Smash and Grab is an early mission and getting all the achievements is relatively easy. What is extremely difficult – in my opinion – is getting all the achievements on “Brutal” difficulty. I have only found a few other people on YouTube who can do this.
You can see my effort on video toward the end of this article. I did it as my 4th mission, I didn’t have mercenaries and could only afford stim packs and projectile accelerators.
In the following video, I take a look at what other people have done with this mission. There is one fellow who uses the strategy I thought up (I didn’t find his video till just now), in the end, but he cunningly goes out earlier than I did to clean up the west side of the bridge. He is never pushed for time.
My best time is 14.35 but that was in a previous campaign. Maybe I’ll try his method one day.
The first achievemnt is to finish the mission on “Normal” difficulty. The second is to grab the artifact without losing any units to the stone guardians that stand guard and come to life to kill intruders. This also is granted on “Normal” difficulty. The third achievement – the time achievement – is only granted on “Hard” difficulty; that is completing the mission in under 15 minutes.
Achievements on Brutal
To get all of these achievements on Brutal” is extremely difficult. First, you’re given only 3 Marauders at the beginning. Then you have access to fewer minerals and less gas. And thirdly there is a Protoss Void Ray that you will not get past without at least half a dozen marines.
On “Hard” there is no need to worry about marines; because there is no Void Ray. The 3 marines you are given at the start are sufficient to take care of the Zerg Mutalisks that come in the third Zerg attack. Finishing in under 15 minutes negates any need to worry about defending the base after that.
An Exacting Challenge
Every second counts, even little mistakes are costly. Remembering to place your barracks in a control group is crucial, for example. You don’t want to be going back to base to do this as you move out. You need to be across the bridge in less than 12 minutes.
On Brutal, there is a High Templar waiting to storm you. He needs to be taken out by Marauders only – at least four – after you have taken out the Photon Cannons. Any medics or marines in range will get killed instantly. Knock out the High Templar and get back immediately. Have the whole group attack the sentries while you go back and build the last of the supply depots and set up SCVs to repair your bunkers as needed – 5 should do it.
(You need to build 9 supply depots)
Gas and Upgrades
Get vespene gas production going after you take care of the Stalkers. Build an engineering bay after the first Zerg attack. Get the upgrades under way early.
Don’t build too many in the early stages. Keep an eye on the supply and keep a buffer of 8, otherwise, you will be short on troop numbers and medics (make at least four to start with), when it’s time to move out just after the 9-minute mark.
The Crucial Part
This comes after you cross the bridge: getting past the Void Ray and pushing into the Protoss base. You need the stop step technique – I use the “s” key and the cursor. Keep checking to see that your mobile rally point (usually a medic), is still alive.
Take care to shield your medics and be careful not to let them make their way to the front – which they annoyingly tend to do. I tried to convey all of this on the video but got drowned out by gunfire. I will have to look at reducing the noise in future recordings.
The Stone Guardians
Jim Raynor gets a huge shock when these things come to life and start zapping his men with their death rays. DON’T take any marines into that final grotto. You’ll need plenty of Medics at the center of a large group of Marauders. It takes around 20 seconds to kill these stone freaks. Get in there by 14m 30sec to be under 15 minutes.
The way I collect the final Protoss relics is something I thought of independently, but there is one player on YouTube who came up with the same idea. I made a prior attempt which was done much quicker but the sound was atrocious. A few days ago I thought had lost my skills, and that I would never be able to all the achievements on Brutal.
Okay, I got a bit nutty, I’m still getting the hang of this (voice-over). The sound was still not good. And yes I mispronounced chrysalis.
Monetising Your Love of Gaming
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I really like the StarCraft II Wings of Liberty Campaign. It has a lot of character, some humor, a good storyline, and it’s loads of fun.
Thank you for reading. I would welcome any feedback or questions in the space below.