Friday, April 9, 2010
Strategy Guide for 'Brothers'
This is a strategy guide for the Penultimate mission of "The Will of Atai": "Brothers."
If you do not want spoilers, STOP READING NOW
This is the primary melee-style map in the campaign (the other being the first half of "Kirin"). Since it is far more dependent on your melee skills than anything else, the stronger your melee is coming in to the mission, the more likely you are to survive.
This post will be a discussion of how to do well in this mission, even if your melee is closer to a C- than an A+.
That being said, everything that follows is MY strategy... I think that there are a myriad of strong options for what you can do in this map and how you go about winning.
First, let's talk about losing. There are three ways to lose:
1 - Thulera (in either form) dies. On your first playthrough, it might be wise to keep a shuttle relatively near him in case he ends up getting stuck somewhere. As my videos will show, I use him throughout the mission, but more at the very beginning and at the very end. I don't usually use him to fight the mutas because the risk of him dying is just too high.
2 - Your base gets completely destroyed. This has never happened to me, and probably won't happen to you.
3 - One of your allied heroes die. If you hide Thulera somewhere, and then afk and do nothing, this is how the game will end. (It will usually be Jack that dies first if you literally do nothing but instantly afk.) However, if you really do absolutely NOTHING to defend your allies and let the terran base get hit by the full brunt of the Mutalisks at the countdown, Hyperion will almost always die. I find that keeping a little as one Dark Archon with Maelstorm will often be enough to keep Hyperion alive and well.
In my average run, there are something like four "quarters" of uneven length (the last quarter the longest, varying depending on how you do on the preceding three fourths). My slow runs tend to be about an hour and a half. My fast runs can get close to an hour. I would really love to hear anyone's strategy that manages to beat it in under an hour.
Now units I don't build:
-Carriers. A little known fact is that Cerebrate Kull hates carriers.
-Scouts. That can't kill enemy heroes, so screw em.
-My first objective is to take the center. The southern ramp from the ice to the snow is what I currently feel is the best choke, but I only came to this conclusion after playing 2-3 times. I've tried a few different chokes (including not even taking the center at all), and I find that although I have to build less and take fewer casualties, ultimately my allies suffer much more. If you take the center, your terran ally is more likely to actually do some damage with its tank pushes.
-It's important to not just expand and build cannons. It *really* helps to start researching things like maelstorm and to get your templar archives up. Dark archons make or break your defense through the entire first half hour of the game, and continue to be useful later on. (No, you cannot get MC)
-When Cerebrate Kull taunts you or informs you you're about to die, that means he's going to send an attack aimed at yours *AND* your ally's bases. Prepare for this; always keep a dark archon by your allied heroes/main command posts. The first event is a hero drop that occurs about ten minutes into the game.
-This section of the game is after the hero drop and before the muta attack at the end of the countdown. During this time, I find it really helps to accomplish the following:
a) taking at least one air-only expansion (it's not unusual that both starting bases, both my early expansions, and the center will all wipe in late game)
b) getting and energy for dark archons and templar
c) researching recall and getting arbiters and reavers for the transition into late game
-If you do nothing else other than prepare to survive the mutalisk attack at the end of the countdown, you're probably doing fine. If you can come out of it with a strong recovery and minimal losses for you and your allies, you are doing good. However, it gets progressively more difficult to kill Benedict after this point. A lot of cloaked wraiths and scourges start flying around.
-This section is what you do after the mutalisk attack at the end of the countdown and *presumably* before you kill Infested Benedict. You don't *have* to kill Benedict, it is entirely optional. However, if you don't, I find it very hard to maintain an economy that can hold out long enough for me to take out Kull.
-This actually can be the shortest section in the game, if you prepared for it. My method is to hallucinate arbiters, and drop reavers pretty much top of him, with an observer so he can't cloak.
-At this point, all you need to do is kill Kull. I have been experimenting lately and actually started to incorporate doing hallucinated arbiter drops to do this one too. Corsairs are very useful during this part, for webbing the ridiculous number of invincible sunkens. You will likely need to do some scourge control (goons and templar should be able to keep them in check). I also am usually mined out of the two starting bases (if they're still alive), the natural to the right of your main, and the center is taking such heavy assault from OJ that it's worth it to fly to the air-only expo in the bottom right and take it in case I run out of money first. However, what you have left and what you need to do at this point will greatly vary. It might be that you need to kill OJ and take the mid-right expansion as well (which pretty much never gets touched but is hard to defend).
There's some other stuff that happens after Kull dies but I'll leave it to you to see that... I've never had serious trouble dealing with it.
Good luck, have fun!