Tech 3 Air Units
|Tech 1 Light Air Transport|
|Tech 2 Air Transport|
|Tech 2 Gunship|
|Tech 3 Heavy Air Transport|
|UEF T3 Heavy Air Transport: Continental|
|[ e ]|
|Build costs|| -28125|
|Shield health||3000 (+30/sec)|
|Shield rebuild||35 (+86/sec)|
|Intel (radius)|| Vision: 32|
Weapon: Heavy Plasma Cannon x 2
Direct Fire - Projectile
|Damage per second||33|
|Rate of fire||2.2 Projectiles/s|
Weapon: Flayer SAM Launcher x 4
Anti Air - Projectile
|Damage per second||52|
|Salvo size||6 Projectiles|
|Reload time||2.3 seconds|
Weapon: Air Crash
The UEF T3 Heavy Air Transport, nicknamed the Continental, is a significantly more cost effective and efficient transport unit. It possesses 28 transportation clamps, double that of the Star Lifter and can transport 28 T1, 12 T2 or 6 T3 units. It comes with two heavy plasma cannons, four Flayer SAM launchers and a shield.
Armed enough to be a very decent gunship, this transport has the capacity to go over heavily defended bases to insert heavy forces into their unarmed back door. A shield and powerful AA makes the Continental very near immune to interception from fighters, and the cannons allow it to wreak havoc over your opponent's armies on its way. However, do NOT at any point overestimate the durability of the Continental; it will still crumple in flames if it is strafed by large numbers of ASFs or it flies into a heavy AA array so choose your landing point carefully and escort it with ASFs of your own. A Continental flying over a small array of even 8 T1 AA towers will be positively shredded in a matter of seconds- so don't assume your transport is invulnerable. However, remember the more you have the better chance they have of surviving. The main setback is its cost and time to build; losing a Continental fully loaded with T3 units is a devastating blow.
It is somewhat rare to see a player using this craft as a ghetto gunship since its onboard LABs only attacks enemy units in patrol mode, but having the firepower of 28 mech marines added to a ship plus the two cannons on the transport allows you to inflict heavy damage. Using it as a gunship is not a bad idea in theory.
Ghetto Gunship vs. Broadsword
A ghetto gunship may be a superior choice, when comparing stats below:
|Total Mass Cost||1680||2980|
|Total Energy Cost||35000||32045|
|Direct Fire DPS||300||654|
|Mass/DPS ratio (lower is better)||5.6||4.55|
As can be seen, the T3 Ghetto Gunship is ultimately a cost effective tool, blending very high damage with excellent AA and greater survivability than a broadsword, if a commander is willing to wait longer.
Things to Consider
Using the Continental as a gunship has its flaws. A Continental does not automatically engage targets (unless set to patrol) unlike the T2 Star Lifter, and although shield health and hull health combined totals 7500, only the shields health will protect light assault bots from harm. Once a Continentals shield is taken down, LABs (light assault bots) become extremely vulnerable to AA, especially flak. If the LABs are destroyed (which they easily are), the Continentals direct fire DPS drops significantly (a Continental with no LABs does 66 DPS to ground targets). Since the Continental uses a shield bubble to protect its units, an interceptor can fly into the shield and destroy the LABs. Flak has been observed to destroy LABs in groups, even while the shield is still on. A smart commander would build flak if found facing T3 Ghetto Gunships. If you are wanting to use a cost effective gunship (mass to DPS wise), try considering the UEF T2 Star Lifter, which when outfitted to be a gunship has a mass-to-DPS ratio of 2.53, and will automatically engage targets rather than landing and exposing itself to ground fire.
This renders the Continental impractical for all but transport and base defence, where it excells in both areas:
The Continental is the ultimate transport for your troops, being able to carry up to a maximum of 28 units, shielding them from harm while providing ground and air support until they reach their destination.
The Continental is possibly one of the best defence units you can have patrolling your base. If equipped to be a ghetto gunship, a squad of patrolling Continentals can provide excellent defence for your base, from land, air and sea. With more than twice the AA DPS of a Restorer, and more than four times the direct fire DPS, Continentals can dish out enough damage to protect your base from even the toughest ground experimentals (although they should be used as a complement to the Ravager, not a replacement) all while intercepting oncoming aircraft with their 4 SAM launchers.
The Continental's AA missiles are considered SAMs, even though SAM stands for "Surface to Air Missile". Its weapons systems are technically AAMs- "Air to Air Missiles".