Nothing scarier than hearing a tank and knowing it’s heading right for you. At the same time, nothing feels better than dispensing hot justice, turning a tank into a smoldering hunk of metal. AT, infantry is a critical role that needs to be done well. So how does someone become effective in their AT role?
AT requires mastery of the launcher and knowledge of the enemy armor. Most launchers, especially disposable launchers, require you to cover the tank with the target indicator, not above but directly on the tank. If you have the range, it’s just a matter of aligning your shot with your sites. Then repeat as necessary.
There’s a little more to it than this, but that’s the basics. We’ll go over the launchers and armor exploitation. The most important part of the AT role is of course not injuring your comrades.
In ACE3, the AT launcher shoots out backblast up to 30 meters behind the launcher. This can be deadly, and it’s always the AT role’s responsibility to check behind him. It’s not the squadmate’s responsibility to get out of the way.
Rundown of Launchers:
Javelin is your multi-role, heavy anti-everything launcher. The launcher system and missiles are heavy and take up a lot of room. Its thermal targeting is unique as you can use it to lock onto infantry, cars, trucks, tanks, helicopters, and planes. This also means that cold vehicles that have sat for a while won’t be targetable. It’s powerful enough to disable most things with a single hit. Since they’re so large and heavy, they generally require vehicle support.
NLAW / PCML
This launcher has gone through a lot of changes over time. Currently, in vanilla Arma, it’s a lock-on launcher. You can dummy fire it, but you’ll have to aim lower, usually using the top indicator. It’s nice with the angle down option, effective for a lot of vehicles.
In ace, however, it’s a disposable launcher, it fires an unguided missile strait where ever you point it. It seems to have infinite range, but I haven’t seen it effective past 4k. The NLAW is a powerful, but heavy launcher. The best part is it’s a soft launch system. This means it’s safe to use in enclosed areas.
Experienced AT infantry tend to favor the MAAWS. It’s the fastest firing launcher, making it semi-effective on helicopters. There are two variants of the MAAWS, one with a digital site with a range finder. The other has an analog site. I always recommend the mod 1 version over the mod 0 for that reason. The built-in range finder allows for faster response time. The time it takes to spot a tank, then range it in, can mean more casualties. The MAAWS can be greatly expanded upon through mods as well. The only issue is it’s not the heaviest hitter. Against the strongest armor, it takes a few more shots.
This is another heavy launch system. This launcher interestingly enough has a range finder built-in, but it fires a beam-guided rocket. The rocket will chase the beam wherever you point it, making it semi-effective on helicopters. This is one of the few launchers that’s effective at close range, and its max range of 2k. Most long-distance launchers require a lock on. With a bit of practice, you can hit just about anything you can track and follow. However, missiles are heavy, take up a lot of room, and they’re slow. If you’re shot while beaming the rocket in, it will just fly off.
There are two launchers under the titan name. The plain “Titan” is an AA-only launcher. The “Titan Compact” is the AT/MPRL system that most think of when they hear of the Titan Launcher. This has the same mechanics as the Javelin system under ACE. Meaning, you can shoot down everything. It packs a little more punch, takes less space, and weighs less. The main difference is the two rockets it has. The AT fires like normal, top-down mode and direct, which also requires a thermal lock on. The AP missile is a beam-guided rocket that will go to where you point it. There’s a little delay as the launcher fires further up from where you point it, making close shots difficult.
RHS (RHSUSAF AND RHSAFRF) is one of the most popular mods with Arma. It has a lot of disposable launchers that come with it. The M136 launcher is one of the disposable launchers. If you were to choose one to train on, I would recommend this launcher FIRST. I don’t consider this an AT role, but a “plan B” launcher. It’s lightweight and packs a punch. In the hands of a skilled operator, this can disable (or destroy) just about any vehicle. This is a launcher I often make every infantry carry regardless of their role (Except Dedicated AT). Mostly so I don’t have to worry about them.
Training for the AT role
When training people for the AT role, I will spawn every vehicle in the game, one at a time. The instructions are this: One shot, Kill shot. Of course, I have an arsenal with infinite launchers and make the trainees invincible. Just so they can take point-blank shots where they think they’re most effective. After each shot, we inspect the damage, then replace the vehicle if there’s no cook off. Eventually, they learn to go after the ammo/fuel. You can rarely get the perfect shot, but knowing where to put the most hurt matters.
After the lineup, they have to destroy a fast moving MRAP (moving from left to right or vise versa) using a MAAWS from 400 meters. Then for graduation, some still targets at various ranges using a disposable launcher. If they can go 3 for 3 they pass. Once they pass those, they should be very effective with AT.