StarCraft II - Terran Vehicles In-Depth Stats and Strategy

Possessing both the most mobile and immobile units in the game, the Terran Factory forces are a mixed bag.  Hellions terrorize the opponent's economy and melee, picking them off with superior s

Possessing both the most mobile and immobile units in the game, the
Terran Factory forces are a mixed bag.  Hellions terrorize the
opponent's economy and melee, picking them off with superior speed and
the power to hit multiple units.  Siege Tanks slowly drive
into position to unleash hell at a range no other unit can even come
close to matching.  Thors intimidate everyone else on the
battlefield with their powerful land cannons and superior splash damage
versus air units.  Terran vehicles are very strong, but while
their HP counts seem high, they fall incredibly quickly.  They
bring incredible firepower to the front lines, so long as they
themselves aren't the front lines!

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style="font-style: italic;">A dune buggy.  With a

style="font-style: italic;">How can you not like it?


Cost - 100
Minerals, 2 supply

Build Time -
30 seconds

Combat Stats
- 90 HP, 8 damage, + 6 versus light, +16 versus light with
upgrade.  Attack Range of 6 and all targets in the
flamethrower's path take damage.  0 armor, Light/Mechanical
armor types.  Attack upgrades give +1 normal, +1 to bonus

Can only attack land units.

Early Game
- Hellions can hit the battlefield before any other vehicle,
and often times before any one can stop them.  You only need
two or three to put a serious hurt on your opponents, so do not bother
with the Reactor upgrade if going for this tactic.  Your goal
is worker assassination, and it works primarily versus Zerg and to a
lesser extent Protoss.  Drive right by any forces and start
lining up shots.  Stick and move.  These units are
not meant to fight anything toe to toe, especially when you're raiding
like this.  Ideally, you want your opponent to panic and start
microing his workers together--this plays right into the Hellion's
strength.  Keep driving around, and if the workers flee,
you've  got an opportunity.  You can move faster than
them, so pursue and try to line up a killer shot.  When one
burst of fire kills 5 or more workers, you can hear your opponent slam
his fist on his desk in anguish.  Keep doing as much damage as
you can with these, and don't forget to keep producing units at your
base in the meantime.  You don't want to leave yourself
vulnerable to a counter attack!

Mid Game and Late Game
- Now that you can't just waltz in and have your way with their
workers, Hellions come into play to keep those pesky light melee units
off your big guns.  Hellions have several main uses at this

    - If you're going for an
infantry-centric army against a Zerg, you can bet your ass you'll see
Banelings come at you eventually.  Hellions are the perfect
answer.  With the upgrade, 2 Hellions can kill a line of
Banelings charging at your Marine mob instantly.  Once the
suicide squad is down, your Marines can fire with much less risk.

    - Vehicle-centric armies, often referred
to as Mech armies,  use Hellions as their frontal
force.  Lots of them.  This does not make them
suddenly potent fighters, but your goal is to provide a field of fire
(literally) that incinerates the enemy melee before they can get to
your Thors and Siege Tanks.  Keep Hellions in front of your
army and scouting around for ambushes, flanks, and just looking for the
enemy melee in general.  Unless the Zerglings are on Creep,
you can have your way with any melee unit in the game.  Even a
charging Zealot can't touch a Hellion force when it's using hit and run
tactics.  Keep the enemy off your heavy artillery and you'll
walk over your opponent!

    - Hellions are exceptional at
assassinating enemy caster units.  Your forces are highly
mobile and cost no gas, so you have very little to lose going for these
high cost, low durability targets.  High Templar are but
fodder for your fire.  Ghosts will have to cloak or
burn.  Once these priority targets are down, you can engage
them with much less risk to your forces.


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While not looking
like much, the Siege Tank is quite the threat un-sieged as well.

Siege Tanks

Cost - 150
Minerals, 125 Gas, 3 supply

Build Time -
45 seconds

Combat Stats -
160 HP, 1 Armor.  Can only shoot land units. 
Armored/Mechanical armor types.  4 second delay in switching

    Tank Mode - 15 damage with +10 versus
armored, 7 range.  Attack upgrades increase damage by 2 and
bonus versus armored by 1.  Relatively fast firing speed.

    Siege Mode - 60 damage, +5 per
upgrade.  13 range.  Attacks deal splash damage in a
decent radius, but splash damage is weaker when shooting larger targets
(Explosion originates at the middle of the targeted unit). 
Immobile, slow attack speed.

Early Game
- Early siege tank use is largely map dependent and depends on the
actions of your opponent.

Some maps, such as Desert Oasis, have your starting base's resources in
range of Siege Tank weapons from below.  Getting a tank and
siege mode research underway the moment the tech lab finishes, and
setting up a bunker or two around there to secure your position can win
the game right then and there.  Of course, you still need to
have sight above so you'll need to bring in a flying unit (or
building!).  Almost all expansions in the current map set of
the beta are vulnerable to Siege Tank fire from some angle or
elevation.  Exploiting this early can take out that expansion
before they begin to reap the real benefits from it, and give you the
opportunity to set up your own while the pressure is on them.

Defensively, a siege tank or two can very easily dissuade early
aggression, but it's very important to not overdo it.  You may
secure your base, but hiding behind your wall of supply depots,
Marines, and Siege Tanks is not going to stop your opponent from
expanding and controlling the map.  It's also important to
position these correctly.  You may want to have the maximum
range at the front so you can put the most firepower on your opponents,
but if targeted by your opponent's ranged units your tanks will go down
in short order.  Keep them a safe distance behind your front
lines--but not out of range of course.

Mid/Late Game -
Don't underestimate their damage in Tank Mode!  If shooting
Armored units, buildings, or destructible rocks, the rate at which
these deal damage is actually higher than when in Siege Mode, assuming
no splash damage.  So if you get caught on the move against a
pack of Roaches or Stalkers, don't be afraid to just hammer them with
the main guns.  Since they fire faster, but for less damage,
you'll have to put forth more effort to kill chasing Zealots.

As armies begin to get large, the positioning of your Siege Tanks is
all that matters.  If caught from behind or near the front of
the army, they will die before they can even get a shot off in Siege
Mode.  When pushing out and getting near your opponent, siege
half of your tanks and move slowly, leapfrogging your tanks and forces
ahead with Siege Mode.  That way, if your opponent strikes,
you'll have the decisive first blow from Siege mode that will often
panic your opponent into backing off.  Next time they come,
you'll be fully sieged up and ready for anything though!

It's extremely important to protect these from air raiding. 
Mutalisks and Phoenixes love tanks.  Phoenixes can even pick
up your siege tanks when in siege mode.  And since these units
have to come in packs to do any damage, and are light units, we have
this next bad boy to assist in the matter...


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style="font-style: italic;">Heavy firepower, and the voice
resembling a certain Terminator.

style="font-style: italic;">A match made in Heaven.


Cost - 300
Minerals, 200 Gas, 6 Supply

Build Time -
60 seconds

Combat Stats -
400 HP, 1 Armor.  Armored/Mechanical/Massive armor
types.  There is a delay switching from anti ground to anti
air weapons and vice versa, but you don't click a button for this--it's

    Attacking Ground - 30 damage a hit,
attacks twice.  Gains +3 damage on each hit per
upgrade.  Will attack twice even if the first hit kills the
unit.  6 range.

    Attacking Air - 6 damage per missile, +6
versus light, shoots a cluster of 4.  These deal splash damage
in a small radius.  Gains +1 damage normally and +1 versus
light per upgrade.  10 range.

Requires a Tech Lab and an Armory.

Early Game
- There really isn't an 'early game' for the Thor, but there are some
silly tactics involving a fast one.

Referred to as the 'Thorship' or 'bullshit' by most players, this
involves going directly for a Thor and a Medivac.  You'll need
to get both refineries up very quickly, and skimp on the unrelated
tech--Wall in with only a barracks and supply depots, and don't make an
add on otherwise.  The moment you hit 100 gas, throw down your
Factory, and when that finishes, throw down your Armory and
Starport.  While those are building, put down a tech lab and
make sure you have at least 8 extra supply.  Build a Thor and
a Medivac when the respective buildings finish, and scout your opponent
once more to see where their vulnerabilities lie.  Pick up the
Thor with the Medievac and head for your opponent.  Drop it
off near the workers, and begin blasting away happily.  If
against a Zerg that targets your Medivac with their queen, prioritize
it first.  Most Protoss players will only have a few sentries
and maybe a stalker at this point, and a Thor can annihilate those with
no problem.  The moment anti-land forces approach that you
can't handle, pick it up with the Medivac and look for more vulnerable
spots.  Keep building units and expanding--the whole point of
this is to pressure them and throw them off their game.  When
things just aren't working anymore, take it home and repair
it.  That Thor is a hero!

Mid/Late Game
- Thors excel at demolishing medium units and large units with their
cannons, and larger units especially with the 250mm Cannons. 
The real weakness of the Thor is swarms of Zerglings, and if you don't
have to worry about those, you can use Thors to some extent in every
game.  Even if you do think that's coming, use your Hellions
to soften them up enough for the Thor cleanup committee.

Contrary to popular belief, the Immortal is not a good counter to the
Thor once the Thor has 250mm Cannons and the energy to use
them.  The Immortal's Hardened Shields does not apply to this
attack since it's considered spell damage, and as an added bonus, the
cannons stun the Immortal until it dies from the barrage.  So
what would normally be an easy target for the Immortal, turns into an
easy target for the Thor with the upgrade.  In the rare case
you see Colossi or Ultralisks, the 250mm cannons basically render them
useless.  Use them at every opportunity on big units, and if
you need to, on buildings to ensure quick destruction.

One of the more annoying aspects of Thors versus Protoss is
Feedback.  An ability that is designed to be anti-caster,
actually works quite well on the Thor since it has to amass a lot of
energy to use its ability to begin with.  If you see this
happening, you need to mobilize your Hellions or Ghosts to neutralize
them before they cause too much damage to your Thors and remove their

The Thor is *not* a good unit to use against heavy air.  Heavy
air units are highly armored, and the Thor does not get its bonus
damage versus them.  You'll see your barrage doing 20 damage,
and with the slow attack speed, that isn't killing a capital ship
anytime soon.  As such, you'll need to support these masters
of killing light air units with units capable of killing heavy air
units--A pack of Marines or Vikings for instance.  The Terran
army is by far the best to blend multiple units together into a killing
machine, and the Thor drops the hammer quite nicely against all other
targets.  Attacking with a Thor is a very all or nothing
strategy though.  You don't retreat when you can barely move
to begin with!

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