[Suggestion] Infantry Support Tanks

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by ColonelChingles, Jul 21, 2014.

  1. ColonelChingles

    So inspired by RIctavius's thread on a heavy vehicle that can support infantry pushes, I got to thinking about another long-forgotten relic from WWII... the infantry tank.

    Infantry tanks are slow, heavily armored tanks that actually have fairly puny armaments. These tanks are not designed for anti-tank work, and instead are there to assist infantry against entrenched enemy infantry. For example, if enemy infantry were holed up in a building and making it difficult for friendly infantry to advance, an infantry tank would suppress or disorient the entrenched infantry so that friendly infantry could make their push.

    By itself infantry tanks would still be vulnerable to infantry (not to mention other AT vehicles), but they would be better protected than a medium tank/MBT in that same situation. Moreover the infantry tank would rely on friendly infantry to protect it from flanking threats, while the tank itself would deal with the most pressing problems directly ahead of it.

    In history infantry tanks fell out of favor as tank armor and cannon improved, and after awhile there wasn't a point to an infantry tank because MBTs could kill enemy infantry fairly easily while still be effective against other tanks. But the idea of the infantry tank is not totally lost in modern times, and many MBTs have had "urban upgrades" in order to be more protected in urban environments, which traditionally have been hostile environments to tanks.

    My idea for PS2 is that it would be a "weapon" for the ES MBTs, but it would automatically modify many other characteristics of the MBT including movement, secondary weapons, and armor.

    To this end, NS now offers extended support to the ES MBTs in the form of Heavy Urban Survival Kits, or HUSKs.


    The HUSK upgrade for the Magrider significantly changes the way the tank is used, making it closer to a turreted tank instead of a fixed SPG. This is because in urban environments the ability to engage threats from all angles is paramount, and the original Magrider is ill-suited for this. Additionally the traditional primary/secondary roles are now reversed for all HUSK upgraded MBTs... the driver controls the secondary weapon so they can concentrate more on driving, while the gunner controls the primary weapon but cannot drive. In the case of the HUSK-M, the Magrider gains a pair of short-ranged plasma casters which are mounted to a turret on top of the tank. These function essentially the same as flamethrowers using the "heat mechanic" system found on Phalanx turrets (though they do have limited ammunition as well). The driver has access to a forward-mounted laser cutter, which has an arc of 270 degrees and is an anti-infantry lightsabre (giving it the PPA would have been too OP compared to NC and TR options). And like all HUSK upgrades, while the Magrider gets improved armor and mine resistance, it also can no longer use its special ability and is significantly slower (slightly faster than infantry sprint speed).


    The HUSK upgrade for the Prowler includes the same armor, speed, and driver/gunner role changes as the Magrider. The HUSK-P though follows the traditional TR ideology of MOAR DAKKA, with 4x 37mm rotary cannon. When these fire at the same time, it creates a dense wall of bullets in a short range around the Prowler (though for safety reasons to avoid friendly fire bullet damage falloff is very short). And if that wasn't enough, an anti-infantry variant of the G30 Vulcan has been added to the top for the driver to control.


    Last but not least, the HUSK upgrade for the Vanguard transforms an already tanky tank into the tankiest of all tanky tanks. The much-derided C85 Canister provides close-in protection, except in this case its TR and VS alternatives are all short-ranged options so it's not so bad in comparison. The main cannon has been replaced with a high-explosive mortar which has a decent blast radius and can leave a "flash bang" effect on infantry caught in the blast.

    So there you have it... ideas for ES infantry tanks. They work best when embedded with a squad of infantry, and while fairly difficult for other infantry to defeat, can be easily countered by armor or air or even a determined and organized squad of infantry. Overall given their short range, these would not be tanks meant for shelling spawnrooms, but tanks for pushing up with an infantry assault (or against an infantry assault).
    • Up x 24
  2. Tcsisek

    great idea, but 2 concerns, the vanguard looks like sh*t and it will only have the canister and a slow firing mortar, I sugjest a modified Grenade shotgun which just adds a little splash damage for the canister and a light auto cannon for the main weapon think Panzerkampfwagen I with the dual barrel acting as more of a heavy machinegun compared to the auto cannon though (a mortar would be to slow firing in comparison to the laser and the bullet wall to be effective) for the dev convenience a NS vehicle may be better as well.
    • Up x 1
  3. ColonelChingles

    Maybe this little video will change your mind?

    Though I'm always open to changes... maybe a rapid-firing mortar that does less damage?

    The reason why I want to stick with a mortar instead of a cannon is mostly due to range; this is meant to be a fairly short-ranged tank. Since mortars don't go very fast and have a deep arc, that would naturally limit how far the Vanguard could fire. With a traditional cannon, autocannon, or HMG there's always the risk that it might end up being used to shell spawnrooms from a long way off... which is not exactly how this tank should be used.

    Or maybe have an autocannon that just has shells with preset fuses... if they don't detonate within a certain range then they would autodetonate. That might work.
    • Up x 1
  4. LordMatt XLVIII

    Everyone should just get flamethrowers.

    Higby, flamtthrowers plz.
  5. Tcsisek

    (cant reply for some reason this is to colonel chingales)
    1. HOLY SH*T
    2. point taken
    3. still I would like a faster firing weapon than that
    4. new idea 2 different types of weapons for it the slow firing mortar and a faster ROF weapon for the VS it would be in the form of a napalm grenade launche/mortar, TR a cluster Grenade launcher/mortar that explodes once in a moderate size and then puts 4-8 mini grenades that spread out, while the NC keep that giant mortar that can and will knock the Sh*t out of entrenched infantry, for faster firing the TR/VS keep there weapons and the NC gets the auto cannon thing, could also promote squads to pull 2-3 of them, so while the big a** one is reloading the other can suppress the enemy then the big one could safely blow the sh*t out of them.
    5. I would like the vanguard mortar to be bumped up to firing 250-300mm shells of freedom.
  6. MCSquard

    You get points right of the bat for actually making pictures of decent quality and also coming up with an idea that could make tanks funner

    that said few questions

    What program did you model the units in and what did you use for the background?
    • Up x 1
  7. Tcsisek

  8. ColonelChingles

    Thanks! And the best part about all this is that everything I used was free software and it was really easy to learn. So you can do it too.

    First, you need PS2LS. This utility extracts models from your PS2 files. Most of the models will be .obj files.

    Second, you need Blender. This program lets you open up the .obj files and play with them. You can edit any of the objects, splice objects together, resize them, and do all sorts of zany stuff. Once you have created what you want, save a rendered image of it with a transparent background as a .png file.

    Third, you need paint.net, or any other image editing software. I set up an image with three layers... the background, the rendered image, and text. Then save it as any sort of image file.

    Fourth, you need imgur or some kinda of image hosting service. Upload your picture to the interwebs and there you can link it on the PS2 Forums.

    As for the background I used, I just Googled "industrial background" and used a random one there. I certainly don't have any rights to it or anything, and I would credit the author if I knew who it was.
  9. ColonelChingles

    And of course NS would never forget the little tank that could... the Lightning!


    The Medium Urban Survival Kit upgrade, or the MUSK upgrade, transforms the Lightning into an ideal infantry support tank. Though this kit should not be confused with the HUSK for MBTs... the Lightning after all will never be as heavily armed or armored as an MBT.

    Instead the focus of the MUSK is to allow the Lightning to have abilities that will increase the tactical support options for a squad of infantry. Passively a MUSK Lightning will have a very helpful radar that performs like Scout Radar, except it only detects infantry and also is capable of detecting placed explosives. This should help friendly infantry avoid ambushes and traps, two very dangerous things in urban combat.

    In the event that a difficult enemy infantry position is discovered, the MUSK Lightning can deploy two different tactical 40mm grenades. One produces a thick cloud of smoke, which is useful for obscuring enemy lines of fire if the infantry squad needs to cross open ground. The other produces a concussion effect upon detonation, letting infantry clear a room full of dazed and disabled enemies. Due to friendly fire concerns, the MUSK Lightning is not equipped with lethal 40mm munitions.

    The MUSK Lightning's only form of attack and defense is a 20mm anti-infantry gatling gun mounted on the turret. It is a relatively short-ranged and inaccurate option, but is capable of continuous fire from a large ammunition reserve. This allows the MUSK Lightning to "pin down" enemy infantry while friendly infantry assault or flank.

    Like the HUSK upgrades, the MUSK upgrade gives the Lightning greater armor at the cost of some speed, though obviously not to the same degree.

    So while the HUSK upgrades transform MBTs into tanks capable of engaging dug-in infantry, the MUSK upgrade for the Lightning improves survivability largely by enhancing the combat effectiveness of nearby allied infantry.

    Inspiration for the MUSK actually comes from the concept art for the Lightning, with the ATGM launcher switched out for the support grenade launcher (and I goofed when I switched the sides).

    • Up x 4
  10. qquqq

    NO! NO! NO!
    Vehicle farm infinity so hard already they don't need a buff, they need to be forced out of infintry objectives all together, its too had to find a good balanced infantry only battle, always shot from the air while hunting some one down, or a random tank from a mile away, remove high explosive ammo. 8 yard radios might as well be a football field of damage, it tears through walls,,,,,,
    there is a reason people run around like chickens with their head cut off, if you stop even for 1 second you die to tank/ air/ sniper,
    these things all need to be nerfed, hard.

    There is no anti sniper class, C4/ tank mines might one shot a tank but the tank on shots all infantry on sight, no need for sticking your neck out, air is too fast, locking rocket launchers can't get a second shot off in time for a kill, and they are warned to early of an attempted lock? That is so Hollywood... On the ground are more exposed than they are in the air to your rocket, trees and such offer them more cover than you, another plane or tank or infantry is trying to kill you as you lock, other than a mosquito it takes about a minimum of your entire carry of rockets on a heavy to take down any armor, dumb fire rocket launchers are basically useful only for killing infantry,

    You people asking for anti infantry buffs, are the guys that are the problem in this game, you want to sit in your tank pointing 30 of the at a spawn locking own any true challenge so you don't have to work to achieve an objective,

    I counter with blanket 20% speed reduction on all vehicles, reduction in rate of fire of anti infantry weapons 20% reduced indirect radios to not exceed 5 yards or pass through walls that weapons that hit spawn room doors reflect back to hit the user in the head, still counts for tanks planes, to extend the restricted area for tanks way further, to create no fly zones, directly above spawns, removal of thermal and night sights from vehicles,

    The biggest complaint about (spawn camping) this game would be made worse as a direct result of the things you advocate in this post,,,,

    Thats not the point of PS2 its combined arms. Infantry relying on help from air and armor to take a base, They all rely on each other and it creates a balance. This thread is about letting tanks help infantry pushes and by giving them cover and suppressive fire.

    If you want infantry only battles, then planet side 2 not the game your looking for...
    • Up x 7

    I like the ideas and pictures just one problem.

    If the magrider driver controls a turret, how will he aim it?
    Currently A,D move magrider left and right
    And Mouse turns the chasis.

    So if you wanted to move forward, turn sideways, while strafing left, and aiming, you would need 6 different keyboard buttons and mouse.
    So the magrider can't have a turret because there is no way to move it without adding in too many controls that might complicate things.
  13. Dracorean

    We pretty much have infantry support vehicles, which are mainly specific load outs such as HE cannons and AI empire gunner weapons. Lightnings are technically an IFV with the viper and a SPG with the HE cannon. Proxi radar on such load outs also aid with anti-infantry role.

    However these are questionably effective, given that the trade off for AV capability, the slow rates of fire, and the speed and size of MBT's, not to mention the insane amounts of anti-vehicle weapons..
  14. Tcsisek

    its COMBINED ARMS if you want infantry only battles play COD. please just leave the thread everyone here wants this game to again be COMBINED ARMS.
    • Up x 1
  15. Tcsisek

  16. ColonelChingles

    I think they used to have them on MAXes, and while the weapons are no longer in the game the files are still there. The "plasma casters" on the HUSK Magrider are actually the MAX flamethrower models (enlarged for scale).

    These aren't meant to be infantry farming vehicles... in terms of damage they'll probably be worse at killing infantry than a HE MBT or Lightning. What these tanks are good at is heavily resisting infantry-based AT damage and suppressing enemy infantry (ie making it more difficult for them to fight effectively against friendly infantry).

    For example, an infantry tank could continuously pound an area, denying enemy infantry the ability to peek out of windows and shoot/see outside. Then friendly infantry can take advantage of this and flank that building without taking fire.

    Infantry tanks are also responsible for locking down open areas in between buildings, making it difficult for enemy infantry to move around freely outdoors. This offers a tactical advantage to friendly infantry, who don't have to worry about being counterattacked if the enemy are all pinned down inside buildings.

    The easy counter for infantry tanks would be any of the other MBT/Lightning configurations. In theory apart from ramming these infantry tanks should do 0 damage to vehicles... even a HE MBT could easily take one on in a fight. Against vehicle threats the infantry tank would ironically be relying on friendly infantry with AT weapons to take out the opposing MBT, which again promoted infantry-tank cooperation.

    And in PS2, which is a combined arms game, there should be no infantry only fights, just as there should be no vehicle only fights. If you don't want to play a combined arms game, you don't want to play PS2. This idea would create a tank-infantry relationship that would go both ways; infantry rely on the tank to deal with enemy infantry, and the tank relies on infantry to deal with enemy tanks.

    If you refuse to bring both tanks and infantry to a fight, then you deserve to lose because you failed to master the concept of combined arms. A combined arms army should win against an all-infantry or all-tank force.

    I just figured that the Magrider would essentially lose the side-to-side maneuvering. After all the side-to-side thing isn't as useful when you're in a narrow alley between buildings. For all intents and purposes it would drive just like the Prowler or Vanguard. Although these are still ES vehicles with different weapons and strengths, most likely their armor, speed, and maneuverability stats will be brought in line with each other. The Magrider would likely lose maneuverability, the Prowler DPS, and the Vanguard the additional armor (relative to the other tanks which would probably get more armor out of HUSK).

    You pretty much got it. What the infantry tank gets versus a HE MBT:
    Reduced range in exchange for greater suppressive fire
    Reduced speed and maneuverability in exchange for greater AI armor
    Reduced AV capability (essentially 0) in exchange for increased AI capability
    • Up x 1
  17. Tcsisek

    new idea 2 different types of weapons for it the slow firing mortar and a faster ROF weapon for the VS it would be in the form of a napalm grenade launcher/mortar, TR a cluster Grenade launcher/mortar that explodes once in a moderate size and then puts 4-8 mini grenades that spread out, while the NC keep that giant mortar that can and will knock the Sh*t out of entrenched infantry, for faster firing the TR/VS keep there weapons and the NC gets the auto cannon thing, could also promote squads to pull 2-3 of them, so while the big a** one is reloading the other can suppress the enemy then the big one could safely blow the sh*t out of them. and the lighting one could be an 20mm grenade machine gun.
    • Up x 1
  18. ColonelChingles

    So here's a sample scenario of a combined arms force overcoming an infantry-only force. It's of course a hypothetical, but fits in roughly with how I've experienced PS2 players, skill, and reactions in my 40 days of playtime.

    This is a typical setup for attacking Mekala North Gate on Amerish. A 12 v 12 fight, with the NC attacking with two HUSK Vanguards (requiring a total crew of 4) and 8 infantry (they also brought a Sunderer for reinforcements). The TR are defending Makala North Gate with 12 infantry. They've prepared some basic defenses, and most of them are already entrenched in the gate towers. They tried to use infantry AT weapons against the HUSK Vanguards but to little effect.

    The HUSK Vanguards proceed to suppress the TR defenders in the gate towers, annoying the heck out of them with their mortars. In this break the infantry which were escorting the Vanguards can then move up. Some stay behind to provide further covering fire and to nail any LA's with C4.

    With only light losses the NC infantry breech the towers and engage the concussed TR defenders who didn't even see or hear them coming.

    NC infantry fairly easily secure the towers, and proceed to the second and most critical objective; the vehicle shield generator to the west of the capture point. Without the shield generator down, the HUSK Vanguards can't join the fight, making the vehicle shield generator a top priority. Without infantry tank support, it's up to the infantry to keep enemies away from the vehicle shield generator, but fortunately for the NC no one really ever cares about securing those things. :p

    Vehicle shield generator is still going down...

    And it's gone! The HUSK Vanguards move in, and immediately can lock down the open space ahead of them. TR infantry try clustering around a building to take potshots at the Vanguards, but their AT weapons do little damage.

    Some TR defenders have moved into the capture building in hopes of getting another angle on the Vanguards, but they just end up getting suppressed on the rooftops. NC infantry meanwhile consolidate their positions for another push. The bring their Sunderer a bit forward to ease in more reinforcements.

    One of the NC HUSK Vanguards moves south in order to clear the side of a building. Although he is in line-of-sight of the TR spawnroom, their infantry-held AT weapons can only tickle the front armor of the Vanguard. This further clears the path for an NC infantry charge to the capture building. He also ran over an AT mine on the way there, but he didn't care a whole lot.

    But what's this?!? Apparently someone on the TR side didn't read the rules and pulls an AP Prowler! It immediately starts pelting the southern HUSK Vanguard, who is completely defenseless against enemy armor. Oh no! Is this the end?

    Predictably the HUSK Vanguard pulls back, but the AP Prowler pursues. Some NC infantry are also killed on the way as the TR infantry are no longer suppressed.

    But... the Prowler made a fatal mistake. It tried to engage while there were enemy infantry around... in an urban environment! It is quickly brought down with a variety of infantry AT weapons, and because it did not have the HUSK upgrade it was fairly vulnerable to those things. Additionally the Prowler did not have coordinated infantry backup... it was one guy going at it alone.

    The HUSK Vanguards move back into position, and everything is as it was. NC infantry are beginning to move up to the capture building, but need to consolidate their positions and build up numbers to assault. Meanwhile many of the TR at this point are doing the same old sniper/HA spawnroom hero routine and are unable to mount a counterattack.

    More NC consolidation. Some TR defenders try to get to the capture building, but because of a lack of recon they really have no idea what the NC are trying to do at this point. And that lack of intelligence is partially because of the suppression that the HUSK Vanguards are creating.

    The NC infantry continue to build up on the south side of the capture building, with the TR mostly locked into place. Honestly apart from that Prowler charge they essentially lost all initiative some time ago, and are just delaying the inevitable. If you have no plan to win, then you plan to fail.

    Ok, so was this defeat inevitable? Not at all. It could have been different had the TR done several things differently:
    1) They could have intercepted the HUSK Vanguards using their own armor or air before those vehicles even got to Mekala North Gate. The infantry tanks would have been exceedingly vulnerable to armor and air, and the NC infantry wouldn't be so effective at long range in the open.
    2) They could have more rigorously defended the vehicle shield generator, essentially breaking apart the combined arms of the NC leaving 4 of their 12 person squad rather useless.
    3) They could have pulled their own HUSK and AP Prowlers from Mekala Tech Plant and flanked the NC force, possibly even driving them out. Coordinating their tanks and infantry in an urban environment would have given the TR the edge.

    What the TR failed to do in this hypothetical scenario is master the concept of combined arms... they insisted on playing only as infantry and were crushed for their mistake.
    • Up x 9
  19. eldarfalcongravtank

    great ideas! you do some of the best suggestion threads on this forum mane
    • Up x 1
  20. Dracorean

    Though many would probably prefer a vanguard with an HE cannon, C85, proxi radar, Shield than an infantry tank. Its not to say its a bad idea, but when I think about something the size of an MBT and if it is slow and large I'm thinking C4 magnet, even if it can take as much C4 as a blockade sunderer, its still gonna be taken out in a way. Having no way to fight vehicles can also be a tad problematic, brings up the common question "What would be the right tool for the job?" Pure anti-infantry weapons are an obvious nich, harassers would prefer bulldogs AI than anything else, but even with no capability to fight armor it can just run off. A big slow tank might have to 'hope' for someone to come along and help them. Though I can say that sunderers are much like the concept of infantry tank. I have seen them be used in such a way as well.