End Game is the ninth mission of the Nova Covert Ops campaign, and the third mission of the third and final mission pack.
"Bring her in? We tried that, it didn't work. There's only one way to stop her."
"No. I have publicly declared Davis is to stand trial in a court of law. Bring her back alive Nova."
Aboard the Griffin, Nova Terra was contacted by Highlord Alarak of the Tal'darim. He stated he did not look kindly on betrayal, and that she had made a powerful enemy. She stated that he did as well, and the two broke contact.
Nova then contacted Valerian, who ordered her to take in Davis alive. Nova disagreed, as they tried that before, and that she needed to be killed. Valerian stated that he would have her stand trial in a court of law, and demanded that she be taken alive. Nova begrudgingly had to accept. Hours later, the Griffin lost the Medusa, but Reigel noted that a ship had begun attacking the Cerros Shipyards. Nova stated that it had to be her, and they moved to engage.
- General Carolina Davis(src)
In the Cerros Shipyards, Davis and her loyalist high ranking Defenders of Man secured an experimental war machine named the Xanthos. They began to activate it, planning to use it to destroy the Gorgon-class battlecruisers docked at the shipyards. Without these ships, Nova stated that Valerian would be unable to hold onto the Dominion. The Xanthos was nearly impervious to attack while it was active, but its weapon systems were vulnerable. Reigel came up with a plan; they would disable the weapon systems as it activated, and attack the machine as it repaired itself.
Nova did so, warding away the Xanthos from the Gorgons and ensuring the survival of the fleet even as Davis activated new weapons on the weapon. Meanwhile, Admiral Matt Horner arrived with the Hyperion, using it to push through the Defender of Man's position. Nova pushed to the repair bay, but as she began to attack the Xanthos, Davis activated a new combat mode kept secret even from Reigel, and attempted a last push with her remaining loyalist Defenders. This still was not enough, and Nova's forces were able to destroy the Xanthos. Though the crews were injured, Davis was still alive inside.
Inside the ship, Davis noted she knew the Terra family, and that she knew why Nova was coming to meet her, but if she killed her Nova would be no better than she was. Nova killed Davis, shocking Reigel.
"The Dominion's always going to have problems. They'll need us to solve them, our own way"
Aboard the Griffin, Nova began to stock up on weapons, and when Reigel entered, she ducked into cover. Reigel stated he knew she was there, and explained that after the failure of the Moebius Foundation, this was the only life he had left. He then stated that the Covert Ops Crew were loyal to her alone, and they would go wherever she ordered. Nova decided that she and her forces would help the Dominion in their own way, disconnected from Dominion command.
Aboard the Bucephalus, Valerian and Horner looked over Universal News Network reports on the end of the Defenders of Man Insurgency, stating that stability had returned to the Dominion, and that Valerian released the reports on the Defenders of Man's involvement. With those public, popular opinion turned to Valerian and general consensus from the population was that lethal force was needed against Davis. Horner asked what Valerian wanted to do about Nova, and he stated that he would let her go, for now.
The goal of this mission is to defend five Gorgons from the Xanthos, a large machine that take a great amount of firepower to down. It will move quickly to one of the five Gorgons, and slow down when it encounters an enemy. The Xanthos has four modules that it uses, the flame thrower, which does extra damage to light units and splash damage, the rail gun, which does burst single target damage and extra to armored units, the fighter bay, which launches a number of air drones to attack enemies, and the missile launcher, which launches area-of-effect missiles that can be avoided, but do high damage. These modules must be destroyed to force the Xanthos back to the repair bay, at which time it will be vulnerable to attack.
Starting the map, the priority should be taking the base to the north to establish an economy. Battlecruisers with special ordinance is the key to this map, as they do a large amount of damage to groups of targets, and their Yamato cannons can outrange the Xanthos and destroy select modules before the player had to engage it directly. Priority on destroying the modules depends on preference, but it's recommended that the fighter bay be downed first, followed by either the missile pod or the rail gun (depending on micromanagement skill in avoiding missiles). Finally, the flame thrower should provide little difficulty should the player not have massed biological units like marines.
To help in the production of battlecruisers, the player can take note of the enemy's tech reactors: if they land their own structure next to the enemy's tech reactor after destroying the facility it was attached to, the player will take control of it, alloying them to manufacture two battlecruisers at once. There are many structures with tech reactors near the Gorgons that are in a defensible position. Players should be careful to not accidentally destroy the add-on after destroying the main structure.
Between waves, the Defenders of Man will send attack waves after the player's base. These are moderate in size, but should be defended as they can quickly destroy a base if left unchecked. After the second repair, these attack waves begin to come with ghosts armed with nukes, so detection or ample scans are necessary. The enemy will also use defensive nukes when attacking their back lines.
Between waves, Matt Horner will also appear with the Hyperion to push an attack lane. However, he varies what lane he will push depending on the wave, usually switching to a more unmolested lane. This is initially helpful in clearing up to the Gorgons, so that a fight isn't needed to come to their defense, but is usually not too helpful in pushing into the Defenders' lines on its own.
The final base is heavily defended, with a good number of battlecruisers that will use Yamato cannons on the player's forces to take out key units. Attempt to clear as much ground as possible before attacking the Xanthos, as after a certain point it will reactivate with a new mode that fires a high damage laser in a line. This however has a long charge time and is easy to avoid. However, the Xanthos will summon reinforcements three times as it is attacked, and these can cause significant damage to the player's forces. If need be, pull back and repair, as the Xanthos will slowly move toward the Gorgons and give the player ample time in this form. After the Xanthos is fully destroyed, the player plays a short section where they kill Davis.
"Bringing Down the Big Guns" is deceptively simple to accomplish given the mission's difficulty otherwise. Allow the Xanthos as much time as it can take on the first few waves by allowing it to destroy a few Gorgons, usually it will be defeated by the defensive forces on the second Gorgon. As this is going on, amass a fleet of 14-17 battlecruisers. Off of two bases this should allow for three starports worth of battlecruiser production. Dump spare minerals into marines to help in the defense. After the second wave, use tactical jump to teleport on top of the Xanthos, and release all yamato cannons on it. This will put it into its final form, after which jump back to base. The support forces at the final base will not follow the Xanthos as it now attempts to destroy the Gorgons in its final form, and it can be picked away at the player's leisure from this point. Use the surviving battlecruiser's Yamato cannons outside of the Xanthos's to chip away at it and prevent the reinforcements it spawns from attacking the player's forces.
Another effective strategy on brutal is to use special ordnance ravens rather than battlecruisers. Nova's build for this strategy is important. Take the jetpack, sword, and either stim injection or shield. Collect the resource drops from the natural and two closest Gorgons and use Nova with the first two tanks to stop the two attacks. Throughout, build strong defenses as usual, dumping minerals into marines, bunkers, tanks, and missile turrets, but continuously mass ravens. Ignore the Hyperion. For the first Xanthos attack, allow it to move down the ramp fully. Continuously micro Nova behind the Xanthos, as it will attempt to turn around without doing damage, until the timer runs out. Do not kill it as this is free macro time without any disturbance. Kill the flamethrower if you have shields or the railgun if you have stim; leave the other alive, and whenever your key ability is up, you can look away for a few moments to build buildings or rally SCVs. Make sure to have production buildings hotkeyed and start upgrades ASAP. Mass ravens until there are around 25, and add additional ravens to a second control group to respond to base threats. You should have about 8 ravens for the second activation: drop turrets to bait the railgun, and dance in and out of range with ravens targeting the fighter bay, then railgun, then flamethrower while throwing down repair drones. Make sure to dodge missile attacks, and cancel raven attacks to dodge them if necessary. Never target the missile battery as targeting the fighter bay will do equal damage to the battery as well. At 20 or so ravens, one volley will one shot both. For the third activation, block off the closest entrance with several lines of auto turrets, replacing them once during the timer. The Xanthos will bug out and run to the other side of the Gorgon bay, effectively being useless for the whole activation. When the Xanthos is down, fly around the right and top edge of the map with the first raven group, sniping battlecruisers and other enemies encountered. Dance in and out twice to destroy the Xanthos. Once it enters its final phase, move your raven squad around the outside back to the middle Gorgon and rally remaining ravens at home there as well. Simply dance in and out a couple of times, and the missiles should easily tear apart the Xanthos. With this strategy, it is very easy to not lose any raven units, only perhaps losing a few peripherally stationed tanks or marines at home before your home raven group can react.
Complete the “End Game” mission in Nova: Covert Ops.
Kill an enemy Ghost as it is calling down a nuke in the "End Game" mission.
Complete the "End Game" mission without losing any Gorgons to the Xanthos's attacks on Normal difficulty or higher.
|Bringing Down the Big Guns|
Destroy the Xanthos before its 3rd activation in the "End Game" mission on Hard difficulty or higher.
|I am... In-Nova-table|
Complete the "End Game" mission in less than 21 minutes on Normal difficulty.
- A relay satellite from StarCraft can be seen in the map's background.
- Previously, players could trap the Xanthos behind a wall of supply depots while it retreated, preventing it from reaching the repair bay, allowing the player to attack the Defenders of Man base without the Xanthos attacking the Gorgons. This was fixed however, and in current builds the Xanthos will automatically destroy any allied buildings that block it during its retreat.
- Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Nova Covert Ops. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Cinematic: Broken Alliances (in English). 2016-11-22.
- Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Nova Covert Ops, End Game (in English). 2016-11-22.
- Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Nova Covert Ops. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Cinematic: Resolutions (in English). 2016-11-22.