No sooner did I mention Blogjet than Dmitry Chestnykh announced a new version. So if you're looking for a great WYSIWYG blogging tool, go grab the beta of version 1.2 from his downloads page. And this post isn't really about Halo 2 multiplayer tactics, it's actually a test of Blogjet's new auto-thumbnail feature, honest…

Anyway, back to the Halo 2 tactics, I mean Blogjet feature test. While it couldn't match my best game ever, a recent CTF game did help crystallize a couple of tactical thoughts. I'll use the gameviewer to illustrate these points, since it shows far more than the raw stats of a battle ever will. If you've never seen the gameviewer before, the icons and arrows mark all your victories and defeats on various parts of the map, while a timeline along the bottom of the screen shows when they occurred. It's easier to see the direction of the arrow (pointing towards the victim) and the weapon icon (showing the means of death) if you click on a picture to show the larger version. And yes, I'm TheEnglishman (TheEnglishman) in these stats. Jeremy W claims that he didn't know this before complaining about people calling themselves 'The "Englishman"', but I have my suspicions

#1: Nothing beats the shotgun for a headlong charge.

Fun with a shotgun

When you're outnumbered and in a confined space, the best defense is a good offense - a suicidal headlong charge with the shotgun. You charge because you want to get up-close-and-personal, and you need the shotgun because nothing else has the ability to do one-shot-one-kill time after time. Here I took out four opponents in quick succession in their own base, mostly before they knew what hit them. With any other weapon, I'd have had to do the dance-of-death with each of them in turn, losing valuable armor and taking even more valuable time. And it's suicidal because, hey, you're still outnumbered. In this case I went right past the flag, hesitated (first mistake), turned around, picked it up (second mistake - since I dropped the shotgun), and died. But that's ok, because the best bit was yet to come

#2: Flag carriers don't need escorts, they need protection.

Fun with a machinegun

Right after I died, one of my teammates picked up the flag and headed out from the enemy base on the left of the picture. The natural instinct in this situation, especially if pretty much everyone else has just died, is for players on both teams to run madly towards the flag carrier as soon as they respawn, picking up whatever weapons they can find along the way. My claim is that it's often better to fight this instinct and spend the time to get a good long-range weapon. In this case I manned the machine-gun turret at the base of the tower on the right, and you can see from the radiating lines what happened next - I mowed down seven members of the enemy team as they made a bee-line towards NUTTSO769 (really, where do they come up with these names?). He made it to our base intact, captured the flag, and sealed our victory 2-0!

"It's the weirdest thing, but my thumbs are tired."
UNSC Marine, talking to Master Chief in the midst of battle