Part 1: The Best Defense…
This mission features a combination of both indoor and outdoor fighting, including many vehicular options in the outdoor section. This is also the first mission in which you fight Hunters, the most durable infantry of the covenant army. However, you are provided with multiple rocket launchers throughout the mission, making the Hunters relatively easy targets to kill.
You start this mission with a 50 ammo DMR and a 375 ammo assault rifle, in an area used as the “Courtyard” firefight map. Your initial objective is to protect Sword Base from a large group of covenant infantry in the courtyard. Directly in front of you below the bridge are four Grunts. As soon as your reticule appears on the screen, kill them with headshots, sprint to the bridge, and swap your assault rifle for one of their plasma pistols. Turn right into the hallway that leads up to the second story. In the courtyard, there are three Grunts, eight Jackals, an Elite minor, and an Elite major. At around this time, a phantom will drop an Elite minor and an Elite ultra with a concussion rifle as well. The Elite major is usually on the second story platform ahead of you when you enter the hallway, so be prepared to kill him with an overcharged plasma pistol and DMR headshot as you walk up the ramp in front of you.
After killing the Elite major if he was present, return to the hallway in order to take protection from phantom. Once the airspace is clear, move up to the second story once again and take cover behind the large UNSC Barricade. From here, pick off as many Grunts and Jackals as possible with your DMR. Periodically watch the ramp directly in front of you because Elites will often use this route to charge you. If they do, stun and kill them with your plasma pistol and DMR as they begin walking up the ramp. If you find yourself overwhelmed by enemies, you can also take cover in the hallway. This provides more solid cover than the large UNSC barricade but does not provide as good of a sniping position.
After you kill all visible enemies from your position, cross the bridge and walk to the left wall. Next to the corpse of a marine, you will find a DMR and a health kit, both of which you should use to restock. Move forward along the second story path ahead, and you will find a sniper rifle along the right railing. I would not suggest taking this weapon because it does not impart enough damage to kill most Elites with one headshot. At the very end of this path, there is a ramp heading into the courtyard, and from the bottom of this ramp you can easily finish off the rest of the enemies.
Keep walking strait and you will come to a maze of large UNSC barricades and large UNSC crates. Among this cover there are four Skirmisher majors and any infantry that retreated from the last fight. Select a barricade to use as cover and patiently kill the Skirmishers and any other remaining infantry. The Skirmishers often stay in cover, so you must wait until they walk between barricades or crates to achieve a headshot.
Move down the rest of the path to the covered area. Along the right wall, there are three weapons crates, one with two DMRs, one with two armor locks, and one with a target locator, as well as a health kit. Restock on DMR ammo and swap your plasma pistol for the target locator. As soon as you take the target locater, the doors will begin to open. Once you walk outside, you will move on to the next rally point.
Part 2: Get the Hell off My Lawn!
Outside, there are two wraiths, an Elite major, and three Grunts far ahead of you. Although the wraiths will not come toward you, the infantry will. These wraiths are particularly deadly because you have poor cover, they are relatively close, and there are two of them. For this reason, kill them as soon as possible with an artillery strike from the target locator. To do this, point your target locator at either of the wraiths and hold the right trigger. This will paint a red circle around the wraith, followed by an artillery strike of five orbital missiles will then destroy anything in the vicinity of the red circle If you can kill both wraiths with a single strike, you will also receive an achievement. To do this, wait for the wraiths to move next to each other before calling in the artillery strike to achieve this. After killing the wraiths, kill the infantry with your DMR. Because you do not have a plasma pistol, wait for the marines and Kat to remove the Elite’s shields, then finish it with a DMR headshot.
Jacking a Wraith: If you are a skilled wraith driver and wish to use a wraith for the outdoor portion of this mission, you can jack one of the wraiths instead of destroying them both. Instead of bringing the target locator from the previous section, swap for it to cause the doors to open and then immediately swap back for your plasma pistol. Begin by killing all of the infantry, including the Grunts operating the wraiths’ turrets. Stun the first wraith with your plasma pistol, sprint towards it, and plant a grenade to destroy it. Stun the second wraith as well, but instead of boarding it, enter the plasma turret. This will cause the Elite driver to exit the wraith, allowing you to kill him with and overcharged plasma pistol and DMR headshot. This ultimately provides you with an intact wraith that you can use for the remainder of this rally point. If you do this, you will need to use different tactics than the ones I provide for the remainder of this rally point.
After killing both the wraiths and the infantry, a Pelican will drop of a standard warthog. I would not suggest taking this warthog because your UNSC allies are very poor gunners and the warthog does not provide enough damage resistance to compensate for its inability to use cover. However, if you are playing co-op, you may wish to consider using this warthog. If you do, you will need to use different tactics than the ones I provide for the remainder of this rally point. Your current objectives are to secure and restart the UNSC Anti-Aircraft gun and coms array. This mission allows you to choose which objective to complete first. It is vital that you restart the AA guns first because you will need to replace your plasma pistol for a rocket launcher at the coms array for the Hunter fight during the third rally point.
Sprint up the hill to the west, which is to your right when facing away from Sword Base. At the top of the hill, there are three Grunts and a ghost, operated by either an Elite or a Grunt. Use the hill to the left as cover to kill the Grunts while staying protected from the ghost and swap your target locator for one of the Grunt’s plasma pistols. Once the ghost approaches you, EMP it with this plasma pistol and jack it. If an Elite was operating the ghost, ram the Elite to kill it.
Drive the ghost along the dirt path to the AA gun facility. You will come to two rocks in the middle of the path. Exit your ghost here, and you will have a perfect view of the AA gun facility due to your higher elevation. There are seven Grunts and two Elites majors in and around the building, as well as an Elite general with a plasma launcher on top of the building. Using the rock as cover if necessary, begin sniping the Grunts around the AA gun with your DMR. Once you kill the Grunts closest to you, move to the rock in front of you and use it as cover to kill even more Grunts. Around this time, a spirit will drop two Elite rangers with concussion rifles and four more Grunts near the AA gun. After you have killed most or all of the Grunts, enter your ghost and drive underneath the building that the Elite general is on.
Enter the building through the back door, and climb the stairs while charging up your plasma pistol. As soon as you reach the top level, stun and kill the Elite general before he can charge up his plasma launcher to stick you. Restock DMR ammo from a case on the forward right corner of the roof and activate the AA gun with the green switch on the wall next to this case. Stay on top of the building to kill all of the remaining enemies. This area is a very good position because it provides a good DMR sniping and only has one entrance. By moving to the front end of the roof, you can easily kill any remaining Grunts with your DMR. To take cover, simply walk a few steps back and the enemies below will be unable to shoot you. The only way that the Elite rangers and majors will reach you is from the stairs behind you. Once you see them climbing the stairs on your radar, move towards them so that you can immediately stun and kill them as they walk up the last few stairs.
A short time after you activate the AA gun, a phantom will drop two ghosts, one operated by an Elite and one operated by a Grunt, to the left of the building. Once you have dealt with all of the infantry from the before, stun and jack the ghosts. You will use one of these ghosts for transportation to the next section.
Pelican will now arrive and deliver you a second warthog. In this area, there are a lot of health kits and weapons you can use. In the larger building, there is a health kit, assault rifle crate, and a sprint and armor lock case by the rear entrance. On the first floor, there is a DMR crate and a health kit as well as a DMR and a DMR case on the roof level. In the second, smaller building, there is a sniper rifle and a sprint and armor lock case. Be sure to restock on DMR ammo, health, and plasma pistol energy before you leave for the coms array.
Kat will now tell you to secure and activate the coms array. Enter one of the ghosts you jacked and drive back to Sword Base. This time, take the path to the East, the downhill path to the left. This indirect route allows you to bypass covenant forces on the road between the AA gun and coms array. It also allows provides you better cover for retaking the coms array.
Once you get to the coms array outpost, walk into the first building you come to. In the second story, there is a sprint and armor lock case, a health kit, and an assault rifle crate. In the other building, there are six Grunts, two Jackal snipers with needle rifles, two Elite majors, and an Elite ultra. In addition, there is a revenant between the two buildings. Walk up the stairs between the second and third floor of your building. From these stairs, DMR snipe the Jackals and Grunts in the other building. Kill the Jackal snipers first because they pose the highest threat to you due to their accurate needle rifles. If your shields fall low, backup down the stairs and you will be completely protected. After killing all of the visible enemies in the far building, proceed to jack the revenant. This can be rather difficult because it can continue to fire upon you even when stunned with EMP. To remain safe, stun it and run around to the back of it to jack it. Then ram the Elite and give the revenant to Kat. Do not use the rocket launcher on the third floor of the building to kill the revenant because you will need this to kill the Hunters in the next section.
Next, move up into the second building and enter the small room on top. From here, kill the Elites one by one from the safety of the doorway. If possible, focus on the Elite farthest away from the other two first so that the other cannot injure while you kill it. Inside of the room you are in, you will find the generator switch along with a health kit, an assault rifle crate, and a sprint and armor lock case. There is also a sniper rifle where the Jackal snipers were located.
Turn on the generator for the coms array with the switch, triggering a spirit to drop seven Skirmisher majors and three Grunts on the other building. Staying inside this room, DMR snipe the other enemies through the doorway. Usually, the Grunts and most of the Skirmishers will climb the opposite building while a few Skirmishers will rush you. Kill the charging Skirmishers first, then pick off the other enemies when you have a clear shot. After killing all Grunts and Skirmishers, climb the far building and turn on the coms array on the top story. Then return to the third story and swap your plasma pistol for the rocket launcher near the window. This will be used in the upcoming Hunter fight.
After turning on the coms array, a Pelican will deliver a gauss warthog. If you are playing co-op, I highly suggest you change your standard warthog for the gauss warthog due to its highly superior firepower. If you are playing alone, I do not suggest using it. You will then receive orders to return to Sword Base, concluding this rally point.
Part 3: Minimum Safe Distance
Reenter the ghost you used as transportation to the coms array. Once again, you will want to take the indirect root to avoid enemy fire. Begin driving towards the AA gun by following the dirt path uphill. You will come to a sharp 180 turn, where you will see two ghosts. Because you do not have a plasma pistol, you cannot jack them. Instead, avoid them by hugging the edge of the cliff to the left and using the rocks to provide cover against the ghost. Once you reach the last rock, allow your shields to regenerate, boost up the last stretch of road, and turn the corner to your left, providing you safety from the ghosts. If done correctly, you can easily survive this without receiving any health damage.
Once you return to the AA gun, restock on DMR ammo and health if necessary, then continue back to Sword Base. After you come close to Sword Base, you will see a hill with a dead marine, a rocket launcher, and a health kit on top. Grab more rocket launcher ammo from the rocket launcher next to a marine’s corpse. Now, since all of the enemies are clustered around the other path, you can easily boost to Sword Base without risk. Activate the switch to open the doors. Once safely inside, you will see six Grunts, two Jackals, and two Elites in the UNSC barricade field. Kill as many of the light infantry as possible from the cover of the large pillar holding up the covered area. Once the enemies retreat out of range, move up into the cover field and use one of the barricades as cover. Swap your rocket launcher for a plasma pistol to kill the Elites, then swap back to your rocket launcher.
Move forward through the open gates, where you will find three marines pinned down by two Hunters. There is a shotgun crate and a health kit on the second pillar. Kill the Hunters with your rocket launcher. Do not attempt to hit them in their weak spots; simply shoot at their body or their feet and the collateral damage and sheer power of the UNSC rocket launchers will easily kill them. Occasionally, your eight rockets do not provide enough firepower to kill both Hunters. If so, finish off the survivor with your stickies and frags. If it still is not dead, restock on frag grenades at the shotgun crate to finish it off.
Inside the elevator room to your left, you will find two Grunts and an Elite. Kill the Grunts first, and then trade your rocket launcher for one of their plasma pistols to kill the Elite. Once all enemies are killed, you and Kat can use the elevator to enter Sword Base.
At the top of the elevator, you will find a health kit, two grenades, an assault rifle, and a sprint and armor lock case. On the other end of the hallway in front of you, there are three Grunts and an Elite ultra with a concussion riffle. Begin by first killing the Elite ultra, then the Grunts, but do not walk down the hallway to do so. At the end of the hallway, you will come to a door leading you to the atrium, where you will find Jorge and Carter fighting their way up Sword Base. This is area the map used for the multiplayer map “Sword Base”.
In the central area, there are four Jackals and an Elite major, all of which are easy to deal with the help of Noble Team. Use the square doorway you entered from as cover. After eliminating these threats, Move to the far wall of the atrium and turn left, then climb the stairs and turn left into a room with three Grunts. These Grunts soften suicide, so kill them quickly and do not get to close.
Look through the doorway ahead of you into the next room, where you will find three Grunt heavies, two Jackal snipers, and an Elite ultra. Stand in the doorway and kill the enemies as they walk into your line of fire. Step to the left of the doorway for cover. Continue forward, where you will come to a walking bridge connecting to the other side of the atrium. On the other side of the bridge are two Jackal snipers and an Elite major. Stay on your side of the bridge to kill the Jackal snipers then charge across the bridge to kill the Elite. Kill this Elite as quickly as possible because you will be entirely exposed when crossing the bridge.
At the other end, you will come to a large, open room. To your left, there are two hallways, one with stairs and one without. You should enter the hallway without stairs, taking you to a room with a DMR crate against the wall, six marines, and a bridge over to the next section. Restock on DMR ammo and kill the three Grunt minors on the other side of the bridge ahead of you, then sprint across the bridge and into the room on the other side. It is important that you do not linger on the bridge because you are vulnerable to enemies above you when you stand on this bridge.
On the level above you, there are four Jackals, an Elite major, and an Elite general with a fuel rod. Walk halfway up the stairs and kill the Jackals and Elite major. Use the stairs as cover by walking down when you are hurt or see a threat coming. Climb to the top of the stairs, and you will see the Elite general on the opposite side of the hallway. To stay safe, sprint close to him. He will not shoot you if you are close because the collateral damage will injure him, and the covenant never perform a task that causes themselves injury. He therefore will resort to melee attacking you, making him an easy target to kill with an overcharged plasma shot and DMR headshot.
In the room at the top of the stairs, you will find another DMR crate, two health kits, and a rocket launcher. Swap your plasma pistol for the rocket launcher and restock on health and DMR ammo. Through the next door you will find two Jackals. Kill them and run inside the burning room. A phantom will come by and drop off two Elite spec ops and a Grunt. Stay in the room until it leaves to avoid its concussion shots, then come outside and kill the Elite spec ops and Grunt with your rocket launcher or DMR. Then, renter the room and kill the phantom and any banshees with you rocket launcher by stepping out of the door ahead of you. If you need more ammo, restock from the SPUNKr kits and other rocket launcher inside of the room.
To kill an enemy aircraft with a rocket launcher, you need to get a lock-on. To do this, follow over your target until the square turns red. Then, the rocket will home towards the enemy. A banshee only requires one rocket to kill, but the phantom requires three. To kill the phantom, lock-on and shoot twice, then reload, lock-on again, and shoot once.
After killing the phantom, two short swords will be able to destroy the covenant corvette. They fly near it to relaying its coordinates to one of the UNSC frigates. The frigate is then able to destroy the corvette with a single Mac round. Carter will then tell you and Jorge to return to Dr. Halsey, where she will inform Nobel team about a “latchkey” discovery. This concludes the ONI: Sword Base mission of the Halo Reach campaign.