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Disambig
For other uses, see armored personnel carrier.
CNCTW Guardian APC Cameo
APC, what's the plan?
- APC

The M121 Guardian[2] is GDI's standard personnel carrier capable of a range of battlefield functions beyond the one made obvious by its designation.

Background

Drawing on their seminal research on combining natural defense forms with historical combat tactics, Dai Nippon/Skunk Works created several prototypes before accepting the ideal form of their new Turtle APC. The Turtle employs the same electromotive systems as the Mammoth: independent high-torque HTSC (High Temperature Super Conductor, a material widely used in the Mammoth's systems) and electromagnetic motors with dual Mil-Spec CVJF (Combat Vehicle Jet Fuel) ducted turbine generators as the main power source. [1]

The end result is an advanced, six wheeled transport, with all terrain capability and a dual barreled heavy machine gun capable of engaging both ground and aerial targets. It features a wedge shaped hull to provide protection from IEDs, a common weapon in urban warfare. One of the more interesting features is the high frequency low voltage Titanium alloy bi-metal articulated suspension, which can dynamically adjust its elevation in response to battlefield conditions.[1]

First models were deployed with the Steel Talons as early as 2034: these lacked the self-defense weapon, but had a repair crane instead. This version was dubbed the Mobile Repair Transport. Later models were outfitted with the Vigilante system: a twin heavy machine gun turret system capable of tracking aircraft and mowing down infantry in seconds. Both came with mine laying equipment - allowing them to deploy a large minefield at any given location.

Any squad of infantry being transported inside may fire out of the APC, granting it greater offensive capability than an empty one; for example, an APC transporting a Missile Squad will have improved fire power against vehicular and airborne targets while the Missile troopers are inside, and when transporting Zone Troopers, the Zone Troopers will tear through vehicles from inside the APC. Additionally, its heavy machine guns can be upgraded to employ armor piercing ammunition.

Legacy

During the Fourth Tiberium War, the Guardian's chassis was known to have helped pioneer the conception of GDI's next-generation mainline anti-tank vehicle: a heavily armored tank destroyer known as the AT-22 Hunter.

More specialized next-generation vehicles were developed to fill the many roles of the Guardian APC - the role of troop transport was taken by the heavily armored Armadillo APC, and the role of anti-infantry was taken by the highly mobile Bulldog and the heavier Wolf.

Abilities

CNCTW Mine Drop Cameo
Minefield

(Ctrl+D)

When desired, the APC can be ordered to deploy a nine-piece minefield at any given location. Each mine deals 400 damage to any hostile unit that triggers it. Costs $300, has 1-munite cool down period.
CNCTW Evacuate Cameo
Evacuate

(Ctrl+F)

Orders the infantry unit currently inside the vehicle to immediately exit.
CNCTW GDI Call for Transport Cameo
Call for transport(Ctrl+A) When available, the APC can call for pickup by a V-35 Ox transport for a small fee of $200. Has 2-minute cool down, requires Airfield.

Upgrades

CNCKW AP Ammo Cameo
AP ammo Equips the vehicle with AP ammo, increasing damage (Kane's Wrath only) Purchasable at any Command Post for $2000 and takes 1:00 to research (Ctrl+A).

Game unit

A Guardian can carry one infantry squad. Troops will fire from within the APC but die when the vehicle is destroyed, so it's best to evacuate them if the vehicle is about to be destroyed. Guardians inherently possess a long-range heavy machine gun that can fire on aircraft and ground targets alike. It is roughly equivalent to Nod's Raider Buggy in this respect.

Guardians are an acceptable AA unit when paired with Pitbulls, as their high fire rate and guarantee of instant damage supplements the high damage but low firerate + delayed damage of Pitbull missiles. Their AA abilities still pale in comparison to the Slingshot available in the Kane's Wrath expansion.

The Guardian APC can transport GDI infantry quickly around the battlefield, but in the case of units like Commandos there is no improvement (the GDI Commando can actually run faster than an APC), and Zone Troopers only marginally benefit from the extra mobility.

Probably the biggest reason for loading infantry into the APC other than the obvious role of transporting them quickly, is to protect them from incoming fire that would normally kill them. For example: a two-person missile squad can fire from inside an APC as it takes anti-infantry fire that would otherwise kill them. In addition, the APC helps defend the infantry inside with its own heavy machine gun - supplementing their abilities. If retreat is necessary, the APC also gives them a quicker and safer way of escaping. For this reason, APC strike groups can be useful for harassment tactics.

APCs, without garrisoned infantry, are analogous in role to Nod's Raider buggy: it is a relatively fast vehicle effective against infantry and able to engage aircraft, except - as is typical of GDI design - it is more well armored and has more firepower, but is slower and more costly than its Nod counterpart.

Although the Guardian  is one of the most heavily-armored light vehicles, it's almost always a bad idea to use them alone against heavy units such as tanks or walkers, regardless of any accompanying infantry's benefits.

APCs can serve a variety of support roles with infantry garrisoned in them.

  • A Missile Squad will make the APC a decent harassment and anti-air platform.
  • A Sniper Team makes it excellent for dealing with enemy infantry at a distance, as it's fast enough to allow the snipers to 'kite' enemy infantry.
  • Zone Troopers can be added, though they are expensive and quite resilient and mobile on their own. They make APCs much more effective against all ground targets, especially other vehicles. Make sure to dismount them if the APC is low on health.
  • A Grenadier Squad makes the APC one of the best anti-infantry units in the game. It can move fast, clear out garrisoned buildings and kill infantry squads very quickly.
  • Zone Raiders make Guardian APCs excellent anti-air, anti-infantry and anti-light vehicle platforms. They are weak against heavier vehicles. This combination is very expensive and only viable for ZOCOM commanders. As with Zone Troopers, make sure to dismount them if the APC is low on health.
  • Commandos can exponentially increase the APC's effectiveness against infantry, but are relegated to the anti-personnel role while inside the vehicle. Loading a Commando into an APC for the sole purpose of transportation is usually a waste of effort, as the Commando is more mobile than the vehicle itself. An APC can help a Commando get closer to a building before being shot, provided they're evacuated before it blows up.
  • Loading an Engineer imparts no combat abilities to the vehicle, but will ensure that the Engineer reaches their destination far faster and more securely than on foot.

Their ability to lay minefields is useful, especially in defensive situations. Enemy forces that stumble into an undetected minefield usually take heavy damage and losses. Laying minefields at strategic locations and choke points on a given battlefield will deter/slow your opponents. When APCs are loaded with the appropriate infantry and lay minefields, they are very good at deterring or stopping some types of assaults on their own.

Any vehicle with sensor capability can see minefields and easily neutralize them, and Nod Scorpion tanks upgraded with Dozer Blades can effortlessly clear entire fields by simply driving straight through them. Minefields cost 500 credits to lay, so it is important to make cautious use of them. Well-prepared opponents will use units that can detect and clear mines rapidly.

Minefields can damage hover units as much as any other ground unit.

The Steel Talons variant of the Guardian APC, the Mobile Repair Transport, costs the same, but is slower and trades the Guardian's heavy machine guns for a crane that lets it repair vehicles. In addition, its loadout options are more limited since the Steel Talons subfaction does not make use of advanced GDI infantry.

Assessment

Pros

  • Extraordinarily cost-efficient, and able to be deployed in numbers
  • Extremely flexible when loaded with various light infantry, including Engineers, Grenadiers and Missile Squads.
  • Available at Tier 1; useful for early rushes, quick attacks and holding off infantry charges
  • Capable of laying multipurpose mines to deter or destroy approaching enemies into the late game
  • Ungarrisoned base unit is effective against infantry, light ground vehicles and aircraft; Armor-piercing ammunition upgrade doubles the APC's damage output
  • Reasonably fast and maneuverable compared to MBT-6 Predator tanks, able to respond quickly
  • Can be deployed using the Bloodhounds calldown from the Airfield.

Cons

  • Requires garrisoned infantry units to reach its full potential; effects vary on the type of infantry
  • Only capable of carrying one infantry squad unlike the MARV. Infantry cannot use abilities while garrisoned and infantry garrisoned inside an APC will be lost upon its destruction
  • Relatively vulnerable to anti-vehicle units such as tanks.
  • Still among the slowest light vehicles in the game, consider using the Hammerhead or a disposable V-35 Ox for late game transportation.

Quotes

Created

  • APC, ready for combat.

Select

  • Commander?
  • APC, what's the plan?
  • Personnel carrier.
  • Ready when you are.
  • APC standing by.

Moving

  • In transit.
  • Hang on.
  • Transport en route.
  • Operations underway.
  • We're coming.
  • Park it there!
  • Right away.

Attacking

  • Target confirmed!
  • Fire!
  • Right there!
  • Take 'em out!
  • Give it to 'em!

Deploy mine

  • Put the mines right there.
  • Make sure they don't see 'em.
  • Hide 'em well!

Move to Attack

  • Ready weapons!
  • Standby for assault!
  • Move in on 'em!

In combat

  • Let's make this quick!
  • Hit 'em, hit 'em!
  • We have contact, sir!
  • Stay on 'em!

Retreating

  • We gotta move!
  • Lets go! Let's go!

Trivia

  • The Guardian APC gives its passengers less protection than its predecessor, as loaded infantry can survive an Amphibious APC's destruction but are instantly killed when a Guardian APC is destroyed.
  • The Guardian's external form bears some resemblances to the M577 Armored Personnel Carrier from the Aliens franchise.
  • If built from a War Factory captured in the Andrews AFB mission of the Nod campaign, APCs will have four times the normal infantry carrying capacity

Gallery

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Duane Loose. 2006. "Block 10 Technical Bulletin #1: Designn". File mirror
  2. Verdu, Michael. 2006-09-29. Technology in 2047. Mirror: Technology in 2047. C&C3 X360 Page. 2010-02-21.
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