Articles & Editorials: The Helix Heavy Transport Helicopter – The Overlord of the Skies

Hello again, and welcome to my Helix guide. This article, like my Overlord/Emperor Tank article, is mainly for the newbies among us. This genius of a helicopter is unfortunately only available to the Chinese forces in Zero Hour, so to all those people who currently only have Generals, go out and buy Zero Hour! Now!

On it’s own, the Helix Heavy Transport can carry five infantry units, a vehicle and two infantry units, or a single Construction Dozer over any terrain. Although it is not as fast as the U.S.A.’s Commanche, the Helix is more efficient, and has quite a bit more armour. It is armed with just a 20mm nose cannon, but it can be upgraded with the same upgrades that it’s ground cousin, the Overlord, can use, giving the Helix a lot more fire-power. This is what makes the Helix so flexible. What’s more, the prequisits for building them is just an airfield, making the Helix a quick response unit to take out an early infantry/vehicle rush. However, the cost of building one is $1750, making building them en masse early in the game not a feasible idea. But, once you have your economy set up and the money rolling in, building them shouldn’t be a problem at all.

The first of the Helix’s upgrades consists of a Napalm Bomb. You can purchase it on the Helix itself, like all it’s other upgrades, and it will cost you $800. How do you distinguish an un-upgraded Helix to one which has a Napalm Bomb installed? Look near the rear. On a Helix with a Napalm Bomb, the Helix sprouts two small, stubby wings. It may be a bit hard to see in this picture, but it’s there. What makes a Napalm Bomb special? Well, instead of using a group of eight Inferno Cannons, or a squadron of four MiG Fighters to create the fabled Firestorm, all you need is one Helix dropping one Napalm Bomb. When the purchase of the Napalm Bomb is finished, it takes roughly 10 game seconds for a bomb to be set up. Then it takes the same amount of time between bomb drops. Like the Dragon Tank, Inferno Cannon and MiG, the Black Napalm upgrade can be purchased at the Chinese War Factory for the Helix for $2000.

A small note: If you are playing as the Chinese Nuclear General, you will notice that the Helix’s Napalm Bomb has been scrapped, and replaced with…you guess it…a Nuclear Bomb instead!

For the same price as a stationary Gatling Cannon, one can be positioned on the nose of the Helix, giving it a boost in downing infantry that may have snuck into the back of your base, or defending your tank divisions against missile-armed infantry. Additionally, having a Gatling Cannon on your Helix enables it to target airbourne threats, such as Commanches, Transport Planes (which can have a variety of nasty surprises that can annoy you), and to an extent, Raptors, MiGs, and (because Gatling Cannons can detect stealth units) Stealth Fighters. Not as useful to the Helix itself as the Gatling Cannon is to the Overlord, but still a worthwhile investment to help protect your fleet of Helix’s.

This is the Helix with it’s Propaganda tower in place. Like a stationary Speaker Tower, or the Overlord’s Speaker Tower, the Helix’s Speaker Tower heals friendly units in the area of effect, and also increases the rate of fire of those units. This upgrade is more suited to the Helix than it is for the Overlord, for the obvious reason that the Overlord, even with the Nuclear Tank upgrade, is simply too slow to be an efficient healer for your forces. Like the Overlord’s Speaker Tower, it is also affected by the Subliminal Messaging upgrade. The best Chinese support unit, right up there with the Chinese ECM Tank.

The Helix, upgraded with a Battle Bunker, and filled up with Tank Hunters, is the most destructive anti-tank unit in the game. Just fly your Helix over an enemy tank division and watch those tanks become scrap metal right before your eyes. Defiantly the best upgrade for the Helix. As an added bonus, the Tank Hunters inside can fire at Aircraft, and they can make short work of them too. Also very effective at destroying buildings, which comes in handy when someone places a Sneak Attack tunnel in the back of your base…

However, remember this: “Da Helix…isn’t de only…power-house…”. Never forget about your Overlord tanks. Helix’s may be more manoeuvrable than Overlords, but their armour is cardboard to the Overlord’s. Avengers, especially, can bring them down extremely fast, and a large group of Avengers may be enough to keep the Tank Hunter’s rocket from reaching them. So mix it up on the battlefield with both Overlords and Helix’s, and you’ll be crushing your opponents in no time.

To finish this article off, here is a picture of the Helix variations. Remember what I said about the pictures in my Overlord/Emperor Tank article…take ’em, bad things will happen. Capiché? Alrighty then.



Happy Destruction, one and all!

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