BCM188 - Massed Hunters
(6:30) Level 4 ('The Silent Cartographer') on Normal. Back in BCM35 I showed two 'beach sweeps' against six Hunters plus Grunts and Jackals, having set things up as described in my article Massed Hunters (see the section on Marine assault). Here are four more, two of which use the rocket launcher at last, and one of which involves a rather robust approach to getting hog passengers out!
Released June 23rd 2016, gameplay recorded June 18th 2016.
00:02 (Sweep 1 - Rocket launcher and needler) After getting the six hog guys dismounted, I grab the launcher and join the attack. One Marine has made an early start all on his lonesome and gets whacked by the Hunter, but I blast the spiky fellow with two rockets. I blast the Jackals next, and the second Hunter is likewise taken care of with a single rocket.
00:37 After lobbing a long-distance plasma towards the pair of Hunters beyond, I switch my attention to the three Grunts on the hill and duly give them a rocket, though one of them manages to throw a plasma just before it arrives.
00:50 Meanwhile the Hunters are bombarding the Marines, so it's time for some retaliation. I sort out the nearest with a rocket, and then the other after first throwing a frag. I get hit by a plasma ball in the process but the Jackals are soon eliminated with a frag and a rocket. Stacker delivers a mixed compliment to the Marines, and we move on.
01:14 When I throw a frag at the final two Hunters, it's terribly short. Unfortunately the leading Marine gets shunted forwards by a Hunter shot, and is killed by the frag blast. Oops! My second frag is likewise short, though it does shake up the nearest Hunter, and I finish him with a rocket.
01:24 The last Hunter starts heading for me but changes his mind and goes for some Marines instead. When I drill needles into him regardless, the explosion appears to kill two Marines, although they were in the process of getting whacked too. Stacker is not pleased. Five Marines have survived, but actually one of those never joined the attack. He remained with the hogs (there's a glimpse of him around 0:27).
01:34 (Sweep 2 - Needler and AR) There was only a little needling in that last sweep, but this time I'm going for some heavier use, backed by an AR. Approaching along the sea, I throw a plasma at the first Hunter then stream needles into him. He's weakened by the consequent bangs but it still takes quite a bit of AR fire before he's down. Then I get the Jackals with a well placed frag.
01:53 When I throw a plasma at the next Hunter, he moves clear, charging at a Marine, so I just concentrate on needling, and finish him with two clips. There's a spare needler here which I use to top up (I've placed several along the beach). The next two Hunters have opened fire by now and I throw a plasma for openers, but then switch to the Grunts. I'm not sure if I get one with a needle explosion, but I certainly get one with a plasma blast.
02:15 Time to switch to the Hunters now though; they're slaughtering the Marines. I move in with needles and frags and finish the nearest guy with AR fire before fragging the Jackals. The other Hunter is finished with a whack and a bit more AR fire.
02:33 One of the Grunts has survived but I'm not worried about getting all of them; I want to stay in touch with the Marines. They're mostly quite a way ahead now, and being attacked by the final Hunters. I see one Marine go flying from a fuel rod blast as I approach the corner. I fire needles as soon as I can, and also throw a plasma, but it looks like all of that goes to waste. My next stream of needles piles into the back of a Hunter chasing a Marine and does good damage, but the blast also kills the Marine.
02:49 I switch to the other Hunter and bring him down with AR fire just before he whacks a Marine. The final Hunter kills a Marine with a whack, but is soon dead from my needles and bullets. Four Marines have made it though.
03:08 (Sweep 3 - Rocket launcher and plasma pistol) A second sweep using the rocket launcher now. I take out the first Hunter with two zoomed shots, then get the Jackals with a frag and another rocket.
03:26 Most of the Marines are a good way behind, so I've got time for taking a new route, up over the hill. On the way up I rocket the second Hunter. I also threw a frag but I think it was wasted, blown away by the rocket. Poor timing. By the time I reach the Grunts I've got the launcher reloaded. I tag the first guy then jump over him and about-face to rocket the panicking final two.
03:47 Next I enjoy sending a rocket down between the pair of Hunters. The nearest is killed outright and I throw a quick frag at the second before dropping down to place a rocket between two Jackals. Actually it's not quite a double kill; the nearest Jackal is killed by Marine fire just before the rocket blast. I still enjoyed it though. The Hunter is finished with a plasma ball; my only plasma pistol use of the battle.
04:04 With launcher reloaded, I fire at the last two Hunters, who are standing around idly because no Marines have reached them yet. I score a direct hit on the furthest and kill him, and the blast badly weakens the other. He's finished by just a bit of Marine fire - and then one of the Marines amusingly gives him a bit extra for good measure. Eight Marine survivors, but once again there was a guy who never joined the attack.
04:20 (Sweep 4 - Warthog) As in BCM35, I'm ending with a Warthog play. This time though, I take a rather robust approach towards getting the other four hog Marines onto their feet. It makes for a bit of fun. The final hog proves quite resistant and on my second ram I succeed only in somersaulting my own hog! I get the crew out with a third ram though, and can finally get into the action.
05:00 Heading for the first Hunter, I swing the hog around and splatter him gloriously against the base of the hill. To make for variety I then take a route around the back of the hill, splattering a Jackal along the way. At the far end I get two more, then drive around a bit while the gunner does his stuff, killing the Hunters and also a Grunt. Two of the Grunts escape justice, but never mind.
05:33 Onwards to the final Hunters now. When I arrive they're shaping up to fire on a Marine who's got past, but I force them to leap aside. After passing the Marine dangerously close, I circle back and let the gunner have some more fun, though I finish one of the Hunters myself. Afterwards I head for home, where the Marines have been running to. Five survive.
Closing remarks In BCM35 there were only two plays, giving a movie barely four minutes long. I was quite conservative with movie durations back then. Nowadays however, I like my combat movies to be meatier. With tighter editing I've managed to squeeze four plays into six and a half minutes. That's more like it!
These are my final plays with that nine-Marine save. I've deleted it now. Although the save gave some nice footage, there were a few shortcomings. Firstly, the gunner of the rear hog often failed to join the attack, because I'd placed it slightly too far back. Secondly, most of the needlers I placed along the beach turned out to be inconveniently far off the beaten track, meaning that if I wanted to use them, I had to take quite a detour. That tended to take me out of the action and let the Marines get further away. So I decided that if I ever want to show more beach sweeps on Normal, I'll make a new save. In any case it would be good to have a new arrangement of the Hunters.
Actually though, one other frustration is that Normal is almost no challenge at all, in terms of my own survival. Part of why I used Normal was to give the Marines a decent chance of survival and to let me kill covies fast enough to mostly keep up. But I'm inclined to try using Heroic next time, to give me more to get my teeth into - even though I'll only be able to have a squad of seven, and they'll probably suffer quite badly.