BCM85 - Rockslide megabattle

(5:40) Level 2 ('Halo') on Heroic. This shows three plays of a rockslide megabattle save featuring 34 covies, using the lifeboat area defence plan with Johnson on the chain-gun. First I use a sniper rifle, then needler & pistol, then pistol & plasma rifle. The save is the same one used for BCM20 and BCM21, in which the covies are initially near the end of the rockslide.

Released September 22nd 2013, gameplay recorded September 17th-19th 2013.


00:02 (Play 1: Sniper rifle) After picking up Johnson & co, we head into battle. I start by skirting around the left to enjoy splatting a Grunt, and then I take a fairly direct route to the lifeboat area, killing another Grunt, then a Grunt plus a Jackal. Ploughing through the covie ranks like that, it's not surprising that I take damage, but there are medkits by the lifeboat, so I'm not too fussed.

00:25 I get the passenger out, then swap my needler for the sniper rifle by the lifeboat and hop onto the roof. Johnson is already peppering a few Elites, and I finish off three with my first three shots, and damage a more distant fourth. After reloading I lob a frag towards the rock where there's a red Elite, but I see him about to leap clear so I take a sniper shot and kill him. I finish my clip on a more distant red, and by now there's some major panicking going on.

00:48 My next four shots bag a shieldless running Jackal and three Grunts, then I pick off a lone Grunt on the left before he gets close. A Jackal threatens at the plateau base gap and I throw a frag after he backs off. I'm not sure but I think it gets him.

01:01 Back to the main covie approach, there are some Grunts heading along the side of the rockslide. I snipe three, then a blue Elite. But then I hear needling coming from the gap, so I quickly pan around and bring down a Grunt just as he's throwing a grenade (he doesn't quite finish his cry of "Down in front!"). Good job too, or he may well have tagged the dismounted Marine.

01:15 Not many covies left now. I snipe a few more minor enemies, including a Grunt who's got close enough to needle me, then I pick off the distant dropship 4 Elite. I send a few grenades towards the plateau base gap where a Jackal can be heard, but Johnson gets him first. I snipe the final distant Jackal just as my second grenade goes off.

01:39 Panning back to the gap, I notice a red dot on my tracker and then hear grunty sounds, so I know what's coming next. I line up my rifle in readiness, and BLAM! - that's the last covie down. No Marine casualties.

01:51 (Play 2: Needler & pistol) Now let's step the pace up with a rather gung-ho play using the needler and pistol. I take a different route this time, weaving around the battlefield in slalom style, splatting three minor enemies along the way.

02:08 I get busy with the needler and grenades, and a fair amount of hectic carnage ensues (aided by Johnson's chain-gunning), leaving most of the Elites dead.

02:41 I get the passenger dismounted, which isn't necessary but I generally like to give him some mobility and the ability to throw frags. There's a Grunt through the plateau base gap, and I send a stream of needles in. He dodges to the right and the needles amusingly bounce off some rock surface and curve around after him - and there's a bang shortly after, killing the Grunt. Good things those needles; they even go around corners!

02:50 Having run out of needles, I switch to pistol and get very gung-ho, charging forth and taking down four Grunts, then a Jackal who comically takes a friendly shot in the back before I smack him dead. At this point however, I've got enemies on both sides of me. It's dangerous and I know it, but I elect to go for broke and finish them off without retreating. Dodging a few plasma balls which I hear being fired behind me, I frag a Grunt and Jackal to take care of one side, then shoot a Grunt by the tree. I throw a plasma towards the cluster of Jackals, and finally get some ammo for my needler. Two of the Jackals go flying from the grenade as I circle to try and avoid fire, and I deliberately pass behind the tree for brief cover. I send a stream of needles towards the Elite, and a hasty grenade makes the remaining Jackal dive, just before my health goes. Phew!

03:15 Heading back, I needle a lone Grunt ("Not again!"), then narrowly dodge a plasma ball after hearing it being fired. Pretty sure I would've been a gonner if that had hit me, as I was down to one health bar and hadn't paused to recharge my shield. I leave a plasma grenade fizzing alongside the Jackal as I head for a medkit, and that's the battle over. A very short one, played rather dangerously for kicks.

03:27 (Play 3: Pistol & plasma rifle) This time I take a rather different route, starting by arcing through the end of the rockslide. If you get this right you can skim through with scarcely any hindrance. My drive here isn't perfect as the back of the hog takes a small tap from the rock on the left as I head in, but I recover ok and pass through the next gap well. I could've gone for the larger gap on the left of course, but I like the challenge of this narrow gap. Plus, it sets me up for an enjoyable second part of the drive, across the battlefield and up over a ridge (you can get better air than I did here), then curving left and skimming past the lifeboat's nose. Fun!

03:50 In this play the plan is to initially use my pistol then switch to a plasma rifle when I can get one from an Elite. For starters I pepper an advancing red Elite and finish him with a frag as he shelters behind the rock. I kill a blue shortly after, just as Johnson brings down a Grunt.

04:04 After lobbing a frag, I see two Elites charging, and a long-range plasma ball has hit the Marine. I'll need to do something fast if I want to save him. The blue on the right doesn't stop when I fire a few pistol shots, so I tag him at point blank range and dodge his swipe, then turn to find the other Elite; a red. Things could get nasty here, but I manage to repeat my tag 'n dodge move; and hey presto, the dual Elite threat is gone. That double kill was a key reason for my choosing this play over some others I had. Johnson certainly liked it, commenting "He's unstoppable!" after the second kill.

04:14 There are two more Elite threatening, but at least they're not too close yet. I get the one on the right with a plasma grenade (he really should've got clear of that), and the other with pistol fire. A frag wreaks havoc among minor enemies shortly after, eliciting a "BLAM!" from Johnson. I threw two there, but the first hit part of the rockslide so I threw another.

04:27 Finally I pick up a plasma rifle and get busy with some mopping up on Grunts and Jackals - including another good frag blast. I also take the opportunity to use a medkit and pick up the remaining frag (there were originally two frags there but I picked one up earlier).

05:00 There's a Jackal at the plateau base gap, so I head back to try and prevent Marine casualties. The Jackal has backed off but I tag him as he rolls, and then get a second with pistol fire.

05:12 At this point I correctly judge that the dropship 4 Elite is the only covie left, and I decide to go get him with the hog. My arrival is a bit clumsy as I was intending to try and make him dive away from the rockslide, but never mind; he's still toast, courtesy of Johnson's chain-gun.

Closing remarks It's been quite a while since my last rockslide megabattle movie (BCM67), so I thought it was high time for a return. I'm glad I chose the lifeboat area defence plan because I don't recall spending a lot of time on it before, and in revisiting it I've realized I really should have, because it's highly enjoyable with oodles of potential. Also, with this particular save I was using, I realized I could jump up onto the big rock behind the lifeboat to do some novel high sniping, something I expect to show later, but which in the meanwhile I've talked about in my expanded page on the lifeboat area defence. I only actually discovered that after finishing the movie.

I deliberately used different driving routes in my three plays, for variety and to demonstrate some possibilities. All three routes are plenty enjoyable, and you could make up others too of course. My favourite here was the weaving route in play 2 though. Nice and flowing and swerving, with an element of challenge in threading the hog through the desired gaps neatly.

Talking of play 2, I faced a hard choice in selecting which one to use, from among several. With some effort I narrowed the choice down to three, but each of those had their own appealing features, making it very hard to decide. But eventually I went with the relatively short gung-ho play, which I thought had the most excitement, plus my best drive. Another reason for choosing that play was the amusing incident with the needles curving around a corner and causing a bang. You don't see that very often.

You may've noticed that I turned my flashlight on for the fighting. That was mainly for the benefit of the movie footage, as some of the lifeboat area comes out quite darkly when I record.