Competitive Firewall

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This 12 player invasion map was created with 1 main goal in mind; to breathe fresh ideas into the invasion formula while still maintaining competitive integrity. The invasion gamemode is in a unique position to bring the campaign feel to a multiplayer match. However, this can often lead to a lopsided experience that lacks the staying power and replayability of a more fine tuned and balanced competitive map. After countless playtests, great feedback from other forgers, and 82 versions, I have reached an iteration of the map I’m happy with, and hope you will be as well.

Phase 1 During the explosive first phase, attacking elites are tasked with overloading the satellite dishes communicating with the UNSC’s orbital assets. Until this objective is complete, the attackers will need to contend with the power of the target designator. To help with this uphill battle, the elites will have access to 2 needle rifles and a wraith. The outer defenses won’t let the wraith get too close, but it’s still a very powerful tool in the right hands. The target designator only has 3 shots to use, so defending spartans will need to get creative with their tactics when taking on the wraith. In addition to the target designator, spartans also have 2 grenade launchers and turrets at their disposal. While grenade launcher ammo is limited (2 shots), they respawn every minute along with the wraith. Phase 1 is a constant back and forth battle where teams are always fighting for momentum. Whether you’re attacking or defending, clever use of team tactics and an expanded phase 1 arsenal is vital for success.

Phase 2 The second phase introduces players to the defender’s base. This multilayered fortification features various rooms, routes, sneaky drop downs, and skilled jump ups. Elites must take control of base defense terminals to locate and expose the spartan’s data core. Varying levels of vertical playspace offers players a unique environment, often fighting up and down rather than back and forth. Roof control is the name of the game here, allowing defending spartans to gain important lines of sight, and attacking elites to gain power positions and buddy spawn opportunities. On the ground, an intense game of cat and mouse takes place between the defending warthogs and the attacking wraith. While the warthog is rarely centerstage on invasion maps, careful consideration went into ensuring skilled drivers have a variety of options available to them. With potent lines of sight on objectives, flank routes, and a safe area specifically designed for the warthog to retreat to, talented drivers and gunners can have a meaningful impact on the outcome of a match. In addition to the 2 warthogs, spartans also gain access to a sniper rifle, rocket launcher, shotgun, and grenade launcher. While the elite weapon set may seem underwhelming in comparison, (only gaining access to a focus rifle, concussion rifle, and jetpack,) they more than make up for it with the power of their wraith and the flanking potential of the ghost.

Phase 3 For the third and final phase, defending spartans will need to prevent the elites from capturing their data core. The phase begins with a tough close range brawl in the core room. While the core room can be tough to crack, it’s far from impenetrable. Attackers can take advantage of many different approaches and drop down locations to push the spartans out. Constantly attacking from one side will prove very difficult, while a coordinated push from multiple angles can make quick work of turtling spartans. To help break the defender’s hold, the elites will gain access to a banshee and an ultra powerup. While the banshee has very limited access to the core room, it’s an important tool for clearing defenders off the roof and allowing your fellow attackers to breach. The ultra powerup takes a more direct approach, granting whoever picks it up a 2x rechargeable overshield for 60 seconds and changing their player colour to gold. The sight of a gold elite is enough to strike fear into the hearts of spartans, often requiring coordinated fire or heavy ordnance to stop. With fire coming in from the banshee and elite ultra, defenders will have a tough time trying to hold the line. Once the core has been pulled from the core room, the final “trench run” begins. The core must be pulled in the long strip of no man’s land that separates the spartan’s and elite’s territory. Both team’s full arsenal will be on display as they fight for control of this deadly trench. To cut through the elite’s vehicles, defenders will gain access to a spartan laser in their vehicle bay.

This is a particularly potent tool, but it needs to be used appropriately as it’s on a long respawn time. Attacker’s will need to push spartans off their power positions if they are to move the core, so rooftop control is still a vital part of the trench run. The final moments of phase 3 require elite’s to bring the core up a staircase to a landing pad. This intense final stand, often taking place in the last 30 seconds of a round, will push both team’s skills to the limits.

I hope you enjoyed this look into one of my most challenging forge projects. Balancing this map was an absolute nightmare at times, but thanks to the dedication and feedback from members of the Anvil, we were able to navigate its many challenges. Special thanks to AbleSirThomas, NomNom321, General Trex, James 005, Spiderman cy612, and many others for testing, providing feedback, and optimization support (despite my occasional bad mood XD).
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Halo: Reach Icon Invasion
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