The Silent Cartographer
--== Enemy Units ==--
(1) Grunts -- A mixture of both types / tend to appear in packs
(2) Jackals -- A mixture of both types / tend to appear in packs
(3) Elites -- All three types are present / Type-3 are mostly invisible with swords!
(4) Hunters -- Singles AND groups / Type-2 Prefer to Melee
Level Notes: The Silent Cartographer includes three Achievements that are attainable:
-- Beachhead (10 GS) Storm the beach on “Silent Cartographer” without losing any marines on Heroic or Legendary difficulty.
-- Grenadier (25 GS) Escape the map room on “Silent Cartographer” without firing off a single shot on Heroic or Legendary
-- The Silent Cartographer (25 GS) Complete the level “Silent Cartographer” on any difficulty
Generally speaking one of the main strategies that is used by most players on the higher difficulties is to gather up a bunch of Warthogs at the staging area as that makes it a bit easier to deploy the troops, but YMMV on this.
Unlocking the optional Achievements on your first run through this level is really not likely unless you are playing with another human gamer, in which case yes, you can manage it, but it means adopting a rushing run-and-gun strategy and aggressive use of your grenades. You might find that it is better if you do this on a replay, and just stick with accomplishing the story campaign, but it is your call... Remember though that you have to set the difficulty level to a minimum of Heroic to unlock these!
You arrive at the beachhead in a pair of Pelican Troop Carriers, and when they land you have two groups of Marines with you and you are facing a mix of enemy that is mostly grunts with the odd Elite and Jackal thrown into the mix. If you are trying for the optional Achievements (which means you are on at least Heroic) you will want to immediately and without delay run in to the fray and start killing the enemy. Pay particular attention to the left side of the area as there are some Grunts that will make quick work of one or two of your Marines straight away, which will ruin the Achievement run for you.
If you are doing this with a partner your best approach is to have them handle the left side while you head right up the center and begin popping grenades and using the pistol to head-shot any enemy you can actually see.
After you clear the beachhead you will start to get Warthog deliveries -- there are some tipped-over Warthogs further up the beach in the direction of the Security Facility as well -- after you have your troops properly supplied, proceed along the path to the entrance to the facility (to the right facing in from teh beach landing point), where you will notice that the actual entrance is a sort of choke-point. Inside are some Elites and Grunts -- the easy way to deal with them is to chuck a grenade in to take out the Grunts and drop the shields on the Elites, then walk in and give the Elites a burst each to finish them off.
As you pass the landing spot where we first arrived look for the small plateau on the beach -- there is a path on the water-side that will take you to the top -- and at the end of it is the first of the two Skulls for this level (Famine) so be sure to grab that and then mount back up and continue along the beach until you get resistance from the enemy, which means you are near the entrance to the path to the Security Facility!
A few Tricky Achievements and Bandana Skull
The Bandana Skull
Fight your way to the main doors, clearing out all of the enemy that you encounter -- and then the doors get slammed in your face and locked. D'oh! You need to find a way to get them open -- and that means backtracking and following the other path at a rapid clip but taking out the enemy you encounter as you go (don't leave any alive).
You can make the whole trip in your Warthog, but when you reach the clearing with the pair of Hunters you will want to dismount to deal with them as quickly as you can. The next Terminal is at the base of this circular building so after you take out the Hunters go ahead and access the Terminal to get the next CS and piece of the story.
After the CS ends keep progressing along the path and killing the enemy and you will eventually reach the Security Building -- inside of which is a mix of enemy including another pair of Hunters. After you kill them use the terminal inside to unlock the door way back at the end of the other path, now BEFORE you leave this building -- because you are thinking "I should leave this building!" don't. Look around the corner from where the terminal is that unlocked the doors and on the right where the catwalk ends you will see that there is a ledge above.
You need to pop a few grenades at the base of the ledge and then run onto them before they detonate so that they blow you up on to the ledge -- where you will find the next Skull -- the Bandana Skull -- which is particularly desirable to have!
It is time to backtrack to that door, but on the way out you will be jumped by a pack of invisible Elites so take them out as quick as you can then head for your Warthogs and make the trip back to the first facility.
When you arrive you get a CS and then you make your way to the Map Room and activate the terminal there -- and battle your way back to the surface where the Pelican is waiting for you -- there are also some invisible Elites -- you can fight them or not, but if you are going for the optional Achievement for escaping without shooting you will not want to do that... So just run to the Pelican and hit 'X' to get on board -- that triggers the closing CS for the level and, if you were a good boy and did not shoot anyone after you activated the terminal in the map room, you will unlock the Grenadier and The Silent Cartographer Achievements for your trouble!