The Idea: Use T1 units/tech to play from two bases while securing a third. Very simple stuff, but has a lot of thought behind it.
The Logic: The Tier 2 options for Zerg are very nice, but they tend to have very little effect for the purposes they serve because they're so damn expensive.
If you try constructing a Hydra + X composition from two bases, the costs for the Hydra wind up cutting into your army heavily, and there are key periods where you're a squishy mess asking to be torn apart by a timing push.
If you go for Mutas, a reasonable Terran will see them coming from a mile away and have prepared air defenses, typically in the form of Thor. The 700/700 cost of going those first 7 mutas is never vindicated, because you can't harass efficiently with the 10-range bastard firing volleys at you. You can try to abuse the fact that 5 Mutas can take on a Thor, but chances are that it's marine or turret supported. It's a dead cost that returns nothing for it's point in the game.
Nydus is stupid for mid game. Just get drop.(Suppose I should elaborate. Basically, the costs of the Nydus worm don't make very much sense for that early in the game. Using it in this fashion is wasteful in my eyes. I think it should be used for expanding and mobility past a 3rd base. Anything before that doesn't seem meaningful.)
Annnnd Infestors don't exactly stand up to standard timing pushes.
Really though, the first three units you can make are the most effective against T en masse. Most combinations of Roach/Speedling/Baneling can kill a range of T pushes very efficiently. The other key to them is that they mass extremely well from 2 bases, allowing for aggression.
Aggression? But wait, what about air?
Here we kill two birds with one stone, and raise the Queen to the pedestal. Queens are nice for macro, but they're also nice for pushing and defending air. Typically with this approach, I'll build 2-3 queens extra for the pushing ability and transfuse.
EDIT: elaboration on air, since people don't like reading the whole thread.
Mass cloaked banshee is fucking retarded, but it nonetheless needs to be accounted for. Honestly just start massing queens if they start massing banshees. You've already got 4-5 on the field in the first place, so snowballing isn't that hard. Queens can be focused, true, but they're probably more efficient AA than hydras in the first place. A ball of queens just isn't approachable by a ball of banshees. They get outranged and take two volleys for every one they launch. The only difference between your retarded armies is that the Zerg one doesn't take gas and synergizes well with any composition, so you're pretty much free to tech whatever at that point. Mutas would be lolzy. You can lay down spores if you're feeling extra panicky, but it's honestly just standard air-defense,
And damnit people. The lair still comes out at the regular time, so you're fine against banshees. You just aren't making T2 units/structures. Just think of the T2 upgrades for the T1 units.
A BUILD ORDER:
Work your own timing for speed in here. There's precious little that Terran can put out early that absolutely requires ling speed, so delaying it in any capacity isn't the worst idea in the world.
Whatever happens, queue two queens in a row on your main hatch, and queue another on your expansion when it finishes. If you put three drones on gas when you start a queen, you have about 100 gas when the queen finishes. So take drones off gas between your speed gas and your lair gas for minerals. Lair after second queen on first hatch finishes.
This gives you the three queens for dealing with early banshees, and the lair timing is for dealing with cloak. Use the third queen's energy solely for creep expansion/transfusion, as you see fit. And I literally mean using all of it on creep tumors if you can. The speed at which the creep expands can let it get to their front door by the time you're thinking about map control and can let you prep areas for flanking. Keep producing queens from the second hatch until you have 4-5 (general rule of thumb I keep is to have two queens creeping the map, a 5th would be if your purpose was to take a 3rd base quickly, which kickstarts the economy/spending better. With two queens and all existing tumors creeping at the same time, your scouting net becomes immense.
Sky's the Limit:
And that's it really. You lay the baneling nest or roach warren depending primarily on what you scout the Terran doing, and when they're doing it. Bionic is just asking for a baneling skewed composition, whereas mech asks for roaches. I tend to prefer roach/ling because it deals with everything save a marine/marauder/medivac bio ball, for which I'd add on banelings and burrow tech.
Valid transitions once you've secured the third can literally be any T2 unit. 3-base Mutalisk does bastardloads better than 2-base mutalisk, same with 3-base hydra. My personal fave is doing an infestor transition because the tech synergizes so well with my former roach/baneling burrow research. Infestors can MC and infested terran against mech, or FG against bio. They're also more AA detterent, so a possible way to lay off mass-queens (which I'll admit would look silly mid-game).
(Dumb section really, you can figure out most of this on your own, I'll just post answers to a couple things that people were asking about.)
What about Marauder/Hellion? Doesn't it directly counter Roach/Zergling?
First, stop thinking in hard counters. Marauder/Hellion isn't the strongest composition in the world, and it's key weakness is literally "being surrounded". If you send in roaches to absorb the initial chunk of damage and surround it with lings, it dies fast. The hellions are good against light units conditional to hitting a lot of them. If they each hit one zergling apiece, the damage is actually fucking terrible. Not even 1 shotting 1 ling? Nonsense. Then you have Marauders that just crumple hard to lings. You're using one unit as a catalyst for the other.
Won't the Terran still do the same pushes, but this time I only have crappy roaches/speedling/banelings to defend?
This isn't true, actually. Because with this approach, you're going to be a lot more aggressive. Classical Zerg play against other races is typically a glorified tech rush. You find ways to barely scrape by until the big mama units walk in and clean house. With roach/bane/ling you have a lot more "stuff" at your disposal earlier on, and the extremely rapid creep expansion allows you to apply pressure during periods where the Terran hasn't hit a critical mass yet.
i.e. most one-base pushes rely on T1 zerg tech to defend anyway, but the 2-base pushes take time to build up. During this time you can pressure with roaches because 1-2 tanks don't deal with tons roaches efficiently. Furthermore you can make use of burrow and baneling mines to effectively set up stop-lurker killzones, and force gas-heavy Ravens into play.
Basically Terrans would need a Raven to start pushing for real, and a not-shit-composition. HF crapping on people kiddies.
#1:2-base roach play vs. 3-rax reaper
The build is infamous by now. 3-rax resembles 5-rax to some capacity, it's just their timing windows that are slightly skewed.
I'm noting it right here, I die in the video because I didn't care to plan a 3rd base transition strategy. Mistakes on either side wind up canceling each other out, and the timing window where roaches can kill what's defending the ramp is left intact.
my goals are:
-break the reaper contain with speed roaches
-execute a timing push that the T build is vulnerable to
-establish a third base
Early on, my resource management to 2nd base saturation is reasonable. Once base #2 saturates, I have an absurd excess of 1200 minerals. Really I want about 900 of those minerals to be turned into their weight in speedlings/4th queen. To that end, a second hatchery at the natural might be preferable, as well as sim-citying to further hold off the reapers.
I don't lose much to the reapers and manage to bust the contain at the time I wanted to. Right after the contain, there's a small window where if the T expanded, his army is vulnerable to a roach/ling composition. For this particular game, we were cross positions, so I didn't want to try my luck too much (It's a bloody narrow window, and I was missing those 900 minerals of speedlings). I loop around with some speed roaches and deny his third expansion while taking my own. (I also threw down a 4th at the gold, which was completely retarded)
Shortly after that I massacred his timing push with ling/roach/4 banes. He didn't stim, and I didn't get my surround+ late as shit banelings. The outcome of the fight would have been the same regardless because of the roach count, albeit a lot closer.
After that I shortly lose to a second timing push because I figure it's a good idea to just keep spamming low tier units without upgrades (didn't have a plan for my transition, so I look like a grade-A beta copper leaguer :/)
Ideally I'd have wanted my minerals spent, and my inexistant queen helping to goop up the map. In a perfect world, if you drew close positions, your creep to his nat was in place, and you broke the contain on time, there's a possibility to win straight up. I have reason to think that this is the case with a couple of other T builds, but it rests to be seen
Edit: Thor drop/Tank drop sucks, you can only stall it out with a lot of spine crawlers. Basically; map imbalance, you automatically take an economy hit into whatever you're doing <_> Just save yourself the trouble and ban the damn thing lol.
EditEdit: Also, check out more recent replays where zergs smash 5-rax reaper, it's possible to go even with :o! Bumping the thread because I think it's become even more relevant with recent advancements. Additionally, I'm not going to be updating the thread much more. Enjoy it while it's here