The Swarm vs Mech
A standard beginning
The game starts off like many TvZ games do: a group of Hellions and Reapers pick off a Drone or two before being driven off by seven Queens.
The early pleasantries aside, both players power up to strong economies and big armies.
But this is the Balance Test Matchmaking, so our players compositions look a little different: at 9 minutes in the game, the Terran player Justifier is pushing with a mech army comprised of Siege Tanks and Hellbats.
And what does our Zerg player have to hold the push with? Just 9 Swarm Hosts and 6 Infestors along with leftover Queens.
It’s just enough: Fungal growth catches the Hellbats, preventing them from retreating to the protection of Tank fire, and Locusts and Queens tear apart the immobilized Hellbats, and without a buffer the Siege Tanks are forced to retreat before they get destroyed by future Locust waves.
A deadly combo
The game continues into the mid-game with neither player worse for the wear: The Terran didn’t lose his critical high-cost units, and the Zerg didn’t take a hit to economy. Now it’s time for both players to test the waters of the balance mod’s new meta-game: What works and what doesn’t?
Unfortunately for our Terran player, he has to find out fast: If he stays defensive, Locusts will slowly yet surely take cost-effective trades, wearing down the Terran’s count of high cost units like Siege Tanks or Thors. One thing’s for sure: If you don’t take counter-measures fast, Swarm Hosts will quickly kill you.
But as he tries to push, he encounters a new problem: With the high Queen count, creep is everywhere. The already slow pushing speed of mech is slowed further when it continually stops to scan and kill creep. To make matters worse, once Scans are burned Infesters could be lurking anywhere, waiting to spring a deadly trap: Fungal followed up by a wave of Locusts to destroy the immobilized units that were caught off guard.
And one thing’s for sure: Bum-rushing in does not work.
Matters are made worse when Brood Lords show up, so Injustice takes action. Sending all of his Tanks, un-sieged, he goes for a base-trade like maneuver, sniping Hatcheries left and right.
The Broodlords are then left unprotected as the rest of the Zerg army retreats, lagging behind to be picked off by Vikings.
The Zerg, with a big hit to economy and some expensive units lost, now makes the poor choice of using his bank to build Ultralisks. And let me tell you: whatever woes Terran has on the balance mod, it’s not Ultralisks.
To top it all off, the chaos causes some Zerg units to be caught out of position — and as fast as Locusts kill units, Mech can kill things faster if you let them.
Unfortunately, the earlier cost-efficiency of the Swarmhost Fungal combo was just too strong, and the Zerg’s bank is large enough to overcome these disasters, as ultimately, Justifier is unable to find a composition that beats the deadly Broodlord Infestor Swarmhost combo.
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- Sc2replaystats.com staff
Post written by Justin “TheSkunk” Purdy