This StarCraft 2: Wings Of Liberty mission guide will cover ‘Cutthroat’ providing the objectives, achievements (Cutthroat, Minesweeper, Solitaire) and a walk-through of how I beat this mission on hard difficulty during my own play through to satisfy all these achievements. Cutthroat is the second mission in the rebellion mission line in StarCraft 2: Wings Of Liberty. The purpose of Cutthroat is to retrieve the Adjutant from Colonel Orlan, whom is decrypting it for the Raynor’s Raiders. Han messages Jim Raynor informing him of Orlans recent breaking of the Adjutant’s cipher, and is now planning on selling it to the dominion. Han offers to support whoever can accrue the minerals to pay her mercenary force first, either Orlan or Raynor.
Cutthroat in StarCraft 2: Wings Of Liberty begins with a limited base without much harvestable minerals, along with a Barracks, Factory and Mercenary Compound. I add a tech reactor off the bat to allow me to produce Marauders and Reapers, sending my starting SCVs to harvest minerals while one builds an Automated Refinery. In order to satisfy the Solitaire achievement in StarCraft 2 I will hold off from building any more SCVs for now. I take the starting marines and pick up resource crates around my base, as this mission will rely heavily on picking them up to offset the lack of SCVs and harvestable minerals. Once I’ve trained 2 Medics to support my Marines, I head my away team out the north end of the base, engaging a pair of enemy Marines and picking up some nearby resources.
There are several locations in Cutthroat that constantly produce large mineral crates, and along this north path to the upper enemy Command Center lays one of them guarded by some Marines. Engaging them draws a Medic away from the Marines guarding the Command Center. Han decides to gift me with 4 Vultures at this time, also unlocking the ability to construct them at my Factory, and they don’t require a tech lab for their construction. I set 6 vulture mines at both entrances of my base to prepare for attacking waves, and for the Minesweeper achievement requiring 25 spider mine kills. Once they’ve laid the mines, I join them and my newly trained troops, including a Medic, which is always important to bring with soldiers, with my attack squad and head back north.
Heading north it’s time to start messing with Orlans mining operations, to hit the top Command Center as I’ve cleared out much of the area around it, and deprived the defenders of their Medic earlier. A Firebat, and some more Marines and Medics rush to help, but fall with their comrades, leaving me free to tear through his SCVs and destroy the Command Center. Blowing the building up prevents him from rebuilding his SCVs and going back to harvesting, not to mention will drop a nice batch of minerals. After destroying the Comm Center, I head left to pick up the first of three Protoss relics on this map. Destroying the flying Junker robots also causes them to drop some minerals.
Heading south to the next Command Center I engage several scattered enemy forces blocking the area, which eventually end up destroying my Vultures due to the lack of supporting repairs, even though their regenerative armor plating increased their longevity. The soldiers carry on however, supported by their Medics, which as long as their nearby, keep any of my troops from biting the dust against these small groups. I try to avoid certain outlying ones that contain turrets or are too close to Orlan’s main base which lies to the north west, but making sure to pick up every resource crate along the way, quickly bringing me past Orlan’s mineral count. All the time I still train some troops, albeit Reapers mostly to save on minerals.
I’m forced to divert my away squad to run in defense of my base as some soldiers broke past my mine traps, clearing a large area of enemies on their way. After saving my base, I walk them just outside the south of my base to pick up the second relic, and all the resources they passed on the rush to defend. This point brings me to 4000 of the 6,000 minerals I need to hire Han, while Orlan is still at 3,000.
Arriving at the enemy Command Center directly south of mine, I jump my reapers onto the cliff to distract some of the defenders while my remaining troops walk around the ramp to begin their attack from the opposite side. I jump them back down to save them from destruction then up again after being healed by a Medic to join in the main attack, taking out the guarding Goliath and Marines before clearing up the SCVs and the Command Center itself.
Back at base im forced to call down a squad of War Pigs to defend against some Marines who came from the north, with a recently trained medic and Reapers help, they are successful in this defense, and move to join the victorious squad to the south. At this point my entire away team consists of 6 Marines, 3 Medics, 4 War Pigs, 2 Reapers and a single Marauder. They move down the ramp leading towards the last of Orlan’s mining operations engaging a Goliath guarded by some soldiers, picking up the resources nearby and heading north to pick up the last relic that lies between those 2 southern harvesting operations. Another mineral spawner lies at the foot of this ramp guarded by Goliath and troops. A Missile Turret and several Marines guard this last relic. By the time I picked It up, I have reached the 6,000 mineral goal, and the Solitaire achievement unlocks in game, with a cut scene where Han’s mercenary forces are transferred over to my control.
An attack squad arrives at my original base, almost destroying the Command Center before my away team rushes to it’s defense and saves the base. Rebuilding the lost Merc compound I get to training SCVs at both bases now that I have Hans contract. Orlan’s forces begin to focus mainly on the base Han gave me and I set up sensor towers at both bases while an attack force reaches Han’s bases gates. Han’s base consists of a lot of mercenary elite units that are standing defenders, allowing them to cut down the attacking waves with ease. My original base soon runs out of minerals so I move the Command Center south to an expansion spot with my SCVs assigned to follow it, and begin harvesting as soon as it lands.
I choose this time to accrue minerals while building exclusively Vultures to lay spider mines en masse to rank up kills for the Minesweeper achievement. I tried to put some outside Han’s base, but the attacking waves bring detectors allowing them to see and destroy the mines before reaching them. I resort then to laying them down all over the map along Orlan’s base, very sparsely however to save from wasting them, then rushing my Vulture squads directly into Orlans base in small groups and quickly laying mines everywhere. This tactic was the most effective, since many mines activate right away to destroy the attacking soldiers, not to mention, when they rush into an area on a ledge with three bunkers, Orlan manages to target them with a nuke, however since they were vanquished quickly, Orlan ends up nuking his own base instead. The achievement unlocks in-game after some of the units inside Orlans base begin to move around a bit, triggering additional mines previously undetonated.
Now that I have completed everything I need for all the achievements I spend my saved up resources on calling down merc squads and send my original army along with its new merc compatriots, to meet up at Han’s base to gather all my combat units into one massive wave. Once I’ve built a few more supporting attack units and science vessels to repair the vehicles, they force their way into Orlan’s base, tearing it completely asunder in mere seconds, even the single Battleship Orlan has to defend his base. Before the Command Center is obliterated Orlan surrenders, giving up the decrypted adjutant and Jim Raynor reluctantly leaves alive, in case he may be needed again. Han agrees to keep Orlan “On Ice” for Jim free of charge.
Click here for the video of this play-through.
StarCraft 2: Wings Of Liberty ‘Cutthroat’ Objectives
Buy Merc Contract Before Orlan (6000 M): Acquire 6,000 minerals before Orlan can. A sidebar keeps track of both your and his minerals. Build smart, and as little as possible, and especially if you’re not building SCVs for the Solitaire achievement, focus on picking up crates whenever possible. Destroying the Command Centers and interrupting his harvesting attempts is also incredibly important for this goal. Bring medics to increase the survivability of your troops and use spider mines to defend your base.
Destroy Orlan’s Mercenary Fortress: Was pretty easy to do with a big push of units all at once. Suggest triggering the nuke event with rushed vultures like I did, to prevent your massive push from being nuked itself.
Find Protoss Relic Contraband (3, Bonus): The 3 locations for these relics are discussed above, but in summary one is next to the north Orlan Comm Center, the second just outside your starting base, and the second lies between the two south enemy bases, guarded by Marines and a Missile Turret.
StarCraft 2: Wings Of Liberty ‘Cutthroat’ Achievements
Cutthroat: Complete all of the mission objective, including finding the Protoss relics to unlock this 15 point achievement. This can be performed on any difficulty.
Minesweeper: Kill 25 enemies using the Vulture’s spider mines for this 10 point achievement. Can be done on normal or higher difficulty. I found this easiest done by rushing Orlan’s base and laying mines everywhere inside of it after winning Han’s contract.
Solitaire: Win Han’s contract without building SCVs for this 10 point achievement, which can be performed on hard or higher difficulty. Focus on picking up the resource crates and disrupting Orlan’s harvesting operations for this achievement.
Click here to see a continually updated mission order and tech tree guide that shows what I have done so far, to explain how I have unlocked certain tech and units.