Created By: KZN02March 25, 2013 Last Edited By: KZN02April 8, 2013
Troped

Anti Infantry

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Trope
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 40000 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 And 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.

Rolling Updates

Community Feedback Replies: 22
  • March 26, 2013
    Koveras
    • 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).
  • March 26, 2013
    marcoasalazarm
    Good ol' Warhammer40000 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).
  • March 26, 2013
    billybobfred
    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.
  • March 26, 2013
    DunDun
    Video Game:
  • March 26, 2013
    Lumpenprole
    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.

  • March 26, 2013
    Lumpenprole
    more Real Life examples:
    • 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.
  • March 27, 2013
    Arivne
    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.
  • March 27, 2013
    MokonaZero
    Usually More Dakka is a reason for this.
  • 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, Section Eight and Battlefield2142 these summonable turrets are divided between anti-vehicular (missile launchers, cannons and railguns, mustly) and anti-personnel (machine guns, mostly) types and follow the trope's rules.
  • March 27, 2013
    zarpaulus
    • Empire At War: TIE crawlers have rapid-fire lasers and can also run over infantry like any other vehicle.
  • March 28, 2013
    hevendor717
    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.
  • March 31, 2013
    marcoasalazarm
    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.
  • April 1, 2013
    Lihkan
    Command and Conquer. Oh GOD Command and Conquer!!! Every installment in every universe. There is always basic infantry unit effective only against infantry, vehicle effective only against infantry, and many specialised units effective only against infantry. If nescessary, I would add more complex list later.
  • April 1, 2013
    KZN02
    Please do
  • April 1, 2013
    marcoasalazarm
    Mobile Suit Gundam: Most (if not all) Gundam designs carry Vulcan Cannons on their helmets, designated as both point-defense and anti-infantry weapons.
  • April 2, 2013
    AgProv
    Weapons that demoralise can be strikingly efficient and cost-effective at halting an infantry advance, or at least slowing it up severely. Already referred to: the WW 2 German "S" mine, which threw up two seperate charges designed to explode in the air - one at face level, one at groin level, both capable of spraying out shrapnel over a close area. If these are randomly placed and hidden so that charging infantry do not know who or where the next one is coming from, and it becomes clear these are designed to maim or cause extreme pain rather than to kill, it is amazing (or perhaps not) how these can sap morale. Even a low-tech device like the punji stakes used to inflict wounds on American infantry in Vietnam - especially if the spikes penetrating the foot or lower body were poisoned - will have a very potent effect. These weapons have a bonus effect: if they injure rather than kill, they will swamp the enemy's medical services with lots and lots of non-fatal wounds requiring a disproportionate amount of medical time to treat them. One British-designed hand grenade is designed to fire out hundreds of short lengths of wire, each of which will lacerate its way into flesh, and will require a medical team to dig out every one that has hit you... Knowing that even if your buddies get you to the regimental aid post you will still be waiting a long time for treatment from an overwhelmed and exhausted doctor, and in that time an infected punji stake wound could go gangrenous in the jungle... you might think twice about heedlessly charging forwards...
  • April 2, 2013
    marcoasalazarm
    ^This is better off being posted on the Real Life section and have some additional editing.
  • April 3, 2013
    Arivne
    Tabletop Games
    • 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!"

    Real Life
    • 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.
  • April 4, 2013
    Tallens
  • April 5, 2013
    marcoasalazarm
    Battletech: While they have their usefulness in Battlemech (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:

    http://www.sarna.net/wiki/Firestarter_(BattleMech)

    http://browse.deviantart.com/?q=battletech firestarter#/art/Dance-in-the-flames-179361662?_sid=666b4abf
  • April 7, 2013
    Gatomon41
    • The panzers of Hammers Slammers have anti-personnel mines attached to their armor. Since infantry can still sneak up on a hovertank and take it out with a cheap buzzbomb, these mines are necessary.
  • April 8, 2013
    Koveras

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable