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In the late game, if I'm on a 3-4 bases and building tier 2-3 army (Terran Air), I end up with a ton of extra minerals. There are usually no more available expansions and I only have 1 or 2 barracks because I raced up the tech tree. Where should I be spending my minerals?

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Hey Stephanie, Welcome to Arqade! Thanks for taking the time to ask a question! I edited the question title slightly to clarify its meaning. If you feel that it doesn't convey the same message, then feel free to revert the edit =) –  Atav32 Aug 15 '12 at 3:20
    
Perfect, thanks for clarifying the question. –  Stephanie Aug 15 '12 at 22:28
    
Like a lot already said. The best you can do is to expand or simply build mass amounts of command centers with the orbital upgrade. –  AtlasEU Sep 9 '13 at 16:59

4 Answers 4

This indicates that you should probably be picking up additional gas geysers sooner in the game, essentially as soon as you feel that you can safely do so.

As a Terran, you can also make additional Orbital Commands using the minerals and then sacrifice SCV's to your opponent. This slows down that income and also makes room for additional troops, since Mules don't use up any supply. Against Zerg on maps with choke points you can also create Planetary Fortresses as a way to gain map control.

If you feel they'll be useful, reactored Blue Flame Hellions are a cheap way to reinforce an army, assuming you've gone Mech into Starport play and have the armory upgrades already.

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I could easily upgrade my hellions on the way to banshees or battleships. Thanks. –  Stephanie Aug 15 '12 at 22:23

When you have more minerals then gas, just invest in infrastructure like Barracks. It does not matter if you did not go MMM in the first place, but every Terran army can be backed up by a steady Marine stream.

The idea is the following: You will get 200/200 eventually, then there will be a big fight where both armies will get decimated. Reinforcing with "big" units takes a lot of time and there will be a period where both players have small armies. Battlecruisers for example take 90 seconds and are not that fast. You cannot have a lot of Factories / Starports as they cost a gas. So building a "meaty" Mech or Air army takes really long.

During this time MMM is really strong. The smaller the armies the better Marines are. Plus they are very mobile.

Depending on your enemy you might want to add other structures like Turrets, Bunkers or Command Centers. Sometimes even more Supply depots on the other end of the map might be a good investment, so you can actually profit from a base race. While your opponent struggles with supply and production facilities you have a perfectly fine base in every corner of the map.

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Without upgrades in the lategame MMM is just fodder. –  Decency Aug 15 '12 at 0:45
    
I never said you should not invest into upgrades. They are really cheap in the late game. But you need infrastructure first. Your upgrades are not that important if you start dropping. Still even without upgrades a 100 Marines are better than 5000 Minerals in the bank and no units. –  ayckoster Aug 15 '12 at 1:36
    
@Decency I feel like this is a case where we should clarify which is the optimal tactic and which is the easy tactic. –  Atav32 Aug 15 '12 at 3:22
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@BBz The easy tactic is to throw 100 marines at your opponent, but it won't get you anywhere against a competent opponent who has upgraded because they'll just melt. It takes almost 10 minutes to go from 0/0 to 3/3 even with 2 Engineering Bays going. If you've gone Mech into Starport play, the better answer is using squads of upgraded Hellions all across the map to harass. I'll edit that into my answer. –  Decency Aug 15 '12 at 3:45
    
Yeah, this is my problem. I spam marines with no upgrades and they are just fodder. I'll try to mix in hellions or incorporate marines with upgrades. –  Stephanie Aug 15 '12 at 22:22

The golden rule of SC2 macro is to expand aggressively and spend aggressively: get income, and spend it as quickly as you get it. Anything less is inefficient: any income you're missing, or income that's sitting in the bank, is income that could be used to improve your economy or military.

To this end, some casters/tutors recommend that you build 2-3 production buildings for each expansion as Terran. That's 2-3 more barracks, factories, or starports, for each expansion. As income rate increases, especially with mules and/or gold expansions, you need to continually invest in your infrastructure (production buildings, reactors, upgrade buildings, etc) to be able to spend it as fast as you earn it. So, you may benefit from just slamming down additional barracks or even starports. 1000 minerals in the bank does nothing for you, whereas 20 more marines has at least the potential to help you.

For any build, there are nuances about which production buildings to build when, which upgrades to research when, and so on. But I would recommend just trying to build more production buildings to spend it in various ways. If you have too much money, find (any) way to spend it. When I first did more of this, I was surprised by how large an army I was able to field in a small amount of time.

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This is when I'm envious of Zerg. They only have to create a few buildings to change their entire production composition. –  Stephanie Aug 15 '12 at 22:26
    
@Stephanie That's true about unit selection, but a similar principle applies to Zerg: in order to spend money aggressively enough, you need enough hatcheries/queens to get enough larvae. This is similar to needing enough production buildings. –  Wikwocket Aug 16 '12 at 3:35

There is a guide on Team Liquid's pages on how to play Skyterran for TvZ matchups. Link here.

They suggested littering the field with bunkers, planetary fortresses (even though they cost gas), and barracks. You have the minerals. Should both armies go die, you can select your barracks hotkey and hold down a for victory. If you lose the battle you would then have lots of defenses the enemy has to slog through.

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