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USAF vs Inf Guide
Forum » CollapseZero Hour Strategies, Tactics and Tips » USA Strategies
Joined: 20th Oct 2014
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21st Oct 2014

Matchup Overview and Basics

Know your enemy and know yourself

USAF vs Infantry is a very unforgiving matchup due mainly to the sheer lethality of the units involved. The game can turn for or against you rather quickly, and the end result of the game will be determined by well you can maximize your strengths while exploiting your opponent's weaknesses. Below is a chart of strengths and weaknesses of both Airforce and Infantry:



* Speed

* Firepower

* Unit efficiency


* Firepower

* Numbers

* Easy start up



* Armor

* Expensive start up


* Armor

Why did I say the matchup is unforgiving? Look at how the strengths and weaknesses compliment each other in the same exact way. Both Airforce and Infantry suffer from a lack of armored units, but both have incredible firepower. So the tide of the game can quickly turn if you dont pay attention, and it can be very very hard to recover as there's no unit to fall back on if you get in trouble. What I've highlighted in the table is what you should focus in on. Try and exploit your strengths and minimize his as much as humanly possible. Exploiting his weakness will come naturally as a result of the build orders and tactics presented in the strategy guide.

Your greatest assets and what to do with them

Simply put, King Raptors, flashbang Rangers, and Humvees are your best friends early on, and then Pathfinders basically guarantee you the win later on. These are the units that you'll rely heavily upon. However your greatest asset is your own skill in controling these units so that you'll maximize damage and minimize losses. You'll have to micromanage these like crazy if you want to stand a chance against Infantry. Air vs Infantry is one of the hardest matchups in the game without a doubt and you need to know how to make life easy for yourself.

The USA faction in general cannot handle masses of units very well, and this is especially true of USAF since it has no armored unit to help offset the combined firepower of lots of units. Lack of good area effect weaponry and units that are not expendable are the reasons for this. Your overall goal during the course of the game should be to prevent infantry from massing units as much as you can. Even a single troop crawler full of 2 chev Minigunners is not easy to kill. It requires very close attention to micromanagement and takes quite a bit of time. This is when Infantry starts to get the upper hand. They'll keep you busy and on your toes with harassment attacks while building up and controlling the map. You need to keep them defensive and keep taking opportunities to pick off easy targets to keep their numbers down and in a favorable posture. If not you'll simply get over-run. You THINK you can camp up and that 200 firebases filled with flashbang rangers will work, but it wont. There's no limit to how much Infantry can send your way.

You also want to be aggressive killing his buildings as those will get your promoted faster (thus quicker access to pathfinder) than killing the swarms of minigunners and tank hunters he sends at you. Keep in mind that troop crawlers and outposts do NOT give off any experience when you kill them, and minigunners and tank hunters give off very very little, even in large numbers. This makes getting to pathfinders very difficult. Buildings and supply trucks are your best bet, especially considering they also directly help you stay ahead of Infantry's production capability.

What to watch out for and things that can screw you

Micromanagement requires a lot of concentration and this is very true when it comes to this matchup. The thing you have to be careful of is not to get tunnel vision when focusing on micromanaging just one or two units. Multitasking is the key, as is map awareness. Due to Infantry's lethality, if you dont pay attention to a unit you've sent down to his base to raid his economy while you're busy fending off minigunners at your own base, you'll lose that unit before you have a chance to really save it. The same is true if you spend too much time focusing on that unit than the swarm that's in your base. Always always always multitask. While this obviously true of any matchup, it's rather hard to do against Infantry because of the sheer numbers of units that can be sent at you and all over the map. It also doesn't take many units from Infantry to screw you. A single minigunner up the flank and brought to your supplies can be crippling. Normally something like a Gattling Tank gives away it's position before it gets close enough to your base to cause serious problems. You can see tread marks leading into the fog of war when you scan or scout, which indicates a vehicle is heading to your base. You can often literally hear trees collapsing as a vehicle approaches. Plus a Gattling Tank will start to fire at your chinooks from a large distance signaling the unit under attack alert. But because a minigunner is silent, leaves no trace of it's movement, and will not fire while moving, you might not even notice it's behind your supplies until it's already in a very difficult position to remove. It's also go similar firepower to a Gattling Tank. Also note that a minigunner can run very quickly and will easily outpace your rangers. This is why it's important for you to utilize any units who's strength is speed.

Tactical Counter Guide


What is the Tactical Counter Guide? It's a quick reference chart for knowing which units are supposed to counter what. Easy to read icons allow you to see what does what a glance. It's absolutely crucial to know and understand this counter guide as all of the strategies, tactics, and build orders in the following sections are entirely dependant on the information presented here.

The way it works is based on the trouble units specific to the army you're facing. It should be obvious to you that a rocket soldier is designed to take out tanks. If not, read the game's manual or look at the tool tips of the units in game. The Tactical Counter Guide is designed to clarify the more subtle, less obvious counter systems for the matchup at hand. Not all of them are as clear cut as rocket soldiers countering tanks and many of them involve multiple units. The most troublesome units in a matchup are listed first, and then solution to them listed to the right. Keep in mind the selected counters are the best, cheapest, and most efficient relative counters available. This does not guarantee that they will be a perfect solution. Read the general overview for Command and Conquer Generals: Zero Hour's design to find out why.

The guide 

Problem Solution

Helix -> KR

Troop Crawler -> MD + Humvee

Mini gunner -> Humvee

Mini gunner + TH -> FB rangers + firebase

Attack Outpost -> KR

MiG -> KR / TOW Humvees

ECM -> Firebase + LL MD.

Tactical Details

Placing your spy drone

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Joined: 20th Oct 2014
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21st Oct 2014

Hitting Attack Outposts with King Raptors
The nice thing about Outposts is that a single King Raptor can kill the outpost and all the infantry inside of it. It's a quick easy solution to at least one problem from Infantry. However it's not always as straight forward. When AOs stealth themselves, the KRs will lose their target. Sometimes you might have an inbound KR, and the AO will stop moving and cloak and the KR will just turn around and go back to the airfield. This becomes a problem when you're using King Raptors as support for your humvees. You should always been using humvees to raid Infantry's supplies while using KRs to pick off AOs so that you dont have to retreat your MDvees. If a KR was inbound an AO stopped and stealthed itself (maybe the player wasn't aware an MDvee was near his base) you could lose the coordinated timing that allows you to pressure Infantry and keep him on the defensive. Always have your first King Raptor hotkeyed and have it circling nearby (air guard mode). Then you'll have less delay waiting for it to reach its target. If you need, make note of where an AO stops and force fire on that spot and the KR will have the same effect.

*note* Never hit Assault Troop Crawlers with KRs. SOMETIMES you can get lucky and kill the minigunners if you hit it perpendicular to the side of the ATC (not head on or from the rear), but almost always will you lose your KR.

Dealing with ATCs and their minigunners
This is probably the most challenging thing to deal with when facing infantry. If his first unit is an ATC and not an AO, dont bet on having flashbangs and rangers ready to deal with it. You're going to have to do it the hard way. Use an MDvee to crack open the ATC (or laser lock it with a Missle Defender. Then use your humvee(s) to kill the minigunners. This is a lot harder than it sounds. For starters, a humvee's machine gun is not the best thing to kill minigunners with when you look at other units like gattling tanks. Plus the humvee's armor is terrible and minigunners will tear through it. But since minigunners have a very short range, and cannot fire while moving, you have the ability to keep backing your humvee off while it constantly fires at them. You absolutely must let the gun constantly fire as it takes long enough to kill the minigunners as it is. You cant afford to keep retreating then coming back to fire off a couple shots only to retreat again to get away. You have to micromanage the humvee in such a way that it drives in reverse instead of turning around, and stay just ahead of the minigunner range so that your gun is always firing (insert image, replay, or video to illustrate here). If you happen to be in HIS base you kill the ATC, just ignore the minigunners and use your speed advantage to keep harassing his supplies. ATCs are expensive and take a while to build. Chances are if he started off with one, you can easily shut down his economy with one MDvee and he wont have much money left to recover.

Forward rax build orders from Infantry.
Infantry players like to set up two barracks right in front of your base. Your spy drone should give this away in no time. If you see this happening, ignore the build orders presented in the previous section. DO NOT BUILD AN AIRFIELD IF YOU SEE THIS! If you're playing on Tournament Desert, make your own forward rax in the middle and get missile defenders into the buildings to start killing his dozer and his barracks. Make a firebase in range of the barracks if needed and bring a humvee up for support. It's almost impossible for a "rax rusher" to get his barracks up before you if he sends his first dozer, since his stuff will build at half speed and your power will have already been built. Just micromanage a couple empty humvees to kill off minigunners while you're researching flashbangs.

Dealing with ECM Tanks
These can turn the tide of the game in favor for Infantry. Thankfully Infantry cannot feasibly fast-tech to get these without being destroyed by early game MDvee raids and a couple KR strikes to take out the prop center before he can do anything with it. But in the off chance you were not successful at pinning him in his base, you need to start anticipating these as well as hordes of infantry coming your way. The only good solution to ECMs are firebases and missile defenders. ECMs are specially coded to deal with laser lock, so be sure NOT to laser lock them with your missile defenders, just let your missile defenders behave normally and they'll be more effective. Then just have lots of flashbang rangers ready. You have to be careful about migs though as a mig strike can wipe out all your flashbang rangers and then you'll be overwhelmed with minigunners and tank hunters. Chances are he wont have both ECMs and Migs in his first wave of attacks, but after he sends his lotus out to capture the oil, his next wave will. ECMs are simply not easy to deal with. They will significantly hamper your ability to crack open his AOs and ATCs, thus allowing him to push into your base and deal quite a bit of damage. Do your very best to either prevent him from getting tech or affording it.

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