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The Tactical Nuke is the smaller and less powerful weapon of mass destruction weapon available to any civilization. Compared to the ICBM, which has no limit to where it can strike, the Tactical Nuke has a range of about 50 squares.
The amount of damage done to any city or object on the map by a Tactical Nuke varies. If used over a city, it will mostly damage important buildings and cause less damage to units. Important structures, such as wonders or Banks, may be destroyed.
Unlike the ICBM, the Tactical Nuke has a 50% chance to evade interception attempts.
The term "Tactical Nuclear Weapon" describes all non-strategic methods of nuclear-weapon delivery, including short-range nuclear missiles, bombs or artillery shells. These weapons can carry a variety of payloads, ranging anywhere from .1 kiloton to 1 megaton. While no tactical nuke has ever been detonated - unlike its strategic cousin - it is believed that a number of nuclear-capable nations have them in their arsenals.
Used for specific engagements rather than long-term deterrence, tactical nukes tend to be only a few times greater in destructive power than their conventional-explosive counterparts, allowing a more efficient, but less widespread, effect. This permits commanders to deploy tactical nukes on the field of battle in conjunction with a conventional assault without fear of overtly harming their own troops.