|T-63 Furnace Tank|
|Furnace Tanks rolling through Imperial Positions|
|Designation||Main Battle Tank|
|Production Building||Tank Factory|
|Secondary Ability||Fire ATGM (fires a heavily damaging guided ATGM that hits the side armour of a target and ignores cover, may target Aircraft)|
|Production Time||10 seconds|
|Heroic Upgrade||ECM packs (provides ECM field to deflect incoming projectieles|
- Oh Plain, my Plain: With twin heavy machine guns and a highly versatile and powerful 125mm gun, a powerful turbine engine and thick, angled composite armour, the Furnace Tank is perhaps the most balanced main battle tank in widespread use in the world to which most other vehicles find themselves being compared to. Effective to at least some degree against nearly all ground targets, the Furnace
- From Russia with Love: Firing a devastating GOAT missile, Furnace Tanks can take out helicopters and wound all but the most formidable of vehicles as these missiles slam into the target with lethal purpose and intent, though these missiles take time to load.
- Ware the skies: The greatest weaknesses of the Furnace Tank are shared by virtually all tanks, Hunter Helicopters, Ground Attack Planes, anti-tank artillery and infantry, tank destroyers, and superheavy vehicles as well as being flanked by light tanks. These are enemies that the Furnace Tank will need to be protected from if one wants to get the most out of their tanks. Though aircraft can be dealt with to a limited degree by using the GOAT missiles on them.
- Up for a little interference?: Enemies of the Communist International should learn to fear Furnace Tank aces, as the most experienced Furnace Tank crews have ECM projectors that make getting a good bead on their tanks nearly impossible, even incorporating minor GAP effects to confuse even purely visual attempts at targeting them; allowing them to strike with impunity.
Faced with Alliance incursions on multiple fronts and motivated by the internationalist character of left communism, the members of the Comintern pooled their skills, resources, and technologies together to assemble a war machine to defend the revolution from the Ultimatist hordes. Though there were initial difficulties as the revolutionaries brought together an eclectic and perhaps even unlikely mix of countries together under a genuinely global socialist coalition they quickly came to agree of many things. After all, despite widespread differences of opinion within the Comintern's ranks regarding how best to repel the Alliance's advancements, everyone was on the same page about at least one thing: The Comintern wouldn't get a second chance to safeguard the progress they had made for equality and direct democracy. So it was with great care (and some trepidation) that the International Worker's and Farmer's Revolutionary International Military Soviets picked out the vehicle that would be main battle tank of the people's struggles to beat back Thornley's rampaging hordes and attempts to shackle them to the empires of Europe.
A main battle tank of Soviet origin, the Furnace tank became the mainstay of WFRIA forces on the ground worldwide after besting the Welder Tank, an American-made design, as well as other competitors such as the also American made Cog, the ULSR's Axe Tank, the eastern European Ruler Tank, and others in field tests across many key areas. The Welder was felt to be too dependent on speed to protect itself in what was felt would likely involve many encounters that would restrict mobility such as urban warfare or base assault. The Cog was interesting for sure with its reliance on a large howitzer to fire missiles and HEAT rounds, but there were concerns that composite armor would greatly diminish the value of HEAT. The Axe and Ruler were both felt to be too light to withstand the sort of punishment that the Alliance was likely to give them. Thus the Furnace, which was an all around effective and tough vehicle, was given the green light to become the standard battle tank of the WFRIM.
After all, the WFRIM Soviets fully expected to have to deploy Furnace in bulk in order to match and overwhelm Alliance armour divisions, believed to be the strongest in the world. To that end, the Comintern's Furnace Tank was going up against long odds. The Alliance was well known for its exceedingly durable vehicles that packed overwhelming firepower and were the bedrock of its mechanized advances, and Comintern tanks would not only have to be able to brave the gauntlet of these Alliance tanks but also help with solidifying defenses, making and exploiting breakthroughs, and overwhelming the Alliance's rear formations by cutting supply lines, breaking chains of communications, and putting pressure on reserve forces.
The Furnace boasts an impressive balance of power, durability, and manoeuvrability and has an efficiently designed frame using top secret composite materials to keep the price down. Its 125 mm main gun can punch through the armour on the current marks of Retriever and Thunderer tanks that made up the bulk of the Alliance tank park and easily deal with any light tanks fielded by the enemy panzer divisions. However, the Furnace's counterparts were not the Cominterns' greatest concern, for they needed to be able to contend with an assortment of heavy vehicles and anti-tank options available to the Alliance military. Believing firmly in the mantra that the first tank to get a hit usually is the one that wins the engagement, the Comintern has outfitted most every furnace tank crew with a GOAT missile to be launched from the barrel that can seek out and destroy enemy vehicles from a great distance; racing upwards and then plunging down onto the top armor to kill the enemy vehicle before it ever knew it was being targeted. With the ability to fire across the horizon and beyond line of sight, the GOAT missile allows Furnace tanks to support one another even if they can't see each other with relayed target data so long as the missile itself has the range to reach the target, allowing for a number of potent ambush tactics to be used against those who would oppress the people.
Casualty rates among Furnace Tank crews are being kept close to the vest by WFRIM officials, though one might assume the worst given that these forces, well-equipped though they may be, were necessarily used to turn the tide of many losing battles and by their very nature as an armoured formation; must plunge into the thickest of fighting. Now that the Comintern has begun to win a number of victories against the Alliance, previous concerns about selecting this tank over its competitors has turned to hope as Comintern counteroffensives begin against the blue juggernaut. As many crews have quipped, Thornley's hordes have "left the frying pan to step into the furnace" as the Comintern has decided to change its fighting retreats, probing engagements meant to bleed the Alliance military just a bit farther, and delaying actions into all out counter attacks. At any rate, in spite of the inherent dangers, many career military men strive for the honor of serving aboard such a vehicle in the name of the Comintern's difficult mission to better the human condition and liberate the oppressed.
Post-War Operational History
The GOAT missile, throughout the war was increasingly utilized in an anti-air role as it was found that the missile was fast and agile enough to lock onto the Alliance's dreaded aircraft as much as they could target its waves of monstrous tanks. With some further improvements to the missile, the GOAT became utilized as an emergency anti-air option and many an enemy VTOL or strike craft found themselves rudely surprised by direct missile impacts by what they thought were tanks that could only strike back with machine gun fire and inaccurate cannon bombardment. This was especially useful when faced with Imperial Mecha that often could simply transform into aircraft to evade cannon fire, only to find that the missile could still track them and so contributed to the deaths of a great many Striker VX pilots throughout the war.
New kits trialled during the war have also been disseminated to the modular vehicles outfitting them with a baffler suite that makes targeting them exceedingly difficult to allow them to avoid getting hit more often. Combining powerful ECM and minor GAP effects; these new furnaces take a significantly longer time for any weapon to acquire and often shots will end up missing or missiles will lose their guidance and veer off course. This not only protects the tank, but the ECM can also defend nearby Comintern units. However the kits are still new and there are a great many Furnace tanks in service; with production of these parts and kits sent to armoured vehicle factories and war factories to produce and/or retrofit Furnace tanks with these modules are in high demand. Thus only highly experienced crews will be allocated the new modules to ensure maximum effectiveness before all the tanks can be properly outfitted with the new equipment.
Given the popularity of the GOAT missile, the WFRIM Soviet has voted to increase the number of GOATs allocated to each tank and increase the production of them in the factories to ensure more timely reloads, allowing them to fire the missiles more often and more judiciously, while improvements to the missile have cut down its target lock time to make it more deadly on the move and more dangerous to enemy aircraft. The missile's range has finally been improved, allowing Furnace tanks to more reliably support one another with missile fire.
Retrofits to improve crew comfort have also been added to all vehicles, including a cooler and a brewer to dispense either cold or hot drinks to keep the crew refreshed during battle which has reportedly resulted in significantly improved morale and crew satisfaction.