The hovertank is superior in both armor and agility to the standard tracked chassis, while mounting a blaster launcher in the turret. In addition to its ability to hover, it can move over 50% faster than tracked tanks. The hovertank chassis's armor is stronger than the standard tank's, and more uniformly distributed. In fact, there is only one weak point on the chassis — its underside — and even this weak spot is more resilient than the main armor of the standard tank.
The blaster provides powerful fire support that is absolutely immune to psionic attack, and carries 8 shots — much more than a trooper can normally carry. In addition, the automatic ammunition feed on the launcher precludes awkward reloading operations. However, the weapon has its drawbacks.
A standard blaster launcher, ammunition and a feed system are too large to fit on the diminutive HWP turret, so specialized, smaller shells have to be used. These miniaturized blasters are significantly less powerful — 140 vs. 200 for a standard blaster — while at the same time more labor-intensive and significantly costly on Elerium to produce. Standard blaster rounds cannot be used, and the commander must ensure that he has a full load-out of ammunition on hand, otherwise the tank will not deploy.
Due to its diminished damage rating, the hovertank's blaster rounds cannot be used to penetrate UFO outer hulls. In fact, most UFO inner walls cannot be penetrated by a tank's blaster either — although certain wall types exhibit special vulnerabilities. See Destroying Terrain for more details.
In spite of these factors, the hovertank/launcher sees wide use in the field, if not quite as widespread as the hovertank/plasma. To commanders without psionic research capability, the weapon can be a godsend.
Closer to home, Hovertank/Launchers make excellent base sentinels that can be used to quickly vanquish any intruders with impunity — before they've had a chance to stray beyond the Hangars. Because all tanks are fully armed during Base Defence missions even when you have run out of ammunition, you may therefore freely use the ammunition as you see fit and recover any that are left over.
Like all tanks, its larger size precludes it from moving into confined spaces. However, the blaster's guidance system allows it to direct fire to areas otherwise inaccessible to HWP's.
The research requirements of the tank mean that, by the time the hovertank becomes available, commanders will already have access to high-tech armor and alien weapons, making the hovertank less competitive with well-equipped soldiers.
|Cost:||Manufacture only. $900,000|
|Manufacturing Requirements:||1400 Engineer hours, 25 Elerium-115 and 8 Alien Alloys|
|Research Requirements:||New Fighter Craft, Blaster Launcher, Blaster Bomb|
|Hover Tank Specs|
|Fusion Turret Specifications|
|Type||HWP Fusion Bomb|
|Damage||140 High Explosive|
400 Engineer hours, 5 Elerium-115, 8 Alien Alloys
|Numbers in parenthesis are the actual values after modified by the chassis' abilities. |
Actual costs are in fixed Time Units
- The hovertank/launcher is a good unit for base defence. First of all, any tank present on a base defence mission gets a free load of ammunition. Secondly, its combination of high firepower and psionic immunity are a huge boost to garrison-quality troops. Third, if you have constructed you base properly, you more or less know where the aliens are going to spawn and can massacre them before you can even see them.
- Unlike a man-portable Blaster Launcher, the tank's blaster is incapable of penetrating the outer hull of an alien craft.
- We're not kidding about the HWP blaster shells being expensive to produce. The elerium and man-hour requirement for a full load of shells mean that you should only rely on them when you have no other choice, or when you have a massive surplus of resources.
- The hovertank, like all flying units, can avoid physical attacks like the Chryssalid's or Reaper's by staying above ground level.
- Due to its thick side armour and resistance to explosives, the hovertank/launcher has little to fear from its own weapon. As long as the tank is at least 2 squares away from the centre of the explosion, it will not be damaged.