Hugi Magazine 32: Say It With Flowers

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Star Craft Special Hints & Tips (By Fable Fox)

After I finished my first book, I played Star Craft: Brood War. First, I needed to rest. Second, my PC is 5 year old, so that is a game that I can install and play. Since it's a very old game, my friend willingly lent me his. I finished it for quite a time now, uninstalled it, returned it. I did read some walkthroughs and saw the differences between what people did and what I did.

There is no right or wrong answer, and Star Craft is a great game that leads to a lot of possibilities. I realized that while most people choose the gung ho way - this is due to the fact that you could always churn out new units - I cared for each of them personally. When I won, I found out that I should 'mine' resources much less than the PC, but I kill much much more, and tended to get killed less. These are the reasons:

Human #1 : Drone / Tank / Robot Combination.

I'm a forgetful person, so I forgot what the robot that walks on two legs is called. When I play as a human, I really love to keep this formation: 8 robots in front, 4 tanks following, and two drones behind. This, in a way, has led to an almost invincible team. At times, I will send more tanks, bots, and drones. You also need detector units to uncloak wraiths - but you know that, right?

Human #2 : Megaship SixPack

I should have written this article whilst playing the game. Six or eight of that big flying airships can make a short work of any level. Really. Three airports and 12 or 14 drones is enough. You must wait before the action starts, but when it does, the level ends faster and easier than when using any other technique. Another four drones to fix things up, on a transport - can keep all of them alive. Yes, four drones can fix one megaship at a time if you order them to. The health increases quite fast. This combination is so cool, I just went through, shot dangerous structures and units, and just destroyed the mission objectives. In the destroyed raynor command center, and the final human level, the only building that I shot was the turret, bunker, and mission objectives. The main reason is, when I'm near enough to shoot the main building, I'm near enough to shoot mission objectives and win. So why bother? Protoss don't have air superiority, so using this technique is cool!

PS - In the level where the enemy has snipers with lockdown, if you can create a medic - put four of them in a transport. They can unlock any ship instantly, not to mention it costs them little energy.

Alien (?) : Bomboardier(?) and Hydralisk

So I forgot even the race name. So sorry. You know I'm a forgetful person, right? I only used hydralisk and in the later levels, the bomboardier (the flying crab that shoots far and is very powerful). Hydralisks guard the sky, and the crab thingy guards the land. 12 of each, that is it. The scorpion thing that casts plague is great fun too. Before you wreck a base, send one in each direction. It can reduce a lot of buildings (specially farms) to a very low number of hitpoints. When you send your hydralisk in, the building is already in bad condition, and it will require far less firepower to blow it up. For Protoss, since they cannot heal (except for armour), plague can reduce them to their armour worth + 1. For buildings, this means half hitpoints. The thing is, the computer doesn't register it as death. So you can come in and make a wreck, and the computer doesn't know they only have half the power.

Protoss : Knight & Dragoons. The Worm thing too.

The good thing about Protoss is that they have armour. The bad thing is that their health cannot be fixed/increased. So try not to allow their armour to be reduced to 0. My tactic before the worm that create bomb can be produced is: Send a group of dragoon. Watch which one is getting attack, pull him back. This is good against a small number of enemy and that alien building that shoot up from under the ground. The good thing about Protoss is that they're so powerful. After the worm things destroy any dangerous buildings, the knight and dragoons can make short work of anything.

Micro & Macro Management.

There are two types of StarCraft players: the micro type and the macro type. The micro handles the units indivually and manually, while the macro controls the overall thing. Some levels force you to be one of either type. The final alien level demands macro - at the red base, and one part of the white base. There is no way I can send groups of units and hope for them to survive. As I've noticed, they bring down many enemies and buildings before dying. I save and reload for experiment. I notice that at times, you just have to send people in and watch them get killed while bring their enemy to its knees. Then send another group in to complete the job. To make an omlete you need to break some eggs, so they say. Especially when I play with Aliens, no repair and no armour refill. Waiting for health takes too long. So, there are many deaths.

The 30 Minute Mission.

What makes me different from the rest is the alien mission where you must destroy the protoss in less than 30 minutes. Most walkthroughs suggest that you create a lot of zerglings and hydralisks. Send them all, most of them will get killed - but the one's that survived will finish the job, and you still have more than 5 minutes. It works, but I don't like it. Then I realized that the thing that is going to kill most of your people is of three types - the templar lightning attack, the bomb from the worm, and dark templar. The game designers provide you with two lurkers. I know what to be done automatically. I put two lurkers near the protoss turret, but outside its shooting range. My crab is shooting things around the stasis cell, protoss doesn't reply. I send 12 hydralisks to shoot the turret. After it's been destroyed, I pull back. Guess what, while I pull back, the templar lightning attack strikes the location I was standing to shoot the turret. But now he missed me big time. I lose none of my hydralisks. So they come in to attack as they run out of energy. My lurker makes short work of them - with some help of hydralisks. So they send their worm in. I pull back my hydralisks even further. As the worm is trying to get in range to shoot at my hydralisks, again, my lurker make short work of them. My hydralisks give some help too. Getting angry, they send the detector. My hydralisks make short work of it. Finally they send in the dark templar, but since I have my detector unit flying above the lurker, and hydralisks shooting at them even before they managed to get close enough. After just a few minutes, all 3 deadly protoss unit have been destroyed, with no casualties on my side. Giving them no chance of producing new units - I went in and attacked them all. Yes, they still have fighting units and turrets. But I have a large team of hydralisks, two elephant things, and many zerglings. Now there are a lot of casualties, but not as much as going in gung ho and getting killed by dangerous WMD unit. Guess what, 13 minutes left, or something like that.

Some Tips.

- There is a level where the Queen helps the protoss to destroy the Humans. Since you must not let the Queen die, you might keep her at the back. Do you know that she has a lot of cloak points, that being enough for her to kill most of units at the enemies first base, all by herself? You can send other units and finish the buildings? This allow you to expand early in the game.

- Human third final level (destroy Raynor Base). There is a patch north-west of you, lightly guarded. use the transport, two tank, and some soldiers you're provided with early in the game to go and destroy the enemy. There is two or three enemy aircraft, but you have six vultures, so that's not much of a problem. Since you now have two patches, with most of the building already provided with - build two more airports, a lot of airships, then go kill the main objective.

- Final Human level. You can send units (drones and tanks) to another patch/base through a path S of the level. Use above tactics.

- Human Level where you need to destroy four cerebrates. Go to the cliff on your right, use two tanks to destroy first cereb. Put a tank near the cliff of the second cerebrates (west of level). Use a wraith to allow the tank to see and shoot the cereb. Use transporter to drop two tanks on the cliff to shoot the third cereb (NW). Only the final requires some in base fighting. Not to mention, they have the crab thing. But it's the last. So go for the cereb and you're done. Yes, you eliminate three bases by killing it cereb, and it's cereb alone (as far as buildings goes).

- The Protoss level where you need to kill a templar, and two of them are fake. Build three bird planes/jets. Send them to east edge. Fly them up. Make them hover near the fake templar. Shoot it. No enemy unit will bother you, as it's a fake. Fly it up near the NE edge. Fly the straight left at the edge of the screen, don't bother to stop for enemy units. Depending on your luck, but I only lost twice, only one arrives at the templar. Guess what, it's more than enough. That single jet, shooting at the templar, no CPU unit ever bother you - until the templar dies and you win the mission. If you're good at base defence (built a lot of turret), in this stage, the two jets are the only unit you loose. Talk about micro management ;-)

- Invincible turrets/bunkers. Send two drones to fix it. Any amout of enemy (the one usually sent by CPU, not human player), trying to destroy a turret (flying unit), or bunker (both flying and land) that being fixed by two drone - will end up getting wiped out. Actually, repairing as humans allow me to get away with very low casualties. That is why I always sent two or three drones with my bot and tank, so they can repair each other too.

Bye. Happy micro managing!

PS - Now I remember. The alien race name is Zerg. Oh well....

- Fable Fox,