BCM145 - Grunt-Jackal spawning trick

(5:30) Level 3 ('The Truth and Reconciliation') on Normal. This demonstrates my standard routine for the Grunt-Jackal spawning trick finished off with the muster bay checkpoint. I allow 30 minutes spawning and end up with 40 Grunts and 26 Jackals which I then take a look at - especially the stack at the spawning area. A certain amount of carnage is involved, but I'll be getting deeper into that in later movies!

Released June 15th 2015, gameplay recorded June 11th-13th 2015.


00:02 (The trick) The footage begins just after a checkpoint for the end of the main part of the boarding battle. All the Marines are dead; I didn't want them around, although that wasn't critical. After killing the troops behind the cargo door, I delay the triggered checkpoint using jumping at first, then enemy threat. With the Grunt killed, I get the checkpoint just before the spawn trigger zone. Getting it there is merely to save time in the next part of the work, which can take multiple tries.

00:30 (First try for standoff mode) After blitzing the covies up the rise and being careful not to trigger the muster bay yet, I return to the trigger zone. The first wave spawned when I entered earlier, and it turns out to be a Jackal wave. But it's soon clear that he's in attack mode because he doesn't head for the side-passage. No good; try again.

01:06 (Another try for standoff mode) This time when blitzing the covies, I take the opportunity of smacking the top Elite on the back of the head. Actually, if you pause for a few seconds before rounding the corner after killing the side-passage troops, that might raise your chances of being able to do this. Not that it matters much on this low difficulty level. Returning to the trigger zone there's a Grunt wave approaching, but again we've got attack mode. I recognized it almost immediately, but for the sake of the movie I let things play for a while to show that such covies will close right in. Indeed, they'll even chase you into the side-passage up the rise.

01:49 (Standoff mode achieved) On this try I finally get standoff mode. I recognized it as soon as the door opened, because the Grunts were already well to the left, making it clear that they were going for the side-passage. A Jackal turns up next, and he joins them. I'm briefly exposed and spotted, but that was all for the sake of letting you see another wave turn up and head for the side-passage.

02:50 (Waiting) Backing off out of sight (yet still being in the trigger zone), I let my Xbox run by itself while further waves spawn. I allow 30 minutes spawning in all, which should result in a good-sized horde yet without bad framerate slowdown, something I wanted to avoid in this introductory movie. While waiting, a Grunt body is in view. If I'd been aiming to get a horde close to the limit of what's possible, I would've instead made sure to be looking away from all bodies, so the game will be free to remove them, thus freeing up extra capacity for spawning.

02:59 (Muster bay checkpoint) Ok, time's up! I trigger the muster bay checkpoint at the top of the rise (where the ground levels out), and get it a few seconds later, a short way down the rise. Then I'm ready for playing about. Having trigged the muster bay, my horde will try to reach its upper level - and there's no further possibility of spawning.

03:10 (A look at the horde) On this first look at the horde I'm not trying to slay the whole lot, but certainly plenty. You're basically getting a taste of what I call a 'passage battle'. As you can see, Normal is sufficiently forgiving that you can afford to wade into the horde for close gung-ho action, but it's certainly hazardous. Indeed, a couple of times I'm in haste to get clear of my own grenades, including a frag bounce at 3:28 which hit slightly to the right of where I planned. This horde turned out to comprise 40 Grunts and 26 Jackals. At the spawning area the covies have stacked up as usual, and I quickly grenade them. There's one 'external' guy to deal with. I zap him on the foot and he falls to his death. After that, I double back and slay some of the covies I bypassed.

04:33 (Another look at the stack) We didn't see the stack very well yet, so here's a better look, using the camo. By the time I reach the stack, a fair few covies have marched off but it's still a decent size. After watching a bit of unstacking, it's time to end with some fun. When I fire a shot, they jump in surprise, which is pretty amusing. That's one of the recreations I've been enjoying even before making this movie. You can also notice that the external Grunt drops down. And to finish off, it's grenade time!

Closing remarks I'd meant to get a tutorial out much sooner than this, but at least it's done at last. I used Normal because it's easy enough that you can get in amongst your horde for an extended period, yet tough enough that gung-ho combat is something you can get your teeth into (combat is too much of a pushover on Easy really). I deliberately aimed for a modestly sized horde because I wanted to avoid getting into heavy framerate slowdown here. I wouldn't have minded having a bigger and more spectacular stack to show you, but I expect to show some larger hordes and stacks in later movies.

I hope you appreciated the freeze-frame depicting the spawn trigger zone. That took quite a bit of fiddling around to add, but I thought it was important to include.

You may've noticed that I had a sniper rifle with maximum ammo. That didn't play a part in the trick but it does come in useful when you're trying to count your horde, or if you want to watch spawning occur. See my article for details.