Armoured Personnel Carrier
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Basic Information

The armoured personnel carrier (or APC) is, somewhat predictably an armoured fighting vehicle designed to transport personnel under the protection of its armour. From there, there is a significant amount of variation in design.

The earliest known examples were modified British tanks which served in the Great War, leading to the eventual design of the purpose built Mark IX "Tank" … which arrived too late to see action. All of these were the iconic tracked rhombus things that were the ancestors of most modern AFV. After that, all sorts of things were tried - WW2 was dominated by armoured half-tracks, although modified tanks made a comeback for the allies later on.

Post war, the design sort of stabilised on a tracked metal box - for example the American M113 - usually at least highly resistant to small arms rounds and shell splinters and armed with one or more machine guns. Wheeled APCs were also available for users on a budget. Amphibious capabilities of various kinds were also attempted, with varying degrees of success.

Tactically, the APC is best suited to transporting infantry outside of direct contact with the enemy - given their light armour1 and armament they struggle to survive in heavy combat (especially given the proliferation of infantry portable anti-tank weapons) but are quite adequate for protecting their passengers from random hate and harassing fire. Where the infantry need transport and integral fire support that is maintained in contact and even into enemy positions, the modern infantry fighting vehicle is a much better bet. Under most circumstances, they will also be more than adequate for even the extremes of police work - in some cases, police assault teams will even have their APCs modified to smash their way through barricades and walls to assist in storming buildings2.

Being, basically, an armoured cargo space, APC chassis are also highly convertible with variants serving as battlefield ambulances, command posts, weapons carriers and all manner of other utility vehicles.

Sources

Bibliography
1. full source reference

Game and Story Use

  • In a military game, this is one way for the PCs to get where they need to be.
    • If the APC breaks down (or gets destroyed) on the way, the PCs could be in for some fun times.
    • If the PCs are in a hurry, they might get their mission briefing in one of these.
  • Given the amount of kit a modern infantry section hauls about with it, these might make quite a good scavenging target in a post apocalyptic setting, even if it doesn't run.
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