Orca VTOL Ass-ault Craft
Welcome fellow Orca VTOL Assault Craft fans, this is the place where we will discuss one of the most versatile GDI's vehicles. I hope that once you have read through this that you will have a better view of these flying machines.
Tough though it is, the Orca is a fragile craft, however, don't underestimate it.
 GDI's Orca VTOL Assault Craft Information
First, background information about the Orca.
- Cost: 900 credits
This is the second most expensive vehicle of the game. Only the Mammoth is more expensive to buy.
- Primary Weapon: Rockets
A medium ranged attack which does a fair amount of damage. It has slow rate-of-fire and is generally only useful against slow vehicles and buildings.
- Secondary Weapon: Chaingun
The most used weapon. This gun fires extremely fast, has almost instant-hit bullets, no-reload, and does substantial damage to all units but particularly infantry.
- Crew: 1
The Orca is a one-man craft and has space for the pilot only. The ideal character be is Hotwire/Engineer unless you're going to do something unconventional.
Some people say that the Orca is not worth its money. It gets shot down too fast and it isn't easy to fly with. Well, even though it has a huge lack of armour its speed and maneuverability can keep it alive! The Orca sacrifices armour in return for speed. An experienced Orca player can, in ideal circumstances destroy any other unit in the game.
This brings us to the second rumour, people say that Orcas' are weak VS a Ramjet. This is pretty much true. Five shots from a Ramjet Rifle will destroy an Orca. The only good thing is that a Ramjet clip holds 4 bullets, giving a chance to escape fire while the sniper reloads.
Many say that the Orca is superior to the Apache Attack Helicopter; this is actually true. The Orca pitches less when moving, has greater agility, the chaingun's rounds go further and the tracer is easier to see than that of the the Apaches'. The Orca is also superior in a dogfight versus an apache, as the machine gun is able to fire at a more upwards angle while flying backwards.
 The Rockets
The primary weapon of the Orca VTOL Assault Craft is rockets. Even though they are its main weapons, they will not be used as often as the chaingun because they have have only slight tracking abilities and a rather short range - thus making them weak against fast moving targets.
The good points of the Orca's rockets are:
- They can do more damage than the chaingun against vehicles and buildings
- They do splash damage and are thus very handy for snuffing out snipers that are hiding behind a pillar or any other obstacle.
The bad points of the Orcas rockets are:
- They can't hit moving targets very easily
- They have a very short range
The best use of rockets is against buildings, taking down harvesters and harassing camped snipers behind cover. Generally though the chaingun is a more reliable weapon for most encounters.
 The Chaingun
The favorite weapon of all Orca users! The Chaingun is a very handy weapon to have. Unlike all the other GDI vehicle weaponry, this weapon doesn't need to reload and so can fire continuously. Thus making it the best anti-infantry weapon in the entire GDI arsenal. It is also highly effective against tanks as it can fire down from a sharp angle above the turret invulnerable to its counterfire. Most advanced Orca pilots use the chaingun against Mobile Artilleries or other low armored vehicles. The bullets have a rather big damage rate and if used properly it can destroy an enemy vehicle and its crew in a few seconds.
The Orca has many strengths. Some of them are told here.
- There is nothing in the game that an Orca cannot kill (except, obviously, purchase terminals and the Nod Cargo Plane). One of its two weapons will be effective against anything the enemy can throw at you.
- The high speed and maneuverability of the Orca makes it quite difficult to hit with slow moving munitions, like rockets and tank shells.
- The Orca has longer range on its chaingun, but its not very accurate at long range. Otherwise it's fairly effective against everything but buildings.
- Another strength of the Orca is that they are able to fly above a tank, and fire directly down into it's guns' blindspot. Any tank will need to move in order to hit it's attacker. (APCs and small wheeled vehicles DON'T apply to this rule, although in practice it is incredibly difficult for APCs and buggys/hummvees to fire back.)
- Flying units are the best with which to crush people with, and the Orca is no exception. Its high speed and the ability to come down on top of you vertically makes it well-suited for running/crushing infantry over. Although it takes a little practice to be able to land on units at speed.
- Some maps or servers provide stronger Orcas making them able to withstand a much harder beating; giving them higher health and armour limits.
- Orcas cannot be damaged while recieving fire colliding with the GDI symbol on either side of the Orca.
The weaknesses of the Orca include.
- Snipers of any sort, a good sniper can kill an Orca. But this of course also depends on the skill of the Orca pilot. Note that 1 Ramjet only needs 5 shots to kill you... You have 1 chance to avoid being shot down if being targeted by a ramjet as the sniper needs to reload to get the 5th bullet off.
- Heavy infantry like Raveshaws or Mendoza are also a pain for Orcas if they get too close, because their weaponry can inflict very high damage very quickly.
- Laser infantry, they have a long range and do medium but continuous damage, relentlessly wearing down your health. The laser shots are very difficult to dodge so either try to take down the shooter or take evasive manuevers to protect your craft.
- Shotgunners. No I'm not joking. At close range, being blasted by a shotgun is equivalent to being hit by a Ramjet shell. Its a rare occasion that a shotgunner can get that close though.
- Humvees,Buggies and APCs. They have about the same amount of health as the Orca does, and all of them are capable of shooting an Orca at a long range. Their bullets also chew up an Orca in seconds.
 Facing an Orca
The ideal unit you want to shoot down any flying unit is a Sakura/Havoc with their Ramjet rifles. A stolen Ramjet is not suitable as it can fire only 1 round before reload.
Five shots and an Orca goes down. Chances are however that the Orca pilot will immediately begin evasive manuevers and land behind cover to repair as your shots hit. To guarantee a kill go in a sniping team or attack an Orca which has already taken damage.
On the offchance that the Orca you are targeting drops to repair while still in your sight, try killing the Hotwire/Engineer repairing it. It then gives your team a chance to capture it or, if not possible then allows you to destroy it more easily.
If you don't have 1000 credits and urgently need to reduce Orca numbers a standard 500 credit sniper can do significant damage and in groups or with other infantry can take down Orcas.
Any laser infantry - Stealth Black Hands, Laser Chain Gunners and Raveshaws can be lethal to flying units with their instant-hit shots and substantial damage; especially if the Orcas' are engaged en masse.
Irregardless of what you use, the best way to kill an Orca is to not get killed by it first. Use cover and don't try facing off with a lone infantry unit in the open and at close range against it. Its chaingun can kill in less than a second if it lands the bullets on your head.
For info about pilot rankings GDI/NOD Pilot rankings
 Orca Tactics
Some flying maps have some kind of glitches in them. Some tactics:
City Flying: - You get your Orca behind the large building on the side of the Hand of Nod and lower height. Then you rapidly fly behind the Hand of Nod and straight onto the Nod Obelisk, making sure not to fly up beside it's discharge tip. If you are lucky, most Nod players have left the base or too far way to respond to your intrusion and you are free to kill the Obelisk! You may also deter engineers/technicians from entering by squishing anyone who attempts to enter, but this is quite difficult to successfully achieve. If this doesn't work, make sure you have a Hotwire or Engineer and run directly into the Nod Obelisk when your vehicle blows up, keeping close enough to the ground to survive the fall just before you lose the Orca.
Walls Flying: - You fly right into the Nod Base with a rather high speed. Stop and start hovering above a building and start firing rockets. If the enemy still can hit you, start swirling around the building, by making small circles. If they can still hit you, rapidly gain and lower your height, and strafe side to side (by holding CTRL and using the a and d keys). Keep doing this and you will survive for a long time. It is also very easy with an Orca to fly behind a Sakura or sniper that has positioned himself on the wall. You just fly low, then you get to the side and surprise them before blowing them away to their deaths.
Glacier Flying: - Same tactic as City Flying. Just fly behind the Hand of Nod and fly straigth onto the Nod Obelisk. However, the Obelisk is much further from the Hand of Nod than in City Flying, and is much more difficult to achieve.
 Priorities before Flying
On most maps, one has the ability to infantry rush (or do a fast rush with a Hummvee), but if you wish to use an Orca, you should think of destroying either the Hand of NOD, Refinery or the Powerplant. This so that anti-air infantry will be set back to a minimum. Of course if the HON can be destroyed, it will stay at a minimum.
Another priority is to try and keep your credits high! If someone is able to destroy your Orca, that you at least have some credits to be able to rebuy your lost aircraft. Many a time have I seen people buy an Orca, have it lost after an amount of time, but don't have the credits to rebuy it! This is especially frustrating if the refinery is down...cause if you lose your refinery and the enemy has a hell bunch of snipers, you're better off saving your money than falling out of the sky in a hail of lead.