Thursday, 13 October 2011

The Perspective of Race Part 2

The Perspective of Race is back due to the popularity of part one. Incase you didn't catch it last time I will be looking at how the different races perceive and react to different encounters in the game. For example last time I looked at siege tank usage against Zerg, mass muta harass and forcefielding by Protoss players. This time I am going to discuss the Terran stutter step, baneling bombs and the use of high templars.

For a Terran stutter stepping is one of the most useful tools available in their arsenal and can mean the difference between victory and defeat. A properly executed stutter step can help a small unit of marines do a large amount of damage, even if there is no chance of survival the cost effectiveness of marines can be boosted with good micro. From the Terran's perspective stutter stepping isn't easy to do and requires a lot of practicing to get right, it also prevents you from doing anything else for that period of time as it is so micro intensive. It's further complicated by having three different infantry units to perfect stutter stepping with; each with their own timings. On top of that stimpacks affects the speed of attack adding even more timings to get used to. The main units that stutter stepping is useful for are the marine, the marauder and the reaper.
With proper stutter step these guys can take a lot of zerglings with them.

To Protoss and Zerg players stutter stepping is frustrating to deal with and can mean that melee units that usually annihilate bio can't even get close. Later in the game it can be mitigated by speed upgrades and zealot charge however early on it's horrible to see a group of units get kited around the map. A Protoss player can use stalkers to limit the effectiveness of marine stutter stepping as they outrange them but it's difficult against marauders as they are countered by them. As a Zerg you have to bide your time before attacking, waiting for them to be on creep, or until you can get the numbers to surround the Terran units. Whilst other races can stutter step it's not as difficult or as effective as the units have a lower rate of fire than the marines. When I played Protoss or Zerg I always thought of stutter stepping as a way for OP Terrans to boost their cost effectiveness further but when you actually play Terran you realise it's not so easy and takes a lot of attention to do.
Properly microed marines can stay out of a zealots reach forever.

Baneling bombs can be used in two ways either when burrowed or when dropped from overlords. Burrowed bombs require careful placement so that they are well spread out and not in a place that is too likely to be scanned or found with a detector. Often the best way to place bombs is to do it in plain sight, by sending your whole army into view and only burrowing a couple or by putting them in places they wont expect like in their natural mineral line. For Zerg players it's really tense when troops approach your bombs as you don't know if you are about to be found out or if they are even going to walk over them. Baneling mines work best against Terran as they are so good versus marines. If a Terran player knows there are mines out there then they will be on edge for the rest of the game as there could literally be mines anywhere. Even if the Zerg doesn't have any mines this is a good way of making the Terran waste scans and prevent many M.U.L.E.s from being used.
Just two banelings can do a lot of damage when a Terran is least expecting it.

Baneling drops work well on a Protoss player and helps the Zerg get around forcefields and past the colossus' massive range. Drops prevent banelings from being killed before doing their damage and distracts the Protoss player who has to target down the overlords or concentrate on moving back. From the Zerg's perspective they have to carefully control their overlords and ground units to maximise the damage done by the banelings and not leave the overlords way out in front where they can be sniped. For the Protoss player it is a micro contest that requires them moving back their units while killing overlords and getting their stalkers out of the way; blink helps a lot to this end but without that lings can hold them in place.
The lings keep the force in place as the baneling drops annihilate the forces.

To a Protoss player a high templar is an expensive unit that isn't useful until they have enough energy for storm which takes ages to research. That's not to say that they aren't appreciated and used a lot, they are, it's just in comparison to the other spell casters they are quite slow moving, can't cast their main ability straight away and that can be avoided anyway. Also when using a storm its quite easy for an enemy to kill the high templar, or if your army is retreating they often get left behind. The Protoss has to place storms very carefully as friendly damage is possible and so that the enemy units cant avoid its full damage. Zerg units are normally a lot less tightly packed and are better at dodging due to their speed so storms seem less powerful against them.
Storms and forcefileds can be used to destory Terran bio armies quickly.

To a Terran high templar are a scary opponent as they can feedback medivacs full of troops killing them before they have a chance to land and psi storms rip apart tightly packed bio balls which is often the strategy used against Protoss. A Zerg is much more likely to fear the high templar's feedback ability as it renders infestors useless or kills them outright. To the other races the high templar probably seems cheap and cost effective, compared to the costs of their spellcasters, as it can also be turned into an archon after.
Whilst still good storms aren't as effective against Zerg.

As always thanks for reading and please feel free to leave a comment and/or follow me. If you have any suggestions for another one of these put it down below.

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