StarCraft® II

TvZ; Bio or Mech? (Not actually a debate)

I play a lot of mech v zerg. Wait. Zerg mass baneling absolutely ravages a maxed mech army. I didn't think it would, but it surely does. Then you're stuck with no army, no infrastructure for a quick bio rebuild, and facing a zerg-ponent that remaxes after losing his baneling army much more quickly. yes, hellions are very good against banelings, but once you step on that creep you're pretty much always going to be at a significant positional disadvantage as long as you insist on maintaining forward momentum. most of the time Fungals will snag enough of your hellions to open your mech core up to a baneling flank.
I am gold tho, so I still need to l2p.


tanks+thor counter banes. especially thor.

thors are good vs brood lords, hellions are good vs infested Marines.


Well, believe me, sir. You'll see. Thors are quite nice to absorb a relatively small number of banelings, I certainly do admit, and sieged tanks will chew up banelings, I do not deny, but you are thinking of the baneling armies designed to wipe out bio. Baneling armies designed to wipe out mech are very, very effective at wiping out mech, and you are simply mistaken if you believe thors are "good" against brood lords (I mean, I guess they're ok if your opponent has nothing but a few brood lords and attacks with them on open ground...) but don't take my word for it; check out the team liquid website: http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=300851 AND http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=365013.

I have certainly lost max mech armies to huge baneling strikes, and tot he broodlord/ infestor / ling combo. of course, I need to l2p, but that's why I quoted team liquid. they need to l2p too, right?
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tanks+thor counter banes. especially thor.

thors are good vs brood lords, hellions are good vs infested Marines.


Well, believe me, sir. You'll see. Thors are quite nice to absorb a relatively small number of banelings, I certainly do admit, and sieged tanks will chew up banelings, I do not deny, but you are thinking of the baneling armies designed to wipe out bio. Baneling armies designed to wipe out mech are very, very effective at wiping out mech, and you are simply mistaken if you believe thors are "good" against brood lords (I mean, I guess they're ok if your opponent has nothing but a few brood lords and attacks with them on open ground...) but don't take my word for it; check out the team liquid website: http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=300851 AND http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=365013.

I have certainly lost max mech armies to huge baneling strikes, and tot he broodlord/ infestor / ling combo. of course, I need to l2p, but that's why I quoted team liquid. they need to l2p too, right?


First, with mech you should be playing mostly defensively. Meaning wall offs, planitaries are great. etc.

Now. I looked at the TL post, watched the replay a few posts down. Spreading your thors out is a good idea. This is partially to do with the splash damage of banelings, though thors are too big for that to matter much, but also because the banelings will have to travel from one thor to the other, and thors 1 shot banes. Now, there is simply no way a zerg can be cost efficient using banelings vs thors. Why is this? because i baneling does roughly 25 damage to non-light units. Meaning it takes 16 to kill one thor. Thats 800/400 to kill 300/200. Not to mention its another 50/25 or so because the thor will kill at least one.

Now. Your problem is broodlords. The two ways you counter brood lords from a mech point (aside from fancy raven play) is with vikings and thors. Naturally thors against a high number of brood lords isnt too good. However you want to have hellions to kill the broodlings as they land and/or scv's repairing the thors.

http://drop.sc/243256 a replay of back when i was in gold league. Excuse my horrible mechanics

Take a look at 22:10 and 29:00.

22:10 is a good example of what im talking about with Hellion/scv/thor >broodlords.
At 29:00 he had 70 banelings. His army cost was double mine in minerals and triple in gas. And he threw away all those banelings to kill 6 thors and some hellions. Unless your not macroing at all. You shouldnt be losing to that.
Edited by John on 9/6/2012 3:32 PM PDT
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Well, believe me, sir. You'll see. Thors are quite nice to absorb a relatively small number of banelings, I certainly do admit, and sieged tanks will chew up banelings, I do not deny, but you are thinking of the baneling armies designed to wipe out bio. Baneling armies designed to wipe out mech are very, very effective at wiping out mech, and you are simply mistaken if you believe thors are "good" against brood lords (I mean, I guess they're ok if your opponent has nothing but a few brood lords and attacks with them on open ground...) but don't take my word for it; check out the team liquid website: http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=300851 AND http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=365013.

I have certainly lost max mech armies to huge baneling strikes, and tot he broodlord/ infestor / ling combo. of course, I need to l2p, but that's why I quoted team liquid. they need to l2p too, right?


First, with mech you should be playing mostly defensively. Meaning wall offs, planitaries are great. etc.

Now. I looked at the TL post, watched the replay a few posts down. Spreading your thors out is a good idea. This is partially to do with the splash damage of banelings, though thors are too big for that to matter much, but also because the banelings will have to travel from one thor to the other, and thors 1 shot banes. Now, there is simply no way a zerg can be cost efficient using banelings vs thors. Why is this? because i baneling does roughly 25 damage to non-light units. Meaning it takes 16 to kill one thor. Thats 800/400 to kill 300/200. Not to mention its another 50/25 or so because the thor will kill at least one.

Now. Your problem is broodlords. The two ways you counter brood lords from a mech point (aside from fancy raven play) is with vikings and thors. Naturally thors against a high number of brood lords isnt too good. However you want to have hellions to kill the broodlings as they land and/or scv's repairing the thors.

http://drop.sc/243256 a replay of back when i was in gold league. Excuse my horrible mechanics

Take a look at 22:10 and 29:00.

22:10 is a good example of what im talking about with Hellion/scv/thor >broodlords.
At 29:00 he had 70 banelings. His army cost was double mine in minerals and triple in gas. And he threw away all those banelings to kill 6 thors and some hellions. Unless your not macroing at all. You shouldnt be losing to that.


Both sides make alot of mistakes in the game (i mean i was in gold league). But overall hellion/thor/viking should be able to beat broodlord infestor or bl baneling or ultra etc.
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Hey john. You're neglecting the fact that, at the point where terran have massive mech armies, zerg doesn't need to trade cost effectively; Terran does, zerg generally does not; sure, as you are totally correct, the first wave is cost ineffective, but the second wave will have significantly less stiff resistance simply because terran can't recreate as large an army as quickly. As the players exchange units, particularly in the large scale we're talking about, zerg cost effectivity begins to ratchet up, as they're designed to; your error comes in treating a scenario where zerg has one army, only, and terran has one army, only, and the most cost effective exchange wins; which is not really the case in most long games. similarly, your perspective of the broodlord counter is also very flawed; It's not just broodlords you have to contend with against zerg because broodlords are fairly control inexpensive at four: The zerg can support large armies of broodlords, corruptors, and infestors simultaneously. The corruptors utterly ravage vikings and, again, an economically established late game zerg can create many corruptors, very quickly: To defend your vikings against these corruptors you're going to be forced to target fire them with thors, meaning your thors can't kill the broodlords, and/or kite them with your vikings. If you try to kite them with vikings, however, your vikings, against a good zerg, are going to get mass fungal'd. You will very very quickly lose your vikings to a zerg that knows how to use infestors. This opens your thors up to be ravaged by broodlords. Your advice about the hellions is good, but again, fungal growth does a real number on hellions; once they're immobile they can be quickly surrounded by broodlings, at which point their aoe becomes fairly negligible, and they tend to die quite quickly.
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sorry, not to nitpick, but I needed to add another thing; If you're targeting corruptors with thors, there are long periods, because of thors fairly slow firing speed, where infestors may comfortably waltz up and neural parasite your thors. Thors are quite strong against thors, and every thor that get's neural parasited in this way first, does damage, and next, acts as a fairly large wall protecting the parasitic infestor. Relying on thor viking to defend against zerg air tends to be fairly disastrous.

I also did not know I could edit posts. Brilliant. No more multiposting.

"My problem" isn't broodlords, john. I'm not on the forum asking for advice. My problem is that vikings are a little too weak to be effective air superiority units, and that ravens have some significant, glaring weaknesses compared to all other spellcasters, which include:

1) terrible range. Your opponent will see your ravens coming a mile away, because they have to come really, really close. other spellcasters can extremely easily neutralize ravens with feedback, neural, or fungal (or emp, really). It is extremely difficult to use and keep ravens, and losing such expensive units is crippling if you have invested in them. This range issue is exacerbated by

2) The fact that ravens are sooo slow. They are damn slow, and cannot really move rapidly around a battlefield as a tactical control unit like a spellcaster really needs to be able to do; their slowness and their short range forces them to lumber towards encounters that can sometimes end before your raven arrives, and also gives your opponent an extra-large window, when compared with other units, to counter your raven.

3) most raven abilities, even if successfully cast, can be completely negated. Yes Seeker missile is strong. Yes if your opponent is stupid and flies a clump of corruptors straight into your seeker missiles for you, Blizzard will determine that ravens don't need to be re-balanced. otherwise, because of the very short range and the very slow raven, it becomes very easy to actually pick out the unit targeted and simply move it away. The seeker missile will run out of gas far long before your raven can fire a new one, and you're left with a pretty useless raven that has almost certainly died because he has to get so close to launch his missile.

Similarly, point defense drones can be utterly neutralized by ghosts and high templar. They are slightly more problematic for zerg-ponents, but only slightly; you may believe they are good against corruptors, but corruptors will actually kill a large net of pdds quite quickly, far before the pdds energy runs out. Mutalisks will kill pdds even more quickly. The secret, if you can't just emp the pdds or feedback them (if they're a thing for you, I mean. They aren't always) is just to target fire them. easy.

Next, auto-turrets. Ah, auto turrets; your what? 8 damage? Actually, I like auto turrets. They're not bad. Auto turrets have a lot of potential uses. But, once again, a range of three means you're limited to using them BEFORe your enemy shows up, and that they're use in hostile situations makes your raven incredibly vulnerable for the, really, fairly small effect.

I'm not saying these abilities are useless, just that they're impractical in many ways, and easily defended. They don't stack up against the otehr spellcasters.
Edited by rly on 9/6/2012 5:20 PM PDT
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well with your high level gold experience. I guess my nooby diamond strategies just dont work...

http://drop.sc/247998

Yes i agree you need to be more cost efficient as terran. But unless your macro sucks, it shouldnt matter. If you sit on 2 bases for the whole game, then he attacks you. You beat his first army, then yes he can very well attack you again and again. Go fast 3rd cc.

Mech is very strong, you just need to make sure you have the right combo. If your having an infestor problem, i suggest you grab some tanks.

A case can be made that infestors literally counter every terran unit aside from the tank and marauder. Between fungle and NP, they do quite well with almost everything.

A little trick i do is 1, if he has infestor heavy; Spread your vikings. 2, if he is corruptor heavy; bring your vikings back a bit. In order to engage, his corruptors will have to move forward, which means they generally bunch up a bit.

Repair is also an important tool, broodlords really dont do that much damage if you have hellions and scvs repairing.
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God there is so much misconceptions of mech in this thread it not funny.

Firstly Muta's ahould be a free win for mech players +2 attack thors when you start to get 6+ wreck mutas and you should always get at least 4 thors before tanks anyway and you should be sinking excess minerals into turrets everywhere to help with roach drops so a muta transition should not be a issue.

Banelings unless you have your thor army clumped up and have no tanks banelings are a non-issue just seige up split your mech army. A maxed mech army should almost take up the whole screen if spread correctly and hellions can easily kite banelings have them in front of the mech army and kite back through the thors and tanks and let them explode on the thors and your fine.

BL infestor is really not that big of a issue just engage on your terms on your half of the map sitting behind CCs turrets and PFs with tanks and raven thor viking actually smashes it quite hard when you get 10+ ravens even if zerg is trying to split they may retreat with corruptors but there BLs will be exposed.

Most of the time all you need to do with mech is take your half of the map to win and sit and turtle zerg really can't attack and win if your set up and have 10 or so macro CCs and PFs at key defensive points and you drop down to 40 or so SCVs while the zerg needs to sit on 80.
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God there is so much misconceptions of mech in this thread it not funny.

Firstly Muta's ahould be a free win for mech players +2 attack thors when you start to get 6+ wreck mutas and you should always get at least 4 thors before tanks anyway and you should be sinking excess minerals into turrets everywhere to help with roach drops so a muta transition should not be a issue.

Banelings unless you have your thor army clumped up and have no tanks banelings are a non-issue just seige up split your mech army. A maxed mech army should almost take up the whole screen if spread correctly and hellions can easily kite banelings have them in front of the mech army and kite back through the thors and tanks and let them explode on the thors and your fine.

BL infestor is really not that big of a issue just engage on your terms on your half of the map sitting behind CCs turrets and PFs with tanks and raven thor viking actually smashes it quite hard when you get 10+ ravens even if zerg is trying to split they may retreat with corruptors but there BLs will be exposed.

Most of the time all you need to do with mech is take your half of the map to win and sit and turtle zerg really can't attack and win if your set up and have 10 or so macro CCs and PFs at key defensive points and you drop down to 40 or so SCVs while the zerg needs to sit on 80.


thank god someone who knows what their talking about. Great description.

http://drop.sc/243256
http://drop.sc/247998

Not my best games, but they get the point across. A maxed mech army with good control is almost unstoppable
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God there is so much misconceptions of mech in this thread it not funny.

Firstly Muta's ahould be a free win for mech players +2 attack thors when you start to get 6+ wreck mutas and you should always get at least 4 thors before tanks anyway and you should be sinking excess minerals into turrets everywhere to help with roach drops so a muta transition should not be a issue.

Banelings unless you have your thor army clumped up and have no tanks banelings are a non-issue just seige up split your mech army. A maxed mech army should almost take up the whole screen if spread correctly and hellions can easily kite banelings have them in front of the mech army and kite back through the thors and tanks and let them explode on the thors and your fine.

BL infestor is really not that big of a issue just engage on your terms on your half of the map sitting behind CCs turrets and PFs with tanks and raven thor viking actually smashes it quite hard when you get 10+ ravens even if zerg is trying to split they may retreat with corruptors but there BLs will be exposed.

Most of the time all you need to do with mech is take your half of the map to win and sit and turtle zerg really can't attack and win if your set up and have 10 or so macro CCs and PFs at key defensive points and you drop down to 40 or so SCVs while the zerg needs to sit on 80.


But it's been so much fun following it all. ;)

Another thing that you can do with mech is use Hellions to constantly pressure. You have such a mineral surplus, that you can send in small numbers at random bases. You don't even have to micro them much. Just keep them coming. It really messes with most Zergs minds to have that constant pressure and will force Spines and make him want to keep his army at home.
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well with your high level gold experience. I guess my nooby diamond strategies just dont work...


You are funny. I beat diamond zergs... sometimes. But that's not the point; If you would like to have a conversation about any of the points or strategies I've posted I would be interested in hearing your input. Mech is strong, I don't deny it, but a prepared and capable zerg can - maybe not easily, depending on the calibre of their opponent - defeat mech handily, particularly since mech provides ample opportunity to scout and prepare for mech. I play a lot of mech, and I recognize I'm kind of making it seem like I'm saying mech is hopeless and crappy when it isn't. The folks who say infestors counter every terran unit are simply wrong. Ghosts, and, as you point out, enough siege tanks are both very effective agaisnt infestors. You are mis-reading my posts: I am not saying, "Help me! I need help playing mech I don't understand it!" I'm saying, "mech's current effectivity relies in large part on many zerg player's unfamiliarity with the mech build, particularly with strong PLAY of the mech build." I am saying, "Mech isn't necessarily strong against zerg, it's strong against PLAYERS." As players acclimate to mech you'll see more of the tactics I'm talking about. but don't listen if you don't want to; I am gold, as you so dashingly and brilliantly managed to read. You will start to recognize these counters to your mech build as mech builds, particularly the hellion/banshee opening, become increasingly popular and common.

I don't really know who claimed mutas beat thors, but I definitely agree that person is wrong. Mutas do not beat thors. Just to be clear, that is not my position. Mutas do, however, have a place in anti-thor play. The relatively low number of thors in heavy mech builds means that it becomes difficult for mech to attack a high number of smaller targets; A combination attack of four or five "Hey look Ultralisks!" to draw fire, a cracklingling/roach surround, a a mutalisk magic box, and infestor neurals, is very effective against thors, particularly since mutalisks / infestor is a great way to clear pesky hellions. Thors will have trouble with all these small units and effectively suffer a significant damage penalty as they shoot cracklings. The surrounded thors can't escape neurals, and as long as the neurals attack the outer ring of thors, the extra space of the neural'd thors precludes effective counteers against the neuraling infestors (particularly since infestor / muta is great at killing pesky banshees that may otherwise kill neuraling infestors). Mutalisks, particularly upgraded mutalisks, also give you the capacity to harass effectively and force cumbersome mech units to stomp around the map crappily, or attack in a reckless push. They are also very effective against mech's quicker harrying units, hellions and banshees, and harrying units in general. But if someone told you mass muta was a good way to defeat mech, no. no it isn't.
Sitting on your side of the map is only effective if your zerg-ponent is more impatient than you are. If he's not he'll happily build macro hatcheries and bank a staggering number of larvae, money, and gas, and creep, creep, creep. You are advocating just allowing your zerg-ponent to do the things that make zerg mightiest: bank; You, as terran are forced to make sure that in these situations YOU can bank and produce BETTER. This casts YOU in the role of attacker. The situation you're talking about is precisely the situation where zergs need to trade the least cost-effectively as long as they're still good enough to TRADE. If your position is that you don't even need to trade armies with this zerg, then you're talking about a situation where you are just much, much better than your opponent.

Oops, one more thing. Third edit. Yes, Splitting vikings is a handsome maneuvre if the only unit threatening your vikings is infestors. When you're facing corruptors, however, splitting doesn't do much. Corruptors kill vikings very effectively, and the only way you can really kill corruptors effectively is to kite them, as I believe I said earlier, and as I believe I said earlier (since I am suddenly repeating myself) kiting with your nice new vikings FORCES them to clump up; it is the nature of the beast, sir, the nature of the beast.
Edited by rly on 9/7/2012 10:16 PM PDT
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Rly if you don't like mech don't do it but i'm sorry most of those situations simply do not happen and if they do they are all preventable like neural on thors i simply do not allow it to happen with tanks. You talk about muta harass moving the mech army around really? I would love to see someone try to do that to me with building armour and turret range upgrades and a large amount of turrets everywhere.

At the moment i'm playing mostly masters players and they try everything to try and stop my mech from roach drops, Mutas and ling runby's and with good building placement PFs and army positioning i stop all of them. I deal with late game zerg just fine and you talk about zerg having a huge larva bank well guess what i have an incredibly low amount of SCVs with macro CCs. And basically a late game mech army can easily crush a late game zerg army.

But your understanding of mech seems very low and it is the case with most people and they often play it like bio and can't think strategically i really suggest you have a read of some of these threads and increase you understanding.

http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=366886

http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=355261
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honestly it just seems like your being outplayed.

yes mech is slow, which is why you set up turrets so muta harass doesnt work.

The way you describe it apparently a muta/roach/ultra/infestor/crackling combo will beat mech. If by some chance someone actually did that combo. Thor counters muta/ultra. Tank counters roach/infestor. Hellion counters crackling. Raven counters all. A better word would be these units DECIMATE all.

http://drop.sc/248391. He sent wave after wave, attacking with ultra/ling. Switch to broodlord/corrupotor/roach then immediate remax on roach. Mech is strong my friend.

And no im not forced to be the attacker. If the zerg just sits there, i can do exactly what he does. Macro up. Trust me a macro terran going mech is alot scarier than a zerg with macro. If im on the same number of bases as him, he is in trouble. If i am on 1 less base, he is still in trouble.

Im not sure what mech your doing, but the thor is your staple unit. Why? Because aside from crackling its decent against everything. You should have hellions, banshees, ravens, vikings, and tanks. But the thor should be your main unit to protect you against tech switches.
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if you think mech sucks. Post a replay and i will explain to you why you are losing with it.
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Ok, so a week later, mech hasn't been working as well as it did initially for me. I have changed my preferred strategy to this:

I still open hellion cloak banshee, as it allows me to be aggressive early on, but i immediately transition to bio + tanks. the bio allows you to be a lot more aggressive, and obviously you can remax a ton better. Also, going bio + tanks with some hellion banshee support is awesome synergy. It takes much more apm than pure mech, but if you can handle that, I think it's the better strat.
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