BCM126 - Detached dropship turret

(8:13) Level 5 ('Assault on the Control Room') on Heroic. After making BCM124 about ramming the turret, I couldn't let things lie. I wanted to improve my technique, and had a lofty ambition in mind. After extensive work and countless mid-air reboardings, here's the result! It's a bit of an epic, but with the amount of gameplay I had to do, that only seemed right.

Released February 8th 2015, gameplay recorded January 21st - February 6th 2015.


00:02 (Bridge pinball) To try and take my ramming further, I tried a new set-up, in which I started out in a hopefully better position. I was hoping that with a shorter way to go to get into position for a mid-air reboarding, I could achieve a higher success rate ('success' meaning achieving turret detachment via mid-air reboarding). It worked, and in due course I was able to achieve close to a 50% success rate when nicely in the groove. Indeed, during one spell of 100 successes, 41 took only 1 try, 20 took 2, and 76 took no more than 3. This was far better than before (starting at the bridge support), when it frequently took several minutes for a success; and it was easier work on the joysticks too! So it was a massive help. I actually created two saves, roughly similar, but the one you see at the start here was the first and it later became my firm preference, accounting for most of my clips.

This opening clip shows a relatively early success (the earliest in the movie), in which the turret ends up on the bridge. Not a great ram, but it was amusing how the turret briefly became like a pinball, bouncing off parts of the bridge as it travelled along. I subsequently did a bit of ramming from underneath the bridge, which moved it a bit, and the final ram causes it to fall through the deck. Guess I didn't hit it very well.

00:33 (Left cliff) The Banshee takes a bit of a kick here, from the back of the ship. Actually that's part of the reason I included this clip. I sweep the turret left along the cliff but the Banshee gets impeded by an arch, ending any hope of catching up with it to get underneath.

00:49 (Getting playful) My ram looks like it's going to be a decent one, but despite initially making contact with the nose, the turret seems to get stalled on the Banshee, and dances away from the left leg. When I try for another ram, a similar thing happens again. An amusing spectacle, making the turret seem playful.

01:08 (Bridge support) I hit the turret slightly off-centre and it flies left and onto the bridge support. But it's not there for long. It's close enough to the edge that I'm able to ram it off.

01:41 (Right cliff plus blast) I make decent contact and the turret heads to the right, along the cliff. I try to get underneath for another shunt, but I slightly overshoot and it's lost. However, at least I'm able to give it a fuel rod blast as it goes.

02:01 (Tail tickle) Quite often the turret drops straight down the cliff face rather that flying away from it, and in that case it's hard to get underneath for a good ram. On this occasion I at least arrive in time. But actually I'm fractionally early and the turret hits the back of the Banshee. It briefly twitches around in the tail, then flies up. That's what made me include the clip. I'm able to give it a subsequent barge, but not in an upwards direction.

02:18 (Far end of the bridge) The turret flies away from the cliff and I try to adjust to intercept it, but it goes a bit too far and hits the Banshee's left leg. However, that still imparts a good shunt. The turret ends up near the far end of the bridge and I subsequently boost it onto the other bridge. Actually I tried to ram it in mid-air but missed.

02:44 (Want to reach that ledge!) At this point we move to the main goal I had in mind for this sequel. The goal of getting the turret onto the upper ledge - which I thought should be viable though it might take a lot of tries. Here I do an excellent ram, sending the turret almost straight up the cliff. However, the cliff slants out further up, and sends the turret away, back over me. I fail to get underneath, and pretty soon it's lost.

After this introductory clip I phase out my coverage of reboardings, to make things more focused on the ramming (also allowing me to pack more in). Besides which, you've seen plenty of reboardings by now.

03:06 (Whirling around) This time the turret doesn't get close to the cliff, and I whirl around quite a bit trying to line up a second shunt. It's not a good one though, and the turret gets away to fall onto the near bridge.

03:19 (Highest yet) A good ram takes it diagonally across the battlefield and I give pursuit. However, my second ram doesn't send it up at a steep enough angle for me to be able to catch it again, so it's lost. Still, that was the highest flight yet.

03:32 (Right cliff - Come here you!) The turret goes rightwards along the cliff, and I give it another shunt further up, but it comes away from the cliff and gets clear of me.

03:48 (Left leg shunt) I try to adjust my course to hit the turret with the nose, but it's not quite enough. However, I catch it with the left leg instead, which sends it high. Things look promising and I try to carefully get underneath to knock it towards the nearby ledge, but it's difficult to judge, and I miss. Arrgh!

04:00 (Across to the other side) My first contact sends the turret heading away from the cliff somewhat. I give chase, and my second contact helps it further, but I realize that I won't be able to catch it now. Nothing to do but watch. It goes tantalizingly close to the far ledge before heading down towards the bridge. Darn! For a moment there I had my hopes up.

04:15 (Left cliff - Getting close!) Another near miss, this time to the left. My second ram was nicely aimed, but just not strong enough. This clips also features a nice view of the dropship vanishing.

04:29 (Good fuel rod strike) In this little interlude the turret messily hits the front of the Banshee below the nose, causing it to shoot off to the left and bounce off the underside of the bridge. However, at least I then manage to score a pleasing and picturesque fuel rod hit. Most of the time I miss, as you may've noticed. It's hard because there's no aim assistance. The Banshee doesn't recognize the turret as a target (no red reticle).

04:37 (Right cliff then a leg hit) After my messy first ram, I carefully line the Banshee up for a second go, and do a good job, sending it up the cliff. Instead of flying right after it, I decide to look where it's going, and then try to intercept it in a controlled way. However, it's difficult. I hit it with the right leg and it speeds off across the battlefield.

04:55 (That outwards slant is a pain) Excellent ram straight up the cliff, and I aggressively go for a second. It's good, but the outwards slant of the cliff sends the turret away and I can't quite get under to send it back. The slant is a pain indeed.

05:12 (Highest of all) Another good ram up the cliff, after which I take evasive action to avoid the bridge, getting away with just a scrape. Then I deliver a second good hit. But my third sends the turret a bit too far away and I can't reach it for another touch. But at least that was the highest we've been.

05:31 (Arch) After I fluff an attempted second ram, the turret ends up on the arch which goes over the door, and that gives me an idea. I can ram it upwards, and maybe reach the ledge that way, saving me having to perform mid-air reboardings. It'll be a two-stage journey then, but I don't mind that. First I want a checkpoint though, for making repeated tries. So I head back to the spiral path area.

05:53 (Underpass checkpoint) I trigger and delay the underpass checkpoint. There are still some Marines back there and I help them out by splattering a Hunter. I subsequently get the checkpoint near the far end of the bridge. Far enough from the turret that the game doesn't consider me under threat.

06:07 (First try off the arch) On my first try the turret goes up fairly nicely, but also over to the right, and I'm too slow to reach it for a second hit. Many more tries followed, and I've picked out a few more of the failures to show.

06:21 (Bad second hit) By the time I made this try, I was in the habit of varying my approach flight and firing on the turret as I approached, for fun. I curve up from between the bridges and the turret goes high. Nice! But my second knock is poor and the turret flies away.

06:34 (Near miss) A good first hit, then a second. This looks promising. I see that it's nearing the ledge and I try to give it a little tap in the right direction, but it wriggles free. Close though!

06:52 (Wrong ledge) Again the turret goes high. My second contact isn't with the nose though. The turret hits somewhere on the underside and heads across the battlefield. I angle down a bit, thinking there might just be a chance to get under it. But I see it passing in front and I know the game is up. I give it an almost point-blank blast, which sets the Banshee smoking. The turret does end up on a ledge, but it's the wrong one.

07:14 (Touchdown) As time went on I became confident of succeeding, and probably soon. I just needed a touch more dexterity or luck. It took over a hundred tries in all, but eventually this happened. I launch the turret nicely and get clear of the cliff to avoid getting slowed down by scraping - something which had taken a bit of practice. A second hit sends it in a good direction, and I prepare to add a final tap if needed. But then I see that it isn't needed. Touchdown, at last! After a brief spell of celebratory fire and a little nudge of appreciation, I land on the ledge but the Banshee slides off. I wasn't particularly trying to keep hold of it, so I just let it go - which helped me end on a comic note.

Closing remarks This was a relatively long movie but I felt that was appropriate in view of how much gameplay was involved. I had to work at this stuff for multiple long sessions before the turret landed on the ledge. During this endeavour I detached the turret several hundred times, mostly devoted to that specific goal. Mind you, probably more than half the detachments were unsuitable for doing ramming, because the turret fell straight down the cliff and it was hard to even reach it in time, let alone give it a decent upwards knock. I really needed the turret to be coming away from the cliff. But even then, intercepting the turret with a good hit was far from certain.

Actually, there came a time when I was close to ending the movie without a ledge landing, because I'd performed hundreds of detachments by then, and although I'd got close a few times, the idea of possibly having to do hundreds more was a little daunting, and also my thumbs were getting sore from the joystick work! I had a tentative ending lined up; a clip on which the turret merely came close to the ledge, and then at the end we'd be down on the ground, and my captions were going to be "Alas, no ledge landing" followed by "But at least we got into the mist". However, it was hard to settle for an anticlimax, so I kept at it a bit longer. Then when the turret settled on that arch, I realized it gave me an alternative and probably easier way of achieving the goal; so I went with that instead, and it was indeed easier. In a way I'm glad that happened, because it added a third phase to the movie.

It later struck me that for a second-stage launch I could instead have had the turret on the bridge deck. In the movie you saw me ramming it high from under the deck at 2:33, making a good target for ramming further. Using the deck might actually be easier than using the arch, because the turret would initially be out in the open, away from the problematic outwards sloping cliff.

The clips aren't all in chronological order, incidentally. There's some order here (e.g. the opening clip was obtained earlier than the rest), but for the first two phases of the movie I basically selected what I thought were the best clips and put them in an order which keeps things fairly varied, in terms of turret trajectories. The "Getting close!" clip (04:15) was from February 5th along with the subsequent clips as far as the arch landing; and then the rest of the movie was from the 6th.