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ZH Gameicon
ZH Gameicon
Aurora Alpha
Generals Aurora Alpha
Aurora Alpha's unique model, first seen in Zero Hour patch 1.03
Unit
Affiliation
Base unit

Aurora

Role

Strike bomber

Armament

Small Tactical Fuel Air Bomb

Protection

Light

Production
Cost

$2500

Requires
Function
Upgrades
ZH Countermeasures Icons
Countermeasures
Gen1 Advanced Training Icons
Advanced Training
Who would call something Alpha?
- General Alexis
ZH Aurora Alpha Icons

The Aurora Alpha is a supersonic bomber utilized by the USA General Alexis Alexander as an improvement to the Aurora, carrying a destructive Fuel Air Bomb in Zero Hour.

Background

On its attack run, the Aurora Alpha's great speed prevents any enemy anti-aircraft weapons from successfully attacking it. However, unlike the regular variant, the Alpha maintains supersonic speed on its return run, slowing only for turns, a few seconds after it drops its payload, and landing. This trait makes the Alpha much more powerful than the conventional Aurora, as you can safely fly over an AA-heavy area to strike a remote target and still be able to get enough speed to ignore that same area on your return.

The Alpha Aurora is one of many foreign units that General Leang has access to.

Upgrades

ZH Countermeasures Icons
Countermeasures Grants the Aurora Alpha a 50% chance of negating missile-based attacks. Purchasable at any American Airfield in Zero Hour for $1000
Gen1 Advanced Training Icons
Advanced Training Doubles the chance of an Aurora Alpha gaining veterancy after a successful kill. Purchasable at any Strategy Center for $1500

Game unit

Strategy

The primary purpose of the Aurora Alpha is demolition. Two Aurora Alpha bombs can destroy several buildings in one strike. However, the Aurora Alpha is extremely vulnerable as it transitions to its return run and has to be used carefully as it is also quite expensive. In addition to buildings, Aurora Alphas are effective at destroying slow-moving vehicles, such as artillery and Overlord tanks. Groups of slower-moving vehicles, infantry, and grounded aircraft are especially at the mercy of the aircraft.

Counters

Due to its supersonic nature, no anti-air measures are effective against an Aurora Alpha on its bombing run. However, once the Alpha Aurora finishes its bombing run, it becomes vulnerable to all forms of anti-air weapons for a short time as it performs a painfully slow turn to return to base. It is important to note that, after around 3 seconds of straight-line flight, the Alpha regains its original supersonic speed and can negate all AA and out-fly all missiles it flies over as it returns to base, whereas the original does not. They are also extremely expensive to construct and far too costly to be used for one-way missions.

Assessment

Pros

  • Same cost as the original Aurora despite improvements
  • Fuel Air Bomb has larger impact
  • Effective against mass units due to bomb doing splash damage
  • After 3 seconds of straight-line flight, it regains its immunity to Anti-aircraft fire
  • Even when flying slow, the drop range on the bomb often makes it so that the aircraft only takes one missile before returning to base

Cons

  • Still an expensive unit
  • Fragile armor
  • Somewhat vulnerable while turning, taking off/ascending, and landing/descending
  • Bombs might hit friendlies.

Notes

Quite humorously, targets struck by 3 Aurora Alphas will be sent flying in a similar fashion to those struck by a Fuel Air Bomb or MOAB. Infantry will fly off the map and often into the game's camera, while vehicles will be tossed a certain distance that is dependent upon their size (Technicals will be thrown much farther than Overlords) If the vehicles land upside down, they will be instantly destroyed (provided they survive the initial fuel air bomb detonation).

Also humorously, if one deploys 4 Auroras on the same target, the last one will not actually be fast enough to escape the detonation, as it will still be in the middle of the turn, and will die horribly, yet amusingly. This can be replicated with fewer if there is large terrain in the way, such as a mountain.

The Aurora Alpha is often ridiculed as a "cheap win", as the unit's power, survivability and relatively cheap price combined with a robust economy ensured an opponent could simply spam Aurora Alphas until the enemy is demolished, as there is no counter against the Aurora Alpha until it releases its payload. As such, the unit is often has rules set against it during matches, or even with individuals outright banning the use of General Alexander.

Quotes

Fuel Air Aurora
- Aurora Alpha
Fuel Air Bombs arm and ready
- Aurora Alpha
Fuel weapon ready for deployment
- Aurora Alpha
Ready the Fuel Air Bomb!
- Aurora Alpha
Dropping off the Fuel Air Bomb
- Aurora Alpha
The Fuel Air Bomb should be enough
- Aurora Alpha


Trivia

  • The Aurora Alpha uses the unused model of the Hypersonic Aurora for General Granger.
  • Unique quotes for the Aurora Alpha (shown above) were never implemented for an unknown reason. However, they can be implemented via INI editing.
Generals USA icon United States of America First GLA War Arsenal Generals USA icon

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