An overhead view of Standoff. Symmetry not in motion.
Once, nearby telescopes listened for a message from the stars. Now these silos contain our prepared response. Standoff, a serene valley boasting symmetrical bases on both sides is an ideal map for nearly all player counts. Despite not actually being large in size, like say, Valhalla, Standoff’s rock configurations and broad width allow plenty of space and plenty of cover for temporary residents.
Three of Standoff's (open-at-default) entryways are visible here. Not pictured: The back door.
Each of the bases boasts three entrances from the outset, but the flip of a switch will open some windows and a lower exit, a fourth entrance/exit to protect. In Objective games, where Standoff really shines, commandeering and triggering that fourth entrance can be critical.
There’s a significant armament within and atop each base. By default there are no Sniper Rifles on Standoff, so the stationary (and of course, removable turrets) become determining factors in defending your base, while simultaneously, keeping enemy actions around their base under control. The ensured remedy to the respective Turret problem waits in the center of the map – the Spartan Laser.
The differences between the bases are subtle. Notice the red UNSC insignia on the exterior. Decorations on each base's interiors offer other clues as to whether or not you are inside Red or Blue base.
The Spartan Laser is also ideal for dealing with the Warthog parked in front of each base. If the Spartan Laser is dry and grenade spamming doesn’t work – each base has a Rocket Launcher, but instead of the usual four rockets, Standoff’s Rocket Launchers only have two. There’s a pair of Needlers bookending the valley cradling the Spartan Laser. Just in front of each base’s main entrance/exit is a Shotgun, ideal for defending the precious interior.
- The Spartan Laser is for killing vehicles, once enemy Warthogs have been destroyed or commandeered then use it to kill infantry.
- For sneakily achieving objectives, drive a Mongoose behind a base and creep in the back door.
- Don’t underestimate the defensive advantages of dropping your own shield windows. You can use the windows as sniping perches and they’re relatively safe.
- A fast moving Warthog is relatively safe from grenades and fire thanks to the numerous large boulders. So take advantage of the chaos it can cause.
- The best vantage point in the entire game is the open Silo cover behind Blue Base. Know it by the giant “3” emblazoned there.
- Active camo is a key asset - especially in objective game types.
Sniper/Swords: Team Slayer with starting weapons being Sniper Rifle and Sword. The mixture of long play and close up melee attack yields surprisingly few sword “clangs” and makes for a tense yet frenetic Slayer variant that works well with almost any team size.
Straight down the tunnel at the center of the above image is the Rocket Launcher -- and alleway players are funneled into for carnage.
After the orbital elevator fell, supply warehouses sending munitions to space were soon abandoned. Foundry an, empty-able shipping warehouse, is a collection of Halo staples: boxes, crates and ramps. Designed with customization in mind via the Forge, the Foundry’s default layout is symmetrical, but the “bases” are actually on the same side of the map. There’s a large structural divide between the two bases, funneling players into the map’s open and volatile center.
The Sniper Rifle sure is positioned at the corner of two long hallways. That's a hint from design, folks.
A Shotgun spawns in the center of the map in the Carnage Alley that players must navigate in order to get to the other team’s base in Objective gametypes. Just above the Shotgun and a bit further back sits the Rocket Launcher. Each team has a Sniper Rifle at the opposite
end of their base, from each base, getting to the Sniper Rifle requires crossing Carnage Alley.
The Power Drainer sits atop a crate directly above and across from the Shotgun, with a perfectly timed crouch jump (where players click to crouch while they are in mid-air) from the lip of the Power Drainer spawn players can leap over the horror below and grab the Rocket Launcher.
- Yes, the Power Drainer and the Battle Rifle are like peanut butter and jelly, especially on a tight quarters map like Foundry. The Drainer is a portable choke point.
- In VIP games the back office accompanied by a strong defense can be your best ally. It’s OK, camping only irritates the team you’re beating.
- Use the map/grid of Foundry to plan your map designs. It’s found here: http://www.bungie.net/images/News/InlineImages2007/SpecialFeatures/FoundrySoccer/foundry.pdf
- Foundry is one of the safest places to toss blind grenades. You should have an excellent idea of where your team mates are. Toss blind grenades elsewhere for lucky justice.
- Remember the center door in the back corridor is a Forge object. You can remove it to make a perfect loop.
- Remember also that the windows on the symmetrical “office” areas can also be removed.
Grifball. Empty map with “goals” at either end – basically Bomb Plant spots from Assault. Two teams of four play single Bomb Assault and try to run the Bomb into the endzone. Everyone has swords and hammers. The Bomb carrier runs at 150% speed and damage is increased for hammers. Teams spawn PLAY BALL! (We'll have much more on this gametype and chat with its creator, Burnie Burns from Red vs. Blue soon)
Side by side comparison shots of Rat's Nest's two bases. Not-so-subtle coloring distinguishes the two bookends to the battlezone.
Snowmelt from Kilimanjaro feeds reservoirs every bit as vital as the fuel and ammunition stores. Rat’s Nest is a map meeting the spatial criteria for a Big Team Battle Map, with all of the tight corridors and interesting interiors for smaller matches.
Perspective is somewhat distorting this corner around the racetrack.
A “racetrack” circles the map, running from base to base for surgical or hilariously disaster-filled attempts at quick Flag captures or Territory claiming. If taking a vehicle around the “loop” doesn’t fit your play style there are a number of connected rooms running through the center of the map to get from one base to the other.
Those rooms, of course, have openings that lead to the “racetrack” but also connect to hallways that run all the way behind the respective bases and deposit players behind the respective flag placements. Each base has two Warthogs and two Mongooses as default vehicles and a lone Ghost sits near Territory four. Territory four is in the middle of one of the “racetrack” straightaway segments and also holds a Sniper Rifle. Territory Three is straight across the “racetrack” along the broken portion of the base looking at the Pelican.
The hallway between Territory three and four, a massive collection of treats at your disposal.
There’s a Gravity Hammer and Invisibility along the pathway between these two territories at the heart of Rat’s Nest. The connecting center rooms include a variety of weapons, including a bunch of Battle Rifles, some Maulers, Needlers, Shotguns and Brute Shots.
- Remember you can neatly bisect the entire track by running through the central corridor system.
- By the same token, you can make an entire loop of the track faster than a Spartan can run through the length of the center.
- Use the crates, concrete barriers and more to hide from splash damage in Territories.
- The Turret above the central canal – backing onto the open Cliffside – can be a game changing trap for pursuing defenders.
- If using a Hog for offensive duties – keep your foot on the pedal – a slow Hog in a narrow corridor is a double kill waiting to happen.
- Control the close-quarters weapons – Shotgun, Hammer or suffer the consequences.
- The hanging pipes above the vehicle corridors are a nice safe place to hide from Zombies if you can figure out how to get there.
- A lone Sniper can do a lot of damage down a long gloomy corridor. But pick the right corridor for the right game type.
Save One Bullet. One of the built-in Infection modes. You have a limited ammo supply and cannot pick up weapons. Works great with at least eight players and better with 16.