Hunchback

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Hunchback
Hunchback
Production information
Manufacturer Colonial Tractors[1]

Coventry Metal Works


Kali Yama Weapons Industries


Komiyaba/Nissan General Industries


Norse-Storm BattleMechs

Production Year 2572[2][3]
Model HBK-4G
Class Medium
Cost 3,467,875 C-bills
Technical specifications
'Mech type Inner Sphere BattleMech
Mass 50 tons
Chassis Komiyaba Type VIII
Armor Starshield
Engine Nissan 200
Communications System Omicron 4002 Networking Channel
Targeting Tracking System TRSS Eagle Eye
Heat Sinks 13 single
Speed 64.8 km/h
Armament
BV (1.0) 851
BV (2.0) 1,037[3]


1,041[4][5]


Description

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.[2][3][6]

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.[2][3]

Dwindling stockpiles of spare parts and personal preference led many owners to remove the Hunchback's 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.[2][3]

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 the HBK-5M variant, 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, and 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.[6]

Weapons and Equipment

The primary weapon on the Hunchback is a Tomodzuru AC/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 battlefists, make it a devastating opponent at close range.[7][2] Sadly, with a cruising speed of 43.2 km/h, it takes slightly longer to get in range.

10 tons of Starshield standard armor is comparable to the amount carried by many heavy 'Mechs, but 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 13 single heat sinks.[2][3]

When Kali Yama restarted production of the HBK-4G they replaced some of the components used in the original design. Instead of the Komiyaba Type VIII 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.[3]

Variants

  • HBK-2 
    Described as a venerable Star League-era model, this version of the Hunchback was the basis from which the Clans developed the Hunchback IIC[8] (see below).
  • HBK-4H 
    A modification of the design that replaces the AC/20 with both a lighter AC/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
  • HBK-4J 
    This variant was first employed in 2856 and changes the 'Mech's focus from short range combat to fire support. It does this by removing the large AC/20 and replacing it with two LRM-10 launchers, an additional single 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[9]
  • HBK-4N 
    This variant combines the qualities of the -4H and -4J. First used in 2920, it carried an AC/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[10]
  • HBK-4P 
    The -4P Hunchback, introduced in 2937, was modified to carry only energy weapons. The AC/20 was replaced with six additional medium lasers and the number of single heat sinks carried brought up to 23 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[11]
  • HBK-4SP 
    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 AC/20. The 'Mech also has four medium lasers as secondary weapons split between both arms. BV (1.0) = 854, BV (2.0) = 1,043[12]
  • HBK-5H 
    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 RL-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[13]
  • HBK-5N 
    A very simple FWLM field upgrade of the lackluster 5M Hunchback introduced in 3057, the 5N model simply downgrades the small pulse laser back to a standard small laser and removes the CASE in order to carry an extra ton of reloads, retaining the double heat sinks.[6] BV (1.0) = 903, BV (2.0) = 1,041[14]
  • HBK-5SS 
    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.[6] BV (2.0) = 1,342[14]
  • HBK-6N 
    This variant, produced in 3059, was Kali Yama's response to the complaints about the lack of AC/20 ammunition that spawned the ad hoc -5N field refit. The -6N removes three double heat sinks and replaces them with three more tons of reloads.[6] BV (1.0) = 898[17] BV (2.0) = 1,130[18]
  • HBK-6S 
    This variant uses an [[endo steel] chassis and 300-rated XL engine to save weight and allow it to reach a top speed of 96 km/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 10 tons of armor and carries 10 double heat sinks. BV (2.0) = 1,380[19]
  • HBK-7X-4 
    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 nine tons of ferro-fibrous armor, and its armored and reinforced components enhanced its battlefield survivability. It was armed with a single [[UAC/10] carrying two tons of ammo. However, the design was considered too expensive for the reduction in firepower. BV (2.0) = 1,208[21]
  • HBK-C 
    The Hunchback C is a recent product of Clan Wolf. Built using only Clan tech, the C is a nasty surprise to those expecting to know the limitations of a Hunchback. A Clan XL engine allows this Hunchback to run at over 90 km/h, while twin medium pulse lasers and a single ER small laser provide support to a deadly UAC/20. An impressive four tons of ammo feeds the autocannon from a CASE-protected magazine in the left torso. 13 double heat sinks keep the 'Mech cool, and Clan-grade ferro-fibrous provides this variant with its traditional thick coat of armor. BV (2.0) = 1,893[25]

Custom Variants

  • HBK-4G 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 designed to carry prototype Gauss rifles. Able to cause tremendous damage at unexpected range, the new weapons confounded the mercenaries' commander Colonel Walther Hokala and caused 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.[3]

Apocryphal Variants

Apocryphal Content Starts

The information after this notice comes from apocryphal sources; the canonicity of such information is uncertain.
Please view the reference page for information regarding their canonicity.

From MechWarrior Online:

From MechWarrior 5: Call to Arms Expansion Pack

  • HBK-4HP 
    Introduced in 3025, the 4HP retains the right-torso AC/10 of the 4H and right arm medium laser, exchanging the remaining weapons to upgrade the head-mounted small laser to another medium and free up the weight for a medium mace carried in the left arm.[28]

Apocryphal Content Ends

Design Quirks

The Hunchback, he HBK-7S and variants, unless specified otherwise, are subject to the following Design Quirk:[29]

The HBK-7R variant is subject to the following Design Quirks:[22]

Notable Pilots

See: Category:Notable Hunchback Pilots

Related BattleMechs

  • 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.[30]

Notes

  • 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.
  • In French products, the unit's proper name was translated as Bossu.

Gallery

References

  1. Field Manual: 3145, p. 189, "Fronc Reaches"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Technical Readout: 3025 Revised, p. 60-61
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Technical Readout: 3039, p. 136-137
  4. Record Sheets: 3039, p. 124
  5. Master Unit List: Hunchback HBK-46
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade, p. 58-59
  7. Introductory Record Sheets, p. 13
  8. Technical Readout: 3058, p.168
  9. Record Sheets: 3039, p. 126
  10. Record Sheets: 3039, p. 127
  11. Record Sheets: 3039, p. 128
  12. Record Sheets: 3039, p. 129
  13. Master Unit List: Battle Values, p. 110
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 Master Unit List: Battle Values, p. 111
  15. Record Sheets: Upgrades, p. 85
  16. Record Sheets: Upgrades, p. 86
  17. Heavy Metal Pro
  18. Record Sheets: 3050 Upgrade, Inner Sphere, p. 133
  19. Record Sheets: 3050 Upgrade, Inner Sphere, p. 134
  20. Technical Readout: 3150, p. 223
  21. Experimental Technical Readout: Corporations p. 4 - Experimental Hunchback.
  22. 22.0 22.1 Technical Readout: Prototypes, p. 109
  23. Experimental Technical Readout: Republic, Volume 2, p. 9, "HBK-7S Hunchback"
  24. MUL Profile of the HBK-7S Hunchback - BV2 and Introduction Date.
  25. Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 21, p. 13
  26. Starterbook: Sword and Dragon, p. 41, 95
  27. Starterbook: Sword and Dragon, p. 108
  28. MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries
  29. BattleMech Manual, p. 92 Battlemech Quirk Table - Hunchback Entry.
  30. Technical Readout: 3145 Free Worlds League, p. 30

Bibliography