Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Update Impressions From Playing As Terran

For ten weeks now I have been playing as Terran so I thought I would update the Initial Impressions I did in the first week with how I feel now. In my initial impressions I basically said that Marines are good, M.U.LE.s are amazing and that the mechanics are a lot harder than I expected and whilst that's still true there is a lot more to Terrans. In this article I am going to talk about my thoughts on the Terran units, their late game army, expanding and my thoughts on mirror match-ups. I may only be Gold but this is my understanding of the Terran race as it is now.
I like this picture because I actually managed to hold off this attack but I don't have anything to say about it.
Marine Marauder is obviously an important part of any Terran's army and very useful due to their high damage output and ability to be healed and dropped by Medivacs. Marines are the backbone of the Terran army and have the advantage of being able to shoot air unlike Zerglings and Zealots. The Marauder is generally a brilliant all round unit that is especially good versus buildings and armoured. When I first started playing as Terran I used Reapers quite a lot but I rarely use them at all any more. I find that Hellions are a much more effective harassing unit which don't take so long to make and can be built two at a time from a Factory with a Reactor. Sometimes I will send out four or five Reapers in the late game to take out harvesters in poorly defended bases but a drop is just as easy to do. Ghosts are a really good unit that I am terrible at using; I watch pros play and am amazed by what they can achieve but when I try it's never as effective. Ghosts are definitely something I'd like to use a lot more in the future as their snipe, cloak and EMP make them indispensable.
Marines DPS is ridiculously good so they can be used to quickly take out structures and retreat.
I think that Hellions are the best Terran option for harassing the mineral lines in the early game as they don't take you too far off the standard tech path and can do so much damage. Against Zerg I usually get up two Factories so that I can make four Hellions at a time then switch the Reactors for Tech Labs to start Siege Tank production as Hellions become less effective. Hellions are pretty useless in the late game except for in TvT if the opponent is going Marines; Heart of the Swarm will change that of course. Siege Tanks are amazing in TvT and TvZ for obvious reasons but I like to use the in TvP too. I find that if I have Siege Tanks in TvP I am much more likeley to spread my troops out and so am much less susceptible to Colossus and High Templar. Also Protoss players often disregard everything else to target the Siege Tanks allowing your bio units to attack unmolested. I don't like Thors because they are slow and cumbersome so I only use them (begrudgingly) against mass Muta.
A few Hellions can completely lock down mining and kill lots of harvesters.
The Terran air army is also very effective with each of the units having clearly defined roles. Vikings are great  anti air units but are terrible versus Mutas so only effective in the late game for TvZ, when Broodlords start to appear. Likewise Vikings are most useful in the TvP late game when Colossus start to arrive on the scene though not before that unless there are Voidrays and Carriers. In TvT you can never have enough Vikings as air control is vital for the sucess of your ground army. Medivacs are important in every match-up for their ability to heal and drop units behind enemy lines. Banshees are a great harasser if the opponent doesn't know they are coming, however, I don't like using them because I've never really had any success with them. Likewise with the Raven I have rarely ever used them as I prefer to use scans and Missile Turrets to detect. The last Terran air unit is the Battlecruiser, which is only really seen in TvT late game as far as I'm aware, because of it's effectiveness against Siege Tanks, Maries, Thors and Hellions; everything the opposing Terran is likely to have in the late game.
Standard late game Terran army, does the Battlecruiser have any other use?
I find the late game Terran army the most difficult to control as you have so much to do, but that may be just because I am less use to playing them compared to the other two races. As a Terran there is a lot to think about as you enter an engagement; are your Siege Tanks in siege mode? Where are the enemy High Templar/ Infestors to EMP? Where are your Vikings to engage the Colossus/ Broodlords? Do you need to Stim all your troops? Do you need to stutter step? It's a lot to think about in a very short period of time as Terran units like the Marine are very week and don't take very long to die; especially against the high tech units of the enemy races. Also if you are stutter stepping you can't do anything else at the same time. I think it's often underestimated how much a Terran has to do in a battle, however, you should think twice about attacking into a well prepared Terran.
Why would anyone ever attack straight into this?
As a Terran I'm not always sure when the best time to expand is, though bunkers and Planetary Fortresses make it easier and less stressful to do. Siege Tanks, Bunkers and Planetary Fortresses can lock down ground like nothing else in the early-mid game; you even get 75 minerals back when you salvage a bunker. When you play as Zerg it's not a case of if but when to expand; you already know you are going to have to fast expand just to keep up with the other races. Protoss can do a lot off of one base so aren't as pressured to expand as Terran are and even if they are denied from expanding they can still reach the highest techs and produce a lot of units. As a Protoss I often left expanding until as late as possible but as a Terran I always feel the need to expand relatively early on.
Makes me laugh every time I see it. There is Baneling bombs under my troops that thankfully never explode.
Compared to PvP and ZvZ Terran versus Terran is a nice and relaxing experience as it's played at a much slower pace and often gets into the late game. TvT can be very frustrating as the enemy slowly pushes into your base whilst you can do nothing about it but in general I prefer it to the other two match-ups. Whilst Siege Tanks can obliterate your army in seconds you often have your own to fall back on and prevent your opponent from destroying you straight away. Air control and drops are vital for success; you can't just rely on Mech and Marines all the way through the match-up. ZvZ is the rock, paper, scissors of Speedling, Baneling, Roach whilst PvP is normally three or four Gates into some for of tech after; Dark Templars, Colossus, Blink Stalkers, Immortals or drops. Recent patches have meant that PvP is more likely to get into the late game but it's still very unstable at the beginning. I prefer TvT to either of the other two as it is much less volatile and less APM intensive.
Air control and a much bigger army spell doom but it still takes time to push into an opponents base in TvT.
If you liked this post then please follow me on twitter at @RobinTerran and 'stumbleupon' me with the button below. Check out my other articles including my story of how I got into StarCraft and this weeks Life in the Middle. Thank you very much for reading.

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