How to Get Good at Halo Wars

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Beginning years before the first Halo, Halo Wars puts you in the position of commanding an entire army from a bird's eye view. You've got Marines, Warthogs, Scorpions and a host of other troops and vehicles at your disposal to hold back the Covenant. Are you up to the task?

  • Diversify. Having a massive force of Marines, while impressive, probably won't get the job done. The key to winning battles in Halo Wars is a diverse fighting force. Each unit is good for certain things, but not so great for other things. Marines and Flamethrower Troops are great at destroying infantry, but aren't so great at destroying tanks. Keep a few of every unit in your force if possible. This will ensure that if you need a certain ability, you've got it.

  • Use the Alternate attacks. Each unit has two attack modes: primary and alternate. Each is good for certain things. For instance, the Marines' primary attack is a simple rifle shot. This works well against infantry and can be fired on the move. Their alternate attack is a grenade/rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) attack that is very powerful, but requires the unit to stand still. Warthogs have a normal machine gun attack and an alternate Ramming attack. The Ram, while powerful against infantry, does little against tanks and wears down the Warthog's health.

  • Use Leader Abilities. Each Leader in your army has certain special abilities that can be used in exchange for Supplies. If you've got the supplies to spare, use the special abilities whenever you can. For instance, Forge's first ability (your commanders gain more as you progress through the campaign) is a simple Healing Station. This creates a circle on the ground, in which your troops and vehicles will recover health quite rapidly. Using Leader Abilities at the right time can salvage an otherwise disastrous battle.

  • Upgrade your base as quickly as possible. If you've got the resources to spare, give your base a few upgrades. Upgrading your Reactor can double its output, while turning your Supply Pads into Heavy Supply Pads greatly increases their supply-generating capacity. Your base itself can also be upgraded to provide additional health and two extra construction pads. Smart resource management is key to getting the most out of your base.

  • Expand. If you have the opportunity to build a second base, do so as quickly as possible. The second base provides a huge boost to your resource-generating capabilities, as well as your capacity to quickly produce the troops and vehicles you need to win the battle. Just don't forget about your primary base; all of your installations need to be guarded, to prevent the enemy from destroying your hard-built base.

  • Watch the terrain. There are lots of small terrain objects that, while easy to miss, are vitally important. Keep an eye out for Supplies, Skulls, Black Boxes and power generators. Grabbing or destroying these can provide a significant bonus for your troops throughout the mission.

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