BCM141 - Cavern megabattle
(6:07) Level 5 ('Assault on the Control Room') on Normal. This shows three plays of a cavern megabattle save featuring 12 Marines and 38 covies, using my Banshee attack plan to support the squad from the air. To my mind this situation provides possibly the best Banshee combat in the whole game, and I hope the movie will give you some idea why. By the way, this is the save I used for BCM59 when I did some solo play with a Hunter companion.
Released May 3rd 2015, gameplay recorded April 29th 2015.
00:02 (Play 1 - Basic squad support) In this first play I take a straightforward approach, making some initial attack runs while the Marines reach the bridge, then supporting them quite closely as they cross it.
00:59 When the bridge is pretty much empty of covies I veer off and start making some attacks to the sides. I especially target Elites and Hunters, and I do my best to pick out good targets fast.
01:28 Eventually one of the two overturned Ghosts gets righted and a Marine boards it. Those Ghosts were from the crashed Pelican area, moved here so their pilots would teleport to them and hence add to the covie force (but I overturned them so the pilots would be on foot).
01:40 When the Marines swarm around a Hunter I swoop around a bit checking for any nearby targets, but actually there were just a couple of Grunts left at the far end - who get the fuel rod treatment. Lots of Marine survivors - I see nine.
02:19 (Play 2 - Bringing enemy Ghosts into play) This time I want to get some Ghosts manned by Elites so I can enjoy blasting them. For starters I fly across and send a shot towards one of the two overturned Ghosts. Righted, it gets manned and joins the battle on the bridge. Doesn't last long though; a frag sends it somersaulting then my fuel rod blast finishes the pilot. I carefully aimed my shot away from the Marines so they didn't get caught by it - though the tumbling Ghost was certainly a hazard thereafter!
03:12 I send a shot towards the other overturned Ghost, and when I curve back around I deliver a particularly good blast among an enemy concentration (at 3:18). When I swoop back around after a brief trip to the left, I see that the Ghost has got manned like I wanted, so I blast it quick, killing the pilot. By then my Banshee is in a very bad way so I have to be pretty careful, but I still do some useful work.
03:38 Heading low along the back of the platform I eventually blast a pair of Hunters and try to mow them down. They jump clear to the sides but the one on the right goes into the chasm, ha ha. You can see his red dot vanish from my tracker at 3:51.
03:56 The Marines end up tackling a blue Elite, and when I swing back from checking the left end for covies, my shot narrowly misses his head. Drat - I would've liked to make contact there! But at least I mangle the Hunter. Looks like five Marine survivors this time.
04:12 (Play 3 - Lots of splattering) In this play my goal is to include a good deal of splattering - which is dangerous - and also some flying under the bridge, which is fun. When I scythe my way along part of the bridge around 4:31, I get a Hunter and some Grunts and make a red Elite dive off, but I'm caught by a plasma ball as I veer off and swoop under the bridge.
04:40 Nevertheless I go for another scything run, across the bridge and along the densely populated far platform, which is extra dangerous. The enemy gets off quite lightly - my path was a little too far left - and my Banshee goes down to only two health bars. After firing a quick shot which nails an Elite, I let myself sink to escape.
04:57 As I head under the bridge and hear the sounds of Marines being slaughtered above, I see something unexpected; an Elite on one of the pipes! Inspecting earlier footage, I see that he ended up there after making an evasive dive from the bridge, at the end of my first scything run. There are a few frames around 4:34 in which he can be seen crouching ready to dive; and he can be seen on the pipe at 4:41. Naturally I blast him.
05:03 A few seconds later when I arc around to back up the squad, there's another highlight of the play when a Marine gets amusingly batted away by a Hunter on the bridge. He goes flying off to the right, screaming. Tough luck soldier!
05:13 My Banshee is on the verge of becoming scrap metal but I risk another aggressive approach. I spot a pair of Elites and blast them, killing one and making the other rage. I'm a bit standoffish for a while after that, but I do some good work picking off Grunts and Jackals. At about 5:35 when I'm blasting a Jackal, there's a good view of a Ghost which has settled in a freaky position.
05:39 One of the last two Hunters is killed by Marine fire, and I turn sharply to try and help them finish things off. While attacking the final Hunter I'm wary of the Jackal beyond. He fires a plasma ball but I was ready for it and let the Banshee sink evasively, then I circle around and blast him. Meanwhile the two remaining Marines manage to put the Hunter down. Phew!
Closing remarks It's been over eighty movies since my last cavern megabattle action, so it was certainly high time I delivered some more. I don't remember doing much Banshee attacking in this battle before, but I had so much fun playing for this movie that I'm already wanting to get back to more, and it's entirely possible that I'll do another Banshee attack movie sometime. In fact, it struck me that this is perhaps the most enjoyable Banshee attacking scenario in the whole game! How did I overlook it for so long?
Of the three playing plans used in the movie, I spent the most time on the splattering one, which I'd decided would be the final play as it would probably be the most spectacular. But I ended up with two pleasing plays to choose between, each with its own virtues, making it very difficult to decide which one to use. The one I declined had a fairly monumental splattering run, decimating the mass of covies on the far side, and you can now see a frame of that in my account of the Banshee attack plan (I added an extra pic). But eventually I went for the other play, partly because of the Elite getting blasted off that pipe, and the comedy value of a Marine being batted into the chasm by a Hunter. Update: you can now see the aforementioned splattering run in BCM143, at about 4:05.
Incidentally, if you're wondering why there's a row of Ghosts blocking the way at the start, that's there for when I want to play the battle solo. It'll block the Marines from following. When I want them to follow, I can simply blast it, or whatever. It makes the save more flexible.