Evac tagging

Posted February 29th 2020, updated later

Associated movies

  • BCM411 - Heroic; Evac tagging (5:32)
  • BCM412 - Heroic; Anomalous tag survival and more (6:50)
An early throw…

From up on the hilltop overlooking the cliffside survivor area, you can have some fun with occupants of the evac Pelican. An activity I call 'evac tagging'. To set this up, ideally you want a checkpoint a few seconds before the Pelican is due to accelerate into its departure path, which takes it low over the hill. That's easy to engineer, by suitably delaying the checkpoint which is due shortly after the Pelican touches down to pick up the survivors. You could potentially use a Warthog catapulting set-up, as I did for some of the clips in BCM411 (from when I first tried out the idea), or create a set-up specifically.

Here's the thing. If you throw a plasma grenade at the oncoming Pelican, it can actually pass through the exterior and tag one of the evacuees - just like a plasma can pass through the front of a Banshee and tag the pilot. Passing through is a matter of luck. Sometimes it goes through, sometimes it doesn't. Of course, you need a fairly precise aim as well. All of which means, it can take quite a few tries before you get lucky and actually tag someone. But when you do, it can be pretty amusing.

…for an early bang

If you tag a Marine (there are potentially three aboard), he'll bail out the back and there's a scream when he's killed. If you instead tag a POA crewman (there are potentially two aboard), it's different. He'll remain seated and won't scream when he dies. For this reason it's more fun tagging Marines.

With a good set-up, it'll only be a few seconds before you can throw. You want that because it allows a high rate of tries, with a minimum of waiting around. You can gradually learn suitable throw aims to score tags. Typically you'd be aiming at some particular point in the sky and you'd want the grenade to enter close to the cockpit, on either side of it. The aim will depend on the timing of the throw. There are sloping surfaces either side of the cockpit which are good targets for pass-through, but it's also possible for the grenade to go through the side or belly. I recommend having a pistol and sniper rifle, both of which potentially allow you to aim relatively precisely. By using zoom you might be able to raise your success rate to some extent.

When the bang goes off on a tagged evacuee, it can give him a big trajectory, taking him far or high or both. A sniper rifle is good for tracking him, and you can even take a few potshots if you like.

Whoops, sorry guys!

Throwing early for carnage

If you throw relatively early (slightly before the Pelican accelerates, or soon after), the bang can go off when the Pelican is just coming over the hill, and it can hurt or kill onlookers - including yourself of course. That's especially the case when a Marine was tagged, because he'll be starting to fall from the Pelican, like an incoming bomb. It can be amusing to specifically try to get onlookers killed. In creating your set-up, you can take trouble to put Marines in the right general area. If you have some loose frags on the ground, that could make things even spicier!

More tips

Instead of throwing a single plasma, you could throw a barrage, which might help you get a tag. You could potentially tag multiple evacuees with a barrage, but that would be very rare. In making BCM411 it only ever happened once, but there are a few more examples in BCM412. Another possibility is that of double tagging someone.

Close-range exit tag

Something else you can try is what I call 'exit tagging', in which you tag the guy shortly after his exit from the Pelican - typically at close range. Technically this makes for a double tag, but the first bang will be going off almost as soon as you score your exit tag. You can see some examples in BCM412. Exit tagging is a bit frustrating to pull off because the grenade often seems to fail to stick despite being on target. It's going through the Marine I think.

Anomalous tag survival

Occasionally you might see a tagged guy survive the bang, something covered in BCM412. Based on my investigaton at the boarding area, this happens if the guy hasn't quite exited the Pelican when the bang goes off (sometimes they're a bit slow), and if he's also strong enough. Armour looks to be essential. One other thing I'll say is that in all the cases I've seen (proper cases I mean, not at the boarding area), the tag was relatively late, never early. I'm not sure if that's just a matter of chance, or reflects an actual pattern.

Personnel management

In regard to the set-up, it might be best if the Pelican has the maximum five survivors aboard, as that gives you the most targets. However, if you're only interested in tagging Marines, you should eliminate the two POA crewmen, so there won't be any aboard to intercept plasmas. You could kill them yourself during the combat phase.