Battle of Mombasa

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Battle of Earth

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Battle of Mombasa
Fleetwatch.jpg

Conflict:

Human-Covenant War

Date:

October 20, 2552–October 21, 2552

Location:

Mombasa, Republic of Kenya

Outcome:

Strategic Covenant victory

  • Covenant occupation of Mombasa.
  • Majority of Mombasa destroyed.
  • Rediscovery of the Portal.

Minor strategic UNSC victory

Belligerents

Covenant Empire

Commanders
Strength
Casualties
  • Unidentified Colonel
  • Majority of NMPD forces killed.
  • Unknown infantry casualties, presumably heavy
  • Heavy civilian casualties[2]
  • Heavy infantry casualties
  • (3) Type-47 UHAP "Scarabs"
  • All remaining Sangheili (by Jiralhanae under Truth's orders)
 


"This is the only place on Earth the Covenant decided to land. That Prophet is going to tell us why."
— Admiral Terrence Hood

The Battle of Mombasa was a part of the Battle of Earth, taking place in late October 2552. Over the course of the battle, Covenant forces captured the city of Mombasa, Kenya and it was quickly retaken in a matter of hours by the UNSC.[3][4] However, after the Prophet of Regret's retreat, the city was occupied by another, larger Covenant force sent by the Prophet of Truth.[5] In the aftermath of the battle, the Portal to the Ark was eventually found by the Covenant, which would prove to be a major determining factor in the final outcome of the Human-Covenant War.[6][7] Years after the war's end, a movement known as "Project Rebirth" emerged to endorse the eventual rebuilding of Mombasa in the aftermath of the War.

Prelude[edit]

After discovering and decrypting a Forerunner Luminary found on Meridian, the Prophet of Regret of the Covenant was given Slipspace coordinates to a planet called "Erde-Tyrene", which was home to a Forerunner slipspace portal leading to the Ark—a facility highly important to the initiation of their "Great Journey". Unknown to Regret, Erde-Tyrene was humanity's homeworld, Earth. In his characteristic brash and ambitious manner, the Prophet of Regret, wishing to proceed with securing the Portal, took a hastily-assembled force of 15 warships to Earth. Though surprised to find not only a human presence on the planet, but a planet more fortified than any previously encountered human-held world, the Prophet deemed his mission important enough to proceed and utilized many tactics to ensure his safe arrival on the surface. The coordinates provided by the Forerunner information indicated that his quarry was around the area of Mombasa, Kenya. Immediately after the Prophet of Truth learned of Regret's move, he sent a massive fleet he had collected in secrecy to pick up where Regret had left off.[7][5]

The battle[edit]

Covenant invasion[edit]

On October 20th, during the opening stages of the Battle of Earth, a single Covenant assault carrier (the Solemn Penance) broke through the UNSC Home Fleet's defensive lines and entered Earth's atmosphere.[8][9] The ship hovered stationary above the island city of New Mombasa in Kenya, deploying infantry and mechanized support from the Uplift Nature Reserve.

The city was relatively lightly defended, with only NMPD forces as well as some Marine units present.[10] Some additional military units had been transferred to the city, along with Earth's other tether cities, following the Fall of Reach to bolster their defenses in case of a Covenant invasion. These included E2-BAG/1/7 as well as some UNSC Army forces.[11]

In the opening stages of the battle, even some civilians took up arms in an attempt to defend their city, joining the Marines under command of a Marine officer.[12] However, this allowed for most of the citizens of New Mombasa to evacuate from the city to Old Mombasa using boats destined for other surrounding cities.[13] While some of the train tunnels collapsed during the attack, some civilians were able to escape using trains as well.[14] More UNSC Marine Corps and UNSC Army units later poured into the region after the initial attack, some of which arriving from Diego Garcia near India.[15]

UNSC insertion[edit]

UNSC reinforcements from the UNSC In Amber Clad arrive in New Mombasa.

Some time after the Covenant insertion to the city and the civilian evacuation, the UNSC frigate In Amber Clad descended near Mombasa to reinforce the ground troops already present. Intercepted transmission from the Covenant forces lead the UNSC to correctly believe that it was the High Prophet of Regret in command of the opposing force, making his capture their utmost priority. Three Pelicans, one of them with SPARTAN-117 on board, were deployed by the In Amber Clad to reclaim the city and board the Solemn Penance hovering near the Mombasa Tether. However, before they could get near the carrier, the formation ran across a Type-47 Ultra Heavy Assault Platform which shot down all of the Pelicans. The first was destroyed by the Scarab's main cannon, the second, carrying Gunnery Sergeant Stacker and an ODST squad, was shot down and landed on the beach. A third carrying Sergeant Major Avery J. Johnson and the Master Chief was hit hard, crashing into a building, upside down.[3]

Both teams suffered few casualties from their respective crashes. The Spartan's team moved into a nearby bunker while Stacker's team moved up the beach to the Hotel Zanzibar and set up a command post, eliminating several Covenant units in the process. Both teams then waited in their respective locations for extraction.[3]

Over the course of the battle, the Covenant deployed several Scarab assault platforms in both the old and new sections of Mombasa, with many of them targeting the city's space elevator.[16] The UNSC managed to trap and destroy many of them in the narrow streets of the city.[17]

Outskirts[edit]

UNSC forces advancing on the beach.

After Spartan-117 and his allies repelled several waves of Covenant including a pair of Mgalekgolo, a Pelican found the group and gave them coordinates of an extraction point. Commander Miranda Keyes ordered Johnson to regroup with the In Amber Clad so that he could coordinate further deployment of infantry and armor units while the Spartan continued on foot through the city to find the second squad. [3]

After fighting his way through multiple alleyways filled with Kig-Yar Snipers, John-117 found and assisted the ODSTs pinned down at Hotel Zanzibar. He then took a Warthog and spearheaded a counterattack, destroying Covenant infantry, armor, and Covenant artillery emplacements on the beaches facing New Mombasa.[3]

Assault on the bridge[edit]

A picture of John-117 during the battle taken by Benjamin Giraud.

John-117 and his makeshift Marine unit entered a blown-out hole in a tunnel where they intercepted and destroyed a Covenant convoy, made up primarily of Shadows that had been attempting to rendezvous with the regrouping Covenant ground forces still stationed in that sector of the city. Along the way they engaged and neutralized several barricades the Covenant had assembled to fortify the tunnel network. After the engagement in the tunnels, they advanced towards the bridge connecting Old and New Mombasa. Before the Spartan got there, the Marine unit at the bridge had already exhausted itself fighting the Scarab.[3][4]

The Master Chief arrived at the bridge to assess the situation while Sergeant Johnson reinforced the Marines with weaponry, including a Scorpion tank. The Chief traveled across the bridge with the armored unit, clearing it of both Covenant armored and mechanized forces. These forces included Ghosts, Wraiths, Phantoms, and Banshees.[4]

Battle for the industrial zone[edit]

The Scarab fires upon a Scorpion tank, destroying it instantly.

After the engagement on the bridge, UNSC forces entered New Mombasa in large numbers. They linked up with various squads of Marines as they moved through the city, eliminating Covenant forces that were setting up positions. The Master Chief's team worked their way into the Kilindini Park Cultural Center through the sewer system, and then towards the city center via Shimanzi Road and Beria Plaza, finding that the Scarab had, likewise, taken a similar path.[11][4]

Once in the heart of the industrial zone near the city center, John-117's team found a Marine outpost holed in a corporate building, commanded by Staff Sergeant Banks of "A" Company under siege by a unit of Wraiths. The UNSC forces, with the help of John-117, destroyed the Wraiths, and secured a landing zone for reinforcements. The Pelicans then dropped a platoon of Marine infantry and a Scorpion tank.[4]

Destruction of the Scarab[edit]

The lumbering Scarab appeared from the other end of the plaza the Marine outpost was facing and the Scorpion tank opened fire on it, with no effect. After the Scarab destroyed the tank with its main gun, Marines opened fire on the walker, but it was unaffected and impervious to the weak rounds and climbed over their position and moved into the canals of the city. However, it soon found itself trapped inside of the walls of the canal, giving the Marines a chance to attack it openly with Pelicans.[4]

The Master Chief and A Company followed the Scarab through the canals and the Spartan boarded the walker. While the Marines provided some cover fire, John defeated the forces manning the Scarab walker. After defeating its command crew, he managed to destroy the Scarab from the inside by damaging either its internal operating systems or the core system. Realizing that they were at a tactical disadvantage, all Covenant forces began retreating to Regret's carrier. The Master Chief was extracted by Sergeant Johnson's Pelican and taken back to In Amber Clad along with the remaining members of A Company.[4]

Regret's withdrawal[edit]

HEV pods falling into New Mombasa moments before Regret's retreat.

Fleet Admiral Terrence Hood was hesitant to let In Amber Clad engage Regret's assault carrier, still above Mombasa and beside the Mombasa space elevator. He instead opted to call in two heavier vessels from the Home Fleet to intercept the carrier once it returned to Earth orbit. However, when the carrier initiated its slipspace drive, preparing to jump while still in the atmosphere, Hood recognized that the only ship able to follow was the In Amber Clad and gave the ship the green light to give chase. Another three vessels followed, but were unable to reach the carrier before it jumped.[4]

The Pelicans carrying Spartan-117 and the Marines entered the In Amber Clad, which followed the assault carrier into Slipspace. Just before the Carrier jumped, remaining ships of the UNSC Home Fleet deployed dozens of SOEIVs down to the city in an effort to infiltrate the carrier, only to be caught by the EMP blast in mid-flight, destroying their navigational and safety systems, plunging them and their Orbital Drop Shock Trooper occupants to almost certain death. It is likely that only one Squad survived, having changed their course away from the carrier at the last moment. Many of the city's buildings were heavily damaged but remained standing, including the Mombasa Tether. The rupture also created a large crater in the mainland, north of New Mombasa, revealing a section of the Forerunner portal.[18]

The Conduit[edit]

The UNSC In Amber Clad gives chase as Regret's flagship prepares to flee New Mombasa.

During the battle, the Covenant brought the Conduit—a Forerunner device capable of opening slipspace portals—to New Mombasa.[19] A Spirit dropship carrying a data pad with information pertaining to the Conduit was shot down by UNSC forces.[20] When the data pad's relevance to the Conduit was realized by the UNSC, a squad of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers was sent to recover it.[19] Covenant forces awaiting extraction at the crashed Spirit were attacked by the ODST squad and the Sangheili Field Master carrying the data pad was killed, With the data pad, the UNSC used the information gained to pinpoint the location of the Conduit in the city.[21] The ODST squad was directed to a Sangheili task force carrying the Conduit. After a brief engagement, the ODSTs managed to procure the Conduit from the Covenant and the device was delivered to a nearby UNSC convoy.[22]

The Covenant responded by assaulting the convoy with waves of infantry. Though the ODST squad and several Marines attempted to defend the convoy from attacking Covenant forces, a Sangheili Field Master dropped down from his Spirit into the Elephant carrying the Conduit, retrieved the device, and escaped the engagement aboard the dropship. The ODSTs gave chase and,[23] eventually, the Spirit was shot down. The squad located the dropship's crash site and attacked its surviving occupants. When the Field Master and his Kig-Yar bodyguards were eventually eliminated, the Conduit was reclaimed by the UNSC.[24] The ODSTs took the Conduit aboard a Warthog and were ordered to leave the city as the nearby Solemn Penance entered slipstream space over Mombasa.[25] When the resulting slipspace rupture destroyed the city, the ODSTs were killed and the Conduit was believed to have been destroyed as well.[26] However, the Conduit entered slipspace to save itself from destruction and arrived at Installation 03.[27]

Forerunner glyphs[edit]

A squad during their mission to recover Forerunner intel.

Concurrent with the search for the Conduit, an unidentified ODST squad participated in the battle with orders to retrieve information the Covenant were interested in. Commandeering a Grizzly tank, the squad rescued marines who had recovered an emergency broadcast from a downed AV-14 Hornet, stating that its crew had captured a series of Forerunner glyphs from the Covenant. The squad then trekked their way to the site, recovered the glyphs, and escaped the city before the Solemn Penance jumped into slipspace.[28]

Covenant reinforcements arrive[edit]

A Phantom dropping troops in New Mombasa just after the Slipspace event.

Large numbers of Covenant troops remained in the city even after Regret's withdrawal. While most of Regret's troops evacuated into the carrier, there was still a significant Covenant presence both on the ground and in orbit. Moments after Regret jumped however, a large fleet of Jiralhanae-led Covenant reinforcements sent by the Prophet of Truth arrived, and seized control of the battle. The remaining Jiralhanae from Regret's forces were simultaneously given orders to execute the Sangheili forces on the ground while the reinforcement fleet would do the same with the remaining Sangheili ships in orbit. During the course of the battle, more and more Covenant reinforcements commanded by the Jiralhanae started arriving at Earth. This was a part of the Prophet of Truth's personal scheme for the Covenant, which would come to its conclusion two weeks later when the Sangheili were officially removed from their positions as the main warrior caste of the Covenant.[7][5]

However, a sizeable number of UNSC Marines and NMPD forces remained in the city. They organized an effective resistance, and fought for control of the city throughout the remainder of the day. The city's Urban Infrastructure AI Superintendent also had a vital role in the defense of the city.

Knocked off their course by the slipspace rupture, two ODST drop pods made rough landings: Gunnery Sergeant Edward Buck's pod in Lumumba, and Captain Veronica Dare's in nearby Tayari Plaza. Buck fought his way to Tayari Plaza to help Dare, killing large numbers of Covenant troops including a Mgalekgolo pair, but upon making it to her pod, he discovered that the Captain had disappeared. With no idea his objective, Buck took the decision to reunite his squad and then extract from, the city as fast as possible.[29]

UNSC forces regroup[edit]

The battle for the Covenant LZ in the Uplift Reserve.

Around thirty minutes after the slipspace event, the UNSC was beginning to regroup, following the orders of a Marine Colonel. The Marines' orders were to reach the Colonel's position near the city center, and take control of Regret's carrier's former landing zone in the Uplift Nature Reserve in an effort to seize an unidentified enemy asset. It later became clear that this asset was a defecting Huragok.

Remote-controlled F-99 UCAVs were sent to the city to maintain air supremacy over the Phantoms and Banshees. Meanwhile, Marines at the Uplift Reserve, led by a surviving ODST began to take out Wraiths blocking their way to the rendezvous point. Eventually, the Mombasa Tether, already damaged by the jump, collapsed, with miles of debris from the tether scattered across East Africa. The collapse also killed the Colonel.[30]

Fallback to ONI Alpha Site[edit]

The Alpha Site is destroyed.

After the UNSC reclaimed the Covenant landing zone in Uplift Reserve, defending the Office of Naval Intelligence's local headquarters became the top priority. Ninety minutes after the slipspace event, Marines began falling back to the building as advancing Covenant Wraith convoys prepared to lay siege to Alpha Site. The Marines were forced to fight through enemy forces in the Boulevard that led to the ONI site before falling back further into the ONI complex.[31]

Within the ONI compound, the Marines and the NMPD forces destroyed the bridge leading to the base, in hopes of slowing down the advancing Covenant forces. This did not, however, stop the incoming dropships, but slowed the advance. The human forces fell back to the base's courtyard, which they defended against waves of Covenant attackers, before falling back into the interior of the main building. Again, they fended off multiple waves of Covenant. They then activated explosives inside the complex, to destroy it in order to prevent the Covenant from accessing the Superintendent's data facility deep under the building. The Marines and the police forces evacuated to the roof, where they were picked up by an NMPD Pelican dropship. Six hours later, the building was still burning from the explosions.[32] At the time, the survivors of the siege were unaware that destroying the building had alerted a newly-constructed Yanme'e hive beneath the building in the Superintendent's data facility, making it much more difficult for UNSC forces to reach the data core later on.[33]

Skirmish at NMPD Headquarters[edit]

Dutch, Mickey, and a police officer at the crash site of their D77C-Pelican.

While the Alpha Site was destroyed, Edward Buck and his squad's sniper, Kojo Agu, made their way to the top floors of the NMPD Headquarters building, where they were to be picked up by Pelican with two other ODSTs already onboard. However, the dropship was shot down before landing, and it crashed on another rooftop killing the pilot on impact. Buck and Agu fought their way across the rooftops, and eventually reached the crash site, where they fought off waves of attacking Covenant using heavy weapons from the Pelican. Finally, a Jiralhanae Chieftain dropped off from a Phantom, killed an NMPD officer and severely wounded Agu. The squad managed to kill the Chieftain, after which they decided to evacuate through the train tunnels which led into Old Mombasa.[34]

Nightfall[edit]

By nightfall of October 20, nearly all human forces in the city had either been evacuated or destroyed. Among the few survivors were the members of Buck's ODST squad, who arrived at Kikowani Station near the city's northeastern seawall, only to realize that the station, as well as its surroundings had been flooded by water, making escape through train tunnels impossible. The squad decided to hijack a Phantom dropship, in which they succeeded. Buck escorted the rest of the squad through the flooded sections of the city in a Banshee. The area was filled with Covenant forces, including a Scarab. After destroying the Scarab, they managed to fly out of the city, when Buck suddenly realized he knew where Captain Dare was and decided to go back to find her, inside the Superintendent's data center. During the battle, arriving Covenant cruisers began excavating the area around the crater created by the slipspace rupture.[35]

Around the same time, a lone ODST only known as "the Rookie", thought dead by the rest of the squad, woke up in his pod, on the edge of a rooftop in Mbaraki. The city was already occupied by the Covenant, with no UNSC resistance left. The Superintendent aided the Rookie to survive in the city and look for clues for what happened to his squad. Upon finding objects related to his squad, he envisioned what had happened to them over the course of the day. After wandering around the city for a while, the Rookie received a distress message from Dare, who was inside the Superintendent's data facility deep under the city. He made his way to a subway entrance, and descended down an elevator shaft, to Sublevel 7 of the data center.[36] At this point, the underground tunnels had become infested with Yanme'e, who had built massive hives in the area.[33]

Dare and the Rookie meet Quick to Adjust, who "saved" Vergil inside the Superintendent's Data Center.

Extracting the asset[edit]

Eventually, the Rookie managed to meet up with Dare inside the Superintendent's Data Center. Inside, they discovered a Huragok called Quick to Adjust[1], who had combined the Superintendent, namely its Vergil subroutine with itself. As Quick disconnected from the core, the AI shut itself down, as all of its data had been transferred into the creature. At this point, Buck arrived into the complex and the ODSTs escaped back to the surface through the tunnels filled with Covenant, while protecting the critically important Huragok.[33]

In the dawn of the next day, the area was already full of arriving Covenant capital ships. Buck, Dare and the Rookie made their way to the surface, through a Covenant outpost in the city, and eventually took an elevator to the city's Waterfront Highway. They then pushed through the Highway and made a stand at the entrance to Uplift Reserve. The Phantom captured by the rest of the squad arrived and picked them up, and they made it out just as an assault carrier appeared from slipspace and glassed the area.[6]

Aftermath[edit]

The Covenant fleet uncovering the Portal.

Immediately after the occupation, more and more Covenant ships started arriving at Earth. They started uncovering the Forerunner structure which would later be revealed to be the Portal to the Ark.[6]

The High Prophet of Regret would arrive upon Installation 05 along with the In Amber Clad. The ring's location was from a Luminary on Meridian.[37]

The UNSC would not discover the actual purpose of the Covenant's arrival on Earth until two weeks after the Battle of Installation 05; most of the information was presumably received from the Huragok that had absorbed Vergil's data. By this point, the Prophet of Truth had already arrived in Sol System on the Forerunner Dreadnought with the remainder of his fleet with him.[38][39]

The remnants of New Mombasa were likely liberated when Truth's fleet retreated to the Ark and were subsequently defeated. Years after the war's end, a movement known as "Project Rebirth" emerged to endorse the eventual rebuilding of Mombasa in the aftermath of the War.[40]

In the summer of 2557, nearly five years after the battle, the Forerunner glyphs recovered by several ODSTs in the city were finally decoded, pointing to a region on Gamma Halo containing an unidentified Forerunner machine.[28]

The John-117 Monument, constructed in 2607, was built based on environment scans and testimonies of those who participated in the battle.

Participants[edit]

UNSC[edit]

Name Rank Status
Kojo Agu Lance Corporal Survived
Banks Staff Sergeant Survived
Edward Buck Gunnery Sergeant Survived
Butkis Private Unknown
Michael Crespo Private First Class Survived
Veronica Dare Captain Survived
Davis Unknown Unknown
Emerson Private Unknown
Galliard Private First Class KIA
Jemison Private KIA
John-117 Master Chief Petty Officer Survived
Avery Johnson Sergeant Major Survived
Jones Lance Corporal Unknown
Miranda Keyes Commander Survived
McKenzie Private Survived
Locke Private First Class KIA
Taylor Miles Corporal Survived
Morton Lance Corporal Unknown
O'Brien Private KIA
Palmer Corporal Unknown
Parisa Lieutenant Unknown
Perez Corporal Survived[note 1]
Pineada Lance Corporal Unknown
Stacker Gunnery Sergeant Survived
Sullivan Private First Class Unknown
"The Rookie" Lance Corporal Survived
Unknown Colonel KIA
Walpole Private Unknown

Covenant[edit]

Trivia[edit]

  • The multiplayer levels Turf, Terminal, District in Halo 2 and Longshore in Halo 3 take place during the Battle of Mombasa. The Halo 2 level Tombstone apparently takes place late in the battle, (roughly concurrent with Halo 3: ODST) as the city is largely in ruins.
  • Sadie's Story depicts Regret's assault carrier arriving in the city via slipspace. The carrier's descent to the atmosphere is never shown in any other source, but it may have made a short, pinpoint jump to get away from the UNSC forces.

List of appearances[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Perez survival is suggested in Quarantine Zone, where Johnson questions McKenzie and Perez regarding the status of their exit.

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Halo Waypoint - Is there an actual name for Vergil?
  2. ^ Halo 3: ODST, game intro
  3. ^ a b c d e f Halo 2, campaign level, Outskirts
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Halo 2, campaign level, Metropolis
  5. ^ a b c Bungie.net: Bungie Weekly Update: 01/23/09
  6. ^ a b c Halo 3: ODST, campaign level, Coastal Highway
  7. ^ a b c Halo Waypoint, "Ten Twenty" history article
  8. ^ Halo 2, campaign level, Cairo Station
  9. ^ Halo Graphic Novel, page 90
  10. ^ Halo Graphic Novel, pages 86-98
  11. ^ a b Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe, "Palace Hotel", page 367
  12. ^ Halo Graphic Novel, pages 92-93
  13. ^ Halo Graphic Novel, pages 97 and 98
  14. ^ Halo 3: ODST, "Sadie's Story"
  15. ^ Halo Encyclopedia, page 296 (2011 edition)
  16. ^ Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe, "Palace Hotel", page 363
  17. ^ Halo 2, multiplayer map Turf, level description
  18. ^ Halo 3: ODST, campaign level, Prepare To Drop
  19. ^ a b Halo: Spartan Strike, Operation A: Orphic Spear
  20. ^ Halo: Spartan Strike, campaign level New Mombasa Nightmare
  21. ^ Halo: Spartan Strike, campaign level On Top of the World
  22. ^ Halo: Spartan Strike, campaign level Conduit
  23. ^ Halo: Spartan Strike, campaign level Reversal of Fortune
  24. ^ Halo: Spartan Strike, campaign level Wounded Quarry
  25. ^ Halo: Spartan Strike, campaign level Last Exit
  26. ^ Halo: Spartan Strike, Operation B: Steadfast Pursuit
  27. ^ Halo: Spartan Strike, Operation C: Valiant Hammer
  28. ^ a b Halo: Spartan Strike, Operation E: Brother’s Keeper
  29. ^ Halo 3: ODST, campaign level, Tayari Plaza
  30. ^ Halo 3: ODST, campaign level, Uplift Reserve
  31. ^ Halo 3: ODST, campaign level, Kizingo Boulevard
  32. ^ Halo 3: ODST, campaign level, ONI Alpha Site
  33. ^ a b c Halo 3: ODST, campaign level, Data Hive
  34. ^ Halo 3: ODST, campaign level, NMPD HQ
  35. ^ Halo 3: ODST, campaign level, Kikowani Station
  36. ^ Halo 3: ODST, campaign level, Mombasa Streets
  37. ^ Halo 2, campaign level, Delta Halo
  38. ^ Halo 3: ODST, campaign level, Epilogue
  39. ^ Halo 3
  40. ^ McFarlane Toys/Halo Point Prizes, Campaign Master Chief