MechWarrior Online Hunchback Ultimate Guide by Helmstif
UPDATE: It’s been almost a month since I posted this. A lot have changed since, including decreased AC knockback and the new economy system. More game mechanic changes may come – because, you know, it’s still BETA – so a few suggestions in this post might be outdated someday, if not already. However, my recommendation of what Hunchback to buy still stands, as hardpoint layouts are extremely unlikely to change.
If you’ve been digging around the BattleMech subforum for a while, I think we can agree that the medium ‘Mechs are the best with combat capability, price and maintenance cost combined. Having completed my Centurion/Hunchback collection, I’ve decided to put a straightforward guide over here for those who are wondering which ‘Mechs to buy and what builds work best. There will be three Hunchbacks included in this guide, which means you can fully upgrade the pilot tree if you decide to stick to them. I will also go into the details why these are superior than the other two. For those who’re considering what ‘Mech to buy/upgrade, look no further.
So without further ado let’s get to it:
Summary: STD260, DHS, 2xML, 7xSL
The HBK-4P has always been my go-to starter ‘Mech recommendation for everyone. I have composed a staged upgrade guide for the “Ghetto Delight”, but if you’re looking for how to upgrade it once for all, this is for you. A very agile flanker/harasser/scout killer, very low skill required, super cheap to run and ridiculously powerful up close. You’re essentially carrying a rapid-firing AC20 on your shoulder that doesn’t require ammo. You can cruise around the battlefield and occasionally Alpha a few arms or do a few backstab, or if you’re in the mood you can pick an unlucky muthafuka, bite off his arms and legs one by one and watch them die in pain. You can even duel an Atlas with this build – just go around his back, wreck one of the legs and slowly tear through his rear torso while watch him struggling to turn to your direction until explode. It also burns through cockpits like a hammer drill through butter so when you see an enemy overheated, don’t hesitant to go say hello and melt his face.
Summary: STD245, DHS, Endo, Artemis, 2xSRM6, 4xML
Possibly the most powerful brawler build when comes to raw damage output (except for AWS-8R with 4xSRM6, that’s just ridiculous). An Alpha strike would deal a solid 55 damage on a very small area. A little hot, surely, but then you can simply begin firing SRM solely and wait until your ‘Mech is cool enough to alpha. If you want to make this build more laser-focused – some ‘Mechs have four Medium Lasers as their entire arsenals – you can simply skip Artemis upgrade and add two extra DHS to give the MLas a bit boost. Also the head slot is good for a ML too, so so you can zombie if you want. It is possible for his build to tear off the entire upper body – head, arms, whole torso – of an enemy at the same time, and I can guarantee that NO ‘Mech smaller than Assault class would dare to duel you up close.
(Except a couple of cheese builds like Gausspult, twin-Gauss Ilya, Streakpult and hexa-SRM6 Cat A1, so don’t go Rambo.)
III. HBK-4H “Echinops”
(The previous UAC5 build was scraped due to changes in cockpit shaking. Most ballistics will have very low knockbacks on the target’s view with the exception of AC20.)
Summary: STD200 (stock), DHS, Endo, 1x AC20, 2xML, 3xSL
It’s really hard to pick from the rest of the three Hunchbacks because, honestly, none of them is as good as the other two above. However, if you ask me to choose one from the two of ballistic hunchbacks, 4G and 4H, I would go with 4H.
Because it’s kinda tricky to stuff three ballistics into a Medium.
And the two extra energy hardpoints actually makes a difference. This build is basically a mimic of the stock, but the extra 9 damage provided by the three small lasers is not much, but I’m pretty sure they helped in a few “Finish him!” occasions Also 4H’s hunch is maaaaaaaaaaaarginally smaller than 4G’s so it coooooooooooooooould give you a bit more survivability.
It’s…an escort brawler build, meaning than you may not be able to deal with anything head-on, but when in a late-game moshpit the AC20 is not something to be ignored. The moment of hesitation of your unlucky opponent when he suddenly realize “WHERE THE F DID MY ARM GO?” is amazing.
Did I say it’s kinda hard to stuff three ballistics into a 4G?
I used this build quite a while ago and ended up selling it – I think I only managed to get one kill with this thing. If you have some experience in MWO already, you’ve probably realized you almost NEVER see this variant in combat. However, since the projectile speed was greatly increased, it could possible become easier to handle.
I’d still go with 4H though if you ask me.
Many people have asked what to choose between 4SP and 4J – after all 4J has an extra energy hardpoint. I can tell you that the extra laser hardpoint means precisely NOTHING. The greatest thing about 4SP is that it is a Hunchback without a hunch, and weapon hardpoints spread around its body evenly, which results in better SRM spread. Also a 4SP would still have half of the arsenal left even when the other side of torso has been torn off entirely, while on 4J, the HBK with the LARGEST hunch in the whole chassis, you lose all the missiles and most of the lasers if the right torso is wrecked. Also, 4SP has 4x energy hardpoints mounted on arms, which has a larger aiming angle comparing to 4J whose energy hardpoints are mostly on the torso. That could save your life against scouts.
The only thing good for a 4J is the larger number of missile salvos, therefore an LRMboat is the only option.
A pair of LRM10 fires faster than a single LRM20, but it’s entirely up to you. I’ve never piloted one of this personally, but I’ve killed plenty. It’s massive hunch is so very easy to aim.
Really, leave the LRM boating to larger chassis like Catapult.
There it is, my guide for the Hunchback chassis. For now, good luck in the battlefield.Other MechWarrior Online (MWO) Articles
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