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Tip of the Week #106 - Vertigo Bombers

By stoochie - 5th September 2011 - 18:11 PM

Hello, Commanders!

Today we'll investigate the ups, downs and everything in between regarding the Vertigo Bomber. Not too often is the Vertigo seen in online play, but it can be the perfect weapon of choice in some situations. Keep in mind of course that there is always a right time and a wrong time for any unit, and the Vertigo is not one that you want to use at the wrong time, as it comes at a steep price.

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First off, the Vertigo a pricey unit costing 1800 credits. That means suicide runs are not the best idea as you're probably going to be doing more harm to yourself than to your opponent. The Vertigo almost rivals the Firehawk when it comes to bombing structures, but its true strength lies in attacking vehicles. (That's because the Vertigo bomb deals 3000 cannon damage, while each of the Firehawk's two bombs deal 1500 grenade damage, as you can check with the Tiberium Wars damage guide.) The Vertigo Bomber is available to Nod and its subfaction Marked of Kane at tier 3 and has a deadly payload that can destroy light units like Pitbulls, APCs, Seekers or Scorpion Tanks with a single bomb.

Listed below are the numbers of Vertigoes that are required to destroy important structures:
  • Power Plant/Space Command Uplink/Tiberium Chemical Plant/Signal Transmitter: 2
  • Refinery/Extractor: 5
  • War Factory/Warp Sphere: 5
  • Command Centre/Nerve Centre/Operations Centre: 3
  • Tech Centre/Tech Lab/Technology Assembler: 5
The downside to the Vertigo is it has a very long reload time, and it is very easily killed by the right counters, so be sure to take care of your bombers and use their stealth to the fullest by going where there isn't stealth detection or much anti-air. Strike the enemy where they don't expect it.

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Vertigo getting taken down by Pitbulls and Rocket Squads

On a plus side, the Vertigo isn't often used, so it can catch your enemy off guard. Just make sure to place your Air Tower somewhere remote like in the back of your base where your opponent won't see it easily.

A good idea is to build either two or four Vertigoes and group them in pairs. This way you can easily micro your bombers to pick off Harvesters, Juggernauts or Tanks. Always try to be unpredictable in where you attack to make your opponent overspend in stealth detection and anti-air. If they invest too much on that, you can simply cruise around the map and pick off any stray units or unprotected buildings.

Vertigoes have a large splash damage radius, which allows for some creativity: If you have the skill, you can lead up a shot or force-fire on the ground between two units to get the most value from your payload, and all you need are two Vertigoes to take out a group of clumped Harvesters or Juggernauts.

Listed below are the number of Vertigoes required to destroy certain units:
  • Power Plant: 2
  • Scorpion Tank/Seeker/Shardwalker/APC/Pitbull/Specter: 1
  • Predator Tank/Devourer Tank/Harvester (any except for Shielded Harvester)/Juggernaut: 2
  • Unshielded Tripod/Shielded Harvester: 3
  • Avatar/Shielded Tripod/Mammoth Tank: 4
Another feature of the Vertigo is its rear anti-air machine gun. It's a relatively weak weapon, but it can serve its purpose on occasions. It can be just the thing that wards off those pesky Orcas trying to kill your Harvesters, and it can tip the tide of battle where you are being bombed by long-range Devastator Warships.

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Boom baby!

The Vertigo Bomber has one upgradable feature, the Stealth Pod. The upgrade is cheap, costing only 500 credits from your Air Tower, and each Pod costs 300 per use. The Pod lasts for 1.5 minutes and will stealth anything friendly in its vicinity.

The Stealth Pod can be dropped on tanks or buildings allowing for some really sneaky tricks. You can stealth a Reckoner and drive around wreaking havoc with Saboteurs or a Commando for a much lower the price than a cloaking field. Also, due to the Pod stealthing nearby units, your Engineer won't be seen slipping into the enemy building. *evil laugh*

In the right circumstances an Air Support Tower could be just the thing to save you 6400 credits worth of bombers. When your Vertigo sets down after a bombing run it will refuse to take off again until it has reloaded. Any good player will exploit this and destroy your bombers while they're on the deck. If they attempt this and you have already prepared ahead of time with a Support Tower, then you can simply retreat your Vertigoes there and they will do so, regardless whether they have reloaded or not. Please note that you need to order your Vertigoes to the Air Support Tower before they start the landing sequence; once Vertigoes have landed, they won't lift off until they have reloaded their ammo.

Storming blindly into an enemy's base will not get you very far by any means, and the likelihood of escaping alive is slim (assuming your opponent has the slightest idea of what they're is doing). The first thing you will want to do is scout your the base to locate where and how many anti-air defences there are. This includes both static and moving defences (turrets and units). Static defences are obviously your biggest concern as you know that they aren't going anywhere. So, discover their positions, plan an attack route and go for it. Be sure to control your Vertigoes on the trip home as well, because if you allow them to return home by themselves, they will take the shortest path, which in almost every case is a path of doom.

In summary

  • Vertigoes are expensive but can pay off very well if micromanaged properly.
  • They take long to reload, so send them on another bombing run as soon as they have rearmed.
  • Be unpredictable with your attacks and give yourself the psychological edge by doing so.
  • Vertigoes are great for destroying Harvesters and artillery and serve well as support.
  • Vertigoes are a good unit choice for catching your enemy off guard, and they also provide the very underused but very sneaky Stealth Pods.
  • Group your Vertigo Bombers in groups of two to allow for easier management.
  • Build an Air Support Tower somewhere away from your main Air Tower if the enemy has spotted your main Air Tower and if you suspect they will destroy it with your bombers still on deck.
Keep these points in mind when using the Vertigo bomber and cause the most bang for your buck!

Good luck, commander, we'll see you on the battlefield!