|“|| First to the fight.|
Armed with a fully automatic AA12 assault shotgun, these rugged Marine CQB specialists form the spearhead of any American infantry operation, making short work of enemy foot soldiers at close range. The military role of the Vanguards is brutal, up-close and archaic, but at the same time surprisingly intricate due to the contents of their large backpacks: These contain a number of autonomous weapon systems that can be deployed by the Vanguard and perform a variety of combat tasks without any additional human input: A mini scout drone that can spot stealthed units, an Attack UCAV that follows its human master to provide additional fire support with its rocket launchers, and a lightweight aircraft that is propelled into the air by a simple throw in order to launch itself into garrisoned structures with a powerful explosive payload.
With the success of the Cypher support drone, a even more lightweight drone was commissioned for infantry fire support. The AQ-51 Dragonfly is an ultra-light weight combat UAV capable of being deployed in the field at the squad level. Using a tri-rotor design, the inexpensive Dragonfly is armed with two Pike 40mm laser-guided rockets. Due to the low cost and light weight of the munitions, the AQ-51 can be easily restocked in the field by allied troops.
The latest in area denial weaponry, the M20 "Rolling Ricky" is an infantry deployable smart mine used by the United States Armed Forces, designed to supplement the M15 and M19 anti-tank mines and M2 SLAM. Despite its disposable nature, the mine drone is capable of quickly distinguishing between enemy and allied vehicles and can roll towards a target to disable or destroy it via detonation of the 10 kg of IMX-101 based shaped charge high explosive within the mine's shell. Should the enemy evade its sight, the mine drone will replant itself and wait for another hostile to enter its detection range, as long as its battery still holds charge.
Throw Bomb Drone
|Throw a kamikaze bomb drone to clear an enemy garrisoned structure from a distance of 50 to 275. 30 seconds cooldown.|
Deploy Attack Drone
|Deploy an AQ-51 Dragonfly attack drone that cannot be controlled and attacked to follow the Vanguard and attack enemies in a radius of 130 once every second with rockets that causes 15 INFANTRY_MISSILE damage over a radius of 5; the attack drone will self-destruct after 18 seconds. 30 seconds cooldown (shared with Deploy Mine Drone).|
Deploy Mine Drone
|Deploy an M20 "Rolling Ricky" mine drone at the Vanguard's location with the process taking 4 seconds to complete. The mine drone will roll itself on an enemy vehicle that moves within a radius of 75 around it, causing 150 to 20 EXPLOSION damage over a radius of 5 to 20, and can damage units that are immune to mines. If the target is destroyed before the mine drone hits it, the mine drone will return to its original position. 30 seconds cooldown (shared with Deploy Attack Drone).|
Call in a Drone Airlifter
|Call in a Drone Airlifter on the Vanguard.|
Requires Supply Center and Air Mobility.
Armed with an Automatic Assault Shotgun, a weapon that sprays slugs in a short distance. They are able to mow down tight groups of infantry in seconds. While his primary weapon is devastating to enemy personnel, his anti vehicle capabilities is not lacking however it is limited. Coming in as an Attack Drone, once deployed it will follow the Vanguard until it's battery dry out. Another drone the Vanguard have in it's disposal is a lightweight throwable kamikaze drone. Packed with enough explosives, these small drones can clear any unfortified positions. Lastly, an unarmed drone designed specifically for quick reconnaissance. Giving an excellent quick view of the battlefield and detection of any camouflaged units.
Being one of the most versatile units in-game does have it's own perks. One it's anti infantry attack surpasses the Rangers by having higher rate of fire. Add the fact that it can engage hostile vehicles quite fairly when utilizing it's attack drone. Another thing is that the Vanguards are the main infantry garrison cleaners of USA. Lastly with it's Scout Drone, he also qualifies as a quick recon Unit and stealth detecting infantry.
Being versatile means to able to adapt to many situation, however being versatile means lacks in specialty. While the units rate of fire is consistent, it's damage and range is lacking and risks the unit as it needs to get closer to it's target. It's drones, while reliable in most situations, are limited due it's duration is rather limited. The only threat you should be facing from this unit is it's anti garrison capability as it's range is fairly longer than most anti garrison troops. Any vehicle with anti infantry vehicle should be sufficient enough to eliminate this unit. As with all infantry units, over exposure to flames radiation etc., without any protective gear will eliminate them in mere seconds. Anti-personnel vehicles such Quad Cannon, Gattling Tank, Grizzly, among others, can take out these infantry easily. Doesn't have Anti-Air capabilities.
Behind the scenes
- Originally the Vanguard were supposed to use the "Roach" UCAV (which eventually becomes the current Attack Drone), a Sentry Drone and the current kamikaze Bomb Drone.
- The Sentry Drone would be deployed on the Vanguard's location to engage ground targets and act as a distraction but has limited duration and can be destroyed with a few shots. However, this was scrapped due game balancing and technical issues.
- Prior to 1.87 the Vanguard has the Deploy Scout Drone ability, which deploys a controllable scout drone that detects stealthed enemies and self-destructs after a while; it was replaced by Deploy Mine Drone in 1.87. The Attack Drone also has a different model.