The SSU Ground Attack Helicopter went on sale in October, raining all manner of destruction from the skies above the enemies of the SSU. Each configuration of this powerful airborne threat has something unique to leverage on the battlefield. Today, Dust Tactics enthusiast and guest writer Jeremiah Terry discusses just how best to go about owning the air with this powerful new unit.
Death from Above
After the launch of the SSU faction earlier this year, Dust Tactics got its first taste of air power with the SSU Airborne Transport. Although the transport was the first Dust Tactics aircraft, it wasn’t exactly a tank killer. Now, after much anticipation, the SSU receives some real air power with the SSU Ground Attack Helicopter. This impressive gunship comes with four weapon packs and the accompanying stat cards for each configuration. For most folks, the first choice in SSU air power is going to be the Airblaster with its massive anti-tank abilities. The Airblaster can damage just about any piece of armor it encounters, and it can take out most light and medium vehicles single handedly. In addition to its anti-tank capabilities, the Airblaster’s standard Quad DshK 12.7mm machine guns make it an effective anti-air weapon.
Obviously, with all of this versatility, the Airblaster is going to become the centerpiece of many SSU armies. Despite its strengths, the Airblaster does have some limitations. Both of the Airblaster’s primary weapons are limited to only two uses. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. This means that you may want to provide the Airblaster with some backup that won’t run out of ammo. This backup can come in the form of ground-based forces like infantry, some KV-47s, or even a massive tank like the Lenin, but none of these are going to fast enough to keep up with the flying Airblaster. It may be a good idea to pair up the Airblaster with one of its whirlybird brethren. The Striker can provide cover fire to keep enemy infantry and light vehicles at bay. Striker is also an excellent anti-air weapon as its Air Superiority ability makes all attacks against enemy aircraft function as if they were Sustained Attacks.
|SSU Airborne Strike Force|
|SSU Airborne Transport||40|
|Red Yana + The Trediakovsky + Frontoviki||20 + 7+ 19|
|SSU Walker Transport||40|
This force is very small and has very little in the way of ground forces, but the ground units it does possess can be loaded into aircraft and moved about the board very quickly. This army’s primary firepower comes from its attack helicopters, Airblaster and Striker. As there are still 9 points remaining, you could use any combo of choppers, even two Airblasters.
The Death Rain (left) and the Airblaster (right)
Bring the Rain…
If a small mobile force doesn’t suit your needs, then maybe the Death Rain will be more to your liking. Death Rain is slightly less expensive, and, while it does have some of the same limitations as the Airblaster, it has very well balanced abilities overall, making it effective against infantry, armor, and opposing aircraft. The Death Rain is best thought of as a flying tank filling the role of a couple KV-47s, except it can cross the battlefield in half the time.
|SSU Mechanized Infantry Company|
|Kosha + Grand'Ma||18 + 36|
|The Frontoviki + The Trediakovsky||19 + 7|
|Ohotniki + The Fonvizin||22 + 9|
|The Medvedi + The Karamzin||44 + 7|
|Fakyeli + The Sumarokov||28 + 5|
As you can see this army costs exactly the same as the previous force, but has nearly twice the number of units. This army is far more suited to holding a lot of ground or defending a wide front. The previous force was much better suited to striking fast and deep, splitting the enemy forces and allowing you to take out isolated units.
…and the Fire
The last of the four SSU Ground Attack Helicopter configurations is the Burner. Burner carries a mix of the weapons from the Airblaster and Striker, sporting the powerful rocket pods and the devastating anti-infantry napalm bombs. Burner, much like Death Rain, is going to be a great close infantry support weapon, and will pair well with the KV-47s armed for close combat.
|SSU Mechanized Close Combat Company|
|Yakov + Fakyeli + The Sumarokov||30 + 5 + 28|
|SSU Airborne Transport||40|
|Ohotniki + The Trediakovsky||22 + 7|
|Frontoviki + The Fronivzin||19 + 9|
In this last army you have lots of flame weapons and Natalya’s chainsaws. What can’t be burned can be cut to ribbons. With Burner, you can unleash an assault on medium armor units from a bit of distance. This can soften up the enemy before you move in with your close combat units. Don’t count Burner out after it expends its limited ammo, it will still be able to provide close air support with its DshK 12.7mm machine guns.
These are just a few of the options you’ll have with the new SSU Ground Attack Helicopter. While it has a pretty steep point cost, its speed and versatility make it a great centerpiece for almost any SSU force.
Control the Air
Special thanks to Jeremiah Terry for his insights on some effective ways to utilize each of the four configurations of the SSU Ground Attack Helicopter. The SSU Ground Attack Helicopter is on sale now, so make sure to visit your local retailer and add this heavy-hitting flier to your SSU forces in Dust Tactics!