No roaches in ZvZ? Dead wrong.

Zerg Discussion

Nuff said. The old conventional wisdom of "never make roaches in ZvZ" is absolutely dead wrong, and this replay proves it.
06/15/2013 01:27 PMPosted by MrPaz
The old conventional wisdom of "never make roaches in ZvZ"

I would like to know who said that. I don't think anyone says that?
06/15/2013 01:43 PMPosted by DrizztKrieg
The old conventional wisdom of "never make roaches in ZvZ"

I would like to know who said that. I don't think anyone says that?

i dont think anyone ever did, its actually somewhat useful if your opponent makes way too many blings
Opening with Roaches is pretty bad in most cases, but transitioning to them happens quite often enough.
never rely on roaches in the early game in place of speedlings and banelings.

roaches are a lair tech unit. you start making them when your bases are saturated and its time to get roach speed and a 3rd base etc.

there are timing attacks that are hard to defend without roaches. BUT they hit late enough, that you're about to entery "roach mode" already anyway. this is stuff like 3 gas baneling all in or two base roach baneling. by the time those move out you already have 35-38 drones and the roach warren is done. you'd nomally delay those roaches for longer, but you see him move out so you make the roaches reactively.

i haven't watched the replay yet.

but there are many reasons why roaches are not a reliable early game unit. (well there are two reasons - their cost and their speed) but that leads to many situations where the early roaches are bad and only a few where they are good, and none where they are better than speedling/baneling.

I would like to know who said that. I don't think anyone says that?

he's probably talking to me, although i don't say never make roaches, i say never open with a roach warren. any build where you skip speed or a baneling nest is a risk.
roaches in zvz are a transition into the mid game kind of unit. and ofc from there play out as part of a mid game composition.
yea he had 40 drones when he started going roach. he was on ling before that. That's fairly normal, when you can take multiple gas geysers, without sacrificing mineral saturation, and that lets you afford to start making roaches.
(you didn't get above 30 drones btw)

here is what i mean about roach openings. 1 base roach is especially bad. 2 base roach but without 2 base saturation is not as awful, but similiarly bad for similar reasons. once close to saturated, go ahead.
Here's a replay of me against 1 base roach with a pool first opening (but no gas. earlier gas for speed is actually even better).

1 base roach is not allowed. I think it's probably pretty common, because it is easy to do, and people try to avoid banelings, but if you master how to play against it you should beat it 100% of the time, while holding onto your own expansion.

Here's my outline:
If you have enough lings you can beat roaches by surrounding them. He has no speed, which means the roaches are a liability. They cannot both attack and defend. If he divides his roaches, he makes each group of roaches so much more vulnerable to zerglings. Therefore he needs to keep all his roaches in a group and just go.

the main thing i want to say is don't make roaches just because you don't want to make banelings or speedlings. that's not a reason.

from that same thread, nasreth said:
^ This is a VERY good post about why roaches are bad in ZvZ before you have a full 2 base economy. Seriously, you should have a lair started and at LEAST 38 drones before you even THINK about making roaches in ZvZ.
and i agree
Oboeman's post is correct. Let me explain it from the other side of the coin.

Back when I was still learning ZvZ (we all were), I learned how to hatch first into roaches and hold ling/baneling aggression builds. Basically by cutting 1 queen you can have roaches out in time to defend any of the regular timing attacks and can easily block the ramp and hold whatever hits.

This worked out for a while, but I starting having some issues. Let me break down the problems of going for quick roaches.

Inability to scout. With only slow lings and my opponent having speedlings, I found it very hard to scout. Scouting basically requires sacking an overlord and is quite expensive. Worse, there's no given time on when your opponent can stop droning and produce an army. It's impractical to think you can sack an overlord every 45 seconds to check their army production. On some maps it's possible to hang an overlord out over the back of an opponent's base to see drone count. That helps to an extent, but is no substitution for good information.

I was left with a conundrum. Without a baneling nest it's impossible to reactively respond to what the opponent is doing. Either I make roaches and can kill an army, or I don't make roaches and die when an army attacks.

If I opt to make roaches, my opponent can survive the attack by actively scouting what I am doing and dropping a few spines while massing lings. It's possible to add banelings, or my own speed, but these farther impact my already weak economy. If my opponent simply drones until they see a decently large army, then makes 2-4 spines and masses lings, my attack will fail.

I discovered this over the course of many games. Each time I met an opponent who responded correctly with spines and mass lings, they held my attack and easily crushed me with a superior economy.

Roaches significantly impact my economy. 2 Supply is nothing to overlook and the warren alone sets me back 200 minerals (150+drone). That's 4 drones if my opponent did it right. Not to mention the gas and mineral requirements of roaches. Roaches simply don't work in small numbers, fewer than 7 are easily surrounded and killed by only lings unless they are sheltered in a choke.. Larger roach groups require spines to defend but can still be stopped. The only time roaches don't negatively effect my economy is when I have already established my economy (hence the advice not to make roaches until 2 base economy is established).

About this time I was watching Sheth's stream.. He had just gone to Korea and was explaining how Koreans play so much different. They would do a mass ling style and use some banelings. With the mass lings it was possible to defend multiple bases and take the 3rd much earlier. Suddenly ZvZ was about taking and denying the 3rd base. Every second counts and establishing a 3rd 30-60 seconds before the opponent is fairly big. Roaches are not particular good at defending multiple locations and the initial investment makes it hard to establish an economy while finding 300 spare minerals for a 3rd.

ZvZ has continued to be dominated by ling baneling early game with the intention of taking a 3rd before the opponent. There's a few odd builds that will try to mass baneling or mass roach and hit a timing, but those builds don't work when scouted and reacted too properly. They are built around catching the opponent off guard and do not yield consistent results like ling baneling does.

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