This section is all about the Challenges in StarCraft 2, which you can find in the Single Player interface. So, let’s start with some basic introduction to the interface. On the top you will see an achievement box, which is gray and will remain gray until you complete all of the challenges with a rank of gold, which is the highest. Next, you will notice the bar that illustrates your progress, so if it is filled up, the icon will shine ;) Going down the screen, you will see the three difficulty levels - Basic, Advanced and Expert. These levels are all consisted of three separate challenges. Now, enough with the boring intros, let’s get to the point. We will talk briefly about each challenge and give you some hints on how to claim the gold, because that is interesting.
There are three missions within the basic challenges and each of them has three stages. In each stage you are given a certain amount of army and you should split it into three groups. Next you have to use each group to stop three separate opposing armies.
Here you get a Terran army. Stages:
- Stage One:
- Zerglings vs. Hellions (don’t forget to kite with the Hellions)
- Banelings vs. Ghost and Siege Tanks (snipe the Banelings)
- Mutalisks vs. Marines and Medivacs (use Stimpack and spread the Marines)
- Stage Two:
- Roaches vs. Two Siege Tanks, Marines and Medivacs (Use Stimpack and kite)
- Ultralisk vs. Ghost and one Siege Tank (Snipe and kite with the Ghost)
- Hydralisks vs. Three Tanks and Marauders (Stimpack and kite)
- Stage Three:
- BroodLords and Zerglings vs. Hellions and Vikings (send the Vikings straight away and kite with the hellions)
- Hydralisks vs. Siege Tanks and Marauders
- Mutalisks vs. Thors and Ghost
Path of Ascension
Here you get a Protoss army.
- Stage One:
- Hellions vs. Stalkers and One Colossus (use blink micro)
- Marines vs. Three Colossi and Sentry (Use Guardian Shield)
- Marauders vs. One Colossus and Zealots
- Stage Two:
- Thors vs. Carriers
- Siege Tanks vs. Immortals
- Battlecruisers vs. High Templar and Void Rays (Feedback)
- Stage Three:
- Battlecruiser and Vikings vs. Two Archons, Stalkers and High Templar (Feedback)
- Hellions and Reapers vs. Two Archons, 3 Colossi and Sentry (Guardian Shield)
- Siege Tanks and Marauders vs. Zealots, Immortals and Phoenixes (Use Graviton Beam to lift four tanks)
For the Swarm
Here you get a Zerg army.
- Stage One:
- Colossi vs. Three Ultralisks
- Immortal vs. Zerglings and One Ultralisk (tank with the Ultralisk)
- Void Rays vs. Infestor and Hydras (spawn max Infested Terrans to tank the damage)
- Stage Two:
- Zealots vs. Roaches (use burrow micro)
- Void Rays vs. Infestor and Mutalisks (spawn max Infested Terrans to tank the damage)
- Stalkers vs. Two Ultralisks
- Stage Three:
- Immortals and Stalkers vs. Roaches and Ultralisks
- Archons and Zealots vs. Brood Lords and Infestor (Use Fungal Growth to hold the Archons and burrow the Infestor)
- Carriers vs. Corruptors (Use corruption)
These Basic challenges will test and develop your most basic micro skills and unit awareness. Here you have to choose the proper counter-measure and apply the proper micro control in order to get the gold.
These missions are specially designed to increase your tactical skills significantly. What’s more, here you will have to master some of the most important and difficult to use units in the game – High Templars, Infestors and Ghosts. Some people believe that these missions are the hardest, because the simplest mistake and make the difference between silver and gold.
In this mission you operate a small Terran force: a few Ghosts and Ravens. You have all of their skills at your disposal and you have to use them to kill at many Zerg units as possible. Here are a couple of hints to help you out:
- Your main objective should be to reach and nuke the main base in the top right corner. Don’t waste nukes and time on the rest of the bases.
- Use the Ravens’ Seeker Missiles to clear out two of the Overseers, guarding the entrance to the base in question.
- Nuke the big ball of units in the center, then use the cloak ability to sneak to the entrance of the main base, now nuke the Spine Crawlers. When you are done, infiltrate the base and place three nukes.
This mission is similar to the previous one. However, here you should hold off multiple waves of various unit compositions. At your disposal you have a handful of High Templars and Sentries. Although, you can use all of the skills, you should use them wisely, because you don’t want to run out of energy too soon. Here are some tips:
- To the north east you will see some destructible rocks and a ramp. Focus them with your Sentries, but leave one to Force Field and a couple of High Templars to cast some Storms. When you are done, move up the ramp with your units. Now you have to defend from only one direction and the ramp is much narrower.
- Do not over commit with the Force Fields and the Psionic Storms, because you should run out of energy before you have killed at least 200 units. One Force Field is enough to block the ramp and you don’t have to use Storm to kill the melee units, just focus them with your Sentries.
- At 223 units killed or so, an Ultralisk will spawn behind you, so you have to create an Archon illusion to tank some of the damage, while you use a real Archon to kill the beast.
This mission is absolutely identical to the Covert ops. The only difference here is the fact that you now operate a Zerg force of a few Infestors and Roaches. Here are some tips:
- You main goal should be to reach and cast Neural Parasite on the Colossus near the Command Center.
- Use your Roaches to clear out the most vital Siege Tanks.
- Don’t waste your energy on Fungal Growth or Infested Terrans, use on only for Neural Parasite. You can start up by capturing the High Templar on the ramp on the left and ue it to Storm the nearby groups of units. Then move further and capture the Colossus and the Siege Tank on the high ground.
These are the final three missions in the “Challenges” series and they are considered to be the most difficult. Truth be told, we didn’t find them as challenging as the Psionic Assault, for example. But the good thing here is that every single mission here is different, which means that different skills are required in order to complete them.
Harbinger of Death
This mission requires quite some micro control and most people find it very difficult, especially if they are new to StarCraft 2. Here you must destroy as many enemy units as possible, using different types of Protoss units. Not too hard, huh? There is a catch, of course, you can only activate the special abilities and spell by the keyboard shortcut. You use your mouse to right-click and attack of move, but you cannot press the skills. For example, you cannot set the Carrier’s interceptors to auto-cast, you must spam than “i” key to produce interceptors. And if you want to get the gold, you will have to attack at multiple directions at once. Intrigued? Here are some tips:
- Set you controls before you hit that “start” button. We recommend setting every group of units to a separate key group.
- As you start spam then “i” key to start making interceptors for the Carriers, then immediately blink forward with the stalkers and kill the Reapers. Now you can leave the Stalkers, because the blink should cooldown. In the same time engage the Phasing mode of the Warp Prisms over the edge of the Zerg base and get ready to warp in Dark Templars, because there isn’t a nearby detection.
- Next, select the Phoenixes, lift the Hydralisks with the Graviton Beam and auto-attack, and meanwhile move out with the High Templars and the Sentries. Guardian Shield up and Storm the groups of Marines, while feedbacking the Ghosts. Immediately send in the Carriers, because they should have enough interceptors.
- Repeat these steps in this exact order, because this way you can use your time efficiently.
In this mission you have a small Terran base and your goal is to train a specific number of units before the time expires. Keep in mind that some minor Zerg forces will attack you from time to time, so don’t relax just yet. Note that even if you get some of your units killed, they still count as “trained” for the challenge. Here are some pointers:
- Basically you should do a Two Barracks -> Factory -> Expand.
- Make a reactor at the first Barrack and use it only to build Marines.
- The second Barracks should have a tech lab. As you start the tech lab, start building the Factory, because you want to switch these buildings and attach the Factory to the lab.
- Around 6:00 you should begin your second Command Center on the low ground and as soon as it finishes, take the double gas on the expand.
- Now you can build an additional Barrack, get tech labs and a Ghost Academy.
- Basically you should remember a couple of things:
- Do NOT get supply blocked, ever.
- Do NOT stop the tank production, ever.
- Do NOT stop the SCV production.
- Your production buildings should be: three Barracks with one reactor and two tech labs, one Factory with a tech lab and a Ghost Academy.
This challenge is probably the easiest of them all, which is totally awkward. You have your Terran base and you must defend it from either Protoss or Zerg rush attacks. Sure, these rushes do strike much faster than you might expect. Here we have two stages: the first one features fast Zergling attacks, while the second – fast Zealot rush. However, all you need is a basic understanding on how to build a Terran base some minor micro tricks:
- Stage One:
- Take one SCV and build a Barrack straight next to your Command center so that you do not lose any time. Take another SCV and walk all the way south until you reach your narrow ramp. There you should start building Supply Depots. Don’t forget that you will also need to train SCVs, though. Bring another SCV south in order to block the ramp completely, using 3 Depots. Set your rally point near the Depots and keep your SCVs for repair and that’s it, easy.
- Stage Two:
- This time you don’t need to wall in. Again, build a fast Barrack, but watch your minerals, because you must have at least 150 as soon as the Barrack finishes. You want to immediately through down a bunker near your mineral line and a Marine. All you have to do now is micro your Marine away from the Zealot until your bunker finishes and then repair it with SCVs. Again, easy.
We thought this is the best section to talk about the newest map from Blizzard. It is called StarCraft Master and is pretty much the same as the challenges in the Single Player; however, you will not find it in the Single-player interface. Instead, you should go to the Multiplayer and choose “Create a game”. Next, in the search field, type in “StarCraft Master” and hit “enter”. This is pretty much the same as creating any other custom game.
This map has 30 stages, specifically designed to put your micro skills to their limit. The stages are identical – there are two relatively small armies and you control one of them and you should defeat the other in a straight-up match. The thing is that almost every time you must defeat more units than you actually own, which requires DAMN GOOD MICRO. Note that you can skip or go back to a specific stage any time you want. We really love this map, because it will teach you some pretty sick tricks and your micro will definitely improve.