BCM16 - Boarding battle
(3:29) Level 3 ('The Truth and Reconciliation') on Legendary. Here I tackle the opening battle aboard the ship using AR & grenades only, saving all 5 Marines. It's mainly for illustrating the sort of aggressive pre-emptive tactics I'd recommend for the Boarding challenge. That challenge doesn't actually include tackling the Hunters - only the attack that comes before - but I tackle them in the movie for completeness.
Released May 19th 2010, gameplay recorded May 17th 2010.
00:02 We're in! It's a bit quiet isn't it? "What, there's no Covenant here? I think maybe nobody's home". Arrgh! Don't say that! You know that's asking for trouble!
00:22 Ready in the centre, the first door opens to reveal a cloaked Elite as always. Sometimes I'll just tag him, but here I just give him some AR treatment. He's really weak and goes down fast.
00:28 Wave 1. Quickly back towards the centre of the room, I pick up blips for the first of ten randomized waves and head for the door. I'm feeling a touch late to arrive, so I opt for a frag. The wave turns out to be only four Grunts though - the easiest to deal with. The frag takes out two and I drill the others with AR fire.
00:40 Wave 2. The diagonally opposite door opens and I'm still miles away so I lob a plasma grenade over there, and a Grunt obligingly catches it on his head. Poor little fella. Probably trained for years at Nipple Academy, and the first time he's up for any action, he's got a plasma grenade fizzing on his head within two seconds. That's grunty life for you! "Get it off!". I throw another plasma into the passage for the benefit of further troops but it turns out to be semi-redundant as the Grunt carries my first one back to his buddies, taking out all but one Grunt. Johnson takes some nasty plasma fire - you can't underestimate these minor enemies on Legendary - but the attack is wiped out with the second blast.
00:50 Wave 3. I hold off on throwing a plasma as I'm already down to two. There are only Grunts in this wave, and I just go in hard with the AR. No trouble there, and the final Grunt actually gets taken down by a Marine. Woo-hoo! My AR work seemed slightly wild and clumsy I have to say. I really should've taken my finger off the trigger a few times to target Grunts better, but in the heat of the moment it's easy to lapse into loose spraying such as that. While reloading, a Grunt I missed could've lobbed a grenade at a Marine; so I could've paid the price there. Note to self: must do better!
01:04 Wave 4. Dots detected in the diagonally opposite corner. Sometimes enemies are a bit tentative, and here I fire a shot to help attract them out without excess delay. A Grunt is heard saying "Back me up!" and there's also the sound of Jackals, so I know what sort of wave it is; two Grunts plus two Jackals. Based on the sound of the Jackals which tells me where they are, I send in a frag as soon as the door opens. The beaky freaks look at it bouncing by and never even see me. BLAM! The one remaining Grunt gets a bit of AR peppering.
01:21 Wave 5. Back across the diagonal, I throw a speculative plasma grenade on the way then hop over the containers to find that I've tagged another Grunt. Hee hee! AR fire mops up the rest after the bang, and I pick up a plasma to keep fully stocked.
01:38 Wave 6. Across the diagonal yet again, and this time the nature of the frontmost red dot tells me I've got a gold Elite heading for the door. No worries; I tag him while he's doing a bit of pointing, and he's toast. His grunty support goes into a bit of a panic and I put them out of their misery with some AR drilling.
01:50 Wave 7. Music starts up for the final four waves. The door opposite opens and I fear for my troops. I throw a plasma but completely fluff it, perhaps distracted by the reload I was doing. That was meant to go just over the Wraith of course. Johnson starts paying the price for my clumsiness, taking some nasty plasma fire, but I make up for it with a frag that takes out most of the wave, comprising Grunts and Jackals. The last Grunt goes down from AR fire, even before a Marine frag goes off.
02:00 Wave 8. Across the diagonal, and again I pick up a fast-moving dot which tells me I've got a gold to deal with. I get reloaded and switch to plasmas as I go, and tag him from close range while he's growling. He's got a couple of Jackals in support, but unusually they've got a bit separated. I end up taking the first one out with a frag, while the second gets a bit of lead.
02:18 Wave 9. Back towards the centre to pick up the next lot of dots, and they're coming from the Wraith corner. No gold this time; just Grunts and Jackals. I move across the doorway, throwing in a plasma grenade as I go. A plasma ball catches me but I'm not really worried. As long as the enemies are focused on me, that's good for the Marines. BOOM! The grenade takes care of things nicely.
02:31 Wave 10: With flashlight now expired, I head back towards the central area but soon pick up the next attack. I'm down to only one plasma grenade and there are a few on the floor which I'd like, but a gold Elite runs out and I just focus on him instead. He goes into a growl and I decide to tag him and jump straight over to sort out his support. The timing is good. The Elite goes bang and the Grunts are easily cut down. Heading back out, the Elite gets a little abuse from a Marine: "Don't bother gettin' up!".
02:45 Now for the Hunters. I'm ready at the door and let them come for me, enabling me to dodge around behind. On a good day you can keep them both away from the Marines. I do a 'tag and dodge' move on one, but meanwhile the other has got distracted by Marine fire. I initially start going after him but quickly think better of it, and just focus on finishing the other one off first. He's pretty soon down with some AR fire and a bit of melee (though I clumsily miss one whack). The other Hunter has been getting worn down by AR fire from the Marines, and I'm on the scene just in time to finish him off. Johnson runs over and takes a few extra shots anyway: "Rot in hell!". Calm down Sarge, it's all over now.
Closing remarks Aside from an annoyingly fluffed grenade, that all went pretty well, with most waves being contained and quickly eliminated, minimizing damage to the Marines. Things often get a lot more desperate however, as you'll soon find if you try things on Legendary. I was tempted to keep doing plays to get one which got really hectic, which would perhaps better reflect the sort of experience you'll be in for. But among other things, this play had a pleasing ending with Johnson having a pop at the final dead Hunter in a nice bright spot with all Marines visible, plus there was the amusement of two fortuitous Grunt tags (ok I sent the grenades into the right general area, but aside from that the tags were pure luck). One tactic I never got the opportunity to show was meleeing a gold Elite while he's busy growling at Marines. That can save the day if you're too late for doing the usual tagging.