The term tank encompasses far more than a tracked armored fighting vehicle that brings a good deal of armor and firepower to the fight in the universe of Rise. It's a general classification by humans and other races to describe fully enclosed, armored fighting vehicles that are not propelled by mechanical legs or arms.
Tanks in Comparison to HMVsEdit
With the increasing number of HMVs that have either replaced or supplemented armed forces, tanks have found their role as heavily armored and armed weapon platforms with good speed and mobility infringed upon.
Initially, tanks maintained their advantage in firepower and armor, but further developments have seen HMVs carrying just as much armor and even larger guns given their size. Even the tank's mobility and speed saw a decline as HMVs began to be equipped with flight-packs and lighter, stronger materials were created to allow for mechs to even sprint, if at the cost of armor.
Despite these increases, however, tank cannons generally pack more power, range, and rate-of-fire over HMVs weapons that often have to be manually loaded and have far greater restrictions on ammunition. Furthermore, few HMVs could carry the armor a tank has while maintaining speed above 25km/h without use of a flight or hover pack allowing tanks to be far more useful for rapid advances and redeployment on the field. The only thing the HMV retained in this aspect was mobility, unless it was compared to tanks capable of hovering on anti-grav systems. Their lower profile and smaller size also makes them easier to conceal and store without the need for dedicated facilities.
Tanks, however, do lack the imitimidation factors that HMVs. While their large height makes them easier to see and hit, HMVs are far more powerful as an occupation force simply due to the terror they bring while their mobility makes it easier for them to respond to threats from insurgents. HMVs are also far more valuable as shock units, able to shoot, smash, and destroy the enemy even at close-quarter and be delivered into the heart of the enemy.
One Man vs CrewsEdit
Tanks still often operate as three to four man crews, the typical crew being a gunner, a commander, a driver, and possibly a loader such no autoloader be installed. HMVs, on the other hand, generally only have a single pilot who operates the entire machine.
The HMV generally allows for far fewer crewmen to be trained. The pilot is their own commander, gunner, and driver, but at the same time, this makes their training far more extensive resulting in replacements being more difficult to find and even the best pilots can find themselves over-tasked by performing so many duties at once.
Tank crews also have far more training in the maintenance of their vehicle simply because their vehicle allows for it whereas an HMV relies on dedicated maintenance crews for any sort of repair given the size and complexity of their parts. This evens out the disparity of tanks requiring three times the amount of manpower to simply operate.
Ever since the development of larger and more powerful HMVs that could carry more armor and weapons along with their dominance during the Imperial reign over the galaxy many have seen the tank as an obsolete weapon. This was especially true in Empire and Hydra League where all their front-line tanks were phased out within a couple years. Even in places such as the Confederacy during the post-war period, the HMV still maintained an eighty to ninety percent ratio to the other tracked vehicles that could be found.
Furthermore, HMVs are seen as far more flexible tools, being able to be equipped for nearly any situation rather than being stuck in a specialist role, reducing the need for more types of armored vehicles. They are also ideal machines for mercenaries given their customization. These factors alone allow for rapid response such the situation require it, something tanks simply cannot due, lacking the amount of options to perform roles outside of their specialized nature.
In response, most critics of the HMV state that they are far too expensive and that their flexibility does not make up for their general lack of speed and firepower compared to their mass and size. Furthermore, HMVs compared to a tank, have some of the worst maintenance records of any armored fighting vehicle to exist. With so many moving parts, getting a damaged HMV back into action can take hours or days. It is also nearly impossible to get a damage HMV back into action on the field whereas tanks can often be found carrying extra parts such as spare tracks to allow for on-site repairs.