Brute vs Elite: Energy Shielding

So this is something I wanted to bring up. Throughout the majority of Halo media, we witness Elite energy shielding being able to be taken down by small arms fire (seen in Halo: Reach cutscenes (a few AR rounds, a few pistol shots), Halo: First Strike, Halo: Nightfall (a few pistol shots), Halo 5: Guardians (just look at the opening cutscene), the list goes on and on). However, when you look at the Brute’s energy shielding, it’s a much more different beast entirely.

And yes, Brutes have energy shielding beofre anyone asks. Seen in Halo: Contact Harvest, Halo: Last Light and Halo 3.

In Halo: Contact Harvest, Johnson explicitly notes that Maccabeus’s shield manages to withstand the combined fire from 24 marines armed with MA5Bs and BR55 prototypes. This type of shielding is far, far stronger and superior to any showing of Elite shielding I can think of. And before anyone note that this may just be Maccabeus’s shields alone, in Halo: Initiation #1 we witness a Brute Chieftain shrugging off multiple rounds from a Warthog’s machine gun and later AR fire from point blank range. That’s a hell of an amount of firepower that a Brute can withstand.

This is something I find to be rather interesting, especially when you consider the fact that the Prophet’s had restricting numerous technology (such as the Assault Armour)m which hold back the Elites. Yet, for some reason, the Prophets are willing to give out such advanced technology to the Brutes, despite the latter being a space faring race for only 60 years. Then again, Brute Power Armour doesn’t actually augment the Brute’s strength, unlike the Elites (Halo: Encycopedia), so more could’ve of been added to the shielding systems as the Brutes don’t exactly have a need for augmenteping their strength, that they are the strongest species in the Covenant baring the Hunters.

Do note that I am not considering game mechanics here, as they are an inaccurate representation of the lore when it comes to weaponry, shielding and many other aspects of the fiction. Hence why I don’t bring up Brute Power Armour being able to break down completely under enough fire or Tartarus’ shields and the Particle Beam Rifle.

Ever shot on a Gorlla?.(Ihope not It say they can withstand bullets with a kevlar spire.So could it be the same with the Brute So they are more robust because they have a thicker Skin i mean in H2 I hit a brute withe an energy sword and it dont die.
Corrections are welcome

Different ranks of Jiralhanae have different shield strength. Taking the Halo 3 Brutes as canon (there’s NO way a species that size could have evolved with bones strong enough to shrug off a headshot from a Battle Rifle), the average Brute has shields slightly weaker than a Sangheili. The Chieftains, on the other hand, can take quite a pounding, and the more powerful ones (Tartarus, Maccabeus most likely) can soak up an absolutely ridiculous amount of firepower.

Well I think it is really down to the gameplay and media differences. In canon there are a lot of discrepancies, like how plasma weapons destroy flesh instantly, in game it’s different for balancing issues. Maccabaeus was the chieftain and his armor was of course the most powerful, later on Tartarus had a powerful shield too, possibly because he had his uncles old armor on, or at least the Energy Shielding part of it, as a recall he was pretty much naked.

Also I wouldn’t take Initiation on faith, comics are notorious for stretching things especially with so called artistic license.

It could be possible that the brutes in question were using the “invincibility” equipment mod from Halo 3 since they are both Chieftan ranks. But I guess that’s only if you’re okay with creating your own head cannon with what we have available.

But it all comes down to discrepancies. Contact Harvest was obviously way before Halo 3 so it makes sense for the writer to create something from nothing. As for Last Light it might’ve just been a disparity since the only real implication of anything related to brute power armor and shielding is only Halo 3 which they never go into full detail about anyways so the writer wrote something up for shock value.

As for real world circumstances, brutes are like gorillas. Gorillas are able to take a few rounds because of their thick fur and skin. But that’s not what we’re necessarily talking about here.

Actually Reach had brute chieftains with shielding too. But not much could be gathered from that besides the fact they did operate with them at higher ranks early 2552.

Elite!

> 2535415536970703;6:
> Elite!

This isn’t really a versus debate and more of a comparison between the two, if you’ve bothered to read the OP that is. Also, there’s more evidence to suggest that Brute shielding, when present, is far superior to Elite shielding when it comes to shield strength.

> 2533275013144329;5:
> It could be possible that the brutes in question were using the “invincibility” equipment mod from Halo 3 since they are both Chieftan ranks. But I guess that’s only if you’re okay with creating your own head cannon with what we have available.
>
> But it all comes down to discrepancies. Contact Harvest was obviously way before Halo 3 so it makes sense for the writer to create something from nothing. As for Last Light it might’ve just been a disparity since the only real implication of anything related to brute power armor and shielding is only Halo 3 which they never go into full detail about anyways so the writer wrote something up for shock value.
>
> As for real world circumstances, brutes are like gorillas. Gorillas are able to take a few rounds because of their thick fur and skin. But that’s not what we’re necessarily talking about here.
>
> Actually Reach had brute chieftains with shielding too. But not much could be gathered from that besides the fact they did operate with them at higher ranks early 2552.

Well, we have never seen the Invincibility equipment being used outside of gameplay. And Maccabeus’ shield in Contaxt Harvest was shown to be more durable too many times to be a “one off” thing.

Brute had energy shields in Last Light as it was mentioned they had armour and they had shield. That’s a direct mention, not implication. And why would stating Brutes had armour and shielding be something the writer wrote as shock value? The author mentioned the Brutes had armour to symbolise their allegence in the novel (Blue and Gold for the Keepers of the One Freedom). And writers always create so,etching from nothing. No surprise there.

One thing that can be taken into consideration is how much more nimble and cunning the Elites are compared to the Brutes, and since the Elites are slightly smaller, it is possible that the Elites were simply not capable of harnessing the technology as the Brutes. The Brutes are also much slower in comparison to the Elites, which may be the prophet’s reason for giving the significantly larger brutes extra protection.

> 2535425571371169;9:
> One thing that can be taken into consideration is how much more nimble and cunning the Elites are compared to the Brutes, and since the Elites are slightly smaller, it is possible that the Elites were simply not capable of harnessing the technology as the Brutes. The Brutes are also much slower in comparison to the Elites, which may be the prophet’s reason for giving the significantly larger brutes extra protection.

Your reasoning doesn’t make sense about the capabilities. Neither the Elites nor Brutes were really in charge of technology and production though some worked in the production and R&D areas on High Charity. It was always the Prophets area of expertise, they typically encouraged the Elites to become all warriors, and Brutes are not particularly scientifically inclined. I think if the prophets so desired they could certainly create more powerful energy shielding for Elites, but they had rules against too much manipulation of technology as most of it was derived from the Forerunner tech they scavenged.

> 2535425571371169;9:
> One thing that can be taken into consideration is how much more nimble and cunning the Elites are compared to the Brutes, and since the Elites are slightly smaller, it is possible that the Elites were simply not capable of harnessing the technology as the Brutes. The Brutes are also much slower in comparison to the Elites, which may be the prophet’s reason for giving the significantly larger brutes extra protection.

In regards to Elites being supposedly being more agile and more cunning:
“There was a flicker on his motion sensor-just ahead. It vanished.
John held up his hand. Blue team froze.
His motion detector was clear… A shadow moved around the same pillar John used for cover. It moved faster than an Elite-as fast as John.”
From Halo: First Strike.

“PHYSIOLOGY
Jiralhanae, named Brutes by humans, are a large, muscular pseudo-ursine sentient species predisposed to feral behavior. Their home planet Doisac yielded numerous predators throughout its evolutionary history, has aberrant terrestrial conditions and is roughly twice the gravity of Earth. This challenging but diverse environment forced the species to develop from fur-covered, temperamental, tree-dwelling savages into an aggressive species of pack hunters. Jiralhanae are incredibly strong and fast, with highly sensitive olfactory glands, enabling them to hunt down prey quickly even in unfamiliar environments. Without grooming, Jiralhanae become covered in a thick, matted fur which can vary in color but is most commonly brown or black. Beneath their fur is a tough, leathery skin. They have three fingers and an opposable thumb on each hand, with large cloven-toed feet bearing thick, hardened claws.”
https://www.halowaypoint.com/en-us/universe/species/jiralhanae

And in regards to the idea of Brutes being “mindless savages” or showing no signs of cunning, I point you at Halo: Last Light, or even one of the latest Canon Fodders.
Cethegus had always known his time would come. For over a decade he had led his pack with fervent conviction and fierce renown. Cethegus had climbed the ranks of Jiralhanae society armed with a deadly mixture of cunning and bloodlust. He’d outwitted Kig-Yar mercenaries and liberated the ridiculous mandibles from many a Sangheili’s skull. He’d slaughtered scores of humans across countless systems during the relentless march of the Covenant. He’d served the Prophets and honored the Path, but still one thing remained elusive to him: Opportunity.
https://www.halowaypoint.com/en-us/community/blog-posts/canon-fodder-brute-force

And there are many cases of Elites being bumbling idiots with zero signs of cunning or battle strategy.
“Let’s charge the Spartans with spears! It’s not like they have guns, right”
https://youtu.be/2jX6GLBWYqI
"Hey a Spartan jumped over me, why don’t I just put down my gun and charge myself off a cliff?
https://youtu.be/afMIqjYOSCY

One thing to consider is that agility, intelligence and cunning isn’t entirely dependant on your species, but more on the individual in question. There are several examples of Jiralhanae individuals showing remarkable signs, and there are examples showing them to be “mindless savages”, just like how there are examples of Sangheili individuals showing cunning and intellect, and examples of them being religious nut jobs. These traits, along with many others, are very dependant on the individual in question.

Brutes are always hilariously overpowered in the books I find. They’re pretty hyped up in First Strike, Contact Harvest, and even Broken Circle ( a book mostly about elites).

Broken Circle’s was especially bad as it was even a brute vs elite battle, and while yes, they had the element of surprise, brute armor and weapons are portrayed as being notably superior to their elite counterparts.

> 2533274964189700;12:
> Brutes are always hilariously overpowered in the books I find. They’re pretty hyped up in First Strike, Contact Harvest, and even Broken Circle ( a book mostly about elites).
>
> Broken Circle’s was especially bad as it was even a brute vs elite battle, and while yes, they had the element of surprise, brute armor and weapons are portrayed as being notably superior to their elite counterparts.

And the Elites haven’t? You do know that Hunters in the Dark exists right? You know, where two Elites somehow managed to take out dozens of Armigers in close quarters combat? Or the Elites that are able to deflect hard light bolts like a Jedi? Or how the Elites in the novel are greatly superior to the Spartans in that novel?

You do know that (the latter half of) Broken Circle takes place during Halo 2 right? Where the Brutes didn’t have that much armour, let alone shields, baring Tartarus? The only thing they wore was a few grenades, a belt, cloth and shoulder guards, the latter being quite significant in that fight in Broken Circle.

And in regards to the Brutes having superior weaponry, the Gravity Hammer is a superior weapon to energy swords right? Not only can the Gravity Hammer parry swords, but they can also create shockwaves and send people flying away just by being in mere proximity from the point of impact? But besides the Gravity Hammer, I don’t see anything showing that things like the Brute Spiker is superior to Plasma Rifles and Needlers, the former having showings in First Strike and the Cole Protocol that rank it to the equivalent of grenade launchers, the latter being capable of super combined explosions after enough shards hit an an un-shielded target, with the Brutes in Broken Circle and Halo 2 fitting into that category.

Also, the Brutes had both the element of surprise and had the advantage of numbers right? And the idea of certain Brutes tearing through a large amounts of Elites should surprise you. Especially considering how Chief and Arbiter can tear through a large amounts of enemies, but the idea of a Brute doing something similar is heresy?

And how is a shoulder guard superior to fully covered armour and shields? All they did was block a few Needler shards and a few sword swings.

Also, given that the Brutes are larger, stronger, greater to equal speed and agility and just as cunning (yes, Brutes are cunning), it’s not surprising to have a greater or equal amount of Brutes with the element of surprise to tear through a group of High Ranking Elites right?

I think most of the shielding power is just being exaggerated for the sake of making the Covenant seem incredibly powerful

Possible differences in strength could be 1. Truth in preparation for his coup wanted his troops better equipped - shielding included. 2. Sangheili pride - I believe it was in Ghosts of Onyx when the Covies are assaulting the portal room the commander orders the Elites to bring Kig-Yar style shields and the Elites did so with disdain, it wasn’t honourable to them. So perhaps shielding for Elites is purposely only made to give enough protection to maximise chances of getting into CQC but not so powerful they are invulnerable and at no risk - the thrill/honour is in the skill of survival rather than just the slaughter. Add to that there are mentions in the books of Elites being caught without having activated their shielding, maybe some of them never activate their shielding out of pride. We know they have high end shielding and the manufacturing capability.
Then again it may be better UNSC experience, knowing where best to concentrate fire and better ammo/weapons, if we take the Maccabeus example it was the start of the war, by the time Reach comes along that’s a lot of time to have researched.

> 2533274794866970;15:
> Possible differences in strength could be 1. Truth in preparation for his coup wanted his troops better equipped - shielding included. 2. Sangheili pride - I believe it was in Ghosts of Onyx when the Covies are assaulting the portal room the commander orders the Elites to bring Kig-Yar style shields and the Elites did so with disdain, it wasn’t honourable to them. So perhaps shielding for Elites is purposely only made to give enough protection to maximise chances of getting into CQC but not so powerful they are invulnerable and at no risk - the thrill/honour is in the skill of survival rather than just the slaughter. Add to that there are mentions in the books of Elites being caught without having activated their shielding, maybe some of them never activate their shielding out of pride. We know they have high end shielding and the manufacturing capability.
> Then again it may be better UNSC experience, knowing where best to concentrate fire and better ammo/weapons, if we take the Maccabeus example it was the start of the war, by the time Reach comes along that’s a lot of time to have researched.

  1. Quite possible, even likely, especially considering he was planing on taking out the Elites, so it makes sense to equip them with superior gear. Also, what makes a tanky unit scarier: make him even tankier.

  2. While it makes sense in context of the Halo universe, logically, it makes zero sense to purposely use inefficient tech. Then again, in Halo Wars a bunch of Elites charged at 3 Spartans with nothing but spears, and had no shields activated while dropping out of active camo. While I’ve seen people praise that scene, I honestly never like it just from the Sangheili incompetence present in that scene. Still, interesting explanation.

In regards to the possible disparity from the accounts of Contact Harvest and media that takes place afterwards, in Contact Harvest the Marines used MA5Bs, which had been in service for some time prior to the Covenant War. In Reach (which I use as a Notable example), Noble Team used MA37s, a model which was over a century old, and Noble Team had initially thought they were taking out terrorists, not Covenant, in their first engagements with Elites (in Cutscene), so I doubt they would be as equiped as they should be. A bullet will quickly take out an innie terrorist effectively, no matter what type of bullet, especially if a Spartan’s behind it. I’m speaking metaphorically, not literally.

What I’m referring to:

Here it takes 8 rounds to break.
7 rounds are used to break the shields.

And if I remember correctly a Spec Ops Elite took 30 or so shots in Halo: First a Strike, either to the torso or back. So Halo is very inconsistent when it comes to Elite shielding. But if you think Elite shielding is bad and inconsistent, just look at the UNSC MAC gun. Still, this example doesn’t come close to Maccabeus’ shielding or the ability to shrug off machine gun rounds from a Warthog.