BCM157 - Banshee battling

(5:37) Level 2 ('Halo') on Legendary. After finishing my last Banshee battling movie BCM155 I couldn't resist moving straight on to a novel defence area: the underground tunnel at the bottom of the valley. As usual there's a short full play then a montage of clips. I've got the same 7 Marines as last time, and in the confines of the tunnel their frags are even more of a hazard than usual! On the positive side however, it's a great place for seeing pilots get ejected. Three ejections to watch out for this time - and some extra-long tags.

Released September 8th 2015, gameplay recorded August 28th - September 6th 2015.


00:02 (Full play) After doing a spectacular jump off the big mound, a Banshee gives close pursuit and we come under fire. With shield bleeping I circle a tree to shake it - which also gives me a few seconds to get ready after dismounting in the tunnel. The leading Banshee veers away just as I'm throwing my first plasma grenade, so I focus on the second and manage to tag it as it heads back out. When the remaining Banshee approaches, Johnson and another Marine are killed by a fuel rod blast but I get vengeance by tagging the belly of the Banshee after it hits the wall. Meanwhile the Marines are having fun throwing frags around - killing Stacker and another guy. Good work men!

01:15 (Clip 1) An Aussie Marine leads us into the montage section with "Hah, let's do it!", and when I tag the first Banshee it goes into a nice swirl before blowing up.

01:21 (Clip 2) The pilot of this next Banshee seems unable to resist going for a spot of splattering when he spots an opportunity. But as well as my AR fire he picks up a plasma, and then it's swirling time again.

01:28 (Clip 3 - Marine watching) Johnson tries a frag then gets more sensible with AR fire before taking some plasma in the face. He rolls clear, then impressively rolls back to avoid a possible splattering.

01:39 (Clip 4) After a spot of pistol fire my first throw misses, but the Banshee hits the wall and comes back my way. I get it on the underside and it arcs sharply down. Poor Johnson is splattered; didn't dive quickly enough this time. But also the pilot pops out, then gets killed from the grenade blast.

01:47 (Clip 5) A Banshee dives in steeply and kills three Marines with a fuel rod blast before curving around to mangle another. It leaves with my plasma grenade fizzing on the tail though.

01:57 (Clip 6) I tag a Banshee when it's still quite high up. It cruises into the left wall before exploding, and I can't resist whacking the pilot who conveniently drops my way.

02:05 (Clip 7) When a Banshee comes down low to try and splatter some Marines, I get it with AR fire and a plasma grenade. Seeing the other one coming back up the tunnel, I pull off a relatively hard tag to finish it.

02:17 (Clip 8) At the start of this clip, a damaged Banshee is heading away but I can see that it's starting to curve around for another approach. I go for an ambitious long tag, and score a hit! At the end you can hear a couple of Marines trying to dive clear of the incoming wreckage (at least one of them was unsuccessful), and that kind of leads nicely into the next clip.

02:27 (Clip 9 - Marine watching) Johnson and the sniper get taken out by a fuel rod blast. Two Marines closer to me dive away and live to fight on with the others.

02:35 (Clip 10) One thing I've been hoping to get in a Banshee battling movie is a nice clip in which a Banshee gets destroyed by a fuel rod blast from the other. That would be good to see huh? In this clip a Banshee at least gets hit, but it survives - at least until I finish it off with pistol fire. I tag the other Banshee on the tail before it gets clear.

02:46 (Clip 11) I tag an incoming Banshee from distance and it arcs down into the wall before exploding, killing a few Marines. I was aware of that danger, but with Banshee battling I tend to take a rather loose approach to squad safety. It's more fun that way.

02:55 (Clip 12) A Banshee swoops down to try and squash a few Marines, but misses. As it rises I miss a tag, but get it on the nose with my next throw. But then it comes down again and manages to shed the grenade! I've seen that intriguing behaviour a number of times when tagging a Banshee on the nose. No worries though - I just tag it again.

03:07 (Clip 13) After my first throw misses, I tag the Banshee on the underside and it flies off to destruction. But I have my own troubles too. With shield already bleeping, a frag explodes in the air and reduces me to one bar of health - and then another frag finishes me off. Well, at least Stacker apologised.

03:17 (Clip 14 - Marine watching) Stacker and other Marines engage in a bit of fragging and firing - and then some of them get blasted by a Banshee. Stacker dives clear though.

03:24 (Clip 15) When I throw a plasma at an incoming Banshee it gets through to the pilot, tagging him on the leg. The Banshee scuffs the ground and goes vertical, which is enough to eject the pilot - who just has time for an angry growl before the bang. This was the first ejection I got in the tunnel, and actually it's the earliest footage in the movie.

03:29 (Clip 16) After missing with my first throw I try another, but the Banshee appears to jink to avoid it. I can see it's about to head away now, so with my third attempt I throw long to a point where I think it might be in a few seconds time - and I score a hit! As a bonus, the Banshee arcs back this way and you get to see the bang rather nicely. This clip begins a sequence of three extra-long chaser tags, separated by two other clips.

03:44 (Clip 17) With one Banshee off down the tunnel, another approaches and I zap it with my plasma rifle before tagging it. It goes into a nice spin before being propelled away by the bang - which also kills a few Marines. Actually the Banshee almost got vertical during that spin, so I think the pilot came within a whisker of being ejected.

03:52 (Clip 18) Another long chaser tag now. Again it comes after missing. The Banshee heads down the tunnel as they so often do, and my grenade sticks just as the Banshee turns the corner. Quite amusing I thought. In terms off flight time this is the longest tag in the movie, travelling for about 4.7 seconds.

04:06 (Clip 19 - Marine watching) In this last Marine watching clip the sniper gets blasted and goes into a rage, chasing around after a Banshee in amusing fashion. It got destroyed by AR fire a few seconds later, but I didn't include that as I wanted to keep this clip focused on the sniper.

04:15 (Clip 20) After a bit of AR fire I tag a Banshee, but it circles down and splatters a load of Marines before exploding. Only Johnson and the sniper remain after that. When I turn to find the other Banshee, it's already almost overhead on its way out. I throw a grenade after it but deliberately off to one side, and I get lucky when the Banshee curves around and picks up the grenade on the tail. The subsequent explosion sends the pilot flying our away and past Johnson.

04:37 (Clip 21) A Banshee dives in from the left and sends a Marine flying with a fuel rod blast, then curves around to splatter some Marines. I get it with a tag though, and it gets shunted nicely across the tunnel.

04:47 (Clip 22) My third and last ejection clip. The Banshees are making their first attack runs here. I get the leader with a tag on the tail, though not before a few Marines get mangled. The second comes close to me - I almost got mangled myself there - then climbs. But it scrapes the wall when trying to make a sharp turn at the top, and the pilot comes out. He takes a round from the sniper on the way down, and is easily finished off with a whack and an AR burst.

05:02 (Clip 23) It's always nice to have a clip in which both Banshees get destroyed by a single tag. When I tag the second one here, the blast also takes out the first as it's leaving the tunnel. My plasma pistol fire ensured that both Banshees were in a sufficiently weakened state for destruction via grenade blast - although actually the Marine AR fire may've been enough.

05:15 (Clip 24) In terms of Banshee destruction there's nothing special about this simple bit of zapping and tagging, but it's what comes afterwards that made me select this clip to end the movie with. Specifically, another case of Marines fragging themselves, taking us back to the opening full play. It's nice how the hog goes flying too, courtesy of a loose plasma grenade. I saw that on the ground and knew it was going to go off.

Closing remarks Originally I'd planned to use various Marine layouts down the tunnel, sometimes close to the exit and sometimes deeper. Initially I had the Marines quite deep and I was getting plenty of good footage. Enough for a whole movie, even before I'd started placing them near the exit! Also, when I then did place them near the exit, I realized that the footage was going to be more picturesque because you get more of a view of the valley. So I decided it was better to make two movies. This one would focus on the end of the tunnel, and a later one would focus on deeper locations.

All but six of the clips used the Marine arrangement seen in the full play. In the other clips they're a bit further back, though still past the final divider line.

In previous Banshee battling movies I've tried to include at least few clips in which I destroy Banshees with weapon fire rather than tagging, but this time there's only one such destruction. That's because I got so much nice tag footage really. So, things are even more tag-centric than usual.

Getting good Marine watching clips was quite a pain for this location. It's a long drive to the tunnel, and all too often I'd then get targeted or quickly splattered, or the Marines would be very quickly decimated by either a fuel rod blast or splattering, or by a bouncing frag. I could be playing for an hour and have little to show for it. That's part of the reason I've got only four such clips in the movie, compared to seven in the last. But another part is (again) that I'd already got so much nice tagging footage, and wanted to include as much of it as I could.

The tunnel turned out to be a bit of a hotspot for seeing Elites ejected from their rides. I got several clips of such events (over the course of many hours of play), and picked the best three for the movie.

While making this movie I noticed a defect in the Marine AI. If a Marine gets killed by the empty Warthog due it it getting blasted onto him or pushed onto him, Marines blame me for it! For example Johnson might say "Would you mind not killing my men?" Obviously that's bogus, and I guess it happens because I'd driven it earlier, so the game considers me responsible for any deaths by hog impact.