Recently, I revisited reactor hellion opening for TvT.
The maps in the current map pool are rather big and hence they seem to encourage early expand builds. Although I always do 1 rax expand, I’ve problem holding a 1 base all in properly. Often, I just get contained and I’ve nothing but marines. By the time, I can break the contain, I’m way behind in almost every aspect. Subsequently, I’ve come down to a conclusion that if I see opponent getting an early gas, I will take 2 gas after expanding. If opponent does not take any gas, I will build 2 more rax before gas. However, if I drop 2 gas first, I’ll have too much gas and insufficient mineral. So I chose to transit into cloaked banshee, which is more suitable for mech. I prefer marine tank in TvT. In sum, I was searching for an opening which can transit into marine tank, and can hold off one base all in, and with a rather early expansion.
Mvp used reactor hellion opening against MMA in GSL Code S RO16 two weeks ago. The build is more of a traditional TvZ build in the past, whereby reactor hellion into expansion is the metagame build. Here is the build order,
10 supply depot
16 orbital command
17 supply depot
Constant SCV production. Constant marine production and stop at 2. Build factory @100 gas. Then, build reactor on barrack @50 gas. Build command centre @400 mineral. Build another depot @ next 100 mineral. Swap factory on reactor, and get 2 pairs of hellion. Use hellion for map control, and don’t attempt to run by because that’s not the purpose of these hellions. Build a starport when the 2nd pair of hellion start production. Drop a tech lab on the barrack, then build a second gas.
Swap the barrack and factory over, so that reactor is on barrack and tech tab is on factory. Then you can carry on to have marine tank production. The part that I like about this build is that, I’ve a choice to be aggressive or defensive when the starport finishes. If I know opponent is going to go for banshee, I get viking. If opponent is going to sit back and macro up, get medivac and drop with the hellions. Again, make sure the hellions don’t die. It is alright to not deal much damage rather than losing those hellions. The fact that you pick those hellions back up on the medivac and move away, opponent is being pinned in his base to defend subsequent hellion drop.
Continue to macro up with marine and tank. Push across the map with 3 tanks and have siege mode upgrading. Upon reaching opponent’s base, drop hellion in main to pull his units into the main while trying to get into a good position at his natural with marine, tank and medivac/viking. At the same time, you can choose to go for a 3rd command centre or build another 2 more barracks. Transit to standard play subsequently.