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Old 03-13-2009, 09:24 PM   #1
Bluntman428
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Halo Wars Multiplayer Strategy Guide

**READ BEFORE POSTING This is a work in progress. I just wanted to post it now in order to get some formatting things associated with the images I've taken out of the way. The finished product should be done this weekend. In the meantime, enjoy the guide and check back for updates. I still have yet to include the section on Leaders and individual map strategies.

Please do not make posts saying I missed something. I haven't missed anything, I just haven't uploaded the whole guide and I still have a bit more work to do. When the guide is done, what you're reading now won't be here.**


Halo Wars Multiplayer Strategy Guide
A Baked Buffalo Production


It wasn’t long ago that the prospect of playing a Real-Time Strategy game on a console was unfathomable. It had been tried several times before with pretty poor results. Then Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle-Earth 2 dropped on the Xbox 360 and shattered everyone’s perception of what a strategy game on a console can be. There have been several games in the genre brought to the 360 since then; all of which were ports of PC games. They were great games, but if you have a suitable gaming rig, it would be foolish to buy them on the 360 rather than the PC.

And then Halo Wars came along. Developed by acclaimed developer Ensemble Studios, the minds behind the legendary Age of Empires franchise, Halo Wars is the first Real-Time Strategy game developed from the ground up to utilize the 360’s controller rather than a mouse and keyboard. The finished product is easily the best RTS we’ve seen yet, which has given the game a huge following. Of course the Halo name on the box can also be thanked for that.

The popularity of Halo Wars has led to a ton of questions from gamers new to genre and those familiar with strategy games. So I’ve written this guide to help answer those questions. I’ve been a RTS player since I was in grade school, and I happen to be pretty badass at this one in particular. In this guide I’ll try to address every aspect of the game for your convenience. By the time you’re done reading, you should have a better understanding of the game and the tactics needed to excel at it.


FAQ.

Q: Who is the best faction leader?

A:There is no one faction leader who’s better than the rest. Games are won by strategy and your ability to adapt to your enemy’s maneuvers, not by picking an overpowered Leader like you’ll find in some games. All Leaders have strategies that will work as effectively as the next one’s. It’s all in how you play, not who you play with. Find a Leader you enjoy playing, and learn how to best utilize his unique abilities.

Q: What’s the best tactic for winning games consistently?

A: As I hinted at before, there is no one tactic that’s better than the rest. Every tactic has both advantages and disadvantages. The key to winning is your ability to adapt to what your enemy is doing. Intel is as important in virtual war as it is in a real world war. Know what your enemy is building, and build units to counter his strategy effectively.

Q: Do I have to rush to win games?

A: No. This is a myth. Rushing is an effective strategy, but it’s flawed in that if your initial rush is warded off, you’ll be at a serious disadvantage later because your enemy is ahead of you tech-wise. The key to winning games in Halo Wars is not in rushing; it’s all about learning how to effectively counter rushes.

Most players, particularly in 1v1 games, will try to rush you. This can be frustrating early on in your career as you struggle to figure out how to survive a rush. But once you do, you’ll spank rushers consistently. For more details on how to rush as well as how to counter rush, read further on in the guide.


Q: Which Leader do you use?

A: Primarily the Arbiter in 1v1 games. I like his counter-rush capabilities as well as his ability to clean up weak air and infantry units single-handedly. In team games I play either Prophet of Regret or Professor Anders.

Q: Can you explain the controls?

A: No. Your game came with an instruction manual as well as a tutorial for this sort of stuff. Use them.

Q: Is there any chance you can provide us with videos?

A: If someone wants to donate a capture card to the cause, I would love to. Unfortunately I do not have the fundage right now to afford one. If a time comes when I do get a capture card, I will provide you with videos for my strategies.

Q: Why should we read your guide? What makes you so special? What kind of stupid name is Baked Buffalo?

A: I’m ranked in the top 50 in 1v1 based on Trueskill, and ranked in the top 20 for wins as the Arbiter. That is why you should heed my advice. Pictures will be uploaded soon to prove this claim. Next question.

Q: I really enjoyed Halo Wars. What other Real-Time Strategy games are there on the Xbox 360?

A:
While no other strategy game on the 360 is as polished as this one, there are other options out there. I recommend Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth 2, Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars, Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3, and Supreme Commander. Other options are Universe at War: Earth Assault and Warhammer: Battle March.

Last edited by Bluntman428; 03-13-2009 at 11:14 PM.
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Old 03-13-2009, 09:24 PM   #2
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BASIC STRATEGY

In this section I will elaborate on some of the basic strategies that should be used with all Leaders at all times. These are the basic game mechanics that you must master to become good at the game.

Micro-Management

This is the most important part of any strategy game, and Halo Wars is no exception. You have to be able to switch between several groups of units and bases at the same time without getting confused. At no time should your attention ever be focused solely on one thing. For example, if you’re attacking an enemy base, you should still be switching back to your own base to keep units in the build queue so you can reinforce your initial assault forces as they begin to dwindle.

While there’s no real way to explain micro-managing in a way that will make you better, I can tell you how it’s done most effectively in Halo Wars. The D-pad gives you the ability to cycle between units, bases, and Leader powers at the press of a button. Right and Left on the D-Pad switches between your bases. Down cycles between groups of units. Up selects your Leader on the field if you’re playing as the Covenant, or it will give you access to the Leader Power Wheel as the UNSC. Learn how to switch between your various units and structures swiftly and without getting mixed up.

Resource Crates


One of the most commonly neglected things in the game are these little blue boxes strewn across the map. Each box is worth 30 resource points, and they usually come in groups of 3. Collect all 3 and that’s 90 resources, which is quite a chunk of change early on in the game. You should always be sending out the Warthog or Ghost you start the game with to collect resource crates while you’re building your base up.

Covenant leaders get a substantial advantage over the UNSC in this aspect of the game for two reasons. First, the Covenant ghost starts with guns equipped from the beginning, while the Warthog needs to be upgraded to use a weapon. If you’re playing as the Covenant, use your Ghost to kill the enemy’s Warthog if you get the chance. Just look out for the Warthog’s ram ability, although you should be able to take it out without worrying about it provided your Ghost has more hitpoints than the Warthog when you attack it.

The Covenant also get a significant advantage here because their Leaders can collect resources as well once they’re spawned from the Temple. Not only can they collect resources, they collect them much faster than any other units. If you’re playing as the Covenant, one strategy that works well is to send your Ghost into enemy territory and start stealing their crates. Then once your leader’s spawned, collect the crates near your side of the map. Voila, instant advantage over your opponent.

Intel and Counter-Intel

Knowing what your enemy’s doing is half the battle. If you know what units he’s working on and what structures he’s building, you can respond accordingly with units that are good against what he’s building. The best method for this by far is to use scouting units like your Warthog or Ghost and just pop by the front of his base for a brief moment to see what he’s got out front.

You should also make efforts to ensure the enemy doesn’t know what you are doing. The best method for this is to set the rally point for your units (where they move to when they are finished being built) to somewhere outside your base. I like to set my rally point to an area behind or to the side of my base where their scouts likely won’t see them if they make a sweep by my base.


Base Expansion


Another key aspect of the game is how fast you can expand by building new bases. The benefits to building new bases are obvious, but knowing when to expand and when to wait is where the true strategy lies. It’s not wise to start expanding too early before you can afford it. It will cost you about 1000 resources to build a new base and upgrade it to a Keep which will keep it from being destroyed in a few shots and provide you with more slots to build on.

Because of the cost, it’s not beneficial to start expanding until you know for a fact that you’re safe from enemy attack for long enough to build the new base. If you start building your base too early, you’re vulnerable because you won’t have money to build new units or use Leader powers. It’s important to expand and construct new bases, but a base without units to defend it is worthless. Using proper scouting techniques can give you an idea of when is an appropriate time to start expanding.

The Scoreboard

At first glimpse, you’re probably wondering how the Scoreboard has any relation to strategy at all. But the Scoreboard, accessed by pressing the Back button on your control pad, is in fact one of your biggest allies. On top of letting you know which enemy Leader you’re up against, it tells you much more than you would think. Keep an eye on the scoreboard throughout the game. When you see your enemy’s score going up and you know he isn’t getting points from attacking you, you know he’s expanding. Any time you kill a rebel base, you gain roughly 24-30 points.

One diabolical strategy I use in nearly every game I play is to watch the scoreboard carefully. Once the enemy’s score starts going up, I send my units or Covenant leader over to the Rebel base closest to the enemy’s base. 9 times out of 10, they’ll have a base beginning to build there. I then attack the base while it’s at its weakest point so it will blow up in a matter of seconds. If the coast is clear after that, I will often set up my own base in that spot.

This tactic is particularly effective as the Covenant, because the Shield Generators they can build off their bases provide a shield that is almost impenetrable to the enemy’s units in the beginning of the game. Not only does this tactic prevent your enemy from building a base in that spot, it gives them something to distract them and give you time to build up your main base. Your opponent will often go into panic mode once they see you have a base set up right next to theirs, sending units in as fast as they can to try to dismantle it.

Last edited by Bluntman428; 03-13-2009 at 10:21 PM.
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Old 03-13-2009, 09:25 PM   #3
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GENERAL STRATEGIES

These are some of the basic strategies used by both factions.

Rushing

Whether you love it or hate it, rushing is a part of the game you’ll have to learn to adapt to in order to succeed online. Many, many players use rushing strategies. Rushing is when the enemy attacks you with a lot of weak units early on in the game in the hopes of overwhelming you while you’re focused on upgrading your units and expanding your bases. Depending on the skill of the rusher, you’re often doomed if their strategy is strong enough if you decide to tech up rather than build units from the get-go.

While there are dozens of different strategies for rushing, these are the most common ones you’ll run across.

Prophet of Regret

Most rushers like to use the Prophet to rush for two reasons. First, his Leader power calls forth a powerful beam that will kill pretty much anything in its path, particularly the relatively weak units you run into early in the game, almost instantly. Second, his hero-specific unit the Elite Honor Guard is fairly strong in the beginning of the game, is very cheap resource-wise, can be trained from the center of your base immediately after building a temple, and can be teleported straight to the Prophet while he’s attacking a base.

If the initial rush doesn’t kill off the opponent, most Prophet players will stop sending in Elite Honor Guards once they have the means to start recruiting better units such as Banshees, Hunters, or Jackals. The Prophet is a formidable threat when rushing, and is in my opinion the most dangerous of all the leaders in this regard, especially in a 1v1 game. This is due mostly to the fact that the Prophet has a shield, making him invincible until the shield has been dropped. This makes the Prophet incredibly hard to kill early on, and until he’s dead, he can keep summoning freshly created units straight to him while he’s attacking the enemy base.

Brute Chieftain

The Brute Chieftain is almost identical in the method he uses when rushing. His hero power is similar to the Prophet’s in essence, but has a wider area of effect in exchange for lower damage output. He also can recruit Brutes the same way the Prophet of Regret recruits Elite Honor Guards. Brutes are a little better than the Honor Guards simply because they are ranged units whilst the Honor Guards can only use melee. Many rushers prefer to use the Brute Chieftain over the Prophet of Regret for this reason. It’s simply a matter of personal preference which one you find you enjoy playing with more.

The Arbiter

Most skilled Arbiter players won’t rush you early, but there are exceptions. Rushing early on with the Arbiter is foolish for several reasons. The biggest of those being that going into Rage mode costs a ton of resources. Until you’ve researched the upgrade to make Rage mode cheaper to sustain and you’ve built enough Warehouses to keep a good money flow coming in, going into Rage mode should be reserved for emergencies. The Arbiter’s strength lies in his ability to counter a rush, which I will discuss more later.

If you do insist on rushing with the Arbiter, make sure you attack the buildings attached to an enemy’s base and not the center itself. Arby can make short work of attachments on a base, but he doesn’t do much to the center. Also, keep in mind that the Arbiter’s Suicide Grunts are excellent for taking out enemy buildings in a rush. I’ll discuss more about that strategy in the section for the Arbiter, but just remember that Suicide Grunts are worth the money and should be used often.

The Warthog Rush

This is perhaps the most commonly used rushing tactic. This is primarily because Warthogs are cheap, can be built from the center of a UNSC’s base from the beginning of the game at the cost of only 1 population point and 150 resources, and when upgraded they are a formidable thread in the beginning of the game. Warthogs are also very fast, making them excellent for hit and run attacks. An army of 15-20 Warthogs equipped with Gauss Cannons is unbelievably lethal if unleashed early on in the game. The Gauss Cannons are particularly effective against air units, buildings, and the Covenant’s leaders.

The method for rushing with Warthogs is simple: keep building Hogs at all time, building mostly just supply pads around your base. Research the upgrades for your Warthogs’ guns, and then start harassing the enemy with a non-stop stream of Warthogs. It may not seem like it would work, but the Warthog Rush is surprisingly effective.

All three UNSC Leaders can use the Warthog Rush strategy, however I’ve found that Professor Anders is best for the job. On top of paying half the cost for upgrades for all of her units, said upgrades also research faster. Forge is also quite good for this strategy because his Supply Pads are instantly upgraded to Heavy Supply Pads when built, making them both cheaper and quicker to build. The extra income from the Heavy Supply Pads makes it easier to tech up and keep a steady flow of Warthogs coming from your base.


Countering Rushes

I will discuss in greater detail how to effectively counter a rush later on in this guide in each individual leader’s section. For now, I’ll bring up some basic methods that can be used to counter a rush. Take note that you should always expect a rush consisting of what I’ve outlined above whenever playing against any faction. Most rushers use the exact same method when rushing, so when you learn to counter a rush once, you can basically counter them all with equal effect.

90% of the time when I lose a match, it’s to a rusher who’s come up with a solid strategy for rushing. Some Leaders are just extremely efficient (read: overpowered) in the first few minutes of the game before you can muster up an army. The Covenant in particular are strong in the early game because their Leader units are so powerful and can be deployed within 45 seconds of the game’s start. The Prophet of Regret is particularly dangerous in this regard. While most people rush in a 1v1 game, you’re almost guaranteed to be rushed hard if you’re playing against the Prophet or Brute Chieftain, so be ready for it.

Scouting

I stressed the importance of scouting earlier, but when defending against a rush, the best way to do so is to know what exactly you’re defending against. Always try to keep your scouting vehicle alive and take regular runs around the front of the enemy’s base as long as you can to see what they’re doing. If they’re building a lot of unit production buildings early on and there’s units out front, you’ll likely be rushed.

When playing against the Covenant, take a swing by their base in the beginning of the match and check out what they’re building. If you see a Temple being built first, you’re probably going to get rushed by their Leader.

Leader Powers

It should be common sense for most people to make full use of their Leader’s powers when attempting any strategy in the game. But when defending against a rush it’s absolutely pivotal that you have the necessary resources to use your Leader’s power and that you use your powers in the most effective way possible. UNSC players facing Covenant players should be sure that they always have a Disruption Bomb available in order to prevent an early defeat to a Covenant rusher.
Turrets

Turrets can be very beneficial when built early on in warding off a rush. The Covenant’s turrets aren’t very good, and frankly I wouldn’t waste the money early on. The UNSC’s turrets however are extremely valuable early on in killing off Covie leaders and their weaker beginning units. A couple turrets accompanied by a few Warthogs can be very valuable in taking out the enemy’s initial advance.

Warthogs

Warthogs are an excellent counter-rush unit for the UNSC when playing against the Covenant. It doesn’t cost much to upgrade them to include guns, they build fast, and their ram ability does a lot of damage to enemy leaders. Once a Covenant leader’s been killed, the flow of units into your base stops. Have all your Warthogs focusing on the enemy leader, using the ram ability as often as possible. You should be able to take him out without much difficulty if you have 5 or 6 Warthogs doing this.

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Old 03-13-2009, 09:26 PM   #4
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Covenant Shields

These are absolutely the best thing in the game for stopping rushers. If you know you’re about to be rushed, build a Shield Generator as fast as you can. The Covenant’s base shields are almost impenetrable by units early on in the game. The shield will buy you at least 2 minutes on average to ward off the rush before it goes down. Another benefit is that if the enemy stops attacking the shield for about 20 seconds, it regenerates all the way back to full health. So if you start mounting a counter-attack and the enemy shifts focus to your units, they’ll have to start from scratch again if your shield has time to regenerate.


Neutral Buildings


There are several different buildings you’ll find in most maps that will provide you with bonuses once you’ve garrisoned them with infantry units. Most of the time, your opponents will foolishly neglect these buildings, allowing you to take them uncontested. Here I’ll provide a description of each, and how best to utilize them.

Forerunner Secondary Reactors

These are by far the most valuable building of all. Once garrisoned, they will have the same effect as building a reactor on your base if you’re UNSC or upgrading your Age if you’re Covenant. This will save you a ton of money, and give you a crucial head start over your enemy in terms of teching up. You will lose the bonus provided by the Reactor if the enemy takes it, but any upgrades you researched while you owned it will remain in effect. If you’re playing a map with Reactors on it, take them.

Reactors are particularly valuable if you’re playing as the Covenant. If you take them early in the game, you can upgrade your Leader powers early on, making you practically invincible against an enemy’s early advances.

Resource Node

These are the towers with spinning tops surrounded by a platform at their base that you’ll on several maps. You want to take these as early in the game as you can, because they generate resources at around the speed of two upgraded Warehouses/Supply Pads. You’ll also usually get a pretty big bounty in resource crates by wiping out the rebel units defending these Nodes.

Sentinel Protector Hub

You won’t find these on many maps, but on the ones where they do exist, you should try experimenting with the unconventional units these hubs provide. You can train three different units out of these hubs: Offensive Protectors, Defensive Protectors, and Healing Protectors. They only cost 100 resources each to build, and can be built every 15 seconds from the hub. These units are perhaps the most overlooked in the game.

The Offensive and Defensive Protectors are particularly nice. The Offensive Protector attaches to any existing unit you have, providing it with a boost to its attack in the form of a long-ranged laser beam that absolutely tears through most units as well as structures. The Defensive Protectors provide any unit they’re attached to with a shield identical to the ones the Covenant get on some of their units. The shield can withstand 4-5 shots from a tank before it goes down. That’s a lot of damage to be soaked up, especially if you attach them to a squad you’re using to rush with early in the game.

To give you an idea of just how valuable these units are, I’ll tell you about the match where I discovered these useful little guys. It was a 2v2 match on Labyrinth, and I was planning on harassing the opponent with a few warthogs early on. My friend and I were talking about how we’d never used them before, so out of pure curiosity I decided to outfit my squad of 9 warthogs with these bad boys. After taking out 4 enemy bases defended by both Hornets and Scorpions, 7 of the original 9 Warthogs were left standing.

Sentinel Hub

These hubs are different from the Protector hubs in that they only allow you to hire Sentinels that function as their own unit rather than supporting another. That doesn’t make them any less useful however. At only 100 resources a pop for the smaller Sentinels, and the ability to recruit a new one every 15 seconds, Sentinels can be a fearsome enemy. Mostly because most people will never see them coming.

One particular circumstance where Sentinels shine is when facing an enemy Arbiter. For some reason, Sentinels are the only unit in the game that the Arbiter’s rage mode cannot hit. This makes him completely vulnerable to them. Sentinels are also excellent against enemy structures, allowing you to take out buildings very quickly considering their relatively low price and quick training time.

Forerunner Life Support Pod

This structure is only found on a handful of maps. It basically does what you’d expect – it raises your population limit. This can be a great asset in a game that goes on for a long time where both sides are throwing everything they’ve got at each other. But in the early game it’s really not worth the effort to grab this building because you won’t be hitting the population cap anytime soon anyhow.

Mega Turret

This turret is nice because it will periodically fire shots at an extremely long distances at enemy forces and even their bases. It won’t take a base out on its own, but it’ll do a pretty hefty bit of damage when it hits. Although it sounds nice in principle, the risks outweigh the reward for it. The turret is usually guarded by a large number of high ranked rebel units that will chew up your units until you’ve teched up quite a bit. By then its effects aren’t quite as desirable however so you probably won’t want to focus too much attention on taking it.

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Old 03-13-2009, 09:26 PM   #5
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UNSC UNITS

Marine

Marines are the most basic unit in the UNSC’s arsenal. They aren’t very strong, but they’re cheap and train very quickly. They really aren’t very effective late in the game unless you’re using Captain Cutter’s unique ODST upgrade. Early on they are useful for clearing bases for expansion, and warding off potential rushes. When upgraded to equip them with RPGs, they are fairly effective against light vehicles when built en masse.

Supply Cost – 100
Population Cost - 1
Special Ability – Grenades/RPGs
Built From – Barracks
Upgrades – New Blood (Adds 1 extra marine to every squad, 200) - RPG Ability(Upgrades Grenades to RPGs, 400) - Medic (Adds a Medic to the squad that will heal the Marines after combat, 700) - ODST
Strong Against – Light Vehicles
Weak Against – Heavy Vehicles, Jackals, Flamethrowers, Warthogs

Flamethrower



Flamethrowers are Marines equipped with flamethrowers, making them highly effective against infantry units. They're also cheap and train quickly, making them a perfect counter to Covenant Leader rushes early in the game. Their effectiveness is limited solely to infantry though, as vehicles are all but impervious to their flames and they cannot hit aircraft at all.

Supply Cost – 100
Population Cost - 1
Special Ability – Flashbang (Stuns enemy infantry for a short time)
Built From - Barracks
Upgrades – Flash Bang Ability (Equips Flamethrower units with Flashbang grenades, 200) – Napalm Adherent (Units hit by Flamethrowers take a small amount of damage for a short time after being burned, 400) – Oxide Tank (Damage against organic units increased, 700)
Strong Against – All Infantry, Covenant Leaders
Weak Against – Everything else


Spartan



Spartans are the UNSC’s best infantry unit, and the best infantry unit on either side for that matter. On top of being strong units in their own right, Spartans have the unique ability to hijack enemy vehicles or jump in your own vehicles. Any vehicle operated by a Spartan is significantly stronger than one without a Spartan at the wheel. Scorpion tanks are particularly lethal with Spartans at the helm.

Supply Cost – 300 (Limit 3 on the field at once)
Population Cost - None
Special Ability - Hijack
Built From – Barracks
Upgrades – Chain Gun (Equips Spartans with a heavy gatling gun, significantly increasing damage, 300) – Neural Implant (Spartans hijack enemy vehicles faster, 600) – Spartan Laser (Spartans are equipped with a Spartan Laser increasing their damage greatly, 1000)
Strong Against – Everything
Weak Against – Flamethrowers, Jackals, Covenant Leader Powers

Warthog



Warthogs are available from the start of any game for UNSC players. Because they can be trained from the beginning and are quite formidable when upgraded to the max. Warthogs with Gauss Cannons equipped are deadly in large numbers, especially against Covenant Leaders. Their Ram ability also makes short work of enemy infantry. Weak in small numbers, Warthogs are a credible threat when trained in large batches.

Supply Cost – 150
Population Cost - 1
Special Ability – Ram
Built From – Base Center
Upgrades – Gunner (Equips Warthogs with a rear-mounted chain gun, 250) – Grenadier (A Grenadier rides shotgun in the Warthog throwing grenades at enemies, 500) – Gauss Cannon (Replaces the Warthog’s chain gun with a powerful Gauss Cannon, 800)
Strong Against – Infantry, Air Units (When upgraded)
Weak Against – Heavy Vehicles, Hunters

Scorpion




Scorpions are the most powerful standard land vehicle unit in the game. They have a lot of health and hit like trucks. Big trucks. They are extremely efficient when tasked with destroying enemy bases as well as most vehicles. For added effect, put your Spartans in Scorpions. This will make them doubly strong, and is extremely efficient when fighting Covenant leaders who normally make short work of your vehicles, such as the Arbiter or Prophet.

Supply Cost – 500
Population Cost - 3
Special Ability – Canister Shell
Built From – Vehicle Depot
Upgrades – Canister Shell (Inflicts large damage in an area when activated with Y button, 400) – Power Turret (Scorpion’s turret moves faster making it more responsive in battle, 900)
Strong Against – Light Vehicles, Infantry, Structures,
Weak Against – Hunters, Banshees, Scarabs, Cobras

Cobra



Cobras are basically the equivalent of artillery for the UNSC. When deployed, they do a ton of damage, are difficult to kill, and have extremely long range. Cobras are best used when deployed behind your main line as support fire. This will make them hard to get to for the enemy, and they will do a lot of damage virtually undisturbed until your front line falters. They are most effective against enemy vehicles.

Supply Cost – 350
Population Cost – 2
Special Ability – Deploy
Built From – Vehicle Depot
Upgrades – Deflection Plating (Increases Armor when deployed, 400) – Piercing Shot (When deployed lasers will penetrate targets inflicting damage on multiple enemies, 900)
Strong Against – Vehicles, Structures, Small Groups of Infantry
Weak Against – Large Infantry Groups, Air Units

Wolverine



Wolverines are the UNSC’s anti-air unit. They are extremely effective in this regard. When facing large groups of Banshees or Hornets, a handful of Wolverines can decimate an enemy’s air advance. They’re effective against all sorts of air units with no exceptions. The only air unit that can wipe them out is Professor Anders’ exclusive Hawk unit. Wolverines are still the most credible threat against those powerful units if trained in a large quantity.

Supply Cost – 300
Population Cost – 2
Special Ability – Volley
Built From – Vehicle Depot
Upgrades – Volley Ability (Activates the Wolverine’s Y button ability which does substantial damage to land units, 400) – Dual Launchers (Greatly increases all damage done by Wolverines, 900)
Strong Against – All Air Units
Weak Against – Everything else

Hornet



Hornets are the standard air unit for the UNSC. While not very effective alone, they can be ruthless in large numbers. The only situation where they’re basically useless is when playing against either the Arbiter or Professor Anders. The Cryo Bomb unique to Anders will freeze all enemy units in a large area, and frozen air units will fall to the ground and shatter, dying instantly. The Arbiter when upgraded can tear through an entire army of Hornets in a matter of seconds, making them a foolish choice to go with when facing him.

Supply Cost – 250
Population Cost – 2
Special Ability – None
Built From – Air Pad
Upgrades – Wingmen (Outfits each Hornet with 2 marines increasing damage output, 400) – Chaff Pod (Diverts incoming missles, 900)
Strong Against – Most Land Units, Banshees
Weak Against – Professor Anders’ Cryo Bomb and Hawks, Wolverines, Warthogs, Arbiter’s Rage Ability, ODSTs


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Old 03-13-2009, 09:29 PM   #6
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Vulture



Vultures are the UNSC’s Uber Unit. They’re basically flying fortresses, outfitted with thick armor and more rockets than you can shake a stick at. All it takes is a few Vultures, accompanied by a few tanks, to quickly annihilate an enemy base and their army. The trade off is that they are very slow, cost a ton to produce, and take up 6 population slots. They’re worth the cost however, and can take out an enemy in short time if you surprise them with a couple flown in from behind their base.

It is extremely wise to drop a Disruption Bomb on top of your Vultures when attacking an enemy to prevent them from destroying them quickly with their Leader powers. This is especially true when facing Professor Anders as her Cryo Bomb will make short work of all air units. This is also true when facing the Arbiter as he can kill a Vulture in a matter of seconds when in Rage mode.

Supply Cost – 900
Population Cost – 6
Special Ability – Barrage (Launches a barrage of rockets dealing huge damage to a selected area)
Built From – Air Pad
Upgrades – Mega Barrage (Allows you to use the Vulture’s Barrage ability by pressing Y on enemy units, 800)
Strong Against – Nearly Everything (hence the classification “uber unit”)
Weak Against – Leader Powers, Wolverines, other Air Units in large numbers, and the Arbiter


COVENANT UNITS

Grunt Squad




The Grunt Squad is basically a cannon fodder unit. Because they’re cheap and train very quickly, they’re good for overwhelming the enemy with sheer numbers. Grunts are best used for attacking a small group of powerful enemies with a large number of them. They’re also very good against enemy Covenant leaders, particularly the Arbiter and the Prophet, as they’ll have a hard time wiping out your army of Grunts with their powers. It’s best to avoid using them late in the game as their usefulness starts to dwindle as the enemy gets better units.

Supply Cost – 100
Population Cost – 1
Special Ability –
Built From – Hall
Upgrades – Peons (Adds an extra grunt to every squad, 200) – Needler (Equips grunts with Needlers adding a boost to damage, 400) – Deacon (Adds a Deacon to the Grunt Squad which increases attack abilities, 700)
Strong Against – Covenant Leaders when built en masse
Weak Against – Almost everything…grunts are the weakest unit individually in the game

Jackals






Jackals are extremely effective anti-infantry units when their low price and fast build time are taken into consideration. In groups of 20 or so, they can cut through an enemy’s infantry like a hot knife through butter. Upgrading them to carry Beam Rifles significantly increases their damage output. Jackals are also the Covenant’s best counter to the Arbiter. A large group of Jackals can take out the Arbiter before he can even get into Rage mode.

Supply Cost – 100
Population Cost – 1
Special Ability – None
Built From – Hall
Upgrades – Defense Gauntlet (Equips Jackals with shields that decrease damage from projectiles, 200) – Beam Rifle (Equips Jackals with Beam Rifles that substantially increase damage, 400) – Supreme Gauntlet (Jackal shields no longer collapse when taking damage, 700)
Strong Against – All Infantry, Covenant Leaders, small groups of Air Units
Weak Against – Vehicles, Anti-Infantry

Hunters






Hunters are one of the Covenant’s strongest units. A small group of Hunters can decimate most early vehicle rushes, and a large group of upgraded Hunters can even take out Grizzlies. When facing opponents like Sergeant Forge, who normally focuses on building vehicles, you’ll want to start building these bad boys as early on as you can. Hunters also do a great job when it comes to tearing down an enemy’s base. Their only real weakness lies in the fact that they can’t hit air units at all, which leaves them defenseless against Hornets or Banshees.

Supply Cost – 250
Population Cost – 2
Special Ability – None
Built From – Hall
Upgrades – Bonded Shield (Equips Hunters with a shield that deflects some projectiles, 200) – Spirit Bond (Hunters get a big damage boost while both Hunters in the squad are alive, 400) – Assault Beam (Greatly increases hunter damage, 700)
Strong Against – All vehicles, small groups of infantry
Weak Against – Air Units, Anti-Infantry, Large groups of normal infantry

Engineer






The Covenant lack the UNSC’s ability to heal their units on a whim, and this is where Engineers come in. They’re a bit pricey at 250 supplies each, but they’re the Covenant’s only way to heal damaged buildings and units, so you’re going to want to keep a few on standby. Once you’re done healing whatever needs healing, make sure you hide them away somewhere safe until you need them again as they have no ability at all to defend themselves in combat. If you tend to focus on your Leader a lot, Engineers are practically required as there is no other way to heal them.

One great use for Engineers is as a support unit for Scarabs. A Scarab is a scary unit no matter the circumstance, but a Scarab accompanied by an outfit of 5-10 Engineers is truly terrifying. The enemy will have to either focus on killing the Engineers first, keeping your Scarab out of the line of fire, or take out your Scarab in their initial attack. If they can’t muster a force strong enough to do one or another, your Scarab will be practically invincible as the Engineers restore it to full health every time they put a nick in it.

Supply Cost – 250
Population Cost – 1
Special Ability – Heal
Built From – Summit
Upgrades – State of Grace (Increases repair rate, 350) – Harmonious Digestion (Increases movement speed, 700)
Strong Against – Support unit…Engineers have no combat capabilities
Weak Against – Anything that can hit air units



Banshee






Banshees are quite possibly the most effective early-game unit for the Covenant. They can be trained from the Summit as soon as you research the Age of Doubt upgrade from the Temple, and are excellent for making hit and run maneuvers on enemy bases. They’re relatively cheap and train very quickly as well, making it easy to produce a large batch of them quickly in the early stages of the game before your opponent can muster a strong enough anti-air defense to stop them. Banshees are also fairly effective against tanks once they’ve been upgraded to learn the Sacrifice ability.

Supply Cost – 200
Population Cost – 2
Special Ability – Speed Boost
Built From – Summit
Upgrades – Boost (Enables Speed Boost, 200) – Repeating Cannons (Increases firing rate for Banshee cannons, 400) – Sacrifice (Banshees fall to the ground and explode causing damage in the area when killed, 700)
Strong Against – Most Vehicles, Structures, any units that can’t attack air units (such as Hunters or Flamethrowers)
Weak Against – Wolverines, Hornets (if outnumbered; Hornets are stronger per unit than Banshees), Warthogs when built in bulk, Cryo Bomb, Arbiter’s Rage Mode



Vampire








Vampires are the Covenant's Anti-Air unit. They have a bit more health than a Banshee, but they also do much less damage to ground targets, making them only effective against air units. When playing against Anders, or any other player building an army primarily of air units, it is wise to keep at least 7 or 8 Vampires at the ready. Also make sure you upgrade them to at least have Stasis Drain, as that ability will render enemy air units almost immobile.

Supply Cost – 250
Population Cost – 2
Special Ability – Stasis Drain
Built From – Summit
Upgrades – Stasis Drain (Activates the Stasis Drain ability which slowly steals health from the Vampires target when activated, 400) – Stasis Bomb (Targets drained with Stasis Drain will explode causing damage to any units in the area)
Strong Against – Hornets and Banshees
Weak Against – Wolverines, Hawks, most any vehicle with the ability to attack air units

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Old 03-13-2009, 09:36 PM   #7
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wow.... great work so far. Hopefully, with this i can actually win a game... lol
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Old 03-13-2009, 09:39 PM   #8
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Q: Why should we read your guide? What makes you so special? What kind of stupid name is Baked Buffalo?

I’m ranked in the top 50 in 1v1 based on Trueskill, and ranked in the top 20 for wins as the Arbiter. That is why you should heed my advice. Pictures will be uploaded soon to prove this claim. Next question.
Didn't answer my question. D:<
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:27 PM   #9
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Didn't answer my question. D:<
I lol'd.

Good catch, smartass.
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:35 PM   #10
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Excellent guide, so far. Some really good tips in there. I will definitely be using some
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:44 PM   #11
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Brilliant guide, thanks for the anti-rush strategies.
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Old 03-14-2009, 01:08 AM   #12
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You should add the levels and their unique abilities (Sentinals, Cannons, Flood assault)
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Old 03-14-2009, 01:21 AM   #13
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Fully upgraded, spread out, deployed Cobras can be a menacing force against tanks though, namely grizzlies.. And they can even put a hurt on the arbiter if you have max food.
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Old 03-14-2009, 01:42 AM   #14
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You should add the levels and their unique abilities (Sentinals, Cannons, Flood assault)
I just said in the post right above yours that I was doing this...
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:46 PM   #15
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It looks excellent so far..can't wait to read the rest...I demand this to be stickied(pinned) at once! I can't wait to use sentinels now >_>

Also,I know you said you arn't done but I don't know if what Im about to ask is included in your plans...I was wondering if you could go more in depth on how to use units, For example the Cobra, the definition and explanation was grade A, but I find it hard to use Cobras agaisn't more experienced players.And theres a lot of units that I don't find practical for more serious fighting like the ghost as another example.

Anyways keep it up..!
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Old 03-14-2009, 01:02 AM   #16
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Also,I know you said you arn't done but I don't know if what Im about to ask is included in your plans...I was wondering if you could go more in depth on how to use units, For example the Cobra, the definition and explanation was grade A, but I find it hard to use Cobras agaisn't more experienced players.And theres a lot of units that I don't find practical for more serious fighting like the ghost as another example.

Anyways keep it up..!
I'll be going much further into details regarding how to use units to win games in the sections devoted to each individual leader. I wouldn't include that kinda info in the descriptions for units because different units are better with some leaders than others.

I think ya'll will be pleasantly surprised with the sections for each leader. I have some truly diabolical strategies with some of them.

I'll also be including strategies for each map, along with detailed diagrams.

Should all be done this weekend. I'm not sticking to that as a deadline though as this is quite a bit of work. In Word what I've done so far amounts to over 6500 words and 22 pages.

EDIT: Oh, and you're finding that your Cobras get chewed up by experienced players because Cobras just flat out suck in most situations. They're great against Scarabs and that's about it. The only other thing they're good for is if you deploy a few around your base they act as extra turrets.

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Old 03-14-2009, 08:53 PM   #17
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I'll be going much further into details regarding how to use units to win games in the sections devoted to each individual leader. I wouldn't include that kinda info in the descriptions for units because different units are better with some leaders than others.

I think ya'll will be pleasantly surprised with the sections for each leader. I have some truly diabolical strategies with some of them.

I'll also be including strategies for each map, along with detailed diagrams.

Should all be done this weekend. I'm not sticking to that as a deadline though as this is quite a bit of work. In Word what I've done so far amounts to over 6500 words and 22 pages.

EDIT: Oh, and you're finding that your Cobras get chewed up by experienced players because Cobras just flat out suck in most situations. They're great against Scarabs and that's about it. The only other thing they're good for is if you deploy a few around your base they act as extra turrets.
Excellent...

And yeah I pretty much figured as much about the cobras
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Old 09-07-2010, 10:34 PM   #18
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Old 11-26-2010, 10:53 PM   #19
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Great Guide. Also looking for some people that want to friend up and work on the multiplayer achievements.
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:09 AM   #20
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Excellent guide, so far. Some really good tips in there. I will definitely be using some
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Didn't answer my question. D:<
Excellent tips I've only played for a cpl of weeks and after finding this great guide I've improved immensly overnight with this guide to hand on iPad for quick reference...ur the man....woointhegoo
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Old 08-03-2013, 03:50 PM   #21
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i enjoyed the game but sold it... now im kinda sorry... will have to try and grab it on the bargain bin...
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:21 PM   #22
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a good rushing stratergy is in 3v3 get u and ur 2 mates to all go as the prophet and all rush will win str8 away at one of the enermy. all 3 of u versis 1 of there base and why ur doing that build an army. then kill the next base witch is abit harder anf then the last 1 will be very hard cos they would of had time to make an army so thats why u shud bring over ur armys.
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Old 03-14-2009, 05:51 PM   #23
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Awesome, awesome guide mate.. Was very thorough and i found out loads of things i didn't even know.
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Old 05-23-2010, 06:42 PM   #24
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awesome guide mate
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Old 03-14-2009, 05:50 PM   #25
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I wish their was a strategy to stop people self-destructing, resigning whenever they start losing

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Old 04-15-2009, 04:20 PM   #26
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I wish their was a strategy to stop people self-destructing, resigning whenever they start losing
people self-destruct there base so that you dont get points for it you cant stop this people are not good at sharing
people quit because they suck
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Old 04-15-2009, 04:29 PM   #27
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people self-destruct there base so that you dont get points for it you cant stop this people are not good at sharing
people quit because they suck
People quit because they have lost?

Although not directly related... Most higher-level chess players will resign a game when they see that their opponent has won.
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Old 04-16-2009, 01:06 AM   #28
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Have you tried using wraiths against Prophets? It seems to have a natural effectiveness because of the maneuverability. If you keep the wraiths moving, it seems really difficult for the Prophet to cleanse them.
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Old 04-16-2009, 01:52 AM   #29
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Two things;

1) You forgot to mention the Brute Chopper under scout vehicles... Maybe Chieftain players will be disappointed they didn't get a ghost?
2) Under the Vulture section you put "fling" instead of "flying".

Otherwise very thorough and solid guide.
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Old 03-21-2009, 08:26 PM   #30
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Awsome Guide!
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