TvZ - Fighting Off Pesky Roaches


I love my Hellion opening in TvZ. If you watched IPL3 you would have noticed that practically every Terran there does too. You probably also noticed that practically every Terran who did a Hellion opening lost the game to a Roach push.  After scouting the absence of 2 Rax pressure Zergs have just started to expect a Reactor Hellion push. A lot of Zergs in IPL3 decided to flat-out open Roaches knowing it was coming. So how do you deal with these Roaches? Well, here's how I have been managing it lately:

Build Order:

  • Open with a standard 12 Rax, 13 Gas, 15 Orbital.
  • Make 2 Marines and then start your Factory and Reactor.
  • CC @ 400 minerals
  • Swap the Reactor onto the Factory, land the Rax and start a Tech-lab.
  • @100% Tech-lab build 1 Marauder.
  •  @4 Hellions lift the Factory off and build a Tech-lab.
  • Build 2 new Rax, one of them on the empty Reactor.

With the two Marines I make I like to send them to the bottom of my ramp in the direction I know a scouting Zergling will be coming from. Almost every Zerg pokes the front to check if the Hellions are coming, if you put your 2 Marines at the bottom of the ramp you can pick of this scouting ling, forcing them to either play in the dark or make more Lings, and more Lings mean less Drones. I don't advise doing this repeatedly against the same player. I did this in a tournament Bo3 against aLtJimdiddy and in game 1 it worked but in game 2 he made a few more Lings knowing my Marines would be vulnerable and cleaned them up.

I always build 1 Marauder with the Tech-lab Rax. Some people prefer not to do this but rather just have the Tech-lab Rax so that they have the option to build a Marauder if needed. I like to always build one just so I don't get caught off-guard. I also chose to start Stim at this time because it takes at least 3 years to research (thanks a lot Blizzard).

Your 4 Hellions should arrive at the Zerg Natural in time to see a Roach or two pop if they blindly opened with them. In this case you can continue Marauder production. If they place down a Warren in response to the Hellions then continued Marauder production is not necessary as you should have a Siege-Tank out in plenty of time. The trick here is not to lose the Hellions because you need to know when the Roaches leave the Zerg base. If you only have 1 Marauder out it's a good idea to throw down a Bunker so that the Zerg player can't just snipe your lone Marauder and then munch away at your wall. If you are able to get 2 Marauders out you shouldn't need this as the 2 Marauders, a few Marines and Hellions you have should be able to take care of the 7/8 Roaches assuming you micro them correctly.

Here are two screens from a custom game I played where the player went for a 1 base 5 Roach rush, which arrives a few seconds before the first Marauder pops.

[caption id="attachment_1819" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="This player decided to use a 5 Roach Rush against me that arrived just before my 3rd and 4th Hellion and Marauder popped."]Holding off a 5 Roach Rush[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1820" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="By keeping my units sufficiently far back behind the wall so the Roaches couldn't snipe them, as well as the arrival of my saviour Marauder, I was able to hold off this rush loosing only a single Hellion."]Saviour Marauder![/caption] So that's how I deal with Roach openings I have been seeing lately. If you would like to share how you have been dealing with them feel free to leave a comment below!
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