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Halo is a vidyagame series exclusively released for the ECKSBAWKS, ECKSBAWKS 360, ECKSBAWK JUAN, and PC. The series was developed by Bungie, though Microsoft has bought the rights to the game. The Halo universe is pretty massive, with all sorts of media ranging from video games and graphic novels to action figures and a series of short movies released to DVD. It became famous for being the game that saved ECKSBAWKS from doing an Atari Jaguar by identifying an untapped new market of loud, stupid fratboys, and was the only reason anyone would even want to buy an ECKSBAWKS console.
Occasionally it breaks away from the generic sci-fi pattern and explores a more fatalistic and human side to the story without having to suck Master Chief's dick or obsess over ancient alien technology every three seconds, and is generally regarded as being about ten times better and more mature for it. Unfortunately, within the games, this lasted a grand total of one game before 343 Studios acquired the license. Within the books, there are many wonderful examples otherwise, and the plot of Halo 4 can only be completely understood by reading the books from the series that begins with Glasslands. Halo Silentium by Greg Bear is also a necessary read to really understand how many times the Forerunners screw up, be it their own society or another species, or the entire galaxy, and the true nature and intent of the Flood. The character development of the Librarian and the Didact also makes this quite a fun read. If you're into books, that is. It should also be noted that Halo is to be commended for abstracting religious fundamentalism, caste systems, hubris and xenophobia and showing why they are so harmful and also doing away with the myth of -4 Strength through female Marines (not these Marines ), Spartans, and so on.
/tg/ isn't big on Halo and topics pertaining to Halo will normally be saged, trolled, told to go to /v/, or some combination therein. On /v/ however, Halo is... still widely hated. Then again, /v/ hates video games in general. The hatred of /tg/ comes less from the actual game/gameplay, and more from it being off-topic and a few fanboys being retarded asshats.
If you want to know more, here's a link to the Halo wiki: Go nuts.
The Halo universe takes place in the 26th century. Mankind, led by the United Nations Space Command (UNSC), has developed its own crude faster-than-light drive (the Shaw-Fujikawa drive) and finally colonized other worlds. At its height, human civilization occupies nearly 800 planets, forming a ring of outer colonies and rings of inner colonies with Earth as its capital. This is not what they're talking about when they say Halo, mind you.
Sometime in the year 2525, an agricultural world in the outer colonies, creatively named Harvest, is attacked by an unknown force. In the succeeding months, all attempts to make contact, or even defend against the alien forces are met with swift destruction. It is not long before more colonies are wiped out.
The unknown menace finally identifies itself as the Covenant, a coalition of several alien races bent on destroying humanity. At first they seem to be doing this because that's just what aliens do, but later on it is discovered that the story is somewhat deeper. Apparently (Thanks to the revelations of the Forerunner Trilogy which is a horrifying mishmash of the worst of WH40K and the Cthulhu Mythos) humans were once an ancient, super advanced, totalitarian, bigoted, expansionist, racist, supremacist, violent, militaristic, war-mongering, nightmare of an empire who makes the Great Crusade seem pleasant in comparison. All were fine and dandy when the Flood came out of fucking nowhere (Long story short, they came about when the humans kept forcing their pets to sniff some powder from an ancient, mysterious ship, what could go wrong?) which forced the humans to invade into Forerunner territory as they were trying to save the galaxy from the Flood. The Forerunners not taking into the whole "I destroy your planets and exterminate your civilians out of benign and superficial reasons" promptly kicked the humans in the galactic nuts, stripped of their technology and de-evolved them back into caveman. Later, the Forerunners ended up getting nommed by the Flood in the most ridiculous OCP way possible and found out how they fucked up so bad when one of them found out that the ancient humans once had the solution against the Flood (Later shown to be just a elaborate hoax to fool the Forerunners by the Flood) that they had to glass the known galaxy just to kill most of the Flood. Oh and they also named the humans their Reclaimers as their way of saying sorry for turning them into cavemen and telling them to finish their job, fucking Forerunners.
This made the Covenant kinda jealous, because it was them who first discovered the Forerunner technology, adapted it to their own, and finally started worshiping the Forerunners. Apparently, knowing that your gods had a favorite, finding out that it isn't you, and finding out that it's instead the species that invented truck balls upset them just a little. So, back to glassing. It's not long before the UNSC military, and humanity itself, finds out that it is being pwned. Clearly the only solution to this would be a ridiculously tiny unit of infantry with clever armor named in allcaps. This leads to the Spartan-II program, humanity's last hope
(thirty three men to defend eight hundred planets, lolwat?), thirty-three super soldiers, divided into teams 3 or 4, and sent as force multipliers to assist the UNSC's beleaguered marines and mechanized divisions. Though not as a defensive planetary force (the UNSC having lost a large chunk of those 800 worlds early in the war), but as an offensive special ops unit, infiltrating behind enemy lines, assassinating commanders, and disrupting the Covenant's supply chain; doing the suicide jobs that others could not, slowing down or in some cases halting Covenant military build-up before it can launch further devastating attacks on the humanity. At exceedingly great resource cost and high lost of life, the UNSC together with the Spartans gradually turn the tide of the war.
To end the war once and for all, humanity enacts a desperate plan: They would send a specially refitted ship (the Pillar of Autumn) along with Spartan contingent deep behind enemy lines and attempt to capture one of the Prophets (the select group of religious leaders that form the highest caste of the Covenant). But as usual, it all goes horribly wrong before it can even begin. The UNSC's fortress-world of Reach, and unofficially the Spartans' homeworld, is discovered by the Covenant. Next to Earth, Reach is the most heavily defended world in Human space. It falls in a matter of days, as the Covenant brings nearly a third of its entire fleet to lay siege over the planet. As Reach's defenses wither away, the Covenant simply brings in more reinforcements. Few escape the doomed Battle of Reach, but one of the ships that manages make it out of the system in time is the Pillar of Autumn. Aboard is a single Spartan II, suspended in cryostasis. Yet, that is where the story truly begins, for the Autumn blindly jumps right into a heavily guarded star system containing a Halo; a colossal ring-world, hundreds of kilometers in diameter, built millions of years ago by the Forerunners, and worshiped by the Covenant as an ancient artifact of unimaginable power. The Pillar of Autumn's fate and that of the Halo, becomes the setting of the original HALO: COMBAT EVOLVED game.
Your run of the mill Humanity Fuck Yeah type of faction, before the proverbial curbstomp with the Covenant the UNSC was a expansive polity which covers over 800 worlds within the Orion Arm in the Milky Way Galaxy. Just before the Human-Covie war, the UNSC was in the middle of a civil war with a pseudo-super space terrorists known as the Insurrectionists which has based most of their HQ within the outer colonies, needless to say it pretty much what led to the creation of the SPARTAN II's. Despite being democratically ruled, the UEG (Which was the actual governmental body, the UNSC was just space NATO) was quite infamous for its semi-authoritarian and fascistic rule with its whole schlick of "Big Brother is Watching You" style of secret agency that makes the NSA look like a bunch of self-respecting IT security in comparison. Definitely not Noblebright in any way since they seem to give the green light into genetically modifying child soldiers into living weapons, being careless dicks to the outer colonies, nuking said outer colonies just because some detection of rebellion was sited and countless other morally ethical things they let slip. After their galactic anal beating by the Covenant, the UNSC reversed engineered both Covenant and Forerunner tech and has now become the most powerful polity in the Galaxy despite the really, really short time span, needless to say it has resulted in much arguments. Also notorious for using slightly improved 21st century armaments in the future because apparently, 'what doesn't break don't fix it' runs into their mentality.
Think a mixture of the Imperium of Man and the Tau, the Covenant is your basic alien mook that you fight along the way. A theocratic government with a highly centralized cast system, the Covenant have an empire that covers roughly the entire galaxy. They were close to wrecking humanity's shit before a Horus style civil war split and fragmented the empire apart, now they are nothing more than a fragmented rag team of alien terrorists and allies...its a complete clusterfuck and gets confusing telling which is friend or foe. They are popular enough to have their own codex in which you could check below.
The remnants of a near god-like race of super beings, the Flood and its backstory is perhaps one of Sci-Fi's greatest and most malevolent trolls in fiction, able to infect, mutate and spread like wildfire to the point of making the Tyranids feel redundant, the Flood is essentially the Thing on extragalactic steroids with over twice the body horror and a hundred times eldritch in abomination. Once it reach critical mass it starts thinking neigh-invincible cosmic strings out of their asses that can snuff away stars and rape the fundamental fabrics of space-time. Capable of wiping out two near Culture-level civilizations with a plan so complex and convoluted it makes Tzeentch look like an amateur, the Flood are not to be fucked with.
Battletech and Halo
Taking full advantage of the resurgence of mech combat in video games and the currently crippled state of Battletech's videogame franchise, Halo 4 now includes a Shadowcat lookalike. Fear the coming "Halo did that mech first" cries from thirteen-year-olds everywhere.
WS 4 / BS 4 / S 4 / T 3 / W 1 / I 4 / A 1 / Ld 8 / Sv 3+/6++
1 Spartan - Squad Leader (Ld 9)
- Unit Type
- MJOLNIR Armor
- MA5C Assault Rifle
- Combat Knife
- Frag Grenades (Offensive)
- Special Rules
- At All Costs - As per their tactical doctrines, Spartans are combat veterans of independent action and deep infiltration missions. Spartans gain the Stubborn rule from the Warhammer 40k Core Rulebook.
- Shoot First, Ask Later - Spartans specialize in ranged tactics, and prefer not to engage powerful enemies head-on. Spartans will more often than not disengage from melee combat to use their ranged weapons instead. Spartans gain the Hit & Run rule from the Warhammer 40k Core Rulebook.
- May Include up to 4 additional Spartan- for 13 points per Model
- Any model in the squad may take an Onboard AI for 3 points per Model
- For every 4 models in a squad, one model may replace their MA5C Rifle with one of the following:
- M90 CAWS (Shotgun)...............................6 points per Model
- SRS99D-S2 AM (Sniper Rifle)..................10 points per Model
- M41 SSR MAV/AW (Missile Launcher)........15 points per Model
- M6 Grindell/Galilean Nonlinear Rifle (Spartan Laser)....35 points per model
- Each Spartan squad must choose to be one of the following:
- Spartan Is - Squad gain the Eternal Warrior and Feel No Pain USRs for 10pts per model. Role a d6 for each model, on results of 5+ the model also gains the Crazed special rule.
- Spartan IIs - Squad gain +1 Ballistic Skill and the Split Fire USR for 4 points per model. The squad may choose to become an Elite Choice.
- Spartan IIIs - Squad gain the Stealth and Infiltrate USRs for 3 points per model.
- Spartan IVs - Squad gain the Hatred and Fleet USRs for 3 points per model.
- SPARTAN ARMORY
- MJOLNIR Armor - Created parallel to the Spartan-II Program, the MJOLNIR Armor is a sealed system, capable of extravehicular activity or operations in toxic atmosphere. Weighing over half a metric ton, the armor's shell is constructed in overlapping layers of Titanium-A plating and highly durable ballistic alloys of remarkable strength. It has even been augmented with a refractive coating capable of dispersing a limited amount of energy weapon strikes. The Spartan gains a 3+ Armor Save.
- MJOLNIR armor is equipped with a full-body recharging energy shield that was reverse-engineered from captured alien technology. The shield itself is utterly transparent and does not hinder sight in any way but briefly flashes a greenish-gold color when hit. The Spartans gain a 6+ Invulnerable Save.
- Onboard AI - All MJOLNIR Mk V models or better feature a complex crystalline matrix within their neural interface, which Cortana likened in structure to the computer systems of the Pillar of Autumn. An AI construct increases tactical awareness, provides an indispensable guide, serving almost as a co-pilot and navigator, and multiplies the Spartan's already phenomenal reflexes. A Spartan equipped with an Onboard AI increases their Initiative value by 1.
- MA5C Assault Rifle - The MA5C has an attached electronics suite that provides information on rounds remaining in the magazine, compass heading, and capable of wireless up-link with MJOLNIR systems for improved accuracy. Made of Titanium Alloy and Polymers, the rifle performs well in a variety of environments. Having a rate of fire of 650 rounds a minute, and chambering the old-school M118 7.62x51mm NATO Armor Piercing, Full Metal Jacket Rounds, the MA5C is fully capable of a withering barrage whilst even in motion or on a charge. Though lacking strength and stopping power, these rounds are designed to pierce most conventional ballistic body armor.
- It has the following stats: Range 18" / Strength 3 / AP 6 / Type Assault 3
- M90 Shotgun - is a pump-action, magazine-fed, dual tubular non-detachable type weapon. It uses the Soellkraft 8-Gauge Magnum Shotgun Shell, a large round capable of phenomenal stopping power.
- It has the following stats: Range 12" / Strength 4 / AP - / Type Assault 2 Rending
- Sniper Rifle S99D-S2 AM - aka the "SR System 99D-S2 Anti-Matériel", it is a semi-automatic UNSC sniper rifle that fires 14.5 x 114mm APFSDS (Armor-Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot, with a tungsten or depleted uranium core) from a 4-round magazine. As a sniper rifle, it is fitted with a variable-magnification optic that shows real time images in infrared vision when not looking through it. When looking through it, the scope shows a target's distance and elevation. The rifle is so powerful it even can be used effectively to fire at light armored vehicles.
- It has the following stats: Range 48" / Strength X/ AP 4 (When firing at vehicles, the rifle adds D6 to its Armor penetration value) / Type Heavy 1, Sniper, Anti Material.
Anti Material: Shots fired from this weapon rend on a 4+.
- M41 Rocket Launcher - aka the "M41 SSR" fires 102mm HEAP (High Explosive Armor Piercing) shaped charge rockets. The launcher sports a 2x scope and can fire rockets over long distances with devastating accuracy, and its two launch tubes allow the wielder to fire two rockets before needing to reload. The rocket launcher spreads a huge amount of damage over a large area. It is capable of taking out entire groups of infantry at any range and is effective against most vehicles.
- It has the following stats: Range 48" / Strength 7 / AP 3 / Type Heavy 2, Blast
- M6 Grindell/Galilean Nonlinear Rifle - The Anti-Vehicle Model 6 Grindell/Galilean Nonlinear Rifle (abbreviated AV M6 G/GNR) also known as the Spartan Laser, is the UNSC's first man-portable, shoulder-fired direct energy weapon.
- It has the following stats: Range 36" / Strength 9 / AP 2 / Type Heavy 1, Ignores Cover
-Targeting beam: The Spartan Laser projects an obvious laser target, any enemy units that can, may choose to fire Overwatch at the firers unit as if it was the assault phase.
Spartans may take the M831 Troop Transport (M831 TT) or M12 Light Reconnaissance Vehicle (M12 LRV) as their dedicated transport.
- M12 Light Reconnaissance Vehicle - 40 points
- M831 Troop Transport - 30 points
Armour (Front) 10 / Armour (Side) 10 / Armour (Rear) 10 / HP 2
- Unit Type
Vehicle (Fast, Open-Topped, Transport)
- M46 Light Anti-Aircraft Gun (M12 LRV)
- None (M831 TT)
- Transport Capacity
- Four (M12 LRV)
- Eight (M831 TT)
The ubiquitous M12 and its troop transport variant the M831, are the UNSC's primary multi-role ground vehicles. They are used anywhere from scouting and reconnaissance to fast vehicle transport, forming an integral part of the UNSC's armored vehicle fleet for fifty years. It is a highly mobile, all-wheel-drive, all-wheel-steering, all-weather vehicle, capable of traversing all but the most dangerous of terrain. The M831 features a rear bed with an expanded seating compartment, while the M12 features a rear mounted anti-aircraft gun (the M46 LAAG) that can also be used against infantry.
M46 LAAG - The M46 Light Anti-Aircraft Gun (LAAG) is a tripled-barreled, electric-powered, linkless, belt-fed weapon. The LAAG fires the 12.7x99mm (.50 cal) armor penetrating rounds and can fire at a rate of 1200 rounds per minute.
- It has the following stats: Range 48" / Strength 5 / AP 5 / Type Heavy 4, Skyfire
- The M12 may choose to replace its M46 LAAG with a M68 Gauss Cannon for 35 points
M68 Gauss Cannon - Officially known as the M68 Asynchronous Linear-Induction Motor, this heavy weapon fires 25mm hypersonic speed projectiles via asynchronous magnetic acceleration. The kinetic energy of which is enough to pierce even the heaviest of armor plating or completely obliterate unprotected matter.
- It has the following stats: Range 60" / Strength 8 / AP 1 / Type Heavy 1
HQ: Master Chief Petty Officer John 117 - 170 points.
WS 5 / BS 6 / S 4 / T 3 / W 4 / I 5 / A 4 / Ld 10 / Sv 3+/6++
- Unit Type
Infantry (Independent Character)
- MJOLNIR Armor
- MA5C Assault Rifle
- Combat Knife
- Frag Grenades (Offensive)
- Cortana (Counts as On Board AI)
- Special Rules
- Spartan II - The Master Chief has the Split Fire USR.
- At All Costs - As per their tactical doctrines, Spartans are combat veterans of independent action and deep infiltration missions. The Master Chief gains the Stubborn USR.
- Shoot First, Ask Later - Spartans specialize in ranged tactics, and prefer not to engage powerful enemies head-on. Spartans will more often than not disengage from melee combat to use their ranged weapons instead. The Master Chief gains the Hit & Run USR.
- Heroes Never Die - The Master Chief gains the It Will Not Die and Eternal Warrior USRs, in addition he may fire heavy weapons at full ballistic skill even if the unit moves but unlike the Relentless universal special rule he may only ever fire one weapon per turn.
- He May Not Be The Strongest - The Master Chief gains the Fearless USR and may re-roll failed saving throws of any kind.
May replace his primary weapon (MA5C assault rifle) with of one special weapons from the following list:
- M90 CAWS (Shotgun)...............................6 points
- SRS99D-S2 AM (Sniper Rifle).......................10 points
- M41 SSR MAV/AW (Missile Launcher)...................15 points
- M6 Grindell/Galilean Nonlinear Rifle (Spartan Laser)....35 points
Due to being at the forefront of many battles such as the battle of Requiem Master Chief Petty Officer John 117 may take weaponry not usually issued to Spartan teams, he may select a secondary special weapon from an extended list:
- Z-390 High-Explosive Munitions Rifle (Incineration Cannon).....55 points
- It has the following stats: Range 48" / Strength 9 / AP 1 / Type Heavy 1, Blast, Ionizing.
- Ionizing: If a model suffers a wound from a weapon with the Ionizing special rule and before Feel No Pain rolls are made, the bearer rolls a d6, on a result of 4+ the model suffers Instant Death with no saves of any kind allowed including Feel No Pain, In addition Necron reanimation protocols may not be used on models which were removed from play by this special rule.
- Asymmetric Recoilless Carbine-920 (Rail Gun)...................20 points
It has the following stats: Range 48" / Strength 6 / AP 1 / Type Assault 1
Master Chief Petty Officer John 117 may choose to switch between firing his primary weapon or secondary weapon in every shooting phase; only one of the weapons can be fired per turn.
Codex: The Covenant
A bunch of people decided that the Covenant's tech and machines are pretty nice in a WH40K setting So "Codex - The Covenant" was made to implement them into the tabletop game.
Furthermore on the context on Halo. Whoever thought this was a good idea to send out what counts as IoM guardsmen against Killer Death Worms, Giant Spider Mechs, Killer Ewoks, Space Lizardmen with Lightsabers, Killer Wookies with Metal Shanks that go OMNOMNOM, Space Pirate Turkeys that also go OMNOMNOM and Giant Dinosaurs that goes HULK SMASH!; needs a shot to the fucking face. Then again, the good guys are the UNSC, not exactly famous for making good decisions. (As if the Imperium is much better when it comes to taking disregard for Human life to new and interesting extremes *cough "Chenkov" cough*. Besides, its not like the UNSC had much of a fucking choice when it came to the Covenant/Flood/Forerunner biology and tech being used against them)
Halo Fleet Battles and ground warfare? Fuck Yeah!
With the introduction of Halo Fleet Battles which is essentially Halo's take on Battlefleet Gothic, that is centered around the Fall of Reach which is like the biggest naval combat within the Covenant-UNSC fluff, some fa/tg/uys has apparently lost their collective shit due to the fact that this is the first time that Halo is getting a tabletop treatment (The Risk and Actionclix games although the models are nice, does not really count). Similar to most tabletop miniatures, the models coming with Halo Fleet Battles and its contemporary ground units comes unpainted which means you have to paint all the neely-willy details yourself, that and the fact that it comes with its own rulebook and stats has garnered /tg/'s approval. In fact, some has already decided to convert the models and place it within Battlefleet Gothic itself (Although how you will be able to adjust the rules to make it fair is going to be a nightmare).
Additionally, the set also comes with some kickass artwork depicting both factions leaders (Shame they didn't have Halo's answer to Creed that is Preston "I turned a Gas Giant into a fucking star just so I can stroke my massive ego" Cole) sitting on their respective armchairs. Although how they are going to balance the UNSC/Covenant (Since Covenant ships can no-sell their UNSC equivalents) is up to debate.