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I've been playing around with the Hardcounter custom map to test out unit compositions, but I haven't been able to find a protoss force with comparable resource value that will counter 30 stimmed marines (this is even without medivacs) without taking advantage of force-fielding a choke.

With a choke, I force-field that off then either storm them or use colossus with range upgrade to out-range them, but without a choke they can easily run around the forcefield and focus down the colossi or HT's.

Speedlots surprisingly worked against an MMM ball but not against pure marines.

Even counting gas as worth the same as minerals I couldn't get a working counter to 30 stimmed marines that doesn't rely on having a choke point at my disposal.

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Not a starcraft player but psionic storms don't work? –  RCIX Aug 21 '10 at 23:25
    
I can't get enough units to protect the high templar that are storming for the amount of resources –  Davy8 Aug 22 '10 at 0:21

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

So I didn't bother to try more than just this, but this will work for you:

  • 30 Marines vs 3 Colossus

With relatively little micro (I only moved the first Colossus back at 50% health) I was able to keep all three Colossus alive against Marines with both Stim (which you have to use manually) and Combat Shield.


Edit: I also found

  • 4 Sentries and 2 Templar are enough, but that requires more micro
  • 1 Mothership and 3 Templar (Vortex into Storm)
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I realized what was wrong when I was testing it, I didn't give the colossus the range upgrade which is a reasonable assumption that someone making colossus will have the upgrade. Without the upgrade assuming the marines are focus-firing down 1 at a time, I'm about 50/50 with my micro on which side survives. Although trying to micro both sides at once probably isn't very representative. Good to know though. I'm wondering how it would play out if the marines were super well microed and split up to reduce splash, but that's pretty hard to test with 1 person playing both sides. –  Davy8 Aug 22 '10 at 0:33
    
Just curious what did you do with the 4 sentries and 2 templar? I finally got it after a few tries, but I ended up dropping 6-8 forcefields and then storming while the AI fumbled around. Assuming that a good opponent would move the marines out of the storm would it still be viable? –  Davy8 Aug 22 '10 at 0:39
    
Mothership is interesting, but that's usually super late in the game and 30 marines can get there pretty early so I'm not sure how viable that is in practice, but certainly interesting in theory. –  Davy8 Aug 22 '10 at 0:40
    
@Davy8 For the sentries, I force field in front and behind and then stormed. There are a lot of interesting strategies I found with the Mothership, because you can vortex twice and essentially split their force in half. Vortex 10 Marines, fight the other 20 for 5 seconds then vortex again so you're down to 10. It makes for an interesting strategy. For Microing vs Colossus, try queuing your Marines. You'll have to reset the queue when you move the first Colossus, but at least they'll focus fire. –  tzenes Aug 22 '10 at 1:01

Marines do little damage (each). Get a mix of sentries, high templars and colossi. Shoot force fields ahead of the marine army to block them off (always works best at choke points), move sentries back and have them cast Guardian Shield to reduce the incoming damage to HT and Colossi. Get the range upgrade for the Colossi and put them in the back. Psi Storm with HT. If you got the Hallucination upgrade for the sentries, cast it and let them take some damage. You will have far less units, so the microing should be far easier for you. The other player, in turn, will have to rely a lot more on CPU targeting. Unless you are playing TLO, of course.

ALTERNATIVELY, and this might be risky, get a bunch of Dark Templars. IF (and only if) your adversary doesn't bother bringing a raven along, they will slice and dice them marines up before they knew what hit them. Considering that he will be spending lots of minerals on units, he will probably spend his first gas in core reactors instead of starports. A DT "rush" is slow and risky, but if you scout him and see marines racking up, you could go for it. -> Pylon -> GW -> CC -> Pylon -> TA -> DS with probes and a couple zealots to hold a rush in between. Ain't no expert in BOs though.

Cheers.

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With a choke forcefields are easy which is why the question asks about in the open. 2 of each is already far more resources than the 30 marines cost (1500/0 vs 800/900). Also it's I disagree that microing would be easier, marines hardly take any micro at all, and with sentries/high templar one small mistake and they'll be dead without doing much. Hallucinations are a good idea that I haven't tried though. DT's can be spotted with a scan though which I find most people have, either because they save up for it, or forgot to make mules. –  Davy8 Aug 22 '10 at 1:33
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DT would extremely risky, IMO. I think you can count on a mid-game Terran player having 50 energy sitting around in their orbital command. –  JavadocMD Aug 22 '10 at 1:36
    
Davy8, agreed. Are you taking build order times and upgrade costs into consideration as well ? Have you tried sentries to split up the marines and immortals ? JavadocMD, yes. And probably more than one Orbital Command. I assumed a mass marine "rush". No intention of reaching mid-game. But your comment is spot on. –  wormintrude Aug 22 '10 at 3:33
    
I was talking about pure unit cost. Mostly theorycrafting, but also trying to figure out what I should do given that I know they're massing marines. I want to measure close to equal resource cost because otherwise it's not a fair comparison otherwise most units can win if you out-macro them. –  Davy8 Aug 22 '10 at 4:23
    
Ok. So I got the map (o.O) and tested the following out. 30 Marines, Stimpacked vs 6 High Templars with PsiStorm. After testing it for a few runs and getting the micro right, I managed to beat the marines every run. As you mentioned, there would have to be another player microing the marines (I left it up to the AI, as HT do not cast PS unless you do) for it to be a "fair" fight. But it would seem to me that this is a fairly effective hard counter. There is a replay going around (Dimaga v. HasuObs) that demonstrates the power of psistorm. Cheers! –  wormintrude Aug 22 '10 at 7:42

Speedlots + sentries using guardian shield should do it

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