This page describes the units of the two factions, Arm and Core, in the original version of Total Annihilation, including the units provided in the expansion packs "The Core Contingency" and "Battle Tactics". It does not describe those that are introduced by various mods. The descriptions do not include detailed statistics at present.
|Weapon 1||Very light laser||Very light laser|
|Special ability 1||Cloaking||Cloaking|
|Special ability 2||Self-repair||Self-repair|
|Special ability 3||Capturing enemy units and buildings|
This is the one unit you can't build. In skirmishes and multi-player games each side starts with only a Commander. In most of the pre-defined missions you start with a Commander and sometimes a handful of other units; the enemy only has a Commander in the final mission of each side's campaign, and your objective is to destroy it.
The Commander is the most important unit because:
- It builds things faster than any other construction unit.
- Destruction of a Commander = defeat if the start-up option "Commander: Game ends" is selected. The default is "yes" and it's always set to "yes" in the pre-defined missions.
Whatever the setting of "Commander: Game ends", the destruction of a Commander causes a huge explosion that destroys everything within about half a screen-width of it - usually including the unit(s) that killed the Commander. Since you can't see a Commander's health bar, you can't tell when it's nearly dead and move most of your attackers out of harm's way. The most economical ways to kill Commanders are:
- "Kidnap" it with an air transport then self-destruct the transport. This should never catch an alert player. "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me."
- Use a a very long range unit, e.g. ARM Merl / Core Diplomat rocket launcher or a LRPC (long-range plasma cannon, i.e. ARM Big Bertha / Core Intimidator) or ARM Shooter / Core Morty or a Nuclear Missile. But the fire of most of these takes a while to reach the target, so you'll be very lucky to hit the Commandeer; and you have to have another unit spot it in the first place, so that the "assassin" can lock on to it.
- A single ARM Brawler / Core Rapier gunship, provided there's no air defense around. This relies on the fact that the Commander's weapons track quite slowly, so usually it never gets a shot in.
The ARM and Core Commanders are identical except that the ARM Commander moves 12% faster, enabling ARM to build its first few metal extractors a little earlier. Both Commanders are very good at climbing steep slopes (only the ARM Spider is better). And both can walk and build under water. But they can be spotted by sonar, their lasers don't work under water and their D-guns can only attack submerged objects such as submarines or torpedo launchers, and they can be attacked by torpedoes or depth charges.
The D-gun ("disintegrator gun") will destroy almost any unit on land or in the air, and can destroy 2 or 3 adjacent units, but has some limitations:
- Each use costs some energy, and if you don't have enough energy you can't use the D-gun.
- It leaves no wreckage for you to reclaim. It's usually better to destroy enemy units by other means, so that you can reclaim the metal from the wreckage.
- The D-gun is inaccurate against moving units. You may be able to hit them by aiming at where you think they will be in about ⅓ second, but that's not easy.
The Commander's laser is pretty weak.
Cloaking hides Commanders from sight but not from radar, so a cloaked commander can still be attacked if the enemy has a radar unit or building nearby. Commanders can't usually stay cloaked for long as it uses energy quite rapidly.
Commanders can repair themselves, rather slowly. This is an advantage very early in the game, when you have no other construction units. When you have other construction units on repair patrols, they will repair the Commander before anything else, - if you want them to repair anything else first, you have to give them explicit repair orders, finishing with a "patrol" command.
Commanders can also capture enemy units and buildings. This process is too slow to be of much use in skirmish or multi-player games. But capturing is the objective of some missions, and in other missions it may be useful in order to get your economy going quickly.
Relative Nanolathe speeds
Commander > Advanced Construction Submarine > Tier 2 Construction Vehicle and F.A.R.K. > Tier 2 Construction Kbot > Construction Ship > Tier 2 Construction Plane and Tier 1 Construction Vehicle > Tier 1 Construction Kbot and Construction Hovercraft > Tier 1 Construction Plane and Construction Seaplane
The Commander is the player's in-game avatar. It is a very powerful unit, possessing strong armor and a slew of potent weapons. It is capable of quickly constructing bases with its nano-lathe, as well as aiding in other construction efforts. It is the only unit armed with the Disintegrator-Gun (D-Gun, for short), which is capable of destroying anything it strikes. It is also armed with a small, red laser. The D-Gun is attached to the Commander's right arm, while the laser and nano-lathe are attached to its left arm. The Commander is both cloakable and amphibious, and is the only unit capable of healing itself over time. It also has the unique ability to capture other units. The Commander can store a vast amount of metal and energy within its back-mounted pack, using it to assemble units. While quite durable, the Commander is not invincible and can be easily destroyed by large groups of advanced units. Later in the game, it is best to cloak your Commander to keep him hidden, if you can spare the energy. Another way to hide the Commander effectively, while using very little energy, is to submerge him underwater. This will hide him from radar, but not from sonar. The nano-lathe is fully functional underwater, but the laser and the D-Gun are not. When submerged, he is vulnerable to torpedoes and depth charges, such as those from cruisers, destroyers, subs, and torpedo planes. If the Commander is ever destroyed, he detonates with the force of a nuclear explosion, often taking large quantities of units with it. It is noteworthy that all resources stored within the Commander are lost forever in the ensuing explosion.
In Total Annihilation terminology "units" includes buildings. This is important when you get near the game's unit limit (default 250 per side; some mods and patches allow higher limits).
In the standard game the units are divided into 4 levels, depending on what you need in order to build them:
- Level 1 buildings, including Level 1 factories, can be built by the commander as well as by Level 1 construction units. Level 2 construction units can also build the Level 1 factory of their unit type, for example an Advanced Construction K-bot can build the Level 1 K-bot Lab.
- Level 1 mobile units can only be built at Level 1 factories.
- Level 2 buildings, including Level 2 factories, can only be started by Level 1 construction units, although the Commander and higher-level construction units can then assist or complete construction.
- Level 2 mobile units can only be built at Level 2 factories.
- Level 3 buildings can only be started by Level 2 construction units, although the Commander and Level 1 construction units can then assist or complete construction.
- In the game as supplied by Cavedog, there is only one Level 3 mobile unit, the Core Krogoth, which can only be built at the Krogoth Gantry.
Some mods provide additional levels.
Level 1 Units
The Level 1 units are mostly the same for ARM and Core, except that ARM's are a fraction cheaper and usually a fraction better, which gives ARM the initiative. Where there are almost equivalent ARM and Core units, the same section describes both, but highlights the small differences.
Level 1 K-bots
These are all built at the K-bot Lab. All are land units, although they can move in shallow water.
|ARM Construction K-bot||Core Construction K-bot|
|Build cost: energy||2410||2450|
|Build cost: metal||120||130|
|Build time (unassisted)||5597||5818|
|Max Velocity||9.6 m/s||10.8 m/s|
|Turn Rate||168 degrees/s||159 degrees/s|
|Relative nanolathing speed||80 (Commander = 300)|
The Construction K-bot has a slower construction rate and movement speed than the Construction Vehicle, but is more maneuverable and has a longer nanolathing range, so it can build or repair in places that the Construction Vehicle cannot reach.
This is the only unit that can start construction of the Advanced Kbot Lab. Like all Level 1 construction units it can also build Solar Collector, Metal Extractor, Wind Generator, Energy Storage, Metal Storage, Metal Maker, K-bot Lab, Vehicle Plant, Aircraft Plant, Shipyard, Light Laser Tower, Radar Tower, plasma turret (ARM Guardian / Core Punisher), anti-aircraft missile tower (ARM Defender / Core Pulverizer), Heavy Laser Tower (ARM Sentinel / Core Gaat Gun), Dragon's Teeth, and Geothermal Powerplant.
Like all construction units it also produces small amounts of energy and metal, and increases your metal and energy storage capacity by a small amount.
Basic Infantry / Scouting K-bot
|ARM Peewee||Core A.K.|
|Build cost: energy||697||696|
|Build cost: metal||53||56|
|Weapon||1 Light Energy Machine-Gun||1 very light laser|
Both of these K-bots are too light-weight in weapons and armor for serious combat. But both are cheap, fast (about 50% faster than all other K-bots except ARM's Flea), good climbers and have good sight range, so they make good scouts and spotters for the heavier hitters, and are useful for destroying inadequately-protected metal extractors.
In a 1-on-1 the ARM Peewee will almost always beat the Core A.K. because the A.K.'s weapon is pathetic.
|ARM Rocko||Core Storm|
|Build cost: energy||964||985|
|Build cost: metal||117||118|
|Weapon||Medium-range, flat-trajectory, non-seeking missile|
These have better armor and firepower than the anti-air K-bots (ARM Jethro / Core Crasher), but their missiles often miss moving targets because they are non-seeking, and they are also liable to be blocked by obstacles including wreckage, because their trajectory is rather flat. Their range, armor and firepower make them useful for taking down light laser and missile towers. Neither has the armor, firepower or range to take down a heavy plasma turret in a straight slug-out; but they may be able to destroy one with a little micromanagement, e.g. by making them patrol in a range that allows them to fire at it, because the heavy plasma turrets are inaccurate against moving targets.
|ARM Jethro||Core Crasher|
|Build cost: energy||1219||1224|
|Build cost: metal||128||129|
|Build time (unassisted)||1452||1452|
|Max Velocity||21.6 m/s|
|Turn Rate||185 degrees/s|
|Weapon||Medium-range, target-seeking missile|
Although these are officially "anti-air K-bots", their fairly high firing rate and target-seeking missiles also make them effective against ground targets and they are the best K-bots for fighting fast-moving opponents. Their weaker armor makes it inadvisable to get them involved in a slug-out; but they can fire while moving, so they should use hit-and-run tactics.
|ARM Hammer||Core Thud|
|Build cost: energy||1187||1161|
|Build cost: metal||151||147|
|Build time (unassisted)||1452||1452|
|Max Velocity||21.6 m/s|
|Turn Rate||185 degrees/s|
|Weapon||2 light plasma cannon|
These are your first "artillery" of sorts, with reasonable range and firepower, and a trajectory that enables them to fire over many obstacles. But their firing rate is slow and they rarely hit moving targets, so they are poor in combat against mobile units and therefore need an escort.
This is the only Level 1 K-bot class in which Core has a clear superiority:
- The Hammer travels with its gun barrels in a "closed" position and takes a second or so to open them into firing position. The Thud has no such delay.
- The Hammer is also only an average climber by Kbot standards, while the Thud is an excellent climber (only the Commanders and ARM's Level 2 Spider are better). This can enable the Thud to climb steep hills and fire down on stationary targets, and the height advantage may make it difficult for the enemy to retaliate.
Medium Infantry K-bot
|ARM Warrior||Core: (none)|
|Build cost: energy||2236||-|
|Build cost: metal||196||-|
|Build time (unassisted)||1452||1452|
|Max Velocity||21.6 m/s|
|Turn Rate||185 degrees/s|
|Weapons||1 Energy machine gun and 1 light plasma cannon||-|
The Warrior's armor makes it much tougher than other Level 1 K-bots (and Level 1 vehicles). Small groups of Warriors make good spearheads for serious attacks because their armor often enables most of them to survive long enough to provide visual contact so that longer-ranged but more fragile units can do most of the damage.
Note that in the standard version of Total Annihilation the Warrior can only fire one of its weapons at a time; the unit AI selects the EMG against moving targets and the plasma cannon against stationary ones. Some mods enable it to use use both simultaneously.
Core has no equivalent.
Very fast Scout K-bot
|ARM Flea||Core: (none)|
|Build cost: energy||712||-|
|Build cost: metal||44||-|
|Build time (unassisted)||1452||1452|
|Max Velocity||21.6 m/s|
|Turn Rate||185 degrees/s|
The Flea is 75% faster than the ARM Peewee and Core A.K. Its armor is even lighter and its weapon is totally pathetic.
Core has no equivalent.
Level 1 Construction Kbot
Class: Construction Kbot Builds: Solar Collector, Metal Extractor, Wind Generator, Energy Storage, Metal Storage, Metal Maker, Kbot Lab, Vehicle Plant, Aircraft Plant, Shipyard, L.L.T, Radar Tower, Adv. Kbot Lab, Guardian, Defender, Sentinal, Dragon's Teeth, Geothermal Powerplant.
The Level 1 Construction Kbot has a slower construction rate and movement speed than the Construction Vehicle, but is more maneuverable and has a longer nanolathing range, so it can build or repair in places that the Construction Vehicle cannot reach.
Class: Fast scout /spotter Kbot
Weapon: EMG (Energy Machine Gun)
Comments- The Peewee is cheap, and its speed and good visual range make it a good scout and expendable spotter for more powerful combat units. It is also a fairly effective raider, but the Flash tank is better for raiding because of its superior armor and firepower. The Peewee's weapon is modest but significantly better than that of the Core's AK.
Class: Rocket Kbot
Weapon- Rocket Launcher
Comments- This has better armor and firepower than the Jethro, but its missiles often miss moving targets because they are non-tracking, and they are also liable to be blocked by obstacles including wreckage, because their trajectory is rather flat. Rocko's armor and firepower make it useful for taking down light laser and missile towers.
Class: Artillery Kbot
Weapon: Light Plasma Cannons
Comments- This is your first "artillery" of sorts, with reasonable range and firepower. But its firing rate is slow and it rarely hits moving targets, so it it is poor in combat against mobile units and therefore needs an escort. It is also only an average climber by Kbot standards (the Core's Thud artillery Kbot is an excellent climber), but has better range over the Core's counterpart.
Class- Anti- Air Kbot
Weapon- Missile Launchers
Comments- Jethro has weaker armour and firepower than Rocko, but its tracking missiles are accurate against moving units, including planes, and their firing rate is good. Jethro can fire while retreating, and should therefore hit and run in combat. The Samson missile vehicle has slightly greater range and firepower, substantially better tracking ability, and greater straight-line speed; but Jethro is more maneuvrable, especially in rough terrain and is a smaller unit yielding a smaller target while relieving congestion. Generally the Samson will perform better against fast planes while the Jethro is better against relatively stationary planes like gunships.
Class: Assault Kbot
Weapon- Light Plasma Cannon/ EMG (Energy Machine Gun)
Comments- The Warrior has both the Peewee class machine gun and a Stumpy class plasma cannon (possibly not as powerful as the Stumpy's). It has the best armor of ARM's level 1 Kbots, which makes it a good spearhead for both attack and defense in the early game.
Class: Fast Light Scout Kbot
Weapon: Extra- Light Laser
Comments: This thing is very fast. Yep, that's pretty much what it has going for it. It makes for an excellent scout, providing there's not some turret it runs into, because if it does, it's toast. Flea's have barely any armor. Less than the Weasel, if you can believe that. Plus, its laser is exceedingly weak, so don't go against anything with these, unless you have a massive group of them. Then there would be an infestation of Fleas!
The Arm's Level 2 Kbots are a huge strength that they possess. Nearly every one of them are a superior make. Here is a showcase of the Arm's excellent Kbots.
Level 2 Construction Kbot
Class: Adv. Construction Kbot
Builds: Kbot Lab, Moho Mine, Fusion Powerplant, Adv. Radar Tower, Moho Metal Maker, Big Bertha, Vulcan, Retaliator,Cloakable Fusion Plant
The Level 2 Construction Kbot has a slower construction rate and movement speed than the Advanced Construction Vehicle, but is more maneuverable and has a longer nanolathing range, so it can build or repair in places that the Advanced Construction Vehicle cannot reach.
Class: Assault Kbot
Weapon: Heavy Lightning Cannon
Comments: The Zeus is a good Level 2 Kbot which packs a heavy weapon which will easily destroy units. The problem is, in order for this bolt of pure energy to fry an enemy tank, it has to be quite slow, because it has a hard time trying to hit fast units. This comes from the fact it rather slowly moves its arm to aim. But aside from that, this is a worthy, sturdy Level 2 Kbot.
Class: Assault Kbot
Weapon: Gauss Cannon
Comments: These 4-legged Kbots are quite fast, have an accurate, powerful and surprisingly long-ranged weapon, and are able to take a reasonable amount of punishment. Fido's greatest weakness is that its shells have a very flat trajectory and are therefore easily blocked by wreckage or terrain obstacles. But in unobstructed terrain a Fido can destroy a much more heavily armored level 2 tank, provided it keeps moving so that the tank's ballistic shells miss.
Class: Crawling Bomb
Weapon- Destroying itself for a large explosion
Comments: This attacks ground units and buildings by moving next to them and self-destructing, with about half the power and blast radius of a nuclear missile. Even if it is destroyed it produces a smaller but still powerful explosion. But Invaders move amazingly slowly speed, so any units with a decent range can destroy them without taking any damage. Even so, it has a some uses, although success usually requires careful management; and if you are clever you can take advantage of the fact that one bomb can set off another for a devastating set of explosions. First, you could put crawling bombs in a narrow canal, or a well-traveled shipping lane; when a group of ships goes over, detonate one at the right time, and the enemy fleet will tak every heavy damage or even be destroyed. Or load one into a Valkyrie transport aircraft or several into an Envoy tranport ship, move the tranport to the enemy base or fleet and order it to self-destruct (CTRL+D) to create a huge explosion. But this plan requires perfect timing, for it the transport is destroyed by enemy fire the bomb(s) will do next to nothing. Instead, start the self- destruct timer a little before you get to the base, and with good timing, you'll have the bomb blow up right when it gets to the enemy. This tactic is easier with transport ships, which are tougher than transport aircraft.
Class: Fast Attack Kbot
Comments: Zippers are the fastest land units, but have weak armor and a weak laser weapon. Units and buildings that are effective against aircraft kill Zippers fairly easily. Hence most strategy guides advise against making them. You will have some at the start of some ARM campaign missions, where they are useful for scouting. If they get into combat, keep them moving so the enemy are likely to miss them - for example do not tell them to attack enemy units because that makes them stand still, but instead make them patrol round the enemy force.
Class: Aquatic Kbot
Weapon: Laser, Dual Missiles
Comments: Pelicans are really cool units; very useful, and superior to hovercraft for what they do. A very competent land unit, they also have the great feature of going out to sea. This is where they start to shine. Their great speed and good weapons makes it possible to inflict huge damage to water based units. And used in groups, they can surround and overwhelm a incoming navy! Although their armour could be a little better, (a flaw that most Arm units have), they can still take some hits before sinking to the bottom of the sea. In groups, these expert swimmers are very competent at water-based land invasions! Except for speed, these guys are better than hovercraft in every way. Plus, you got to love the way they enter the water, swim, and walk!
Class: Gun-slinging Kbot
Weapon: Heavy Gauss Cannons
Comments: Some guides rate the Maverick as the game's best-value ground unit in terms of combat effectiveness relative to its cost in metal (for example a group of Maverick that costs 5000 metal to make will beat a group of Goliaths that costs 5000 metal to make - as usual you should keep the Mavericks moving so that the tanks' ballistic weapons often miss). It has reasonable range and heavy firepower, although it has difficulty hitting aircraft. But its relatively weak armor, moderate range and moderate tracking speed make it vulnerable to aircraft or long-ranged opposition.
FARK (Fast Assist Repair Kbot)
Class: Fast Assist Repair Kbot
Comments: This nifty unit has a powerful nanolathe that effectively helps build unfinished structures and units, or repair damaged structures and units in record time. However, it cannot start any structures itself. As the name implies this Kbot can move at a good speed and act as an effective healer for damaged units on the front line. His small size allows him to maneuver effectively. A great field medic.
Class: Sniper Kbot
Weapon: High Powered Blue Laser (Blue laser of Death)
Comment: Behold the wielder of the all- powerful BLUE LASER OF DEATH! All kidding aside, this is the sniper of the game. And snipe he does, as his Blue Laser (of Death) suddenly erupts from his rather long gun, and kills a poor unsuspecting unit instantly from more than a screen away. Plus, it can render itself invisible, just like the commander, making stealth kills even easier! Sounds like God in the form of a Kbot, you say? Well, it's an awesome unit, but it comes with its drawbacks. First, its all-powerful weapon has a terrible fire rate, taking many seconds to "load" and fire again. Coupled with its lack of good armour and rather slow movement rate, and this thing is a sitting duck if it just used without backup. So where should the Shooters be, you ask? In the back lines, of course, like any other sane sniper in real life. Its cloak ability is great, if you have the large amount of energy to back it up. And when the Blue Laser (of Death) fires, be prepared for a large energy drain.
The Arm's Level 1 Aircraft are superior to the Core's. Here are the Arm's aircraft:
Level 1 Construction Aircraft
Class: Construction Aircraft
Builds: Solar Collector, Metal Extractor, Wind Generator, Energy Storage, Metal Storage, Metal Maker, Kbot Lab, Vehicle Plant, Aircraft Plant, Shipyard, L.L.T, Radar Tower, Adv. Aircraft Plant, Guardian, Defender, Sentinel, Dragon's Teeth, Geothermal Powerplant.
Level 1 Construction Aircraft build things much more slowly than all other construction units, but the fact that they are aircraft makes them useful in some situations, especially in groups ; their travel speed often enables to build more quickly in distant locations, or across water or at the tops of cliffs; their speed is also useful for reclaiming wreckage near the front lines and then retreating to safety; and their freedom from "traffic jams" makes it easier for them to repair crowded groups of units and to assist factories or other construction units.
Their weak armor and poor turning rate make them very vulnerable to attack by fighters and even gunships, or by missile-firing ground or sea units.
Comments: Flies fast and has radar. Good for mapping the area and early scouting. Note that it almost stops while turning, so don't make it change directions while it's in range of an enemy missile tower. You definitely want to keep at least 15 of these on hand if you are using ranged weapons or bombers. They can also act as "chaff" that distract enemy air defenses.
Comments: Some strategy guides advise against making Freedom Fighters because they cannot stop a moderate fleet of bombers, do little damage to ground targets and are easily destroyed by anti-air missiles. However, they are good for defending against or intercepting attacks by Rapier or Brawler gunships and for raiding undefended metal and energy producers.
Comments: The Thunder is a decent, cheap bomber. Useful early in the game to keep your enemy occupied. It lacks air-to-air weapons, but a large group of these can take out an enemy base pretty quickly. If you expect enemy fighters, send Hawk or Freedom Fighter escorts.
Comments: A slow, weakly-armored aircraft that carries one unit at a time with clamps under the fuselage. But the Atlas can be used for two tactics which can devastate unwary opponents: pick up an enemy commander and then self-destruct your Atlas; or load a crawling bomb and then self-destruct the Atlas over the enemy base.
Arm Level 2 Aircraft are arguably the overall best units of the game. The Adv. Aircraft Plant can build a nice mix of speed, armor, transport, unit-killers, and building-killers.
Level 2 Construction Aircraft
Class: Construction Aircraft
Builds: Aircraft Plant, Moho Mine, Fusion Powerplant, Adv. Radar Tower, Moho Metal Maker, Big Bertha, Vulcan, Retaliator, Cloakable Fusion Powerplant .
Comments: Level 2 Construction Aircraft build things more slowly than other Level 2 construction units, but the fact that they are aircraft makes them useful in some situations, especially in groups with Level 1 or other Level 2 Construction Aircraft; their travel speed often enables them to build more quickly in distant locations, or across water or at the tops of cliffs; their speed is also useful for reclaiming wreckage near the front lines and then retreating to safety; and their freedom from "traffic jams" makes it easier for them to repair crowded groups of units and to assist factories or other construction units.
Although Level 2 Construction Aircraft are significantly faster and more maneuverable than Level 1 Construction Aircraft, their weak armor makes them vulnerable to attack.
Weapon: Bombs/light LIGHT laser
Comments:In addition to a larger bomb capacity than the Thunder the Phoenix also has a light laser that will attack targets that are a threat to the bomber - and anything else if you use the +shootall command.
Class: Torpedo Bomber
Comments: Only for use in deep, open water. This aircraft cannot hit land targets or ships moving perpendicular to its current flight path. The Lancet can target submarines only if a naval unit or sonar acts as a spotter, but with its homing torpedoes the Lancet is absolutely fantastic in this role.
Weapon: Twin EMG cannons
Comments: Think helicopter gunship, but without the rotors. Great for it's "staying power" over the target, as it weaves back and forth spraying EMG pulses. Good for mopping up after the day is won. NOT for dogfighting. Great for slowing the enemy's attack waves, and for CTRL-#'ing into a group. If you can catch heavy Core units like The Can without air cover, these are your best bet at taking them out. Their primary use is in a hit-and-run group that retreats when enough of its units are in low health, but they are useless against strong anti-air cover, tightly packed enemies in general or anywhere near Flak (in the expansions).
Class: Stealth Fighter
Comments: These are so fast, maneuvrable and heavily armed that they slaughter all other types of aircraft. Their high speed allows them to outrun most anti-air missiles and flak shells, decreasing the effectiveness of the enemy's anti-air defenses. The most effective defense is an equal number of stealth fighters. Unlike level 1 fighters, these level 2 fighters are also effective against ground and sea targets, and the fact that they are not visible on radar makes it very difficult to defend against raids by large Hawk squadrons on high-value targets, including the Commander. The Hawk is slightly superior in every way to the Core's Vamp.
Class: AWACS (Radar Plane)
Comments: Provides very good radar coverage, but makes an inviting target because it is slow and weakly armored.
Comments: Basic scout and your only form of air cover for the fleet until Tier 2 Archer (with Core Contingency). It is armed with a light laser and AA missile. Like the Peewee, the Skeeter is cheap, very fast, and useful in swarms, especially near the beginning of the game.
Comments: Good Tier 1 destroyer.
Comments: Large sea-going transport. Can carry up to 20 units. Because of it's thin armor and slow loading/unloading times, this ship is not suited to landings under fire.
Comments: Sub, fair at taking out slow ships and underwater structures. Very slow and has very small LoS.
Adv. Construction Sub
Allows the creation of advanced sea structures
An advanced cruiser, this ship comes with the longest-ranged weapon at sea. It is very useful for long-range attacks on the enemy's ships and buildings, and has the armor to destroy at close range as well. The only problem is that it takes a long time to build, so you'll want to get the commander or a couple of ships to help build it.
Launches unguided missiles not unlike the Merl or Diplomat. Also has a small anti-aircraft missile launcher (like the Defender). Unlike what the manual specifies it can't hold its own against air units. Pitiful armor for the cost. Sending them in attack is a gift of metal to the enemy. Only really useful against land structures in uneven terrain.
Largest of the Arm fleet, this mighty ship has two large guns that can target independently of each other.
The Colossus is the aircraft carrier of Arm's fleet. Essentially, floating air-repair pads with a built-in reactor to help compensate for the energy drain. The Colossus has a very large radar range, which often covers the entire map. Really a bargain for all it does, just keep it protected.
Excellent Anti-Submarine platform. Not good for anything else. It can be useful in swarms, though.
Builds: Solar Collector, Metal Extractor, Wind Generator, Energy Storage, Metal Storage, Metal Maker, Kbot Lab, Vehicle Plant, Aircraft Plant, Shipyard, L.L.T, Radar Tower, Adv. Vehicle Plant, Punisher, Defender, Sentinal, Dragon's Teeth, Geothermal Powerplant.
Fast little unit with a weak laser. Designed for scouting, excels at scouting.
The Flash is tougher than the PeeWee, and its speed makes it excellent for raiding outlying enemy structures or for rushing the enemy base very early in the game. A little later in the game their combination of speed, armor and firepower makes them useful for drawing fire while other units such as Stumpy or Rocko destroy enemy buildings.
Stumpy's ballistic shells are inaccurate against moving targets but can shoot over hills and wreckage. Its acceleration and turn rate are rather slow, and so this unit is not well suited to tactical combat. But it has the best armor of ARM's level 1 vehicles, which makes it useful for spearheading attacks against enemy fixed defenses in the early game.
Samson's missiles track their targets, and are therefore accurate against moving targets including aircraft. Samson has modest armor but can fire while retreating, so it should hit and run. Samson has slightly greater range, firepower and straight-line speed than Jethro, but is less maneuvrable, especially in rough terrain.
Minelayer. Only available at the Tier 1 level. Lays six different kinds of mines, all which are cloakable.
Advanced Construction Vehicle
Builds a lot of stuff. Faster at building than all other construction vehicles except the FARK and Commander. Many consider this the best construction unit in the game. Beware: due to its bulk, it won't fit into all the confines of a typical cramped base.Can be built Big Bertha,Vulcan and more.
The Spider can climb any surface. Its unusual weapon "stuns" enemy units for about 30 seconds, and is effective against the Brawler and Rapier gunships as well as against most ground units (but not against faster aircraft). The stun capability is a useful "equalizer" in combat by paralyzing heavy-hitting units, and can also be used to freeze units so your Commander can capture them - if you capture an enemy construction unit in this way you can construct factories to build all the enemy units (given time and resources).
The ARM's heavy hitter, the Bulldog is basically a large Stumpy with two cannons. Though not as powerful as the CORE Goliath, it still packs a powerful punch, providing also a great cover for your infantry (or whatever poorer-armored units around him you may happen to have).
A missile launching vehicle that arcs unguided rockets high into the air, so it can hit targets that are behind obstacles or on high cliffs. The rockets do very heavy damage, but are slow enough to be inefficient against moving foes. The Merl also has a very slow rate of fire. It can be a very effective base buster if accompanied by a mobile radar, a mobile jammer and some close combat protectors.
An amphibious tank. Comparable to the Stumpy in firepower (indeed... Stumpy: 50, Triton: 112; rate of fire about the same... What it can be compared in would be the armor: Stumpy - 992, Triton - 1230, being at the same time larger and less maneovuerable, making thus for an easier target) but at a level 2 price, and defenseless against torpedoes and depth charges while in the water, though the latter does too little damage to be significant. Most strategy guides advise players not to use it. Hovercraft such as the Anaconda are better if you really need to carry out an amphibious assault.
Solar Collector, Wind Generator, Energy Storage, Metal Storage, Metal Extractor, Metal Maker, Kbot Lab, Vehicle Plant, Aircraft Plant, Shipyard, L.L.T., Radar Tower, Geothermal Powerplant, Sentinel, Defender, Dragons Teeth, Guardian, Sonar Station, Tidal Generator, Underwater Metal Storage, Underwater Energy Storage, Underwater Metal Extractor, Floating Metal Maker, Defender - NS, Floating Dragons Teeth, Torpedo Launcher, Stingray, Hovercraft Platform
Class: Scout Hovercraft
Comments: Slow like a hovercraft, weak armor like a scout... bad combination. Not really worth building.
Weapon: Ballistic plasma shell.
Comments: Not good as a general-purpose assault unit, because the Anaconda's firepower and armor are level 1 but the Hovercraft Platform costs almost as much as a level 2 factory. But the Anaconda is much better than the Triton for amphibious landings and can also reinforce a navy. If used for amphibious landings, Anacondas should usually be accompanied by Swatters to deal with aircraft and fast-moving ground units.
Class: Anti-Aircraft Hovercraft
Comments: Like the Samson, the Swatter fires tracking missiles that have a rather long range, and can fire while retreating. So it too should use hit-and-run tactics rather than slugging it out. With its superior tracking it is the best at-sea mobile air defense, though a single Archer added to the mix can give extra help against gunships.
Class: Rocket Hovercraft
Weapon: Unguided Rockets
Comments: Merl- and Diplomat-like rockets on a hovercraft. Best for shooting immobile and / or unsuspecting targets, especially to soften up an enemy base for an amphibious assault.
Comments: Holds six units. Large target and not to be used for amphibious landings under fire.
Solar Collector, Wind Generator, Energy Storage, Metal Storage, Metal Extractor, Metal Maker, Kbot Lab, Vehicle Plant, Aircraft Plant, Shipyard, Light Laser Tower, Radar Tower, Advanced Kbot Lab, Geothermal Powerplant, Gaat Gun, Pulverizer, Dragons Teeth, Punisher, Hovercraft Platform, Viper, Immolator
Weapon: Red Laser
Comments: Can't hold it's own against the PeeWee. So not worth the effort of building unless you want cheap scouts. However they are extremely deadly in great numbers, as the laser is accurate, and large numbers translate into a high rate of fire, especially while the enemy units are busy auto-targeting your higher-tiered units.
Class: Rocket Kbot
Comments: Launches rockets in a horizontal trajectory. Good punch, excellent range, but has a long reload time. It's useful at taking out slow-moving units like Stumpies, especially if you can keep it moving around, making it difficult for the Stumpies' cannons to track.
Class: Artillery Kbot
Weapon: Plasma Shells
Comments: The best climber of all "normal" ground combat units (only ARM's Spider climbs steeper slopes), and this can enable the Thud to reach targets that other units cannot. It gets its first shot off faster than ARM's Hammer artillery K-bot because it doesn't have to open its muzzle covers before it fires; but this is a minor advantage, as artillery units are not good at unit-against-unit combat.
Class: Anti-Aircraft Kbot
Weapon: Guided Missiles
Comments: Good at shooting down basic aircraft and assisting with fighting retreats. Not for close-in fighting or "standing your ground" with.
Adv. Consruction Kbot
Kbot Lab, Advanced Radar Tower, Fusion Power Plant, Moho Mine, Intimidator, Doomsday Machine, Silencer, Fortitude Missile Defense, Air Repair Pad, Cobra, Fortification Wall, Toaster, Cloakable Fusion Reactor, Moho Metal Maker, Targeting Facility, Buzzsaw, Krogoth Gantry
Comments: A flamethrower unique to the Core, the Pyro is excellent at taking out immobile defenseless structures. An added plus is that it's flame will not harm your units. However, it cannot hit moving targets, and it's armor is weak. Best used for mopping up, or perhaps for the initial rush on enemy defenses.
Class: Heavy Armored KBot
Weapon: Green Laser
Essentially a giant slab of armor with two stubby legs. Virtually unstoppable, the Can is one of the Core's most powerful and yet vulnerable units. Extremely slow and unable to hit distant targets, any unit with even a slightly greater speed and range of fire, can, in theory kill a Can without being hit once. However, with its heavy armor and The Green Laser of Doom, the Can will effectively annihilate anything in its slow and merciless path. Proper use of the Can is often a key part to an effective Core strategy. Care must be taken to provide them support, in the form of long range and aerial defense. When mixed in with a larger force of many small units, they are easily worth their cost.
Class: Kamikaze Kbot
Comments: See ARM Invader
Class: Radar Jammer
Comments: Jams radar nearby to prevent enemy from tracking you with radar
Class: Fast Attack Kbot
Class: Mortar Kbot
Weapon: Plasma shells
Comments: Good mobile unit with good weapon and excellent reload time. Good at circumventing LLT defense---it can hit them from out of their attack range, and even fire over hilltops, compounding its advantage. Excellent in groups. The best way to stop these is counter-attack, as they can destroy defenders without getting into range.
Class: Mobile Rocket KBot
Weapon: Starburst Rocket
Comments: Equipped with starburst rocket (non-seeking) which is like those of Diplomat and Merl, but is more maneuverable and has smaller footprint.
Class: Radar Kbot
Comments: Good for raiding parties and temporary radar. If used with jammers this unit can use it's radar and still not be seen by enemy radar!
Class: Very Heavy Armored Kbot
Weapon:Heavy Green Laser
Comments: This Core Kbot was appropriately named. It is very slow and ponderous, but when it hits, it hits hard. Its lasers have the stopping power of a Core Gaat Gun laser tower. This construction level two Kbot (produced in the Advanced Kbot Lab) has a tight turning radius and a double barrel laser with a moderate fire rate. This unit is used for breaking through enemy fortifications so the main force can pass through in relative safety. Long range defenses (such as an annihilator) can kill a Sumo before any damage is done, but medium range units do not stand a chance. Always escort this assault Kbot with faster units to kill enemy interceptors and hide these units under radar jammers. The Sumo is not a 'swarmer' Kbot, since most skilled players can drop a nuke on a Sumo formation before they reach the intended target.
A Sumo can be used for base defense against ground units. Station them within your base to take out shock troops such as Flash tanks or PeeWees.
Class: Amphibious Kbot
Class: Construction unit
Comments: If you want to fool your enemies, then this is the unit for you. Try building lots of these units to confuse your opponent. This is a very handy unit during multiplayer games, especially when they are set to end when the Commander gets killed. However, in skirmish mode it is even better because while the AIs may have trouble figuring out which commander is real, all of their decoy commanders say "Decoy Commander" when your cursor is over them. Marginally useful for its fast build speed: it can help out in construction just like the real Commander.
Class: Resurrection Kbot
Comments: Can bring wreckage of friendly and enemy units back to life: on your side! Good for rebuilding an army (if you have a second army of Necros) and reclaiming deep in enemy territory (the Necro can't be seen on radar)
Advanced Construction Aircraft
Advanced Construction Ship
Class: Light assault tank.
Weapon: Red laser.
Comments: The Instigator is a good early-game attack unit. Its armor is decent, and its weapon is accurate and does fair damage. In swarms, it is yet more powerful, as the large number of lasers firing gives the pack a high "effective" rate of fire.
Advanced Construction Vehicle
Vehicle Plant, Advanced Radar Tower, Fusion Power Plant, Moho Mine, Intimidator, Doomsday Machine, Silencer, Fortitude Missile Defense, Air Repair Pad, Cobra, Fortification Wall, Toaster, Cloakable Fusion Reactor, Moho Metal Maker, Targeting Facility, Buzzsaw.
Class: Amphibious Tank
Weapon: Ballistic plasma shell
Comments: This is a great unit for assembling surprise attacks on enemy coastlines. Sneak in close and bombard the ememy coast with shells. The downside of this is that they cannot fire underwater and just one lurker/submarine can wipe out an entire raiding party.
Class: Jammer Vehicle
Class: Mobile Artillery
Weapon: long range plasma shells
Comments: This is a fantastic unit for bombarding enemy defences from a great distance. Even missile kbots have to close the gap before firing, although Guardians and other long-range structures can still destroy it first. Some Mods change the name of the Mobile Artillery to 'Pillager'.
Weapon:Heavy Plasma Cannon
Comments: The biggest, worst, most butt-whipping land unit in the game, besides the Krogoth. This huge slab of metal has a big gun with an impressive fire rate and splash damage. The ultimate in conventional base-cracking units, a dozen or two will flatten front line defences. Combine with Pyros to double the damage to anything stationary!
The ultimate unit to many commanders, the Krogoth comes equipped with 2 anti-air rockets, 2 cannons located in the arms, and an Annihilator laser (blue laser of death) that is found on its head. (Extreme weapon and reload rate of 4 seconds.) In addition, the Krogoth has massive armor (able to withstand seven nuclear missiles), extreme range (V-launch missiles and Annihilator Laser). The only downsides to this great unit are its high cost, long building time, and semi-slow movement (minor disadvantage). Having just one Krogoth will add a tremendous boost to your base's defense, to say nothing about it's offensive capabilities. A Krogoth is extremely powerful, and hard to kill. The best defense against one is to destroy it while it is being built (think mass bombers). Otherwise, large numbers of guardians are effective in an open area, since the Krogoth must close in in order to utilize its Annihilator laser. The Krogoth might be extremely powerful, but its large cost and slow build time severely inhibit its effectiveness (thank goodness). A more conventional mix of forces may not inspire the dread in opponents, but usually is more cost-effective. A single target is easier to kill than forty spread out units.