Basilikoi garrison units often field Menaulion tank destroyers rather than the far more expensive anti-gravity tanks.
About this creation
In an empire as vast as that possessed by the Basilikoi, the field armies cannot be everywhere at once. Since the garrison troops, or themata, must be able to defend their homes when the barbarians inevitably attack, the imperial armorers did their best to come up with an inexpensive alternative to anti-gravity tanks such as those fielded by the heavy cavalry of the tagmata. The answer: the Menaulion Tank Destroyer.
Featuring the same massive gravity-accelerated kinetic penetrator cannon main gun as the heavy anti-gravity tanks used by the field armies, the Menaulion is more than capable of defeating even the most potent of enemy armored units. This offensive capability is coupled with thick sloped armor protecting the vehicle from frontal attacks. For close-in defense against infantry and for limited anti-air capability, it also features twin gravity-accelerated kinetic penetrator rifles similar to those used by the average infantryman
Money savings come in two primary ways with the Menaulion. First, it is tracked rather than anti-gravity. This limits its mobility, but makes it excellent as a mobile defensive emplacement, especially in rough terrain or an urban setting, where its tracks can allow it to pass through streets choked with debris or rock-strewn hillsides. Second, its main gun is hull-mounted rather than on a turret. This drastically reduces the Menaulion's usefulness in a mobile battle, but when firing from a prepared position or in any battlefield with limited avenues for maneuver, it is more than capable of performing its job with ease.
The two-man crew sits deep within the hull, confined to the left-hand side, as the mechanisms necessary for operating the gun take up the right. The hatch is thickly armored and shielded from attack from the front, in an attempt to limit the vulnerability of the tank destroyer to lucky hits.
Protecting each of the tracks are heavy armor skirts, designed to absorb damage and fall apart rather than transfer energy from incoming attacks to the main hull. This can allow the Menaulion to sustain several hits that would otherwise have crippled the tank destroyer, but once the skirts are gone the tracks are exposed and vulnerable.
Ultimately, the Basilikoi are pleased with the performance of this second-line armored unit, with its deadly combination of frontal protection and firepower. Of course, the relatively low price tag helps...