SC2 HOTS Brutal Campaign: Mission 20 The Reckoning – All Achievements and Secondary Objectives

It’s the final mission of the game!  This mission is unique because every single unit that Mengsk creates are specialized named groups of mercenaries.

Among the worst to deal with are the medivac/reapers who can take out an entire army by themselves if Kerrigan is around to carry weight.

Luckily for this mission you have Kerrigan and she kills everything very easily, even these hero units.

This mission is more about numbers and less about composition.  You will need to have something to soak tank blasts (zerglings, ultralisks, abberations, or roaches) and you will need to diversify between range and melee range units.  Flying units have largely been useless in this mission, despite there being two giant hero waves of air units.

In this map there are three Zerg entry points you can unlock.  They are unlocked by destroying the bunkers in front of them.  Two of them have planetary fortresses guarding them.  A great and easy solution to this is to roll banelings into them.  Combined with the splitter upgrade these banelings will get rid of all these static defenses cost effectively.

The mission has two achievements.

Achievement: Swarm Guardian

This achievement merely asks that Raynor’s Hyperion does not take any damage.  This is a relatively easy thing to accomplish and on Brutal it is very important to protect Jim anyway.

Unlike in other difficulties, on Brutal none of your allies really carry their weight.  After releasing any of the three Zerg leaders they wil launch a massive force that will all die to one round of tank fire.  James Raynor is equally useless as each of his attacks is immediately quashed.

The attacks by the enemy have a timing.  After James Raynor sends his forces forward and loses all of his forces he will immediately get counter attacked by Mengsk.  The first wave is a group of banshees and vikings, the second wave is battlecruisers and siege tanks, the third wave is an Odin with Goliaths.

To deal with the first wave your unit of choice will be the LURKER!  Yes it’s finally useful.  Create 4-5 lurkers and place them at the entrance of Raynor’s base.  Once Mengsk sends his first group to kill the Hyperion, slightly move them a little north of the bunker.  All of the vikings will land here and immediately die to lurker damage.  Raynor’s  thors can deal with the banshees very effectively, as can marines.

The second wave you will need to either bring Kerrigan or hydralisks.  It is also possible to intercept this if you have made enough progress with destroying Mengsk’s base.  The frenzy ability is particularly useful in adding extra damage.

The third wave is the Odin.  This waves is the easiest and can be destroyed simply by dropping a spawn baneling on top of Odin which will kill all of the goliaths.  After that you merely attack him head on with your army and he dies very easily.

If you defeat these three waves Mengsk will not do anymore attacks that can destroy the Hyperion.

Achievement: Speed Bump

Speed Bump is not accomplishable with Swarm Guardian.  Unfortunately the timings work out so that if you are attacking aggressively into the enemy, you can’t save Jim.

Speed Bump benefits very heavily from a fast max tactic.  Fast maxing generally involves high amounts of roaches mixed in with some zerglings.  As you push forward you can start mixing in hydralisks as more of your army dies out.

You should have Spawn Banelings for the fast burst damage (with splitting banelings), the single target nuke ability, having the ability to Crushing Grip will be great or area of effect single target is amazing as well.  The Pod ability is useful but the area of effect damage spell can also be useful.

You should make sure to have your abilities on CD almost at all times.  You can use Kerrigan to do some damage by herself a lot of the times without risking too much of your army.

Head northeast with your army, this is the path of least resistance.

Upon getting this achievement you will also get the Mastery which involves killing Odin before he gets to Raynor.

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SC2 HOTS Brutal Campaign: Mission 19 Death from Above – With All Achievements

This mission has two acheivements Terran up the Sky and Apex Predator.

Terran up the Sky can be achieved within the first few minutes.  After your primal leader knocks out the generator you will have a few minutes to do some damage.  The achievement is to knock out 20 buildings before Drahara’s second attempt at knocking out a generation.

Start by attacking the southeastern base, it will offer little defense.  After this is out spend your time trying to hit outlying buildings around the planetery fortress.  Kerrigan’s nuke spell can be very useful in quickly dispelling enemies.  Spawn banelings as always is very useful.

Once you are at 1:30 on the clock Kerrigan’s ultimate spell will pop up.  Hopefully you went with Drop Pod.  Drop Pod on top of the planetary and destroy it.  You can just A+move north to clean up and you should be able to knock out 25-35 buildings by doing this.  Be aggressive with Kerrigan’s spells as they will dispel buildings very quickly.

Accomplishing Apex Predator is not especially challenging.  However note that the longer you take the more damage your units will take.

Drahka (the primal leader) in the first round will have a heal.  If you feel like you will still die he can burrow and wait for his heal to come back up.

In the second round he gets a yank.  This yank is far more useful than it is sold as.  The pull ability not only pulls a unit to Drahka but it also happens to stun the unit.  This makes it not only useful in these little engagements, but it also makes it useful later on when he joins the main army.

In the third round he gets a spawn primals ability.  This ablilty allows him to call in two primals who can jump up like he can.  In the third round you can actually skip over a lot of the fighting by jumping along the top.  This also keeps Drahka safe from all of those evil things on the ground.

For the ground attack having an army composed largely of roaches and hydralisks will be very valuable.  Note that on the main attack the psi destroyers will actually just out right destroy giant chunks of your army.  So when it comes to this final engagement, it’s wise to right click all of your units on it.

Drahka is especially useful because he is not effected by it.  As well since he can melee air units he can solo the final area.

Unfortunately just like Krukov, this is one awesome hero you will never see again.

SC2 HOTS Brutal Campaign: Mission 18 Planet Fall – With All Achievements and Secondary Objectives

You are almost there, a full brutal run with all achievements!

In this mission you can easily accomplish all achievements and the mastery on brutal.

The two achievements are called Fully Operational (let no bial launcher die) and Death Start (complete the secondary objective before the fifth bial launcher lands).

So for this make sure to have the drop pods ability, this will be very useful.  Almost everything else can be used as you choose.  I found jumping banelings and jumping zerglings to be very useful for engagements however.

To start you can have Kerrigan chip away at enemy buildings using her abilities.  As an opening you should head northwest of your base and take control of that space.  This will give you access to another mineral patch and two more gas geysers.

The majority of your army should be roaches for most of this.  Mixing in some abberations has strong effectiveness.  You should be constantly upgrading ranged attack and armor using two evolution chambers.

After this you can start removing some enemy buildings.  There is an awkward position north of your base that gets in the way of reinforcements.  Removing this one first will help you a tonne.

As well you can move to the east of your base and get rid of that door and the base there very quickly.  This is where you should drop your first drop pod.  With the drop pod troops you should be able to wipe out the base very easily and plant down a hatchery to start snaking the minerals and gas.

After this you should only be attacking in the north for a bit.  Attacking north means you will be intercepting most attack squads that come after your bile launchers.

Your second base should always have about six spine crawlers.  Every other bile launchers should have at least 3.  You should put six at the bile launcher to the east of your base.

After you have three bases fully saturated and a nice bit of roaches (around 110 supply) you should switch over to hydralisk tech as you will need ranged units and you will also enjoy the increased damage.

To get the mastery have Kerrigan and a small group of units destroy the remaining bases using drop pod timings.  There is a base center north, northeast, southeast, and northwest.

A lot of the time you can rally your next group of units to defend bile launchers as well.

As you will see in my video above I was sleeping and missed the mastery by six whole buildings which were very easy to kill.  Best of luck and good hunting.

SC2 HOTS Brutal Campaign: Mission 17 Conviction – With All Achievements and Secondary Objectives

In this mission you get Kerrigan and small packs of random zerg units that will spawn along the way.

Some key important Kerrigan abilities to get include Spawn Banelings (as always), her one-shot nuke (Tier 1 talent), and Crushing Grips from Tier 2.

I’ve found overall the manueverability of the jumping banelings pays off more than that of the higher damage splitting banelnigs.  The same is true of jumping zerglings (which do more damage) being more useful than having more banelings.

Throughout this mission you should either have Crushing Grip or Spawn Banelings on cooldown at all times.  These talents should be used interchangably to deal with giant packs of enemies.  In massive rooms you should obviously use both.

Note the achievement Saturday Night Live is NOT to complete the whole mission in under 8 minutes, only the first half.  This is done through intense pacing.

The achievement “Staying Alive” makes it so Kerrigan cannot fall below 50% health.  Your first inhibition will be to grab the Mend talent to keep Kerrigan alive, don’t.  Getting Mend will only slow you down all that much.  Instead always make sure you have roaches, abberations, zerglings or banelings to soak some of that damage.

With the burstiness of the talents you will be picking up Kerrigan won’t take that much damage anyway.  The only real threat to Kerrigan are random ghost snipes.  However ghosts prioritize infestors so as long as you have infestors around Kerrigan will be fine.  If you don’t you can just burrow Kerrigan until you hear the snipes go off.

The second half of the mission you can play it slow and cool.  No need to take any insanely high risks and tones of time to wait on key cooldowns before engagements.  The final room will look scary but remember you will get some ultralisks popping out.

SC2 HOTS Brutal Campaign: Mission 16 With Friends Like These… – With All Achievements and Secondary Objectives

This mission has two achievements Minedcraft and Space Ace.

Minedcraft is easy enough.  For this you simply have to get all minerals.  You should note after a new base comes up there is always a cluster of minerals next to it.  There is also one last minute mineral patch near Mira Hann’s base.  You’ll be fully upgraded before you collect all of these minerals.

Space Ace involves not getting hit by magnet mines.  The magnet mine will travel in a straight path.  There is a red line indicating the path they take.

If you are really close to the Magnet Mine you will have to make a space jump to get away.  However as a standard you should always try to engage the magnet mines at maximum activation range so that you can just move away from them.

Completing the remainder of the level involves beating a Pirate Ship.

The Pirate Ship has a special area of effect EMP that will knock your ship and small ships out of power.  If you time it right you can make a split second jump away from it to dodge it.  However be wary, if you jump out of the direct fighting area, you will reset the fight.

After the Pirate Ship turns invisible you can see a little sillouette of it moving.  Simply make sure you are away from this cloaked ship… or make sure you have your hands on the jump button.

Upon beating this pirate ship you will gain access to a special new ability, the EMP.  The most potent combination for this is to use your jump ability to jump into a pile of enemies and then EMP all of them.  Note that even the towers can be EMPed

As you level up the Yomato Cannon will get stronger and stronger.  At max power it wipes out defensive towers in one shot.

Best of luck and good hunting.

SC2 HOTS Brutal Campaign: Mission 15 Phantoms of the Void – With All Achievements and Secondary Objectives

This is one of the few missions where you will not have Kerrigan kicking around.  So make sure to load up as many economy boosting abilities as possible (Twin Drones and Automated Vespene is great).

Instead you will get Stukov.  Stukov is a liberated independent infested terran with the power to deal a very powerful blast that reduces armor and summon a group of infested terrans.

There are two achievements to unlock in this bad boy.  The first is not have Stukov die, that’s relatively easy…. you just can’t let him die by always surrounding him with a lot of units.

The second The Phantoms Menaced is a little harder.

This achievement requires you to destroy two hybrids in close proximity of each other.

Before getting this it is important to note that you should have a very large army.  Initially you will want to build it full of zerglings and a lot of ultralisks.  However after getting to around 6-8 ultralisks you will want to start filling in as many hydralisks as possible… until the majority of the army was hydralisks.

Hydralisks will help you deal with air and most importantly allow you to nuke down hybrids quickly.

On your second temple it will start spawning two hybrids.  On your third or fourth temple you need to get the hybrid down to around 10% health and then kill the second one.  Once the second one dies  the first will die automatically very quickly.

Since only the second achievement is hard and can be accomplished very early on completing the mastery is relatively easy.  This involves cleaning up the two protoss bases.  The AI will inform you not to do this but do it… push in.  You will need to replace your 4-6 ultralisk numbers after every single push.  Ultralisks are very good for pushing and absorbing damage.

With a large army of hydralisks the remainder of the temples will be a synch.

SC2 HOTS Brutal Campaign: Mission 14 Hand of Darkness – With All Achievements and Secondary Objectives

Hand of Darkness is the mission in which Blizzard pulls the sheeps wool over your eyes.  For the entirety of Starcraft 2 the zerg were the ultimate enemy with various changing Zerg leaders from the Overmind, to Zsaz, and finally to Kerrigan.  But the Xel Naga weapon removed the essence of Aman from Kerrigan making her pure and no longer in control of Aman… an entity that has never been mentioned up until this point.

This mission you face off against a shapeshifter named Narud who Kerrigan is convinced she has never met despite Narud constantly informing her that he remembers her.  Of course for people who played the original campaign they’ll remember that Duran (Narud backwards) guided the United Earth Directorate into Kerrigan’s hands and eventually Duran abandoned Kerrigan for his own hybrid zerg-protoss projects.

So to say that this battle has been leading up for quite some time would be understating.  Most importantly they are introducing the new major villain, Aman.  Many suspect this is so that Blizard can make Starcraft into an MMO later on… but honestly who would want to play as a first person Zerg?  That game would play as terribly as Aliens: Colonial Marine.

Oh wait you’re here about the mission, not my introduction on why I hate this mission.

Hand of Darkness requires you to kill Hybrids as they spawn from cages before they kill off Kerrigan.  There are 7 in total.  They spawn in the order of the following:

heartofkdarnessmapKeep in mind this map is very important because the achievement Power Underwhelming requires you to pre-emptively open three cells before their natural time.

This achievement doesn’t come off as being too hard because Kerrigan with a few unit can destroy any Hybrid.  Simply follow the numbers and make sure to open the first three first and you will quite easily get Power Underwhelming.

Getting Shattered Command is a little more challenging.  This achievement requires you to destroy two command centers.  Looking at the map above the first command center is directly west of your first base (I’ve plopped down a new base there) and the second is west of the 6th and 7th hybrid cells, there is a ramp up there.

You have to destroy the first command center before you kill off the five hybrid.  You have to kill off the second command center before the final two hybrids are released.

Unit compositions do not matter too much but some tips.

First, stay away from hydralisks.  With the number of tanks and flamebats an army of hydralisks, despite their high DPS, would get torn a sunder in seconds.

Also infestors tend not to be too useful.  The enemy uses high amounts of mech and spreads his infantry very well.  There is really never much worth taking over either via neural parasite.

For my pushes I stuck with roaches (with the spawn roachlings ability) and zerglings (with the jumping ability).  Having jumping zerglings allowed them to jump up ramps and snipe out tanks.  It also offered something for the tanks to hit that wasn’t my main army ball.

The roaches were heavily armored and able to take far more than the lings.  It also didn’t hurt that the hybrids happened to just wipe out lings in seconds, whereas roaches they had more problems with.

The two secondary objectives are must grabs.  They will help you take command centers and help you kill hybrids.  You can grab both with very little effort and very little extra time added on to the mission.