Spine Crawler Creep Spread Rush

Protoss Discussion
So I encountered a zerg cheese strategy a couple days ago playing the 1v1 obs map on shakuras that threw me for a loop so I thought I'd see if anyone has suggestions on how to deal with it.

The zerg when for a normal 14 pool into expand. Only after expanding he brought 4 lings and a queen and 2 drones to just outside my base. He build a hatch and cancelled it and used the creep from it to plant down a creep tumor and 2 spore crawlers. Afterwards he proceeded to drone up and take his 3rd base.

The spore crawlers were then able to take potshots at my cybernetics core and forge without retaliation using an overlord for vision. The queen was then used for a 2nd creep tumor so that creep spread outside my natural ramp and into the locations for either possible 3rd base. Apart from that the queen was used to transfuse the spore crawlers if I ever got close to killing one.

I eventually cleaned it up, but at the cost of my forge and cybernetics core and just wasted too much time and gas mixed with poor stalker micro in dealing with it.

Anyone have a suggestion for the best way to deal with it as the spines showed up before I could even get a stalker out?
if you dont scout a queen limping across the map, you can still put photons as far forward as possible and lose a building or two. that might not be a bad trade, since he has to lose a queen, a couple larvae injects, two drones, a hatchery cancellation, and make a spine. and all that at the early stage of the game when a zerg desparately wants to be investing like crazy in drones. other available responses depend on the timing of the attack and your post-ffe build.
early gateway, 2 zealots before like 7 minutes should clean this up right?
Here's the replay.
http://drop.sc/281832

I went nexus first and ended up losing my forge because of it and then didn't cancel the 2nd gateway. Ended up more mineral heavy and gas starved because I took all my gases late.

Had 3 zealots at 7 minutes which was still not enough to break out. Took 4 or 5 stalkers and losing my cyber core to stop it.

Tried to move out with a 7-gate +2 blink/sentry force but I was way late and got caught in a bad position. I did build a late robo considering an observer to get rid of all the creep, but then just went for it causing that to be a waste of gas.

Pretty sure I spent time freaking out instead of building probes and structures and stuff which I'm sure hurt as well.
Ive seen this a couple times. This is going to be standard type play in HoTS. Zerg in siege mode at a protoss base with swarm hosts, queens, tumor spreads, spores etc...etc.

They are just practicing now and getting ideas as they watch new strategies coming out of HoTS.

The times I have seen this I went directly for my fast DTS and this became a non issue for me. I am quite active in scouting and was easy to spot the queen walking across the map. There is about a 99 percent chance that this strat is what is plannned in WoL or swarm hosts in HoTS.

Additionally as zerg faces nothing but FFE every game vs protoss they have the timings down as well as a good protoss has his own timings down. He knows exactly when to do everything based upon timings.....A standard 4 gate DT expand will crush this and crush his expo as well. He will be so far behind that it then becomes you not losing rather then him winning.

Remember this is a timing battle as you get up into diamond/master level of play. Walking a queen across the map is going to cost him a lot of timing. Ive never seen them close to having vision when they tried this strat.....just go for dt expand vs this the instant you spot it and your golden.

This is essentially a zerg version of a cannon rush.....a failed cannon rush rarely results in a protoss win.......so to this strat is a failed zerg version of a cannon rush....it will however be much more effective in HoTS and less all inish when the expansion comes out and this becomes a reliable timing push for zerg.

EDIT: I watched the replay after I posted the above. His evo did not even complete till 8:30...thus perhaps 9:00 earliest for a spore crawler.....His first overseer did not arrive till the 10:30 mark after he completed his lair tech. Again this build is so susceptible to DTS that its an auto win if you just go to dts...ignore the creep in front of your base and go straight for his base.....gg.
Thanks, I'll have to remember that. I had just figured I might as well go blink since I already had stalkers out and robo/air tech would have been heavily delayed and I sometimes forget I have dts as an option.
Weird. I ran into something similar a couple nights ago from what apparently had been a Master's Terran for several seasons before he switched (except he used a Nydus to bring up his queens and drones). I just put 4 extra cannons behind my forge and cyber and let the forge and cyber core die, rebuilding them in my main, then built a bunch of stalkers and sentries for the hold. I came out ahead and wound up playing a standard macro game from there and won.
Of course, that was a really weird game because I started out by letting 8 zerglings into my mineral line. I figured the guy was just trolling after that and threw the game away by doing a stupid spine crawler push.
Can't watch the replay at work, but looks like you got hit way earlier than I did. If scouted, I figure the solution is to put a couple cannons in front of your wall since he's counting on crawlers and queens rather than roaches to hit you early. A little later, you can use FFs to save your cannons as necessary.
So I encountered a zerg cheese strategy a couple days ago playing the 1v1 obs map on shakuras that threw me for a loop so I thought I'd see if anyone has suggestions on how to deal with it.

The zerg when for a normal 14 pool into expand. Only after expanding he brought 4 lings and a queen and 2 drones to just outside my base. He build a hatch and cancelled it and used the creep from it to plant down a creep tumor and 2 spore crawlers. Afterwards he proceeded to drone up and take his 3rd base.

The spore crawlers were then able to take potshots at my cybernetics core and forge without retaliation using an overlord for vision. The queen was then used for a 2nd creep tumor so that creep spread outside my natural ramp and into the locations for either possible 3rd base. Apart from that the queen was used to transfuse the spore crawlers if I ever got close to killing one.

I eventually cleaned it up, but at the cost of my forge and cybernetics core and just wasted too much time and gas mixed with poor stalker micro in dealing with it.

Anyone have a suggestion for the best way to deal with it as the spines showed up before I could even get a stalker out?
I think if you FFE into either Sidewinder's double stargate build or you open witha FFE into robo, you should be able to scout this coming and be prepared with Void Rays or Immortals to break through.

Because he is doing this, he cannot afford to take more bases without cutting corners, so if you bust it, you should kill him, or you should be able to take a 3rd before him. To break it, Immortal/Sentry/Zealot on a 4-5 gate build after robo should allow you to push through. From a 2 stargate opening, 3-4 VRs and 2-3 gate Zealots should be enough. You can then follow up with a full on mass VR push with Zealot/sentry on 2 base or you can get Templar tech and a 3rd + MS, and use Zealot/Archon to punish expo attempts until Zerg has a lot of units - by which time you should be well ahead on tech and upgrades.
Lets see. Spine crawlers hit at ~7 minutes. The first immortal from parting's immortal build comes out at about 7:15 right? So I guess that would bust through but you might have to sacrifice your core or forge or both.

The fact that I played too greedy at the beginning kinda hurt my timings for that further, but yeah I imagine an immortal/gateway counter attack would have been pretty good at that point in the match.
i don't wanna tell you how to build, but if youre going robo an immo would be great. spines are only good if theyre supported, since you can shield micro against them. his lings cant support the spines against your immo because you'll have a photon or two in range of him. an immo can take 10 hits from spines before he loses life. so just chrono one and run in and out. if he keeps adding spines, chrono another immo. just back off when he sends lings in or you're about to start losing life. even if he tries to micro spines, you can still have shielded units absorb a few shots before he reacts and targets the ones with no shield. with or without stalker support, you should be able to take them down eventually without serious damage to your units. you'll be way ahead if he keeps adding spines, since he murders his drone count and econ while you have two healthy bases.
12/05/2012 09:02 AMPosted by wraithcube
So I guess that would bust through but you might have to sacrifice your core or forge or both.

The buildings are cheap compared to what the Zerg is spending to spine crawler rush you. All you're really worried about is losing your upgrades, right?
12/05/2012 09:22 AMPosted by BlackAdder
So I guess that would bust through but you might have to sacrifice your core or forge or both.

The buildings are cheap compared to what the Zerg is spending to spine crawler rush you. All you're really worried about is losing your upgrades, right?


Yep. I just start freaking out and forget reason when I see that I'm going to lose my core. I forget that losing it can be an acceptable trade in a situation like that. Not really used to ever having to sacrifice my buildings against a zerg.
12/05/2012 09:45 AMPosted by wraithcube

The buildings are cheap compared to what the Zerg is spending to spine crawler rush you. All you're really worried about is losing your upgrades, right?


Yep. I just start freaking out and forget reason when I see that I'm going to lose my core. I forget that losing it can be an acceptable trade in a situation like that. Not really used to ever having to sacrifice my buildings against a zerg.


It sounds like you might already know how to deal with this and it is just a question of freaking out in an uncommon situation. As long as you can get a couple sentries out and maybe an extra cannon (you never know how many lings or roaches may be following it up) and immediately rebuild your cyber you are in the lead.

There are a lot of weird tech ideas in this thread about how to deal with this. Double stargate is a poor choice as the voidrays are not out in time to prevent a bust and you have insufficient gas for sentries. It could work if you are able to confirm macro play with a scouting probe. But you are in no rush to break out of the base and any tech path will deal with it fine. The easy mistake to make is to chrono out lots of gateway units or alter your build in response. You can also err on the side of under-reacting and having an allin flood your front.
Hehe, I never said it would be easy, wraith :P You would need to get your first Immortal out and you will have a few sentries and zealots that you can use to push back, but you can wait for 2 Immortals then do the push, and Zerg will really have only Spines/lings/queens (in smaller numbers than at a nearby zerg base) which are easy to handle as long as you don't get supply blocked.

But it looks like you understand where you went wrong, so I will leave it at that ^_^
I had someone do this to me a little while back and I just went straight into 1-base Stargate. Split my gas between Sentries (to hold my ramp from units running up) and Void Rays. Extra mineral I put into some cannons and couple extra Warp Gates and just sort of banked it for an expansion if it came to that.

With 2 Void Rays, I headed over to his base and rallied additional Void Rays to them and he had absolutely nothing at home to try to fend them off. After that, all he had was bunches of Spines/Spores at the bottom of my ramp and a new base he took at my normal third. Eventually, I built some Immortals to break the Spines at my ramp and he finally gave up.
12/05/2012 10:36 AMPosted by Methix
I had someone do this to me a little while back and I just went straight into 1-base Stargate.


This is an all in on the zergs part.......one base play here is really the way to treat it IMO. I usually just go straight into DTS and he will have nothing to stop it.
If you FFE then just make sure to wall off at natural and scout with your probe after 1st pylon.
Chrono boost units or 4gate him even so he cant rush you.
12/05/2012 10:24 AMPosted by Zamara
Hehe, I never said it would be easy, wraith :P


aww, you mean there's no easy button for winning in masters? so disappointing. ;)
Thanks for all the help guys! This just kinda threw me for a loop.

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