|“|| I have the final say.|
- A Sentinel tank leaving the War Factory
|“|| Destruction is an art, and I am a master.|
- Sentinel Tank
First shown to the public during the May 9 victory parade of 2026 amidst growing opposition against the incumbent President, the now famous Sentinel started out as the ugly duckling of the Russian Army which regarded the new tank as an overpriced, overengineered outgrowth of the Armata programme, armed with a dual 160mm cannon to rival the Chinese ZTZ200 Overlord on the export market.
Due to its perceived incompatibility with the established Russian armor doctrine, the new tank was derisively designated as the HT-28, with the Cyrillic acronym HT standing for 'novyy tank' or 'novelty tank'. After the downfall of the corrupt regime in 2028, the Sentinel was redesigned from scratch but retained its original designation as a symbol of transition between the old and the new Russia. The HT-28M1 was equipped with a sturdy, heavily motorized chassis and its signature 220mm cannon, which turned the vehicle into a distinct mix between a tank destroyer and an assault gun. The M1 model was well received during its service in the Caucasus, Eastern Europe and Africa and became the baseline for all future modifications: The improved M2 variant which entered service just prior to the outbreak of the Russo-European War and the most recent M3 variant, which is the final production model of a unique prototype version that was field tested by the famous 'Black Bears' - the single most successful tank crew of the entire war - whose legacy lives on with this proud war machine.
Most noticeably, the HT-28M3 sports a pair of bulldozer blades, an improved cannon and a more streamlined appearance. During the ECA's return to Russian-occupied Belgium in December 2048, the new Sentinel distinguished itself in the climactic battle of Liege, where an outnumbered contingent of Russians defended a vital salient against a combined force of the 1st Panzerdivision, the Royal Dragoon Guards and the 7e Brigade Blindée for eight days in a massive mechanized confrontation that was later dubbed 'the Belgian Prokhorovka'. Ever since then, the HT-28M3 forced the European and American troops to pay dearly for every step of their way towards Berlin, where General Aleksandr was preparing his troops for the mother of all battles.
|“|| It will soon be a wasteland.|
- Sentinel Tank moving
The Sentinel is the most powerful tank in Russia's arsenal. Its 220mm main gun can destroy most vehicles in one or two hits, and it has formidable armor, which can be further enhanced with the ERA upgrade. Furthermore, the Sentinel will slowly self repair over time, as compared to other tanks like the Overlord and Paladin, which must be upgraded to gain self repair capabilities.
Each Sentinel can also receive one of two individual, mutually exclusive upgrades; the Warden Missile Pods, which can attack both ground and air targets, and the Arena Defense System, which intercepts missiles, and can also kill nearby infantry due to the explosion. Both of these upgrades bolster the Sentinel's already formidable fighting capability even further.
However, while the Sentinel is unrivaled in terms of sheer power, it does have several weaknesses and flaws. At $3000, the Sentinel is the most expensive unit in the game after the ECA prototype units, though the Mass Production upgrade can bring this cost down to $2550.
The Sentinel also has something of an Achilles' heel against infantry and aircraft, though these weaknesses can be compensated for somewhat by individual upgrades. The Sentinel lacks any anti-air weapons by default, and the Sentinel's main gun is ineffective against infantry. Additionally, the tank's enormous size and slow speed makes it difficult to use in urban environments, and its main gun, while powerful, fires very slowly, which can be an issue when dealing with large numbers of opponents. For this reason, the Sentinel should ideally be supported by lighter units, and is best used as a breakthrough tank, used to smash the enemy's defense line, creating a weakness that lighter units can then exploit.
Besides the individual upgrades each Sentinel can receive, all Sentinels can also be upgraded with ERA to reduce the damage taken from incoming missiles and tank shells, while Sentinels upgraded with Warden Missile Pods will benefit from the Compression Missiles Upgrade, which increases the range of the missiles.
|“|| Pick a god and pray!|
- Sentinel attacking.
Due to its sheer power and its ability to take hits, the Sentinel can serve in a variety of roles.
When used alongside other units, Sentinels can be used to soak up damage, especially with the Arena upgrade, which allows them to neutralize missiles. However, note that they may slow the rest of your forces down due to their size and speed, especially at chokepoints.
On their own, Sentinels can also be used to launch diversionary attacks, which can trick your opponent into moving their forces away from wherever you want to attack. They can also be used as breakthrough units, due to their considerable firepower and armor.
Sentinels should ideally be supported by anti-infantry and anti-aircraft units, like the Tunguska (which fills both roles). Against the GLA, bringing IR goggle equipped Conscripts (in transports or on foot) along is a must, since otherwise your opponent will almost certainly take the chance to hijack such an expensive unit. The slow rate of fire of their main gun makes Sentinels ill-equipped to handle large groups of enemies, especially large groups of infantry.
With its heavy firepower and thick armor, the Sentinel is a threat to any commander, and it signals the end game of the Russian Federation. You must counter this threat if you have any chance of victory. Luckily, the things that make it good are its weakness. The Sentinel moves very slowly; similarly, its main gun is very powerful but slow to fire, and furthermore is ineffective against infantry.
A good counter against Sentinels is to use aircraft such as Raptors or Harriers, since unless the Sentinel has the Warden Missile Pods upgrade, it has no defense against them. As the GLA, hijackers can steal Sentinels and turn them upon their own army. Another tactic is to use artillery like Grads, as the Sentinel's slow speed and large size means it usually will get hit. Massed infantry can also kill unupgraded Sentinels, since their main gun does very little damage to infantry.
Behind the scenes
- The original Sentinel Tank before Rise of the Reds was adopted by SWR was an Overlord-sized tank with mortar cannons, and was later replaced by Comr4de's 2006 rendition which has, in fact, gone through phases of changes as the Marks imply.