Gunships are a class of air unit characterised by high firepower and heavy armor at the expense of speed. Gunships attack by hovering and firing, in contrast to the strafing or bombing runs employed by bombers. Gunships can fire on ground and surface naval units and other gunships, but cannot fire upon fixed wing air units such as fighters and bombers or on submerged naval units.
The Vulthoo is the basic Illuminate gunship. When upgraded, it possesses the greatest survivability due to a the anti-air flare upgrade.
The AC-1000 is a UEF experimental gunship. Unlike other gunships which will simply hover in front of their target, the Terror's firepower is mostly located on its starboard side, meaning it circles its target to bring to bear its firepower.
The Soul Ripper II is a Cybran experimental gunship. The Soul Ripper has light anti-fighter defences and easily more powerful anti-ground weapons than the gunships mentioned above. This is counterbalanced by it also being hugely expensive and far into the research tree.
The Sooprizer is an Illuminate experimental gunship, and has considerably more health than the other gunships, but also costs a lot more.
The Darkenoid is an Illuminate experimental flying saucer designed primarily for structure bombardment that fires its weapons while hovering. It however cannot be fired upon by gunships nor may it fire upon such targets itself.
The Air Fortress is a UEF experimental air factory with powerful ground attack weapons that are fired while hovering.
- Gunships are a highly effective combatant against enemy ground units early on. Late-game almost any ground attack will include anti-air (Rock Head Tanks gain anti-air upgrades, Cybran players will bring Adaptors, and Illuminate groups include Airnomos or even Pulinsmashes), but early on few players will dedicate resources to traditionally weak mobile anti-air units. Keeping this in mind means that even a few gunships can easily and effectively level almost any early ground force with their high damage output.
- Gunships fly low enough to attack from inside enemy shields. Use their high attack power directly on the shield generators to quickly shut down enemy defenses.
- Air to air units such as the Wasp Air Superiority Fighter will readily destroy Gunships, even in large numbers.
- As gunships don't need to make sweeping passes to attack (unlike bombers) they make ideal units for attacking vulnerable parts of an enemy base without exposing themselves to air defences in other parts. Use their combination of power and precision to exploit minor weaknesses in an enemy base, particularly flanks and exposed mass extractors outside the range of emplaced anti-air.
- Gunships pack a great deal of health and firepower for their cost, and can apply precision outside the scope of most other units. These traits make them incredibly effective against enemy ACUs when moving in groups. A medium-large number of gunships (typically fourteen or more) can usually destroy an enemy ACU even in the presence of anti-aircraft weapons.
- Approximately eight or nine Vulthoos can destroy an equally upgraded anti-air turret without suffering more than one casualty, none if upgraded with shields. Use this metric to limit losses to your air groups.
- Gunships have the ability to shoot at other gunships, this also includes firing upon and taking fire from experimental gunships. Remember this if using gunship swarms against experimental gunships as they have extreme firepower that they can shoot back at you.
- Gunships can attack jump-jetting units. This can be used to counter an enemy's ACU jump-jet attack to great effect.
- In a heavy air assault a player can use soul rippers to soak up damage while a slightly more covert force of Renegade gunships can pinpoint and destroy enemy air defences.