The Tactical Nuke is a support power that is the ability of the Soviet offensive superweapon, the Tactical Nuke Silo. It is the small "sister" of the MIDAS that, once fully prepared, can be launched anywhere on the battlefield to wipe out all enemies of the Soviet Union, especially the filthy capitalists, the traitor's followers or the so-called remnants.
While the MIDAS is a fusion nuclear weapon that sacrifices radioactive residue for increased explosive yield, the Tactical Nuke is a fission nuclear weapon which works in reverse; it is not as powerful as its bigger "brother" and leaves behind a field of strong radiation. Despite this, the Tactical Nuke is strong enough to reduce anything caught in its blast zone into ashes and the lingering radiation will slowly, but surely, take care of any unlikely survivors.
- As with all offensive superweapons, the Tactical Nuke can weaken a heavily fortified base once it is activated. While the Tactical Nuke has a large radius, the center of the targeted zone deals the most damage. The best targets for crippling an enemy base are the following:
- Once the nuclear missile hits the ground, its damage is dealt instantly, while the radiation it leaves deals damage over time (the radiation will deal less damage the farther from the blast zone).
- Unlike other superweapons, there can be multiple Tactical Nuke launches at the same time. Two Soviet players on the same team can easily finish off a Construction Yard or other heavy structure this way.
- Vehicles rendered invulnerable by the Iron Curtain are free to continue their rampage within ground zero of the Tactical Nuke blast, provided the Invulnerability does not expire before the missile impacts. These invulnerable units can be ordered to finish off any units or structures that have survived the nuclear explosion.
- A loud siren will play that is audible to everyone after a Tactical Nuke is launched. This noise is at its loudest on the intended impact zone, and its volume will lessen the farther the player's screen is on the intended target. Human players therefore can predict where the Tactical Nuke will hit, and react accordingly.
- The Tactical Nuke has a special weakness, along with other missile support powers: an Epsilon Mind Reader can predict where the Tactical Nuke will precisely hit (see Mind Reader's gallery) within its radius. Human Epsilon players will react with better precision in this case.
The AI will use Tactical Nuke to target any of the following, assuming they are not cloaked:
- Construction Yards
- Power providers (not on Hard difficulty),
- War Factories
- Tier 3 technology providers (e.g. Epsilon Pandora Hub)
If all these does not exist, it'll target base defenses, then finally units.
In these missions, Tactical Nuke's countdown is modified:
- Zero Signal: 45 minutes (35 minutes on Mental difficulty)
- Obsidian Sands: 25 minutes on Normal difficulty, 20 minutes on Mental difficulty
- Tactical Nuke is first usable for the player in Death From Above.
- In Exist to Exit, the player can use the Tactical Nuke once after Morales is evacuated.
- In Unthinkable, the player can gain access to a single-use Tactical Nuke by using a Driller to transport an Engineer to repair a bunch of cannonballs hidden on a cliff in the east of the map.
- In Backbitten, the Epsilon forces used a tactical nuke to strike a coast guarded by the Allies. This is a reference to 2.0 mission Jealousy, where the player can use a Nuclear Missile Silo.