Doesn't matter they are likely not going to be getting into range of other mechs if I have any say on the matter, after all your jobs is to go and hit the enemy in closer combat. Mine is to soften the big targets up and then well provide support. BTW will the arty have defensive units for anti-aircraft and counter infantry the guns are not good in close or against air units. And she has to protect her people.
Exactly, Ruby. Our artillery assets should be kept far, far behind the front lines. Sounds like they are all mobile (as in mounted 'in' a heavy vehicle chassis), as well, which is very helpful; they can be used in tried and true "shoot and scoot" fashion, to help prevent the enemy from back tracking projectile trajectories to determine their position. The enemy will only find their last known, instead. Very handy.
When my friends and I were upgrading some of the conventional forces of the Inner Sphere (we even made things a little better for infantry by reducing the effectiveness of big single target weapons like PPCs...come on, the infantry soldiers would be smart enough not to all hide behind the same shrubbery, really.
), we often included SRMs and anti-missile systems as defensive armament on mobile artillery. SRMs are great for eating VTOLs (all those little 2pt chance to hit the rotors or otherwise score a crit on the fragile little things), and AMS works wonders to save your artillery from a sneak SRM infantry attack (then you run away). Naturally, an MG or two is a must...commando type infantry waging strategic warfare is probably the biggest risk to artillery.
Speaking of mobile artillery, when do Arrow IVs become available again? I had a neat little ICE powered hover Arrow IV platform (big cannons and hovercraft don't make sense, the massive kick, but I think big missiles more or less vertically launched are workable). That's a fun bit of mobile firepower, the speed of a hovercraft makes for some good 'scoot', plus the ability to launch from the middle of a lake is pretty handy defensively...