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Generals Particle Cannon

Particle Cannon firing

It's not fair! One more superweapon and I would have had you! Challenge me again, I dare you.
- Alexis Alexander after being defeated in the Generals Challenge

Since the end of World War II, countries worldwide have sought to possess weapons of mass destruction; WMDs are often seen as a bargaining chip, a sign of military strength, and as a last resort to fall back on when other solutions won't grant the necessary results. During the war that the Global Liberation Army waged against the US and the PRC, all three factions used weapons of mass destruction. In matches, a successful superweapon strike can often mark a critical moment and turn the tide of a battle.

General Information[]

Housed in large, heavily armored structures deployed directly onto the battlefield, superweapons are able to inflict tremendous damage. They have infinite range and can strike anywhere on the map. Superweapons cannot be intercepted once activated (even by anti-missile systems), though those of the USA and the GLA take some time to complete firing and the building can in theory be destroyed during the firing process, somewhat limiting the damage inflicted.

The location of a superweapon will become visible on the map to all players once built. An audio warning will be given to a human player upon the SW's construction and another once the weapon is fired. The only exception applies to Prince Kassad's Scud Storm, which can be upgraded with Camouflage to gain stealth. It will only be visible very briefly once constructed; the player will still receive audio warnings.

All Superweapons have a countdown timer to indicate the time remaining until they fire, which is also publicly displayed, and each instance of every weapon will have individual timers. They go through this preparation period upon construction and for each subsequent use. If the structure is removed from play (destroyed or sold), the timer will disappear.

The timers for Nuclear Missile, Scud Storm and Particle Cannon are 6 minutes, 5 minutes and 4 minutes respectively. The timers are different in each of the in the General's Challenges, however.

USA and China's Superweapons require power to function. If the electrical supply is interrupted, the timer freezes and will resume only if power is restored. If the USA's Superweapon loses power while firing, the beam will be cut off prematurely and will not resume even after it gets back online.

China[]

China employs Tactical Nuclear Missiles. Launched from a Silo, the single missile creates a devastating blast and leaves the area irradiated in its wake, damaging vehicles and infantry that aren't already destroyed by the blast.

GLA[]

GLA's Scud Storm fires a salvo of nine Scud missiles that saturate a large area with their anthrax and explosive payload that poison infantry and can erode vehicles. The missiles fire individually in rapid succession; if the firing sequence is interrupted, only successfully fired missiles will impact the target area.

Specialist GLA generals have two variations: Dr. Thrax' Scud missiles carry a more dangerous anthrax strain, while General Juhziz' missiles forfeit their toxins in exchange for extra explosive power. As mentioned previously, Prince Kassad can camouflage his Scud Storm building, though the payload is that of the standard GLA Scud Storm.

USA[]

The United States deploys the Particle Cannon, a beam weapon with a relatively narrow area of effect and a lengthy duration. In contrast to the widespread destruction of the other two faction's superweapons, it fires a precise and continuous beam that can be steered while it is activated.

Drawbacks and Countermeasures[]

While highly valuable because of their sheer destructive power, superweapons have the disadvantage of high costs and long preparation times. Though heavily armored, the buildings are defenseless on their own, and can be expected to be high-priority targets for opponents, especially considering that their presence is known to opposing players by default. It is often quite sensible to expend multiple General's Powers or even sacrifice units on one-way suicide missions in order to prevent an enemy superweapon from firing.

The best superweapon counter was superweapons of one's own. However, for most factions, a single instance of a Superweapon was not powerful enough to eliminate an opponent's. Thus, additional capabilities were usually necessary to complete the destruction.

The GLA could use its sneak attack to place a large enemy force adjacent to a superweapon; high-explosive Bomb Trucks were a particular favorite, with their destructiveness and quick effect. GLA Saboteurs could delay the firing of a weapon, although it was difficult to successfully infiltrate a base with competently prepared defenses. Both the USA and China had a number of air support powers that would reliably inflict heavy damage. The USA could always sacrifice Aurora bombers on a one-way mission. Other common options included the A-10 Strike and the Spectre Gunship, both of which would deal heavy damage, although only if they could survive air defenses long enough. China also had a potent and unstoppable artillery barrage and the EMP Pulse, the latter of which could delay SW activation for a crucial interval. Against USA and Chinese factions, power plants could be targeted, which were much more vulnerable than the superweapons themselves.

Given their vulnerabilities, hero units were somewhat unreliable inside an enemy base where a Superweapon was most likely to be located, although against a distracted opponent, Black Lotus could sometimes capture the building and sell it immediately, provided she could enter the base.

Another consideration, given that complete destruction of the building usually required multiple efforts, was attempts by the Superweapon's owner to repair the building while it was under attack. Attackers had to ensure that the damaged weapon could not be restored before the finishing blow had been struck. America's Particle Cannon could be directed while in operation to fry an adjacent repair unit. A GLA's chemical-enhanced Scud Storm would contaminate the ground and damage workers or dozers, and radioactive contamination from China's nuclear missile would do likewise, though to a lesser degree. American generals could manually redirect Spectre fire to hit repair units as long as the Superweapon building was centered inside the aircraft's target radius. In the case of a Scud Storm, an attack might reduce the building to a Hole rather than completely eliminate it, buying the player some time but not completely neutralizing the threat.

Trivia[]

  • The US Superweapon specialist general, Alexis Alexander, was supposed to have two more superweapons: the Cruise Missile and the Tomahawk Storm, which somewhat mimic the characteristics of the superweapons of China and the GLA. These were cut from the final game for unknown reasons, but can be placed in custom maps with the Worldbuilder.
  • For fairness and gameplay reasons, the timers for the superweapons are different in the scripted general's challenges, where the opposing general already has a completed base, usually including at least one superweapon. The duration of the timers in the challenges is greater than the default and dependent on the difficulty level. If the general builds a new superweapon during the challenge, it will be set at the default timer for its faction.

See also[]

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