04 NOVEMBER 2010

Posted: November 4, 2010 in Firefight
Tags: , ,

Check in here for strategies on completing the Daily and Weekly challenges in Halo: Reach. If it’s your first time, click through the About HRD link above; and add comments below if you’ve got a good idea of your own for tackling the Challenges today.


So, when I woke up this morning, I finally realized what Halo: Reach really needed for improvement: More Cowbell.

Also, Firefight.




Type: Kills
Setting: Firefight
Difficulty: Easy
Reward: 2500

Kill 250 enemies in Firefight Matchmaking.

Though it’s easy enough to get your Gruntpocalypse on for a 250 kill-count, you’re already going to stockpile most of these points during the other Daily Challenges, and may even blow past the mark without noticing it. To save time, take the other ones on first, then simply Grunt your way through any leftovers afterward.




Type: Assists
Setting: Firefight
Difficulty: Grind
Reward: 400

Earn 20 assists in Firefight Matchmaking.

This is much, much harder than it sounds; and for a Challenge with only a 400 cR reward, it might not even be worth it.

  • The problem: most Firefight enemies — Grunts and Jackals — go down so easily that it’s difficult to coordinate an Assist without killing them outright. Even shattering a Jackal’s energy buckler with a plasma burst won’t register, since it’s not calculated as actual “damage” to the enemy.
  • Complicating matters is that there are so many of them — an Assist requires at least 40% damage to the target’s combined Shields and Health, and then for a teammate finish the kill within five seconds of your last strike. With Covies swarming the map, it’s unlikely an ally will be firing on the same one at the same time as you.
  • When the tougher enemies do arrive fashionably late, they’re often too few or too tough to rack up too many Assists. A Hunter, for example, often involves teammates all ripping into him at once, making it less likely that any single player will strip off more than 40% before the beast goes down.
  • Brutes represent more solid candidates for Assist-farming: a steady DMR stream will shoot off their helmets, setting them up for a teammate’s coup-de-grace. The problem isn’t so much that the Brutes don’t know how to put their helmets back on; it’s that most don’t carry regenerative Shields, so you won’t know how much damage one’s taken already. Plus higher-ranking Brutes require more setup, so it’s difficult to gauge when you’ve crossed the 40% mark.
  • With all that in mind, your best bet remains to target the Elites, crashing their Shields with an overcharged Plasma Pistol for a teammate to close the deal. Elites — while otherwise remarkably crafty — for some reason stop and howl like a drag queen who’s lost his wig when their Shields go down, giving an ally an easy headshot.
  • The problem will ease up once the Mythic Skull turns on, since that doubles enemy health, including for even the lowliest DMR fodder; but — since they don’t have regenerating shields — it’ll still be difficult to gauge when you’ve peeled a Grunt or Jackal by 40%. So, better to keep steady with what’s worked for you, rather than try to shift strategies in the middle of the match.
  • And, by all means, go in with a partner if at all possible; coordinating these tactics with a friend will cut down on both your Challenge times, taking turns flashing an Elite’s shields while the other readies the headshot. It’ll be the one time when the Firefight playlist actually becomes cooperative.


Single Match


Type: Multikills
Setting: Firefight
Difficulty: Medium
Reward: 3500

Earn 35 Multikills in a Firefight Matchmaking game.

Despite what the title of this Challenge might say, Gruntpocalypse is not your best path to cRedit glory, and actually requires a fair bit of tactical planning and strategic gunplay. You need to score all 35 Multikills in a single match; only 120 Grunts ever appear during a one-Round Score Attack, and they have an inconvenient habit of killing themselves, each other, or both.

That means, even under the best conditions, you’d need to dispatch either 70 Grunts within a trigger-pull of each other, or start scrambling to make up lost Multikills by scoring Triples, Overkills and precisely-timed grenade throws; otherwise, you could find yourself mathematically eliminated before the final Wave waddles past.

A much safer bet is to head into Rocketfight — with now three Rounds of missile mayhem, you should be able to blast your way through 35 Multikills with some trigger discipline. There’s a lot of detail go over, however, so pull up a seat.

First, a quick NOTE: Unlike some of Challenges from last month, chaining Multikills together here WILL register multiple points on your Challenge meter. The coding counts Medals, not actual kills; so, while a previous Overkill didn’t register a second Double-Kill Medal — and thus counted as only one point for the DK Challenge — this Challenge registers ANY Multikill. That means a Double-Kill that stacks into a Triple and eventually an Overkill nets you three Challenge points, not just one.

    For Those About To Rocket...

  • Select Jetpack as your Armor Ability, then hover above the Dropships as they unload. Rain death from above, concentrating your fire on the weakest enemies — remember, you’re going for Multikills here, not single-enemy points, so the more Grunts and Jackals the better; whatever Firefight points you lose by skipping the big-ticket enemies will be more than made up by the Multikill chain bonus and Challenge cRedits. Both sets of enemies also drop in packs, priming them even more as multiple-Multikill targets.
  • As soon as you’ve emptied both chambers, toss both your grenades along the perimeter of your blasts to clean up any stray Covies who escaped their Great Journey. And don’t worry if you freefall into the middle of the survivors en route to your own quick death: you’ve just scored major Challenge points, and you were going to need to reload anyway.
  • Once you’ve respawned, scan for a good secondary weapon to defend occasionally, since you’ll want to save your big chambers for Double-Kill targets. A Fuel Rod Gun will be your top choice, since you can fall back on it for some follow-up mayhem if you misfire a Rockets or have more enemies on hand who won’t wait for a reload. Just don’t go blast-happy, since its primary role remains defense.
  • Ignore straggler enemies and focus only on those in pairs or more; and when you do cut loose, empty both rockets and follow up with every grenade. You’ll likely catch a few extra kills, and better safe than sorry.

    Anti-Douchebag Ordinance.

    Sounds pretty easy, right? Well, not exactly. Remember that you’ll be playing with three other teammates (no, we won’t call them “allies”) and they’ll be trying to do the exact same thing as you, so make sure your rockets don’t show up late to the party. If you do have trouble striking first — or, if you’re stuck with a douchbag who insists on beating everyone to the punch well past his Challenge completion — just go in with one or more friends. You’ll want to coordinate your efforts between the Waves and Dropships, but there’ll be more than enough Multikills to go around.

  • Your Challenge meter will flash periodic reminders of your total, but you’ll want to keep track yourself of your running average, not just when you hit a progress mark. With three Rounds of five Waves each, you would otherwise need to pace yourself at three Medals per Wave; but remember, the Boss Wave that ends each Round sends out badass motherfuckers who can shake off two Rockets to the face and still pwn you into respawn; so don’t count on them to pad your Challenge-count.
  • Also don’t rely on the Bonus Wave to recover any slack — not only is it your last gasp after toughing it out for three Rounds, but your enemies will be Elites, and they don’t go down easy. You’ll likely score some solid kills, but not likely to score any Doubles; plus, you’ll have the Iron Skull on, which means lose-and-go-home, among all the other Skulls that switch on. Not exactly where you want to be after 30 minutes of reloading.
  • Instead, rely only on the first four Waves, which divides not-so-evenly into just over four Medals per Wave. (You’ll need to notch a single extra one somewhere along the line.) But, of course, your best strategy will be to notch all of them as early as possible — so keep the pressure on.


Special Weapon


Type: Kills
Setting: Firefight
Difficulty: Medium
Reward: 600

Kill 15 enemies using the Target Designator in Firefight Matchmaking.

Jeezus Tapdancing Christmas, as if you didn’t already have enough trouble getting your Rockets into the Killagruntjaro party before your douchebag teammates nicked all the kills; now you’ve got to haul ass for the Target Locator as well. (yes, Bungie, that’s what it’s called; not Designator, so fix the Challenge description already.) You’ve got four Sprinting Spartans, only Three Ordinance Drops, and only one of you is going to lay your hands on it anyway.

The good news, of course, is that under the new Firefight game settings, you’ll have three Rounds to snag it, which still doesn’t guarantee success on average but does skitch the odds more in your favor. You also no longer need worry about Friendly Fire, so the days of douchebags dashing into your Red Ring of Death to force a betrayal boot (and then recovering the Locator when they respawned) have thankfully ended.

  1. If you do snare it (yay), stay focused and use patience before locking a target area; two shots won’t necessarily guarantee 15 kills if you’re careless, and it may have already required two games to retrieve it — don’t let it become four.
  2. Retreat for some cover, scan for a high position with a clear line of sight to the Dropship zone, then wait for a tactical corridor to open before making your move; it took you long enough to lay your hands on this goddamn thing, you don’t want to get killed en route.
  3. Once in position, play defensively, picking off bad guys who become too interested but keeping a low profile — you’ll be scoring your heavy points soon enough. Also don’t jump the gun when you finally do fire: some enemy drops consist of only a small squad of Covies, so don’t cycle up the targeting beam until they hit the ground — otherwise, you might burn through a charge with only an Overkill. Of course, if it does look like you’d waste a shot, just release the trigger to power down.

Tip Of The Day

If you do blow the shot, however, there remains a little-known fact about the Target Locator that can help you even if it’s a teammate who beat you to the drop-pod: Ever wonder why the Locator remains the only weapon in all of Halo that you can actually pick up when it’s empty?

That’s because IT’S NOT REALLY EMPTY.

If you can hang on to the Locator through the Boss Wave, the Locator will fully recharge, and you’ll have two shots again. It’s the kind of thing that never came up when Firefights lasted only one Round; now that they’re three, the bonus shots are all yours.

  • This also means you can even ditch an “empty” Locator in a strategic location, fight on with a second weapon, and then recover it before the Fifth Wave ends. (If you don’t, the map may reset it, since it likely allows only one Locator at a time.) In fact, it’s actually preferable to stash it; if you meet an unlucky end out in the field, you’ll now need to scavenge for it as Waves of Heroic enemies attempt to end you again.
  • If you can zero the teammate who scored the Locator, you can even still score it yourself: Most players will abandon it as soon as the final charge flatlines, so if you trail him after he fires, you can snap up his discard just like found money on the ground. And, of course, if you do come across an empty by chance, hit your pickup button right away and head for a stash-point.
  • One final NOTE: Look for a larger, open map, where it’s less likely you’ll be swarmed as your Locator charges up; and by all means, avoid Corvette — it’s an indoor map in outer space, so there won’t be any Orbital Strikes, yeah?





Type: Multikills
Setting: Multiplayer
Difficulty: Grind
Reward: 2000

Earn 45 Multikills in Multiplayer Matchmaking this week.

Okay, relax. This isn’t as hard as it sounds: If you started on Monday, then you need to score only seven Multikills per day, you’ll still wrap this up with half a day to spare. You’ll run into trouble only if you leave this until the end; and considering that previous Challenges have required you to score seven in a single day, this isn’t much more than a fifth Daily Challenge, with the payout postponed till the end of the week.

If you’re starting today, you’ll need to average just over 11 — not a slice of cherry pie, true, but not off the charts either. Just start today, stick to it, and you’ll cross the finish line; because if you wait until tomorrow, you’ll need to average 15 a day — and that ain’t easy.

  • Spend most of your time in Rumble Pit. More enemies on smaller maps = more Multikills.
  • Vote for gametypes on small, tight maps that encourage enemies to converge into single flashpoints: King Of The Hill and Oddball, for example. Spam grenades into the hotzone, followed by DMR or Magnum headshots and the occasional coup-de-grace melee rush. Avoid the area yourself, however; no sense adding your corpse to the fiesta.
  • Juggernaut represents a mixed bag: If you’ve got the Hammer, you’ll have an excellent opportunity to skullcrush your way to multiple Multikills. If you’re not Jugs, you won’t be able to score any. Seek out power weapons like Rockets that can deal massive damage to the Juggernaut from a distance; and even without them, steer clear of close-combat to nickel-and-dime your target from range — if you’re lucky, you’ll score the last shot, and get the Hammer for your efforts.
  • If you’re not having much luck in the Pit, get with a friend and head into Multiteam; it’s like Rumble Pit With Partners, and your enemies usually travel in pairs, making them choice Double-Kills. Coordinate with your teammate: team-shoot one enemy, then whoever doesn’t score the final shot can melee or plasma-burst the second, setting up a Multikill.
  • Big Team Battle and Invasion also offer prime Multikill targets: a vehicle with passenger, or a pair of enemies in the unlock zone of an Invasion phase, for example. Your main problem will not be enemies, but allies: with so many players on each side, you’ll have considerable competition to actually score the kills.

NOTE: Unlike some of the Challenges from last month, chaining Multikills together here WILL register multiple points on your Challenge meter. The coding counts Medals, not actual kills; so, while a previous Overkill didn’t register a second Double-Kill Medal — and thus counted as only one point for the DK Challenge — this Challenge registers ANY Multikill Medal. This means a Double-Kill that stacks into a Triple-Kill and eventually an Overkill nets you three Challenge points, not just one.

  1. Will Lee Wonka says:

    Just wanted to say thanks for the site. The tips have REALLY helped reduce the tail chasing time. And, I have become a real fan of gruntpocalypse thanks to you.

    BTW, imo I think gruntpocalypse is the way to go for the 35 multikill challenge.

    Keep bringing the tips!

    • Ender Xer0 says:

      Hey, thanks Will! Actually, Gruntpocalypse is how I first finished the Challenge myself. I just found it to be a huge hassle — you need to remove the helmets from the Grunt leaders first, so that they’re set up for a double-kill, at the same time that you’re dealing with Fuel Rod Guns, Suicide Grunts and the general grenades and gunfire of a Firefight, and because it’s only one Round there’s not much margin for error. But, of course, if you’re especially good at quick headshots, you’re going to be able to wrap it up pretty handily.

  2. V Translanka says:

    Another good idea for Supporting Role, or any Assist-based Firefight Challenge is the Grenade Launcher. It might not seem like it, but if used correctly you can get those Assists fairly easy even against Grunts and Jackals! Instead of blowing them away, hold down the trigger and let the EMP do your work for you. I’ve gotten Assists simply by sending the Grenade Launcher’s EMP directly into a pack of Grunts (people flock towards them as they drop so all you gotta do is direct any EMP at the largest group and you’re almost guaranteed an Assist or two)….

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