I will write about the Hover Transport vehicle and its pilot from the game Force Commander in this article. The Hover transport is not only a Force Commander specific vehicle -
as I know it can be seen in Empire at War, and in
Academy's Tatooine level, but it was FIRST seen in Force Commander (and many other things were first seen in Force Commander). I was playing as an imperial stormtrooper in the following Jedi Academy screenshot, to illustrate a situation in that era. It looks like this stormtrooper has just spotted that abandoned Hover transport, from which the rebels (Chewbacca, Jaden
Korr, and Kyle Katarn) had entered the cantina to investigate a case.
OK, take a closer look of this great vehicle!
The Hover transport is an interesting turtle-shape designed rebel vehicle. It can transport up to 6 rebel troopers to their destination. As the word "hover" tells it moves a bit above the ground, so let's say it is hovering. It has an anti-gravitation engine, like Luke Skywalker's Tatooine landspeeder,
or like most of the Trade Federation vehicles. (AAT, STAP,
droid transport Assault Mech.) But the Hover transport was not (only) named because of its hovering function, but from its inventor, a rebel engineer, whose name was Hover. He wanted to invent a vehicle that can traverse problematic terrains, like deserts, rivers, and can operate even lava. But it can't get through mountains, and rocky relieves. So you can't use this machine to get across the hills in the game.
The vehicle is very fast, and mobile!
You can make advantage of these in the game several ways. First of all you gotta know, that almost every gamers (including the AI) starts exploring the map right after the start. They send their troopers to several directions to capture the bunkers, which mean the main income source in Force Commander. But reaching a remote location of the map could take a long time on foot, so you may decide to invest 200 command points for buying a Hover transport. That is quite a big money, it is the price of 4 rebel troopers. If you decide to buy a Hover transport, load it with 6 infantry men, and quickly transport them to 3
bunkers. (2 men is required to fully control a bunker.) It is guaranteed that your emptied Hover transport will come back from its trip and you can embark the next 6 troopers by the time the enemy will slowly get to your bunkers on foot. Transport the next 6 men to the still empty bunkers, or recapture those what the enemy took over, and you have gained a massive lead over your opponents, and that is the promise of a successful game. This kinda
game start will bring you many command points. With those you can build a huge army with tanks, with
air force, and with turrets, and with all of these strong units your victory will be easy and glorious against your opponent's weak ground units.
"Rush-players" like to attack the opponent early in the game. They like this good vehicle, too. They can sneak to the enemy command center unnoticed with 6 troopers in the Hover transport. The HQ is often empty, so they can capture the building without a fight! Don't forget what I told previously, most people starts the game running towards the bunkers, and they leave their Command Center unprotected, or at least not with 6 men inside. If you capture the command center a clock starts ticking backwards.
That is the available time for the enemy to recapture their HQ. If they can not do it, or they just run out of time, the command center will be automatically detonated by its own - as the building mustn't remain under enemy control. (So I suggest you to come out from the captured command center before it will be detonated.)
For a very big amount (for 1000 command points) you can order an other Command Center,
which is a really expensive building, equals to 2 proton tanks, but I don't think your enemy will have 1000 money so early in this game. If he cannot order a second HQ he won't be able to order reinforcements, therefore his available troops are his only soldiers that he can use. It doesn't matter if he has most of the bunkers, he won't gather 1000 command points. Especially if you take his bunkers and chase them out with your more and more stronger army. With this method you can easily finish him off, and also finish the game, saving your enemy from suffering any further. :-) However I don't like these rush games. What are they good for? If I sit down to play, I don't want to play a 5 minutes game! Should I start it over for an other rush game? Does it make a sense? I think this is funny once, but second time that is boring. I rather like real
challenges, and exciting and gigantic games. That is the reason I often don't even occupy a bunker, I like to let them have all. I let them became stronger and richer, and after that I prefer turning the tide, and winning against a real strong enemy. That is more enjoyable, however that is harder this way - but the victory is more valuable!
Let me suggest an other (a third) usage of the Hover transport's great applications. The Hover transport is perfect to take over enemy turrets! You can't approach them on foot - the anti-infantry turrets will kill you well before you could reach it. But you can trick it over. Load 6 men into your Hover transport, and quickly transport them to the turret, and disembark them right at the door of the turret, send them quickly inside, to kill the enemy inside, and with it, you can control their turret against the enemy! Beware, the basic rebel fleet troopers are really weak for this, the two defending imperial stormtroopers easily kill your two attacking rebel fleet troopers inside the turret.
So you'll need two more troopers to finish them off, but you'll won't have that much time in front of the turret(s), your Hover
transport will be destroyed by the turret fire. You can disembark them before the vehicle detonates, but in that case the anti-infantry turrets will finish off your reinforcement. A better choice is to send Heavy troopers in the turret, they are stronger but cost more, 75 command points per
heavy trooper. The best choice are the infiltrators, who are the strongest and best infantry of the whole game. To tell the truth they are very expensive, cost 2,5 times more then a basic rebel fleet trooper, they cost 125 command points, but they worth their money, because they can kill anybody, anywhere, under any
circumstances during these infiltrating actions without losses. But anyway, that is their job, they are trained for this, and they are professional infiltrators. They can even kill the 6 imperial stormtroopers in the AT-AT walkers with ease, and they "steal" the walker, so capturing a turret is child play for them.
Hover transport is shielded, it can't take too much fire, so be fast when sending your 2 infiltrators in the target turret, these guys won't injure seriously, the half of their life will remain, while they kill everybody inside. You can send them even against a turret like this one on the screenshot right beside the enemy command center, they are well-trained enough to successfully capture even this ANTI-INFANTRY TURRET in front of the eyes of the enemy. Not a big deal for them! I combined all of the mentioned methods on the illustration for you, so I took all of the bunkers, captured two of the enemy turrets, (the first one can be seen a bit left from the HQ, the second is the orange color square under the bottom-right hill on the map.) And there comes my army from the north, which became strong and fully developed in the meantime, with several Hover AA
tanks, proton tanks, infantry men, and the air force, so you can guess the enemy won't stand too long now...
Don't forget, the Hover transport is a tactical
troop transporter! Its laser weaponry provides a minor self-defense, but it was planned to quickly transport troopers to their destination, not to fight with!
You needn't throw it into battle, but to move silently, and quickly towards the enemy command center from the south, while the main
strike force attract their attention on the north in our example.
The pilot of the Hover transport NEVER gets out from the vehicle, and never fights with the others. He is a non-combatant person, his service is not military, kinda driver who transport people. Therefore he doesn't have a weapon, at least I haven't given him. He is a part of the vehicle. If the Hover transport detonates, he dies inside. He is a semi-military personality, I think he is something like a padre, or a cook, or a nurse. So like all the NATO troops, he also need some kind of marking. I couldn't give him a blue helmet, so he got a blue armband, saying "pilot". His cap provides him shade, also his glasses helps him to be able to see all the time. He has some extra smaller accessories and components in his pockets, so he can fix some minor damages from inside. This
symbolizes the shield self-regeneration of the Hover transport in the game. When you click a Hover transport its pilot reports for duty, and he can be seen on its monitor. I like this vehicle and its pilot in the game, so I was happy when I happened to see a special "Hover transport" in a
shop window. You can watch my everyday Hover
Transport. There stand its pilot in front of it staring at this special "transport" thing, he seems confused how he will pilot that? :-)
Please take a look at my Custom Hover transport pilot
Custom Hover Transport pilot front
Custom Hover Transport pilot from the back
Custom Hover Transport pilot figure
from the side (with a rebel mark, and a blue "pilot" armband)
Thanks for your attention, come back soon to CustomStarWars!
written by: Norbert
Rostas 2008. 07. 04 the figure was made years before