Reviews for Halo: the Art of War
Guest chapter 1 . 8/8
"Mark my words, Comrade... One day things will change. We will take the fight to their land... to their people... to their blood" Reznov
Guest chapter 1 . 8/8
Mark my words, Comrade... One day things will change. We will take the fight to their land... to their people... to their blood
Heiryuu chapter 4 . 8/7
That but in the end about battle cruisers is one of the things that irks me about IRL military. You have an lightly armored vehicle, it’s got a gun that can in theory engage hard targets but it’s really meant to provide support for infantry against entrenchments and light vehicles… and some idiot inevitably uses them against tanks and they fail miserably at that job. Then everyone calls the design a failure even though it wasn’t meant for that job and does it’s actually job really well.
bumike99 chapter 12 . 7/3
I am going to have to call it on reading this fic. Spearhead overall as a team honestly just annoys me as troupe in this fic, that honestly doesn't belong. It'd be one thing to have some Spartan's with vices, but they are vastly overpowered compared to anyone else - when everyone else is a super soldier as well. They honestly take the concept of allowing Operation Red Flag going forward, unenjoyable.

Based on the summary, I had figured everything in the fic would have followed the lore a bit more. Just changed the fall of reach and made things 'go to plan'. But this fic just ended up not being for me, drastic change in almost everything with weaponry, to the spartan teams (Also, Noble team was primarily spartan III's with Jorge being the only Spartan II - making them Spartan IV's was an odd choice). I was complacent with reading forward with those changes, but the entire fight with Wa... then Kelly actually talking back to the chief and defending Wa over him. When obviously Wa was in the wrong. That destroyed any decent dynamic in the fic.

I am sure that there will be some come to jesus moment for John in the next couple of chapters. With the Silva fight at the end of this chapter and all, that he ends up accepting them back. But I just can't do that myself. I am sure others have a similar issue, I'd just recommend you put in the summary in the future that this is heavily involving OC characters.
Guest chapter 7 . 5/27
And something else about this fic: the summary implies that the main changes to canon are that Reach doesn't fall and that Operation: Red Flag goes through as intended. However, there are far more changes made within the actual story.

For one thing, the Spartan-IVs, especially Spearhead Team and their leader, Yang. Colonel Yang is a Gary Stu of the highest order. He massively changes the equipment and organization of the UNSC within four years. He shows extreme competence, to the point that he could lead humanity to victory by himself.

Hundreds of Spartans appear out of nowhere. The only Spartans at this time in the canon were the surviving IIs, the Headhunter teams and Cat-2 IIIs from Alpha and Beta Companies, and Gamma Company (who were completing their training around this time). The numbers are unclear to me, but I think they add up to under 400 in total. It would have been cool to see the IIs and IIIs deploy together. The IIs would have been skeptical of the IIIs and the IIIs would have been eager to prove themselves to the IIs. Eventually, the IIIs can prove themselves on the battlefield and earn the IIs respect. But the author seems more intent on bashing the Master Chief.

Spearhead Team, oh boy, don't get me started on them. Actually, I will. Full of Gary Stus (and a Mary Sue to boot), they appear to be the authors' pets. Wa-514 is the obvious one, a Hulk expy who went through procedures that stretch the science of Halo to the breaking point. Redundant organs, regeneration, metal bones... Huh. Is he supposed to be a Spess Muhreen from Warhammer 40k? Steven-666 (oh my, what a CoOl and eDgY reference) the Spartan who smokes cigars, drinks from elite skulls, bangs women, and is the bestest sharpshooter evah. Jonathan-665, his twin brother (eye roll) who is a demolitions expert that disregards safety protocols because those are for losers. Richard-701, the short Spartan who *does backflip* uses PARKOUR. And finally, Nicole-458, the Dead or Alive reference. She's the normal one who can reign in the "miscreants and psychopaths," as you call them. They show up Master Chief later in the story and Kelly bonds with Wa and defends him despite Wa trying to literally rip (and tear) Kelly apart a chapter earlier.

Spearhead Team shouldn't exist, in my opinion. If you wanted oddball Spartans, Gamma Company is right there. Team Saber (or Katana if you wanted to make OCs) are all IIIs with personality. You can even include the berserker aspect, as noted in my previous review. When Mark didn't take his smoothers, he went off the reservation and shanked a bunch of Brutes (although Fred-104 (the close-quarter combat expert of the Spartan-IIs) notes that the knife strikes were precise and expertly done), later developing paranoia until he was able to get access to his smoothers again. You can have something like that and have the IIs (and even their brethren from Alpha and Beta Companies) question whether the Gammas should be on the operation. Eventually, they can prove themselves to everyone else.

All-in-all, there was a lot of missed potential in this story. Gary Stus abound and the changes to canon are far more extensive than what the author would make you initially believe. I hope someone else does this concept, but better. That's all folks.
Guest chapter 2 . 5/27
The Spartan-IIIs didn't have inferior enhancements. In fact, their enhancements were on par with the Spartan-IIs. Also, while their armor (the Semi-Powered Infiltration Armor) was inferior, it was still more advanced than any other armor in the UNSC, including the ODST BDUs. It was equipped with photo reactive plating, which was a rudimentary form of active camouflage. Ackerson didn't send them on the missions, ONI did. He just proposed the program.

Halopedia notes: "Despite the Spartan-IIIs' expendable nature and lower-grade equipment than the Spartan-IIs, their enhancements represented a "quantum leap" over the previous program's bioaugmentation set.

The muscular augmentations administered gave a Spartan-III the strength of "three normal soldiers". During Operation: TORPEDO, Spartan-IIIs ran at a speed of nearly 30 KPH (around 18 MPH). Spartan-IIIs were also described to have been moving with "speed and reflexes that no Covenant could follow". "They dodged, snapped necks and limbs, and with captured energy swords, they cut through the enemy until the field ran with rivers of gore and blue blood". The Spartans of Team Foxtrot engaged six Kig-Yar in close quarters and left the aliens' bodies "snapped like rag dolls". Tom-B292, 12 years old at the time and equipped with SPI armor, engaged a Sangheili armed with a plasma pistol and an energy sword in hand-to-hand combat. The Spartan's enhanced reflexes allowed him to dodge a plasma pistol bolt and sword swing at point blank range. He then proceeded to throw the Sangheili warrior to the ground and finish it off with his assault rifle. During the battle, the Sangheili and Kig-Yar forces moved out of cover because they realized that it was suicidal to face Spartans in close quarters.

Approximately 300 Spartan-IIIs faced thousands upon thousands of Covenant, including Covenant air support, and were described to have been winning the battle until 7 Covenant cruisers emerged as reinforcements. During the battle on Pegasi Delta, most of Beta Company were roughly twelve years old. The physical abilities of any Spartan-IIIs who lived long enough to mature would supposedly have improved significantly as CPO Mendez stated that Spartans only grew stronger and faster as their bodies grew accustomed to their augmentations. Although the carbide ceramic ossification rendered the Spartan-IIIs' bones "virtually unbreakable", they can still be broken by extreme physical trauma. This was demonstrated when Olivia-G291's legs were broken in several places by a three-meter-long slab of rock falling on them...

Mark-G313 was noted as being the best sharpshooter of his detail, which at the time consisted of Team Saber and Frederic-104, who was the second-best sniper among the Spartan-IIs. Moreover, during Operation: JOVIAN WHISTLE, Mark eliminated a Jiralhanae warrior by paralyzing it with a precise blade strike to its spine, leading Fred-104 to deem Mark's skills exceptional, even by Spartan standards. Soon after, Mark eliminated numerous Jiralhanae warriors in close-quarters combat, with nothing but his combat knife. Mark then continued his attack on the enemy by killing three Jiralhanae warriors before any of them even realized what was happening. He also killed a dozen enemies in six seconds with the help of Ash-G099. In 2558, SPARTAN-G059 engaged Avu Med 'Telcam and two other Commanders in close quarters combat. She eliminated the two Sangheili with minimal effort and proceeded to finish off 'Telcam with three kicks, a punch, and a shot from an M6H Magnum.

While Veta Lopis and her Ferret Team were on Neos Atlantis, Mark-G313 dodged a knife strike from the corner of his eye and proceeded to pick up Spencer Hume - a 309 lbs(140 kg) man - and use him as a human shield to block knife strikes from Ota Gallo. When Hume began to resist, Mark accidentally killed him by dealing a soft punch to the his chest, although Mark suggested that Hume must've had a weak heart for the hit to have killed him since Mark was deliberately holding back his strength with the blow. Later on, Mark moved so quickly that a Dark Moon Enterprises agent shot himself in the feet when Mark "abruptly" forced his rifle downwards. Additionally, Ash-G099 killed a Dark Moon Enterprises operative with three "rabbit" punches to the man's skull.

The Spartan-IIIs' augmentations allow them to remain conscious and even function effectively while exposed to the vacuum of space for up to a minute. However, the Spartans still suffer from the negative effects of exposure to space and require medical treatment directly after to recover. While on board a spacecraft, Kevin-A282 walked through the forces of rapid decompression while carrying Captain Darren Leone to safety. Later on, Kevin shot the rifle out of the hands of Ryan Larsson from a quarter mile away and successfully jogged to his location before Ryan could recover."

All of this was done without MJOLNIR, which significantly boosts Spartans speed and strength. It goes to show that the common held belief among the fandom that Spartan-IIIs are inferior is mistaken. Let's not forget that they were subjected to an intensive training regime (said to be more difficult than the Spartan-II training) overseen by Kurt-051 and Mendez, the original Spartan trainer.

And for those with MJOLNIR: "While most Spartan-IIIs were issued Semi-Powered Infiltration armor as opposed to Mjolnir for budgetary reasons, a small number of Spartan-III candidates—called "cat 2s" by Kurt Ambrose—were set apart from the general population of the program by Ambrose and Franklin Mendez on the basis of possessing exceptional skill and performance either in general or in specific fields. These Spartans were removed from the program's mainline companies, given Mjolnir armor and assigned to separate special forces units. Kurt regarded the "cat 2" Spartan-IIIs as being on par with the Spartan-IIs in regard to sheer natural ability, though he would also later assess Gamma Company on the whole as being comprised of the "finest Spartans ever". Additionally, Dr. Catherine Halsey noted how SPARTAN-B312's "hyper-lethal" rating was shared by only one other Spartan, and remarked that Jun-A266's skills as a sniper were "unmatched". Spartan-B312 was also noted to have singlehandedly broken Insurrectionist organizations and made entire militia groups disappear.

While making his last stand on Reach, SPARTAN-B312, wearing Mjolnir armor, knocked out a Sangheili General with a single elbow strike and shot him twice in the head as he was struggling to get up. He then continued to make his final effort by dealing single strikes to multiple Sangheili Ultras and Sangheili Zealots causing them to forcefully stagger backwards, before being subdued himself. During the Battle of Meridian in 2548, Owen-B096 took the hit of a Mgalekgolo full force which sent him flying through the wall of a warehouse. Thereafter, he beat the Hunter in CQC only suffering a minor limp from the encounter."

As you can see, the Spartan-IIIs were every part the equal of their Second Generation brethren.
dmccoy16 chapter 35 . 2/4
A shame it's been abandoned. But still a good fanfic.
BrentNewland chapter 14 . 4/24/2022
"Prepare for an epic story about how the UNSC kicks covenant ass due to just ONE TINY CHANGE!"

I'm 14 chapters in, and besides one battle, it's all a bunch of drama and a bunch of OC's. Pretty sure 1500 Spartans didn't appear just because the covenant didn't find reach.

An interesting story premise that you don't live up to. I give up.
Albericus chapter 18 . 4/3/2022
I can't read anymore. I can only digest so much Mary Sue.
Firehelper chapter 31 . 1/15/2022
I really hope you update this one day but I understand life moves on

Great writing
Thedysons chapter 7 . 12/31/2021
ayo do I spot a demoman reference
TheOneBehindTheVeil chapter 35 . 11/17/2021
Is this a dead story?... The narrative was good... hope theres more.
Braga chapter 1 . 10/10/2021
"Weapons Nut. I’m not affiliated with the NRA, though. All they do is get innocent people killed."
Nah, that's the drug companies. But I guess you'd have to be this dumb to write something this terrible.
TheTamrielian chapter 2 . 6/8/2021
Also, where the hell are Kurt Ambrose and Sergeant Johnson?!
TheTamrielian chapter 1 . 6/8/2021
Jokes aside... yeah, I came to this fic expecting an AU fic where Red Flag not only happens, but leads to an end of the war. What I got was:

Unnecessary canon name changes. For example, UNSC is corny but UNDF isn't? Seem to have been a bit inconsistent with keeping it UNDF instead of UNSC, by the way. I also don't like how you repainted the Mk. V MJOLNIR.

You mentioned that the Battle of Reach won't happen... yet. Though I guess I'll never know how that was to go down. I can forgive you for not still having the Fleet of Valiant Prudence attack Reach. Because judging from when this was written; started rather, I don't think it was established yet that they were acting independently of everyone Vadamee brought with him.

You also sidelined freaking Noble Team for your OC Spearhead Team. Where do I even begin with them? Edgy Gary Stus, Wa is a Knockoff Hulk like that one reviewer said, I think there's no way in hell the Flying Tigers would've lasted if they were even half of what Spearhead is. They're just pure plot armor, especially Wa. I'll cut it there with them.

You made the Spartan IIs and Chief utter wusses. You seriously nerfed the Covenant all across the board. You also took what could've been something really interesting with Mendicant Bias tagging along with the Chief and just unceremoniously killed him off. You turned a great hero turned villain seeking redemption into a MacGuffin for all intents and purposes. I'm still not clear on what exactly he even did. I also found your constant misspelling of 'Mendicant' as 'Medicant' rather irritating.

It's not a matter of thinking the space and ground battles are way too one sided, that is a fact. Even if the UNSC is known in canon to dominate ground battles against the Covenant, this takes it to highly unlikely levels. All of your new tech that you claimed does not give the UNSC a clear edge clearly rather just evened the odds seems to have argued otherwise. Referencing what another reviewer said, completely replacing the UNSC arsenal in just 4 years WHILE getting driven back by the Covenant more and more is just absurd. I could go more on this, but I'd just be quoting what others already said.

There is way too much in the way of fanon in this story for my liking. What started off as a compelling AU fic flew off the rails and turned into a crackfic, that's exactly what this is. I stuck on to at least see how it ends, until I realized just a couple chapters before #35 that the fic wasn't marked as Complete.

So not only am I left hanging, but I'm also left with a bitter taste in my mouth from something that I WAS enjoying at first. I didn't read the reviews to avoid spoilers. But maybe I should start doing that more, because I pretty much just wasted two and a half days on this fic.
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