The Halo Bulletin 4-16-14


This Monday, I came into the office a bit early. It was quiet, with only a dozen or so early birds at their desks working on all sorts of unannounced projects. Needing to catch up on work, I naturally spent the first 20 minutes reorganizing the various amount of Halo figures, plushies, and limited edition trinkets on my desk in to the perfect arrangement. Then I finally headed into the kitchen to get a morning cup of tea. That’s when it happened.

I hear a pretty loud “THUD!” behind me, and turn to a co-worker to find out where the noise came from. Our eyes gravitate toward the refrigerators that house a variety of beverages that keep 343’ers quenched throughout the day. Frozen sodas were splatted across the glass. Initially, this gave me an extreme craving for a Slush Puppie, but I then realized that a soda had violently exploded and that we might have an issue on our hands. I walked over to the refrigerator and saw something I may never forget.

Throughout the entire fridge, several dozen kamikaze sodas had already exploded, leaving tasty, frozen carbonated slush and jagged-edged soda-can-shrapnel all over the place. Seconds later, another exploded and sent the neatly stacked Coke Zeroes into a domino-like tumble. At this point, I realized the studio was in extreme danger, and took the necessary precautions to keep everyone safe.

What I’m trying to say is that I made a sign. Two signs, actually.


About a minute or two after making these very serious signs, a team member from the Halo Waypoint web team approached the fridge, and I cautioned them to not open it. Seconds later, another “THUD!” was heard as another self-destructive soda came flying at the glass. We looked at each other for a moment. Did I save his life? Yes. Did I save many lives that morning? Probably. Am I a hero? No. The real hero is the refrigerator maintenance man who bravely, without any tactical gear, let alone facial or cranial protection, exposed himself to extreme danger as he emptied the fridge out one explosive can at a time.

Lesson: If you want colder soda, don’t turn the temperature down. That turns the fridge into a vicious life-threatening machine. Use ice cubes.

This week we’ve got a lighter Bulletin, but a few things to talk about. Let’s get into it.

Matchmaking Playlist Update


This past Monday, Ninja Assassins (sneakily) made its way into Halo 4 Matchmaking, and has consistently been one of the top playlists. We hope you’re enjoying the fast paced, snipe / slice / sneak action, and if you’re unfamiliar with the settings, rules, and steps required to become a level 3 ninja, check out last week’s Bulletin. Additionally, we added Neutral Flag and two community maps, Excavation and Panic Station, to Big Team Battle. Be sure to hop into Matchmaking this week to check it all out.

In the coming weeks, we’ll have some new featured playlists as well as changes to existing playlists. We’ll dive into the details then, but we currently have plans to bring Ricochet into other playlists and remove the Ricochet playlist as a permanent installment. We also have plans to bring Heavies back into Matchmaking in a big way, and we’ll have those details and more next week. Yes, we like massive vehicular combat just as much as you do.


This week, we’re preparing for the Multi-Team playlist, which will return to Matchmaking as our featured playlist from April 28 through May 12. The playlist will include a wide variety of Slayer and objective game types, and we’ve got room for one more. Let us know which you’d like to see in this week’s Community Poll:

Community Choice: Multi-Team

HFFL: Can I say first that I for one am EXCITED that Multi-Team is coming back, even if for only two-weeks. However, I’m going to ask all of you to play the HELL out of that playlist. It really needs to make it’s way back into Matchmaking, permanently! How many times have you gone in with yourself and two friends and had to play team slayer or a bigger team playlist? Multi-team fills that void when it’s just you and two others.


The chaos of Multi-Team brings a new feel to each of the below game types:

Quick Draw

One of Halo 4’s newer game types, Quick Draw equips players with Magnums, Frag Grenades, and a dream.

Legendary Slayer

Multi-Team Legendary Slayer pits players against one another in a precision rifle based experience. Headshots, stolen kills, and this time around, there are three losing teams instead of just one.

Team Swords

Lots of Energy Swords, clashing, and nonstop action.

HFFL: I’m tired of Swords (Clang of the Hill anyone?). Quick draw? Meh, pass. But Legendary Slayer? YES PLEASE! This is the closest to Halo 3 that we’re going to get. I’m ALL for it and would ask you all to vote for that one please, even if you’re not going to play multi-team. The link is in the very next paragraph.

Head here to vote on the Waypoint forums. Voting will be open for approximately four days. Be sure to check back next week, where we’ll announce the winner along with the Matchmaking Update!

Community Meld Comes to Halo: Spartan Assault

As we mentioned last week, Community Meld is now integrated into Halo: Spartan Assault on Xbox One! Be sure to check out the feature as we continue to deliver news and updates via Xbox One. These will include news about Matchmaking updates, future projects, and more.

To open Meld, just press “Y” on the Halo: Spartan Assault main menu:


Knowledge Drop: Community Q&A


Since the last knowledge drop, we’ve received more fiction questions on our official Twitter account, and I took some of them over to our Franchise writers this week to see if I could get some answers out of them. Check out the answers to some of your burning questions below!

Question: Do they still have eye glasses in the 26th Century? Or has near/far sightedness become a thing of the past?

Answer: Medical science has resolved most issues with eyesight, though some people choose to wear glasses for a variety of reasons.

Q: I’ve heard rumors Sangheili speak backwards. Is this true? And what does “wort wort wort” mean?

A: Stsgiloporhtnaonex yb ylevisnetxe deiduts gnieb llits dna xelpmoc ylbidercni si egaugnal iliehgnas. Noitseuq taerg.

HFFL: Translation: Great Question. Sanghelil language is incredibly complex and still being studied extensively by xenoanthropoligists.

Q: Can you elaborate on what the object beneath Sword Base was along with the info it contained?

A: It was a Forerunner ship and its debris field was spread out across Eposz for a hundred millennia. It’s secrets are still under heavy scrutiny.

Q: Where are Covenant ships and armors created post war? And why do the Covenant use green lights?

A: While a handful of their local shipyards still exist, most are inactive, forcing many Sangheili to fight over what remained at the close of the war. Shipboard/hull lighting can vary in color for a number of reasons, including things such as the manufacturer, the era of production, and a commander’s personal preference.

If you’ve got a question you’d like us to answer, be sure to send it over on Twitter or post in this Bulletin’s discussion thread!

Screenshot Spotlight

Last week, we turned the spotlight on the color pink. Take a gander at the following Adrift screenshots, and maybe even find inspiration to make your own.

Spotlight 4-17-14

HFFL: Damn, I forgot to tag mine… I had some good ones to. Of the ones shown, I like Ignition. It’s similar to one of the ones I was going to submit: 


For your chance at being in the next spotlight, take a screenshot featuring a melee and then tag it with “Melee” and “Halo Waypoint,” and maybe, just maybe, yours will be featured in the next Halo Bulletin!

And with that, this week’s Bulletin comes to a close.
Until next week,

HFFL: Well, off to try and get some good melee shots for me!

Super Massive Custom UNSC Mammoth!

My friend Vince is a Mega Bloks customizer who is very detail oriented and loves things to scale. So he took on the task of making a UNSC Mammoth that was closer in proportion to the in-game model, rather than the stock Mega Bloks model. Below are his results. The text included below is his. My thoughts will be included in BLUE text as normal.

Vince starts off by giving us some tech specs of his model:
4x Mammoth Signature sets + other asst. bloks + 4 months effort = 1 realistic looking REALLY BIG Mammoth.

HFFL: Folks this already is a costly model. Even if Vince got a couple of the Mammoths on sale, I’d venture to guess this cost him around $500 to complete.

This is my first really large blok build. While I admired the MB Forward Unto Dawn set, it just didn’t lend itself to realistic mini-fig play due to the ridiculous discrepancy between it’s external scale size and the mini-fig friendly interior. We bought a F.U.D. on sale but after stripping the exclusive figs out, I eventually sold it on unbuilt. I remember thinking at the time that the Scarab and the Mammoth held the most promise of all the potential candidates for realistic mini-fig scaled Signature builds. So when I heard about the upcoming MB Signature Mammoth I was like, “Yeah!” But then I saw the first publicized pics of the MB Mammoth set and following that, the first user reviews came in… Well I was like, “Bummer!” The model was simply too small to capture the Mammoth’s elephantine grandeur. The MB Mammoth model wasn’t significantly larger than the (absolutely perfect) v1 Elephant model. I was really hoping for something epic (like the prototype MB Scarab Signature set just revealed at the NY Toy Fair)! Well if MB wasn’t gonna step up and deliver an epic sized Mammoth model, then I would take up the challenge.

In game referenceMammoth-Elephant MB comp

Hmmm… Methinks we have a wee bit of a size discrepancy here… 

HFFL: Ya think? LOL

My goals for this build were:

  • Scale up from the stock build until the model had sufficient headroom at front and rear for Warthogs to drive up the loading ramp at one end, through the interior, and down the ramp at the opposite end.
  • Simultaneously accommodate several Warthogs inside.
  • Retain the stock model’s easily removable upper deck sections to permit play access to the vehicle’s interior spaces.
  • Add additional game-accurate interior & exterior walkways, stairs and ramps, doorways between the interior and the exterior, and mechanical details.
  • Source and adapt some much larger balloon tire wheels to scale properly to the vehicle’s much increased size and weight.
  • Really improve the vehicle’s “playability” by creating tons of realistic details for the figures onboard to interact with.

HFFL: Great goals to shoot for! The Mega Bloks build already takes a long time. Vince’s time spent on this blew that time out of the water.

Elephant - Vince MB comp

This one is just for you HFFL!
HFFL: Why thanks Vince!

The build began with two Mammoth sets along with our pre-existing fairly extensive inventory of spare bricks in both desert camo and black colors. I began by loosely following the original design. Once I had the hull tub scaled up to a reasonable size and then got to work on the similarly upscaled superstructure, I began to run low on the large desert camo plates used for decking and both the standard and inverse slopes used pretty much everywhere else. I got pretty creative trying to make do with just the two Mammoth sets and our spares inventory but I wasn’t happy with some of the compromises that this was necessitating. If I had been willing to reduce the model’s size by a few inches in length and a few studs in width and I wasn’t such a detail freak I could have got away with just the two sets. But I’m clearly a bit obsessed when it comes to our blok creations so it was off to Ebay for a 3rd set (at a considerably higher price than what I paid for the first pair at a pre-Xmas TRU sale event). After a couple weeks of re-working different parts of the model I thought I had the Mammoth largely complete. While I had followed the original MB designer’s lead insofar as the clever hinged side cheeks on either side of the cockpit, the modular sectioned build, and easily removable superstructure- there was next-to-nothing left of the original build. Once you had the freedom of a larger more game accurate build, the model really evolved into something cool.

Obtaining, adapting, and mounting the much larger replacement wheels and tires was to be the last thing I dealt with. However I had researched replacement wheel ideas prior to even purchasing our first Mammoth donor sets. I had decided that the balloon tires and matching rims used on 1:10 scale RC Monster trucks were good candidates. I figured a large paddle tire in the 5″ to 5 1/2″ diameter range would provide a perfect substitute and confirmed this with a local RC specialist hobby shop owner before hand.

HFFL: Getting the wheel size right is one thing that stopped me from attempting a project of this scale. (Not to mention, not having the money for it…) Vince found a great work-around.

So even though I didn’t have the wheels on hand during the majority of the build, I knew approximately how large they would be and thus could build to accommodate them. When I finally did acquire a set of suitable wheels and axle stub parts, they proved to be straight forward to adapt to the model. I made use of a bunch of stock old MB 1×2 modified bricks that had larger holes in them than the current standard versions. The RC axle stubs fit snugly through pairs of the 1×2 bricks. I ended up grinding a few millimeters off the bell shaped end of the axle stubs for a better fit and simpler build of the axle supports. I think the big wheels are pretty much perfect.

Of course while waiting on the last pair of tires (the RC Hobby shop only had four on hand initially), I had a lot of time to obsessively compare the model thus far to the in-game render from all angles. Well the result of this was a huge tear-down and rebuild to further widen the exterior and permit the addition of game accurate exterior stairways up front. There was 6-8 hours spent in total just repeatedly reworking the grill and headlamps, another few days in total optimizing the tail end, etc, etc… Long after the final pair of tires arrived I was still futzing about custom fabricating and painting additional parts and going through endless revisions to perfect areas of the build I wasn’t quite satisfied with. I decided to patiently wait to reveal the model until either the revision compulsion petered out or I was truly satisfied with the build. Somewhere in that process I purchased a 4th Mammoth to acquire 75-100 set-specific parts I’d decided the model couldn’t live with out making this project by far the most expensive custom build I’ve tackled.

HFFL: Wow, buying another model just for 75 pieces? Folks, THAT is dedication to your craft!

 Macro Views3-4 front topHFFL: I can already tell this is MASSIVE!3-4 back
HFFL: Just look at all the detail!Interior-roof panels

Exterior Views3-4 front bottomFront hatch

HFFL: Now THAT’S what I’m talking about! A ramp large enough, with height to spare to fit a mini figure sized warthog coming down it!

Top frontDrivers viewport

The red arrow points out the pilothouse “dashboard” and steering wheel through the windscreen.

HFFL: Okay, now THAT is a cool addition that the Mega Bloks model does not have.

Mid top detailMac Cannon top frontRear topMac Cannon perspectiveRear top Mac CannonHFFL: Man, that MAC cannon looks like it’s got some POWER!3-4 front control room3-4 front midSide front detail
HFFL: I’m just loving’ all those “greeblie” all over Vince’s model!mid bottom hatch
HFFL: The side hatch is well done. I’m also happy to see that Vince didn’t miss the additional wheel well angles. That’s something I think Mega could have included.Mid-rear wheelsside rear detail3-4 bottom rearrear worms eyeHFFL: Just look at that rear! LOL

As the pics suggest, our Mammoth possesses that genuine sense of gravitas missing in the stock Mammoth. So yes, it is substantially larger than the stock build- LOL! The finished model used about 5000 bloks. The model weighs about 16 pounds with the Warthog bay empty.

HFFL: 5K worth of bloks! The Mega Model is considerably less, by thousands.

While increasing the size and level of detail over the stock model, I followed MB’s lead where possible and kept the dead air spaces beneath subassembly structures hollow to keep the weight under control. Considering just how much air volume the model encloses and the minimal attachment of nearly the entire superstructure, it is remarkably solid and stable. It was built with 99.8% stock Mega Bloks but eagle-eyed folks will note a few spots where I either custom fabricated and/or custom painted a part or where a specialty block from a competing brand simply worked better than anything from the MB catalog. The vehicle bay comfortably accommodates three H4 Warthogs (one on the overhead hoist in game accurate fashion) and three Mongooses. And that is after I fully detailed the interior of the vehicle bay adding staircases, weapon storage racks, elevated platforms, and workstations for the crew. I actually considered lengthening the model to the 36+ inches required to accommodate four ‘Hogs but the requisite increases in width and height as well would have increased the blok count to a point where it was clear that the pneumatic RC monster truck tires could not have supported it.

Interior Views

The Bridgecontrol room interiorcontrl room interior 2contrl room interior 3sliding doors to control room

The red arrows highlight the sliding doors.

HFFL: Vince’s Mammoth bridge is just so much better detailed. That extra space made by enlarging the model really pays off here! Sliding doors? AWESOME!

The catwalks and vehicle bay.interior ramps topinterior ramps sideHFFL: Now I noticed right away that Vince’s ramps to the catwalks were pointed in the wrong direction. However, he explains that later in the article.interior warthog hookup‘Hog stored suspended above the vehicle bay floor in game-accurate fashion with sufficient headroom for another ‘Hog to pass beneath unimpeded.

interior rear hatch

Covered exterior walkways.side sniper locationside jetpack location

Despite being approximately half the size that a properly HMB mini-fig scaled Mammoth should be, the exterior of my model stands up really nicely to close-up comparisons between in-game renders of the Mammoth.

HFFL: What? It’s only HALF the size it should be? DAY ‘UM!

However the interior was trickier due to the reduced scale. The interior 2nd floor is largely absent, replaced with a split level arrangement of catwalks, ramps and stairs (the latter of which unfortunately had to face in the wrong direction). As a 5′ long model wasn’t in the cards, this will simply have to do- LOL! On the positive side, there is now game-accurate mini-fig scaled access between the interior and external walkways and both the top floor “wheel house” and the main deck command & control center are much better represented than in the stock model. Besides the expense, this was by far the most effort I’ve spent on a blok model. I began the build three and a half months ago and have worked on some part of it pretty much nonstop since.

So I hope you all enjoyed. Normally I invite constructive criticism at this point in my build threads. However with so much of my blood, sweat, and treasure invested in this puppy I might up and hang myself if someone was to find something seriously amiss with this build- LOL! So best to stick to compliments then… As always, I’d love to see others attempt a properly sized Mammoth so clone away.

Happy Trails!
MTB Vince

HFFL: This is just an awesome model. Man, if I had the money, I’d SO make a proper scale one. Given Vince’s specs, that would put it at 64 inches long (5’4″) and 27 inches tall…WOW!

I took it upon myself to create a comparison shot between Vince’s model and the Mega Bloks stock model. I took the side on view pic from and super-imposed it, to scale with Vince’s. It’s partially transparent with a blue outline so you can see it better, but still see where things line up with Vince’s creation.

Mammoth COMP - Vince_HFFL-smVince’s claim of using 4 Mammoths to make his behemoth is quite believable. Let’s not forget that his model is also several inches wider too (not shown).

Just amazing! So what do you folks think about Vince’s model?


Marty O’Donnell fired from Bungie???


I just heard this, this morning when I got on the net. Marty O’Donnell, yes THAT Marty, was fired from Bungie! I’m just absolutely STUNNED by this. As most of you know he composed the music for all of the Halo games before Halo 4, except Halo Wars.

Here’s Marty’s tweet about it:
Marty Tweet

Bungie’s Deej had this to say on Bungie’s official site:Bungie fires Marty-Official

343 better hire him. It would be a monumental mistake for them not to. I mean really, who wouldn’t want to see him back holding the reigns of the Halo music again?

Even if Marty doesn’t come back to Halo, we Halo fans need to support him. Without him, Halo would not have had the epic musical score that it had (pre-Halo 4).

If you’ve got a twitter account, use the hashtag #Standbymarty Let’s get that trending folks!!!

More on this as I can find out. Stay Tuned!


New background for HFFL. LOTS of visuals. What do you think of it?

I was motivated today to make a “Halo Legacy” background. I wanted to show some of the vital elements of each Halo game. Since I knew I was limited in space, I really had to be picky about what images made it in.

I know it’s a bit busy with graphics. That’s deliberate though. I wanted to create a background that had lots of visuals for people to look through. My small hope is that they’ll spend some time enjoying looking at each graphic and identifying each character and remember good times playing the games.


Halo Wars and Reach on SALE!

Okay, yes, both games have been out for a few years. However, if you’ve either never played either games, or would like to have it digitally so you don’t have to worry about losing your disc, then NOW is the time to buy!

Halo Wars is on sale for the LOW price of $4.94!!
Here it is on the marketplace: Halo Wars SALE-HFFL wmYou can buy that here:

Halo Reach is on sale for $9.89. A pretty decent price if you ask me.\
Here is that one on the marketplace: Halo Reach SALE-HFFL wmAnd here’s the link to it online:

or of course you can buy either/both through your XBOX 360.

I’m not sure how long the sale is for, so get it while you can!


Awesome custom resized Halo Mega Bloks Brute Chieftan!

My friend and fellow Halo Mega Bloks collector “Yrkane” customized one of his Halo Mega Bloks Brute Chieftans to be taller. It’s MUCH more in scale with the human minifies now.

His words about his custom are below:

BC no Hammer

He came out great, the pose-ability added by the CoD arms is too fun.

BC Hammer upBC Hammer down

The upper and lower arm armor is removeable, just hollowed out pieces; I tried to emulate the upcoming revised figures armor.

BC Hammer and pointing

I can’t wait for the official MEGA version.

HFFL: Finally, here is a comparison shot of his custom next to another untouched Halo Mega Bloks Chieftan: 

BC COMPHFFL: I’d say that’s damn fine work there! The extension of the limbs and the added teeth really make this figure SO much better. I hope Mega Brands takes a hint from this wonderful custom and gives us Brutes (and Elites for that matter) in the taller, better articulated variety.

A Legendary tattoo to speak of!

My friend “Dijabouti” told me a few weeks ago that he was thinking about getting a tattoo. Not just any old tattoo, but a Halo one. After doing his research and finding a reputable tattoo artist, he selected the Legendary symbol. The classic Elite one, not the Forerunner one from halo 4.

Below is the result of that:

Dijabouti Legendary tattoo
I have to say that is one kick-ass tattoo! The lines are down well and the shading is impeccable.This was Dij’s first tattoo. I wonder if he’ll get any more now based on his experience and the fantastic outcome?

Do YOU have any halo tattoos you’d like to share with me? If so, send me an e-mail with either .jgp or .png attachments of your tattoos to: and I’ll feature them here.

I have to say, i’m a bit jealous of Dij right now. I’ve never been one for tattoos on myself, but this one is making me think twice…



The Halo Bulletin 4-10-14

This is a reblog of this week’s bulletin. My thoughts will be highlighted in BLUE along the way.halobulletinheader_4-9_800-763e23a58bac477e8da958aa94c655c9

Last week, a strange package arrived at the studio. Actually, similar to last time, it was more like a normal box and not very suspicious, but the contents were far from ordinary. Shortly after its arrival, bs angel walked over to my desk with quite a surprise. In her hands she held a battle damaged Noble Six helmet, modeled after the Mortal Dictata cover. It was sent over by Jim from Stony Props, and it is absolutely incredible.


HFFL: Wow, this is impressive. Why can’t these be made available to fans? I’d LOVE to own an official Halo helmet prop. (Assuming I could afford one of course.)


Creations like this bring us big smiles (as you can clearly see above – under the helmet, Laskan has a huge smile on his face), and we’d like to thank Jim for sending over this masterpiece, as well as each and every one of you who have ever shared your community creations with us. Not only are they super awesome, but when designers, testers, artists and producers see these creations, whether on a forum or inside the studio, it reminds us how talented and special the fans of this franchise are, and why we get to do what we do every day. Also, it’s been really fun wearing this helmet around the studio every day, and I don’t anticipate that getting old any time soon.

This week we have lots to talk about – a new Matchmaking playlist, an upcoming 1 vs. 1 tournament, a Halo: Spartan Assault update and more. Let’s get into it!

Matchmaking Playlist Update


This coming Monday, we have a brand new playlist premiering: Ninja Assassins! We’ve been playtesting the game type over the past few weeks, and it requires stealth, precision, patience, and a whole lotta Thrustin’.

Ninja Assassins is an 8-player Free-for-All game type that features Spartans decked out in custom armor, equipped with Energy Swords and Sniper Rifles, and outfitted with the Thruster Pack. Motion tracker is disabled, and ten points are awarded for each kill. Watch your back, though, because if you manage to sneak in an assassination, it will net you 30 points – the equivalent of three kills. During each life, you’ll level up – this is accomplished by getting kills in succession. One kill will bring you to level 1, two kills for level 2, and if you manage to get three kills in a row, you’ll be at level 3 – here are the details and attributes of each level:

Ninja Level 1
Shields recharge at a faster rate (2x)
Assassinations performed at a faster rate (2x)

Ninja Level 2
Shields recharge at a faster rate (2x)
Shields recharge sooner than normal (after 3 seconds)
Assassinations performed at a faster rate (3x)

Ninja Level 3
Shields recharge at a faster rate (2x)
Shields recharge sooner than normal (after 2 seconds)
Assassinations performed at a faster rate (4x)
Unlimited Thruster Pack energy

HFFL: Wow, okay, this sounds extremely cool! I stink at assassinations, but I’m going to gov ethos a go. Also, I’m VERY happy to see that there is indeed a “tiered” system for kills. I suggested something like this months ago. Not for assassinations, but rather weapon drops. In fact, here are the two articles I wrote as such: (posted 1/24/14) and (posted 5/15/13)

While not the same as players attribute adjustments, I wonder if this is possible?

Ninja Assassins will be available as our featured playlist through April 28.

Big Team Battle Refresh

We know many of you are suckers for 8 vs. 8 vehicular combat, and this is probably part of the reason why Halo 4’s Big Team Battle typically holds the number one spot across all playlists. We’re actively adding to the playlist (including recently added Big Team Snipers) and this week, we’re back with more maps and game types in order to keep the experience fresh and new. Here’s what’s coming on Monday:

Neutral Flag

Nothing says “Tug O’ War” more than Neutral Flag. The game type will be played on the following maps:

• Ragnarok
• Exile
• Longbow

We also added two brand new community maps with help from the Community Cartographers. The maps are:

Excavation by Flying Shoe ILR


Excavation is a rotationally symmetrical map set in an abandoned mining area. The most important asset on Excavation is the Mantis, which is a powerful tool for controlling various parts of the map.

Panic Station by The Psycho Duck


Panic Station is a large map with vertical gameplay elements. This map provides unprecedented freedom for Warthog and vehicle play while still offering plenty of options to players on foot.

The new maps and Neutral Flag will be available in Big Team Battle on Monday morning – hop in and check ‘em out!

HFFL: More objective based gameplay in BTB is fantastic for me. Neutral Flag can be fun, especially if you’re got a cohesive team that makes great call-outs and moves with the objective as necessary. I’ll be looking forward to playing these additional game types and maps.

Community Choice: Proving Ground


Last week, we asked which objective game type you wanted to see included next into the Proving Ground playlist, and Oddball edged out Capture the Flag to win the community vote. As a result, Oddball will also be available as an option in Proving Ground on Monday. We’ve got more planned for this playlist, so be sure to get in on the action, which features Battle Rifles starts, and no Armor Abilities or Personal Ordnance.

HFFL: Are any of you playing in the Proving Ground playlist? I stay away from it as it’s WAY to competitive for me. Or rather I should say chock full of skilled players who are better than me and I know I won’t get an evenly matched game, due to the ALWAYS low population of this playlist. Whew, a mouthful…. You get the idea.

Team Slayer Top 200: Season 2 Final Rankings

Last week, we posted the final rankings for Season 2 of the Team Slayer Top 200. As we mentioned at the beginning of this past season, we’ve been keeping an eye on the leaderboard for players using exploits to make their way to the top, and have removed any suspicious players from the leaderboard. Below, you’ll find a preview of the top ten players:


We’d like to congratulate these players who battled with integrity and determination. To see the full Top 200, head here. To see the latest Proving Ground standings, head here.

Community Meld Coming to Halo: Spartan Assault

Over the past few weeks, we have been working with the Xbox team to integrate the Community Meld, a new Xbox One feature that you may have seen on Killer Instinct, into Halo: Spartan Assault.

We’re excited about the potential of the Community Meld and want to let you in on how we’re thinking about this feature for our games. You shouldn’t have to leave the game to get the latest news and information about new products and more. We realize that you don’t always want to open up a website on your laptop or mobile device, and that it might be easier to skim through news and upcoming projects and watch new videos right in the game itself. As more news is released this year, we are excited to bring you details about future projects, game updates, and all the latest information in the Community Meld.

The feature will launch for Halo: Spartan Assault on April 15. Here’s a preview of the Community Meld below:


Halo Waypoint Store Weekend Sale

From April 10-14, we’re having a sale at the Halo Waypoint store! All tees will be discounted to $15, and all hoodies will be dropped to $45. Head over to the official store this weekend to pick up some apparel!

Beyond Entertainment Spring Showdown


Our friends over at Beyond Entertainment have announced their Spring Showdown Halo 4 1v1 tournament! The free-to-enter tournament will use the official Halo 4 Global Championship settings and be played on Haven, Skyline, and Onyx. The tournament is limited to US residents and will run on April 26. We’ve teamed up with Beyond Entertainment to provide some prizes for the event, including a Polk Audio Melee Gaming Headset and more for first place.

Screenshot Spotlight: Pink

Last week, we turned the spotlight on grenades. Take a gander at the following Pink screenshots, and maybe even find inspiration to make your own.

Screenshot spotlight PINK_smHFFL: Of the ones shown, I like “Colorful” by Azpekt297.

For your chance at being in the next spotlight, take a screenshot on the map Adrift and then tag it with “Adrift” and “Halo Waypoint,” and maybe, just maybe, yours will be featured in the next Halo Bulletin!

And with that, this week’s Bulletin comes to a close.
Until next week,

To see the bulletin on the official site, go HERE.

The Science of Halo, Fact VS Fiction: Railguns

I happened upon some amazing news about a new Railgun that the U.S. military is testing. I had known that railgun technology had been around for a few years, but now it’s on the brink of actual use and not in the development stage.

During this article we’ll explore the fiction side of Railguns and their tech in the Halo universe, versus the real-world application of this technology, as well as their similarities and differences.

Disclaimer: I’m not a scientist or engineer. I may state some things incorrectly.

Now on with the article!



The railgun in Halo was introduced to us in Halo 4. Let’s not mistake this with the MAC (Magnetic Accelerated Cannon) on starships, nor the gauss cannon found on some Warthogs.

The Asymmetric Recoilless Carbine-920 or Railgun is a “compact-channel linear accelerator that fires a high-explosive round at incredible speed, delivering kinetic and explosive force to both hard and soft targets alike”.  Alternately, it can also be described as an electro-magnetic projectile weapon.

Some technical specs for the Railgun are: 
Manufacturer: Acheron Security
Ammunition Type: M645 FTP-HE 16 mm x 65 mm
Ammunition Size: 16mm x 65mm
Length: 110.8 centimetres (43.6 in)
Height: 31.9 centimetres (12.6 in)
Width: 7.4 centimetres (2.9 in)
Weight: 14.9 kilograms (33 lb)
Charge Time: 2 seconds, lesser charge time will cause less damage

The Halo 4 Railgun has no zoom feature while shooting. The projectile follows along dual channels (metal “rails”). These are charged by an electric current that flows through the magnetic rails. This interaction is what fires the projectile at high speed.

Though the handheld Railgun in halo 4 is labeled as “recoilless”, it actually has recoil, likely to show the weapon’s destructive force.


In a report from CBS news/Reuters by David Alexander, it’s stated that the U.S. Navy is planning trials for it’s railgun in 2016. This version of the railgun can fire a 23 pound projectile at seven times the speed of sound and can travel well over 100 miles. To break that down, the speed of sound is 1,125 feet per second or 767 miles per hour. Seven times that is 7875 feet per second (just slightly under 1 1/2 miles per SECOND!) or 5,369 miles per hour. That is some POWER!Futuristic WeaponRear Admiral Matthew Kluder, chief of Naval Research has stated that the railgun has already gone through testing on the ground. The above picture shows a prototype of the current version of the railgun set up in a testing lab to test it’s firepower.

Part of the reason for developing railgun technology is technical superiority as well as cost. The planned 23lb projectile for the sea-based railgun will cost about 25,000. This is vastly cheaper that the average 500K to 1.5 million dollars (US) per conventional missile in use today.

fishbowl view length railgun
Above shows the lab railgun’s length (in a fishbowl view).

“Railguns use electromagnetic energy known as the Lorenz Force to launch a projectile between two conductive rails. The high-power electric pulse generates a magnetic field to fire the projectile with very little recoil, officials said.”

Railgun explosice force

“Current projectiles leaving a railgun have a muzzle energy of about 32 megajoules of force, said Rear Admiral Bryant Fuller, the Navy’s chief engineer. He said one megajoule would move a one-ton object at about 100 mph” Again, the current projectile is only 23 pounds versus the stated 2,000 pounds. So that’s just over 1% of the weight and 32 times of force. POWERFUL!!!

To illustrate this, the picture below shows the destructive force of an even smaller real-world projectile through a railgun. Though not said, the smaller projectile looks to be no more than a few pounds in weight. This is relative to the Halo 4′s projectile.

1-2 in steel plates SIXWhat you’re looking at above are SIX 1/2 inch thick steel plates that have had a several inches wide hole PUNCHED through them.

Check out this video of the real-world railgun in action! (link submitted by Kevin Armstrong-Thanks Kev!)

The technology for the real-world railgun is very similar to the tech represented in Halo 4′s railgun. The major difference being that we in present time have not yet reduced the size of the gun itself for individual use.

Given the size of the projectile in the Halo 4 railgun, coupled with the power associated with the electromagnetic current, it is quite evident that the destructive force of the Halo 4 railgun is accurately depicted in game.

So not only is this tech possible, it’s REAL and right NOW!