Offensive Bunkering | Island Games | Cloaking | Special Abilities | Terran vs Terran | Terran vs Protoss | Terran vs Zerg
You have a good idea what most Zerg players are going to do on land maps. It's usually one of three things: On small maps, they attempt the Zergling rush. If they don't use that, then it's often either a massive Zergling attack or a massive Hydralisk attack. The beauty of the Terrans is that they are equipped to handle all of those types of attacks quite easily. The same building order can be used for all three attacks. Build Barracks, Barracks, Supply Depot, then continue on either building more Barracks, or going Academy, upgrade, then more Barracks.
If the enemy continues with Zerglings, start building a lot of Firebats. If the enemy decides to go Hydralisks only, use lots of Marines. For a mixed attack, use lots of Marines with maybe a few Firebats to attack the Zergling.
Make use of Bunkers for both offense and defense. After you win a battle, move outside the enemy town and build Bunkers. Bunker your way into your town. If you are placed on the defensive, simply build a few Bunkers, then place groups of SCVs by them to repair them while they are being attacked.
The key is to keep up with unit production and resources. While you are building more Barracks to train Marines faster, Zerg players are building Hatcheries that can be used to mine resources also. To keep up, save up 400 Minerals for a second town. Use Bunkers for defense while this town gets into operation, then go back on the offensive. Progress up the tech tree to Siege Tanks. If the enemy builds 3-4 Hatcheries (like some players do) you are going to need 5-7+ Barracks to build enough Marines to stop them, less if Siege Tanks are also being built. Each Hatchery can train 3 units at once with a 4th coming soon after, while Barracks only train one at a time. You can overcome this by building more Barracks, and making use of Bunkers.
If the enemy uses Mutalisks, Stim Packed Marines and Medics, if possible, should do the job. If they don't, use Bunkers with Stim Packed Marines while repairing the Bunkers. If the enemy attempts to use Guardians, try to build some Battlecruisers. If they are not available, use cloaked Wraiths.
It's important to pick one thing and head for it. Don't attempt to get everything at the same time. If Zerg players focus on Zerglings and Hydralisks, stick with Firebats, Marines and Siege Tanks. If you start to see an opening where you are overpowering them, then continue on to Science Vessels for Defensive Matrix and Irradiate. You can also choose to instead build up a fleet of Battlecruisers. The key is not to do everything at once. Make sure you are able to hold the enemy off before spending all those resources to upgrade.
Send some Siege Tanks, a few SCVs, and a group of Marines outside the Zerg town. Build Bunkers and place the Marines in them. Place the Tanks in Siege Mode and wait until the Bunkers are ready before attacking. When the enemy attacks, use 2-3 (more is always better) SCVs to repair the Bunkers and Tanks while they are being attacked. Once the attack is repulsed, move the setup closer and closer to the enemy town until it is destroyed. Move the Siege Tanks forward in pairs, making sure some remain in Siege Tank Mode while they are moving. Send a Science Vessel to Irradiate any clumps of Zerg units. Repair everything! Keep creeping towards the heart of your opponent's base while you repair and reinforce your troops. With effective management, a small group of Terran units can defeat a larger amount of enemy units, especially the relatively weak Zerg breeds.
In this picture you can see a very nice offensive setup. The enemy eventually had to use Queens to Broodling the Siege Tanks, and Guardians. The Science Vessel used Defensive Matrix on the two Tanks, and a Marine is up in front to spot for the Siege Tanks. SCVs are around to repair during Battle. Marines are there to hit air targets and any unit that gets close to the Siege Tanks. All of this requires intense micromanagement however.
The same ideas for fighting a lot of Zealots should also work here. Building 3-4 Barracks and making a lot of Marines and Medics should help fight off the Zergling rush. If they continue to use only Zergling, research StimPack, and use Firebats which are very effective against Zergling, especially when in groups and Stim Packed.
The Zerg player will often send Zergling to your town in long lines, and sometimes not even using attack move/Patrol, so by placing a few Marines near their path and Stim Packing you can slaughter large numbers of them before the enemy notices and responds.
You should be worried about the enemy using Guardians against your defensive set ups. Wraiths and cloaking can work here. Use the Science Vessel to cast Irradiate on groups of Guardians, and overcome the Guardians with masses of Marines. Another option is Golithas with the Charon Boosters upgrade (+3 Missile Range).
The best defense is to halt the enemy's Gas progress. Guardians require a lot of Gas, which usually means multiple Gas mines. Try to shut them down. Look for an opening in the Zerg town, then Dropship a squad of 8 Marines, StimPack them, and attack the Spire. If you can destroy the Spire, it will take the enemy quite a while to build another one, then upgrade it to a Greater Spire. This is often a very good defense against Guardians. Spotting expansion towns with ComSat and landing Marines on them is essential to halting the Zerg economy and troop production.
ComSat Burrowed Units
Marine/Medic/Science Vessel Combo
Infested Command Centers
In the screenshot to the right, the Terrans are attacking a Hydralisk Den to prevent further Hydralisks from being built. Destroying the Drones is also an option, but if the enemy has multiple towns, it will be more damaging to lose the Hydralisk Den as the other Hatcheries at other resource spots can still bring the money in.
Your biggest worry with a Cruiser fleet is Ensnare and Plague. Scourge, except in very large numbers combined with baiting attacks, and Ensnare will not be a problem. Use Yamato blasts to destroy Spore Colonies. Try not to directly assault groups of Spore Colonies if possible until you have overwhelming numbers. Use Yamato on Overlords to slow down Zerg production and blind your opponent. Your Battlecruisers should rip right through everything except extremely large groups of Hydralisks combined with special abilities. Make sure to regularly repair all your Battlecruisers when they get about 1/2 way damaged. This strategy works very well on island games and on most games where the enemy isn't very careful about attacking your expansion towns.
The key to this strategy is conserving Vespine Gas. Try to use Mineral-only troops, such as Marines, Bunkers, and Missile Turrets. Build a few Siege Tanks as necessary, but hold back on all non-essential upgrades. Your biggest danger is an experienced player with Defilers-- Dark Swarm and Plague combined with packs of Hydralisks will quickly reduce your shining fleet to scrap metal. You might consider building a Science Vessel or two to complement your Cruiser force with Defensive Matrix and, more importantly, Irradiate.
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