Lagging behind as ever, this is one of the latest series from Dark Horse, set pretty soon after the destruction of the Death Star, with the Rebels hunting for a new base and our familiar characters struggling with their place in the galaxy, Luke has lost everything he ever knew, Leia had her homeworld destroyed before her very eyes and Han can't quite figure out what he's doing among all these foolhardy rebels.
Occupation: Imperial Colonel, lead pilot
Bircher is an exceptionally gifted Imperial, a talented pilot, leading squadrons of the new TIE Interceptors in his distinctive red flightsuit and also experienced in commanding a Star Destroyer. Due to his success in hounding the Alliance, he was given command of the Devastator, formerly Vader's flagship.
Birra Seah Species: Human
Occupation: Systems designer, Kuat Drive Yards / Temporary Moff
A designer for Kuat Drive Yards, Vader sensed potential in her (and the force) and place her in command of the Second Death Star project as his emmisary.
One of the new 'stealth squadron' formed by Leia and Mon Mothma to operate off the books in the search for a new base of operations and to find the spy leaking information to the Empire. There are several pilots in the squadron, but Prithi is the only one who stands out in this arc, she has a strong attachment to Luke, which causes tension between her and Leia.
I've added a map as per usual, but a lot of the action takes place in deep space so I haven't done my usual spaghetti of lines across the map.
The Rebel Alliance have scored their greatest victory over the Empire with the destruction of the Death Star, but also their greatest loss, with the location of their base revealed they must yet again retreat to space. Scouts are sent out to search for new worlds, with Leia, Luke and Wedge heading up the search, but with every planet they visit, they find the Empire right behind them. Aware that a mole may be within their ranks Mon Mothma establishes a squadron to work off the books to find a new world and root out the mole, but still the Empire dogs all their footsteps, causing a showdown between the squadron and an Imperial Star Destroyer that they barely survive! Meanwhile Han Solo head to Coruscant for a deal on behalf of the Rebellion that goes downhill, with Imperials and Boba Fett on his tail and Vader, overseeing the construction of a new Death Star is troubled by a name he has not heard for a long time...
This is an ongoing story, which takes time to deal with the reactions of the characters to the events of A New Hope as well as providing plenty of action and adventure.
I'm loving the new series from Marvel and Joss Whedon, set in the Avengers Universe, with relevant references to the movies, grounding it in the same timeline, but also brand new characters and missions giving it the strength to stand on it's own.
I plan on doing some sort of review (by which I mean geeking out over the cool new stuff in it!!) sometime around the mid-way point in a few weeks time, but to save time when I get there I thought it'd be good to introduce the key agents involved and thankfully Marvel have done my job for me with a set of 'level 7' videos introducing each character, their skills and history and the actor's own reflections on them.
I'm persisting in continuing my playthrough of Halo 4 long after I finished the campaign. There seem to be rumours/news that the 'Halo' shown at E3 isn't actually Halo 5 but another installment in a larger saga. We'll see how that turns out, but it'll depend opn when I eventually get my grubby mits on an Xbox One.
As implied in the title, this mission is about John and Cortana going after the UNSC Infinity which has crashed on Requiem. As usual I'll slot in my updates here.
Otherwise known as Ur-Didact or 'Shadow-of-Sundered-Star' this figure was the leader of the Prometheans, a key element of the Forerunner military. The Didact was first mentioned in the terminals in Halo 3 and has his backstory further delved into in the Greg Bear novels, of which I've only read the first. Hidden in the bowels of Reqiuem this opponent of the Flood and the ancient humans has tricked John into resurrecting him from his Cryptum and has taken command of the Promethean Knights to take his revenge on his ancient enemy.
Lasky first appeared as a cadet in the live-action series 'Forward Unto Dawn' which I posted on my blog and is now available on Blu-Ray and DVD. Now having risen through the ranks he is second-in-command of the Infinity and running ground operations on Requiem. He is pleased to see that the Chief has survived and to have an opporunity to meet him again.
A Cryptum is a place of solitude where a disgraced Warrior of the Forerunners will spend an extended length of time, even centuries, in hibernation. When Didact was awoken from his Cryptum he was able to use it as a ship to travel around Requiem, it had powerful scanners and incredible speed, though it was vulnerable to heavy weapons fire such as a MAC blast.
This massive vessel is over five and a half thousand metres long and bristling with experimental engines, weapons and even carrying it's own escort fleet of frigates into battle. As well as a warship it is designed for scientific exploration with the latest equipment and teams of highly trained researchers to investigate the wealth of technological resources uncovered by the war.
A newaddition to the UNSC's arsenal of ground vehicles the Mantis is an exoskeleton capable of being operated by a single occupant to devstating effect. Equipped with a chain gun and a missile launcher. The vehicle can also launch physical attacks on any ground forces unfortunate enough to approach it.
A Promethean shotgun-type weapon. I have to say this was my least-favourite weapon because it looked and functioned exactly like a shotgun, particularly when reloading it. I know it has to be balanced because of multiplayer etc. but I thought for an alien weapon it was just a bit too human.
Another addition to the UNSC's store of weapons the railgun accelerates a projectile to devastating speed. While requiring a short time to charge it is deadly against infantry and light vehicles when fired.
Scythe Anti-Aircraft Gun
Placed on the outside of the Infinity's hull this weapon could function both in atmosphere and space firing at a rapid rate to drive away enemies. John activated these weapons to repel Covenant forces from the downed Infinity.
Lance Guided Missile Launcher
Used to defend various facilities and warships, these missiles when activated by John repelled incoming Phantoms approaching the Infinity. There was also an Onager MAC turret mounted on the hull, which was used to repel the Didact's Cryptum.
Following the Didact across Requiem, John and Cortana find forces from the Infinity who are being overrun by pursuing Covenant and the native Prometheans, who have begun acting as allies against humanity. Eventually Chief meets up with Lasky and a detachment of Marines and Spartan-IVs who are pinned down on the surface. Fighting their way back to the Infinity Chief takes a Mantis to the hull and reactivates the defenses, repelling the invaders andf giving the UNSC Crew a chance to regroup and escape the surface. Reclaimer
As the Infinity lifts off, a company of it's forces are commited to taking out the powerful Forerunner cannons preventing their movement.
Andrew Del Rio
Commanding officer of the Infinity, he has a reputation for ensuring that hjis ships come back from battle in one piece. Tasked with leading the converted warship on a science expedition to locate the remaining Halo rings and study them to ensure they will no longer activate he and his crew were lead to Requiem.
Sarah Palmer is commanding officer of all the Spartans aboard Infinity deploying Fireteams to key situations across Requiem. She is a skilled combatant able to work independently as well as lead her force of super-soldiers
The new generation of Spartans, enhahnced from adult volunteers instead of 'conscripted' children are the powerhouse of Infinity's forces. Chief assisted a force of Spartans in his mission. One gripe I did have was that all Spartas wore 'Recruit' armour, which made the look like ODSTs rather than something more definitive like the 'Warrior' armour seen above.
Wife of the Didact and in the end opposer of his plans to bring harm to humanity she was able to leave something of her essence behind on Requiem, this part of her recognized John as a reclaimer and aided him, also revealing the full extend of Didact's plan.
A suitable massive vehicle, eclipsing even the Elephant vehicle of Halo 3. A mobile command centre able to transport a whole company of soldiers around the battlefield and able to deploy support vehicles from it's lower deck. The vehicle even has it's own mini-MAC cannon capable of delivering massive damage.
A heavier Covenant dropship with powerful armaments and capable of travelling in space. Equipped with a powerful plasma beam, similar to that of a Scarab this larger vehicle could deploy a significant force quickly into a warzone and support them with heavy firepower.
Powerful Forerunner weapons, capable of doing immense damage even to starships, only heavy weapons fire could incapacitate them.
Chief, Cortana and Del Rio butt heads about what to do, with Del Rio arguing that they should leave Requiem, and Chief arguing that they should press their advantage against Didact. John joins Gypsy company and they head out and combat Covenant forces and Prometheans on the way to the particle cannons. Entering a Forerunner structure the Librarian informs John of the Composer a weapon used to turn humans into digital form, making them Promethean Knights. She also informed him of her plan to accelerate the evolution of humanity and triggered changes in John, including immunity to the composer. Returning to the ship, with the gravity well disabled, Del Rio makes ready to leave but Cortana shows her rampancy. Refusing to hand her over for examination Chief leaves the ship, opting to stay behind on the planet and stop Didact.
Wow it's been a long time since I did one of these, and the last one was a catchup too! Anyway here's what I was into over the summer break.
1) Man of Steel
I really enjoyed the Superman reboot. Not having read any Superman comics I didn't have any hangups going in and I thought the artifical birth/ trying to create Krypton on Earth was a good valid reason for Zod to fight Superman rather than simply wanting to conquer. The fights were suitably epic and the story held together well.
A teen Sci-Fi series, I was attracted by the plot of all adults (in fact everyone over 15) disappearing, which reminded me of The Tribe TV series, but the book stands on it's own. Some of the kids develop superpowers, some of the animals mutate and something worse is hidden in the darkness, not to mention the struggle for control. A force field traps all the kids in, similar to Under the Dome, but Stephen King endorses these books so I don't think the similarity is a problem for him!!