Glad to “see you on the battlefield” today, readers! This particular Spotlight! post is to showcase another zoid from the various Japanese animated series. This zoid is the Command Wolf.
The Command Wolf is a light, agile, fast zoid which is primarily used by the Helic Republic as an infantry zoid. The Command Wolf’s cockpit is positioned in its head, underneath the obvious orange canopy.
Command Wolves are versatile zoids, which means they can be equipped with almost any type of weapon – a couple of Wolves in Zoids: Chaotic Century were even given Gojulas armaments! These weapons, as you know from my first Spotlight! post, pack a punch. But they are also heavy and limit the Command Wolf’s speed and agility. To quote Chaotic Century, “Only the very best pilots [can] handle the zoid under those conditions!”
As a rule, though, Command Wolves are often outfitted with lighter arms. These include a double barrel laser rifle that has a seat in the back, as well as the ability to detach from the Command Wolf and become a separate fighting module. I have never seen the rifle used in this way in any zoids TV series, however. I think this is because of an obvious handicap in the design: the gun can become a mobile firing unit, but its pilot has no protection. There is no canopy on the gun – one good shot, and the pilot is either thrown from the rifle, possibly dying on impact with the ground – or they are killed outright when they are shot.
Another gun which Command Wolves regularly bear is also double barreled. The barrels on this rifle, however, are longer, wider, and sturdier in comparison to that previously mentioned. It has no seat for a pilot; instead, the rifle is fired from the cockpit of the Wolf. I find this gun to be much better than the one with the seat. It has more range and more power.
But for my money, the best armament for a Command Wolf is a sniper rifle. The character in Zoids: Chaotic Century, Irvine, piloted a black Command Wolf throughout a good portion of the series. His Wolf initially had the lower powered, double barrel rifle with the pilot’s seat at the back. But after about twelve or fourteen episodes, Irvine somehow upgraded to a sniper rifle.
He later proved to be a very capable sniper, and his Wolf’s gun is shown to be the most capable at neutralizing an enemy zoid. (Irvine was once able to shoot through two enemy zoids at once using this rifle!) The sniper rifle may not appeal to every pilot; but of the three, it is the best and most powerful gun in the Command Wolf’s arsenal. The Gojulas’ weapons are the only things that can outmatch the Wolf’s arms, but the rifle accents the Wolf’s speed and maneuverability more than these weapons do.
Like a real wolf, the Command Wolf’s claws are basically useless in a battle. But, similar to an actual wolf, the Command Wolf’s teeth are dangerous. A Command Wolf would be hard pressed to bite through the larger and more durable armor of stronger zoids. But zoids with armor of medium to light thickness had better hope a Wolf’s pilot does not have the nerve to jump on them and bite through the armor to rip out the vital circuits and wires beneath it.
If a Wolf rips out key circuits in an enemy zoid’s body, then the zoid will either have a Combat System Freeze (something like getting stunned; the zoid’s ability to fight is shut off by ‘shock’ as it were) or suffering a Command System Freeze (the equivalent of a real animal or person getting knocked unconscious). Some Command Wolves are also equipped with smoke grenade launchers on their rear legs, which supposedly act somewhat like the Shadow Fox’s smoke vents. I have never seen a Command Wolf actually use these grenade launchers in a fight; but they are part of the Wolf’s armament and therefore deserve a mention.
All in all, the Command Wolf is not the biggest, baddest zoid on the battlefield by a long shot. But for close combat and sniper combat, the Wolf has very nearly no equal in all of Zi. The only limits on the Wolf’s capabilities are what the pilot thinks it cannot manage. It is not the size or strength of the Wolf in the fight, but the size of the fight in the Command Wolf and its pilot. If I could get a real Command Wolf, I would. They are amazing zoids!
See you on the battlefield, readers!
The Mithril Guardian