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 Hire
The usual suspects of Terran Infantry. If the Ghost is a sniper, why does he have the same range as a Marauder?
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 hit 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.
Â 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.
Â 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.
Â 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 Protoss.
Â 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
If you're looking to cause splash damage and giant explosions, you've come to the right place.
Siege 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.
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 supply.
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.
Ravens - 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!
Â 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.
Â 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.
Â 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.
The 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...
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!