A friend (platinum) told me that early Zerg expand cannot be stopped by Terran. In 99% of games a good Terran can build a bunker and can bring ONLY 1 marine inside. The Zerg's task here is keep 6 zerlings running between the bunker and pass from which Terran reinforcements are coming and kill all incoming reinforcements.

In this case 1 marine in a bunker won't make a lot of problems for the hatchery.

He also told me that next task for Zerg is to build one Spine Crawler far away from the bunker, but in way that it will be able to kill the bunker. In the same way if the bunker doesn't reach a mineral line the hatchery can produce drones and that can gather minerals...

From what he is saying, I see that Terran can NOT prevent Zerg from early expanding. He can (and MUST) only delay a quick Zerg expansion.

Is this true? Are there any other ideas here?

Thanks a lot!

  • 1
    You might be interested in this replay, where: Three bunkers are placed to block the ramp and destroy the FE, forcing the opponent to build a Spine Crawler but the expansion is delayed till after 10:00. Meantime a transition to Tanks and Medivacs has taken place, allowing him to do a fast expand and slowly move towards the Zerg base. The reason he has Stimmed Marines is so he can counter Mutalisks. The Zerg army just runs into his Tanks resulting in an easy win... Commented Dec 29, 2010 at 18:42

6 Answers 6


Starting based on my previous answer, which explained why:

Why can't I keep the pressure up?

The Bunker is like a firewall, it will work until the virus takes it down.

Some opponents will scout and be smart enough to prevent you from throwing down the bunker by scouting for your incoming SCV and deny him from finishing the bunker. Or deny the marines from getting inside the bunker. With the bunker and marines you damaged his worker and army, forced zerglings and delayed him... Nothing more!

But I want to deny his expansion.

Because in theory, that could make me win the game...

BUT. You can't, let me quote IvoFlipse:

The problem with a Zerg going for a Fast Expand is that a Hatchery
is also his Barracks, Factory and Starport all mixed into one building.

It would be unbalanced if you were able to deny Zerg from getting additional production.

The Bunker Rush is less effective if your opponent scouts it and uses enough micro...
See Donblas A for other alternatives, or give up and transition into Hellions or Medivacs or Banshees.

Let's look at it from the other side!

Because you can think the way your opponent does.

Terran can create an extra CC in his main and then go and drop it at his natural, Zerg can only prevent CC from being dropped there by placing Zerglings at his natural which the Terran has to build something against in order to remove the Zerglings so he can land. With the Zerglings he forces and damages Marines, also resulting in the FE to be delayed... Nothing more!

And yes, he has alternatives: Deny you from gas by placing Extractors in your main, go Mutalisks, ...

Another idea...

Because theory crafting could result in succes...

We had a conversation about this based on your questions, and came up with the following idea:

  • Produce 6 Marines, 3 Hellions and 2 Medivacs.
  • Run the 6 Marines towards your enemy exposition.
  • Slightly after, drop Hellions into his Mineral line at his base, focus on Queen and Workers.
  • Heal and pick up up units once they get heavily damaged and retreat to protect your natural.

While in theory you can pull this off, it is once again based on how well you both micro.


I'm a plat, but not a very good one, just for disclosure.

I find that stopping a zerg from FE is difficult. Things you can try to do include:

  • Build a engineering bay on their natural. This costs them the pool and time to make lings and if you are fast you can stop it building and cancel when mostly dead.
  • Set a SCV patroling in a 1 inch path on the expand to delay it. They have to chase it down
  • Proxy a barracks near them and pump out marines. I haven't had much luck but it is recommenced here: http://wiki.teamliquid.net/starcraft2/15_Pool_Fast_Expand

I personally stick with the scv and wait for the FE. If i see it, I know they just sunk 300 minerals into it, and thus won't go early gas. No early gas means no early lair tech. Thus, I go 1 barracks, 1 factory, 2 starports and pump out 4 banshees (no cloak) and run them over. Unless they made a bunch of queens, I win.

  • 2
    Or just make Medivacs and drop in some Marines. You only need 2 Medivacs to drop off a large group, which is cheaper than 4 Banshees. Plus you could add Helions, because they burn through Drones and Zerlings very quickly.
    – Ivo Flipse
    Commented Dec 29, 2010 at 12:00
  • Till the time when you drop marines Zerg will use expand on full power and will have enough quick zerlings to kill your marines. Marines are easy to beat with zerlings. And 2 queens that will kill your medivacs. yes, you can add 2 helions, but still that is not crucial and can be handled if he has expand and you don't
    – Budda
    Commented Dec 29, 2010 at 22:28
  • @Budda: Actually, the Zerglings are at the front of his base or on the field and he will only have one queen at his base. You can take out the Queen and some workers, the Queen of the expo won't reach you (as they move slow if there is no creep) and when you see those Zerglings arrive you can jump back into the Medivac and go back home. Unless you plan on early Speedlings the Zerglings won't be that fast... I don't see how expanding is relevant in this discussion, as you are solely dropping marines around 6:00. Commented Jan 1, 2011 at 12:09

There's the engineering bay like @Donblas mentioned that I haven't used personally, but I see pros doing.

What I like to do instead is if I see the FE going down, focus on getting a fast small army, about 6-8 marines (2 rax no addons) and stopping the zerg from using the expo. If he makes drones, kill them.

If he makes lings then that's almost the same thing as killing drones. The main thing to remember about zerg is larva. If he makes a pair of lings, that's one drone that he didn't make. With an OC and some mules, you'll be ahead resource-wise if you can stop (delay) him from getting lots of drones on the expo.

During this time, you'll obviously need to be doing the normal good stuff, making an army/teching/expanding but it should put you in a decent position to win if you play well the rest of the game.


It seems lately that the people are leaning towards a two-rax/scv push to punish the early expand. If the zerg expo'd before pool then he will likely fall to these tactics. It IS defendable, it just requires good positioning and some refined micro.


The question you should ask yourself is not "What rush tactic will win against Zerg's Hatchery first". The correct question is: "Ok, he uses a greedy tactic. How do I punish it?"

Punishing doesn't equal instant win. Punishing means dealing enough damage for his greediness not to pay off. Can bunker rush win against Hatcher first in 100% of situations? No! Should you still use it? Absolutely! It will probably deal enough damage to negate the economic advantage Zerg is getting, since he will be forced to pull his workers to defend, probably loose some of them, build a spine crawler, spend larva on lings instead of workers. There will be a lot of opportunities for defending Zerg to make a mistake and for you to punish it.

What you definitely should keep in mind is: a) what is your strategy to deal some damage and then respond with expansion of your own and b) those lings he produced to defend, they will be definitely used for counter-attacks


eh. the best counter to this is for terran to expo himself. then zerg will take a 3rd expo and then the game will proceed from there.

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