|Top speed||50 km/h|
|Weapons||Robinson 11.43mm machine gun|
The APC driven by Dan Bentley. During EWII, these truck-like APCs were mainly used by Edinburgh and Valios. With wheels in front and treads in the back, they often joined tanks for utility roles like towing, transport, and scouting. In some cases, they functioned as mobile command centers. At the time, armored vehicles were known for the steep learning curve required to master their lever-based driving system. These half-trucks were equipped with steering wheels for intuitive driving, making them highly valued assets in the military.
Cactus was a lightly armoured, fast vehicle designed primarily to transport troops: while it had a machine gun to defend itself or provide supporting fire, it was hardly a frontline combat vehicle.
The driver, Dan Bentley, was a man of few words who acted like nothing really mattered to him, but cared deeply about his friends. He maintained the Cactus himself, and was sufficiently fond of the vehicle that he even slept in it.
Action Points: 700, 750 when "Improved Rivets" is purchased, plus upgrade parts
Parts grid: 4x3
Fully upgrading the Cactus' body and gun costs 424,000. It also requires 8,000 Renown points to be spent in the Infirmary post-game to unlock the highest-tier upgrades.
These are Dan Bentley's Personal Potentials, but they impact the vehicle's performance and so are listed here for convenience.
|Love of Tanks||"Being near an allied tank increases his accuracy."|
|Shut-In||"When holed up in camp, they cease to pay attention to the world outside, causing a drop in defense."|
|Ace Tank Driver||"His exceptional driving skills increase his AP."|
|Protector||"Greatly increases defense when carrying allies."|
|Complete Squad Story: Treading New Ground|
Love of Tanks: Chance of triggering within range 100 of any allied tank. Small boost to accuracy.
Shut-In: Chance of triggering if within range 100 of a base flag. Severe decease in Body Def.
Ace Tank Driver: Triggers randomly at the start of a Movement Phase, small boost in AP. Can increase Cactus' AP above maximum if it triggers on first selection.
Protector: Secret Potential, unlocked by completing Squad Story "Treading New Ground." Triggers randomly: checks on starting a Movement Phase while carrying at least one soldier, and each time an additional soldier is picked up. Decent boost to Body Def.
Cactus is first made available to the player in Chapter 4, mission 4a "Breaking the Line 1," after which it can be deployed in Skirmishes on the added second tank starting slot. When Glory becomes available later in the game, the player must choose between it and Cactus (except in the Challenge Skirmish "A True Battlefield," which has three Tank starting spots), as the Hafen usually occupies a fixed slot.
Cactus presents the player with a great many new tactical options vital to getting top mission ranks in Valkyria Chronicles 4's larger maps. It is able to transport soldiers large distances without having to select them or expend their AP, and regardless of their class: this allows for rapid redeployment of low-AP classes such as Snipers, Grenadiers and Lancers. It is fairly fast and has the highest AP of any player-controllable vehicle, with optional parts that allow this to be increased further still.
On its own, Cactus is protected from smallarms fire but fairly flimsy, and its upgrades only do a minimal amount to mitigate this: indeed, if Dan's Def-reducing Personal Potential "Shut-In" is allowed to trigger (chance of triggering by driving the Cactus within grenade-throwing range of a base flag), it is entirely possible for Interception fire from other vehicles and fixed machine guns to cause serious damage to it. Anti-vehicle interception fire from enemies such as Anti-Tank Cannons, Imperial Grenadiers with VB GW B-type mortars, or the Vulcan will destroy the Cactus in short order even without this Potential triggering.
The main weapon is a short-ranged and rather puny machine gun with a huge spread, seemingly a tank version of the Robinson Machine Gun used by Shocktroopers with decreased vs Armor. That said, since it fires 20 times the Order "Demolition Boost" will allow the Cactus to kill most enemy tanks if it can get in a position where it can target their radiator. It should be noted that it will not receive a boost if "All Units Demolish" is used, as the latter Order does not affect vehicles, and using it also prevents the use of Demolition Boost in the same turn. Cactus will also participate in Co-Op Attacks with infantry, although due to the short range of the gun, the enemy must be fairly close by.
The real advantage of the vehicle is the ability to transport infantry: by default it can carry two soldiers, with upgrades able to increase this to a maximum of five. There are three ways for a soldier to board Cactus:
- If their current location is close enough to it, they can be ordered to enter the Cactus while still in Command Mode. To do this, the player must open the special actions menu and select "board." This consumes no Command Points.
- While in the Cactus' movement phase, the Cactus can approach a soldier, aiming the camera at them so a blue pointer appears over their head. When close enough, a "board" context prompt will appear: pressing the button will then pick up that soldier. This consumes no Command Points, and the Cactus can continue its movement phase as normal: the only penalty is that the Cactus has to stop moving briefly as it makes the pickup.
- While in the soldier's own movement phase, they can move close to the Cactus and use the "board" context prompt. This will immediately end that character's movement phase.
While in the Cactus, soldiers cannot interact with each other, be re-armed by an Engineer, or be given Orders: troops inside will not receive the benefits of "All Units..." Orders. They also do not count as being present for purposes of triggering Potentials related to being near to specific soldiers or types of soldier: for example, if Raz was inside the Cactus and Kai Schulen outside it, Raz could not trigger Kai's "Fool's Protector" Potential. They do, however, count as present for purposes of getting a certain unit or a certain number of units to a goal area: the Cactus entering the goal area with the unit or units still inside is sufficient to complete these missions.
Troops can only exit the Cactus in Command Mode: to do this, the player must pull up Cactus' own special command menu and select "deploy," which will bring up a list of soldiers on board. Selecting a soldier to deploy will expend one Command Point (except with the DLC characters Crymaria Levin and Selvaria Bles, who cost two) and immediately start a movement phase for that soldier: therefore, it is important to give a soldier any Orders before they board it, or it will be necessary to waste a CP and some of their Action Points. The Cactus will "remember" where a soldier was in relation to it when they boarded it and places them at that position when they disembark: this can be used tactically to screen soldiers with the Cactus' body as they get out.
Soldiers in the Cactus are immune to anything short of the vehicle's destruction: if this does occur, they are "forced to retreat" rather than killed, as if they were Leaders. Dan himself is treated the same way. If the Cactus is bought back onto the field after being destroyed by using the Ship Order "Emergency Fix," troops who were inside it when it was destroyed will not be returned.
Cactus' Part Grid is relatively small and the high-end components tend to fill up large sections of it, so it is essential to specialise. The Cactus has Parts that increase Body HP, Resistance (Critical Defence), AP and Capacity (number of troops carried). Unlike the other tanks, it has none that increase Accuracy. Oddly, in common with the other two VC4 tanks, a number of its large Parts offer numerically inferior boosts to using two smaller ones that take up the same amount of space: as a result, it is worth checking to see if a new upgrade actually is an upgrade before using it.
- Cactus is loosely based on a German Sd. Kfz. 231 8-rad-family 8-wheeled armoured car, with the rear tracks replacing six of the wheels and a truck-like radiator grille added.
- While 11.43mm might sound like a heavy machine gun, it is actually the metric form of .45, and the weapon appears to be a tank version of the standard Federation Shocktrooper submachine gun, chambered for a pistol cartridge.
- It can turn on the spot like any other player-controlled tank, something a half-track should not be able to do.
- The later Body Def upgrades add side skirts to the vehicle, but because VC4 tanks do not have a separate hit location for their running gear, these are purely cosmetic.
- The rescue APC called in by the Ship Order "Rescue Squad" is of the same model as the Cactus, but does not have a turret.
Valkyria Chronicles 4 Vehicles
|Federation Vehicles||Cactus | Glory | Federation Tank | Hafen | Snow Cruiser|
|Imperial Vehicles||Assault Tank | Heavy Imperial Tank | Light Imperial Tank | Medium Imperial Tank | Ultimate Tank|
|Boss Vehicles||Lophius | Orcinus Magnus | Vulcan / Vulcan Procus|