What this build does is provide Terran players a safe opener in TvP that is designed to quickly get the natural expansion up and running without risking a build order loss to early Oracles or an attack with Gateway units at the front door.
This build is bio focused, as this allows the Terran player to be able to attack the Protoss player around the 10:00 mark before the Protoss has access to a full suite of anti-bio units. If you prefer to play as mech, this is not the build for you.
TvP Standard Macro Bio Build Order
10/11 – Supply Depot
12/19 – Barracks
16/19 – Orbital Command
17/19 – Marine
17/19 – Command Center
17/19 – Supply Depot
19/19 – Bunker (at entrance to natural)
20/27 – Marine
21/27 – Barracks
22/27 – Barracks
23/27 – Marine
23/27 – Refinery x2
24/38 – Orbital Command
28/38 – Marine x2
28/38 – Tech Lab (on Barracks)
32/38 – Marine x2
34/38 – Stimpack
34/37 – Supply Depot
36/38 – Marine x2
36/46 – Factory
From here, you can focus on saturating both expansions with SCVs and getting out Marines as needed. With three Barracks total, you can start adding on units that can defend against any early attack. If you continue to remain unthreatened, add on Engineering Bays and start getting Infantry upgrades. Add on a Missile Turret in each mineral line to prevent Oracles from harassing. Add on a Starport with a Reactor to initially produce Medivacs and ultimately Vikings if the Protoss goes up to Colossus tech. Once your minerals start building up you can build additional Barracks as well.
When opening with this build, note that you cannot easily make any attacks as you are using bio forces and have delayed vespene intake. Bio forces really need Stimpack, Combat Shield, and Medivac support to be effective. We delayed vespene in order to ensure a healthy Marine count (plus the ability to produce more Marines) without delaying the expansion timing. This large number of Marines is needed to protect from early Protoss attacks, but prevents us from attacking early ourselves.
How Many Marines to Make?
Producing just the right amount of Marines makes this build work a lot better. The proper amount depends on your opponent’s action. If the opponent has an expansion finished or at least under construction, you will not need too many Marines as investing in an extra Nexus will delay the opponent’s ability to make any sort of attack. If the opponent is on one base, there a good chance you will see early Oracles or other timings like 3 Gateways + 1 Stargate. You will need a lot of Marines to fend off a timing attack like this.
Not overproducing Marines is relevant because the resources you spend on Marines could just as easily be spent on an Engineering Bay and the 2 Refineries at your natural expansion. The less resources you have to spend on Marines, the better. You can always add on Marines later with no penalty, but delaying your upgrades is something that will cost you the rest of the game.
Please note that the early Bunker to the entrance of the natural expansion is not optional. Without this Bunker, a good Protoss can whittle down your Marine count without taking damage with a well microed Stalker and Mothership Core. This can make you very susceptible to Oracles or a Gateway timing attack (or both). The Bunker prevents this hit-and-run tactic.
Making an Attack
A great time to attack with this build is right after you finish up Stimpack and Combat Shield. If you added on 2x Engineering Bays early enough you should have been able to finish up +1 armor and weapons as well. Concussive Shield helps too but you do not have to wait for it to make an attack. You will need a few Medivacs as well to make a solid attack. This attack should made around the 10:45-11:00 mark on the game clock if you have decent macro.
You do not have to worry about Vikings yet because if you attack early enough there is no way the Protoss will have out Extended Thermal Lance just yet as it is an expensive upgrade tthat takes a long time to research. The Protoss opponent will have at most 2 Colossi (if any at all), which without range are simply fodder for your Marauders if you focus fire.
The problem with attacking Protoss players here is that Force Field will split your army in half if you try to attack from the front. Instead, load up 3-4 Medivacs full of Marines and Marauders and drop them either in the natural or main base. This allows you to bypass the enemy’s frontal defenses. As an added bonus, dropping on top of buildings and in crowded areas has the added advantage of shielding your bio units from Zealots. It is hard for the enemy to surround all your forces with Zealots if you drop in a crowded area.
Late Game Play
Playing bio in the late game requires the addition of Ghosts and Vikings in just the right amounts. Failure to include these units will result in your quick demise due to High Templar or Colossi. This depends on your enemy’s unit composition. See our guide on Terran vs Protoss strategy for more specifics on balancing your army in TvP.
Weaknesses of the TvP Macro Bio Build
There are three main weaknesses of the build above:
- Oracles: Early Oracles are a threat to any Terran player. This build can handle Oracles, but I list Oracles as a weakness because these attacks require excellent Marine control from the Terran player in order to minimize Terran losses.. You can chase off Oracles with 5 Marine clusters, but the Marines need to be clustered and well-controlled. You will need 2 packs of Marines – 5 at the main and 5 at the natural expansion. This build gets you up to 7 Marines pretty early. If you spot Oracles, you will want to start producing Marines off of all 3 Barracks so you can get 2 clusters of 5 Marines at both the main and the natural. You will also want to try to keep a loaded Bunker near the natural expansion to ward off front-door Gateway attacks that often occur at the same time as an Oracle harass.
- 1-Base Gateway Rushes: In addition to Oracles, a Protoss player may use an early rush with Gateway units such as the classic 4-Gate or even 2-3 Gateways and a Stargate. Since this Terran build delays Factory production significantly, you will have no Widow Mines to help defend. However, you do get 3 Barracks. In the event of an early attack, do not be afraid to lift off the natural expansion, pull your SCVs back, and build off of your three Barracks until you have enough units to push away this attack. A few Marauders can quickly shut down any Stalker kiting of your Marines. Sitting out for a bit at your natural expansion will not put you behind if your opponent is on one base.
- Lack of Early Vespene: In order to grab a quick expansion without exposing the Terran player to a loss from early Gateway or Stargate units, this build delays harvesting of vespene gas until much later than typical for a Terran player. This means that your important bio tech like Stimpack, Combat Shield, and even Medivac support will be delayed. To account for this, try not to be too aggressive early in the game. You can feign attack, but unless the Protoss grabs a third, do not try to be a hero until Stimpack finishes up and you get a couple Medivacs on the field.
This standard Terran opener is an excellent build to use against Protoss players if you want to play a safe macro game using bio units. It works well on both big and small maps, both 2 and 4 player. While slightly slower than the Command Center First build, the opener in this guide is much safer to use against Protoss players.
Original article: http://www.osirissc2guide.com/tvp-standard-build-order.html