Ahh, the Terran army of Starcraft II. Men and
machines, united as one massive force, doing everything they can to
stave off the variety of alien invaders... and deal with their own
internal problems, if the books and campaigns are any
indicator. Familiar friends and new units are on the scene to
give the Terran army some new tricks, and some of your favorites return
with new traits and abilities! The Terran War Machine is
still somewhat immobile compared to the other races, but in a straight
fight where the Terran is positioned correctly, Terran forces tend to
come out on top. So what forces will you be using to win the
many battles of the campaign and multiplayer? Read on to find
The Barracks - Trigger Happy Units for
The usual suspects of
Terran Infantry. If the Ghost is a sniper, why does he have
the same range as a Marauder?
- The staple of the Terran army
returns, sporting the very same statistics from before in combat with a
little boost here and there. They still cost 50 minerals a
piece, and do a base 6 damage per shot to all units both air and ground
based. They've upgraded the armor suits they wear and now
walk around with 45 HP rather than 40 before, and that can be upgraded
to 55 HP with the Combat Shields research. You can still
research Stimpacks to give your Marines a massive fire and move speed
increase at the cost of 10 HP, and now that they're tougher and you can
upgrade their toughness, you have no excuse not to! Lone
groups of marines are weak, but once you start rolling around with a
pack of 10 or more, the firepower starts to add up very
quickly. Oddly enough, these are your best bet for all
Marauders - Years of watching Marines
fall apart to a stiff breeze has given the Terran R&D
department a reason to take infantry to the next level. The
result is the Marauder, who packs an impressive 125 HP and 1 base
armor. Marauders no longer use the Gauss Rifles of the
Marines, they have arm mounted Punisher Grenades that pack considerably
more punch at 10 damage a shot, and a little more range.
These shots do double damage against Armored targets, such as Siege
Tanks and other Marauders, making them quite potent against larger
units. With an upgrade, they also do a concussive shock to
any units struck by the grenades, slowing them down greatly for a
second. This can be used to great effect to essentially dance
around a melee target, peppering them with fire until they die and you
take little to no damage in return. Marauders can also use
Stimpacks just like the marines, giving them high speed and a high rate
of fire for a meager cost of 10 HP. The Marauder has plenty
of HP to burn, so stim up and let rip! Unfortunately, all of
this power and toughness also comes with a penalty of not being able to
attack air at all. Don't get caught massing these and then
swept away by air! You only need an attached Tech Lab to
build them so you can access them very quickly for the meager cost of
100 minerals and 25 gas, but they take up 2 supply.
Reapers - Because no Space Marine army,
er, Terran army isn't complete without jump-jet infantry, the Reaper
has arrived to bring mobility to the Terran infantry squads.
Moving faster than any other unit early on, they blast targets with
dual pistols from medium range and demolish light units like Zerglings,
Zealots, and Marines. They also do high damage versus
workers. Combine these traits with the fact that cliffs are
no obstacle to the Reaper and you have a dangerous raiding unit early
on. If the enemy has moved away all of their workers, or is
putting up defenses, fear not--the Reaper double as a high damage siege
weapon of sorts. They can lob explosive charges versus
buildings to force an engagement from units you can dance
around. A pack of reapers can kill an infinite number of
Zealots or Zerglings (off creep) due to having range and a higher move
speed. Unfortunately as the game goes on, their usefulness
begins to taper off. They cannot hit air, and at 50 minerals and 50
gas, they can tie up your gas which is used for important upgrades and
big units. Even with the high cost, the Reaper itself only
has 50 HP. You must pay attention to them very
carefully--they won't win any fair fights, and have zero chance versus
Armored-type units or Queens unless you have far more of
them. Dance around and make your opponents
miserable! If you need to dance even faster, there is a Nitro
Packs upgrade at the Tech Lab to make them even more dangerous to your
opponent's economy, but upgrading this is difficult to justify--by the
time this finishes, your opponent will have the army necessary to fend
off your raiders typically.
Ghosts - The Angel of Nukes
returns. Ghosts are now far tougher, with a hundred
points, and cost 2 population each. Their rifle now does more
damage, and does double damage against lighter units just like the
Reaper's dual pistols. Buff as they may be, you got them for
their abilities, which can cause your opponent all kinds of
grief! With great power comes great costs though, and Ghosts
are now a whopping 150 minerals and 150 gas. This is more
than a Siege Tank, but it's so worth it.
Snipe is an ability with a tiny energy cost that does 45 damage to a
target. This damage bypasses all kinds of absorption and
armor. You can only shoot organic units with this, but it
enables you to take out key targets in the blink of an eye.
This ability instantly kills High Templar, making well used Ghost play
essential if you see the opponent going for Templar.
Cloaking returns, with a tiny energy
maintenance cost and a 25 energy initial cost to start it up.
You still are not revealed when you're firing or using
abilities. If you think your opponent is unprepared, you can
sneak in and do terrible things to them. This must be
researched before it can be used.
Stealing an ability from the Science
Vessel of the first Starcraft, Ghosts can now launch an EMP missile
that destroys all energy and 100 Shields in the area. This
disables the high powered absorption of Immortals, removes the threat
of Graviton Beams from Phoenixes, removes the energy from High Templar
and softens up a Protoss army *greatly*. You're probably
noticing a trend here, and a few Ghosts are always welcome versus the
Nuking the opponent is the only way to
be sure, of course. It takes longer to launch one now, at 20
seconds, but it no longer requires a separate building. You
build nukes at the Ghost Academy, which is required to produce Ghosts
as well as an attached Tech Lab. Nukes are now cheap and
relatively fast to produce, at 100 minerals and 100 gas each.
Each Ghost Academy can only hold one nuke. If you are looking
to do some crazy tactics with multiple nukes, you'll need multiple
Ghost Academies. A nuke does 500 damage to buildings and 300
damage to units, so 2 nukes will be necessary to destroy most buildings
and the biggest of units.
The Factory - Heavy Metal
Hellions - Our old Vulture friends
style="font-style: italic;">If you're looking to cause
splash damage and giant explosions, you've come to the right place.
didn't make it into this game, and we have these guys to thank/hate for
it. The vulture did extremely high damage to a single target,
and the Hellion now does lesser damage, but in a line of effect as
their attack is now a flamethrower with medium range. They do
pathetic damage against armored targets, but have a bonus against light
that can be further upgraded to an amazing +16 damage versus
light. This makes Hellions your primary killer of hordes of
Zerglings and Zealots, and they can do considerable damage to clusters
of Marines and Hydralisks if they can flank and get a good
angle. Just like the Reaper, this units is exceptional at
harassing the enemy workers. If you can drive into their base
and survive, light some Drones on fire! Remember
that this unit does an area of effect attack, so if they run their
workers away in a big congo line, you can catch up to them and sear
them all at once. Annihilating the entire enemy worker line
with a Hellion raid is one of the glorious moments of Terran.
These are somewhat fragile though with only 90 HP, and cost 100
minerals each. They require a lot more finesse than the old
Vulture to be effective, and they no longer have an insane speed
upgrade or Spider Mines. Generally these are avoided unless
the enemy unit choice prompts it. They make for good
assassins of caster units if you don't mind sacrificing them.
Tanks - Sporting the longest range
in the game, the Siege Tank is mobile death. No one can hide
from its massive Crucio Shock Cannon, and no defenses can hold it off
forever. The costs have been rebalanced a bit for our heavy
friend--the tank is now 3 supply and 125 gas, up from 2 supply and 100
gas. Researching Siege Mode is now cheaper and faster though,
at 100 minerals and 100 gas. Tank hordes are somewhat less
effective than before, with the Protoss gaining the heavily shielded
Immortal, and the Zerg getting an indirect buff with the greatly
increased unit pathfinding, giving a horde of Zerglings a chance at
reaching your tank lines and causing your massive blasts to kill each
other. One of the surprising things is that the basic tank
gun in mobile form actually does more damage over time than the siege
mode to heavily armored targets. The firing speed has been
increased and it has a bonus against Armored when on the
move. Don't underestimate these when they're
mobile! Since Starcraft 2 favors mobility and speed a bit
more than the previous game, the Siege Tank has less of a role than
before in the Terran army, but is still highly necessary on the
defensive and against some unit combinations. Hydralisks
still cringe at the thought of charging the big guns.
Thor - Speaking of big guns, we have
this guy. The Thor is a mechanical monstrosity, sporting 400
hp, 1 armor, and a gun on each arm that attacks in quick succession for
a total of 90 damage base to ground targets. They can also
launch a cluster of anti air missiles, which do some splash damage and
bonus damage against light air units. If you're having a
Mutalisk problem, the Thor is your best friend. These bad
boys demolish medium and heavy ground targets. They're
extremely effective against Protoss early on and later on with a screen
of Marines or Hellions in front. They suffer badly against a
swarm of lighter units though (doing far too much damage, and firing
too slowly) , and despite their massive HP, go down fairly quickly when
focused due to their size. A Thor is not a unit to be massed,
it costs 300 minerals, 200 gas, and 6 population for each one that you
build. They keep getting buffed though, so it remains to be
seen if they might actually be worth massing up late game. If
the enemy uses big units themselves, the Thor has a special ability
that opens up a can of whoop ass on a target with a massive barrage of
fire, dealing 500 damage over 6 seconds and stunning the
target. If you see Ultralisks or Colossi, Thors can make them
complete wastes of money once that ability starts firing.
The Starport - Death From Above!
While sporting the
slowest fleet, the Terran Air Force also packs the most firepower.
Letting your opponents flee is just human mercy.
These guys are air
superiority fighters, launching missiles that have a high range and do
bonus damage against Armored targets. Their superior range
makes them great at sniping enemy detectors or stray units and coming
back to the safety of your base or army. Once the skies are
yours, you can then transform into Assault Mode, which lowers the
Viking to the ground and flips their missiles into Gatling
guns. They deal decent damage, but when the unit costs 150
minerals, 75 gas, and 2 supply, you can build better things for raiding
and killing units on the ground. Keep these bad boys in the
skies and they'll swat any flies with unparalleled speed.
Medivacs - The Terran Dropship has been
upgraded with the ability to heal friendly organic units! Now
you can unload in the back of the enemy's base, stimpack, and kill as
many workers or buildings as you like with no fear of being caught off
guard or having to sacrifice space in the carrying capacity for a Medic
or two. They won't grant an organic unit invulnerability vs.
one or two attackers like the Medic used to though, the healing rate of
the Medivac simply isn't as fast as the ol' nurse was. Note
that these can heal any organic unit including your allies.
This can make these units far better in 2v2 when they can heal Zealots,
Hydralisks, and more for the low cost of 100 minerals, 100 gas, and 2
Banshees - If the Viking is the Anti-Air
God like the Wraith was for Terran in Starcraft 1, the Banshee is the
bane of the ground. These units can't even hit air units,
they can only rain death from the skies. However, they deal
great damage, with a base 12 damage per missile and shooting 2 per shot
at a high rate. They kill workers in 2 volleys, but aren't
the speediest things around so you have to be careful that you don't
get caught while harassing. Since they deal such high damage
though, you don't have to turn tail and run--if the enemy attempts a
half ass response to your Banshees, you can just slay them and move
on! If that wasn't enough, they can be upgraded to Cloak just
like Wraith and Ghosts. It's a high cost investment to get a
significant number of Banshees and Cloak, but if you can surprise your
opponent with them before they have good stealth detection, the game
can end right there.
- Robotic Science Vessels that
patrol the skies, safeguarding them from cloaked units.
Nothing is invisible to the sensors of the Raven. These cost
a lot to build, at 100 minerals and a high 200 gas, but keen use of
their abilities can sweep any battle in your favor much like the Ghost!
Auto-Defense Turret - Out of
Marines? Need a quick fix of damage and have nothing better
to do? Toss a few of these down. With the footprint
of a supply depot, they deal low damage at a high rate to any ground or
air targets nearby. The kicker is that they last a whopping 3
minutes, or 4 when upgraded. You can use these as scouts, or
even drop one behind your enemy's mineral patch to annoy them as their
Probes get filled full of holes and they have to bring something inside
their base to kill it.
Point Defense Drone - The old Defensive
Matrix only affected one unit. Terran R&D got tired
of listening to jealous complaints, so the Point Defense Drone now
protects an area around it and shoots down any projectiles fired at
friendly units in the area. It has a high duration, but a
limited energy pool of shot absorption. Units like Marines
and Tanks do not use projectiles though, so make sure the units you're
fighting against actually launch a projectile before you rely on this
ability to give you the edge in combat.
Hunter-Seeker Missile - A game winning
ability when used well, the Hunter Seeker paints a target with a little
red line and floats at it ominously. Once it gets close, it
zooms in and explodes for a whopping 100 damage in an area of
effect. Keen opponents can see which unit is targeted and
make it flee the area, so the Hunter Seeker flies slowly into the
distance, unable to find its target and eventually times out.
However, against clusters of air units and ranged units, a pair of
Hunter Seeker Missiles is really all that is needed to win the battle
if they connect in sweet spots.
Battlecruiser - With hailing
frequencies open and a captain smoking a pipe, the Battlecruiser is
back and far more threatening than before. The actual reason
for this is that their attack is no longer one big laser that can be
wasted on lesser units, but an incredibly fast firing barrage that
incinerates units and switches targets without a hitch. The
cost for this is that it's more than 50% more effective vs. ground than
air, but it can still slug it out with Air units to some
extent. It benefits much more from Viking support and leaving
it to sear the ground with lasers. Of course, after a little
research, you can unleash the mighty Yamato Gun to deal huge damage to
a target, destroying almost all defenses and units instantly.
While potent en masse, it's much cheaper and easier to mass effective
anti-air counters to these in Starcraft II. Vikings, Void
Rays, and Corruptors will all tear through Battlecruisers at an
alarming rate unless you have a fair number of them and are very quick
with the Yamato Gun before they engage you.
And last but not least...
style="font-style: italic;"> SCVs - The
workhorses of the Terran base, they toil tirelessly to bring in the
resources to wage war. An SCV is still vulnerable when
building something and can be targeted, but they don't stray nearly as
far away as they used to at random. You can still cancel
construction and switch in a new SCV without losing any progress if
your initial SCV comes under attack. They've lost their
fighting edge though, and SCVs now only have 45 HP instead of the
mighty 60 they commanded in Starcraft. This isn't too big of
a deal but it does make for one potentially key problem; a Dark Templar
can now one shot your workers!
MULEs - Calling down a walker with giant
mineral cutting saws, the MULE is a temporary worker with 60 HP that
will bring in 8 or 9 loads of minerals. These aren't the
typical 5 mineral loads though, these bad boys can bring in six times
that of a normal SCV in one trip! Unfortunately,
these aren't built normally, but a result of a 50 energy skill from the
Orbital Command. There is one interesting use for these
though, and that's to cause splash damage in enemy Terran
armies. You can summon them anywhere, and summoning one next
to a wall of Siege tanks will cause them all inflict heavy friendly
fire damage for a unit that costs you mere Energy!
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