Terran - Introduction

Tactics and Strategy

This is a post meant for the wikipedia section of a website. It tells you what playing Terran is "supposed" to feel like.

I am Janaros from the Bronze Practice Channel. Me and my co-casters also have a stream up Thursdays and Sundays. We also have a web page up for the channel. This post is mainly meant for the "wiki" section for starting Terrans. Ready, disagree, agree, point out typos, give me ideas for more posts etc.

Cheers, here is my post.

An introduction
The true strength of Terran lies within our power to leave options open. Terran is generally seen as the "safest" race, seeing how Siege tanks and Planetary Fortresses have arguably unmatchable defensive properties. The race is also decently easy to get the basics of (whether or not this is due to the campaign being focused on terran is still being disputed), and on top of that Terran also has the strongest army for the first crucial minutes of the game. The amount of tears shed due to the notorious M&M&M (Marine Marauder Medivac) can not be mathematically calculated.

In this introductory guide to Terran I will explain the Strengths and Weaknesses of Terran as a race.
I will also briefly introduce the most common army compositions, with the strength and weaknesses of these.

Terran as a race:


First of all, Terran has options. Terran, in most their match ups, are able to dictate the build your opponent is forced to go. You go 3rax (early pressure), you force early defenses. You go early expand, you force the enemy to attack or expand himself. You go deep into a tech tree (cloaked banshees), you force your opponent to get early detection or another "high tech" counter to these units.

Personally, I find terran to be the most versatile race. In every single "normal" match up, we will have a relatively easy access to drops, invisible units or alternatively a heavy early pressure. Due to the nature of Terran, we will optimally be producing out of all of our buildings without pause. This means that we'll have a formidable army no matter the build we go for. There are naturally exceptions, but these are normally counted as "cheesy" builds.

Terran also has an exclusive choice to go for high mobility/low damage, or low mobility/high damage. The difference between mech (Factory/starport units) and biological units (Barracks, Medivacs) is very clearly seen.

Terran has a very high skill-cap. I know this comment will some annoyance among some of the readers, but I personally find it to be true. Drops, harassment, skirmish attacks, tank placement and possible tech switches are doable, but they are hard to execute. A brilliant Terran is capable of macroing like a tiny God, while keeping up pressure on his opponent in different forms.

Strong one-base plays. Seeing how Terran has the ability to repair their mechanical units, combined with the strong marines makes for some incredibly strong early-game pushes. The times I've personally beaten a zerg with Marine/Thor/Hellion/Banshee at the 10 minute mark are without limit.


Jack of all trades, master of none. Terran as a race has stronger units than Zerg, but an inferior unit production. Terran as a race has weaker units than Protoss, but superior production possibilities. Keep in mind, these examples consider the two players equal in skill and playstyle. As in, disregarding cheese and greedy builds.

Terran needs to apply constant pressure. If a Zerg opponent is left unpressured, his economy will be too far ahead of yours, seeing how he can make workers faster than you. This will lead to a 200/200 army confrontation. Terran will most likely win, but Zerg will be able too reach the supply cap faster than a Terran can. If a Protoss is left unpressured, he will easily be able to destroy your supply capped army with his own. In other words, the strength which comes from the ability to dictate a game will become a weakness if used improperly. Give your opponent free room, you will die.

Easy to counter. This is another thing that a lot of top-level players would disagree on, but I'll say it anyway. If Terran goes heavy Bio, Protoss can get Colossi and Zerg can get Ling/Baneling/Muta. If terran goes Mech, Zerg can simply out-expand him, and Protoss can build perfect counter-units.

Difficult to switch tech-paths. This relates back to the "easy to counter". If you have decided to go Bio (3 rax or more at 2 bases), suddenly starting up a lot of factories to get the mechanical forces going will be hard. Yes, Terran has an easy time getting 1 or 2 cloaked banshees. Yes, Terran can easily make a Thor. Yes, Terran can easily get some ghosts. However, Terran has (in my opinion) the hardest time to switch from army composition to another. If you have 10 siege tanks, there is no efficient way to suddenly switch to biological units. I won't argue why this is easier to Zerg or Protoss, I'll leave this to their own articles.

Normal Army Compositions:

Emphasis on Factory/Starport units. This means Marine/Siege Tank/Hellion/Thor/Banshee/Viking
A terran will always have some marines/marauders in his mix of units, simply because of the constantly producing nature of Terran. This army composition relies on "heavy hitters", as in, units that deal high DPS, high HP, but low mobility. This is what a Terran army composition looks like when he is playing more like a Protoss than a Zerg.

Your base will be very safe. Attacking a mech-based Terran is hell. Siege tanks rip attacking Zerg and Protoss armies apart, and Thors seem plain invincible. This combined with Blueflame Hellions, which rip Zealots and Zerglings apart will make your opponent cry blood.

Excellent harassment possibilities. 3 blueflame Hellions can eradicate a mineral line faster than an average player can react. If your opponent tries to counter attack, you will have siege tanks in place to greet him. Same goes for cloaked banshees. Normally a "risky" build, relying on a few units, but due to the defensive nature of the siege tank and bunkers, you shouldn't have huge problems defending a counter-attack.

Very Immobile. A Thor/Siege tank based army is strong as hell when defending, but is easy to catch off position (unsieged tanks). One faulty move, and you can lose your army faster than you can yell "PROTOSS OP". This also means that when going into the later stages of the game (3base and more), defending a drop will be hard. The Thors and Siege tanks are also incredibly slow. If you try to attack, you are pretty much dedicated to that attack. Retreating is near impossible. Very costly. If you try this army composition, be prepared to need 4 vespene geysers early. One base simply won't provide you with enough vespene to stay in the game.

Emphasis on Barracks units. An army composition is built around Marines and Marauder, and later on Medivacs and Ghosts.

Very mobile. A Biological army, made out of Marines, Marauders, Medivacs and Ghosts can cross the map fast. The stim pack upgrade also gives a movement speed boost, which makes retreating hell for your opponent. This means you can go and kill an expansion, and run back if your opponent is off guard.

Very strong early on. The tier 1 units (Marines Marauders) are incredibly strong against anything your opponent can throw at you at the beginning of the game. Doing a three barracks (guide coming later) push against a protoss is deadly up until Diamond league.

Expendable. If you lose your bioball (marines and marauders in a cluster), building up a new army is faster than building up a mech-based army.


Easy to lose. Yet again, a strength is a weakness. If you happen to run into a siege line/colossi/banelings, you can kiss your Marines and Marauders goodbye. If your opponent takes this opportunity, he can easily kill you with what army he has left after the engagement. Both opposing races have very nice counters (disregarding MarineKingPrime-level micro) for a bioball.

Weak later on if played improperly. If you let your opponent build up economy, he'll have the suitable units counter you and there is very little you can do about it. A 3/4 base Zerg/Protoss will almost always beat a 3/4 base bioball, if the terran has not applied pressure to his opponent.

Finishing words:

This concludes the introduction to Terran. I will also post some guides to the most normal build orders, and how to play with these pieces. Remember, YOU should be the one to make the first move. YOU should dictate where the game is going during the first minutes. I am aware that I have ignored a lot of factors in this guide. Starcraft 2 is way too complex to make an individual scenario to every single possibility. This is meant to be a guideline, and something you should think about when you play the game as a Terran. More content will be coming up, and it will be more detailed into different situations.
Nice introduction to Terran Janaros, also some very valid points as im learning...not applying pressure to Protoss early on is a quick path to defeat!
Janaros. You seem to enjoy writing, and do a good job at it aswell :)

Drop me a mail if you wouldn't mind so we can have a chat. :)

nicolocosc2@gmail.com - I just have some questions for you =)
Very nice post. Voted for sticky.
This is very nice post. Makes me want to play terran again.
Thank you for the positive feedback. I would happily accept some criticism as well :-) If you find something that is factually wrong, please tell me.
Nice post man. You haven't got any advice about TvT have you? I have really been struggling at that.
Well done its sticky!
Terran as a race has weaker units than Protoss, but superior production possibilities

I don't know if I'm missing something but....warpgates? How about that?
Very good job Janaros! I hope you will make Introductions for the Zerg and Protoss as well! That way i would not have to worry about providing people with info about Protoss strengths :P
Oh lord, I was looking for this thread in the backwaters of the Terran forum. Didn't even notice that it had been stickied. Cheers for the blue for stickied it. Much appreciated.
you forgot that it is op in all ways and there is no weak points very easy to micro !
*cough* Protoss *cough*
@Amfetamine Trololo
You forgot to mention the triple bunker @ zergs expo into banshees...
@ Amfetamine

You think so?

vs Zerg: Insane infantry spread/split while positioning tanks and shoot-stop vs banes, microing vikings to avoid mutas and/or corruptors while trying to pick of the insane range of brood lords.

vs Toss: Spread also required at the same time as microing vikings vs Collosi, dropping PDD, EMP, shoot-stop vs Zealots. And what does the Protoss do? Moves his death ball around, 1 ctrl-group required. Perhaps blinking stalkers with one key press.

And that is only for the most common strategies... Don't say terran's got easy micro, it's the opposite.
You don't need to bump this thread, it's a sticky post.

Nice little overview Janaros :).
Makes me want to play Terran.
Le search for the guides commences.

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