I made an in-depth guide on youtube for low level Terran players. I present you:
Simple Starcraft: Terran tutorial. 3 Rax Build. Get out of Bronze! Dominate in Silver and Gold!
A bit of a cheesy name, but whatever I am teaching the 3 rax opening here. And I know it is outdated and all-inish, but the main idea behind is that for low level players the problem is poor mechanics and the goal here is to work on that. In this build I am trying to remove some big (and no doubt important) aspects of this game out of the equation. Dumb Starcraft down for the sake of quick improving one's mechanics before he or she gets to play "for real". In addition this will hopefully help you to learn how to analyze your replays and help to learn some other builds in the future.
You dont have to worry much about what your opponent is doing. Hell, you dont even have to think what you are doing either, just follow the steps. It is just a fact that any solid opener being well executed can straight up win you a game in the lower leagues. I list some benchamrks and timings -literally minutes and the amount of buildings\units you should have - and you should be fine as long as you follow them. If you do all this, but the opening leaves you significantly behind and you are STILL stuck somewhere below plat - you are welcome to come and bash me in this thread as well as showing the replay so I can give some pointers I missed out. But I really tried to take away all the excuses I heard when I helped my friends to get better and I am trying to do the same to you :D
Oh, btw, since you are reading this on TL I assume the very basic knowledge of the game: unit and building selection, unit movement, attacking (a-move), production, hotkeying. While we are on this topic and in case you did not already, then take a look at Day:
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Now back to me. Sadly ... nah I'm fine :p But seriously if you havent heard about Day before you should definitely check him out.
3 rax build order:
10 Supply Depot
15 Orbital Command, Marine
16 Supply Depot
Techlab on your barracks after the 1st marine
Start Marauder and Stim research
Another Supply Depot around 24 food, constant Supply Depot production after that
At 300 minerals build 2 more barracks
When these barracks are done add reactors on them
Get concussive shells after stim
Move out when concussive shells is almost done
Cut army production and get a command center, then go back to army production
- Start stim at 3:50
- 2 x barracks at 4:15
- 2 x reactor at 5:20
- Move out at 7:30 with ~7 marauders and ~13 marines
- Command center at 8:00 and you should have ~30 scvs at this point in time
You should really focus on getting this right. It is okay to be off by ~20 seconds and 2-3 units, but not more. This push has a high chance of winning the game in the lower leagues. However you should have a sense of who is going to win the engagement. Dont be silly and run into bunkers\spine crawlers\cannons on the ramp. Sentries and banelings can cause a lot of trouble. A well positioned siege tank (by the 8 minute mark I doubt there will be multiple tanks with siege) with marines can hold it. Do not try to break things like that. Instead flot your new command center to your natural and continue from there.
Dont think too much about scouting info or your late game. Instead try to never get supply blocked and try doing that imba stutter-step micro you see pros do. Most importantly, keep building reinforcments and scvs while you fight. USE HOTKEYS!
When you lose a game, watch the replay. Ask yourself why did you lose. Dont ever blame balance. Check the timings. Check the engagement. Could you have macro'd \ micro'd better? If you could, could you have won the game? I bet you could!
So for marine tank transition (TvT, TvZ) you want start combat shields immediately after concussive. Build a factory and 2nd gas. When shields are done, give techlab to factory and start tanks. Build a rector on that rax. Get starport and double ebays. 3 rax with reactors, factory with techlab, starport with reactory and 2 ebays. Never stop making scvs.
For TvP get combat shields, factory, put reactor on factory and get starport, swap them. 2 more rax, 2 ebays. 3 rax with techlabs, 2 rax with reactors, starport with reactor, 2 ebays. And again, never stop making those scvs.
What if ... ?
Some people might be worried about various cheeses and all-ins. And again you will face a good allin in the lower leagues very rarely, meaning you met someone doing a placement match, smurfing or something like this. All the other variations of allins are poorly exectured with timings completely off and you should be fine. Here is a quick rundown:
- Worker rush. The proper response is to box all your workers and a-move. Simple. Well if you notice your opponent is doing some cool micro - he aint no ordinary bronze player. If you wanna be fancy as well try to get good concave, use mineral walk and hold position to save low hitpoint workers. But that's pretty advanced micro.
- 6 or 7 pool. As soon as you see lings from the highground finish the walloff, halt building the barracks if necessary. Then pull scvs to repair and wait for your marine. This I would say is the worst that can happen in the lower leagues and it is your fault if you did not react when you saw the lings coming. A good zerg will try to delay the wall and you need to get suspicious about that. Anyway, if they somehow managed to get in your base run with scvs, wait for the marine and PROTECT the marine, surround it. Try to get good concave, use the mineral line.
- Cannon rush. As soon as you see a probe enter your base, make one of your scvs follow it, so that you can see if he is trying to put down some cannons. Dont leave probe unatteneded in the dark corners of your base. If he starts to put down cannons pull the scvs to kill them, but do not pull them all, leave some to mine. And again I highly doubt you meeting this on the low level of play, but a good cannon guy will put the pylons and cannons behind the mineral line, restricting the access to your scvs. As a response Terran can just float buildings to the natural and be relatively okay.
- Proxy gates \ proxy barracks. Once you scout no buildings and no expo - build a bunker on the ramp, you should be good. If you see incoming forces before you finish your bunker - pull scvs. Remember: it is okay to lose some scvs (not too much) when fighting cheese, because your enemy sacrificed economy to do this.
- Any type of early roach pressure either 1 or 2 base. You just laugh at it and win, because you have marauders and they completely shit on roaches.
- DTs, banshees. Okay. These would actually kill you if done right. They can hit you around 7:00 and according to our plan we move out at 7:30. However, again, and I can not emphasize this enough - people who can do a banshee build by 7:00 probably wont be playing you in bronze. In the unlikely scenario that they do you best response would be to take all of your guys, all of your scvs and counter going for the base race, dont forget to float your buildings because both banshees and dts cant hit air. If you wanna be cool you can start saving energy for scans at 7:00. And the realistic scenario is your enemy is trying to do his DT rush and then just dies to your attack because he didnt have enought units and he didnt have DTs out yet, because he doesnt know or cannot execute a proper build.
- Void rays. I actually do not know the right timing for this as I have not seen one in quite a long time. Anyway I think you should have enough marines to deal with it. Or your enemy dies to your attack even before he gets his voids out, just the way he dies when he tries to tech to DTs.
- Baneling bust. 2 base baneling bust usually comes later than your attack timing, so we would not worry about them. 1 base baneling bust ... watch the video, I went over some replays. But basically you either scout it and build bunkers or if the zerg tries to hide it then he has to delay it and you will have enough forces to deal with it.
- 4 gate. And again ... the ultimate 4gate with good protoss micro would kill you. Normally you must scout it and the way you do it is by looking at the chronoboost energy saved up. However I had absolutely no problem whatsoever at holding silver level 4gate and I did a decent job (and won the game) versus platinum level 4 gate by using this build. Watch the video.
I cant come up with anything else at the moment.
Try doing the phase 2 and phase 3 exercises from this thread:
[L] Accelerated learning for mid/low level Terrans
What happens when you hit platinum and above? I am pretty sure you can do the same build till masters, but that would be wasteful. Your mechanics should be more than enough for 1 base play. You should switch to something different. I suggest strong 2 base timings that are not all-in. Marine Tank push in TvZ in TvT. Fast medivacs and push\drop\both at the same time in TvP.
You should learn some real openings. More on that a tiny bit later. Scout more, scout actively, scout smartly. Learn timings of other races. Control watch towers. Learn scan timings and best locations to scan. Constantly work on your stutter step, this makes or breaks Terran. Incorporate upgrades in your builds. Multitask harder, be more aggressive. In my personal opinion ability to make good drops makes the difference between Master and GrandMaster terrans and sadly I am not GrandMaster yet.
Back to builds. You can either go for various 2 Rax openings - there is a different one for each matchup. The idea is pretty much the same - pressure and expand behind it, but you get your expo much earlier.This is slightly behind current metagame as people tend to do 1 rax FE TvP, TvT is crazy and TvZ is reactor hellion FE. 1 rax FE is much more defensive and you have to scout really well. There are different variations in rhellion and once again, tvt is crazy - so you have to pick something for yourself. Good stuff you can read here on TL:
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To learn about 2 rax builds watch old VODs and you might find some of the episodes from "The Next 12 Weeks" by MrBitter really helpful. Links:
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To learn about 1 rax FE just watch any macro Terran these days. My favorites is qxc and sometimes you can really see him drill out his builds on the stream, like covering all possible timings and transitions.
Hope this was helpful. Good luck laddering!
Replays for 3 Rax:
- Practice vs AI
- Silver League game
- 4 gate #1
- 4 gate #2
- Baneling bust #1
- Baneling bust #2
My god it's hard to post replays. Drop.sc is good, but I hate that it renames replays >_<
Anyway ... the first push rarely wins the game in gold+, but the build should get you ahead. Here we go:
3 rax vs gas first hellion
Here I pressure with marauders from the start because I know he is gonna low on units (he's going gas first, I can see that because his barracks are later than mine and his factory is uber fast).
3 rax vs banshee
3 rax vs FE
3 rax vs 1-1-1 marine tank
I cant break the ramp so I contain him and get ahead.
3 rax vs reaper FE
3 rax vs banshee
I think banshee builds are very good vs 3 rax. Funny game with me running around from banshee for a long time and somewhat of a base race in the end.
3 rax vs reactor marine FE
I tried to run around the bunkers to harass. Then sniped the tank. Not the best decision.
TvZ vs 15 hatch on Taldarim
He defends with A LOT of spine crawlers and lings. Notice how I am AHEAD on workers at this point in time. Late game he gets lots of mutas so I get thors. Rage\qq in the end.
3 rax vs 15 hatch ling\bane
Notice how I try to hide what I am doing. Catching zerg out of guard. After killing natural, dont walk up the ramp and lose all your army. Expand, play macro, kill later with 100% guarantee.
3 rax vs 15 hatch with mid game bling bust
3 rax vs 15 hatch on Shattered
Good zerg. Somewhat tough game. I'd say here 3 rax put me behind, zerg was droning like crazy after my first push (which is right thing to do). Won thanks to drops sniping tech buildings all the time.
3 rax vs immortal push
I think protoss tried immortal bust, I am not really sure what he tried to do.
3 rax vs 4 gate
One more diamond level 4 gate. I like the way he sneaks in his 4th gate, but the way he tried to put up offensive pylons so early made me cautious. But eventually I just had more army than him.
3 rax vs 1 gate FE
Protoss gets fast HTs and storm.
3 rax vs 3 gate expo
I think this game I killed his expo, he didnt have enought units to hold.
3 rax vs 1 gate FE antiga
I think in that game I baited a lot of forcefields, walked in and killed him.
3 rax vs 2 gate + forge
Interesting idea to get cannons for FE. But it's wasted resources, he cant be aggressive after that - he has less units.