BCM49 - Cavern megabattle
Released June 10th 2012, gameplay recorded June 6th 2012. Thanks to Louis Wu for the HBO download versions and the streaming version in the viewer.
00:02 (First play) For this first battle movie I thought I'd start with a bang - in fact multiple bangs - by using the most explosive combo available: needler and rocket launcher. At the start of the cavern I pause to get some footage of the Marines. That's mainly for the sake of the movie, but it also means they're close behind when I start attacking.
00:39 The covies on the bridge are remarkably inattentive today! I have no trouble closing in to tag a Jackal on the back; the beaky fool was looking the wrong way entirely. After that I start getting busy with the needler, but I soon get hit by a plasma ball that comes through the Marines. I remember seeing it coming, and I'm not sure why I didn't move clear. It's possible that a Marine close behind was momentarily impeding my movement and threw me off. But anyway, never mind. Just after that I get my first Elite with the needler.
01:00 Time to warm up the rocket launcher I think. Picking my times carefully as the Marines move around, my first rocket finishes off the Hunter, and the second gets an Elite.
01:11 Seeing a Jackal start to advance up the bridge, I decide to lob a quick plasma his way - and I tag him on the head, ha ha. The blast takes out an Elite for good measure, and meanwhile I'm doing some needling which takes out another. Off in the distance a Jackal can be seen running off, shield overhead.
01:22 More Elites come running up the bridge and I decide to charge. I send a stream of needles at the Elite on the right, but he's a red and dodges most of them. The Elite on the left is a red too, and before I know it my shield is bleeping. Luckily I was already heading for the cover of a bridge stanchion. Just before I dodge in, I throw a plasma. You could be forgiven for not noticing that, because my arm animation is missing! That's the first time I've seen that. Anyway, just after throwing it, I decide that I'm a bit too close to the loose plasma on the ground, so I retreat. As I emerge, the Elite is seen diving off the bridge to get clear of my plasma. My needles take out the second red, but now there's a third red advancing. He gets a load of fire from the Marines, but it's my needles that finish him off when I'm back in comparative safety.
01:44 Now I spot a Hunter moving up the bridge, and I charge forth again. He gets a few shots off at the Marines and I give him a few rockets. I'm pretty surprised he's still standing after the second! He's in a bad way though, and as he rages towards the Marines I step out from cover and klunk him on the head to finish him off. When I turn back, a Marine ("Eat this!") gets killed by an incoming Hunter blast. Fortunately I'm clear of the blast from the loose plasma I already noticed on the ground, but at the time I was half expecting to be killed.
01:55 While behind the stanchion I briefly get impeded by a Marine behind. When I get clear I throw a frag towards the covies at the end of the bridge, but then I fire a rocket too, so I suspect the frag never even had time to go off. As I reach the end of the bridge I rocket the Hunter who was having such a good time decimating my squad. The blast takes out an Elite at the same time, and I follow up with a frag for the two Jackals.
02:08 In the darkness off to the left are two of the three Grunts assigned to the Shade I moved. I use up the last of my needles then give the second Grunt a pip of plasma to make him pause, allowing easy tagging for fun.
02:18 Now to mop up on the other side. I find an Elite there, and he dodges a plasma ball so I just send in a rocket. That sorts things out nicely, and the Shade gunner is amusingly ejected into the chasm ("No-ho-ho, agh!") - which was part of the reason I selected this play for the movie. I follow up with a Jackal launch, though he's not very well directed. Should've aimed the rocket at a better place, to see him flying longer.
02:40 That just leaves a Hunter, but in the gloom I don't quite pick out Johnson standing right against him until it's too late (reminder: he's invisible to covies, along with the other three Pelican Marines). Oops!
02:55 (Second play) Into battle again, and this time a dozing Grunt gets the tag treatment, being launched high from a plasma on the foot. My follow-up grenade gets the slow-witted Jackal, and pretty soon the fighting is in full swing. I play around with the needler a bit, and my first rocket takes out two Elites. The second gets a Hunter and a blue Elite.
03:29 After firing a dose of needles I hop onto a bridge stanchion from the rim and finish an Elite with a rocket, then blast the distant Shade. Meanwhile a Hunter has advanced and three ticked-off Marines go charging towards it, but I rocket the big fella before they get there. Another rocket heads off towards covies near where the Shade was. No particular reason for that; just having fun.
03:55 Ok, time for some advancing I think. As I run forth I pass over a group of five loose plasmas. You see how this bridge is a dangerous place huh? I would not want a Hunter shot to arrive at that point! I throw a plasma as I go, and as I near the end of the bridge it takes out a blue Elite. A rocket takes out a retreating Jackal - bit of a waste but it was hard to resist - and my second tube goes on a red Elite galloping my way. That was rather satisfying.
04:09 The Grunts on the left are initially panicking, but they quickly take courage from the fact that my shield is bleeping. I fire a few needles to maybe make them pause, then emerge from behind the base of the pipe to blast them with a rocket.
04:19 Heading back the other way I throw a frag at a Jackal, though I don't think it catches him at all. My rocket sorts him out instead - and a Hunter too. I'm somewhat low on ammo after that, and resort to simply bashing a Jackal on the head. The final Hunter goes down without much of a fight, and I use a plasma on the remaining Jackal, whose plasma ball I was lucky to avoid while dealing with the Hunter.
Closing remarks This battling wasn't completely serious I hasten to add. Both this and BCM50 should be viewed as light-hearted introductory movies showing you some of the fun you can enjoy. In later movies I expect to get more serious, and I'll probably raise things to Heroic to give me more to get my teeth into. The battle is by no means a walkover on Normal, as you'll soon realize if you try it yourself, but individual covies do go down a bit too quickly for my liking. That's part of why I played these opening movies in a sort of fun-based manner, rather than trying to be as efficient and forceful as possible. The reason I was on Normal here is because I wanted to use the actual set-up shown in BCM48; and that used Normal because it's what my article suggests trying first.
Talking of the set-up, it seemed unusual in that there were initially no Elites on the bridge. In previous set-ups I think I've always had a few. Their initial absence made things feel rather soft and easy at the start, which was a bit disappointing to me, but at least there was a Hunter to give me something to worry about. I could've modified things by drawing a mob onto the bridge then getting a new battle start checkpoint (see my article), but I wasn't going to do that. I wanted to play what I actually got from the original set-up.
One thing I wanted to show was some shooting from up on a bridge stanchion. There was a bit in the second play, but note that you can get up quicker than seen there. You don't need to jump up off the rim; you can get up directly with a running jump, as I eventually realized. There's an example of that in BCM50.