Halo Wars Skirmish/Multiplayer Strategy Guide Sup. My gamertag is BKLounge686, and I am an avid Halo fan. My main played games are Halo 3 and Halo Wars, with a little bit of other FPS games like Half-Life 2 and COD, any of them. I also have a PS2 with many FPS games. My Halo 3 rank is a Brigadier, Grade 3, and my Automatic difficulty level in Halo Wars is currently at 101; my Trueskill is not that high, like the 20s, but I have not played online all that much, and when I do, I usually win. Anyways, while my Xbox is away being repaired (again [no offense, Microsoft]), I’ve decided to write this guide for Halo Wars. This guide is only going to cover Skirmish and Online Multiplayer; I will not cover the campaign here, but if you have questions I will be happy to respond. I will go over different combinations for 1v1, 2v2, and 3v3 Leaders, as well as strategies for different maps, but those will not be as in-depth. Map strategies will mainly be for special features for each map, like the timed light bridges on Terminal Moraine or the Sentinel factories on multiple 2v2 maps. I will not go over EVERY SINGLE combo of Leaders because that will take too long; I will just go over my best strategies. Also, I am not so good with certain leaders, so I will spend less time on them if any. Please do not steal my information. I worked hard to think of these strategies and was kind enough to share them with you. If you wish to use my information, please email me for permission. My email will be posted at the bottom. If I do find out you stole my work, I will hunt you down and get my friend to steal your account (just kidding) (or am I?). Anyways please don’t steal my work. Thanks. This is my first attempt at a guide, although I always thought I’d be good at writing them. That took a while to get to this: TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. General Tips on game play a. What to always do b. What should be avoided c. General Gameplay Tips, Unspecific 2. Individual Leader Characteristics a. Covenant i. Prophet ii. Chieftain iii. Arbiter b. Human i. Cutter ii. Anders iii. Forge 3. 1v1 Tactics a. Covenant Leaders i. Rush ii. War b. Human Leaders i. Rush ii. War 4. 2v2 Tactics a. Covenant and Covenant i. Rush ii. War b. Human and Covenant i. Rush ii. War c. Human and Human i. Rush ii. War 5.3v3 Tactics- I will not go over every individual combo because that would take forever. I will just let you know the 3 best tactics I’ve used and seen used. a. Prophet-Brute-Anders b. Prophet-Brute-Cutter c. Prophet/Brute-Anders-Cutter 6. Map-specific Tips a. Beasley Plateau b. Chasm c. Blood Gulch d. Release e. Fort Deen f. Tundra g. Pirth Outskirts h. Crevice i. The Docks j. Labyrinth k. Repository l. Terminal Moraine m. Frozen Vally n. Exile o. Non-map-specific Features 7. Contact Information 8. Legal Junk 1. GENERAL TIPS This section will just cover the basic, soon-to-be common sense things to do, either at the start of the game or if preparing for the long-run. There are things that should be done, things that shouldn’t be done, and just general unspecific tips. a. WHAT TO ALWAYS DO: There are many things that should always be done in any gametype: i. Always use your starting unit to search for crates, which help a lot in the beginning of the match. ii. Get a Temple/Reactor early. These are critical for having a prolonged fight. iii. As a Covenant, always build a Shield Generator on your bases; usually one on the first one, and two on the others. iv. Use the Covenant Leader Teleporter for quick movement of new troops. This helps get units to the action quicker and with surprise. v. For Human Leaders: build at least 1 turret in front of your base, usually later in the game. Covenant Leaders should have a shield for protection. vi. Build up a small army of cheap units like infantry or Leader Units for a preliminary defense. vii. LEADER RECALL if your Leader is almost dead! viii. Use Leader Powers when appropriate (duh). ix. Last but certainly not least: Upgrade Supply Pads and Warehouses. Kind of common sense, right? b. WHAT SHOULD BE AVOIDED: I’m not saying that these should never be done; I just do not recommend them. i. Do not leave your base completely unguarded in the beginning. ii. Do not spend resources early on improving units. iii. Do not just let your units run wild and attack whatever. Try to segregate them into squads and multi-task. iv. Do not focus on building one, strong unit. v. Last but not least: Don’t believe that your opponent is doing the same strategy all the time. c. GENERAL TIPS Just some unspecific tips to use for any Leader or Map. i. Take over Bonus Reactors and Forerunner Supply Pads. These help by providing points by killing rebels, the crates rewarded after killing all rebels, and saving or giving you money. ii. Turrets cost relatively a lot in the beginning, but they help against a rush big time. iii. Go for many units early, and then upgrade them. A fast army is good to have. iv. Bigger is not always better. Better to have a bunch of weaker units than something like a Scarab. Big units take a long time and a lot of resources to make and they can only attack one target at a time. v. Quantity over Quality: More units are better than one superunit because they can be divided up easier. Example: I took down a Scarab with a bunch of Elite Honor Guards. Scarabs can only attack one Elite at a time; Elites ganged up on it and busted it. vi. Multi-task in two ways. First, divide up your army into squads and make each squad attack different targets. Second, flip between your base (to make more units or upgrade them) and the battle (to control the fight). vii. Look for crates. They help your small resources cache expand early; each crate gives you 30 and they are mostly in bundles of 3. viii. If you want to build a Field Armory, make sure you destroy it when you’re done upgrading what you want, otherwise it just takes up space. ix. If the battle seems like it will take 15 minutes or longer, build a second base and load it with supply pads and reactors. 2. INDIVIDUAL LEADER CHARACTERISTICS This is just a quick description or each leader and his/her individual powers. a. Covenant Leaders i. Prophet of Regret - Leader Power: Cleansing Beam- calls down a beam from an orbiting ship to plaster units with plasma. Upgraded to increase strength and width along with cost to run it. WILL HURT OWN UNITS! However, the Prophet is fine. - Leader Upgrades: get Fuel Rod cannons on chair; get Protector Units that attack nearby units; upgrades to a full-fledged flying unit. - Special Unit: Elite Honor Guards: can only attack ground units; upgrade to get cloak Y ability and personal shield. Cost 150 resources ii. Brute Chieftain - Leader Power: Vortex- uses hammer to create a vortex that draws in debris, which causes more damage. Upgraded to increase power and size and decrease cost. WILL HURT OWN UNITS! Chieftain is fine though. - Leader Upgrades: attack can stun units; draw units towards him; increases range of stun. - Special Unit: Brutes: good against vehicles and buildings; can be upgraded to get jump packs and an electric stun to their Brute Shots. iii. Arbiter - Leader Power: Rage- FUN! Arbiter goes nuts and does massive damage; controlled by player. Upgraded to restore health per unit killed, decreases cost to sustain it, and makes him and surrounding units stronger. - Leader Upgrades: reflect attacks, increases attack, and constant camo. - Special Unit: Suicide Grunts- Y ability makes them explode upon contact; very strong attack, even against buildings,but kills them. Upgrade to run faster when charging and increase explosive damage. b. Human Leaders (all Human Leaders can use the Pelican Transport to move units, the Disruption Bomb to stop Leader Powers, and the Regenerator to heal units) i. Captain Cutter - Special Ability: MAC Blast- shoots a large gun from space to do massive damage. Can be upgraded to increase the number of rounds from 1 to 4. - Special Unit: Elephant- can be planted to spawn infantry; upgraded to go faster, get more armor, and get another turret. - Super Unit Upgrade: ODSTs- gives Marines a Shotgun. Can be dropped from space on any un-fogged area. Really fun. ii. Professor Anders - Special Ability: Cryo-bomb- freezes units and buildings so they cannot attack or build units; also, frozen Reactors do not work. Can be upgraded to increase size and make it kill most air units. - Special Unit: Gremlin- EMP gun that stuns non-infantry units. Cannot attack air units and weak versus infantry. Can be upgraded to increase range and make the EMP chain through adjacent units. - Super Unit Upgrade: Hawk- gives Hornets a laser gun. Really fun. iii. Sergeant Forge - Special Ability: Carpet Bomb- bombs a stretch of land; only damages ground units. Can be upgraded to strengthen it and increase length of run. - Special Unit: Cyclops- Building killer; cannot attack air units. Cool animation upon killing infantry and ehicles. Can be upgraded to heal friendly units and improve speed. - Super Unit Upgrade: Grizzly Tank- gives Scorpions a second cannon. Really strong, both in health and damage dealt. 3. 1v1 TACTICS- Strategies to use when you’re all alone. I’ll only give one rush per leader and one long-term strategy. If they don’t work, then you’re doing it wrong. Just ask me if you need assistance. a. Covenant i. Most Covenant leaders will have roughly the same strategies with some key differences. What you must do in the beginning is to build Warehouse, Temple, Warehouse. While they are building, use your starting unit to look for 2 crate bundles at least. When the Temple is built, immediately upgrade one Warehouse and build a special leader unit. Send your Leader unit straight to the outskirts of the enemy base, gathering crates along the way. Send your starting unit to behind the enemy base just to scout it out. If they have a Reactor or Temple, attack that, even though it barely does anything. Keep building leader units and when you have about 3 of them, upgrade your Leader, start building another unit, and teleport your existing units to your Leader. Then attack! Take out the main threats first, starting with Turrets and units, then building that build units, then Reactors, then the base itself. Keep building leader units and teleporting them to your Leader. Eventually build a Summit or a Hall, and make Banshees and Jackals or Hunters, depending on what the enemy makes. The base should be destroyed in 7-8 minutes. ii. If the rush fails, then you need to recall your Leader and upgrade your base to 7 building pads. Upgrade your other Warehouse, build a Shield Generator, then build either a Hall or Summit (depending on what you didn’t build earlier) and another Warehouse. Build up a small army of about 10 or 15 units, build a Turret, and then start upgrading. Get to the Age of Doubt, and then upgrade your units. When they are upgraded as far as they can in the Age of Doubt, start going for 40/40 population limit. Build more special units (about 5-6), Banshees (about 10), a few Hunters (like 3), and Jackals (less than 10). Keep it varied in unit type. Upgrade your Leader Power, and try to attack again. Also, ifyour Leader is hurt, build an Engineer to heal him and keep the Engineer at the base. If this attack still fails, then go for another base. Upgrade the base to get 5 building pads and fill it with 3 Warehouses and 2 Shield Generators. Upgrade into the Age of Reclamation, and upgrade your units. This time, whatever drove back your 2nd attack should be your focus. Whatever units they sent at you, build counters to them. Heal your Leader, build about half your army as counter units, and build the rest as power units to attack the buildings and other units. Keep doing this until one of you dies. b. Human i. Human tactics are different for each Leader. - Cutter should go with two Supply Pads and a Reactor and build an Elephant after your Warthog finds crates. When the Elephant is built, send it over close to the enemy base and plant it. Upgrade a Supply Pad. Spam infantry out of the Elephant. Get about 5 Marines and a few Flamethrowers and go attack the enemy base starting with Turrets and units, then buildings that make units, then Reactors or Temples, and finally the base itself. Remember to use the Grenade ability as many times as possible. onstantly send out Marines, and replace any Flamethrowers that you might lose. - Anders should also build two Supply Pads and a Reactor, but upgrade your Warthogs to get chainguns. Then build Warthogs constantly. Once you have about 4-5 Warthogs, go attack the base. Build a second Reactor and upgrade to get the Grenadier. - Forge is a Leader I do not use well, so when I get information on a Forge-led rush, I’ll post it. For now, though, a warthog rush might be able to work because of the automatically built Heavy Supply Pads. Upgrade them quickly and rush fast. Either that or maybe try a small tank rush? I don't know, maybe just send two tanks over. That might work. ii. Human tactics are different for each Leader, but are mainly about getting the superunits. - Cutter should just go for ODSTs, then get support units. Upgrade to get the 40 population limit and then just focus on upgrading Marines first. When you get ODSTs, build another Elephant, and use that in the same way as the rush. Make sure to save room in your population to drop ODSTs and for other units. However, ODSTs can take out just about anything; I can use 20 of them to take out a Vulture. Just remember to use the RPG Y ability to do massive damage. When the already built ODSTs start to attack a base, drop in more all around the base. - Anders should just work on getting Hawks. Build maybe 3 Spartans to defend your base, and just work on Hawks. Upgrade to get the 40 population limit, and max out on population for Hawks. Don’t forget to take over some Hawks with the Spartans. You should just about win with these units; they can kill anything in no time. - Forge should just focus on getting Grizzlies. First, though, upgrade regular Scorpions to get the Canister Shell ability, and try to attack with a bunch of those. If that still doesn’t work, retreat, build three Spartans, and get Grizzlies. Take over some with Spartans, and those three Spartan-controlled tanks should be enough. Just in case though, build a few more for backup. Grizzlies are super-powerful, and Spartans make them nearly invincible. 4. 2v2 TACTICS- Basic tactics to use when you go in with the buddy system, which actually helps a lot here. Same thing as with 1v1 stuff; just one rush and one long-term. a. Covenant and Covenant- this should only be used if you expect to win fast, and I mean FAST! This setup is mainly for rushing; Covenant are more geared for rushes, while Humans are better for a long-term war. IMPORTANT: Make sure to attack the enemy player that will cause the most trouble in the rush first to make sure he will not counter effectively. ALSO IMPORTANT: For the long run, attack the better player. This depends on a number of things, like rank and how the player reacted to the rush. i. Basically, the same thing goes for 2v2 as with 1v1. Build in this order: Warehouse, Temple, Warehouse. Use your first unit to find crates. Send your Leader towards the enemy base. This is where it gets different: focus each player on a different unit. Have one player make his special units, and have the other player build either a Summit or a Hall, depending on the enemy and what they are doing. If a Summit is built, build Banshees. If a Hall is built, build Jackals first and then build Hunters. Just be sure to upgrade the non-special units at least once. Then the same as 1v1 applies: teleport them to your Leader and attack important buildings first. ii. If the rush fails, then recall your Leader and start to build counter units to the enemy units. If the enemy is made of both Humans, counter their super units. If they are Covenant, then just adjust on the fly. Also similar to 1v1, but have each player focus to counter one type of unit. For example, if facing Cutter and Anders, build and upgrade Jackals and Vampires. Devote about two-thirds of your army to the counter units, and then have both players build special units for support. Just make sure to attack one enemy base at a time; do not split your army because that makes it easier to destroy. Also, make sure the enemy does not recapture the base you just destroyed. b. Covenant and Human- Probably the best combo. It doesn’t matter what Leaders you are, because they are all pretty good combos. Also, don’t forget to use the Disruption bomb to block enemy Leader Powers. i. Simple: do the 1v1 tactics, but with two people. That’s it! Just remember to use the Regenerator to heal Covie units, too. ii. A little different. Have the Human Leader focus on getting super units. Meanwhile, have the Covie player constantly harass the enemy by sending over little squads. Also, have the Covenant Leader play defense to protect the Human while he upgrades. Once the Human gets super units, reverse roles. Have the Covenant start upgrading units, preferably Banshees, the special units, and maybe Wraiths or Vampires. When both are ready, send ONLY the Human army and the Covenant Leader. Since the early points mostly went to the Covenant guy, it’s time for the Human to get points. More importantly, if the Human army gets demolished, you can teleport the Covenant army in for reinforcements. c. Human and Human- The hardest combo to defend against a Covie rush, but if you survive the chance of winning increases. Just don’t forget to Disrupt enemy Leader Abilities around your base. i. NOT ADVISED! If you have two Humans, the best thing to do is defend against the rush unless you have two Cutters. Two Cutters should use the Elephant Rush. If you don’t have two Cutters, build flamethrowers to defend against rushes. They work surprisingly well against Leaders and special units. Warthogs with chainguns work well too. Two important things, though. First, focus on the Leader first while ignoring other units until he is dead. This way, units will stop teleporting in. Second, if they come and you find yourself unprepared for some reason, put your base on lockdown and build flamers. When you have about ten of them ready, unlock your base. This way, your defense won’t be spawn-killed upon being built. Hold off the rush, and then immediately go on the offensive, before the enemy can recover. ii. Much better suited for two Humans is the long term war. Have the Human with cheaper super units upgrade them first, then the other. When you have two armies of super units, attack. Against Human and Covenant, hit the Human first to take out his probably- already-built super units, but watch out for the Covenant Leader and reinforcements. Against two Covies, attack either one first, it doesn’t really matter because they both use pretty much the same tactics. Against two Humans, take them out in this order: Forge, Anders, Cutter. Forge’s Grizzlies are super strong, so take them out before their ready. Ander’s Hawks are strong, but they can be easily countered with more Hawks or with Wolverines. Cutter can be countered by Flamers, but watch out for them dropping in behind you. 5. 3v3 TACTICS- For the most fun; the way Halo Wars was meant to be played. For the record, two friends and I can take out Heroic AIs in 8 minutes. READ THIS PART, I'M REALLY GOOD HERE. a. Prophet-Brute-Anders - By now you should be able to figure this out. Same tactics as 1v1 for each Covie player. Have Anders stay back, defend, and upgrade to Hawks. Use the Covenant Leaders to take out the enemy player that will cause the earliest trouble first, starting with Covenant Leaders, then Cutter, Anders, and finally Forge. One flaw: Anders will get the fewest points, possibly even falling to fourth or fifth place because she won’t get in the battle. However, if the rush fails, Anders is a life-saver because she is already prepared for a long war. b. Prophet-Brute-Cutter - THE ULTIMATE RUSH! You know what to do, just remember to have Cutter eventually upgrade the Marines he keeps spamming out at the enemy. However, if the rush fails to get rid of at least one enemy, you’ll have a much harder time in the future. This happened to us once; the rush got driven back, and playing defense with Covie guys is harder than you think. c. Prophet/Brute-Anders-Cutter - As you can tell, I like these guys. Use the Covenant Leader and Cutter to rush, while Anders hangs back and defends and gets Hawks. Similar to the Prophet-Brute-Anders plan, only this time you can MAC Blast! 6. Map-specific Tips- Each map is unique. This section will inform you of the different perks available on each map and how to use them. a. Beasley Plateau 2v2- The thing in the center gives you more reinforcements. However, I have never actually used it, so if anyone has any extra info on it please send it to me. Also, there are two free building pads and a Turret close to each base, which can be used instead of upgrading a base to get two more pads. You should either build supply pads or a building that makes units that isn’t on your base. b. Chasm 1v1- Everyone should know this base by heart after the demo. Just in case, there are Forerunner Supply Pads close to each base, which, when occupied by infantry, acts as a Supply Pad. I’m not sure if it counts as an upgraded one or not. c. Blood Gulch 1v1- There are Bonus Reactors and Forerunner Supply Pads here. Use them to cheaply upgrade your tech level and get extra supplies. Also, there are teleporters to quickly move units. d. Release 1v1- Personally I do not like this map. There are Flood Containment controls that, when activated, release Flood units at the enemy base, which really don’t do all that much. Also, the Rebels are replaced by Flood bases. e. Fort Deen 3v3- Teleporters which send you in front of the enemy bases, which are VERY good for speeding up the rush. f. Tundra 1v1- I don’t play here much, but I know there’s this mega turret in the middle that fires a really strong round at anything, as long as you have it garrisoned with infantry and some resources. Takes a while to recharge. g. Pirth Outskirts 1v1- I’ve only played here once, but I think there are Bonus Reactors lying around. If I missed anything, let me know. h. Crevice 2v2- Fun map; has Bonus Reactors in the middle and it shifts between day and night. In the night, Flood supposedly attack your base. i. The Docks 2v2- Actually nothing that special except each starting base is right next to the ally’s. j. Labyrinth 2v2- No Rebels, but Sentinel bases instead. Has two Sentinel factories that make mini-Sentinels called Protectors that you can assign to follow units. There are three types, one that gives the unit a shield, one that heals units, and one that attacks enemies. k. Repository 2v2- Also has Sentinel bases, but has a central Sentinel Factory that you can build Sentinels or Super Sentinels out of. l. Terminal Moraine 2v2- My favorite map. There are Bonus Reactors across light bridges that turn on and off in intervals. Really good defensive strategy. m. Frozen Valley 3v3- Each side has one Bonus Reactor. Also, in the middle of the map is a Forerunner Healing Spire that heals units like a Regenerator, but without using money. n. Exile 3v3- Another Flood map with Flood bases, this one has four Bonus Reactors on the sides. o. Non-map-specific Features- There are many features that are on multiple maps. - Sniper Towers: When infantry are garrisoned in these floating Covenant sniper towers, they gain A LOT of health; advised to use if trying to secure a path or hold a chokepoint, but otherwise don’t bother with them. - Cover: Not as common as Sniper Towers, but they are basically the ground-level version of them. - Shield Walls: If an infantry unit garrisons into the tower next to it, it activates a Shield Wall that ground units cannot pass. Also not very common, but extremely useful when they are on a map. - I have a feeling that something is missing here, but I cannot remember if there is anything else or not. If there are, or if I got them all, let me know. 7. CONTACT INFORMATION If you have anything to ask of me or to tell me, you can email me at invadergir686@aol.com, or send a message to me over Xbox Live. My gamertag is BKLounge686. However my Xbox is, at time of writing, being sent in, so these messages will have a longer response time. Also, if you decide to email me, just make sure the subject has “Halo Wars FAQ” somewhere in it so I don’t delete you as spam, and put whether or not you have a question, a revision, or additional info (just copy whatever it is exactly as I have it written and put that in the subject box). I can help you by but not limited to giving you more tips, providing more detail about the strategies, or discussing different strategies. Also, I can answer almost any Halo 3-related question because I am just so gawdly at it. Well, that’s all I have to offer. Sorry if it seems like a lot of text; I have a lot of info in here. Thanks for taking the time to read this, and the best of luck to you online! © 2009 Brian Konieczny This may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal, private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on any other web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a violation of copyright. Thanks GameFAQs for kindly posting that info online. Any information not from my own head came from the Halo Wars instruction booklet, which is that booklet that came with the game when you bought it.