My favorite aspect of the campaigns

One thing I really like about the campaigns in both Brood War and Starcraft 2 is that they feel like a realistic portrayal of sci-fi warfare. Realistic military tactics are frequently used throughout most, if not all, of the campaign missions. Tactics that are conspicuously absent in other military sci-fi series, like Star Wars.

When the enemy is holed up in a heavily fortified area (like in the Breakout and Ghost of a Chance missions in Wings of Liberty), instead of just blindly charging all of your troops headfirst into enemy fire, you create a diversion with a small detachment while an infiltrator sabotages the enemy’s defenses.

When you encounter a small group of enemies that are part of a much larger and more powerful faction, you either need to cut off their communications to prevent them from calling reinforcements (i.e. The Harvest of Screams mission in Heart of the Swarm), or you need to get what you came for and leave before the enemy can respond in force (i.e. Most of the missions in Wings of Liberty).

When you need to send troops into hostile territory, your first order of business is to scout the area and secure a foothold, so you often start the mission with a small, elite force to clear a landing zone for your main army. There are countless examples of this in all of the campaigns.

Other sci-fi franchises (again, looking at you, Star Wars) hype up their military commanders as brilliant tacticians, only for those “brilliant tacticians” to make an endless series of brash, suicidal decisions that would elicit a facepalm from anyone with military experience.

Infantry blindly charging out in the open straight into enemy fire, admirals leaving capital ships (And other important assets) unguarded with no escorts, generals failing to perform even basic reconnaissance or information gathering, commanders letting air support go to waste even when they have total air superiority, armies casually landing troops in a hot landing zone with anti-aircraft guns shooting at them… the list goes on and on.

I like that Starcraft’s campaign missions offer a semi-realistic take on military strategy in a sci-fi universe. Wars are won when you fight smarter, not harder.


Well, SW never set a high bar.

But yes, this is important benefit of gameplay affecting story positively.

I am not big fan of HotS, but Kerrigan saying “no” to the suicide run through Bone Trench was a really nice example of what you say here.


I asked a military historian who writes fanfic for Warcraft, and he said in no uncertain terms that the SC1/BW game plot is too reliant on space opera tropes to analyze believably. The SC1 manual is worth an analysis and expansion, but not the game.

While the presentation appears to be bleak and gritty, the actual events aren’t realistic or worth analyzing from the POV of (fictional) military history.


Seriously man. Even freaking Age of Empires II that actively tries to resemble history as much as possible given circumstances has to give up some realism, BECAUSE IT’S A VIDEO GAME.

People talk about realism all the frickin’ time, but no one wants to fu^k with supply lines, morale, wrong interpretation of orders, weapon malfunctions or bad weather.


Did you miss the part where I said this military historian writes Warcraft fanfiction?

He said the same thing about the Warcraft games after the first two.

The problem has to do with the writing of the following Blizzard games being soap operatic.

I really, really don’t care. Being a military historian does not make him an expert in modern military tactics, let alone sci-fi tactics. Its basically a red herring. He has no more actual authority on the subject than any of us.


Well excuse me for being concerned with stories having a sense of verisimilitude rather than everything playing out according to writer fiat without regard for logic or consistency.

Starcraft’s writing is bad and has always been bad. Plot-driven, idiot behavior, shortcuts, blah blah blah. SC1/BW simply have gritty presentation and nothing more.

You are basically saying we shouldn’t criticize Starcraft for anything you don’t personally care about or have any experience with. What’s even the point then? It’s a glorified game of cowboys and indians under your jurisdiction.

Your criticisms amount to “Metzen is an idiot and the story is stupid.” Any time you’ve pointed to an actual data point, you’ve either misunderstood things (such as with the Khala) or been outright completely wrong on what actually happened, such as how the Psi Emitters attract the zerg.


Then how does it work? Psychological compulsion?

If that’s the case, then why isn’t it used against zerg whenever convenient? That seems ridiculously useful in herding them. But it isn’t. Either it doesn’t work that way, or everyone is an idiot.

As I said in the other thread, it IS used that way. The second zerg mission in BW actually uses one in this manner as well, using it to bring otherwise feral zerg to Kerrigan’s hive so she can assert direct control over them through proximity.


It isn’t used consistently. You’re cherrypicking.

Using an explicit statement from canon material is cherrypicking?

It’s pretty obvious that whatever source you got it from made it up in a lazy attempt to make sense of this dumpster fire lore.

If the zerg are really that easily led around by the nose, then it should have been really easy to lure them into a fatal trap. Lure all zerg to a planet, then glass it. Or surround the emitter in some technobabble field that kills any zerg that enter it. Or any number of other possible plans. It shouldn’t be hard to devise them considering the zerg are unable to resist. Easy peasy.

The source is the second mission from the Brood War campaign. It’s literally first-hand source material, from the original creators of the lore.

If you don’t know even the most basic plot points of Starcraft’s story, you’re really not in any position to criticize it.


Feral zerg aren’t the same as intelligent leaders.

Psi-emitters have a limited range, and don’t do anything about the zerg hives themselves.

You can increase the range, to a point, but then you start running into the problem of accidentally inviting more zerg to the party than youre prepared to deal with, and you get another Tarsonis.

And the protoss tried to glass the zerg out of the sector, with fairly limited results. Glassing the planet is simply not an effective solution to the zerg, because theyre so widely spread out. To say nothing of the fact that, if theyre on a planet you actually want, its not really an option.


Excuse me, what? That’s precisely the reason you orbital bombard the zerg!

Ok, lets say you nuke Tarsonis while theyre there. What does that do about the zerg left behind on Char?

You use emitters to keep the zerg occupied and you AoA them until they’re all dead.

And yet it didn’t seem to work out nearly so well. It got rid of one world at a time, but the Zerg were a much broader threat.

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