BCM102 - Rockslide megabattle

(6:34) Level 2 ('Halo') on Heroic. This shows two plays of a rockslide megabattle save featuring 34 covies, using the far area defence plan with Stacker and Johnson, and restricting myself to plasma weapons. Really tough work! For variety I'm using a different save from the one seen in BCM101. This time Johnson has the chain-gun, and one of the Elites has a needler.

Released April 19th 2013, gameplay recorded April 17th 2014.

Commentary

00:02 (Play 1) Taking a right turn, this save features a Grunt by the tree - quite unusual. He becomes the first casualty as we head along the cliff then curve across the battlefield. A red Elite has a narrow escape, almost getting squished against a rock. I wasn't trying to get him though; I like to have all seven Elites alive for the fighting. Entering the rockslide, I take a new and challenging course, curving sharp left to head back out through a narrow gap. That took a bit of practice to do at pretty much full speed. A Grunt takes evasive action with a dive to the right of the hog, and I think Johnson gives him a taste of the chain-gun as we head for the defence location, where I grab plasma weapons and empty the hog.

00:35 A glut of covies appears to be heading around the outside of the rockslide, probably due to sighting me on my exit there from the rockslide. They make a nice target for an unconventional tactic. I drive the hog over and attach a plasma grenade to send it their way - causing an Elite and Grunt to get squashed, heh heh. I back off quickly though; that was no place to linger.

00:46 I score a hit with a plasma ball on a Jackal to the left, and try to finish him off with the plasma rifle, but soon have to focus on two Elites arriving from the right. My frag hurts the red and he gets a plasma ball right after. I use the rifle to finish him off, then I take down the less threatening blue. Meanwhile the Jackal has advanced, despite having lost his shield. I get him quick with some pulsed fire from the plasma pistol, before he gets any more aggressive. On the right there's another red Elite now, but I stop him with a plasma ball and finish him with the rifle. Good start!

01:07 A red Elite advances from the semicircle of rocks, and my plasma ball misses. I back off while using the rifle and throwing a plasma, but there's some aggressive Jackal fire coming from the right - something dangerous to ignore. I throw a quick frag and I know he'll be toast shortly. In fact it sets off a huge bang, which I miss because I'm busy with the red again. I get him with plasma fire, and then his blue buddy too after shaking him up with a frag. I missed with another plasma ball though. Scoring plasma ball hits can be quite challenging in this scenario; they can easily go over the top of advancing targets.

01:28 At this point I get busy on Grunts and Jackals. They're no pushover as you can probably tell; and bear in mind that I'm making quite an effort to protect Stacker and Johnson (the latter being very weak as he has no armour). I won't comment in detail, but I'll mention something I was pleased with. After killing a Grunt at 1:39, I was about to pick up his plasma pistol but then I heard a plasma ball being fired on my left, so I backstepped to let it pass, and then I did the pick-up. That saved my shield. Also, at 2:34 I throw a grenade to try and keep the Elite back, and when I see a Grunt dive, I take the opportunity to zap him.

02:47 As I'm dealing with the final Grunt, the Elite finally advances. A spot of Marine fire makes him pause, enabling me to easily stun him with a plasma ball. From there I'm able to close in and circle-melee him. Three whacks and he's down. That just leaves two Jackals, and I end with a nice tag as the last one tries to run away. Stacker and Johnson survive.

03:16 (Play 2) This time I use a simpler route. That's a very enjoyable left turn where the Grunt gets side-swiped. After letting the hog slide down the hill a bit as usual, I'm ready for the fight.

03:44 Probably thanks to my route, the Elites are arriving across a wider range of angles this time. Initially there are three to the right, one in the middle and one to the left. When I pepper a red to the right, that seems to persuade him to stay back in the semicircle of rocks for a while, and I throw a frag his way for good measure. But then I focus on a close blue, killing him with a frag plus plasma pistol fire. Another blue gallops up on the right and I stun him with a plasma ball, then tag him so I can immediately switch to the threat on the left. Good work with frags and plasma fire takes care of two reds, but it's too late for Johnson, who's unarmoured and very fragile. Rush hour continues when another two reds advance, and with my bleeping shield I'm starting to think I might not survive this. But both of my plasma grenades are good, and the reds are killed. Phew!

04:22 As my shield recharges I take the opportunity to grab a few dropped plasma grenades. I would've grabbed a plasma rifle too, but the final Elite needs dealing with. I stun him with plasma fire then try to tag him at close range, but it bounces off his needler. I'm aware of that as I zap a Grunt and lob a grenade towards a pair of Jackals, but then I quickly finish him off (also dodging the expected needles).

04:34 Although the Elites are gone, things remain quite hectic as I fend off the Grunts and Jackals. At one point Stacker helps out with a frag, and around 5:00 I probably save his life by zapping a Grunt in the process of throwing a grenade. Just after that, I somehow miss a blue-shielded Jackal with a close-range plasma ball, and then he escapes a plasma grenade and most of my rifle fire. Curses! Then I'm on the verge of being in trouble and my health goes down to three bars, but I stabilize and know I'm through the worst.

05:28 In this closing phase I have some fun with plasma grenades, and when I tag a Jackal at 6:01 it's amusing to see him subsequently flying across my field of view. I tag a fleeing Grunt too, then go behind the huge rock. When the final Grunt advances, I clamber up to the top and step off to deliver a satisfying whack from above. Grunty fool never even knew what hit him!

Closing remarks After the pistol fun of BCM101, I felt the need for some plasma work in the same area. I've shown some plasma rifle use there before - see BCM67 - but not the plasma pistol; so I decided to combine these covie toys and see what I could do. And wow, I had to work so hard to keep Stacker and Johnson alive! And myself too for that matter. It's much harder work than using a pistol, and it generally takes longer. But it's a lot of fun.

I used a different save from the one seen in BCM101, to vary things. Still had Stacker and Johnson, but this time Johnson was on the chain-gun. I also placed them a bit further along the cliff, closer to the rockslide, which generally makes keeping them alive a bit harder as they more easily come under attack from the left.