Halo Wars DLC: Strategic Options Review

Finally some Halo Wars DLC has hit the marketplace, with new games modes and …..well, that’s it. Three new games modes have been released in the Strategic Options Downloadable Content, which are Reinforcements, Keep Away and Tug of War.

Reinforcements is my favorite game mode out of the ones that are included the DLC. Reinforcements involves you starting off with the usual one base on either side of the map, but then soon enough you will discover that it isn’t just a normal game mode. There is a counter at the top of the screen that tells you how long you have left before the next wave is coming. This can vary from 30 seconds to 2 or 3 minutes. In this game mode, you can’t build units. The only thing that you can do is build up your base for tech upgrades and unit upgrades. But the main and only way that you get your units is by waiting for them to be given to you in waves of Reinforcements.

When the wave timer hits zero, you will get units given to you, equivalent to the amount of resources that you have saved up for that wave. This changes the gameplay quite a lot because it means that you really don’t know what you will be getting, and because you only have a short time to earn lots of resources then whatever you are given could vary from a brute squad to four vampires. Either way, this game mode is one of the best, and it much more creative and fast paced than the other game modes. I do have some problems with it, such as it takes all of your money away, so if you are saving up 800 resources to buy more unit space, it will just take that away. If you want to fire the vortex, you won’t have any resources because every time the wave hits, you will be straight back down to zero. This is annoying, but if you have enough supply pad to get lots of resources, then you will jump out of your seat when a scarab appears in front of your base. Overall, it’s a good game mode, because you don’t get to choose the units, so it’s like a constant struggle to adapt to what you have been given.

Keep Away is a Halo Wars version of Oddball in Halo 3. But this time it doesn’t involve a skull. The main objective of this game mode is to grab a floating forerunner drone or “the flag” from the map and keep him on your unit for a certain amount of time depending on how many people are in the game. This game mode is fun, because it means that you have to work as fast as possible to get some kind of fast units to be able to go out and get the flag, which you can do by simply sending your unit towards it, ground or sky. The problem is that the other team can attack and kill your flag carrier and by doing this the flag gets reset and you don’t get the points. Also the flag does have a habit of spawning in the middle of a huge quarry, so you are forced to race to get some fast air units like Hornets or Banshees. The flag does move above ground, but only sometimes. It can be a race to get to the flag because it could randomly spawn ANYWHERE on the map. This game mode keeps you on your feet because you have to keep building enough units to grab the flag, defend the flag or take the flag off the other teams units.

Tug of War is a game mode that is simple, it is just like a normal game, but it has a huge Tug of War bar on the HUD, the way that the game mode works is that mode the bar towards your end by making some units, buildings, getting resources. Pretty much anything that you create or have gives you points on the Tug of War bar. This isn’t too hard in a match against a computer player because they are really slow at building things, but when you go online it is a really fast battle, because once your side of the bar hits the end, the you have won. Or if you decide that trying to get lots of units takes too long, you can do the even faster method and just attack the other teams base for the win. People have different strategies for this game, so if you carry on with your usual fast building strategy for normal games then there is a high chance that in a Tug of War game, you will still be winning. In a 3 v 3 match, everyone on the team has to play a part, so you have to hope that the rest of your team are just as fast. This game mode is good, because you have to make sure that you have enough units so that the other team don’t win, but playing the game as normal should do enough.

Final Thoughts : This DLC on a whole is a good DLC pack, the new game modes bring something new to the game, and the Reinforcements mode brings a new mindset to playing the game. But is this worth 800 Microsoft Points?

Yes……………If you are addicted to playing the game.

If you haven’t played the game since release, then this isn’t worth buying to go back to it, but if you enjoy the game and still play it, then this is worth buying for fun.

Get the Strategic Options DLC on the Marketplace now for 800 Microsoft Points by Clicking Here.

Achievements + Achievements Guide

This DLC also has Achievements, Here they are:
  • “One and Done” (30 points): Score the winning point in a game of Keepaway against Legendary A.I.’s
  • “Pull Hard, Pull Deep” (20 points): Win and never trail in a Tug of War game
  • “Freak on a Streak” (20 points): Gain at least 15 population from a single wave in a Reinforcement game
  • “Living Loving Bug” (30 points): Obtain a Scarab during a Reinforcement game

And here is a short guide on the best way to get the achievements.

  • “One and Done” (30 points): Score the winning point in a game of Keepaway against Legendary A.I.’
  • “Pull Hard, Pull Deep” (20 points): Win and never trail in a Tug of War game
Turn all good skulls on, make sure the enemy are on Easy. And build some warthogs before you do anything, and then move onto your buildings. Make sure you build fast and cheap units.
  • “Freak on a Streak” (20 points): Gain at least 15 population from a single wave in a Reinforcement game

As long as you have 1500/2000 resources for a wave, it should give you the correct units to get this achievement.

  • “Living Loving Bug” (30 points): Obtain a Scarab during a Reinforcement game
This is a hard one to get….sometimes. It is pure chance when you get the scarab, so even if you have the right amount of resources, instead of a scarab you could end up with 10 brute squads. The way that I got this achievements was by being the Prophet, then capturing and upgrading a couple of  bases with full supply pads. While this is going on, there is a high chance that the game will give you lots of units and you wouldn’t have the 20 unit space that you would need for the Scarab. So, that’s where the Prophet comes in, the Prophet can destroy his own units with his own beam, so just gather them together and you should be able to destroy them and clear up some unit space (The Brute vortex works too, but is slower and uses more resources). Just keep building up supply pods, and make sure that you have the unit space with the Prophet and then finally, just keep your fingers crossed that the 3000 resources will make a Scarab spawn, and if not, just kill the units you have been given, and try again and again. ALSO This works better online if you have team mates that will destroy the useless units/give you resources.

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