This is (I believe) the third or fourth attempt at creating a truly effective guide to the soldier builds. Destiny was a little difficult to understand with his guide and moose o'death was effective, but seemed to focus more-so towards the japanese and lighter end of the spectrum.
Only experience I have with soldier role-type style is in grinding against the AI and playing a few matches here and there. I have the soldier valor achievement and around 800 hours of game-time within Chromehounds devoted completely to the soldier RT to the exception of every other build type.
My guide will begin with the typical parts necessary and then move into common builds. There are many builds that I would like to include here from my personal collection, but due to confidentiality agreements with friends and other squads I will be unable to break said confidentiality agreements. Photos will be included from my own personal photobucket album along with select photos from chromehounds.co.uk for reference purposes only as some of their builds are suspect to actual combat worthiness.
Mobility Base [Chassis]
Bipedal: More often than not, best avoided with the exception of the Sal Kar legs. The vast majority of these though extremely agile and maneuverable, are extremely prone to being destroyed with little or no effort. Morskovian legs though durable grant you no better speed than standard inverse legs.
Inverse: RJ-Naqa and MSK-RJ401. The RJ-Jamal though speedier, lack the durability of the RJ-Naqa. The Tarakian legs are simply too big of a target with their boot style foot patterns and the Morskovian inverse are just too large and unwieldy for their size. MSK-RJ401 are recommended only in extreme weight circumstances or with extreme recoil.
Treaded: The game classifies these more so as a defender style mobility base, but with the game's evolving style of play, I believe it is now safe to classify these as a soldier style when utilizing a grenadier style hound. The treads of choice that I've most commonly seen are the twin Sal Kar treads from the campaign and the store. I've not seen much from the one from Sal Kar with the chin spoiler equipped as of yet. M14CL Meade are the Tarakian style of choice due to high mobility. Morskovian ones though heavily armored, are too slow to be practically applicable in combat.
Wheeled: Usually referred to as a base-rusher, the wheel style of mobility base is actually quite effective. WL-Hisan are the ones of choice in my opinion simply due to the highest top end.
[first a small side-note from the author: Granted, there are some here that believe that there is nothing wrong with an open canopy. I leave that to the personal opinion of the people that feel this way. Just remember, if you want to run an open canopy, no one is going to tell you not to. Just remember to not complain when it's popped with a single salvo. For safety's sake, please remember to attempt to either shield, or hide your canopy with armor, spacers, or weapons]
9 Slot: Quite a few valid components here, of note are the Sal Kar, M07CK Brooke, MSK-C10, MSK-C20, and C-Dabbur. Most of the others from Sal Kar have been left out due to lack of durability or excessive focus on power supply. Tarakian canopies are for the most part not instituted among players due to a very wide cosmetic style and are the easiest to be canopy shotted.
8 Slot: Most popular canopies on this style are the Tarakian and Morskovian style canopies with the MSK-C110, M04CK Stuart and M05CK Johnston canopies being the most popular among players. The Sal Kar canopies are not usually instituted for a couple of reasons:
- The Sal Kar canopies' energy creation is slightly lower than the Morskovian MSK-C20 but armor is practically the same.
- Sal Kar canopy style is a "bubble" based for the pilot. Not the hardest of targets and is extremely difficult to cover with a shield or to conceal effectively.
7 Slot: Morskovian super-size canopies are the only ones that fall into this category. Although extremely durable, their size instantly countermands any combat effectiveness. System devices are extremely limited, and more often than not, a concealed or armored 9 slot or even 8 slot canopy is less of a target than the sears tower that these canopies are and oftentimes offer a better system device layout.
Choices here are fairly flexible. Current popular generators that I have witnessed on the battlefield consist of the Morskovian varieties, the MSK-G10, MSK-G100, and sometimes the MSK-G101. The Tarakian and Sal Kari generators are typically removed from the list except for specific build-types, Sal Kar generators are usually not very durable and the Tarakian generators run hot and are most often prone to being targeted by hounds using incendiary type ammunition or are that much more visible on thermal vision. Also bear in mind that it is best to have at minimum a 15 minute effective time on your hound. Some hounds are 1-2 minutes less and granted, most matches don't last longer than 7 minutes, but you never know when a COMBAS war will ensue at the end of a match.
Though FROMSOFT classifies these as defender/heavy gunner role-type weapons, there are a few that I feel should be included in the soldier role-type due to the evolving game-play that this game is famous for.
Heavy Rockets: Still used primarily as defender weapons, I've run into a few matches where these have been employed on a soldier style build using either bipeds, wheels, or treads. My recommendation is the Morskovian. They have the most rockets being launched at a time, and do not have as large of a gap between individual parts. Either downloadable triple row or Morskovian store double row are perfectly fine though I myself prefer to use the triple row due to minimized reload times.
Heat Seekers [Missiles]: Seen on wheels and treads most commonly with a few oddball style builds floating around these days. The MSL-Khadrawat are most popular due to light weight though I have occasionally seen the rare stacked triple heat seeker utilizing the M26MS Tomahawk. From time to time you will see a wheeled chassis running with twin Morskovian heat-seekers. These weapons though considered cheap are still semi acceptable due to the limited effective range on them. In a pinch, missile counters are effective approximately 50% to 75% of the time.
Huge Cannons: Some refer to the double-double or double-single cannons as heavy artillery though I still to this day have witnessed many utilizing the double-double inverse build as a front-line weapon.
- Single-Barrel: If you must run single barrels, I recommend the HCn-Asifa due to quick reload times and weight. Tarakian cannons are extremely difficult to effectively place and if you're going to run Morskovian singles, you need to move a few slots down the list to the double barrels.
- Double-Barrel: In spite of the recent patches, it appears as though most still prefer to run the MSK-HC1501/D. For my personal opinion, I recommend the MSK-HC1500/D with HE300-60 rounds. Reason being? The most recent patch did assist somewhat, but the MSK-HC1500/D are still manageable on inverse and with the correct build, they are no different recoil-wise from the pre-patch. MSK-HC1501/D are currently most effective on quads.
Machine Guns: Some still see purpose in these, I myself believe that we've beyond the effectiveness of these on the soldier builds....best avoided due to better choices given the current popular builds and setups.
Grenade Launchers: In spite of the most recent patch, these are extremely useful still. Ghaims and GrL-Mumtir are the most popular due to triple shot and when packed together in tight clusters are extremely devastating at close range. There is absolutely no range-finder on these, but practice makes perfect. Range was increased with this most recent patch, though sadly splash was reduced. Best utilized to remove weaponry at close range.
HEAT Rockets: When the game first came out, these were (to my knowledge) overlooked by the community as a whole. The primary patch allowed the players to seek out ways to stop the doom of the mariokarts utilizing these simple dumb-fire projectiles. Highly damaging though requiring utilization of skill to use to full effectiveness, once mastered these rockets are extremely rewarding. Ranging up to 1k meters while arced, these heat rockets have the ability to create a maximum of 4704 CE points of damage. Right on par with 4 cannons, with a minimized reload time. Recommended types are Sal Kar Tamatims, HTR-Jazar and RFZ-WHT-2.
Shotguns: Recently put somewhat back into check by the most recent patch, they are not as powerful as they once were, but are still a very good way to keep someone in check. Sorry, but there's only one nation to go to for these. Morskoj. Post patch I'm going to break from the norm and head for the single barrels. There are more pellets per shot (remember single barrel = 6 pellets per shot, double barrel = 4 pellets per shot, but two shots are fired at once) and you're burning through ammunition half as quickly. Sal Kari shotguns were pretty much unaffected with this most recent patch, but that's like saying a water-pistol is too overpowered. Not enough ammo to be effective and too easily destroyed. Tarakian shotguns are decent, but still not effective enough to surpass the Morskovian.
Assault Rifles: Most commonly seen on Japanese builds and used to devastating effect by them, these will be best implemented on the bipedal Sal Kar chassis. Morskoj AR's though powerful, are severely hampered by their reload times. Sal Kari and Tarakian assault rifles are extremely popular due to low reload time, reasonable damage, and decent clip size. Recommended tactics with these weapons are to work an opponent's legs over and over and over while moving away from your opponents. Utilize the biped's speed to keep out of your opponents range and you'll be fine. If extra range is preferred, feel free to add a sub-sniper rifle for your gun-sight as the default AR's scope is slightly limited.
Rocket 4- and 6-Packs: These started to show up on the scene on the preliminary patch but have for the most part faded. Occasionally seen on hounds here and there, their high weight and inaccuracy limit the only option that's viable to the RtL-Khass or RtL-Kurunb from Sal Kar. Experience with these weapons is the key to making them viable on the battlefield.
Cannons: The all-you-can-eat buffet for the soldier style of game-play. The three most popular styles are the M20CN Anelace, M01CN Falchion, and MSK-CN300. Sal Kari cannons are limited in durability and ammunition. Your weapon choices are based off of your priorities as follows:
- M20CN Anelace: Quicker reload but slightly less damaging.
- M01CN Falchion: More powerful than M20CN Anelace, but slightly longer reload time.
- MSK-CN300: Powerhouse of the trio, for experts only due to long reload time and high weight.
Recommended ammunition type is CE damage. KE allows for ability to cannon base in a pinch, but rarely will a cannon hound be placed in this position. Change your ammunition to suit your squad's strategy.
Mortars: Used on cannon hound variants, these come in four munitions styles:
Flare: I typically use these as an early alert system for when I'm out of COMBAS range from my squad. It's a quick way to pop a warning off to your squad. These have about a 1000 distance visibility on an open map, so depending on conditions, it might be the only opportunity to get the warning off to your team.
Smoke: Useful for providing a smoke screen for a rapid getaway. I typically run both a smoke mortar and a signal flare simultaneously to warn my squad-mates and provide the cover for myself to get away.
High Explosive: Not so explosive these days with mortars, same ammunition setup as what is ran on howitzers, so I'm going to copy and paste my information since it's still universally applicable with shell types to my knowledge.
- HE160-40: As stated with the big cannons, you get what you pay for.
- HE160-60: Increased splash damage, but less damage from direct hit -- best for use against hounds, especially in close groups, where misses or nearby hits can disorient/stop hounds or destroy multiple parts.
- HE160-90: Increased damage from direct hit, but lower splash damage -- best used against large targets where direct hits are likely (bases, secret weapons, etc).
Incendiary: fire splash and high temp. Mostly used to attempt to replace the lost "splash" damage from the most recent patches.
- Incendiary-160: Larger fire spread, less intense but longer lasting, very effective against hounds that do not have a radiator.
- Incendiary-160N: Smaller fire spread, more intense but shorter duration, recommended against hounds that are equipped with radiators.
Anti-HOUND Piles: Commonly used to pile bases, these can be used effectively in hound v hound combat. I would only recommend the heavy Morskovian piles due to durability, reload, and ammunition count. Use as a cluster and with a smoke combination and thermal vision, and you have a potentially strong combination on the battlefield.
Rotorcraft: Probably originally intended for scout only style role-type builds, the RC-Saqr is the rotor of choice to soften falls from high places or from a death from above attack
Armor: Please, make sure to practice safe combat and protect your canopy. Some have issues with the cosmetic field with this, but it's universally accepted for the most part.
Spacers: As many as you can get your hands on, the better.
Please note: These are mere examples of what is available. This game is in a constant state of change and evolvement. Not all builds can be listed here. This is a guide for beginners.
Cannons: These builds are the most popular among players. Extremely durable, Powerful, and quick. Their only weakness is in a rather slow rotation rate.
- Quad-Cannon: All cannons fired simultaneously, I present to you the Swiss army knife of the battlefield. There are several popular twists on this design, but this is the most common. Any other variants are yours to find on your own: Chicken
- Tri-Cannon: Although lacking somewhat in the firepower department, this is heavily armored with an antimissile counter: Armadillo
- 2x2: Not seen as often these days, it's still the de-facto build that I will give a newcomer to the game due to it's durability and firepower: Hamburg & building "|SpK| CaNNoN" video
Tri-Cannon Hybrids: These are seen here and there, mostly teamed up with mortars and/or heat seekers. Effective for distraction or for polishing off the opposition: Cannon/Mortar & Cannon/Missile
Puker/Grenadier: More commonly seen on treads than bipeds, this style of hound is seen fairly regularly on the field: Bipedal variation & Treaded variation
Heat Rocket: Still evolving somewhat slower than the rest due to stalwart support of the cannons, these are still a highly damaging build. The build that is being posted here isn't the best for combat use, but it is useful for an example of this style: Rock III
Shotgun Chicken: Appeared during the first patch, still somewhat viable on urban maps, although not as deadly as it used to be: Pooper Scooper
Heat Seeking Soldier: Not common at all, primarily due to communal view of it being less than skill oriented, still viable, but be prepared for reputation problems if used: Home Run
Assault rifler: Look to the land of the rising sun for these to be popular. Not commonly used in the UK or US: Wonker
Rocketeer: Only example of this particular style that I've seen online. Potentially feasible, but limited unless an extremely high rate of player skill is utilized with this build: Rocketman