Halo Wars Achievement Guide By ThermalStone Version 1.0 submitted 3/21/2009 Version 1.2 submitted 3/25/2009 Better Skull directions for Mission 8 Added second strategy for BIG AL'S SCOOTER Added Tips for Legendary Campaign Added points needed for OFFICER ON DECK and RUNNING THE SHOW Other Minor Textual Changes Version 1.3 submitted 4/7/2009 Sniper tower glitch added for Mission 7 WALL OF RECOGNITION Mission specific tips added. Other Minor Textual Changes Version 1.4 submited 5/21/2009 Strategic Options DLC achievements added Revised READY FOR THE SEQUEL Revised OFFICER ON DECK Other Minor Textual Changes Introduction: Halo Wars contains a lot of achievements, many of which are very challenging or time consuming. This guide will tell you how to get the achievements associated with the Campaign and Skirmish modes as quickly and easily as possible and give you a few tips for the others. It also provides detailed descriptions on how to find the skulls and black boxes. When I wrote the first version of this guide after owning this game for just over a week, I had 800 gamerscore, while taking time to write this guide, replaying missions to check strategies, and not playing much Matchmaking. I would recommend buying this game, but if you’re going to rent it, by following this guide you can easily get 700+ gamer score over a five day rental period with moderate playing time. If you’re looking for a particular achievement, just use the Find function on your browser and type in the achievement’s name. All achievement names are listed in CAPS with the gamerscore amount in parenthesis in the body of the guide. This version (1.4) will be the final version of this guide, barring someone making more DLC with achievements for this game. I have recieved many supportive messages regarding this faq and I'm glad to hear it has helped people out. I personally have all the achievements now except RUNNING THE SHOW. I will probably never go for it. Please send a text (not voice) message to my Xbox Live account, ThermalStone, if you have any questions or comments. Table of Contents: I. Campaign: Mission by Mission Achievements, Skulls and Black Boxes. A. Mission 1: Alpha Base B. Mission 2: Relic Approach C. Mission 3: Relic Interior D. Mission 4: Arcadia City E. Mission 5: Arcadia Outskirts F. Mission 6: Dome of Light G. Mission 7: Scarab H. Mission 8: Ander’s Signal I. Mission 9: The Flood J. Mission 10: Shield World K. Mission 11: Cleansing L. Mission 12: Repair M. Mission 13: Beachhead N. Mission 14: Reactor O. Mission 15: Escape II. Campaign: Other Achievements A. The Secret Achievements B. MOMMA’S BOY C. CRUSHED COLORS D. OWN WORST ENEMY E. WALL OF RECOGNITION F. EPIC GRINDER G. ADJUDICATE THE ARBITER and MR. PUNCTUAL H. DETOUR THE GREAT JOURNEY III. Skirmish Achievements A. 2 BUGS ARE BETTER THAN 1 and PENNY PINCHER B. WALK OFF WINNER C. BIG AL’S SCOOTER D. TITAN E. EMPIRE BUILDER F. MY VIRTUAL FRIENDS LOVE ME G. PLAYIN’ THE FIELD/ GALLIVANT AROUND THE GALAXY IV. Multiplayer Achievements A. BASICALLY NAIVE B. N00B N0 M0R3 and LONELY AT THE TOP C. OFFICER ON DECK and RUNNING THE SHOW V. Other Achievements A. HALO ACADEMIC and HALO HISTORIAN B. 24 HOURS OF QUALITY C. READY FOR THE SEQUEL D. BACKSCRATCHER and OMG BFF FTW VI. Stategic Options DLC Achievements A. ONE AND DONE B. PULL HARD, PULL DEEP C. FREAK ON A STREAK/ LIVING LOVING BUG I. Campaign: Mission by Mission Achievements, Skulls and Black Boxes. This is not a complete walkthrough of each campaign mission, although I will give tips on achievements and skulls that may include spoilers. Unless noted otherwise, I recommend that you look for both collectable items and try to get the achievement on your first playthrough of each mission. I also recommend, unless noted otherwise, that you play on Easy Difficulty. As far as achievements go, there is no difference between playing through on Easy or Normal. Achievements can also be earned with skulls turned on. If you follow this guide, you’ll get the ALAS POOR ANDREW THOMAS (5) for getting your first skull and GRAVEROBBER (30) for getting all the skulls. Note that when you kill the required amount of enemies for a skull to appear a green circle showing the location of the skull will briefly flash on the mini map. Watch for it because it's easy to miss. If you follow this guide, you’ll also get the secret achievements. When you get the black boxes, you’ll unlock timeline events for HALO ACADEMIC (15) and HALO HISTORIAN (40), although to get all the timeline events, you’ll need to play skirmish as well. (See Other Achievements below.) Note that you do not need to beat a mission to collect a skull or black box. Once you pick a collectable up for the first time, it is yours forever and you can quit the mission if you want. A. Mission 1: Alpha Base EVERYTHING’S BETTER WITH BACON (5): This is one of the hardest achievements in the game. You have to ram 50 grunts. You need to ram as many grunts as you can before your gunners or marines shoot them, otherwise you will run out of grunts to ram. I recommend playing this one on normal or heroic to give the grunts a fighting chance against the other UNSC units in the game. I also recommend earning the Catch skull first (see Mission 10), and coming back and trying this achievement later. Turning on the Catch skull will recharge your ram ability twice as fast. Use only Sergeant Forge for ramming. If you send in all your warthogs, it is too hard to micromanage them and their guners will end up killing a lot of grunts after they use their ram. A normal warthog also doesn't have enough health to go in ramming unsupported for the whole mission. Every time you have major group of grunts coming up, save the game. Then send in Sergeant Forge to ram the largest group. Pull him out before his gunner can kill too many grunts. When his ram is recharged, send him in again until they are all dead. If you managed to ram over half the grunts, save and move on to the next encounter. If you didn’t, reload. When you approach the vehicle barrier, you will have to act fast to prevent the second group of marines from killing a large group of grunts before you can ram them. When you get the first group of marines under your control, leave them behind and rush Forge over to the second group of Marines to ram the grunts. Send in only two marines to grenade the barrier’s power source. Any more than two marines and you risk clogging up the doorway. Send in Forge to ram any grunts near the Wraiths, then send him out through the entrance to recharge his ram. This will trigger the bomber. You want to avoid sending multiple units into the base or the covenant infantry on the other side of the base will charge and get caught in the bomber run. If the bomber kills more than a handful of grunts, you should reload your last save and try again. Keep sending Forge in and out of the doorway, ramming grunts. The Covies won’t pursue you outside. You should be able to ram enough grunts to get to 50. Skull: This is one of the hardest skulls in the game to unlock, for the same reasons as the achievement. Playing with the method used to earn the above achievement is also a good way to kill the 100 grunts needed to make the skull appear. This can be tough because there are only a little more than 110 grunts total and you don’t get credit for grunts killed by the bomber or UNSC forces not yet under your control. If you are still having trouble killing 100 grunts, play on heroic and turn on the Rebel Sympathizer skull (see Mission 7). This will make the grunts tough enough that they should survive long enough for you to put them down personally. When you do kill 100 grunts, the Look Daddy! Skull will appear outside the base entrance behind where you encountered the second group of marines. You may have to rotate the camera to see it. Make sure you don’t kill every covenant soldier in the base before you send someone to retrieve this skull. Black Box: The Black Box for this mission is just before you encounter the second group of marines. When you cross the bridge leading to them, look to the left (south) and almost under the bridge. You will see the black box and a green ramp leading down to it. B. Mission 2: Relic Approach ENDLESS FUN (5): You have to destroy every methane tank. Methane tanks are the tiny blue cylinders. They are usually clumped together and you may mistake them for resources at first. The targeting reticule turns red when it is over them and they explode when you shoot them. Just search every inch of the map and keep destroying tanks until you get the achievement. Skull: After you kill 20 Jackals, go back to the southwest area of your starting base to find the Grunt Birthday Party Skull. Black Box: Go to the left (west) side of the map where you find the covenant methane refinery. Keep going up the left side until you see a vehicle barrier facing south. The black box is behind that barrier. C. Mission 3: Relic Interior COVENENT HOT DROP (5): When Anders has raised the second bridge, move all your units south across it. Don’t forget and leave Anders behind (I did my first time!) Head south, but leave one unit near the southern bridge control panel. Covenant infantry will follow you from the north. When there are five individual soldiers (not groups) on the bridge, click on the control panel, bring up the circle menu, and deactivate the bridge. The covenant on the bridge will die. If you didn’t get all five at the same time, you can reactivate the bridge and lure more across, then deactivate it again. Skull: After you kill 45 hunters, go back to where you rescued Forge and Anders and you will find the Cowbell Skull. If you can’t find enough hunters, stick around at the point where you are almost out of the relic and the AI marines move in to cover you. Hunters will spawn continuously from doorways on either side. They are suckers for the grizzlies’ canister shot. Black Box: Before you enter the relic in the beginning, take the ramp to the left. Follow the little valley past the purple landing pad all the way northwest alongside the outer wall of the relic. The black box is at the end of the valley. D. Mission 4: Arcadia City THE REAL WINNER (5): You have to save Adam. I missed this one on the first playthrough. Adam, a lone fugitive child, is in the building directly north of your starting location. It’s the same building where you get the black box. If you listen carefully when you pass this building, you may hear a woman's voice imploring you to save her son. Click on the control panel to open the door and Adam will emerge. He will then run for a dropship. Escort him through the city. He is very weak, so I recommend saving as soon as he begins to run. I also recommend waiting to unlock the door until the western half of the city is relatively quiet and free of Covenant. When Adam reaches a drop ship, the achievement will unlock. Skull: Once you have killed 50 elites, you can find the Wuv Woo skull almost directly east of your eastern base near a statue. Send a hornet after it. In fact, send air units to get all the skulls and black boxes whenever you can on every mission. It’s much faster. Black Box: The black box is on the porch of the same building that Adam is hiding in. You may have to rotate the camera so that you are looking at the building from the east to see it. E. Mission 5: Arcadia Outskirts HE’S GOT THE JACK (5): Undoubtedly an AC/DC reference. You have three Spartans and you need to jack six vehicles. Once you secure the crater and build a base, put your Spartans out in front of your defenses. You don’t want your troops to blow up vehicles before your Spartans can jack them. Jack weak vehicles like ghosts, then send them into combat until they are destroyed. Your Spartan will hop out unharmed. Use him (or her) to jack more vehicles. You will also get a ton of Spartans later in the mission, so you can use them to jack more vehicles. Be careful not to jack too many wraiths. It doesn’t count as a kill and you need to kill five to unlock the skull. Skull: After you kill five wraiths, the Fog skull will appear on the western part of your map. Get on the onramp to the east of your base and take the freeway up the western edge of the map. Or you can just fly there if you have aircraft. Black Box: As you are fleeing from the Covenant at the beginning of the mission, go down the first staircase to your right (east). The black box is there behind a crashed pelican. F. Mission 6: Dome of Light RHINO HUGGER (5): You have to place the five rhinos without losing a single one. This means you have to protect them after they are in place too. Don’t start ordering rhinos until you have built up your army. Rhinos #1 and #2 are the must vulnerable. They sit on Covenant attack paths and since they are the first ones you place, they will sit out there for a while. Leave a couple of wolverines and a cobra with each one in addition to the ODSTs the AI sends in. Put infantry in the towers too. Don’t worry about protecting #3, it never seems to get attacked because it’s way off by itself. Leave a wolverine with #4 just in case, but you plant #5 right after #4 so it should be okay. Don’t forget to use your healing leader power on the rhinos if they get damaged. Save frequently. Skull: You need to kill 50 banshees. This is pretty easy. Just make two missile launcher turrets at the back of your base and you will eventually get enough of them. The Sickness skull is in the hanger to the south of your base. Rotate the camera until you are facing south to see it. Black Box: The black box is on the platform where you have to place Rhino #3. It’s to the east. After you kill the Covies guarding the platform but before you bring your units back, send someone slightly south and east to look for the skull at the other end of the platform. G. Mission 7: Scarab MICRO MANAGER (5): You have to destroy the scarab without destroying any power nodes. This achievement is pretty easy on Easy Difficulty (you are still playing all these missions on Easy, right?) Start off by MAC blasting the scarab. For some reason when you MAC blast right away, the MAC gun is immediately available again, so use it twice. Keep MAC blasting the scarab whenever the power recharges. In the meantime, stay in your base behind the wall and keep pumping out fully upgraded warthogs. After about nine MAC blasts, Serina will tell you the scarab is half dead. At this point, the scarab should go crazy and try to burn through your wall. It will take quite a while, and you should have time for a few more MAC blasts. When the scarab begins to burn through the second layer, save the game and send your warthogs directly to attack the scarab. Your units will auto target the power nodes, so move past them quickly. If one of your over zealous gunners destroys a power node, you can’t get the achievement, so reload the save you just made and try again. You will lose a lot of warthogs but you should finish the scarab pretty easily. If you already have the Bountiful Harvest and Emperor skulls from missions 14 and 15, you can earn this achievement in less than 12 minutes. Skull: I recommend finding this skull and the black box on a separate playthrough from the achievement. You will have to leave the base to hunt down the 10 locusts required and whenever you leave the base, you risk destroying a power node because your units will auto target them. When you kill the locusts, the Rebel Sympathizer skull will appear near the node in the upper left hand corner (northwest) of the map. Black Box: The black box on this map is in a niche just northeast of the power node directly east (right) of the scarab at the top of the map. Sniper Tower Glitch: A glitch that you can use to help you destroy nodes and get the black box and skull is to place a squad of marines in the sniper tower just to the north of your base. The scarab beam will get stuck on them but won't do any damage since the tower lifts them too high. Make sure you have given the marines the New Blood upgrade, otherwise the scarab beam will just sweep past them as though they weren't there. Go explore the map while the scarab is busy, but keep an eye out because it will sometimes stop firing on the marines and go back to sweeping the map. Credit goes to V1per W0lf for showing me this trick. WALK OFF WINNER (30): If you finish off the scarab with a MAC blast, you can earn this achievement. H. Mission 8: Ander’s Signal RAMBLIN’ MAN (5): Use the elephants to train 100 infantry (either marines or flamethrowers.) This achievement can be very time consuming. Your maximum population cap is 30, 40 after you research the reinforcements upgrade. You do the math: if you want to build 100 infantry, you are going to have to get at least 60 of them killed to make space. You might want to play this one on normal or even heroic so that your troops will get killed faster and you can replace them. Build only infantry out of elephants. Any vehicles you build will take up population space you need to reach this achievement. Don’t research the Medic upgrade and don’t heal your infantry units. Instead, send weak units off by themselves to die so you can train new ones. You can carpet bomb your own troops as well. If you have recovered all the elephants and still haven’t gotten the achievement, don’t bring the last elephant back to base. Instead keep sending out infantry by themselves to die so you can train new ones. Use skulls that make the enemy stronger to make this process go faster. Skull: When you kill 750 infection forms (don’t worry, you’ll kill them faster than you can train 100 infantry), the Rebel Supporter skull will appear. Look for it in the northwestern part of the map. It's almost directly north of the spot where the first AI elephant gets attacked. There is a pit with green mist and a large phallic column on the western edge. The skull is on a narrow ledge on the other side of the pit. Black Box: The black box in this mission is on the hill behind the eastern most (farthest right) units that were in the brute skirmish line at the beginning of the mission. I. Mission 9: The Flood SWEET NAPTIME (5): You have to put every flood colony to sleep at the same time. There are five of them which get marked on your map when you put the first one down. The easiest way to do this is to leave behind a couple of deployed cobras protected by a scorpion once you clear out all of the flood around each colony. When that colony awakens again, your heavy vehicles will put it right back into hibernation. It may take a little jumping around the map on your part to make sure that they all get hit at once. If you haven’t gotten the achievement, don’t kill the flood boss and recover the Spartans before you do or the mission will end. Skull: When you kill 20 flood stalks, the Rebel Leader skull will appear by the nearest crashed pelican northeast of your base. The pelican is on fire so it’s easy to spot even if that part of your map is blacked out. I have had trouble getting ground units up there, so send a hornet to pick it up. Black Box: The black box is northwest of your base along the western edge of the map. Go past the first flood colony to the western edge and then head south. You will find a large valley. The black box is near the beginning of that valley. J. Mission 10: Shield World THE PROCRASTINATOR (5): You have to place a gremlin next to each of the four tractor beams. The tractor beams are laid out roughly in a square with one in each corner of the map. The first is very close to your base to the northeast. The second tractor beam is north of the first one along the edge of the map. The third is just north of Alpha Team, the team with the grizzly. The fourth is just to the west of Charlie Team, the team with the Spartans. When you clear out the enemies around the tractor beams, place the gremlin on the blue circle. Take gremlins with you when you rescue Alpha and Charlie teams to save time. Note that unlike the rhinos from Mission 7, the gremlins don’t need protection once they are placed because the enemy will ignore them. Also note that each tractor beam you disrupt adds more time to the mission countdown timer. Skull: Once you kill 350 swarms, the Catch Skull will appear directly northeast of your base past the first tractor beam on a large platform inaccessible to ground units. Send a hornet to pick it up. Black Box: The black box is sitting just behind (north of) Bravo Team, the team with the elephant. K. Mission 11: Cleansing BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES (5): You have to keep all the airlocks (vehicle and infantry) from being destroyed. Make sure you are playing on Easy Difficulty. Build lots of turrets in the sockets, with a mixture of flame mortar and missile upgrades. The cyclopes are useless. They won't repair the airlocks without being upgraded. Build only hornets instead. The most vulnerable airlocks are the two infantry airlocks to the northeast and the lone vehicle airlock by itself in the middle. Keep an eye on these airlocks. Make sure they have turrets around them at all times and save your healing leader power to use on them if they take damage. If an airlock gets in trouble, send your hornets over quickly or use a carpet bombing run (just don’t hit the airlock.) Skull: When you kill 100 sentinels, the Sugar Cookies Skull will appear at the front of the ship suspended in air between the two prongs. You have to use a flying unit to retrieve it. Black Box: The black box is on the left rear wing of the ship, right above where the wing slants back upward and the ship becomes narrower. It’s hard to spot, so try rotating the camera. You have to send a flying unit to retrieve it. L. Mission 12: Repairs HANDY WITH TOOLS (5): You will have to do this mission twice to get the achievement and the skull, since the achievement calls for beating the mission in four minutes and you won’t be able to kill enough dropships in that time to unlock the skull. Get the achievement first, then play longer, kill more enemies and get the skull the second time around. You should also get a higher score the second time, which will give you the CRUSHED COLORS (10) achievement if you haven’t gotten it yet. To repair the power core in less than four minutes, you’re going to have to work fast. Begin by using your healing leader power on the core. Then send all your units over by the core and have the cyclopes start repairing it. Build four turrets in the square in between the airlocks on the deck above the power core. Later on, upgrade them with two flame mortars and two missile launchers. Queue up cyclopes in your infantry barracks until you run out of money. Don't build anything else. Set the rally point for each airlock down by the power core. This way, when a cyclops comes out, he’ll already be running towards the power core. Don’t forget to task the cyclops to repair the power core when he gets there. The turrets should slow down the Covenant that keep landing. Build only cyclopes whenever you have enough resources. Make sure that you have enough resources that you are able to use your healing leader power on the core whenever it recharges. You should get this achievement with a few seconds to spare. Skull: You need to kill 12 spirit dropships to get this skull to unlock. This time, you want to build turrets all over the Spirit of Fire and upgrade them to missile launchers. The turrets will automatically kill all the spirits for you. The Boomstick Skull will appear on the ramp leading up to the large superstructure at the front of the ship, just behind where the Sugar Cookies Skull appeared last mission. Send a flying unit to pick it up. Just make sure you don’t finish repairing the core before you pick up the skull or else the mission will end. Black Box: The black box is directly to the left (northwest) of the power core on the side of the ship. Send a flying unit to get it. Like last mission, it’s hard to see, so try rotating the camera. M. Mission 13: Beachhead BEAMING WITH PRIDE (5): You have to kill 25 units with a scarab. The scarab is southeast of the base in the middle of the map, across the light bridge. Send ground units in; flying units won’t trigger the cut scene that makes the scarab appear. After you kill the flood stalks, jack the scarab with a Spartan. To make sure you get this achievement, save the game first, then send in the Spartan controlled scarab by itself to a Covenant base. Use your leader powers to help the scarab and use it to kill enemy units, not buildings, until you get the achievement. Don’t forget to turn on the Wuv Woo Skull for added entertainment value. Skull: After you kill 10 flood bomber forms, the Pain Train Skull appears. It’s directly east of the first teleporter you used, by the flood mass growing out of the structure. Send in a couple of hornets to grab it and get out without bothering to fight the flood there. If you are having trouble finding 10 bomber forms, send a lage group of air units over near where the first pelican was shot down at the beginning of the mission and scout the area. That's usually where they hang out. Just don't build at the last base site before you get the skull. Black Box: The black box is in the northeastern part of the map, on a hill to the north of the easternmost Covenant base. N. Mission 14: Reactor DIDNT GET TO SECOND BASE (5): Don’t build a second base. If you are playing on easy, your first base can give you everything you need if you take the time to build up. When you destroy the Covenant bases, just keep going and finish the mission to get the achievement. Skull: After you kill 20 Vampires, the Bountiful Harvest Skull appears. It is right next to the second Covenant base just to the northeast surrounded by large purple cylinders. Black Box: It is just to the left (west) at the top of the first ramp, to the southeast of the smoking hole in the ground and the resources. It’s in a clearing behind some trees, so you’ll need a flying unit to get it. O. Mission 15: Escape THINKIN’ ABOUT MY DOORBELL (5): You have to unlock the six panels in the correct order. This is done by unlocking two panels directly opposite one another. You can match up the same symbol or just do it as described here. If you call the panel directly in front of your base #1 and number the panels from 1-6 in a clockwise order, unlock the panels as follows: 1-4, 2-5, 3-6. You will finish the mission and get the achievement. You can do it in any order, as long as you always unlock the panel directly opposite. Screw up the unlocking order and the panels will reset and you won’t be able to get the achievement in that playthrough. When you mess up, Serina will tell you that an interlock has reset. Skull: You have to kill three scarabs for the Emperor Skull to unlock. Scarabs come out infrequently and Serina will announce them by appearing and talking about a large alien vehicle. The scarabs seem to wander out onto the panels in the middle of the map. Freeze the scarab with a cryo bomb and then hit it with your other leader powers. If it’s still alive, send some flying units to finish it off. You also get credit for killing a scarab if you open the door it's standing on and it falls into the hole. After you kill your third scarab, the Emperor Skull will appear in the middle of the northernmost flood base. It’s the one to the northeast of the black box. Send in a group of hornets to get it and one of them should pick up the skull before they are shot down. Black Box: The final black box is north of your starting base on the other side of the giant hole in the map. It’s near the rim. II. Other Campaign Related Achievements: A. The Secret Achievements MEET SERGEANT FORGE (Secret) (10): Complete Mission 1 on any difficulty. If you go mission by mission as described above, you’ll get this and all the other secret achievements. ICE WARRIORS (Secret) (40): Beat Act I. Finish the first three missions on Harvest. KEY TO PIRTH (Secret) (50): Complete Act II. Finish missions 4-7 on Arcadia/Pirth. UGLY IS ONLY SKIN DEEP (Secret) (70): Complete Act II. Finish missions 8-11 against the Flood. NO WAY HOME? (Secret) (70): Complete Act IV. Finish missions 12-15 and thwart the Covenant plan. B. MOMMA’S BOY (5): Get a gold medal on any mission. I guarantee that by the time you beat the campaign on easy as suggested above, you will have gotten at least five gold medals without even trying. C. CRUSHED COLORS (10): Improve your score by replaying a campaign mission. Very easy. Don’t go out of your way for this one. If you haven’t got it by the time you get to mission 12, you will have a chance to earn it as noted above. D. OWN WORST ENEMY (20): Get a gold medal with all debuff skulls activated. The debuff skulls are Fog, Sickness, Rebel Sympathizer, Rebel Supporter and Rebel Leader. Play mission 1 on Easy Difficulty and activate these skulls as soon as the mission starts. It’s not very hard. E. WALL OF RECOGNITION (30): Get a gold medal on every mission. You can do this on the Easy Difficulty, but gold medals add up across all difficulties and co-op too. When you have finished going mission by mission as noted above, look at your service record and see what missions you didn’t earn a gold medal on. Replay those missions, but don’t use the skulls that lower your score. If you are having trouble with a particular mission, remember to do all the optional objectives along the way. These earn you massive bonus points. Taking very few casualties will increase your score multiplier at the end of the mission, as will finishing in under par time. Some people have been asking me for tips for specific missions, so here they are. Mission 7: Mission 7 intimidates a lot of people. I know it scared me the first time the scarab beam wiped out half a dozen of my units. Nevertheless, it is possible to beat this mission in par time getting all objectives without losing a single unit. That will get you a 10x combat modifier which will assure you of gold. The fewer casualties you take, the higher that multiplier will be. Play on easy with no skulls. Build only fully upgraded gauss warthogs and keep MAC blasting the scarab. When you have about a dozen warthogs, send them out to destroy power nodes. Save the game each time you are about to venture out of the base. Then look at where the beam is pointing and head in the opposite direction once it sweeps by. Take cover when the beam begins to sweep back your direction. The east side of the map and the southwest side have the most cover. After every couple of nodes, return to your base to heal and pick up the warthogs you've been cranking out this whole time. Destroy all seven nodes and ten locusts (there are eight on the map to start with but dropships will bring more periodically.) When you have done the optional objectives, time the beam and when it is pointed all the way to the right or left, send your warthogs up near the scarab on the other side. If you have been MAC blasting the scarab and building warthogs the whole time (you should now have about 25), you will be able to finish it off before the beam swings back to you. Leave your slower units, like tanks and marines, back at base so they don't get killed and cost you points. If you are having trouble timing the beam, try the sniper tower glitch described above. Mission 10: To get a gold on this mission, build up a mixed army of wolverines and scorpions. Vehicles seem to resist damage from the flood units better than aircraft or infantry. When you hit the population cap of 30, cryo bomb the first group of swarms and send your vehicles in. After you rescue alpha team, heal your vehicles and go after bravo team. Rinse and repeat for charlie team. Send gremlins to disrupt all the pylons while you are near them. The only hard part about this mission is the large number of thrasher forms (they look like lumbering bears.) After you rescue bravo team, they will start spawning in groups of five or more in the middle of the map. Don't let any units wander around by themselves or in small groups and you should be fine. Keep up your base defenses because the flood will launch a massive attack on your base after you rescue charlie team. I got a gold on this mission without even killing enough swarms to get that optional objective. Play it on easy of course. F. EPIC GRINDER (40): Get a lifetime campaign score of over one million points. By the time you’ve had to play and replay all the missions on easy chasing other achievements, you should get this. If you still don’t have it, start the hard and legendary playthroughs and you’ll get it before too long. G. ADJUDICATE THE ARBITER (30)/ MR. PUNCTUAL (15): You have to beat the campaign on heroic anyway for the first achievement, so you might as well do it under par time and get the second achievement. If you’ve already played on easy and picked up all the achievements, skulls, and black boxes as suggested above, you can just focus on finishing the main objective as fast as possible and ignoring everything else. If you are really a masochist, you can get MR. PUNCTUAL while playing on Legendary instead. Playing on Legendary will also earn you ADJUDICATE THE ARBITER because the achievements stack. Here are some tips for playing the harder missions on Heroic. General Tips: 1. Don't worry about optional objectives, skulls, black boxes, casualties, or your final score. Just beat each mission as fast as possible by rushing the main objectives. 2. To that end, on most missions you don't need to build the Reinforcements upgrade and fill your army out to 40 or get to Tech Level 4. 3. Always turn on the skulls that help you. (Catch, Sugar Cookies, Pain Train, Bountiful Harvest and Emperor.) Use the Bountiful Harvest and Emperor Skull to abuse your leader powers. The healing power will recharge in less than 2 minutes with the Emperor Skull on. 4. Do NOT play with the Cowbell Skull on! Your game does not need more cowbell. The Cowbell Skull can cause some crazy things to happen on Heroic. Crazy things like the civilian cargo plane in mission 4 randomly exploding when it is at full health with a healing ring on it and no Covies in sight. 5. Do NOT play with the Boomstick Skull on! The explosions can damage your units as well. If one or two flood explode in the middle of your army, they can cause a chain reaction that can wipe out your whole army at once. Don't ask me how I found that out. Also be aware that Sergeant Forge or a warthog will take a ton of damage if they ram an enemy who explodes. Times: There is a list of the par times posted on gamefaqs.com under the Cheats heading. Rather than steal someone else's work I will refer you there. On almost all these missions, time isn’t really an issue when you are only going for the main objectives. Note that you only have to finish faster than the higher time to get credit for beating par. Tips for the Harder Missions: Mission 4: This is by far the hardest mission. Start off by rushing Forge and the Hornets over to the Subway entrance. You have to clear it in less than three minutes if you want to make par time. After you finish that, send your units up towards Cargo #2, clearing the Elites out of the sniper towers as you go. Use Forge to defend Cargo #2 and send the hornets to destroy any wraiths or locusts you can find. When Cargo #3 explodes (you can't prevent it), send the hornets to defend Cargo #2 and send Forge down to the first base build site. Forget about earning points or saving civilians. It's hard enough just to have one ship survive for 20 minutes. You should abandon Cargo #1 and consolidate your defenses around Cargo #2. When Cargo #1 is destroyed, the Spartans will retreat to Cargo #2. Hopefully at least two Spartans will make it over. Otherwise you have a much harder job. Crank out marines and warthogs to defend Cargo #2. Resources are very tight in this mission, but if you are able to make wolverines, they come in very handy. Use your healing power on Cargo #2, as soon as it takes any damage. Once you have two turrets built at your base, send Forge back to Cargo #2. Stick marines in the sniper towers on the paths to Cargo #2 and put vehicles and marines at the eastern edge of the landing platform to intercept Covenant aircraft. The banshees are especially dangerous because they can suicide crash into Cargo #2 and cause a lot of damage. Upgrade your marines to ODSTs late in the game so you can drop them directly near Cargo #2. Most importantly, save frequently, every two minutes, and only save when Cargo #2 is at full health. Save when there is 1:20 left, because with a minute to go, the covenant mega turrets will come online and begin bombarding the platform. Usually, they don't hit Cargo #2 enough times to destroy it, but in case they do, you want to be able to reload. After 20 minutes of insanity you will beat this mission. Mission 6: This is the only mission where coming in under par time poses a challenge. You have to beat this one in less than 30 minutes. Before you plant the first rhino, send some heavy vehicles over to where the second rhino will be planted (the next platform to the west.) After you plant the first rhino, covenant buildings will spawn at the second rhino site. Your heavy vehicles will ambush them and demolish them quickly before they can begin pumping out units. You can wipe out all the covenant before Forge complains about there being a covenant base there. After you plant the third rhino, the AI begins to drop lots of infantry on your base, including fully upgraded hunters, which take forever to kill. Make sure you have a full army and at least ten minutes after the planting the third rhino and save the game. Send your troops to the fourth rhino plant site. Before you finish clearing it out, the Covenant will be assaulting your base in full force. Pelican transport the fourth rhino over. Keep pumping out units to slow them down, but don't bring your main army back to the base. Instead, send them to the fifth rhino platform. When you order your fifth rhino, immediately pelican transport it over to its blue circle to save time and prevent the forces attacking your base from damaging it. If you send your main army back to defend your base, you will lose too much time and might not make it in 30 minutes. Don't worry about your base. You should plant the last rhino before the Covenant do too much damage to your base. Mission 7: This mission is a lot easier than I thought it would be. The basic strategy is the same as earning the gold medal on easy, except you will want a few more heavy units in your base for defense and you shouldn't bother wasting MAC blasts on the scarab because they do so little damage. Quickly build up an army of gauss warthogs and send them out marauding to destroy power nodes. Build some heavier vehicles too but keep them in your base for defense. When you have destroyed five or six nodes, time the beam's movement and send all your vehicles to attack. When the beam swings back towards them, hide them behind some ruins or just run them the opposite way through the beam if you don't mind losing a few vehicles. You should take down the scarab with plenty of time to spare. Mission 9: Not really a hard mission, but there is a way to beat it very quickly. Stay in your base and build up an army of upgraded hornets. Also upgrade your carpet bomb power. When you have about a dozen hornets, fly them directly north to the star marking Red Team's location on the map. From there, fly northeast to the giant Flood brain thing. Carpet bomb it and then attack with your Hornets and Spartans. You will lose a lot of hornets to the flood turrets, but you will take down the Flood boss very quickly while bypassing most of the level. Mission 15: On mission 15 I like to build up an army of hornets and ODSTs. This army takes a lot of casualties but stays cheap and mobile, the keys for beating this mission quickly. Soften up the enemy around the control panel you are heading to with your leader powers, then rush your hornets over, pelican transport the Spartans, and drop ODSTs to clear the enemy out. Avoid engaging the scarabs: they take a lot of time to kill and can put a big dent in your army. H. DETOUR THE GREAT JOURNEY (50): Beat the campaign on legendary. The heroic strategies work most of the time, but expect the enemies to be much tougher and more numerous and aggressive. Since par time isn't a factor for this achievement, move slowly and deliberately, but you can still ignore optional achievements and collectables like you did for heroic. Don't forget to turn on the skulls and save frequently. One general tip: research ODSTs on any mission you can. You'll know are available if at the begining of the mission the ODST icon appears on the powers circle menu. Don't train ODSTs out of your barracks. Instead, when you take casualties assaulting objectives (and you will take lots of casualties), use ODST drops to quickly reinforce your main army. They are a very powerful unit with a very low cost. Here are a few more tips for missions that are much harder on legendary than they are on heroic: Mission 5: You are very vulnerable early on in this mission. Start off by putting a Spartan in your scorpion tank, otherwise it will never survive the trip into the crater. When you get your base built, put your expensive buildings (like reactors) on the east side so they don't get hit by the Mega Turret. This is a very hard mission. If you can hold out until Spartan Team Omega arrives, you'll be okay. It becomes ridiculously easy when you have nine or ten Spartans. Mission 12: The strategy of building as many cyclopes as possible and beating this mission as fast as you can won't work on Legendary because you will be overwhelmed. You only need about five or six cyclopes. You should spend most of your resources on flame turrets, but build a railrun or two to damage locusts. Don't forget to build turrets in the sockets at the bottom of the ramps nearest the core. Use your units to target hunters and locusts whenever you see them because they can inflict the most damage on the core. Use the healing ring on the core whenever you get a chance and position all your units within it to heal them up too. Mission 14: The Covenant send many more troops at a time on Legendary and can easily destroy the reactor early in the game. Build an elephant as soon as you start the mission and drag the reactor back behind your base until you build up your forces. Move out only when you are at full strength. Put a Spartan in the elephant dragging the reactor when you start moving to increase its defense. Watch out, the Covenant will send scarabs after you, so upgrade your MAC cannon as soon as you can and use it only on scarabs, bases, or very large troop concentrations. III. Skirmish Achievements Before you attempt the Skirmish Achievements, I highly recommend that you get all the skulls from the campaign first, especially the skulls that help you while lowering your score (Catch, Sugar Cookies, Boomstick, Pain Train, Bountiful Harvest and Emperor.) The skirmish achievements can be earned while those skulls are active and your job will be a lot easier and quicker. You should also play against an easy AI, unless the achievement calls for an heroic AI. The skirmish acheivements that don't call for an AI opponent can also be earned on XBox Live multiplayer. A. 2 BUGS ARE BETTER THAN 1 (10) and PENNY PINCHER (10): You might as well earn these two achievements at the same time, since with two scarabs you don’t need to build more than ten units. Select a 1v1 map and the heroic AI and play as the Prophet of Regret. Use the Prophet for base defense and to take over a second base while you accumulate resources and research technologies. Fully upgrade your turrets and the Prophet, but don’t build or upgrade any units other than a couple of engineers for healing. The prophet and turrets should be able to fend off any attack. To build two Scarabs, you will need to research the Ages of Doubt and Reclamation at your Temple, as well as the Followers upgrade. Once you have two scarabs, use them to crush the enemy and get two achievements. B. WALK OFF WINNER (30): You have to kill the last enemy unit (not building) with a leader power. The easiest way to do it is be the Prophet of Regret and wipe out all of a human enemy’s units and bases except one. Use the Prophet’s fully upgraded cleansing beam on the base and position it right at the end of the ramp. When the AI makes infantry to defend the base, the first infantry unit will come out of the ramp right into your beam. Since it is the only unit left, you will get the achievement when you kill this unit, even if the AI makes other units afterwards. Just make sure your own units are far enough away that they don’t steal the Prophet’s kill. This achievement can be easily earned during the same game as 2 BUGS ARE BETTER THAN 1 and PENNY PINCHER. You can also earn this achievement during the campaign. An easy way is to finish off the scarab in Mission 7 with a MAC blast. C. BIG AL’S SCOOTER (10): You must defeat the Heroic AI in under ten minutes. This achievement encourages you to practice a rushing strategy. Select an Heroic AI opponent and a Covenant leader for yourself (the Prophet works well.) Choose a small 1v1 map. I find Chasm, the map from the demo, works best. Begin by building a leader temple and a bunch of warehouses. Select your base and move the rally point on top of your grav lift. Any new units will now teleport directly to your leader. When your leader emerges, send him to the enemy base and begin building your special forces units out of the main base. Save your leader power until you see an emerging building or turret. They are much faster to kill while under construction than when fully finished. Keep building units to send to your leader as he attacks the enemy base. You should finish off the enemy and get the achievement with a few minutes to spare. If you are having trouble, remember to turn on skulls to make it easier. I've found another great strategy is the elephant rush suggested in the tips that crawl accross the bottom of the menu screens. Play as Cutter. Just build an elephant and a bunch of supply pads and send the elephant to the enemy base. If the Covenant leader attacks your elephant, use your warthog to distract him. Keep pumping out infantry. It took me about five minutes to beat the heroic AI like this without any skulls. A third strategy is to play on deathmatch. Use Anders, build hawks, and rush the AI base. D. TITAN (15): Scoring 20,000 points in a skirmish game is easier than you think, but it will take some time. Select a 1v1 Deathmatch game against an easy AI on Release, the 1v1 flood infested map. Choose Sgt. Forge and pick a Covenant leader for the enemy. Don’t turn on any skulls that lower your score. In Deathmatch, you start off with all technologies unlocked and a ton of resources. Build grizzly tanks and Spartans and take over each flood base, but don’t attack the covenant base. Keep growing your army and building vehicles and turrets until you reach the max population cap of 45. In each upper corner, there is a forerunner control panel that releases flood. Garrison each one with a Spartan. Look to the north of your first base. You will see a flood structure with an open mouth and a ramp that ends in a blue circle. Look across the flood barricade in the middle to find another blue circle on the Covenant side. When you release the flood, this is where they will come out. Surround each blue circle with grizzlies and a couple of wolverines in case flying flood are released. Release the flood gates and watch your tanks kill the flood that emerge. Do this over and over again, healing your troops periodically. The gates reset every couple of minutes (although not if you keep holding the blue circle menu open on them.) When you have enough points, turn on all the skulls that increase your score and wipe out the Covenant base. Check your in-game score with the back button. Remember that your final mission score is multiplied by a combat multiplier. I only lost a couple of units and buildings, so I had a multiplier of 6x. I ended my game with over 7000 points and ended up with a score of over 48,000! You should be able to finish the game when your in-game score reaches 4000 and be reasonably assured of getting this achievement in about half an hour. E. EMPIRE BUILDER (5): You get EMPIRE BUILDER for winning both a Skirmish and a Deathmatch game. If you play these achievements in the order listed here, you’ll get this when you get TITAN. You can also get this playing multiplayer. F. MY VIRTUAL FRIENDS LOVE ME (10): Select a 3v3 map with six players. Put the AI on easy and when the game starts, turn on your favorite skulls. Remember to play with a leader and map you haven’t used yet to save time for the next achievements. G. PLAYIN’ THE FIELD (15)/ GALLIVANT AROUND THE GALAXY (25): Once you’ve gotten the skirmish achievements listed above, it’s time to go for the grinding skirmish achievements. These achievements can be time consuming, so here’s an easy strategy. Check to see what maps and leaders you haven’t used to win a game yet (under Options and Extras then Service Record from the main menu.) Play 1v1 Deathmatch (not Skirmish) on the rest of the maps against an easy AI opponent. (Just like the third BIG AL'S SCOOTER strategy except you don't need to play against an heroic AI. Turn on all the skulls that help you. Build up your best units and rush the AI base. Anders is my favorite leader, because her Hawks can fly over terrain and save you a ton of time. Build an airpad and seven Hawks and a barracks and three Spartans. Send the Hawks over to the enemy base and follow up by Pelican Transporting the Spartans and your Warthog over too. Depending on the size of the map, you should defeat the enemy in just over 4 minutes. Do this on each map to save yourself a lot of time in getting GALLIVANT AROUND THE GALAXY. Just remember to try each of the six leaders once while you get that achievement to earn PLAYIN’ THE FIELD. You can also get these playing multiplayer. IV. Multiplayer Achievements A. BASICALLY NAIVE (10): You can earn this achievement quickly and easily. Just go into a Multiplayer game on Xbox Live. When the game has begun, resign. You will get a recruit rank and an achievement. Just make sure to do it in a 1v1 game so you don’t anger your teammates who were counting on you. B. N00B N0 M0R3 (10) and LONELY AT THE TOP (20): If you actually stick around and win your first 1v1 multiplayer game, you will unlock N00B N0 M0R3 (for winning your first match) and LONELY AT THE TOP (for getting the highest score). These two achievements aren't that hard to earn. Keep playing 1v1 games and eventually you will run into someone worse than you or someone who resigns and earn them both in the same game. C. OFFICER ON DECK (30) and RUNNING THE SHOW (50): Note that your online rank is different from your TruSkill level. Your rank is based on experience points and you earn points even in a loss, so even a bad player (like me) can eventually get the higher ranks and the OFFICER ON DECK and RUNNING THE SHOW achievements. Never quit out of games, even when you are losing badly or really have to go. Leaving early will cost you points. Instead, just self destruct all your bases and wait around for one minute until you lose. You get a 40% points bonus for winning a match, a 20% bonus for losing without quiting or resigning, and no bonus if you disconnect or resign. On team games, you can quit after you are fully defeated without penalty and you don't have to stick around to watch your teammates get beaten up. You need 80,000 points for OFFICER ON DECK. I recomend playing deathmatch as you seem to get more points per game. I played 24 games of 1 v 1 deathmatch with 19 wins. (I guess I wasn't as bad as I thought.) I earned 76,684 points, or about 3195 points per game. Most games were around the 15 minute mark, with a few being as short as 7 minutes and a few as long as half an hour. I earned the rest of my points playing a few multiplayer games with friends. I think most players could earn 80,000 points with about 20-35 games of deathmatch. You need 3,200,000 points for RUNNING THE SHOW! That's going to take forever, but if you want to try, more power to you. V. Other Achievements A. HALO ACADEMIC (15)/ HALO HISTORIAN (40): You get these achievements by unlocking timeline events. Timeline events are unlocked by black boxes and playing skirmish games with different leaders and maps. If you get all the black boxes described above in the Campaign section and follow the strategies for getting PLAYIN’ THE FIELD/ GALLIVANT AROUND THE GALAXY and EMPIRE BUILDER in the Skirmish section, you will get both of these achievements. B. 24 HOURS OF QUALITY (20): You have to spend 24 hours playing the game. If you go for all the Campaign and Skirmish achievements, you will get this before you get all of the achievements. If you just want the achievement with minimal time on your part, try playing skirmish games on easy with the skulls on. Fully build up your army and base and leave them in good defensive positions. Try the Covenant because their shields regenerate automatically. Leave your game running and get on with your life. Your troops should last quite a while without your help. C. READY FOR THE SEQUEL (75): READY FOR THE SEQUEL unlocked when I got TITAN, so it is based on earning other achievments. Here are the achievements I had when I unlocked it (without listing lesser included achievements like HALO ACADEMIC): 24 HOURS OF QUALITY, PLAYIN’ THE FIELD, GALLIVANT AROUND THE GALAXY, EMPIRE BUILDER, TITAN, BIG AL'S SCOOTER, WALK OFF WINNER, 2 BUGS ARE BETTER THAN ONE, PENNY PINCHER, MY VIRTUAL FRIENDS LOVE ME, CRUSHED COLORS, GRAVE ROBBER, WALL OF REGOGNITION, EPIC GRINDER, OWN WORST ENEMY, HALO HISTORIAN, the secret campaign associated achievements, and each of the 15 mission specific achievements. In simpler terms, you need all of the campaign and skirmish related achievements you can earn on the Normal or Easy settings. I also had BACKSCRATCHER and BASICALLY NAIVE, but I don't think they are necessary. I have also heard rumors that this achievement may be glitched and sometimes won't unlock. D. BACKSCRATCHER (10)/ OMG BFF FTW (40): Get a friend who also has Halo Wars to join you. If you can’t find a friend, post a message on a bulletin board or forum like gamefaqs.com requesting a partner for the achievement, the missions you want to play, and how long you plan to be online. Of course, I recommend playing on easy to make the missions go faster. BACKSCRATCHER is easy to get. You earn it after finishing your first co-op mission. OMG BFF FTW can be time consuming as you have to finish all the missions. You can see what missions you have done on co-op by checking your service record. Don't forget that you can use your favorite skulls in co-op too. VI. Stategic Options DLC Achievements The achievements for the first DLC content can be earned in skirmish mode against an AI with skulls on. You can also earn them over XBOX Live multiplayer if you want. They are all very easy. A. ONE AND DONE (30): Set up a 1v1 Capture the Flag game with against a Legendary AI. When the game starts, begin building as you would in a normal skirmish game and send your scout towards the middle of the map. The flag, a floating sentinel, will soon appear in a random spot near the middle of the map. Grab it with your starting scout unit and run back to your base. If the enemy pursues you, go in circles around your base or another natural obstacle until the capture timer expires and you get a point. If the AI gets ahold of the first flag before you do, quit and start over again to save yourself time. Focus on building aircraft. The flag sentinel will move across the map and can end up over terrain obstacles that are only accessible to flying units. Flying units are also faster and can get to a flag quicker. In addition, a flying flag carrier can use inaccessible terrain to hide from ground units. Build up your base defenses so your flag carriers have somplace to fall back on and never send a slow or wounded unit to pick up the flag. I think the Covenant have an advantage in this game mode because their leaders make incredibly powerful flag carriers early in the game. The Legendary AI doesn't pose much of a problem and if you can capture three flags first, you will win the game and get the achievement. B. PULL HARD, PULL DEEP (20): This achievement is ridiculously easy. Play a 1v1 Tug of War match against an Easy AI. Turn on your favorite skulls. Employ your favorite rushing strategy. In my experience, the AI is a sucker for the elephant rush. Assuming that you get the first kill in this game, when you beat the AI in about 4 minutes you'll get this achievement. C. FREAK ON A STREAK(20)/ LIVING LOVING BUG(30): You can earn both achievments in the same match. Set up a 1v1 Reinforcements game against an Easy AI. Reinforcements lets you build up resources as the timer counts down, then when the timer reches zero, it spends your resources on troops. The amount and quality of troops you get is based on the amount of resources you have to spend, your tech level, and how much space you have left for troops. Play as the Prophet of Regret. Use your incoming waves to take over extra bases, but don't attack the enemy base. Don't worry about casualties and don't take the free resources on the map yet. Build up nothing but warehouses and a temple and upgrade only your prophet and turrets. You want to research the highest tech level possible as quickly as you can while not filling up your army with weak low tech units. Spend as many resources as you can before the timer runs out so you don't get a bunch of useless troops. If your army starts filling up with grunts and other crappy troops, gather your units together and use the Cleansing Beam on them to make more room. Research the Followers upgrade too. When you have three bases with five fully upgraded warehouses on each one, you should be easily pulling in 3500+ resources in the minute and a half it takes the timer to run down. When this happens, gather all the resources on the map and don't spend any money. If you have the space in your army, you should get a reinforcement wave worth 15 population for the FREAK ON A STREAK achievment. If you have a tech level of 3 or higher, over 3000 resources, and at least 20 free population spaces when the timer expires, you stand a good chance to get a scarab on that wave to earn LIVING LOVING BUG. Copyright 2009 ThermalStone This guide may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal, private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on any other web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a violation of copyright.