Backstop Sentinels combat fun

Posted May 19th 2020

Associated movies

  • BCM430 - Heroic; Backstop Sentinels combat fun (6:54)

You can have various form of aggressive fun with the 'backstop Sentinels' which I first mentioned in Blocking the backstop Sentinels. I'll cover that here, and you can see examples for Heroic in my movie, BCM430.

Using AR and plasmas

Early wipeouts

One obvious idea is to try and destroy all four Sentinels while they're still outside, or just getting in. On Heroic that's fairly easy with a plasma rifle. An AR isn't so powerful, but if you combine it with plasma grenades (of which you have two) that makes a nice challenge. Incidentally, a tag can take out two Sentinels if it goes off at the right time.

For having this fun, you ideally want a delayed checkpoint just before the first Sentinels spawn. You can do that just as described in the aforementioned introductory article.

Inner combat (the main business)

The idea here is to attack the Sentinels once they're in the ship. You could start an attack while they're still funnelling through the openings, or perhaps ambush them as they're entering the passage, or you could wait until they've established a presence in the passage. In general the Sentinels are rather easily tackled on Heroic, and fights tend to be short (it's a pity you don't have a few dozen Sentinels to destroy), so it might be worth using Legendary to try and boost the challenge a bit.

Hard to beat a point-blank shotty

You should set things up with a suitably handy delayed checkpoint, so you can have repeated fights easily. That's trivial if using the weapons you arrived with - namely an assault rifle and plasma rifle. But it needs a bit of work if you want to be using other weapons, or if you want to be better stocked with plasma grenades for example. In that case you'll need to make a trip down to the Flood to get the appropriate goods, and delay a checkpoint until back near the Sentinels. I spoke about such checkpoint delaying in my descent article, in the section about getting other weapons. You can use the same technique here. A set-up like this can be done very quickly.

Note: in my blocking article I said that the Sentinel spawning begins about 12 seconds after the prompt "Make your way to the bridge" ends. But that's not quite the whole story. It only applies if you're remaining in the vicinity. When you go into the access way and head down, the spawning will actually be delayed until you return and come back out.

One particular combat challenge worth a mention is using melee only. That's a decent challenge on Heroic. Bear in mind, Sentinels can be destroyed by a single whack to the rear, even on Legendary. So, that's something to try for. If you circle a Sentinel closely, you may be able to get a suitable angle.

Flight's over, laser boy!

Mid-air melee

This bit of fun only involves destroying one Sentinel, but it's still enjoyable. Fall or jump from an opening to destroy a Sentinel with a melee strike (using a running jump is the most satisfying I'd say). You can potentially go on to make a landing, as seen in my movie.

Attacking after descent

One last idea. If you descend (and get a delayed checkpoint just before the Sentinels spawn), you can try to bring one or two down with plasma fire (or even AR fire, though it's not so good).

For doing this I'd suggest using Easy, to minimize the amount of fire needed. On Easy I was occasionally able to bring down two Sentinels, but on Heroic it was hard to even bring down one.