The se7en rules of oddball (sorry for the title)

So you wanna play oddball, huh? You think you´re bad, huh?! Who´s bad?
First off all, don´t you talk to me like that, sir. And 2: Here are some tips for oddball.

1. Don´t rush in on the skull. Wait for the first 4 knuckleheads to waste each other. Now´s your chance.

2. Drop grenades on those fools. A viable option on sword base, this strategy can save your ass in any game mode.
    Take the high ground- and as long as the skull´s in the center of the map, let it rain.

3. Go for stealth. Yes, the jetpack can be tempting, but oddball is all about keeping a low profile.
    Activate it and rush in to snag the skull. You will loose your camo if you grab it, though.

4. If you can grab the skull, by all means, do it. Always watch your radar, though. There´s guys just waiting for
    a quick kill around every corner. Corners, huh? Next.

5. Use those corners. This is a little trickier to do than before, due to the increased killabillity (nice) of those
    pesky grenades. If you´ve got the skull, try and find a spot where you can hang out just around a corner, ideally
    with a one-way lift at your back. Nobody gets you from behind- but you drop them with the skull-melee.

6. Clear out the area- but don´t get trigger-happy. You want to keep a low profile until you get the ball, but shooting
    some guys from afar will get you some attention you don´t want. In a perfect world your shield is always full
    when you grab the ball. Oh and you´re married to a film star or something.

7. You can actually drop the ball. Hey, that melee thing with the skull is real nice and all, but getting a nice gun
    and then dropping said ball has its benefits too. I really like the DMR. In oddball, everyone is always at half
    shield, or so it seems. Use that to your advantage! Look for people to drop their shields and get them with the DMR.

Hey seven tips, I should probably stop. Sorry, no nice pictures this time, I´m kinda tired.

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The beta- it´s super-insert pun here-

This is meant for people who are familliar with Halo, or have at least played Halo Multiplayer a couple of times.

So, I´ve been playing the Reach beta for about 2 days now- it´s the best thing I´ve played online in some time. Just the overall quality and polish they´ve applied to all the graphics and sound effects is extremely impressive. I also played the MW 1 and CoD:WaW "betas" before and those felt extremely polished too, but here it´s something else that jumps to mind: All these weapons just feel vastly different from anything Halo 3 had in it. It really seems Bungie are trying to go for a massive overhaul- and a lot of things about these guns could definitely still change. Here are my impressions of the changes made:

1. Those grenades feel much more powerful than in Halo 3. The fact that you can carry 3 human grenades again makes it extremely important to avoid some "grenade spam" that definitely comes up a lot in the beta. Thankfully there are the armor abilities- The elite´s dodge and the spartan´s run are really great for avoiding stuff like this, but the showstopper seems to be armor lock. 

 You don´t have to get in close- just ´nade em

You can actually SHAKE OFF plasma grenadeswith this ability. A real game changer. Now, I would almost bet that Bungie are thinking about nerving the grenades, especially the blast radius of the humand grenades. Right now it is possible to toss grenades across the whole map and score some lucky kills. If they would actually detonate after a set time in the air (yeah, thats not "realistic", but whatever), it would make "non-dodge" armor abilities like cloak much better.

2. The DMR and the new pistol. Goddamn! Those 2 weapons alone change the way you play Halo! Both weapons are really accurate for single shots, but you really have to controll yourself not to spam the trigger finger. This makes for some seriously cool games of Team-SWAT, since you almost never run into a situation where you have the drop on your enemy, but cannot finish him off because of the old H2/3 gun´s lack of accuarcy. Again, I feel like the DMR could probably be nerved a little, if too many people whine about it. I would maybe take out 1 or 2 bullets from its magazine and change nothing about damage.

3. There are no useless weapons on the covenant side. When I heard that they would completely take out dual wielding I thought most people would abandon the alien guns. I was wrong. Even the plasma pistol has a real purpose in infantry-onlycombat again, since it is easier to pull of the "noob-combo" from H2 (bring the shield down with plasma, change to your primary, pop 1 shot in the head). 
Now, THIS is how you get in close

Normally that would be a bad thing, but with the added ways to dodge attacks, people have no reason to fear lock-on weaponry like the needler and the plasma pistol.

4. Melee-based power weapons make sense again. The dodge and sprint let you use sword and hammer in a deadly way. 
In H3 the sword would last you maybe 2 kills, before you got taken out by BR/grenade. Only by camping and playing extremly sneaky you could use those 2 weapons and make a couple of kills. Not anymore. I´ve seen some seriously great play with sword and hammer. Guys wielding it were constantly on the offense and got a lot of kills. I even think they´ve changed the time it takes for your sword to become "active" after you´ve switched weapons. Its not quite as short as in Halo 2 but you can definitely surprise people with a well timed roll and a weapon change.

5. Even weapons I deemed useless at first, like the covenant needle-rifle, felt great after a while. Especially if your team helps you take down the shields of guys a little bit, you get loads of kills with this thing. It is also pretty accurate and a great supplement for "precision based" gametypes like SWAT (although I´ve never had it in that gametype). 
Those guns feel good

The grenade launcher requires strategy and a lot of precision, but in the right hands its a great tool of destruction. The Focus rifle is no human sniper, but it takes down shields in no time. All in all I have to say, I´ve never felt comfortable with every single gun in a Halo game, but this one comes closer than ever.

Gotta play some more now, I see you around.