Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Updated Terran Impressions

So I have been playing Terren for a couple of days now and I thought I would update my initial impressions. I've been trying out fun strategies to see what you can do with Terran before settling down and playing properly so I'll probably have to update my thoughts soon but this is what I think so far.

What I Have Learned
So firstly I have come to realise how important positioning is to create a defensive line, you want your siege tanks spread out so that attacking units have to work to get to each one. Your infantry should be in a line so that they create a concave around the enemy and so that they can't all be killed by splash damage. If a Terren loses their main army it makes it very hard for them to get back to being even especially if the opponent is a Zerg who can rebuild a large army very quickly. Also you can't sit idly by and let a Zerg out macro you too much as they can become very difficult to deal with, creating units as quickly as they are killed. Colossus and storms make mass ling baneling less effective against Protoss but without a lot of siege tanks they can be brutally effective against Terran.
Spread out siege tanks with marines to keep attackers distracted.

I also came to realise how important upgrades are because if the opponent gets armor then your marines that do many weak attacks are losing lots of DPS compared to slow attacking high damage units; like most Protoss units are. Without any attack upgrades and with the enemy at three armor your marines are only doing half damage, the rest is being negated; I learned this the hard way against battle cruisers.
Even one armor upgrade negates a lot of damage, many more marines died that day.

Siege tank contains against Terrans are pretty difficult to do and relies on them not having many siege tanks of their own, if they do it's easy for them to defend at the top of a ramp. If you have to do it then take along some marauders as these guys are brutal versus armored. Marauders also have a longer range and can survive more siege tank hits than a marine. At the end of the day it's not normally worth it to contain a Terran as siege tank counters can destroy your army before you can unsiege and retreat. Using a lot of marauders in a main army is great as they are sturdy, can soak up baneling damage and distract air units away from marines.
Marauders tanking damage from enemy siege tanks and sniping the ones close to the top.

What I Am Enjoying
My favorite part of playing Terran is the TvT games as people come out with some very interesting strategies, though unfortunately most of them seem to work on me. With PvP it was rare to see anything but 4 gate or 3 gate robo, though that might have changed since the recent patch. ZvZ is like rock, paper, scissors with speedling, baneling, roach instead, and always so frustratingly micro intensive that it is difficult to appreciate. Also both PvP and TvT seem much more prone to cheese. It's great that TvT isn't too standard and often progresses into the late game. When someone dropped thors into my base I couldn't deal with it but had to laugh as it countered all the units I could build.
A thor drop into my base, it was super effective.

I played a game against a friend where I was totally on my back foot until I got ghosts and started using EMPs on his Protoss army. I still think it's OP, even though I'm playing as a Terran, but it was glorious to see his army melt away before me as he was just saying that he didn't think it was possible for me to win. Helping in the massacre was the huge DPS of my bio ball, with proper medivac support, it is crazy to see how quickly they could destroy bases whilst not losing any health.
EMPs drain Protoss shields so quickly.

What I Need to Improve
It wasn't the best idea to try out weird strategies after getting into the platinum league on a race I have hardly ever played, but it has taught me some hard lessons and shown me areas I need to improve my play on. I need to work out how many production facilities a base can fund when fully saturated and also remember to build more production as I expand. I always find I have too much money building up so need to work on constantly building units and upgrades. I always forget that Terrans need an engineering base and an armory so lose valuable time, I should work out timings for when I'm most likely to need them and put it into a build order.
Only 4 barracks on 2 bases and not even all of them are producing.

Another thing that I need to work on is building more supply depots earlier on so that I am not constantly supply blocked. In addition to being supply blocked I far too often forget to send builders back to the mineral line, they should really be queued up to mine after the building is set to construct. I found it easier to remember as a Protoss as the building warps in without any help and as a Zerg the worker is consumed in the building so doesn't require sending back to the mineral line.
There are 4 idle workers in this screen alone.

In general I think that my marine micro is pretty awful as I unsuccessfully  attempt to scoot and shoot but mostly just end up scooting without doing any damage. I also tried to micro a thor which nearly lost me a game as it meant it did less damage than if it was just standing still. My understanding is that Z>T>P when it comes to map control and even though I have scans and fast moving cheap units at my disposal I far too often leave myself completely in the dark as to what is going on and leave myself totally open to surprise attacks.

As always thanks for reading and please feel free to leave a comment.

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