BCM17 - Twin bridges megabattle

(4:28) Level 5 ('Assault on the Control Room') on Heroic. This shows a twin bridges megabattle against 52 covies using the left side defence plan. I use a needler and AR and have the support of a 16-man squad.

Released June 13th 2010, gameplay recorded June 9th 2010.

Commentary

00:02 With the enemy in sight, I swoop down onto the underpass roof to do some weapon swapping. I've got a sniper rifle and pistol but today we're going for something more visceral: needler and AR, my favourite combo for the left side defence. If you're wondering how I got spare weapons onto the roof, it involves blowing weapons up to that level using the Scorpion, something detailed in my set-up advice. The roof is a nice place to have spares as it doesn't take long to swoop down and make a swap.

00:15 Taking off, I fire a Banshee bolt to blast a toppled Shade towards the waiting horde, for the fun of making a few of them jump, perhaps even squashing some. I put it there deliberately, just so I can enjoy such mischief. From the sound of things it squashes a Grunt this time, but I've already veered off to minimize incoming fire. On Heroic the fire is ferocious if you get close to such a big mob, so you have to be very careful, either staying high or skirting around the edges. There are no Hunters in that mob by the way. For the particular defence plan and weapon combo I'm using, they wouldn't be ideal because they'd tend to decimate my Marines with long-range blasts, which isn't so much fun!

00:30 At the back I've got Johnson on the chain-gun of a Marine-retaining Warthog, for when I want some chain-gun support somewhere. Usually I just eject him however, and today is no different. A long-range blast near the back of the hog sends him sailing through the air; you can just about make him out. Then I curve left towards fifteen Marines in a pen formed by five Ghosts and a couple of rocks, and I blast a Ghost aside to release them. A pen is one of two ways to keep a squad in the battlefield waiting for action, the other way being a blockade. You might notice that the Marines seem to have formed two lines in the pen. Curious! I arc away to land to the rear of the defence area, and pause to watch the Marines running over to join me. That's just for the sake of the movie really; normally I'd focus on the enemy right away.

01:00 Turning to face the enemy approach, two early Elites are closing fast, one of whom gives us the "Wort wort wort" treatment, and I reply with a clip of needles, getting two pink bangs and a plasma blast. Ok I didn't need to use a whole clip, but I like a bit of needle overkill and I've got a spare needler on the ground, plus you can often pick up more needles from dropped weapons. A frag grenade hurts the other Elite - a red - and I leave him to get finished off by the Marines while I switch to another red, dishing out some more needles. As soon as I see he's about to die, I switch to the incoming blue and drill him with my AR. While I'm busy doing that, Johnson takes some friendly fire. With a squad of this size you can expect a whole lot of that, but they still make a formidable force, able to hold their own even against a couple of Elites - which makes a welcome change from usual!

01:20 That takes care of the early Elite rush - something you'll get in most battles - and now I turn to rake a few Grunts with AR fire. As I back off I accidentally bounce a round off the helmet of a Marine. Oops! Better watch that. I send out a frag which blasts a Jackal and a Grunt, then it's back to the needles to take out another blue. A couple more minor enemies also bite the dust.

01:48 I move around to the right for a change of angle, and pepper a closing blue with the AR. But another moves close and they make a nice target for a frag, so I send one out. "Boom!", as the Marine says. One Elite is killed and the other is blasted back to be finished by AR fire. Another frag badly damages a red; it's a pity he wasn't a little further forward or he would've got caught in the chain reaction (you can get some great chain reactions here). As it is, the Marines finish him off while I'm reloading.

02:07 While a blue-shielded Jackal goes down under a hail of Marine fire, I lob a few long-range plasma grenades up towards the enemy. The first one actually takes out an Elite, though it's hard to see. It's enough to impress a Marine anyway. A couple more Elites close on our position. I get the first with needles, then switch to the AR for the second. He's shaping up to give a Marine a whack but he never makes it, ha ha.

02:30 A closing Jackal gets a bead on a Johnson and I send out a plasma grenade, making him dive. He's finished off by Marine fire. Meanwhile I switch to the needler and take out a Grunt and Jackal with lovely pink bangs. Moving to the right again, I do a bit of AR work while poor old Johnson takes a long-range plasma ball. But he's not the only one to get the plasma ball treatment. A closing red comically takes one in the back, making him stagger forward. I send out an explosive stream of needles towards him, but even before they arrive he takes a second plasma ball - hee hee! - and then BLAM! - the needles take effect and he goes flying off in a chain reaction.

02:58 Another stream of needles take out a Grunt, hilariously screaming "No-ho-ho" followed by "Waaahhhh". Excellent. My next stream isn't very effective and I switch to the AR for a bit of peppering. I briefly switch back to the needler to have a go on a closing blue, but he alters course so I switch back to the AR and drill him. Meanwhile the red gets finished off the by Marines. See what I mean? These guys have real power! A plasma ball sails past my ears as I turn to face yet more enemies, and I send out a plasma grenade. It's not very well aimed but it makes the nearest Grunt dive, and subsequently takes out a Jackal while he's doing a roll. A closer Jackal with shield over head goes down under heavy fire as I move back around to the left, behind the Marines.

03:32 In this next segment of play it seems like it's rush hour! I share a clip of needles between a Jackal and a Grunt, taking both out with nice bangs, and a closing Elite goes the same way. Meanwhile Johnson lobs a frag that sends a Grunt flying. "Hah! Cancel Christmas!". Nice one sarge. A further closing Elite goes down under a hail of fire as a long-range plasma ball smacks into a dozy Marine. Hey fellas, you're allowed to dodge those things y' know!

03:53 Just a bit of mopping up to do now. I advance and take out each of the two remaining Jackals with needles. Ah, that felt good. Interestingly, my second stream briefly intercepts the body of the first Jackal, causing a debris effect to be sent off. Unusual. With the battle over, Cortana contacts fire team Zulu. Actually, you don't always get that bit of chatter; I've never figured out exactly what triggers it, but you at least need to be near Marines. I've still got fifteen left; only one casualty.

Closing remarks This is one of my favourite battle plans, especially with needler and AR, and I hope the movie gives you a good idea of why. It's great fun, especially with a large squad of Marines making a racket. In this particular play I stayed back by the two trees, but sometimes I advance after a while. There a couple of rocks ahead making decent cover (I briefly moved behind the smaller one when taking care of the penultimate Jackal), and beyond those you've got stationary shields which can likewise be handy. Things do tend to get pretty chaotic and frantic though. If you stay back at the trees, another way of tackling things would be to use a sniper rifle. The twin bridges megabattle is great for sniper work; you can really have a field day with that closing mob. But it does tend to make things rather easy. For my first movie of this battle I wanted to show you something more visceral.