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Cactus
Cactus
Technical Information
Affiliation Atlantic Federation
Length 4.66m
Width 2.10m
Height 2.28m
Weight 5.6 tons
Top speed 50 km/h
Engine power 105hp/3,000rpm
Power/Weight 18.75 hp/ton
Weapons Robinson 11.43mm machine gun


Cactus was a halftrack armoured personnel carrier assigned to Squad E in Valkyria Chronicles 4.

Profile

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.

Description

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.

Technical Information

20181115114431 1

Claude Wallace admires a fully-upgraded Cactus.

Body specs:

Upgrade level Name HP Cost
0 None 2,000 None
1 Rivet Construction 2,200 8,000DCT
2 Extra Rivets 2,400 14,000DCT
3 Improved Rivets 2,600 20,000DCT
4 Spot Welding 2,800 26,000DCT
5 Extra Spot Welding 3,000 32,000DCT
6 Spot Welding+ 3,150 40,000DCT
7 Full Welding 3,300 48,000DCT

Action Points: 700, 750 when "Improved Rivets" is purchased, plus upgrade parts

Parts grid: 4x3

Upgrade level Name Body Def Cost
0 None 183 None
1 Rolled Steel 184 5,000DCT
2 Extra Side Plating 185 9,000DCT
3 Carbon-Coat Steel 186 15,000DCT
4 Ragnite Alloy 187 18,000DCT
5 Durable Side Plating 188 25,000DCT
6 Ragnite Alloy+ 190 33,000DCT
7 Hardened Ragnite 192 41,000DCT

Armament:

Equipment Aim Range vs Pers vs Armor Shots Ammo Area Effect Cost
Robinson T1 D+ 200 20 25 20 X - None
Robinson T2 D+ 200 22 29 20 X - 6,000DCT
Robinson T3 D+ 200 24 34 20 X - 12,000DCT
Robinson T4 D+ 200 25 40 20 X - 18,000DCT
Robinson T5 D+ 200 28 43 20 X - 24,000DCT
Robinson T6 D+ 200 32 50 20 X - 30,000DCT

Fully upgrading the Cactus' body and gun costs 424,000DCT. It also requires 8,000 Renown points to be spent in the Infirmary post-game to unlock the highest-tier upgrades.

Potentials

These are Dan Bentley's Personal Potentials, but they impact the vehicle's performance and so are listed here for convenience.

Potential Description
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.

Dan's "likes," and therefore Cactus', are Rosetta Valeriano, Aulard Abington and Rita Raywater.

Gameplay

20181024113139 1

Emmy Mistral stands within boarding range of the Cactus.

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.

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The "board" context action in Command Mode.

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.

If an infantry Leader enters the Cactus while leading troops using Direct Command, only the Leader themselves will get in.

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.

Trivia

  • 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.

Navigation

v  e
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
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