Alpha Base (Halo Wars level)

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Relic Approach

Alpha Base
HW-1 Alpha Base.jpg


Halo Wars


James Cutter


February 4, 2531


Quadrant 4, Harvest, Epsilon Indi system


  • Fight your way to Alpha Base
  • Use Marines to Destroy Barrier Power Source
  • Eliminate Covenant within Alpha Base


  • Kill 100 Unggoy
  • Find and Rescue Pinned Marines

Halopedia has a walkthrough guide for this level; see Alpha Base (Halo Wars level)/Walkthrough.

Forge rallies the troops and retakes Alpha Base.

Alpha Base is the first campaign level in Halo Wars. During the final stages of the Harvest campaign in February 2531, the UNSC Marine Corps firebase, Alpha Base, has been overrun by Covenant forces. Sergeant John Forge has to pull together the remaining UNSC forces in the area and mount an attack to retake Alpha Base.


A voiceover by Captain James Cutter describes the five-year long campaign to retake the Outer Colony of Harvest from the Covenant. In the present, on February 4, 2531, the UNSC Spirit of Fire establishes orbit around Harvest where Sergeant John Forge reports that the Covenant have uncovered something in the ice where Professor Ellen Anders reports that scans of the planet's northern polar region show a structure beneath the ice. To Forge's annoyance, Anders insists on going to the ground to see what the Covenant are up to for herself while Forge is ordered to pull back to Alpha Base while Cutter sends him some backup.

Forge discovers that Alpha Base has been overrun and destroyed by Covenant forces and is ordered to rally nearby pinned-down Marine squads and retake the base. Rescuing the squads, Forge leads an attack on the ruins of Alpha Base, destroying a shield blocking entry and engaging the Covenant forces holding the position. Aided by a carpet bombing by Shortsword bombers that destroys the enemy vehicles, Forge and his men clear out the Covenant and retake Alpha Base. Forge is then ordered by Cutter to scout the area.



Harvest comes into view, its surface covered in peaceful colors of green and blue.

  • Captain James Cutter: "Captain's report, February 4, 2531. Five years, five long years. That's how long it took us to get Harvest back..."

Several marines race through a battlefield within the remains of a destroyed UNSC city. A Marine dies when a nearby wall explodes from a passing Banshee's ordnance, and debris and plasma engulf him. The surviving Marines recover quickly and start to move forward.

  • Marine: "Go, go, go!"

They confront a Lance of Elites whom are separated by a wall of debris, a few of the marines yell out as they arrive. A Marine quickly joins in and starts to fire upon the Elites, only to be shot by a plasma bolt to the chest. The rest, despite being outnumbered manage to gun down several of the Elites, as another marine gets pierced in the shoulder with a needler round. Then a Warthog runs the Elites over. Cuts to the rear of the Warthog; it is driving through a battlefield with the gunner firing the turret.

  • Marine: "Keep firing!"

Three marines fire their weapons, the last one firing a shotgun from the hip. Cuts to several Pelican dropships arriving, with several Warthogs racing through the drop zone. Marines then pile out of one of the landed Pelicans. Cuts to a Marine hitting a Sangheili from behind with his Assault Rifle. The Sangheili falls down and is shot dead by another marine. Shifts to a panorama, showing nine Marines cheering and a Warthog overlooking the battlefield; a destroyed city with a burning Covenant destroyer in the distant sky, presumably shot down by UNSC forces.

  • Cutter (voice-over): "At first it was going well..."
  • Cutter (voice-over): "Then setback after setback..."
A Sangheili impaling a wounded Marine.

A Sangheili impales a Marine with its Energy Sword. UNSC troops are overwhelmed by plasma fired by Elites and Banshees. Shifts to a scene where three Sangheili jump over a crumbled wall, igniting their energy swords. A dead Marine lies nearby.

  • Cutter (voice-over): "Loss after loss..."

Two Covenant destroyers begin to glass Harvest. Damage from orbital bombardment is visible, represented by several rings of burnt land.

  • Cutter (voice-over): "Made what was going to be a quick and decisive win..."

A wounded marine crawls through the shattered wasteland with a dark sky and debris. The Marine attempts to crawl to a rifle lying on its side, when a sword-wielding Sangheili approaches and impales him.

  • Cutter (voice-over): "Into five years of Hell..."

Directly overhead, a Covenant destroyer charges up its energy projector, and unleashes its deadly beam.

  • Cutter (voice-over): "Of course, that's all Harvest really is today... It's Hell down there, but now it's ours again."

The screen fades to black.

Halo Wars Logo Large.png

The partially glassed surface of Harvest is shown, with the UNSC Spirit of Fire moving thorough debris in orbit.





Pelicans are dispatched from the UNSC Spirit of Fire and they head to the surface of Harvest. UNSC D20 Herons soon follow. The UNSC fleet is approaching a large field of shattered debris in orbit, presumably from wrecked UNSC vessels from previous space battles. The surface of the shattered planet, Harvest is then revealed. Damage from orbital bombardment is seen quite clearly, in the form of massive rings of scorched earth and ash choked seas on the surface. The view is soon headed into the bridge of the Spirit of Fire.

  • Serina: "Standard orbit achieved. All systems normal."
  • Cutter: "Prep for pod launches, bring weapon systems online."
  • Serina: "Expecting trouble, Captain?"
  • Cutter: "Harvest may be ours again, but I don't think the Covenant appreciate that yet."

Professor Ellen Anders enters the bridge. Sergeant John Forge radios in.

  • Cutter: "Sergeant Forge, report."
  • Sergeant John Forge (Video COM): "Definitely plenty of bad guys down here, Captain. And they've found something in the ice."
  • Cutter: "Damn it, that complicates our mission. Anders, what have you got?"
Cutter, Anders, and Serina onboard the bridge.
  • Professor Ellen Anders: "Captain, scans on the northern polar region shows some interesting Covenant activity on the surface. There's some kind of structure down there."

Anders activates a map of the northern polar region on the holo-table.

  • Serina: "What do you think they're looking for?"
  • Cutter: "That's what we're here to find out. We are to bring Alpha Base up to operational status and take control of that site."
  • Anders: "I'll get my equipment ready, Captain."
  • Forge (Video COM): "Lady, there's no way you are coming down here on the first bird."

Anders ignores the Sergeant and leaves the bridge.

  • Cutter: "Sergeant Forge, pull back to Alpha Base, I'm sending you some backup."
  • Forge (Video COM): "Roger that, Forge out."

The Captain deactivates the map, returns to observing Harvest from orbit.

  • Serina: "So, nothing too difficult then?"
  • Cutter: (sighs) "It may be the key to this whole war Serina, it's worth the risk."

(In-Game Cutscene)

  • Forge (COM): "Captain, Alpha is toast, nothing for me to pull back to. Suggest you hold that backup for a while."

A Marine fires from a tower that is being overrun. Several plasma bolts hit under where the Marine is shooting from impact, followed by an explosion behind him, killing him. UNSC forces in Alpha Base are retreating through the gate, and those who stayed are quickly killed by the Covenant.

  • Cutter: "We need to turn that around, Sergeant. Serina, what's our status?"

Multiple units of Marines flee from Alpha Base under heavy fire from Covenant armor and infantry.

  • Serina: "Sir, we've got a lot of troops retreating from Alpha Base. If Sergeant Forge can regroup with them, our numbers may be sufficient to retake the base."
  • Forge (COM): "Roger that, we'll round up any and all survivors and get Alpha back."


Sergeant Forge and his Gauss Warthog crewmen head along the snowy road where they encounter a small group of Marines alongside their Warthog fighting a group of Needler wielding Elites. The Sergeant assists.

  • Forge (COM): "We got friendlies up ahead!"
  • Marine #1 (COM): "We're pinned down over here!"

After eliminating the nearby Covenant enemies:

  • Forge (COM): "You boys from Alpha?"
  • Marine #1 (COM): "We were the first out, sir."
  • Forge (COM): "Fall in behind me, we're taking Alpha back!"

The surviving Marines mount on their Warthog and follow the Sergeant. After traveling across a broken bridge, they encounter more Marines.

After eliminating the nearby Covenant forces:

  • Forge (COM): "Form up and follow me!"

Forge and his allies proceed ahead. Once again, another batch of Marine units is located nearby.

  • Marine #3 (COM): "This is Tango-three-three we are under heavy fire, that turret is chewing us up."

The Sergeant arrives and takes out the Shade Turret for the other groups of Marines.

  • Forge (COM): Don't worry. Cavalry's here. Follow us, Marines. We'll get you through."

The Marines continue on, meeting large amount of Unggoy.

  • Marine #4 (COM): "Ewwww...we got Grunts bits all in the grill!"

As Sergeant Forge and the groups of Marines head closer to Alpha Base, more Marine allies await ahead under fire from more Covenant units. In the background, Covenant infantry erect an anti-vehicle barrier.

  • Serina: "Well look at that, they're trying to keep us out of our own base."

After Forge recruits the other units, they regroup near the entrance.

  • Forge (COM): "Warthogs can't get through, but foot soldiers can. Get this thing down and we'll come a runnin'."

Marines enter the shield door while the Warthogs wait outside. Upon quickly routing the Kig-Yar infantry defending the power source, the marines open fire on the anti-vehicle barrier's power source.

  • Forge (COM): "Target the power source."
  • Marine #5 (COM): "That thing is too strong, use grenades!"

Marines throw fragmentation grenades at the reactor, destroying it.

  • Forge (COM): "Barrier's down. Let's do this, gentlemen. Open fire!"
  • Forge (COM): "All right, let's head in and clear the base of hostiles."

The Sergeant and his allies encounters infantry units, Ghosts and Wraiths in the base, defending it from being recaptured.

  • Cutter: "Air support en route, Sergeant. They'll take out the armor, the rest is yours."

B-65 Shortswords drop carpet bombs onto the base, destroying all the Wraiths and any Covenant units nearby them. Sergeant Forge and his allies finish off the remaining Covenant.

  • Forge (COM): "Well now, that was the most fun I had all week."

{In-Game Cutscene}

  • Forge (COM): "Spirit of Fire, this is Forge. Area clear, situation normal. Orders?"

Multiple Shortswords fly overhead and a Pelican lands near the front of the base.

  • Cutter: "Alpha Base is ours again. Sergeant Forge, you may want to scout the area."

Level ends.


The following achievements can be unlocked on Alpha Base across the Xbox 360 and Definitive Edition editions of Halo Wars.

Halo Wars (Xbox 360) Definitive Edition (Xbox One) Definitive Edition (Steam) Title Unlock requirement Games
Halo Wars Definitive Edition Achievement - Meet Sergeant Forge
Meet Sergeant Forge
Complete Mission 1 on any difficulty.
Halo Wars: Definitive Edition
HW Achievement Endless Fun.png
HW Achievement Endless Fun.png
Everything's Better With Bacon
Mission 1: Ram 50 Grunts.
Halo Wars
Halo Wars: Definitive Edition


Easter eggs

  • The Look Daddy! Skull is unlocked after the player kills 100 Unggoy, and can be found on the embankment near the downed Banshee where last set of Marines are found.
  • The Black Box in this level is below the arch of the last bridge before entering Alpha Base's gate, next to an overturned Warthog.



Development images



For more images of the opening cutscene of this level, see Five Long Years

Preceded by
Halo 3 Credits
Halo Wars Campaign Missions
Alpha Base
Succeeded by
Relic Approach