Dig-ga di-durrrrr, dig-ga di-durr, dig-ga di-durr, dig-ga di-durrr, di-di-durr-di-di-durr.
Ahem. If you could work that out, that's supposed to be the main theme from Halo as portrayed by dig's, ga's, di's and durr's. Needless to say, it's pretty lame. What isn't lame is this fantastic mod. I'm not just saying that either because I've played the worldwide phenomenon of "Halo", this truly is a great addition to the Armada 2 universe. Without going into details, the Forerunner's are a mysterious race in the Halo universe who created 'Halo's', giant ring-shaped platforms in space that had the capability to destroy all life in the galaxy of a certain level to stop the growth of the devastating enemy known only as "The Flood". What is known about the Forerunner's is that they are mysterious. Interesting or what, huh?
The thing is, the mysticism portrayed of the Forerunner's in Halo 1 and 2 is carried over in this mod. Nothing about them is normal. They do not play like a normal race, to which my surprise, made them rather difficult to play as. Forget about being a master of the stock game, this is a completely different challenge. With only a few structures and a whole 3 combat ships to build (granted, build 4 of the former 2 type's and you can use them to become something considerably more powerful and the latter has absolutely no combat weapons whatsoever) the race, when observed, will make you think of playing in a completely different style. Granted I tried the mod at various stages to wok out a few kinks, it took me a couple of restarts to get my resource management in-tune. To play as this race, you need to throw away the manual and think on your feet.
The race, as termed by those playing the game in multiplayer, would be called a 'late' race. It is not for some time that the Forerunner's become a threat able to easily destroy the enemy. At the start, they are obscenely easy to eliminate; their starbase is the weakest base when compared to the stock races and it takes a lot of time to build up the resources to be able to put down a few essential turrets (I'd say 3-6 depending on the importance of the location). Give this race time to bloom (I'm not kidding when I say time) and you've got a threat unlike none other seen. Use the annoying Monitor to find the enemy base and disable all weapons of defences whilst your fused Sentinel's warp in and unleash several beams of hell on the enemy. Don't give them the chance. Not to mention the ultimate super weapon: activating the Halo, but more on this later.
Resource management is pivotal to getting this race anywhere. I really cannot emphasise this enough. You'll note that when first clicking on the starbase, it has resource converting capabilities. Do not pass on this. You WILL need it. Dilithium mining is done very quickly by your mining sentinel's and as I discovered, you can have 6 around one moon, but need two refineries (each complete with its own weapons for basic defence), one north-west of the moon and another to the south/south-west. You'll need this going on at least 2 moon's (infinite resources on planets and moon's isn't such a bad idea) to get your economy going, whilst in the mean-time, you'll have you construction ship building more refineries, the shipyard's and defences' while also clicking on your starbase to convert your collected dilithium to metal to build said stations. Sound's complicated? It is. It's also very fun.
'1 ship for the price of 4'. As mentioned previously, your combat Sentinel's are what provides you with victory. For a considerable metal cost, you can fuse them into mighty battleship's that can easily hold their own against ships of the same classification. Do note though, whilst they might seem indestructible against solo ships, they're not at all. Granted, fewer of these 'battleships' are needed than other race's 'battleships' to take down a base, but send one in by itself and it will be eliminated. Simple as. Likewise your scout and general mischievous toy, the Monitor, isn't indestructible. A fleet's worth of concentrated fire will take it down. Building one again isn't so much a problem obviously, but do not overestimate the strength. That being said, have 16 fused Sentinel's and the enemy base will by all means go bye-bye. If you can't afford the resources for fusion, then a horde of Sentinel's by themselves will deliver a good amount of damage, but doubtful enough to take down a base.
Halo. The weapon capable of destroying life with ease is in here, granted its area 'slightly' reduced to make it not completely devastating. The Halo is actually multi-purpose though. It (what seems like finally) provides you with mining capabilities, but also unleashes hell. Any ships unfortunate to be in its ray of firing will be devoid of life. What does this mean? It means, an enemy fleet sent to take it out better take it out quickly otherwise they'll need to have some assault ships standing by to beam aboard and take control of all the ships again before the Ferrengi come by and steal them. Of course, this isn't limited to just one. So long as there is a planet, you can build a Halo and the range of effect is pretty high. If skilful enough to build a Halo in a planet orbiting the enemy's base...well, sufficed to say, it'd be like a ghost town. The Halo itself is armed with light weapons. Should a battleship venture too close, it will however have enough time to make a retreat before being destroyed.
'Research makes the ring go round'. Unfortunately, your Halo is pretty much a glorified mining station until you have researched the painfully long and costly wave weapon. In the mean time, research of the more powerful Onyx Sentinel's as a replacement for the basic combat Sentinel's can take place, along with general system upgrades, to which weapons and engines should be a priority, followed by shields. Without research, you're going nowhere. Granted this makes little difference to the other races, it's more important for the Forerunner's as they desperately need the additional power from weapons and movement from engines to speed up everything.
Defence isn't always having the best offence. The Forerunner's, whilst their independent mining stations have weapons, along with the starbases, are fairly weak. They really do need substantial protection for operations to carry on. To get their resources though, they need to expand, making construction ships be needed all the time. When you've finally got your resources set-up in a way that you are finally happy with, they'll need all the weapons they can get a hold of as a shield. With no sensor stations, apart from the mobile Monitor, you'll have no warning to an attack, so preparation is needed. Don't rely on the weapons of the mining stations to save you. If a fleet wanted to, they'd easily destroy your operations and force you to drastically reconsider your resources. Likewise applies. If you're playing against the Forerunner's, disrupting their resources and taking advantage of undefended areas will cripple them. Do it at the right point and you'll have them sitting duck's.
The mod is genuinely very fun. Whilst taking time to manage resources and build your fleet, to activating Halo(s) upon an enemy attack, there are lots of parts that make it very cool. Take for example the subtle touch of having mini-Sentinel's as the mini-builders for installations, launching from the back of the larger Sentinel construction craft. In fact, the only problem for this mod is the lack of a certain Forerunner battleship seen at the end of Halo 2. Whilst obviously its power unknown, it would've been a nice addition to make the race just a little bit more varied. That's not to say the race is boring to play as. It might seem that playing with the same ships just coloured differently would get boring, it really doesn't. It provides a worthwhile challenge to both play as and against while at the same time looking great.
Halo fans will most definitely be interested in it and people looking for something a little different will seek out mod's like this to download and play. All in all, fantastic.
If you have any queries or problems with the mod, a thread has been started that may help you, here.
~~~Forerunner Halo Mini Race Mod~~~ --Introduction-- This mod adds the Forerunners from Halo as a playable race to Star Trek Armada 2. The Forerunner are the ones who built Halo, but they are now extinct. However, they are responsible for the Monitors and Sentinels, the basis of the race. The race is somewhat unique, as all functions normally carried out by multiple ships are forfilled by specially designated Sentinels. Each is distiginusihed from another by a unique color. Also, there are only two buildable attack ships. However, these sentinel classes can fuse four at a time to be more powerful. This is what really defines the race, as you will be forced to swarm bases with multiple fleets of sentinels to match the opposing weaponry. The AI designed for the race is extremely effective at this, though you may experience a slight FPS lag if you get your sentinel fleets attacking its sentinel fleets. This doesn't mean the models are high poly, but that those polys add up fast. Here is a list of what the mod fully entails content wise: Build Buttons: Yes Wireframes : Yes Admiral's Log Pictures: Yes Custom Sounds: Yes Custom Music: Yes Custom AI: Yes Addition to Map Editor: Yes Borg Textures: Silly Rabbit, You can't assimlate Sentinels =P Mega Halo H4X: Yes Annoying Floating Character we all wish we could kill: Yes Donuts: $3.50 Realizing your using Halo stuff while rocking to the music: Priceless I hope that answers and and all question you may have about this mod, though I have a feeling Joelton will give it a great review to help ;) ¬--Installation-- There's a seperate text file explaining how to install the mod. I know I'll get complaints about no .exe, but all you really have to do is copy files and lines of text to certain locations. Plain and simple, you don't need an .exe unless your beyond uber-lazy, which is a level you can't get to unless you get me 900 donuts and defeat a TFC with some sentinels. --Credits-- Admiral's Log Pictures: Ultimate_Dragon Wireframes: Goldberg_KW Build Buttons: Ultimate_Dragon Models and Textures: Ultimate_Dragon ODF, SOD, TGA, AI : Ultimate Dragon Sounds and Music: Ultimate_Dragon and Bungie-released stuff found by Majestic (At least I think it was Majestic 0_O Correct me if wrong) Making the Halo games: Bungie & Microsoft Troubleshooting to make it perfect: Joelteon --Legal Bleh that nobody ever cares about-- This mod is for non-profit uses only. You may not reproduce any part of this mod without including me in your mod's credits. Halo and all related stuff are owned by Microsoft. Paramount owns Star Trek. All your base are belong to us. --Contact-- Email: Gnrl_Wolf@hotmail.com Don't add me unless its really important. >,.,<
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