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Not So Common Sense - A Halo 2 Strategy Guide

by Overswarm

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Articles: Fighting a God

Someone from Bungie's Zanzibar forums (name not mentioned to reduce shame) offered to play me in 3 head to head games. 2 out of 3 wins, it went lockout, beaver creek, midship. He just wanted to see if I was really as good as my advice seemed to say.

I'm not a deity by any means, and can be beaten, especially when I'm trying new strategies (like using BR/shotgun only on ascension). But I beat him in all 3 head to head games, and the first time I was damaged was the end of the second game.

I was obviously more skilled than him, but the reason I beat him so badly is because I got the "uber" weapons immediately in all matches.

I was faster, I was smarter (no offense, but I have practiced, not just played), I had bigger guns and better aim.

What chance could he possibly have?

Hopefully, I'll give all the underdogs (and the overlords) that get screwed over by the weapon race a slight edge.

  1. The tortoise and the hare

    Yeah, we've all read it. Yeah, it's cliché. Yeah, it's true. We all grow up thinking that it's the most stupid story in the world. The rabbit is faster, it is a race, and the tortoise will lose because he is so damn slow.

    Not necessarily true. Watch to see if the opposing player gets a little too cocky, a little to risqué.

    Just watch your opponent, and if he, say, tries to sleep in the middle of the race, slit his throat. Just take all of what I just said as a metaphor, and learn how you can use your enemy's cockiness against him. Everyone has flaws in their playstyle, I know I do.

    Personally, my flaw is that I think I know what the player is going to do. People will see me throw seemingly random grenades, and then get a double kill. I did that because I saw them enter the lift room, I know it takes 5 seconds to get to the top of the lift, and 1 more second to land. So I throw nades at the count of 4, assuming that they are going straight for the lift. They can't dodge because they land the moment my grenade does. If you were playing me, you could just do things that I wouldn't assume you would do.

  2. Viva la revolution!

    Anyone remember the revolutionary war? Or hey, how about now, the Iraqi war? Yeah, the underdogs aren't winning, but they're doing some damage.

    How are they doing all this damage? They're fighting unconventionally.

    Try hiding in odd places with a shotgun, and just wait. They CAN just sit there and let the time run out, if they are in the lead. They won't. They will hunt you down, and you will kill them. Just remember to move somewhere else after the first kill.

    Also, the suicide bomber "for Allah" aspect works here too. Rockets, plasma, frag, all of them work. Just run right up and expect to kill you both. When you both die, the person who had the weaker weapons has the advantage, because it evens the playing field.

  3. Upgrade

    Powerups help a lot. I CAN'T stress this enough. When the uber weapon guy has the upgrades, it isn't a big deal, really. One plasma pistol shot takes out the OS. When YOU have the upgrades, he can't shoot a PP shot becuase he doesn't have it! If he does, he doesn't have an uber weapon combo and you can thrash him.

    If you are invisible, or have an overshield, you have another advantage. Take it!

  4. Insane in the Membrane

    Your attitude really DOES have a lot to do with how you play. It sounds stupid, but I've studied competitive environments since I was 14, and they all have a few things in common.

    When someone is competing against someone worse than them, their ability to do said task increases.

    When someone is competing against someone better than them, their ability to do said task decreases.

    That has nothing to do with the other person, just the mindset. There have been psychology studies in which two people would reel in a lot of string. Logically, the person next to you shouldn't have any effect on your ability to reel in the string, but he did. He -always- did.

    Know this in your head, and realize that the only reason you will play worse against someone who is better (or has the advantage) is if YOU have the mindset that you will lose, and YOU directly change your playing style to suck.

  5. Be patient

    When you or your team is up against foes that are much better than you, try to make them go on the offensive. Be patient, and wait a bit. Set everything up how you want it, and wait for them to come to you. You have plenty of time. If you KNOW that they're just going to keep thrashing you because they have all the power weapons and the best location, just wait and hope they will come to you. Maybe you can catch them by surprise and turn the tides once you get the power weapons.

  6. Weapon counters

    Hey Overswarm, let's cut all that Sun Tzu art of war bullshit, right? Well, for the more materialistic, here you go.

    Plasma Pistol/Battle Rifle

    Those are all of the "uber" weapon combinations possible. The ONE thing they all have in common is that distance is NOT a factor in whether or not someone can get a one shot (or 2 shot, with PP/BR, but it's fast enough to be one) kill on you. The first thing to do though is to realize exactly what distance is the best to confront them at.

    Confront all of these at the following ranges:

    -Short Range-
    Plasma Pistol/Battle Rifle

    -Long Range-

    Hey, whaddaya know. If they have a sniper, go short. If they have the rocket, go long. Remember, if they have the uber weapons, and THEY die, even if you die with them, you have the advantage. After all, they're losing the power weapons and you're losing some random weapons.

    The sniper rifle gives them the long range advantage in EVERY circumstance, and the rocket almost always means a suicide kill, so when they have both sniper and rocket, you want to be close.

    While a suicide kill on a RL user is tempting, try to just attack them from a long distance, unless they have the sniper rifle. Rockets are easy to dodge when they are coming from afar, so try to play it safe.

Weaknesses of each weapon setup

-Short Range-

  • Plasma Pistol/Battle Rifle
    This is a great combo for pro and newbie alike, but it has two flaws. The first is that if the plasma shot misses, he loses. The second is that at close range, the battle rifle is a lot harder to aim with if you have a high sensitivity. If you have a low, it's hard to follow someone who's really big on circle strafing.

  • Sword/Sniper
    The new "shotgun/sniper" combo, this carries both extremes. There is no middle ground, but with the heavy autoaim and large headshot area, middle ranged fighting is a bad idea. So why short? Well, the sword only has so much of a danger factor, and if they miss that first lunge (or if you can stay JUST out of the red zone) you can kill them easily. If the guy using the sniper is good at injecting, you'll have to dodge crazily, but most people can't inject with the sniper (firing without scope when near another player).

  • Shotgun/Sniper
    An old classic. With the randomization of the shotgun proven, and the seemingly glitchy aspects of it, short range gives you the best bet. The shotgun is best at the IN YOUR FACE range, and you can normally stay just out of that range, and just pelt him with bullets and nades.

  • Rocket/Sniper
    Uh oh. This does not bode well for our hero. You don't even have to AIM with that giant missile launching monstrosity to get a kill. Well, too bad for the guy with the rocket, you are GOING for a suicide kill. That's your best bet. You can sometimes still pick him off, but, normally you stick with both of you blown up. Just unleash bullets on him, and stay as close as you can. Watch out for that melee though, it can really take you out.

-Long Range-

  • Rocket/Sword
    Easy enough. Find cover, dodge the rocket. You can see where it will be coming, and that sword can't leap. Make him come to you, and then you have the advantage.

  • Shotgun/Rocket
    Same principle. They WILL run out of rockets, and then they've got nothin'.

Now, the weapons that you should use at appropriate ranges. (I am assuming you have not sword, rocket, or sniper). (Insert name of weapon)*2 means you are dual wielding.

Being human, I may have missed something. Use your head, and maybe you'll find something I missed :)

-Short Range-

  • Against Plasma Pistol/Battle Rifle

    Magnum*2, PP/Magnum, PP/SMG, Magnum/SMG, Shotgun with frag nades, PP/frag nade, Carbine, PR/SMG, PR/Magnum, or PP/BR yourself.

  • Against Sword/Sniper

    Magnum*2, PP/Magnum, PP/SMG, Magnum/SMG, Carbine, PR/SMG, PR/Magnum, Shotgun

  • Against Shotgun/Sniper

    Magnum*2, PP/Magnum, PP/SMG, Magnum/SMG, Shotgun with frag nades, PP/frag nade, Carbine, PR/SMG, PR/Magnum

  • Against Rocket/Sniper (going for the suicide!)

    PP with frag nade, Sticky nades, PP/Magnum, Magnum/SMG

-Long Range- (snipers are ALWAYS good, but I'm still assuming you have not sword, nor rocket, nor sniper)

  • Against Rocket/Sword

    PP/BR, PP/Carbine, Carbine, BR

  • Against Shotgun/Rocket

    PP/BR, PP/Carbine, Carbine, BR

Remember, when fighting someone at long range when they have rocket, you goal is to make him run out of rockets, not you to kill him. Once he runs out of rockets, he has to leave to get more (or you grab them). If he doesn't fire rockets, he has to come to you to get a kill, and then it's a whole new ball game.

Ambrosia for the falling Gods

This is for the Gods who are now falling from their perch, mostly due to the advice I have just listed. You are not forgotten, and here are some tricks for you to learn.

  1. Injection

    Learn how to fire a sniper rifle at short range without a scope. Some people use the little scope box, I personally do not. If you can no scope, you lose a lot of the short range deficit you have from holding a sniper rifle. The best player I've ever played walked around with a sniper rifle and a rocket launcher. He didn't use the rocket. He just injected me whenever he could, never would use the scope. Practice it on dummies; learn exactly where headshots start and where they end (for both skins!).

  2. Skull Smashing and other melee knowledge

    Take a rocket launcher. Now jump up and forward, towards your opponent. As you are falling down, hit them in the face with your rocket launcher. One hit kill, a melee. This negates the "suicide" aspect a lot, and can be helpful when you want to conserve rockets.

    Also, remember the rules of Melee. Standing there and hitting the B button does standard amount of damage. Running at them and then meleeing does 50% more. Hitting them at the peak of a jump does 75% more.

  3. Schwing!

    Sometimes you don't think you can kill them with the sword, or want to get away so neither of you die. After all, you want to keep those shiny weapons.

    Learn Sword Flying. Hit the R trigger to lunge, then hit X to Sword Cancel. You just kind of bob up and down. If you do this at an angle, and jump and turn the right ways, you can fly very high, and use it as an escape method. Sometimes you don't even have to hit X to cancel. It is a lot like being spider man, except you are master chief.

  4. The Andross Effect (If I go down I'm taking you with me!)

    Learn to use Sticky Grenades. Hit them, and then run. This negates a lot of the short range stuff too, since they will die regardless. Just make sure you can run, or it is pointless to do.

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