With the arrival of Command and Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath, we were introduced to a new class of units called "Epic Units." Epic Units are slow, super heavy vehicles that can take and deal massive amounts of damage and even run over tier 3 vehicles. Each Epic Unit also has a special ability that further complements your army.
In addition to their abilities, Epic Units have a number of garrisonable hard-points. When you put certain infantry into these hard-points a permanent upgrade will appear depending on the type of infantry you add. This makes Epic Units very customizable.
Epic Units are very unique in their own right, and they all have advantages and disadvantages. This guide will elucidate these differences and how to exploit them.
Mammoth Armed Reclamation Vehicle (MARV)
The MARV is GDI's Epic Unit, and a beast of an Epic Unit at that. It is armed with an area of effect Sonic Cannon that does massive damage to units in a small area. This makes the MARV extremely powerful against masses of smaller units. As powerful as it is, this weapon only constitutes a fraction of the MARV's potential.
In addition to its regular weapon, the MARV can be garrisoned with up to four infantry squads, each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages.Rifleman Squad -
This creates an anti-infantry machine gun on one of the hard-points of the MARV. Now, this will probably be one of, if not the last option you would want to use for your MARV. While it is useful in theory, there are still much better options.Missile Squad -
This will evolve an anti-vehicle and
anti-air missile launcher on your MARV. This is a nice all-around choice for your MARV. Where Missile Squads are so very useful in their own rights, it has the same effect on the MARV. Remember when you are selecting what to upgrade your MARV with that it doesn't have any anti-air defenses of its own initially.Engineer/Combat Engineer -
Using these will generate a slow auto-repair for your MARV. The more of these that you upgrade your MARV with, the faster the rate of healing. This is definitely one of the better upgrades, however, the repair rate is fairly slow with lower numbers. Also, remember that this won't help you much in a fight, so it is a waste if your MARV is fighting a whole lot of units, or fighting an opponent that won't let up on it.Grenadier Squad -
This will create an anti-structure grenade launcher on your MARV that has the ability to clear garrisons. While it is a good idea in theory, it is situational at best, and other hard points will serve effectively as garrison clearer while serving other purposes as well.Sniper Team -
This will create an anti-infantry Sniper Rifle on your MARV. This is obviously great against infantry units that are pretty durable but have a smaller squad size, but beyond that, it will probably not serve as well against infantry as a couple of Hammerheads supporting your MARV would. Might as well not waste these hard points, right?Zone Troopers -
This will give you an anti-vehicle rail gun on your MARV. For pure power, this is what you are looking at. Zone Troopers are great, but are hindered by the fact that they are weak against infantry, but garrisoned in a MARV, this problem is mitigated. Remember that these can't attack air units, so it might be a good idea to mix it up instead of having four Zone Troopers.Zone Raiders -
This will give you a Sonic Grenade launcher, an area of effect weapon just like the MARV's initial weapon, but not as powerful. It is basically a Zone Trooper except with anti-air, so if you know how good they are, then you'll know this will be your unit of choice if you are ZOCOM (since only ZOCOM get the Zone Raider). Again, remember that you will have no anti-air, so it would be nice to either support them, or supplement them with Missile Squads.
Now, if that wasn't enough for you, the MARV also has its very own special ability whereby it can harvest tiberium, process it, and deposit it in your bank account instantly. You would think that there's a catch to this, such as not giving you the full funds that a regular harvester brings in, however, this is not the case. It will give you the full amount of funds regularly, but only up to your credit limit. If you don't have enough silos or refineries the rest will go to waste. Beware, over-harvesting your fields and mis-using your funds just because you need to get rid of them. It is best used on an opponent's tiberium field or a neutral field that you aren't in the position to harvest regularly. This way you don't overextend your economy and then fizzle out with nothing left.Suggested Combinations
These combinations are good all round combinations that should be able to deal with various different threats
- Four Engineers/Combat Engineers: If your opponent has a fairly large ground armada and your army is looking very grim, you might want to opt for the four Engineers. This gives you one hell of a meat shield and should give you time to micro your few remaining units.
- Four Missile Squads: This one is recommended if your opponent has a formidable air force. Although having four is a bit much, you are only susceptible to mass infantry.
- Four Zone Troopers/Zone Raiders: This is a powerhouse combo. When attacking with this combo you should always be moving in. The range of the ZT/ZR is lackluster so work on squishing your opponent's army with the MARV, and while his micro is out of sync, take advantage.
- Two Zone Troopers/Zone Raiders and Two Engineers/Combat Engineers: A very balanced combination, and highly recommended when facing primarily ground armadas.
- Two Zone Troopers/Zone Raiders and Two Missile Squads: Go for this combo if you are looking to shell out a ton of damage. However you are in trouble if your MARV is left alone against too much firepower.
- Two Zone Troopers/Zone Raiders and Two Snipers: This is another fairly balanced combination. Load your ZT/ZR first so they are in the front of your MARV and let the Snipers and their range take out units from the back.
- One Sniper/One Engineer/Two Missile Squads: Likely your most balanced option. The Sniper Team can pick off any infantry, the Engineer will offer you repairs, and the Missile Squads can pick off air and add additional support on the ground.
Remember that that MARV has two garrison slots in the front and two on the back; so which ever infantry squad you put in first, will appear on the front of the MARV. Make sure you put more hard hitting units, like Zone Troopers/Raiders/Missile Squads in the MARV first to optimize performance and add auxiliary infantry like Engineers/Snipers last where the longer range is not needed.
To sum up the MARV, it really is a straight-forward unit. Its four garrisons slots make versatility superior to that of the other Epic Units however its still all about power and force with no other tricks up its sleeve. Now, this is in no way a bad thing at all, and it is a terrific addition to a slow, hard-hitting type force.