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:
- Explosives, mainly missile or rocket launchers and Sticky Bombs.
- Caltrops for vehicles with tires
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 ...
of Weapon of X-Slaying
. See also Anti-Air
, and Anti-Armor
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- The 'Straight Arrow' anti-tank missile from the Starfist series, good enough to extinguish mechanized warfare for several hundred years (in-universe).
- 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 or variants thereof are the most common, used by the Imperial Guard, Space Marines, Orks, and Eldar among others. For heavier vehicles, the lascannon is considered the gold standard, whereas the Power Fist is exceptionally deadly if you can get in range (easier said than done when the tank in question is capable of driving over you).
- Interestingly, the Tau eschew this aspect of warfare altogether; their infantry squads carry no heavy weapons. All anti-tank warfare is conducted by either their own tanks or Broadside Battlesuits.
- A curious situation exists in BattleTech, where vehicles can be armored as well as comparable BattleMechs but risk additional critical hits and motive system damage each time an attack capable of even causing a single point of damage connects. This makes "scattershot" weapons like short-range missiles, LB-X autocannons firing shotgun-style cluster munitions, and somewhat ironically most infantry attacks more effective threats than simple attempts to breach the armor through brute force since enough small hits can immobilize or with some luck possibly even altogether neutralize even the toughest tank fairly quickly.
- The AT (anti-tank) squads in World in Conflict shared the basic infantry squads' vulnerability to being run over 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.
- Spikeweeds and Spikerocks in Plants vs. Zombies. These deal Damage Over Time against normal zombies, but are a One-Hit Kill on Zombonis and Catapult zombie vehicles.
- A bog-standard infantry choice in all incarnations of Command & Conquer. Generally, upon building their first barracks or equivalent, a commander would have the option to train either basic riflemen (or equivalent) or an anti-armor soldier. Many of them used guided missile launchers, so they also served as Anti-Air, but not all — other anti-tank weapons have included grenades, railguns, and Fricking Laser Beams.
- In Civilization V, Modern-era civs can field the prosaically-named Anti-Tank unit, which is fairly weak but has a big bonus against tanks. They tended to be effective against that era's armor, but overshadowed by future eras'. The unit profile noted that man-portable anti-tank weapons weren't all that good against modern armor, and recommended investing in some Death from Above.
- 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 PaK 105 or PaK88's weighed tons, and the proposed British 32 pounder anti-tank gun was scrapped because of its behemoth size and impracticality. 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 high explosive warhead with an impact detonator in the rear of the shell, so that the explosive spreads out on the armor face before detonating, which causes spalling (bits of the armor inside fragmenting) and can really ruin a vehicle crew's day by shotgunning them with their own armor. HESH is now largely obsolete as modern 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. Broadly speaking, it haunts the nightmares of most tank operators that have seen one in action.
- Most Improvised Explosive Devices (IE Ds) are designed to target vehicles, since an incapacitated vehicle is not only a sitting duck, but can also be used as bait to set up an ambush against dismounted troops.