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In a recent game, a Terran player dropped some widow mines behind my mineral line. It took me a minute to realize what had happened, and then it took some time to get enough energy to scan for the mines so I could kill them. In the meantime, the mines picked off a number of my workers.

What's the best way to handle this, while minimizing the impact on my economy?

  • Ignoring it until I can get detection?
  • Moving workers away until mines are dispatched?
  • Lifting off and moving?
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2 Answers 2

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Start splitting your workers to your other bases, if you have any, and they aren't already saturated. You mentioned you waited for energy to scan, It'd probably be quicker/easier to get one or two of your mineral workers to throw down a couple of missile turrets (out of reach of the mines) as soon as you figure out what's going on, as opposed to waiting for your scan to refill.

However preempting this sort of attack is probably the best strategy. A drop is a fairly common tactic, but can be easily thwarted or even deterred entirely by a fairly thin defensive line. drop One Missile Turret (Terran), Photon Cannon (Protoss) or Spore Crawler (Zerg) and they would have provided enough detection for your other units to quickly clean this up, and would act as a deterrent for the initial drop as well.

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After looking into this, a missile turret's detection radius is much larger than a mine's attack radius, and a turret can be completely built faster than a mine's recharge time, so I think this is a great idea. –  Wikwocket May 3 '13 at 15:17
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If you only have the one base, the recharge time on the widow mine is quite significant. You could, in theory, send your SCVs back to mine, and then pull them away before the rearm time is complete, and then send a marine or other expendable unit to trigger the mine. This is very risky, but if you're timing is correct, you will take even less economic damage than having them not mining at all.

The more cautious route in a case like this, is to definitely move your workers away. The economic loss that you take from losing workers to dying and then having to rebuild them is significantly more than the lost mining time while waiting for enough energy to scan. You always want to keep workers alive in Starcraft 2. They are the backbone of your chances of winning.

Instead of lifting off and moving, I would consider just sending the SCVs to simply mine from the mineral patches at the nearest base and then after the mines are killed, send them back to mine from the original mineral patches. The return path from the other mineral patches will leave your SCVs out of range of the Widow Mines.

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