The Commander is arguably the most important and powerful unit in Total Annihilation, as it is in charge of building and commanding entire armies; both the factions have the Commander unit, although there are minor differences between the two. Campaign mode revolves around the journey of the Commander whose task is to destroy the enemy faction, and skirmish mode starts only with the Commander and no other units.
|The mind of a military genius patterned into a soulless killing machine. Armed with the awesome Disintegrator Gun and capable of building a massive military machine that can destroy anything in its path.|
|The Arm Commander is the ultimate weapon of war for the Arm side. Stepping onto a hostile planet, the Commander can build a war complex and conquer any world.|
Classification and RoleEdit
The Commander is classified as its own unit, despite it being a walking unit like most Kbots; the Commander is the unit most resemblant to a human, especially the ARM Commander. In the Campaign missions the Commander is classified as a hero unit that is essential to the success of the relative faction that they command, should the Commander be destroyed, the mission is failed.
The role of the Commander is varied, though it is usually used to build an initial base and construct a basic army relatively fast. In campaign missions the Commander can be used as a powerful battle unit to ward off any early attacks by the enemy, allowing the Commander to then resume building the base until units can be produced to ward off enemy attacks if they were to return.
Construction of a CommanderEdit
The true method in which Commanders are constructed is never revealed, although it is possible to alter the game so that any factory can construct the Commander by using certain software. It is never revealed how many Commanders were in existence in the Total Annihilation universe during the peak of the war, as now only a single Commander exists for each faction, although the rumours of a backup CORE Commander did turn out to be true.
The Commander is a fast unit when considering other Kbots, particularly the ARM Commander, who is a fair bit faster than the CORE Commander; the Commander has the ability to climb quite steep slopes to build structures (particularly Metal Extractors) on high ground if necessary. The Commander is amphibious, allowing him to build a Shipyard easily without the constraints of struggling to reach to build one while on land.
Resource Production and StorageEdit
The Commander is equipped with an inbuilt matter/antimatter energy plant that generates energy at a constant rate of 25 per tick, as well as what is possibly a concealed metal maker device that doesn't consume energy and generates 1 unit of metal per tick; these rates of production are enough to start construction on other resource generators, but aren't enough to build and maintain an entire army alone. The Commander only stores 1000 Metal and 1000 energy in campaign mode, but can be increased up to a maximum of 10 000 and reduced to a minimum of 200 in skirmish mode if desired.
The Commander is equipped with the single most powerful nanolathe in the game, allowing him to build resource production units and level 1 factories quickly to establish a base; the Commander has the advantage of being able to construct units at a faster rate than any construction unit, a trait which is also true for reclaimation and repairing, but has the disadvantage of not being able to initiate construction of anything other than level 1 units. The Commander's nanolathe also has the ability to capture other units, allowing one faction access to the opposing faction's units and structures; any captured unit will automatically be set to hold fire and/or hold position where applicable.
The Commander has armour able to withstand considerable punishment; this armour is made of some form of metal that grants immunity to paralysing weapons and a reduction in damage inflicted from an nuclear missile explosion to the point where the Commander can survive an indirect hit. The Commander is the only official Cavedog unit that has some form of technology that automatically repairs it, a process which consumes 4 energy per tick when repairing. The Commander has no health bar and does not produce smoke when damaged, meaning the enemy can only guess at the Commander's health.
Before the release of expansion packs and patches, the Commander was the only unit to feature a cloaking device; the cloaking device has the smallest detection range in the game but consumes a large amount of resources, with a consumption rate of 200 energy per tick while motionless and 1,000 energy per tick while moving.
The Commander's default weapon is a small laser placed on the left arm above the nanolathe; unlike other laser weapons, the Commander's laser requires no energy to fire, although the Commander may have a personal energy production device solely for powering the laser. The laser does not inflict a great deal of damage, restricting its usefulness to being able to do reasonable damage to level 1 units and resource generators, although it is capable of hitting aircraft if they are motionless or in the process of turning.
Due to the lack of power provided by the laser, the Commander is also equipped with the most powerful weapon in the game - namely the Disintegrator Gun (abbrieviated as D-Gun). The D-Gun is effectively the Commander's right arm and is capable of instantly destroying any unit unfortunate enough to be in the line of fire; even the Krogoth can be destroyed in one hit, provided it has not reached veteran status. When the D-gun fires it creates many explosions that travel directly in a straight line. Each explosion is equally powerful, meaning multiple units can be destroyed with a single shot. The D-gun does come with a high cost of 400 energy per shot but it has a very short reload time, making the clearing of obstacles (whether they be destroyable terrain or enemy unit) a quick (but sometimes inefficient) process. The D-gun does not leave a wreckage, making it more viable to use other units or the Commander's laser if a wreckage is to be left behind for the metal it contains, but has the advantage of firing through non destroyable terrain such as hills or cliffs.
If the situation arises that the Commander is destroyed, the Commander explodes in a nuclear fireball that engulfs most units within the area of the game screen, although the Krogoth can survive this explosion with about two-thirds of its health left.
The Core Contingency featured a unit called the Decoy Commander, a visibly alike unit that has most of the abilities and functions of the ordinary Commander including cloaking and amphibiousness; its main purpose is to deceive enemies into mistaking it for the real Commander, which is helped by the usual absence of a health bar and the fact that it does not emit smoke, but not helped by the hitch that the unit displays its name as "Decoy Commander". Like the Commander, it has a nanolathe that can build structures and reclaim wreckage, although slower than the real commander, but it cannot initiate the building of anything and thus makes its building abilities more comparable to the FARK; Also like the ordinary Commander, the Decoy Commander is equipped with a light laser weapon, but is not equipped with the signature Disintegrator Gun. The Decoy Commander can be built from the Adv. Kbot Lab of each respective faction.
As there are so many different tactics involving the Commander, they have all been put in bullet point form.
- The most basic tactic involves the Commander to only construct its own units and assist in construction of other units due to its unmatched construction speed.
- The Commander can constantly assist in the construction tasks of a unit or factory by setting the Commander to guard them. The same thing can be done with any other construction unit as well.
- The Commander can be used to destroy large groups of enemy units by firing the D-gun rapidly.
- The Commander can be hidden behind a terrain feature that would block other weapons and fire the D-gun directly through the terrain to destroy enemy units without taking damage.
- The Commander can also use his amphibious properties to hide in the water, although he cannot attack while submerged.
- While the Commander is underwater it is vulnerable to submarine torpedoes, which inflict a sizable amount of damage; to avoid this, prevent the Commander from going too far out into open water and retreat him on to dry land if attacked.
- If so desired, a multiplayer/skirmish game can be set to end upon the destruction of the Commander, a clever (but frowned upon) tactic is to steal an enemy Commander with an Atlas or a Valkyrie, then either self destruct the transport or watch the enemy fire at the air transport and destroy it along with the Commander.
- The explosion generated by the death means that if a Commander meets another Commander and one destroys the other, both will be destroyed. This can be used by some players who send their Commander to the enemy base to use the resulting explosion to cripple the enemy, although such a tactic is very risky.
- The Commander has no effective anti-air weapon, leaving it vulnerable to bombers. The commander can cloak, build a series of light laser towers, assist a construction unit in making anti-air defenses, or have other units built to defend it.
- Before Battle Tactics, most campaign missions began with the Commander and a small force of light units for defense. These light units were used to defend the Commander until a base could be established. In Battle Tactics some missions moved away from the need for a Commander.
- Some missions can be beaten solely with the Commander and enough Solar Collectors to power the D-Gun.