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I've gotten as far as Venice, and I haven't had much difficulty with any of the fights so far. The one thing that seems particularly dangerous is the heavily armored knight-type guards. What I have found to work:

  • 2 Throwing knives take one down, provided you have room and time to throw effectively.
  • Button-mashing hidden blade attacks also kill them, as they can't recover and counter between those quick attacks.

However, they usually show up in a group of guards, and both of these options leave me open to other attackers. It's also hard to ignore the heavies and kill off the others, because I can't defend against their attacks (this also disables my counterattack, though I can still dodge).

Is there any surefire quick-kill method for these guys (when they're among a group)? Should I just resign myself to running around like a ninny, slowly poking them to death?

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3  
You play an assassin... You're supposed to run around like a ninny and poke things to death. ;) –  Aeo Jan 4 '11 at 18:08
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@Aeo - granted, but I want them to die fast, not die of tetanus two months from now. –  sjohnston Jan 4 '11 at 18:09
    
You can block Brutes light attacks. Their heavy attacks are unblockable, but they stand with their axes pointing up for quite some time before one of these, so you can predict and dodge. –  Wilerson Jan 4 '11 at 20:21

9 Answers 9

up vote 13 down vote accepted

I actually just finished this game yesterday, here's the ways I dealt with Brutes:

  • If you aren't actually in a conflict (the guards are just standing around or walking and you want to fight them for whatever reason), try to start with an assassination of at least one Brute in the group. You can usually get above them and do an air assassination, even better once you get the double hidden blade and can take out two guards immediately.
  • If you're already fighting a lot of enemies, Smoke Bombs are one of the best strategies, throw one down and then try to assassinate as many Brutes as possible while all the enemies are disabled. Repeat as necessary.
  • If there's not a lot of enemies hitting you at once (which can make it difficult), disarming a Brute works really well. Switch to unarmed, and then it's the same command as a counter-kill (RT+X on 360) when they take a swing at you. This will take their weapon and you'll be able to one-shot them with it by attacking immediately after the disarm. Watch out for "Smash" attacks though, which you can see them charging up before they swing. You can't disarm during these, you'll get knocked down if you try. Use the dodge move to avoid them instead.
  • If it's a conflict that you get to initiate, it can help a lot to hire Mercenaries to fight with you. They'll keep some of the guards occupied (hopefully the Brutes), and you can then backstab them for one-shot kills.
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For the heavy's I've done it a couple of ways, the easiest (only IF you know you're going to be attacking a heavy) is to use the hidden blade and kill then first.

During a fight use smoke bombs, throw one down, they all start coughing, kill heavy's with hidden blade. Or you can get out of combat and start running around, using strafing I think, try to get up close to the heavy's and use hidden blade.

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It's been a while since I played this game... and don't have access to my copy (it's on loan to a friend half an ocean away), but if I recall the correct guards you are looking to kill, I believe the only way I handled them was getting really good at counter attacks / disarms. Taking away their weapons and one-hitting them with it.

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Yes i prefer to fight them bare hand, this way you can disarm and kill easy. It is always good to throw a smoke bomb. My personal favorite is poison, one or more of them and let them kill each other. This also works great for assasination missions, do not need to kill the target. Just poison their bodyguard. ;)

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+1 for poison. For the "Peacekeeper" memory, the clock doesn't start until the first Brute is killed, and you could eliminate 5 of them by their dying from the poison and at least 2 more by their wildly swinging their weapons. That leaves you with no more than three of them to fight. –  DragonLord Jul 4 at 18:58

I have been having trouble with this too, but after reading this I found a cool tip: after disarming them, keep their big weapon. They can't counter it, so its extremely helpfull.

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Disarming is the best way to kill brutes. I have fought them in groups of nearly 10 brutes at a time very easily. Just disarm any of the brutes and kill him with his own weapon and then counter another one.

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This was included in Chad's answer. Considering merging and deleting yours. –  DrFish Nov 16 '12 at 7:41

After having a bit of trouble with these guys, I managed to kill them three ways. First of all, I like to just air assassinate (normal assassinate works well but air assassinate is more fun) run and hide and do this over and over until they're all dead. Second is just hit them with knives or bullets. And third is poison one of the people in their group and then hope they die.

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I found the double hidden blades work especially when they're distracted. One of my assassination missions was to kill 10 brutes in 60 seconds. First few times I failed obviously, but I finally accomplished it in 40 seconds, with the help of hired mercenaries. While they were occupied with my hired help I one shot most of them with the dual blades, two of them at a time when possible.

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This was covered in Chad's answer. Please vote it if you find it useful (or not), or contribute otherwise. –  DrFish Nov 16 '12 at 7:40

I like to use a light weapon, taunt them and when they attack, dodge them. They need time to recover from their attacks, which makes it perfect to attack with light weapons or daggers. If you're in a sticky situation, with pesky crossbowmen everywhere, plus being surrounded by heavy's, throw down a smoke bomb and run away, or poison them while they're distracted. the other guards snap out of it and all kill each other while you kill the crossbowmen. It's fun to watch.

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