Starcraft 2 Old Soldiers Brutal & Achievements Guide

Starcraft 2 Campaign Guide --> Heart of the Swarm Campaign Guide --> Old Soldiers (you are here)

Click Here to Get The Osiris MethodOld Soldiers is the third and final Char mission in the Heart of the Swarm campaign. This mission has two parts. The first part involves using Kerrigan, Zerglings, and Banelings in a 3-wave attack to destroy as much as the Terran fortifications as you can in just a few minutes.

After that, you will get a generous base where you can train units, macro up, and eventually take down any of the remaining Terran structures. The more damage you do during the opening attack, the less Terran units you will have to fight.

Dealing with Nukes

As an added challenge, the Terran computer will randomly call down nukes on your forces, which you can avoid, just like any nuclear strike. However, they are not launched by Ghosts and cannot be stopped. You must move out of the way of the Nuke if you do not want to lose your units.

While the Nukes are somewhat random, they are nearly always dropped on the bulk of your offensive forces. As a result, you never want to keep your army inside your base. If you do this, your base will get nuked and your buildings will take damage. Instead, keep your army out in the center of the map, and defend your base with automated defense structures like Spore Crawlers and Spine Crawlers.

Kerrigan Levels in Old Soldiers

While you do not get any Kerrigan levels for completing the Old Soldiers mission, there are 2 bonus levels available which you can get by taking out these 2 science facilities, circled in blue on the map below:


Starcraft 2 Old Soldiers Achievements List

There are 4 achievements available for players to unlock during the Old Soldiers mission:

Old Soldiers: Unlocked by completing all mission objectives in the Fire in the Sky mission (any difficulty).

Nuclear Launch Rejected: Unlocked by destroying 20 enemy structures before the first nuclear strike in the "Old Soldiers" mission (any difficulty). This will happen with ease on any difficulty mode if you use all your units.

Recalled Down the Thunder: Unlocked by completing the "Old Soldiers" mission in less than 20 minutes on Normal difficulty (or higher). A video guide covers this achievement below.

Home Wrecker: Unlocked by destroying the Planetary Fortress before the first nuclear strike in Hard difficulty (or higher). A video guide covers this achievement below.

Note: If you have not yet done the Zergling evolution mission, do so before completing this mission. Having evolved Zerglings will make the initial attack much more powerful, which helps unlock the Recalled Down the Thunder and Home Wrecker achievements.

Recalled Down the Thunder Video Guide

Recalled Down the Thunder tasks players with completing the Old Soldiers mission in under 20 minutes on Normal mode. This can be done with ease as long as you clear out around both expansions during the initial assault phase. As soon as that phase ends, expand to both locations right away. You can then get up to about 30 Abominations, at which point you should be able to overrun the Terran forces.

Here is a video guide demonstrating this mission being finished in around 15 minutes (5 minutes faster than required by the achievement):

Home Wrecker Achievement Video Guide

The Home Wrecker achievement is unlocked by destroying the Planetary Fortress before the first nuclear strike on Hard mode in the Old Soldiers mission. The Planetary Fortress is found at the heart of the main Terran base, southwest of Warfield's actual fortress that you have to destroy as part of this mission. 

In order to unlock this achievement, you should focus on clearing out directly to the Planetary Fortress rather than clearing out enemy structures. I strongly recommend clearing up the northwest passage rather than the eastern passage on your way to the Planetary Fortress.

Here is the location and the path you should take to the Planetary Fortress (the Planetary Fortress is marked by the blue circle):


Here is a step-by-step guide:

  • Before doing anything, select all your Banelings and press the "F" key. This will allow the Banelings to blow up on structures.
  • Next, use Kerrigan and the first wave of units to take down the wall and the Terran structures in that area. Ignore the base to the east.
  • Wait for your second wave of reinforcements. Once you have this, clear to the northwest on the way to the Planetary Fortress. You do need to clear out some of the Terran units and buildings, but you do not want to worry about the structures in the northwest portion of the base. Just clear so that your units can run by safely.
  • Once your third wave of reinforcements comes, gather your units at the ramp outside of the Terran base. From here, group everything up and just rush for the Planetary Fortress. Ignore the damage you are taking. Use Kerrigan's Kinetic Blast ability to help burst down the Planetary Fortress. It is okay if Kerrigan and all of your units die in this attack as long as you take down the Planetary Fortress.

Here is a video guide demonstrating how to do this:

Old Soldiers Brutal Mode Guide

On Brutal mode, the Terran defenses are quite stout. As a result, you cannot clear most of the Terran structures during the initial assault wave. However, you can clear out the area around the nearest expansion, setting you up for the rest of the mission.

Here is a step-by-step guide with a video walkthrough:

  • During the assault phase, make sure you select your Banelings and enable them to attack structures. Otherwise, they bunch up at the gate and die without attacking the wall.
  • Use your first wave to clear the enemy units and structures out by the gate.
  • Wait for your second reinforcement wave. Gather the second wave and your surviving units, and attack the small base to the east. With your third wave, continue to push east, clearing out as many Terran structures and units as you can.
  • As soon as the regular mission starts, press F2, and move all those units down to the area directly in between your main base and the eastern expansion. This will prevent most nukes from landing on your main base.
  • When you do get nuked, be sure to move your units to a safe spot.
  • Build Drones at the main until it is fully saturated.
  • Send a Drone out to expand to the eastern base. Saturate that base as well.
  • Start researching Melee Weapons and Carapace upgrades at the Evolution Pit.
  • In the mean time, keep Kerrigan and your starting units in the middle of the two bases and use them as needed for defense. Do not let them get nuked.
  • Once your bases are fully saturated, add about 5 Spore Crawlers and Spine Crawlers in the main, clustered around the northwest ridge. Air attacks and drops constantly come from this direction.
  • Add about 8 Spine Crawlers and 3 Spore Crawlers at the eastern expansion.
  • Macroing up and getting to this point in the mission will actually set the game at the 8:00-10:00 minute mark, depending on your skills and Kerrigan upgrades. There is no time limit, so this is okay.
  • By now, you should be ready to produce units. Start massing Abominations and sending them to Kerrigan.
  • Keep getting Melee and Armor upgrades and making Abominations.
  • Use Kerrigan to defend the eastern expansion, but do not keep her standing there unless you want that base to get nuked.
  • By about the 14:00-17:00 mark, you should be up to 147/200 supplies with 2/1 upgrades (nearly 2/2). At this point, you should go in with Kerrigan and your mass of Abominations. I like to clear to the east first, since this is the computer player's main avenue of attack.
  • Once you have destroyed the Terran base in the central of the map, reinforce your attack by making a large number of Abominations and rallying them to the battle front. You should have a lot of Larva and minerals saved up during your initial attack.
  • Once you clear out the central base, you can bring in your Abomination reinforcements and destroy the Tactical Center to end the mission.
  • You can ignore the base to the top left entirely if you want, but you will need to clear up that way if you want Kerrigan's bonus level. You can always get the bonus level in an easier mission difficulty when you replay through as well.

Old Soldiers Brutal Mode Video Guide

This video guide demonstrates how to beat Old Soldiers on brutal mode. Just take your time and mass up a large number of Abominations and you can roll through the mission with ease.

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