Platinum random player here, trying to learn to play the most beautiful of styles: Terran Mech. I’ve been trying out Mech in all three of the available matchups, but here I would like to focus on the two where it’s supposed to be viable :>
I consider myself a rather passive player. I like to sit back, macro up and go crush faces (Blink Stalker/Colossus yay), however I can’t quite get it to work with the composition that should in theory excel at this. I’ve identified a few problems that hold me back and I’d like some advice from more experience players as to how to solve them!
I use the same build Lucifron used in WCS. I use it in both matchups but I’m not even sure it’s the way to go in TvT. Onto the analysis!
Analysis: There are many things that go wrong here. This was the last match I played that day, which might explain the more than average macro mistakes I made. These mistakes might have actually been severe enough to lose me the game here, but I want to focus on other problems.
5:09 Stupidly early third CC. Delaying my Factory and Hellions. 8:03 Yay I have 4 Hellions, time to move out! But what to do with them? I have no clue how to use them efficiently. (Same goes for the Banshees)
Floating lots of Minerals. Might need more CCs 14:00 – 15:00 lose third because units are back in the main base. This is the main problem I am experiencing. When do I move up my Siege Line? When do I move out the units to secure more bases?
In the end I just held back way too much, let him crush me with Brood Lords which I should have scouted but didn’t.
In the end I win by gathering up a bunch of Thor/BC and a-moving, but that is not the way to play Mech and it should not have worked I think … Right?
Many of the problems I’ve described earlier pop up here as well. When do I move out? Where do I siege up? What do I do with my Hellions?
9:00 Very bumpy Hellion production, production always needs to be more constant (though I’m rather happy with my SCV production this game.) Again, what do I do with these Hellions? I use them to scout bases but it feels as if they should be doing something awesome. 10:00+ I forgo Banshees altogether this game. That was my plan but I got the Tech Lab due to auto pilot. I get a Viking to be safe, should I just Banshee all day every day?
Two main things here: 1. Floating way too many resources, trying to fix this every game. 2. I gather up a whole bunch of Tanks, but just let them hang out in my main. I know I should move them out somewhere, but where? How/when/where do I set up a proper Siege Line?
16:00 Lose my third because my entire army is not contributing.
Sorry for the long post! I really like this style and I want to be able to actually use it.
TL;DR: 1. Am I even using a viable opener TvT? (Gasless expo -> Hellion/Banshee) 2. How do I use my harass units effectively? (Hellion/Banshee) 3. When should I move out? 4. How do I set up a proper Siege Line?
Bonus replay where I do other stuff wrong. Playing someone who seems to have never heard of Timezones. http://drop.sc/254420
I've been trying to use mech in TvZ exclusively lately, to varying success. Here's my basic plan:
10 Depot 12 Rax 15 OC 16 CC
Double refinery, supply depot, bunker on the low ground in anticipation of floating down your CC. If you saw the Zerg go hatch first you might be able to get away with a low ground CC, but I find the risk isn't worth it. After initial ramp wall-in I begin building a supply depot wall to the natural; this is important because of how you'll be using hellions.
Factory, Reactor on Rax, swap when done, build Starport and tech lab, get Cloak then start banshees.
The hellions are there primarily to kill his scouting lings and stop him from spreading creep; you don't actually need to rush his mineral line at this stage, because while you are going hellion banshee you should be aiming for an early third. The hellions will force him to make spines and/or roaches, just keep them alive, poke in now and then to see what he's doing, and retreat. Once you have two banshees, move to deny his third, snipe queens, just be a nuisance. Do not over commit, retreat if he has detection or too many spore crawlers. You need the banshees alive.
Back home, once your third is up, you want six gasses going, get double armory and two more factories with tech labs. Start to mass Thors, hellions and banshees, and get to 2/2 as soon as you can. You should hit 2/2 around the time you hit 200 unit space. Drop your fourth and fifth bases, make more OCs in-base if you like, and push out to his third or fourth. You should be in good shape to deal with his army cost effectively. You need between five to seven factories, and three to four starports (reactor, two tech labs); the latter are important because he may switch to brood lords and you need to be able to pump Vikings.
Normally mech is countered by mass roach, but having banshees overhead shooting uncontested really increases your dps against mass roach. If you are better at tank management than I, you can build five tanks in lieu of a few Thors, and roaches should drop swiftly.
Look up HalbySC2 on YouTube, he's done like 8 TvZ mech games in the last month.
Regarding the surplus of minerals, that's ok. This build is gas limited, and a fully saturated base is going to give you more minerals than you can burn. Build more Orbitals, and spam hellions. Suicide small groups (4-8) blindly into his mineral lines simultaneously; they might not kill anything, but they are disposable to you. You can set up forward PFs and turrets to push the line, but I've not hit a game where this was absolutely necessary. You will want solid turret rings at all your bases to deter muta reprisal; remember than once you commit to the push, your army is SLOW. You will never be able to catch a muta flock, so you need the turrets. Getting Hi-Sec Autotracking and building armor isn't a bad use or surplus minerals.
Last edit: 2012-09-18 21:08:43
ForumErik Netherlands. September 18 2012 21:14. Posts 52
Third is taken after double armoury off 4 gas. Follow that up with going to 6 gas and 5 factories.
Of course whether or not you build it at your third depends on the zergs third timing. If it's fast, feel safe to take it quickly at the 3rd location.
Your hellion banshee issue -> incredibly simple, harrass/creep denial, also great for scouting. Don't fall into the trap of using them for suicide runbys in the natural, they won't work and you'll lose 400 + minerals. Later in the game feel free to sacrifice them for drones, you should have constant hellion production because you'll have crazy mineral income.
Move out with 2/2, at this stage you should be close to 200/200 anyway and 2/2 is incredibly efficient with a Mech army.
All of this relevant to the TvZ matchup. I'd recommend you read the numerous posts on Mech though, they all have useful insights.
Last edit: 2012-09-18 21:42:33
"1 base. Cheese man." - MKP. "[MVP] is not stylistic, his style is winning, which is the style you want to have." - Artosis
RoboBob United States. September 18 2012 22:27. Posts 789
I just watched the TvZ replay. Personally I don't think this build is viable in TvT because it will die to straight up Marine-Tank, but if you can make it work good for you =)
I think my biggest piece of advise would be to work on your apm. Your build is solid, your opening is great, you're just lacking in multitasking when it gets to 3+ bases. You often have large groups of Hellions sitting idle, you really want to trade Hellions for Drones when you're doing this build. Even trading Hellions for 50% of their cost in Drones is worth it because you have so many excess minerals with mech. Or at the very least, keep your Hellions at the edge of the creep to either restrain it or force the Zerg to keep his army at home.
Personally I'm a big fan of the MVP TvZ mech style where you keep making Cloak Banshees all game long. You just made 2 and then kinda gave up on them, which was a waste of researching Cloak imo. If you added a second Starport instead of 1 Factory and kept up the harass all game long, then you would've seen the BLs coming and would've had 2 Starports ready to swap onto Reactors for Vikings.
Of course just like the Hellions, Banshees are a very apm-intensive unit that requires a lot of multitasking. So its okay to not beat yourself up about it =) With more apm other things will become easier too, such as adding a single Viking to prevent Overlords like the one that blocked your 4th for a really long time. And setting up turret rings at expansions before moving CCs when Zergs go Spire, instead of doing it after. And more apm makes it easier to scout in general.
Last edit: 2012-09-18 22:32:36
ForumErik Netherlands. September 18 2012 22:32. Posts 52
I've been meching fantastically in TvZ constantally recently. I find CC first, into 2 gas reactor hellion to deny creep and kill drones (if possible, don't lose any hellions) while building 2 techlab factories and making the first push with 4 tanks and hellions to kill the third. Then take an armory and a third (provided you didn't lose your army) and start thor production.
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RoboBob United States. September 18 2012 22:40. Posts 789
On September 18 2012 22:32 ForumErik wrote: That's some useful advice, thanks Robo!
Guess I'll just have to train my APM then. The constant Banshee production does sound fun, but I think I'll leave that for later :>
What would you recommend as an opener in TvT then? I've been facing a lot of 1/1/1 expands that crush me. Is that the way to go?
Yeah I'm no TvT expert, I have the same problem =P I've been doing a lot of 1/1/1 fast Marine/Tank/Viking pushes myself. I will lose most of the time against fast Cloak Banshees and fast drops, but I can win against everything else.
Cloak Banshees are great vs 1 base Terran but they're kinda bad vs any expand unless you have impeccable micro. Losing 6-7 SCVs per Banshee isn't that big of deal after you have 2 OCs up making SCVs and Mules.
In TvT you might be able to do something similar, but your final composition will need to change. In this case I might recommend doing a FE into banshees to pin him in his base, while you transition into tank-Viking supported by hellions. If you can establish a contain with sensor towers to deny any drops, you can move to four bases and begin BC-Viking production, with hellions still as your mineral sink.
Forward sensor towers work great in tank fights because you can watch him move his red dots forward, and either move up with the Vikings to get vision or use a scan and blow up his siege attempt. I've had some success with this, but some maps aren't very good for setting up solid tank contains.
LionsFist Australia. September 19 2012 17:45. Posts 157
Each part of the puzzle plays a crucial part. You can't really skip on banshee production without opening yourself up to weaknesses.
Hellions: Keeping the probe numbers in check. Force larva to be produced on either lings (bad later on), roaches (you keep map control and can secure your third earlier), probes (to cover the ones you killed), or spines. Used to wrest map control for early game, give an accurate timing on the zerg third and deny some creep spread.
Banshees: More probe harass. Keeps the zerg honest requiring enough either queens and/or spores. Provides defence vs roach all-ins. Allows a scout of the enemy base to determine which lair tech (infestor or muta) is coming.
The thing about broodlords is that the transition should be expected for any mech player. You just have to expect it, since it's the only real possibility. Depending on your thor/tank distribution and the amount of remaining banshees you have, you really shouldn't have to worry about Ultras straight up, instead only after committing to building vikings.
The idea of mech being "sit back and max out" isn't exactly correct. It's right if you are keeping them in check with banshee/hellion harass, and correctly scouting out their tech timing... But if the zerg is being greedy (which, lets face it, most are) and rushing out tech, or pumping out 5 base that you haven't scouted or attempted to deny, then you may just have to go @#$@ing kill him.
Maxing out as mech only works when you can max out before the zerg reaches broods with infester/ling support. Against good zergs, this will mean you have to force the damage on their economy via hellions/banshees. If they over commit on defence to stop this harass, their economy will already be damaged and hence broods delayed. To paraphrase and old joke: Economy, tech, army. Pick any 2. That's the zerg choice. If they rush T3 tech, and have enough army to not die right now, their economy is in shatters and you can freely expand and be ahead by the time their tech kicks in. If they have a good enough economy, they're open to just being pushed and dying.
ForumErik Netherlands. September 20 2012 18:47. Posts 52
Woop thanks for all your amazing hints and tips people.
I've been doing my homework/research yesterday and I'm ready to play some Mech today. In fact I'll be streaming it for a few hours today. I'd be delighted if some of you would check me out and give me some feedback :>
Warning: My skills might hurt your feelings.
(off-topic) Title doesn't seem to want to change, how do I fix that?
Edit: On second thought I will not be streaming. It's lagging my laptop too much =(
Last edit: 2012-09-20 19:35:46
ConstantSc Australia. September 20 2012 19:33. Posts 33
Try looking at Lastshadows replay pack for Mech against TvX as Mech, He is an amazing meching terran who has taken wins from top tier korean pros, some really cool Vlogs are also available where he discusses Mech in TvX
It is what it is - FilterSc
lightertripod United Kingdom. September 20 2012 19:42. Posts 43
mech in TvT is very weak to a doom drop I always go OTT with turrets and keep units out of the map for spotting more base's I get the more turrets and sensor towers I throw down as with TvZ hellion harras is the way to go if you keep track of his army you know where you can send 6-8 hellions. late game you need to watch for an air switch as long as you keep up on upgrades and always keep the ratio of vikings to BC 4:1 you should be good