Flying Crows can be fielded very early in the game if the Confucian Academy is built advancing to the Colonial Age, though it takes five minutes for the wonder to produce one, which is about twice the training time of a heavy cannon. Training time will decrease by 5% should the Chinese player employ their team engineering card (the Acupuncture card does not affect Flying Crows). The hit points and damage can be increased using the siege damage, siege hit points, siege combat, and western reform cards.
The Flying Crow is produced and works similar to the British Rocket, therefore, the usage of both is in many ways the same. The Flying Crow is best against buildings and large masses of infantry as it deals damage in an area of 3, increased by 1 in the Fortress Age and another 1 in the Industrial Age, totaling 5 in the Industrial Age, equal to a Great Bombard.
It starts out with a poor range of only 18 which is the same as an Abus Gun, but increases by 5 in the Fortress Age and another 5 in the Industrial Age, totaling 28 in the Industrial Age. It is best used to soften an enemy advance at this range, especially against Skirmishers, because of their low hitpoints, and heavy infantry, as the Chinese Arquebusier is not as effective as the European Skirmisher.
The Flying Crow, like any other artillery unit, is susceptible to cavalry assaults and other artillery, such as the Culverin. They themselves though are quite effective against weaker artillery units such as Horse Artillery or Morutaru and combined with Keshiks or Steppe Riders, they can be quite effective.
The Flying Crow auto upgrades through the Ages.
- Fortress Age: +25% HP & Damage, +5 Range, +1 Area
- Industrial Age: +25% HP & Damage, +5 Range, +1 Area
- Imperial Age: +50% HP & Damage
"The first recorded uses of such a rocket-propelled weapon occurred in 969 CE. The flying crow was an evolution of this early rocket technology, and was utilized as both a physical and psychological weapon. Its two wings allowed for natural lift and stabilization and also acted as carriage for the four rockets (two under each wing) that propelled the weapon through the air. At a certain stage of flight, the rockets would flare up and ignite the gunpowder within. The flying crow was said to fly to heights above 1,000 feet and eventually crash into the ground. Detonating near an enemy encampment, it sent a rain of fire down upon its targets.
The flying crow was constructed of bamboo laths, much like a basket, and then covered with paper to strengthen its shape. Two variations on this avian theme have been recorded in the history of Chinese siege warfare, the “flying crow with magic fire,” a larger model with four-rocket propulsion, and the “spiritual flying duck,” a smaller model using only two rockets."
- It explodes in a fireworks display when destroyed.
- It is the only artillery piece available in the Colonial Age.