Helicopters vs Aircraft

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    • Helicopters vs Aircraft

      I’m a big strike fighter user, and I’ve found them to be pretty useful against the infantry swarms that I get sent at me in public games. However, recently I’ve seen some people using attack helicopters instead of strike fighters. I know helicopters don’t do well against fighters, but are good against anti-air and most of the basic stuff, but what are the pros and cons of helicopters? I’ll probably try attack helicopters out in my next game, but I wanted to know, what are your experiences with helicopters vs aircraft, and which one would you recommend for general usage?
      The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his. - George S. Patton
    • Gunships are specifically made for mowing down soft targets; you can research them on Day 1 (as Eastern, at least); and all you need is a Level 1 Airfield and an Arms Industry to build them. Plus, they use Supplies, so they're a good way to balance the resources you use for air.

      Attack helicopters specialize against hard targets. They have the same building requirements as Strike Fighters but cost less.

      Strike fighters are a great all-around aircraft. However, they are not specifically as strong against either soft or hard targets as gunships or attack helos are respectively.

      Helos can't be hit by SAMs and have a low radar signature, but planes are faster and can fly further.

      So, quick summary of qualities:

      Gunships: Best attack versus soft targets, cheap, early/easy build, good for resource balance, low radar signature, can't be hit by SAMs

      Attack Helos: Best attack versus hard targets, cheap-ish, low radar signature, can't be hit by SAMs

      Strikers: Good all-around, but not best at any attack; cost a little more; faster, travel farther

      ASF: Best versus other air targets, cost a little more, faster, travel farther

      Oh, also, planes usually don't take as much damage from ground combat units (troops, armor) with anti-air ability. A tank, for instance, can't damage a plane but does defensive damage to a helo.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by PerigeeNil ().

    • PerigeeNil wrote:

      Gunships are specifically made for mowing down soft targets; you can research them on Day 1 (as Eastern, at least); and all you need is a Level 1 Airfield and an Arms Industry to build them. Plus, they use Supplies, so they're a good way to balance the resources you use for air.

      Attack helicopters specialize against hard targets. They have the same building requirements as Strike Fighters but cost less.

      Strike fighters are a great all-around aircraft. However, they are not specifically as strong against either soft or hard targets as gunships or attack helos are respectively.

      Helos can't be hit by SAMs and have a low radar signature, but planes are faster and can fly further.

      So, quick summary of qualities:

      Gunships: Best attack versus soft targets, cheap, early/easy build, good for resource balance, low radar signature, can't be hit by SAMs

      Attack Helos: Best attack versus hard targets, cheap-ish, low radar signature, can't be hit by SAMs

      Strikers: Good all-around, but not best at any attack; cost a little more; faster, travel farther

      ASF: Best versus other air targets, cost a little more, faster, travel farther

      Oh, also, planes usually don't take as much damage from ground combat units (troops, armor) with anti-air ability. A tank, for instance, can't damage a plane but does defensive damage to a helo.
      Pretty much what he said, its worth mentioning tho that the low radar signature and different unit type are the major selling point for helis
      I am The Baseline for opinions
    • the only thing i'd add is that Gunships are built with supplies, attack choppers and strikers with components. My choice of Gunships vs Strikers is generally on three factors:

      - my production: if my production is much higher on supplies then components, then i go choppers;
      - my naval plans: if i intend to make a strong navy, i know my comps will be taken by that (especially if you go double-port, or if you plan to make cruisers)
      - proximity: if i'm in europe, or intend to take it, i'm more likely to go choppers, because range is less of an issue than you'd face taking Africa, Asia, etc.

      Ah, i don't think i ever built a single attack chopper. If i want power vs armored, i agument my Gunships with Elite ones. Which of course will cost a ton in resources and building upgrades, but will also get to stealth (drool).
    • To me 1 strike fighter does what 1 gunship/ 1 attack chopper can do. so compare 2 SF against 1 GS / 1 AH

      - Speed : SF 12 v 7 chopper ( adv SF 171 pct faster)

      - Range : SF 750 v 400 chopper ( adv SF 187 pct more range)

      - Hit points : 40 HP SF v 15 HP GS / 20 Attack (adv SF 5 extra HP)

      - Research : SF - 1750 Supp / 1800 Rare / 3500 v combined for 2 both GS/ AH ( 2850 Supp / 3225 Rare ; 6250 ) (adv SF by 1100 S / 1425 Rare / 2750 M ) -- lost opportunity cost to research another unit)

      - Building : SF - Airbase 2 ( 750 S / 1000 C / 1000 F / 500 E / 2750 M) Chopper can build with free airbase (adv Chopper)

      - Mobilization of 2 SF v 2 choppers: 0 supp (can save for research) / 1900 Comp / 1800 Elect / 6000 M v 850 S / 900 Comp / 1550 elect / 5500 M ( adv SF on supp ; adv chopper on comp; slight adv choppers on $$ and Elec )

      - Damage : 2 SF: 8 HP Inf / 8 HP Arm / 4 HP Planes / 6 HP Helo / 4 HP Ships / 2 Build / 4 Pop v 1 GS/ 1 AH 9.5 HP Inf / 10.5 HP Arm / 0 HP Planes / 2.5 HP Ships / 0.1 HP Buildings / 3.5 Damage Pop

      Given speed /range diff lets say SF can hit 2 for 1 targets so can sortes / damage given over a day. SF far more versatile against other planes; Navy; can kill helo while helo cant kill it; about 20 pct less against ground troops but make up for it in speed/range; Helos do no build damage which plus and neg as helps keep opponent airbases but SF can be used as short range heavy bombers to disable opponents homeland.

      - Damage taken : Inf does damage at about 100 pct more against choppers than planes. Mobile AA and SAMS about same to both. Choppers can fly under Navy AA but if hitting a 2 frig stack still taking as much damage as giving and need AB real close to shore.

      - Cruise Missile capability : SF Day 13 v Choppers Never this extends attack range to (900 Miles + 200 Mi for CM) to 1100 miles. And 5 strike fighters could delivery up to an additional 150 hp damage every 12 hrs.

      Ill give you days 1 - 3 Choppers Advantage but after that not even close. And Choppers useless in Pacific (which I love) ; Most of central Asia and South America; Africa where 1 prove bigger than 400 chopper range. Best Chopper territory is Central Europe from Austria to Black Sea.
    • You seem to be not aware of three other factors:

      - 2 strikers lose 1 unit after taking 20 damage, mixed stack of choppers can take about 30 damage before losing a unit

      - if you play choppers smart, they are pretty much invisible, because hardly any unit can detect them

      - you can adjust choppers to their target: more gunships or more attack choppers to focus either soft or hard units


      Display Spoiler
      If you really know the game, you mix NSF into your SF to at least balance out the first point.

      The post was edited 4 times, last by Kalrakh ().

    • Kalrakh wrote:

      You seem to be not aware of three other factors:

      - 2 strikers lose 1 unit after taking 20 damage, mixed stack of choppers can take about 30 damage before losing a unit

      - if you play choppers smart, they are pretty much invisible, because hardly any unit can detect them

      - you can adjust choppers to their target: more gunships or more attack choppers to focus either soft or hard units


      Display Spoiler
      If you really know the game, you mix NSF into your SF to at least balance out the first point.

      - Well I am smart enough to peel off and replace if close to losing a unit. Havnt lost a SF in about 10 games.

      - How can you not detect them. I could see if / when they hit and what Airbase they came from if on my territory; else can read CON News ;) and at SF twice the range could hit them / your troops before you could hit me.

      - Most likely would wait for them to return to base and wipe out on ground and/or take out the Airbase.

      How in the heck is a unit with no air defense invisible. yeah say you match with ASF which I do too. So say 1 ASF/2 AH/ 2 GS vs 1 ASF / 4 SF not even close who wins. ASF cancel out ; now 20.5 helo hp damage v 0 in air and / or 4 building damage to destroy Airbase.

      Please tell me how a chopper stack could take out SF Stack?
    • Buckeyechamp wrote:

      Kalrakh wrote:

      You seem to be not aware of three other factors:

      - 2 strikers lose 1 unit after taking 20 damage, mixed stack of choppers can take about 30 damage before losing a unit

      - if you play choppers smart, they are pretty much invisible, because hardly any unit can detect them

      - you can adjust choppers to their target: more gunships or more attack choppers to focus either soft or hard units


      Display Spoiler
      If you really know the game, you mix NSF into your SF to at least balance out the first point.

      - Well I am smart enough to peel off and replace if close to losing a unit. Havnt lost a SF in about 10 games.
      - How can you not detect them. I could see if / when they hit and what Airbase they came from if on my territory; else can read CON News ;) and at SF twice the range could hit them / your troops before you could hit me.

      - Most likely would wait for them to return to base and wipe out on ground and/or take out the Airbase.

      How in the heck is a unit with no air defense invisible. yeah say you match with ASF which I do too. So say 1 ASF/2 AH/ 2 GS vs 1 ASF / 4 SF not even close who wins. ASF cancel out ; now 12 hp damage v 0 in air and / or 4 building damage to destroy Airbase.

      Please tell me how a chopper stack could take out SF Stack?
      Imagien, works even smoother with mixed stacks :)


      Not sure what you are even talking about. It is not the job of choppers to fight strikers ins midair. If you play choppers, it is key to have strong ASFs & SAMs as ASFs are the only real counter to choppers.


      Also a little follow up:

      - Damage taken : Inf does damage at about 100 pct more against choppers than planes. Mobile AA and SAMS about same to both. Choppers can fly under Navy AA but if hitting a 2 frig stack still taking as much damage as giving and need AB real close to shore.

      The only correct statement is the first sentence. SAMS do NO DAMAGE AT ALL to choppers.

      FF can't detect choppers at low level, so they are unlikely to hit them with their AA swipe, though with AA swipe would deal more damage to chopper.
      Damage is therefore kind of equal though choppers have the faster healing advantage.

      2.5 to 2 without swipe
      2.5 to 4 with swipe

      How ever striker would be like this:
      4 to 12 damage without swipe
      4 to 24 damage with swipe
      (7 damage if you mix in NSF, but then we are already talking about advanced unit, because NSF are kind of lvl 3 units)
    • Kalrakh wrote:

      Not sure what you are even talking about. It is not the job of choppers to fight strikers ins midair. If you play choppers, it is key to have strong ASFs & SAMs as ASFs are the only real counter to choppers.
      well you said they are invincible when they are easily defeated. No fighter pilot ever ran from a chopper; chopper pilots can try to run from fighters but cant ;) to utilize choppers now will have to mix in alot of asf and sams which really tips favor to strike fighters. Now you need 4 types of units to neutralize 1 and im not flying into SAMS .. id be going to that home city that has Army base 3 and destroy it.

      That how I prioritize enemies by what they are building (assume in relative proximity). Someone building SAMS they gots to go ASAP; same with Navy if see Navy 3 Im hitting those cities.

      If later in game you managed to crawl across to me as now your slow choppers need slow moving ground cover; all i have to do is sacrifice 1 cruise missile to trigger AA on SAM and then strike with stack and 4 CMs. So now SAM gone choppers back to target practice

      Heck if someone with big ASF stack will send in 1 of my ASF as sacrificial lamb; when your stack engages then just follow you back to airbase (strike planes on ground and most likely take out Airfield). Now planes and choppers stuck on ground.

      I have explained multiple ways to counter /destroy your invincible choppers; how are you going to destroy Strike Fighters unless I happen to keep flying into your SAMS or ASF.
    • Buckeyechamp wrote:

      Please tell me how a chopper stack could take out SF Stack?
      I think you might be getting a little away from the original post/conversation here. The original poster says in the original post that he knows fighters beat helos in air-to-air combat. No one is questioning that. The questions in the original post were asking what the pros and cons of helos were and whether you would use planes or helos for general use. I think you did answer that second question. It's just that I think you then strayed into territory no one is debating: planes beat helos head-to-head in the air.


      Buckeyechamp wrote:

      - How can you not detect them. I could see if / when they hit and what Airbase they came from if on my territory; else can read CON News ;) and at SF twice the range could hit them / your troops before you could hit me.

      - Most likely would wait for them to return to base and wipe out on ground and/or take out the Airbase.
      Now you're adding in all kinds of stuff like being actively online when the enemy helos attack, owning the territory in which they are attacking, etc.

      And I'm not sure you understood what Kalrakh meant by "detect"; I'm pretty sure he meant that they don't show up on the "radar" of most units. He didn't mean that they were invisible in your territory or didn't show up in CoN News, lol. One of the selling points of helos (over planes) is that helos have Low radar signatures and planes have High radar signatures. Low signatures keep many units from automatically (when you're not personally around) picking them up at a distance. You're right, though, you can negate that by saying, "I'll always be online manually controlling my units, watching the screen, and being prepared to launch planes at helos!"
    • Slight understanding: I wrote INVISIBLE aka undetectable as @PerigeeNil understood correctly

      I never said invincible, no unit is invincible.


      Sounds quite overstating yourself, if you believe you can prevent all 60 people on a map from building SAMs even more if they live 2 continents away from you.

      Also you assume, they I will be attacking when I am not online, while you on the contrary attack while you are online?

      All you 'tactics' work against the average 'active twice a day'-player.


      Display Spoiler
      Not to mention in real match you would also need to consider Elite Attack Choppers and Officers. Even more because EAH can literally become invisble.
    • PerigeeNil wrote:

      Buckeyechamp wrote:

      Kalrakh wrote:

      Not sure what you are even talking about. It is not the job of choppers to fight strikers ins midair. If you play choppers, it is key to have strong ASFs & SAMs as ASFs are the only real counter to choppers.
      well you said they are invincible when they are easily defeated.
      Well, this is awkward... He actually said, "invisible".
      No, I said 'pretty much invisible' ;)
    • Kalrakh wrote:

      All you 'tactics' work against the average 'active twice a day'-player.
      Not at all as all those tactics against live players. I am actually describing you trying to activly advance your SAM stack ; ASFs and Choppers wouldnt even be a factor it would really be SF vs ASF and SAMS and yes I have ASF too as mix 1 ASF/4 SF to absorb damage and a stand by of 5 ASF (to swap in fresh to stack and/or stand by if someone actually comes at me with strong ASF).

      Choppers are like knights in chess. Effective early in game and can clear out pawns pretty good; but limited range so see their late game attack coming and can be defeated from distance by multiple pieces (queen; rooks; bishops; plus other knights ).

      Sounds quite overstating yourself, if you believe you can prevent all 60 people on a map from building SAMs even more if they live 2 continents away from you.

      Guess you missed the part that said within relative close proximity. so say you are in europe (say france) and im approaching and 3 similiar size / strength countries. You having SAMS would be first target as yeah more than a pain to deal with than say Germany the Armor stacker.
    • It also has to do with situation and familiarity, Buck. As you mentioned in your own response, helos have an advantage in the early days and in the right areas. If I'm used to playing as Serbia and building Gunships as early as I can to take out game-start infantry, I'm going to be pretty disappointed for the first few days if I decide one game to switch to Strikers instead.

      My point is that you're a big time Strikers guy, so you're used to using them the way you do and using them effectively. They're probably even the best aircraft for you. But, as you already noted, that doesn't necessarily mean they're the best aircraft for every player in every situation all the time. It's always going to depend on situation (including location) and usage.
    • Guess, I skipped that part.

      How ever most players use choppers like strikers, so of course they fail it.


      What do you do when the point defense of SAMs got stronger then the HP value of your CMs?

      A decent SAM stack has about 5 units, not 1 or 2

      A strong ASF stack consists of 1 ace, 2 ASF and 2 NASF, a very strong would even have SASF mixed in.
      Good luck fighting that with 5 ASF :)
    • And this is where these conversations diverge. One party will be talking about "this is what this basic unit does" and another party will be talking about "Well, but if you stack it with 16 other kinds of units and position it exactly 27.3nm off the coast and enter the timer radius at exactly 7.3 minutes and you're halfway through your 4th upgrade, but your opponent is only 1/3 of the way through his second upgrade and you just had a sandwich so you're not distracted by hunger..."

      There's nothing wrong with either type of conversation; both have their value; but they're not really the same conversation.