Gunship is an AH-64 Apache helicopter simulation that was released by Microprose in 1986. Its platforms include DOS, Atari ST, Amiga, Commodore 64, MSX and ZX Spectrum. A direct sequel, Gunship 2000, was released in 1991.
After selection of region, style, and enemies, the pilot is assigned a primary mission and a secondary mission. These could include such objectives as "Destroy enemy headquarters" or "Support friendly troops" (i.e. destroy targets near friendly forces). The latter would be an easier mission, because the battle would be fought closer to friendly lines.
The pilot then arms the chopper, usually selecting:
In Central America, the Middle East, and Western Europe, AIM-9 Sidewinders would also be standard equipment, usually as a backup air-to-air weapon in case of cannon failure.
- AGM-114 Hellfires Air-to-Ground Missile (guided missiles that destroy "hard" targets such as bunkers and tanks)
- FFARs Folding Fin Aerial Rocket (unguided rockets that destroy "soft" targets such as infantry and installations)
- HEDP (High-Explosive, Dual-Purpose) rounds for the 30 mm cannon (an all-purpose weapon with a maximum range of 1.5km)
Patient players might move in short jumps, crouching behind hills to block the enemy's line of sight and suddenly popping up to attack. More aggressive players generally fly fast and erratically to evade enemy fire, flying in low to deliver devastating cannon attacks at close range. Since flight time is a component of the mission evaluation, either method has its advantages. The latter, however, can be rather dangerous against 1st Line enemies whose fast reaction times can cause the chopper to be pummelled with relentless fire.
Most enemy fire, especially from light cannons, is deflected by armor. Some enemy fire will cause systems damage. After enough damaging hits, the structural integrity will fail, causing a general power failure. This manifests itself in a dual-engine flameout, warranting an emergency landing. An emergency landing by a seriously injured pilot in enemy territory causes him to become Missing in Action. If the pilot lands without serious injury, he can escape back to base and live to fight another day.
There is no defined time limit in the game. A player can return to any number of Forward Area Resupply Points where he'll be rearmed, refueled and damage repaired. Returning to the Home Base will end the mission. Ideally, the pilot completes both missions, knocks out other targets, and makes it back to base within 20 minutes.