Created By: eljonno on February 7, 2010
Troped

Deployable Cover

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So, you and your squad are off on a mission. You've got armour, guns, grenades, etc. - everything you need. But there's a catch - on this mission, there is likely to be little cover. What do you do? Take some of your own with you, of course!

Deployable Cover can be anything from an energy barrier that deflects bullets to a big pavise that can be planted into the ground to protect you from arrow volleys. Often, the deployable cover won't be as durable as natural cover, eventually getting destroyed after it is shot enough (though, in the case of an energy shield, it may reactivate after a short time). It will, however, last indefinitely if it is left alone.

A piece of equipment of the same name in Halo 3 is the Trope Namer.

It seems like quite a common trope, worth putting up? If I get lots of examples I'll post it.

Examples!!

  • The soldier's turret from Borderlands.
  • Champions supplement Gadgets!. The Force Wall Generator was a device which, when placed on the ground and activated, would create an energy shield to block incoming fire.
  • The Block ability in S 4 League.
  • The Geth in Mass Effect seem to be fond of deploying hexagonal energy shields in areas with little cover.
  • As has been mentioned, the piece of equipment in Halo 3 is the trope namer.
Community Feedback Replies: 29
  • February 6, 2010
    Raveled
    In Borderlands, the Soldier's turret features an energy shield, as well as shooting things.
  • February 6, 2010
    Fanra
    In Real Life, shell holes are often used as cover. At rare times troops have requested artillery fire just to create them.
  • February 6, 2010
    Fanra
    The Shield is a man portable deployable cover item. Used from ancient times to modern times. Modern shields are bullet resistant and usually are either made of transparent plastic (riot shields) or often have a small window to look through (SWAT shields).
  • February 6, 2010
    TBeholder
    shield, mantlet... duh.
  • February 6, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    Real Life: the veined octopus sometimes carries coconut halves around to use as portable armor. When it sees a predator it reassembles the coconut halves into a ball with itself protected inside.
  • February 7, 2010
    eljonno
    To be deployable cover, it has to be a device carried around and then planted into the ground so you can hide behind it without having to hold it. Shell holes, shields, and mantlets do not qualify.
  • February 7, 2010
    Arivne
    Tabletop RPG
    • Champions supplement Gadgets!. The Force Wall Generator was a device which, when placed on the ground and activated, would create an energy shield to block incoming fire.
  • February 7, 2010
    VorpalSoda
  • February 7, 2010
    Prfnoff
    Variation: Girders in Worms can be deployed absolutely anywhere on the map and sort of magically spring into existence, but they still can contribute a certain degree of cover wherever it is needed.
  • February 7, 2010
    Fanra
    To be deployable cover, it has to be a device carried around and then planted into the ground so you can hide behind it without having to hold it. Shell holes, shields, and mantlets do not qualify.

    Why? How is this so different?
  • February 8, 2010
    eljonno
    A shield is held by you, not planted in the ground. You have to keep hold of it all the time. Shell holes are real cover, essentially just a hole in the ground, excluding it from this trope. On googling, a Mantlet does qualify.

  • February 8, 2010
    Shrikesnest
    In at least the third Ratchet And Clank game you can buy deployable cover.
  • February 8, 2010
    TBTabby
    The Locusts in Gears Of War have bombs that make pillars of earth shoot up from the ground, which they then use as cover.
  • February 8, 2010
    Fanra
    A shield is held by you, not planted in the ground. You have to keep hold of it all the time. Shell holes are real cover, essentially just a hole in the ground, excluding it from this trope.

    Perhaps, but a shield is still "deployed" cover.

    Anyway, the shell hole thing was for the rare cases that artillery fire is called in just to create them. So that is "deployed" also.
  • February 8, 2010
    Chabal2
    There's an RTS (can't remember the name) where one unit can deploy sandbags to protect itself but lose mobility, essentially turning itself into a weak defense turret.
  • February 8, 2010
    sweeneysjoking
    Real Life example: Military Camo Nets
  • February 8, 2010
    VorpalSoda
    Another Real Life example:
    • The Pavise was a shield designed to protect archers and crossbowmen from incoming projectiles, they often had a spike in the bottom, allowing it to be put in place, thus protecting the owner without them having to hold it.
  • February 8, 2010
    RocketDude
    @Chaba12: That may be Command And Conquer: Red Alert 2.
    • The Shield Gun from Unreal Tournament 2004 functions like the Piston Gun from the previous Unreal Tournament game, only the secondary fire emits a recharging shield.
  • February 9, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    • Soldier's turret in Borderlands generates such a shield when deployed
    • Eldar guardians in DawnOfWar 2 may deploy energy shields
  • February 9, 2010
    VorpalSoda
    The shield gun doesn't count, as it has to be carried at all times, so you can't drop it and use it as cover whilst using another weapon.
    • The original Unreal featured a forcefield item that could be activated to seal off a doorway or provide cover in a gunfight.
  • February 9, 2010
    random surfer
    TV series Batman had a plexiglass shield roughly in the shape of a bat, that folded into quarters (that is, in half then in half again) when not in use. B&R would hold it in front of them so they could advance without being hit. Would that count?
  • February 9, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    I think naming it after Halo 3 is a little silly when it occurs in Shakespeare. "Birnam Wood" would be my suggestion.

    Mac Beth Scene IV Act V Let every soldier hew him down a bough/ And bear it before him. Thereby shall we shadow/ The numbers of our host and make discovery/ Err in report of us.

  • February 9, 2010
    eljonno
    Fanra, to be "deployed", it has to be able to stand up, on the ground, without any of your assistance. A shell hole is "created" rather than "deployed" - maybe it deserves its own trope, "exploding cover into existance" or something.

    Anyway we have quite a few examples now. Once this debate is resolved, I'll be launching this.
  • February 9, 2010
    eljonno
    Unkown Troper: Halo 3 is popular and well known, and the piece of equipment in question is a textbook example of the trope. That's my reasoning behind naming the trope after it.
  • February 9, 2010
    VorpalSoda
    I vote in favor of Deployable Cover, since it's easier to understand.

    If you're referring to the part of Mac Beth that I think you are, then the use of the wood as portable barriers planted into the floor is not really all that important in the story(And the text quoted states it's for camouflage anyway). What was important with that is that taking the wood with them fulfils part of the prophecy of Mac Beth's undoing.
  • February 10, 2010
    Arivne
    Thirding Deployable Cover.
  • February 11, 2010
    TBeholder
    Portable Cover?
  • February 11, 2010
    eljonno
    OK, I have lots of work to do and probably will never find the time to put this up. Consider it Up For Grabs.
  • February 11, 2010
    ValBushido
    From Wiktionary: # (intransitive) To unfold, open, or otherwise become ready for use.

    So, a parachute is deployable, but a buckler would not be. A tower shield might be. A war fan definitely qualifies. The verb makes it sound like the examples should be Defense In A Can.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=mk4lcpd8gvebwvqu49ewzu1h