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Tip of the Week #61 - Transports

By ^Cerby- - 10th August 2009 - 14:22 PM

Transports (airlifts) are a rarely used feature that may be useful in certain situations. Both GDI and Nod (but not Scrin) have access to airborne transports, which pass over all obstacles such as mountains or rivers. And an engineer airlifted behind enemy lines may be quite a surprise for your opponents!

Cost and usage: Calling for transport costs 500 credits per unit. The transport craft remains under your control until the passenger unit disembarks (or until the transport is destroyed, which will kill the passenger instantly).


The GDI have access to the Ox V-35 Transport aircraft once you have built an Airfield. This is the fastest transport in the game (but it has the same armor/healthpoints as its Nod counterpart, the Carryall). With the Ox V-35, you can transport all infantry units and all tier-1 vehicles to any location on the map.

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GDI Ox transports airlifting Predator tanks.

As GDI are the dominant military power on the planet, they are able to supply certain support powers by airlift (at a cost):
  • 2 veteran Pitbulls and 2 APCs ("Bloodhounds").
  • 2 veteran Riflemen Squads and 2 Missile Squads ("GDI Airborne")
  • 3 veteran Sniper Teams ("Sharpshooters").
Use these support power to your advantage!

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Let's see what we can do with the Nod transport, the Carryall. It is not as fast as the GDI transport, which can disadvantage the Nod commander, since an escaping Carryall can easily be hunted down and destroyed (for example by pursuing Pitbulls). You can start using Carryalls once you have an Air Tower. To protect your transport, escort it with Venoms and beware of enemy anti-air defenses.

Like its GDI counterpart, the Nod Carryall can transport all infantry units and all tier-1 vehicles. However, as Nod is a loosely organized underground militia, it does not have any support powers that are delivered via airlift.

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Nod Carryalls escorted by Venom aircrafts.

Strategical considerations

If you know the APC/Engineer tactic, the Transport/Engineer tactic should come as no surprise. So, you could train an APC/Engineer and then call for transport, but this approach is more expensive than the pure Transport/Engineer (although it is probably less risky for your engineer). The Transport/Engineer combination is less expensive than APC/Engineer, but more dangerous, because your Engineer risks being killed by Riflemen when he lands.

In either situation, if your Transport is spotted, it will be destroyed by enemy anti-air defenses. So unless you have scouted well or are willing to gamble, escort your Transport with Orcas or Venoms. This also applies for the following tactics.

Transports can also be very troublesome when loaded with an APC carrying Snipers or Zone Troopers, as the infrantry will be able to shot ground units from within the airlifted APC, and their firing range will be increased! For instance, if your opponent is spamming infantry, or when he has more infantry than vehicles, put a Sniper Team in an APC and call for transport. The Snipers will hit everything that moves, and you can use your transport to "mop up" large groups of enemy infantry. Similarly, if your enemy spams vehicles, use the same approach with Zone Troopers. Don't forget to keep an eye on your Transports, as your enemy may try to counter them (e.g. with Firehawks or Pitbulls).

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A Transport/APC/Engineer attack!

Thanks to R Schneider and Panczasu for their contributions.

Join the discussion of this tip of the week!