Trope A Day-Hover Tank

Hover Tank-Almost a requirement for a practical armored vehicle these days, a good example is the Equestrian AGV-33 grav tank.  Two hundred and fifty tons of armor, shields, ECM, point defense, and a gravity generator that can push the vehicle to 300 kph in a straight line.  And, if it gets hit by it’s own buster launcher at any angle more than sixty degrees, it can mission-kill the tank.

Of course, it faces enemies like the Imperial Griffin Army Raptor grav tank, which is faster and carries a larger (6cm bore vs. 4cm bore) buster launcher in a limited rotation turret.  Or the Senate and Minotaur Republic Mindos-class grav tank, which mounts the same 4cm buster launcher, but carries many more hypersmart missiles in a slightly more fragile hull.  Or the Imperial Zebra Impi grav tank, which carries a 5cm buster launcher in a fixed hull mount, relying more upon manuverability and sheer speed (500 kph in sprint mode) to avoid being hit in the first place.  Or avoiding any guided munitions from orbit, artillery, hypersmart missiles, mines, heavy weapons carried by infantry or drones…

Just about all “first line” military vehicles are grav vehicles, because the speed and agility needed to avoid being hit in the first place requires it.

Trope A Day-Orbital Bombardment

Orbital Bombardment-Regardless of if it’s with k-rods (kinetic energy weapons) or directed energy weapons, orbital bombardment is a threat to any planet that doesn’t have city shields.  Since a shield that can protect a city isn’t something that can be moved easily, the rest of the planet is vulnerable.  However, area bombardments are not used by any of the major races until the Horizon War.  There is a moral component (there hasn’t been a war that has involved reducing a planet to glass before then), a logistical component (if Changelings killed off their food source, they’d starve), and a political component (for the most part, the usual result of somebody taking over the high orbitals was a quick surrender, followed by political negotiations).

During and after the Horizon War, mass bombardment of planets became a valid strategy, especially with Changeling-held worlds.  The capability of such bombardments made grav-armor more important, as such vehicles were hard to target with orbital bombardments short of a saturation strike.