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Following their successful sorties at Braxis and Dylar IV, the UED Expeditionary Fleet was ready to begin the primary invasion of Korhal, throne world of the Terran Dominion and Emperor Arcturus Mengsk. Vice Admiral Alexei Stukov debriefed the Captain on the planet's history, that it had been a hotbed of unrest for the Terran Confederacy, and was bombarded by nuclear weapons to quell the unrest. Radiation levels on the planet's surface were now at an all-time low, allowing civilization to return.
Lieutenant Samir Duran warned that because the planet had already been heavily nuked, Mengsk had no hesitations about using nukes on his own planet, and he had a number of nuclear silos on the outskirts of Augustgrad, which made up his primary stockpile of nukes. Duran believed their destruction would cripple Mengsk's nuclear arsenal. Stukov also informed the captain that Mengsk's orbital defenses included a number of battlecruisers, which were powered by physics labs in the area. The loss of the labs would leave Mengsk unable to power up the battlecruisers.
Admiral Gerard DuGalle left it to the Captain's discretion of which target to eliminate, but warned that the UED did not have time to destroy both. Once either the nuclear silos or physics labs were destroyed, the UED could move on to the siege of Augustgrad itself. The Captain carried out their orders and severely weakened the Dominion defenses.
The player begins with a base near the middle of the map, and as such may be vulnerable to attack from all directions during the mission. Two expansions are available, one on the cliffs to the west and another to the east, defended by some light enemy forces and a bunker. The player should take at least one of these expansions during the mission. The primary enemy bases are in the far east corners of the map, with smaller bases in the western corners. The player should quickly fortify their base with bunkers, siege tanks, and missile turrets.
The player's objectives will impact the gameplay of the next mission; gameplay will be identical between the two versions of "Emperor's Fall," save for if Mengsk has access to battlecruisers or nukes, and differences in the player's starting base and forces that are ultimately minute. Note that Mengsk will still have access to ghosts if the player destroys his nuclear silos. With this in mind, the nuclear silos are located in the south-eastern base, and the physics labs in the north-eastern base.
The south-eastern base is heavily fortified with small choke points, bunkers, missile turrets, and siege tanks on high ground. A front assault would be very difficult, but the easier option is to use the player's own nuking ghosts. Two or three nukes will be enough to destroy the defenses around the silos and the silos themselves, taking into account the ghost will have to destroy a few missile turrets around the silos to be able to get close enough to nuke them safely.
The north-eastern base can similarly be dismantled with nukes, though the relative location of the physics labs to the nuclear silos means they are more heavily defended, and more nukes will be needed. However, compared to the south-western base, this base is much more wide open with lighter defenses, so a more conventional attack force can be used. Ghosts are still helpful to lockdown enemy siege tanks, and the player should bring a force of their own siege tanks to break down bunkers. Otherwise, marines with support from medics and perhaps a few goliaths or wraiths can bring the base down.
Since the main targets are add-ons, it is possible for the player to steal them by placing their own buildings next to them. This counts the same as destroying them in terms of fulfilling mission objectives. With the clustering of the silos, only 2 of them can be stolen when the rest are cleared away. Taking control of an enemy physics lab will not allow the player to build battlecruisers or research their upgrades.