Terran Strategy
Terran vs Zerg
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The Basics
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.

Offense
With Terrans it's easy to sit back and do nothing because of their great defenses, but you have to take the battle to the enemy town if you expect to win. If you sit back while opponent takes over every resource spot on the map, it doesn't matter if you have a 5 to 1 kill ratio. You will lose eventually. The first group of attackers is usually a group of Stim Packed Marines (survivors of that early Zergling attack) and SCVs to build Bunkers on the front line. After that point, you will want to get Siege Tanks and Siege Mode and begin using that with your offensive. Then add in more Marines, Siege Tanks, Bunkers, and a Science Vessel to Defensive Matrix the Tanks, Irradiate packs of enemy units and spot burrowed units. It is also very important to bring at least 2-4 SCVs to repair everything while the fighting is going on. Using this method, you can push your way closer and closer into enemy towns overpowering large groups of Zergling, Hydralisks, and Mutalisks.

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.

  • Try to get Siege Tanks up on high ground. They make quick work of attacking Hydralisks. Get a moving line of Siege Tanks, Marines, and possibly some Goliaths heading toward the enemy. You can get a group of SCVs to repair them as they advance. You may find building Bunkers as you advance works well also.

  • Attack with large groups of Stim Packed Marines and Medics. It's amazing how much damage they can dish out, especially with upgrades. Build Bunkers outside the enemy towns then retreat to them.

  • If the enemy builds enough Zerglings and Hydralisks so this is not successful, look for openings where you can Dropship 8 Marines into the enemy resources. Often players do not plan for this. Again, Stim Packs will allow the Marines to tear apart enemy Drones before your opponent can respond.

  • If the enemy uses Ultralisks, use Science Vessels to Irradiate them, and Battlecruisers to Yamato them.

Dealing with a Flood of Zergling
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.

Hydralisk Hordes
Marines work best here, especially with Medics and the StimPack and U-238 upgrade. Bunkers also help a lot when you make sure to repair them while they are being attacked. Getting Siege Tanks as quickly as possible should be high on your list. Your next worry after defending your base with Siege Tanks and Bunkers will probably be Guardians, Terrans' worst enemies.

  • You want to avoid using Firebats vs Hydralisks because they are not very effective against them.

  • Cast Irradiate on tightly packed groups of Hydralisks.

Guardians
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.

Queens
Queens can also be a headache, with their ability to Broodling your Siege Tanks and Goliaths. Ensnare and Parasites are something else to watch out for, although killing the Queens is the best defense against that. Use Wraiths against Queens, as Battlecruisers are often too slow. Scattering Missile Turrets around your base can also chase off Queens. Use the Medic's Restoration ability to remove Parasites.

Defilers
In the hands of a skilled player, Defilers can be serious trouble. A trick you might see is Defilers casting Dark Swarm, then hiding Hydralisks inside the cloud. Only the Firebat and Siege Tanks in Siege Mode will be able to attack units under the Swarm. Although this is a little seen tactic, it can be very effective against anything but Siege Tanks in Siege Mode and Firebats. Using Irradiate is probably the best counter to this strategy-- your opponent will be forced to move his/her troops away from the Swarm or risk having several of them die from the radiation. Science Vessels are also a great tool for killing Defilers, even if they are burrowed.

Mutalisks
If the enemy is using Mutalisks on you, large groups of Stim Packed Marines with Medics work the best, especially because they are so portable. Goliaths, Missile Turrets, and Wraiths only do half damage to the nimble Mutalisk, lessening their effectiveness. Again, Irradiate is an excellent weapon to use against clumps of Zerg, and once you have a fleet of Battlecruisers Mutalisks will quickly fall before you. Valkyries are the best defense against hordes of Mutalisks on the move. Build several Starports then build several Valkyries at a time.

Lurkers
Beware of the Lurker Rush or drop. Place a few Siege Tanks in Siege mode around your base. Build Missile Turrets around your base so they can reveal any Lurkers that might enter your town. Make sure your ComSat station is ready to do a Scanner Sweep. Siege Tanks and a Scanner Sweep is usually the easiest way to defeat Lurkers however even Wraiths can do the job. As you push toward the enemy build Missile Turrets along the way to fall back to if Lurkers show up.

ComSat Burrowed Units
If the enemy uses Burrowing against you, ComSat should take care of that fairly easily if you see them burrowing. You may also want to scout around the map with Science Vessels to make sure the enemy is not creating a mass of burrowed forces for attack.

Marine/Medic/Science Vessel Combo
Marines, Medics and Science Vessels work very well together against Zerg. Build large groups of Science Vessels, research the Reactor upgrade, and Irradiate groups of Hydralisks, Zerglings, Mutalisks and Guardians. Cast Defensive Matrix on Marines-- those 250 extra Hit Points will go a very long way. Rumor has it that a well-known Ladder player lost to a group of 20 Stim Packed, Matrixed Marines, and was extremely embarrassed.

Infested Command Centers
Occasionally the enemy will try to destroy and Infest one of your Command Centers. Needless to say, this is not something you should allow. Move your Command Centers to fortified areas after they are done mining a group of resources so you can keep them defended. ComSats are cheap to rebuild, and Nuclear Silos will become a priority target, anyway, so you'll want all of your Centers under a watchful eye.

Key buildings
Destroy key buildings such as the Hydralisk Den, Spire, and Spawning Pool. Then destroy the main Hives and Lairs. This will force the enemy to upgrade a Hatchery, then build the buildings again which can take a quite a while, delaying the enemy's production of those units. It's often quite easy to get a group of Stim Packed Marines into an enemy town to destroy key buildings, if you are tricky about it.

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.

Ultimate Offense
The ultimate offense against the Zerg is a large fleet of Battlecruisers. To pull this off you need 2-3 Starports building Battlecruisers (3 or more is preferable), and build 2 Armories to upgrade both Ship Weapons and Armor at the same time. You will also need 2-3 Gas geysers. You can get by on only one if you do not spend any Gas at all except on the two Marine upgrades at the Academy and on buildings. (No Firebats!) Once you have about 6 Battlecruisers, you will be ready to make an initial attack. If your attack doesn't go as well as you wanted it to, retreat and wait until you have repaired your Battlecruisers, giving you time to build more. Head out again with about 9+ fully upgraded Cruisers and deal some damage. Many Zerg players do not understand the power of Battlecruisers. They may have not seen them in numbers, and used properly before. A common misconception is that people can't build up a large force of Battlecruisers and still attack. This can be done easily on even one resource spot. By just spending a few Minerals on Stim Packed Marines with U-238 shells, you'll have plenty of resources to build up to Battlecruisers. While this is easier on island type maps, this can also work well if the enemy isn't producing large numbers of Hydralisks and Zergling. A few Bunkers with lots of SCVs repairing them while they are being attacked can be enough to defend the town against less experienced Zerg players while Battlecruisers are built up. Once deployed, some Zerg players think that Cruisers can be killed with Mutalisks or Scourge. A group of Battlecruisers can easily defeat huge numbers of Mutalisks and Scourges, provided they are well managed and constantly repaired, something many Zerg players don't understand.

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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