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|Mech type||Inner Sphere BattleMech|
|Chassis||Komiyaba Type VIII|
|Communications System||Omicron 4002 Networking Channel|
|Targeting Tracking System||TRSS Eagle Eye|
The Hunchback is a respected and feared Reunification War-era street fighter that has been in production since its introduction in 2572. Built for urban combat and close range brawling, this BattleMech has the heavy armor and weaponry to stand up against any foe in the dense cover of a city environment. Its heavy armament does come at a cost: in terms of maneuverability and heat dissipation the Hunchback is merely average, while the lack of long-range weapons means the Hunchback is little more than a slow moving target in the open. In an attack the slow speed of the Hunchback forces it to participate as part of the second wave, exploiting any weaknesses in the enemy's armor after they've been softened up.
The Hunchback was originally designed and produced by Komiyaba/Nissan General Industries and sold throughout the Inner Sphere and Periphery, often fielded as part of medium and assault lances. The company was destroyed in the Succession Wars, but the Hunchback continued to remain popular, especially in the arsenals of House Kurita and House Liao where it fit the dueling nature and all-or-nothing combat styles of the two Successor States. Eventually Kali Yama Weapons Industries bought the rights to the Hunchback and restarted production at their factory on Kalidasa to supply House Marik with large numbers of the 'Mech.
Dwindling stockpiles of spare parts and personal preference led many owners to remove the Hunchbacks large signature autocannon and typically install smaller weapons in larger numbers in its stead, resulting in a variety of variants collectively known as "Swayback'" because of the significant change to the 'Mech's configuration and torso structure.
The rediscovery of lost technology in the years prior to the Clan Invasion inspired a number of old designs to be upgraded, the Hunchback included. Under contract from the Free Worlds League Military, Kali Yama engineers designed a variant, the HBK-5M, which sought to improve upon the original while still maintaining the "soul" of the machine. While the new variant included several improvements, mostly involving extra protection against ammunition explosions and overheating, to the chagrin of many MechWarriors this came at the cost of reduced ammunition for the autocannon. Their objections ignored, production began in 3046. The new variant came into widespread use throughout the FWLM until Operation Guerrero, when this drawback was responsible for the failure of several advances. After this, Kali Yama finally produced a new variant–the HBK-6M–which addressed this concern. In the years since, Norse-Storm BattleMechs opened a refit line to produce new Hunchback variants and the 'Mech saw use on both sides in the Jihad.
Weapons and Equipment
The primary weapon on the Hunchback is a Tomodzuru Autocannon Mount Type 20 which can strip one and a quarter tons of armor off an enemy 'Mech in a single blow. Mounted prominently in the machine's right torso it is fed by two tons of ammo carried in the left torso. This weapon is paired with two Ichiba 2000 Medium Lasers, one in either arm, and a Diverse Optics Type 10 Small Laser mounted in the Mech's head. All of the weapons carried by the Hunchback, along with its two heavy battle fists, make it a devastating opponent at close range. Sadly, with a cruising speed of 43.2kph, it takes slightly longer to get in range.
Ten tons of Starshield armor is comparable to the amount carried by many heavy 'Mechs. Unfortunately this has also caused many a MechWarrior to consider the Hunchback an even match for these behemoths. In truth the 'Mech does not have the endurance for a straight-up slugging match with many heavier 'Mechs, and when the armor is breached an opponent's next shot is likely to knock out the autocannon or set off the ammunition. Likewise, firing the autocannon produces a tremendous amount of heat which, if not carefully managed, can force the Hunchback to shut down despite its thirteen heat sinks.
When Kali Yama restarted production of the HBK-4G they replaced some of the components used in the original design. Instead of the Komiyaba chassis these newer 'Mechs use a Crucis Type V chassis while the Tomodzuru autocannon and Ichiba medium lasers were replaced with Kali Yama Big Bore and Hellion-V models. Both the communication and targeting-tracking systems were also replaced with an Omicron 4002 Networking Channel and TRSS Eagle Eye respectively.
- A modification of the design that replaces the AC/20 with both a lighter Autocannon/10 and two additional medium lasers in the right torso while maintaining two tons of ammo in the left. Introduced in 2819 this modification increases the Hunchback's long range striking capability at the expense of raw firepower. BV (1.0) = 850, BV (2.0) = 1,067
- This variant was first employed in 2856 and changes the 'Mech's focus from short range combat to fire support by removing the Autocannon/20 and replacing it with two LRM-10 launchers, a heat sink, and three additional medium lasers, replacing the two tons of autocannon ammo in the left torso for two tons of missile reloads. This variant can act as a bodyguard 'Mech for fire support lances without degrading the mission of those lances because of its mix of LRMs and medium lasers. BV (1.0) = 853, BV (2.0) = 1,143
- This variant combines the qualities of the -4H and -4J. First used in 2920 it carried an Autocannon/5, a pair of LRM-5 launchers and two additional medium lasers in the right torso while carrying one ton of reloads for both autocannon and missile launchers in the left torso, making the -4N capable of direct fire and indirect fire support. BV (1.0) = 843, BV (2.0) = 1,087
- The -4P Hunchback introduced in 2937 was modified to carry only energy weapons. The Autocannon/20 was replaced with six additional medium lasers and the number of heat sinks carried brought up to twenty-three in order to handle the incredibly high heat load. It has proven to be one of the most popular of the Swayback variants as the combined firepower of all eight medium lasers can do twice as much damage as the autocannon they replaced. BV (1.0) = 960, BV (2.0) = 1,138
- The 4SP variant replaces the autocannon with two SRM-6 launchers, one each in left and right torsos, fed by two tons of reloads kept in the center torso. These missile launchers provide the 'Mech with a great deal of damage capability at close range, but they do not have the same raw power as the original Autocannon/20. The 'Mech also has four medium lasers as secondary weapons split between both arms. BV (1.0) = 854, BV (2.0) = 1,043
- The 5H Hunchback is a Periphery upgrade of the basic design produced in 3064. The small laser was removed as well as one and a half tons of armor and three Rocket Launcher 20s were added to the design, giving it an incredible amount of close range striking capability. BV (1.0) = 901, BV (2.0) = 1,097
- Utilizing locally produced components such as the Kali Yama Big Bore autocannon and Hellion-V medium lasers, the Kali Yama-produced 5M Hunchback is a simple upgrade of the original 4G model that first saw production in 3046. The most notable changes saw the heat sinks upgraded to double-strength models, while the small laser was upgraded to a Sunglow Prism-Optic Small Pulse Laser, and CASE was added to protect against ammunition explosions. The extra weight required to add the newer systems forced Kali Yama to reduce ammunition storage to a single ton of reloads, making it unpopular with MechWarriors and spawning the unofficial HBK-5N variant. BV (1.0) = 932, BV (2.0) = 1,054
- Built for FWLM units in league with the Word of Blake in 3069, the -5P Hunchback is an upgrade on the -4P variant. It carries six ER Medium Lasers and two Medium Pulse Lasers. Additionally, the -5P carries an ECM Suite as well as a C3 slave to share targeting telemetry with its lancemates. BV (1.0) = 1,162, BV (2.0) = 1,340
- Originally a refit line converted to full production, the -5S is a complete overhaul of the Hunchback design developed by Norse-Storm BattleMechs in 3058. The structure has been modified to use Endo Steel construction techniques, the engine has been upgraded to a Light Fusion Engine, and four Jump Jets were added for increased mobility. The 'Mech carries, as its primary weapon, an LB-X Autocannon/20 with CASE-protected ammunition supported by two medium pulse lasers and a single small laser. BV (1.0) = 1,215, BV (2.0) = 1,350
- A Norse-Storm prototype that never saw full production, the -5SG was first spotted in 3068 and trades out the autocannon and small laser of the -5S for a Gauss Rifle and Guardian ECM Suite. The addition of Stealth Armor makes this Hunchback a long-range sniper that is difficult to hit. A Compact Gyro is used to make room for all of the equipment. BV (2.0) = 1,577
- Produced by Norse-Storm in 3068, the -5SS is based on the chassis of the -5S, carrying two MML 9s fed by three tons worth of ammunition. Three ER Medium Lasers and an ER Small Laser provide added close range damage potential. The use of a Heavy-Duty Gyro protects this fragile piece of equipment from damage. BV (2.0) = 1,342
- This variant uses an Endo Steel chassis and 300 rated XL Engine to save weight. The larger engine allows it to reach a top speed of 96km/h. It carries an ER Medium Laser in each arm and a single SRM-6 in the left torso. The main hitting power comes from an LB 20-X autocannon in the right torso. The SRM has a ton of ammunition, while the autocannon has two tons of ammo. It is protected by ten tons of armor and carries ten double heat sinks. BV (2.0) = 1,380
- This failed experimental variant of the Hunchback was developed by Kali Yama Weapons Industries. Only four prototypes were produced in 3065, but no orders were placed for it. This experimental version of the 'Mech included CASE II, a Torso-Mounted Cockpit, Armored Gyro, and was built using a Reinforced Structure. The 'Mech was protected by 9 tons of Ferro-Fibrous Armor, and its armored and reinforced components enhanced its battlefield survivability. It was armed with a single Class 10 Ultra Autocannon carrying two tons of ammo. However, the design was considered too expensive for the reduction in firepower. BV (2.0) = 1,208
- Designed for the Republic of the Sphere in 3085, this Hunchback is based on the HBK-7X-4. Unlike that unit however, the -7R uses a Standard Cockpit and lacks the Armored Gyro. The Reinforced Structure and CASE II systems remain, as does the Ultra AC/10 and arm-mounted ER Medium Lasers. Unlike the experimental model, this Hunchback carries ten tons of Light Ferro-Fibrous armor for protection, incorporates TAG in the head, and carries a Guardian ECM Suite to interfere with enemy electronics. BV (2.0) = 1,248
- This 3134 field refit of a Hunchback-6S was developed after a minor LCAF officer replaced a damaged LB 20-X with more ER Medium Lasers and an extra SRM-6. This gives the -7S two lasers in each arm, and an SRM-6 in each side torso. The high speed of the -6S was doubled by installing a Supercharger. For electronics warfare capability, the 7S carries an Angel ECM Suite, Bloodhound Active Probe, and TAG. This model carries fourteen double heat sinks. BV (2.0) = 1,628
- HBK-4G Hunchback Gauss Prototype
- During the War of 3039 the 9th Ghost regiment fought the Screaming Eagles mercenary company during the Elidere IV campaign and fielded two modified Hunchbacks to carry prototype Gauss Rifles. Able to cause tremendous damage at unexpected range, the new weapons confounded the mercenaries' commander Colonel Walther Hokala and made him to surrender. Unfortunately the recoil from firing these powerful weapons often caused the Hunchback to stumble or even fall over, and when no solution to the balance problem could be found the Kuritans were forced to undo these modifications after the war's conclusion.
- HBK-4G Hunchback Shakir
- The personal 'Mech of Sorenson's Sabres member and future Internal Security Force director Shakir Jerrar was refitted to an advanced variation of the -4H in the lead-up to the War of 3039, carrying two prototype medium pulse lasers in place of the four standard medium lasers.
- HBK-4G Hunchback Hohiro
- Assigned Jerrar's 'Mech after his retirement from the Sabres, Hohiro Utsonomiya had it refitted with post-Clan Invasion technology during the Jihad. The addition of an Endosteel chassis and Ferro-Fibrous armor frees up weight to swap the standard AC/20 for an Ultra Autocannon/10, retaining the two ton ammo bay, carrying standard production grade Medium Pulse Lasers in the arms and a ER Small Laser in the head, adding a C3 Slave in the center torso.
- Isoroku Kurita, nephew of Takashi Kurita, piloted a Hunchback to many successes in his early military career.
- Hunchback IIC - The Hunchback was one of the 'Mechs taken with the Star League Defense Force on their exodus from the Inner Sphere. Eventually, the Hunchback was upgraded with Clan technology and the Hunchback IIC was created. However, rather than a powerful street fighter, the Hunchback IIC mounts only thin armor and little ammunition, instead concentrating on bringing as many big guns to bear. While this may seem to be poor planning, this all-or-nothing approach is perfect for the Clans' dueling culture and the Hunchback IIC's designed role: the glorious last stand, death, or revitalization of an aging or underperforming Clan warrior. BV (1.0) = 1,524, BV (2.0) = 1,679
- Quasimodo - The Quasimodo was developed as a replacement for the Hunchback in 3145.
- In German products the unit's proper name was altered to Quasimodo, which creates a potential mix-up with the later introduced Dark Age era BattleMech Quasimodo. The model code was accordingly changed to QSM-4D.
Original HBK-4G Hunchback from TRO:3025
HBK-4G Hunchback from TRO:3050
HBK-5M Hunchback from TRO:3050 Upgrade
HBK-7S Hunchback from XTRO:Republic II
Experimental HBK-7X-4 Hunchback from XTRO:Corporations
Token (front) of Hunchback from BattleTech, Fourth Edition
Token (back) of Hunchback from BattleTech, Fourth Edition
Hunchback in battle with from Classic BattleTech Introductory Rulebook
HBK-4G Hunchback from CCG
Model of Hunchback from MW4
Hunchback from Lawyers, Guns, & Money
- Field Manual: 3145, p. 189, "Fronc Reaches"
- Technical Readout: 3025 Revised, p. 60-61
- Technical Readout: 3039, p. 136-137
- Record Sheets: 3039, p. 124
- Master Unit List: Hunchback HBK-46
- Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade, p. 58-59
- Introductory Record Sheets, p. 13
- Technical Readout: 3058, p.168
- Record Sheets: 3039, p. 126
- Record Sheets: 3039, p. 127
- Record Sheets: 3039, p. 128
- Record Sheets: 3039, p. 129
- Master Unit List: Battle Values, p. 110
- Master Unit List: Battle Values, p. 111
- Record Sheets: Upgrades, p. 85
- Record Sheets: Upgrades, p. 86
- Heavy Metal Pro
- Record Sheets: 3050 Upgrade, Inner Sphere, p. 133
- Record Sheets: 3050 Upgrade, Inner Sphere, p. 134
- Technical Readout: 3150, p. 223
- Experimental Technical Readout: Corporations p. 4 - Experimental Hunchback.
- Technical Readout: Prototypes, p. 109
- Experimental Technical Readout: Republic, Volume 2, p. 9, "HBK-7S Hunchback"
- MUL Profile of the HBK-7S Hunchback - BV2 and Introduction Date.
- Starterbook: Sword and Dragon, p. 41, 95
- Starterbook: Sword and Dragon, p. 108
- Technical Readout: 3145 Free Worlds League, p. 30
- BattleMech Manual, p. 92 Battlemech Quirk Table - Hunchback Entry.
- BattleMech Manual
- Experimental Technical Readout: Corporations
- Experimental Technical Readout: Republic, Volume 2
- Field Manual: 3145
- Field Manual: Periphery
- Introductory Record Sheets
- Master Unit List: Battle Values
- Record Sheets: 3039
- Record Sheets: 3050
- Record Sheets: 3050 Upgrade (Inner Sphere)
- Record Sheets: 3055/3058
- Record Sheets: 3067
- Record Sheets: Upgrades
- Starterbook: Sword and Dragon
- Technical Readout: 3025
- Technical Readout: 3025 Revised
- Technical Readout: 3039
- Technical Readout: 3050
- Technical Readout: 3050 Revised
- Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade
- Technical Readout: 3058
- Technical Readout: 3058 Upgrade
- Technical Readout: 3075
- Technical Readout: Prototypes
- Technical Readout: 3145 Free Worlds League
- Technical Readout: 3150