BCM19 - Rockslide megabattle, plateau alley defence with pistol & needler

(3:25) Level 2 ('Halo') on Heroic. This shows a rockslide megabattle against 34 covies using the plateau alley defence plan. I use a pistol and needler and have the support of Stacker and Johnson.

Released August 2nd 2010, gameplay recorded July 24th 2010.


00:02 Elite ahead - the one from dropship 4. He's in a very handy position too. I drive slightly to his left to make him dive right, then I turn in to squash him. Nice. The Jackal panics and starts running, then obligingly dives under our wheels. Around the corner, almost the entire mob is there because I was using a modified far area horde set-up, which is ideal for this battle plan. A Grunt leaps clear and we speed past. Stacker continues to let rip with the chain-gun as we head into the hidey-hole. It's a close squeeze through the entrance. In this play I go straight through then back up to shelter the hog. Actually it's also possible to do a right swerve to get into that position almost instantly, a new method I cottoned onto while doing plays for this movie. It's good fun and can sometimes get you out of the way of a pursuing plasma ball.

00:23 I dismount and wait for the chasing covies. As is usually the case, Elites lead the pursuit. I pepper them a little to try and hold them up a while, letting more of the mob close in. I want them all to end up heading up the 'plateau alley'; that's the key ingredient for this battle plan. Before I lose my shield I reboard and watch my motion tracker, then speed off before we come under heavy fire.

00:53 At the top of the alley I get Stacker and Johnson out, then curve the hog around and over the edge to send it down, an engaging alternative to simply moving it clear on the plateau. This time it ends up squashing an arriving blue Elite, heh heh! But there's no time to have a good laugh. A red arrives from the other side and I open up with my pistol, taking him down with the last shot of a clip. Another red is charging up the alley so I switch straight to the needler and pile a stream into him, running up along the side of the plateau for cover (a good technique). BLAM! That's two Elites down, four to go. While taking a glance at the red, I also see a Jackal coming up behind with glowing plasma pistol. I dodge right to avoid the plasma ball, then stick my head back out and send a frag his way. That was actually meant to go a short way past him so it would maybe also take out his yellow-shielded buddy, but it ends up bouncing off him and thus falling short. He's still toast though, and the newly arrived blue Elite gives a slight groan of pain from the blast.

01:20 I switch back to the pistol and reload, then let him have it, finishing him off with a nice headshot. Meanwhile another red has turned up. In this play I'm making a specific effort to keep Stacker and Johnson breathing, so I decide on some aggressive needling, sacrificing a few health bars in the process. The red gets the remainder of my needler's clip, which is just enough to send him up in a nice pink bang. Meanwhile Johnson has thrown a frag which adds to the carnage ("Catch!"), and there's one of mine in the mix too (though I'm not sure it kills anything). With bleeping shield I take the opportunity to recharge and reload. Johnson shouts "Follow me Marines!" then proceeds to bravely stay where he is.

01:34 The enemy keep on coming. I take down an advancing Grunt with a headshot from cover (namely the curve of the ground) while Stacker yells "Fire in the hole!". His grenade proves effective, and while he's busy celebrating I share a clip of needles between a Grunt and a red, eliminating both. By the sound of it, a secondary needle bang also kills a few Grunts around the corner.

01:46 Switching back to the pistol, I decide to lob a grenade at the hog to shift it somewhere else. It takes out a Grunt (presumably behind the big rock) and ends up squashing an arriving Elite (you can see him enter the shot just beforehand). Useful thing that hog! Meanwhile I was also busy with a yellow-shielded Jackal part way up the alley. Spotting his roll, I take the opportunity to move in and tag him. I was hoping he might take it back to his buddies but actually he stays put, seemingly oblivious to his imminent demise. That beaky freak is really into his plasma firing! I send another plasma down towards the base of the path but it doesn't quite get past the blast radius of the first, and gets diverted. I lob a further plasma at a distant Jackal behind the newly settled hog, and also headshoot a Grunt with pistol on zoom.

02:03 With newly loaded pistol I headshoot a Grunt and frag a Jackal nearing the top of the alley, sending him flying my way. Another Grunt further down gets a headshot as he tries to run for the cover of the rock, then I send some needles down, plus a plasma grenade. Explosions follow. More Grunts head up the alley but meet up with pistol shots and needles. There's also a Jackal, and when I see him roll I pick up a plasma and tag him. A panicking Grunt yells "I can't stop him!". What, he thought he could?

02:30 Can't be many covies left now. After a brief pause to work up their courage, two grunty troopers head up the alley and I share a needle clip between them. Amusingly, the Grunts seem to run into each other as they explode. But wait, I hear one more! Moving up the edge of the plateau I spot him blocked by the hog. It's a pity I didn't have a full clip of needles at this point, as it would've been nice to jump off and let them arc down into him. Instead I use up a few pistol rounds, going for a headshot.

02:52 With no more covies left in the rockslide, there's some intercom chatter from which you can gather that the other two survivor areas haven't been tackled yet. It's actually best to tackle one of them beforehand to trigger the Banshees so you can destroy them, else they can end up getting triggered part way through your megabattle, potentially causing some framerate slowdown. However, here I was using an old save from a time before I realized that could happen. It was my first save specifically designed for the plateau alley defence, and I've used it a lot. I thought I'd include this chatter section as the Pelican looks quite picturesque as it swoops in - and these movies are about paying tribute to the game after all. As for Stacker and Johnson, they initially seem to be looking up at something. Maybe the Grunt's final needles?

Closing remarks This play was a bit unusual in that two of the attacking Elites got killed by the hog, which obviously took a bit of pressure off. Without that squashing the mob would've had a better chance of pushing up the alley and forcing me back, but this time things didn't get too desperate. The squashing was good for comedy value though, which was part of why I used this play for the movie. I was also pleased with the pistol work and needling I did to break up the initial surge of Elites, and I liked that both Stacker and Johnson got busy with frags. Marines make good movie footage, and Stacker's frag was especially enjoyable for his gleeful reaction. They eventually rolled clear of the action but that almost always happens with Marines dropped near the top. It's a pity Marines don't have the intelligence to move a short way to decent firing positions rather than standing around like onlookers, but never mind. I hope this movie gave some indication of how much fun this battle plan can be, because I've had a heck of a time with it over the years.