Welcome to Meinhoff, the new home for evacuated colonists from Agria. Oh, and apparently it’s home to a pretty mean Zerg virus that’s infesting people and buildings.
Enough chit chat; this is Outbreak. It’s the second mission in the Colonist storyline, and shouldn’t give you much trouble if you know how to play it. Your primary mission is to destroy all 144 infested buildings. I beat this mission on hard in my first try, although I did not get every achievement.
The theme to Outbreak is slow, but steady and growing pressure. Rush too fast and you’ll burn through your resources trying to rebuild. Take too long and the infestees may just overrun you. The right tempo is required for this mission, and you better up the pressure along the way too.
The first trick to beating Outbreak is understanding and predicting the day/night cycles. Time shifts between three minutes for day and five minutes for night. As expected, the virus cannot sustain itself in sunlight and burns away like a vampire, but thrives in the darkness. You will get mass attacked by all sorts of infested creatures at night, often in waves and most often with the largest waves at night.
This leads to the second key point: defend your base! The best bet I’ve found so far is to build two bunkers at each of the starting two choke points. Leave an SCV to repair, along with two firebats and two medics for heavy lifting and early on. Those infested peons will break through the bottom of your base midway through the level so be prepared with extra bunkers and units near destroyable obstacles towards the left and bottom. Repaired bunkers can take a lot of punishment, but so can firebats with reasonably charged medics nearby. Just keep an eye on them and make sure they don’t take off alone for a giant army – they love to do that.
The third essential to beating Outbreak are hellions. Considering they give you a few early on, it’s fairly obvious you should use them. But these bad boys are perfect for this mission. I strongly recommend building an army of these, an ever increasing army. Hell, make two armies and have them go on different sides of the map! Direct them towards a target-rich environment and let them fire at-will – so long as it’s always at something. A few broodlings will spawn from each infested building destroyed, so don’t order another target for your Hellions immediately.
You will be attacked at night. However, the infested forces will suffer for every building you destroy. While the basic enemies in the first night are simple, you’ll start facing bigger foes that take more time/firepower to kill while their comrades fight alongside. The key: take out as many buildings as fast as you can, especially near the entrances to your base! Don’t be afraid to use your hellion army to shore up failing defenses, or to go on the offensive. It’s a lot harder to deal with spine towers and razing buildings when infested baddies continue to spawn, but you actually get an achievement and 10 points for killing 15 buildings at night on hard. I couldn’t believe I missed that, by just a few.
You can also get 10 achievement points for killing all 144 buildings by the fifth night, as well as 15 points for completing all objectives. In this mission, that means tracking two Zerg infestors and killing them. Their location will show up on your mini-map, but they go into hiding once the sun rises. I’ve heard you can build missile turrets during the day to find and kill them, but you should be able to take them down with your hellion army at night without much effort. Each infestor is also worth one Zerg research point.
Keep your base defense intact, continue to build a large army of hellions and ravage those infested buildings as fast as you can to win this mission.