I play a very macro style Terran which consists of no aggression early game. What are some strategies or build orders that put significant pressure on my opponent (or damage), but set me up to utilize my macro style play?

In other words, how do I get a further lead from the beginning of the game?

Edit: I should have been more specific, looking for mid-high diamond strategies or techniques that can be accomplished with 100-140 regular APM

  • 2
    I'd move "as Terran" to the front of your question title. I misread it as "What techniques effectively harass a Terran.." the first few times. Not a huge deal. Dec 1, 2010 at 21:07
  • Great suggestion, it seemed a little clunky to me as well but I just eyed it suspiciously rather than changing it. Fixed now :)
    – Aardvark
    Dec 1, 2010 at 21:13

7 Answers 7


Just build multiple barracks with no addon buildings and pump out marines. Build offensive bunkers. You can put addons to the barracks and salvage the bunkers later to push into mid-game. An early reaper rush utilizes tech labs as well that can be transitioned into marauders later.

Your goal of course is to either walk your marines into the enemies mineral line and start shooting. They may pull their workers off or push to attack you, either way marines have a great advantage to just run back and shoot some more with a little micro. You can also take out pylons/depots/overlords with your marines to slow them down considerably by supply blocking them.

So either choose early reapers (which are rare these days) or mass marines and micro them carefully to avoid your enemies early melee defenders (you might have more trouble against Terran though, due to early walls and the fact they also have ranged units).


Hellion harassment is a popular Terran strategy that can lead nicely into a 1:1:1 (Barracks, Factory, Starport) or mech-heavy build for the mid-game. Hellions are fast and kill workers very effectively. If any survive the initial harassment, they can be used for scouting, thanks to their speed.

You want to get your gas and factory both up quickly to facilitate this strategy. Many players will research the Infernal Preigniter upgrade as soon as it is available, as this greatly increases Hellions' ability to burn through the workers.

Inside the enemy base, you'll generally run the Hellions around behind the minerals, picking off workers while kiting any enemy defensive units.

You can also use this strategy against a walled-in opponent. Just drop the Hellions into the enemy base with Dropships. Just be aware that adding Dropships into the mix will mean your harass lands a bit later and will probably face stiffer defense. A walled-in player will probably be watching closer for drops as well.

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    The dropship is really not good for before 6 mins harrasm.
    – DogDog
    Dec 2, 2010 at 2:44

The Terran player qxc created an opening called Ghost First which is very good for early game harassment in TvT. The build is comprised of one ghost, one marine, and a few SCVs. The marine is used to back up the ghost and the SCVs are mainly used to distract and soak up damage. With good timing you can get everything out in less than six minutes. The basic idea is to impact you opponent's economy by using your Ghost to kill their SCVs.

Here's the goal (excerpted from link above):

The goal of the opening is to attempt to use the Ghost for a very early timing attack. It attacks the opponent early to try and harass the mineral line. The attack is not an all-in but is simply a way to exert pressure on your opponent. Pulling back your Ghost is recommended if they are defending. Following the attack, you can comfortably transition into a Marauder based Bio build and move into the mid-game.

The Good

This build is somewhat safe against many of Terran's early game units and does well against early aggression.

The Bad

This build requires good micro and control over the Ghost's abilities.

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    I like the idea of using a ghost to help with the harassment (high dps) but the idea of pulling SCV's to soak damage seems to the opposite of a heavy macro build.
    – Aardvark
    Dec 2, 2010 at 1:16

An early reaper with micro can be effective if they are not a very good player, and sometimes even against someone who's unprepared. At the least it will get you early scouting. I recommend retreating at the first sign of trouble as that little guy can be useful to come back and harass their worker line periodically, which at least may make them be a little more defensive. Combine a bunker at their expo or hidden somewhere can be a real irritant as they do fantastic damage.

Pumping marines early can be useful as your gas can build up while you do so giving you a nice pool of it when you start making higher-tier units. Again, combine with bunker(s).


You cannot use an economic build to put pressure on you opponent. The only thing close to that is using a reaper to scout and maybe snipe some units.

That being said, every build has the potential to normalize and go into a macro game. The difference is that you need to do damage with a harass or aggressive build, so that once the first skirmish is over you have the upper hand.

One example is the banshee build into expansion while harassing all the time with 1 or 2 banshees. Maru uses this build very often. This is a very APM intensive build though.

Another possible build vs Zerg is 11/11 Rax with Bunker into CC and defense. You try to punish a Zerg opponent for his greedy build. Maybe you even kill him, but you do not go all-in. Instead you try to cancel his expansion or make him invest a lot of units to hold it. But then you return to your own expansion and defend it. The game normalizes with you having a 2 expansions and the opponent having 2 expansions (because he rebuilds or holds his natural). The difference is that he cannot build only Drones, as he would die otherwise.


Widow Mine Stratergy Get heaps of supply depots, get 4 factory's with reactors and just pump out widow mines then place them all Over the map also get some battleships if they get a few air units works well unless enemy is doing a carrier rush (Protoss)


Worlds most annoying strategy Build 1000000 bases loaded with SCV's then fly em to heaps of corners and all over the map if person verging you is impatient then works charms if not make sure your nonstop making them

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