[[quoteright:285:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/HaloWarsWithTeen_6483.jpg]]

->"''[[BadassBoast This is Spartan Group Omega. If they want war, we'll give them war.]]''"

A RealTimeStrategy spin-off of the main ''{{Franchise/Halo}}'' games by [[VideoGame/AgeOfEmpires Ensemble Studios]]. It was toted as an ambitious attempt to bring the RTS genre to consoles--although critics are split on whether it did a good job at that. It was not the only console RTS game, though, with further examples including ''{{Stormrise}}'', ''UniverseAtWar'', and arguably ''[[VideoGame/SupremeCommander Supreme Commander 2]]''.

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!!''Halo Wars'' provides examples of:

* ArbitraryHeadcountLimit: ''Halo Wars'' has a quite restrictive limit on the number of units you can have at a time. Not that you can't kill your way through several dozen Covenant with [[TankGoodness Scorpions]], Hornets, [[SuperSoldier Spartans]], [[BoringButPractical Warthogs]], and [[DeathFromAbove MAC Blasts]].
* ArbitraryMinimumRange: Some vehicles such as Scarabs are unable to attack extremely close range opponents.
* AxeCrazy: The Arbiter.
* BadassNormal: Sergeant Forge. Not just any marine can face an Arbiter one-on-one and [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome WIN]].
** That's not all. One of the game's unlockables hints he got into fight with a Spartan and ''held his own''.
** Marines you can purchase in-game fit as well, but the ODST's take the cake.
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler: The ''Spirit of Fire'' crew manage to destroy the Shield World and prevent the Covenant from acquiring the Forerunner ships on the planet, but they had to sacrifice the slipspace drive to do so, meaning that they have to go into cryo-stasis without anyway of getting home.]]
** At least, not anytime soon.
** Also, [[spoiler: Sgt. Forge's]] HeroicSacrifice.
* BondOneLiner: "And for the record, I'd have kicked your ass the first time if the lady hadn't stopped me!"
* BoringButPractical: Warthogs. while they start off like dung, they can be outfitted with Gauss Cannons and Troopers on the side with Grenade Launchers. Also the basic Marines, which can be turned into ODST Troopers.
* BuildMorePylons: The only way to get the additional resources needed to build the upgrade buildings and factory buildings needed to get more [[ZergRush military manpower]].
* TheCavalry: 20 minutes into "Arcadia Outskirts", Spartan Omega Team will come to give your army a hand.
* ColdSniper: Jerome-092 is listed as a Sniper in the game. He actually uses a Spartan Laser, but due to its long range and pinpoint accuracy, it acts like a sniper rifle.
* ClownCarBase: The Elephant. You can train 40 squads - that's 80 flamethrowers or 240 marines out of it. despite the fact it looks like it can hold no more than 20, maybe 30. and even that's pushing it. In fact, if you kill off your guys, you can train even more units out to infinity from this wondrous pachyderm. An achievement requires you to train 100 infantry out of an elephant in a campaign level.
* DeadpanSnarker: Serina.
-->"Recalling surface squads so we can all die together, aye sir."
* DeathByIrony: [[spoiler:After the Arbiter almost beats Forge to a pulp, he gets ready to run Forge through with an energy sword, when Forge tells him to look him in the eye. The Arbiter grabs Forge by his head, lifts him up, and says, "My face will be the last thing your pathetic eyes ever see." Forge promptly stabs the Arbiter in the face with a knife, steals the energy sword, and runs the Arbiter through with it, not only killing the Arbiter the same way the Arbiter intended to kill him, but making his face the last thing the Arbiter sees.]]
* DefeatMeansFriendship: [[AllThereInTheManual A collectable Black Box reveals]] that Douglas-042 got into an argument with Forge after [[spoiler:Anders was captured by the Covenant]]. The Spartan recommended that the Covenant ship be destroyed to prevent classified information from getting out, leading Forge to fight him and ''hold his own'' against the SuperSoldier. From then on, Forge and Douglas always ate together in the mess hall.
* TheDragon: The previous Arbiter on Harvest seems to have taken up this role for Regret and the other Hierarchs.
** DragonInChief: He's much more threatening then they are as well.
* [[spoiler:EarthShatteringKaboom]]
* EliteMooks: Spartan Group Omega; Spartan II super soldiers. Distinguished by their roughly 7 ft. height, olive-colored PoweredArmor , and ice-cold combat dialogue.
** [=ODSTs=] as well, who are basically space Force Recon Marines.
* EnemyChatter: In true Halo fashion, units (infantry in particular) have a staggering array of context-sensitive lines - they complain about the cold on snow-filled maps, they cry out in panic when a friendly leader or powerful unit dies or an enemy leader attacks them, and they cheer when they're winning.
* {{Expy}}: The Grizzly Tank=[[CommandAndConquer Mammoth Tank]]. They each have 4 sets of tracks, 2 cannons, and crush anything when deployed en masse.
* EmbarrassingFirstName: The Arbiter's given name is jokingly stated to be '[[{{Film/Airplane}} Shirley]]' in the Main Menu tips. His real name is Ripa 'Moramee.
* TheGreatestStoryNeverTold
* HarderThanHard: Legendary difficulty, which features endless respawns of Covenant dropships every minute and dropping a dozen Hunters outside your base.
** Gold medals require you to lose none of your units.
* HeroicSacrifice / UnplannedManualDetonation: [[spoiler:Sergeant Forge stays behind to detonate the Shaw-Fujikawa drive bomb]].
* HotScientist: Anders is a decided example.
* HumongousMecha: The Cyclops.
* ItHasBeenAnHonor: [[spoiler:Jerome to Sgt. Forge]].
* LargeAndInCharge: The Arbiter is noticeably larger and more muscular than even the normal Elites.
* LonelyPianoPiece: "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z89adFGjR3g Spirit of Fire]]", the {{leitmotif}} of the eponymous ship.
* MacrossMissileMassacre: The Vultures especially after the upgrade. Likewise with the wolverine units.
* ObviousRulePatch: Vultures and Scarabs are already so powerful that they can not be driven by Spartans (aside from one campaign mission for the latter.)
* OrphanedSeries: Or game at least, as soon as Robot Entertainment left 343 industries treated it as a distraction at best.
* NoCampaignForTheWicked: Ensemble wasn't even going to consider having a Covenant campaign in ''Halo Wars'' unless they were some kind of rebel heretic faction, and therefore presumably not evil enough to fall under this trope.
* PlanarShockwave: [[spoiler: When the Shield World is destroyed.]]
* PoweredArmor: The Cyclops powered exoskeletons, and the Spartan MJOLNIR suits of course.
* PragmaticAdaptation: The perspective from which the game is played created some necessary exaggerations. For example, Spartans commandeering vehicles do a lot more [[DanceBattler elaborate gymnastics]] in the process of doing so, because more subtle animation would be hard to pick out at that scale. Likewise, the Cyclops's original design called for something similar to the early, pre-Spartan, MJOLNIR PoweredArmor as MightyGlacier infantry. However, this was changed to make it a MiniMecha because the scale made it difficult for players to identify them at a glance on a busy screen.
* PsychoForHire: The Arbiter, who is described ''by his own friends'' as "Evil" and picked up right out of prison, to boot.
* ShoutOut: The ''Pillar of Autumn'' is mentioned when the ''Spirit Of Fire'' arrives at Arcadia.
** The UNSC Vulture Gunship will sometimes say [[Film/{{Aliens}} "Stay Frosty"]]
** Douglas-042 is a pretty obvious ''Franchise/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'' reference.
* TheStinger
* StopPokingMe: Grunts will sometimes say "Yee! Tickles!" when they're selected.
* TacticalRockPaperScissors: Infantry are cheap [[ZergRush Zerg Rushers]] who can fielded by the dozens, but are wiped out by vehicles who are rarer, more powerful, and durable. Said vehicles are then weak to aircraft, who tend to be weaker but faster with a healthy range of firepower, and then those aircraft are trumped by the infantry.
* UnitsNotToScale: Due to gameplay limitations, the Scarab is much smaller here than in ''Halo 2'' and ''Halo 3'', but everything else is the same size the rest of the series depicts it as.
* [[WakeUpCallBoss Wake Up Call Mission]]: The first three missions won't give you too much trouble. Mission 4, Arcadia City, will come as a shock - protecting multiple fragile targets and managing at least 2 bases, all whilst under almost constant enemy attack, serves as a notice to players that things only get harder.
* WarIsHell: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7O-ebT4MqqM The opening of the game]] really drives this home:
--> "[[CaptainsLog Captain's Report]], Feburary 4th, 2531: Five years. Five, long, years. That's how long it took us to get Harvest back. At first it was going well. Then setback after setback, loss after loss, made what was going to be a quick and decisive win into five years of hell. Of course that's all Harvest is today. It's hell down there. But now it's ours again."
** The Spartans manage to turn this into a BadassBoast: "War Is Hell. And I'm the Devil."
* YouCantGoHomeAgain: Might be the fate of the crew of ''The Spirit Of Fire''.