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The American AH6 Little Bird is a favorite and respected helicopter and remains in service even in this day and age. It has proven invaluable in recon and special operations. Its only defense is its speed but in the hands of skilled pilots and when used correctly they are the perfect aerial harassment force.
|Order all Rangers inside the Little Bird to rappel down onto the target. Can be used on garrisoned structures to clear it.|
|Fire a barrage of 4 rockets at the target area.|
Requires Rocket Pods.
The Little Bird is a Tier 0 marvel that is faster and cheaper to produce than the rest of the USA's combat-capable helicopter units. In its base form, it is deadly to infantry units and can make short work of even the dreaded Shock Troopers. And since it is a light unit, it is able to rack up Veterancy quickly. With enough Veterancy, its guns shred light vehicles and when upgraded with Rocket Pods, even main battle tanks caught without anti-air support will fall to a pack of Little Birds.
The Little Bird excels in the early game, especially in larger maps, where its speed can be leveraged to the fullest. It can be used to scout enemy movement and expansion.
Using it requires knowledge of just how much one can get away with. Thanks to its speed, it can engage and disengage easily, giving the USA player the initiative. It also has the ability to transport four infantry units, allowing the player to potentially bring heavier firepower in the form of Missile Defenders when contesting early expansions.
After a fruitful early game, where the Little Birds hopefully have high veterancy, the unit hits its second (narrow) power spike window: the Rocket Pods upgrade. Once upgraded, veteran Little Birds gain considerable firepower boost against vehicles and structures, and, with careful usage, it can be abused to extend the advantage further for an easier mid-game. Do take note that this is a very narrow window of opportunity and it will take some time and experience to properly recognize when this window is up.
Come mid to late game, with plenty of anti-air units up, the Little Bird falls off almost completely and enters its final stage of use: harvest. At this stage of the game, the early Little Birds will hopefully be at the Heroic veterancy level, a veterancy level the USA's heavier but now more useful units may struggle to reach. That's where the Pilot comes in. In the event that a veteran Little Bird is lost, saving the pilot is still a net gain for the USA player's forces.
Behind the scenes
- Prior to 1.5, the Little Bird was available to USA players; it was later replaced by the Cobra, and in turn by the Viper.
- In 1.802 the Little Bird can be coded back into the game, with same stats as its 1.5 version.
- The Little Bird is also available in ShockWave, another modification by SWR productions, where it is armed with heavy machineguns instead of miniguns.