM6.