glass cannon

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From the fact that they are powerful (similar to a cannon) yet are easily breakable (similar to glass).


glass cannon (plural glass cannons)

  1. (especially roleplaying games, board games, video games) A character or unit with strong offensive power but weak defensive capabilities.
    • 2009 May 23, Eugene Barrett, “Re: DCSS:: need advice”, in[1] (Usenet):
      Deep elves die easier than most other races - glass cannons to an extreme extent.
    • 2012, Lizzie Stark, Leaving Mundania: Inside the Transformative World of Live Action Role-Playing Games, Chicago Review Press, →ISBN, page 238:
      A min-maxer might create a "glass cannon" character—one with lots of awesome offenses but next to no defense.
    • 2018 December 9, Drachinifel, 21:35 from the start, in The Drydock - Episode 019[2], archived from the original on 10 September 2022:
      Now, both sides had built up their fleet quite extensively with very fast, kind of glass cannon-type destroyers and cruisers in the run-up to the war, buuut the French fleet, at the beginning of World War II, was very definitely - below capital ships, was very definitely a fleet of glass cannons, whereas the Italians, although they had their own share of them, had a number of pretty good designs, like the Zara-class heavy cruisers, so, in destroyers and cruisers, I think the Italians definitely have a qualitative advantage, at least for a good portion of their ships []
    • For more quotations using this term, see Citations:glass cannon.