The Death Nuke is another name for the explosion that results when an ACU is destroyed. It is generally visible as a large, bright white ball, and resembles a nuclear explosion.
The 'Death Nuke', otherwise known as 'Explode on Death', 'Self Destruct', 'CRTL-K'ing', 'Meltdown' (However, it is also used on other units for far less devastating explosions) or any other various names, is a devastating explosion triggered by any ACU death or destruction. It does 4000 damage in a wide explosion radius, similar to that of a strategic nuclear weapon, or the T3 Strategic Missile Launcher. Due to its relatively low damage, and its high cost (One irreplaceable, but unnecessary in the later phases of non-Assassination games, ACU) it is considered a weapon only used for the rarest and more dire situations.
(In the beta version of the long-awaited v3603 patch, the death nuke has been revised to behave more like overcharge. It now does a massive 50,000 damage to units, but only 2500 to ACUs, and only 500 to buildings.)
Due to it's origin, the Death Nuke only matters in games with A) Non-Assassination Modes or B) Multiple ACUs, as it will normally precede the ending of the match. Under these circumstances, the Death Nuke is a thing which simply exists, not to be used, a hazard. Having a death nuke go off in your base is extremely damaging- making your ACU a prime target when it can be reached with economy and speed. However, it will also eliminate or severely damage the army that destroyed the ACU, if that army is still around.
The Death Nuke In Play Edit
Avoiding EditThe Death Nuke is dangerous, and you want your army to avoid it at all costs- if it is needed later. Issuing a 'Run Away' order to most of your troops when the victim ACU is deep within red health is a good method of doing this, especially in the campaign, where the cinematic wait will result in most of your units dying because they are sitting in the blast zone melting. However, under normal circumstances, ordering them to run as the explosion is starting is acceptable, although units are likely to take damage.
As a converse to the above, when your base is still necessary, you do not want your ACU to be in it when it dies. As stated previously, having a Death Nuke go off inside a base is a fantastic way to destroy it. Issuing your ACU the 'Run Away' order, or repairing it rapidly, is a good way to avoid such a catastrophe.
The Death Nuke can be used. In a sense, an ACU is simply a small nuclear warhead encased within a tough, heavily armed, and when upgraded, extremely powerful shell. When the ACU is no longer necessary, killing it within an enemy base is an effective tactic, preceding or following an attack. For the purposes of using the Death Nuke offensively, every ACU upgrade is helpful. Offensive upgrades are helpful as well, however they become progressively less helpful as the enemy technology level increases. This applies to all upgrades, but especially so to offensive ones. The Personal Teleporter is by far the most useful of these upgrades, and it is obtainable by all factions. It is also the only upgrade which does not have any technological degradation. Swarming the enemy with SCUs can lead to total devastation- if the enemy knock out the SCUs, the death nukes will wipe out a chunk of the base you are attacking, and if they don't, the SCUs will do it themselves
The Death Nuke should never be the only reason for sending your ACU, sACU, or other unit into battle. Any unit in the Supreme Commanders universe is multipurpose. Before sending in these units, make sure they are equipped as best as they can be. An ACU with the Heavy Microwave Laser shall always be more devastating than just an ACU. Most units are more than bombs (Fire Beetle), so use them like they're more than bombs.
Gameplay Purposes Edit
The Death Nuke, while a hazard to most players, is a designer's gift. It adds a new element to game play, a new face to Assassination tactics, and a method of preventing one marauding army from destroying multiple players. It also introduces many- extreme -strategies into the game, such as using the ACU as the one giant bomb which we have come to regard it as.