Last Monday, I was having dinner with some folks I know, and I had a conversation with someone who'd just started a new account and was messing around with going mass Marines in a macro style. I said "hah, that sounds easy to get master league with" (on NA), and thus came about the Marine Challenge:
- Only units = SCVS, Marines, MULEs
- Have to play macro style (typically a 1 rax FE is what I did)
I started from bronze (deliberately lost my first 5 placements), and then I began the great journey.
Well, I didn't have much option...
I mostly predicted that I would have the easiest time in TvT, with TvZ being decent and TvP being very difficult. I was already a marine-heavy TvTer, and of my Terran matchups, I historically had the best results in TvT.
Who needs other units anyway?
TvP, I imagined that the entire matchup would be my opponent seeing I'm going mass Marines, and then turtling and making several Colossus. They would then proceed to move out and smash my face.
For some reason, most people didn't do this. Were they afraid I would make Vikings? Did they want to appear gosu and beat me without Colossi but by harassing, upgrading, and being gosu? I don't know... They sometimes did try to transition into it, but their Zealot/Sentry/Immortal/Stalker heavy armies usually died to my +1/+1/Stim/Combat Shield Marines by the time they thought to start transitioning.
Why would you make Immortals against someone going pure mass Marine
TvZ, only Infestors and Banelings were particularly worrisome. Against lower ranked players, I could fight straight up against mass Baneling/Zergling, but by the time I hit mid-master league players, I basically had to hope they didn't game my strategy and go pure Zergling/Baneling - my splits aren't good enough to fight people who can actually macro and make that . (I did win some against people who made 40+ Banelings, but on the whole I lost those games)
So what did I actually do? My opening didn't particularly deviate according to my enemy's race (although if I did scout them cheesing me, I would adapt accordingly ).
SCV --> 16, then Orbital
I'd then typically bunker my natural and get 3 raxes, then add dual gas. I'd go dual upgrades, then start stim, combat shields, and then use my gas to tech to armory. Since I only had Marines, I had to pull SCVs in some cases if my opponent pressured me with Marine/Tank early on, but on the whole Marines are pretty good.
Here is a table showing the distribution of my opening builds: + Show Spoiler +
Ultimately, coming up from bronze, I hit master league with a 51-8 record (I had been playing master league players for a while before I actually got promoted though).
- TvZ: 19-4 (82%)
- TvP: 16-4 (80%)
- TvT: 16-0 (100%)
- Average game length: 9:33
- My average APM (sc2gears): 135
- Times I was worker rushed: 1 (no I didn't lose to it, come on)
- Times I was cannon rushed: 2 (who cannon rushes a Terran?!?!)
I also found that, as I got to higher leagues, people got madder and madder about losing to mass Marines, and started calling me a cheeser, telling me I'd never hit master league with this strat, etc.
I'm not claiming Terran is imbalanced, nor even that Marines are imbalanced. Marines are for sure really good, and are somewhat arguably the most versatile unit in the game, but that doesn't mean the race is imbalanced. This was just a for-fun challenge . After hitting master league, I don't really intend to keep playing this way to see how I can actually get (I was playing people who would probably be classified as "mid master").
The account I used (had no MMR due to having no 1v1 games last season): http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/profile/2690915/1/Lorelei/ [note, 5 of the losses were from deliberate losses in placement ]
Here are the replays from the run FYI: https://rapidshare.com/files/2122706869/Reps.zip