I'm playing Protoss but i always have the same problem when facing a Terran:

As I get my death-ball, expand and do all the usual things, the Terran just turtles non stop. He gets about 12 siege-tanks in his base and about 20 vikings. Once i can't stand that turtling any more i just decide to engage with my entire army ( even a mother-ship ). And then as i arrive at his main my bowl just gets crashed and splashed by all the siege tanks. Btw, did i tell you, that he also surrounded his whole base with 20 missile-turrets?

I want to know how to break this, or any other turtling build.

  • 4
    If he's turtling that hard, he's almost certainly ceding map control to you. Out-produce the crap out of him by having 3 more bases than he does. Also, remember not to use exactly the wrong units to break the shell. Vikings slaughter motherships and carriers VERY HARD, but lose to stalkers or phoenixes. Siege tanks are absurdly vulnerable to zealots and immortals. See if you can find a back area of his base to do a phase prism drop/warp-in. This doesn't work very often but it sure is funny when you pull it off.
    – Paul Z
    Commented Apr 29, 2011 at 22:01
  • 20 missile turrets = 1500 minerals. I'm sure you can find a better way to use resources like that.
    – tenfour
    Commented Apr 29, 2011 at 22:04
  • 6
    I think you mean "Death Ball"? Never heard of a Death-bowl before. If they exist, I wouldn't eat my breakfast out of it that's for sure.
    – Sorean
    Commented Apr 29, 2011 at 22:04
  • lol :D i call it DEATH BOWL, i know its death ball but i always write my version
    – JJgendarme
    Commented Apr 29, 2011 at 22:52
  • 6
    While I can understand wanting to use "your version" the community as a whole may not understand you :)
    – Sorean
    Commented Apr 29, 2011 at 23:33

4 Answers 4


I love to turtle, and I can tell you it's the kiss of death against anyone but the computer. Unless the two of you have already mined the entire map dry, you can nickle and dime him to death with little trouble. Remember, every mineral you force him to spend, he can't replace, while you have the resources of the entire map to draw from.

Things to do:

Hallucinate, Hallucinate, Hallucinate. Make a couple of carriers, and give them each four imaginary void ray friends, and then pick a small hole in his turret net. Remember, death of a thousand cuts. If he counters with his vikings, teach him the very important lesson: the Phoenix is king of the Air-to-Air. Don't listen to the haters. The phoenix may not be able to stand toe to toe, but they don't need to, and this type of fight is perfect for them. Don't be afraid to take losses, you can afford them. Phoenixes are also great for harassing the tanks. Lift 'em, and punish 'em. Gas heavy units are priority targets in a turtle situation.

Immortals. They are made to take down siege tanks, so use them. Unless he's got a bioball hidden in the back, he won't have a good counter.

Mothership. Use it for the warp, and it should put enough of the tanks out of the way to let you kick in the door, and at a very reasonable cost.

Remember, the turtle is the weakest option. Just expand, tech, and tear him down.

  • thanks :D i got an idea. If i got enough minerals, maybe i could immortal drop him! :D This would be very hard to pull of though...
    – JJgendarme
    Commented Apr 29, 2011 at 22:56
  • I guess it isn't what you meant, but from your answer it could be understood that you suggest to hallucinate a bunch of carriers - which is of course impossible in StarCraft 2.
    – Oak
    Commented Apr 30, 2011 at 0:23
  • @dailydoggy: If you're going to do a drop, hallucinate a bunch of extra warp prisms. Or void rays, or something. Prisms aren't exactly tough. Commented Apr 30, 2011 at 0:49
  • 1
    Just an addition to the answer: you should take the full map, exploit at least 4 bases at the same time (with gas) AND make a crap ton of producing structures. Really. You should have like 4 robotics, 4 stargates and 20 warpgates when you attack for the first time. While you're losing your whole army, do not forget to produce more units, and you'll have another 200/200 army in no time. Rince and repeat.
    – tharibo
    Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 8:36

The principle thing: if you have 2k minerals army, he can't have the same army as you AND 20 turrets. So you need to feel the time, when opponent began to mass turrets. In this time he has smaller amount of army. Have chargelots/immortals ready - and break his tanks. in 2-3 minutes he will have similar army, but a little bit lesser amount: repeat your chargelot/immortal push... repeat it few more times... and that's it.

For sure, you will lost somethign. But having more zealots (remember, you opponent began to build mass turrets, so you will have 5-7 "free" zealots) you can do a solid damage not to units, but to SCVs also.

You can force opponent to build MORE turret: show him you warp prism - ... :)

How to feel? Scout! 1-2 observers do that :)

If he began turtling with not turrets - drop him few (4-8 zealots) on the back... at least he will slow down... repeat your drop to his another expansion...

1st thing: keep 1-2 observer on his base. If you detect A LOT of turrets - that mean he has lesser amount of units.

If he ALREADY has turrets AND death ball of tanks...

Actually, you should prevent that. Or at least force him to begin turtling from very his base... (keep some chargelots close to him, but don't waste them for nothing) on the half way will lost his patience and unsiege all tanks: attack in this moment.

Learn your opponent:

If you are playing against "your friend" and with 100% guarantee you know that he will build a solid defense (tanks in siege+turrets): learn his style and counter THAT PARTICULAR STYLE. if he does quick tanks/turrets - you can do very quick expand (with no gateways before nexus) and don't give him to expand: he won't be able to make a turtling death ball from one base. Both of you will have similar losses, but you will have 2 bases.

If he expands quickly - make him warp-prism drop or 4-gate push.


If your opponent is turtling than simply control the map to contain them. Finally when he is out of minerals and you have unlimited resources, simply make carriers and a mothership.

It is a very lame a boring game however.

  • Carriers are not requirement if he is out of mineral... :)
    – Budda
    Commented May 3, 2011 at 21:28

Focus on denying the Terran expansions.

Eventually the minerals will start to run low and the Terran will try to expand. If the Terran has completely turtled and given up map control, then there's no way to defend an expansion.

The hardest part about playing against a turtling Terran is patience. A turtling Terran is asking for a 40-60 min long slow death by attrition.

  • Keep the main army outside of the turtling Terran's natural, but don't attack. Just deny map control

  • Send 2 stalkers to each expansion near the Terran's base

  • Send a probe, or build a pylon, at each expansion far from the Terran's base

  • Keep observers in the corners of the map to intercept drops

  • Complete your upgrades to 3-3-3, since you have the resources

  • Build 20 warpgates, so you can re-max faster than the Terran

  • Wait until the Terran realizes that he or she can't sneak an
    expansion. The Terran will attack soon out of desperation or run out of things to do.

  • Attack the Terran base from a side that is cluttered with buildings, so the Terran can't engage with the whole army or maneuver in reinforcements. Do not give up map control in front of the Terran's natural

  • Rinse and repeat. But don't lose the whole army. Keep control of the center of the map.

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