Prelude to war #0-1 part 1: The Hierarchy, Tombstone's report.

Believe it or not, we are at the precipice of war. Events at the MARATHON ring, I fear are leading to what will be a cataclysmic apocalypse. I am talking earth being involved a war that kills a billion billion people every passing second. After stowing away into the sinister domain of the Peacekeepers to expose their lies to the world and prove the falsehood of their so called benevolence, I found why they wanted the Earth so bad.

They were fighting a losing war against an empire so large that the entirety of the known universe would be microscopic next to their domains. And the aliens were busy on a dozen other fronts too. We had metahumans, resources that could be used to fuel their war machine to stay in the fight a little longer. And now thanks to their meddling in our affairs we're a target.

I can't get rid of the Peacekeepers now, the wheels are already turning and they'll be useful to slow down the enemy when the invasion comes, but I can help the Earth prepare it's own, independent defense against the horrors I've seen. Once Earth is safe from Alien invasion, then I can have myself a reckoning with those "Peacekeepers."

The great alien threat

A vast federation and empire of many belligerent species and civilizations brought under the ruling hand of the mysterious Overseers, the Hierarchy is one of the greatest threats to the continued existence of humanity in the entire universe. And these are my files to break down and analyze the threat they pose to the Earth and how to best defeat them.

Numbered beyond all hope of counting, utterly relentless, and dedicated to nothing but continuous expansion throughout the stars under the purpose of eradicating all Masari altered forms of life and uniting the universe under the species passed over by the Forerunners as I learned upon the MARATHON ring, the Hierarchy is starting to press into what humanity would deem to be it's immediate galactic back yard, and it seems that there is nothing that can stop them. But we have to try.

Another world burns before the aliens, notice how the alien walker has suffered leg damage.

The Hierarchy Modus Operandi is simple, fleets go from world to world, destroying all life upon them, then harvesting every last drop of matter on the planet, before ripping apart the rest of the solar system, even peeling off the matter from a star for the sheer mass it can provide for transmutation systems to provide more materials and fuel. We cannot allow the Earth to be the next victims for this.

If the native species is deemed unaltered by the Masari, they are incorporated into the Hierarchy first, giving them a place among the enormous empire and joining the Overseers' genocidal crusade. As far as I can gather from my field work, research with Aleksei, and stolen Peacekeeper files, Masari altered species are those who can pass for humans outwardly.

With domains that stretch for over two hundred and fifty billion times the size of the observable universe, the Hierarchy has the manpower and the materiel to wage war on scales that the human brain cannot even begin to comprehend. But if anyone is going to stop this juggernaut, it may as well be Earth.

Untold numbers of species and warriors pledge their allegience to the Overseers who rule the Hierarchy from the artificial baseworld of Klo'Vis, who command almost unwavering loyalty from their subjects, the highly psionic Overseers almost seeming to have them under a spell of some sort. I theorize that the Overseers exert some form of subtle mind control, which would make eliminating them key.

Recently, they came frighteningly close to activating one of the MARATHON rings, which would have surely eradicated all unshielded life across a vast portion of the universe. Luckily, a band of heroes and peacekeepers was able to stop them from activating the weapon or allowing the Thoughtsin long kept onboard the doomsday device from escaping. That harrowing journey has sobered me to the threat that the aliens pose, and like all threats, I will do my best to study it.

In absolute terms, the amount lost to the hierarchy was minimal, but the loss of a MARATHON ring, which could have greatly simplified their goal of wiping out all Masari altered sapient life that much easier, has been quite a shocking one, prompting rumors that the Zolkri, long the favored executioners of the Overseers, may start to fall out of the Council's favor. If we could drive a wedge between the Zolkri and the Overseers, it may just win us the war.

After I lost my wife, unborn son, and life to failing to properly study my Neighbor, I have resolved to never again allow myself to let anything slip past. As such, I am here to not only to study our alien foe, but to give us all a fighting chance. I won't let the Earth burn just because I recommitted one of my old errors. I won't let us be helpless while the peacekeepers do all the work for us.

No, this is time for the Earth to fight. For mankind, human and mutant alike, to rise under a common threat. And maybe once the stars hear the Earth's warcry, we'll finally get started on global peace. This, is but one of my gifts to the hero community. Use it wisely for the coming storm.

The races and armies of the Hierarchy

The Zolkri Federation

The first and longest serving of the servant races of the Overseers, the Zolkri have seen war in countless galaxies, and have conquered virtually all they have seen. It is they who are trusted with protecting the Overseers from harm. It is they who formed the Lynchpin of so many assaults. And yet, it may be they who are to fall from grace given the recent debacle at the MARATHON ring. We need to exploit this any way we can, find a way to drive them apart, give us a fighting chance.

Monolith: The Hierarchy's main scout flier, Monoliths are equipped with variable setting lasers, surprisingly thick armour, and teleporters to reach around the lines of their foes, along with a highly advanced sensor suite to detect hidden foes and scan wide areas of the battlefield at once. Additionally, they are quick enough to be used as interceptors while their energy shielding provides some added protection. Tombstone's notes: Based on my studies of these, they are defenseless on their very top and bottom, and their A.I routines are lackluster, a three dimensional flanking attack would be ideal.
Glyph Carver: A small, man sized drone, Glyph carvers have deadly laser cutters, but are primarily used to create entrenchments, and glyphs that are scanned by orbiting hierarchy vessels to be interpreted into requisition orders while protected by moderate energy shielding. Tombstone's notes: Taking out these machines is key, without them the Hierarchy's supply chain is greatly weakened due to their reliance on translated glyphs for requisition orders.
Aides: Potent Psions, Aides are in many ways like how some predict humanity will evolve, having developed their brains to the exclusion of nearly all else. While they're fairly rare, they are incalculably valuable on the battlefield thanks to the wide array of psychic abilities they can deploy on the battlefield, as well as possessing a level of intelligence that most of the Hierarchy's infantry are sorely lacking in, while implanted shield generators provide them extra protection. Tombstone's notes: The element of surprise is critical for taking these things down so that they can't raise telekinetic shields in addition to their usual energy shields, once down the aliens are denied critical intelligence in more ways than one, and the psychic support and artillery they provide is neutralized.
Zolkri Brutes: Colossal, twenty foot tall mutated beasts, Brutes possess class one thousand to five thousand strength depending on their rank and durability, reflexes ten times faster than normal humans, great healing factors, and less brains than a sack of hammers. Brutes are deadly anti-tank infantry who literally jump into the fray from miles away to pound enemy vehicles into pieces with their massive fists and claws, while implanted shield generators help protect them. Tombstone's notes: Brutes get stronger as they get angrier, and their dull brains don't register much else in terms of emotions. But I've found that their ankle joins are relatively weak, and they have a preponderance to try to swallow objects. Striking at the joints and lulling it into consuming explosives seems like the ideal plan of action.
Skykiller drones: Equipped with three gravi-metric beams, Skykillers defeat enemy fliers by literally yanking them out of the sky and bringing them crashing into the ground. Their gravity beams are actually strong enough to lift up enemy tanks or people, and are incredibly versatile under the correct set of commanders while their energy shielding lets them take more hits than their frames would suggest. Tombstone's notes: These can only target three objects at a time, so I'd recommend striking with a ratio of at least four to one in favor when attacking the Skykillers, or at least have someone who can survive being repeatedly hammered into the ground.
Grunts: One of the deadliest heavy infantry forms I've met, the Grunts are famed for their incredible toughness, heavy armament, great strength, incredible armour, and complete lack of fear. Grunts stand at ten feet tall and tower over most other beings, and are possessed with great superhuman strength, from equal to fifteen times mine I'd say, depending on the rank of the Grunt, though with reflexes somewhat duller than mine. Each Grunt is extremely tough and well armored and shielded, and their primary weapons, scatterschot plasma-rad cannons, are like super-shotguns, capable of felling whole squads in a single shot, while their heavy power claws let them rip through armour in close combat. Grunts also carry a large number of bombs and grenades to give them even more punch, as well as an optic laser.Tombstone's Notes: Grunts as you can see are lacking in leg and bicep armor, exposing themselves at these points with only their underlying mesh.
Lost ones: The rejects of Zolkri society, lost ones are drafted into the military, horribly mutated, and used as cloning templates to turn them into the barely sane short little freaks that are the most common form of cannon fodder in Hierarchy assaults. Equipped with little armour, the Lost Ones rely on their plasma-radiation carbines, capable of skeletonizing men in one hit, and small size and monkey like agility to carry them through in battle. They also have enough reflexes and range with their carbines to fire upon aircraft. Some "lucky" lost ones also get plasma grenades and melta-bombs which function as powerful anti-vehicle weapons and deadly booby traps. This of course, needs the lost one to get close up to use them. But the Zolkri don't care, they were expendable anyway, they still seem to warrant energy shielding though. Tombstone's notes: Individually not that good in a fight, especially in close combat, in numbers they can be a serious threat, and at range their weapons are still some of the deadliest I've ever seen. I'd recommend getting in their faces and bashing them in.
Phase tanks: Equipped with dual phase missile launchers, a plasma caster cannon, a turret mounted cutter laser, and a quartet of radiation orb spewers, the phase tank is an admirable hover tank, though it relies more on speed and firepower than armour. The tank got it's name for it's ability to turn incorporeal to allow incoming attacks to simply pass through it and go through solid objects, though it cannot attack in this state, energy shielding makes up for it's seemingly weak armor. Tombstone's notes: The bottom of the tank is notably weak, I was able to tear into it and get at the pilots with my bare hands. As such if you're brave or suicidal, I'd recommend getting at the bottom.
Reaper drones: Harvester drones with terrifying deconstructor tractor beams, reaper drones strut across a battlefield, drawing in matter into their furnaces to help fuel the Hierarchy war machine with resources. Human sized targets can be instantly plucked up and drawn in for "processing" by Reaper drones, though larger targets will need a longer time to be deconstructed, they are eagerly defended by their potent shielding systems that ward off attackers. Tombstone's notes: the walker itself has a critical weakness in it's matter tractor beam, if it were to draw in explosives, the machine could be quickly dispatched.
An ordinary, unmodified Zolkri; Zolkri on average stand about five to seven feet tall. Physically speaking, the Zolkri are quite unimpressive, being weaker and more frail than a human at base level. However, the Zolkri are a highly intelligent species and have universal psionic ability amongst their unmodified castes, which can be quite powerful and universally have implanted energy shield generators. Tombstone's notes: Most unmodified Zolkri occupy civilian jobs and don't have the stomach for battle. Ignore them unless they're getting in the way.
Assembly Walker: Colossal behemoths equipped with multiple hard points for the Hierarchy's deadly weaponry, Assembly Walekrs are the second most formadible of the Hierarchy's ground units. In addition, they serve as mobile command and control centers and walking vehicle production plants. An Assembly walker has it's "oral ray", turrets on it's legs, two triple batteries to the sides of it's oral ray, dual arm turret mounts, and four turret mounts on it's head. Their shielding and armour are also superior to that of most other Zolkri walkers. Tombstone's notes: If you can fly, jump, or teleport, ignore the leg modules unless they have weapons on them. What you're looking for are the head modules, breaking them open can reveal the machine's core, which must be attacked to be destroyed. The brave or foolhardy can also try sneaking in through their vehicle dispensers.
Habitat Walker: The most iconic of the Hierarchy's ground units, the Habitat walker is a mobile cloning facility with enough firepower to lay waste to armies. Equipped with an "oral ray", two triple batteries, four hard points on it's head, and four hard points on it's legs, a Habitat walker is quite capable of dishing out colossal amounts of Damage while cranking out massive numbers of soldiers, all while having extremely potent multilayer shielding and armor. Tombstone's notes: Much of what has been said about the Assembly walker can also be said on the Habitat walker, though infantry are teleported out of it rather than dropped out. However there are emergency hatches in case the multiple teleporters fail, getting in through these gives us a shot at damaging them quickly.
Saucer: A very odd form of multi-purpose small craft, the Hierarchy Attack Saucer has six "orb casters" which are quite unlike most conventional weapons. The orbs have two settings, blue repair orbs and red attack orbs. These orbs will latch onto a target and do a set amount of repair or damage over time rather than dumping out their fire power at once. Obviously, the more orbs are latched onto a target, the faster the repair or damage. A saucer can cancel out it's orbs if it needs to redeploy them elsewhere, and the craft are incredibly fast and nimble, albeit lightly armoured and shielded. Tombstone's notes: These are priority targets thanks to their ability to repair Hierarchy vehicles. Luckily they rely on maneuverability rather than armor or shielding. I reccomend seeker weapons to deal with them in a hurry, and they also are weak to having to deal with multiple opponents at once due to the limited number of orbs they can have deployed.
Purifier: Bar none the deadliest Hierarchy Unit yet seen, a Purifier dwarfs other hierarchy walkers by a colossal margin. Not only is it's ocular ray tremendously devastating, but it has no less than thirty hard points for weapons, is incredibly heavily armoured and shielded, and each is equipped with a matter to energy warhead in their "cranium" that can be launched to devastate an entire world to render it "pure" for Hierarchy strip mining. Tombstone's notes: Destroy these, no matter what the cost. If one of them can fire off it's head, the resulting matter to energy conversion will eradicate all life on earth. If one of these are spotted, everything much be deployed to deal with them. I don't care what calls you have to make or what commitments you have to break, but just kill it.
Science Walker: The smallest of the Zolkri's large walkers, the Science walker only has a modest three hard points for weapons on it's "head" and three more on it's legs, along with it's radiation sequence beam that it can fire from it's central orb. The Science walker also possesses a trio of gravi-metric beamers that rip fliers out of the sky and can deploy the Hierarchy's dreaded resonance cascade blast, which fires off a colossal series of radiation beams that come crashing down and irradiate a targeted area so tremendously that flesh literally liquefies into green goop under the effects of the energy. That being said, relative to the other great walkers, Science Walkers are glass cannons. Tombstone's note: Priority targets due to their status as mobile long ranged WMDs. Luckily they aren't as well armored, shielded, or armed as their bigger counterparts. Additionally their cores are exposed so one doesn't have to blow off all the panels like on Assembly and Habitat walkers, avoiding the death puzzle issue. Like all walkers, going for the legs can bring it crashing down.
Deathless: While the Hierarchy is dusgustingly callous with it's soldiers, sometimes there are those who prove themselves so valuable that the commanders of the Zolkri military decide that they cannot be allowed to simply just die. These individuals are downloaded into deathless shells to serve the Hierarchy forever more. While the power of a deathless shell varies quite heavily, the standard one is tough as anything I've seen, with heavy shielding, dual deconstructor-tractor beams/gravi-metric beamers, twin triple Plasma chaincannons, an ocular phased laser cutter, and twin melta-mortar launchers along with matter disruption claws claws, shockwave generators, and the ability to deploy heavier, rapidly regenerating armor when they absorb enough mass . Deathless upgrade themselves over time with the matter they absorb so no two are exactly alike. Tombstone's notes: The Deathless are all unique individuals, just like our heroes, they were grown in genetically variable vats in search of better soldiers, and they were deemed good enough to keep even after death. The only real standard that applies for them is that they're all fierce and brave soldiers.
Defiler: Six meter tall and incredibly skinny drones, defilers are swift scouts armed with powerful radiation lances that can burn through tanks, track and shoot down aircraft, and turn organics targeted by it into radioactive goop and ash. Additionally, they can let loose radioactive sludge to deny an area to an enemy as radiation capable of melting the flesh off of one's bones permeates an area, though they cannot fire their lance beams in this state. Tombstone's notes: A good kick in their leg can send these spindly sons of bitches down. Good too, because their ability to heal hierarchy infantry with radiation makes them very important targets.

Riktal Dominion

The Riktal are a highly psionic species from another dimension who were absorbed into the Hierarchy not long after the Zolkri and the Overseers formed the pact that would lead to the formation of the Hierarchy. The Riktal, though seemingly natural rivals for the Zolkri, are actually somewhat unambitious in their designs for their place in the Hierarchy and share a natural friendship with the Zolkri, even sharing the position of guards with them. That being said, they are peerless and deadly warriors, All of the Riktal, I've found, are linked together by a sort of group telepathy, not a true hive mind as each of them has it's own individual personality, but they're all in constant communication. Fight one, and they'll all know you're there.

Riktal Monkeys: I called them Monkeys because of their diminuitive stature and lanky limbs. They may be smaller than a five year old, but they have a mean strike a mile wide, deadly psionic darts, sharp claws, and are stronger than they look and have that accursed universal shielding shared by the Hierarchy army. Tombstone's notes: While clever, they are ultimately animalistic, and a swift kick to the head tends to sort them out quickly.
Riktal combat drone: These come in three forms, Basic, Improved, and Advanced, with each one being stronger, faster, more well armed, and better armored and shielded than the last. They primarily carry plasma casters but I've seen some work with other Hierarchy weapons such as needlers, beamers, missile launchers, or radiation lancers. They're mechanical and so they don't know fear or hesitate to swarm an enemy en masse. Tombstone's notes: Despite their small size, Drones are actually quite powerful, one ramming into you is going to hurt and most of you reading this aren't strong enough to keep them rooted. However, they rely solely on their repulsors and thrusters to fly, take them out and their flopping on the ground.
Riktal conscript: Since the Riktal have developed beyond verbal communication, I am merely using the term "conscript" to denote their seemingly low status. But despite that, they are well equipped in power armor that lets them exert five tons of force with six times human reflexes, shielding that amplifies their durability, and they come with potent energy blades and plasma weaponry that can cut through steel and skeletonize a man in single shots. Tombstone's notes: Conscripts are good soldiers, but their heads are exposed and psionic dampeners prevent them from communicating in anything but simplistic gurgles and sign language. Strangely, they seem to share quite a lot in common with humans internally.
Riktal soldier: With heavier armor twice as potent as conscripts and access to heavier guns or those that require more finesse, Soldiers also possess more skill, enough to make me work a little to beat them down. Tombstone's notes: These seem to be a little higher up on the food chain, but everything that the Conscripts had in terms of weaknesses applies to them, they do however, have teleport homers to watch out for them summoning reinforcements.
Riktal headmen: Now we're getting into heavier power suits and weaponry. These guys pack large matter disrupting swords and very powerful energy cannons with multiple settings, and getting into a slugging match means facing down Class sixty strength and durability and reactions twenty times faster than humans, don't think you can fly away either, their suits have anti-gravity systems and thrusters, and now their heads are covered up with armor as well as shielding. , Tombstone's notes: Very resilient and now clad in full body armor, Headmen are very dangerous, very quick, and well armed. And with teleportation systems and cloaking fields they can drop in when you least expect them to.
Mentalists: Now we're getting into psychic voodoo. While their suits and shields are only a third as powerful as those of Headmen and again open their heads up to attack, their brains are very powerful weapons, easily more dangerous than the guns of Headmen, each Mentalist focuses on a certain school of psionics, Transmutation, Biomancy, Energokinetics, Telepathy, or Telekinesis, and hones it to a dangerous degree. Tombstone's notes: Anything you've learned fighting psions needs to be applied here, and this time you'll need to remember that the user of the mental powers is no weakling without them thanks to their power armor and shielding.
Mesmerists: Substantially more powerful than their mentalist counterparts, mesmerists act like enlisted commanders for mentalist squads, and fight with class forty strength and durability and reflexes forty times better than ours thanks to their suits as well as reactions forty times our superior. Once again, each mesmerist specializes in a chosen field, although some branch out somewhat into other psionic fields. Tombstone's notes: Mesmerists are very intelligent, potent, and cunning foes. I'd not recommend facing them if you have no experience with psions. The telepaths are all well versed in breaking large numbers of enemies.
Warriors: With class one hundred twenty strength, durability, multilayered shielding, arsenals of powerful weapons, and a hundred forty times human reflexes, Warriors are extremely dangerous opponents, especially since they pack much more potent weapons than other Riktal, with high end rifles, wrist blasters, pauldron mounted launchers, and power weapons such as mauls, swords, or axes, though some prefer power fists, lightning claws, and Thunderhammers. Tombstone's notes: These are consumate soldiers who live and breathe fighting and warfare, they can easily kill large numbers of opponents and wade into tons of firepower without blinking. Don't engage unless you know you outmatch them or have a very cunning plan. There armor has some weaknesses around the joints, but you probably aren't fast enough to exploit them.
Mind-killers: With class eighty suits and eighty times human reflexes, Mind killers are very potent psions, this time at least having mastery of one mental field and the ability to use others. Taking them on without psionic protection is a fool's errand. Tombstone's notes: To think that the mind could hold so much power, not as mentally powerful as Zolkri aides, but in a physical bout, more than enough to break most metahumans. With their minds, they represent extremely high risk opponents. To the point that I'd recommend most of my fellow heroes to avoid them and let the heavy hitters deal with them. If only I could mass produce psionic dampeners...
Magus: As physically powerful as Mind-killers, but instead of psionics, they use a different power; Magic. Those Riktal that decide to go out into the field of battle with magic are very skilled with it, extremely potent with it, and represent just as much of a threat as Mind-killers do with their chosen instrument of battle. Tombstone's notes: Everything I've said about Mind-killers applies to Magii, just remember that magic has different rules than psionics and tends to have a lesser emphasis on attacking the mind.
Commanders: Class four hundred eighty suits, one hundred sixty times human reflexes, some of the most potent weapons I've ever seen, Bodies honed to their standards of physical perfection, and masters of armed and unarmed combat who won't even flinch at the prospect of death. Tombstone's notes: One of these could tear apart most superhero teams I've seen before they even realized there was a fight. Do not engage them if you see them unless you're a high end metahuman, have a plan, or a deathwish.
Heavy assault suits: Like rapidly flying capsules, while it may seem that they primarily rely on the optic blaster and twin arm cannons for damage dealing, they have some hidden missile launchers and energy weapon modules hidden beneath their thickly armored plating. Capable of extreme speed and reflexes, these suits are very hard to crack, especially with their heavy shielding. Note their ability to teleport and engage in metaspace travel. Tombstone's notes: While they do have a number of matter disrupting whip coils they can deploy, Heavy Assault Suits are notably deficient in melee, the problem of course is getting there. Disabling their engines would immobilize them though, given their lack of options for mobility besides their ability to float.
Cerebremancers: Now combining magic and psionics, Cerebremancers are some of the deadliest foes one can face, and with their class one hundred and sixty strength and durability, energy shielding, and one hundred sixty times human reflexes, getting in close doesn't help most people. Tombstone's notes: Once the shields drop, their choice of exposing their heads makes them a good deal easier to drop than if they wore full face helmets. I'm not sure why this is so, but don't look a gift horse in the mouth.
Master at arms: Over class one thousand strength and durability, ridiculous levels of shielding,, a thousand times human reflexes, and a combination of mentalism, magic, and physcality all in one. Masters at arms are bad news and I highly recommend avoiding them if at all possible. Tombstone's notes: I've never actually fought one of these, much like the Deathless they primarily act in commanding roles or serve in the backlines as guards for the Overseers. Still, those powerfists look brutal.
Dropships: Small spaceships that possess an array of energy weapons, rail guns, missile and torpedo launchers, and bomb bays, they carry teleport homers that slice through interference, allowing Hierarchy troops to come down in and teleport directly onto the battlefield. These vessels are protected by massively thick armor and shielding by our standards, although I'm sure they're less impressive for spaceships. Tombstone's notes: Dealing with these seems like it would be best done by an inside job rather than hammering away at the outside until it falls out of the sky. Perhaps getting in through the bomb-bay would be wisest?

Jiralhanae Covenant

From what I gather, this bunch of religious crocks was easily absorbed into the Hierarchy Empire since they worshipped the overseers as gods. They provide zealotry and fantatacism, and no shortage of sheer numbers to back up the Hierarchy's endless goals of conquest and expansion. Habitat and Assembly walkers can churn these guys out by the bucket load.

Biter minor: The lowest of the low in the Jiralhanae's little grouping, the Biters are extremely numerous, less than well treated, breathe methane, and while they have some armor and shielding, I wouldn't stack them well up against their equivalent ranked lost ones. They can hurt quite a bit with their weaponry, but are ultimately cowardly. Tombstone's notes: Kill the leader and the whole pack starts running in each direction for the hills. They don't take punches well either.
Heavy biter: Actually entrusted with larger weapons, they're still about as physical as a well trained child but make up for it with better armor and shielding and the tendency to carry heavy support weapons. Some even get grenades. Tombstone's notes: Despite their armor and better training, they still don't take a punch well and lose their nerve when someone gets into melee range with them.
Spec ops biter: Trained like commandos with heavier armor and higher quality weapons and shielding, Spec Ops biters finally got over the innate cowardice of their kind and actually stand and fight. They may actually be able to beat lesser trained humans in melee. Tombstone's notes: And despite that, I don't think most heroes have much to worry about from them in melee. Getting into a shoot out with them may very well prove to be problematic though.
Ultra biter: This time given super soldier enhancement processes, Ultra biters can actually take on the average human and win, though most peak humans should handle them well enough. Tombstone's notes: Like all biters, dealing with their respirators or methane tanks makes them suffocate, and they are substantially less capable at melee than at range.
Bleeder minor: A step above Biters, bleeders, while not exactly fond of melee, are at least in the rough area of a human. While most bleeder minors prefer a special hand shield to go along with their standard shielding and armor accompanied by a pistol or carbine, some prefer melee weapons such as power swords, mauls, and axes. Tombstone's notes: As you can tell from their shields, flanking them is paramount to quickly dispatching them if you can't separate them from their hand shields.
Bleeder major: With heavier armor and shielding, the major's main advantage is the addition of a jump jet and enhanced leg servos to launch themselves into the air to get at vantage points. Tombstone's notes: Despite their greater durability and maneuverability, Majors ultimately don't carry heavier weapons.
Bleeder sniper: As you can see from their helmets and choice of weapons, Snipers well...Snipe. They like finding nice hiding spaces, setting their shields to cloak, and then gunning down people from afar. Tombstone's notes: If you can't take the heat, find cover to avoid getting butchered unless you like holes in your head. Look for movement where you cannot see any viable source if you can't detect them, then kill them.
Bleeder rangers: Equipped with fully sealed and well shielded suits of power armor, rangers can adopt either the shield and small arms or the single long weapon configuration, and thanks to their super soldier enhancements, can take on peak humans in melee in even terms even without their power armor. Tombstone's notes: There's no easy way to put them down, but I would suggest trying to break their helmet's optics to force them to remove it, them pop them in the head.
Buggers: Coming in four coloured ranks, Green, Blue, Red, Yellow, each stronger than the last, the human sized Buggers have the proprtionate strength and agility of the bugs they resemble, though thankfully their durability is not quite as great as their strength and speed. They do come in large numbers and exploit their power of flight heavily.Tombstone's notes: While it doesn't look like it, Buggers are protected by shielding and armor, letting them take a few more hits than they would ordinarily be able to.
Blighters: Tough, powerful, very strong, Blighters are probably the most powerful infantry the Jiralhanae provide to the Hierarchy, possessed of great strength, very tough power armor, multiple layers of tough shielding a massive rad-plasma cannon that can double as a power fist, a virtually indestructible hand shield, and more. Being made out of a collection of worms rather than a singular organism, they lack vital organs to strike, but their armor does have openings, they are four times stronger than Warlords on average and react thrice as fast as humans. Tombstone's notes: Flanking is doubly effective here, not only are you getting by the handshield, but the rear also exposes more of their actual bodies than their front.
Heavy troopers: The actual Jiralhanae themselves, equipped with power armor and good shielding, Heavies prefer weapons that are useful in both short ranged shoot outs and brutal melee to weapons that are solely effective at a distance, most of them have rocket packs and repulsors for aeriel warfare and quickly jump jetting around. Tombstone's notes: Heavies are much stronger than humans are, I'd peg the average one at class fifteen, thirty with their power armor, but they're if anything, a little slower to react than humans. If you must fight them, avoid getting hit, weave in and out of their attacks. And constantly smack them if you can't just overpower them
Heavy captains: More skilled and stronger than their earlier counterparts by a factor of two, Captains can carry bigger guns, sustain longer assaults, and actually have a bit of a combat useful healing factor, with minor wounds healing up in minutes and major ones in hours, useful over the course of a battle, but not so much in a fight. Tombstone's notes: Heavies get very upset when their shields are down, so be prepared for a berserker charge where they try to maul you to death until either their shields pop back up or die. But you can use this against them as they aren't exactly thinking straight.
Heavy Chieftain: Being a tribally minded and patriarchal society, Jiralhanae hail to their chiefs as masters. Stronger than Captains by twofold, Chieftains are very powerful creatures with a little under four times human reflexes, making them dangerous in melee and capable of hefting large guns, and if that wasn't enough, they come with heavy shielding, power armor, and those same jump packs and their healing factors are even faster, with major wounds sealing up in minutes and minor ones in seconds. Tombstone's notes: When the chieftain dies, the pack he leads tends to break down into a civil spat to determine who's the new boss. Prioritize them if you can.
Warlords: The grand poobahs of Jiralhanae society short of their representatives to the council of Klo'vis, Warlords are again twice as strong as Chieftains, and their armor is of the highest quality and design, and they carry the finest weapons. They also tend to be both the smartest and most skilled too, and their healing factors mean that major wounds disappear in seconds and minor ones are gone almost as fast as you can make them. Tombstone's notes: Despite their healing abilities, Warlords still seem to stay dead when liberated of their heads.
Ectologists: Rapid moving scout vehicles akin to Humvees, these one man craft, while shielded, otherwise do not protect the user and rely on twinlinked rapid fire plasma casters for defense. Tombstone's notes: The pilot, while magnetized to the vehicle, can still be very well knocked off, and the controls are highly intuitive, making them easy to hijack.
Ripper: Well armored, equipped with bladed wheels and an anti-gravity seat along with quadruple autocannons and shielded and the power to go very fast very quickly, the Ripper is well suited to the task of reconnaisance and exploration, as well as ramming into things very hard and tearing them to pieces. Tombstone's notes: Don't assume that the vehicle is bad at turning, it is actually one of the best vehicles at turning, even while driving. However, the pilot is vulnerable to flank attacks.
Hunter: Armed with an omni directional rapid fire plasma turret, it's own heavy chassis, and a surprising amount of speed provided by it's anti-gravity engine, the Hunter is a heavier sort of exploration vehicle than the Ripper or the Ectologist. The gunner actually sits in a rotating cavity, allowing his lower body to be shielded by the armor as well as the craft's shielding. Tombstone's notes: As you can tell, once the shielding is down, the craft's passengers are very much vulnerable to sniping or being boarded and forced off, which I highly recommend...they're quite exhilarating to drive.
Spook: An anti-gravity self propelled assault gun with a heavy plasma mortar, a secondary plasma autocannon turret, and two automated plasma repeaters, the Spook is a favorite form of artillery and assault gun firepower among the Hierarchy, and while it is quite well armored and shielded, it is painfully, agonizingly slow. Tombstone's notes: With it's incredibly low speed, the Spook is very much vulnerable to being boarded, having it's pilots grabbed and thrown out, and then hijacked. This may be simpler than simply destroying it for some.
Anti-air spook: Replacing the plasma mortar with twin triple linked rad-plasma fuel rod guns, the Anti-air spook fills the skies with deadly amounts of green ack ack. It can also turn it's weapons against other vehicles and infantry with surprising amounts of lethality, but isn't really fast enough to compete with real tanks. That's a job for the Phase tank. Otherwise it's arsenal is the same. Tombstone's notes: Everything I said about the other Spook applies here.
Grasshopper: With a charged plasma cannon, a top mounted twinlinked beamer, and two automatic plasma casters the Grasshopper's heavily armored and shielded chassis is primarily meant for cracking fortifications, and is piloted by the very same worms that make up Blighters. Tombstone's notes: The leg joints in my experience, prove to be exceedingly vulnerable given how top heavy the thing is.
Ladybug Assault transport: Carrying large numbers of infantry within who can help bolster it's defense, the Lady bug is a smaller but still massive companion to the Habitat walker, and boasts it's own cloning facilities. Armed with a massive plasma devastator gun in it's rotating "head" mount, a twinlinked plasma eliminator gun on a top mounted turret, missile banks, and triple rapid fire plasma casters to deal with infantry as well as firing ramps for infantry inside to fire out and have their energy weapons magnified, the Ladybug does have a weakness in that destroying the main mass of the worms who pilot the thing kills the entire vehicle. Tombstone's notes: forcing the legs to buckle, then getting onto the machine as it picks itself up and destroying it's back mounted weakness is the quickest and easiest way for street levelers to down it.
Veneration class heavy transport: Equipped almost identically to the Ladybug with the addition of undermounted energy bomb generators, it's ground bound counterpart, the Veneration is a somewhat rarer beast, but is actually a small space ship with numerous fire ports for it's infantry to fire with their energy weapons magnified by special systems. Also capable of metaspace travel, this ship can go independently, but is hardly the ideal of luxury for any extended trip. Tombstone's notes: Like the Ladybug, it shares a weakness in the back, though is obviously more difficult to board. If you can't destroy it through raw power, try exploiting this weakness, or perhaps target it's engines to make it crash.
Reverence transport: Carrying a frontal heavy auto-plasma cannon, missile banks, an energy bomb bay, firing ports for infantry, and twin side mounted plasma repeater cannons, the Reverence transport is admirably well armed and armored for it's role in delivering troops directly into the enemy's face, whether by dropping down and dropping ramps or teleporting them down. The reverence can travel directly through metaspace, but is hardly a comfortable place to stay for long trips. It's fireports magnify the firepower of it's infantry. Tombstone's notes: Generally Reverence pilots don't want to be in combat, but you can force it upon them by targeting their side mounted engines to force them to crash and hopefully kill as many of their passengers as possible.
Screaming meemie light attack craft: A small interceptor and ground attack craft, the Screaming meemie terrorizes ground targets with twin linked energy casters and twin gauss cannons in a small, lightly armored, but highly maneuverable space capable and shielded package. Tombstone's notes: When I said they were lightly armored, I wasn't kidding. These things are damn near made of paper as far as aircraft goes. Small arms fire can bring them down in concentrated doses. That is of course, peacekeepers small arms fire.
Mosquito bomber: With two repeater plasma cannons, missile banks, two energy bomb generators, and a heavy needler that fires large spikes that home in on targets and then embed themselves to explode, the Mosquito is primarily meant for striking at ground targets where it's heavy armor and shielding keep it safe, although in my experiences of the MARATHON battle Hierarchy commanders also use them to attack aircraft as well, and they possess stasis beams that can freeze a target in space time, making them unable to be hurt, but also unable to hurt anyone else. Tombstone's notes: See that big bulbous thing on top? That's the cockpit, inside is your enemy. Get him out of there.
Dragonfly fighter: Twin heavy reapeater plasma cannons, four gauss cannons, missile banks along with heavy armor and shielding make for a tough fighter craft that I wouldn't want to go a round with even in my dead flier. Tombstone's notes: They do have a notable blindspot in their back given all their firepower is frontally concentrated, I was able to down a few in a dog fight over the MARATHON ring in the deadflier I teleported in.
Shield bug annihilator: The Epitome of Jiralhanae vehicle technology, the shield bug boasts three times the armament of the scarab, with a single massive Plasma obliterator in it's head that boasts incredible firepower while point defense rad-plasma rifles and fuel rod guns are spread across the legs to keep away pesky infantry who would seek to attack the legs. Tombstone's notes: The Shield Bug does have a bit of a blind spot underneath where only it's point defense weaponry can be brought to bear.
Superbug obliterator: Did I say that the Shield bug was the epitome of Jiralhanae vehicle tech? I was wrong. The Superbug is even larger, as in over five times larger with even larger guns. The head mointed laser of the Superbug is a starship grade rad-plasma cannon that can bore through planets and instantly vaporize all but the toughest of bricks of vehicles. For defensive armament, it packs the equivalent of seven shield bug arsenals and a virtual army inside and on it. Tombstone's notes: There is no military force on earth that can stop a Superbug. I'd leave it to the absolute heaviest bricks to deal with.
Bummers: Bummers are some of the tankiest soldiers in the entire Covenant. Five times stronger than Blighters, the Bummers are walking tanks who can regenerate from just about anything short of an instant kill faster than you can lay the injury down on them. Like all Hierarchy troops, they also come in much more powerful varieties for battle against higher tier opponents such as the Primalborn, They can also carry the heaviest infantry weapons of the hierarchy and use force multipliers on their fists. Tombstone's notes: They only have one compound eye, poke it out!
Blimers: Extremely good leapers and ambushers, the Blimers are naturally capable of camouflage, which is enhanced by Hierarchy stealth systems, and their natural scythe claws are enhanced with matter disruption fields, as are their teeth. They can crawl on walls and just love to ambush from high places, where their class thirty stats and sixty times human reflexes lets them deal substantial damage, while their shielding lets them take it. Tombstone's notes: Always keep aware of your surroundings, and remain calm even if they're striking.

Muton Kingdom

The Mutons hate the Zolkri, and stick with the Jiralhanae to form their own bloc against the Zolkri and Riktal. I can't find much about them other than that they're violent bullies who have brought in several other species with them, but they're not to be messed with in any possible definition of "being messed with". They may look big, but they are in no way stupid. The mutons have a number of servile races under their command.

Sectoids: At first I mistook them for Zolkri, but Peacekeeper records confirm that the similarities are just a product of convergent evolution. While they are fairly tough with toughened flesh and implanted energy shield generators and do have combat useful psionics and deadly plasma casters, they're not beyond the ability of modern commandos to handle. Tombstone's note: Sectoids do not like being in close combat. Drawing them into melee is your best bet for success.
Sectoid commander: Largely identical to sectoids save for having significantly greater psionic ability, superior training, access to better weaponry, and better subdermal shielding, anything that goes for Sectoids also goes for their commanders. Tombstone's notes: And yep, still don't like melee.
Outsiders: Energy beings contained by their suits, to defeat Outsiders, one only needs to break their suits and force them to retreat to regain a combat useful body. They largely carry the same weapons as sectoids, but do possess the power to command and control energy instead of psionics, as well as an innate understanding of computer systems. Tombstone's notes: Outsiders are actually relatively benign at most times. But will fight if pressed.
Floaters: Mutons who have cybernetically augmented themselves to be flying at all times, Floaters retain the tremendous class five hundred strength and twenty times human reflexes of their forebearers doubled by their armorsuits with potent healing factors and self repair, greatly enhanced by their cybernetic augmentations and power armor, while their bodies are not only protected by their great durability and armor, but also by thick shielding. In the air, they are quite maneuverable and wield extremely potent weaponry. Tombstone's notes: Strike at flight packs for amusement. Removing your legs wasn't so smart in retrospect now, was it?
Heavy floaters: Even stronger and more well armored, regenerative, than their basic counterparts by five fold, heavy floaters replace one of their arms with a powerful ranged weapon, can fire potent lasers from their optics, carry missile banks within them, and have power claws for the other hand as well as powerful shielding and their tremendously maneuverable flight pack. Tombstone's notes: Really just floaters...but more so.
Cyberdiscs: Coming in two forms, a closed, seemingly innocuous disc form, and the small car sized wheel of death pictured above. Lethal in melee with an array of power blades and deadly at range with rapid fire energy casters, their most deadly weapon is a powerful beamer that can one shot class one hundreds. Tombstone's notes: For the love of god hit the sides, don't hit the back, it's got dozens of power whips that will flay you alive, don't strike at the front where it has claws and cannons galore, hit the god damn sides.
Drones: Armed only with a single plasma caster, these small robots' primary duty is healing and repair with special biorays and reconstructors, though they can also act to deconstruct or construct something for the Hierarchy in moments. Tombstone's notes: You know in video games where you shoot the thing that can heal the other guys first? Yeah same applies here.
Muton soldier: Huge, powerful, and capable of exerting over a thousand tons of force with reflexes half those of their floater counterparts at ten times the human norm, Muton soldiers are some of the physically most imposing warriors in the Hierarchy, whose power is doubled by their suits, mutons are consumate soldiers who are fanatically loyal to the Overseers and dream of supplanting the Rikval and Zolkri at the Overseer's sides. Tombstone's notes: Note how the armor leaves some of their arms exposed, has openings in the inner thighs, and exposes the head, these are weak points, target them once you bring the shields down!
Muton elites: Heavily armed and armored and five times more powerful than regular mutons, Muton elites are some of the most fanatical warriors in the entire hierarchy. Everything about the mutons is turned up to eleven with these incredibly powerful supersoldiers. Tombstone's notes: Generally speaking, if you're facing these guys down, run unless you have a plan, if there's more than one, run regardless, get more reinforcements, these guys do not go down easily, though they have some openings around the arms and legs, you're only really pissing them off.
Berserkers and Berserker elites: Twice as powerful as Mutons and Muton elites, Berserkers are altered for melee and nothing but, preferring to use their power fists and claws over ranged weapons, though some do indeed sport melee weapons. Tombstone's notes: Berserkers fight angrily, but with a certain sort of clinicalness. You generally want to engage them at range, but keep in mind that they are very fast.
Chrysallid: More a monster shaped plague than aliens. When one of the three meter tall chrysallid impregnates someone with it's proboscis, they are infected with hundreds of eggs, turning them into Chrysallid zombies, who are slaved to their hive mind. The zombies shamble about for five minutes, hatching into hundreds of more chyrsallids who scatter about and grow to adult size in five minute sand repeat the process. While strong and durable at the class hundred range with reflexes about half those of Bombardier beetle's, their primary threat is in how quickly their numbers can explode. Tombstone's notes: Do not, under any circumstances, allow them to get their mouths near you unless you've been vaccinated against Chyrsallid impregnation. If a man is infected, if you can't get a cure in him in thirty seconds, you'll need to kill him. He's gone.
Sectopods: Massive walkers that can tower over even habitat walkers, Sectopods are bristling with guns and energy whips, carrying about twice as much armament as an assembly walker in exchange for being able to produce nothing but drones and cyber discs. Tombstone's notes; Take one leg out and the entire thing should fall right on it's face.
Sectobot: A desiccated Sectoid implanted into a walker, a Sectobot carries a powerful rad-plas gatling gun, missile launchers, and a set of kinetic beamers. Sectobots are very durable and very tough, and in melee unleash matter disruption claw covered swipes from their limbs. Tombstone's notes: The easy way to deal with them is to first break the canopy then kill the pilot. They also come in commander variants so be wary of psychic attacks
Mectoid: Implanted into a large mech suit, Mechtoids are much more formadible adversaries than their regular counterparts, still maintaining all the potent psionic abilities of the Sectoids and like their smaller counterparts, also come in Commander variants which can also attack the mind: Tombstone's notes, while heavily armed and very physically formidable, it still exposes the head for some baffling reason.
Seeker: Floating, squid like stealth creatures, Seekers retain powerful cloaking abilities equivalent to shadow pirates, but add powerful power tendrils and deadly twin light rad-plas weapons. Being mechanical in nature, Seekers don't really feel pain. Tombstone's notes: Heavy firepower at range is typically the most expedient way to put these things down.

14 Comments Refresh
Posted by Guardian_of_Gravity
Posted by Amaranth
Posted by Legendary_StarHero

Nice work.

Posted by Guardian_of_Gravity

@amaranth_strix: Yeah.

Next to go, Urtraghian Space Pirates, the Charybdis.

Politics, Goals, Counters, Likely vectors of attacks, defense plan, and fleet assets.

Posted by Guardian_of_Gravity

@shadowswordmaster: Thanks, It's only half done though but I was really paranoid about hitting a text limit.

Posted by Legendary_StarHero
Posted by Guardian_of_Gravity

@shadowswordmaster: Right, may have to edit this post up, the Tombstone's notes aren't highlighted.

But yeah, expect to see them all in MARATHON 2.

Edited by _Space_Man_

Love it.

Posted by Guardian_of_Gravity

@_space_man_: Thanks, Hope I get to use the Hierarchy for a while, we at least have MARATHON 2, 3, and 4 to go through.

Posted by Web_Flotsam

What are the Riktal pictures from?

Posted by Guardian_of_Gravity
Edited by Web_Flotsam
Posted by Guardian_of_Gravity

@web_flotsam: CO and CoX don't really share any model parts. Which is a given as they're made by two separate studios.

Posted by Web_Flotsam