Spending so much time with a single 'Mech is a great way of iterating builds while learning its characteristics. After a bunch of crazy builds and tactics, I'm finally at a stage where I'm comfortably pulling good damage and at least a few kills. Combine that with a really good round, it's not hard to push for the top spots. I'm currently sitting at the 6th spot(at the time of writing), but I really bring myself to grind for the top spot anymore. Also, the Adder is a better contender for the top spot simply because it has higher E hardpoints and can bring two more heatsinks without dangerously underarmoring itself.
Before I move on with the build, here is a Kitfox "What have I learned?" list.
- If you're going to bring the C arm with ECM and AMS hardpoints, only take one of them. I realized that bringing 3xAMS+2-3 tons of ammo is a waste when you have ECM. The reasoning is simple, when your ECM is working, there are no LRMs flying near you and your AMS just sits idle. The only times you need an ECM+3xAMS combination is when you have an ECM above you or when you're NARCed. Being NARCed in a light is very rare and you should notice enemy UAV's immediately anyway. That makes triple AMS pretty redundant. I guess if you really feel like wasting enemy ammo, you can forgo ECM and only use AMS slots with AMS modules to make them better LRM chewers. This is mostly a "COME AT ME LURM BOATS!" gamestyle rather than a sensible one though.
- Never not mount ECM!(an EVE saying which I like) At a cost of one arm hardpoint and 1 ton, it's really worth it. What it does is, as I wrote in the review, it makes your 'Mech practically invisible. Especially when you're stationary. Being unnoticed is what allows this 'Mech to do damage.
- Low arm hardpoints really really hurt this 'Mech. It's hard to use this 'Mech as a harasser on the move, so you're mostly just peeking in and out from cover in straight lines to shoot. The Adder gets away with it, because some of its E hardpoints are cockpit level, but the Kitfox usually gets bad damage trades because of this. Luckily the Kitfox also comes with very high mounted torso ballistic hardpoints. They allow you to dump free(no return fire) damage with no heat. I think this is the very next best thing about the Kitfox; it can abuse its high mounted B hardpoints comfortably.
- Spread out your weapons. If you have an AC on one side, put at least two lasers/missiles on the other side. You'll lose arms/sides a lot, don't get disarmed easily.
- Mount the Seismic module as soon as you master it and have that extra module slot. While firing you're mostly stationary and if you do the AC and laser combo like me, you'll be inevitably tunnel visioned. I can't count the times the Seismic saved my Kitfox from sneaky Jenners and light hunters.
Alright, so what did I use to get that 6th place? Here it is:
The loadout looks quite modest with 3xERMLs until you notice the C-UAC5 with three tons of ammo. C-UAC5 does a great job at giving you range and suppression while 3xERML's usually deliver the killing blow. This build also comes equipped with ECM for stealth and freedom of movement and also has a single jumpjet to help you get around the map. This build doesn't have additional heatsinks, but then again heat management is very easy because you can spam C-UAC5 to keep your DPS up.
The gameplay is simple and revolves around your C-UAC5. Find yourself a nice hull down position near your teammates, move forward slightly, dump a few bursts of C-UAC5 depending on how quickly the target becomes aware of you, and move back into cover. If you think you can get a kill, bring those lasers to bear. The suppression effect is really handy because it forces the enemy almost immediately into cover. Do not pop back up from the same position again if you were spotted, displace slightly and try again. Greed really kills with this 'Mech. It plays like a Raven-3L, except that you're much more dependent on your teammates.
I had success at close quarters with this build as well. Other lights can't take repeated UAC bursts and 21 damage ERML alphas. Still, I wouldn't recommend attempting to brawl bigger 'Mechs unless you're sure you can kill or disarm them in a few seconds. This 'Mech is pretty much the definition of squishy.
Here's a round from my stream on Saturday. I think it showcases the tactics and gameplay of this build really well: