|Zerg Mission 5: True Colors|
|New Units||Zerg Lurker|
|New Enemy Units||None|
The first six minutes
When you start this level, be prepared for a long and difficult battle. The mission starts with three lurkers destroying some Terran and Protoss forces. Then the Lurkers will go into a Zerg base to the centre north of the map. This is your base (the enemy bases will also appear on the minimap shrouded by the fog of war). Meanwhile a six minute countdown will begin, in which the enemy will not attack your units as they move around the map, with enemy units defending themselves if attacked, and all nearby enemy units defending their buildings if these are attacked. After the countdown is over they will send their army to destroy you, and both Duke and Fenix will appear on the map.
Set your drones to gather minerals and produce some more. Meanwhile, burrow two Lurkers to the west of your base (they can only attack while they are burrowed and they can be morphed from Hydralisks after researching the upgrade at the Hydralisk Den) and send one Lurker along with your initial Zerglings and Hydras to the northern (and smallest) Protoss base. These should be more than enough to annihilate it, although it would be wise to build some more Hydras in your hatcheries. After that build four sunken colonies (these may be inadequate) to the west of your main base and make a Hatchery right where the Protoss base was. By now there should be a few seconds left on the timer so build three more sunken colonies and a spore colony at your new expo and turn one of your hatcheries into a Lair. During those six minutes you should have done three things: built a strong economy (meaning at least eight drones on minerals and three more on gas), built some defenses (that are mentioned above) and secured your first expo.
If you are more experienced in the game and feel confident about it, you can try wiping out the first Terran base, while dealing with the Protoss. To do that, you will need your other 2 Lurkers and a force of ~10 Hydras and 6-12 Zerglings. Make sure to prioritize all production buildings and SCVs to stop the enemy from reinforcing their troops. If you actually manage to kill this base fast enough (provided you're attacking the first Protoss base at the same time) you might manage to create 1 or 2 Creep Colonies before the end of the countdown. Those should be turned into Spore and Sunken Colonies ASAP, and you will want to prioritize Spores over Sunkens simply because of the extremely deadly Wraith/Ghost/Nuke attacks you are likely to suffer. Besides, Terran ground attacks include either Medics and Marines (which are easy prey to your Hydras), or Tanks which can't be countered by Sunkens anyway because of their superior range.
Surviving the enemy wrath
The extent of the enemy wrath depends largely on what you've done the first six minutes. If you played your cards right, you shouldn't be in much trouble. What I like doing at this point is placing some Lurkers in the outskirts of your bases, especially on the Terran side, since this is the best way to counter Siege Tanks. Also, get ready with a nice set of Drones to rebuild any structures lost, or to simply strengthen your defenses, if you feel they are inadequate. And last but not least, prepare lots of AA defence and Overlords for taking out the enemy Battlecruisers, Carriers, Wraiths and most importantly Ghosts, since they will try to Nuke the hell out of your bases and this can get extremely annoying. The Battlecruiser/Carrier attacks might sound scary too, but the enemy won't send more than 2 of them at the same time, so you should be able to stop them. A little trick that I love to exploit at this point is burrowing 5-6 Lurkers near the bridge in the center of the map, which is the only ground entrance to the main Terran base. That means they will send all their ground forces through it, at which point those Lurkers get extremely devastating. It somewhat depends on how lucky you are as the enemy might use their Comsat Station to spot you, although most of the time they don't and it's worth the effort anyway.
Meanwhile, start upgrading: research Overlord upgrades and the upgrades in the Hydra den. Also Carapace and Ranged attacks from the Evolution chamber should be at least at Level 2. Turn your Lair into a Hive, build a Spire then turn it into a Greater Spire. Also, during this, don’t stop producing Hydralisks. When you have 36 of them, go for the second Protoss base at the centre east. The Protoss will put some resistance and they may even destroy your attack force, but in that case a second attack with about 20 Hydras should get the job done. Build a new settlement there and put three Sunken colonies and two Spore colonies along with some Hydras and Lurkers for defense.
After you destroy that Protoss base, the remaining Protoss may send a few Carriers and a Reaver or two to retake it, but after that their attacks completely die off. By that time you probably don’t have any resources left in your main, so quickly move some drones to the new expansion. Then make a force of 48–60 Hydras (the more the better) and 12 Guardians (Air Attack and Armor upgraded to at least Level 2)for the assault on the final Protoss base. Important: before that, make one Queen and research the Spawn Broodling ability at the Queen’s nest. Then send that Queen to the small peninsula north of the Protoss base. There you will find two Photon cannons and Fenix.
When he is discovered, he will speak to Kerrigan and then the game will continue. Quickly use the Queen to broodling Fenix. After that, another conversation between Kerrigan and Raynor will take place. When it is over, move your Queen back to your main and start the invasion. Rush all your Hydras at once and annihilate any Cannons, Zealots and Dragoons that stand in your way. Then move your Guardians to take care of any annoying Reavers and High Templar. Note that after breaking their first line of defence, the rest of the Protoss forces will be way too scattered to pull out any organized counter-attack, so just let your units run amok (although if there are any Archons and Carriers it would be wise to focus fire on them first). The Protoss base won’t last too long. Next build up another expo there and some defensive structures near the bridge that leads to the main Terran base.
Destroying the Terran bases
If you hadn't wiped out the first Terran base during the first six minutes, then that's what you should do next. Leave behind a force of 12 Hydralisks and move the rest of the units back to your main. If you have lost any Guardians, then rebuild the force and send it along with 24 Hydras and two Overlords (to detect Spider mines) to the northern Terran base. Rush in all your units at once and focus fire on any Tanks, Bunkers or Goliaths that try to fight you and destroy the enemy Barracks first. After that base is annihilated, the mission becomes considerably easier. The enemy Terran force practically stops attacking you and they don’t produce more units because of the lack of resources. Rebuild any lost Guardians and make a new Hydra force of 36–48 units. Change the Rally points of all your Hatcheries to where the Terran base was. Also, at that point all the upgrades at the Evolution chamber (except the Melee attacks which isn’t needed)and in the Greater Spire should be at Level 3.
Before attacking the second Terran base, build a force of 24 Scourges, which we will need later. Then make more and more Hydras (for the attack on the third base). Then send the 12 Guardians and the 36–48 Hydras to the second Terran base and don’t forget the Overlords, as this base is full of Spider mines. Again focus fire on the Tanks and Bunkers first then everything else. Move your Overlords to the southern part of the base, because most of the Spider mines are there and they should be killed with Guardians.
After this base is history, move all your Hydras and Scourges there. Then hotkey the Scourges in two groups and send them north of the last Terran base. There you will find Duke, two Wraiths and two Battlecruisers. Again a short conversation will occur. When it is over send all your Scourges at Duke. 24 should be enough to bring him down (his Battlecruiser, the Norad III, has 2,000 HP). Wait for the conversation between Mengsk and Kerrigan to finish and build 12 more Scourges. Hotkey them in two groups of six Scourges each and send them where Duke was. Each group should take care of one of the Battlecruisers stationed there. Then select 60 Hydras (if you don’t have them, morph some new ones in your Hatcheries) and load them all in Overlords. Drop them near the place you killed Duke and the two Battlecruisers. Kill any Wraiths that are visible and then move in your Guardians.
Just like before, rush all your forces at once but try to lead with the Guardians this time. They should take care of any Tanks and Bunkers while the Hydras go for everything else. There may be some more Battlecruisers, so kill them quickly with your Hydras. If you have any Scourges left, move them in as well. This base is very easy to take down after you break their first line of defence. However, if this force fails in taking the last Terran base, make 36–48 more Hydras to finish it off. If the mission doesn’t end after annihilating that base, may be you have missed an enemy structure or two. Search the map with your Guardians and the ending dialogue should begin.
Alternative: Starving the enemy
Expansion sites where the enemy isn't already mining resources are quite rare, and every moment that passes is more resources that not only you'll never be able to get, but that will be used against you. This is the case on most missions, and you should be familiar with this phenomenon already.
This time, however, you're given the oportunity to remedy that. Using your starting units and any you can scrounge up during the first six minutes, you can kill the enemy's workers one by one, having only the worker defend itself; then you can destroy the Nexus/Command Center, which will make all nearby enemy units retaliate against your units.
Terran hold three bases, Protoss hold two, and an unexploited expansion; for both races, the further down you go, the more heavily defended their base is, so denying even one of either last base from mining will be a suicide mission for your starting units. You should also keep in mind that they start with a good deal of resources, so you should focus against a single race and make sure that you've destroyed all their workers so they don't brush off your attack.
Afterwards, you'll have to defend against both sides until the one you struck against drains their resources and either stops attacking or weakens their own defenses in attacking you, making it all the easier to clear them out, take their resources, and defend against whichever side you didn't strike against.