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Army Points: 3
Hit Points: 220
Although the Germans developed the first truly practical helicopter in 1936 and the aircraft was put to use by several combatant countries in World War II, it role in combat was not fully realized until decades later. In War Front, however, the accelerated development of experimental military equipment means you’ll have access to this unique and multi-faceted warbird.
Pros: As the only aircraft that Heroes can enter, helicopters can play a pivotal role at critical points in a battle by delivering them and extra ground troops to a vital location. And while Call-In Paratroop drops can also deliver various types of ground troops, they aren’t able to return fire like the Helicopter can.
Cons: It’s much slower than other aircraft and is highly vulnerable to AA fire. Unlike in real life, there are no survivors when these choppers go down—bad news if a Hero is on board!
Bottom Line: A special-use unit that can prove specially useful in certain situation, provided you keep an eye on it as it wends its way to its destination.
Army Points: 3
Hit Points: 210
There were faster and more heavily armed interceptors in World War II, but the general consensus is that the P-51 Mustang was the finest fighter plane of the war. The P-51H variant’s top speed was nearly 500 mph; the P-51D had a range of over 1,600 miles with drop tanks; both were equipped with up to six .50-caliber machine guns, and the P-51D was capable of carrying air-to-ground rockets.
Pros: Super-fast and nimble, the Mustang can deliver brutal strafing runs against enemy infantry and light vehicles, easily dealing with any enemy interceptor it faces.
Cons: Feeble against hard targets like bunkers, armored vehicles, and buildings.
Bottom Line: Besides strafing incoming infantry, Mustangs are perfectly suited as escorts for fighter-bombers or bombers, or to lure AA fire away from either of them.
Army Points: 4
Hit Points: 350
The first warplane designed by the Lockheed Corporation was a doozy. Although its top speed (360 mph) was not breathtaking, its nose-mounted armaments packed a wallop: four .50-caliber machine guns and a 20mm cannon, augmented by rocket launchers and/or bombs. The Germans called it the “Twin-Tailed Devil”—and probably prayed to God every time they saw it descend in a tactical support role to devastate airfields, rail lines, and troop transports.
Pros: Like the Mustang in the Interceptor class, neither the Russians or Germans can produce a Fighter-Bomber close to the Lightning. It’s especially deadly once you research the Air-To-Ground Capability: a single Lightning can bring down defensive bunkers and other smaller buildings.
Bottom Line: Consider the Lightning the most essential tool in your tactical weapons arsenal!
Tech Level Required: 1
Without a doubt the most famous bomber of World War II, the B-17 was nicknamed the “Flying Fortress” thanks to its multitude of .50-caliber machine-gun turrets (the B-17G had 13 in all). Unfortunately, fortresses were apparently much stronger on terra firma than in the air: without fighter support over German soil, B-17 squadrons suffered appalling casualty rates early in the war. Still, this is the quintessential WWII bomber.
Pros: You can gain access to this vital strategic weapon very early in the game, and it can eliminate strongholds that would otherwise block the advance of your ground forces.
Cons: Quite susceptible to AA fire.
Bottom Line: Cheap enough to chance on a deep run into enemy territory, but best used when you know that AA defenses along its flight path are at a minimum.
Call-In Aphrodite Bomber
Tech Level Required: 2
Normally, the Allies wouldn’t consider this type of weapon, even though it delivers mighty destruction in its wake. But the Germans’ frightening breed of high-tech weapons has called for new tactics, and advances in remote-control technology has turned this into a thoroughly viable—and highly devastating—tactical alternative.
Pros: This remote-controlled heavy bomber is laden with explosives…and it’s guaranteed to reach its target regardless of the damage it takes on the way.
Cons: You can’t build it until you reach Tech Level 2, but then again good things come to those who wait.
Bottom Line: Just another reason why air power is the strong suit of the Allied forces.
Call-In Earthquake Bomb
Tech Level Required: 3
Though the B-17 might have earned the most glory in WWII, the Lancaster played a vital role in the Allied victory in the European theater. It was the bomber that carried the “Earthquake Bomb,” also known as the “Grand Slam”—a bomb designed on the principle that explosive energy packs a much great punch released in compressed area (underground) than in open areas (above or at ground level). At 22,000 pounds, the Earthquake Bomb represented a weight nearly three times the maximum bomb load of a Flying Fortress.
Pros: The devastation is immense, and the resulting crater slows down vehicles and infantry attempting to traverse it.
Cons: Like the B-17, it too is vulnerable to AA fire.
Bottom Line: Worth clearing out a path for — but make sure your troops get out of the vicinity before this monster plows into the ground.
Call-In Nuclear Strike
Tech Level Required: 3
You probably already know the impact of a tactical nuclear device, and if you don’t you can probably guess: major, mind-blowing devastation. War Front doesn’t depict the effects of a true, hydrogen-based nuclear weapon, but rather what one would expect from an atomic bomb designed for tactical use.
Pros: Nothing in the immediate vicinity will survive more than a few seconds; the shock wave will rattle buildings and vehicles outside the blast zone; and the bombed area will emit poisonous radiation for a brief period after the initial detonation.
Cons: It costs a pretty penny, but fortunately the bombers that deliver the payload are more adept at dodging or absorbing enemy fires than the B-17s and Lancasters delivering less-powerful weapons.
Bottom Line: Use it when you can. ‘Nuff said.