Shades of agony.
—A Shadow Tank preparing an ambush
The Shadow Tank is a stealth mobile assault vehicle used by the Epsilon Headquarters.
Deadly and completely hidden from sight. The most valued attributes a machine of war can possess. The Shadow Tank is one of Headquarters' greatest achievements, with its technology taking countless years to master. Much to the Allies' surprise, Yuri has somehow taken what was left of their unfinished stealth technology and progressed with it far enough to be utilized for mobile applications en masse. Only revealing themselves when diverting power to their weapons, the Shadow can otherwise remain unseen indefinitely.
Equipped with twin dissolver beam weapons, the Shadow is one of the most dreaded of Epsilon inventions, becoming a pivotal instrument of victory for Yuri's proselytes. Whenever their presence is suspected, detector units are quick to join the main Allied and Soviet forces. Without them, it is certain that HQ would achieve victory through their subversive tactics. While the Shadow's weapons inflict less damage to structures than upon units, no base should be left exposed to its assault.
The Shadow Tank is an interesting addition to Epsilon Headquarters' arsenal - while the faction primarily relies on a slow but steady and armored approach combined with somewhat unconventional yet superior firepower to eliminate the opposition (as evidenced by their employment of Stalkers, Rahn, Opus Tanks, Colossi, and the dreaded Aerial Fortress Irkalla), this stealthy vehicle is the polar opposite of the ground forces exclusive to this faction. Shadow Tanks fulfill the element of surprise and devastating hit-and-run attacks for HQ while acting as a supplemental stealth detector for the Stinger. These vehicles can slink across the battlefield discreetly and strike their enemies when they least expect it - only units with stealth detection can sense their approach before it's too late. With their twin Dissolver Beams, Shadow Tanks can liquidize infantry into a puddle of organic waste in the blink of an eye while dealing significant damage to armored vehicles. Since the majority of stealth detection units are rather fragile anyways, Shadow Tanks are not to be underestimated in the hands of a cunning HQ proselyte.
These vehicles can also be ordered to hold their fire indefinitely in order to retain their stealth. While they will become immobile in this state, they will not eagerly shoot at anything that comes into range. This will allow them to stay completely unnoticed unless a hostile stealth detector approaches, giving them a major tactical advantage as unseen scouts. Do note they will not retaliate even if detected and fired upon - their respective proselytes must manually command them to 'un-deploy' their permanent cloaks before they can fire their Dissolver Beams again.
While the Shadow Tank is a potent psychological weapon in every regard (even the mere glimpse of one will often prompt HQ's enemies to start mass-producing stealth detection units to paranoid levels), they are rather fragile and will not hold up in a skirmish against heavy tanks, as their Dissolver Beams are not effective against them unless they strike en masse. They are also ineffective against buildings but it would be wise to never leave an opening in a base for them to sneak in, for they can still deal significant damage to lightly-protected vital infrastructures such as power sources. Base defenses are also another danger they should avoid, unless there are no stealth detectors in the vicinity.
- The first Shadow Tanks are used in The Conqueror. They are tasked with sneaking inside the city of Moscow to destroy the Nuclear Reactors powering the city, and are aided in this objective by the explosive barrels planted near the reactors. Once the Nuclear Reactors are destroyed, the MCVs will arrive with the rest of Epsilon forces.
- PsiCorps and Scorpion Cell forces are assisted by Shadow Tanks in these following missions, although HQ itself is not an active belligerent:
- Shadow Tanks become buildable in Obsidian Sands. In this mission as well as in Neuromancers, Shadow Tank can be built although the player is playing as PsiCorps instead of the Epsilon Headquarters.
- Chronologically, Shadow Tanks first become buildable in Metaphor.
Behind the scenes
- In 2.0 the Shadow Tank was also effective against buildings, which made it unbalanced.
- The Shadow Tank was the first tank made for Mental Omega.
- The Shadow Tank is very similar to the Brotherhood of Nod’s iconic Stealth Tank from the Third Tiberium War in both design and functionality.