I'm having trouble getting past Silver on Opening Gambit, the challenge mission where you must produce 30 Marines, 8 Siege Tanks, and 8 Ghosts within 14 minutes (for Gold). The best I've been able to do so far is to finish with 2:23 on the timer, which is 1:37 short of Gold.

Typically I haven't had issues holding off the attackers, but simply can't get QUITE all my Ghosts or tanks out in time. 1:37 short comes out to about 3 Ghosts late.

I think my issue revolves around timing my expansion compared to moving to the more-expensive Ghosts and tanks. My strategy so far has been to wall off my base as suggested, and get two bunkers down: 1 up on the cliff, and 1 down below. Usually I'm expanding as the second bunker is going into production.

Siege tanks stay up on the cliff when they start being produced. My best attempt so far had 2 Factories+Tech producing tanks, 2 Barracks+Tech producing Ghosts, and 1 Barracks+Reactor producing Marines, but I was still too late getting production kicked off.

Do I need to expand earlier? If so, when should I do that relative to expanding to gas and working on tanks and Ghosts? Should I crank out all my Marines before moving to Ghosts?

  • I'm also unsure whether going Orbital Command at one or both bases is worth it for MULEs or if the 150 I'm spending would be better going elsewhere.
    – lilserf
    Commented Aug 28, 2010 at 21:27
  • Sigh. 3:58, by one marine. Damn!
    – lilserf
    Commented Aug 29, 2010 at 5:00

4 Answers 4


You don't need much base defense. Try getting by without building any bunkers, and just defending early with the marines that you build, and later with tanks. You'll definitely need a good wall-off and units correctly positioned on the cliff to do damage to the zerg as the come around the corner. You can afford to expand pretty late (you only need it for the gas), once you have the majority of your tanks sieged on your cliff. Expanding late will allow you to not have to spend any extra money on base defense.

You should not stop producing SCVs for a very long time. It should be at least 10 minutes where your command center is NEVER idle. Get an orbital command as soon as your first barracks finishes, and use MULEs every time its up. Pump marines non-stop from your first barracks (no add-on). As gas allows, get your factory up and pump tanks until you hit 8. Get siege when you have enough gas to research it without stopping tank production. As your 1-base economy starts to peak, you will have enough extra minerals that you can't spend with your limited number of production buildings. At this point, build a second barracks and you'll soon be at 30 marines. Once at 30, put tech labs on your barracks and get ghosts as gas allows. You should also have extra minerals, since 2-rax marine, SCVs, and a factory should not be spending it all. When you have 400, build a command center inside your base (you'll float it down when its done). Move SCVs down from your main, and prioritize gas. You should be close to 8 tanks by now, so put all your gas into ghosts. If you can't spend all your gas on 2 rax ghosts, get more.

I got gold on this challenge on my first try. It shouldn't be too difficult if you follow good macro fundamentals (constant production, don't supply block yourself, correctly prioritize your resources).

  • Point on using MULEs: If you call one down directly onto minerals, it will automatically start collecting them...
    – Albort
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 1:15

Your strategy should be ok, but remember that you can switch the addons by lifting up the buildings, that should allow you to speed your game up.

Start with 2 Barracks with reactors and pump marines while you get the factories up and running. As soon as the marine count reaches the goal, lift up your barracks and place them somewhere else with tech addon and pump ghosts, if you have the minerals then add a third barrack.

I didn't wall off (i never do, not even in ranked games) and never built a bunker, you should be ok if you have your marines up at the ledge where they can shoot down at the attackers without any shooting back.

If i remember correctly my expansion was up around 20 supply and i lured the zerglings that attacked shortly after to the ramp by sending a marine to them and retreating to the other marines that finished them off quickly. After that your marines on the ledge together with the tanks will kill everything coming in before they reache the expansion, as long as you stay up there.

  • This sounds promising. Not walling means saving 100 minerals on a largely unneeded Depot early. Don't know why I didn't think of just shooting down from the cliff and ditching the bunkers. Good tips, I'll give 'em a try.
    – lilserf
    Commented Aug 28, 2010 at 21:26

This was a bit difficult and took me about 2 hours to actually get. The biggest thing I foudn was to delay the need for the seige tank upgrade. Until you have enough resources that it doesn't matter (I think by the 4th wave).

Also, I do no build a base at the second resource area until later (around 4th wave as well) but I do make a v. gas factory down below and have it havesting with about 4 or 5 drones early. This gave me the edge I needed on the vgas to allow me to get everthing built in time.

The soliders and sniper (using the snipe ability) can handle a ton of the waves without the need for the seige mode. I think at the end I have 3 barracks (1 reactor, 2 tech) and 2 factories only. No bunkers and the rest were supply depots. I don't think you need any upgrades either except maybe the solider weapon upgrade if you have some spare cash.

Oh and save often :) Make sure you have your ghosts hotkeyed... not the time when you get attack and then reload / snipe everthing from up top as it runs out.


skip reactors, build more barracks instead

skip bunkers, you can loose as many units as you want (you just need to produce), and its super easy to defend anyway

start with building tanks, in the end you will have like 5-6 barracks, so you can just mass produce ghosts

you will be ok with just one factory, but two will certainly help

you can even probably skip siege mode

  • Yeah I think overall I'm probably needlessly concerned with defense.
    – lilserf
    Commented Aug 28, 2010 at 22:01

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