TvX Reaper opening into Mine drops into bio

In my posts so far, I have emphasized a macro-focused, reactive style. I think focusing on macro is the best way to learn how to play, but nailing your build and keeping your money low alone isn’t going to win you games. To play reactively, you need to scout and know how to respond to what you see, but even more importantly, you need to micro to deal with it.

That’s kind of where I’m at in my development, and unfortunately, it’s not going so well. I don’t play particularly quickly, and I’m not good at switching back and forth between micro and macro. Repeating reactive, safe builds hasn’t helped me develop that, either, because not enough of my games turn to micro-intensive styles.

Since I’m playing Terran nowadays, I’m using Reaper openings now. I feel cheesy doing it, but it’s astoundingly good practice to micro 2 Reapers around your opponent’s base while executing your build. The build gets a quick expansion and uses Widow Mine drops and Hellion harass into the midgame to keep your opponent off-balance. That gives you the opportunity to transition into your favorite bio composition.

Even better, the opening generally works against all races. You may tweak things slightly depending on what you see, but good harassment is good. Things probably start to diverge around 6:00.

Here are the build orders from 2 games from Polt that he posted to YouTube.

Polt’s TvT Reaper opening against Mech

  • 10 Supply Depot
  • 11 Barracks (I think this was a mistake)
  • 12 Refinery
  • 15 Orbital Command, Reaper
  • 16 Supply Depot
  • 16 Reaper (lost a worker, sees no gas)
  • 19 4:10 Command Center
  • 4:25 20 Factory
  • 4:40 Reactor
  • 21 Supply Depot
  • 22 5:05 Barracks (poke in with Reapers)
  • 5:25 Starport (start Marine production), Widow Mine
  • 6:15 tech lab on Barracks, Refinery
  • 6:50 Medivac
  • 7:00 Barracks, Refinery
  • 7:30 tech on Stim
  • 7:40 1 Widow Mine drop (other Mine at opponenemt’s ramp)
  • 8:00 Engineering Bay
  • 8:30 Mine drop, sees mech, Siege Tanks
  • 9:30 push out with army, drop in back
  • 10:30 Command Center
  • Marine/Marauder/Tank/Medivac
  • 14:00 4th base

And the M4 Carbine against Zerg:

Polt’s TvZ Reapers into M4 Carbine

  • 10 Supply Depot
  • 12 Barracks
  • 12 Refinery (delay SCV slightly)
  • 15 Reaper, Orbital command
  • 16 Supply Depot
  • 18 Reaper (attack with both when done
  • 20 Command Center
  • 21 4:20 Factory
  • 22 4:30 Reactor
  • 23 Supply Depot
  • 25 5:40 Swap, Bunker, Hellion x2 (to 6, then Widow Mines), Tech Lab
  • 5:55 Refinery
  • 30 6:05 Starport
  • 7:00 Viking
  • 7:10 Stimpack
  • 8:00 Medivac, harassing with Hellions and Reaper
  • 8:20 Command Center
  • 8:30 Drop leaving with Medivac and 2 Mines
  • 8:50 Engineering Bay x2, Refinery x2
  • 9:10 Barracks x2
  • 9:50 Barracks x2
  • 11:00 Tech Lab x2, Armory, Barracks x4, moves out to 3rd base
  • 12:00 Factory

Just a few notes:

  • Feel free to lose the Reapers at your discretion. If they survive, you can watch for expos or take towers with them
  • Your money will get high when you supply is in the upper 20s before you can blow it all on Hellions. I think you can get a Bunker, earlier 2nd Refinery, and 2nd Barracks in that gap
  • An alternate build is to go for a quick 3rd Command Center around 5:00 with those extra minerals. See Reality’s build in TvZ (youtube, twitch)
  • There are lots of units being cranked out all along the way that I’m not noting in the build

Finally, here’s a game from yours truly¬†against Protoss. My Reaper harassment works okay, and their Oracle harassment works even better. A few Widow Mines in my base and a poorly timed push from my opponent seals the victory for me. Overall, it was pretty gratifying seeing the new build work, especially in TvP, which I have recently been having difficulty with.

To recap, at some point, you need to learn how to micro while sticking with your build/macro, and trying out harass-heavy builds, like Reaper openings, are a great way to do that. Reaper openings are surprisingly versatile and can definitely lead into any type of bio build.

(edit 5/4/13: adding reference to 3 base build)

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