Articles & Editorials: Overlord and Emperor Tanks – 101

Right, here we are again with another one of Acerz492’s Generals/Zero Hour guides. This one involves the two ‘Mammoth’ tanks, the Overlord Tank and the Emporer Tank. Bear in mind that the Emperor Tank is for Zero Hour only. Before I start, I would like to just say that this is only a reference guide only, as it clearly explains what these tanks are in the manuals, and under no circumstances can anyone use my images, as it took me god knows how long to set those tanks up and get them to Heroic status. If you would like to use them, however, just drop me an email, but make sure you include what you intend to do with them. Capiche?


Right, let’s begin!

The Overlord Tank is the most powerful tank in the game. Everybody knows that. But for the concerned newbies among the C&C Community, they may be asking, “What do the three upgrades for the Overlord Tank do?” and “Which of the three upgrades is best to use in an assault force?” Well, this is the right place to ask.

This is the standard Overlord tank. It can run over and crush any other vehicle in the game, save for another Overlord, and it is very powerful against tanks and structures. At the Nuclear Missile Silo, you can purchase the Uranium Shells and the Nuclear Tank upgrades for it, costing $2500 and $2000, respectively, increasing it’s shell damage and overall speed by 25% each. The tank itself costs $2000.

This is by far the most common upgrade for the Overlord Tank: the Gatling Cannon. The best for taking out squads of massed enemy RPG Troopers (G.L.A.), Tank Hunters (China) or Missile Defenders (U.S.A.), all of which can ruin your Tank Battalion. The most effective way to use this upgrade is to have the Overlords at the front of your assault force use the Gatling Cannon. That way, your opponent will have to work over-time in order to produce enough anti-tank measures to stop you. It is also quite effective against enemy aircraft, save for Aurora/Aurora Alpha Bombers. If you can, get your tanks to target the Aurora Bombers on the airfield first, because once they’re up in the air and on their attack run, well, say goodbye to a couple of Overlords. The Gatling Cannon, like it’s stationary cousin, can detect stealth units, and is also affected by the Chain Guns upgrade at the War Factory. In a nutshell, this variant of the Overlord Tank has three more upgrades added onto the two Nuclear upgrades: Chain Guns, the Gatling Cannon itself, and the ability to detect stealth units.

On the defensive this time, this is an Overlord Tank with the Propaganda Tower upgrade. Like it’s stationary cousin, the Speaker Tower (as the Overlord calls it) enables units within the area of effect to self heal, and to fire faster. Like the Gatling Cannon upgrade, the Speaker Tower is also affected by the Subliminal Messaging Upgrade, purchased at the Chinese Propaganda Center, increasing the effect by 25%. This is the second most common upgrade, and in a large assault force, you’ll often see these tanks milling about in the middle of the group. These two combinations are very lethal, and if you see a large force headed your way, you’d better hope to (insert deity here) that you have enough Tanks, anti-tank Infantry and base defences to hold ’em off.

This variant of the Overlord Tank has a Battle Bunker mounted on it’s back, allowing Tank Hunters to garrison it and fire out of it, as added protection for the particular Overlord. This upgrade isn’t as common as the two previous ones, but it has it’s uses. If you have a U.S.A. player as an ally, and they have Pathfinders (sniper units) then you can garrison two of them plus 3 Tank Hunters, making a very good defence measure against both infantry and vehicle attacks. A Bunker filled with Tank Hunters is an excellent way to defend your flanks and the rear from a pincer attack, as the Tank Hunters can fire faster than the Overlord’s turret can turn. however, the main weakness to this upgrade is that the sight range of the Tank Hunters is less than the Overlord Tank itself, so really, unless the offending units are in close, it can be quite useless. But, in a positive light, it can be a very good defence against Aircraft, especially enemy Commanches.

Now, bear in mind that the Emperor is only usable in Zero Hour, and by one general only. Who else could that be but General Kwai, the Chinese Tank General!


I take a quote directly from Star Wars: “She doesn’t look like much, but she’s got it where it counts!” This applies directly to the Emperor. In my opinion, this tank looks like a clunky, blocky hunk of junk. But that’s not important. What is important, is the difference between the two tanks. Where the Overlord had three upgrades, the Emperor only has one. And only needs one. As you can see, the Emperor comes with a Propaganda Tower permanently mounted on it’s back. The Bunker upgrade has been done away with entirely, leaving just the Gatling Cannon upgrade. However, the Propaganda Tower, strangly, isn’t affected by the Subliminal Messaging upgrade like it should be. A balance issue, perhaps? Or a glitch? Who knows? I suspect it’s probably just a balance issue. In any case, combined with the fact that all General Kwai’s tanks start at veteran level, the design of the tank puts the standard Overlord to shame. It also boasts slightly more armour and a beefier super-structure than the Overlord Tank. Before you ask, yes, the Emperor can be upgraded with Uranium Shells and the Nuclear Tank ability.

This is the Emperor with it’s Gatling Cannon in place. It may look silly, but when you think about it, it’s pure genius. The standard Overlord’s Gatling Cannon was erected on it’s back. The Emperor’s Gatling Cannon is instead positioned on it’s midsection, as you can see. This gives it more of an advantage when confronted with anti-tank infantry: if the Emperor’s turret is facing away from the offending infantry, the Gatling Cannon has less time to travel before being able to react to the threat. Whereas, the Overlord’s Gatling Cannon could start shooting at the offending infantry, but it had to wait longer for the Overlord’s turret to position itself again before being able to fire again. And, as above, before you ask, YES! The Chain Guns upgrade affects the Emperor’s Gatling Cannon as well!

And this is where my guide ends. I hope you all found it enjoyable to read, and if you’ve learned something new, then even better! Here are a couple of pictures showing the variations:

Here’s hoping that Red Alert 3 is able to give us something better for us to drool over. The ‘Mammoth’ class of tanks in the Command and Conquer series has reached it’s pinnacle, in my opinion, but only time will tell.

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