BCM142 - Cavern megabattle

(5:42) Level 5 ('Assault on the Control Room') on Normal. This shows three plays of a cavern megabattle save featuring 12 Marines and 38 covies, using my deep incursion plan, in which the idea is to zip past the enemy to attack from the side or rear. Hot stuff, with lots of glorious rocketing. It's the same save used in BCM141 (Banshee attack) and BCM59 (solo bridge assault with a Hunter companion).

Released May 3rd 2015, gameplay recorded April 30th - May 1st 2015.


00:02 (Play 1 - Right side) Arming myself with a sniper rifle and rocket launcher, I blast the blockade and board the hog, which features Johnson on the chain-gun. Both of my passengers are Pelican Marines, invisible to the enemy hence not targeted.

00:17 Charging across the bridge, I splatter first a Hunter - I was deliberately trying to get him - then two Grunts and two Jackals. The hog almost makes it to the destination without taking a plasma ball, but is eventually caught despite our evasive curving route. There goes my shield, but that was pretty much expected.

00:27 Letting the hog slide to a stop, I quickly get clear so it hopefully won't get blasted. An incoming Hunter shot takes out a Jackal, which is nice. I throw a frag which shakes up a blue Elite, but then I start doing real damage with rockets.

00:43 When I rocket a red Elite some loose grenades detonate, overturning the hog and prematurely ending my chain-gun support. However, the passengers survive, and with a spot more rocketing the immediate threat is soon over.

00:50 The squad is having a hard time on the bridge and I get busy trying to help out quick with the sniper rifle from behind the cover of the pillar-like pipe. That's what I brought it for. My shooting could be better but I kill four Elites with two clips, which isn't too bad. They do a fair bit of moving around, making targeting tricky.

01:04 Ok, that's enough long-distance support, brief though it was. I decide to advance. Ahead are a few Elites and some Jackals, one of whom catches me with a plasma ball. I kill one of the Elites but the other runs to man the Ghost which has just been righted. His ride is rather short though. No sooner has he greeted me than he goes up in a fireball, courtesy of my launcher. I think the blast hurt Johnson too because he rages "Who wants a piece o' me?", but I wasn't inclined to hold back; that Ghost needed to go.

01:24 Moving to the bridge, I see a Hunter swiping at some Marines. I end his fun with a rocket, though not before he sends a guy over the edge (who screams twice). Moments later there are just a few Grunts to finish off in the dark area to the left. I've still got two rockets and I'm happy to use them up. At the end there are six Marines still breathing.

01:43 (Play 2 - Over the hump) This time I'm using the Banshee for a solo incursion across the hump beyond the cavern, but I still blast the blockade so the Marines can head over the bridge. I take a nice low curving route and blast an Elite on the way. I could've tried mowing down another few but I wanted to leave them for rocketing instead.

02:09 Enemy fire follows me over but it's not long before I'm sending some back. My first rocket kills two Elites and badly hurts a third. A frag does further damage, then I fire a rocket at two Elites to the left. One is killed and I think the other rages - unless it was some guy raging after the frag blast. I get him with a pistol shot as he comes over.

02:22 After wreaking more havoc I notice that an Elite has boarded one of the Ghosts. I back off in wait, and sure enough the Ghost comes charging over the hump, only to become a glorious flaming airborne wreck. That spectacle was part of the reason I selected this play for inclusion.

02:39 When I go up the hump for another shot, I aim towards a red Elite but he's going away and escapes the blast. Darn it. He's attracted back though, and I get him with the next rocket. Meanwhile a Marine has made it over the hump. Probably a Pelican Marine, invisible to the enemy. A Hunter takes two rockets to kill, then I decide to use my last one on a Jackal who's getting a bit trigger-happy.

02:58 Using grenades and pistol fire I quickly work through some minor enemies, then see bigger prey on the bridge. I get a Hunter with a zoomed pistol shot but I'm too late to stop an Elite killing a Marine. I'm rather slow to polish him off, and also make a meal out of shooting the Hunter, but never mind. During this action I briefly wondered where the needles were coming from. When I check, I spot a Marine on the bridge rim. Then when I head up for a closer look, I see another! Enjoying the view guys? Sheesh! Blinkin' bozo bystanders.

03:47 Just a few Grunts to finish off, and I can't resist picking up a needler to do job. Johnson is pleased with the outcome, and there are three Marines left.

04:04 (Play 3 - Left side) Across the bridge by hog once more - this time heading for the darker territory on the left. I take a more direct route to the start of the bridge, which lets us get a better jump on the enemy before they're alerted. It helps us reach the destination without collecting a plasma ball, and that should help me a lot in the initial hectic fighting.

04:22 Things tend to be extremely dangerous in this place where I dismount, with Hunter shots quickly sailing in, but this time a bombardment is agreeably absent for a while. I start throwing frags and firing rockets, and when there's a brief lull I get the seated guy dismounted. He can join me on foot, and could do some decent damage if he throws a frag.

04:37 Right after I get him out, I have to quickly whack a red Elite who was about to do the same to me. After rocketing a blue and seeing Johnson finish another red, I rocket a Ghost. I'm not sure how that thing got righted so it could be manned. None of my rockets went near it, so I suspect a distant Hunter took a shot at us but hit a friendly near the overturned Ghost.

04:45 By now Hunter shots are arriving, and I decide to advance, to stick it to the covies at closer range. As I head across to the right, I catch a bit of chain-gun fire which doesn't help (you can just hear Johnson apologizing). I'm down to only two health bars with shield bleeping! Nevertheless I press on, and fire a rocket towards covies on the bridge. I think I was actually aiming at the far bridge rim; it was in the sight and I wanted to get that rocket off quick. A Grunt goes flying and the blast appears to set off a loose plasma which kills an Elite.

04:55 Now reloaded, I rocket a couple of blue Elites at close range, but I also listen to the sound of the Hunter to my left rear. I'm anticipating a swipe, and sure enough it comes, at which point I backstep to avoid it. Then I quickly switch to my pistol and get him in the back, hee hee!

05:04 After also putting down a panicking Jackal and a Grunt, I switch back to the launcher but it needs reloading. As I head for the two Hunters on the bridge, I decide that I'll jump over the first guy's swipe while reloading. Works fine, and then I rocket the second guy. The first comes back for another swipe and gets a pistol round. But there's a fuel rod shot heading our way, and I have to just hope there are no loose plasmas nearby, else I'll be toast. Fortunately there aren't. But two further shots quickly sail in, killing a Marine. Those two shots were fired by the one remaining Hunter, yet they were less than half a second apart. Was that some kind of freaky event? I didn't realize they could repeat-fire so fast!

05:17 A blue Elite foolishly runs backwards my way, so I give him a tap on the head. I'm pretty sure he was one of the Ghost pilots from the crashed Pelican area, because they have an instinct to run back through the level, and this guy looked like he was doing that. Right afterwards, I see a blue-shielded Jackal and I bounce a frag off the pipe to get him; and actually it gets another Jackal too, who I hadn't noticed at the time. I enjoyed that move and it's part of why I selected this play.

05:26 Another reason I picked this play was the ending. My rocket fails to kill the Hunter (I aimed at the ground slightly to the left, hoping to send him flying to the right), but I put him down with a simple pistol shot, and then the one remaining Marine says "One down, fifty billion to go".

Closing remarks As with the Banshee attacking of BCM141, I had a lot of fun doing plays for this movie, and I'm very pleased with the result. Should've covered these battle plans sooner! I needed to do a lot of plays for the left side because it was so hard to survive the initial attack there. Many times I was dead in seconds due to Hunter fire. I also did a lot of plays for the hump, but that was mainly because I wanted to get something spectacular with Ghosts coming over.

I certainly expect to give the deep incursion plan further coverage later, including tackling things solo. There are lots of tactical variations to try out.