Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Don't Fear the Reaper

Hello fellow Zerg!

I am going to break this into 2 parts as I have to run soon:


I know I said I would be starting things up with some basic strategy but after playing a bit today I am becoming enraged with how badly Terran players can play and still come close to getting a victory over a zerg player.  Now granted balance is something that is debatable and going on a losing streak tends to put even the best players into a "whine mode" but all said I think the current map pool is largely favoring Terran as far as terrain is concerned.  I hope to analyze each map a little more closely in later posts but reaper harrasment and tank drops have been tearing me up lately despite having a counter plan in mind for these situations!

Enough gripes however, here is a scounter to a popular terran strategy and why:

Quick reaper harassment - more and more lately I have been seeing aggressive Terrans getting a quick gas followed by barracks with fast tech lab.  As soon as tech lab is done, the first reaper pops up and begins making its way to your base (any reasonable zerg will have scouted your location by now).  Soon after the second gas has been constructed, nitro packs will be on the way, along with additional barracks and tech labs for more reapers. 

The general strategy (variations exist of course) of a smart Terran will be to do a little harrasment on either a fast expand hatchery (a popular zerg strategy) or the economy by sniping drones with the first reaper ASAP.  He won't be looking to end the game, just keep the zerg knocked back so no counter occurs and all the while maintain that first reaper.  Reaper number 2 will often enjoy the same tactic while waiting for friends.  Depending on the build strategy, nitro packs will be finished sometime soon after the second reaper and soon a gaggle of them will be harrassing your mineral line(s) and sniping zerglings. 

So whats a zerg to do?!  We are supposed to be the aggressor and keep Terran on their toes and instead we are microing around our base like crazy trying to keep these buggers out.  Here's a couple suggestions:

1.  Research Zergling Speed ASAP!  This is just good practive for any zerg player in general as zerglings are cheap and effective scouts and a small group can make mincemeat of attacking marines or poorly micro'd hellions.  This is not enough to counter a large group of reapers however since as they grow in number they can kite your troops and 1 shot lings with ease (2+ reapers).  Whats worse is that the reapers often come before the speed is done so rarely can you chase off the early reaper with lings alone.

2.  Queen Queen Queen - Zerg should be getting that first queen as soon as that pool is up (unless you are doing some crazy in all zergling rush or suspect you can catch you opp off guard with some early troops) and your first queen should be able to manage 1 and even 2 reapers in the early go.  Keep her on the creep and near the mineral line since this will often be their prime target.  They will try to kite your queen and force her off the creep but don't bite, just stay calm and micro her well.  Getting 2 queens in the early going will often discourage a reaper harrass all together as they can dish out damage fairly well and fast (on the creep) and transfuse one another if the pressure keeps up.

3.  Roches - This is the best strategy IMO since not only does it provide a hard counter to the reapers, but it also sets you up for a counter attack after holding off the rush.  This is not an easy strategy to acheive and often will involve getting your queen(s) and holding on to them as they repel the early rush.  Tech up quick and get these guys since the reapers won't do their bonus damage to these "heavy" units and a well managed group of 4 - 8 of these guys should be able to protect your main and expo pretty easily with queen support.

I find getting a quick expo up, keeping queen number 1 at your main while a couple zerglings intercept and hold off the first reaper to be a good strat.  Pump queen 2 out with additional lings (not many, use your judgment based on the reaper squad size) and transfer her to expo ASAP.  Tech up as quick as possible to roaches and produce them as quick as you can.

The great thing about your opp goign reapers is that their economy will be suffering, there's no way around this.  With all the resources being pumped into reapers, the SCV count will be lower than yours (of course this assumes you don't allow opp to pick off all your drones) and once you find off the initial rush, you can macro up a mix of roaches and lings to strike back.  If you're lucky, they may have expanded already and you can set them back on the eco even more by denying some mining time


  1. Wow I did not know any of this. You have my daily support friend

  2. Son, I am NOT disappoint! Checking in to show some love ;)