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This subject is from the Combine era.
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The Combine Ordinal is one of the four Overwatch units that are a part of the Overwatch Commando branch tasked with commanding operations relating The Vault. They serve as commanding officers in the chain of command of the Overwatch commando force stationed within the Quarantine Zone and briefly deployed throughout City 17 in Half-Life: Alyx.

Overview

Combine Ordinals are the commanding officers of the Overwatch Commando forces stationed within the Quarantine Zone, tasked with the protection and secrecy of The Vault. They have authority over other Combine forces and typically act as team or squad leaders in command, usually heading a squad of Combine Grunts alongside Combine Charger or Combine Suppressor units for support.

They are visually distinct to Combine Grunts, and more similar to Combine Soldiers in standard-issue armor and gear. They wear a dark blue heavy fatigues-like outfit with body armor over the upper-body sections with paddings on their arms, thighs and knees. They carry a backpack with what appears to be a portable radio transceiver. Ordinals can deploy Manhacks to flush out hiding enemies. If an Ordinal is killed in combat, his remaining squad members will report to Overwatch over the radio that their leader is down, rendering their team tactics disordered and disorganized from then on. They carry what seems to be a predecessor of the Pulse Rifle (Although the Ordinal seen during the safehouse raid wields an SMG), Manhacks, and a pistol magazine on their vest, indicating they carry a sidearm, however they never use it. An Ordinal is seen equipped with a grenade in the announcement trailer however they are not equipped with them in-game. Their armament and armor make them threatening foes, but they are still weaker than Chargers or Suppressors.

Tactics

Combine Ordinals will deploy manhacks to distract the player, so that other units can advance. However, Ordinals will lower their weapons when deploying a manhack, which temporarily renders them vulnerable.

Additionally, it's recommended to listen to Ordinals' voicelines in order to predict attacks, as they will command other units from time to time.

Behind the scenes

Prior to the release, the Combine Ordinal was seemingly referred to as a Combine Commander and had a completely different texture, which was featured a grey gas mask, a whitish suit with a yellow tint, yellow & green armor and black boots. This variant was more similar to a Half-Life 2 Combine Soldier rather than the retail Ordinal.

Another scrapped concept art of the Ordinal featured an unit riding a Synth horse and holding a "stun lance" which had the appearance of an elongated stun baton. The unit's gas mask was different, with the goggles' lenses lying widely apart. It also didn't feature any arm or leg padding, albeit the torso was fully armored. The unit wore a backpack which had a long antenna protruding out of it, indicating there's a radio inside. On the other hand, the horse was notably missing its head, which was replaced by a synthetic skull, although it didn't feature any other modifications. This idea was scrapped most likely due to its odd appearance and ineffectiveness in combat.

Later, an early version of the Ordinal featured a white gas mask similar to a Combine Grunt's, however it was changed to black.

Gallery

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List of appearances

References

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