BCM6 - Spiral path megabattle

(4:30) Level 5 ('Assault on the Control Room') on Heroic. This shows a spiral path megabattle against 52 covies, using the ice path defence plan with a variety of weapons, including lots of rocketing and needling. My save was created specially for that plan, and includes a 4-Ghost blockade across the ice (I like Ghosts flying about the place) and a load of spare weapons around the defence area for extra flexibility in how to tackle things. I made sure to get good rock geometry, and I also eliminated the sniper, partly to raise the challenge and partly because I get fed up of him stealing my kills.

Released November 27th 2009, gameplay recorded November 24th 2009.


00:02 Into battle we go, and the boys are running back my way after their advance was halted by the 4-Ghost blockade across the ice. There are only four of them though; the sniper's had an unfortunate accident as I explained above, heh heh. I head over to the huge boulder and hop up. In creating my save I made sure it was climbable because you can have a lot of fun from up here, and climbing up is more convenient than having to drop yourself off on top with a Banshee. Just as I'm reaching the top a Grunt on the spiral path yells "Right behind you!". Not quite sure who he's talking to, but it Looks like we've got our first arrival at the blockade: a lone Elite. I zoom the sniper rifle and give him a shocking headache. He obligingly drops a couple of plasmas, which should add nicely to the bang when I blow the blockade shortly. I look up to follow the departure of the dropship. I wouldn't normally do that; it's just to make the movie a bit more cinematic. Those dropships are so majestic aren't they?

00:23 Anyway, enough dawdling. I could have a ball from up here with my sniper rifle and rocket launcher, but that's not how I'm playing it today. I hop down to head closer to the action. Swapping for a plasma rifle I'm already coming under a hail of fire, but the rocks ahead are just the right height to give me decent cover yet let me shoot over them. That's just what you want for a good defence here - though in this particular play I don't actually make much use of that cover. I return fire, lob a plasma to the centre of the blockade, then move out left for a nice view. BLAM! That wasn't just my plasma going off; it was also the two plasmas dropped by the Elite I killed, plus two frags dropped by the sniper. Quite spectacular, though I've seen Ghosts launch higher than that on other plays. That takes out another four Elites, making five down so far. Only another nine to go! A panicking Grunt comes on through and gets caught in my frag blast.

00:45 Here comes a Jackal, and I try to sneak a little plasma fire through a gap, but it's not really working. Switching to the rocket launcher, I blast a Ghost across the ice. You can have a lot of fun with that, making enemies dive clear else get squashed. My Ghost isn't terribly well aimed but he ends up diving anyway, and I finish him with a rocket against the wall. Maybe that wasn't the best planning though; here comes a nasty red Elite! I opt for a reload and manage to take him out in time, deliberately aiming a bit behind him so the blast is further from my Marines, who don't have the sense to stay back under cover. They often regret it! As for the Jackal, he gets a taste of my plasma. Another screaming Grunt turns up and I give him a spot of plasma then enjoy whomping him on the head for a bit of variety - plus I just didn't like the look of him.

01:10 With a brief lull coming up, I've got time to make a weapon swap, and I pick up a needler while a Marine looks down at an Elite: "He's good and dead!". Back to business, it looks like we've got some rather more active Elites charging in now. This is a great situation for streaming needles into enemy hide however, and the leading red goes up in a nice pink bang. A blue and a Grunt get taken out in a major chain reaction moments later, but we've still got another red heading in. He's off to my left and I can see he's going to be heading across me - obviously no good for needle fire - so I move across so he'll run onto my needles. He just has time to growl before the shattering bang. I seem to be a bit trigger-happy at this point, because I swivel right firing more needles - some of which hit a Marine. "Uhh… cut it out!". Sorry buddy, you must've looked a bit like a covie there for a moment.

01:32 More incoming, and yet another panicking Grunt leads the charge. Don't those guys have the sense to panic the other way? You're heading for the cyborg, you grunty fool! He runs into a hail of needles and the bang seems to set off a chain-reaction that takes out the following Jackal. Meanwhile I've added a plasma into the mix, but it goes off before enemies have run into the blast radius. I try needling a blue, but he goes behind a rock. Then he's charging, so I switch to my launcher. Conscious of the nearby Marine, I try for a blast just past the blue to take him out without collateral damage, but it's not good and the rocket hits his knee or thereabouts. Doesn't kill the Marine, but unfortunately the bang sets off a loose plasma and the Marine goes flying. See? I told you they often regretted standing out there in the open. Listen up guys: when the cyborg is holding a rocket launcher, stand well back! Another Elite gets taken out by the blast from the plasma I lobbed a moment ago. Not too observant these covies!

01:45 Needles take out a few Grunts and I frag two Jackals, but then we've got yet more Elites heading in; a red and a blue. The Grunt and the red get the benefit of my needle clip (that's it guys, share those needles around), but the blue gets through and starts mixing with the Marines. I needle him anyway. Ok it's dangerous - I could easily set off a bang that kills more Marines - but today I'm feeling a bit gung-ho and playing with a bit of mischief in mind. Besides, if they don't have the sense to get clear when they see a stream of needles heading into the big fella, that's their lookout, right?

02:06 I swap for a plasma pistol, and I'm just about to reload my launcher when more Grunts turn up. And as usual, they've got the heebie-jeebies. I switch back to the plasma pistol and pepper them with rapid fire which takes out a couple, and the third takes a frag blast though my throw was a bit long. Grenades bounce along on the ice, so you really have to adjust your throwing to compensate, throwing shorter and earlier than usual. Next to approach is a Jackal. I see him coming and I sneak up to let him have a plasma ball in da face. Yeah, how'd ya like that beak-boy? I follow with a plasma grenade - this is a classic 'stun and tag' move - and he starts up with his hilarious agonized reaction. The mischief deepens when I switch to the launcher. A blast at the ground sends him up, and a few metres off the ground the plasma goes off, boosting him to jet speed! Not quite escape velocity, but very nearly. See him go! The Marines are suitably impressed: "Heh-hey, that's the way to do it!".

02:27 A few more Grunts arrive, and for once they're not panicking. A rocket blast against the rock sends them flying; I love sending enemies sideways like that! Two Jackals follow up, and my stun and tag move doesn't pan out this time, but a pip of plasma delays the second Jackal long enough to make him catch the blast. Nothing on my motion tracker now, so it looks like the main attack is over. I look up to the 'Jackal rock', up near the pass. A couple of Jackals hang around there and you can have great fun blasting them from down here. Only one of them is showing at the moment, but I send a rocket up anyway, carefully aimed to hit the rock. And BLAM! - he comes flying out across the void. Again I get a vote of Marine approval: "That's how you do it amigos!".

02:51 Ok, time to head up the path, after getting ready with a fully loaded needler and a fresh rocket launcher - one of the spare weapons I arranged. Hey, you can never have too much rockety goodness, right? Pity there aren't many plasma grenades lying around; I find only one. Just as I pick it up, the second rock Jackal up top must have caught sight of us because he lets off an involuntary shot in shock. What, he'd forgotten about us already? You can bet he's doing his pointing business too. I briefly consider launching a rocket his way, but the view isn't good so I decide to leave him for later when I can get more satisfaction from the kill.

03:10 I take a shortcut up over a rock to get onto the spiral path, which I find pleasingly littered with dead Jackals. I like to get well ahead of the Marines here so I can do some work on my own for a while, because when the Marines come up, they're annoyingly good at getting themselves killed - especially from Hunter blasts. At the bottom of the path you can briefly see a handy Ghost I left there, just in case I ever fancy nipping into it and driving up to use it against the covies. Normally I go on foot though, and today is no different. On the way up I look down into the inner area because there can sometimes be an Elite or another enemy down there, stuck on the side. They're a bit clumsy and sometimes fall off the path as they come down. I'm ready to pile in a dose of needles, but there's nobody there today. But I do spot a Jackal up along the cliff edge; it's that rock Jackal again, gone for a bit of a walkabout. I slam a rocket into the cliff top, sending him flying, along with a Grunt who turns up just in time. There's another Grunt up there and for a moment I'm considering rocketing him too, but he moves along a bit and my line of fire is blocked by a tree, so I switch back to the needler and press on. Plucky little fella lets fly with a plasma - "Here goes!" - but I've got all the time in the world to watch my needles pile into him and move clear. Tough luck grunty.

03:36 More lovely needles take out most of the enemies around the tree, including a red Elite. That's one reason I like bringing a needler up the path; it's great for taking out those guys. I head over for more ammo as a Hunter approaches. I could take him out with a rocket shot here, and probably should have, but I'm sort of playing things a bit loose today, not trying to do the most efficient job possible. A grunty cry alerts me to the presence of a survivor, and I tag him as he pops out from behind a rock. Meanwhile the Hunter has got a lot nearer and I rocket him from dangerously close range, accidentally zooming the view as I pull the trigger (an occasional flaw in my technique, which I've been trying to eliminate). The second Hunter sends in a few shots and I give him a rocket in return. It's not enough though. I opt for a bit of fun with the needler. He goes for the Marines - Hunters do seem to like going for the Marines up here - and I pile a stream into his back, which does the job. The four Grunts guarding the pass exit get a couple of rockets, and I tag the last one. I really wish I'd followed up quick by rocketing him up into the sky like that Jackal, but I'm too slow this time, and he's actually finished off by a Marine. Ah well, we still had fun eh? A Marine gets in a cheeky last remark as he stands over a dead Grunt: "See that? Next time I'll let you guys help". Yeah sure buddy, we could never have done it without you.

Closing remarks The ice path defence plan is tremendous fun and is actually my favourite defence, especially with that 4-Ghost blockade adding to the fun, so I really wanted to show you it as one of my first few spiral path movies. The save I used doesn't give a particularly intense battle - you can face much worse than that - but because the enemy arrives in a relatively gradual way with a few handy lulls here and there, I was able to have some playful fun with each group - as opposed to fighting like crazy to survive. There were some good bangs here too, and the massive Jackal launch was the icing on the cake. I really must do that more often!