BCM68 - Spiral path megabattle
(5:08) Level 5 ('Assault on the Control Room') on Heroic. This shows two plays of a spiral path megabattle save featuring 53 covies including the cloaked Elite from the tower (having recently discovered how to get him into the fight). Most of the covies are behind a 3-Ghost blockade at the pass exit. Both times I use the pass blockade rumble plan with early release of the blocked horde. In the first play I use a plasma rifle and AR, while in the second I get more explosive with a needler and rocket launcher.
Released March 2nd 2013, gameplay recorded February 28th 2013.
00:02 (Play 1 - Plasma rifle & AR) With the dropship coming in behind me, I climb and give it some plasma fire just for fun. Then after sending in a blast to release the blocked covies, I curve back around to dismount near some spare weapons at the top of the path. Lots of lovely choices here, but to start with I'm going for a plasma rifle and AR; a nice visceral combo for some heavy-duty covie drilling.
00:28 A spot of plasma gives the leading Elite pause for thought, and he dives clear when I lob a first grenade. I stick with him and bring him down while my grenade explodes harmlessly, but meanwhile a Grunt has lobbed a plasma of his own. No worries; I work around it and get another grenade away before backing off to try and recharge. It works nicely and sends a few covies flying, including two Elites. A frag does further damage - nice Jackal scream - then I get back to a spot of plasma fire before sending out another frag, which takes out two blues.
00:55 Switching to the AR and continuing to dish out grenades, a Hunter shot sails in from distance and kills a Marine. Another bozo briefly takes a spot of clumsy fire from me as I move across; I didn't hear him there. But I'm careful to avoid the next Marine at least. With AR freshly reloaded I switch to the plasma rifle and manage to bring down the approaching cloaked Elite just in time to stop him slicing up a Marine. Not that it makes much difference, as the Marine gets killed a few seconds later anyway.
01:16 With the plasma rifle overheating, I switch back to the AR and get busy with it, taking down a shieldless Jackal and finishing a blue. My next grenade tags a blue and then I tag a Grunt as well ("Get it off!"). But when I make a short advance to do some raking fire, I get caught by a plasma ball and back off again. I also hear a stream of needles being fired by the blue Elite at the tree, but that's no big worry. I make sure to avoid them, while some covies go flying from one of my grenades.
01:31 The needling Elite fires at a Marine instead and I go for him using my plasma rifle, which at least puts him on the defensive. Another Marine gets a hard time from a nasty red ("I'll take you all on!") but I come to the rescue with some AR drilling. And then the same Marine stands around with his back to the enemy and gets cut down by Jackal fire. Doh! That leaves only myself and the sniper. Incidentally, when I throw a plasma at about 1:33, it causes a Jackal to dive off the cliff, hee hee!
01:43 With the glut of Elites now dealt with, I start to push forward with assorted work, and when I approach the tree a fleeing Grunt utters the rare and amusing line "Feet don't fail me now". I cut him down with AR fire just before he throws a grenade. And after that I briefly open fire on another Grunt before realizing it's a dead one. Got a bit trigger-happy there.
02:03 When the needler blue pops out of cover I try to tag him but he dodges just as I throw. A smack on the head finishes him off but I get bushwhacked by two close Jackals in the process, and I realize I'm down to only two health bars. I drop a plasma to deal with them before backing around the rock. A second plasma takes out one of the two Jackals back by the rock, and I close in on the other with plasma fire. I make a mistake in not quite finishing him off before turning to check for the next danger, but the sniper takes care of him as I push on.
02:17 A couple of Hunters are dawdling in the pass as they often do, along with some Grunts. I tag one of the Grunts - nice launch - and cut the other down with AR fire, and the sniper helps out with the Hunters.
02:48 (Play 2 - Needler & rocket launcher) This time I fly straight to the top of the path, swap the sniper rifle for a needler, and fire a rocket to release the blocked horde. Another rocket takes out a few Grunts at the tree.
03:09 After reloading the launcher I fire some needles but fail to get the dropship Elite. Meanwhile the blue from the tree has come running my way and I welcome him with a rocket. The resulting smoke obscures my view so much that I fail to notice the advancing red before firing my second rocket at the Grunts. A pity, as it certainly would've been better to rocket the red. As it turns out, he gets a friedly plasma ball in the back, which helps things along nicely. Seeing that he's almost dead, I'm careful to only fire a few needles at him, so as not to cause an explosion near the Marine who just got smacked.
03:27 I do cause a few explosions amongst the following Elites though, and the bang at 3:36 kills a Grunt, causing his plasma grenade to drop where he stands. When it goes off, it shunts the grenade I tagged the red with, which in turn takes out an advancing blue. Amusing!
03:42 When the view clears I spot a nice crowd of Grunts and scatter them with a delightful rocket, then I follow up by rocketing a distant crowd including Jackals, and the blast sends an Elite off the cliff. Elites can survive the fall if healthy, but that guy took serious shield damage, so I don't need to worry about him coming up the path behind us. I continue the carnage with a plasma grenade and another few rockets. I think the cloaked Elite gets taken out by the plasma blast which goes off at 3:55.
04:02 Back to the needler now, and it's safe to advance. A Marine frag clears the ground with a rather spectacular chain reaction at about 4:08. Pity there weren't any live covies caught in that blast! With two rockets left, I send one towards Jackals at the rock, and the last towards a Hunter, scoring a direct hit I think. May've killed him, or maybe the sniper did it.
04:22 Closing in on the pass, I start lobbing grenades and I'm surprised to hear an Elite, as they normally would've all attacked by now. I fail to get him with needles as he dodges around behind a Ghost, and then my frag bounces off another Ghost which got blasted across. I try another and it's looking good. As I arc right, a Marine shouts "Catch this!" and promptly blows himself up from a fumble. Good job I was clear of that. Meanwhile my frag has got the Elite growling. It also sends a Ghost flying my way, and I make sure to get clear. He goes down either from the needles I followed up with after the frag, or maybe from Marine fire.
04:42 The final Grunt shouts "Casualty!" and then joins the roster himself, killed by my stream of needles. The sniper cuts short my needling fun by bringing down the Hunter himself. That doesn't stop the bangs going off though, and the nearby Marine is not happy.
Closing remarks When doing plays with the first weapon combo, survival was hard and it was especially rare to end up with any Marines other than the sniper. With the rocket launcher things were easier as you'd expect, but still a challenge. At some point I'll probably do another movie for the pass blockade rumble, but with the sniper eliminated so things are even tougher, and so he's not there to spoil my fun when it comes to the mopping up phase. It's annoying when he steals my kills.
As you may've noticed (see around 0:16), my save also features spare weapons near the base of the path. Two reasons for that. Firstly, if I get forced back, I've got a nice stash of hardware to help me out. Secondly, it makes the save also suitable for doing a path base defence.