The second night with the campaign brought a new mission, which was a defensive mission to hold my position until the rescue ship came in 20 minutes. The new technology was bunkers, but I quickly realized that build order was going to be a huge priority as the Zerg got more and more overwhelming towards the end of the twenty minutes.
To survive the escape from Mar Sara, you need to build up a bunch of bunkers, preferably in a defensible location adjacent the command center or adjacent two bridges. I tried to set up two bunkers at each bridge but could not get enough marines quickly to defend both posts. Of course I realized that I was starving myself of resources by not building enough supply depots, which limited the amount of SCV's I could build and keep an adequate army.
After two failures of the mission, I finally decided to go back to basics and build up a bunch of SCV's and supply depots early, while spending some minerals on making both the provided barracks be able to make two marines at once. After I got rolling in supplies, I built three barracks at the fallback position rather than at the bridges, which allowed me to keep my focus on a small area generally speaking. I actually abandoned medics in this attempt because more guys with guns and more barracks seemed like what I needed.
The Zerg are relentless, and they do not give you much time to heal. A couple of medics are fine, but not a bunch. By the end of the mission on the third try, I have capacity for 85 units and probably 50 marines, 20 of which were safely held in five bunkers. This time there was no doubt about it, the mission was easily cleared.
This mission introduced me to the swarm nature of the Zerg, and they are a lot like the flood in Halo. Bunkers are a nice defensive piece to build upon, and I'm looking forward to the next units added to the game. I also see now that I am on the Hyperion that the game branches out a bit, allows you some choice as to what mission to take next. Will I jump at the extra 10k credits to fight some protoss for the first time over artifacts, or will I begin my defense of the homeworlds against the new Zerg invasion?
One thing's for sure, if I'm failing on the easy third mission, I've got a long way to go before the Queen goes down. I also like the ability to customize your army a bit in the armory, but it is hard to tell what will be important. I improved the defense on my marine grunts for now, but some of the other improvements look very spicy. If nothing else, I am definitely getting a flavor for this RTS business. Looking forward to some naptime playtime during the weekend!