As we trudge on through the levels of Halo, we find ourselves discussing part five of our ten part series. Be sure to check out part IV of the series, where we discussed the Silent Cartographer. So, here we are again with Captain Roy Luthan, discussing the Assault on the Control Room.
Please note that the intent of this article is not to bash Halo or Bungie. It is merely a view on realism to video gamers. --Ed
skseifer: Roy, are there any major differences that you notice from current Marines and the UNSC Marines?
Capt. Luthan: There are not a whole lot of differences, but I noticed that they did away with Marine Force Recon. For those of you who don't know, Marine Force Recon is the special forces for the Marine Corp, like the Army has Rangers and the Navy's got the SEALS. I can understand why the UN uses Marines as their main ground force, because a Marine rifleman has training that would nearly equal a Ranger in the Army. But Force Recon is hard stuff, I tried out for it when I was in infantry and I failed the physical aptitude of the test miserably. To give you an idea of what it's like, just watch the scene in the movie, The Rock, where those Marines are infiltrating that facility where the VX gas rockets are. It's basically the same thing, and going down that zipline 20 feet in the air during pitch darkness and through a glass window is no fun.
skseifer: Roy, we're only on the 5th level!
Capt. Luthan: Goddamn. And this is one of the long levels, too.
skseifer: Okay, starting things off, you ascend in the Pelican upon the platform in the cavern.
Capt. Luthan: Most people assume that when the enemy is running from you that you have the upper hand. This is not the case here. As soon as my feet touched the floor I would have expected some Covenant to burst through the door and we'd be exchanging lead and plasma. Though there are plenty of obstacles to use as cover, a grenade right at the door when it opened would probably take out the charging Covenant.
skseifer: You clear the area and then proceed to the first circular room.
Capt. Luthan: Again, I hate close-quarter fighting. In this room there are lots of tight corners and obstacles, but you can use it to your advantage and sneak around quite a bit. I would have tried sneaking past the Covenant there.
skseifer: You now reach the first bridge past the circular room.
Capt. Luthan: For the uninformed, a fire team is the squad that delivers and takes the first blows of a battle. When a fire team calls in for support you know the battle's not going in your favor. Fire teams are usually made up of a good size, 15-30 soldiers, mostly foot soldiers.
skseifer: You work your way down the chasm and finally exit the doors to the battle going on outside with the Marines and the Covenant. Now what?
Capt. Luthan: It's really important to save as many friendly's as possible and turn the tide of the battle before enemy reinforcements arrive. The gunners stationed around the area would have been my first priority. A sniper rifle would take care of them. Next, I would move to the mortar tank. Taking on an armored tank with no major explosives or missiles is tough, but taking control of one of the Ghost's and doing hit-and-run tactics would be your best bet. Another alternate way is to race up to the tank and place a grenade or two into the cannon openings.
skseifer: The area is secure and you meet up with the surviving Marines next to the Warthog.
Capt. Luthan: Mounting the Warthog is the best plan because it has some carrying capacity and it's better than running through snow. I would have put the rocket launcher lying on the ground in one of the compartments in the Warthog and trucked off. Driving through snow and ice is really hard, too, especially in a military-type transport. I've had tons of fun sitting in the passenger seat with my teeth clenched watching the driver try and keep the humvee on a straight path in snow and I'm sure it's no different with the Warthog. When we reached the next group of Marines by the Scorpion, fighting in the Warthog would have been tough with all of the slipping and sliding. I would have kept the gunner shooting and took the rest of the Marines on foot to secure and occupy the Scorpion tank.
skseifer: The Scorpion tank is in your hands, what next?
Capt. Luthan: Since the tank seems very agile and powerful, I would have just charged straight into the group of Covenant, firing off rounds. I wouldn't have had the Marines occupy the side seats, because usually the ground support troops run side by side to the tank and protect it against enemy troops. After clearing out the remaining Covenant, I would have searched the crashed Pelican and tossed some grenades into the cabin and the pilot area to secure the hardware and software. Then I would have had a couple of Marines follow me in the Scorpion with the Warthog into the next area through the canyon -- not the tunnel -- because you can get pinned down in a tunnel before you know it.
skseifer: You enter the second large area and see the two Wraiths on the ice and at the far end of the canyon.
Capt. Luthan: Two tanks against one are very bad odds but if you use the environment to your advantage you'll pull out just fine. I would pull on top of the hill and fire down upon the Wraith on the ice, then when it was destroyed, pull back before the Wraith at the end of the canyon noticed us. Hiding behind the tree next to the hill and firing would buy you some time to take out the second tank.
skseifer: You finally take care of the two Wraiths and when you almost reach the tunnel to the next area, a Banshee comes up behind you.
Capt. Luthan: I would immediately turn the tank around and fire hell upon the flyer before it managed to get off a plasma round at us. After it went down in flames, I would have done a couple of victory doughnuts. When the Hunters show up at the bottom of the tunnel entrance I would keep my distance and fire tank round after tank round at them.
skseifer: After rolling through the tunnel entrance, you enter the interior area of the cavern and find the Covenant stationed there. Now what?
Capt. Luthan: Those Covenant gunners would be my first priority, after that I would have stayed at that end of the area and fired across the bridge to take care of those bastards over there. After working our way to the exit of the tunnel and finding those Covenant at the top, I would just keep going and firing at the same time. When we finally got outside and into a mess of enemy forces, I would keep moving and take out as many Covenant as possible before we hit the ice lake where the Banshee, Hunters, and the Wraith are. After that, it's just a matter of taking out the Wraith, then the Banshee, and run over the Hunters when they pop out.
skseifer: Okay, you reach the path that leads down to the frozen river where the Marines are camping out.
Capt. Luthan: Charging right into the Covenant on your way down is the best tactic, because judging by the tank's armor I would have kept on trucking even if a grenade managed to get caught on. After running over the two Hunters down there and when the dropship shows up behind us, I would have drove the Scorpion right back up the path and ran all those guys over, too.
skseifer: Now you're passing through the cave that leads to the final area of the chasm.
Capt. Luthan: The cave would have been taken slow, because it turns and you have to corner-peek right before you enter outside. After taking care of those stealth elites by tracking their footprints in the snow, when we noticed the gunner on top of the ridge above us, a quick grenade would take care of him. Then when we climbed up the path and into the gunner's view, I would have kept the team moving right into the line of fire because having the Marines sit there while I clear the guns would be stupid with the Banshee circling around. If everyone did their job right while we were running most of the gunner's would have been picked off and we'd be firing rockets at the Banshee. When we secured the area and the two lower door entrances, I would have just taken the Marines with me, since I wouldn't have wanted to risk another Pelican-to-troop extraction.
skseifer: Moving right along, you reach the ridge leading outside where the Wraith and pyramid structure are.
Capt. Luthan: After fighting down to ground level and at the steps of the pyramid, I wouldn't have worried about the Wraith, because there are lots of obstacles obstructing it's line of fire with us and when we reached a considerable amount of height on the pyramid the rocket launcher would again be useful here. The run up the pyramid would be tough, though, since it's full of Covenant and it has slopes that can wear you down pretty fast. After securing the area outside the entrance to the control room hallway, right when we pushed the button to open the door, a few grenades would be thrown through the cracks of the door opening before it fully opened to clear the other side. After the grenades went off everyone would move in and clear the remaining Covenant as quickly as possible. Then we reach the final door and now it's off to 343 Guilty Spark!
skseifer: There it is, the Assault on the Control Room from a Marine viewpoint. As in the words of the Captain, now it's off to 343 Guilty Spark!
Thoughts? Opinions? Disagree with what the Captain would have done? Comment.