BCM129 - Rockslide megabattle 12-man far area defence, needler & plasma pistol x2

(5:46) Level 2 ('Halo') on Heroic. This is the first in five-movie sequence based on a rockslide megabattle save featuring a squad of 11 Marines waiting for me to join them in a far area defence against 33 covies. The save was originally used in BCM52 but that was only one play. Not enough! It includes handy spare weapons and I thought it would make a good platform on which to show some hot action with various weaponry. Besides which, after all that recent business with the turret, I really fancied getting back to some combat. In this opener I fight with a needler and plasma pistol, twice.

Released February 24th 2015, gameplay recorded February 18th and 21st 2015.


00:02 (Play 1) Things get off to a lively start with a cross-field route to the far area, during which a few Grunts are splattered. The route also releases the dropship 3 covies from the lifeboat area as usual, so they'll join in with the attack.

00:23 After grabbing the plasma pistol I send a plasma ball out to a Jackal, followed by some needles. Not quite enough to make a bang, but never mind - he's killed regardless. I have a go at another Jackal too, but then a blue Elite gets my attention. He backs off though, frustrating my aim. I switch to a blue approaching from the right and have better luck, taking down his shield with a plasma ball and sending in some needles. Again not quite enough for bang alas. While throwing a frag at another blue I hear him going into rage mode, and I finish him off with a few needles, jumping over his approach.

00:59 After a few more needles I switch to the plasma pistol and try to whack the blue Elite near the hog, but miss. He comes for me but gets a plasma ball in the face, and a moment later he's down from Marine fire. Talking of which, one of them dies from friendly fire, and Stacker rebukes the offender with talk of a court-martial. No time to worry about that yet though; we're still under heavy attack. I do some decent work with needles and frags, taking out two more Elites, plus I make an Elite back off after getting him with a plasma ball.

01:18 Things continue to be hectic as I dish out more needles and grenades. One plasma grenade takes out a distant Jackal, and another finishes a red Elite who wasn't paying enough attention (a Jackal goes flying too). One of the two remaining Elites has backed off to the semicircle of rocks and is audibly hurt when my plasma ball catches him. I follow up with a hopeful plasma grenade but it only gets a Grunt. After that I briefly switch my attention to the right, to quickly frag a Jackal who was hurting Stacker.

01:39 By now I'm down to only two health bars but my shield finally has a chance to recharge. I see a needler Elite running towards the Marines and I get a plasma ball charged up, ready to let him have it as soon as he pauses. But there's no need; he falls easily from Marine fire. I advance and get a new plasma pistol, plus some plasma grenades which I start dishing out to minor enemies. My third throw appears to tag a Jackal, judging by his cry.

01:58 There's only one Elite left now, and in due course he clumsily runs into a plasma ball which puts him on the defensive. Needles pile in, and he's toast. Tackling the remaining few covies is easy. I use far more needles than necessary, but that's part of the fun!

02:55 (Play 2) Different route this time, featuring a sharp swerve around a tree then a drive through the covie horde before swerving around sharply to head through the rockslide. That hog is such a delight to throw around. A couple of Grunts get splattered, and then best of all, I get a Jackal when heading uphill. I manage to avoid a few chasing plasma balls too.

03:24 My opening plasma ball sails over the top of the blue Elite I was aiming at (I was half expecting that; should've aimed lower), but I get him with needles instead. As I back off, a plasma grenade makes another blue take avoiding action, but a red evades my needles and advances to attack the Marines. I throw another plasma but see that it's no good, so I follow with a fast-acting frag instead. That shakes him up and he's quickly finished with plasma fire.

03:41 Another red advances, and then dives forward when my frag goes close. That makes him a handy target for my needles. But now here are two blues. I get one with plasma fire, then try to needle the other but without much luck. Indeed, I lose sight of him for a moment, due to some grenade blasts. Meanwhile another blue joins the attack, and although I try to evade his needles I'm hurt quite badly, going down to four health bars. At least I get the other blue with a plasma grenade. And then when needle-guy advances past the hog, I get him with a few needles of my own, after changing my mind about using a plasma ball.

04:14 His dropped needler furnishes me with a handy top-up as I target the final Elite, and I also throw a plasma which tags a Grunt ("Not again!"). The Elite does a good job of dodging my needles but my next stream piles in nicely, just after my plasma grenade blasts a Jackal. With minor covies panicking, I move in to take care of them at closer range, but quickly end up having to take evasive action from a keen blue-shielded Jackal plus a needling Grunt. I throw a plasma towards the Jackal but it hits his shield and bounces far enough away that he doesn't get hurt much, if at all. He does turn tail though. The Grunt dives, and I subsequently get him with plasma.

04:48 As I head for more needles - which turns out to be a mere three - Johnson goes into rage mode, shouting "You are dead!". I know he's going to go charging out, and I head over in support, to see if I can save him. I get a few covies but he falls from a plasma ball. You might also notice that during this phase, a Grunt shouts "Everybody duck!" and promptly tags a Jackal who was running past with shield overhead.

05:05 Johnson obligingly leaves me a frag, which I quickly use on a Jackal. After zapping a Grunt I head downhill and get a Jackal with a plasma ball, then a zap puts him on his knees, making him an easy target for tagging. The Grunt tries to flee, shouting "Little people first!", but I smite him with a whack, leaving just a Jackal to needle.

Closing remarks Although my favourite combo for the far area defence is needler and pistol, I've shown that combo before (including in BCM52 featuring this same save), so this time I decided to couple the needler with a plasma pistol. That also made things more challenging, because neither the needler nor plasma pistol is good for tackling enemies going across your field of view, nor can they match the pistol's speed at picking off enemies at distance. The pistol will turn up later in this mini-series however.

Part of the reason I selected that first play from among several good candidates was Stacker yelling about a court-martial; an amusing and relatively rare line. As for the second, done three days later, I especially enjoyed the Jackal splattering on the drive. Bringing the penultimate Jackal to his knees and tagging him was another point of amusement, and Johnson going into rage mode was a memorable feature too.

Looking back on BCM52 in which I likewise used a needler, I have to say that these new plays seem considerably more hectic and exciting. I think with that older movie I was deliberately staying back near the Marines a lot, to showcase the squad. With the new movies I've taken a more aggressive line, which tends to give more in-your-face action - and more shield bleeping!