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Thursday, 9 May 2013

Planetside 2: Xericor's tactica, 'Infantry Hunter' class Lightning Tank

Xericor's Tactica: Lightning Tank (Anti-Infantry)

Hi folks, and thanks for taking the time to check out my guides.

In this guide I will look at the role of the Lightning Tank in an anti-infantry set up – how to use speed and battlefield awareness to get into the best firing positions as well as what to do to evade vehicles that outclass you.

The Set Up

This build requires two main components, the 'L100 Python HE' turret, and 'Night Vision' optics. The 'Racer High Speed Chassis' also makes for a nice addition to this build giving the Lightning the speed it needs to escape from danger.

The Tactic

The Lightning tank uses its speed to move quickly into a flanking position, or to dart through gaps in terrain to take enemy infantry by surprise.

The Flank Manoeuvre

In every major engagement it is vital to understand the position of the battle line. Often this line will be a case of the defender holding an installation and the attacker moving on the building or buildings. In which case the flank is either end of the buildings, or as far as the defender extends.

Where the defender doesn’t hold a building, and the combat is more open field, then the two forces will try to use whatever cover they have available, more often than not this is a large hill or rock formation.

In the example below we can clearly see where the two effective battle lines are. Our Blue forces are positioned along the top of a ridge, and while we cannot see the enemy Red force, we can safely assume that they hold the position around the large rocky outcrop.

From here we can plot the best flank to attack – the left has a fairly smooth section of minor hills, the right has a dense collection of scattered rocks. As our plan requires speed and an area to operate we can choose the left side, as marked by the Green line.

Once we reach our destination, the majority of the enemy will be unaware of our attack until it is too late – all their attention will be focussed on the enemy to their immediate front. The result is free kills!

The Decisive Strike

As we discussed in the 'Flank' section, understanding the battle line is vital to the success of this tactic. Where an enemy holds a facility, they will often hold the area in close proximity, and if their numbers allow it, they will seek to extend their battle line and secure the best most advantageous firing positions.

Here we can see the enemy have extended their battle line south of their installation, to include the rocks immediately below their base, from which they can step out, let loose rockets at our approaching vehicles, then duck back in cover.

This is where our speed becomes vital to our success – don’t play the enemy at their own game, instead look to strike fast and hard at the correct moment.

The choice to engage here was made AFTER the enemy had fired their rockets and while the enemy was RELOADING – speed was key, as was 'burst radius'.

Tip - Burst Radius/Splash Damage

High Explosive shells explode when they hit anything solid, and anything within a few metres of the hit will take damage from the explosion. Always try to aim for targets that are moving against a solid feature, such as a hill, a tree, or the side of a building so even if you miss the kill shot you will still damage the enemy and possibly get them on the next shot, or pick up points for the assist.

As we can see from the photo below the only kill shot here is a direct hit. The target is very small and we are moving, this makes it a very hard shot. If our shot hits blue, then its a clear miss, and if our shot hits grey its unlikely the target will receive any splash damage as the enemy is placed the wrong side of the hill.

Evasion Tactics

This tank is built for speed and anti-infantry duties, and it will have a very rough time against MBT's or Air units. It is therefore vital we learn the tactics of evasion, and how to use our speed and manoeuvrability to best effect.

Evading Air

A common tactic used by veteran air players is to approach from the rear of their target and use Rocket Pods on the weak armour. A common response by the vehicle is to power drive away in a straight line. This is the wrong tactic to use. An air unit needs to line up the vehicle perfectly and unleash a barrage of rockets. As the air unit is moving forward, the pilot doesn’t mind if their target also moves forward, as a good pilot can keep the angle and speed of their approach in check and still hit the vehicle as it pulls away.

What we need to do is 'zigzag'. Evade left then centre, then right, then centre.

This breaks the air units line of attack. Its weapons are fixed forward, it cannot rotate its cannons like a tank can its turret, it must shift its whole body. What this means is the pilot must adjust their aim for every shot they take. The more effort we force, the more chance they will fail.

Evading Armour

The key to evading enemy heavy tanks lies with two factors – speed and distance, and we must learn to maximise both of these parameters to make it doubly hard for the enemy to land a direct shot.

A good tank commander can easily predict, and compensate, for one aspect. If the target is moving left to right, then they will place their shots slightly to the right of the target. Likewise if a target is moving away, placing a shot ahead of them is the best idea to score a hit.

When evading armour remember these two factors and take a diagonal path away from the enemy. Give them both aspects to take into consideration when placing their shots.

Avoid being a fairground duck shoot.

Thanks for reading and good hunting soldier!

PS. Be on the lookout for enemy Sunderers and flank them! Please don’t farm the position, target the Sundy and use the splash damage to kill the infantry. It will take you a lot of shots to bring down the Sundy while you pick up a lot of kills on the panicking troops!



  1. nice post :]. where do you get your kill list?