Please note that all information is subject to revision, as we gather more intel from the field and newer files become declassified.
Today’s briefing will concern one of the Covenant’s client species, and one of the most dangerous opponents you will encounter in the field; species “Jiralhanae”, colloquially known as “Brutes”.
A bestial and violent species, the brutes are easily distinguished from their Covenant allies by their fur, ape-like physique, violent temperament, and… “powerful” odor. These aliens serve as shock troops for the Covenant forces, their strength and animal cunning making them an effective, if not reckless, vanguard.
Our intelligence indicates that the brutes were among the first Covenant invaders encountered by the UNSC during first contact on Harvest. Brutes lead the initial assault on the planet before the arrival of the Covenant fleet.
The few surviving UNSC forces from the invasion described the brutes as “berserkers”, fighting with blind rage and ferocity, completely un-phased by injury or death; undeterred despite being outnumbered and on unfamiliar ground.
Since Contact Harvest, we’ve had plenty of time to gather details about this species, and separate fact from paranoia induced fantasy.
The Brutes are a martial race, who, like the elites, value strength, prowess, and combat prestige. Their obvious combat skills, and their alpha-predator behavior make them ideal leaders, and so they seem to share caste privileges with the Elites.
It is interesting to note that Elites and Brutes are seldom parried into the same units. Given both species alpha-characteristics and shared caste position, it's likely they’re separated to prevent infighting.
Could this segregation be indicative of internal conflict within the Covenant?
Forget it. What’s going through the alien’s heads is a concern for the xenosocialgists.
As far as you are concerned, the only thing going through alien heads should be explosive... and 7.62mm…
As a soldier, the brutes are one of the most dangerous opponents you’ll face. They are strong, fast, and fond of shrapnel and grenades.
Like the Viking berserkers of ancient human history, most Brutes wear little in the way of armor, save for the occasional ornamental helmet.
They rely on their tough hides and muscle mass to withstand bullets, and as such, ALL brutes can withstand a huge amount of punishment, without energy shields.
Unlike their allies, Brutes have a very simple ranking system, with lightly equipped brute minors (lowest tier), well armed and ornamented brute captains (often armed with heavy weapons), and the heavily armored, extremely strong, special weapon wielding Chieftains.
Brutes are often found either leading lances of Covenant infantry, or in “packs” of their own kind, led by a single Chieftain or multiple captains.
Brutes also carry unique weaponry, seldom seen outside members of their own race; The Type-25 Brute spiker and Brute-shot.
These weapons appear to be weapons of Brute design. Though they are primitive, even by Human standards, the crudeness of their design belies their deadly effectiveness. The spiker fires tungsten flechettes capable of dismembering or piecing our armor. The brute shot can propel high explosive grenades like a hand-held mortar.
Brute’s are also seen with specialized versions of Covenant weapons; the brute plasma rifle and needler (known as the shredder) appear to have been modified for greater damage and ROF, ideal for the Brute’s offensive tactics.
Brutes also happen to be fond of grenades. The brute spike grenade is an anti-personnel grenade with maximum shrapnel.
Perhaps the most deadly brute anti-personnel munition is the “Cluster Grenade”- a crude improvised grenade, crafted from a handful of unstable fuel rod projectiles. Upon the primary detonation, unstable fuel rods are dispersed around the blast, and explode shortly after.
The brutes are as vicious as they are resilient. Even outnumbered, they can still overwhelm a squad of our infantry with their superior strength alone.
When engaging the brutes, avoid close quarters combat, keep all soldiers spread out an in cover to avoid their grenades and explosives. Try to catch them out in the open, where their large frames will make them easy targets.
And if all else fails, fight fire with fire- nuke ‘em with whatever grenades or rockets you have on hand. Be prepared for the smell- there’s nothing in the galaxy that smells worse than a brute roasted by high explosives.
This concludes our Section 3 Update. We will keep you appraised of additional intel briefings as they become available!
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