'''''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6367978/1/bHalo_b_the_bArt_b_of_bWar_b Halo: the Art of War]]''''' is a ''{{Halo}}'' fanfic by Havoc-legionnaire.

In this AlternateUniverseFic, the Covenant probe attached to the UNSC ''Iroquois'' never managed to transmit Reach's location to the Covenant, setting back the battle for Reach. The SPARTAN-[=IIs=] embark on Operation Red Flag, the mission to capture a Prophet that was shelved in canon when the Covenant came for Reach. In this, they will be aided by the crew and [=ODSTs=] of the ''Pillar of Autumn'', as well as two later-generation SPARTAN teams, one of which is [[VideoGame/HaloReach Noble Team]].

!! This fanfic contains examples of the following:

* AcePilot: The author has declared that he wants to make more use of this aspect of Six's than we saw in canon.
* AdaptationalBadass: The Prophet of Mercy has a LastStand, killing at least one SPARTAN, and [[spoiler:pulls a TakingYouWithMe via plasma grenade when another tries to restrain him.]]
* ActualPacifist: The huragok, to John's annoyance.
* AxCrazy: Wa in combat.
* BangBangBANG: The Augmented Helical Rail Rifle is loud even by conventional standards and extra loud considering rail and coil weapons usually are not.
* BerserkButton: [[spoiler: John, who was trying to hold back against Silva, loses it when the ODST compares him to Wa.]] Parodied when Steven gives an Elite a NoHoldsBarredBeatdown for destroying his cigar.
* {{BFG}}: The Spartan Combat Rifle and Augmented Helical Rail Rifle use 12.7mm. Wa carries a 20mm autocannon and pulse energy cannon. Steven's ''Loudenboomer'' is also 20mm and a successor to a .950 rifle meant for hunting [[VideoGame/HaloReach Gueta]].
* BigBulkyBomb: Anything Jonathan makes, even the stick grenades, the blasts of which feel like an 81mm mortar shell.
* TheBigGuy: Wa dwarfs even Jorge.
* BladeOnAStick: John fights an Honor Guard who has a plasma pike supposedly a direct recreation of a Forerunner weapon. It does have the disintegration abilities of such.
* BloodKnight: Spearhead as a whole.
* BlueAndOrangeMorality: Linda diagnoses Spearhead as having ''some'' moral standard, but a bizarre one.
* BondOneLiner: Deconstructed. Spearhead's constant quip-throwing during combat emphasizes the fact that they have Issues, especially compared to the professionalism of the other Spartans.
* BoringButPractical: The "bureaucrat" type of commander.
* BunnyEarsLawyer:
** Most of Spearhead has issues, but they are very good at what they do. Nicole compares them to the Flying Tigers.
** Dr. Thatcher is scandalous, overly flirtatious, and mankind's second best Slipspace physicist.
* ButForMeItWasTuesday: Nicole is utterly nonplussed by Spearhead's antics.
* TheChainsOfCommanding: John's opinion on getting a commission.
-->Things had been so much simpler when he was just a Master Chief.
* ContinuityNod: Halsey saying that "Six is just like John" and Six telling John that Carter had already brought up [[VideoGame/HaloReach the lone wolf business]].
* DestructiveSaviour: Spearhead considers itself this.
* DissonantSerenity: Wa's state outside combat, most of the time.
* EveryoneHasStandards: For all Colonel Yang's eccentricities and willingness to be lenient with Spearhead, even he thinks Serena is far too nuts to be augmented, and he also had [[spoiler:Thom-293]] taken off Noble for pushing his luck too many times.
* {{Expy}}: Given his "Mediterranean" appearance and his aptitude for LeParkour, Richard also appears to be an {{Expy}} of [[VideoGame/AssassinsCreedII Ezio]].
* FacePalm: John does this when he realises [[spoiler: why Steven is taking so long in the shower.]] Lampshaded as "a spectacular display of emotion by Spartan standards".
* FlawExploitation: The Spartans make ample use of taking cover near Covenant holy relics in order to minimise their enemy's use of artillery and heavy weapons.
* ForWantOfANail: In ''TheFallOfReach'', a Covenant probe was attached to a UNSC ship, allowing the Covvies to find Reach. This interrupted the special mission of John and the other [=SPARTAN-IIs=] to capture a Prophet. Here, the probe fails to return to Covenant space when its Slipspace jump misses. Meaning the [=SPARTAN-IIs=] get to proceed as planned, along with the assistance of [[RagtagBunchOfMisfits Spearhead]] and [[VideoGame/HaloReach Noble]] Teams. The new tech and weapons, however, are simply RuleOfCool and RealityEnsues.
* FriendlySniper: Steven, with emphasis on the "friendly", although he's more of a squad marksman than a "sneak around, take very long shots" sniper... sniper.
* GeekyTurnOn: Dr. Marilyn Thatcher does this.
* GeneticEngineeringIsTheNewNuke: [[spoiler: One of the things done to the Shock Trooper candidates was genetic alteration to regress their physical capabilities to Neanderthal levels. However that works.]]
* GeniusBruiser: Maybe not genius ''per se'', but Wa is still intelligent under the rage. He knows his fallacies and quotes Machiavelli.
* HealingFactor: One of the abilities granted to the Shock Troopers. Or, more accurately, Shock Trooper; Wa is the only survivor.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: [[spoiler: Ackerson, who started the Shock Trooper programme, is torn apart by Wa, its sole survivor.]]
* HotScientist: Dr. Marilyn Thatcher. Gorgeous brunette [[LadyInRed in scandalous red.]] Excessively flirtatious. Second best Slipspace physicist in the UNDF.
* HulksCooldownHugCorollary: [[spoiler: Kelly nearly manages to calm Wa down, but John continues the fight.]]
* IHaveYourWife: [[spoiler: How Ackerson tried to prevent the Shock Trooper candidates from killing him - sweeper teams that would kill their families.]]
* ImplacableMan: Wa. [[spoiler: Knife to the eye driven further in? Barely slows him down. Knife to the throat? Stopped by a weave that needs multiple stabs or a {{BFG}}. Bullet to the head just bounces off.]]
* {{Infodump}}: The author tries to weave them into briefings and dialogue, which helps make them seem less cumbersome.
* InvisibilityCloak: This story's version of the MJOLNIR Mk VI comes with active camo that includes thermal masking.
* ItsPersonal: [[spoiler: Silva's beef with John, over and above the standard InterserviceRivalry, comes from the Helljumpers John killed on the ''Atlas'' years back being Silva's men.]]
* JustFollowingOrders: Silva accuses John of this.
* LethalChef: Jonathan. Somewhat subverted in that his food IS edible; it's just that no sane person would want to eat exploding muffins, or meat cooked/seasoned with gunpowder.
* LightningBruiser: Wa, who well outdoes the already impressive standard [=SPARTANs=] in offensive and defensive strength while still being as fast as them.
* LuckilyMyShieldWillProtectMe: One of Wa's pieces of equipment is, literally, a large shield.
* MakeItLookLikeAnAccident: [[spoiler: What the sweeper teams did to the Shock Trooper candidates' families.]]
* MoeGreeneSpecial: [[spoiler: John knifes Wa in the right eye and Kelly kicks it in even further, to seemingly no avail.]]
* MyGreatestFailure: [[spoiler: Wa snapping and killing Ackerson, which led to his family getting killed.]]
* MythologyGag: The Spartans end up commandeering the ''Truth and Reconciliation'' anyway.
** Colonel Yang laments under his breath that he couldn't have gotten [[VideoGame/Halo3ODST Dare]] for the ODST complement instead.
** Admiral Stanforth's canon command, the ''Leviathan'', shows up, though in a different fashion.
* TheNapoleon: Richard.
* NoodleImplements: Some of Jonathan's more... creative IED ideas.
--> '''Jonathan''' ''(When Spearhead is forced to peel potatoes)'': Give me two cans of C8, some iron files, a wheel from warthog, an onion, a grapefruit, and a goat and we could be done with this entire pile in twenty minutes. And you don't want to know what the onion is for.
* NoodleIncident: The Spearheads have some.
* TheNothingAfterDeath: What Wa says the afterlife is.
* NuclearOption: The ''Autumn'''s MAC rounds are equipped with nuclear charges that are initiated by the impulse of the kinetic impact.
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: Six literally doesn't have a proper name as Colonel Yang took him in straight from the orphanage.
* OnlySaneMan: Nicole is the only member of Spearhead that does not have some kind of mental disorder. [[spoiler: Wa was also the most in control of the Shock Trooper candidates.]]
* PointDefenseless: The ''Autumn'''s 50mm cannons are replaced with laser turrets, hoping to defy this.
* PoorCommunicationKills: [[spoiler: The incident with Wa could possibly have been avoided if Nicole had told John just how psycho Wa gets in his killing rages. She says that she preferred Wa tell him.]]
* PunchAWall: [[spoiler: John does this after Spearhead and Noble defy him for Wa.]]
* PunchClockHero: John fears that the other troops will be this, following orders without believing in them.
* {{Pyromaniac}}: Jonathan is pretty much a [[VideoGame/TeamFortress2 Demoman]] {{Expy}}, while Richard favours a flamethrower.
* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: Spearhead is described as this, in contrast to the more conventionally disciplined and ordered Noble.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: [[spoiler:Mendicant Bias]] gets destroyed by Tartarus after having disabled the Covenant slipspace disruption and denied them some Forerunner technology.
* SeeTheWhitesOfTheirEyes: Discussed and defied; the Covenant's omnidirectional firepower and superior maneuverability makes them better in a close fight than the UNSC, which is why the latter wants to stay at range as long as possible.
* SparedByTheAdaptation: [[spoiler:Thom-293, thanks to Spearhead.]]
* StealthInSpace: One of the new upgrades to the ''Autumn'' is a set of ECM pods. In "cold" mode EM-absorbing cold plasma, combined with powering off unessential systems and hiding, makes for a difficult target, though as Colonel Yang warns Captain Keyes, "Even I can't turn a cruiser into a prowler. You can't hide right in front of [the Covenant] in the open". In "hot" mode it broadcasts ghost returns and falsifies the ''Autumn'''s exact location and velocity, though "They still can lock on to you once they get close enough."
* StopHelpingMe: Miranda's InUniverse reaction to Kalmiya, though the latter is genuinely trying to be helpful.
* StuffBlowingUp: Jonathan's entire shtick. One of his more noticeable accomplishments is that he took what was basically [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Model_24_grenade a German Model 24 "potato masher" grenade"]], and then switched out the handle for a pipe bomb. Yes, that's right, he put a grenade ''on another grenade''.
** [[MemeticMutation Yo, we heard you like grenades...]]
* SuperSoldier: All the [=SPARTANs=], of course, but Wa and the Shock Trooper project of which he's the sole survivor take the enhancements UpToEleven, closer to [[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} Adeptus Astartes]] levels. The story postulates that, in this AU, the SPARTAN-III programme was shut down after the destruction of Beta Company and a new SPARTAN-IV programme set up, with Noble now coming from the [=IVs=].
* TakingYouWithMe: [[spoiler:The Prophet of Mercy]] does this, sticking a plasma grenade on himself as a SPARTAN tries to capture him.
* TechnologyPorn: Here and there, especially Colonel Yang's rundown of the ''Autumn'''s new capabilities.
* ThisIsGonnaSuck: Captain Keyes has a minor one when he is told that the ''Autumn'' has been reclassified as a [[GlassCannon battlecruiser]].
* TrashTalk: Major Silva does this against John in the boxing ring.
* UncannyValley: This is John's InUniverse view on Noble Team and the [=IVs=] they represent - they are so similar to his own [=IIs=] and yet different enough to be unnerving.
* WarriorPoet: Linda does this.
* WhamLine:
** [[spoiler: "Admiral Preston Jeremiah Cole is still alive!"]]
** Followed very shortly after by [[spoiler: 'My name is Medicant Bias and your victory shall be my redemption, reclaimer'.]]
* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity: Wa, Wa, Wa. Where the other [=SPARTANs=] are commandos, he is TheBerserker, a battering ram - and both powerful and survivable enough to act as such in a straight-up fight against the Covenant. However, this comes at the cost of bloodthirsty rampages where he cannot tell friend from foe.
* YellowPeril: Sort of - Wa, the most overtly Oriental of the characters, is also the craziest.
* YouDidntAsk: [[spoiler: Colonel Yang says this of Spearhead and Wa when John broaches the subject. John calls him out on it.]]
* YouDoNotWantToKnow: Colonel Yang to Six on some of Steven and Richard's insanity.
* YoureNotMyFather: Miranda to [[spoiler: Halsey.]]
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