|For similiar infantry, see grenadier.|
After the First Tiberium War the technology of grenades and various handheld explosive went through a long and productive evolutionary process. By the Second Tiberium War grenades had changed from the standard hand thrown "pineapples" of yore and had become disc shaped impact explosives that, if the soldier was properly equipped, were thrown from a special motorized wrist launcher. The efficient disc shaped grenades were at the same time more powerful and longer ranged than older hand grenades, with a 40% higher kill ratio. The aerodynamic shape increased range and allowed the discs to skip along the ground. However, the cumbersome back mounted storage and launching system for the grenades also made it difficult for a Disc Thrower to hit his target sometimes. The grenade is equipped with smart detonation system that will explode on impact with enemy or later, removing fear of unexploded ordnance. The explosive packed inside is potent enough to effect infantry and vehicle with blast and premium damage. Aircraft cannot be targeted, bearing the nature of the weapon.
The armour worn by the disc throwers is a slightly upgraded version of that used by regular light infantry units, modified to protect the wearer from shrapnel with a back-mounted disc storage system.
Otherwise, they were identical to light infantry footmen they were complimenting.
Disc Throwers were present at most GDI battles, including raids on most Nod bases as well as special forces missions, and were an integral part of GDI's arsenal. Their ability to be effective against both infantry and vehicles made them a much more multi-purpose infantry than the simple light infantry, but they were also more difficult to train and equip.
By the Third Tiberium War, GDI replaced Disc Troopers with Grenadiers, who are more effective against structures but less so against vehicles. Their anti-vehicle role was taken over by missile squads.
Despite their effectiveness, Disc Throwers, to name their worst drawback, are unable to attack aircraft, unlike its closest Nod counterpart, the rocket infantry. Disc throwers also cause a small explosion upon death. The death of a few disc throwers within a clustered group will often cause a chain reaction of explosions enough to wipe the entire group out. Other than these, disc throwers are excellent multi-purpose units, being able to do high damage to both infantry and vehicles alike. Due to their higher expense they are best used in support of fodder infantry or vehicles, both of which will provide the Disc Thrower apt protection so that they can attack unmolested.
A pack of Disc throwers and a pair of medics offer a great offensive and defensive value. Disc throwers are virtually effective against any surface target they can reach and medics can maintain their health. This combination is not best suited to attack anti infantry capable structure or units unless medics assigned to them is capable enough to patch wounds inflicted. The pack must also be protected against air units.
The Disc throwers' greatest asset and greatest liability stem from the indirectly engaging nature of their primary armament, the eponymous "disc" grenades; because these explosives can be skipped across surface terrain instead of merely launched at an enemy, one can use force-firing techniques with them to outrange many units and base defenses such as the deadly Nod Laser Turret. By ordering one or more throwers to force-fire at a section of ground roughly halfway between two throw-lengths ahead of them, one can effectively double the range of the thrower's attack and keep both the thrower(s) and other friendly units out of harm's way, while demolishing base defenses with impunity. Mastery of this technique is essential to the completion of several "guerrilla" GDI missions on hard difficulty wherein initial forces are few and reinforcements sparse and contingent upon the destruction of key structures/units. The ability to outrange all other ground based infantry makes Disc throwers a great tool, especially prior to the opportunity to construct Titans/MLRS's/Juggernauts.
Disc throwers also have the interesting distinction of being the best unit factionwide at demolishing bridges. Again, this is due to the indirect/non-instantaneous nature of their weapon; using the same grenade-skipping technique, one can continuously engage throwers in the act of demolishing bridges, a feat "direct" units are incapable of since they cease firing at a section of a bridge once destroyed. This works because the throwers do not directly target any section, instead the force-fire coordinate determines where the grenade skips prior to detonation. This allows throwers to ceaselessly bombard bridges; enlisting three or four throwers in this task ensures that bridges repaired by engineers last only seconds before subseqent rupture, perpetually denying the enemy access to the bridge. Using this unique ability and anti-air, infantry, and armor support, a GDI commander can dictate bridge access mapwide. This is a very useful tactic in missions throughout both GDI campaigns in Tiberian Sun and its expansion, the Recapture of Hammerfest being a preeminent example. This mission's map features a series of parallel bridges as the primary means of terrestrial intercourse between the GDI and Nod bases. As Nod is quite scrupulous about repairing them, a useful tactic is to employ Disc throwers in the aforementioned capacity to deny Nod access to one's base during the beginning of the mission where the restoration of Hammerfest from a state of extreme dilapidation to economic and defensive supremacy is paramount to survival.
However, these advantages come at a somewhat steep price as Disc throwers are, with the exception of the Ghost Stalker, the most prone of GDI units to inadvertently dealing friendly damage to themselves and other allied units. Again, this originates from the fact that their weapons do not travel in a linear path to the enemy but are dependent on terrain and spatial location relative the initial grenade toss. As such, Disc throwers require a much greater degree of micromanagement than their Light infantry counterparts. When using them one should never encircle an enemy or group of enemies as the grenades they toss will often end up skipping past the intended opponent and harming the opposite friendly unit in the circle. This can have devastating consequences, especially if one is using a group composed mostly of infantry without a medic as the splash damage of the grenades can cause multiple casaulties which can be further exacerbated by the tendency of explosive terminal damage to cause affected units to become immolated and run around in a state of panic, fatally immolating other infantry. Five or more friendly infantry fatalities can occur in this manner within seconds.
The liability of Disc throwers towards the aforementioned types of friendly fire incidents increases if left to the devices of Tiberian Sun infantry AI, so effective utilization requires an inordinate degree of micromanagement. Too often they can be quite unintentionally suicidal/homocidal towards themselves and fellow GDI troopers. Bearing all this in mind, it is best to use throwers sparingly, always with medics and a healthy complement of Light infantry in order to derive the most value out of them. This curious admixture of uncommon assets and uncommon weaknesses make Disc throwers an extremely versatile, yet at the same time fragile, unit.
- Tiberian Sun patch 1.13: disc throwers now explode when killed and damage any nearby units.
- Rocket infantry, Nod anti-armor infantry