When playing Terran VS Terran, how can I defend against this rush?

  • The opponent comes with Marines, Marauders and Tanks.
  • He deploys the Tanks and then uses scans to destroy my Rax + Bunkers + Units.
  • He comes in my base with all units and the game is over.

See my replay here.

I had Marines, Marauders, Tank(s), Anti-Air, Vikings.

Tzenes answer is impressive! I think that my problem is not defending, but it is attacking:

You’ve sent out your SCV to do a little scouting. You’ve found your opponent, and he or she is fortifying heavily. You’re doing the same, focusing on building structures, protecting your entry points, and placing anti-air units at all the right locations. Your base is covered from all angles. Occasionally, there’s a skirmish in the middle of the map or around the edges of your bases, but no one seems to be pushing outside of their comfort zone. You look at the clock and realize -- this isn’t going to be as quick of a game as you had originally thought….

It’s easy to get caught up in a game of turtle vs. turtle, with both players choosing to build and mass up units, but that may not always amount to a quick or exciting match. It's understandable that newer players might feel apprehension about leaving their base to go after an opponent or trying riskier pushes while simultaneously learning build orders, unit counters, and more. It feels safe within the confines of the base, and there's less to manage. While a viable strategy at times, getting too comfortable in a base can also invoke a false sense of security. There are benefits to sitting tight and letting your opponent waste resources and units against your defenses, but there are also some risks such as being penned in with waning resources and units.

A Tale of Two Turtles, Battle.Net News

So, I'm going to combine my BO with Tzenes story and try to improve from there.


3 Answers 3


I realize some of my answers are a little long, so I made a TL;DR version

I'm going to ask you a few rhetorical questions and I don't want you to be offended, but they are things you need to be thinking about.

  1. What was your plan going in to this game?
  2. When did you plan your timing push?
  3. Why did you build 3 Barracks?
  4. What did you think when you scanned a Factory with a tech lab and a Starport building?

In my opinion these were the three major mistakes you made. By 7:30 it had become your opponents game to lose before a single shot was fired.

Looking at your BO I saw:

  • 3 Rax (1 tech 1 reactor)
  • 1 Factory, all before the 7 minute mark.

If you can cut the produce of the factory, and done an MM timing push at 6:30 (which is the usualy MM timing push) you would have easily won the game. At that time your opponent had 5 marines and 1 tank (no siege mode). The normal MM push there is 4-5 of each Marauders and Marines. You would have steam rolled him.

If you had done so your answers would have been:

3 Rax timing push, heavy on Marauders at 6:30

Instead, you chose to go 4 unit producing structures off 1 based (which you can't really afford as Terran). This meant that your Barracks sat idle, you didn't produce Marauders and you didn't have a good timing push. Its because of this I asked my first 3 questions.

You don't really seem to have a plan.

Strangely this wasn't what lost you the game. Not having a plan, while hard to over come, is not crucial, especially since your opponent didn't really have one either (there is no good reason he builds that second Barracks). The problem became your response to what your opponent was doing.

At 6:30 you saw a Factory with a tech lab, two Barracks and a Starport being built. The second Barracks is really the red herring here, so let's ignore it for 5 seconds. What does: 1 Barracks, 1 Factory, 1 Starport mean? In TvT this means Marine/Siege/Viking.

In response you throw down an Engineer Bay (for Turrets, which you build) and a Starport for Vikings, and continue to build Marines (and a single Marauder). Which of these things is supposed to counter Siege tanks using Vikings for sight? Well Viking vs Viking is key, but what about the Siege tanks?

By 11 Minutes you'll have built 2 Vikings and 3 Marauders with another one of each on the way. Ultimately there is nothing you can do about the Siege Tanks and they roll your Marine heavy force. They box you in and that's game.

In theory you probably could have done something clever with Dropships around 9-10 Minutes and caught him with his pants down, but really you don't do anything to stop him.

Before you play your next game (before you even load up Starcraft) I want you to have an answer to the first three questions I asked. And next time you scan Factory/Starport I want you to think "Great! My timing push should arrive right before he gets Siege Tanks!"

A plan is like a story, it has a beginning, a middle and an end. Turtling and finding the right moment to attack isn't a story, its like a blurb you'd find on the cover. Let me tell you the story of Bio into Biomech:

I'm going to open up three Barracks into Marine/Marauder. Marauders will work well as a meat shield and the Marines will provide the real fire power. I'll push just before stim finishes so that I arrive with it. The goal of my push is to stop early expansions and punish heavy teching strategies. I know that I can support 3 Barracks on 1 base and still have a little extra income to plan for expanding.

Mid-game I'm going to transition into MMM and Medivac drops. This will keep my opponent contained and force him to build a lot of defenses he won't be able to use to attack me. Additionally, Medivacs will let me really take advantage of Stim and keep me mobile. I know I can support Medivacs on top of my three Barracks, but nothing else, so I will make sure to have a Command Center up first. My goal is to gain map control and keep my opponent boxed in.

Late game I'm going to start adding in factory units like Siege Tanks or (more recently) Thors to break my opponent's defenses. I should be comfortably on 2 or 3 bases by now so resources won't be an issue. I will crack my opponent like an egg

My strongest weapon is my mobility and I will abuse it. I can end the game at any point: early, middle or late. I will restrain myself from over committing and starve my opponent to death. I will end the game when I choose. I am Terran BioMech.

It sounds scary doesn't it?

  • 1. Turtling in (M&M to 1:1:1 transition) and finding the right moment to attack, I've not heard of the "timing push" terms before. Drop-shipping my army in his base when I see he comes to attack me would've helped, he indeed wouldn't have anti-air units nor bunkers near his workers as he spent his resources on those buildings and his army that's underway. Commented Oct 14, 2010 at 16:42
  • 3. Building a third Rax instead of a Reactor spares me out Gas and doesn't interrupt my current production, but I guess you have a reason for me not to do this. 4. He's probably going to create Tanks & Vikings/Medivacs. Commented Oct 14, 2010 at 16:45
  • 1
    @Tom I moved my response to the question so it would be more visible.
    – tzenes
    Commented Oct 14, 2010 at 17:31
  • 1
    Finding that your games take a long time is normal for newer players, but as you progress and really refine your build orders you'll notice that a lot of your games end before the 10 minute mark. This is because you are much better than your opponents. If your games are lasting longer, its because you're more evenly matched (think GSL Finals Game 1), this is why its so important that your plan have a beginning, middle and end.
    – tzenes
    Commented Oct 14, 2010 at 17:42
  • 1
    @Tom here is the thing about that story: It was about turtling and finding the right moment to attack. Even though it has nice timing pushes and crazy drops, its real strength is fighting at home and under the cover of Siege Tanks. It looks for moments when it can sneak Dropships in. Just because you're turtling doesn't mean you can't be winning.
    – tzenes
    Commented Oct 15, 2010 at 2:50

Vikings are usually used so that the tanks can attack a little farther. Since they have more range in siege mode than they have sight range, vikings above them allows them to attack farther.

Using this information, gaining air superiority becomes crucial since it will allow your tanks to outrange your opponent's tanks. This way he will not be able to advance toward you that easily.

I did not watch the replay since I'm at job right now, but here are some keypoints

1- Make more tanks than your opponent
2- Stalemate everything with your tanks sieged in the front line, in front of the buildings
3- Gain air superiority with vikings and abuse range with tanks
4- If your opponent moves toward you, send your M&M in while he's on the move

On a final note, it is possible to load medivacs, attack and drop the medivacs on top of the tanks. Since your units will be attacking and the medivacs moving, the marines will target the attacking units first.

  • What do you mean by buildings? I don't have to put it in front of my wall-in, right? xD Commented Oct 14, 2010 at 14:50
  • Oh, while my opponent plays that way with his vikings I could do too, interesting! Commented Oct 14, 2010 at 14:51
  • I usually don't wall-in in TvT
    – Eric
    Commented Oct 14, 2010 at 14:54

Just watched the replay. You definitely need to scout more. You had no idea he was seiging up his 4 tanks at your base. And you were not prepared to counter. He out-macroed you, having a lot more units. You only had one tank. I'm not saying you build is wrong but you should scout more so you know what and when he is coming.

  • So basically, if the tanks are in the right position at the ledge his tanks will be in my range so they will be killed faster than they kill my tanks? (As they still have to place them, perform the limited time scan) Commented Oct 14, 2010 at 14:37
  • Yeah. But you could always try to counter them with banseeees =) But it looked like you were not prapared. Scout is key.
    – Anders
    Commented Oct 14, 2010 at 14:41
  • I did a first scout (to see what's up in his base), then I placed the SCV in the middle of the map to check for early rushes and I did a scan later in which I saw him having 2 Rax + 1 Fac + Tech Labs and building up his Air. So I knew he was going to do Marines/Marauders/Medivacs + Vikings later, I didn't suspect the tanks though as I'm not used to that yet... Commented Oct 14, 2010 at 14:46
  • Banshees, perhaps cloaked, seem like a nice idea when he somehow outnumbers my defense. Commented Oct 14, 2010 at 14:49
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    Oh, nevermind, I've read Tzenes Scouting answer. "Place a unit near his ramp" seems a nice idea, and getting the tower back or placing 2 marines in a choke point on the map might have been useful. Commented Oct 14, 2010 at 15:08

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