Anchor 9: Spartans…in Space! - Halo Reach Noble Map Pack
If the massive vehicle filled frag fests of Breakpoint are a little to large scale for your tastes Bungie has created an equally excellent close quarters offering in Anchor 9. Noble Map Pack’s smallest map is also one of the best suited for rumble pit, oddball or smaller games of team slayer. It’s also one of the only chances you’ll get to pull of an aerial assassination that literally knocks someone into the stratosphere.
The only downside is that in most cases it’s a game of who can control the two key weapons on the level, the shotgun and the rocket launcher. Luckily with plenty of blind corners and two floors each team has plenty of opportunities to turn the match around if they end up on the wrong side of a rocket.
If there’s one game-type that is well suited for Anchor 9 it’s without a doubt Team Slayer. Unlike the corridor treadmill that is Zealot, Anchor 9 actually has a large variety of terrain. If you’re feeling like putting your DMR skills to the test take a jog out to space which gives you a nice slow moving Duckhunt style shooting gallery down range if your enemies aren’t also packing. As an added bonus it lets you watch over the rocket launcher spawn on the walkway outside the windows in the middle.
If you’re feeling like getting a little more personal you can snag the always hotly contested shotgun in the yellow T junction in the middle of the map. While it’s not easy to grab if you can get your hands on it and stick to the hallways you’re more or less guaranteed to end up with a shotgun spree. Just make sure you don’t leave yourself vulnerable out in the open in one of the hangers or taking a space walk.
When it comes to working as a team running laps as a four person gank squad works surprisingly well on this level as does picking one side of the map to lock down hard with your teammates. Just keep an eye on that rocket launcher spawn or else you might end up a walking overkill.
A final tidbit of Anchor 9 knowledge is that you can one hit kill someone from under the stairs if you can hit them in the back through the stairs as they pass over you. It’s an easy way to knock out some one who out guns you if you can get the drop on them.
How Hot Potato isn’t a more popular gametype is beyond me, but it seems that with Anchor 9’s release it’s picking up steam. If you’re playing on the DLC hopper you’ll be playing this in Unanchored, which disappointingly is not Anchor 9 with the gravity turned off everywhere, but just the standard Anchor 9 with the shield doors gone so you can freely fire your weapons in between space and the hangers.
They key to winning Hot Potato is to keep your ball carrier well protected. Generally speaking the best place to do this is the upper floors on either side of the level. They provide plenty of cover and escape routes if things do get bad. That being said this is Hot Potato so things tend to get mixed up pretty quickly with the ball holder exploding periodically. Sometimes if you’ve been holding on to the bomb for a good chunk of time it’s better to just let the other team have it and roll your team over to the bomb reset area since they’ll probably be taking a trip to the respawn screen while you rack up some more time.
Another solid hiding spot is out in space on the ledge where the rockets spawn. This provides decent cover and if the enemy team breaks through your defense you’re bomb holder will have a solid chance to off one of them with a quick bomb slap to the face.
While Team Slayer can quickly boil down to camping the rocket launcher and the shotgun when you throw a free for all slayer game into the mix that strategy generally quickly goes out the airlock. While of course if you can nab either of those weapons then you’re good to go it usually pays off more to just watch the routes to either of these weapons and pick up some easy kills while they’re focused on nabbing the superior weapons.
Another thing to remember is that those shield doors don’t just block bullets, but also grenades. If things are looking grim and you’re being chased with your shields dropped you can sometimes turn things around by lobbing a grenade at the door right before you run through hit. It’ll bounce off and generally people get so crazy eyed for the kill that they won’t even notice it until they’re launched off into Reach’s stratosphere.
The most important thing to remember is don’t let yourself get out in the open. If there are seven other players out for your hide chances are if you’re out for a leisurely stool in the middle of the hanger you’ll end up giving the ground a hug before you even know what hit you.