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A cavalry tank, also known as a light tank or fast tank, is a tank variant initially designed for rapid movement, and now primarily employed in the reconnaissance role, a role historically reserved for an armies cavalry. Light tanks have, both historically and in recent history, also been utilized in support of expeditionary forces where main battle tanks cannot be made available. Airborne expeditionary forces especially, as a result of their characteristic lack of firepower, have benefited from the light tanks speed, firepower, and adaptability. Early light tanks were generally armed and armored in a similar manner to the armored cars of the period but used tracks in order to provide better cross-country mobility.

The fast light tank was a major feature of the pre-WWII buildup, where it was expected they would be used to exploit breakthroughs in enemy lines created by slower, heavier tanks. Numerous small tank designs and "tankettes" were developed during this period and known under a variety of names, including Combat Car.

In Wargame, light tanks come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some, like the PT and Scorpion series, have amphibious capabilities while others, like the Sheridan and AMX 13 HARPON, mount ATGM's of varying quality. Many are considered obsolete by the Wargame community; antiquated vehicles whose only battlefield role is to act as a shield for more expensive units. That being said, there are some light tanks which stand out from the rest (The M8 AGS springs to mind) and should have an honored place in any deck.

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