Universe At War
Novus variant.jpg
Type:Light Hover Tank, Scout Unit, Anti-Infantry Vehicle
Armor:Novus Vehicle Light
Movement Type:Hover
Sight Range:185
Produced From:Vehicle Assembly Plant
Special Ability:Mirage Generator, Disable Weapon, Flow (research locked)
Weapon:Flechette Cannon (6 shots per burst)
Damage:Flechette Cannon: 5
Upgrades:Advanced Flow (Flow 3), Nanite Purification (Flow 3), Rapid Flow (Flow 1), Nanite Refinement (Nanotech 4)
Nothing to see here. -Variant

The Variant is a light scouting craft in the employ of Novus.


Variants are slightly boxy machines with a pair of extensions on either side of their body and a globe on their back. These extensions house the vehicle's anti-infantry flechette weapons while the globe on the unit's back appears to be part of the vehicle's mirage generator.

The Variant is perfectly designed as a reconnaissance and ambush craft, thanks to their hovering chassis and mirage systems. When the Variant becomes stationary, it will activate its mirage generator and cloak itself in a holographic shield.


Curiously, Variants do not appear very often within the campaigns. They first appear during an infiltration mission in the Midwest United States, where they assist Mirabel in freeing human civilians from Hierarchy holding pens and Defilers.

Variants also appear while Orlok escorts the Purifier to a Hierarchy base. These Variants hid as cattle and suddenly appeared once the doomsday machine approached them.

Tactical Application[]

Variants, like most Novus units, are very mobile and quite useful. Besides providing more anti-infantry punch than Ohm Robots, they are also excellent at monitoring resource areas for Hierarchy Reaper Drones and enemy activity. Variants are also extremely effective at killing Masari Architects and thus slowing production for the Masari player.

While not exactly an anti-vehicle unit in any way, Variants can be micromanaged in such a way that they don't take any damage from enemy projectiles. Variants also have the advantage of providing a continuous volley of fire, compared to the single shots from Antimatter Tanks.

Special Abilities[]

Weapons On/Off
Effect: Toggle that determines whether or not the unit will fire autonomously
Cooldown: None


Advanced Flow
Effect: Can use flow network when ordered
Method: Research Flow Branch Suite 3

Nanite Purification
Effect: Harmful status effects are lost when the flow network is used
Method: Research Flow Branch Suite 3

Nanite Refinement
Effect: Price reduced by 25%
Method: Research Nanotech Branch Suite 4

Rapid Flow
Effect: Flow speed increased by 50%
Method: Research Flow Branch Suite 1

Damage vs. Armor[]

Flechette Cannon[]

Armor Type Modifier Damage DPS
Base 1.0 5 13.3
Infantry Light 2.0 10 26.6
Infantry Heavy 2.0 10 26.6
Vehicle Heavy 0.85 4.3 11.3
Masari Vehicle Elite 0.8 4 10.6
Structure Turret 0.7 3.5 9.3
Alien Structure Light 0.85 4.3 11.3
Novus Structure Light 0.85 4.3 11.3
Masari Structure Light 0.88 4.4 11.7
Structure Heavy 0.9 4.5 12
Hero 0.75 3.8 10
Hero Endure 0.3 1.5 4
Reaper 0.9 4.5 12
Walker 0.4 2 5.3
Walker Hardpoint 0.48 2.4 6.4
Walker Hardpoint Armor 0.48 2.4 6.4
Dark Matter Armor 0.85 4.3 11.3

Unit Quotes[]

Note: Some quotes may not be used ingame.

  • Variant here.
  • I can be many things.
  • I'm like a mirror.
  • I'm not what I seem.
  • Let's play hide-and-seek.
  • Target area set.
  • They won't expect this.
  • Surprise, surprise.
  • They won't see me coming.
  • Quietly . . .
  • Didn't see this coming, did you?
  • Let's surprise them.
  • You can't fight your reflection.
  • Focusing fire upon them.
  • Attacking.
  • Put me somewhere inconspicuous.
  • Keep me out of sight.
  • Incognito.
  • Moving to location.
  • Nothing to see here.
  • Don't let them see me.
  • Let's get somewhere and stay there.
  • Did you hear something?
  • Leave no tracks.
  • I stay in the shadows.


  • The Variant's ability to disguise itself as a terrain object is probably inspired by the Allied Mirage Tank from the Command and Conquer: Red Alert games. In those games, the tank was able to diguise itself as usually a tree or a street lamp when not moving. This feature of the Variant isn't that surprising, seeing that Petroglyph was also formed by Westwood Studios veterans, the creators of the Command and Conquer series.
List of units (Italicized means this unit is a hero; bold means this unit is cut or scrapped)
Hierarchy Lost One · Grunt · Brute · Glyph Carver · Monolith · Saucer · Defiler · Phase Tank · Mutant Slaves · Science Team (Hierarchy) · Alien Glyph Carver · Mutated Manipulator · Manipulator · Kamal Re'x the Abductor · Nufai · Orlok the Eternal
Novus Ohm Robot · Hacker · Blade Trooper · Corruptor · Dervish · Antimatter Tank · Field Inverter · Amplifier · Variant · Constructor · Reflector · Mirabel and Viktor · The Founder · Vertigo
Masari Figment · Disciple · Sentry · Conqueror · Avenger · Seer · Peacebringer · Architect · Sky Lord · Inquisitor · Storm Chaser · Queen Altea · Prince Zessus · Lord Charos
Humans Marines · Rocket Soldier · Flamethrower Infantry · M1A2 Battle Tank · Humvee · Apache · Maverick Jet · Dragoon MRV · Artillery · Science Team (Humans) · Defender APC · Dragonfly UAV · Medic · Randal Moore · Sergeant Willard · The President