A Hovercraft is a unit class introduced in the Core Contingency expansion pack for Total Annihilation; they are primarily land-based units, but can (as the name suggests) traverse water masses by hovering above their surfaces. Hovercraft are available to both the CORE and ARM factions; the CORE use an artificial intelligence module to control their hovercraft, while the ARM use clones to pilot them.
In order to build hovercraft, any tech level 1 construction unit (barring the Construction Ship) must first build a Hovercraft Platform.
Hovercraft are usually characterised by their high max velocities but mediocre acceleration and abysmal turn rates, which makes them somewhat useful on open maps but greatly hinders them on maps which require extensive navigation around terrain elevations and elements; Hovercraft are also relatively large units that are quite easy to land hits on, particularly while they are turning, which raises a survivability issue that is only compounded by their general lack of armor. Most hovercraft weaponry only offers a slight upgrade to T1 vehicle weaponry, with the only units not having an upgraded T1 weapon merely having downgraded weapons from T2 vehicles; weaponry also doesn't differ very much between either of the two factions, with the only notable difference being that the Snapper's cannon is classed as ballistic weapon while the Anaconda's is classed as a line of sight weapon.
Even on open land or sea maps, hovercraft have numerous shortcomings that only serve to work against them in the long run, the most immediate being the high cost and progression level of the Hovercraft Platform, as the time and resources could be better reserved for T2 unit plants, which generally produce stronger units.
Statistically speaking, ARM hovercraft are often outright superior in every aspect to their CORE counterparts, though the difference in weapon class between the Anaconda's and Snapper's weapons may be enough for the latter to claim some form of advantage over the former. Despite being all-around better than CORE's hovercraft, ARM hovercraft are rendered obsolete by the existence of the Pelican, a unit which takes most of the positive aspects of ARM's hovercraft while also mitigating a significant amount of their weaknesses; furthermore, both the ARM Adv. Kbot Lab and Hovercraft Platform being of the same progression level, combined with the Adv. Kbot Lab not only needing less energy and time to build for the exact same metal cost, but also having a smaller build footprint, effectively means that ARM never has to think twice about completely ignoring hovercraft in favour of the Pelican.
List of hovercraft
There are only twelve official hovercraft in total, with six for both the CORE and the ARM. These range from fast scouts such as the Skimmer to unit transporters like the Turtle.
- Unlike the rest of the level 1 factories, there is no official level 2 version of the Hovercraft Platform, which in turn means that there is no Adv. Construction Hovercraft.