BCM70 - Spiral path megabattle
(8:24) Level 5 ('Assault on the Control Room') on Heroic. This demonstrates my refined routine for setting up a spiral path megabattle without any advance preparation (so, no bridge descent needed). A good way for you to start, if you fancy setting up your own battle. I get 52 covies here, omitting only the cloaked tower guard who'd be a small added complication. On other difficulty levels the number would be different. As a bonus I also show part of my first battle with the set-up; 80 seconds of rockety carnage in a path base defence.
Released March 5th 2013, gameplay recorded March 3rd-4th 2013.
00:02 (Tunnel) My refined routine begins from a checkpoint saved just after the cavern. I've stolen the platform Banshee, and all earlier troops have been killed to ensure that all the later covies I want will spawn. Also I'm carrying a full sniper rifle and rocket launcher for the start of battle, but you could have whatever you like. To start with I overturn the first Ghost to prevent its use. The Elites won't use the other one, as it's earmarked for UNSC use only. I evasively fly up the tunnel and the covies give chase.
00:27 (Dropship area) At the dropship, a single shot overturns both Ghosts neatly just before the Elites reach them. I needed to wait for the ship to start rising, else the far Ghost would tend to bounce back off the ship. I fire from a good safe height here - a bit higher than usual in fact. You could be lower for an easier shot, but you might take fire. Afterwards I wait for the tunnel troops to emerge, and I count them so I know when they're all out.
01:02 (More sabotage) Staying high near the tower to avoid triggering the front door troops yet, I overturn the Shade, then do the same for the Ghosts. It's okay to be low when clear of the door. Next I toast the Wraith, again to prevent use. The pilot will stay on foot and join the crowd.
01:42 (Triggering the front door troops) I fly low near the front door to trigger the five troops behind it, plus a front and rear Shade gunner, then I briefly continue on to get the attention of the dropship troops. They can chase me now I've triggered tower troops.
02:02 (Drawing enemies to the pass) Next I spend a few minutes drawing the tunnel and dropship troops over towards the pass. A few of the minor enemies seem to be dawdling so I briefly go back to get their attention. One of them is a Grunt who can be seen moving towards the tower Elite, but he comes my way once he's got my scent again. A couple of Jackals had headed for the Elite too.
02:50 (Ejecting the rear Shade gunner) I climb to get more distant from the covies, to finally get the delayed checkpoint from triggering the front door troops. That sets me up for attempts at ejecting the rear Shade gunner intact - which can take a few tries as the Shade often lands on its feet.
03:30 (Triggering the back door troops) I trigger the back door troops and balcony Elite by skirting the Shade plateau, but you don't have to do things exactly like that; you just need to enter the trigger area. A bit of plasma fire gets the attention of the balcony Elite. I want him to jump down so he'll be nice and free to join the crowd, and he promptly obliges. He's not always so obliging.
03:43 (Triggering the pass guards) Flying near the pass triggers the guards and also frees the tower troops to give chase. The rear gunner too. I have to prompt the front door troops because they lost touch with me. Also, some of the back door troops stall so I give them a prod. I wasn't fully successful there, because at 4:37 you can see a Grunt divert to the Elites at the tower corner. Doesn't really matter though. The front Shade gunner stays near his ramp, as he's not free to chase yet.
04:48 (Triggering spiral path troops) A lowish swoop triggers spiral path troops, but I don't want to trigger the Marines yet, so I quickly climb back up for getting rid of the Shade gunners. Here I deliberately blast them so their plasma pistols head down to the ice, where I could potentially pick one up to start a battle with. It's just an option. The pass checkpoint gets usefully delayed. Enemy threat takes care of that mostly, but when I kill the second gunner I use a bit of plasma fire to be sure the delay continues.
05:14 (Getting everyone into the pass) The earlier covies are now drawn to the pass, and I hover in a few places near the entrance, watching their movement. Sometimes a change in position can help obstinate or slow covies get a move on. Here, my second position helps shift the Elites from the tower corner, and also the front Shade gunner who'd joined them. At the height of the ledge, I'm still low enough for enemy threat to keep the checkpoint delay going.
05:40 (Getting a new Banshee) A bit of Banshee fire maintains the delay as I head for the roof to get a new Banshee, and it's easy to keep the delay going during the switch. If you're wondering why the pilot hadn't already boarded his machine, which in normal play he'd do when you trigger the pass guards, it seems to be because of the weight of enemy numbers.
06:10 (Getting a final phase checkpoint) Finally I get the delayed pass checkpoint. That forms my 'final phase checkpoint' and I save it. This safeguards against the final phase of the work going poorly (e.g. the possibility of not getting a battle start checkpoint promptly enough).
06:20 (Final phase) I fly in and freefall almost right above where the Hunters spawn, so I can squash them fast and hopefully get a prompt checkpoint (the underpass checkpoint). Works nicely. For this set-up I deliberately dismount so I'm ready to pick up new weaponry at the start of each battle; but I could've just stayed in the Banshee instead.
06:44 (Bonus carnage) Originally I was expecting to end the movie a few seconds after the battle start checkpoint, but my first battle turned out to be so entertaining that I decided to include the initial covie charge as a bonus, and also to showcase the potential rewards for your work. I won't give a blow-by-blow description of the fight, but that first triple-kill rocket sure gets me off to a nice start. Pity my final rocket missed; I went for a body shot and the Hunter started running at just the wrong time. I should've aimed for the ground. Still, at least it gave me the pleasure of dispatching him at close range a few seconds later. There were another 11 covies up the path but I just wanted to show the 80 seconds of rockety carnage here. See BCM5 for a similar battle.
Closing remarks In the commentary above I gave brief explanations only. See my refined routine account if you're interested in more detail plus talk about options.
Incidentally, this version of the routine isn't quite how I normally set up my battles. Normally I would've been using a base save in which some advance preparation has been done, saving me a bit of time. In particular I wouldn't need to overturn stuff or destroy the Wraith, because it's been taken care of already.