All In Aces High and Brutal Difficulty.

Posts: 1,771
What's the real strategy to beating it and getting that achievment?
I've honestly tried about 14 times to beat it and it's gotten to the point that i honestly think it can't be done.
P{lease note that i've done how liquipedia (the misinformed source for supposedly reliable information) says it's to be done, using bunker/fortress walls and using fortresses to get kerrigan's attnetion and also to build a large force of banshees to snipe any nydus worms, but all i can get is to 83% before the right line of defence fails completely, when you get kerrigan and about 3 nydus worms on a single front that she's going on.
Also keep in mnid that i'm currently doing the ground mission as i can't do the air, my saves got wiped out and i got my continue in shatter the sky.

Feel free to post any winning strategies for what difficulty, and to gain help if anyone actually posts. (Slightly feeling like it's a consipracy-like thing, since well after 14 times i jsut don't see how it can be done, not for me anyways).
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Posts: 1,393
The Liquidpedia guide's pretty reliable, I haven't had any problem with it. Never used fortresses though.

The best way to beat Kerrigan is to have a force of bio engage her right as she's outside the range of your siege tanks and bunkers. That way she can't pick them up or target your buildings, which you will need if you want to hold. Kerrigan has to individually target bio or use her razor storm, which can be a pain but it's easy to micro out of. Keep in mind she'll also target medics first, so go a little more medic-heavy.

Save the one artifact blast you get for the final Kerrigan attack (96%ish), that's when things get really tricky. Luckily you aren't doing it with air so you don't have to waste it on the Leviathan.

The main key to the worms is having a force of 14ish Banshees on a hotkey. Make this whatever hotkey's easiest for you. Every time one pops up snipe it and retreat.

Also for worms the right upgrades and research make it A LOT easier. Bunker, missile turret, banshee and siege tank upgrades should be max, and the Psi Disruptors help immensely against worms (Hive Mind Emulator is better against air). Also the extended energy research mixed with the Banshee cloak upgrade makes it so you should never really have trouble with Banshee energy (provided you uncloak them every time you clear the map of worms.)
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Posts: 280
I do not plan to attempt this on Brutal, but here is how I got "Aces High" on Hard difficulty:

Planetary Fortresses: 2 on the right, 3 on the left (plus one supply depot). It's a perfect invincible wall-off. We use PFs for a number of reasons (high health, high armor, mounted cannon), but the primary reason is that they have a very large surface area, so a lot of SCVs can repair one PF at once. The zerg will not be able to break through as long as three things are true:
1. You have enough workers repairing the wall.
2. You have enough minerals/gas to do the repairing.
3. You don't let Kerrigan punch a hole in the wall when she comes.

So once you have the wall-in, here is everything else you need to do to ensure that it remains standing:

-Get full saturation on the minerals and gas ASAP. If you don't, you'll run out of minerals for repairing the wall.
-Put massed siege tanks behind the wall. This will ensure that most zerg units won't even get a chance to attack it. But leave an aisle for the workers!
-Put at least three or four psi disrupters behind each wall. This will also severely limit zerg attacks.
-Note that the two fortresses on the right will be taking way more individual damage than the ones on the left, so have higher concentration there - both in units and your attention. Usually when someone's wall breaks down it's on the right. I barely even looked at the left wall the whole time.
-Place a few missile turrets, plus your starting BCs, back by the mineral line in anticipation of the Overlord attack.
-Create a group of banshees to destroy the Nydus worms (at least two Starports). As long as they are cloaked, they will be invincible for a while (the enemy doesn't bring spores until much later). But even after the enemy gets detection, you can still snipe the spores and keep going. If you do not destroy the Nydus worms, you will still be able to repair the wall and everything, but you take the risk of running out of gas from sheer repairing. I did one playthrough where I did not use banshees at all and I made it to about the 75% mark before my SCVs ran out of gas for repairing the wall (I may have skimped on the disruptors, though, so that could have contributed as well). The next time I played I used Banshees up until 70% (so no attacks reached my wall at all until then, literally - they either got blasted away by siege tanks or never got out of the worm), then it got too hot for them so I just retreated, exposed my walls to full attack, and relied on my stockpiled resources for the remainder of the game.
-Once you retreat the banshees, put them above the artifact to guard it, as nydus worms will be spawning right next to the artifact.
-Use massed marines (built from at least 2 barracks that are on the hill next to the artifact) to distract Kerrigan while the tanks take her out.
-If you get a breach during one of Kerrigan's earlier attacks, no big deal - if you're on top of the nydus worm thing, there won't be any zerg around to run into the breach and you can just rebuild the missing PF. But if it's during one of the later waves, you'll have a really tough time patching it up, so be very careful.
-At the end, Kerrigan will conduct one last huge attack that often trips up players who were doing fine up to then. So what you need to do is: 1. Take all of your workers off the mineral line and put them on the wall. 2. Dump the rest of your resources into mercs and have all of the mercs suicide-rush Kerrigan. 3. Make sure you have some air units protecting the artifact. The mercs will most likely keep her busy until the artifact goes off and you win.

When I used this strategy, my wall was still perfectly intact at the very end and I could have gone on longer. I used my artifact blast around the 85% mark (Kerrigan's second-to-last attack) to reset the map.
Edited by Torloch on 5/24/2013 2:59 PM PDT
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- Technical Support
Posts: 8,392
Here's how I did Aces High on Hard

Swann's upgrades:
Both tank upgrades
Combat Shield
Stim Pack
CrossSpectrum Dampeners (Banshee)
Orbital command

Psi Disrupter
Planetary Fortress
Strike Turret (not critical, helpful on artifact plateau)
Cellular Reactor (more cloaking energy to start of with)
Tech Reactors
Science Vessels (not really crucial)
Ultra Capacitors (faster shooting)
Automated Refineries
Micro-Filtering (faster gas, good for pumping out upgrades and tanks)

Left wall:

  • 2 PF with Psi Disrupters above the top PF and in between the 2. (Leave a 1 cell space above the top PD to let marines run past up to the plateau.)
  • A wall of tanks including the Siege Breakers: 1 near top, 1 near middle. Don't put the Siege Breakers at the front so that if Kerrigan gets too close, she doesn't implode them. I also space them like that to allow the SCVs to move around unhindered.
  • 2-3 SCV's hanging around the area to repair. At least 1 near top, 1 near bottom. Use more if necessary. They are there despite not clearly seeing them in the pic

    Right Wall:

  • 1 PF with a PD on the left of it and 1 up on the high ground on the right. (the 3rd PD on the artifact plateau (left) isn't neccessary).
  • Same thing with the tanks. 1 Siege Breaker on the left of the wall, 1 on the right. Be sure to put 1 or 2 behind the high ground on the right. Worms will pop up way over to the right at the end of the mission and you want a few tanks in range to kill it. I usually put 1 of the Siege Breakers in that nook to help defend the plateau.
  • Same thing with the SCVs. I put 1 on the ramp, and 1 by the PF. Use more if necessary.

    The artifact Plateau:

  • A PF in the middle in front of the artifact with one SCV to hang around to repair it.
  • If you chose Strike Turrets, they will assist the PF.
  • I rally all my Marines to just behind the artifact and that is where they stay until Kerrigan arrives. I move out, stim, rush in close (so all of them can fire on her), then retreat back up when she's dead. I go for about 50 marines and I use all the War Pigs.
  • The 4 medics from the start of the game sit out of the way by the PF. When a Kerrigan run is over, I move them close to heal the surviving marines, then move them back out of the way.
  • I also park my banshees up there with a science vessel for repair. The SV isn't really needed though. You can put a couple more SCVs there to repair them. Use the banshee mercs as well.

    The production facilities:

  • Both Barracks are rallied up to behind the artifact
  • The Starport is rallied up to in front of the artifact
  • One factory is rallied to my left wall, the other is rallied to my right wall

    The rest is all busy work:
  • At the start, immediately build 5 SCV's and drop the one Mule. While raging around to get all this done, stop back here and do 5 more when you think of it. I don't saturate; just those 10 new SCVs and Mules when they are available. If your repairing SCVs die and you pull more form the minerals, dont forget to replace them.
  • At the start, I pull back both sets of units to behind where my PF's and PD's will be and leave them there while they are building. I pull one battle cruiser to each side to help out as well. (Once all PF's are up, I send the infantry up to the plateau. Once I'm situated with a solid wall, I send the BC's off to die to free up supply for more tanks).
  • At the start, build the PF's and PD's on both sides simultaneously. Upgrade them to PF's the moment they are done.
  • Build another Engineering bay and Armory right away. Upgrade all 3 infantry, and weapons for mech (both ground and air) ASAP. Later when I'm situated, I upgrade Air armor to help the banshees. You shouldnt need to upgrade ground armor since nothing should reach your tanks anyway.
  • Crank out marines until you get to about 50 (no more than 60) and replenish them to 50 (60) after each kerrigan attack. Starting with her 3rd appearance, she will Razor Swarm your marine ball, so be sure to micro away from it or it will kill them all at once! Don't take the medics with you, she will micro them down. Leave them up top to heal your marine ball when they come back.
  • Build about 7 banshees and snipe the worms as soon as you can so that you don't fall behind. By the end of the mission, you will fall behind but that's ok. Save your one Nova blast for the last kerrigan when there are worms popping up everywhere! If you lose a few banshees, call down the banshee mercs for a quick replacement. Watch out for spore crawlers and overseers.
  • Watch out for the Overlord rush at ~41%.
  • Edited by Leviathan on 5/28/2013 10:41 AM PDT
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    - Technical Support
    Posts: 8,392
    [Continued from above]

    If you just want to complete it on Brutal and dont care about how many times you use the artifact, then do the same thing above except don't build any banshees and use that supply to build more tanks. That's right! Let the worms live! A good 14-16 fully upgraded tanks, including the siege breakers, will stop everything coming at you including the insane amounts of units from the nydus worms. Save your Nova blasts for each kerrigan appearance only so that you can clear everything out while you fight her. Wait to use it until she's halfway to your base so that 1) it will whittle her down a bit, and 2) there's less time for the next wave of units to converge on your base. This should give you a relatively clear area to fight her in.

    Once you have a good 12-14 tanks up, send your battlecruisers off to die and that will free up more supply for more tanks and/or marines.

    Also, because kerrigan arrives for the first time at about 29%, and the artifact nova takes about 13% to recharge, you can safely use the artifact anytime before 15% if you need the help during your setup, and it will recharge in time for Kerrigan's 1st appearance! Do not use it after 15%! If you get nervous, just use it at 15%, even if you are not in trouble, to quiet things down for a bit. Once you get fast at getting the wall built, you wont need it at all until the first kerrigan.

    The moment Kerrigan appears each time, immediately SAVE! (Just hit Ctrl-Q) If it goes badly, reload the "Quick Save" in the load window.
    Edited by Leviathan on 5/28/2013 10:42 AM PDT
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    Posts: 1,706
    05/27/2013 06:07 PMPosted by Leviathan
    Here's how I did Aces High on Hard

    But Can you do it on Brutal using the same strategy? Have you tested it? Does it work?
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    Posts: 398
    But Can you do it on Brutal using the same strategy? Have you tested it? Does it work?

    Brutal mission WITHOUT achievement is done the same way, except you use artifact to clean up everything around kerrigan and base.
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    - Technical Support
    Posts: 8,392
    But Can you do it on Brutal using the same strategy? Have you tested it? Does it work?

    I've never tried using only one nova blast on Brutal. On Brutal All-In, I do things differently (described in the 2nd post of mine). Massive line defense, let the worms live, nova to clear things out for the Kerrigan run, repeat. Essentially I use the nova 5 times for the 5 kerrigan appearances.

    Although I figure with a little extra micromanagement of the banshees to keep them alive, it should work just fine on Brutal.
    Edited by Leviathan on 6/13/2013 3:31 PM PDT
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    Posts: 128
    Against ground, siege tanks and psi disruptors and eventually patrolling science vessels for repair. Upgraded marines for Kerrigan with a few medics, kept up by the artifact when not in use. Ignore the worms. With enough fully upgraded siege tanks beneath the artifact and toward the right, and some more siege tanks further back on the left, nothing will get through from the worms, not even masses of ultralisks.
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