Anti Infantry


(permanent link) added: 2013-03-25 13:57:03 sponsor: KZN02 (last reply: 2013-04-08 00:41:18)

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A weapon or ability that is effective against basic infantry units.

Typically involves Kill It with Fire if not specialized munitions or More Dakka.

For the sake of Competitive Balance and Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors, many anti-infantry-specific weapons are near useless against sufficiently armored enemies.

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

Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: most (if not all) Gundam designs carry Vulcan Cannons on their helmets, designated as both point-defense and anti-infantry weapons.

Literature
  • Keith Laumer's Bolo stories sometimes mentioned anti-personnel weapons meant to be used against enemy infantry.

Tabletop Games
  • Steve Jackson's Ogre: the title cybernetic tank has anti-personnel weapons used against the armored-suit infantry of its opponents.
  • Good ol' Warhammer 40,000 has several vehicle variants on each faction that the fluff describes as more effective against infantry. An example are variants of the Chimera APC with flamethrowers or toxic waste-throwers instead of the normal Multi-Laser and the 'Devastator'-Pattern Leman Russ tank (with dual autocannons which are effective against anything with light armor, but again the fluff describes as an 'anti-personnel' variant of the tank... which says a lot about the kind of monsters commonly considered as 'enemy personnel', actually).
  • Paranoia had several gas grenade types (and cone rifle warheads) that only affected people.
    • Poison: did physical damage, could kill.
    • Vomit: caused uncontrollable retching.
    • Hallucinogenic: "Oh look, there's a unicorn! And my flashlight is talking to me!"
  • Battletech: While they have their usefulness in Humongous Mecha combat (for example, by overheating an enemy 'Mech and thus disabling it), flamethrowers and machine guns are much more typically equipped to deal with attacking infantry. Among other Battlemechs designed around such capability, there's the appropiately-named FS 9 "Firestarter" series

Video Games
  • Subverted by Tutorial Failure in the GBA Fire Emblem games. The handful of weapons labeled as "effective against infantry" are actually Anti-Armor and Anti-Cavalry. How this is supposed to add up to "infantry" is never explained.
  • Napalm and gas canister Tactical Aids in World in Conflict are pretty much the only efficient ways to flush out enemy infantry hidden in the woods or inside the buildings (only gas works on infantry in the buildings, but it helpfully leaves the buildings intact). Heavy artillery Tactical Aid has universal effect but works best on infantry standing in the open (heavier units can generally escape the bombardment area before dying; infantry can't).
  • Mastermind World Conqueror: The flamethrower upgrade. Not very useful on its own, but the only type of enemy that attacks the Moonbase is infantry.
  • Advance Wars: the Anti-Air vehicle unit is also very effective at eliminating walking infantry units with its vulcan cannon, not just planes and copters. Tank machine guns don't kill infantry with nearly the same effectiveness, unless it's an overpriced Mega Tank or such. Anti-Airs only have to watch out for bazooka-carrying infantry striking first.
  • Quake Wars: Engineers can place an anti-personnel defensive turret (a machine gun). It will only attack soldiers, though-which means that it's possible to attack it freely with a vehicle if it's undefended.
  • The first Command & Conquer: Red Alert had the Yak, a plane that strafed targets with machine guns and earned the nickname "Infantry Eraser".

Real Life
  • The Infantry Fighting Vehicle, the modern version of a "light" tank meant primarily to serve as infantry support. Distinguishable from main battle tanks in that they usually mount autocannon rather than a artillery-grade main gun.
  • The cluster bomb, which disperses bomblets to take out soft targets- like infantry- over a wider area.
  • The machine gun is the anti-personnel weapon today, to the point that it's completely subsumed the role, formerly done by infantry volley fire, of repelling mass charges. It also has largely eliminated the need for battle rifles capable of targeting the enemy at ranges beyond 500 meters, except for dedicated snipers.
  • The anti-personnel mine is a mine designed to kill or wound enemy infantry (as opposed to anti-tank mines, which infantry can walk over without triggering). These include explosives disguised as innocuous objects a person might pick up, and "bounding" mines designed to spray shrapnel horizontally at groin level.
  • Grenades
    • Fragmentation grenade. Sends out high velocity shrapnel that rips through the human body quite nicely, leaving horrible wounds.
    • Stun (Flash/Bang) grenade. Generates a blinding flash and a deafening noise, which stuns unprotected humans nearby.

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