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Gunships in 1.7.4

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USrankmv
4 months ago
A couple of open questions:

What are the strengths and weaknesses of Gunship Factory units, and what should they be?

Most labs have types of maps where they excel, on what types of maps should Gunships excel?

And now some lobster words about each unit in the Gunship Factory, which at the moment appears to exist mostly to produce Nimbuses, Tridents and one-trick units.

Wasp:

This constructor has a peculiarly low amount of health. Somebody probably has an explanation for it, but most constructors have more health than raiders from the same factory (except Jumpbots because of Pyro and Air probably for the same mysterious reason). Maybe somebody remembers why air constructors have less health than raiders?

Locust:

A high risk air-mobile raiding unit which struggles to remain relevant past the point that people are building Lotus to defend mexes. Can fight skirmishers, but that's about it. Considering Ravens can oneshot mexes with marginal risk and only a little more cost, this seems like one of the least viable raiders in the game.

Harpy:

What is this unit supposed to be good at? Why would I build this instead of a Nimbus? Gunships currently don't have any unit that can shoot at underwater opponents, but this would seem to be a good candidate.

Blastwing:

Barely makes cost against a mex, which is one of the few things it is able to kill. In practice, even when top level players use these, it is a surprise one trick for killing mexes immediately after a surprise GS plop. These could be viable scout units with more vision, giving them more utility for the mid and late game.

Revenant:

What is this unit supposed to be good at? The Nimbus outshines it by doing almost as much DPS from much further away. It also has QoL issues with holding fire, seen when just about any new player tries to use it.

Nimbus:

This is the strong Gunship unit, against which all others are compared. Being able to sit at a safe distance and pummel ground units (or other gunships) is a nice thing. For an artillery class unit it has a very good amount of health.

Gnat:

A fun support unit, when they forget to build AA.

Trident:

I think I understand why these are so slow (to not be gunship-eating machines), and I think they are so expensive because of balance against Raptor (which has its own issues).

Krow:

Everybody's favorite surprise gunship. An interestingly unique flying fortress.

Charon:

A pretty cheap way to move ground units over water and cliffs.

Hercules:

A fun way to steal enemy units.
+2 / -0
4 months ago
Locust

This unit is the most mobile unit of the factory, and scales well with more of itsself. Has trouble combating raders of even cost, but will very easily overwhelm smaller forces with no losses. Often is able to outrun AA that doesn't instantly burst it. Has HP regen.

I like using them in small swarms of 3-6, or larger swarms of 8-15 to hit anything undefended and as a back line defense. Sometimes, in team games, your team can't defend it's self. There are no llts or anything, and the enemy can just run through your entire line and cause damage. A swarm of locusts 8+ is often enough to get rid of any single player's incursion to your backline, anywhere in your back line. Scythes have trouble runing from this many locusts, so if you position all over you can tag any scythe that reveals it's self and the rest will swarm over super quickly.
+0 / -0
USrankmv
4 months ago
It's a good point that Locust is strong against most raiders, the exception being Pyro which burns it out of the sky without even jumping. This is one of the few things Gunships do better than Air, with Pheonix in its current state.

Gunships can do pretty well as a reactive force, dealing with incursions into friendly territory, because ground AA is less likely to be present. Air Factory units can do this and more, with very capable offensive units.

If a strength of Gunships were high health for (for an air unit), this might help it find a place. Air being the fast and relatively flimsy airborne lab and Gunships being the tankier choice. Right now Gunships aren't particularly good at anything useful for offense, except Krow shenanigans and Nimbus spam.
+1 / -0
4 months ago
Wasp - too slow, too low hp, mediocre build speed

Harpy - unbearably slow. 10elmo/s faster then a krow, that's it. nearly useless as they have very little survivability as well

Revenant - seems like they are supposed to be the 'tanks of the sky' but they are still a bit lean in the survivability dept considering their slowness and short range.

Trident - treat as stationary AA, chasing anything with them is absolutely pointless. they are 'park over high priority bomb targets' and forget them. they cost a lot.
+0 / -0

4 months ago
Revenant is a unit that is very hard to use but can really shine at the beginning of the game. Set to hold fire and move as close as you can get over your target. Was able to 2hit coms, now i am not sure if you wouldn`t need a 3rd volley. later, their role is "hit and run riot".
+0 / -0
My take on the GS units is following:
  • Wasp: too expensive, too weak, too slow, easily targetted by AA. Could use radar stealth to make usage in frontlines actually possible, but would still totally get wrecked when enemy decides to send few Swifts to scout your base.
  • Locust: fails at raiding due to its abysmal DPS per metal cost. Has fast speed to move around and health regen, but the damage is so low that it takes too long to have any impact raiding. Loses to one lotus and compared to other raiders, it suffers more heavily also because later in the game there will be AA emplacements to shoot it down. My opinion is that since as a flying unit it can be targetted with AA units and emplacements one locust should at least be able to beat lone lotus. Higher DPS would help to achieve this.
  • Harpy: Decent unit, but like mentioned, could use slightly faster speed.
  • Blastwing: Nice unit, but little bit hard to use effectively or make cost with due to its low hitpoints and airvisibility as it gets shotdown by aa really quickly. If they were invisible to radar, attacks with blastwings would be much easier to pull off or placing them near frontline as mines outside of early game would be possible as they would not get insta wiped by AA, but that is probably too much of a buff as it could cause some really nasty sneak attacks on some maps.
  • Revenant: Has slightly more health but slighly weaker DPS per metal compared to Nimbus, but has alpha damage instead of continious DPS. However, some of that damage is lost due to poor rocket accuracy. Overrall nimbus seems better pick due to its over twice as big range (Nimbus also gets range scaling from its own flying height) which means Nimbus doesn't necessarily even need to place itself under AA fire as it can fire from a distance which ultimately makes Nimbus have more survivality per cost compared to Revenant. I think that Revenant rockets should track more and the range could be same as Harpy.
  • Gnat: Good as it is.
  • Charon: Could use more health or cheaper cost so we would actually see it being used.
  • Hercules: seems to be fine as it is.
  • Krow: Fine as it is. Like a pinpoint Merlin rocket barrage with its bomb drop ability, but can potentially inflintrate further behind enemy lines depending on enemy AA.
+1 / -0

4 months ago
Gunships used to be a great switch in sea games because Urchin (unlike LLT/MT) can't target air so you can just sweep the map and pwn most mexes with a handful of Locusts since they won't die.

quote:
Harpy:

What is this unit supposed to be good at? Why would I build this instead of a Nimbus?

Earlygame answer to riots. Locust can't take them down and the other gunships (incl. Nimbus) are too expensive. This niche seems quite rare outside of small teams (because in 1v1 you don't usually start GS and in larger games you go straight into the midgame).

quote:
Gunships currently don't have any unit that can shoot at underwater opponents

Underwater opponents currently don't have any unit that can shoot at gunships. Amphs have to surface to fire.
+0 / -0

4 months ago
quote:

Underwater opponents currently don't have any unit that can shoot at gunships. Amphs have to surface to fire.

But even planes have ability to bomb underwater targets (with Raven) despite them being in same situation.
+0 / -0


4 months ago
I think Locusts are underappreciated. They synergize well. You need a swarm of them. Once you have a swarm, they obliterate bases that don't have substantial AA. Their ability to ignore terrain is very powerful; it gives them the mobility to attack individual targets that they can quickly destroy, avoid threats they can't overcome, and retreat with minimal losses when they run out of vulnerable targets.

If you're losing Locusts to Lotuses then you're attacking with insufficent numbers.

Massed Glaives wreck bases the same way, but have a much harder time getting past intervening forces. Locusts can just go around them. If you have intel and Locusts, you can eliminate nearly all of your opponent's expansions across the entire map in no time flat with minimal attrition.
+0 / -0

4 months ago
quote:
I think Locusts are underappreciated. They synergize well. You need a swarm of them. Once you have a swarm, they obliterate bases that don't have substantial AA. Their ability to ignore terrain is very powerful; it gives them the mobility to attack individual targets that they can quickly destroy, avoid threats they can't overcome, and retreat with minimal losses when they run out of vulnerable targets.

If you're losing Locusts to Lotuses then you're attacking with insufficent numbers.

Massed Glaives wreck bases the same way, but have a much harder time getting past intervening forces. Locusts can just go around them. If you have intel and Locusts, you can eliminate nearly all of your opponent's expansions across the entire map in no time flat with minimal attrition.


The fact that single locust loses to one lotus means that two locust loses to two lotus. This will scale with similar results and gets even worse if enemy has AA such as Razor. Any raider can get the job done if we assume that enemy has no defences, but most other raiders can at least take out lotus with the same metal investment in units and also wreck economy much faster due to better DPS.

Nimbus has 0,237 DPS while Locust has 0,255 DPS per metal. For the cost of 4 locust you can already afford a nimbus that can achieve pretty much same result without even taking damage, even out ranging hacksaw and the small AoE that Nimbus has will increase the DPS even further against unit stacks. Of course nimbus doesn't have as much speed and lacks regenation, but you are much more likely to keep Nimbus alive without losing any unit compared to locust swarm.

In fact, a Swift set to land will outperform Locust as a raider as it can take out lotus, hacksaw or even stinger by simply outranging them with 700 range, granted there is sight to the enemy as Swift sight range is 520 which is still enough to outrange stardust or lotus. Swift has 0,233 DPS per metal and can ignore terrain just as well.
+0 / -0
quote:
Nimbus has 0,237 DPS while Locust has 0,255 DPS per metal

I am not sure you should directly compare theoretical dps of a perfect-accuracy instant-hit unit and a slow-projectile high-inaccuracy one. E.g. Lance vs Tremor or Nimbus vs Locust.

4 Locust will do much more to intercept raids and kill Scythes than 1 Nimbus.

1 Nimbus will do much better against Lotus, riots, Stinger.

quote:
In fact, a Swift set to land will outperform Locust as a raider as it can take out lotus, hacksaw or even stinger by simply outranging them with 700 range

This very enticing opportunity seems largely unexploited. Swift land-attack widget time? :P
+0 / -0
4 months ago
Yes make me a swift landing widget, then I won't have to micro so hard to do it anymore.
+0 / -0

4 months ago
Parking Swifts beyond PICKET range used to be a common 1v1 plane start strat. I believe that back then planes landed precisely where their move order was which ceased to be the case due to some engine change though.
+0 / -0

4 months ago
quote:
I am not sure you should directly compare theoretical dps of a perfect-accuracy instant-hit unit and a slow-projectile high-inaccuracy one. E.g. Lance vs Tremor or Nimbus vs Locust.

4 Locust will do much more to intercept raids and kill Scythes than 1 Nimbus.

1 Nimbus will do much better against Lotus, riots, Stinger.

I could argue that Nimbus is much better at spotting stealthy enemies such as Scythes, but not everyone is using my SweepAttack widgets..

I think Nimbus has fairly good accuracy although it does miss some against really fast targets. The multihit potential from the AoE kinda compensates the missed shots, especially against larger raider hordes that can also shred locusts to pieces. I also think that Nimbus scales better in numbers compared to locusts for same metal commitment.
+0 / -0
4 months ago
Not only that nimbus can absolutely shred groups of air units, especially the air superiority fighter as it slows down making it super easy for the nimbus to hit.
+0 / -0
Note that i am not saying anything about which unit is on the net better, or makes for better late game composition. I'm merely saying direct comparisons of non-empirical DPS between units with very different weapon physics aren't very useful.

Nimbus is inaccurate enough that a single Gremlin on attack move and with enough time will kill a Nimbus just by dodging most of the shots and shooting back with impunity. There is no dodging vs Locust.
+1 / -0
USrankmv
4 months ago
quote:
Nimbus is inaccurate enough that a single Gremlin on attack move and with enough time will kill a Nimbus just by dodging most of the shots and shooting back with impunity.


That's a good point, but during the 44 seconds it will take for the Gremlin to kill a Nimbus, the Nimbus is happily chomping on structures and is fast enough to disengage a Gremlin when it's tired of the light show. When Gunships are tough they can get work done.
+0 / -0
3 months ago
Plopping gunships feels like an inferior choice in one way - you're committing to fly by the seat of your pants and go without intel in contested areas, especially compared to a factory with the Owl and Swift in it. Thoughts on if Harpy (the "support" gunship) had a short-range radar?
+0 / -0

3 months ago
Gunship isn't really meant to be plopped first however planes are too powerful as a second plop thus plopping GS as your second is detrtimental
+0 / -0
Radar on a unit like Harpy would give it a role when escorting Wasps and Tridents in particular, and they're already in the same speed class.

With the constructor it would be possible to move forward and still have a chance for the con to retreat from land units with less risk to your 260 metal investment. Tridents can also fire at targets outside of their sight range offering a small buff to their offensive usage.
+0 / -0
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