The Terran vs Terran match-up is one of the most predictable match-ups in Starcraft 2. Unlike other mirror
match-ups, this one almost always unfolds in the same fashion.
Players almost universally will opt for fast Vikings or Banshees and then progress into Mass Vikings and Siege
The reasoning for this is that Terrans do not have any early units which are strong against Banshees.
While both Thors and Vikings are strong against Banshees, both require some advanced technology, and Banshees
are very versatile early in the game thanks to cloaking.
On the other hand, late in the game, the Terran army has no possible unit combinations that counter mass Tanks
and Vikings aside from perhaps mass Ravens, which is nearly impossible to get as expansions are hard to come by in
TvT thanks to Viking Patrols.
In the replay below, caster HDStarcraft does an excellent job in showcasing the Terran vs Terran match-up:
Notes and Important Match Times
Game Start: I have found that in literally about half of Terran vs Terran match-ups you can
count on your enemy rushing for Banshees. Banshees do a lot of damage to ground units, and they will attempt to
harass your SCVs. While Turrets work, it Banshees can easily avoid them.
For this reason, in TvT match-ups, you want to avoid walling off your base. Instead, you want to build all your
buildings centrally (around your Command Center), just like demonstrated in the video.
The reason for going with this "Sim City" design is because it is easy for your Turrets and Marines to protect
against an early Banshee harass. You can cover your entire base with just a few Turrets this way.
If you spread out and build your buildings all over your base, it will be impossible to cover the whole thing
with detection, making you a prime target for a Banshee rush.
On the other hand, if you scout your opponent and see they are walling up at their entrance, go for a Banshee
rush. Attack their mineral line with cloaked Banshees, and if they scan, run away for a few seconds. After the scan
wears off, go back in.
If they build turrets, head down to the entrance of their base and pick off Marines and Supply Depots. Keep
bouncing all over the base, avoiding turrets and scans. Each scan costs the enemy player a MULE (270 minerals), so
do not underestimate this.
While you are Banshee harassing, get your own expansion up at your natural and continue to build units at home.
You can then come in for an easy win if you slow down the enemy player enough with your Banshees.
10:26 (video time): This is the spot of the first major attack. Notice how the caster stims
Marauders and pushes them forward to the tanks. This is very effective versus small numbers of tanks (up to about
8). The speed from the stim helps them get in very close to the tanks.
What you want to do is actually run them on top of the tanks rather than stopping a few yards short like in the
video. This will allow the Marauders to take out the tanks without getting hit with Siege attacks, and if they do
get hit with Siege Attacks, the player will hit his own tanks with Splash damage.
A Marauder is cheaper than a Siege Tank by far, so this is a great trade.
11:16: At this part in the video, the enemy player lands his Vikings in the caster's mineral
line. Unlike the commentary suggests, I consider this standard play in TvT when you are ahead in Viking count.
Once you have the advantage in Vikings, you need to do this once you have started to Siege the enemy's main.
Tanks move too slowly to chase down your Vikings, and if the player does decide to move his tanks after your
Vikings, you can then push forward with your own tanks and creep closer to his base.
If I was the Terran player I would even consider landing in the player's main behind the mineral line. There is
only 1 turret back here, which the dozen or so Vikings the blue Terran has would take this out in a second or
This would then open up the opportunity for a cloaked Banshee harass as well.
Note that post-SCV harass, this would have been a great time for the blue player to take a third base. He
is bound to have a bigger income than his opponent given the SCVs he was able to pick off. It is a safe play that
would secure a win.
Counters to Mass Tanks and Vikings - Terran vs Terran Replay
While Mass Tanks and Vikings are the basis of Terran vs Terran play, there are some alternatives.
As mentioned previously, rushing to air is one of the key components of Terran vs Terran play. However, if you
simply go for a straight Marine rush, you actually counter an air-rush.
In order to pull this off, you have to be quick, such as a 10 and 12 Barracks. You also need to hide your second
Barracks (not a Proxy, but just hidden on the map so it cannot be scouted). Pump out a quick 8-10 Marines and go
in. If you are fast enough, you will beat Banshees out (and definitely Cloak) allowing for a quick win.
It takes a bit of practice, and you have to be sure to scout out the Terran player early to see if they are
teching up quickly. What you are looking for is how early their Refinery is built and how many Refineries they
In the replay above, the Terran player actually got a Refinery before his first Barracks. When you scout this,
you know with 100% certainty that this player is teching up and will be very susceptible to an all-in Marine
If you see the second Refinery prior to a second Barracks or Factory, you know as well that this player is
teching and is very susceptible to an all-in Marine push.
If you are the one teching and scout that your opponent is massing Marines, throw down a Bunker by your ramp and
load it with Marines. This should offer enough defense until you can get out a few Hellions (great versus Marines)
as you tech into air.