|For the technology in general, see Iron Curtain.|
The Iron Curtain was a Soviet super weapon that saw use in the Third World War. Technically speaking it was the second version of a weapon of the same name that was used in Second World War, making it the "Iron Curtain Mk.II." Like its predecessor, the Mk. II was able to render non-infantry/non-aerial units and structures invincible for a short period of time.
The first Iron Curtain was a very effective weapon and had become a staple of the Red Army during the Second World War, but it still boasted many flaws. The greatest of its shortcomings was its limitation of "sheathing" only one unit at a time, after which it had to recharge its energy stores for several minutes. This problem significantly weakened the first Curtain's strategic viability, often to the frustration of Soviet commanders.
After gaining the lofty position of Premier, Alexander Romanov issued many reforms to the Red Army, among them an order to redesign and upgrade the Iron Curtain for the coming assault on the west. Responding to his order rapidly, Soviet technicians labored for several years trying to increase the Curtain's energy output in order to make it more combat effective in the modern battlefield. The end result of their labors was the Iron Curtain MkII, a new version of the classic weapon that used a very simple solution to solve its predecessors' problems; it was bigger.
By having greater size and volume, the new Curtain was not only able to cover up to nine individual vehicles at once, but it was also able to protect them longer. Its energy output was so much higher than the MkI that the red tinted energy it covered its targets in was thickened to the point that it turned black, though red flashes could still be seen whenever the field was struck by weapons fire. Like the MkI, this coloration would vanish when the Curtain's effect wore off. The Curtain could now protect buildings as well, though not as many as the energy shields developed during the Psychic Dominator Disaster. With these improvements the Iron Curtain was now a vastly more viable weapon, allowing Soviet Commanders to turn entire companies of tanks invincible long enough to devastate enemy fortifications and formations.
Not all of the original Curtain's flaws were ironed out however. The MkII was still unable to sheath air units, making Kirov airships and later airborne Siege Choppers ineligible for targeting, although the latter could be sheathed if deployed. Also, the greater energy output of made the curtains power lethal to infantry and dogs, crushing them under its own power, unless garrisoned inside buildings or transports (if deployed, however, infantry couldn't re-enter the structure or transport until the effect wore off). But the user may use that to one's advantage by killing clusters of enemy infantry and dogs.
The new Curtain physically resembled the original in many ways, with a large metal sphere at its apex, a wide metal base, and arcs of energy crackling from the base to the sphere. The ball shared the size and appearance of those used in the Tesla Reactor, the only difference being the Iron Curtain's black/red color and the Tesla's silver/blue color. The most notable difference in respect of its predecessor was its greater size, being almost two times as large as the first Curtain.
The basic tactics surrounding the new Iron Curtain changed little from Second World War to Third World War. Commanders would target friendly units and render them invincible long enough to fight without fear of damage by their enemies. However with its new attributes the Curtain could also defend buildings, making it possible to render valuable buildings invulnerable in a pinch. This was something that was very appreciated by the Red Army when it was used in combination with a base energy shield, especially during a super weapon assault. Also, the Curtain's infantry crushing capability was occasionally used practically, destroying large swathes of enemy soldiers in a single blow. One rather unexpected benefit of the Curtain's protection was that it rendered units invulnerable to Psychic Control, allowing Soviet armor to overcome Yuri's many mind control tricks easily. A particularly nasty tactic was to combine the Iron Curtain with several Demolition Trucks, which would allow a commander to position them to eliminate a large portion of an enemy base. If Demolition Trucks are not available, another tactic was to build Flak tracks, and fill them with Terrorists before using the Iron Curtain. The Tracks were then rushed into the enemy base, before deploying the terrorists inside the base. The Tracks can then safely exit the enemy base.
If Iron Curtain is used on a group of heavily armored vehicles when attacking, it can also distract enemy's defenses within its duration. While the defensive units/buildings are busy with the invulnerable tanks, other units would have a chance to deal large damage.
As is the case with many superweapons, there is no hard counter. A Force Shield could be deployed on friendly structures to attempt to minimize losses, but the invincible units are just that; invincible. A multiple layered wall can be deployed to buy more time in base defence against it, but it require well planned building management and resource with consideration to terrain available and theater.
A cynical, but cost-ineffective counter could be the Chronosphere, which would allow teleporting the invulnerable enemy units to water or impassable terrain, instantly destroying them.
- AIs use Iron Curtain to their waves of vehicles especially when they need to penetrate all defenses, rarely to destroy key structures. In a later patch, Brutal AIs are as smart as players, as they know how to use the Iron Curtain with the Demolition Truck with terrible results, for example.
- In original Red Alert 2, computer units automatically attack the player's or another computer's invulnerable unit. However in Yuri's Revenge, they ignore the unit until its invulnerability is exhausted.
- If used defensively and combined with Force Shield, both can dramatically render many buildings invulnerable, potentially saving all of a base's essentials.
- If SEALs, Tanya or Psi Commandos plant C4 while using the Iron Curtain on their intended target, they will get stuck inside permanently. They can still be killed, however.
- The Iron Curtain can remove Terror Drones but not Giant Squids while latching on their victims. For the Terror Drone's case, this can even save Ore Miners or MCVs from unexpected annoyances.