Well this is part four in a series dealing with cheese, how to do them and how to beat them. This is going to help you understand what the strengths are in this cheese and how to beat it. Today’s cheese is, marine rush!
Cheese #4: Marine Rush
There are two formulations of these cheese, one is for a small map and the other is for a large map. On a large map you build 2-3 barracks (no reactor or lab). The benefit here is you will have the same advantage (production wise) as the person who is on defense. As well you will have the advantage of only making units while they are trying to build some sort of tech structures. Terrans are building tech labs and fusion reactors. Zerg are building roach wardens or hives. Protoss are buildilng a cybernetic core. The advantage given is that they are going to have 2-3 extra units on the person who is building tech structures.
This is a “sort of” all in strategy. You are investing a heavy amount in this working. Much like the zealot-rush all-in or the 6-pool all-in there are ways to survive this strategy’s failure. But if the person is smart and pushes your base you will lose. A huge advantage in this strategy is the ability to fly these barracks out of the path of your opponent and land them somewhere safe (not your base of course). All the while the second your opponent pushes on you, you can actually just re-proxy them with your ground army
You have a legion of marines (starts with 3 builds up fast) engaging your base, what are you going to do to fend them off?
The terran defense
If you are a terran hopefully you have done the regular starting build order and gone with a tech lab and pumped out your first marauder. Marauders are tankier than marines, have higher range and also have the snare. So this means with a little bit of micro (running your marauder away and attacking every 2.5 seconds) you will be able to out-micro his marines and kill them all.
You want to keep pumping out marauders. Marauders are going to win the day for you. Try and get them on the high ground if at all possible. Keep in mind if he gets repelled he will just try and build up stupid amounts of marines (now getting fusion cores and what not) because he legitimately believes this to be an all in. If you can get to 3-4 marauders just push his shit in. Find his barracks with one SCV and bring your marauders to it.
But let’s say I’m right and he’s dedicating to an all-in. He will have gotten himself some gas and gotten some fusion cores, maybe even a tech lab. BUT by this point you are building a FACTORY. You will swap your barracks’ tech lab for your factory so you can start pumping out tanks and getting siege tech. If you are unable to find where he is proxying from you need to wipe out his new ground army once and for all. If you have tanks, marines and marauders you can just out-play him.
He will be forced to either say GG or get wiped out by your marine/marauder ball while your tanks hold your base against anything he can throw your way.
The Protoss answer
Early protoss game is very weak against early terran game. This is becuase marines or marauders can kite zealots and stalkers take bonus damage against marauders, who can also snare them to make sure they cannot retreat. So when a marine army comes barreling down your door there’s not going to be a lot you can do.
Let’s say you’re going the prototypical protoss build. You have 2 gates, one cybernetics core and one vespene gas down. In a protoss vs. terran match up the first unit you will make is probably always a stalker. Stalkers deal with a large group of units including reapers and marines. After your first stalker comes out you’re always going to make a sentry.
Sentries are very strong in early game as the force field will allow you to retreat, isolate his forces or block off ramps from marines and marauders from driving into your base.
You should most indefinitely do the challenge “Psionic Assault” to get some practice on what I’m asking you to do. You will like any good player be sending out constant scouts and will either see his army coming or find his barracks. Xel Naga towers are super cool to hold. Remember like everything if you look in his base and he has nothing built 100% guaranteed he is proxying you.
If he has stuff in his base keeping a Xel Naga tower will be powerful in telling you when his marine army is barreling into your base.
Okay so have you done Psionic Assault? No crap well here’s how you do it…. in 5 seconds.
Sentries have a very overpowered ability called force field. Force field creates a physical intrusion that blocks the path of a unit. You place the force fields and the BOTTOM of the ramp so that the person cannot move up the ramp at all. If they are unable to move up the ramp they will not be able to gain sight on your units. This means your stalker and army of sentries will be able to freely fire at his army of marines. You will still be out-numbered but by getting this early damage out and wiping out 2-3 marines you will gain the advantage on him. This means you will be able to up your production rates and just build an overall larger army.
The ONLY thing that he can possibly do to hurt you is add two tech labs and get some marauders out. But you’re smart right? You wil have that probe that has been sitting at a Xel Naga tower going around looking for a grouping of barracks outside of his base. You are going to do something totally awesome here… split your army up. One or two stalkers heading to his base and the remainder of your force tangling up his army. You are going to wipe out his economy and lose the remainder of your army.
That sounds horrible.
But you will be producing more and more units, he won’t. He will either have to deal with the stalker threat and lose his barracks or lose his command center and lose the game. It is an unanswerable riddle that he will be caught in.
The Zerg Solution
Zerg are going to have the hardest time dealing with marines. If you are 15-pooling like all the pros this means by the time has marines out you will have a few zerglings, a spawning pool and a lot of production. It’s a good thing you scouted right? If you see him building no barracks in his base it means similar to every other example that he is proxying you. You don’t have enough zerglings to knock out his proxy, really only a 6 or 8-pool is going to give you a chance at catching his proxy. REALLY you are not going to be able to beat an MM ball with a 6 or an 8 pool on a large map.
So you have figured out that he is proxying you. Even if you find out where the barracks are you won’t be able to beat it there, too many marines. So what are you going to do?
The big problem advantage to a 15-pool is that you are going to have large amounts of resources and nothing to spend them on. Most people who 15-pool do an early expand with two queens which will quodrouple production. Your turning point in beating a racks proxy is when you’re about to fast expand… and you don’t.
No you’re not going to fast expand. Instead you are going to invest that 300 minerals on SPINE CRAWLERS. Stack them up and build them very close to your hatchery. You need time before his marine ball comes and wipes out his forces… I mean those spine crawlers aren’t going to just build on their own.
In your normal build you should have TWO QUEENS at this point. So two queens, six zerglings and three spine crawlers (in production). So his ball comes in your base. This is where good micro play comes into work. Your queens go in first and try and soak damage, send your zerglings after (different flank otherwise you’ll block off your own queen’s exit strategy). When a queen gets to 1/3 health move it back then re-engage. The other queen will soak damage. You will probably lose one of your queens here and maybe even some zerglings. But you will have your spine crawlers up.
Now as a point of regular zerg strategy you are going to have a creep tumor down. You need to extend your creep to the entrance of your base… and fast. Once you ahve repelled that first attack you want to move your spine crawlers to the ramp of your base so that they will get some free shots on him.
If he sends a second wave you’ll be far better prepared, couple more spine crawlers, an extra queen, high ground and on top of that you will have MORE DRONES producing more minerals. After the second wave you can move your spine crawlers agai n(extending your creep even more) and get your second expansion. Roaches are going to be your friend here.
You will not gain any significant advantage. Instead you will bring the game back to even. Zerg are the easiest race to harass as every loss of a drone or a queen is a huge loss in production and potential building structures. You cannot destroy his barracks with zerglings because he can simply lift them off. The best you can do is send some zerglings into his main and try and wipe out his harvesters but it is possible he may have blocked off with supply depots and can just repair them up. In TvZ match ups terrans have a lot of ‘outs’ against zerg and unfortunately as a zerg player you need them to make mistakes to win.
I think next time I’ll start with zerg, sucks ending a blog post on such a gruesome note.