The Airplane Plant is a factory that produces airplanes.
|Produces Airplanes, Builds at 10 m/s|
|Vision Radius (elmo)||273|
The Airplane Plant offers a variety of fixed-wing aircraft to suit your needs. Choose between multirole fighters that can double as light attackers or specialized interceptors, and between precision bombers for taking down specific targets or their saturation counterparts for destroying swarms. The plant also comes bundled with one rearm pad.
The Airplane Plant builds:
Tactics and Strategy
The Airplane Plant provides the most unique array of units of any factory in Zero-K; the Planes are more like a support force, as opposed to combat units. Both the speed of the Planes and their first-strike capability is unparalleled. The Swift is the Planes' main air-to-air option, while the Raven, Thunderbird and Likho bombers punish any poorly-covered ground forces.
In contrast to the Gunships, the Airplane bombers deliver their damage in a very short period of time, so anti-air which relies on prolonged engagements is less effective against them. On the other hand, the bombers have to return to base and rearm before making another run. The Swift fighter relies on similar hit-and-run tactics against enemy air forces.
Example Unit Combinations
Once your fleet of Swifts is large enough, add a few Raptors for more sustained damage. Make sure your Swifts are in position to protect the Raptors' flank and rear.
Fly a Swift or two over enemy territory before a bombing run to soak up a few missiles and scout for an unexpected concentration of anti-air. Losing a Swift or two is far less painful than losing a Likho.
Anti-air units or structures which deliver high sustained burst damage are generally more effective against Gunships than those with sustained damage. The Defender is generally preferred over the Hacksaw due to its larger range and flexibility to engage ground targets. The range of the Chainsaw and Screamer makes them effective against any air threat, though they are more expensive.
The most important thing to keep in mind when playing against Planes is not to over-extend. Valuable units may be sniped by Ravens, and if you move a large raiding group or army beyond the range of your antiair it will likely be disarmed by a Thunderbird and destroyed. Don't stick anything outside anti-air range unless you're prepared to lose it. The best defence against bombers is to have your own Swift planes, since they are fast enough to defend you anywhere on the map.
If you are using Gunships against a player with Planes, don't move your anti-ground gunships away from anti-air protection unless you're prepared to lose them. Try to make the Airplane player engage you in a direct fight, since your air-to-air units are tougher than theirs.
If you are playing the Airplane mirror matchup, try to have more Swifts than they do, while still making things happen in the ground war using the cheaper bombers if you can (Raven, Phoenix and Thunderbird). Hold your Swift boost in reserve as long as possible to counter enemy bombing runs or to escape from a losing figher battle.