Forums / Community / Halo Universe

Opinion on ONI's actions against the Elites?

OP SmallestPond888

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You think I’m overrating the significance of Infinity because you say it relies on the same support mechanisms as any other ship, is expensive, and is still susceptible to Sangheili weaponry. I disagree. I’m saying the Infinity is sufficiently advanced (tech, navigation, weaponry, manufacturing) that the advanced costs are delivered with a non-linear relationship to impact, making it more efficient at the price - not a drain, but a bonus, money better spent.

e.g. I’m telling you it’s significant that Infinity was damaged by but survived multiple hits from a glassing beam, because no other human PLANET has survived this, let alone any other ship. To ignore the significance of this advance in tech, and the difference it would have made to Human-Sangheili conflict, seems odd.
It just doesn't matter if it survived the glassing beam. It was mission-killed by a standard piece of Covenant tech, and that's all that really matters. The Infinity is not ubiquitous, but the means to kill it are ubiquitous throughout Covenant space. The Infinity was turned into a salvage operation and given its size and the extent of the damage done to it, would have spent months in drydock undergoing repairs and the repair cost would have been extortionate due to all that experimental tech. Meanwhile the losses on the Covenant side was a single defense platform likely to be only a fraction of the cost for them to replace. This goes back to an old debate about the cost-effectiveness of battleships in the modern era; it costs a lot to build and maintain one, but it doesn't cost much to destroy or mission-kill one. Just one torpedo can do the job.

If it were present during the Human-Covenant war, Infinity wouldn't survive the first fleet engagement that involved hundreds of Covenant vessels. It would not be able to lead a successful attack against a Covenant world that had orbital defenses using those platforms above. It's not even outstanding either that it survived being hit by one of those platforms; the Pillar of Autumn piloted by a Smart-AI was able to go toe-to-toe with a Covenant ship carrying one of these weapons. Unlike the PoA however the Infinity is 3km longer and significantly more massive, and wouldn't be capable of pulling off the same kinds of maneuvers the PoA pulled off.

In the post-Halo 3 era it's not likely to face such numbers of Covenant ships or that level of preparedness, but it certainly can't do much in the way of offensive operations against Covenant strongholds. The UNSC is still just as toothless as it's always been in that regard. So we see Infinity running defensive operations in UNSC space, which any other battle-group could do given the rag-tag nature of most of these remnant factions, or hitting targets like the Kig-Yar pirate base seen in Escalation which isn't exactly a hard target. The only time I can remember the Infinity doing something that I don't think any other UNSC ship could do, other than merely being mission-killed by a glassing beam was when it went to Sanghelios to help the Arbiter. It wasn't blown out of the sky by Sanghelios' defenses, I can only guess that's due to the lack of central control of said defenses following the collapse of the Covenant on a world that is very tribal and hence for which control of these stations would be a very problematic issue.

I just haven't seen Infinity do anything that a more conventional UNSC battle-group couldn't do, which given the Infinity's price tag is a real problem. I also see it as being very vulnerable to being mission-killed by a Covenant force that takes itself seriously and isn't just a bunch of pirates or Covenant leftovers trying to fight two wars at once (And Covenant space is huge; ONI has no idea what polities are potentially lurking out there after the fall of High Charity). Given that the Infinity is an exceptional ship tech wise and logistics wise, it will require exceptional logistical support. So if a Covenant faction more prepared than Jul's faction became a problem, a faction more like the 2558 Swords of Sanghelios, the Infinity woudl be hit hardest by the loss of colonies and sources of components required to keep it sailing (I'm guessing that following the near loss of Earth and Mars that quite a lot of this logistical support comes from outside the Sol system, and is therefore quite vulnerable).

It's just not a suitable fallback for if ONI's mucking about in Sanghelios' political affairs backfires.

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Also yes Mjolnir was super expensive, but now that there’s an army of Spartan-IVs running amok in the stuff surely you can see that that obviously shows the UNSC can afford it, because, simply, it exists. So again it would seem that efficiency gains mean the tech must be cheaper to produce and maintain - basic manufacturing economies of scale.
They can obviously afford it, but again I question the effectiveness of spending so much on too many of these soldiers when these wars get decided by naval engagements and not how many super-soldiers one has.

This doesn't apply to the Spartan-IIs, which were made to assassinate human insurgents - and with whom it is impossible to draw a straight line between them and humanity surviving the Covenant with all the other assisting factors that helped to unravel the Covenant.

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You say I’m viewing species relations as zero sum, I’m telling you I’m not. I’m pretty clear on this, so why you’re not, I’m not sure. I’m perfectly aware the history of Europe, but you seem to missing out the details inconvenient to your argument:
  1. Germany STILL has self-imposed military restrictions due to its history
  2. Russia just annexed Crimea and has lit up both Ukraine and Georgia in the last decade
  3. The Yugoslav wars went on for 10 years starting in the 90s
This peaceful trade-driven bliss you’re taking about doesn’t exist mate. Trade keeps things smooth but people are people. It’s not an oversimplification to point out that thousands of years of human history outweighs the last 50 - it’s naive to think otherwise.
Russia, Ukraine and the states of the former Yugoslavia are not part of the EU nor have ever been a pat of it's predecessor organizations. As for Germany, the Treaty of Versailles also placed restrictions on the German military which in the end turned out to be ineffective. That alone isn't enough to account for the peace. The economies of the European countries are so heavily integrated now that they cannot fight a war. Most of them don't even have their own currency anymore, don't have a central bank to control inflation and the value of their own currency, and have huge amounts of debt that is held by the banks of other euro-zone countries. If all that collapsed due to someone wanting a war, a war would suddenly become the least of everyone's problems.

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And this whole thread is about Human-Sangheili conflict, so apologies but saying that nothing you’ve said has anything to do with the Human-Covenant war just makes no sense.
I'm questioning if human-Sangheili conflict is a meaningful term that should be used post-Halo 3. The Human-Covenant war was a religiously motivated war, not a statement about race relations or the feasibility of viewing species as contiguous political units.

The War has no bearing on what the Carver Finding's have to say about how humanity is not politically contiguous, and has nothing to say about how ex-Covenant space is not politically contiguous either.

In short, the human-Covenant war is simply not relevant.
anton1792 wrote:
These wars get decided by naval engagements and not how many super-soldiers one has. This doesn't apply to the Spartan-IIs, which were made to assassinate human insurgents - and with whom it is impossible to draw a straight line between them and humanity surviving the Covenant with all the other assisting factors that helped to unravel the Covenant.
These wars don't get decided by super-soldiers, except when they do? Come on man.

War is never the least of everyone's problems, and being "mission-killed" is not all that really matters at all. The Human-Covenant war proved all that out a thousand times. Survive to fight another day. All said and done, ONI is best off doing whatever is has to to keep humanity where it is right now - in the driving seat, and staying there by whatever means necessary.
anton1792 wrote:
These wars don't get decided by super-soldiers, except when they do? Come on man.

War is never the least of everyone's problems, and being "mission-killed" is not all that really matters at all. The Human-Covenant war proved all that out a thousand times. Survive to fight another day. All said and done, ONI is best off doing whatever is has to to keep humanity where it is right now - in the driving seat, and staying there by whatever means necessary.
"Survive to fight another day," yet ONI's actions have come close to costing humanity, and the galaxy greatly. They sent humans to the ark, which allowed the rings to be reactivated and forced a strike team to be sent to deal with it. We also have them coming close to dooming their species' only ally in the entire galaxy, the Arbiter, by helping his enemies. However let's not forget how they tried to control and weaponize the flood. I mean really ONI at this point has just become as loony as Cerberus from Mass Effect. Both groups claim to be helping humanity, yet their actions prove otherwise.
Ado Ulamee wrote:
anton1792 wrote:
These wars don't get decided by super-soldiers, except when they do? Come on man.

War is never the least of everyone's problems, and being "mission-killed" is not all that really matters at all. The Human-Covenant war proved all that out a thousand times. Survive to fight another day. All said and done, ONI is best off doing whatever is has to to keep humanity where it is right now - in the driving seat, and staying there by whatever means necessary.
"Survive to fight another day," yet ONI's actions have come close to costing humanity, and the galaxy greatly. They sent humans to the ark, which allowed the rings to be reactivated and forced a strike team to be sent to deal with it. We also have them coming close to dooming their species' only ally in the entire galaxy, the Arbiter, by helping his enemies. However let's not forget how they tried to control and weaponize the flood. I mean really ONI at this point has just become as loony as Cerberus from Mass Effect. Both groups claim to be helping humanity, yet their actions prove otherwise.
To be fair I think that’s an over-simplification. Yes they sent humans to the Ark, but they had to - it was there. What were they going to do, just ignore the thing? They found a halo ring and it turns out they would have been eradicated as a species if they hadn’t intervened; should they just have forgotten all about that and stayed away from the Ark altogether? No way.

And again, yes they messed with the Sangheili, but while they may be humanity’s only ally, and while it’s all well and nice they’re all getting along so well right now, that whole business of being on the wrong end of a genocide tends to leave a mark. They turned into allies pretty much overnight, AND, let me remind you, that it was only because they discovered they had mutual interests in survival, the Arbiter and ONI. Had that not been the case, it would have been business as usual as per the previous week, when said Arbiter was too busy glassing planets to scratch his -Yoink-.

The situation of mutual interests could well change again. This is not some blood-brother relationship, it’s a “working together is better than annihilating each other” setup. So, ONI figures a weak Sangheili is better than a strong one, and of course, they are correct.

There’s no instruction manual for exploring deity-grade technologies, or sowing insurrection in alien civilisations. It’s all well and good to say ONI messed up, but to suggest they should just be inactive passengers instead doesn’t look at the facts.

Lastly, you guys, part of the whole point is that humans will be humans. As is said many times, particularly in the K-5 novels if I remember, this is what humanity has always done. The Halo universe, casts us 500 years into the future, gives us the tech to be gods, then shows us that we still manage to somehow be the same way we always have been. All good sci-fi does this to properly connect the audience: scratch beneath the surface of all the light-speed genetically-enhanced wizardry, and you’ll find people doing the same old -Yoink- people have always done.
Ado Ulamee wrote:
anton1792 wrote:
These wars don't get decided by super-soldiers, except when they do? Come on man.

War is never the least of everyone's problems, and being "mission-killed" is not all that really matters at all. The Human-Covenant war proved all that out a thousand times. Survive to fight another day. All said and done, ONI is best off doing whatever is has to to keep humanity where it is right now - in the driving seat, and staying there by whatever means necessary.
"Survive to fight another day," yet ONI's actions have come close to costing humanity, and the galaxy greatly. They sent humans to the ark, which allowed the rings to be reactivated and forced a strike team to be sent to deal with it. We also have them coming close to dooming their species' only ally in the entire galaxy, the Arbiter, by helping his enemies. However let's not forget how they tried to control and weaponize the flood. I mean really ONI at this point has just become as loony as Cerberus from Mass Effect. Both groups claim to be helping humanity, yet their actions prove otherwise.
To be fair I think that’s an over-simplification. Yes they sent humans to the Ark, but they had to - it was there. What were they going to do, just ignore the thing? They found a halo ring and it turns out they would have been eradicated as a species if they hadn’t intervened; should they just have forgotten all about that and stayed away from the Ark altogether? No way.

And again, yes they messed with the Sangheili, but while they may be humanity’s only ally, and while it’s all well and nice they’re all getting along so well right now, that whole business of being on the wrong end of a genocide tends to leave a mark. They turned into allies pretty much overnight, AND, let me remind you, that it was only because they discovered they had mutual interests in survival, the Arbiter and ONI. Had that not been the case, it would have been business as usual as per the previous week, when said Arbiter was too busy glassing planets to scratch his -Yoink-.

The situation of mutual interests could well change again. This is not some blood-brother relationship, it’s a “working together is better than annihilating each other” setup. So, ONI figures a weak Sangheili is better than a strong one, and of course, they are correct.

There’s no instruction manual for exploring deity-grade technologies, or sowing insurrection in alien civilisations. It’s all well and good to say ONI messed up, but to suggest they should just be inactive passengers instead doesn’t look at the facts.

Lastly, you guys, part of the whole point is that humans will be humans. As is said many times, particularly in the K-5 novels if I remember, this is what humanity has always done. The Halo universe, casts us 500 years into the future, gives us the tech to be gods, then shows us that we still manage to somehow be the same way we always have been. All good sci-fi does this to properly connect the audience: scratch beneath the surface of all the light-speed genetically-enhanced wizardry, and you’ll find people doing the same old -Yoink- people have always done.
Over simplified, yes but not without merit. May I ask, would it not have been a wiser decision for ONI to help the Arbiter and those with him against the groups that were outright anti-human? The Arbiter did try a similar tactic with brutes and appears to want to help make the galaxy better after three decades of war. I am not expecting both species to get along like best friends so fast after such a thing but keeping that mutual survival aspect would have been nice.

There are still plenty of enemies that wish for both humanity and the Swords to perish. Brute groups, likely a few more san shyuum, anti-human/arbiter groups, the Created now, and of course the Flood down the line. So why bother throwing away what helped before? On a lighter note I would also like to humorously say, I believe the monitors would actually count as "instruction manuals."
anton1792 wrote:
The War has no bearing on what the Carver Finding's have to say about how humanity is not politically contiguous, and has nothing to say about how ex-Covenant space is not politically contiguous either.

In short, the human-Covenant war is simply not relevant.
How do we know that the Covenant Space Station is a standard piece of tech? This is the first time we have ever seen one.
You are underselling Infinity. As seen in Spartan Ops Infinity can easily take on Jul's fleet of ships and force him to retreat. We also know that Infinity is more powerful than a Covenant Assault Carrier. On top of that it has weapons that are powerful enough to breach the hull of the Didact's own flagship The Mantle's Approach which is almost certainly tougher than anything the Covenant has. Infinity's hull/shields is also strong enough to smash right though a Covenant cruiser while sustaining to damage. Even Thursday War shows how easily an incomplete Infinity deals with Covenant ships.
To put matters simply Infinity can deal with any ship the Covenant has except probably a SuperCarrier.
Besides even a disabled Infinity is not defenceless, as shown in Escalations, Halo 4 and Spartan ops, as its armaments and S4 complement are very much capable of destroying Covenant ships in the vicinity.

The UNSC invested in the S4 program because obviously they were impressed by what the S2s and S3s accomplished during the war, and they could be used on missions that would considered too high risk for normal marines or would lead to considerable losses. Spartan Ops and Halo 5 showed us how capable the S4s can be and it would seem that their investment was worth it.

Besides all this talk is irrelevant as it was never ONI's intention to start another war. All ONI wanted to accomplish was maintain a healthy civil war on Sangheilios that would give time for the UNSC to rise to the top. Apart from a hiccup that was Jul (which is more due to bad luck than anything) this ploy would seem to have been successful as by 2558 the UNSC appears to be the strongest group around.
Ado Ulamee wrote:
anton1792 wrote:
"Survive to fight another day," yet ONI's actions have come close to costing humanity, and the galaxy greatly. They sent humans to the ark, which allowed the rings to be reactivated and forced a strike team to be sent to deal with it. We also have them coming close to dooming their species' only ally in the entire galaxy, the Arbiter, by helping his enemies. However let's not forget how they tried to control and weaponize the flood. I mean really ONI at this point has just become as loony as Cerberus from Mass Effect. Both groups claim to be helping humanity, yet their actions prove otherwise.
Why wouldn't they send forces to the Ark? Its a huge piece of Forerunner technology that they had direct access to via the Portal on Earth. What were they supposed to do?
The Arbiter was barely an ally by the time of Kilo 5 and most importantly his position of power was tenuous at best. Even without ONI's interference there is a very good chance that civil war would have erupted.
The Flood thing was dumb I agree, however you have to remember that unlike we who know a lot about the Flood, ONI didn't know as much. Also the flood was the only thing that the Covenant feared and considering the state of the war at the time it makes sense why ONI would show interest in the Flood. Besides they obviously had contingencies and would blow up the isolated facility is anything should go wrong. That said I agree that it was not ONI's finest hour.
Ado Ulamee as I said, my belief is that two weak Sangheili factions is better than one strong one, regardless whether it’s the Arbiter leading that or not. The Arbiter (with or without his peace hat on) won’t live forever and the tide changes quickly.

Monitors have the instructions sure, but they’re not exactly reliably friendly now are they??
EvilKeny28 wrote:
anton1792 wrote:
Ado Ulamee wrote:
Why wouldn't they send forces to the Ark? Its a huge piece of Forerunner technology that they had direct access to via the Portal on Earth. What were they supposed to do?
The Arbiter was barely an ally by the time of Kilo 5 and most importantly his position of power was tenuous at best. Even without ONI's interference there is a very good chance that civil war would have erupted.
The Flood thing was dumb I agree, however you have to remember that unlike we who know a lot about the Flood, ONI didn't know as much. Also the flood was the only thing that the Covenant feared and considering the state of the war at the time it makes sense why ONI would show interest in the Flood. Besides they obviously had contingencies and would blow up the isolated facility is anything should go wrong. That said I agree that it was not ONI's finest hour.
The reason I brought up the ark was that at the time I had forgotten they had already sent robotic scouts ahead before sending humans. Lack of sleep does that after long work hours. While the Arbiter wasn't much if an ally, being only one with a rather small fleet, that's still better then nothing.Without ONI's actions civil war may still have been possible, but I doubt to such a degree with the likes of the Servants not being given supplies.

As for the flood, by the time of those events ONI appeared to have the basic understanding of the parasite. the AI Rebecca looked to have a good chunk of knowledge when showing it to the captain of the Red Horse.

Ado Ulamee as I said, my belief is that two weak Sangheili factions is better than one strong one, regardless whether it’s the Arbiter leading that or not. The Arbiter (with or without his peace hat on) won’t live forever and the tide changes quickly.

Monitors have the instructions sure, but they’re not exactly reliably friendly now are they??
I understand that, but we see until the events of halo 5, Jul's "Covenant," was the stronger of the two factions. Their plans could never have worked anyway, seeing as their were hundreds of other colony worlds outside of the homeworld. Yes, the Arbiter won't live forever, but he will certainly live longer then any ONI agent at this time. Best to be on his good side.

As for the monitors, the Ussans were helped by the monitor of their shield world. Plus the one in Halo 5 was willing to help the spatans. Only two example, but better then what seems to be the norm between monitors and humans.
Ado Ulamee wrote:
EvilKeny28 wrote:
anton1792 wrote:
Ado Ulamee wrote:
As for the monitors, the Ussans were helped by the monitor of their shield world. Plus the one in Halo 5 was willing to help the spatans. Only two example, but better then what seems to be the norm between monitors and humans.
"While the Arbiter wasn't much if an ally, being only one with a rather small fleet, that's still better then nothing"
Of course its better than nothing, its just that ONI wasn't going to leave things to chance.
"Without ONI's actions civil war may still have been possible, but I doubt to such a degree with the likes of the Servants not being given supplies."
On this we agree.
As for the flood, my point still stands about ONI's interest in something the Covenant feared.

I think an important thing to remember is that ONI is subdivided in many groups and generally are not aware what other groups are working on. Some are even a secret within ONI itself.

As for the monitors, I think Lambsenglish was referring how half the monitors we've encountered thus far were rampant and 2 of them attempted to cause harm to humans/others.
These wars don't get decided by super-soldiers, except when they do? Come on man.
That isn't what I said.

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War is never the least of everyone's problems,
Food shortages and economic collapse are more pertinent issues facing the average person, because that's the sort of stuff that undermines a war effort pretty quickly. From starving out a Castle to blockading a country's ports, it's proven very effective. European countries that went to war whilst they relied on each other for agriculture and finance would quickly face such issues. Those in the Eurozone don't even have their own currency anymore and instead use a currency controlled by the European Central Bank (So they can't for example control the value of their own exports). For those that do - such as the UK - merely leaving on amicable terms with two years of planning still doesn't get anyone fully clear of such worries.

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and being "mission-killed" is not all that really matters at all. The Human-Covenant war proved all that out a thousand times. Survive to fight another day.
Except the problem with that is how no one has a crystal ball that allows them to see if being mission-killed and left as a salvage operation is going to work out in the end. The number of things that could have happened to the Infinity after being disabled in one hit by a piece of leftover tech from the Covenant Empire are staggering, to the extent that it was mere luck that the ship survived.

If Clayton had aimed for the ships reactor, the ship would have been obliterated. If he had hit the Infinity's Forerunner slip-space core, that would have permanently ended the Infinity's speed advantage by destroying a drive that cannot be replaced. If he had hit the Infinity facing down it's central axis, the beam would have gutted the entire length of the ship from the bridge to the engines.

If this hadn't been a band of human insurgents and ex-Covenant mercenaries, and had instead been a far more organized and prepared polity, the Infinity would have been left stranded weeks from human space with an alien armada surrounding it.

And if there were not one but two weapon platforms? Goodbye Infinity.

Claiming that a ship being disabled isn't a big deal simply because it was recoverable is completely silly and not what modern militaries think like. If they did, then Battleships might still roam the seas in spite of the proliferation of torpedoes, missiles and mines.

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All said and done, ONI is best off doing whatever is has to to keep humanity where it is right now - in the driving seat, and staying there by whatever means necessary.
Humanity aren't in the driving seat. The Created are. Halo 5 made the Created's rise abundantly clear, so I'm not sure how this is even a point of contention for humanity to not be in the driving seat.
anton1792 I live in the UK, I do understand the history and present of Europe, and you keep saying the same thing while ignoring the point that war is the bottom line however you try to skirt around it with currency, trade, etc. You're fully entitled to your opinion, but it can't overrule the historical facts of human societies. And I'm not saying the humans are the most powerful force out there, of course not. As said several, several times, this is about Human-Sangheili relations, and whether you like it or not, the Spartan-IV programme plus the Infinity puts them head and shoulders above any current iteration of the Sangheili (which is what this thread is about). Also as you mentioned it, I'd bet you the story unfolds that the Spartan-IIs have something to say about the Created, again sadly regardless of whether or not you rate super-soldiers.

And Ado Ulamee, you're right that a couple of monitors weren't out to slaughter humanity, but I think on the balance of things it's fair to say that between them and the Sangheili, humans are best off trusting no one at all!

To be honest, Bungie and 343 both deserve a lot of credit for this even being a debate in the community. To turn a character around from slaughtering half the species, to us chatting about whether it's fair ONI tried to poison their porridge... I mean that's quite the turnaround. Sure, it helps that we didn't have a choice but to play as the damn guy in Halo 2, but still.
EvilKeny28 wrote:
How do we know that the Covenant Space Station is a standard piece of tech? This is the first time we have ever seen one.
It's pretty obvious that it's not an outstanding piece of equipment if you look at the context. The station was in the middle of nowhere. It was deep in Jiralhanea space next to a gas giant that had no habitations anywhere near by. What kind of super-rare weapons platform is left defending barren asteroids in a desolate system?

Furthermore it was under the control of human insurgents and a rag-tag group of former Covenant mercenaries, who would not so easily come into possession of such a station if it were not ubiquitous enough.

Additionally, the number of times that we have seen something has nothing to do with its ubiquity in Covenant space considering that we have seen only a tiny fraction of Covenant space. Why you think that it's odd that we have never seen such defensive platforms when the UNSC never launched offensive campaigns into Covenant space during the war is beyond me, and it seems like reaching.

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You are underselling Infinity. As seen in Spartan Ops Infinity can easily take on Jul's fleet of ships and force him to retreat. We also know that Infinity is more powerful than a Covenant Assault Carrier. On top of that it has weapons that are powerful enough to breach the hull of the Didact's own flagship The Mantle's Approach which is almost certainly tougher than anything the Covenant has. Infinity's hull/shields is also strong enough to smash right though a Covenant cruiser while sustaining to damage. Even Thursday War shows how easily an incomplete Infinity deals with Covenant ships.
To put matters simply Infinity can deal with any ship the Covenant has except probably a SuperCarrier.
Besides even a disabled Infinity is not defenceless, as shown in Escalations, Halo 4 and Spartan ops, as its armaments and S4 complement are very much capable of destroying Covenant ships in the vicinity.
I don't care how powerful it is in battle. It can't protect the UNSC from hit and run attacks at any location other than the one it currently occupies (Which is bad news for the large logistics network required to support it. It was also bad news for the start-up colony of Oban, and the inhabited colony of Cleyell which was glassed), and it can't progress the UNSC's offensive capabilities into Covenant territory because it would get gutted by their defense platforms as Halo: Escalation shows us. It's a battleship that's just met the torpedo and the supersonic fighter jet.

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The UNSC invested in the S4 program because obviously they were impressed by what the S2s and S3s accomplished during the war, and they could be used on missions that would considered too high risk for normal marines or would lead to considerable losses. Spartan Ops and Halo 5 showed us how capable the S4s can be and it would seem that their investment was worth it.
It's just a pity for Spartans that had the stars not aligned perfectly on November 2nd, 2552, then Truth might have decided to delay the Schism by a few more months and the Flood might not have been successful in taking High Charity without the Schism to destroy the Covenant's cohesion. In that scenario, Master Chief's chances for survival on a station filled with millions of pissed off Covie soldiers go down drastically, and humanity in all likelihood get decimated throughout the Sol system. That's what I meant when I said that a straight line cannot be drawn between the Spartans and humanity's survival, and I find all the overblown exaggeration of the Spartan's role in the war to be absurd.

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Besides all this talk is irrelevant as it was never ONI's intention to start another war. All ONI wanted to accomplish was maintain a healthy civil war on Sangheilios that would give time for the UNSC to rise to the top. Apart from a hiccup that was Jul (which is more due to bad luck than anything) this ploy would seem to have been successful as by 2558 the UNSC appears to be the strongest group around.
Jeez, I'm becoming convinced that no one bothered to really read anything I've said. It's just all empty talking points from Kilo-5 that I refuted in my first post.

How does ONI starting a war on Sanghelios allow humans to become top dogs when Sanghelios is one planet out of thousands of Covenant star systems? I've asked this before and no one bothered to answer it. I'm not interested in anything ONI does on Sanghelios, let's make that clear. I don't care if they NOVA bombed it instead. It still doesn't make humanity top dogs. The Sangheili have been space faring for thousands of years. Most other Covie species have been space faring for centuries longer than humanity has been thanks to access to Covenant FTL. They are going to be well and truly established now, far more than humans were even at their peak prior to the war. The Covie species' growth and extent of colonization will therefore exceed that of humans and to put that into perspective we've got confirmed colony population numbers for Covenant colonies in the billions, like Malurok and Hesduros, which means economies and productivity likely dwarfing that of Reach (population: 0.7 billion) given their technological advantage. To make matters worse for ONI, the Covenant span thousands of star systems, an Empire so large that High Charity sometimes struggled to keep track of it all.

ONI starting a war on Sanghelios, so that they could be "top dogs", is pathetic.
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How does ONI starting a war on Sanghelios allow humans to become top dogs when Sanghelios is one planet out of thousands of Covenant star systems? I've asked this before and no one bothered to answer it.
No one bothered to answer it because it's a stupid question that you shouldn't have even asked. The Sangheili don't have thousands of planets. Period. To argue otherwise the way you have is nothing but a Hitchens' Razor fallacy.
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How does ONI starting a war on Sanghelios allow humans to become top dogs when Sanghelios is one planet out of thousands of Covenant star systems? I've asked this before and no one bothered to answer it.
No one bothered to answer it because it's a stupid question that you shouldn't have even asked. The Sangheili don't have thousands of planets. Period. To argue otherwise the way you have is nothing but a Hitchens' Razor fallacy.
You do know that Warfleet confirmed that the Covenant controlled thousands of star systems, right?
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How does ONI starting a war on Sanghelios allow humans to become top dogs when Sanghelios is one planet out of thousands of Covenant star systems? I've asked this before and no one bothered to answer it.
No one bothered to answer it because it's a stupid question that you shouldn't have even asked. The Sangheili don't have thousands of planets. Period. To argue otherwise the way you have is nothing but a Hitchens' Razor fallacy.
If I may, wouldn't going with that idea be logical though? They had dozens of colonies 3400 years ago when the Covenant formed. The Lekgolo were not brought on until almost seventy years after the Covenant's founding. One would think colonial expansion would go hand-in-hand with the recovery of forerunner artifacts during that period of time. Given the thousands of years since, would it really be that far to come to his conclusion?
And Ado Ulamee, you're right that a couple of monitors weren't out to slaughter humanity, but I think on the balance of things it's fair to say that between them and the Sangheili, humans are best off trusting no one at all!

To be honest, Bungie and 343 both deserve a lot of credit for this even being a debate in the community. To turn a character around from slaughtering half the species, to us chatting about whether it's fair ONI tried to poison their porridge... I mean that's quite the turnaround. Sure, it helps that we didn't have a choice but to play as the damn guy in Halo 2, but still.
I actually preferred the Arbiter missions over the chiefs. Besides, Thel looks to be wanting to atone and help rebuild the galaxy. Either way, this whole debate is why I have enjoyed the Halo community for over a decade. A lore-rich story that anyone can talk/debate on.
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If I may, wouldn't going with that idea be logical though? They had dozens of colonies 3400 years ago when the Covenant formed. The Lekgolo were not brought on until almost seventy years after the Covenant's founding. One would think colonial expansion would go hand-in-hand with the recovery of forerunner artifacts during that period of time. Given the thousands of years since, would it really be that far to come to his conclusion?
Not at all. Want to know how many planets Ancient Humanity had colonized at the height of their power? 20,000. Sounds like a lot, right? It doesn't sound so impressive when you realize that they had been space faring for over a million years to achieve this number. When you do the math, you realize this equates to only 1 planet every fifty years (and this doesn't even take into account expansion). Do the same math for the Covenant, and it comes out to around 70 planets in their prime. If we were to be extremely generous and times that by 5 (Prophets, Brutes and Engineers not included), that would only come out to 350 planets, still not even close to the "thousands" number he claimed for the Sangheili ALONE. And even if we ignore Ancient Humanity and just call them an outlier, people have used fan calculations to deduce population growth before, and modern Humanity would have hundreds of billions to trillions of people by 2525 if we were to go by them, which is way off to the actual, canonical number of 39 billion, meaning fan calcs are basically useless. The only way to know the Sangheili population for sure is when it's stated by a writer, and no writer has EVER said the Sangheili have thousands of planets.
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You do know that Warfleet confirmed that the Covenant controlled thousands of star systems, right?
Nope. Which page, and what is the exact number? Not just "thousands".
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You do know that Warfleet confirmed that the Covenant controlled thousands of star systems, right?
Nope. Which page, and what is the exact number? Not just "thousands".
Page 52, "The Covenant controlled thousands of star systems at the height of its power. So vast was the Prophet's realm and so complex its adminstration that entire colonies and sub-domains occasionally vanished from High Charity's records for decades before contact was re-established."

As for confirmed number of, page 56 and 57 state, "Over the millennia of Covenant expansion and conquest, High Charity gorged on the wealth of hundreds of worlds." Page 57 states on the "Spires of Gifting," the docking station for High Charity. "Hundreds of docking platforms and spires received merchants, tithe-fleets, and emissaries from a thousand Covenant worlds."

Here are the confirmed populations of the book's chosen planets.

High Charity( San 'Shyuum homeworld)-23.8 million citizens, 7.7 billion menials. 15,000 Obedientaries(Majors/commanders), 290,000 warriors, 2 million thralls.
Sanghelios (Sangheili homeworld)- 3.9 billion(Previously 8.135 billion)
Hesduros( Sangheili colony)-1.9 billion
Eayn ( Kig-Yar homeworld)-978 million
Doisac( Jiralhanae homeworld)-12.5 billion
Malurok(Sangheili/ Yanme colony)-2.1 billion
Balaho (Unggoy homeworld)- 320 million
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You do know that Warfleet confirmed that the Covenant controlled thousands of star systems, right?
Nope. Which page, and what is the exact number? Not just "thousands".
Page 52, titled "Covenant Sphere".

"The Covenant controlled thousands of star systems at the height of their power. So vast was the Prophets' realm and so complex its administration that entire colonies and sub-domains occasionally vanished from High Charity's records for decades before contact was re-established. While three Prophet Hierarchs directed the Covenant's strategy and held ultimate executive power, it was the High Council who managed day-to-day administration, assignment of tithe and levies, and allocation of resources to member worlds."
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Page 52, "The Covenant controlled thousands of star systems at the height of its power. So vast was the Prophet's realm and so complex its adminstration that entire colonies and sub-domains occasionally vanished from High Charity's records for decades before contact was re-established."

As for confirmed number of, page 56 and 57 state, "Over the millennia of Covenant expansion and conquest, High Charity gorged on the wealth of hundreds of worlds." Page 57 states on the "Spires of Gifting," the docking station for High Charity. "Hundreds of docking platforms and spires received merchants, tithe-fleets, and emissaries from a thousand Covenant worlds."

Here are the confirmed populations of the book's chosen planets.

High Charity( San 'Shyuum homeworld)-23.8 million citizens, 7.7 billion menials. 15,000 Obedientaries(Majors/commanders), 290,000 warriors, 2 million thralls.
Sanghelios (Sangheili homeworld)- 3.9 billion(Previously 8.135 billion)
Hesduros( Sangheili colony)-1.9 billion
Eayn ( Kig-Yar homeworld)-978 million
Doisac( Jiralhanae homeworld)-12.5 billion
Malurok(Sangheili/ Yanme colony)-2.1 billion
Balaho (Unggoy homeworld)- 320 million
I really hope that's not it, because I still don't see the part where it says the Sangheili have thousands of worlds.

"Over the millennia of covenant expansion and conquest, High Charity gorged on the wealth of hundreds of worlds." If we're generous and assume the absolute maximum of 1999 planets for ALL of the Covenant, this is still far from the Sangheili alone having thousands of worlds.

"Hundreds of docking platforms and spires received merchants, tithe-fleets, and emissaries from a thousand Covenant worlds." Divide 1,000 by 5, that's only 200 Sangheili planets, which is nothing, and again, not in the thousands.
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