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Not So Common Sense - A Halo 2 Strategy Guide

by Overswarm

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Defensive Strategy

"To triumph in battle and be universally acclaimed 'Expert' is not the acme of skill, for to lift an autumn down requires no great strength; to distinguish between the sun and moon is no test of vision; to hear the thunderclap is no indication of acute hearing. . . The skillful warrior takes up a position in which he cannot be defeated and misses no opportunity to master his enemy." - Sun Tzu

In Sun Tzu's book, The Art of War, he goes over many various concepts of war, and has two chapters titled "offensive strategy" and dispositions". It is from those two chapters that I've been given inspiration for two articles labeled "Offensive Strategy" and "Defensive Strategy". Any phrase in quotation marks is credited to Sun Tzu, who I've found out through my studies may not even exist.

"One defends when his strength is inadequate; he attacks when it is abundant."

If you had only a battle rifle and no grenades, you would not attack someone toting a sniper rifle and a rocket launcher. Many people find that position due to the flawed theory that Bungie put into place that power weapons shouldn't respawn until empty and dropped. Many people foolishly attack head on, thinking they can out-manuever their opponent regardless of his innate advantage. When you do not have the advantage, make it so you do! Instead of running there with a BR, grab grenades, a shotgun, a plasma pistol, anything that will help you gain an advantage. Then, lob grenades to force the enemy to move before advancing. Move him out of his safe zone, and then confront him on equal ground. Before that time, you should be defending, and making it very hard for the enemy to confront you.

Also, if you are in the reverse position, where YOU have the sniper and sword, you should be on offense. That doesn't mean run after him like a lost dog, but it means make that person think about every move before they do it. If they run and hide in the library at Lockout (the place where you can drop down to get the sword), make it to where every place they move to is automatic death except down to where the sword spawns. From there, herd the enemy into the bottom floor BR. From there, they have only two exits. Now you can stand there and lob grenades to take them out, or just patiently wait for them to exit out one of the doors. Make it to where even if you make a mistake and they CAN leave, you aren't in danger. All you have to do is restart your attack at a different position, and you still have map control.

"Those expert at preparing defenses consider it fundamental to rely on the strength of . . . obstacles."

If you were a machine capable of getting a headshot every time, you could grab a sniper rifle, move to the center of lockout, and spin around real fast. No one could every really touch you. However, we aren't machines. We are humans, and we miss shots. We make mistakes in our manueverings and don't always think things through. Because of that, we have to use inanimate objects and barriers as allies because we know exactly what they will do. A wall is never going to not block a bullet, a floor will never let you fall through.

When you are defending, you need to use the layout of the map to cover yourself. If you are in the sniper tower at lockout and someone is coming to attack you from glass, you can run from the sniper spawn to the top floor of the BR tower before the enemy knows you are gone. There is no way he can outmanuever the map, and because of that it is always advantageous for the defender to use the stage to his advantage. It is in this way that the enemy will become frustrated and trapped, unsure of what to do. Then, he will make himself vunerable and you can attack easily.

"Generally, he who occupies the field of battle first and awaits his enemy is at ease; he who comes later to the scene and rushes into the fight is weary. Therefore those skilled in war bring the enemy to the field of battle and are not brought there by him."

Everyone knows this one. Don't let your enemy choose the battlefield. But if everyone followed that rule, no one would ever meet each other. How is it that one could choose the battlefield and make the enemy come to him?

"One able to make the enemy come of his own accord does so by offering him some advantage. And one able to prevent him from coming does so by hurting him."

Think of it along the same lines as a mouse trap. You want the mouse to come to the trap so he is caught, so you put cheese there. There's a REASON for him to go there. If you sit a family of cats outside of his hole in the wall, the mouse is certainly not going to come out. By threatening him constantly, you cause him to hole up, trying to make himself invincible. That will drag everything out for no reason.

Instead, block every exit your enemy has except one. Make it obvious that the one way left is the way to go. In that way he will walk right into your trap, as you will have acknowledged that that is where he will be going, and will be ready for him to do that. If you cannot block his exits, give him only one clear way to go by giving him some sort of gain by doing so. Whether it be a special weapon, a powerup, or a place where he thinks you are hiding, give him a reason to go there.

"Determine the enemy's plans and you will know which strategy will be successful and which will not; agitate him and ascertain the pattern of his movement."

Say you have an enemy camping up on top of pink room with the combo. It's real hard to get someone off of there 1v1 when he has the combo, and you might not have time to wait for the plasma pistol to respawn. So, throw a grenade or two up there. What does he do? Does he move forward, left, right, or does he jump off? You know he plans to just combo you if you run out, but will he try to combo you if there is a grenade near him, or will he wait and make sure he's safe first? If he waits, that gives you time to advance, and if you can advance you can threaten.

"It is according to the shapes that I lay the plans for victory, but the multitude does not comprehend this. Although everyone can see the outward aspects, none understands the way in which I have created victory. Therefore, when I have won a victory I do not repeat my tactics but respond to circumstances in an infinite variety of ways."

In other words, don't be predictable. When you start rising up in level, you realize that the person who loses is the guy who acts like a robot. He ALWAYS gets the sniper rifle, he ALWAYS goes to the same tower on the map, he ALWAYS snipes from that location. Don't do that. Find out where the enemy is, and from there determine your plans of offense and defense.

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