Victory is ours!
—A Pteranodon soaring to battle
The Pteranodon is an aircraft used by the Wings of Coronia classified as a "flying monster tank".
While one could argue whether the decision to not rely on a heavy ground vehicle is something one would expect from the Wings of Coronia, the fact is that the Pteranodon is their heavy "flying tank", a battlefield equivalent of designs such as the American Abrams or Scorpion Cell's Tyrant. Its main purpose is the elimination of mechanical forces directly threatening or in the currenty vicinity of Coronia itself. With two large pressurizer batteries, which are mounted on each side of this massive aircraft, the Pteranodon makes quick work of enemy tanks no matter how durable their armor is. Compared to its equivalents in the other armies however, it is not very effective against either the troops or buildings. It is also defenseless against aircraft that can target it.
The Coronian Pteranodon emphasizes the doctrine and focus of aerial superiority for the Wings of Coronia. While Haihead prefers to field rapid shock-and-destroy tactics with their swift and destructive Megalodons and Last Bastion prefers impenetrable defensive tactics with their gargantuan Mastodons, the air warfare specialists of the Foehn Revolt choose this formidable tank destroyer to claim the skies as their own while reducing massed vehicles of any class into scrap with a single strafing run.
The major advantage that Pteranodons have over other Tier 3 vehicles of its class is that almost none of its counterparts (except for a select few) can retaliate against an offensive by Coronia's variant, since the Pteranodon is an airborne unit and most Tier 3 tanks lack the ability to fire back at air units. Pteranodons are quite durable for an aircraft, can fire on the move, and their Pressurizer Batteries deal area-of-effect damage. This fittingly makes the heavy gunship a very reliable response unit against any kind of armored offensives, even if they have anti-air weapons at their disposal. While massed anti-aircraft fire will down these airborne fortresses, even lone Tier 3 anti-air vehicles are at risk of losing to a Pteranodon since the majority of them lack armor anyways.
An effective way to utilize Pteranodons is to deploy them in squadrons of five or more. This will allow the gunships to effectively strafe and neutralize armored columns before they can pose a threat to Coronian forces. Since they are modestly fast for such a large aircraft, they are also decent for responding to hit-and-run attacks.
Pteranodons are no slouches against naval forces either, being able to sweep through them with ease just as they can against ground-based vehicles. Even though they cannot fire on submerged units by default, they can force-fire into waters suspected to be harboring unseen threats (such as Typhoon Attack Subs) and the ensuing damage will force them to surface. Their Pressurizer Batteries deal splash damage over a significant radius, so gives them an impromptu role as a submarine hunter. This same strategy can also be used against Epsilon HQ's Shadow Tanks.
While its anti-vehicle potential is undisputed, the Pteranodon is an overspecialized unit at heart - it is effective against vehicles, but only against them. It does little to no visible damage against structures, so it should avoid stationary anti-aircraft defenses at all costs and attacking buildings will only cause a nuisance at best for their enemies. Their weapons are also mediocre against infantry, barely dealing any visible injuries to them even if multiple Pteranodons are attacking them. This means that even lowly anti-air infantry such as Flak Troopers can be a significant threat. They also have no means to respond to approaching enemy aircraft, so Pteranodons are easy prey for units like Wolfhounds. Though these flying tanks have substantial armor that can allow them to shoulder more anti-aircraft fire than any Coronian air unit (short of the Harbinger) they will be destroyed in no time if used carelessly. Pteranodons do not come cheap either, with a hefty price tag of $2000.
To cover these weaknesses and to fulfill their role as an airborne tank destroyer properly, they should never fly into a heated skirmish without support. Buzzards and Alanqa Skystations accompanying them will provide the squadron with a formidable presence that symbolizes what the Wings of Coronia excel at. If a base assault is a part of the battle plan, Quetzals and Tarchia Cannons should be considered as options.
Behind the scenes
The internal code reveals that the Pteranodon was supposed to have another ability, codenamed "Sonic Boom". Its has a unique animation when deployed but uses the audio of the Pteranodon's regular attack. Likely:
- Sonic Boom is likely a deploy ability and takes 305 frames or 20.3 seconds to reload completely when empty. The firing rate is the same as the primary weapon.
- The Sonic Boom warhead dictates that it would not deal damage but instead disable power plants for 600 frames or 40 seconds. The disable effect of the building would be the same one used for the Raccoon, Blackout Missile and Ramwagon (see example).
- Pteranodon is a genus of pterosaurs that lived during late Cretaceous era in North America (specifically what was now United States). Some of its members are the largest known flying reptiles, having a wingspan of over 6 meters.
- The Pteranodon's body is technically a mobile turret, so it cannot cast a true shadow (instead a small dot appears). The same goes with the Jackal Racer.
- In the game files, the Pteranodon is referred to as "Viperfang".
Other Foehn monster tanks:
- Official showcase of the Pteranodon prior to official release of version 3.3, along with other units
- An additional, official video demonstrating a Pteranodon attack.