Fighting Retreat

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What Could Go Wrong?


Light the Fuse

Fighting Retreat
Halo Wars 2: Awakening the Nightmare concept art.


Halo Wars 2




June 4, 2559


High Charity crash site, Installation 00


  • Keep Pavium alive
  • Hold the line
  • Fall back to the first defensive line
  • Prepare for the Flood attack
  • Hold the first defensive line
  • Fall back to the second defensive line
  • Hold the second defensive line
  • Clear out the Flood from the Banished base
  • Defend the main base against the Flood
  • Retreat
  • Rescue the Blisterback crews (3)
  • Rescue the salvage teams (4)
  • Recover resources (3000)
  • Build defenses (20)
  • Kill Flood Pod Infectors (1200)

Par Time:



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Fighting Retreat is the sixteenth campaign level in Halo Wars 2, and the second of the Awakening the Nightmare expansion.




Mission Briefing

  • Brute: "Pavium, our troops are en route to perform salvage extraction from the nearby ships."
  • Pavium: "Good. If Voridus has listened to me, he'll be doing the same from outside of High Charity. Have you had word from him?"
  • Brute: "No, no further communications since he and his Brutes approached High Charity."
  • Pavium: "Unsurprising. No doubt he's picked a fight with some Sentinels there, but he should have reported in. No matter."

Mission Summary

Clear a path for the salvage operation

Scouting Report

Valuable resources can be found amongst the wreckage from the crash site.


Two Infantry squads approach wreckage that blocks their way.

  • Pavium: "Keep moving, I want us to be ready for extraction as soon as possible. Let's get to work. We need those barriers down so I can clear a path for the salvage route."

Pavium tries to contact Voridus.

  • Pavium: "Voridus, this is Pavium. Have you found anything outside the shell?"
  • Voridus: "...Pavium! Fall back, I warn you! We have been assaulted..."

The comms from Voridus break up.

  • Pavium: "Voridus? Respond! Engineers, get his comms feed back, now!"
  • Brute: "Pavium! Movement! From High Charity!"

Hordes of Pod Infectors approach the salvage operation.

  • Pavium: "The rumors were true! What has that fool done?"

Three Grunt Infantry Squads are scanning the supplies, and Pod Infectors reach them. One squad runs away while the other two are infected.

  • Grunt 1: "Run, run!"
  • Pavium: "Coward! We will hold the line until I hear from Voridus and his troops. I will not abandon them!"
  • Brute: "Don't let them touch you!"


As the Flood approaches them, Pavium and his units eliminate them before they get a chance to infect his troops.

  • Pavium: "Destroy those who turn, they are no longer your allies!"

Some Garrisons are empty, and Pavium orders his forces to man them.

  • Pavium: "Into garrisons! Defend yourselves!"

They hear the Flood screaming, and more Pod Infectors come from the west. They quickly clear them out, and once clear, the Flood start attacking from the east.

  • Pavium: "Flood incoming from the east!"

Pavium reminds his forces to not touch the Pod Infectors.

  • Pavium: "Do not let them touch you, it is said they will consume your body and mind!"

While defending the east, the Banished retreat from the west to Pavium once the Flood starts coming from the west.

  • Pavium: "Keep them back, do not let them overrun this area!"

After defending for a time, the Banished regroup near lightbridge.

  • Grunt 1: "They're coming from everywhere!"
  • Pavium: "We must retreat, the area is lost to the Flood. All units, fall back to the first position!"

The Banished retreat through the lightbridge and it shuts down, cutting off the route so the Flood can't pursue them.

  • Pavium: "Get off that bridge! We need to shut it down and get it secured!"

Reaching the first outpost, Pavium try to contact Voridus.

  • Pavium: "Voridus? Are you there? I'm holding the line as long as I can, but I won't be able to wait forever!"

Voridus still does not respond.

  • Pavium: "Still nothing? Damn him! See to the wounded and prepare the defenses for the next attack! They are not finished with us yet!"

The timer countdown start from 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

  • Pavium: "Break open those cases! Use everything we have to strengthen our defenses!"

The Banished open all the cases to further aid the defenses.

  • Pavium: "We must hold the line here to give Voridus and his troops time to join in! Dig in!"

If the defense turret and barricade have not yet been established.

  • Pavium: "Get the defenses up! We need to stagger the Flood assault with barricades!"

When the timer reaches 30 seconds.

  • Pavium: "My Orbital Designator shows a massive waves of Flood coming soon, gather supplies and build defenses to be ready for them!"

When the timer reaches 0, the Flood recommence the assault again.

  • Pavium: "The Flood are as inexorable as the stories said."

Pavium requests reinforcements from Colony to open a path for retreat.

  • Pavium: "Bring in the Goliaths to clear a path back to our base! We must hold the line for Voridus there, it's our best chance!"

A Spirit drops a team of Goliaths, and they immediately go to work.

  • Pavium: "Defend the Goliaths, they must clear both routes or we'll have nowhere to fall back to!"

The countdown start from five minutes as both Goliath teams start to work, while an infantry squad is attacked and overrun from the west.

  • Pavium: "We must have a staggered retreat. If Voridus is still alive he will need us!"

The Banished hold their line while the Flood come from the east, defeating all Grunt Infantry Squads that are patrolling and infecting the Jiralhanae.

  • Pavium: "Flood coming from the east! Watch out!"

They continue to hold the line.

  • Pavium: "Fight back! The Banished have not come so far to be devoured by monstrosities!"
  • Pavium: "Kill the infected where they fall, we cannot risk an acceleration in their numbers!"

When a Goliath is low on health

  • Pavium: "One of our Goliaths is about to be destroyed! Protect it!"


  • Pavium: "Our Goliaths are taking damage!"

The Flood start coming in from three directions.

  • Pavium: "Keep fighting, we shall not lose this place to these aberrations!"

When the timer is at one minute.

  • Pavium: "Hold the line!"

The timer reaches 0 and the wreckage is destroyed.

  • Pavium: "We have little time to prepare before they return! Fall back to the next line and ready the defenses!"

The Goliaths stay behind to cover the retreat.

  • Pavium: "Goliaths! Cover us as we fall back!"

Pavium and his forces retreat to a 3-slot minibase. Three Grunt Infantry Squads are already patrolling the area.

  • Pavium: "Voridus, this is Pavium. Are you alive, brother? We are holding as long as we can!"

Reaching the minibase, they regroup and prepare for the next wave.

  • Pavium: "The Orbital Designator shows we have a little time before the next Flood surge. Start preparing our defenses!"

A countdown starts from two minutes.

  • Pavium: "Repair and heal what's needed while we have the time. We must be at full strength."

The Banished start to break open cases to finance them for defenses.

  • Pavium: "Keep your eyes out for movement, we must be ready when they attack again!"

Some Pod Infectors break through the first defense line as both Goliath teams are killed.

If salvage teams are trapped and in need of rescue.

  • Brute: "Pavium. We've been separated from the main force. We need help to rejoin you."

When the timer reaches 0, the Flood resume the assault, and Pavium calls more Goliaths.

  • Pavium: "We need more Goliaths! Send them in now!"

A Spirit dropship drops a pair of Goliaths.

  • Pavium: "Smash through those barriers, we need an exit route!"

The Goliaths start to work.

  • Pavium: "Keep them back! We'll hold until the next barrier have been breached! And keep those Goliaths alive!"

The health bar of the three teams of Goliaths start to shown on the HUD and countdown start from five minutes.

  • Pavium: "Defend the Goliaths, or we will be overrun by the Flood!"

If the salvage team has yet to be rescued.

  • Brute: "Pavium, our pack is still awaiting assistance. Do you hear us?'

The Flood start to coming from the east.

  • Pavium: "Flood threat from the east!"

While fending off the attack from the east, Flood start to come out from the ground

  • Brute: "Pavium! They're coming out of the ground now!"

The horde of Flood start attacking the Goliaths and Pavium redirects some troops to intercept them.

  • Pavium: "They are spreading beneath the substructures! We must stop this, but first we need to find a safe hold!"

The Banished start attacking the Flood attacking Goliath.

  • Pavium: "Flood spews from those eruptions! Destroy the filth pouring from it!"

Done dealing with the east and the back, Flood start coming from the west.

  • Pavium: "We have Flood forms incoming from the west!"

The Flood dispatch vehicles that it managed to infect and commandeer.

  • Pavium: "The Flood are sending in infected vehicles now!"

An Infected Chopper starts attacking the base, followed by a Pod Infector.

  • Pavium: "Stand fast! Atriox is who you should fear, not them!"

The Flood is now coming from all of their previous first defense line.

  • Pavium: "More Flood incoming!"

While defending from all sides, a Flood burst arrives.

  • Pavium: "We have a Flood burst in our territory! End the threat now!"

Pavium reminds them to protect Goliath.

  • Pavium: "Defend the Goliaths, or we will be overrun by the Flood!"

Defeating those at the back, this time they just need to hold the line for another minute.

  • Pavium: "Flood incoming! Destroy them before they reach you!"

During last minute, more Flood bursts emerge from the ground and attack the base and Goliaths. Flood Pod Infectors also attack.

When the time is up.

  • Pavium: "The Goliaths have broken through! Retreat back to our base and fortify it!"

The Banished start retreating.

  • Pavium: "Goliaths! Cover us!"

However when they are retreating to the main base, the Flood is already launch the assault to the base the Banished that defend the base is about to be overwhelmed.

  • Pavium: "The Flood are already at the base! Clear them out!"

The Flood overwhelm a Chopper defending the base.

  • Pavium: "Infected troops are using our vehicles against us! The Flood are adapting new forms to combat us! We must act quickly! We must not lose our base to the Infection! Destroy the Flood!"

Once the base is cleared out, Pavium start to make a stand.

  • Pavium: "Attention, pack brothers! We will make our final stand here! I left too many Jiralhanae on the battlefield during the Covenant war. I will not abandon Voridus! If Voridus or one of his pack contact us, I want to know of it immediately!"

Some empty Blisterbacks are shown in the hills.

  • Pavium: "Recover those Blisterbacks, we will need their power if we are to hold, even briefly!"

The countdown start from 3 minutes and 30 seconds.

Some surviving packs are still trying to contact Voridus from around the base.

  • Brute: "Pavium, we are here to reinforce you, but we are under attack by the Flood!"

If all salvage teams are rescued

  • Pavium: "Hurry, we need you at the base."

Once the timer reaches 0, the ground starts to shake, and the Flood commence their assault.

  • Pavium: "The Flood renew their assault! Steel yourselves!"

The countdown start from 12 minutes.

The Banished continue to defend the base and once done dealing the west side, the Flood start to attack from the east.

  • Pavium: "The Flood are coming from the east!"

The Banished continue defending the base from the Flood assault.

  • Pavium: "Push them back! Use all means at your disposal!"

The Flood start to attack from their rear.

  • Pavium: "They are attacking from behind us!"

When the timer reach 7 minutes, tentacles start coming out of the ground.

  • Pavium: "Watch out, tentacles are bursting from the ground! Cut them down!"

More tentacles come out, surrounding the base.

  • Pavium: "We cannot leave until we hear from Voridus! Stem the tide!"

If the player has not yet rescued the Brute pack.

  • Brute: "Pavium! We can't break through the Flood here, we need assistance!"

The Flood start to approach the Blisterbacks.

  • Pavium: "It looks like the Flood are approaching our Blisterbacks! Do not let them reach it!"


  • Pavium: "Our Blisterbacks are under threat from the Flood! Keep those monsters away from our artillery!"


  • Pavium: "They're creeping up on the Blisterback! Support that artillery!"

The timer reaches abour five minutes and the Flood seem to stop attacking.

  • Pavium: "They've stopped. Stay alert, it may not be over yet. Do not let your guard down, they will return. See to the injured while we can! Make sure none are infected!"

Less than a minute after the attack stopped, the ground shakes, and the Flood resumes their attack.

  • Pavium: "They're back! Take them out before they destroy our base!"

Floor burst pods come from around the base, spawning more Flood.

  • Pavium: "Dig in deep and show them the might of the Banished!"

Reaching 3 minutes, the Flood try to surround the Banished.

  • Pavium: "They're trying to surround us! Watch your back! Incoming!"

If the Flood approaches the Blisterbacks

  • Pavium: "They're creeping up on the Blisterbacks! Support that artillery!"

The timer reaches 90 seconds, and the ground starts to shake violently. More tentacles come out of the ground, while Pod Infectors swarm to the base.

When the time reaches 0.

  • Voridus: "Pavium, this is Voridus! My pack and I barely escaped High Charity!"
  • Pavium: "You live! What madness has been released upon us? Is this your doing?"
  • Voridus: "I did not believe the tales! They appeared from nowhere and forces us back! During our retreat we discovered an entrance to a Forerunner structure below ground. My Engineers believe it is connected to the defenses I shut down earlier."
  • Pavium: "Then get in there and start them up again!"
  • Voridus: "We cannot break through the Flood to reach it! We are at the power support site you established earlier, but have already lost many to the parasite!"
  • Pavium: "Stand fast, we are on our way to help you break the lines. We cannot hold this sector any longer. Abandon the base!"

The player will have one minute to abandon the base quickly.

A massive tentacle suddenly appears and blocks the path of retreat.

  • Pavium: "What?! The size of that thing, its..."

Smaller tentacle and the Flood start to ambush the Banished.

  • Pavium: "...Voridus! Our way has been blocked, we cannot reach you directly! We will have to find another route!"
  • Voridus: "Be quick, Pavium. The Flood are rapidly taking over this sector as well!"

The Flood pursue them from the base while Pavium and his units continue to retreat using another path.

  • Pavium: "We did not defy the Covenant to be twisted into such foul creatures! The Banished forge our own path! I will not fall to these monstrosities!"

Ahead, a swarm of Flood Pod Infectors are blocking their exit.

  • Pavium: "Push through them! Do not let them stop you!"

The Banished continue to retreat.

  • Pavium: "Keep moving! If we slow down, we will be overwhelmed!"

The Banished continue to retreat while the Flood continue to pursue them from behind.

  • Pavium: "Use everything you have! They must not stop us!"


Pavium and his pack reach the range of a Mega Turret, but the Pod Infectors are closing in on them.

  • Pavium: "Send in a barrage from our turrets on the perimeter!"

A Mega Turret start firing.

  • Pavium: "That will hold them long enough, let's move out! Voridus, we have made it out. Hold on."

The Mega Turret continue firing to stall the Flood.

Mission Complete

Level ends

Leader Power[edit]

  • Atriox's Bulwark I, II and III
  • Rain of Fire I, II and III
  • Stasis I and II
  • Burnout I and II
  • Orbital Designator I and II
  • Ultra Mines I and II

Unit Deployment[edit]

  • Pavium's Unit
    • Pavium
    • 10 Grunt Infantry Squads
    • 2-slot Minibase
    • 1200 Supplies
    • 600 Power
  • Salvage Team
    • 11 Grunt Infantry Squads (2 infected, 1 joins Pavium, 4 scattered)
    • 4 Locusts (Scattered)



  • Pavium can deal a lot of damage and his energy shields can recharge outside of battle. Keep him on the frontline to minimize damage to your other units. However, keep in mind that Pavium must be kept alive. If Pavium loses all his health, the mission ends in failure.
  • It's recommended to build at least one Huragok early in the mission in order to sustain losses.
  • When holding out the defensive lines, build Marauders, because they can counter infected infantry units. Each only costs 400 supplies, allowing you to save up Power for upgrading units instead.
  • Since the Flood units are limited to infected infantry and infected vehicles, the Wraith, which counters both, is one of the best units in this level. Use Wraiths to defend the base and have them lead the final retreat.
  • During the preparation phase at the base, send Pavium and infantry units to rescue the remaining salvage teams. They can capture the nearby Power Nodes after rescuing the friendly unit, so you can save a building slot for a Harvester to produce supplies faster.
  • Suicide Grunts are the best at clearing out large hordes of infection forms. Be sure to train large numbers of them as this will increase your chances of survival.

Bonus and Optional Objectives[edit]

  • The 20 defenses must be built over the 23 slots spread throughout the two defense lines and the main base. The first defensive line has five turret slots and a barricade slot. The second defensive line has three turret slots and two barricade slots. Four turrets can be built at the main base. At the front of the base, there is one turret slot. In the back, there are two turret slots and two barricade slots. The final three turrets slots are found at each of the three groups of Blisterbacks.
  • The first salvage team is located at the second defensive line, on the right. The remaining three are accessible after clearing out the Banished base.
  • 2000 kills on Pod Infectors can be very tricky and tough. Instead of retreating, try to hold out as long as you can until the quota is filled.
    • During the final retreat, do not go straight to the objective marker. Instead, stay at the narrow path, where the smaller area gives you the opportunity to establish a kill zone against the pursuing Flood units.
  • On higher difficulties, send Huragok to assist the salvage teams so they can hold out on their own until Pavium's forces reach them.
  • Seek out any salvage to collect 3,000 resources. They can be found in every area, with up to 2670 out of 3000 being available before you reach the Banished base. You do not need to destroy every single salvage, but the resources are invaluable when holding the defensive lines.



  • The Goliath Team Health bar indicates the health of both Goliaths. If one of them dies, then it will display the remaining Goliath's health.
  • In the starting cutscene, when the pod infectors attack the two Grunt squads, the Grunt Squad that runs off will not appear in gameplay after the cutscene ends.
  • With the Shadow Skull on, the two Grunt Squads in the opening cutscene that get attacked will be ignored by the pod infectors as they are cloaked.
  • When rescuing the Banished units by the lightbridge, some infected Sangheili Enforcers will spawn carrying Plasma Casters.
  • All Huragok immediately disappear once the player abandons the base.
  • With the After Party skull enabled, the player will earn a new Wraith and an additional Grunt Squad when retreating to the second and third lines. This is because the game considers the bases destroyed.


  • The Brute Chopper in the middle of the level was supposed to be infected by a Pod Infestor when one attacks it as Pavium retreats to the base. It is most likely a scripting error that made the Chopper not turn into an Infected Chopper.
  • Pavium uses west and east when calling out the two directions of the Flood's assault, despite both directions being located on the west side of the ridges.



Preceded by
What Could Go Wrong?
Halo Wars 2 campaign levels
Fighting Retreat
Succeeded by
Light the Fuse