|Flying: Flying units can move over any terrain tile.|
Description[edit | edit source]
Like the regular Hornet, this enemy's flying status means it can ignore both mountains/cities and your own units in order to go to any unoccupied square it wants. It cannot be drowned, so has to be killed through damage and damaging effects instead.
Their ability to attack two tiles for two damage makes them a menace, sometimes restricting the directions you can safely move them around in, and they have enough health to survive most un-upgraded attacks - 2 damage and shoving for 1 extra still leaves them alive, so often they will take 2 actions to eliminate entirely. Even in the late-game when the player has access to attacks that do 4 base damage, their mobility and ability to attack from water or pit tiles makes them able to attack from unexpected angles, inaccessible corners, or body-block your mechs from reaching important passages.
They are very dangerous and should be given caution and respect - as in, they should be killed at the earliest opportunity that is at all reasonable.
Strategy[edit | edit source]
4 health is hard to get rid of with a single attack, but any kind of pre-emptive or additive damage makes a huge difference - fire, bump damage from other attacks or your own Mechs, or enemy fire can score additional damage on them, and once they're at 3 health they are easier to kill outright, let alone 2 or 1.
Attacks that both damage and move the enemy at the same time are essential for dealing with them, as are weapons that can either pull, teleport, or cancel the Hornet's attack entirely. If you have access to any kind of freezing weapon, Alpha Hornets are a fine target to use them on. Freezing them over water will not drown them as it will also create an ice tile, but shoving a frozen hornet into the water will still drown it. Freezing a hornet over pit will make it fall into the pit, but beware the final mission, you cannot freeze a hornet flying above lava!
Note that although they can fly, they still can't occupy tiles your own units are occupying, so occasionally it can be useful to park your own mechs / allied units in inside corners, or next to the middle city of a line of 3 cities, that it would otherwise be very annoying for the hornet to enter. Always have a plan for how to dislodge a hornet from either faraway cities, or narrow passageways.
On the initial deployment turn, deploying two of your mechs in a line can sometimes cause Alpha Hornets to attack your mechs instead of cities, which gives you better breathing room, but even if it's a valid attack for them it's no guarantee they will take the bait, so still be sure to have good map coverage. It's often worth a try, though.
4 health may be a lot for your own mechs in the early game, but some enemy attacks can do heavy damage, so always be on the lookout for ways to get other Alpha enemies (particularly Alpha Fireflies or Alpha Beetles), or Leapers, to attack the Alpha Hornet. The Firefly Leader can do 4 damage too, killing them in one shot.