Created By: KZN02 on March 24, 2013 Last Edited By: KZN02 on April 12, 2013
Troped

Anti Vehicle

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Trope
Vehicles are difficult enemies for infantry units to fight with conventional equipment and tactics, thus the need for Anti Vehicle weapons and abilities. These include:

  1. Explosives, mainly missile or rocket launchers and Sticky Bombs.
  2. Caltrops for vehicles with tires
  3. EMP

Generally if it can't be easily destroyed, it can be slowed down or disabled, especially by terrain.

For the sake of Competitive Balance and Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors, many anti-vehicle-specific weapons (at least on video games) make extremely lousy anti-personnel weapons (when they can be used as anti-personnel weapons at all). Lenghty reload time, very little ammo, lots of impact damage but little (if any) splash damage, shots are slow so someone on foot could dodge them with ease, may need to lock on or the vehicle to be tagged in some other way for the weapon to have its maximum effectiveness when fired ...

Sub-Trope of Weapon of X-Slaying. See also Anti-Air, Anti-Cavalry, and Anti-Armor.

Examples:

Literature
  • The 'Straight Arrow' anti-tank missile from the Starfist series, good enough to extinguish mechanized warfare for several hundred years (in-universe).

Tabletop Games
  • Shadowrun has rockets and missiles that are specifically designed to attack ground and air vehicles. In addition to penetrating vehicle armor, they're also designed to not explode if they miss their target.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Krak missiles used by the Imperium among many, many others.

Video Games
  • The AT (anti-tank) squads in World in Conflict shared the basic infantry squads' vulnerability but are positively deadly to ground vehicles of any kind. Owing to the game's consistent Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors balancing, they are completely defenseless against helicopters (while basic infantry isn't).
  • The Swarm Launchers, homing AV grenades, Forge Guns, and proximity mines of DUST 514.
  • The Lancer class in Valkyria Chronicles is the only infantry unit who can damage tanks without attacking its radiator. In case a Lancer manages to hit a tank's radiator, it usually results in a One-Hit Kill for the tank.
  • Empire at War: The Rebels have rocket troopers that do extra damage against vehicles.
  • Enemy Territory: Quake Wars: Engineers can create anti-vehicular defensive turrets (missile launchers that other classes can designate targets for). They will *only* attack vehicles, allowing enemy soldiers to destroy it if undefended.
  • Battlefield 2142: The engineer class can place an anti-vehicular railgun turret for fellow soldiers to use. The railgun takes a short time to recharge between shots, however.
  • In some Nintendo Wars games Anti-Tank units can be purchased.

Real Life
  • An anti-tank mine's explosive charge is more powerful than that of an anti-personnel mine and may be a shaped charge designed to penetrate armor. They are designed to detonate when the weight of a vehicle pushes down on them.
  • The HESH round (high explosive, squash head) is designed to expressly NOT penetrate tank armor. As conventional steel armour grew thicker and thicker, anti-tank guns to combat it had to get larger and larger. This had a law of diminishing returns - an anti-tank gun needs to be fairly small, light, inobtrusive, easy to hide and easy to extract quickly. WW2 weapons just got too big - the German Pa K 105 or Pa K 88's weighed tons, and the proposed British 32 pounder anti-tank gun was scrapped because of its behemoth size and impracticability. so the HESH round was developed to expressly NOT penetrate armour all the way through, but rather to exploit the thickness of defensive armour plating and turn it into a liability and a deathtrap. HESH rounds are designed with a soft lead head, rather like an oversized bullet, which impacts the external face of armour with such force and impact that it dislodges a large scab on the INSIDE of the vehicle. which thewn ricochets around the inside, white=hot and heavy and jagged, spoiling the day for anything it touches, like soft-skinned humans. And if it hits ready-use ammo or penetrates to a fuel tank... HESH is no largely obselete as modorn composite ceramic armour is designed to defeat it, as are external shielding and reactive panels, but in its day it was a lethal battlefield weapon. And it allowed for far smaller anti-tank guns: Britain's last towed anti-tank weapons, the WOMBAT series, were so small and light they could fit inside the back of a land-rover.
  • The Fairchild Republic A-10 "Thunderbolt II", also known as the "Warthog" . It is not going to win any dogfights, but it is built from the ground up to carry the GAU-8/A "Avenger" 30mm Gatling Cannon, several additional hardpoints for bombs and missiles, plus being tough enough to survive Anti-Air fire.

Community Feedback Replies: 15
  • March 25, 2013
    Arivne
    Tabletop Games
    • Shadowrun has rockets and missiles that are specifically designed to attack ground and air vehicles. In addition to penetrating vehicle armor, they're also designed to not explode if they miss their target.
  • March 25, 2013
    marcoasalazarm
    Another example could be the Swarm Launchers of Dust Five One Four .

    A thing that needs mention on the description is that for the sake of Competitive Balance and Tactical Rock Paper Scissors, many anti-vehicle-specific weapons (at least on videogames) make extremely lousy anti-personnel weapons (when they can be used as anti-personnel weapons *at all*). Lenghty reload time, very little ammo, lots of impact damage but little (if any) splash damage, shots are slow so someone on foot could dodge them with ease, may need to lock on or the vehicle to be tagged in some other way for the weapon to have its maximum effectiveness when fired...
  • March 25, 2013
    Koveras
    • The AT (anti-tank) squads in World In Conflict shared the basic infantry squads' vulnerability but are positively deadly to ground vehicles of any kind. Owing to the game's consistent Tactical Rock Paper Scissors balancing, they are completely defenseless against helicopters (while basic infantry isn't).
  • March 25, 2013
    marcoasalazarm
    Literature anti-vehicle example: The 'Straight Arrow' anti-tank missile from the Starfist series, good enough to extinguish mechanized warfare for several hundred years (in-universe).

    (How useful that would *really* be except as a justification for Hollywood Tactics is best left (and has been extensively done) on other forums).
  • March 25, 2013
    HawkofBattle
    [quote]Another example could be the Swarm Launchers of Dust Five One Four . [/quote]

    Also the homing AV grenades, Forge Guns and proximity mines.
  • March 25, 2013
    marcoasalazarm
    Mea culpa. Forgot to add the name of the book series on my Literature example.

    This has been corrected.
  • March 26, 2013
    Arivne
    Real Life
    • An anti-tank mine's explosive charge is more powerful than that of an anti-personnel mine and may be a shaped charge designed to penetrate armor. They are designed to detonate when the weight of a vehicle pushes down on them.
  • March 27, 2013
    TrueShadow1
  • March 27, 2013
    marcoasalazarm
    Several multi-player First Person Shooter engineers have the ability to summon turrets and sentry guns. On games like Quake Wars, Section8 and Battlefield2142 these summonable turrets are divided between anti-vehicular (missiles, cannons or railguns) and anti-personnel (machine guns, most regularly) types and follow the trope's rules.
  • March 27, 2013
    zarpaulus
    • Warhammer40000: Krak missiles used by the Imperium among many, many others.

    • Empire At War: The Rebels have rocket troopers that do extra damage against vehicles.
  • March 31, 2013
    marcoasalazarm
    Quake Wars: Engineers can create anti-vehicular defensive turrets (missile launchers that other classes can designate targets for). They will *only* attack vehicles, allowing enemy soldiers to destroy it if undefended.

    Battlefield Series (Battlefield 2142): The engineer class can place an anti-vehicular railgun turret for fellow soldiers to use. The railgun takes a short time to recharge between shots, however.
  • April 3, 2013
    AgProv
    The HESH round (high explosive, squash head) is designed to expressly NOT penetrate tank armour. As conventional steel armour grew thicker and thicker, anti-tank guns to combat it had to get larger and larger. This had a law of diminishing returns - an anti-tank gun needs to be fairly small, light, inobtrusive, easy to hide and easy to extract quickly. WW 2 weapons just got too big - the German Pa K 105 or Pa K 88's weighed tons, and the proposed British 32 pounder anti-tank gun was scrapped because of its behemoth size and impracticability. so the HESH round was developed to expressly NOT penetrate armour all the way through, but rather to exploit the thickness of defensive armour plating and turn it into a liability and a deathtrap. HESH rounds are designed with a soft lead head, rather like an oversized bullet, which impacts the external face of armour with such force and impact that it dislodges a large scab on the INSIDE of the vehicle. which thewn ricochets around the inside, white=hot and heavy and jagged, spoiling the day for anything it touches, like soft-skinned humans. And if it hits ready-use ammo or penetrates to a fuel tank... HESH is no largely obselete as modorn composite ceramic armour is designed to defeat it, as are external shielding and reactive panels, but in its day it was a lethal battlefield weapon. And it allowed for far smaller anti-tank guns: Britain's last towed anti-tank weapons, the WOMBAT series, were so small and light they could fit inside the back of a land-rover.
  • April 5, 2013
    marcoasalazarm
    Expanding on the Warhammer 40000 example: would the Power Fists fit here as well? I think they're occasionally fielded for such a purpose.

    Another Real Life example: The Fairchild Republic A-10 "Thunderbolt II", also known as the "Warthog" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairchild_Republic_A-10_Thunderbolt_II). It is not going to win any dogfights, but it is built from the ground up to carry the GAU-8/A "Avenger" 30mm Gatling Cannon (Gatling Good AND BFG), several additional hardpoints for bombs and missiles, plus being tough enough to survive Anti Air fire.
  • April 10, 2013
    StarSword
    Literature:

    Video Games:
  • April 10, 2013
    StarSword
    Also, cleaned the draft (just namespaces this time).

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=dkqxf2k08gg7bc6a0262tt5i&trope=AntiVehicle