Anti Vehicle
Tropeworthy?

(permanent link) added: 2013-03-24 13:02:48 sponsor: KZN02 (last reply: 2013-04-12 10:21:26)

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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.

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