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 17 wsm ammo 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.