- "All units. Expose all shadows."
- ― Combine Ordinal[src]
Combine Ordinals act as team leaders in Combine forces, usually heading a squad of Combine Grunts alongside an individual Combine Charger or Combine Suppressor unit. They wear a dark blue outfit fitted with a medium amount of armor and carry a backpack with what appears to be a portable radio transceiver inside. Ordinals can deploy Manhacks to flush out hiding enemies. During combat, Ordinals can be heard frequently giving out orders to their teammates which they will acknowledge. Sometimes Ordinals also make unique commanding gestures to their squad members. If a squad's Ordinal is killed, 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,a Manhack strapped to their waists, and a pistol magazine on their vest, despite not visibly carrying a sidearm.
Although not as strong as the Chargers and Suppressors, the Ordinals still prove to be the most versatile and intelligent Combine soldier type, and can use their armaments to lethal effect. A Combine squad is usually headed by a pair of Manhacks deployed by the Ordinal, and they can stay behind the front and continuously release them mid-fight, distracting the player so other units can advance on them. Due to their weapon range and good accuracy, Ordinals tend to hang back and provide overwatch for other units, when possible. Be mindful of their sight-lines, as they can easily flank and deal large amounts of damage on higher difficulties.
Behind the scenes
The unused Combine Soldier model includes placeholder texture variations for several different soldier classes, among these being a "Commander" class in a yellow suit which may be an early form of the Ordinal.
Rather than have a Pulse Rifle as is their standard loadout present throughout the rest of the game, the Ordinal seen during the safehouse raid in the opening wields an SMG. In the game's announcement trailer, an Ordinal is seen equipped with a Grenade. However, only one is ever seen equipped with them in-game. If given grenades using Developer tools, their ai is still programmed to use them.
The Ordinals' pauldrons feature a modified Combine Elite logo, with the center skull being replaced with the head of a Vortigaunt. This insignia may be derived from the scrapped "Vortigaunt capture" soldier class, as seen in the concept artworks. It may also indicate that the Ordinals are tasked with combating Vortigaunts.
Unused Combine Soldier model with placeholder "Commander" texture.
An Ordinal pulls out a flashlight.
An Ordinal interrogates Eli Vance while a Charger restrains him.
The Ordinal in The Final Hours of Half-Life: Alyx.