Halo Wars 2 isn’t just a traditional RTS anymore. With the inclusion of the fast-paced Blitz mode, you’ll be using decks of cards to out-think your enemies without all the base-building mechanics. This is pure army-vs-army, and the only resources are energy pick-ups, and the deck you’ve selected.
It’s a pretty big departure from other RTS mainstays, so to help all the fresh Halo Wars 2 recruits wrap their heads around this premier game mode, we’ve come up with 5 tips you’ll want to keep in mind before heading out into the virtual battlefield.
More Halo Wars 2 guides on Gameranx:
- Halo Wars 2: All Skulls Locations | Complete Collectibles Guide
- Halo Wars 2: All Phoenix Logs Locations | Complete Collectibles Guide
- Halo Wars 2: How to Get Free Blitz Packs (And Why You Shouldn’t Buy Them)
#1: Want To Win? You’re Going To Need The Most Energy
Energy is the single most important resource available in Halo Wars 2. The player with the most energy is likely going to win, and grabbing energy before your opponent is a critical strategy for victory. This is true of basically any FPS, but there are a few little twists to the formula in Halo Wars 2.
Any unit can destroy an energy container, but only ground-based units can actually collect the energy. Yes, you can send a Hornet over to the container, but there’s no way to grab it. Don’t use flying units for energy collection!
- Fast vehicles are the best units for grabbing energy. Send one over to a capsule and blast it.
- They’re quick, strong enough to destroy a capsule, and tough enough to survive a few hits… or to escape a bigger, badder unit.
- Don’t just blast a container from afar — get as close as possible while attacking. That way you’ll immediately collect the energy when the container is destroyed.
- Energy spawns in a random location at certain timer intervals during a match.
- These times are: 11:50 / 11:10 / 9:10 / 7:10 / 5:10 /3: 10 / 1:10
Be prepared for those new energy spawns. You’ll want to prepare ahead of time with fast vehicles that can get to the containers before your opponents. Most new players won’t know about the respawn times, so use their lack of knowledge to your advantage.
- When building your deck, always include a fast unit. The Jackrabbit is a good fast vehicle choice, and perfect for hunting down energy.
Speaking of fast units, let’s talk about movement.
#2: Always Keep Your Units Together — Movement Management
In Halo Wars 2, every unit has its own movement speed. Grunts move slower than speedy vehicles, which move slower than heavy tanks. All those movement speeds can hurt or help your personal strategy — and it’s important to remember that a selected group of units will always move at the speed of the slowest unit.
- That sounds pretty crappy, right? It’s actually a secret life-saver, because the fastest units tend to be your weakest. Rushing into a fight, you don’t want your weakest units hitting the front line first. The longer a unit survives, the more damage that unit can do.
Yeah, it sounds obvious, and the most obvious way to keep even your weakest units alive is to move ground units together — with all units selected as a group.
- There are caveats, of course! The advanced player will want to send fast vehicles ahead to scout. If you’re a skilled micromanager, hit-and-run tactics are a good way to harass opponents and see what their army looks like.
- And always, always, always select flying units separated from your ground team. You’ll want to maneuver flyers to safety incase of heavy anti-air, or strike first against light resistance.
#3: Don’t Like Your Cards? Cycle Them Out!
The luck of the draw can make or break a game of Blitz, but you’re always allowed to cycle out cards from your hand. This costs energy, and conserving energy is important, right? Not quite — once you earn +1.1 Energy Gain per second it’s possible to cycle through your entire deck without a net energy loss.
Say you start with 100 energy. If your energy gain is (at least) +1.1 per second, you can cycle through your entire deck and still retain 100 energy.
Yes, you won’t gain energy, but you’ll be able to select extremely powerful cards over and over, pulling multiple powerful units or abilities from your deck.
#4: Be Careful When (And Where!) You Summon Units
Blitz allows you to summon units from your deck at any point, but there’s a serious reason why you won’t want to drop units into combat willy-nilly. Units that are summoned straight into a fight are severely hindered by the “Combat Fatigue” debuff.
- What Is Combat Fatigue?: Units summoned directly into a fight start with 50% health, 50% armor, and 50% damage reduction. A summoned unit must wait 8 seconds after being summoned before this debuff is removed.
Dropping units into a fight should be reserved for last-ditch efforts. If you’re close to winning and just need that one time little push to defeat an enemy Scarab, it makes sense to summon more units. If you’re in a hopeless fight, dropping more units from your deck onto the battlefield is just going to make sure situation even more hopeless.
- Instead of dropping units directly into a fight, summon them around the outskirts of the map or drop them into your home base, then run the troops in from the outside to help. They won’t be debuffed, and might actually lend a hand (instead of dying horribly).
There are certain units you will want to summon directly on top of an enemy army though…
- Blast Units (Suicide Grunts, Etc) can decimate an enemy that isn’t paying attention.
- Simply summon an explosive suicide unit in the center of an army. It will have Combat Fatigue, but that doesn’t matter — they explode when killed, dishing out insane damage.
#5: Use the Home Base Buffs To Crush Cocky Opponents
Having trouble dealing with an opponent’s powerful army? If you’re lucky, you can lure an enemy back to your home base, where your units get some serious healing buffs. Even weak groups of grunts can hold a heroic defense at your home base, giving you a clear advantage in any encounter.
- This is a good way to completely wipe out your opponent’s army. Lead a large army back to your base, then summon a powerful unit directly into the fight. Any unit summoned at the home base WILL NOT be Combat Fatigued.
Any smart opponent won’t dare follow you back to the base, and neither should you. If you see any enemy retreating to their base, just let it go. There aren’t many reasons why you’ll want to risk putting yourself at a severe disadvantage.
Don’t forget to play the tutorial if you haven’t already. Got your own tips for conquering in Halo Wars 2? Let us know in the comments!