Spider SDR-5V is a Light-class 'Mech in Battletech.
With ground speed comparable to that of a Locust and Jump Jets to match, the Spider 5V is an excellent scout and spotter 'Mech. Two Medium Lasers give it moderate attack power, but its real advantage is in its mobility.
If you're looking for a pure scout 'mech whose entire job description consists of running around sensor locking and occasionally distracting targets, the Spider is the 'mech for you. Unfortunately, that's just about all the Spider can do, as it is almost no weapon hardpoints to work with: two energy and two support weapons, that's it.
- One easy and recommended modification to the stock Spider is to remove some of the JJs for more armor. You really don't need the ridiculous jump distance offered by eight JJs very often, and on hotter maps you'll have trouble dissipating the heat from so many of them. Plus, anywhere from one to two tons of extra armor will make your scout a lot more durable if it does bungle its way into trouble.
- As a very niche build, the lasers can be removed entirely for more armor or heat sinks to manage the JJ heat, making it a dedicated spotter.
- If you do prefer your scout 'mechs to have a little more punch and have nothing but the Spider to turn to, the best bet is to fill the support hardpoints with SLs. The spider's fragility does mean that you'll mostly end up using them in reserved hit-and-run attacks (to make sure you don't get melee'd back), but the poorly maintained enemy 'mechs of the early game do actually have to fear a Spider suddenly jumping in behind their backs and poking lots of little holes in them. SLs are also very effective at poking holes in the highly evasive Locusts and Commandos of the early game, especially since the Spider can keep up with them easily.
- Machine guns are an option if you like to use them to gamble for head hits. This can, with a bit of luck, allow you to far more easily salvage a decent 'mech early in the game, especially if you're looking to replace the Spider anyways (which you probably will be by the mid-game at the latest).
- Flamers are highly limited in ammo and hence only really worth it when you can mount a lot of them to overheat an enemy 'mech in one salvo. The Spider cannot do this.
- On the opposite end of the range spectrum, if you're willing to drop to locust-levels of armor, you can replace one (or both) of the MLs and some of the JJs with a single LL. It's not much for damage, but you'll never need to get it close to the enemy to do said damage and it allows the Spider to earn a living sensor-locking and sniping from the fringes of the field for the entire duration of the battle. Post-patch 1.1, the heat generation nerf to MLs and buff to LLs actually makes this build more heat-efficient than an ML one, so you can even leave most of the JJs intact from a heat perspective and have the most mobile LL on the field. It's niche, but it can allow the Spider a little more longevity if you're stuck without a replacement.
- The Spider 5V is hands down the most maneuverable 'Mech you can field - but it's made of paper. It's an excellent scout, though, and can even jump into the rear arc of most enemies for surprise back shots.
- Speed is life for every light 'mech not named Panther or Urbie. The Spider's incredible speed makes it easy to maintain maximum evasion on every turn, which is exactly what you should be doing.
- If your Spider has cover or its evasion is still high and you don't need it to sensor lock something immediately, reserve it until after the enemy's turn has passed. That way, you can sensor lock the enemy after they've moved (allowing your slower 'mechs a better shot) or run in behind them and melt off a bit of their rear armor; you can skedaddle at the top of the next round. This is particularly effective if you have a pilot with the "Ace Pilot" skill, though by the time you get that chances are that you'll have a better 'mech for the job than the Spider.