Bomber’s Bio + Hellbat in Redbull Battlegrounds


Given the current state of TvP, the Terran community will scrutinize any innovation that may give new hope in the match up. Bomber’s bio and Hellbat aggressive play against PartinG is the most recent innovation out there. While many are interested in the actual build, I want to discuss other key aspects of the build.

In case you have not watched the games, download the replays

Previously, I mentioned that Hellbat transition is going to get more popular given the combination of vehicle and ship upgrade buff, thus I was not surprise to see Bomber pull this off. In the early days of Heart of the Swarm, Terran would transit from pure bio to Marauder and Hellbat based composition in the mid-late game. However, contrary to my expectation, Hellbat was included in Bomber’s composition early in the mid game.


Resource management

Bomber used 14CC opening into three Barracks in game 1, and one Barracks gasless expand in game 2. Nothing unorthodox for builds in general. Notably, the first two refineries were not built at the same time that typical builds do. I consider this as “a touch of Bomber” since he was well known to delay the second refinery in favor of more mineral even back in the one Barracks expand days of Wings of Liberty. Nevertheless, everything looks standard until Bomber diverged from the norm after the first convergent point. A standard first convergent point in TvP:

– 2x Command Centre
– 3x Barracks (Usually 2 Tech Lab and 1 Reactor)
– 1x Factory
– 1x Starport (Reactor)
– 1x Engineering Bay (+1 upgrade)

Bomber did not go into the second convergent point, which consists of

– 3x Command Centre
– 5x Barracks ((Usually 3 Tech Lab and 2 Reactor)
– 1x Factory
– 1x Starport (Reactor)
– 2x Engineering Bay (continuous upgrades)

The second convergent point is the basic structure for the standard Marine, Marauder and Medivac composition. Subsequently, you can add different buildings to adapt to opponent’s composition, for example, Ghost Academy. The Factory is usually floating around and does not contribute to the army production. The 6th to 8th Barracks are added accordingly later.

Bomber added a second Factory in order to produce Hellbats. This is his second convergent point,

– 3x Command Centre
– 4x Barracks (3 Tech Lab and 1 Reactor)
– 2x Factory (1 Tech Lab and 1 Reactor)
– 1x Starport (Reactor)
– 1x Engineering Bay
– 1x Armory

To mix in Hellbat, you need to get the Infernal Pre-Ignitor upgrade, aka Blue Flame upgrade. Thus, one Factory should have a Tech Lab, while the subsequent Factory should have Reactors (1 Tech Lab + X Reactor). Looking at Bomber’s build, he has two Factories (1 Tech Lab + 1 Reactor) to produce three Hellbats at a time. It is impossible to have the additional 300 mineral expenditure constantly without cutting into other production based on the standard convergent point production expenditure. Moreover, mech upgrade in the Armory piles more pressure on resource management as well. Bomber’s answer is to reduce one Barracks and one Engineering Bay. Now compare the two production cycle expenditure.

Standard (Total: 700 mineral 275 gas)

– 5 Barracks: 3 Marauders + 4 Marines = 500 mineral 75 gas
– 1 Starport: 2 Medivac = 200 mineral 200 gas

Bomber (Total: 900 mineral 275 gas)

– 4 Barracks: 3 Marauders + 2 Marines = 400 mineral 75 gas
– 2 Factory: 3 Hellbats = 300 mineral
– 1 Starport: 2 Medivac = 200 mineral 200 gas

Excluding upgrades, Bomber is spending 200 mineral more per production cycle. This shows that it is not enough to support the additional Hellbat production by cutting one Barracks alone. Bomber did three things to make up to the additional 200 mineral.

1. Cut Scv production
2. Single Engineering Bay for bio upgrade
3. No additional Barracks

Bomber cut Scv production at some point to fund the army production. Bomber did not have the second Engineering Bay for infantry attack and armor upgrade simultaneously. The resource of infantry armor upgrade and second Engineering Bay was spent on the mech attack upgrade. The constant production from 4 Barracks, 2 Factory and 1 Starport does not allow him to put down additional Barracks. When you put everything together, you have to keep attacking the opponent like how Bomber did in order for this to work.


Build order

I will not go into the build order details. However, with that being said, I will just list down what Bomber did that is different from a standard build after the first convergent point.

When the Starport is swapped onto the Reactor that is built by the Factory, build a Tech Lab on the Factory for Infernal Pre-Igniter upgrade. At the time that you normally put down the 4th and 5th Barracks, build 1 Barrack (Tech Lab) and 1 Factory (Reactor) instead.

As for upgrade, build the Armory when +1 infantry attack is 50% done. The +1 infantry upgrade and Armory should complete approximately the same time. Start +2 infantry attack and +1 mech attack.

Although I have yet to try it, it seems possible to do the similar build with a 12/12 Reaper opening. The various TvP macro opening would reach the first convergent point, and hence, you can adopt Bomber’s build by diverging away from the standard second convergent point.

Implication and improvement

In my opinion, the resource management could be adjusted to make it less “all-in-ish”. Once the bio into bio+ Hellbat transition is figured out, it is going to revolutionalise the metagame. The inclusion of Hellbats indirectly forces Terran to be more direct in terms of attacking than the standard bio only style. Hellbat is inferior in multi-pronged drop for several reasons. 1. It takes up 4 cargo space. 2. It works better on workers than buildings, and this means you cannot drop at the edge of the base. 3. If you do, you need to do a heavy drop with at least 3 Medivac  because of the cargo space issue. Then, why not I just drop with bio only? Conversely, you can drop the Hellbats at the mineral lines and attack with the main force somewhere else.

I think the inclusion of Hellbat is the future of this match up.


6 thoughts on “Bomber’s Bio + Hellbat in Redbull Battlegrounds

  1. Bottomline is the strat did not work as he lost. Being that marine heavy when he pushed at 14 mins, the strat would suffer vs a collo player too and u wont be able to add on 2nd starport for vikings. Parting did react well by making some immortals too vs hellbat. I’m surprised that in first game vs Parting at the end he allowed 1 zealot to demolish his third while his own army attacked into a choke. I’d rather follow Taeja when it comes to TvP.

  2. Just watched the first replay; noob question here: does Bomber use F2? Because I use F2 (mapped it to ~ next to 1) all the time and it does not allow me to do any drop play.

    Now trying to go to the old WoL manually adding new units to control group and god, it is painful to do.

    1. By default F2 is one of the location key. He definitely uses location key, but I don’t know if he changes it to another key.
      How does it interfere with drop play?

      I use F2 as location key too.

        1. F2 is location hotkey in Wings of Liberty. I don’t use select all units. I changed my idle worker key to ‘ because of my Warcraft III habit. My location keys are F1 to F4.

  3. Anyway, if you watch the Cloud Kingdom game, bomber put 1 marine in medevac and send it to drop (not sure why). Then warm prism storm drop harass happened; and suddenly that medivac got pulled back with the rest of his army.

    Also when he parade push forward, he didn’t bother remapping the units, but when rallying unit follows the main group automatically.

    Which makes me wonder if he uses select all unit (F2) heavily to control his reinforcement. I don’t see things like this when I watch Taeja or Innovation’s replays because they often have “left over unit” that does not join the fight because they were barely out of the camera range of the player.

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