Created By: Skrim on October 13, 2009
Everyone knows that Power Floats. And everyone knows that Cool Tanks are power incarnate. So what happens when you make a Cool Tank float? You get a Hover Tank of course! Often powered by Applied Phlebotinum, Hover Tanks are for when you really want a Rule of Cool-driven war machine. They usually hover inexplicably only a few feet off the ground, often bobbing slightly. They would be utterly impractical in reality, as they would need to expend fuel just to stay up, and yet wouldn't fly high enough to clear most terrain obstacles. The amount of armor and equipment they could carry would also be severely limited due to weight constraints. Of course, all that doesn't matter in fiction. In strategy games, they may be portrayed as being faster and more maneuverable than their land-bound counterparts(if present), but more fragile. They are usually amphibious as well and can travel over water at full speed. Note that real-world Hovercraft would not quite count under this trope - while most fictional hover-vehicles use Phlebotinum Drive(usually labeled as "anti-gravity" or "repulsor"), real-world hovercraft ride on a mundane air cushion and are propelled by oversized garden fans. They barely lift off the ground at all, and have a difficult time operating on non-flat terrain. The closest Real Life equivalent to a hover tank would be the PACVs from the Vietnam War. You'll rarely find this conventional form of hover-propulsion in fiction though. Contrast with the Spider Tank, for cases in which the conventional treads have been traded in for legs instead of a floating propulsion. See also: Cool Tank. Examples:
- Any 'repulsorlift' driven vehicle from the Star Wars franchise, such as the Trade Federation's AATs.
- The Hoverdynes from Ground Control, which are faster but frailer than conventional tracked Terradynes.
- "Hover" propulsion from Warzone 2100. Another Fragile Speedster example.
- Hovercrafts are amphibious Lightning Bruisers in Sid Meierís Alpha Centauri, but their high cost makes them nearly Awesome, but Impractical.
- The Eldar Falcon and Tau Hammerhead and their offshoots from Warhammer40000 are anti-gravity based hover tanks.
- The Landmaster from Star Fox 64 and Super Smash Bros. Brawl, which can hover for short periods of time.
- David Drake's Hammer's Slammers series of short stories features fusion-powered hover tanks.
- The PAC from Battlefield2142 had hover tanks.
- The Neosapien Hovertanks from Exosquad. They were built specifically to defend Phaeton City against Exofleet but fortunately for the latter, La Resistance managed to capture the factory where they were produced and used them against Neosapiens themselves.
- The hovercraft from BattleTech, which are unique in that they actually use air-cushion based lift, like real-world hovercraft.
- In Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun the Global Defense Initiative got hovering MLRSes. They were fast and able to easily traverse terrain, including skimming over water, but had light armor and were grounded during Ion Storms. And in the next game... GDI went back to treads.
- In another of Westwood's games, Emperor: Battle for Dune, House Ordos got kickass hovering tanks with laser cannons and force fields, making them fast, hard-hitting, and surprisingly tough(unless a laser-armed enemy hit their force field).
- The N64 game Battle Tanx had hover tanks called Hover Tanks, which were basically Abrams with turbines and a flat bottom. Though a bit squirrely to control, they could strafe sideways while firing, float over mines without problems, and pick up an impressive amount of speed for ramming other players.
- The Covenant's Ghost and Wraith from Halo.
- The basis of the Tabletop Game, ''Grav Armor''.
- Also common in ''Renegade Legion''.
- The Sony Online Entertainment game Tanarus has (or at least had) a hovertank in it, similar to the one from Battlefield2142 (fast, maneuverable, packed a decent punch, but no traversable gun turret).
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