A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by rotors. This allows the helicopter to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forward, backward, and laterally. These attributes allow helicopters to be used in congested or isolated areas where fixed-wing aircraft and many forms of VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) aircraft cannot perform.
Helicopters In-Game Edit
There are a total of six military helicopters available in "Shattered Union". No civilian helicopters make an appearance. The six helicopters that appear in-game are:
- US factions: Apache, Super Cobra, Warrior
- European Union: Tiger, Mangusta
- Russian Federation: Hind
Helicopters are fast-moving units with superb vision range, but they are highly vulnerable to anti-air units and fighters. They will need support on the ground and in the air to ensure they are not swiftly destroyed if they are sent into the midst of a battle. The Warrior is too light a helicopter to engage more than Light Armor units effectively, but the Apache, Super Cobra, Tiger, Mangusta and Hind all are capable of attacking even Heavy Armor units and can be devastating against Light and Medium Armor units and Artillery. They are also effective at attacking Anti-Air units, and although those units will retaliate, it will always be against only one unit that fires on them per turn.
Helicopters also make excellent reconnaissance units. For seeking out the enemy's force and searching for high-value targets like the enemy Airfield, there is nothing better. Helicopters can see a long way but are no easier to detect than any other unit. Unless the enemy has a similarly-long sight range or is close to the helicopter, such a unit can fly far into enemy territory and never be noticed.
In many battles, the enemy AI or player will have fighters and/or bombers available to provide air support. Helicopters can improve the odds for their side by seeking out the enemy Airfield- which is always sure to be well to the rear of the battle area, given that it is helpless against ground units and all aircraft that side brought along will be lost if the Airfield is destroyed- and enabling friendly bombers to attack and destroy it. The helicopter unit itself can assist in this effort, but the strong anti-air ability of the Airfield makes this inadvisable.
If used in groups, helicopters- particularly the Tiger, Apache, and Hind- can be a fearsome presence on the battlefield. They can fly swiftly to the rear of an enemy force and destroy artillery, destroy bridges- or spot the bridges for bombers- to cut off the enemy's retreat or stall advancing enemy units. On the front lines, a group of helicopters can be deadly against armored units of any type, and while it is dangerous they are capable of engaging enemy anti-air units. If on the defensive, helicopters can be used to stage ambushes, waiting out of sight behind a mountain or flying to the rear of a spotted enemy force and engaging from their most vulnerable direction.